Tuesday, April 10, 2007

American Idol Top 8: The Blind Leading the Blind

Jennifer Lopez is mentoring the Idols for this week's "Latin Music" theme. J-Lo. Mentoring. I blinked, turned the TV off and then back on to make sure this was for real. It is. J-Lo. Mentoring. I guess this means that all the finalists will just half-sing along to a backing track, while shimmying around amidst a bunch of spandexed dancers. Wow, if that's the case, I can't wait to see Phil bust a move. Vayamos!

Melinda Doolittle starts things off with the Latino standard, "Sway." As usual, Melinda's vocals are on point, but the song is just boring. If she were a bowl of salsa, she'd be mild. Paula and Randy both think she's great but Simon, finally seeing a window of opportunity to say something negative, pulls out the double whammy by telling Melinda that she came off as "old" and "cabaret." Melinda makes a joke at Simon's expense and somehow manages to seem sweet, not sour.

Next, LaKisha Jones throws her sombrero into the ring with her take on Miami Sound Machine's "Conga." I hate this cheesy song, but I imagine that it's probably difficult to sing due to its speed. LaKisha actually does well with it and seems to be diving into the Latin theme with much more aplomb than Melinda. Even so, it's still a little on the dull side. Randy is still in love with LaKisha so he thinks it was great, but Simon isn't impressed with her singing or dancing. Usually, Paula has a hard time coming up with an original comment after Randy's critique, but she actually manages to grow some balls tonight, telling LaKisha that her performance was too safe for this stage of the game. If LaKisha were a hot, young guy though, you can bet that Paula's review would have been much different.

Case in point, Paula's response to Chrustin Richardslake's dismal trilling is just a lot of salivating, heavy breathing and overuse of the word "hot." Yes, Chris has morphed back into Chrustin this week, which is such a disappointment to me. Just when I was starting to really like him, he had to butcher Santana's "Smooth" - a difficult feat considering that I loathe the song to begin with. Not to mention, he looks anything but smooth in what appears to be a black Members Only jacket. I'm puzzled by the stylists' thought processes sometimes. Even more mind-boggling is that Paula is not the only one digging this performance; Randy and Simon both give Chrustin the thumbs up. Maybe Miracle Ear should start sponsoring the show?

Since AI doesn't have a bikini competition (yet), Haley Scarnato raises the hem on another pair of short shorts, slaps on some war paint and lowers the bar with her screechy take on Vicki Sue Robinson's "Turn The Beat Around." I don't think anyone considers this "Latin music," do they? Sure, it features some kickin' bongos, but it's pretty much a Disco classic. Regardless of the genre, it's clear to everyone by now that Haley will never rise above a pageant-level performance. It's certainly clear to The Dawg and Paula, who critique Haley with smirky condescension. Simon finally says what everyone has known for weeks now - that Haley's "tactic" of "wearing very little" is all that's keeping her in the game at this point. Mean? Maybe. True? Absolutely.

Phil Stacey manages very well with Santana's "Maria, Maria" but, as has been the case with all of the contestants so far, it's still kind of boring. The judges all yawn, smile politely, make a few neutral statements and then rush Baldy off the stage before he can start brown-nosing everyone.

Eegads, do we have to hear another Miami Sound Machine song? Apparently, we do, as Jordin Sparks bounces on stage proclaiming that the "Rhythm is Gonna Get You." It really hasn't gotten her, it's not getting me, and the judges seem to be untouched. The idiots in the audience will respond to anything, even this exercise in blandness. Don't get me wrong, Jordin sounds good as always, but it's just another drop in tonight's cup of musical Nyquil. Simon is showing signs of fatigue, Paula has no idea where she is, but Randy...well, Randy is strangely excited. He goes off on one of his tangents about Jordin's "yo factor," jamming as many hots, bombs, and even a kablam, that will fit into the tiny space allotted for his useless comments.

Blake Lewis comes out in a "Bing Crosby at the beach" outfit that might have been more appropriate for last week's "Classics" theme, but I refuse to pick on him because he is finally breathing some life into tonight's show. I am so back on the Blake train right now! He's covering Marc Anthony's "I Need To Know" so well that J. Lo is eyeing Blake up as potential husband #4. (I don't think he would be into her, or any other girl for that matter, but that's just my gut feeling. Not that there's anything wrong with that.) All of the judges agree that Blake's performance is the best of the night and silently wish that you-know-who wasn't on deck.

Yes indeed! This week, they've saved the best - er, beast - for last. Sunjaya Maleficent struts onstage and sets out to prove that he can suck in any language. Armed with his expressive, bushy eyebrows and disturbing facial hair configuration, he tries to make love to the camera while crooning the standard, "Besame Mucho." Unfortunately for him, he has all the sex appeal of Slowpoke Rodriguez. Still, both Simon and I begrudgingly admit that Sunjaya...really...isn't...that bad...tonight. That's one of the hardest things I've ever had to say, but it's true. Since he manages to stay safe every week when he's truly awful, perhaps this will be the week that he finally goes?

Nah. I think Sunjaya might end up in the Bottom 3 tomorrow, just because he's throwing all the VoteForTheWorst.com people for a loop tonight. For the first time this season, at least two contestants were worse than the Evil One, so he may not get as many irony votes this time around. He'll still get enough votes to stay, though. I predict that the Bottom 3 will be Sunjaya, Haley and Chrustin, and the axe will finally fall on Haley.


My Side Of The Bed said...

J-Lo? They might as well have Ashlee Simpson on so that they can have a lip-syncing duet. Terrible.


Flannery Alden said...

I thought J-Lo was a good mentor. I also thought she was charming. She was better than Gwen Stefani anyway.

You are right: Blake was the best. I voted for him, Chris and...Sanjaya! Frankly, the women on this show are truly boring now that Gina is gone. I didn't realize how much I liked her until she left.

Anonymous said...

J Lo ... she got badonkadonk.

I'll watch when Ozzy does Metal week. That would be great.


LoraLoo said...

I really wanted to like Blake's performance last night, but I found it kind of dull. I really wasn't impressed by anyone last night.

Sunjaya didn't... suck, but he's still got.to.go.

I agree with you, I think Haley will go tonight. Unless her even shorter shorts gets the male vote. I really love it when Simon just removes the filter and tells it like it is.

BeckEye said...

Blake - Don't even give the producers the idea.

Flannery - You know, I still don't think J. Lo is qualified to give singing advice, but I thought she was sweet and charming too. I'm not a fan though, by any means. What was going on last night? I liked J. Lo, Sunjaya was actually listenable...have I slipped into a parallel universe??

Jef - Ozzy week is a great idea. He and Sunjaya can discuss their mututal friend, Lucifer.

Loraloo - Aww, I thought Blake was the only one who wasn't putting everyone to sleep. Sunjaya should've been gone a long time ago, but in all fairness, he shouldn't be voted off for last night's performance. I think people are sick of Haley. At least I hope. She needs to go.

Alecia said...

I hope you realize what this recap does for me. I can't afford cable right now so if it weren't for you I wouldn't be able to keep up on the losers. And I mean, losers.

I've been able to catch enough of idol to see who's who and to know that there's no one this season that excites me. Not a guy, not a girl. I liked Jordin for awhile, but really I just like the way she spells her name. Lakisha is probably the best vocally, but still... I'm not excited. And if Sunjaya wins... I don't think I can ever watch again.

Turnbaby said...

I am pretty much with you on all of these. Blake did the best job but sheesh--that outfit? Who is dressing these people?!?! And when are they gonna figure out they are doing Melinda NO favors by making her head look bigger than it is and her neck shorter?

I cannot stand Chris, Phil is boring(stop with the cheesy hats) and UGH--that fake facial hair on the "Maroulis" eyed Sanjaya UGH And Haley found the most unflattering length so far in a pair of shorts.

I think Phil is going but it needs to be Haley.

Les Becker said...

I'm disappointed. If you're gonna hate Sunjaya, for God's sake, HATE HIM ALL THE TIME. Don't go gettin' all wishy-washy on me, now. Be strong, dammit.

BeckEye said...

Alecia - I'm so glad I can provide this service!

Turnbaby - The stylists need to rip Haley's extensions out and give them to Melinda to cover up that whole neck/shoulder area.

Les - I still think he's pure evil. But he really didn't sound that bad. Or else he's cast a voodoo spell on me.

Writeprocrastinator said...


Are pitch modulators are allowed in American Idol?

deadspot said...

Better late than never?

...and you comment on your comments now.

BeckEye said...

WP - If they were, who would we have to pick on?

Deadspot - Yes, I do. All part of my goal to be a better blogger.

Deb said...

AI made a huge mistake introducing a Latin theme for this week. I still adore Melinda, she may not dorn charisma, but the girl has pipes. I wish people would get off the "she has no neck" comment -so what - if you were listening to her CD would you care if she had this flaw. The others: I still enjoy LaKisha - but who the hell dresses her? Too plus-sized to be jiggling around the Conga, and also, she looks a tad bored up there. The others, I really have no comment.


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