‘American Idol’, the annual American televised singing competition, made waves this week with Jon Bon Jovi as the mentor. Jon mentored the six remaining contestants- Phil Stacey, Jordin Sparks, LaKisha Jones, Blake Lewis, Chris Richardson, and Melinda Doolittle, along with David Bryan.
This week’s show featured Bon Jovi’s music, with all the six ‘idols’ performing Jon Bon Jovi’s popular tracks. Jon stated on camera that his kids love the show. As for himself, Jon said that he liked the unpredictable characteristic of the show specifically. He also stated that the participants needed to add a certain amount of sincerity to their performances. He advised the singers to “make the songs they sing their own.”
The episode televised on May 1, 2007 saw six power-packed performances on Bon Jovi’s popular tracks. Phil Stacey gave the opening performance, singing “Blaze of Glory”, a song originally written for Young Guns. According to Paula Abdul, it was, by far, the best opening performance of this season. However, Simon Cowell disagreed, saying that it lacked authenticity. Randy Jackson, the third judge, also appreciated the performance by saying that it was a bomb. It has been alleged that this performance was Stacey’s best performance for the season.
Lakisha Jones, with her rendition of “This Aint a Love Song”, delivered the best performance of the night. This was Jones’ most impressive performance till date. After delivering weak performances for quite a few weeks in a row, Jones was finally applauded for her talent. While this performance may not ensure a large turnout of votes, it has ensured the fact that her talent is recognized.
According to Jon, Jones is safe this week. All the three judge were quite impressed by her performance as well. Paula told Jones that the low and bottom tone of her voice is Kiki's money in her pocket. Randy appreciated the fact that Jones sang as if she wanted to prove something. Simon Cowell, the hardest to please, said that he loved that Jones rose to the challenge, after kissing her.
Blake Lewis delivered his performance with an adventurous note. He sang “You Give Love A Bad Name”, peppering it with his own innovative streaks. The result was Blake’s personalized interpretation, which Jon thought was charming. Jon, though a little apprehensive at the beginning about the changes, appreciated the creativity.
According to Blake, it was a risk. “But”, he stated, “If you don’t take risks, you will never see anything new.” Blake was applauded for this adventurous streak. Randy Jackson loved it and claimed it to be the most original version of the song ever. Paula appreciated “the big leap of faith.” Simon felt that this performance, though evoked 50-50 love or hate reactions, would keep him safe in the competition.
Jordin Sparks performed on “Livin’ On A Prayer” , which according to Jon was a difficult song to sing. Sparks was out of her league during the performance. The performance failed to impress both the jury as well as the audience. However, her place on the show may be safe, thanks to her previous strong performances, this particular performance will fail to bring out a huge turnout of votes.
According to Simon, Sparks “looked like someone from the Adams family.” He also said that, “The singing was out of control verging on shrieking at times.” Paula appreciated Sparks for her courage, saying that she went for it, in spite of knowing that the song was out of her range. Randy thought it was rough.
Chris Richardson sang one of Bon Jovi’s best-known song, “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Jon advised Chris to search for the blues element to the song. Randy and Paula liked his performance, and appreciated the fact that he made the song his own. Simon was skeptical, saying that he was not sure this performance would be enough to keep him in the competition.
Melinda Doolittle managed to keep the jury happy, as she sang “Have A Nice Day”. By self-admission, rock is not Doolittle’s forte. In spite of that fact, Jon was impressed by her performance and said that he liked that she sang the song in a soulful manner. Randy did not think this was her best performance, but said that it was still amazing. Both Randy and Simon appreciated the Tina Turner attitude she displayed during the performance.
In the next elimination episode, two participants will be sent back.
The show has raised about $70 million through its ‘Idol Gives Back’ charity programme. the last episode ended with the American President, George Bush and The First Lady, Laura Bush, delivering a thank-you note for the funds raised.
American Idol is televised on the Fox Network in USA. It was first created by Simon Fuller and then developed by Simon Jones of Fremantle Media. It is the No. 1 rated show in the United States. Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, and Pop-Tarts are among the major sponsors of the show. A thirty-second commercial on the show costs $705,000.