March 4, 2009

American Idol Group 3: Alex Wagner-Trugman is All Kinds of Awesome But the Judges Love Lil Rounds

Either Idol saved the best for Group 3 or the suckage was on such an even playing field that I couldn't pick up on that. Anyhow, it seems that there was more talent or possible talent in Group 3, which means that there will be a lot more deserving people getting screwed over tonight! Let the fun begin!

The judges are back to their usual positions at the Table of Righteousness, with (from left) Randy, Kara, Paula and Simon.

We see the Chosen 6 so far on the Safety Seats next to the stage - - Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver, Danny Gokey, Horrendous Allison, Kris Allen and Adam Fucking Lambert. Awesome!

Idol does the usual intro of the contestants on the stairs, showing us the order they will sing in. As predicted, the hyped-to-the-gills Lil Rounds gets the Pimp Spot. That is a dead giveaway that Lil could come out and do Sanjaya singing The Kinks and she will still make the Top 3. This show is such bullshit but I will continue to watch it because deep down, I am a glutton for punishment.

Von Smith gets the Kiss of Death first slot and he obviously took the judges' advice from Hollywood when they told him to please quit shouting because he's toned it down rather nicely. Part of me really wants Von to make the Top 12 just because his stage parents annoy the crap out of me. I really don't want to think of Von getting yelled at for not becoming the next . . . Amerrrriiiiicaaaan . . . IDOL! So . . . Von sings a little Marvin Gaye (love Marvin Gaye!) to start off the show - - "You're All I Need to Get By" and he's really pretty good. Particularly for someone who has to kick off the show. The judges all like his performance. Kara thinks he's coming into his own and it's all about meaning. Paula believes Von is quite a showman. I can't remember what Randy said so it was probably something irrelevant and borderline retarded. Simon snarks on Von's attire. Not sure why, exactly. He's wearing a casual jacket and slacks with a t-shirt, I think. Certainly a better choice than Headband Wearing Nathaniel's red pants from Hollywood Week or Norman/Nick's shiny shirt. Simon also compares Von to Clay Aiken. Not sure the Clay Aiken comparison should be taken as a compliment or an insult. I'm not sure if Simon knows that either. Von actually seems terrified at the thought of being compared to Aiken and this incredibly uncomfortable silence seems to take over. I'm sure Von is probably wondering what to do - - be insulted at being compared to Aiken, worrying that he may be alienating any fan base he has or taking it as a compliment since Aiken is a household name and he's made the cover of People, after all. Seacrest is probably digging the comparison and thinking about asking for Von's number later.

Taylor Somebody or the Other who I honestly do not remember at all from a place called Hurricane, Utah - - really, Hurricane. Which makes no sense when you think about it because can Utah even see a hurricane, like, ever? Isn't it fairly well insulated from any ocean? So Hurricane Taylor is singing Alicia Keys. This is extremely shallow and mean girl of me but when they show her initial audition in flashback (obviously because I am not the only one who cannot remember half these contestants) I find myself thinking "Seventeen? She's only seventeen?" Is she a member of the Lohan School of Aging, because she is one of the oldest looking seventeen year olds on record. Not exactly like Ali Lohan, because Ali is fifteen and girl looks 40 if she is a day and I mean that as no insult to anyone who is 40 because there is absolutely nothing wrong with 40, but really should anyone look 25 years older than they are? Anyhow, back to Hurricane Taylor. She is wearing what looks to be a jazzed up Hefty bag or maybe a potato sack over leggings. They are all in black though - - slimming. So Taylor does okay - - nothing spectacular or nothing craptacular. She does get pretty breathy though. Which, in Idol terms, means she's shark bait. She begins crying before any critiques start. What the hell is that? There is no crying on Idol! Unless you're Danny Gokey, of course, and crying about your poor, dead wife. Okay, that was cold. I'll stop. Paula complains that Taylor sang this song during Hollywood Week (not that any of us saw that) and she really wishes that Taylor would have chosen something different so the judges could see a different side to her. Once again, here we go with the Idol hypocrisy because how many other contestants have sang the same song because they were successful with it? Kara makes a totally ridiculous comment about wanting to know more about Taylor as an artist (I want to know where you fit in, as a singer - trademark Kara) and maybe going shopping would help? Hey, Kara, you put this girl through so didn't you have any idea before then? Simon contemplates what type of breakfast cereal Taylor likes, a somewhat relevant remark given Kara's comment about shopping with Taylor, and Seacrest is probably still trying to get Von's number.

Alex Wagner-Trugman and is next and I love this guy. Absolutely love this guy. First off, he has the name of a Microsoft executive and not an American Idol. Love. Secondly, he is a flat out nerd and he owns that shit! He embraces his nerdacy and even tells Seacrest on the Confessional Couch that he read about himself on the internet, found out that he is universally considered a geek and has started going to the gym to pump up, like Simon. Seacrest offers to spot him and I'm thinking, yeah, Ryan is quite the horndog tonight. Down, boy. So Alex W-T is singing Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues". I am a huge Elton John fan. I love his stuff, all of it. 70s or 80s. Doesn't matter. That shit just makes me feel good. Randy told Alex W-T that he had a Joe Cocker vibe during his audition and apparently Alex W-T has decided to run with it because what he does to "Blues" . . . well, there are no words. It is delightfully mindblowing in a truly over the top way. He gyrates and moves around the stage and growls like Seacrest only wishes he could do to Simon, I'm sure. Alex W-T ends his glory note on a high and even knocks over the mic stand for good measure. God, I love Alex W-T. Kara tells Alex W-T that the positive is that Alex W-T does Alex W-T. Yeah, that doesn't make too much sense. Paula wants to pick up Alex W-T's choreographed moves. Nice try, sister. Don't even attempt to pull off Alex W-T's awesome awesomeness because you can't. Simon, predictably, bashes Alex W-T to the high heavens. He thinks Alex W-T is like a hamster trying to be a tiger. The audience boos and Simon gets on his Huffy bike and huffs "May I remind you on this show, we do not allow democracy!" Maybe that should be democrazy, as that is how I originally typed it. Simon also calls Alex W-T out on knocking over the mic stand and Alex W-T has to apologize no less than twice and insist it was an accident and not part of his amazingly awesome routine. Randy is an idiot and because he doesn't seem to have an original thought in his head, he pretty much repeats what Simon said, about Alex W-T knocking over the mic stand. He also says that Alex W-T is "buckwild" and "kinda crazy". Team Alex, fuck yeah! Do these judges not understand the level of Alex W-T's awesomeness and his buckwild kinda crazy is what makes him so freaking awesome? Seacrest comes out and to be a total tool, and since he can't very well High Five Alex W-T without Alex W-T noticing, he knocks over the mic stand and then offers to pay for that with his American Express. What I wouldn't give to see his American Express denied. Seacrest, DENIED! I totally think Alex W-T should get his own series because this dude is funny and completing entertaining. Way more interesting than some of the boiled asparagus sticks that have stood on this stage.

Arianna "Cute as a Button" Asfar is up next and she really resented being called "cute as a button", just so you know. She was thrilled that the judges did not mention her looks during Hollywood Week and she made it on her singing skills only. She is going to be singing ABBA's "Winner Takes it All". And yes, she's only 17 -- bless her heart, that's exactly why she is so offended at being labeled "cute". One day she will be happy to be called cute as a button. Trust me on this. That day is coming. I used to hate being told I looked so young. Now I get borderline postal when people don't think I look young. Ah, how the tables turn. So Arianna sings ABBA and it is one of the most depressing things ever. Maybe the arrangement is just dull but Arianna sounds like she's auditioning for Mrs. Gokey's funeral. Simon thinks so too. He basically chews her a new one for sounding so gloomy and not hitting the notes and trying to make the song bigger than it is. Kara does compliment her on being pretty and tells her to be young and to touch people, because that's what she does. I actually feel sorry for Arianna because she is totally and completely done. Arianna does try to defend herself by saying that she attempted to make the song "contemporary". Do they even have contemporary funerals? Paula doesn't think Arianna was gloomy, probably because there are no gloomy puppies and kitties and rainbows in Paula's world, but she does acknowledge that Arianna took certain "liberties" with the song. Kind of like Joe Francis took certain "liberties" with a video camera. Anyway . . . Paula tells Seacrest that Arianna is in the top 36 for a reason. Because apparently we are stupid enough to need to be spoon fed why Arianna is in the top 36.

Ju'Not Joyner is the next batter and he is singing "Hey There, Delilah". Ju'Not somewhat reminds me of Chikezie from last season and he apparently has a very cute little boy that made an appearance during his audition. Randy even says that the cute kid was why Ju'Not made it. Nice, Randy. Maybe you should up your meds for that Tourettes. I don't remember Ju'Not at all - - which is not surprising, really, given that I can't recall what I was doing this time yesterday - - but I think he gives a good, understated performance. Not put me to sleep or anything like that - - again, surprising, as I have taken an allergy pill that usually knocks me out -- but not something that sets my hormones screeching to phone home like Adam Fucking Lambert prancing around the stage. I do think Ju'Not has a nice voice and would be interested to see what else he could sing, if he should make it through. Lord, I sound like one of the judges now! Kara actually asks where Ju'Not's little boy is. Whatever, Kara! Do your job! She then tells Ju'Not that he was smooth and he should bust it out next time. I think Kara wants to bust it out on Ju'Not. Ju'Not stirs up some sympathy, albeit the TMI way, by mentioning he had to have a shot in his butt because of asthma problems related to the California smog. Seacrest tries to wax all sympathetic with Ju'Not but he's such a smiling Ken doll douche, it doesn't work.

Kristen McNamara, she of the purple streaked hair, is up next. She actually tells us, in her film confessional, that her stylist "accidentally" put purple streaks in her hair right before her audition. Whatever, Kristen! Totally don't believe you. Any stylist that "accidentally" put purple streaks in my hair would lose an eye. Just own up to the fact that you asked your stylist to put those stupid streaks there and the judges called you on it. Along with your horrible style. Kristen is singing Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason". I really like the song but I think Kristen's arrangement is all types of crappy. It's sped up, too fast in my amateur opinion, because one of the good things about the song is how sultry and sexy and yearning it is. Any faster and Kristen would sound like Alvin doing a Chipmunk Christmas. However, her voice isn't bad. Much richer than you would think. Her dress sense, however, is still dismal. Kristen, please fire Katie Holmes as your stylist. If you don't believe me, YouTube this - - Kristen looks as though she time traveled back to 1980 to knock Dolly Parton over the head and make off with one of her Doralee Rhodes outfits on the set of 9 to 5. I would never kid about matters this serious. Simon actually pulls a line out of Kara's playbook and complains that Kristen doesn't know who she is as an artist. Simon totally hates her.

Oh, good times. Headband Wearing Nathaniel is up next and I certainly hope he has popped a few Midol to keep his PMS-ing Drama Queen at bay, at least while he performs. HW Nathaniel is going to sing Meatloaf. Yes, Meatloaf. "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". Honestly, there are so many innuendos here I think I could make an entire post on just HW Nathaniel. So HW Nathaniel performs as expected - over the top and deliciously so. Unfortunately for HW Nathaniel, Adam Fucking Lambert has pretty much already sealed up the prancing queen lock. So Kara apparently dug his performance enough to declare HW Nathaniel her karaoke buddy. Huh? Maybe Kara has been drinking from Paula's cup. Paula declares herself a big fan of Meat-loof although HW Nathaniel's version is more "Boy George". No slight of hand there. Randy thinks HW Nathaniel borrowed his headband from Elton John. Randy is an idiot. Elton John was all into glitter, sequins, feathers and big glasses. Obviously HW Nathaniel went shopping with Norman/Nick to acquire that Olivia Newton-John-esque look. Simon tells us that we can't take HW Nathaniel seriously. Really? Simon must think we're all operating on Paula and Randy's level. Randy questions what kind of record HW Nathaniel would make. "A fun one!" says HW Nathaniel. Gotta love that. Simon thinks HW Nathaniel is cut out for a fitness video. Hey, Richard Simmons will eventually need a replacement. Paula begins discussing the relevance of HW Nathaniel's performance of "Disturbia" during Hollywood Week and Simon interrupts because Paula's Vicodin with a Vodka chaser is obviously kicking in. Poor HW Nathaniel is stuck standing on the stage, looking confused and bereft while Seacrest does a lame ass job of "interviewing" HW Nathaniel's grandma before returning to the stage and attempting to get HW Nathaniel to sit in Simon's lap.

Felicia Barton is next and if you don't remember her it's because she's totally Plan B after the Pacitti blunder. She's a stay at home mom -- what is with all the single moms and kids on the show this year? They show her audition because, well, no one remembers her and even show her getting pink slipped during The Final Elimination at the Judges' (Not) Mansion. Then they say she got a call to come back but with absolutely no back story about how Pacitti, despite fucking up her audition, fucking up Hollywood Week and fucking up in general, got put through then got the boot once her "close association" with Idol producers was known. Way to pussyfoot around the issue, Idol. So Plan B is singing Alicia Keyes also and she does do a better job than Hurricane Taylor. She's sort of like the female Ju'Not for me though - -nobody hit her with the tone deaf stick but I don't know that her performance is so memorable that she'll get votes. Paula thinks she will - - she hopes to see her next week, and the week after and the week after . . . and so on . . . and so on . . . and so on . . . Anyone else remember those shampoo commercials? Anyhow, Simon thought it was pretty good if not all that original. Hmm, maybe like Idol? Kara thinks she has a kick ass attitude and Randy, once again, mimics Simon.

Scott is up next and I don't remember his last name but Scott's blind in case you didn't know. I'm not going to snark much on him because, well, I would totally vote for him because he's blind and I totally cry during Michael Landon television shows and animal movies and will totally cry if Scott makes the Top 12 because that's the kind of mushy person that I am and I always try to hide it with biting snark and smartassery. Scott is singing "Mandolin Rain" which is honestly a good choice for him. He doesn't have the strongest voice and he's not allowed to use his keyboards (yet). I do admit that I was curious whether or not his brother would be allowed to accompany him on stage because God knows Seacrest wouldn't keep him from falling off -- after all, he's the douchebag who attempted to High Five him after the auditions. God, what a moron. The judges give Scott a plethora of praise - - which, okay, is mainly because of the obstacles he had to overcome just to be there, much less learn the piano. Kara tells Scott that she wants America to see him when he plays and sings - - because that's when we will really see Scott. Damn, was she spoofing Seacrest or is that asshattery intentional? Let's see, how many times can we mention "see" during our evaluation? Gah. I do agree with the assessment that Scott sings from the heart. Simon tells him that he should basically coast into the next round which pretty much guarantees votes for Scott. Welcome to the Top 12! As an added bonus, when Seacrest joins Scott on stage, Scott holds his hand up and asks Seacrest to High Five him. God, but you have to love that! Seacrest also offers to describe Simon to Scott in the future. Whatever, Seacrest. I would love to see someone describe you to Scott. If Scott can understand what the effect would be if Ken Doll and Gumby had a baby, he would understand Seacrest.

Kendall Beard is from Texas but auditioned in Puerto Rico because she had to fly somewhere to audition and it might as well have been somewhere cool! Idol also shows us Kendall's dad doing something weird and totally embarrassing called the Alligator after she made it. God help us if he does this on the Idol stage. Kendall is country through and through and she's going to be singing Martina McBride. I know I will already either hate her or be totally indifferent because country music to me is like expecting my lady parts to react (favorably) to Tom Cruise. Does. Not. Compute. So at this part, before Kendall even really opens her mouth it seems like the show is interminably long. Is it just me? So Kendall's performance is okay, I guess. I just don't really get the country thing. Kendall is cute though and her dress is cute in a pageanty-ish kind of way. Shout out to Kendall's mom, who dressed her. I should really hate Kendall because I tried on a bubble hem dress last year and I looked like a daschund who had been stuffed into a cutesy itty bitty sweater that was about three sizes too small. But I think Kendall is probably one of those people that likes everyone and is so annoying nice that you can only dislike her for being nice, not because she's pretty and cute and tiny and can wear things only models can wear. Or that she's a flat out bitch. Anyhow, I totally see Kendall back in Texas and lounging around the country club, having a martini, while her husband and Daddy play golf. Kara thinks Kendall's performance was a bit flat. Simon thinks crazier things have happened than Kendall getting through. Randy digs country music, dawg, and thinks Kendall made the right choice with what she has.

Jorge Nunez will be singing Elton John but has chosen "Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me". And I have to say, he delivers what is probably my favorite performance of the night. His voice is really good and as far as Idol performances go, this is near perfect. Way, way better than the tongue bath the judges gave Screechy, Horrendous Allison last week. My throat still hurts from contemplating an imitation of that hot mess. Kara and Paula are obviously madly in love or lust with Jorge and think it's so cute that Jorge speaks Spanish. A lot of the population do, ladies. It's a fact. Look it up. Apparently they told Jorge in Hollywood to work with a dialect coach so he could lose his Puerto Rican accent, which is so deragatory, really because did anyone tell Marc Anthony or Ricky Martin that? So now, of course, Simon says they were totally wrong and Jorge should let his Puerto Rican freak fly and proudly. Kara thinks Jorge was born to sing. Duh. What's next, Kara? Girls rule and boys drool? So Jorge gets teary and of course Kara with her newly dulled senses and Paula with her long alcohol-fueled senses think Jorge is the cutest thing and actually ask him to say something in Spanish. This reminds me of the bar scene in Love, Actually where Colin the tool goes to freaking Wisconsin, of all places, because he's certain that by going to America, he will get laid and a lot, and the girls there dig his British accent so much, they ask him to say random things just to hear his British accent. Jorge tells Seacrest that when he gets emotional and excited, he can't think straight in English and everything comes to him in Spanish and so he lets the Spanish fly. Pun totally intended.

Lil Rounds gets the total Pimp Spot as clean up batter and as I said before, she could totally come out, balance on her head, fart the theme to Miami Vice and Randy, at the very least, would say she had mad singing, out of the box, dawg. So we see Lil with her kids and blah, blah, blah, better life, blah, blah, blah. I have no explanation for my irrational dislike of her, other than whenever Idol wants to totally pimp someone out, I have no use for them. I love the underdog. I love Anoop and I love Alex W-T. There is absolutely no way that Lil Rounds - - which sounds like a ridiculous rapper name, if ever there was one - - will ever, ever equal up to their blinding awesomeness. So Lil Round Rapper is going to be singing Mary J. Blige because of her kids and I'm sure there is some kind of relevance there somewhere but I have no idea what it is. And it's okay, dawg, I mean, nothing phenomenal. As I called it, certainly no Alex W-T or Anoop. Not even Jorge Nunez, in my opinion. Of course, this means the judges will practically have seizures atop the Table of Righteousness to praise the glory that can only be Lil Round Rapper. Simon calls her performance "brilliant" which is really taking liberties, to give a shout out to Paula back when Arianna was on stage. He says she is the best by a mile and will undoubtedly be moving forward although her voice is too much like Mary J.'s. Randy repeats Simon pretty much word for word because he didn't get the script for this week, other than he is supposed to give Lil Round Rapper a thorough tongue bath. Paula believes Lil will be returning for many more "lil rounds". Ugh. Just hand her the fucking title already. It's pretty obvious that TPTB want Lil Round Rapper to face off against Danny Power of God Gokey.

This one is much harder to call. It's fairly clear that the groups were not divided at random. I'd like to see Lil Round Rapper go up against Alexis Grace and see who got the votes. I'm betting on the little pink haired lady. Anyhow . . . you'd have to be . . . well, Randy or Paula to not see who the female vote is going to be. Lil Round Rapper has this one locked up. And I'm betting that Scott will get the male vote. So who will be the next in line? I don't think it will be a female because, to be honest, the girls have frankly sucked so far this season. I think it will be either Jorge or Ju'Not, with Von being a total wildcard. I wish for Alex W-T but I'm afraid it's not to be. If a female was to take the next position, I'd wish for Felicia since she annoys and aggravates me the least out of the females in this group. And I do think she has talent. And she totally took the place of Pacitti the Plant.

Here's hoping that in tonight's results show, Paula will be three sheets to the wind, Simon will be extra pissy, HW Nathaniel will ride off on his flashy Huffy bike with Seacrest, Alex W-T will be told he's getting his own show and next week's guest judge will be none other than Gregory House, M.D., to lay down the shit as it is!

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