Melinda Doolittle Sings ‘Sway’ on Top 8 Idol

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It was bound to happen sooner or later. In American Idol’s Top 8 episode, Melinda Doolittle received her first “thumbs down” from Simon Cowell.

Guest host Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo) saw it coming. As Doolittle rehearsed the steamy Latin classic “Sway,” she stuck to a polite compliment:

“She got sultry and sexy for a minute there. It would be nice to see more.”

American Idol’s Top 8 episode is all about Latin passion. A huge guest celebrity like J-Lo heightened the contrast, especially since J-Lo once covered the song in Spanish. From my Internet eavesdropping, Melinda’s biggest criticism is an apparent lack of personality.

Here’s what the American Idol judges had to say about Melinda Doolittle’s rendition of “Sway”:

Randy Jackson: “I’m telling you, another solid performance.”
“At the very end, you echoed Celia Cruz.”

Paula Abdul: “Very sultry, very smooth.”
“It was subtle and sexy.”

Simon Cowell: “It had to happen, Melinda. I didn’t like it.”
“That song is all about personality.”
“Very lounge, very cabaret.”
“Someone as good as you has to come out and WOW.”
“A bit lazy, a little bit wooden.”

As much as I’ve grown to admire our hometown girl, I can see why Simon had to do it. The song didn’t showcase Melinda’s talent, and the slow beat added to the “boring” criticism she’s getting on Idol fan forums.

And her cabaret look? Let’s just say it didn’t help matters.

What Melinda Wore:

After the sleek bob of recent weeks, I cringed when I saw the return of big hair. You could say it went with the sparkly jewelry. The dress itself was a figure-flattering sheath with asymmetrical neck and hem. It was the total package that made my husband question, “Who is this forty-year-old woman, and what is she doing on American Idol?” I thought she looked glamorous, but older than her 29 years.

Melinda Doolittle herself anticipated a problem with the Latin night. When J-Lo advised her in rehearsal, she did the Southern lady version of cursing out loud:
“Oh, shoot…I am SO not sexy.”

Here are the passionate lyrics to the Latin classic “Sway.”

Still, she finished the night’s review with typical Doolittle optimism and a winning, red-lipsticked smile.
“I’m happy because he really wanted to say something bad, and he got the chance.”

Want more American Idol background? Check here for more up-to-date articles on Melinda Doolittle.