About LauraBelle

Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 7, Feb. 20th – Mr. Happy Didn't Like a Lot


Last night the guys did a pretty good job of showing us that maybe this really is the best year for talent. Sure, some of them didn’t do as well as we or the judges would have wanted, but overall, we didn’t have any that were really off pitch or really bad. Really boring, yeah, but they were still good. The question is if the top twelve girls tonight will match up just the same. I haven’t been too excited about the girls so far, but maybe they’ll change my mind with their renditions of 60s music. How many Diana Ross/Supremes songs do you think we’ll hear?

Ryan reminds Randy that last night he said, “You can definitely blow,” “You worked it out,” “You moved me, Baby,” and “We love dawgs, we love dawgs, must love dawgs.” Randy explains that means the boys were really good, and the girls have their work cut out for ‘em. Paula’s advice for the girls is to bring it, the charm, the vocals, and even though they’re sick, work it out anyway, as several of them have been bitten by the cold and flu bug. Simon got talked back to last night by Chekezie and Danny, but Ryan wonders if it bothers Simon, which he says it doesn’t. He enjoys it. If they disagree, “and it’s rare,” then they can explain why.

Up first tonight is Kristy Lee Cook, 24, of Selma, Oregon, who trains horses. She sold one of her best horses to go to Philadelphia to audition. After she made it to Hollywood, Simon told her to get the horse back. Hollywood week was intense for Kristy, and she pulled it out somehow. It’s the best thing she has done in her entire life, and she wouldn’t trade it for anything. If she wins enough money, she wants to buy her horse back. Can’t someone buy it back for her? Like one of her big fans that has a lot of money? Just askin’.

It’s Rescue Me Kristy sings tonight, and I just never like this song that much when it’s done on Idol. She does okay with it, but there’s some rough parts. Her version of Amazing Grace is much better. Song choice, People! Randy tells her he knows the pressure’s crazy, especially the first one out, but it wasn’t her best. She had some pitch problems all the way through and was a little rough around the edges. Paula tells her it’s okay, though, as she’s one of the sick ones, along with begin first, and it’s a double whammy. Yet, having said that, Paula doesn’t want her to let that get in the way of her performance and what she emotes. She’s a good performer.

Simon asks “What’s matter is with her?” and Paula explains it’s the flu, but Kristy mouths it’s bronchitis. He explains it’s an important part of the show, as during this they get to see what they’re really made of. From that, they didn’t get a lot, as the song didn’t suit her, as it’s meant for someone that’s going to belt it out. He felt the performance was robotic, and bronchitis, flu, whatever … Paula would like to see Simon do it, and he says he would, prompting her to ask “with high heels on?” Regardless, it comes down to the wrong choice of song for her. I have to say I’ve felt like crap the past week and a half, and there were many times where I wouldn’t have been able to pull it that much together.

Joanne Borgella, 25, of Hoboken, New Jersey was expected to be a soulful singer, but she wasn’t. She figures it’s because she’s a plus-size woman. Final Judgement day was one of the most emotional days she’s ever had. With one spot left, she went up the stairs with Cardin McKinney, and when they said Joanne’s name, it skipped a beat. She just wants to change people’s lives the way music has changed hers. Tonight, she’s singing Say a Little Prayer, and it’s definitely rough. I think we see her as a bigger gal, and we want a Lakisha or Mandisa, but that’s not who she is.

Randy tells Joanne there are some nerves jumping off this evening, and while it was a little weird to him, she got it together in the end. It seemed shaky to him, but it could have been the nerves. Paula explains they’ve seen Joanne in previous auditions when she has an unbelievable strong sense of herself, and while it’s nerve-wracking what she’s doing, she has to pull it together and shine through and enjoy it. Simon asks if Paula liked it or not, and she explains she liked it, but didn’t love it. Simon didn’t like it at all, saying it’s the point where you have to come out and nail it, and what she did was a very average cabaret version of a cabaret song. There was no confidence and nothing he could get ahold of to say this girl is going to be a recording artist. The man I assume is Joanne’s father is shooting darts through his eyes at Simon at this point.

Ryan talks with Alaina Whitaker, 16, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the youngest contestant this season. Tomorrow is her birthday, and the one thing she wants is to stay here. Ryan points out she’s asking strangers for a gift, but she points out she also wants some great shoes from her family, like the cute ones she’s wearing right now. That’s right; aim high. She’s planning on going out tonight with a lot of energy and just having fun. Good plan. She was so glad she auditioned this year, although Simon didn’t like her too much, and she embarrassingly said, “Shoot!” Yet, in Hollywood, he changed his mind, telling her he has high hopes for her. She plans to just soak all of this in that she can.

Alaina sings More Today Than Yesterday and didn’t we hear that last night? And again, the song starts out slow and goes fast. Is Ricky Minor running out of song presentation ideas? Alaina does well with this, the best so far at least. Randy tells her season 7 is turning out to be the year of the young ones, as the beginning was rough, but once she got it started, it was “like going on.” Paula tells Alaina it’s such a feel-good song, and the great Diana Ross was even on the show singing it. Yet, Alaina nailed it with the best ending Paula’s heard on the song.


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