Posts Tagged ‘Crystal Bowersox’

American Idol Wrap Up 4/20/10

April 21, 2010

There are three words I dread hearing at the beginning of every show: Inspirational Songs Night. I thought maybe they wouldn’t go there this year. I mean, is it really necessary? But there it was. Well, it must be working, because I have been inspired to open a beer. And the guest mentor is Alicia Keyes – love her. Maybe it won’t be so bad after all. And here we go…

Casey: Casey sang “Don’t Stop.” No, on second thought, feel free to stop. It’s the same problem almost every week, and he’s not getting it. Yes, you’re good, but there’s nothing outstanding about the performance, and nothing I couldn’t see any Saturday night at a local bar. And once again the guitar playing was more impressive than the vocal (and by the way, Casey, it is in fact a vocal competition). I will say this, when the hair is pulled back, he’s kind of hot. Randy said we see the same thing every week and he needs something different. (That’s what I said too, dawg!) Ellen said it was good but not great. Kara said she’s frustrated, although she didn’t specify whether that was related to the performance or the fact that he doesn’t seem interested in her overt cougar-esque advances. Simon thought it was a lazy song choice. Bottom line: On a scale of 1 to 10, my inspiration meter reads about a 4 or 5 (3 if the hair had been down).

Lee: He sang “The Boxer” and did a good, solid job. I really do like Lee, but I was very distracted by the spit strings in his mouth. Eww. Zoom out, cameraman, zoom OUT!  Randy said he was going to have a big career. Ellen said we’re seeing so much soul and depth. Kara said he should keep picking songs he feels connected to. Simon said it was sincere and emotional, and brilliant. Bottom line: The song at least didn’t make me gag, but the spittle sure did. I’ll still give him an 8.  

Back from break and Ryan welcomes Captain Sully to the show – and it looks like they gave him really crappy seats. So much for heroes and inspiration. And why are Simon and Kara dressed alike? Weird.

Tim: So Tim and his hair sang “Better Days,“ and I’ll give him credit for another good song choice – one with limited range to mask the fact that he doesn’t actually have much of a range. And although I make fun of “Inspirational Songs” night, I will begrudgingly admit that l was truly inspired. Seeing that playful mop top again inspired me to log on to Petfinder and adopt a Lhasa Apso. I shall name her Tim and groom her obsessively. Anyway, Randy said the performance just laid there and was just okay. Ellen didn’t like the soup. Kara said it wasn’t his best. Simon said it was a little bit of a letdown. Ryan said at least he was a cool soup, such as gazpacho. Uh huh. I think the problem, Tim, is that you’re really just broth. Bottom line: This soup talk has inspired me to get a snack to go with my beer. And you have inspired me to never eat gazpacho again.

I must admit, the song choices haven’t been too saccharine thus far and inspirational songs night hasn’t made me gag yet like it usually does. (Cue the squeaky clean elf.) Oh right, Aaron is up…

Aaron: “I Believe I Can Fly” (This one’s for you Captain Sully!) So in the intro video, Alicia politely warns that some people might think this “inspirational” song is overkill. (BINGO! Circle gets a square. And I’ll take Shari Lewis and Lambchop for the win!) Ugh. He does have a great voice, but the song just made me want to reverse digest. Randy said he did a good job with such a giant song. Ellen said he handled a tough song really well. Kara said he got there. Simon said he’d have turned it off if he’d heard it on the radio. Bottom line: I want to vomit cotton candy.

Siobhan:  She sang “When You Believe,” and was bold to take on Mariah because the judges seem to hate that. I thought she was vocally very strong, and did it well. The outfit is CRAZY. And the cast of “Fringe” is in the audience again. Oh no, those are her friends. Hmmm.  Randy said it was just okay. Ellen disagreed. Kara said it felt dramatic and doesn’t know who she is. Simon said it was all over the place. I have to say that I like Siobhan’s response about how she didn’t want to be scared away from singing it just because of who it was by. Rock on, Madame Butterfly.  Bottom line: Well, you’re wooden shoes inspired me to book a trip to Holland. The thing in your hair inspired me to adopt a porcupine. And your outfit inspired me to buy a bug zapper (I like butterflies, but not when they attack). Bzzt.

Michael: Big Mike sang “Hero.” It was good, but I’m not jumping out of my seat. Randy said it worked out. Ellen thought he did a great job. Kara said, “You don’t have the tone for that voice.” Huh? Then she ended her “inspirational” feedback with a shrug as she squeaked, “Sorry, oops.” What a pro. Simon thought he sang it pretty well, but was bothered by the fact he sang a song about Spiderman. He’s right. The dark outfit is much better suited for dunanunanunanuna,  dunanunanunanuna, BATMAN! Bottom line:  I’ll give it a 6.7 (“sorry, oops”).

Crystal: She sang “People Get Ready.“ What the hell is with that microphone stand? What is that? A floor lamp? With a spittoon? Lee, I’m pretty sure that’s for you. She really lets loose with the vocal and, surprisingly, gets very emotional at the end of the song. Hold it together, sister. It ain’t Rolling Stones week again, so cool it with the “19th Nervous Breakdown” shtick. Randy gave her a standing O. Ellen said it was so beautiful. Kara started speaking and my DVR cut off (presumably because the programming ran a bit late, but I wonder if that machine just can’t take Kara anymore either). So I didn’t get to see what Kara said, but I’m guessing it was something annoying. And I’m guessing Simon loved it and somehow took credit for it. Bottom line: That was so good I could spit.

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American Idol Wrap Up 4/13/10

April 14, 2010

And then there were nine… again. Yes, BIG news – the Judges’ Save was employed last week to the benefit of Big Mike. Whoop dee do. I agree that he was more deserving of another week than others, but honestly I just want this season to end. Sigh. So, the theme of the week is Elvis songs, and being that Elvis is, shall we say, permanently and profoundly unavailable, the mentoring duties fell to Adam Lambert. Not sure how they connected the dots on that one, but here he is, so welcome back Adam.

Well, you know it’s going to be an interesting show when Ryan’s opening chat with Adam results in Ryan uttering the following: “My tongue is not nearly as talented as yours.” Super. Moving on…

Crystal: Crystal opened the show with “Saved,” and it had a nice bluesy vibe. It was predictably solid with her signature strong vocal. Randy said it was dope and he loved it. Ellen said she’s tired of telling her how great she is. Kara, who is dressed in fatigues (?), said Crystal did some really good things tonight. Simon said it was original and she sounded great. Bottom line: Elvis week…another item checked of the “To Do” list. See you next week.

Side note: As we cut to break, Ryan announces that Andrew is up next, and we see Andrew on deck, hamming for the camera as he simulates picking his nose. What the f*ing crap? I am officially grossed out.

Andrew: Back from break, with all orifices presumably clear, Andrew sang “Hound Dog.” It’s kind of blah. Dumb, dumb song choice. Again, his voice sounds good and I love his tone, but the performance is just kind of lying there, like Ryan’s tongue. Randy said it was bad karaoke. Ellen liked it a lot. Kara said he didn’t own it. Simon thought it was lazy and his coolness has been sucked out. Bottom line: Maybe you should dig around up there for some votes, ‘cause you ain’t getting mine. 

Tim: He sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and did it respectably. Regardless of its “okay-ness” he just does not belong at this level. It sounded pretty, in a very high school talent show kind of way, but he didn’t show much range. What is going on in the background? Ryan is slow dancing with some burly man (later he indicates it was Michael Sarver – what?!?). Has he been huffing his hair products tonight? So strange. Back to Tim…Randy said he actually liked it. Ellen really enjoyed it. Kara said it was her favorite Tim performance ever. Simon said he went from zero to hero. Easy there judges, it really wasn’t that good. Bottom line: Let’s recap so far – Andrew has his finger up his nose, Ryan has his head up his ass, and Tim has the judges in his pocket. I give up.

Lee: He sang “A Little Less Conversation” and did a very good job. Thank you, Lee, for restoring some order to the universe. Randy said he was in the zone. Ellen said he was getting better and better. Kara said he really went for it. Simon said it was on the money. Bottom line: Phew. We’re back on track.

Aaron: He sang “Blue Suede Shoes” and again I hated the song choice for him. It was too quintessential Elvis (same problem with “Hound Dog”) – something more obscure would have suited him better. Yes, his voice is great – pure and natural – but the song doesn’t fit. And tiny little Aaron grooving around the stage with Elvis-like swagger? Sweetie, you look like something Elvis could’ve coughed up after a bender. Please don’t attempt that again. Randy liked part of it. Ellen thought he did a good job, but didn’t get all the way there. Kara liked seeing him out of his comfort zone. Simon said it was an old fashioned song. Well, duh. The theme of the week is Elvis songs, and Elvis has been dead for over 30 years, so do the math. Wouldn’t that make all of his songs “old fashioned” by definition? Whatever. Bottom line: Nice kid. Talented. But not a rock star. I have three words for you Aaron: Disney On Ice.

Siobhan: Siobhan sang “Suspicious Minds.” Ok, so yes, great voice, great range, but over the top. She seems to be hitting those big notes just for the sake of hitting them, not because they add something. I don’t know what to do with her. Randy loved the second half of the performance. Ellen said she had a beautiful voice. Kara said Siobhan has two voices and it’s confusing. (Oh no, and it’s a double elimination this week, so maybe both of her will go!). Simon said it was erratic and she has lost who she was two weeks ago. Siobhan said she’s never been able to label herself and doesn’t want to. Bottom line: Ok, don’t label yourself. But you’d best perform better, or you’ll at least have to label your luggage.

Side note: So after break, Ryan announces that next week is “Idol Gives Back” and there will be two venues. The other one will be hosted by Brian Dunkleman – no he’s kidding, it’s Queen Latifah, but a low blow, Ryan. Brian Dunkleman. Remember him? He was Ryan’s co-host when idol first launched, but left after season one. Yes, a cataclysmic career decision (think Shelley Long leaving “Cheers”). Other than turning up on “Celebrity Fit Club” a few years back (no, really, it’s not a joke – he truly was on that show), his career has been silent. Way to kick a guy when he’s down. That was just mean, Ryan. Back to the show…

Michael: He sang “In the Ghetto.” What a happy, happy song. He did a nice version and his voice sounded, well, pretty. Randy said the vocals were hot. Ellen was glad they saved him. Kara thought he sang it well. Simon said it was one of his favorites. Bottom line: It should be enough to get him out of the voting ghetto.

Katie: She sang “Baby What You Want Me to Do.” Sigh. Here’s my problem with Katie – great voice, but not ready to be a rock star. I feel like she’s playing a part in a school play, strutting around with the leather pants, when really she’s just a kid who needs to bank a little more life experience before she can pull off these growling and prowling performances. Randy said nice vocals, Ellen said it was “horny” and great. Kara said she, “showed us judges.” Simon didn’t like the song. Bottom line: I don’t care either way.

Casey: Casey sang “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” I don’t know this song, but I thought he was good – a firm B+, anyway. And the hair is pulled back – thank you. Randy said it was solid, Ellen said it wasn’t as exciting as she’d like, Kara said he’s capable of more, Simon said it was a missed opportunity. Bottom line: I thought the judges were a little harsh. I think Tim and Andrew should be the castoffs this week, but again, I don’t really care anymore. I think I’d rather slow dance with Michael Sarver than suffer through another season of this tired show.

American Idol Wrap Up 4/6/10

April 7, 2010

First things first… apologies for last week. Yes, I bagged the blog. I had neither the time nor the energy. It happens. Actually, this season it happens every week, as I have grown weary of these judges and these alleged “best ever” contestants. Oh well. And we press on…

 So here we go. Cheesy introductions commence, along with the usual nonsense. Ryan announces that the theme will be Lennon/McCartney songs. What a rip off! No actual music mentor, just a videotaped message from Paul McCartney (who, by the way, seemed completely drunk).  Oh, come on! I like having a celebrity mentor who is actually there. I don’t know if you all realize this, but I am a celebrity whore. I am not ashamed to admit that I love celebrities. I like to read about them, I like to gossip about them, but more than anything I like to see them, if possible I like to touch them, and if given the opportunity, dammit I would lick them. There. I said it. So, in light of this information, you will understand why I feel cheated by the lack of a guest mentor. Can’t they get anyone to come to the show in person? I’ll take anyone – even Quentin Tarantino again. I feel cheated, and I type under protest. And just to add salt to the wound, since we don’t have any pre-performance footage to show where we see the contestant getting tips from the mentor, we instead have to suffer through cutesy intro videos that feature clips of the contestants “describing” each other. Whatever, here we go…

 Aaron: He’s first up with “The Long and Winding Road.” And what do the other contestants say about Aaron? Apparently they call him “Yoda” and turn everything he says into a Yoda-esque line, at which point we get to hear a bad Yoda impersonation from pretty much all of them. Boy, that’s not annoying at all. Anyway, the performance was pretty solid, but a little slow. Randy said it was sleepy. Ellen said it felt like a long and winding song. Kara (who is getting on my last nerve) said he needs to up the tempo. Simon asked him why he chose the song, and called him “sweetie.” Weird. Bottom line: Don’t worry sweetie, those tweenies will keep you on this road for at least another few weeks.

Katie: The cutesy behind-the-scenes scoop on Katie is that she’s like a kid sister and she loves to dance. Wow. That was the most riveting piece of journalism I’ve seen since we learned Aaron’s nickname is Yoda. We also learn that she has been inundated with prom invitations. Excellent. She sang “Let it Be” and did a good job. Her vocal was very solid. Randy said it was her best performance ever. Ellen said there’s no way she’ll be in the bottom three. Kara said she was blossoming. Simon said she followed his advice and leaned toward a country style, thus resulting in success. Side note: I HATE when they ask these kids (Aaron and Katie in particular) why they chose the song and what it means to them, and the kids try to give a meaningful response and end up saying something stupid like: I, uh, chose “The Long and Winding Road” because being on the show is like, uh, a long and winding road. Or: Umm, well, I chose “Let It Be” because I really just, umm, need to, like, let things go and just, you know, let it be. Oh for heaven’s sake. That is just useless. Moving on… Bottom line: Although she was really good tonight, she is a frequent bottom dweller, and I think her time could be up at any moment. The good news is that if she’s voted off, she’ll be able to, you know, just, umm, like, let it be.

 Andrew: According to the other contestants, Andrew is the life of the party. Oh what fun. It must be those Yoda impressions. Anyway, he sings “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Pay attention Katie – this is what the prom band will sound like. Not loving this one – and I really do like Andrew a lot. Randy thought it was solid but corny. Ellen loved it. Kara wants to see more. Simon said it was wedding-like and corny. He’s right. Too much back-up band. I think it would have been much more effective with just him and his guitar. And on a side note, Andrew’s hair is way too puffy. I think he’s trying to look taller, but it just looks stupid. Bottom line: He deserves another week, but he really needs to do more. If he puffed up his performance as much as the hair, I think we’d be on to something.

 Michael: Intro video: The others think he’s a big teddy bear, and he has an annoying way of entering a room. He basically bursts in and squeaks out a sort of high pitched “heeeeyaaahh” that makes him look and sound like Mike Tyson stepping on a tack. Boy, I’m so glad I learned that about him. Now I feel complete. Mike sang “Eleanor Rigby.” When it started I was afraid it would be a bit much with the staging and all the strings (self indulgent as Simon would say), but I thought he sang it quite well. Randy loved that he was “feeling himself.” Oh my, I once saw a guy on a subway doing that, but I’m pretty sure he got arrested for it. Ellen thought it was incredible. Kara thought it was “fire.” Simon thought it sounded like it belonged in a musical, and was over the top. Mike took the opportunity to compare pecs with Simon (whose “pecs” are quite vivid tonight under his thin little undershirt). Ick. Really, boys. Ick. Bottom Line: He had me at “heeeeyaaahh.”

 Crystal: So in the intro video we learn that they call her “mama sox,” because as Siobhan explains, “It’s not just because she literally is a mother, but…“ Ok, I totally thought Forrest was going to say, “because she also wears socks.” Didn’t you? Instead she said Crystal has a mothering personality. Fascinating. Crystal sang “Come Together.” Oddly enough, she was accompanied on stage by a fellow playing a didgeridoo. Yes, a didgeridoo – that’s Australian for “I think the cows ate chili for dinner.” Oh what a lovely sound. Gosh that’s soothing. She sounds great, but I think she forgot the lyrics for a second there. None of the judges point it out, though. They quite liked it overall. Bottom line: She picked the dumbest musical accompaniment ever, she forgot the words, and yet she still pulled it off. Now that’s talent.

Tim: So the others share that Tim smiles all the time. We know. We also see that he has Beatles style hair tonight. Uh, yuh. There’s a reason that look has been out of style for over 40 years – it’s ridiculous. He looks like there is a constant, steady current of air that blows his hair to the right all day long. Anyway, He sang “All My Loving” and surprisingly, his performance is not bad. Randy said Tim was in his own category (I think it’s called the “mediocre” category), and it was a good “Tim” performance. Ellen thought he did well. Kara liked the guitar. Simon said he was good, and takes criticism like a man. Bottom line: Keep smiling, Tim. The airline check-in people love that.

Casey: So, the others share that Casey has a big, loud laugh, and his hair is flowing and angelic. Yep. He sang “Jealous Guy” and gave a very emotional, stripped down performance. I HATE the hair down. Get yourself to the barber, Meg Ryan. Take Tim with you. Anyway, I thought this was a great night for Casey – I liked him more than ever. Randy dug it, Ellen was moved. Kara said he showed vulnerability, and generally seemed to enjoy hearing herself talk. Simon said it was the best performance of the night. Bottom line: He should sail on through, wind in his hair, laughing heartily all the way.

Siobhan: It is revealed in the intro video that the others think she’s weird, oh sorry – “unique.” Duh. She sang “Across the Universe” and was clearly very comfortable singing about her inter-planetary travels. In a shocking twist, there is no screaming tonight from Siobhan, which I was very pleased about. The outfit is “unique.” She looks like she’s the bride at roller derby wedding. Strange. Anyway, Randy said it was sleepy, but he liked the tender side. Ellen said she was special. Kara said it was very polite, and she’s trying to process it. Simon said she was unpredictable. Then Ryan brought some crazy stalker up from the audience to give Siobhan a hug. Super. Bottom line: She obviously has Earl the stalker’s vote, so she’ll be fine.

 Lee: We learn that Lee is a worry wart, and thinks he’s going to be voted off every week. Silly Lee, I think he’s confusing himself with Tim. He sang “Hey Jude.” And what’s this? At the end of the song, in what apparently is meant to be a big finale, out marches…a bagpiper? You cannot be serious. The one instrument that’s actually more grating than a didgeridoo. What the hell is going on here? This is apropos of NOTHING. Are they trying to show how artsy and creative they can be? Maybe next week someone could have a man dressed in lederhosen walk out in the middle of the song and start yelling: Riiiiiiicolaaaaaaa. Because that would really prove that we are in the presence of a deep and important artist. I like Lee, I really do, but I did not love this performance. And the bagpiper was completely nonsensical. Randy told Lee to believe. Ellen loved the bagpiper, and loved the performance. Kara said she was a fan. Simon said he didn’t know what they were drinking back at the house, and he wouldn’t have done that. Right on, Simon. Bottom line: Bag the bagpipes, ditch the didgeridoos, and just sing. If you do that, Lee, you might even stop worrying so much.

American Idol Wrap Up 3/23/10

March 24, 2010

Not a lot of time to do the re-cap this week, so I’ll have to make it quick. Here we go… So it’s the top eleven, the theme is “Top of the Billboard Chart” (which leaves the song choice wide open), and the musical mentor is the ubiquitous Miley Cyrus. Oh dear lord. Yes, I know she is quite accomplished for a seventeen-year-old, but shouldn’t there be a minimum age requirement for mentoring? And why is she dressed like a whore? Daisy Dukes? Really? Let’s move on…

Lee Dewyze: Lee sang “The Letter” with kind of a big band arrangement that I hated. Vocally he was pretty good. The judges were more impressed than I was. Randy said he knocked it out of the box. Ellen said he was her favorite pen. Kara said she never heard him sound better. Simon said it was corny and the song choice was bad. Bottom line: You want a letter? I’ll give you three: “B” for the vocals, “D” for song choice, “F” for arrangement. You’ve got to get your grades up, son, or the next letter you’ll be seeing will be the one indicating whether you’ll be sitting in a window or aisle seat.

Paige Miles: Paige sang “Against All Odds” and it was so off it was painful. Randy started by saying, “Yo man, yo, wow.” (And that never ends well.) He went on to say it was terrible. Ellen said at least she didn’t fall in those heels. Then she pulled a Paula by just telling her she looked beautiful and passing the critique to Kara. Kara said it may have been the worst vocal of the season (ouch). Simon said it was all over the place and she’s in serious trouble. Paige said she’s struggling with song choice. Oh, Paige, song choice is the least of your problems. Bottom line: You coming back to us would be against all odds indeed.

Tim Urban: Tim sang “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and gave one of the cheesiest performances of the season. Not even good cheese, but cheap, imitation, Velveeta grade cheese. And the slide? Is he stealing second? Stupid. I’ll give him this, though, I thought it was one of his better vocals. Randy said the vocals were boring. Ellen thought it was corny. Kara said he didn’t do much with the song. Simon said it was pointless and silly. Bottom line: You’re out!

Aaron Kelly: Aaron sang “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and gave a pretty strong vocal. He’s so gosh darn wholesome my blood sugar just spiked. Randy said he was a fan. Ellen loved the song choice, and thought it was amazing. Kara said it was good stuff. Simon said there was zero chance he would go home. Bottom line: Don’t worry about the elimination, you won’t miss a thing. 

Crystal Bowersox: Crystal sang “Me and Bobby McGee” and really did her thing with her earth mother vibe and easy guitar. I though it got a little screamy at one point, but overall rock solid. Randy said that’s what it’s about, and he’s so happy. Ellen thought it was great, but wants to see more connection. Kara wants to see her let go completely. Simon said she shouldn’t change anything. She pointed out the little area rug she performed on, which was a bit odd, but at least she didn’t try to slide onto it like it was home plate. Bottom line: The magic carpet ride continues.

Michael Lynche: Michael sang “When a Man Loves a Woman” and did a nice job with smooth sounding vocals. Randy loved it. Ditto for Ellen. Kara said it was a bit boring and lost her connection. Simon said he should have simplified it. Now that he mentions it, there is a bit much tonight in terms of instruments. Almost everyone seems to backed by an entire marching band, like they’re singing in the middle of a parade. I feel like a troop of Girl Scouts is going to march by at any moment. Bottom line: He should march on through to next week.

Andrew Garcia: Andrew sang “I Heard it Through Grapevine.” Is it me, or are these people choosing the weirdest songs this week? There must be thousands of great songs they could choose from, yet I feel someone played a practical joke and switched the “#1 Songs on Billboard” list with the “Most popular Bar Mitzvah Songs” list. The hair is too poofy, and he’s pacing around and pointing at audience members like an auctioneer. What are we bidding on? I’ll give you $25 to stop. That’s $25, do I hear $30? Ugh. Randy said, “Dawg, it wasn’t good, man.” Ellen said she loves him, but it wasn’t fantastic. Kara said she felt bad for him, and he was confused. Simon thought he sucked the soul out of the song, and maybe they overrated him early on. Bottom line: I had high hopes for Andrew, but he continues to disappoint. He might make it to next week, but unless he steps it up his music career is on the block. Going once, going twice…

Katie Stevens: Katie sang Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and did it respectably. Is she wearing suspenders? Oh Katie, did we learn nothing from the fashion failings of Mork from Ork? The vocal sounded a little off in some parts, but I think overall it was pretty good. Randy likes that she listens to their feedback. Ellen thought it was her best performance so far. Kara said she has mad pitch issues, but this is the type of song for her. Simon said something about being right, and thought it was a good performance. Bottom line: Should be good for another week. And if it doesn’t work out she could maybe be a fireman.

Casey James: Casey sang Huey Lewis’ “Power of Love.” Why? I don’t know. Again, of all the songs to choose from? I don’t get it. Casey tells Miley he’s a big fan of her dad’s. Really? Billy Ray Cyrus has a big fan? Who knew? I bet you could hold the fan club meeting in a phone booth, and still have room to bring in a sandwich platter. Anyway… Vocally it was good. Hate, hate, HATED the song choice. Randy gave him props, but didn’t like the song choice. Ellen also disliked the song choice, but liked him. Kara said he was ready to make an album. Simon said there was no effort or originality and also hated the song choice. Bottom line: Good enough to get through, but needs to explore the power of song choice.

Didi Benami: As an unfortunate omen, Didi sang “You’re No Good.” Ryan introduced her with an incorrect last name (Benimi). Also a bad sign. It was weird. Very cabaret. The good news is that she apparently won an Olympic gold medal, which she is wearing on her waist. Randy loved the idea of it, but she never quite hit the pitch right. Ellen didn’t get the song choice. Kara said it felt dramatic like she was playing a character. Simon said it was ironic she was singing “you’re no good” over and over. Bottom line: If I were you, I would sell my bling to “cash for gold,” change my last name to Benimi, and get out of town.

Siobhan Magnus: Siobhan sang “Superstition” and looked oddly like Sheena Easton. She has a great voice, but the gratuitous screaming is getting on my nerves. Randy said she was fearless. Ellen loves her. Kara said it wasn’t her best performance, but was still great. Simon said the screaming was getting old (told ya!), and she had to start pushing herself. Bottom line: She should go screaming on through to next week.

American Idol Wrap Up 3/16/10

March 17, 2010

Yes, yes, I know. I didn’t review the boys last week. Sorry. Occasionally I have a life. I did fast forward through it yesterday and I see that I missed very little in terms of performances. Is it me or did Lee, Alex, Tim, Andrew, and Casey basically give the same generic, lukewarm performance over and over again? I feel like I could have seen any of those acts at any Sheraton lounge on a Friday night. Not that I hang out in hotel lounges, as far as you know. Dammit, I’ve said too much. Aaron was blah, too. I actually kind of liked Todrick, and Michael was the best of the night. As for Simon and Kara, I see the spooning has escalated to heavy petting. Gross. And Kara’s crying? Here’s what I say to you, Kara: I knew Paula Abdul, Paula Abdul was a friend of mine, and you, sir, are no Paula Abdul.  

Anyway, as far as the eliminations go…  Katelyn, Todrick, Alex and Lilly. Disagree, to some extent, but I don’t think any of them would’ve gone the distance anyhow.

Now that we’re caught up, let’s get to the top twelve! Let’s check in with the judges… I see that after a brief foray into the sleazy world of v-necks, Randy is back to his trusty cardigan. And much to my surprise, Simon is showing solidarity by also sporting the cardigan (still sticking with the gray, though). Well good for you, boys. The vigil continues. They will not stop wearing cardigans until Mister Rogers is recognized as the fashion visionary he was (and a shout out to my boy, King Friday… HOLLLAAA). Ellen is two elbow patches short of looking exactly like an English professor I had in college. And Kara is, well… what is that on her chest? Oh, it’s a solar panel. Excellent, she’s trying to harness the sun’s energy to power her brain. We’ll see.   

So it’s Rolling Stones night – great selection for the kids, at least. And is there a better looking band than the Rolling Stones? I really should call Directv and cancel the high-def.  Here we go…

Michael:  Michael sang “Miss you” and did a solid job. He really shouldn’t dance. He dances like Re-run from What’s Happening. Ancient show, obscure reference, I know… but some of you out there will get it. Randy said, “Way to start the show baby.” Ellen said it was amazing. Kara really liked it, but spoke of Mick Jagger in only the past tense for some reason. He’s not dead, Kara, that’s just how he looks. Simon said it was kind of corny and desperate. And what is that odd moment when Ryan comes off the stage and bears down on Simon, causing Simon to back away? Really Simon? Yes, there’s nothing more intimidating than a 140-pound “game show host” bearing down on you with those manicured nails and perfectly plucked eyebrows. That’s hard core. Bottom line: See you next week, unless of course Ryan scares you away.  

Didi: She sang “Playing with Fire” and was pretty good – good song choice. I thought she was MUCH better  – not so shrill. Randy said she was on fire. Ellen liked it. Kara liked her intensity. Simon said it was solid, but not brilliant. Bottom line: Don’t know if that was too little too late. She may be “playing with fire” tonight, but tomorrow she may be playing the home version of the game.

Casey: (Side note… Is it me or does his mom look just like Kathy Griffin?) Casey sang “It’s All Over Now” and did a nice blues guitar sort of take on it. It was solid, but not spectacular. Randy loved it. Ellen though it was fantastic. Kara said he was a rock star. Simon said he didn’t do something incredible, and has to do more. Maybe Casey got her heart racing, or maybe that solar apparatus on Kara’s chest is only powering her boyhowdy, because she is all over Simon again, writhing in her shimmery frock, like a sea lion during mating season. I saw this same scene play out on Animal Planet, and it did not end well. Bottom line: Buckle your seatbelt. Your terrifying journey through Kara’s fantasies is not over yet.

Lacey: “Ruby Tuesday” is her song, and she’s good, but again, not fabulous. And she’s sort of dressed like a pirate. Randy said he was pleasantly surprised. Ellen was confused about when she was standing vs. sitting, and thinking it was not at the right times (I feel the same way during church).  Kara said she can do better. Simon said she was over-thinking the performance. Bottom line: I like her, but I can’t see her going much further.

Andrew:  Yeah, finally an interesting intro video. Andrew grew up in a tough, gang environment, and his dad thought he was going to be a custodian when he grew up. Okay, then. Andrew sang “Gimme Shelter.”  He still is not living up to expectations. Randy said it was pitchy everywhere. Ellen said it was his best performance yet. Kara didn’t really feel the connection and wanted intensity.  Simon said something didn’t quite connect. Bottom line: I still really like him, but unless he finds the right formula soon, I’m afraid he really will be a custodian.

Katey: As it turns out, Katey also grew up in a gang culture. Well, they call it a Homeowners’ Association, but it’s the same thing, really. Word on the street is that her family even served taco dip at a garden party once. Taco dip. It doesn’t get more gangsta than that in Connecticut.  Katey sang “Wild Horses” and actually sounded very good overall, I thought. The judges liked it for the most part, too. Bottom line: She’d better be back or her gang will come and get us! I’m not saying it will be a drive-by shooting necessarily, but I for one do not want to be the recipient of a sternly worded letter from the homeowners’ association.

Tim:  Tim’s enormous family is also a gang. When will this gang violence end?  Tim sang “Under My Thumb,” with sort of a reggae vibe. It was not great, and I’m afraid he just doesn’t have the voice.  Randy didn’t get it. Ellen said it didn’t wow her. Kara applauded him for doing something different, but agreed with the others. Simon said it was a crazy decision. Bottom line: Gang way! Time to go home.  

Siobhan:  She sang “Paint it Black” in a prom dress and combat boots. Yep. She took big vocal risks, which paid off. Randy said she brought the drama and it was hot. Ellen said she rose above. Kara had flashbacks of Adam Lambert. Simon said it was the standout performance of the night. Bottom line: Paint it safe.

Lee: Speaking of painting, Ryan quizzed Lee on his former job at a paint store. Ryan’s hard-hitting journalism pays off when we learn that “snugglepuss” is the name of a paint color in the purple family. Good work, Ryan. Somewhere Diane Sawyer is, well, not at all nervous. Lee sang “Beast of Burden” with a toned down, bluesy vibe. I liked it.  Randy thought it was dope. Ellen thought it was great, but expected more. Kara said he was growing the most. Simon likes him, but his personality doesn’t shine. Bottom line: Someone else is going to have to mix your gallon of snugglepuss, because Lee should be busy for at least another week.

Paige:  Paige sang “Honky Tonk Woman” and finally showed the power in her voice, but I didn’t care for the arrangement. Randy liked it. Ellen said she sounded great. Kara said she hit some big notes, and Paige is back. Simon said she did great, given that she struggled with laryngitis this week. Bottom line: She should have laryngitis every week; I thought it was one of her better vocals.

Aaron: (Side note in the intro video: Did anyone notice his mom’s name is Kelly Kelly? For real.) Anyway, he sang “Angie.” Nice voice, but dull performance.  The girls in the audience are screaming. Pipe down, tweenies. Even if you got him he’d have no idea what to do with you. Randy said he was born to sing and liked the tender moments. Ellen thought it was a great song choice. Kara said it was great. Simon said he chose the right song. Bottom line: I like him fine, but I’m not connecting. Maybe if he joined a gang… Can you imagine Aaron in a gang? Well, maybe a gang called the Snugglepusses (they’re starting a turf war with the Homeowners’ Association).

Crystal:  Crystal sang “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” I thought she was rock solid. Randy said it wasn’t his favorite, but he still loves her. Ellen told her to stop thinking. Kara said it was easy to watch. Simon said the song lacked drama, and Siobhan out-sang her tonight. Bottom line: Now SHE could be in a gang. She seems edgy. But for now I’ll settle for the “see you next week” gang.

American Idol Wrap Up 3/3/10

March 4, 2010

Okay, so it’s ladies night. Quick review of the judges… Randy continues to rock the cardigan, although this one has a strange little heart on it – and the heart has eyes, and it’s staring at me. Ellen once again has been rifling through Simon’s wardrobe and is wearing not only his itchy black sweater, but also his white dress shirt (accessorized with an ascot, naturally). Well that leaves Simon with some long underwear – gray of course – which should be worn only by elderly mountain men named Zeke. And Kara is wearing some weird scarf that looks like the track where you race those little Hot Wheels cars.  Oh, and a giant ring that may have come from the Paula Abdul collection. No, maybe it’s a stamp of some sort. Is she a notary? Yes, I think she must be. I’m sure that comes in handy when she has to notarize the legal documentation resulting from the various sexual harassment claims that are undoubtedly filed against her. Ryan correctly points out (as I did yesterday) that Kara has been overly affectionate with Simon – to which she plays dumb, but then engages in an uncomfortable come hither exchange that results in him declaring, “you want me,” and her not denying it. Ick.  Note that they continue to be all over each other throughout the show.

Crystal Bowersox: I am annoyed that they don’t tell us why she was in the hospital. I know it’s not my business, but my inner Mrs. Kravitz is DYING to know. Whatever. Intro video: Crystal has a twin brother. And carries trinkets for luck. Awesome. She’s also kind of funny and mocks Simon, which I like. She sings “As Long as I Can See the Light” and I think she’s great. Randy is up first and says something that is SO Paula it actually startles me: “To me, in life, truth is reality, right? But what I mean by that is you are the truth, you do what you do” (and then some other crap). What the hell are you saying Randy? Translation: he loved it. Ellen said it was pure, raw, natural talent. Kara said she recovered from last week’s performance of “You Oughta Know” (which, by the way, she never sang). Simon said they’ve got a serious artist here. And he is pimping her HARD. Bottom line: Give me an I.V. drip of whatever she’s having, ‘cause it’s working.

Haeley Vaughn: Is that a poinsettia in her hair? Merry Christmas, Haeley. Let’s unwrap that intro video… Her “something we don’t know” tidbit is that she makes hair accessories, and apparently can’t not smile. She sings “The Climb” while ironically plunging to her showbiz death. Randy called it excruciating. Ellen said it didn’t work out. Kara said she was real, but needed a year to strengthen her instrument. Simon said it was a complete and utter mess. Bottom line: She seriously needs to go now.

Lacey Brown: She likes to refurbish antique furniture. And before each performance she gives herself a Jerry Maguire mirror pep talk. She sang “Kiss Me” and was quite good (by wedding singer standards), not so good by professional standards. Randy thought it was karaoke. Ellen thought it was adorable. Kara said she has a unique tone, but she has to step it up. Simon said we wouldn’t remember it. Bottom line: She seems sweet. I’ll miss her. If I remember her that is.

Katie Stevens: So her fascinating tidbit about herself she reveals in the intro video is… She can say “Give me a kiss” in six languages. Um, sweetie, if you are going to learn to say anything in six different languages, the most practical thing to know is, “Where is the bathroom?” Followed closely by, “Please make that a frozen margarita.” Or given your penchant for kissing strangers, perhaps, “Where can I find the topical ointment?” She sang “Put Your Records On” and does indeed have a really good voice, although her facial expressions were sort of sneery and winky (yes, I had to make up not one but two words). Randy said she had a confidence thing, but it was “kinda cool.” Ellen said it feels like she needs to come across as younger. Kara agreed, and was frustrated. Simon thinks she’ll stay around, but it wasn’t a winning performance. Kara suggested that next week she could sing something that was relevant to what’s going on in her life right now. She’s like, a junior in frickin’ high school! Show me a song about dissecting a frog or getting a zit and I’m sure she’ll be happy to sing it. Bottom line: For homework, I would like you to learn how to say, “Shut up, Kara” in six different languages.

Didi Benami: She was the school mascot in middle school before earning a promotion to cheerleader. We even get to see pictures of her dressed as a giant rodent of some sort. Also, before performing she prays and meows. No I’m not kidding, that’s actually what she does. Prays and meows. What is it they say in church, singing once is like praying twice? I wonder what a meow is worth. Yeesh. She also reminds me of Brooke White from a couple of seasons ago – remember her? Tall, pretty, virtuous “good girl” with flowing blonde hair? Whatever happened to her? I think she turned into a unicorn. Anyway, she sang “Lean on Me” and it was strange. She really needs to stick to folk songs. The judges all hated it. Simon correctly pointed out that the meowing was appropriate since she sounded like a cat throughout. Ouch. Bottom line: With her mascot experience, she could certainly get a job at Disney World, or perhaps Chuck E Cheese. In the meantime I will pray and meow for her.

Michelle Delamor: What don’t we know about Michelle? She’s a children’s choir director, and loves the children so very much, and is so sugary sweet and loving that she makes Mary Poppins look like Joan Crawford. If she had held out her hand I guarantee you that a baby bluebird would have landed on it and chirped whimsically. So, before the show she prays and visualizes how she wants it to go. Fascinating. She sang “With Arms Wide Open” and did a decent job.  She is wearing jeans with a wedding dress, and black finger warmers (?). Apparently Cat Woman is getting married. Can I get a ‘meow’ Didi? It didn’t work for Randy. Ellen thought it almost worked. Kara said it was her favorite performance Michelle ever had. Simon kind of agreed, and said it was 80% right. Bottom line: She’s got about seven lives left, so she should be safe.

Lilly Scott: What we don’t know is that she plays several different instruments and uses a throat spray before performing. Seriously, can we stop these horrible intros? Who cares? Anyway, she sang “A Change is Gonna Come.” She actually has a very unique voice and did a quirky, but good version of it. Randy said it was his favorite of the night. Ellen said Lilly had “it.” Kara said Lilly had a “moment” and Kara was riveted. Simon wasn’t as crazy about it as the others, and used the opportunity to campaign for Crystal again. Bottom line: The throat spray is working. Well done.

Katelyn Epperly: The intro video is so useless I can’t even comment. What is she wearing? Does she work the night shift at Caesar’s palace? Whatever. She sings “The Scientist” and does a lovely, subtle performance alone at the piano. I thought it was good. Randy liked it, but thought it was slow. Ellen liked that she played the guitar (cleverly disguised as a piano), but thought it was way too slow. Kara kind of loves her and thinks she’s seriously good. Simon said she’s back in the race, but corny. Bottom line: I think she’s earned another week, and I will have Kara notarize that statement.

Paige Miles: She has coloring books and colors (yes, with crayons) in her down time. Oh dear lord. She sang “Walk Away” and her voice sounded solid. Randy points out that the song was written by Kara, and Kara is BEAMING, although Randy didn’t love the performance. Ellen loved it.  Kara said she shouldn’t have smiled while singing because the inspiration behind the song was a bad relationship and it’s meant to be angry. (Note that while Kara is talking Simon seems to be fondling his own right, well, there’s no other way to say it…nipple. For real. If you DVR’d it, play it back. It’s SO weird.) Simon still doesn’t think she’s choosing the right songs, and she needs to put her mark down. Bottom line: For someone who allegedly has the best voice, she’d better start proving it. And please, PLEASE try to be interesting enough to hold Simon’s attention so he won’t have to resort to touching himself. That I can’t bear.

Siobhan Magnus: Man, she is dumb. When she speaks she reminds me so much of Forrest Gump. But what don’t we know about her? Let’s find out… She had a dream, nay, a MISSION to have a mohawk by the time she was 30, and by golly she made it happen. And they say kids these days are lazy, unmotivated, entitled. Malarkey! Here’s a girl who grabs the bull by the horns. What an inspiration. I have two girls myself, and every night I pray (and meow) that they will each get the haircut of their choice by the time they are 30. That’s when I’ll know I’ve done my job. Dare to dream, my children! As long as those dreams don’t extend past the local salon. I am so filled with love and inspiration, I feel like I could turn into a unicorn! Sigh. She also shares her pre-performance ritual of doing lip buzzes, you know, like toddlers do, when you sort of blow outward and let your lips vibrate in the breeze. Now that’s a sight that will haunt me. Okay, so she sings “Think” and has a strong performance. Sing Forrest, SING! Randy said it was “dope” – perfect word for Siobhan. Ellen said, “Oh man, that was good.” Kara couldn’t figure out how she hit that high note. Siobhan said she learned it from Kelly Clarkson in the shower. Yep. Simon said she was a strange person. Yep. Bottom line: I will pray and meow for you to be here next week. That would be so, umm, dope.