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Diane Warren..top 6


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Well, all righty then....

Kim---GREAT! I've always liked the tone of Kimberley Locke's voice and I agreed with the judges that she begins to be a threat to Clay and Ruben here (for the casual fan, of course...for moi? No contest...but I DO see the improvement in Kim.)

Clay---sigh...This was one of my very favorite outfits he wore...and...I loved hearing the first words out of his mouth in that leather jacket--"Lying here with you...listenin' to the rain...smiling just to see the smile upon your face..." :blink: Gah! and triple gah! (insert thud emoticon here) I think he sounds great on this song...Always loved the richness and deep, full quality in the word 'life' (I remember all my life....)...and I also remember thinking how he seemed to be holding back those 'facial expressions' that Simon had commented on from Tell Her About It....I also remember feeling so, so, so crestfallen (as did Clay, IMO) at Simon's harsh words that he wasn't what they were looking for. Of course....that was then...we know now that those words were actually just one of the helpings of CROW that Mr. Slimon has eaten since those days three years ago.... ;) Clay's face when Simon was 'not being rude' and 'being honest', etc....the eyes. Now that we "know" Clay the way we do, I can only imagine how he was feeling then and all the things he really wanted to say to that English asshole. (PS...Just in case you haven't figured it out yet, I liked this song. And how Clay sang it. And how he looked while he sang it. ^_^ )

Trenyce---I thought she sounded very good. Tonight while listening and watching, I kept thinking how lame the show's contestants (overall) have been since Season 2...All three of these first three performances on this Diane Warren show make dog food out of any of the performances so far this year. (IMO)

Josh---I was never a big fan of Josh's voice. Since the show, though, I've heard him and he sounds just fine---as a country singer. He didn't do it on this song, though. I agreed with Randy---he sounded 'pitchy' through most of the performance. Simon's comment about his hair was, as usual, ridiculous.

Carmen---To me, this was one of the songs that REALLY showcased the 'goat' part of her nickname...especially the last note that she held. Lord! That was embarrassing. I remember thinking after this night that both she and Josh should get a bus ticket home.

Ruben---I can appreciate what they (and he) were saying about this song being a change for him. He did 'a-ight' on it, but it didn't blow me away. I could hear some notes that revealed the strain on his voice---what I feel is the weakness of his voice. I like the quality of Ruben's voice; he just never seemed a STRONG vocalist to me...I didn't trust that he would nail the challenging notes.

And I remembered that that night I agreed with Simon when he said Ruben and Clay needed to watch out for Kim!

Clay seemed quite...serious in the red room at the end of the show, didn't he? No smiles...Still pissed at Simon, probably. :lol:

I love him.

Edited by muskifest
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I'm going to risk being a post ho and go ahead with my scintillating analysis of the Diane Warren Results Show, too!

Again, Clay seemed so subdued, so solemn throughout...Although I MUST say he was especially beautiful...whoa...the looks in the camera, into the audience...those EYES...holy crap...he was incrediblly gorgeous that night...

ahem...where was I? :P

Although I thought Trenyce sounded better than the judges did, since three had to be in the bottom group, America got it right. For me, it was a toss up between Josh and Carmen, although I admit I was happier not to have to hear Carmen anymore than Josh. :D

I noticed little things like...

Clay putting his hand on Ruben's shoulder while waiting to hear Ruben's 'fate'

Clay doing the 'in the hood' handshake with Ruben after hearing Ruben was safe

Clay doing that "Thank you VERY much" silent mouthing into the camera that always made me feel embarrassed for him. Especially after reading later how the judges made fun of him doing this all the time.

Clay reaching back trying to touch Kim while Ryan read about her performance the night before.

Clay's look when the camera caught him after Carmen was sent home.

Clay's look as Carmen was singing her swan song---pride and affection.....sigh.

I also noticed Clay a little bit.

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I really can;t read any of the reviews until I have done mine...

I will probably get back to watching AI2 sometime this week but I remember this week very well. This is the first time I really found Clay to be sexy...before that I just found him cute and mad talented. But I totally loved his look for this night and loved this performance. Don;t really remember anybody else standing out....

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Well, AI5 has been over for a month now, so I guess it's time to get back into the AI2 retrospective. For your reading pleasure, I'll be reviewing the Halfway Home special that aired the Monday before the Top 6 Show.

Ryan slides out onto the stage wearing some sort of funky customized t-shirt thingie. Wow, it's a bit strange to see him all metro'd up after being used to the conservative-suited dark-haired AI5 version.

A quick retrospective of the early audition process (Hee. I forgot the "Bye. I'm spent" drama queen dude). The first six evictees get their moments - reduced of course to their particular quirks / trademarks.

First up is a Yodelin' Carmen and her panoply of various colored capris and hair extensions. Hmmm, a fan letter wonders "What's the deal with Carmen and Clayyyy?' [The deal is: That little blond b*tch best back off mah man.] Her actual response: "I think I'll just let America think what they want to think". Cough*scripted*cough. After that she blathers on a bit, and unfortunately for my eardrums, sings. A painfully perky and goaty version of "You Can't Hurry Love" ensues. Good thing she's already married - can you imagine what sort of yodeling and bleating creatures she might pump out if she ever hooked up with someone like Elliot "Mr. Tumnus" Yamin?

Joshua Gracin bo-yahs his way through the audition process. He comes out and dude-hugs Ryan. [The quality of my downloads isn't the greatest, but I swear it looks like Josh is wearing grey sweatpants. Way to dress for success, dude.] Since the judges aren't there for this show, Ryan just can't wait to gossip about them behind their back. And by them, I mean Simon, of course. Obsessed much Seamonkey? Of course Josh still has to get, you know, judged by them, so he diplomatically declines to join in the clawing. Josh answers an audience question cough*plant*cough about his future plans: Finish his service in the Marines and continue to work on his music career. Surprising that it actually turned out that way for him. Josh earnestly twangs his way through "Amazed".

A curly-haired Kimberley Locke reminds Simon that he "sucks" during the Group 2 performances, thus knocking mah man out of his rightful place and making him stew for another three weeks until the Wildcard show. No, I'm not still bitter about that at all. [Kicks America for not voting right in the first place.] Ryan wants to talk about the "Evolution of your style", meaning "Girlfriend, love your hair". [Honestly, the interview portion of this show really should have been conducted under a couple of hair dryers in the salon while Ryan and each of the contestants in turn gets a mani / pedi and they dish away.] Kimberley prefers to talk about her performing style, but Ryan is determined to do a hairstyle retrospective. Wow, deep. Kimberley sangs "I Can't Make You Love Me", with her trademark gasping breaths. A nice version, but after being used to Clay's slower acoustic rendition, it's hard for me to get into her performance.

Ruben Studdard models various combinations of newsboy caps and 205 t-shirts, and we get a number of dimple shots. Ryan grooming question for Ruben: "Is it true you're obsessed with getting manicures and pedicures?" [see what I mean about the salon theme?] 205 trivia. What a surprise and how creative.... Ruben sings Superstar for about an hour and a half and I run spell-check on what I've written so far. "Baby, baby, baby" etc., etc., etc.

Trenyce when she was still LaShandra in the audition process. Trenyce gets to dish with Ryan about getting chosen as a Wildcard. In response to an e-mailed fan question, Trenyce get to unironically remark that God is her No. 1 idol. I think there is a joke about the Ten Commandments and "No others idols before me" in there somewhere, but I'll let that one slide. Whitney Houston comes in second. Unsurprisingly, Trenyce chooses to warble "I Have Nothing". The keyboard backing track is cheesetastic. Those AI'ers since then have sure been spoiled by actually having a live band.

Ryan wants to know if I can handle Clay Aiken. I'd certainly like to give it a shot... The Michael Sandecki prototype dons his best striped shirt and tan pants and slides through his Atlanta audition. Feet twist, hair is spiked, Coke is sprayed and America is charmed out of its pants by the dude that "Has a great voice but doesn't look like a popstar". A standing O and much screaming and sign waving (and perhaps some panty-wetting) greets Clay's appearance on stage. Hee. I am inordinately amused by the one-armed guy hug with the clinched fists in between. Clay gets to talk about working with kids with special needs and the Y. Ryan just can't hold back any longer and has to ask about the hair. Clay does the cutest head tilt, and I'd like to pretend he's thisclose to blurting out "Where do you think it came from, jackass?", but he actually acknowledges that he has had "plenty of help". [Tell me why again I studied accounting instead of hairstyling? I'd love ta help ya with your hair dude. Mind if I start by giving the news bangs just a teeny bit of a trim?] Clay sits on the edge of the stage to croon "Somewhere Out There". It's interesting to see Nigel out in the audience leap to his feet and clap his hands at Clay's big note. And crap - I'd love to have a screencap of the moment I just paused at: It shows a transition shot from one camera angle to another, with monitor shots behind each image, so there are momentarily four Clays on my TV screen. I am reluctantly going to push my "Play" button now.... By the way, at the end of the song, Ryan is standing next to Clay, and he is about up to Clay's eyebrows. I will have to watch the AI5 Clip after this, and will try to figure out how tall the lifts in Ryan's shoes must have been for that appearance.

The Final Group number is "All Night Long". Not particularly note-worthy except for the hoochie out in the audience who looks like she about inches away from grinding up on mah man. Step off or I'll smack you til the sun comes up ya skank! :em0300:

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Top 6 Performance Show

The audience appears to be full of Clay signs, although the camera does manage to find a Ruben sign for a close-up. Ryan blathers on about Billboard results and ratings. He shows a copy of the Special Edition of People. Is that the one with the Page 50 bathroom floor picture? I don't know that really early kind of detailed stuff, so I'll pretend it is and say a little "Thank you, Jesus" for creating slippery white tiles, worn blue jeans, and spiky-haired, green-eyed, smirking North Carolina boys. Good job!

It's Diane Warren, and she manages to look a little more butch than Seacrest. The kids rehearse with Diane and blather on about how great she is while I roll my eyes just a little.

Kimberley - If You Ask Me To. Man, this song is really quite dull - No wonder I can't remember it. Kimberley does get to do some belty parts and tries to hit a high note at the end that I'm not sure she got right. The judges love her, Simon disses the formerly curly hair (wonder what Terry his curly haired girlfriend thought about that...) but declares her one of the front runners.

Look it's Clay's gramma! Hi Gramma McGee! Hee. during the rehearsal footage, I saw Diane give Clay an up and down look. Resistance is futile, sister! Anyway,,

Clay - I Could Not Ask for More. Fab black leather jacket, mascaraed-lashes, slightly orange face, and something funky going on with his eyebrows. Lovely, solid mid-range. Something I never noticed before - about midway through the song, he has most of his left hand on the microphone, and I saw just the slightest quiver in his fingers. Maybe he really did get nervous and all the results show hurl faces were genuine. Anyway, this song is right in AI Clay's power ballad wheelhouse. I notice Gramma McGee doesn't stand up although everybody else does. "One of the best in America", per Randy. The women, of course, love him. And then Simon [dumbass], with the Broadway and not what we were originally looking for in a pop artist. This from the man who would soon go on Frankenstein together Il Divo.

Herbal Essences trailer with the Carmen fake orgasm deal. Everybody gets crappy highlights but Ruben.

Trenyce - Have You Ever. Apparently, the memo was that everyone has to wear black tonight, because Trenyce is the third in a row. The backing vocals are too loud. The song again is very dull. Have they sung all the good (relatively speaking) Diane Warren songs already this season? Simon (who is sometimes right) noted that he feels he knows nothing about Trenyce's personality. I agree that was kind of an issue with her, in that she didn't have a consistent performance style that was unique to her.

Joshua - That's When I'll Stop Loving You. He claims to have sung it to his future wife while they were in high school. Yeah, 'cause all high school boys love nothing better than a Diane Warren ballad. Josh sounds a trifle shrill at the beginning of the song, and doesn't get much better as the song progress, including a really painful held note mid-song. Ouch. Randy and Simon point out the rough performances, while Paula is listening to a voice in her head and Diane says... honestly, I wasn't paying attention, so I don't know what she said.

Carmen - Love Will Lead You Back - If Not Just Listen for My Yodeling - What Do You Mean that's Why You Left in the First Place? Or something like that anyway. Josh was so bad, that Carmen's performance is actually better than his. The song is given a really dragging arrangement that completely drained the life out of it. What's with the extremely cheesy organ-heavy backing tracks tonight? Contrary to Simon's assertion that she can not win the competition (Well, duh. Even the Mormon voting block has ears.), Carmen assures Ryan she can indeed win. (Well, maybe not all the Mormons...)

Ruben - Music of My Heart. You know, for someone who is a prolific songwriter, Diane Warren ain't too articulate in real life. Everybody sounds "Great" and they all picked a "Great Song". Anyway, again the song is a big nothing. I notice nobody busts Ruben for losing track of most of the lyrics in the middle of the song. He just kind of Fantasia's his way through letting the back-up singers do most of the lyrics. Simon emphasizes the Clay / Ruben competition, with Kimberley coming on strong.

I'll have to recap the results show later. I suspect, although I'm not positive, that Clay makes it through to the next round.

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Top 6 Results Show

The camera pans over the six remaining contestants: Carmen looks nervous, Ruben is calmly chewing gum, Clay has the hurl face, Josh looks like he wants to hit somebody [Hulk Smash!], Kimberley looks serene and confident, and Trenyce is rockin' the Patty Hearst in the SLA look with her jaunty red beret.

Love the "Clay Shake Your Boot-ay" sign in the audience. Who knew three years later he would be shaking his groove thang all over the stage in the JBT?

Ryan makes a tortured joke about how the loser will now have to [cue dramatic music] "Highlight their own hair"!

A world premiere performance of the gawd-awful Diane Warren-penned "Shine". You can tell the kids aren't into the performance, as the vocals are lifeless and the choreography is especially wooden. Two, three look up into the camera, sing, five six, move to your right and hit your mark....

A prerecorded bit with Kelly Clarkson, and I can't quit make out her high pitched squealing, [seriously - dogs in my neighborhood were covering their ears with their paws] but I think it was a note that her record opened at No. 1.

Results: Carmen - Bottom Three; Ruben - safe, and he does some sort of sooper secret complicated handshake with Clay that is almost unbearably cute; Clayeeee - looking a little lonely with no girl to clutch, but he manages to squeeze out a wink to someone in the audience before being declared safe [No dude, Thank YOU very much]; Trenyce - Bottom Three.

The Ford commercial is all "Fun Fun Fun" and T-Birds and diners and singing soda jerks and Ken Warwick getting mauled by some heavily made up but at least age-appropriate chick who recognizes the sight of a middle-aged man in a sporty red convertible means only one thing - Midlife Crisis: a Trophy Wife hunt is in process!

Anyway, back to the results. Kimberley is safe; with Josh in the Bottom Three. Simon boldly declares that none of the Bottom Three are going to win, so it doesn't matter who goes home tonight. Harsh, but true.

Carmen gets the boot, and yodels us out.

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