Tuesday, March 13, 2007

American Idol Top 12: If Sunjaya Wins, Alec Baldwin & I Are Moving To England

Ah, Spring has arrived! Simon Cowell is wearing a white tee-shirt.

Tonight begins the "real" competition on American Idol and, unlike Ryan Seacrest, I won't waste time sucking up to Ford and Coca-Cola. I'll just dive right in. It's Diana Ross night, so someone better sing "Upside Down" or my inner disco diva will be pissed.

Brandon Rogers - The big question upon hearing Brandon's version of "You Can't Hurry Love" is - how lame are you when Phil Collins can out-soul you? I mean, he's definitely not the worst contestant, but he's living on borrowed time. His good looks can only get him so far before he collapses under the weight of his own blandness. If the other Idols can take away anything from this performance, it's that they should never bust out quasi-Elvis moves. They not only look stupid, but doing them can also make you forget your lyrics. He didn't even cover his flub very well, what with the big, toothy grin that just screamed, "D'oh!" At judgment time, even The Dawg won't throw him a bone and Simon is honest, as usual, calling him "unoriginal." Paula said something. I'm sure she said something because I saw her lips moving, but I couldn't tell you what it was or if it was even in English. Seacrest then offers up some excuses for Brandon, like how singing on the big stage must be tough and going first must be tougher. Hey, even Billy Ocean knows that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Hmm, I wonder when Billy Ocean night will be?

Before Melinda sings, Ryan asks her a viewer question and she endearingly reveals that she's a sweatpants and tennis-shoes kinda gal. As if Melinda needs to rack up more points with the public. Then, Simon and Ryan almost divulge too much about Ryan's sexual preference and possible women's shoe fetish. Moving on...

Melinda Doolittle - So as not to further drive the already-overdone "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" into the ground, and uh, since Diana Ross never sang that, Melinda opts for The Wiz's take on the same theme, "Home." As everyone is probably already aware, Melinda is the one to beat in this game. She's excellent, as usual. However, while watching her, I'm becoming increasingly aggravated with the audience's penchant for cheering every time someone hits a high note, holds a note for more than 5 seconds, gets slightly louder or continues breathing. This isn't The Dawg's favorite performance of Melinda's, but it was still "hot." Paula cried. I think her bottle of vodka is empty. Simon proves, once again, that he and I are soulmates by taking the words right out of my mouth and praising Melinda like he should.

Chris Sligh - Chris certainly has Diana's hair, but can he pull off "Endless Love?" Without Lord Lionel Richie's help, no less? I like Chris, and I give him an "A" for effort on this one, but his arrangement just sounded like the "Endless Love" lyrics put to the music of Coldplay's "Clocks." The Dawg thinks it sounded like "Speed of Sound." Yo, yo, yo, dude, that's whack! Well, aight, I'll give that one to him. It's hard to tell those two songs apart. Simon agrees that Chris "murdered" the arrangement and Paula is all nice and sweet....no, hold the phone! Paula is totally calling Chris out as a hipster! This is amazing. And Chris doesn't even crack wise! What the hell is going on? Who are these people?

Gina Glocksen - Something has always bothered me about Gina. I don't quite get why she's here. I think it has more to do with her filling the role of token "rock chick" than her having serious talent. Her performance of "Love Child" isn't doing anything to improve my opinion of her. It's just okay. Everything about her just screams karaoke to me. Simon agrees. The Dawg drops the first big P-bomb of the night. (That's "pitchy" for y'all not in the know.) Then Paula mumbles something about Gina's enunciation, which would have never occured to her had Ms. Ross not harped on that topic during Gina's pre-performance video. Then Madam Abdul actually calls this tune about an illegitimate child a "feelgood song." Will someone get her some more Absolut, please?

Sunjaya Malakar - He still can't sing and I still can't spell his name properly. And if Sunjaya wasn't the laughing stock of AI before, his Greg Brady-meets-Elaine Benes hairdo just made him the biggest comedy star on FOX. Why do the hacks always get the best songs? The creepy little doll is completely butchering "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," and I can actually hear Simon losing hair. He's not even singing this song, he's speaking it. This is like some bad combination of the deleted bloopers reel of High School Musical and home videos from the Neverland Ranch. Ugh. Randy opens his critique with "What's going down?" Now, there are a few things on AI that never vary. One of those is that when The Dawg uses that phrase, it's gonna be bad. He doesn't tell Sunjaya the song was bad though. He calls it "unlistenable." Ouch. Paula feels the need to deaden Randy's blow and soften Simon's impending one, so she blathers on about how Sunjaya is pure love. Boy, she really is drunk if she doesn't realize that Sunjaya's blinding smile is, in fact, hiding pure evil. Simon tries to be negative, and the audience halfheartedly boos out of habit. Then Simon just tells Sunjaya that he's "brave" and smirks the smirk of a man who knows he won't have to listen to that brave, horrible voice for much longer.

Haley Scarnato - Haley's already in trouble, because she tells us that she's singing "Missing You" in the hopes that the song will show some emotion for her. Diana Ross looks distracted. I think she's itching for a costume change. Haley tells Diana that she's singing this song for her fiancee back home. Diana basically says, "Aw, how sweet...you know, this song is really about the death of a musical legend. But whatever. Break a leg, honey." Maybe Haley should run out onstage and break her leg, because that would be much more entertaining. She's whispering. Now she's yelling. Now she...has gas? I don't know. She looks like she's in pain. Oh, and now she's forgetting the words and singing the ones she remembers off-key. And all this while wearing some horrible Mary Kate and Ashley-esque lampshade dress. Haley's lucky I'm not one of the judges, because I'm the only one not being swayed by her fragile little girl act. The Dawg says something quickly and just tries to not make her cry. Paula, Mistress of the Obvious, points out how beautiful Haley is and continues to patronize her by focusing solely on her looks and avoiding any talk of her vocal ability. Simon...didn't think it was that bad!?!? What the...?!?! Oh, Simon. How you disappoint me. He's obviously letting the other head judge this performance. Oh well. I'm sure that her weeping will keep Haley around for at least another week. There are a lot of suckers out there. Case in point, Paula just told Haley not to worry about forgetting her words because "the audience doesn't know anything." Drunky McDrunkerson totally dissed the audience...and they applauded!

Phil Stacey - The Bald One sings "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" very well, but it's all a little too Lite-FM for my taste. And this is coming from a girl who loves Air Supply. Still, after the last two Idols, it's nice to hear someone sing in tune. Randy also loved the vocals but thought it was a little boring. I think Paula said, "Whatever Randy said." Simon made it unanimous - it was just okay.

LaKisha Jones - LaKisha rarely disappoints, and her version of "God Bless The Child" is no exception. Something's missing though...I feel like the whole audience should be smoking during this performance. It's very smooth. I think The Dawg is in heat. He thinks LaKisha is "sensational." Paula says something nice. Simon says that LaKisha and Melinda are in a totally different league from all the other singers.

Blake Lewis - The little beatboxing wonder decides to put a "modern" spin on "You Keep Me Hanging On." Yet, strangely enough, it sounds even more '80s than Kim Wilde's version...which is probably why I kind of dug it. It's like a little Pet Shop Boys mixed with some club kid nonsense. The Dawg says he's a huge Blake fan, but this didn't quite do it for him. He jibber-jabbered something about "classics," which Paula claims to have understood. Please. She can't even understand what she's saying half the time. Simon doesn't get Blake's take on the song either. He, much more succinctly, explains that classics shouldn't be "messed with." Meanwhile, backstage, the unoriginal, non-classic-messin' Brandon Rogers slowly loses his mind.

Stephanie Edwards - I'm not a huge fan of Stephanie's usual Beyonce-light, shrieking routine, but she actually sounds pretty good singing "Love Hangover." I guess this is as close to "Upside Down" as I'm gonna get. Or is it? Stephanie never brings the funk and, as Simon says, basically just keeps singing the intro. Apparently she forgot some words too. I didn't even notice, so I guess Paula's earlier diss might have some truth to it. Paula's critique of Stephanie is less memorable than the performance, and Randy says something like, "so, it was aight, yo."

Chris Richardson - I have to get used to this kid, because he's sure to make it to at least the Top 5. I keep wanting to like Chris, like all the other girls, but his performance of "The Boss" is just weak. He's cute, but the used-car salesman suit has to go. More importantly, he needs singing lessons. I'm so sick of that nasally, whiny Justin Timberlake-meets-Nick Carter vocal style. The Dawg thinks Chris kind of over-did it, and Paula thinks...well, we all know what Paula thinks. I haven't seen her mooning over anyone this much since that Corey dude. Lust is blind and, apparently, deaf. Thankfully, Simon backs me up by telling Chris that he's been getting by on looks and charm, but that his vocals were "dreadful."

Jordin Sparks - Diana Ross explains to Jordin how important it is to really feel the lyrics and tell the story of "If We Hold On Together" - a song from a movie about animated dinosaurs. Gee, I hope she can bring the pathos required to get across Littlefoot's complex emotions. I haven't really been a fan of Jordin's until tonight. That dino song really put her over the top for me. Actually, Ms. Ross, she rose above the painfully boring song to give a solid, powerful performance. Paula is just sitting there gushing. Simon agrees that Jordin can hold her own with the other two powerhouse girls, and tells her she has a shot at the finals. Randy says that Jordin has just made it a three-girl race, between her, Melinda and LaKisha. Oh, that sound of breaking glass off-camera? That was just Stephanie Edwards out in the parking lot smashing in The Dawg's windshield.

There isn't a doubt in my mind that this year's winner is going to be a woman. The guys are all pretty underwhelming...and some are just plain awful. I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb by predicting that your 2007 Idol will be Melinda Doolittle. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if Jordin snuck in there. The viewers (and producers) like young stars.

As for who will be leaving this week...if there is any justice in the world, it will be Sunjaya. I have a feeling that even his sympathy voters are starting to lose interest. Still, a lot of dumb 12 year-olds may really take to his new Shirley Temple curls and keep backing him. If not Sunjaya, it will probably be Brandon.


LoraLoo said...

Sometimes I think Simon says just enough to manipulate votes. Haley is a case in point. I'm not sure how he could have seen her performance as "Not that bad." He's hoping others will go first this week... If Sunjaya stays another two weeks, I just may have to stop watching!

BooRad said...

Unfortunately, I missed most of the show, but I doubt if it was as entertaining as your recap of it....how does no one sing 'Touch Me in the Morning?".....I'm with you...lets Sendjaya home...

deadspot said...

I stop watching after they get rid of all the talentless comedy relief, but your commentary was really entertaining.

uh... am I supposed to have a "Dawg" in here somewhere? Probably not. I'm more of a Simon than a Randy, but this would be three comments with no Dawg. Does that ever happen, Beckeye?

The Randomness said...

yep! Simon is working the voters. I have a crazy feeling that Sunjaya will stay. I didnt even know who he was until last night lol. Well ok I knew who he was but I had not heard him sing.... I listened to the opening and then did a Rosie O D move....hit mute until after the comments....there is no way they were not going to be bloody brutal(say that with an english accent). I am now reassured of the saying/...one man's meat is another man's poison. I just have to get this out of my system...some people wont agree but personally....I just cringe when Randy starts saying...."ey yo so check it out..." like ok enough already can we speak like educated grownups. I dont know its just me I guess... Loe your blog by the way...

Layla said...

Reading your post-show posts is way more entertaining to me than watching the actual show!!!

I nominate you for judge next year, Paula will need to be replaced by then.

Rhea said...

Astute review. I was surprised, too, that Simon gave Lakisha's song last night such a rave review. It wasn't bad, just not amazing.

Teri said...

Simon Cowell has to get with it, No white before Labor Day.

Les Becker said...

So, I saw this on Indexed (indexed.blogspot.com) today, and of course I immediately thought of you...


Sorry about the length of the url - it might just be easier to go to the blog and scroll down a few posts.

scott said...

During the auditions Sunjaya was my favorite... he and his sister were so cute, how could you not root for them? But if everyone says he can't sing I'll take your word on that since I haven't watched the show since the audtions...

Dale said...

Excellent and hilarious commentary Beckeye. So spot on, I wish I'd done that!

If you end up disagreeing with me though, I'll break up with you immediately! :-)

Nat said...

After labor day.

This show is really losing its appeal for me after that skinny sand-gina trotted on stage looking like a shaved shop broom. Did anyone feel like chanting "Bangarang?"


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