Man, that Dolly Parton is a freak show, no?
Dolly Parton was the first guest mentor of Idol's Season Seven and she did not disappoint. She's had some serious work done on that little body of hers over the years. But while her looks have changed, she's still as sweet as the day is long. And as one would expect, Dolly only had good things to say about the contestants. She kept her impressions and suggestions short and sweet. After all, it's not like Dolly to promote Dolly: it was all about the kids....
Brooke White was the first to win Dolly's heart when she sang "Jolene". Dolly sees an honesty in Brooke and I couldn't agree more; Brooke is real and humble and genuine. And I'm starting to sound like a broken record as I've been saying that about Mrs. White since week one. But tonight she seemed a little nervous. Maybe because she was the first on stage? She seemed like she was in a hurry to get done with her performance. But I still thought she was good. And I loved how the beauty school dropout couldn't help but comment on Paula's hair-do. (Paula did look lovely tonight, didn't she?)
And speaking of hair.....YES! David Cook finally cut his hair! He went a little shorter on the sides, a little spikier on top and now it appears as if David has a full head of hair! (I don't care if it is just an illusion - it works). I think the new look gave him even more confidence (not that he needed more confidence). He is growing into an artist right before our very eyes. He can sing, he can perform, he can come up with an original arrangement and...dare I say...now he has the look! He sang "Little Sparrow" and while I don't pretend to know or love that song, I thoroughly enjoyed his performance.
Ramiele Malubay sang Dolly's "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?" And the answer is no, never. I'll give it to you, she was better than last week, but she certainly wasn't good by any stretch of the imagination. For the first time that I can remember, she actually moved around the stage which was a nice addition. But she lacks grace and polish which was abundantly clear when Ryan asked her what it was like to perform for Dolly Parton and she replied, "I was freaking out. A little bit." And let me add that she also lacks style. Seriously, who is dressing Ramiele? Never mind the fact that the clothes she's worn thus far are hideous, none of them are flattering on her - at all. But I digress, this is a singing competition and Ramiele falls short there, too.
Jason Castro is up next singing "Travelin Through". And yes, I checked, that's how Dolly is spelling it: travelin. Too bad it's Dolly Parton night and not Paul Simon night because I think Jason could sing some serious Simon and/or Garfunkle. I thought he did well tonight! But I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I have a teeny tiny crush on Jason and so it's going to take a major f-up on his part for me to stop loving him. I just want to put him in my pocket. I know, I know, coo coo ca-choo Mrs. Robinson. (Can't you just hear him singing it?). Simon was none to pleased with Jason's performance tonight, but I think the problem lies in the fact that Simon really doesn't like Dolly Parton songs and not that he doesn't like Jason per se. So America better not listen to Simon tonight. They better listen to me. (What's that you say Mrs. Robinson?)
Carly Smithson thought she was smokin' hot tonight. She sang "Here You Come Again" and until Simon put out her fire, she really thought she was back, hotter than ever. She sang far better than she did last week. I actually enjoyed the performance - when my eyes were closed. I couldn't agree more with Simon when he offered, "You need to have a word with whomever is dressing you." In fact, while I was watching I thought to myself, "She has yet to wear a sleeve." Nary a sleeve has graced an arm. I know she loves that tattoo of hers, but I just don't think it needs to be showcased front and center each and every week. She's got some awful taste in clothes and the stylists are not helping matters. And I won't even comment on that freak show of a husband of hers. Cause that's just mean. And uncalled for. Right?
And then it was Young David's turn to impress. David Archuleta sang "Smokey Mountain Memories". The judges loved him, the crowd loved him and so did Dolly Parton. David almost brought Dolly to tears. I'm thinking Dolly should give David a job at Dollywood. He could be her star performer. He'd be perfect on the Dollywood stage. And I think Dollywood could even find a place for his crazy father, too. (Apparently, like many showbiz kids, David has himself quite the stage parent in that father of his. Or at least that's what the media is reporting. And so I'm buying it lock, stock and barrel.) I'm sorry, I just can't get past the Tattoo resemblance (and I am not talking about Carly or her husband).
I expected more from our country gal Kristy Lee Cooke. She sang "Coat of Many Colors" and was disappointed that Dolly didn't tell her how proud she was of her singing. I thought her performance was stiff and unnatural. And I'll add contrived to my list of complaints, as well, on account of those bare feet of hers. (How about Ryan knowing that she had a French pedicure as opposed to just a pedicure? I'll bet Ryan is no stranger to pedicures.) And what up with Kristy's eyes? Week after week, regardless of the song choice or clothing style, Kristy's eyes are covered in thick, sparkly eyeshadow. Hideous, thick, golden sparkly eyeshadow. What gives? I think Idol may have to fire a few stylists this season.
Syesha sang "I Will Always Love You" and, I'm afraid it may have just cost her a spot in the Top 8. I have always loved Dolly Parton's version of this song. I much prefer her sweet, calm soothing sound to Whitney Houston's diva version. So when Syesha started singing Dolly's version, I was ready to give her a chance. But she couldn't help herself. Once a diva wannabee, always a diva wannabee and so half way through her performance she felt the need to bring it home. A foolish, foolish move on her part. And wouldn't you know the first words out of Randy's mouth were something about never attempting to sing a Whitney song. Duh. If you're an Idol contestant and don't know that by now, well then you are simply not worthy.
And Michael John finished the night with only a few minutes to spare. His version of "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right" was phenomenal. Like David Cook, with each passing week Michael John is becoming a star. Perhaps that explains why he was wearing an ascot during tonight's performance? Hmm. Yeah, I'll pass on the ascot for future performances, Mike. But how about him being a Dolly Parton fan? She was his first concert, for crying out loud! Stuff like that just makes me love this guy even more. He might not be quite as talented as David Cook - yet - but he's got the look I want to know better - AND - he's so darn likable. I'm telling you...chicks dig him and guys want to be his friend. And that is a winning combination.
And so who (besides Michael John) is looking forward to seeing Dolly strut her stuff tomorrow night? My gut tells me that Syesha is going home. I think she'll be joined by Ramiele and Kristy Lee Cooke in the bottom three. And just to be sure, I'm going to put Jason in my pocket for safe keeping...