Posts Tagged ‘the fifth judge’

American Idol Wrap Up 4/20/10

April 21, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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American Idol Wrap Up 4/13/10

April 14, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Idol Wrap Up 3/23/10

March 24, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Idol Wrap Up 3/16/10

March 17, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Idol Wrap Up 3/9/10

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 3/2/10

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.