Posts Tagged ‘Paula Abdul’

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 3/9/10

March 10, 2010

Quick recap of last week’s results show… Simon’s itchy gray sweater is back. Yep. The group number is “I gotta feeling,” and I’ll admit that I gotta feeling that the lip synching is going to be fake-tastic! And gosh, the kids don’t disappoint. We even have some fabulously creative and INNOVATIVE moments, such as when Alex and Todrick sing the lyric, “jump off that sofa,” while actually JUMPING OFF the garish, pimped out, coca-cola-media-whore-of-a-prop-tacky-ass sofa.  What kind of GENIUS produced this number? Suck it, Bob Fosse.  But I digress. So, four will go tonight (five including Jermaine’s ego, but now I’ve gone and spoiled it). John Park is the first to go, and is lovely and gracious about it. He can actually sing, which leads me to believe he was mostly the victim of wrong song choice. Oh, and stupid hair. (Be afraid, Tim and Alex. Be very afraid.) Then it comes down to Jermaine and Andrew. With Andrew’s glasses and Jermaine’s bow tie, their love child would look exactly like Orville Redenbacher. But alas, Jermaine says goodbye. No tears. Then Danny Gokey performed. Yep.

And as for the ladies, it’s down to Didi and Michelle. Michelle goes. Disagree. Didi was worse, but neither will make it all the way anyhow, so it doesn’t matter in the long run. Then it’s Haeley or Lacey. Neither is a true contender, but it’s Haeley’s turn to go. She says the experience was good. Wish I could say the same for those of us who endured her vocals. Her “swan” song sounds more like a dying goose, but she means well, and I wish her luck (and a voice coach).

And on to ladies’ night, which to my dismay does not mean that the drinks are free. Let’s check in with the judges. I’m skipping Randy and Kara because I’m too distracted by what’s going on with Simon and Ellen. Simon, again, is wearing his itchy gray sweater, but more noticeably he has a very affectionate Ellen plopped on his lap. I assume she’s mocking Kara’s recent habit of hanging all over Simon. I must say though, the whole visual of Ellen on his lap, face buried in his neck with her little schoolboy shirt and tie, has an unsettling appearance… like we’ve accidently stumbled upon Simon’s vacation photos from Bangkok.

Let’s just move on…

Katie Stevens: She sang “Breakaway” and did a respectable job, but something’s not clicking. Randy didn’t get it. Ellen said the song choice was young, and good, but there was no personality. Kara said she didn’t know who she was as an artist. Simon said, “You kind of sucked,” then thankfully finished his thought with, “the energy out of the room.” Although, because of the pause, it sounded like he was just going to say “you kind of sucked” and leave it at that, which would have been harsh, even for him. Bottom line: It’s time for Katie to break away from this competition.

Siobhan Magnus: She sang “House of the Rising Sun” for her dad, she explained. Her voice is great, I think. Not crazy about the song choice though. Overall I think she pulls it off. Randy says she doesn’t take their advice, but somehow, “it’s hot!” Kara said she’s unique and she really liked it. Simon wasn’t so impressed. He said there was no “moment.” This “moment” thing is a big theme for the judges tonight. They all keep talking about the “moment” or the “wow” or the “wow moment.” Bottom line: I think she has one of the strongest voices of the girls. If she doesn’t go through, I’ll need a “moment.”

Lacey Brown: Lacey sang “The Story” and did a pretty god job. Her quirky, squeaky voice borders on grating sometimes. Randy said it was her best performance in a long time. Ellen agreed. Kara said she was back on her path. Simon didn’t love the song, but thought she sang it well. Bottom line:  I think her story may be ending soon.

Katelyn Epperly: She sang “I Feel the Earth Move,” but I can’t say the same for the rest of us. Randy didn’t feel the vibe. Ellen said it didn’t “wow” us and wasn’t enough. Kara said it felt like she was just going through the motions. Simon said he liked her hair. Disagree. That style only looks good on Rick James. Come to think of it, it looks silly on him, too. Bottom line: You’ve got it backwards. It’s the performance that should be BIG, and the hair that should be FLAT.  

Didi Benami: Didi sang “Rhianna” and was definitely better.  She and Lacey are similar in some ways – both are almost too quirky to the point that their voices are shrill and jarring. I couldn’t sit through a whole concert by either of them. Randy said it was better, but there was no “wow moment.” Ellen agreed it was better and gave her props for bouncing back after being publically shredded during last week’s critique.  Kara said she surprised us, and it was one of her favorite “moments.” She also, of course, had to reference Didi’s previous performance of “Terrified,” which Kara wrote. Maybe that’s why Kara’s wearing a backless dress tonight, so she can really feel it when she pats herself on the back. Simon agreed with Kara, and said Didi proved she was an artist. Bottom line: Better? Yes. Good enough for another round? I don’t think so.

Paige Miles: Paige sang “Smile.” How can a song called “Smile” be so damn depressing? I thought it was shaky, and the arrangement was shockingly elevator-ish. Randy said it didn’t work at all. Ellen said we didn’t see her personality. Kara started by saying: “What can I say? They’ve said it.” But then managed to babble for a few minutes anyway. Simon said she had great potential, but basically blew it. Bottom line: Nothing to smile about here.

Crystal Bowersox: She did “Give Me One Reason.” Great song. Great performance. She is a natural. Randy love, love, loved it. Ellen needs new adjectives to describe how amazing she is. I can help with that – I often make up words. How about, amazalicious? Kara said Crystal knows who she is and Kara is starting to see what her record would be like. Simon said she would “one million billion percent” be in the top 12 next week.  Bottom line: Talentastical. How’s that one, Ellen?

Lilly Scott: Lilly sang “I Fall to Pieces.” What, in the name of macramé, is hanging from her ears? Someone’s summer camp project took a wrong turn. Or maybe she put her wool mittens through the dryer and tried to salvage them as earrings. It’s not working.  Anyway, the performance is very good. She has a similar natural, comfortable, bohemian vibe as Crystal, but Lilly’s not quite as good. Still, I think it’s one of the stronger performances. Bottom line: I sincerely hope her music career pans out, because she’ll never make it as an earring designer.

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.

American Idol Wrap Up 3/2/10

March 3, 2010

So, a couple of notes on last week’s results show… If I should die mysteriously, please list my cause of death as: “overexposure to lip-synched, opening numbers performed by Idol contestants.” These numbers, to me, are the most offensive showbiz debacle since the Geico Cavemen got their own sitcom. And the kids look SO uncomfortable doing their Brady Bunch choreography – especially the edgier contestants like Crystal, Lee, Andrew…you know, the ones with the signs on their souls saying: “For Sale.” The horror, the horror.  Anyway, on to the dismissals, and the first to go is Janell. I couldn’t remember if she was the one who looked like a figure skater, or the one dressed as Rainbow Brite. Maybe that was the problem. Side note: why is it they make them sing the same dismal failure of a song that got them booted in the first place? Shouldn’t they sing something better rather than give us an encore of the suck-fest that led them to this swan song? I’m just saying…  Anyway, next to go is Ashley. I think she could have gotten better if given more of a chance, but that’s how it goes. Joe is first for the boys. I felt kind of bad for him – he got almost no exposure in all of the shows leading to the finals (as opposed to contestants like Big Mike who subjected us to actual audio of his wife’s labor), so Joe didn’t really have a chance to build a following. Then again, his performance was dull, so whatever. And the final elimination comes down to Tyler and Alex – the battle of the seventies icons: Carole Brady vs. Shaggy from Scooby Doo. Zoinks! Sorry, Shag. Tyler suggested that the judges’ feedback about dialing back the Jim Morrison imitation was too late. Hmmm. Well, maybe if you’d actually had a better voice, you know, that may have helped too. Moving on.

Round two for the boys. We learn the girls/boys nights have been switched up due to an illness of Crystal Bowersox. Rumor has it she had to undergo the painful procedure of having her soul stitched back in after it fell out during last week’s group performance. The judges are introduced. Ellen appears to be fresh from the jungles of Africa with her safari shirt. Although I would have ditched the tie in favor of a monocle and a pith helmet. Kara looks like a formal Wonder Woman. Randy is wearing his signature cardigan and tee shirt, and Simon once again is wearing the white oxford, unbuttoned. I’m fairly certain I have NEVER seen Simon wear anything with color. He wears black, white, or any shade of gray, but no color. Ever.

Michael Lynch: Once again we have intro videos to learn more about the contestants. If we have to slog through the whole baby story again I’m leaving. Oh good, he doesn’t. Instead Michael shares that he is a musical theater geek, as well as a football player. Wow, what a riveting piece of journalism. I must admit that I did enjoy the footage of him doing curls with Aaron’s tiny little body. Anyway, Big Mike sang “This is a Man’s World” and did much better than last week. Randy stood up and applauded. Ellen said he was the one to beat and it was fantastic. Kara said she didn’t “get it” until tonight, but she’s feeling it. Simon said it’s his best performance yet. Bottom line:  Baby come back.

John Park: In the intro video we learn that English is his second language. Apparently he was born in Chicago and lived there until they moved to Korea when he was six. Well, what the hell did you speak up until you were six? Didn’t you watch Sesame Street? I don’t know. This story has holes in it. And, p.s., it’s not that interesting – I would have gone with the story of how you were once eye-raped by Shania Twain. So, John sang “Gravity” by John Mayer. Definitely better than last week. Randy said he didn’t bring anything new to it. Ellen said the song choice was much better, but he needs to feel it more. Kara said he lacks connection. Simon said there’s nothing to get excited about and he was struggling with the “believability” (pretty sure he was referring to the whole “English as a second language” thing). Bottom line: How do you say “who cares” in Korean?

Casey James: In the intro video I am shocked to learn that Casey has pretty much never had a TV. What!? I have seven. Who’s going to raise your kids if you don’t have a TV? If you can’t put Rachael Ray on to show them how to make themselves dinner, then what will they eat? That is just irresponsible. Maybe that’s why John couldn’t speak English after six years in Chicago – no TV! Who lives like that? No American Idol? No Real Housewives who are neither “real” nor “housewives”? Not to mention the fact that I couldn’t possibly keep up with the Kardashians without my beloved TV. That’ just crazy talk. Even Paula never said anything that wacky. Moving on… Casey sang “I Don’t Wanna Be.” Randy said, “from one musician to the next… this is the kind of record you could make.” Ellen said it’s a great song, sounded great, but wanted him to move more on stage. Kara said he took two steps back tonight (which is not what Ellen meant by ‘moving more’) and didn’t take the song to another level – to which Simon quipped, “Did he not return your calls?” Hee, hee. Good one, Simon. He agreed with Kara that it didn’t work. Why are Simon and Kara all over each other this season? She’s always right up in his face and they’re leaning on each other and being all touchy feely. Didn’t he HATE her last year? Ick. Bottom line:  He’s got a good following, and his looks will get him through. So, Casey, your career will likely continue because of this wonderful thing we like to call TELEVISION. Get one.

Alex Lambert: We learn that Alex tends to throw up before performing. Eww. And his fascinating little tidbit from the intro video is that he “made up a language” when he was in sixth grade. I see. Maybe that’s what John was speaking between the ages of two and six. He also confessed that his nerves take over. He sang “Everybody Knows” and sounded pretty good. I love that sort of rusty voice – I’m starting to get it. Much better. Randy started by saying: “You know what I loved about your package?” Oh my, no it’s okay – he meant the intro video. Anyway, Randy said it was a huge improvement. Ellen was back to the banana analogy. I’m not sure anyone has uttered that word in the eight previous seasons of Idol, and yet the word “banana” has been said about eight times in three shows. They said she would add something to the show, they didn’t say it was the word “banana.” Hmm. Kara said there is not a person out there who’s not rooting for him, and he has a recordable voice. Simon said it was a million times better, but he needs that killer instinct. Bottom line: I’d like to see what he can do so I hope he sticks around. As I like to say in the language I made up in my head… Heno shned furden.

Todrick  Hall: Todrick grew up dancing and pointed out that a lot of artists sing and dance at the same time, like Paula. Sorry to burst your bubble, but she actually just lip-synchs and dances, much like you all do in the group numbers. Todrick sang “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and did an okay job. Randy started by saying, “Yo dawg, listen so…,” which is the equivalent of Paula saying: “You look really pretty tonight.” It means that bad news is coming. Randy didn’t love it. Ellen told him to go with his strength, but had the wrong song. Kara babbled – literally babbled and said ever since his “Todrick” song he’s been “blah bedublede hooah.” Apparently she is fluent in Alex’s made-up language. Simon called him “Tondrick” and said it was like a corny theme park performance, and told him not to sing. Bottom line: Ouch, Tondrick. You look really pretty tonight.

Jermaine Sellers: Holy footie pajamas, Batman! His entire intro video is about how he likes to wear a giant “onesie” with dinosaurs all over it. I didn’t know they even made those in sizes greater than 4T, yet here he is. I guess I applaud his “free to be you and me” attitude, and yet I recoil at the sight of him. “I rocks my onesie,” he declares repeatedly. I find myself longing for a re-hash of the Big Mike baby story, or maybe some more banana analogies. Anything to make it stop. He also shares that he likes to steam his voice before performing, but really it just looks like he’s taking a hit from a giant bong. This explains the jammies. So, Jermaine and his ego do a duet of “What’s Going On?” Excellent question. It sounds a bit off to me. Randy said it was so close yet so far. Ellen said she liked his style, but it didn’t work. Kara said he’s doing too much and he was trying to show us every trick. Simon said he was disappointed because he waters down the song and they can’t take him seriously. Jermaine seems annoyed. “What should I sing next week?” he demands. This proves he’s not getting it – it’s NOT just the song choice, it’s the fact that you sing a crap-ass version of it. Despite the feedback, Jermaine insists that he’s going to be here next week because, “I know God.” Bottom line: Check your Facebook profile. God just “unfriended” you.

Andrew Garcia: Another boring intro. Andrew was a breakdancer. Riveting. Wouldn’t it be great if he said something really crazy? Something like, “I was actually born a female,” or, “I once killed a man with a banana.” That would be interesting. Andrew sang “You Give Me Something,” but ironically didn’t give us much. I really like his voice, but I wasn’t feeling it. Randy said it was pitchy all over the place. Ellen disagreed, but said they’d always be disappointed after the Paula Abdul song he did during Hollywood week. Kara agreed, but said she liked him. Simon is still disappointed. Bottom line: Come on Andrew! Give us something.  

Aaron Kelly: We learn that Aaron loves photography. Good for you. Get back to me when you’ve killed a man. Aaron sang “My Girl” and has a very good voice, but could not have picked a more trite, overdone, wedding song. Ugh. Randy said, “Dude you can really sing,” and declared it 200% better than last week. Ellen said the song was forgettable, but he has a great voice. Kara really liked it, and said he was consistent. Simon said it was all over the place and compared him to Justin Bieber (I cannot STAND that boy). Bottom line:  He should be safe for  another week, but seriously, amp it up Opie.

Side note: What is this weirdness after the break? Ryan is pulling some hair out of Kara’s mouth? What the?

Tim Urban: Tim’s big interesting “something we don’t know” reveal is that he comes from a big family. Also, he takes a moment to pray before performing. So very fascinating. Here’s something interesting about me: I just bought some new dish towels. My only regret is that I don’t have video to post. (Do you see how it feels Idol producers? It’s painfully boring, isn’t it?) Tim sang “Come on Get Higher.” Although it was much better, it still wasn’t great. Randy didn’t get it, nothing special. Ellen told him he should go into acting. Singing is not his strong point. Kara liked the song choice, but said it’s not all there yet. Simon said it was a marked improvement from last week. Bottom line: The great thing about a big family is that there are plenty of open arms to greet you when you get home.

Lee Dewyze: The intro video tells us that Lee got into some trouble as a kid and was sent to an alternative school (read: juvie) as a result of some “bad decisions.” THIS is what I’m talking about! Ooooo, a bad boy! I might be able to work with that. I have never found him more attractive. Alrighty then, Lee sang “Lips of an Angel” and sounded solid. Randy said he liked that he was taking chances and he liked it. Ellen agreed, and said he was really in the song. Kara thought it was a big improvement, and said he was very commercial. Simon said he was the best singer, but needed self belief.  Kara is in Simon’s face again. What is going on with them? Creepy. Bottom line: I sentence you to another week, you naughty, naughty boy.

American Idol Wrap Up 5/12/09

May 13, 2009

It’s hard to believe it’s the final three, but here we are. I’ve just caught up on last week’s “Rock Week” show, and yes, it was a bad week for me to be away. So much material… Anyway, I am disappointed that Allison is gone. I think it should have been Danny, based solely on that bizarre, glass shattering shriek he made while butchering “Dream On.” I think next year AI should introduce a companion rule to the “Judges’ Save” called the “Judges’ Kevorkian” – a mercy killing if you will, which would allow them to circumvent the voting process and immediately dismiss a contestant for doing something truly embarrassing and vocally offensive, such as screeching and hissing like a jet engine as it sucks in a flock of geese. Shudder. It was almost as offensive as Paula’s “live” performance on last week’s results show. Just to be clear, Paula’s job on the show is to critique the contestants’ vocal performances and offer advice based on her “expertise.” Yes? OK, so when given the opportunity to show ‘em how it’s done, she lip synchs her way through some hideous, techno-fluff noise cluster that sounds suspiciously like it was written and recorded by R2D2. Hmm. In regard to that “artistry” and “originality” the judges are always preaching about, the search continues…

Back to tonight. It’s Hometown week – two songs each, one selected by a judge, the other selected by the contestant. It’s on!

To start it off, Danny’s fate was in Paula’s hands, and she selected “Dance Little Sister” by Terrence Trent D’Arby. What!? Wow, that was unexpected. I have no recollection of hearing that song ever. And Terrence Trent D’Arby? Random. Maybe I missed something, but I think TTD’A dropped off the face of the earth like two decades ago. Didn’t he? Don’t get me wrong, as soon as they said his name I immediately recognized it, but he’s one of those people I would have never remembered or thought about in any way for the rest of my life, had they not dug up the coffin of that career. Please raise your hand if, at any point in the last 20 years, you have said to yourself, “Gosh, I wonder whatever happened to Terrence Trent D’Arby.” Well, there you have it. Not that my memory is bad, or I’m not sentimental. Lord knows I spend many a sleepless night wondering whatever happened to that band Men Without Hats, and the guy who played Juan Epstein on “Welcome Back Kotter,” but Terrence Trent D’Arby never crossed my mind. Whatever, Paula.


Danny: Song choice aside, in Danny’s defense, he sang the crap out of the most mediocre song ever written by the oh-so-memorable Terrence Trent D’Arby. I’m not a big Danny fan, but objectively I must admit he really can sing. The dancing however, is quite unnecessary. I have arm fat that shakes more attractively. Please stop, Danny. My eyes are bleeding again. Thank you. Randy said it was dope. Kara liked the singing, hated the dancing. Paula said he “did really good” (great grammar). Simon thought it was vocally good, but the wrong song. Side note: What was going on with Simon and Paula? Ryan and Danny watched uncomfortably as something was going on with S&P off camera. All I know is that when they came back from break Simon had Paula’s make up smeared all over his shirt. Never mind. I don’t want to know.

Kris: Randy and Kara have jointly chosen a song for him (apparently it takes a village). I feel sorry for Randy. Remember the old days when he alone got to pick the song? Does he realize he’s been demoted? It’s like being assigned partners in gym class and he’s saddled with the kid wearing the back brace and prescription shoes. It’s sad, really. He’s a shadow of his former self. Anyway, their pick is “Apologize” by One Republic. Not a bad choice, I think. At least it’s not a 20-year-old song I’ve never heard before. What would Paula have chosen? “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby perhaps. Better yet, that 80’s rap song about General Hospital (sing it with me: “I just can’t cope, without my soap… General Hospi-tal”). I thought Kris did a competent job, not dazzling, but respectable. Randy said it was “nice, baby.” Kara was disappointed that he sang it as it’s written and didn’t apply that “Kris” interpretation to it and make it more artsy. Apparently he was supposed to yodel it while accompanied by a flugelhorn or something. Who knew? Paula said he had a loud bum note. I didn’t hear it, but then again I’m no “expert” like Paula. The fact that Randy didn’t use the word “pitchy” in his critique makes me doubt this “bum” note’s existence. Simon didn’t really critique Kris, but critiqued the other judges instead. Now Kara is out of her chair and all over Simon. What is going on? I feel like I’m screaming at my kids, “Everyone, keep your hands to yourself!” These judges are weird tonight. 

Adam: Simon chose Adam’s song (of course), and chose “One” by U2 (with Bono’s personal blessing, as Simon pointed out). Paula would have gone with something more culturally significant, such as “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors, or perhaps Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance.” So, ho hum, it was note perfect as usual. We all know he’s amazingly talented. Having said that, I wasn’t jumping out of my seat or anything. The judges were more enthused than I was. Randy said he was in the zone and added that Adam was “one of the hottest three” in the competition. Really? One of the hottest three out of a possible, um, THREE!? Thank you so much. Since we’re passing out the compliments, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Paula is one of the 300 million smartest Americans. Silly Randy, that’s what you get for using Kara as your math tutor. Kara said it was unbelievable. Paula said it was superb. Simon gloated about the song choice and, naturally, thought it was great. The judges managed to get through the whole song without any groping, or anyone having to register as a sex offender, so that was good. I’m eager to see what song #2 will bring…

Danny: Song #2 is Danny’s choice of “You Are So Beautiful.” My surprise meter reads ZERO. Ugh. Yes he has a great voice, and he did sing it very well, but gag. Randy said he can really, really, really sing. Kara said it was stunning. Paula said he left us breathless (try a nebulizer, he wasn’t that good). Simon said it was a vocal master class. Wow. High praise. OK Danny, go ahead and do that thing when you put your hands into a heart shape. Really, help me out, I decided I’d give bulimia a shot for a few weeks, but I’m having trouble vomiting, so please. Go on. And there it is. Thank you. Bottom Line: Strictly speaking in terms of vocals, he’s earned the #2 spot for the finale, and will probably get it. Beyond that, I see two paths for Danny: Either (1.) He will take the Taylor Hicks path toward modest success before dropping off the radar completely, then resurfacing years later on “Celebrity Fit Club;” OR (2.) He will bide his time on the easy listening circuit until Michael Bolton retires and Danny can monopolize the menopausal market. Either way, my iPod will remain Gokey-free. Nothing personal, Danny. I wish you well. I am forming my fingers into a heart shape as we speak…

Kris: For song #2 Kris chose “Heartless” by Kanye West. Interesting choice. Whether you like him or not, I think you have to give him his props. Kris did what he does best, and I really like the stripped down version with nothing but him and his guitar. Not leaning on the band, or back-up singers is pretty plucky. And for me, it worked. Randy said he loved it and even liked it better than Kanye’s version. Kara said it was fearless and offered “kudos” for a great performance. Paula said bravo. Simon said he’d written Kris off after song #1, but song #2 changed his mind. Bottom Line: This performance makes it interesting. I would personally like to see Kris in the finals next week instead of Danny, but I’m not sure that will happen. Fingers crossed.

Adam: For song #2 Adam selected “Cryin” by Aerosmith. Hands down he’s the best vocalist. Crazy range. Note perfect. What else is there to say? Randy said he was one of the best that’s ever been on that stage. Kara said, “See you at the finals.” Paula said, “I hope you’re collecting frequent flyer miles. You’re going to be flying for free, everywhere.” Umm, okay. Not sure how that’s relevant, but thanks(?). Simon encouraged people to vote for Adam. Bottom Line: It would be outright insanity if he didn’t make the finals. If he’s out, then what’s the point? He’s one of the hottest three, after all. Who’s going to argue with that?

American Idol Wrap Up 4/28

April 29, 2009



A couple of notes on last week’s show. So, this was different… we started with a glimpse into Paula’s world. No, not Jupiter, I mean her other world: choreography. And oh how she was in her glory. You’ve got to hand it to her, the girl can dance, and I think she might have even been sober. Good for her. As far as the routine goes, I’m assuming it was meant to be funny, in which case they were all good sports. Whatever, and we cut directly (well, after a painful Ford commercial that featured – among other things – Anoop making cupcakes) to the elimination. Ryan began in full drama-mode as he looked upward and instructed, well, God I guess, to: “Dim the lights.” (Note that he also employed some kind of double shooting hand gesture, which is suspiciously reminiscent of Leather Tuscadero’s signature greeting.) Lil stood up, Ryan told her we need someone like her in this competition, and generally led her on in that smarmy way he has, which only served to elevate her a little so the thud would be louder when she dropped. And drop she did. Next up was a medley of disco classics performed by the original artists, and gloriously capped off with a performance by the recently exhumed K.C. of K.C. and the Sunshine Band. It was sad, really. So Anoop and Allison are on the chopping block, but first we get to see David Archuletta prove why he didn’t win last season. Hated the song. Despite his gosh-golly-Beaver-Cleaver-goodness, I thought the performance was spectacularly mediocre. Back to the elimination, and Anoop says goodbye. So it’s Lil and Anoop. Anybody surprised? I feel more nail-biting suspense waiting for the mail to come.


Before I forget to mention it, I’m sorry to inform you that you’re on your own next week. I will be on vacation and thefifthjudge site will be blogless. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves, though. Enjoy.


And on to tonight’s show… The theme is the Rat Pack, and the mentor is Jamie Foxx. Well, obviously. Apparently Tony Bennett and Harry Connick, Jr. had better things to do, and Quentin Tarantino couldn’t risk violating the restraining order that was issued after his last visit. I like Jamie Foxx, but I wouldn’t necessarily associate him with this kind of music. Let’s look at some lyrics from Jamie’s latest hit, “Blame It”:


Fill another cup up
Feeling on your butt-What?
You don’t even care now
I was unaware
How fine you was before my buzz set in
(My buzz set in)

Blame it on the Goose (goose)
Got you feeling loose (loose)
Blame it on Petron (‘tron)
Got you in the zone (zone)
Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-al-co-hol


I don’t remember the Gershwins ever composing anything like that. Whatever. Okay, so it’s a bit of a stretch for Jamie to be the Rat Pack mentor, but they vaguely make a case for it, and at least the mentor is a musician this time around. I admit that I’m a bit sensitive around this week’s theme because, well, confession time: Although the soundtrack of my youth was 70’s/80’s music, I have always been a total freak for old movies, and the songs that went with them – anything Gershwin, Porter, Kern, etc. So I am a big fan of all these old standards that the Rat Pack performed, and a bit of a snob, so I’m feeling uneasy, yet cautiously optimistic.


Let’s check in with the judges first…Randy: Wristwatch you could land a helicopter on? Check. Love beads? Check. Mister Rogers’ cardigan sweater? Check. All is right with the world. Kara: Stunned, vacant gaze? Check. Nondescript wardrobe and accessories? Check. Thermostat set to “useless”? Check. Paula: Dinner napkins tucked into bra after a failed origami experiment? Check. Recently tucked and plucked mannequin face? Check. Seventeen pounds of shameless, cheap-Home-Shopping-Network-costume-jewelry-line self promotion? Check. (Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-al-co-hol? Check.) And Simon: Itchy gray sweater? No! Simon has gone with the gray tee-shirt instead! Someone’s feeling summer-y. Way to shake it up. Is this the first of many pleasant surprises this evening? Check.


Kris: Kris kicked off the evening with “The Way You Look Tonight” and did a really nice job. Very true to the original, and I have to say I was nervous that they would all try to put their own spin on it – and I was not up for an evening of these sacred songs being twisted into some kind of bastardized reggae arrangement. Big sigh of relief. I thought Kris was delectable in every way. Randy said was his best performance yet. Kara said he was the dark horse. Paula said it was near impeccable. Simon said it was a little bit “wet” and likened the performance to taking a well trained spaniel for a walk. Umm… Huh? Well what the hell does that mean? It’s bad enough that Paula makes no sense, Randy makes up words, and Kara constantly steps on her own tongue, but Simon is supposed to be the articulate one, and now even he makes no sense. I would like to invite all of the judges to attend a little seminar I’m giving called “Analogies, and Adjectives, and Similes, Oh My!” I think it would be useful. Back to Kris. Bottom Line: Moisture level aside, I thought it was great. Please do come back to me next week my little aperitif.  


Allison: Allison sang “Someone To Watch Over Me.” Another fabulous classic. Here’s what’s weird, she’s a kid – barely 17, and she’s singing a song written 80 years ago, and her voice is perfect for it. I loved it. Randy said she was looking dope and she was singing like P!nk, but with 9,000 more octaves. Hey, don’t diss my girl P!nk – I love her (and frankly that girl is dicey, and she will cut you). Kara loved it. Paula said it was alluring and tender and she was very proud. Simon thought it was great, but said Allison didn’t seem confident that she could win, and has a horrible feeling she could be in trouble. I disagree, but at least his commentary was clear this time. Use your words, Simon. Good boy. Bottom Line: Simon had better be wrong on this one. I think she earned another week.  

Matt: He sang “My Funny Valentine” – one of my favorite songs ever. Pretty good overall, but a little rough in some of the low notes. Randy said it was pitchy (yawn) and gave it a 6 out of 10. Kara didn’t feel he was emotionally connected. Paula felt the emotional connection, and said it was excellent. Simon thought it was authentic and brilliant (he loves to disagree with Randy). Well, no mixed messages there. Bottom Line: We all know Matt’s in trouble. It’s not that he’s not talented, but there are only five left and someone has to go…

Danny: So the creepy moment of the night was Jamie Foxx getting in Danny’s face and sampling his breath during the intro video. So strange. Anyway. Danny sang “Come Rain Or Come Shine” and it was another solid performance. I did find the end to be gratuitously screamy, but the vocal was rock solid. Randy loved it. Kara said that Danny’s been missing that Rat Pack swagger, and he had “swag” tonight. (Note to Kara: “swag” and “swagger” are not the same thing. “Swag” is an ornamental drapery.) Paula said it was stellar. Simon said it was outstanding. Can I just say that I’m really over that stupid thing Danny does every week now where he forms his hands into a heart shape. Who do you think you are, Pinky Tuscadero? Bottom Line: You weren’t the only one who had swagger tonight, but apparently you were the only one with ornamental drapery, so that ought to buy you another week.


Adam: You shouldn’t wear that suit unless you are uttering the following: “I am your host, Mr. Rourke. Welcome to Fantasy Island!” OK, so Adam sang “Feeling Good.” This song, to me, is really a different genre, but whatever. Once again, fantastic vocals. I really do wish, however, that he could sing those extended power notes without sticking out his tongue like he’s having some kind of anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting. Randy thought it was a little too theatrical, but good. Kara said it was confusing, and shocking, and sleazy (in a good way). Paula said it’s like watching the Olympics and he’s our Michael Phelps (Paula, I beg you to attend my seminar). Simon liked how Adam is in it to win it. Bottom Line: Tell Tattoo to bring you another cocktail and get the guests settled into their rooms. No one is going anywhere just yet.









American Idol Review 4/21/09

April 22, 2009

A few notes on last week’s results show:  So, after all the hype they finally used THE JUDGES’ SAVE. Matt was on the chopping block and again there was all this drama about will they or won’t they? It’s so predictable. Of course they’re going to use it, do the math (not you Kara):  1.) If they don’t use it now, then they will be forced to use it next week, or not at all;  2.) If they don’t end up using it at all then the whole thing just looks silly because there’s been all this drama and hype for weeks, and it would be so anticlimactic if it never even happened;  3.) If next week the bottom is Anoop or even Lil (to whom Simon is now openly hostile), then they’d have to use the save just for the sake of using it when everyone knows that they couldn’t care less about saving either of them. Using it on Matt is at least somewhat justifiable. Chances are it’s either now or never, so they chose “now.” Congratulations Matt. Make it count. By the way it was good to see J-Hud. Although if I were her I would have hung my Grammy and my Oscar around my neck and said: “HA! How do you like me now?” Miley Cyrus performed also, but I couldn’t watch. No offense to her, she’s a talented girl, but I have two young girls and every time I’m forced to watch her show a little piece of my soul dies, so I refuse to let her invade the hallowed ground of AI. Deep breath. Moving on…


OK, so it’s Disco week and I do so love Disco week. It’s always interesting. The geniuses in charge have finally figured out that if they cut the excess fluff, such as the useless intro videos, they actually have time for each contestant to sing and be critiqued by all of the judges. What a novel concept. I start the evening with high hopes. The judges are introduced and are once again looking spiffy. Guys, can you do a little better than a t-shirt? Randy has some kind of graffiti spray painted on his tee. He looks like he’s been vandalized. Kara’s kind of generic, but Paula on the other hand is really embracing the 70’s theme and is wearing a flowery mumu that makes her look like Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company. The worst offender, however, is Simon, who apparently couldn’t even complete his outfit and is wearing an undershirt. Eww. It’s called an undershirt because you wear it under something, Simon. For example, you could wear it under one of your signature sweaters that you own, like that itchy black one, or the itchy almost black one (or the charcoal, or soot, or ash, or smoke, or any other shade from the gray rainbow). The whole undershirt vibe feels dirty. I feel like I need a shower – and not just a regular one, I’m talking a hard core decontaminating shower (think Meryl Streep in Silkwood). I guess if Paula’s paying tribute to Three’s Company, then Simon must be paying tribute to Sanford and Son, because he looks like he got dressed in a junkyard. So does Randy for that matter. Yeesh. And here we go…


Lil: Lil needed a miracle this week and she got one. Here’s the problem: The miracle she needed was a brilliant performance, but the miracle she got was that her hair grew ten inches in one week (note to self: be more specific when requesting miracles). She just isn’t getting it, and it has become painful. Week after week the judges try to convey the idea that you can’t just “perform” the song, you have to feel the song and connect with both it and the audience. And for Pete’s sake don’t do a cheap imitation of the original. Singing loudly and singing passionately are two different things. So, she sang “I’m Every Woman” (loudly), and I hate to get all sports analogy-ish, but this was the Hail Mary pass for Lil and she dropped it in the end zone. Can she sing? Yes. When she sings does it feel like you’re witnessing something special? No, not for me. The judges were pretty harsh. Paula tried to defend her a little by saying she’d been sick this week (must have had a case of that Saturday Night Fever that’s been going around). Was that her mom in the audience? Because that woman was mad. Anyway, I felt bad for Lil, but I think she’s done. Bottom Line: Only one way to cure that fever, hon. It’s time to go home and get to bed now.


Kris: Kris sang the Donna Summer song: “She Works Hard for the Money” and told Ryan, “It’s actually a story about a… woman.” Uh, yuh. I think it’s actually a story about a… prostitute, but what the heck, it’s a family show. I’ve got to hand it to Kris – he’s very creative with his arrangements, and although he might not have as powerful a voice as some of the others, he has a lot of originality and definitely puts his heart and soul into his performances (are you listening, Lil?). Somehow the song worked for him, and I really liked the arrangement. The judges loved it. (Did you notice that when Kara was giving her feedback Simon seemed to be giving her the finger as he pretended to scratch his cheek? I think he really hates her.) Paula said something about how Kris was shopping in the women’s department, and further commented that Kris “found a perfect fit” (in the women’s department). Let’s face it, analogies are not Paula’s strong suit. Actually, the English language is not her strong suit. Simon said it was much better than the first performance (you can still see Lil’s family over his shoulder and they are staring daggers). Bottom Line:  Tootsie, Mrs. Doubtfire… he doesn’t look like any cross dresser I’ve ever seen. I think he’s shopping in the hot department and should easily avoid next week’s clearance sale.


Danny: He sang EWF’s “September.” Yes he can sing, has a very good range, hits all his notes, etc., but this is where I see people like Adam and Kris leaving Danny behind. I thought he was as unoriginal and copycat with this song as Lil was with hers. It was a good performance, but not very creative. The judges didn’t really call him on it, though. Overall they were impressed, although Simon called it a bit clumsy. Bottom Line: He’s definitely still safe, but he’s starting to get on my nerves. Maybe if he ventured out of the eyeglasses department and started to shop in the women’s department… 


Allison: She sang (another) Donna Summer classic. “Hot Stuff.” Allison also switched up the arrangement, but not as creatively as some of the others. Solid vocal. The outfit was very Pinky Tuscadero. (Happy Days? Fonzie’s girlfriend? Are you with me?) Randy thought it was “overindulgent” (that’s a big word for a guy dressed like an overpass), but said he loved her and she can really sing. Kara agreed with Randy’s comments. Paula said the word compromise does not even belong in her musical vocabulary (blah, blah, blah, whatever that means). Oh Paula, you’re so wise. Simon said she was an underdog, but the performance was brilliant. Bottom Line: Long before Siskel and Ebert, the Fonz was giving two thumbs up and an “Aaaaye!” I’ll be pulling for you, Pinky.


Adam: The hair is a little too Eddie Munster for my taste, but otherwise he looked good. Adam sang “If I Can’t Have You” from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. We’ve learned to expect the unexpected, and as usual Adam put a surprising spin on a disco classic. I thought it was a really unique arrangement, and (yet again) a mesmerizing performance. (Again, this is what we’re talking about Lil, you can’t take your eyes off him when he sings.) Outstanding. And what would his performance be without the obligatory close-up of Paula emoting her approval? She took it a notch higher this week and even threw in some fake blubbering (it’s the same as regular blubbering with a pouty face and shoulders trembling with every sob… but there are no actual tears because it’s all a big fake crazy steaming pile of nonsense). Oh Paula, you are such a deep and important artist, not to mention a jewelry magnate. Speaking of… what the F is on her hand? It’s two big pink sparkly balls. What’s that supposed to be, Liberace’s testicles? I don’t know, at second glance it looks like two giant ladybugs getting it on. (Are there male ladybugs? If so, do you think they shop in the women’s department with Kris?) Whatever. Randy loved it, Kara loved it. Paula said she felt his pain, as if he tore his heart out and left it on the stage (as if the maintenance staff doesn’t have enough to do sweeping up those names Randy’s always dropping, now this…). Simon said it was original and the vocals were immaculate. Adam took a moment to give credit to and thank the guy who came up with the arrangement, which he obviously didn’t have to do, and I thought that was very gracious. Bottom Line: Duh. If we can’t have you we don’t want nobody, baby. See you next week.


Matt: I must be inspired by hearing all this news lately about pirates, because I found myself screaming, “Aaaarrrrggg!” I’m frustrated with Matt. With his piano skills, he really could have done something interesting this week, yet he didn’t. He did “Staying Alive” and changed it up a little, but didn’t do anything special. I would have liked to have seen him do something stripped down, just him at the piano doing a bluesy version of maybe “Don’t Leave Me This Way” or “Last Dance” (if you want to keep with the Donna Summer theme). The vocal was decent, but I was disappointed. The judges didn’t love it, but gave props to his vocal ability. Paula said Matt picks songs like she bowls, it’s either a gutter ball or a strike. Does anyone seriously think that Paula bowls? Can you picture her in those shoes? I think not. Although it looks like some of her jewelry is made out of bowling balls, so maybe that’s the connection. Simon said it was desperate. Bottom Line: He needed to prove that “the save” was well used. He didn’t. I do still like him, but if he goes, I’m OK with that.  


Anoop: These people do realize that Donna Summer was not the only recording artist of the 1970’s, right? So, Anoop sang “Dim All The Lights.” Week after week I ask Anoop not to put me to sleep with his performance and he has the nerve to sing a song called “Dim All The Lights.” That’s just plain rude. In fairness, it wasn’t that bad, and vocally it was pretty strong (aside from that last note that screeched through my skull and sent a shudder down my spine like when I hear that sound made by rubbing two pieces of Styrofoam together). The judges pretty much liked it and complimented his vocal ability. Simon thought it was mediocre at best, and was Anoop’s worst performance by a mile. Bottom Line: It’s time to dim all the lights on Anoop’s Idol career. Bottom three at least, if not bottom two and a plane ticket home.   





American Idol Review 4/14/09

April 15, 2009

Quentin Tarantino? Really? In all the Idol Wrap Ups I’ve done I don’t think I’ve ever – until tonight – felt compelled to start with a question. But, seriously, Quentin Tarantino? Random. I noticed that Katie Couric was in the audience also, so I assume she’s next week’s guest “mentor.” Or perhaps (fingers crossed) Alan Greenspan (who I believe is equally qualified).  I get it, the theme is “music from the movies,” and he’s a movie guy, but why not the king of movie themes, Bryan Adams? Half of them sang songs by him anyway. All due respect, I don’t let my cable guy do my dental work, and I don’t care for Quentin Tarantino as a music mentor. And I’ll be honest, he scares me a little. There, I said it.


Anyway, so Scott is gone, no big tragedy there. I didn’t catch most of last week’s results show, so not much to say there. Let’s get to the judges. Randy has a particularly ugly sweater on tonight with a weird stripe that looks like a girl scout sash. Great, now I’m craving cookies. Kara and Simon are wearing matching gray outfits. And Paula is wearing her signature “hand furniture” with some kind of beadazzled, shackle-like torture device around her neck. Good lord that looks heavy. She’s going to give herself scoliosis. Sigh. So Ryan starts off with an announcement that he suggests is “historic.” Wow, this should be good. Have they discovered that Paula’s jewelry can be used as an alternative fuel? Have they perfected time travel? Historic! What can it be? And the “historic” announcement is…(drum roll) the judges will not be giving feedback individually for each contestant, but instead will give feedback in teams, alternating between each singer. Huh? So they’re doing some kind of mixed doubles match with the judging? Well that’s just stupid. Don’t get me wrong, it obviously is “historic” in the same way as the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock and the first moon landing, but it’s stupid. Simon blamed last week’s snafu on “the girls talking too much.” Oh, please. I know as much about television production as Quentin Tarantino knows about being a recording artist, but it seems to me that last week’s “overtime” fiasco should be credited to the show’s director, who, unlike Randy, does not own a watch the size of a Frisbee, and clearly has questionable time management skills. Here’s a thought, perhaps last week’s show would not have run long if you had spared us the ridiculous baby pictures and painful intro videos where we learned such “historic” information such as how one contestant was taken to the doctor because she talked too much, and another once dreamed of becoming a cab driver. I’m sure those who DVR’d the show would have gladly sacrificed those little tidbits for the greater good of actually seeing all the performances. Not only could we have tightened up the intro videos, but in addition, for the first few contestants Ryan had a live interview before the actual performance – so that was another waste of time. The director or production manager or whoever should have known early on that they were behind and made adjustments then, not with three minutes left and two contestants to go.  What a circus.


Allison Iraheta: We start with a fully caffeinated Quentin, who apparently takes his Red Bull intravenously. Allison looks terrified as he stares at her intensely while she sings. After offering his direction he asks her to sing it again, but this time he grabs a chair and says “let me sit down and take the pressure off.” Oh yes, your wild-eyed gaze and serial-killer vibe is so much less creepy when you’re sitting (and, p.s., the Hitler haircut is not helping). Strange. Anyway, her performance is solid and she hits some great notes. It’s team Paula and Simon for the judges: Paula said she has the same “special sauce” that Adam has. What is she, a chicken wing? Maybe you should lay off the “special sauce” Paula. Seasoning aside, Simon likes it too. Bottom Line: Dip her in some “special sauce” with a pinch of “good enough” and she should be cooking again next week.


Anoop Desai: Anoop sang “Everything I Do I Do for You“ by Bryan Adams. Oh dear, I am just not sure what to do with Anoop. He has a really good voice, but lately I can’t listen to him without feeling like I’m listening to the soundtrack they play at my dentist’s office. I take that back, my dentist plays less boring songs. The performance is over and I’ve fallen half asleep and am wiping away a trickle of drool from my chin (it really is like going to the dentist). Vocally it was very good – hit all his notes, strong voice, but a little dull. It’s “Team Kandy’s” turn to judge, and they both quite liked it. Bottom Line: The field is getting smaller, and his time here is short regardless of whether it’s this week or next. Does anyone care? I don’t.  


Adam Lambert: Adam sang “Born To Be Wild.” Not my favorite song choice, but he always makes it interesting. Crazy vocals, and that crazy note at the end – wow. That explains why his pants were so tight – I guess you need a tourniquet around your man morsels if you’re going to hit those really high girly notes. Paula, once again, seems to be scripting her feedback beforehand, and now she’s even trying to infuse a little Confucius or something and sound wise and profound. The evidence: “The reason, Adam, that you’re shaking up this whole competition is that you dare to dance in the path of greatness. You do. And I’m gonna tell you, fortune rewards the brave, and you’re one of the bravest contestants I’ve ever witnessed.”  Who does she think she’s fooling? She thinks “allegory” is what her Prada purse is made of. Simon glares at her, seething hostility, but gives Adam his props. Bottom Line: I believe it was Confucius who said: “When you sing the song of greatness your courage will be reflected in the rain dance of the path that leads you to good fortune of the greatness of the song you sing.”  Eat that, Paula.


Matt Giraud: Matt sang “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” or whatever it’s called. Oh, Matt. This is difficult for me. I think he is truly talented, but I was not feeling that performance.  He’s so inconsistent. One week he nails it, the next week he hits his thumb. Randy of “Team Kandy” thought he “fell down.” Kara agreed. What is Simon doing when Kara is talking? He looks like he’s coughing up a hairball. This show is getting weirder by the minute. Bottom Line:  Hate to say it, but my forecast is partly cloudy with a chance of packing.


Danny Gokey: Danny is singing “Endless Love,” which, albeit a sappy song, is not a bad choice for him. Quentin gives MASTERFUL advice by suggesting that Danny put his hands in his pockets so that “the power coming out of his fingers and toes” can instead come out of the eyes. Thank goodness someone finally said it. I have not been able to quite put my finger on what’s been off about Danny, and Quentin is so right. Those power toes of his have really been detracting from his eye singing. Danny embraces the advice and is practically unrecognizable without his signature glasses. His eyes sounded great, and his toes were relegated to the role of back-up singers. I take it back Quentin, you are a musical genius. Paula thought it was beautiful. Simon was disappointed that it was so traditional and true to the original – no originality, but still liked the vocal (or the focal, whatever). Bottom Line: He’ll be back next week – I feel it in my toes.


So, on a side note, there is all this hubbub about how there’s not enough time for all the critiques and it’s so hard to squeeze everything into an hour, and yet they come back from break and seem to have extra time to sit around the desk and do Randy imitations and uselessly goof around for a minute before the next singer. Uh huh. I have two words for the Fox network: time management.


Kris Allen: Kris sang “Falling Slowly” and did put his own spin on it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it better when I watched it a second time. Randy didn’t dig it and said it was “pitchy.”  Kara loved it, but said the song was obscure. Well maybe it’s not as mainstream as all of those smash hits by Quentin Tarantino, but it did win the Best Song Oscar last year and was performed on the Oscar telecast seen by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. I have it on my iPod, so it can’t be that obscure. Whatever. Bottom Line: Oh Kris, thank you for that “historic” performance. And for the record I’m not “falling slowly” I’m falling fast. Oh so fast.


Lil Rounds: Lil sang “The Rose” and did a good job overall, I thought. Not sure why she has feather dusters hanging from her earlobes, but otherwise I thought she looked pretty good. Paula gave cryptic feedback about the road being long, which came across as neither a criticism nor a compliment. That was productive. Simon said the song was too soft, and too middle of the road, and she is not the artist they met 7 or 8 weeks ago. Lil tried to defend herself, and said she put her own spin on it, but that just made things more uncomfortable. I think she’s just tired of getting beaten up. Bottom Line: The bloom is off the rose for Lil, and she could be in trouble this week. Well, I’ve got to go, Quentin Tarantino is here to do my taxes and give me my annual gyn exam. Is there nothing he can’t do?  Can’t wait for next week… rumor has it that the musical mentor will be the Maytag repairman. Yahoo!

Vintage Wrap Up 4/29/08


Let’s recap: Michael and Carly are gone, yet Jason and Brooke are still there. Hmmm. No wonder the planet is slowly coming apart at the seams. How can we keep the ice caps from melting when we can’t even vote off the appropriate contestants on a reality show? So sad. Anyway, on a happier note – it’s Neil Diamond week! I was so excited because I love Neil! The glittery shirts unbuttoned to the navel, the poofy 70’s hair, the toe-tapping melodies – he is the quintessential cheesy performer. He’s practically carved out of Velveeta, and I for one was hungry! Neil did not disappoint, the rest of the show however, was somewhat bizarre. Why was it so rushed? Ryan kept cutting people off and saying how tight for time they were. Through the whole show he was kind of twitchy and nervous like he just knocked over a liquor store and still needed to ditch the gun. It’s pretty much the highest rated show on television, so I think that Fox will give you an extra half hour if you need it. It made me very tense. And Paula? Totally off her meds. FABULOUSLY off her meds. No one embraces chemical imbalance quite like Paula. Simon, once again, was sort of sweaty and clearly paying homage to Neil with his unbuttoned shirt (Neil INVENTED that look). The whole production was eight shades of crazy. 


Of course there was an added degree of difficulty this week because everyone sang two songs. The judges couldn’t comment on each individual performance because everything was so freakin rushed. This caused Paula to be completely unable to function. I knew it was gonna be a good night when she started by saying, “Oh gosh, we’ve never had to write these things down, fast enough.” Uh huh. Then she started critiquing songs that had not yet been sung, which created a delightfully awkward moment. Ryan twitched more intensely and his hair stood on end (oh, no that was the hair gel), Randy had to gently correct her, Paula was then even more confused. Simon just looked at her like he was plotting her death (I think he has Kristy Lee Cook on speed dial). She fumbled frantically through her note cards. “This is hard,” she whined. I know, Paula. What is this black magic they call “taking notes?”  There’s this complicated pen thing that touches paper and makes lines – she doesn’t have a PhD for God’s sake! Who can blame a girl for being confused about that? I was dizzy with joy at the whole spectacle. Is that wrong?


Whatever. Here we go…


Jason: Speaking of dizzy…Oh, Jason. Song #1: If I had seen that performance in a high school talent show I would have thought it was great. By Idol standards, yeeesh. I like the strumming of the guitar vibe and all that, but really you could pluck him off the stage “as is” and put him in a subway station doing the same thing and he’d seem absolutely like he belongs there. Plus, it’s a better place to buy weed. Song #2: I kind of dozed off, but I don’t think it was as good as the first 2nd song that Paula imagined he sang, but actually didn’t. That’s really the nicest thing I can say about it. Bottom line: Last week…Broadway; this week…subway; next week…highway (emphasis on “high”).   


David C: I’m having an issue with the hair again – he’s going back to the weird comb-over look. Don’t do this to me David. We’ve worked too hard on this relationship to let it fall apart now over something so superficial. We might need couples therapy. Song #1: Pretty good performance. Voice sounded great, but didn’t love the song. Song #2: Loved it. He does have a knack for tweaking the arrangement so that it totally suits his style. Bravo, my love. Please put a hat on. The judges loved it. Then stupid, pharmaceutically-challenged Paula totally jinxed him. She said she thought she was already looking at this year’s American Idol. Zip it, Dopey – that’s the kiss of death on this show! So I predict he’ll be gone within two weeks. Come home to me, David. I will comfort you. Bottom line: He deserves to win it all – including the girl (and by “the girl” I mean a married, middle-aged mother of two – but we’ll make it work).


Brooke: Oh, Brooke. She seems very sweet. Virtuous even. I’m sure she loves animals and children and does volunteer work with the elderly when she’s not too busy running in slow motion through fields of wildflowers, but I need her to go home soon. Song #1: There’s plenty of room on that subway platform if you and Jason want to duet. Please stop trying to dance or move rhythmically in any way. It makes my eyes bleed. Thank you. Song #2: Quite a bit better. I like her when she’s at the piano doing a simple, heartfelt version of whatever. And the confines of the piano bench prevent her from dancing, which is a good thing too. I actually liked it, but again you just can’t compare her vocally to the Davids. Bottom line: Look! Wildflowers! Run toward them…         


David A: Song #1: The little fella can sing, for sure. Didn’t love it, but liked it. Song #2: Good. Solid. Again didn’t love it, but he really does have a terrific voice. He worked the whole patriotic angle with “Coming to America.” The judges loved it. He’s so darn aw shucks gosh golly endearing, there’s just no way he knows the truth about Santa Claus. Bottom line: He really should be surrounded at all times by adorable woodland creatures that can double as back-up singers all the way to (at least) the top two. Just ask Santa for it and he will make it so.


Syesha: I realized last night that I’ve been spelling her name wrong for weeks. Did anyone notice or care? I thought not. That’s the problem. Song #1: Hated it. Screamy. And what is with the bare feet? Do you remember who else used to occasionally perform barefoot? FANTASIA. I’m dead serious. I remember vividly because I was traumatized. I am not a person who enjoys feet. They’re icky, that’s why they’re at the bottom. They are the body’s ambassador to the floors of public bathrooms, and their mere design DEMANDS the sheltering embrace of shoe leather. Why do you think the good lord invented Payless? Song #2: More shoeless agony. A person can’t enter a filthy 7/11 in the middle of the ghetto without shoes, so shouldn’t the American Idol stage have the same minimum requirement? Performance-wise: too theatrical, showy, cruise shippy, annoying, arrogant, something. Bottom line: They won’t let you on the plane without shoes, so please get used to wearing them.     










American Idol Review 4/7/09

April 8, 2009

A couple of notes on last week’s show… My delicious David Cook was back performing a song called “Come Back To Me” –  a thinly veiled attempt to circumvent the restraining order and communicate with me once again. How do I explain this to Kris? I’ve missed you too DC. Did anyone notice David’s poor mom who was anchored to her chair under the crush of Paula’s jewelry? (You know Paula gave it to her as a little gift and she felt obligated to wear it.) That poor woman had on the wonder woman bracelet, great for both formal and casual occasions, as well as for deflecting bullets, and the flask necklace that Paula was wearing on her wrist a couple of weeks ago. Paula is such a wacko that she can actually pull off that look, but on an ordinary person it looked ridiculous. And Lady Ga Ga gave one of the weirdest performances I’ve ever seen. She had that glowing pink piano filled with bubbles and starfish, crazy dancers, lights, smoke – it was so hallucinogenic. For a minute I thought I was having a stroke. It scared me a little. So back to the elimination… and it’s a dream come true! Megan (Joy), I have seven words for you: “Bye bye birdie.”


And back to tonight… Ah yes, the theme is: songs from the years the contestants were born. Great. Thank you for reminding me that I’m freakin ancient compared to these singing toddlers. As if that’s not enough, we are now exposed to baby pictures of the judges. Umm, Kara, I hate to break this to you, but your mother resents your success and secretly hates you, because the photo she provided is really quite unflattering. It inspired Ryan to make this comment: “It looks like you just made a poopy.” Clever. He must have the third graders in stitches. Ugh. So, once again Paula has bejeweled herself with gigantic, glittering pieces from her collection. Seriously, the scale of that stuff is cartoonish. I am no longer comfortable classifying it as “jewelry” and will henceforth refer to it as “hand furniture.”  Randy is, well, Randy, and for a change Simon went with the “soot” colored sweater (not quite as dark as his “charcoal” sweater, but a shade darker than the “ash” one). I love to see him taking chances with his wardrobe. Well done. And so we begin…


Danny Gokey: So Danny performed the Mickey Gilley version of “Stand By Me” from 1980. Yes, 1980. Oh what a super year for me. Whilst teetering on the brink of puberty, I believe that was the year I got braces, and experienced my first acne outbreak. I’d like to thank “American Idol” for taking me back in time and prying open those crates of memories my subconscious had so carefully sealed.  Should I send the therapy bill to Fox headquarters, or directly to the theater where you film?  Anyway, I hated the arrangement. It was a weird calypso, carnival-ish kind of sound, which I think butchered the song itself. The vocal was good, though. The judges loved it. Bottom Line:  I didn’t really get the song, but then again, when that song was released I had a giant poster of Eric Estrada on my bedroom wall, so I’m in no position to judge. He’ll definitely be back next week.


Kris Allen: Kris was born in 1985. Ah yes, big hair and shoulder pads. Good times. OK, so strange little intro video where we learn that his childhood dream was to become a taxi cab driver, and his mom claims they would have been just as happy to see that dream come true. Hmm. Well, that’s just good parenting. Dare to dream kids… veterinarian, astronaut, bar fly, whatever. We’ll love you just the same. So, Kris sang “All She Wants To Do Is Dance.” All I wanted to do was leave. I thought it was a mess. And I hate when they perform on that little platform in the middle of the “mosh pit.”  Simon said it was a “stupid, stupid song choice.” I agree. Bottom Line: I hope you’re back next week, but I wouldn’t bet my acid wash jeans on it.


Lil Rounds: I kind of like her look tonight. I thought her outfit was oddly flattering – thank goodness she’s moved away from discarded prom dresses. But what is on her feet? Are those dog collars? I am no fashion guru, but even I know better than to buy shoes at Petco. Anyway, her year is 1984 and she’s doing “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” I thought it was okay, but she is just not connecting somehow. The judges have the same reaction. Bottom Line: Lil might be in trouble this week. I hope she stays, but then again, in 1984 I hoped my white ankle boots would never go out of style. So much for hope.


Anoop Desai: Anoop’s year is 1986. Ahhhh, yes, another good year. It makes me want to sneak off with a four-pack of wine coolers and have endless debates with my friends about which member of Duran Duran is the cutest. Gosh I was cool. Anyway,  I guess someone is in the holiday spirit, because Anoop is dressed like an Easter egg. Of course his song is “True Colors” so maybe he’s just trying to inhabit the lyrics so he can really deliver a heartfelt performance. The vocal was good, but again I was bored. I’ve kind of lost my affection for Anoop. The judges liked it. Bottom Line: Sigh. I’m sorry but I just don’t care. Despite his apologies and explanations about last week, I think he lost me. Stay. Leave. Whatever.  


Scott MacIntyre: Yet another 1985 song, “The Search Is Over” by Survivor. Seriously? Survivor? Why? I’m sure there were better songs than that in 1985. Would Jack Wagner not grant you permission to use one of his songs? Oh that was painful. The judges were not thrilled. I don’t really know what they said because I am distracted by the lipstick all over Paula’s teeth. Bottom Line: That song choice was more puzzling than a Rubik’s cube. I know Scott has his own little following, and I certainly like him personally, but it’s time to get serious about the vocals, and it’s not happening. He’s probably safe just based on popularity, but in terms of becoming the American Idol, as you said yourself Scott, the search is over (and it’s not you).  


Allison Iraheta: She was born in 1992?! Oh dear Lord. I could drink legally by then. In fact, I’m drinking legally right now. Thank you Allison for reminding me how much I love the law. The performance was good, not fantastic, but very solid. I wish she would really tear it up, because she has the pipes. The outfit is peculiar, biker chick from the waist up, bridesmaid from the waist down. It never occurred to me to mix ruffles and leather. Perhaps it’s another Petco selection – the poodle/pit bull gown. The judges liked it a lot (the performance, not the outfit). Bottom Line: Her perpetual presence in the bottom three makes me nervous, and aside from Adam I think she may have the best voice. C’mon Allison, more pit bull please.


Matt Giraud: Another crappy 1985 song: “Part Time Lover,” which is Stevie Wonder’s tribute to whoring around. Speaking of whoring around, Paula is on her feet dancing and hanging on Simon like a stripper at a bachelor party. Shudder. At this point they’re running way behind because the judges rush through the critique. They all liked it by the way. Bottom Line: I thought it was pretty good, but I don’t get why the judges are so enthused. I think he’s good for another week.


Adam Lambert: Adam’s year is 1982. Ah, yes – full blown puberty for me. (Are you there God? It’s me, Blog Lady.) Adam selected “Mad World.” Mad indeed. That boy has a flair for the dramatic. So the song starts and he’s got some kind of crazy lighting that was fashioned in such a way that the chair he was sitting on was obscured by the glare, thereby making him appear to be hovering on a pillow of light. (Is he squatting on Lady Ga Ga?) Anyway, rectal illumination notwithstanding, the vocals were ridiculously “on” and the performance was riveting. The judges were out of time at that point and didn’t get to give feedback individually, but Simon represented all of them with a standing ovation. Now there’s something you don’t see every day. Bottom Line: Do we continue with this charade, or do we anoint him now?  Can’t wait to see which orifice will be glowing next week…




American Idol Wrap Up 3/31/09

April 1, 2009

As usual, let’s start with a few comments on last week’s results show. I cannot take the group numbers any longer. These people can really sing and yet you make them lip synch, then you make them dance (sort of). If you’re going to cheese it up that much, why not go all the way and just have them wear matching white jumpsuits? And did anyone notice that, during the so called “live” performance, when they cut to Adam’s solo they showed him holding the microphone, and then a nanosecond later they cut to a wide shot and he was four feet away from the mike? So now they’re splicing in pre-recorded footage? Did they always do that and I’m just catching on? At the risk of sounding like an old geezer, I must say I miss the good old days when “American Idol” was actually live. Speaking of live performances, we had not one, but two Motown legends performing last week. First we had Smokey Robinson doing a duet with Joss Stone. I love them both individually, but boy oh boy, they went together like halibut and chocolate. She looked stoned and he was leering at her with those crazy eyes. It was like being at a wedding and seeing the old, drunk uncle hitting on one of the bridesmaids. Yuck. So then there was Stevie’s performance. It was a never ending medley of every song he ever recorded, culminating in some kind of “Hands Across America” gooey, saccharine song about war being bad, love being good, yatta yatta yatta. Oh, and they kept cutting to the contestants who were singing along, yet did not seem to know any of the words. Sigh.


Finally, it was Michael Sarver’s turn to go, but not without drama. What was that big fake pretend powwow with the judges deciding whether or not to use “the save?” As if. They were all huddled and tense and Ryan had to go over and see what was going on, and they all looked frazzled, oh such fake drama! You’re not going to waste the save on Michael frickin’ Sarver – we know it, he knows it, everyone knows it. Stop these shenanigans! And the nail biting conclusion…Uh, no, can’t save you, but the vote was like really, really close. Something like, zero out of a possible four – so that should be some comfort.


Housekeeping note: I got a surprising number of comments and emails in favor of posting more of last year’s reviews (you people seriously do not want to get back to work). So I threw another one in at the end for anyone who cares to stroll down memory lane, BUT I warn you – if you are a Fantasia fan, you might want to skip it. So here we go…


Anoop Desai: Now you know I like Anoop, he is a Carolina boy, which scores huge points in my book. That said, I absolutely HATED it. What happened to him? I think he’s getting a bit of an ego. He sneered his way through the whole thing and had weird little gestures and poses. What is he doing? And what is he wearing? Some kind of military jacket with chains? I have to say he bugged the crap out of me tonight. The judges were not loving it. I think Simon nailed it when he said he “came over like a wannabe.” Awful. And as if his performance didn’t kill it for me, then he got all sassy and arrogant in response to their feedback. Astonishingly, he even had the dumb quote of the night, “Her opinion is her opinion, all their opinion is, ah, you know, are their opinions, are their opinions.” Bottom Line: Keep this up and I’m going to need you to transfer to Duke. Definitely bottom three. That’s just my opinion is my opinion, ah, you know, in my opinion.


Megan Joy: Is it chains night? Why is everyone draped in chains? The theme of the night is “Popular Downloads” not “Famous Prison Breaks” or “Escaped Rottweilers.” Don’t walk too close to the pool sweetie, because if you fall in you’ll sink like a stone. Anyway, so, again, am I the last to catch on? I know that Ryan has been introducing her as Megan Joy, but I didn’t realize that when they put up her name and number on the screen, it just says Megan Joy, sans the Corkrey. Was it that way before and I just didn’t notice? So, she has dropped the “Corkrey” altogether? Interesting. Umm, Megan, assuming you are aware of my pet peeve about having three names, and also assuming that you made this change for my sake, may I first say thank you. That’s sweet. However, apparently you’re not aware of my other pet peeve, which is when people get so full of themselves because they’re on TV and now they suddenly drop their last name (a la Chickezie) as if they’re Madonna or Sting. So, you see Megan, you just can’t win with me. It’s best you go home. The judges agree. Bottom Line: No need to escape from this prison, we will return your belongings and happily release you with a sentence of time served.


Danny Gokey: ALSO draped in chains – around his neck, hanging from his belt, chains everywhere. I was not familiar with the song, but I thought he sang it well. Not much else to say. The judges loved it. Bottom Line: Dude, that was off the chain.


Allison Iraheta: OK, I don’t want to seem contradictory, but seriously, she would be better off if she were covered in chains. I’ve never seen anyone wear a belt, umm, vertically. Her whole look was bizarre. It makes me suspect that about 17 years and 9 months ago, the lead singer of White Snake had a one night stand with Pebbles Flintstone. Anyway, I love her voice, but didn’t think this was one of her better performances. I think the guitar threw her. It was like she was focused on that and didn’t let loose with her voice – if I had a vocal like that I would showcase the heck out of it, and she didn’t. Judges were mixed, but also hated the look. Bottom Line: Oh dear. I think she should be safe, but she seriously needs to snap out of it and make the folks back in Bedrock proud.


Scott MacIntyre: So Scott has had a little makeover and is looking better, although the hair is a bit poufy for my taste. At least no pink pants, thank goodness. I thought he was pretty good. Kind of a schmaltzy song in my opinion, but it suited him in a weird way. The judges quite liked it. Bottom Line: I think he kicked it up a notch and should be safe. He should thank Megan, Anoop, and Matt for being so crappy this week. Send them a fruit basket maybe, or just pick some from Paula’s necklace, whatever.


Matt Giraud: Matt, Matt, Matt. Now I’m annoyed. I really like Matt, but he just doesn’t learn. When he tries to do this Fray/Coldplay type of song it doesn’t work for him. And what is he doing in the audience with all those people crowded around him like they’re on a Tokyo subway? I hate these gimmicks. Just get on the stage and sing. This mosh pit nonsense makes me claustrophobic. Maybe it’s because I’m short and when I’m stuck in a crowd like that I always end up getting up close and personal with someone’s mammary. But I digress. The judges did not care for it. Bottom Line: Bottom three. C’mon Matt, you’re better than this. Keep it up and you won’t have to simulate a crowded subway because that’s where you’ll actually be performing.


Lil Rounds: Did not love the song, but she finally sang a song that actually showed her range. I thought the vocal was great. The judges liked the vocal but continue to pound her about song choice. They are obsessed with having her sing Mary J. Blige. Kara even suggested she sing a Mariah song, but of course whenever anyone sings Mariah they say, “Mariah is untouchable, you can’t sing Mariah, blah, blah, blah.” I thought she did better this week, although I continue to be confused by her hair, or rather someone else’s hair that appears on her head. Bottom Line: Definitely earned another wig, I mean another week.  


Adam Lambert: OK, so I know there are a lot of Adam fans who read this, so brace yourselves, I speak from a place of love. Yes, he is a BRILLIANT vocalist. But, I wasn’t feeling it. I did not get the song choice at all. Granted, he can make any song sound good, but there are a thousand songs that would have been better than “Play That Funky Music.” I am going to offer this rule of thumb: NEVER sing a song that was at any time ever recorded by Vanilla Ice. Also not loving the look this week – I think there’s a new hairstylist who apparently used to do hair for the touring production of “Grease” because Adam and Scott look freakishly like Danny Zuko and Kenickie tonight. I’m sorry, it’s true. I still think he’s an amazing singer, but not my favorite performance. The judges didn’t seem bothered by the song choice. It was painfully obvious that Paula’s commentary was completely scripted and rehearsed. First of all, she rattled it off way too fast, and as we all know, Paula navigates through words as gracefully as the Titanic navigates through icebergs. Not only was it fast, but all the words were in the right order. How often does that happen? Trust me, this was not a critique done “in the moment.” The evidence: “True genius does not fulfill expectations, true genius shatters it. There are artists who have longevity in this business because of their unique and riveting performance. I’ll name a few: Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, and Adam Lambert.” Seriously, does that sound like anything that Paula would say? I think not. Maybe she should go back to using props. Again, the judges loved it. Bottom Line: No brainer. He’ll be playing that funky music for a long time.


Kris Allen: I thought he was very good this week – very good arrangement and vocal – and I’m not just saying that because he’s magically delicious. The judges loved it. Kara said she had three words for him: “That was artistry.” Good counting, Kara. Next week we’ll cover peek-a-boo and waving bye, bye. Bottom Line: Maybe next time Kara can try four words: “See you next week.”




Vintage Wrap Up April 8, 2008


OK. So the theme of the week was inspirational songs. Are you frickin kidding me? Do you know what inspires me? Songs that don’t suck. I’d rather have YET ANOTHER Beatles week than suffer through “inspirational” songs ever again. Overall I thought the whole show was sort of random and out of synch – from the drippy theme of the week, to the flat performances, to Paula’s tourniquet of a dress (was she bleeding internally?), and especially to the hairy little fellow who was sitting on Simon’s lap after one of the commercial breaks. What was that about? Creepy.


P.S. B’bye Ramiele! So happy to see her go. Wish she had taken Kristy with her.


Here we go…


Michael: Everyone knows I love Michael. He’s beautiful, with the added bonus that he is actually very talented. It pains me to say that I was not crazy about his performance. And what’s with the ascot? He’s got a weird “Thurston Howell the Third” vibe going on. Not that I have anything against Thurston. He was a millionaire, after all, which is hot in itself despite the fact that he looked like a pothole. But I digress. Bottom line: I think he deserves another week. Lose the ascot. Lose the pants (thought I’d try to sneak that in there).    


Sayesha: Alright. On the one hand…she can certainly sing, but on the other hand…I just don’t care. On “Inspirational Songs” night, I just can’t get inspired. Aside from her performance, I was quite taken aback by the judges’ comments (Randy’s in particular). There was much reverence for Fantasia’s version of the song – yes FANTASIA, who Randy called “one of the best singers to ever grace that stage.” What? I can’t stand Fantasia. And, in my opinion, she’s hardly one of the best – and certainly not one of the most successful. Raise your hand if you own a Fantasia album. Uh huh. Yes, she won that year (the worst year) when she beat out freakin Diana DeGarmo. There’s a household name. Please. Raise your hand if you have a Diana DeGarmo album. That’s what I thought. Bottom line: Sayesha and Fantasia can both hop on a boat and float off into the ocean. I wouldn’t notice.


Jason: Very appropriate song for Jason since he probably – quite literally – was having a hallucination about floating over a rainbow at that very moment (oh, c‘mon, he is constantly stoned). And he could be so cute if he would lose that nasty, ratty, dreadful hair. Although I suspect that’s where he hides his weed. Anyway, I thought he was in his element. That’s exactly the kind of song and performance that suits him – that’s where his money is. Not the best vocalist, but when he’s on, he’s one of the most appealing performers.  Bottom line: He should be good for another week.


Kristy: She was actually pretty good this week (for her) – one of her better ones I think. Usually her performances leave me curled up in fetal position praying for the sweet release of death, so this week was an improvement in that regard. BUT, here’s my problem with Kristy…nothing. I feel nothing for her. She is beige. In a mixed bouquet of flowers, she would be the carnation. Nothing wrong with carnations, but nothing great either. They’re filler flowers. She’s just taking up space in the vase. Her best performance is not as interesting as say one of Carly’s worst. She’s sweet, she’s pretty, she has a good voice, but blah, blah, blah I don’t get it. Bottom line: Who’s voting for her? She must have a really big family. A big, hard-of-hearing family that owns all sixteen of the Diana DeGarmo records ever sold.     


David C: Something happened for me last week with David. Maybe it was the new haircut, but all of a sudden he was kind of hot. I think I might love him. Not the lustful kind of love I have for Michael that leaves me (as previously confessed) licking my television screen, but a deep, spiritual love that can only be cultivated over time – five weeks to be exact (minus the time between shows, then deduct commercial time and the time when he is not actually on camera, and it’s more like a love that’s been cultivated over nine and a half minutes, but whatever, it’s real and we don’t need any of you as long as we have each other). Anyway, it started when he rocked out that Lionel Richie song. That’s right, here it comes…he had me at “Hello.” Last week, with the good haircut, good performance, and general cuteness, I think I may have fallen for him. That being said, I reeeaalllly did not care for the song. Not one of his better vocals either – it didn’t showcase his voice, and he has a great voice! Randy and Simon didn’t like it. Simon was downright mean. He said it was “pompous” because of the white jacket he was wearing. Huh? Should I boycott thinly-sliced ham because of those “pompous” deli clerks with their “white jackets?” Simon, I think the white jacket is the least of your concerns when just three minutes earlier you had a grown man   sitting on your lap. David looked sad. I simply must hold him. Bottom line: Call me.


Carly: I really like her voice, and I like her honesty and humor. She seems genuine. Didn’t love the song choice. I don’t know, I really want to be dazzled by her because I think she can do it! But I need her to step up her game. Bottom line: Definitely hope she stays another week, but pick a better song and sing it with all you’ve got.


David A: Still adorable, but hated the song. Simon apparently thinks it’s “one of the best pop songs ever written.” Seriously? Well, maybe if Fantasia recorded it, and if every living being in the entire universe suddenly went deaf. Otherwise, I’ll pass. Simon also thinks he looks good with his shirt open and his hair parted straight down the middle, so there’s that. Back to David: Didn’t like the beginning, but he brought it home at the end. I still think the song is very saccharine and just plain stupid, but I do love little David. Bottom line: Of course you can stay – you’re cuter than a basket full of baby chicks!  


Brooke: You know, I like her voice – she’s got the whole smoky thing going for her, and generally I like her. This week, she didn’t do it for me. Here’s how you know the performance was boring (and I swear this actually happened): You know it’s dull when 30 seconds into the song you and your husband drift off into a conversation about how you should probably pick up some Frontline for your dogs because flea and tick season is upon us. I’m totally serious. As she was warbling away, we were contemplating the potential impact of biting insects on our canines. That can’t be good. Not to mention the fact that it doesn’t make my marriage seem particularly steamy (if he brings home carnations tonight I’m going to kill myself with a brick). Bottom line: I think she deserves another week, but kick it up a notch, girl. And for heaven’s sake, have a sandwich or something – you’re way too thin.