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Tuesday February 27, 2007 5:13 pm

Will the Idol Men Shine This Week?

American Idol When the sixth season of American Idol began, it seemed the males were going to outshine the ladies hands down. They came, they sang, they conquered. Group night impressed audiences, and surprise contenders on the male side seemed ready to prove that they had definitely earned their honor to compete. And then…Hollywood round ended, and it was time to perform. One by one, the men filled the stage. One by one, Simon Cowell shot them down. Most of the males didn’t seem at all ready for the big stage, the big crowd, and the big TV cameras. Even Paula had trouble finding positive remarks to make -–a rare enough occasion for American Idol. The very next night, the female contestants blew judges (and audiences) away with powerful pipes.

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Just like that, and the Idol wave shifted. Early jaw-dropping performances from the men fizzled when it was time to get down to the real contest, but the women were happy to quickly pick up their slack. On this second night of competition, even Cowell had good things to say, suggesting that it was the women were going to lead the American Idol cast this year. All told, most of the ladies performed their hearts out – and completely blew the guys out of the competitive singing waters.

This week begins another round of competition, and another chance for the lackluster performers to prove themselves. More singing, more comments from Cowell, more eliminations – and now, the men know how high the bar has been set on their singing. They’ll have to show off their pipes and up their song selections if they want to offer a real competition to the ladies, so many of which have wowed judges and fans alike with their powerfully amazing voices. Last week, the men were at best unadventurous, and at worst completely off-key and pitchy.

Will the Idol men shine this week, or will the ladies continue to dominate this contest? For a group that started out so promising, the men are fizzling for fans, while the ladies produce audio fireworks that viewers won’t soon forget. The most common critique from the judges for the men last week? That they didn’t take enough risks, didn’t give it their all, played it a little too safe with their singing.

This week, ten freaked-out men will fill the stage and sing their hearts out in hopes of hitting a sweet-note-stride. Odds are, more than half of them will choose songs that are just too big for them, in an effort to “take a chance.” But taking too many chances adds up to one thing: an early ticket home.

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