May 2, 2007

American Idol: Idol Giveth and Idol Taketh Away

Last night's American Idol was quite possibly the best (so far) of the season. Jon Bon Jovi was the guest mentor and theme was (wait for it) Bon Jovi songs! As a teen during the 80s, I was all over this theme before the night even started.
Phil, once again, gets the craptastic first spot. I'm thinking that American Idol is being very shifty and deceitful here. Phil got the craptastic first slot two weeks ago, when it was country night and he performed Keith Urban's "Where the Blacktop Ends". So how on earth can he possibly be up yet again? Patently obvious that Idol is ready for Phil to go home - - and just as Phil is owning his performances. So Phil chooses "Blaze of Glory". I honestly thought he would take "Wanted Dead or Alive", which is my all-time favorite Bon Jovi song - - although "Blaze" is definitely in my top 5. Once Phil begins singing though, it's pretty obvious (at least to my Idol obsessed mind) that Phil made a great song choice. Even Jon Bon Jovi tells Phil during his rehearsal that he hit every recorded note perfectly. Bravo. Randy name drops and then tells Phil that was quite possibly the best opening performance they had all season. Paula also gives Phil the love, so of course it's up to Simon, if he wants those big paychecks that Idol is writing him, to piss all over Phil's parade and bitch him out for not being more original and telling him that halfway through his performance he was acting like he thought a rock star should act and he would fail the audition. Beyond the ridiculous fact that every performer up there is, ahem, performing, I think Simon has his panties in a bunch because he wanted to firmly put Phil in the country music box and have him stay there. Simon also tells Phil that he didn't do enough to stay for another week, which is particularly bitchy seeing as how Phil gave a good performance and he was the first performer of the night (again!) so it's not like Simon can compare his performance to anyone else's. Yet.
So Jordin is up next and she enthusiastically states that she's chosen "Livin' on a Prayer". During her rehearsal with Jon Bon Jovi, she tells him (as only a child would) that her mother grew up on Bon Jovi and got her into the music. Nice. So I'm sure that JBJ is feeling around 100, and also wondering why, if Jordin grew up on his music, she butchers his tune so badly. I like Jordin, I really do. But girlfriend slaughters this song. She makes it sound like ass. To say that she sounded like karaoke would be overly kind and a bit cruel to kareoke singers around the world. Seriously. The only good news for Jordin is that she did very well last week and since they are carrying the votes over, she should be safe. The judges were probably in a state of shock, since they are so used to tongue bathing Jordin and reminding everyone how young she is. No one likes it, although Paula reminds Jordin that she's still great. Simon tells Jordin that her appearance reminds him of The Addams Family and she sounded shrieky.
LaKisha and her tight jeans are next and after having her ass handed to her on a platter for the last two weeks, she isn't venturing far out of her comfort zone. She's chosen "This Ain't a Love Song", a bluesy and soulful song and a perfect choice for her voice. JBJ says he isn't a betting man, but if he was, he would bet that LaKisha won't be going home. Obviously JBJ didn't watch Idol last week where Ryan explained how the votes from last week would be carried over and added to the votes this week. In any event, LaKisha finally came back and reclaimed that Idol stage, but, again, since the votes are being carried over, girlfriend may still be in danger. All of the judges loved her performance, with Simon so moved that he actually kisses her right on the mouth and Ryan noticing, and perhaps getting a little too excited that Simon has LaKisha's lipstick on him.
Blake is up next and he's informed us that he's chosen "You Give Love a Bad Name" and he's done something different with it, which JBJ echoes and voices some worry that Blake is going out on a limb. So, of course, I'm wondering if Blake is going to sing it in Spanish, or sign it for the hearing impaired, because beatboxing is not going out on a limb for Blake. But beatboxing it is, and it is different, as JBJ had worried about, but it sounds pretty good, like a high beat dance mix. Beatboxing Blake is far more interesting and exciting than vocals-only, let me cry you a river, soulful Blake. The judges tell him that he definitely gets the award for the most original of the night and even Simon's mom was rocking out to it. Blake even colored his hair darker for the occasion. Why, I couldn't say.
Chris is up next, and after a viewer question, in which Ryan addresses Chris as "Justin Timberlake" (gag), Chris tells us that he's chosen "Wanted Dead or Alive" and that someone had to do it. Okay. I want to like Chris, I really do. He seems like a nice guy. But this was a wrong choice for him. JBJ even told him that the song needed to be sung with a sadness, not all glorious, if it was to work and connect with the audience. Chris simply doesn't have the voice to carry it off - - he's too high pitched for the deep resonance needed for this song. The judges giving him passing grades, not his usual tongue bath, and Simon even tells him that his performance may not have been enough to keep him around for another week.
Melinda gets the pimp position and she's adorably cute as she tells us that she's chosen "Have a Nice Day" but she's not a rocker chick and doesn't know how to be a rocker chick. JBJ promises her he can teach her, since she's got the pipes and the soul to really bring it. And he must have taught her something, because girlfriend comes out with attitude. She certainly doesn't look uncomfortable up there and I think this is the main problem with LaKisha. LaKisha has the pipes as well, but she doesn't have the attitude to really work it the way Melinda can and does. The judges are almost orgasmic over her performance and rightfully state that Melinda reminded them of Tina Turner. Simon also repeats, as he has many a time this season, that Melinda is a completely different league than the other singers.
So who will go home? Two will leave tonight and it's hard to say. Obviously Idol wants to send Phil packing - - but I think his performances over the last 3 weeks have been consistently good to excellent and the only other singer who can claim that is Melinda. I think Chris' time is up and he may get the pink slip tonight. LaKisha may well join him, since she's had a shaky last couple of weeks and she was in the bottom 2 two weeks ago. While Blake redeemed himself last night, I'm not sure how well his version of Lennon's "Imagine" went over last week. I think Jordin would probably be the bottom vote getter just from the performances last night, but last week she did very well. So it's still anyone's game at the moment.