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&rea's Idol Ramblings
Fri, 24 Feb 2006
Four Exit American Idol
Ok, I wasn't home to see it, but my husband kept me up to date with text messages. He begrudgingly admitted my accuracy in selecting the girls to go: Becky O'Donahue and Stevie Scott. His choice (instead of Stevie), Kinnik Sky was one of those selected for the "bottom 3" but then was granted a reprieve of at least one week.

Robert forgot my "guy prediction"...that the bottom two are not necessarily the ones going home. He thought Bobby and Bucky had to be history, but I thought otherwise. Sure, Bucky probably deserved an early ousting, but it wasn't to be. Much to my amazement, my rambling from last night ended up accurate. Bobby Bennett and Patrick Hall were eliminated. It's a bit sad, because I'm not convinced that Patrick deserved to be dispatched in the first round.

But this does support my opinion that the voting is different for the women than it is for the guys, as I suggested Tuesday evening.

Uttered by &rea at 2:52 PM EST
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Wed, 22 Feb 2006
Review: Week 1 - Men
After hearing all 12, here are my rankings:
  1. Chris Daughtry
  2. Ace Young
  3. Will Makar
  4. Taylor Hicks
  5. Gedeon McKinney
  6. Elliott Yamin
  7. Kevin Covais
  8. Patrick Hall
  9. Jose Penala
  10. David Radford
  11. Bobby Bennett
  12. Bucky Covington

I'm 35, my teen years were spent drooling over Jon Bonjovi. When someone belts out Dead or Alive like Chris did, my jaw ends up in my lap!

Ace surprised me with Father Figure, wasn't what I was expecting, but it was strong. And can that guy work a camera or what?

One thing you'll learn about me is that I'm not a fan of Motown. I can probably count on one hand the number of Motown songs I truly like. So when Will Makar can make me sit up and take notice, then you know he's done a great job on "I Want You Back."

In fact, it was only the "Motown shock" factor that put him above Taylor Hicks, because "Leave On" is an awesome song. He put a lot of emotion into it and nailed it.

As for Bucky, his "Simple Man" was simply yucky. I was SO excited about his choice because I think he has the voice to do great things with a Skynyrd classic. But he wasn't hitting the notes. While he was at MY bottom, I don't see him being voted off. His loyal legion will vote him through.

Bobby Bennett, what can we say? He had a blast, but Copacabana was just not the right song for him. There was a reason he made the top 12, but that wasn't it. I think his gig is up.

I said Bucky was probably going to get lucky, so who is it that I think is going home? Let's go up my list from the bottom. David is likely safe. He didn't do a bad job but the song was an odd choice for a crooning teen. Jose Penala should be ok, also, as Sway seems to have attracted a following that will vote early and often. Patrick Hall. His song was nice, but didn't overwhelm me. He was just above average and I haven't seen anything about him so far that really IS much above that. He is my odd man out, because Kevin Covais has that underdog factor. We may pick on kids who look like him when we are IN school, but we can relate to him so he's going to be around for at least another week.

My picks for a first round exit are Bobby Bennett as the lowest points guy and Patrick Hall as second lowest (but I by no means think Patrick was the second worst!)

Uttered by &rea at 12:01 AM EST
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Tue, 21 Feb 2006
Men's Preview
With the ladies out of the way, we have the men coming up tomorrow night. I don't have a "Constantine" this year, meaning there isn't someone I've liked from the first moment I saw him in auditions.

If I tried to say I didn't like Ace, I'd either by lying or a lesbian. Since, I'm neither, I'll confess - I like Ace. I'm not ready to cast several hundred votes a night for him like I did for Constantine last season, but Ace is a total package. Eye candy and ear candy!

Chris Daughtry also impressed me. He has the tubes, but he also has a refreshing dedication to his wife and children. It's so sincere that she'd give anything to see him realize his dream. One cannot root against such a rare and selfless true love. He loves her children like they are his and she adores him for the catch that he is. Neither takes the other for granted. We can all learn a lot from that relationship!

Taylor Hicks. He has more grey hair than my 45-year-old husband, yet he's younger than I am. He's very much the anti-Idol but a very likable character. Oh, and he can sing, too.

Gosh, what is with the kids with pipes? 16s and 17s whose voices betray their ages. Close your eyes and you'll swear they are a decade or more older. Croon for me David! And it's admirable to see that Peter Brady's 16 year old clone isn't afraid to admit that he prays before performing!

Can't wait for Wednesday night!

Uttered by &rea at 12:01 AM EST
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Review: Week 1 - Women
After listening to all 12, here are my personal rankings:
  1. Lisa Tucker
  2. Paris Bennett
  3. Mandisa
  4. Katharine McPhee
  5. Melissa McGhee
  6. Ayla Brown
  7. Kinnik Sky
  8. Kellie Pickler
  9. Heather Cox
  10. Brenna Gethers
  11. Stevie Scott
  12. Becky O'Donahue

I'm not familiar with the Jennifer Holliday tune Lisa performed, but as she sang, I was entranced. Paris was so full of soul and fun that I thought she outdid Glady Knight on "Midnight Train to Georgia" and Mandisa exuded that confidence I admire by leading off with "Never" by Heart. She indeed has heart!

Ayla Brown was absolutely lovely performing Reflection. And while I could listen to it over and over I just found Katharine and Melissa's performances to be more entertaining, therefore I ranked them ahead. But I don't think Ayla has anything to worry about.

Brenna had some problems at the beginning of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" yet ended strong. I was disappointed that she toned down so much. I think that is why I placed her lower than a few others who maybe didn't sing as well.

Maybe Stevie strived too high by taking on Josh Grobin; maybe I expected more from a girl trained in opera. Either way, that song just didn't work for me. Beautiful Becky better hope that her looks can put her through, because her performance wasn't winning me over.

I believe the girls, as a whole, have the boys beat for pure talent this year, but the girls have something working against them. It's my hunch that the guys quickly develop a following (girl fans, naturally) who will vote for them no matter what they sing. The girls will have male fans, but I suspect that the bulk of the voting (and revoting ad nauseum) is done by the females. Therefore, I'm going to say that the two ladies I ranked at the bottom are going to be the ones to be worried Thursday night. My husband agrees with me on Becky, but contends that Kinnik will be joining her in an early exit.

I stay with Becky being the lowest vote getter and Stevie being second lowest.

Uttered by &rea at 12:01 AM EST
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Mon, 20 Feb 2006
Women's Preview
Tomorrow is the first competition of the Final 12 women. Coming into it, I am partial to Mandisa. She has a great voice and is an inspiration to all women who don't have a supermodel's figure but have talent and confidence to make up for it.

I also like Lisa Tucker. What poise and maturity for a mere child of 16. To look and listen, it's hard to remember she's one of the youngest in the competition. And I don't see her folding to any pressure.

Uttered by &rea at 12:01 AM EST
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Sun, 19 Feb 2006
I'm going to track my AI thoughts in a more public way this year. I've gotten heavily into formulating opinions on all participants more than simply voting for my favorites.

My interest has even spawned a weekly guest call-in spot on Mix 106.7's Morning Mix. This started about a year ago after morning DJ Ed Coffey made a remark about Constantine (my favorite from last season) and I decided to debate him on it. After that, I was simply expected to call in after each show.

The subsequent entries will concern my feelings on each contestant's performance and possible outcome of each episode. If nothing else, it should be interesting to look back on as time passes.

Uttered by &rea at 12:01 AM EST
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