Aight dawg (said like Randy), American Idol is live and kickin' this season and the Top 12 Finalists are H-O-T. Given the lack of talent over the last few seasons of American Idol, I had been sweating like a fat girl in a sauna, wondering and hoping if there was any vocal talent left in America. Seriously. Enter season 7 contestants and thankfully, my fear that America had lost it's vocal talent somewhere the suburbs of middle America has since been forgotten.
Next week is going to be a super exciting show to watch; for the first time in the show's seven-year history, contestants will be allowed to sing Lennon-McCartney Beatles songs. ("Idol" producers recently secured rights for participants to perform the hard-to-get songs belonging to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a company formed by Sony and Michael Jackson.) Raise your hand if you're as excited as I am!! Talk about raising the bar. This song list is certainly going to separate the men from the boys (David Archuleta, grow some facial hair already!) and will have some of the top talents really bringing down the house. I can just feel it in my bones
So, who's hot and who's not? Here's my not-so-professional opinion...
1. Jason Castro - Mr. Hippy Stoner Boy seems a tad out of place in this pop music contest, but that's just me. I think his voice is O.K. but I think the chances of him winning are about the same as Paula Abdul's career comeback. Do I think he'll make the Top 10? Probably not.
2. Chikeze - This kid has a good voice and a great smile but does American Idol really want another Ruben Studdard? I think Chikeze treading on a thin line between old-fashioned and plain old boring. I do have to give him props for losing all that weight, but with Beatles Mania coming, I don't really see him in his element any time soon. Do I think he'll make it to the Top 10? Possibly.
3. Ramiele Malubay - She's a tiny packaging with a big, old voice. My girlfriend has a serious crush on her, so I know who she's voting for her. As for Ramiele, well, I think she needs to learn how to work it a bit more. That's right girl, work it! Other than her tendency to cry (a lot) when people get voted off, her personality is a bit, well, drab. Do I think she'll make the Top 10? If sista can get her act together, yes.
4. David Cook - I'm a David Cook fan. What can I say? I like the rocker boys and I think his got some amazing musical talents that go waaaaay beyond his vocals. Even if Cook doesn't make it to the Top 3, I think we have a Daughtry protege in our presence. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a rock label isn't waiting in the wings to sign him. Do I think he'll make the Top 10? Abso-fucking-lutely.
5. Kristy Lee Cook - Two words, BOR-ING. I'm so over the blonde haired, blue-eyed, farmer's daughter type. To me, she's just another face in the crowd and I'm surprised she hasn't been voted off already. She's has a pretty good voice, at best, and although Carrie Underwood made it big with her country vibes, I think it's time for Kristy Lee Cook to take her midwesternness to Nashville Star. Do I think she'll make the Top 10? I hope not.
6. Brooke White - I'm a Brooke fan, maybe I've been wooed by her gorgeous smile and her sweet innocence, who knows. I think she's got that whole Carly Simon sultry thing going on and I am sooo digging that. Plus, I love her arrangements, to date, and I think her voice is mystical and unique. Yeah, I just said mystical. Do I think she'll make the Top 10? Definitely.
7. David Archuleta - What can I say about David, other than this kid is destined for Superstardom. He pretty much sealed himself a record deal with his touching rendition of "Imagine", which even brought me to tears (ok, so maybe I'm a sap and cry at Supernanny and Wife Swap, but that's beside the point). His cheerful rays of sunshine and sincerity that radiate through his overly jovial demeanor. You can't help but love the kid (and want to just kiss him and hug him and pinch his little cheeks). Do I think he'll make the Top 10? Duh!
8. Syesha Mercado - I like Syesha. I think she's gorgeous and personable with just a touch of divaliciousness. Plus, she's got one hell of a voice. I think she's got some big shoes to fill, but if she keeps rockin' that sweet, soulful voice of hers, I think she'll do pretty well. Do I think she'll make the Top 10? Yes.
9. David Hernandez - Three words. TAKE. IT. OFF. Ok, so the kid was a stripper at a gay club, big flippin' deal. I think David has a pretty good voice, but I wonder if his package is as big as his ego (give his previous place of employment, I'm thinking 'yes'). If he can tone down his cockiness just a bit, and turn into a delicious confidence instead, I think he has a long road ahead of him. Do I think he'll make the Top 10? Certainly.
10. Carly Smithson - This girl could give Celine Dion a run for her money. I am a HUGE Carly fan. Plus, she has that sexy irish accent that just makes me melt a little on the inside. If there's anyone on this show that really really really really really really wants to win more than anyone, it's Carly. Between her intense desire for super stardom, and her killer vocal stylings, she's got a serious shot at this competition. Do I think she'll make the Top Ten? Here's hoping she brings home the GOLD!!
11. Amanda Overmyer - I like Amanda's vibe, her rocker attitude and I think she's got a really good voice, but man, there's something about her vocals that just bugs the crap out of me. I can't put a finger on it, but it's like everytime she sings I just want to turn down the volume to an almost inaudible level. I think she's probably not going to stick around for much longer. Do I think she'll make the Top Ten? If she's lucky, she'll make it by the skin of her teeth.
12. Michael Johns - I just don't get what's so great about this Aussie rocker dude. Ok, he's relatively good looking and he has a fun accent, but I think all his songs sound the same. He's a rocker, but he plays tennis, which sounds like he's more confused than a virgin on prom night. Simon likes him, which just confuses me more because I just can't see producing a hit record. Do I think he'll make the Top Ten? Yes, but I'm sure as hell not going to vote for him.
All in all, it's a good year for Idol, the ratings are up and the talent is high. As much as we all like to bitch and moan, you and I both know we're glued to our TV sets, same time, same place, every week to see what happens next. I fully admit I'm an American Idol addict, and admitting is half the battle.