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Blogging "American Idol": Girls Gone Wild

POSTED:

Whatever amount of self-respect the male American Idol singers still had after their excruciating performances Tuesday night must have been totally obliterated as they sat stage-side at last night's show, when the eight remaining female competitors bettered the boys by a mile. Lakisha Jones, Stephanie Edwards, Sabrina Sloan and Melinda Doolittle weren't perfect (though Doolittle came pretty damn close), but were at least impressive enough to suggest that Idol's Season Six might not be a total wash. Jordin Sparks' rendition of Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker" was iffy, but still better than even Blake Lewis's take on 311's "All Mixed Up." (Which is saying a lot, considering that Lewis's performance was fair to middling and that 311's music makes me throw up in my mouth a little.) Sadly, the heinous rock & roll wannabe Gina Glocksen offered a passable enough version of Evanescence's "Call Me When You're Sober" -- and got enough props from the judges, who were clearly not as grossed out by her fishnet glove and gratuitous tongue piercing as I was -- that she's sure to stick around at least another week. Which leaves us with the obvious choices for which girls will get cut tonight:

  • Antonella Barba: She's just not a good singer, a fact made all the more apparent by the confidence, charisma and ability of the ladies she's up against. Barba tried to create a new niche for herself this week by croaking through a flawed rendition of Corinne Bailey Rae's mellow R&B number "Put Your Records On," but her low register was too weak to handle to the song's subtleties and she only found her groove on the big, lung-rattling notes. Such a shame she wasted her thigh-high satin boots (how did I miss those in the Frederick's of Hollywood catalog?) on such a crappy performance. After Randy and Paula let her off easy, Simon let out a heavy sigh and then laid down the gospel truth: "You've gone as far as you can go, Antonella," he said, and later added, "I just wish you could sing better."
  • Haley Scarnato: Hard to say why Scarnato hasn't been booted yet, because the very same problems have marred her performance each and every week. The culprits? She's boring, she seems older than she ought to, and her voice isn't powerful enough for the gut-buster ballads she's attempting. This time, it was Faith Hill's "If My Heart Had Wings" that she butchered, whilst accompanying her insufficiently dramatic vocals with the kind of theatrical hand gestures only a Celine or a Christina can make look natural. Randy noted that the performance had no pizzazz â€" "no yo," he said. Speaking more plainly, Simon called it "horrible" and told Scarnato: "You know what I said to Paula halfway through the song? I don't know your name." There's no point learning her name now. She'll be back home in San Antonio by week's end.
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