‘american idol’ top 16: eight girls is enough.

I first need to acknowledge the wonder that is one-hour episodes of American Idol. All the filler was gone and the viewers were left with an emphasis on performances, as it should be. Last night was the final episode before the top 12, as we were reminded every five minutes.
Katie Stevens began the night with Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.” I really should like Katie, considering we share the same home state, her mother is an alum of my college, and her brother is currently a sophomore at my alma mater. However, I find that Katie brings nothing new to the Idol stage. This performance was the youngest she’s ever seemed, which is about 30. She started the song too low, and then her voice just went flat on the chorus. Based on the judges’ comments, they seem to have given up on her. I think Katie may be traveling back to Connecticut at the end of the week. Simon’s comment that she “kind of sucked….the air out of the room” was classic Cowell.
Siobhan Magnus, however, won’t be returning to her home state of Massachusetts for a while. I don’t care what Simon said; her performance of the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” was brave, on-key, and showed the amazing amount of vocal restraint she has. Starting the song a cappella takes guts and confidence in your vocal abilities. I hope Siobhan goes far into the top 12, because she’s the only female contestant I really enjoy.
I’ve been rooting for Lacey Brown since Hollywood week, and I think last night was the first time she picked the right song for her voice. Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” highlighted all the uniqueness of Lacey’s voice, and while it wasn’t a performance I’ll remember in six months, let alone six weeks, I think it’s enough to carry her into the top 12.
Katelyn Epperly may not have done enough. Her performance last night was the epitome of “phoning it in.” I don’t care if she claimed she was trying to be less cheesy; the girl stood behind her Wurlitzer with the same kind of enthusiasm I muster for folding laundry. Her vocals on Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move” were okay, but it was like Laurie Partridge 2.0 with the plaid jumper and the lackluster musicianship. I think she might be in danger of going home tonight, unless the buzz from last week’s “The Scientist” can propel her into next week.
Watching Didi Benami‘s performance of “Rihannon,” I was sure that the judges were going to rip her apart. It was like a bad coffeehouse performance, and I’m not sure if Didi was actually playing her guitar. Poor Stevie Nicks; after Taylor Swift murdered this same song at the Grammys and Lacey murdered “Landslide” a few weeks ago on the Idol stage, she’s probably not very willing to lend her songs to others. I already aired my grievances about Didi’s tone and lockjaw, but tonight I realized she over-enunciates her words to boot. And seriously, enough with the waterworks. I don’t care if they’re happy tears or not, just stop. This woman is one criticism away from a mental breakdown.
Someone who rightfully shed tears last night was Paige Miles, who definitely reached the end of her Idol journey with a whispery, shaky take on Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” I don’t know why she picked the song if it evokes such strong emotions in her, because clearly her emotions got in the way of delivering a good performance. It was hard to watch a verklempt Paige try to explain her song choice to Ryan, when she clearly knew the song was her death sentence.
Unlike seemingly every person on the American Idol payroll, I’m not drinking the Crystal Bowersox Kool-Aid just yet. Her semifinal performances, including last night’s version of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason,” are good, but they’re a bit predictable. I know what I’m getting each week, and while the judges like to think it’s because Crystal “knows what kind of artist she’ll be,” I think it’s because she’s a one-trick pony. Just wait until the top 12 theme nights, Miss Bowersox. I can’t wait to see how she puts her girl-with-a-guitar spin on the Barry Manilow catalog, or better yet, disco week! I think Crystal may soon suffer from the backlash that comes from being excessively pimped by the judges. Despite what Simon claimed on Leno the other night, I don’t think this competition is Crystal’s to lose.
Closing the show was Lilly Scott, with a take on Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces.” She carried a mandolin, but I couldn’t discern it among the horrific sounds made by the Idol Karaoke Backing Band, nor did it appear that she played it very much. Instruments are not props, Idol contestants, but rather a privilege. The whole performance was weird, from the arrangement to the weird ensemble Lilly was wearing: balls of yarn hanging from her ear lobes, granny boots and a gray patchwork dress. The vocals were so-so, but none of the judges touched on that, maybe in their haste to end the show. I think Lilly is going to have to break out of her “look at me! I’m quirky!” box to be a true contender in the top 12.
The boys perform tonight at 9 – tune in for another hour of performances from men with middling talent. Seriously, this season kind of sucks.

the future freaks me out.

Yesterday marked one week since I graduated from college.  It hasn’t really hit me yet…even though I sat on the campus green in my cap and gown with 989 of my classmates, it still feels surreal. It still feels like I’ll be going back to school in the fall, and that graduation was just a silly little ceremony we did for kicks.

So now I’m living at home and am currently unemployed. Not exactly where I thought I would be post-Marist when I created my 4-year plan as a freshman, but that was in 2005, when the economy wasn’t so scary. I’m actively looking for a job, any job, but it’s scary nonetheless to be a 21-year-old college graduate who can’t even get a job at the mall.

seasonal anxiety

I usually hate spring. I don’t know why, but something about the snow melting and the ground thawing and the trees budding does not appeal to me. I’m a fall and winter kind of girl, so the transition into warmer weather is always hard for me. Since coming to college, the anxiety of spring has grown significantly, knowing that each time the weather gets warmer, another year is over and I’m one step closer to the real world.

I try to stall the season change as long as I can – I won’t wear shorts until it’s at least 70 degrees out, I picket against the wearing of sandals (although that’s a whole other story,) I refuse to do outdoor-related activities and get very sanctimonious about not participating, etc.

So someone please explain to me why this year I want the weather to get warmer. Maybe it’s the deluge of snow we’ve received in the past month and a half; maybe it’s the fact that for a few weeks it was never higher than 20 degrees outside; maybe it’s because I’m off to the Dominican Republic in less than a month…I honestly don’t know. All I know is that I just spent the past 75 minutes of my World Religions class staring out the window at Route 9, wishing the snow would melt and I can retire my North Face for the season.

It’s funny, because I shouldn’t want spring to come this year. Not only does it signal the end of another academic year, it signals the end of my academic career. The dreaded g-word is 100 days away, (thanks for that terrifying email, Career Services!) so I should be wishing for an arctic blast of winter to prolong the inevitable.

Who knows, but maybe I’ll be less sanctimonious this year about outdoor events : )

rant and rave of the day 2/11/09

(It’s back! But don’t guarantee it’s going to become a daily feature…)

Rant: The germs that are running rampant on campus. People are literally dropping like flies with the flu, bronchitis, mono, strep, or sometimes with a nice grab bag of illnesses. I got a flu shot like a good girl back in October, but as last February’s post-flu shot bout with the flu proved, vaccines aren’t always effective. Now, pass the Purell and cover your mouth when you cough.

Rave: String cheese. I bought this delectable dairy snack on a whim last month, and now I need a constant supply of it in the fridge or else I get nervous. I also need to protect it from my friends, who are very generous in helping themselves to my cheese. (Just kidding, guys…you know I love to share.) My new favorite snack really does nothing to help my “5 Weeks Until Bikini Body” lifestyle that I’m trying so hard to adhere to, but I could sit there and pull string cheese apart all day long.

pardon the interruption.

Blogging will resume once my life becomes normal(ish) again. Adjusting to a new schedule/new semester/never wanting to leave the house because it’s so cold/many other trials and tribulations of life as a 21 year old female has left me with no desire to blog right now.

everything in transit.

Tomorrow I go back to school for my last semester of college and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited, anxious, terrified, overwhelmed, etc. It really does seem like yesterday that I was just moving in for freshman year, but at the same time, so much has happened in the last three and a half years that it’s hard to believe it’s only been that long since I first came to Marist. Whoever said high school is the best four years of your life clearly never went to college.

Also: I made the executive decision to not write any “Rant & Rave of the Day” entries on the weekends. I’m far too lazy on Saturdays and Sundays.

this is pitiful.

From the Poughkeepsie Journal:

Watching its 15-point lead in Thursday’s second half evaporate, the men’s basketball team from Marist College lost to visiting Siena, 91-85 in overtime, as the Saints remained undefeated in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.

Ouch. I’m almost thankful this game happened over break so we all weren’t there to witness this.