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Boys are back, Idol’s women hold their own

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Melinda catches judges’ praise and audience applause



fox television/associated press


American Idol Top 10 finalist Lakisha Jones.





This week’s Idol script is that the men have come back, and that the women need to prove themselves after, well, proving themselves last week.


It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but this isn’t the Brothers Karamazov.


Gina Glocksen is the first up, and she disappoints Simon, who thought she would be edgier. Randy disagrees — for some reason, he seems to think that a Heart cover is edgy.


Alaina Alexander turns in a pallid version of the latest Dixie Chicks single that (rather too easily) turns Natalie Maines’ defiant declaration of principles into yet another self-esteem anthem.


Lakisha Jones follows with a Gladys Knight hit that should have left the room like a Soyuz missile; her first note resonates like a storm in a forest, but what follows sounds hobbled. She can afford to coast — there’s a target rich environment to be taken out before she has to worry — but one suspects that Idol’s scriptwriters have her set up for a trial by hubris.


Melinda Doolittle steps into Lakisha’s slipstream with a simmering performance of My Funny Valentine; Randy and Paula yap approvingly, and Simon calls it incredible, which prompts a gale of applause from the audience, proof withholding worthless praise makes your good opinion mean more.


Antonella Barba, the focus of most of Idol’s press in the last week, chooses a Celine Dion song and presses it as flat as last year’s prom corsage.


After a brief flurry of accusations at the judges’ table about who voted Jennifer Hudson off Idol, Simon points out that it was the voters who did the deed, and that nothing he says will probably have any effect on tonight’s vote if, for some perverse reason, voters decide to keep Barba on the show.


If Lakisha — or the audience — ends up following the Idol script that would see her choke, Stephanie Edwards is her only other real competition besides Melinda.


The less said about the rest of the contestants the better — the last half hour of the show would have been more profitably spent sorting the paper clip jar on my desk.



rick.mcginnis@metronews.ca

 
 
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