April 16, 2008

American Idol: Tears, Eyefucking and Luaus

I've never been a fan of Mariah Carey's so I was dreading these performances. Well, that and the absence of Michael Johns.

Anyhow, I will (wo)man up and admit that I actually liked Mariah last night. I feel like I should be hiding my head in shame, even typing this. Actually, this is a repeat of last season when I didn't particularly care for Jennifer Lopez until she mentored the Idols and then I gained a new respect for her. Same with Mariah, surprisingly. She seemed genuinely interested in hearing what the Idols had to say and in giving them helpful, constructive advice. Unlike past mentors. (Looking at you, Gwen Stefani).

Sure, Mariah did show up with her ever-present dog and she was wearing a super tight outfit that showed off her cleavage. Can't expect a total change. But she didn't demonstrate diva-like behavior, so I was pleasantly surprised.

That being said, The Chosen One got the craptastic first slot. Probably TPTB's attempt to "prove" that it wasn't the first slot that did Michael in last week. Sure. Prove to me that TPTB didn't tweak the vote results and then I'll be impressed.

Anyhow, Davey is actually wearing leather pants! I do think it's an improvement over the Alex P. Keaton attire he is normally sporting. I'm sure the tweens are losing their hormonally whacked minds right now. He sings "When You Believe" and it's a good performance but it's really same old same old for the most part. I know he's just a kid and all (he's ONLY SEVENTEEN!) but can he maybe change it up a bit? Can he come out and rock the house? So naturally the judges are peeing themselves in excitement over the admiration of Davey's performance. Good, but I'm not blown away and I'm certainly not peeing myself.

Carly is up next and seeing as how she has the second spot, she had better bring it or she's in the Bottom Three. Don't even need to hear her sing in order to base my assumptions. Yep, I'm that confident and sure of myself. So she has chosen "Without You" which she will sing after her little one-on-one session with the Duchess of Doucheyness, who will always be a tool in my book after that cruel and heartless snarky way to send Michael home last week. The Duchess brings up Michael's exit last week and Carly goes on and on and on about how shocking it was and how much everyone misses "MJ" and his goofiness. Between that and the fact that Carly is wearing sleeves to hide that godawful Amy Winehouse-ish tattoo, my guess would be that she is desperately trying to get on the voting public's good side. Her performance is okay. Or, as Randy would say, it's "aaa-ight". I'm not mad at her or anything for her performance, but I still don't like her. I think she's holding back in parts where she should be letting go and I still think she looks like she wants to cut my throat when she's hitting those power notes. The judges are fairly unimpressed; Randy didn't like the beginning and Simon thinks she is still putting way too much thought into every aspect of her performance, rather than trusting herself and just letting go. I think girlfriend is in trouble.

Syesha follows and I do have to say that she looks very, very pretty. And cold, of course. She has decided to sing "Vanishing" and despite the fact that I don't want to like her, I think she gave a great performance. Much, much better than Carly and even better and better suited to her than The Chosen One's performance. Go figure. Randy has to chime in with his usual spiel about how it was pitchy in a few places and it was just okay. Obviously Randy does not want Syesha to win. Insert Syesha bitchface here. Paula tells her it was great and she looks lovely. The judges seemed to have a problem with Syesha picking a fairly unknown Mariah song and think that will hurt her. Hmmm. I actually think this might be her best performance but because her personality isn't that great, she may be in the Bottom Three.

Brooke and her beautifully curly, wavy hair are singing "Hero" at the piano. I actually think she sounded better in her clip with Mariah, where she accompanied herself on the guitar, but potato, potahto. Overall, I think she did a fairly good job, given that her style is diametrically opposed to Mariah's. At the end, however, she seemed to be coming unglued. She was very shaky, looked like she was going to burst into tears and sped up the tempo way too fast.

The indestructible Kristy Lee Cook took the Galactica stage next and, dare I say it, she was actually pretty good - - although I don't think the judges will like her no matter what she does. She chose "Forever", Mariah told her it was an obscure song but then also mentioned that Kristy's interpretation gave her goosebumps. Such an admission, along with Kristy's thrill and mentioning it in her on-camera interview, guarantees that Simon won't like it. Am I wrong? Nope! Simon thought it was serviceable, passable, but not great. She did country fry it a bit, but Paula thought she could have a country-western hit with it. Randy didn't think it was amazing, but thought she stepped it up by the end.

David Cook is next and God help me, but he's bringing the sex. Holy cow. Maybe it's because Hot Michael is gone and that position is vacant. No clue. Anyhow, he chose "Always Be My Baby". Really? Don't know the song but it certainly doesn't sound like it would be up David's alley. His little bit with Mariah has me nervous - - he brings his guitar and it sounds okay, but nothing spectacular. I'd be wrong. On stage, David BRINGS IT. His version is all kinds of hotness. Of course I could be mistaken because David is busy eyefucking the camera and it's really distracting me. Joy, the eyefucking is back! I think his performance is stellar and far and away the best of the night. The judges agree. Randy stands for a performance for the first time this season and tells Cookie that more than any other contestant, David is ready to make an album. Right now. Paula is so thrilled she really doesn't know what to say other than "you're the whole package". At least she didn't tell him he was all shades of the rainbow. Simon begins by telling Cookie "it was like coming out of karaoke hell . . ." (insert voracious boos from the audience here, along with Cookie's surprised expression) ". . . into a breath of fresh air. It was original, it was daring and it stood out. This is the sign of a great potential artist, someone who takes risks." (This despite the fact that he gave Syesha grief for taking the risk of choosing a fairly unknown Mariah song. That Simon.) Whoo-hoo! Go, Cookie! Cookie is so relieved and emotional that he begins tearing up on the stage. Damn, Idol! I too must reach for my tissues and for the phone so that I can begin mad-repeat voting for Cookie. The camera quickly pans to Cookie's brother in the audience, in case we haven't teared up enough. Talk about pulling the heartstrings.

Jason gets the pimptastic last performance and I am worried that he may not be able to bring it, particularly with a Mariah Carey song. This must be the night to prove me wrong because I have all kinds of Jason love after that song. He sings "I Don't Want to Cry", very minimally, with no instrument, depending on the band. I really, really dig it. It has a type of Bob Marley-esque edge to it, making it very listenable (is that a word?) I am curious as to how the judges will react, seeing as how when he sang "Travelin' Thru" during Dolly week, the judges were not digging it. Randy compared his performance to a weird beach luau, which Paula quickly dismisses, telling Jason that she'd want to be invited to that party, listening to him all the time. Simon, very, very surprisingly, tells Jason that he must agree with PAULA!! He praises Jason for making the song his own, although he does say Jason didn't have the best vocals of the night. He also points out that the guys ruled Mariah Carey night, far and away over the girls.

Can't disagree with that.

As far as who is going home, it is definitely a girl. My guess is that Kristy will survive the assassination attempts yet again to live another week. I think the Bottom Three will be Carly, Syesha and Brooke, with a toss up as to who will depart - - but probably Syesha or Brooke.

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