So last night American Idol finally moved away from the Glitter Girls and Temptresses and "No Sex Allowed" novelty songs, and into phase 2 (aka "Hollywood Week"). And I for one was pretty pleased, since overall I've been surprisingly disappointed by season 7's auditioners. I mean, where was this year's William Hung, huh?
Well, never mind all that. I already know who this year's winner is--at least if my speed-dialing skills have anything to do with it.
Yes, I'm declaring an early favorite here: Josiah Leming. The towheaded teen captured my heart last week when he turned on the waterworks while confessing that he lives in his car (I'm a big softie, see) and then sweetly warbled Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" with a faux British accent (I'm an even bigger Anglophile). But Josiah completely won over my heart--and, hopefully, most of America as well--last night, when he chose to cover a Mika song.
Now, while fierce Britfopper Mika is already a massive star in his native U.K. (where he's likely to sweep the Brit Awards next week), he's still no household name on this side of the pond. It's certainly not for lack of U.S. exposure: His body-image anthem "Big Girl" was featured on Ugly Betty; his hi-NRG disco track "Love Today" soundtracked a goofy Motorola Red commercial starring Saturday Night Live's Chris "Mango" Kattan; and he even performed himself on Fox's other Nigel Lythgoe-produced hit reality show, So You Think You Can Dance.
However, it's Josiah Leming's heartfelt cover of Mika's "Grace Kelly" on last night's Idol that just might finally foist the campy Brit idol upon mainstream audiences in America. (Just look at what the show did for Daniel Powter's "Bad Day," for instance, or how Taylor Hicks's performance of "Trouble" boosted folkie Ray Lamontagne's career.) And for that reason alone, Josiah has my vote.
And remember to vote for Josiah next week!