February 20, 2007
Published on February 20, 2007 By Jamie Burnside In Entertainment

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After an unnecessarily short Hollywood round, the Idol season is now in full swing.  The first studio show featured the twelve male finalists.

After this one show, I was pretty disappointed.  Most of the performers seemed to be battling nerves, the song choices were poor, and I was bored for most of the show.  Thank goodness for the ability to speed through the commercials at least!

Looking back, I was similarily disappointed with previous seasons' early studio rounds.  Could it be possible that a return to the old format (2 out of 8 going through, plus a wild-card show) would be the best way to entertain the viewers?  I'd say "Yes!"

With that in mind, here's how I saw tonight's show:

The Performances:

1. Rudy Cardenas- Poor guy had to go first.  That's never good news, especially on a longer show.  Rudy sang an okay version of "Free Ride".  It didn't seem to be quite good-enough.  GRADE: C-

2. Brandon Rogers- if any of you are familiar with Japanese pop music, you may notice that Brandon has facial features stringly similar to a Mr. Katori Shingo.  Brandon sang Michael Jackson's "I want to rock with you."  I would bet that many viewers were underwhelmed with this effort.  It just wasn't as great as one would assume it could have been.  I'd bet that he does better next week.  GRADE: C

3. Sundance Head- made an interesting song choice.  Sundance sang the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin."  I don't think this one turned out so well.  After a poor showing in Hollywood, I fear that support for Sundance may be fading.  GRADE: D

4. Paul Kim- has a really annoying gimmick.  I am not sure, but I think he sang a SADE song.  I thought his singing was pretty good.  Thumbs mildly up.  GRADE: C+

5. Chris Richardson- was another guy who chose a song that I can recognize, but that I can't identify by title.  It seemed to me that he just kind of "sang the words."  Not terribly great, but good enough.  GRADE: C

6. Nick Pedro- my "dark horse" choice to do well in this competition.  Hopefully my written assessment won't be tainted by me rooting for this guy to win.  (I have been going nuts trying to figure out who this guy looks like.  I am thinking that it might be a baseball player.  I am sure that I'll figure it out once the games start this year.)  Nick sang "Now and Forever" kind of nicely.  I thought that he was the best of the first six.  Randy and Paula didn't care for it, Simon thought it was alright.  GRADE: B-

7. Blake Lewis- is apparently a close second to Chris Sligh for his ability to generate "internet buzz."  Tonight Blake decided to change his look a little.   His hair and face cut a Morrisey-like profile.  Blake sang a song called "Somewhere only we know" by a contemporary group called Keen.  He sang the song correctly, and in all it was a good performance.  GRADE: B

8. Sanjaya Malakar- I didn't realize this until now, but this young man is "girlish" in a way that is charming on TV.  Sanjaya sang a Stevie Wonder song.  He sounded alright, but I was bored waiting for a hook that never came.  GRADE: C-

9. Chris Sligh- sang another contemporary song by the name of "Typical".  Probably wasn't Chris' best, but he shouldn't have to worry about quality of performance for a few weeks at least.  GRADE: B   **I didn't get the Teletubbies dig on Simon.  Was that a record that Simon produced?  If so, what's the problem?  Teletubbies are cool for infants.  Did I miss something?

10. Jared Cotter- sang Brian McKnight's "1,2,3 song."  Boring.  Singing was okay.  GRADE: C

11. AJ Tabaldo- seems like a nice young man.  AJ sang a Luther Vandross song that I'm not familiar with.  Middle-of-the-road, maybe slightly better.  GRADE C+

12. Phil Stacey- sang a song that could likely be titled "Could not ask for more."  The beginning was pretty bad, from where it picked up and was decent after that point.  Judges liked it.  GRADE: C+

Tonight's Best:

1) Blake Lewis     2) Chris Sligh     3) Nick Pedro/ Phil Stacey

Tonight's Worst:

1) Sundance Head    2) Sanjaya Malakar     3) Rudy Cardenas

Who I think will be sent away?  Sundance and Rudy.  (Being first is nearly hopeless.)


In general, the men weren't all that good.  I hope that the women are better tomorrow!


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