Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Idol" Top 24 Quick Thoughts: The Guys

In the previous post, I gave the requisite time to the "Idol" women, but I have a suspicion that we may be looking at a second consecutive male "Idol" winner unless Melinda Doolittle is so vocally dominant that she can't be denied.

But if we're somehow going to get an male winner, it's gonna have to be one of these guys and I'm skeptical.

A.J. Tabaldo: Apparently this was his fifth time auditioning for "Idol" before making it. My advice to producers: If a guy wasn't good enough the first four times, the fifth time may not be the charm, at least not if the one nasal, whining, sharp clip they showed us was any indication.

Blake Lewis: After the beatboxing at his Seattle audition, I remember being impressed that his singing wasn't bad. But was it good? All they showed us from Hollywood was beatboxing. Can he sing?

Brandon Rogers: Brandon can sing. But what else does he have? He strikes me as likeable, but maybe not a forceful enough personality to actually win?

Chris Richardson: Given his amount of screentime so far, he may be a darkhorse, since the guy seems to have a good voice. Is he too raw?

Chris Sligh: Seemingly smarter and more appealing than past "Idol" crown princes like Jon Peter Lewis and Taylor Hicks, but we've only heard him sing in a half-octave range.

Jared Cotter: I think last night was the first time we saw this guy. He was doing "Cupid" and he botched half the notes. Not a good sign. I do, however, look forward to calling him Mr. Cotter.

Nicholas Pedro: I similarly look forward to making fun of Nicholas for quitting last season, though he'll be gone within two weeks.

Paul Kim: He's smart and funny and he has a good voice, but he's part of the over-singing posse and if somebody doesn't tell him to chill, he'll get tiring.

Phil Stacey: A likeable, dorky older contestant. That spells disaster.

Rudy Cardenas: He should either be eliminated swiftly because he oversings through his nose, or he should be eliminated swiftly because of his soul patch. I don't care which.

Sanjaya Malakar: Voice like Stevie Wonder, with the look of a Southeast Asian David Cassidy? Until his limitations become obvious, I'm hopping on the Sanjaya bandwagon.

Sundance Head: On the basis of his first audition, he should be a favorite. On the basis of everything we heard from Hollywood, he should have been gone long ago.

On Zap2it, my guess for the Top Six men was: Brandon Rogers, Chris Richardson, Chris Sligh, Sundance Head, Sanjaya Malakar and Blake Lewis (Paul Kim will take Blake's space if the beat-boxer proves more of a performer than a singer).


  1. I think Paul Kim has, like Chris and Sanjaya, one of the inside tracks to the finals. Never underestimate a community (in this case, Asian-Americans hoping to erase the memory of William Hung forever) latching onto an otherwise mediocre contestant and power-voting like mad until their pony outlasts some far better singers.

  2. You'd need to cite precedent for me to buy that this is as much of a foregone conclusion as you seem to be implying. Beyond Jasmine Trias, whose voting block was allegedly Hawaiian more than Asian-American, it's hard to know when the Asian-American Idol voting bloc was ever properly mobilized, much less if such a voting block actually exists. And is Sanjay Indian-America? Will the Southeast-Asian voting bloc be different from the Asian voting bloc?

    It could happen, which is why I put Paul as 6a or 6b among my Top Males.

  3. There's no precedent because there hasn't been a contestant like Paul (a good-looking Southeast Asian-American male who can vaguely carry a tune), at least not since William Hung, and his celebrity still rankles the Asian community. (Yul from Survivor said he basically went on that show to provide an alternative image of Asian men.)

    I do think there's going to be a different vote for Sanjaya than for Paul, just like there was that time at press tour when a critic kept asking Jeff Zucker when "ER" was going to add a South Asian doctor and he kept not understanding why Ming-Na didn't count, or like Kellie Pickler and Katharine McPhee having different types of fanbases despite both being pretty white women. Same continent, different community.