Tuesday, February 13

Grease (2/11/07)

Tonight is the first elimination show! Should be interesting to see how they do it. We also have guest panelist Andrew Lloyd Webber. All of tonight's songs will be from musicals, and the girls all do A.L.W. songs. We aren't told who chooses the songs, but it becomes obvious throughout the night that some of the contestants are unhappy with their song choices, so it seems they are given songs rather than being allowed to choose themselves.

We start off with a group performance of "Summer Nights," which is fun.

Next everyone lines up on stage and they're going to announce the two lowest vote-receivers in each gender, who will later have a "sing-off" for the panel to determine who goes home. First up are the guys; those safe: Kevin, Derek, Chad, Austin... and Max. Which leaves Jason & Matt in the bottom (not surprisingly). For the ladies we find the safe are Ashley S, Laura, Kathleen, Juliana, and Kate, leaving Ashley A and Allie for the sing-off.

Max got a haircut! He's definitely paying attention to do what they ask of him to improve his chances. He sings "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" and it really shows some weakness in his vocals, which I haven't seen before. It does let him act and he still seems to appeal to the crowd.

Laura sings "Jesus Christ Superstar." The vocal is ok-to-good and she emotes well.

Derek - "Footloose." He gets backup dancers! In his clip he mentions the physical challenge & is shown working out so that he can have the stamina to sing while dancing. It paid off; he's very good! The panel agrees.

Ashley S - "Tell Me On a Sunday" Vocals are great (glory note alert!) and she acts well. Again the panel gives very positive feedback.

Kevin - "Buring Love" Just no. This just isn't the style of music he should be doing.

Juliana - "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" Good vocals and great acting IMO. Love her dress!! Panel says she's too polished & they want to see her 'wild side.'

We get a break for behind-the-scenes footage of the group rehearsing with ALW. What a treat!! And he predicts a "definite career for half a dozen of them." Then a group performance of "The Phantom of the Opera." Derek & Kevin stand out to me vocally (*this* is more what Kevin should be doing!).

Chad sings "My Eyes Adored You," and if we hadn't been told (by the panel and in his clip) that he has the flu I wouldn't have known. He was still very good, and it played up his heartthrob angle (got lots of screams from the crowd).

Kate - "Buenos Aires" Very good.

Austin redeems himself with "Ease On Down the Road"! He has a *very* physical performance (also w/backup dancers) which I think helps him; he has to concentrate on the choreography so he doesn't have time to oversing & overact, except the few moments when he's standing still. I thought he was awesome.

Kathleen - "Memory" Very good. All the girls are tonight!

And we're down to the last 4, so it's time for the sing-off! They'll line up and each sing a line from "Tears On My Pillow," then the panel (i.e. David) will announce which ones they're "saving." Everyone sings well, but it's the wildcards that are sent home (appropriately). We are told that they weren't the actual lowest vote-getters (Jason & Allie were); this is causing a bit of negative buzz in online communities as it was promoted that the viewers (only) would be choosing... though to me it certainly makes sense to give those putting the show on the final say!

Jason sings "That'll Be the Day". He's ok, but not right for the part. He gets more audience screams than I expected.

Allie is last with "I Don't Know How to Love Him," which I *love*!! (I love the song anyway, but she does it well.) They showed her parents in the audience; I don't think they did that for anyone else, which is interesting.

The panelists give their favorites:
David - Austin & Laura
Kathleen - Derek & Kathleen
Jim - Max & Laura
ALW - Derek & Laura

My favorites were Austin and Juliana & Allie (I can't choose!). I think Jason is an easy call for the guy to go but the girl is harder; I'll say Kathleen.

Lastly Matt & Ashley A lead the groups in the sing-out, which is sad but they have to hold it together, which they do fairly well. They both seem to have good attitudes & realize they were fortunate to get this far but are out of their league.

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