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September 18, 2007

American Idols Live Tour 2007 @ Wachovia Center - Philadelphia


Okay, I admit it - I saw the American Idols Live tour.  And this, my review, is the embarrassing truth that proves it forever. Now don't get me wrong, I do watch American Idol every season, but sitting through endless karaoke-like performances (made longer by a sudden 'intermission'), shrieking fans and schmaltzy speeches is another story. It turns out, American Idol in any arena is far less entertaining without the judges. If Simon, Paula and Randy toured along with these 10 finalist, I'm sure they would have packed the house. Fortunately, there were a few highlights that came along by way of a couple of this past season's shining songstresses. Idol winner Jordin Sparks, long-running favorite Melinda Doolittle, and most impressively Lakisha Jones, were all music to my ears. They may not have made the sea of tween girls swoon like the male hearthrobs did, but they ultimately won over the entire crowd, and me, with stunning vocal performances...


Pictured above:  Female contestants perform 'Lady Marmalade' in one of many group numbers.  I guess no one told producers what 'Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir?' actually means.


Lakisha's rendition of Whitney's 'I Will Always Love You' came just in time to save me from my near karaoke-itis.  Her a cappella intro, matched by a grand entrance, commanded the attention of all .  It showed off her big, powerful pipes, slowly drawing thunderous praise from the crowd. By the time she hit that final big note, there was nothing and no one to focus on but her - in all her divalicious glory. Her precision on this wide ranging song was reminiscent of her performance of 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going' this past season - only better!  She left me utterly satisfied.



When Sanjaya took to the stage solo, he did his worst imitation of Michael Jackson, fake moonwalking across the stage during 'The Way You Make Me Feel.' Still, as the contestant who caused the most sensation during his Idol run, he garnered screams loud enough to cause me to have to cover my ears.  I thought that his singing would force me to do the same, but it wasn't horrible.  Besides, I was laughing too hard at how much the little girls were going crazy over him to notice much about his barely-there vocals.

Even more deafening than the screams that met Sanjaya was the solo enterance of that 'mildly popular' runner-up, Blake. The male favorite of the competition, he emerged something like JT displaying a potential for star power that the other guys lacked.  He's also a capable singer who I must say made good song choices.  His beatboxing, also very JT, would be easy to dismiss if he wasn't so damn good at it.  Blake shows definite signs on this tour that he is indeed an entertainer and an artist to watch.




Seemingly in a bid to end any possible speculation of a fued between Idol's winner and would-be winner, Melinda and Jordin probably spent the better part of ten minutes professing their love for one another and detailing their fun as roommates.  It could have been real or it could have been phony, but either way it just distracted me.  What I was really waiting for were those flawless performances Melinda and Jordin were both known for.  Eventually those moments did come, most notibly with Jordin's spot-on vocals during 'I Who Have Nothing,' the song that made the judges sit up and take notice of the one-time contestant.


Pictured above:  Jordin took to guitar for Jewel's 'You Were Meant For Me,' showing off her ability to be vulnerable and soft with her voice. Instrumentation is not an ability contestants get to demonstrate on the show, so it was refreshing that she and other contestants had the confidence to do so.

If you think American Idols Live is a show best reserved for obsessed tweens and grandmas, you're soooo right.  Taking a bunch of incredibly talented young people and making them sing middle-of-the road ballads and poppy up-tempos is as cheesy as it sounds, but if you pay close enough attention, you might see a few of these future stars shine bright.

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Great review... thanks for sitting through it for us! lol!


Wow, ok so I guess when you're a journalist you sometimes have to review stuff that you wouldn't normally give the time of day to. Atleast you admitted that you were laughing out loud during Sanjaya (sp?) set cause I would've been to. He tried to moonwalk! Hilarious. Nice to see that you made the most of the experience either way.


Your such a good sport, sitting through an American Idol concert!

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