March 19, 2008

American Idol - Most Peculiar: Beatle Butchery and General Indifference

You know it's going to be bad when Randy is yawning as Ryan finishes up with "THIS . . . is American Idol!" and begins with his intros. A sign of the evening to come and how that was 2 hours of my life that I won't get back. Randy is very Mr. Rogers in his powder blue sweater. Paula is very Goldfinger in her sparkly, glittery gold contraption (where does she shop?). Simon is very Simon (a la boring) in his white pullover. He already looks bored.
Paula oh-so-helpfully informs the audience, with prompting from Ryan, that the competition is all about taking risks. You mean like turning "8 Days a Week" into a backwoods, fiddler on speed national anthem? Sure, that went over well.
I note that whenever the judges encourage the Idolizers to take risks, and said Idolizers do take risks, said Idolizers then get pissed all over for changing things around and basically taking a risk.
So because the Lennon-McCartney songbook is so massive and, I expect, because Sir Paul now has about $50 mil to pay to that golddigger Heather Mills, we have our second straight week of Lennon-McCartney songs, although tonight it's "Beatles Night". Way to change it up, Idol.
Ryan brings all 11 Idolizers out on the super galactic stage, we ogle at them and note how ridiculously some of them are dressed, and then Ryan sends them away so we can start the show. Man, is that new stage big or what?
Amanda and her skunky hair are first up. Who did she piss off to get the crappy first slot? I am banking that she will choose "Helter Skelter" but no, girlfriend instead is going with "Back in the USSR". A song I actually like. And for the second week running, I don't want to gauge my eardrums out with a rusty tool. And for the second week running, I have absolutely no idea what Amanda is singing. Can anyone understand her? The band is doing well, but it seems like the backup singers are running her over with a Mack truck. But I don't want to gauge my eardrums out. The judges are on the fence. Paula thinks maybe she should try a ballad. Simon thinks she's starting to get boring and needs to change it up. Amanda has obviously gotten her confidence back, and then some, because she smugly tells the judges (who are only the judges, after all) that ballads are boring. Don't you know, bluesy, 10 pack a day, gravelly voices are in! She also suggests that she'll be selling out any concerts she happens to throw in some skeezy bar in Louisiana. Good to know. Note to Paula and Simon - - this is all Amanda can do. She is a rocker. A rocker with one sound. Do not ask her to step outside of that box. Kansas was cruelly massacred the last time she attempted that and it is not a memory from which I will soon recover.
Next up is Kristy Lee Cook, who the judges and Powers That Be obviously want gone. She has the crappy second slot. She is wearing a very sparkly, short dress with go-go boots. Never say that girl doesn't know how to exaggerate her talent. She is singing "You Have to Hide Your Love Away". She says in her interview that she chose the song based on the title alone. Uh oh. That can't be good. I'm thinking she's a goner for sure - - but compared to "I'd rather be having a root canal than subjected to any more of this " performance from last week, she does a fairly good job. At least she doesn't look like she's squatting on her horse. Yeah, the one she sold to buy an airline ticket to Hollywood. She still kind of boring though and on Idol, boring is a kiss of death. Add to that she's been in the Bottom Three for the last 3 weeks or so and I think it's probably safe to assume she'll be safely on the seal.
After totally screwing over the pimp spot last week, David A. is reprimanded into the third slot. He has chosen "The Long and Winding Road" which is an awesome song. I know that if Davey doesn't forget the words, he'll turn in a technically proficient performance, which he does. But here is my continuing beef with The Chosen One. Despite the fact that he has a good voice (although a bit gaspy in places), he simply doesn't have the emotions behind that voice to really bring what needs to be brought to the song. Same with "Imagine" from a few weeks ago. It's not the kid's fault - - he is, after all, ONLY SEVENTEEN. How can he sing heartfelt songs about imaging a world without war or conflict? Or at losing true love? He can't possibly. So while he can nail the notes and turn in a good performance, it's still a bit insincere or cold.
The judges, quite naturally, nearly pee themselves in excitement and adoration of their Chosen One. Simon even goes so far as to declare Davey's performance "master class". Really? The camera pans to show Davey's stage father, Mr. A., who looks quite pleased. I'm sure that drill sergeant routine, along with withholding food and water for the last week, has paid off, Mr. A. Good work. Dozens of tween girls in the "mosh pit" scream for Davey. God help us.
Hot Michael is next. I really don't care what Hot Michael sings. He is there simply for the eye candy as far as I am concerned. He informs the audience via his interview that he has chosen "A Day in the Life". It's not terrible. But it's not spectacular either. Kind of middle of the road. A theme we will see a great deal of tonight. However, he does look good. And isn't that what counts? The judges aren't blown away and Simon thinks it was a mess. A hot mess, though. Paula suggests that Hot Michael is having a bit of difficulty because of the ear piece he is wearing - - she heard him in rehearsal and thought he was unbelievable. A bit of FUBAR here because Hot Michael is forced to admit that he doesn't wear the ear piece. Whoops. Paula quickly tries to rectify the situation but really, what can you do besides just take another Valium and shot of vodka? Hot Michael tells us that he chose the song to honor his friend, who passed away last year, much too soon, and "A Day in the Life" was his favorite song. I think I may see a tear in his eye. I'm guessing that hormonally charged women who are too old for Davey and who don't quite get the Jason Castro thing are madly dialing right now. Hot Michael is sensitive! Hot Michael can shed a tear!
Miss Eternal Sunshine, aka Brooke, is up next. I like Brooke, really I do. I think she would be a fabulous game show hostess because she appears to be on the same medication routine as Katie Holmes - - the only difference being that Brooke looks her age and is unbelievably cheery all the unbelievable time. Seriously, to not like her would be sacrilegious. At least in the Church of Idol. Brooke, appropriately, is going to perform "Here Comes the Sun", wearing a blindingly bright yellow dress. She starts by sitting on the steps and I am already worried for her because the stair sitting is very gimmicky. And the judges are on to it. I don't think her performance is terrible - - she still sounds good. The song choice is a bit, well, crappy though. The song is very dated and she can't do much with it. I don't think David C. could do much with it and he made "Hello" rock. So the judges tell Brooke that they really didn't get it (I guess they need a big PowerPoint presentation with a diagram that shows smiley Brooke, decked out in yellow, with a large "HERE COMES THE SUN" and an arrow pointing directly to Brooke) and Brooke quickly agrees with them, saying that after her stellar week last week, it was inevitable that she should fall this week. Um, okay.
David C. is up next and after getting my "best performance" vote last week, I'm anxious to see what he chooses this week. I'm thinking he may go for a ballad. But no! D.C. changes it up, selecting "Day Tripper". He also gives a shout out to Whitesnake, saying he's doing their late 70s version. Cool, I think? He also busts out the Frampton-like voice box, which I think is cool, so of course Simon will hate it. He does not disappoint with the eyefucking, which is back with full vengeance. Here's the thing with David C. He's like Steven Tyler or Robert Plant. You see them in a bar and think "God, don't come over here, don't talk to me, don't even look at me, please", but as soon as they get on stage and start singing, you want to have sex with them. Their voices, at least. So David C. should have a promising career ahead of him as a rock star. He's no Hot Michael but I like listening to him. Paula loved it, of course, as she was jumping around and dancing to the music (or maybe having a hot flash, I can't be sure). Simon thought David's performance was smug. I don't think the performance was smug, maybe just the eyefucking. Regardless, with the theme of utter dullness going on tonight, David should be very safe.
So the Irish Ice Queen is up next. I am so underwhelmed, maybe I will take a bathroom break. Honestly, why do I dislike this girl so much? Well, besides the fact that I think she's a total plant, I think she's totally overrated and . . . that godawful thing she's wearing. WTH? It's a red top which looks suspiciously maternity-like and it has these terrible rosettes around the neckline. I can't believe Paula, who is master of "you look really nice", can hold her tongue and not comment on this fashion road kill. Of course Paula is wearing the fabric equivalent of Jaegermeister. So Carly is singing "Blackbird" and as far as I'm concerned, she could sing totally off key or take a dump up there and the judges would still give her a tongue bath. So not surprising. What is surprising though is that Simon calls her and her performance indulgent. Carly has obviously been guaranteed a spot all the way to the Top 4 because her facial reaction to that is priceless. I wish I could use it as my screen saver, I loved it that much. Either Simon went off script or someone forgot to tell Carly that there were changes in the dialogue. Unfortunately, Carly uses the "indulgent" comment to explain in a very Paula-esque way how she and the other contestants are like blackbirds and how the music industry has beaten them down and how this is their last chance, blah, blah, blah. Except in Carly's case, this is like the 500th shot she's had, so maybe she's more cockroach than blackbird since those little bastards can survive without their heads. Or so I've heard. Carly also points out that she has had "7" tattooed on her finger, as a remembrance of Idol Season 7. I suppose those flames on her husband's face are a reminder of the flaming pile of shit her 2001 album was.
Jason, also known as Mr. 4:20, is next. I really think he's stoned in all his interviews. He is funny though. And he does have the longest lashes I think I've ever seen on a man. Truly, truly unfair. He tells us he's chosen "Michelle" as his song and he even had to learn French. This guy is so goofy he is literally like the American (and stoned) version of Hugh Grant. With dreadlocks. His performance is exactly what I thought it would be - - which is soft, almost Menudo-like singing which is sure to make the tweens and teens go mad. I do think he sounds very lovely while singing the French parts. The judges, quite naturally, aren't impressed. Paula suggests that maybe Jason isn't comfortable without his guitar. Possibly. I just think it's more likely that he's not comfortable without his bong. Simon tells him his face probably saved him. Hey, go with what you got, Jason. It's worked for Kristy Lee so far. Simon further rubs it in by saying that if he heard Jason's song on the radio it would be "off"! Boy, Simon is a pissy one tonight, isn't he? Jason smiles about it anyhow and he's sure to be saved because he just seems so nice.
After ending up in the Bottom Three last week, and exposing us to a major Bitch Face, Syesha gets the next to next to last, almost pimp spot. Someone must like her. She gets "Yesterday" and I have to wonder who lost the bet, or who Syesha did to get that song. Why didn't Brooke sing that? So Syesha is in "serious artist" mode because she's straightened her hair and is sitting down to sing. She's also wearing a dress that is pushing up her girls for all its worth. Taking a page from the Kristy Lee Cook/Haley Scarnato handbook. Good move, Syesha. Her version isn't bad, but I don't know . . . it feels rushed and a bit insincere. But maybe it's just me and I'm aggravated that they dragged this on for 2 hours. The judges, however, liked it because I guess that Syesha isn't due to leave yet. Simon tells her it's her best performance so far . . . which may not be saying much, since she was on the seal last week.
We go to Chekezie and he tells us in his interview that he didn't appreciate Ryan touching his face. I wouldn't either. Ryan got a little too Mr. Happy with Chekezie's kick ass performance this week. I have a feeling that Chekezie will be watching his face (and ass) and staying somewhat safely away from Captain Seacrest. He has picked "I Just Saw a Face" and hopes that lightening will strike twice and he tries to mix both soulful singing and a bit bluegrass in there. He also informs us that since everyone else appears to be playing an instrument, he will too, although he doesn't know how. Uh oh. That may be a bad move. Just concentrate on avoiding Captain Seacrest, Chekezie. He doesn't take my advice and comes out, with a harmonica! Really. It's not terrible but Simon, his PMS flaring, is sure to attack that choice. I thought Chekezie's voice was pretty good and he seems to be having a good time (unlike some people) up there and he's certainly not dull, so he should be safe.
Ramiele gets the total pimp spot, probably because she put half the American population to sleep last week. She has chosen "I Should Have Known Better" and I'm waiting for the peppy performance I know can come out of her little body. And yeah, I'm still waiting. This was the pimp spot? I know this girl can sing so why doesn't she come out with it? And her stage presence is nil. She really needs to get her "best friend" Danny Noriega to provide her with tips on how to come alive on the stage. Otherwise, she's dead in the water.

Overall, it was a big bunch of meh. David C. had the best performance of the night overall, IMO. Kristy was boring, so her time might be up. Ryan was seriously annoying with his blatant product placement of the Apple iPhone and Coke. Whatever. Bring on the seal and let's send someone home!

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