Another season of American Idol means another season of detailed analysis and commentary from WBKR's Idol expert Steve Thompson!  There were a lot of aspiring country singers on last night's show and Steve is ready to share his thoughts about them and the other contenders.  Take a look!

Here's our chat from this morning's Waking Crew show!

From Steve Thompson:

I've always believed that TMZ has a tendency to shill for reality shows just in case something important happens in the competition further down the line.  After what America witnessed last night, it made that wild dust-up look more like a tempest in a teapot.  At the time, I thought NASCAR could've stepped in and had Nicki and Mariah fight it out in racecars on the track.  A distaff version of Days of Thunder-- which actually would make people think of Tom Cruise-- so cooler heads prevailed.  Why would you antagonize Keith Urban?

My only real takeaway from what seems to have caused this disagreement to become so disagreeable is this:  Nicki is right.  I have, for as long as I've written these critiques (which for me sometimes seems since the Ted Mack Amateur Hour) that trying to pigeonhole a singer at this point in their careers is stupid.  It's a useless judgment.  First, Johnny Cash has more to do with rock, Mr. Jackson, than you have ever done for rock in your God-forsaken career.  Second, if someone wants to sing both country and soul-- why not?  Ray Charles did that rather well and who amongst us can say Darius Rucker doesn't have some soul?  Finally, and somewhat pointedly, The Dawg uses "thing" so much in his critiques maybe the contestant needs to be cut some slack when she says "country music thing."  I recognize why Keith said what he did-- but I really don't think the girl was trying to diss country music.

Oh, there were contestants?  Sure enough.  Since we're in awards season, some honorees for the evening…

Best remake of a television theme song as a personal statement:  Seretha Guinn singing The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  I went from "are you crazy" to "that was pretty good" in about thirty seconds.

Best comeback award:  Previous contestant Janelle Arthur did a nice job covering Where the Blacktop Ends and it even got the stamp of approval from Keith.


I felt her performance topped Candice Glover in this category simply because I thought it was harder for someone to sing a song from the judges than it was from Duffy.

Retire this song now award: Rodney Barber singing I'll Be.  That's almost what I said when I heard his song choice.

The "Y'all ain't gonna believe this" award to Ashley Smith for her excellent version of Cowboy Casanova.  Every so often, the producers psych me out.  Usually when they show someone who seems so manic and high energy we have a trainwreck that causes a DOT investigation.  She was so much better than what I expected-- and I think most viewers might agree.  When you sense a bomb of Hiroshima proportions and you get nary a negative thing to say-- that was an excellent change of course.

Send in the Clones award to Jimmy Smith for singing God Bless the Broken Road even better than Rascal Flatts.  I'd like to hear what else he can do-- more than Rascal Flatts is my hope, since the Idol categories tend to be soul numbing.

Finally, our top award…  The Thank You For Not Choosing the Same Darn Song award is a tie.  Brandy Hamilton singing All I Can Do is Cry was a brilliant choice from the Etta James songbook.  Isabel Gonzalez may actually be a few years away from dazzling us, but her version of Noting Could Ever Change This Love by Sam Cooke was just as impressive.  Extra points to Isabel for reminding me why I kept looking for girls who looked like Phoebe Cates when I was a teenager.

Thursday night we will get to go to Randy Jackson's part of the planet.  Please, supply your own jokes.

@January 23, 2013       Stephen W Thompson

American Idol airs weekly on Fox 44!