Tuesday, May 22, 2007
'American Idol 6' - The Final Two - Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis Song Battle
So this is it. We're down to the wire on yet another year of American Idol, the show that has made FOX and Simon Cowell household words. Not always good household words, mind you.
Tonight was the singing competition of the two-night season finale... the showdown between Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis, the duel between singer and entertainer. Who will win? Hmmm...
The talented two performed live at the huge and probably daunting Kodak Theater. Now, if it were me, I think I'd hide in some back room. It had to be a bit nerve-wracking for both of them.
Paula was there despite breaking her nose. She said she tripped over her dog, Tulip. When Ryan mentioned the dog, he thought it necessary to say, "the bitch is okay." Bad move, Seacrest. Not that I personally care, but lots of young children and their parents watch the show. What's going on in your head, Ryan? Wrong place and time for that comment!
Blake and Jordin each had to sing three songs tonight. One would be a personal favorite that they've done on the show before, the next was a song they're singing for the first time on the show, and the third was a song they'd both sing -- the winner of the American Idol songwriting competition.
In an odd quirk of fate or, maybe Seattle has talent to spare, both Jordin and Blake initially auditioned in Seattle. And, not only that, the songwriting duo who won that competition also come out of Seattle. And, gee... isn't Sanjaya Malakar listed as coming from that area as of late? Heh.
Blake Lewis won the coin toss last week and politely offered Jordin the chance to sing first. She declined, so he was up to bat first with his favorite. His favorite was his most creative and popular song he did during the season -- "You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi. I still think what he did to the song is amazing and I've always been partial to the original. But if he just copied the original, it wouldn't be anything special. If anything, he did his Blake-ized version even better this time around.
Randy thought the beat-boxing in it was "hott" and the singing just alright. Paula thought Blake outdid himself. Simon said it was his best performance, but not necessarily the best singing. The crowd went wild.
Jordin Sparks was up next with a song she hadn't sung on the show before -- "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera. I thought it a good song choice, very fitting for the show at hand. Her vocals sounded fine to me, she looked very pretty and she played well to the cameras and the crowd.
Randy thought her voice was stellar and that "this is an interesting night, show." Paula repeated "stellar" and said it was shaping up to be one of the best finales ever on the show. Simon liked that she chose a "younger song," but said she was a bit "shrieky" in the middle. He said that the first round belonged to Blake. I agree, but mainly because Blake's performance is so, so different and creative.
Blake's next song was his never-performed on the show before one. He chose "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5. Eh, it was okay from them and it's okay from Blake, I guess. That particular song is one I can see as elevator music or on an easy listening station. For me, it's just not exciting no matter who sings it. I thought he did well enough with it, but it was no "Shot Through the Heart" and it didn't show his creative performance skills.
Randy thought it was a nice vocal, very nice. Paula thought he eased into the song well and sounded great. Simon said it was good, safe, but not as good as his first song - no impact.
Then it was Jordin's turn to sing her favorite song that she's already performed on the show. She chose "On Broken Wing" by Martina McBride, a solid choice. She sang it very well and really shines with a ballad like this.
Randy yo-yo'd and thinks she's the most talented 17-year-old he's ever seen. He said her performance was flawless, better than the original. Paula said she was soaring with a great vocal, a great voice. Simon said, "Now, that was good."
The last song each sang was the songwriting contest winner, "This Is My Now" by Scott Krippayne and Jeff Peabody out of Seattle. Well, I think the song is commercial enough and very American Idol-ish. So, they did their part well. But, had I heard the song before it was sung by Blake and Jordin, I could have guessed which contestant could shine with it. It, to me, was a clear-cut Jordin Sparks kind of song.
Blake was first up with it. He did okay, but he looked a bit jumpy in the middle of it like he wanted to bust out and beatbox, but was muzzled. He basically sang it well enough, but not what I'd call a stellar performance. I love the way Blake dresses, though. Argyle is the new black, it seems.
Randy said it wasn't great, but it was alright. Paula mentioned it was out of his genre, but nice. Simon thought it was a bit off, not a bad song but not Blake's type of song. He said he hoped the audience would vote on the first two songs he performed.
Then came Jordin with the same song. Oh my... she brought the house down. Perfect vocals, brimming with emotion down to a tear at the end as she became overwhelmed. Excellent! But, as I said before, it's as if the song was made for her. I don't think I expected any less after watching Blake sing it.
Randy said she was clearly the best singer and that she was "on fire." Paula said she was proud of Jordin, Jordin's parents were so proud and happy and that she's an angel. Simon said last week he didn't think Jordin was good enough to be in the finals. "I was wrong and I apologize. You wiped the floor with Blake on that song."
So, who will win? Although I really enjoy Blake's style and his version of "You Give Love a Bad Name," I think it's going to go to Jordin. Me? I want to see what Melinda Doolittle releases.
Then it was a Daughtry (Chris Daughtry from last season and his band) performance of "Home." Okay, Phil Stacey. Look at Chris Daughtry's head. He can do the bald thing. He has a nicely-shaped head with a minimum of lumps and ears which don't stick out. He has a bit of a tan. You cannot carry off that look. Stop it. A very nice performance indeed, Mr. Daughtry.
Tomorrow night is the two-hour finale which conflicts with the two-hour finale of Lost. I'll be live-blogging the events of the live American Idol finale tomorrow night as it airs here on the East Coast, then posting on the Lost finale early Thursday evening.
So, if you wish to talk about the show as it airs, join me in the comments here. Or, if you're West Coast and just can't wait, check for the happenings and the winner right here!