Just when you might bet your bottom dollar that American Idol couldn’t possibly go any lower, they go and up the ante. When someone like Janel Stinney, who is not above lying through her teeth while rolling around in a slobbering fit, is put through along with girls who worked hard and kept it together, I just have to shake my head. Then along comes Old Nick who claims to love Janel for NOT knowing the words, for NOT being able to sing, and for NOT fitting in (in a GROUP round, no less). And who can tell if this gibberish judge was being tongue-in-cheek — because she’s pushed through worse. The all-girl group called themselves “The Dramatics“, and lived up to their name, not because of their singing, but because of one girl who would not cooperate because she felt “left out” by the others, who actually followed her around for a while begging her to join in. Silly me, I actually thought the point of the group round was to see how well you performed under pressure with other talented people. I thought that if the group looked and sounded good because each individual gave it all she had and gave a knock-out performance, how could they lose. And it’s not like they don’t get an opportunity within the group to strut their stuff.
But then Old Nick does an about-face by giving Haley Davis of the Dolly Chicks a grand chewing out (which she richly deserved) for doing the same thing. ???? . Haley slept while the Rome-ing chicks burned – the midnight oil – over their rendition of “Sin Wagon”. Brandy Neelly, of all the group, was cut. Naturally it was the girl who had a great attitude, and who left with poise, dignity, and a damn-the-torpedoes-I’ll-be-back spirit. And it was no “Idol” boast. She can actually sing, though, as she said, she was a little thrown off by the group’s lack of cohesion during the night. Brandy sang “Your Cheatin’ Heart” during the tryouts. The other two members of this group were Britnee Kellog and Kree Harrison, who turned in great performances.
Green lights were given to several groups collectively. The Misfits were given an all-go in spite of the theatrics of Old Nick’s weird fave, Kes Ban, whose gender looks debatable. I hate to be the one to point it out, but isn’t there a big difference between being cutely eccentric and just crudely crazy? She was disgusting and had a barely serviceable voice. As Ryan Seacrest said, “Kas Ban was more interested in eating” and “in the morning Kas Ban still could not be found” for rehearsal. And yet, other and better singers were cut for just these reasons.
Is American Idol trying to see how far they can go before the American public says ENOUGH?! I feel like the producers are thumbing their big collective nose at their viewing public. Hey. There is one singing talent show out there that sticks with singing talent and it’s still on the air. Yes, I know there are two, but I don’t acknowledge Simon Cowell’s..
However, occasionally, and probably purely by accident, justice is served up on a platter. That’s the case of the “Handsome Women“, where the girls who acted like the three ugly stepsisters – Alisha Dixon, Shira Gavrielon, and Courtney Calle – did their darn-dest to undermine Liz Bills, the only lovely voice in the disastrous group song. According to the clever camera editing, it would seem that Liz was discouraged with trying to find some cohesion in the group and finally went her way. In the morning she was wandering lost and alone trying to find her fellow groupees, while said groupees spent the whole time bashing Liz. Alisha Dixon said she didn’t care if she had to step on her (Liz) to get what she wanted, and Shira Gavrielon only added to her embarrassing performance by challenging the judges on their very righteous decision. Apparently, Liz Bills was right to distance herself from them.
Savannah Votion, and Lizz Weiss felt that Daysia Hall owed all her success to them and that she was put through at their expense. Both left with bad attitudes. I re-watched the footage after a reader called me on the fact that J’Leigh Chauvin was the only one who went home with a smile and a wave. The reader was correct and I was wrong about my first impression of the girls who were sent home. It was Savannah Votion who felt that her expertise was all that held the group together vocally. (See UPDATE AND REVISION at bottom of this article).
Zoanette Johnson and her group the Pooh Snaps (Poo Snaps?) gave a surprisingly not-bad performance, in spite of hell-on-wheels Zoanette zoning out because of . . . wait for it . . . a lack of confidence. What!! Not Zoanette! who wouldn’t take no for an answer back on the tryout trail. But, in spite of being grouped with country singers, somehow, Zoanette pulled it off. All but Lauren Bettes made it through. Zoanette goes forward on her entertainment ability rather than her singing ability, but, I guess through is through, huh?
Green-lighted were: The Swaggettes: Candice Glover, Camaria Ousley, Melinda Ademi, and Denise Jackson, who all made it through, and deservedly. Also, Raisin’ Cain (or Cane) with Morgan Lee Boberg, Lauren Mink, Brandy Hotard, and one other girl they never identified, with a resounding “Sin Wagon/Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition”.
They were all a GO and now I’m gone. If I left out anything — which I’m sure I did — come on down and tell us about it.
UPDATE AND REVISION ON THIS ARTICLE: When I wrote this article I had truly believed all three of the girls sent home from the group Almost Famous were having tantrums and trying to take credit where credit wasn’t due. However, a reader took exception to that and informed me that nowhere did the footage show J’Leigh Chauvin joining in these histrionics. I looked up the footage and watched it several times. I had to agree that throughout it all, J’Leigh Chauvin had a good attitude and left with a smile and a wave at the camera. My apologies to J’Leigh and her fans. Thanks for pointing that out to me. I will correct it.