Wed, Feb 10th, 2010 by VIE® Magazine
Photo of Janell Wheeler by AmericanIdol.com
American Idol Blogger
It will take several episodes to see how Ellen DeGeneres adapts to her new role as Paula Abdul’s replacement but last night, at least at the beginning of the show, I was thinking about Paula and how she must be feeling. Evidently, I wasn’t the only one missing Paula.
Thanks to Andrew Garcia, a Top 10 finisher (my prediction), Paula Abdul’s music turned up a few minutes later when Andrew performed an acoustic guitar rendition of “Straight Up,” Ms. Abdul’s number one hit circa 1988. Slowing it down and displaying sweet vocal tones, Andrew changed it up, made it current and earned the praise of judge Kara DioGuardi.
Ellen does deserve props. I had feared she was going to be too much of a comedian in her judging approach but I think she found a balance of just enough humor to crack the ice and gave critiques that didn’t quite sting as much (at least I would like to think that).
I was happy with most of the contestants that made it through, but a few that didn’t left a little knot in my stomach. Vanessa Wolfe, the bridge jumper from Vonore, Tennessee, was the Rudy of American Idol. You don’t cut Rudy! But, to be honest, her nerves showed and it wasn’t up to par of other singers (like Janell Wheeler, who is a much stronger country singer). The other singer who left us wondering what the heck happened and was noted as a topic on Twitter last night, was Justin Williams. He was shown singing just a few notes at the keyboard and got a big round of applause from the audience but was cut. Will we ever find out? Stay tuned!
The rest of the best of the night were: Didi Benami, who sang Kara DioGuardi’s song, “Terrified,” Crystal Bowersox, the dread-headed guitarist that caught Simon‘s fancy, giving a new sound to “Natural Woman,” Janell Wheeler, who put a country spin on “American Boy,” and Casey James, called this year’s cougar contestant (which makes me a cougar, because I thought he was great) played the guitar and sang a bluesy “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”
Also making it through and giving strong performances: Mike Lynche, Katie Stevens and Lilly Scott.
What did you think of Ellen? Did you agree with her take on Skibowski? I might be in the minority but I didn’t think his voice was that bad!
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