This week we get to see what the "American Idol" contestants, that we and the judges voted in, can do. I was spot on with my prediction of the top guys that were chosen (I had Casey, Jacob, James and Scotty as the Top 4, with Stefano Langone and Paul McDonald rounding out the 6), and was pleased that the GlamNation backlash against James Durbin didn't prevent him making the Top 5 guys. I hope James continues to rock out and prove my--and Steven Tyler's--faith in him.
On the girl's side, things took a crazy turn. I'd expected producers' favorites Lauren Alaina and Pia Toscana to make it in. But my favorites of the night were Naima Adedapo, Kendra Chantelle and Lauren Turner. They kept me sweating over Naima until the very end, and I didn't get Kendra or Lauren "Bette Midler" Turner. I'm not surprised that America voted for bland over quirky, but I found it irritating that the guys are allowed to be different and the girls aren't.
While I think this year is a vast improvement over the last, I'm worried that the girls might just descend into homogeneous pageant queens belting out ballads. Haley Reinhart has possibly the quirkiest style left--her growling bluesy tone that skitters into breathy sex kitten within a single phrase seems to either entice listeners or drive them completely mad. But love her or hate her, you can't say she's boring.
I'm hoping that the wildcards aren't the first to go home. I'm also hoping that the lovely Naima gets a chance to prove how awesome she is and win people over. She'll have to try to modernize her song choices a bit to get that teen vote going, but I hope she doesn't change her lovely and unique style. We don't need another girl in a tulled square dancing dress and 10 inch platform heels she can't walk in.
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Valerie David is a Featured Entertainment Writer for Yahoo!, including Yahoo! omg!, Yahoo!TV and Yahoo!Movies. She's also written for TVOvermind, TheFrisky.com, TVNow and IMDB, has conducted interviews with TV and movie actors, and loves giving her opinion on quality shows, guilty pleasures, and hopeless failures--that's right, she scars her retinas so you don't have to!
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