Tuesday, May 22, 2007

American Idol Top 2: Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman and Peter Pan

Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks

This is it, folks. After an exhaustive search to find the newest superstar, everyone has decided that these two are the best that our country has to offer. The Final seems a bit wrong without Melinda, but the show must go on.

The judges dressed up a bit more for tonight's show, with Randy going for the homeless, chubby Prince-fan look and Simon in his usual '70s Sunday best. It seems that he even shaved his chest hairs for the occasion! Paula....well, Paula apparently broke her nose earlier this week after tripping over her dog. Or a bottle of vodka. It's often so hard to tell the difference while in a drunken haze. Regardless, her nose looks perfectly fine. It's the rest of her freak-face that looks broken.

Blake is up first with an encore of his inventive spin on Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name." You know, I can't help it. I really like Blake. And whether you do or not, you have to admit that this is one of the coolest Idol performances in the history of the show, simply because none of the other contestants have ever shown this much originality. (No, Chris Daughtry's take on Live's take on Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" still doesn't count even if you still haven't heard the Live version.) Even if you're not a fan of the beatboxing, you have to admit that Blake's fun to watch. Randy happens to love the SFX, but thinks that Blake's vocals are just aight. Paula is obviously mixing several types of muscle relaxers with her "Coke" because she is nonsensical. Simon says that Blake may not be the best singer, but he is the best performer.

Jordin inexplicably decides to cover Christina Aguilera's "Fighter." This may shock some of you, but I actually love this song. I do not love Jordin's take on it. The song does not suit her one bit. It seems like she's Chris Sligh-ing it (meaning she's ahead of the music) and screaming a lot. I'm not impressed. Randy always loves a good shriek-fest, so it comes as no surprise that he is in Heaven. Thank God he uses the word "stellar," so that Paula can borrow it for her critique. I can actually see her losing the already loose grip she has on the English language. Simon sides with me by telling Jordin she was a bit shrieky and awarding Round 1 to Blake.

For Blake's second trip to the stage, he chooses another Maroon 5 song, the jejune masterpiece, "She Will Be Loved." (If you're interested in my full feelings about this band, you can check out my review of Songs About Jane here.) Just like last week with "This Love," Blake is able to rise above Adam Levine's musical waste and deliver a very pretty vocal. All the judges agree that it was a nice performance, but Simon and I are still on the same track. He thinks the song choice was too safe and not capable of making a big enough impact at such a crucial point in the competition. Agreed.

Jordin gives us all another listen to her version of Martina McBride's "Broken Wing," and as the first time she sang it, it's very well done. However, Randy's contention that Jordin's cover is "better than the original" is so whack, I don't know whether to blow him out the box or feed him to the dawg pound. Paula tries to make friends with words again and just manages to sputter out, "You are in great, great vocal voice tonight." Um, ok. This is American Idol. This is American Idol on drugs. Any questions?

The winners of the songwriting contest are finally revealed as...*drumroll*...two dorks from Seattle! Seacrest introduces the song, "This is My Now," a title which sends chills down my spine. (Not the good kind. The nails on chalkboard kind.)

Blake, The Argyle King of the Northwest, tries his hand at the winning song first. Wow. Why did AI even bother to outsource songwriting duties this year? Did their team of monkey songwriters have its hands full with the new Hilary Duff record? As I feared from the title, this is the standard mid-tempo, syrupy ball of corn that Idol jams down our throats every year around this time. Blake does his best not to choke on it, and although he does a fair job, it's definitely not his best performance. The judges concede that this is not Blake's genre (yes, "crap" is a genre) but seem to be pleased with his performances tonight, overall.

Jordin has an easier time with the song because these types of cheese puff ballads are generally better suited for chicks. Her vocal here is very good, but I'm really turned off by Jordin turning on the waterworks again at the end of the song. She's done this quite a few times now. I'm just not believing the whole "I'm so overcome with emotion" act at this point. It reminds me of something I read about Janet Jackson. Apparently, when she would perform "Again" live, she would always go into that half-cry at the end of the song. Maybe Jordin is genuine, but I don't buy it. Especially now because, I mean, this song? How could this song provoke even the slightest emotion in anyone?? Tears aside, all the judges love Jordin and Simon proclaims that she wiped the floor with Blake in Round 3. Randy thinks she should win and reminds everyone that this is, after all, a singing competition. Ahh, The Dawg can be so naive at times. If that were actually true, Melinda would be onstage right about now.

To close things out, Daughtry performs the cast-off serenade, "Home." It's sure nice of Chris to show up and sing this for everyone out there who didn't realize that it was actually a whole song.

I think I will stick with my early-on prediction that Jordin will be the next American Idol. The show historically favors young girls, and she obviously is the better singer of the final two. Also, she's young and needs guidance, and will benefit the most from the prison sentence, er, recording contract.


LoraLoo said...

Fabulous review, as always. I do wish Blake to win, but I agree, he's going to be okay without the AI crown. I, too, was seriously annoyed by the Jordin waterworks at the end of the last song.

I purchased Daughtry's CD, and I must say, it kicks ass (even if it is more ballads than I'd like). What I appreciate most is that he's not a studio singer. What you hear, is what you get.

ArtfulSub said...

Wonderfully snarky review. I declined to watch the final because the IDIOTS at American Idol left ZERO surprise on the table:

They announced:

1) What lame-ass songs both would choose on their own. Including two repeat performances.

2)A description of the ballad by the contest winners. A ballad the whole planet knew Blake couldn't sing well.

If they'd just shut up, I'd have watched.


My Side of The Bed said...

Your description of Paula's incoherence is really funny. I'd be nice if they just made her drunken/drugged up state a part of the show. Like, give her a different concoction before each show and tell everyone what was in it. And we can see how various drugs make her act differently. I'd buy a TV if this were the case.

My uncle was crushed that Doolittle got cut.


Tanya Espanya said...

If a vocal voice is spoken, what is written? Honestly, Paula's face was disturbing last night...as was Dawg's weirdo outfit...and Simon's sad middle part. I am so glad this damn show is almost over, I hate it!

What will you be watching and writing about when this is done?

Layla (aka Barbara) said...

Well, I will come here first thing tomorrow morning to find out who won and what you think about it.

I am glad Blake is back blogging and commenting (not BLAKE Blake, Blake).

Bond said...

I was in transit.. so last night i zoomed through on TiVO..thank god... and then TiVO did a good thing and clicked off before the bald guy sang... I did hear about his appearence and made a remark about it on THE COUCH today

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that's over ...


LoraLoo said...

Well all I can say is Thank God Blake doesn't have to release that awful song-writer winner song.

OldGuy said...

I have to admit I don't watch much AI, don't really have to as my wife and daughter are both into it and keep me apprised of events. I hope Paula gets a show for the summer though so I can come back and read your latest about her.

BeckEye said...

Lora - Thanks! I always kind of liked Chris D., but I don't have enough money to buy all the CDs from artists I really love, so I'm certainly not buying his.

Artfulsub - See, I must not pay attention to the news before the shows. I've read other blogs which have previewed what songs each contestant is going to sing, etc and I never know about any of that stuff. I guess I tune it all out. I prefer to not know.

Blake - That's a really good idea. I was just mentioning in other comments that AI will probably dominate the airwaves next season, with some form of show on every week night. Maybe one of those shows could be "What's Paula On?"

By the way, have you started referring to Danielle as your very own "Blaker Girl?" You should.

Tanya - I have no idea what to do now that AI is gone. Those bastards.

Layla - Blake always fakes me out when he comments. I always have that split second of "Oh, Blake Lewis found my blog and is commenting!"

Bond - I take it you're not a fan of Sir Baldy.

Edge - There's always next season. As Daughtry would say, "It's not ooooooo-ver...."

Lora - I know! That would be painful.

Oldguy - I think Paula needs a vacation. You know, the kind that Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears took. Even if their "vacations" didn't really do them any good.


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