Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Without you," Carly Smithson, we might actually hear some good singing

It's Mariah Carey night and I have to admit, I'm not really looking forward to it. I only like maybe two or three of her songs and while I can acknowledge that she has a beautiful voice, I think her persona is kind of trashy - I liked her better when she was married to Tommy Mottola, before she got all hip-hop. But her appeal to millions can't be denied, so I realize that having her on "Idol" is a huge deal.

David Archuleta is up first and he says meeting Mariah Carey was really scary because he doesn't think he's worthy of being in her presence. Mariah says that David is doing "When You Believe" and she says it was really moving. She tells him he should try to use his falsetto for a few seconds and he says her advice was really helpful because it was stuff he hadn't thought about because he didn't think he'd be able to do it. She tells him not be afraid because whatever he does is going to be real and authentic. She says she's proud of him and where he seems to be at as a person and his singing is just beautiful.

As usual, he sounds great, but I feel like he's getting kind of dull and predictable. He sings a ballad every week and it's been a while since he's changed a song or really made it his own. I understand that the young girls think he's dreamy and that moms and grandmothers out there think he's adorable, but he's so one-dimensional, such a one-trick pony that I just don't think he should win this season. He's shown very little originality and while his voice is beautiful, we all know that it takes much more than just that to win this competition.

Randy tells him he was a little worried about tonight having boys singing girl songs, and he picked one of the toughest ones, but he says if you can sing, you can sing anything, and he tells David that he can sing anything and that it was the bomb. Paula says it must be great to have Mariah hear his interpretation of the song and that he made her proud. Simon agrees and says he would have bet $1 million that David was going to pick that song. He says it was very, very good and that he set the benchmark. He says the boys will have an easier time tonight than the girls because they won't be compared to Mariah, but he sang it very well.

Carly Smithson is next and Mariah Carey actually tells her that she's been waiting to meet her, that she's been loving watching her. Yuck. She says Carly is doing "Without You" and that it's a classic and she's more than doing it justice - that she's doing an amazing job. Carly says she tried to forget that Mariah was there but she's just so cute, like a big sunshine ray. Mariah says Carly has a really powerful voice and she made really wise decisions in terms of the notes she went to to complement her range. She tells Carly to just be herself and be confident about what she's doing and she'll do amazing.

She starts out really well, singing in a regular tone, no yelling, and she actually looks really nice tonight. Oh wait... she's hit the chorus and guess what? The yelling has begun. I was really starting to get excited, thinking that perhaps she had realized that she would sound better if she just sung instead of straining her voice and screaming. But no, she still thinks she has to have this huge powerful voice and if it came naturally, then that would be great, but she should work with what she has instead of straining to be something else. I know I might be alone on this, but I'm just sick of her.

Randy says he likes that she challenged herself with this big song because she has the big vocals, but he says she has to trust herself in the lower range because he thinks the first part was a little not quite loosey goosey for him, but that it was pretty good. Paula says she liked that Carly showed some vocal restraint at the beginning and then swelled and soared. Simon says he really wanted to hear her sing this song, even before Mariah week, and he says now is the difficult part because there is now a direct comparison - could she pull it off - and he says he doesn't think she did. He says he thinks she's capable of it, but that she's overthinking everything, that she's wound up, and holding herself back at the end and he thinks it was an OK version.

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