One Down, Four To Go!

We’ve been through one set of votes, with four more (including the Wildcard) to go. But so far it’s not exactly thrill-a-minute. How did the first group do and what can we expect from the second?

I’m seven hours into season two now; by the end of next Tuesday’s show, I’ll qualify for a day’s pay from Fox. It’s really the least they can do considering I still don’t have an album from my first Idol after all the hard work I put in last season.

Watching season two has certainly been hard work. I’m bored. Ryan Seacrest looks bored. The judges looked bored. It’s been a positive snooze-fest so far. Good thing they added that extra couch for family members. There have probably been a few naps on that thing already. Never thought I’d say this, but I miss the inane banter between Seacrest and Dunkleman, and what I wouldn’t give to hear Randy utter someone’s name multiple times.

By now everyone has seen or heard about the tumultuous turn of events from the results show. I will say I was slightly shocked that Charles made the top two, but good for him! He needs to rethink his wardrobe going forward though. His voice was okay but his clothing style was a complete mismatch with his song choice.

I’m still wondering if Kimberly Caldwell missed the top two because of song choice or if the squabble with Julia DeMato played out for all to see last week did her in. Kimberly has a very good voice, probably one of the best so far. So either America did not like the piano version of “Come To My Window” or she missed out because of preconceived notions of her personality. If song choice was the reason, she will most likely have an opportunity to correct that in the wildcard round. She should think about doing “Superstitious,” which she did in her audition; it will probably sound better with piano only. If the airing of the little catfight did her in, then the show’s producers have only themselves to blame. Didn’t they learn anything from our pick last season? After voting America’s sweetheart Kelly Clarkson through, would we really vote for someone who is portrayed as mean and devious?

Julia picked a much easier song to sing with only piano backup. I’ve liked her voice since her first audition but I thought she sounded a little off. I’m glad she moved on though. I’m looking forward to hearing more from her. She hasn’t wowed me yet but she has some potential. Her style reminds me slightly of Sheryl Crow. I love Sheryl and I have seen her perform many times and yes, even Sheryl has missed occasionally in a performance. So I’m giving Julia the Sheryl-Crow-Benefit-of-the-Doubt for her performance this week.

I was glad to hear Simon give his marching orders for the next group of performers, because I have to agree with him that up until now there hasn’t been anything special about the show. So I’m expecting next week to pick up. Next week’s show is of course the point in time from last season where I spotted Kelly Clarkson. Well, me and a few million other Americans. So my hopes are high for the upcoming show.

I’d have to say the front-runner next week is Kimberley Locke. She did a great rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” during her tryouts and also sounded very good in her duet with Frenchie. She may be a tough one to beat but don’t be surprised if Candice Coleman sneaks in behind her. She has a great bluesy sound to her vocals.

Clay Aiken is also a contender. Although I wish the show’s hairstylist would stop giving the guys that spiked-up, gelled-out hairdo most of the male contestants from last season were sporting. Is that supposed to make them look hip? Thank God for Justin Guarini’s curly locks. They couldn’t mess with his head, at least. This week does offer a “mini-Justin” in the form of Jacob John Smalley. His audition was good but we already have Justin Guarini so Jacob’s got some additional competition to deal with that won’t even be singing on Tuesday night.

I’m expecting some surprises next week. Maybe they will come from Miss Homestead, Jennifer Fuentes. Fuentes is a pageant gal, so she’s use to competition. Don’t count out Arizona Idol Rebecca Bond either. She beat out 331 contestants and 50 finalists to take home the Arizona Idol Crown last year. I’ll be watching for her. I don’t think she’s had much face time yet and could have the “wow” factor that I’m not feeling yet for anyone.

The dark horses look like Ruben Studdard and Hadas Shalev. I loved Ruben’s audition and afterwards when he ran out and thanked his mom and dad. He’s very lovable. He sounded good vocally and has been studying voice at the University of Alabama for the past three years. Hadas also has had formal vocal training. She has performed at the Rose Bowl and won local competitions around California. These two could break through the pack.

Well, I hope someone breaks through this week. I’m not sure how much more of this I can watch. I need to see a Kelly or Tamyra soon or I may doze off.