PEOPLE critic Tom Gliatto thinks the beatboxer may be the next to go…
The Bee Gees’s best-known music is so stamped with a particular production sound – the dance-rock beat and the feathery, sometimes chipmonk-y vocals – the four finalists didn t have the easiest time last night staking out compelling new interpretations of the dance tunes.
Barry Gibb, mentoring the performers, several times wondered how songs associated with a male falsetto would work for the women – not to mention the male beatbox style of Blake Lewis.
Gibb was right to wonder. Each singer got two chances to shine but, for me, the high point was Ryan Seacrest joking that Simon Cowell had been dating Judge Judy the past three months.
Lakisha made the gutsy and rather terrible mistake of tackling the ultimate Bee Gees classic, “Stayin’ Alive,” as if it were another big ballad from Dreamgirls. (“No kiss tonight, baby,” was Simon’s reply.) Jordin Sparks delivered the best vocal of the night with “To Love Somebody,” but she was unexpectedly dull on her second performance with “Woman in Love,” from Barbra Streisand’s first album with Gibb, Guilty. Melinda gave two pretty good performances, but was most impressive when she decided to change “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.” She dropped the lyric, “How can a loser ever win?” because she’d rather not sing about “being a loser on American Idol.” Instead she sang “How can you stop the rain from falling?” because the Tennessee native “would rather be wet than be a loser.”
Idol’s next casualty will either be Lakisha or Blake. Blake, actually, should have been a natural at such stylized pop. But he tricked up the Bee Gees classic “You Should Be Dancing” with skitters and stutters that would have distracted anyone trying to get their groove on under the disco ball. For his second song he sang the little known “This Is Where I Came In” as a sort of new wave-reggae number. It was very ’80s MTV. Plus, he added a frosty highlight to his hair.
It’s time for an all-girl Idol.
For more from last night, see AOL’s Idol coverage.