Tuesday, March 11, 2008

American Idol 7: Randy's The Dawg Man, Ryan He Digs Men, Simon's The Smart Ass, Abdul's Cuckoo, Goo Goo G'joob

When Ryan says at the top of the show that he's promised the contestants "a whole new look" now that we've reached the Top 12, I thought he was referring to his new faux-hawk. (Which, by the way, is the neon sign flashing I'M GAY for anyone who hasn't figured that out yet - including himself.) Turns out he was talking about the new Idol set, which looks like a cross between the old set from MTV's The Grind and that "futuristic place with the dome" that Bill and Ted visited. Let's hope that it has some totally excellent music for us tonight.

Obviously, a night devoted to Lennon/McCartney songs should be totally excellent, but after years of watching this show, I'm well aware of the horrific fates that can befall some fantastic songs. And, after hearing some of the ridiculous songs that were picked during '70s and '80s weeks, I won't be at all surprised if someone throws a Rutles song in the mix tonight.

Seacrest begins by asking Randy why these songs are so enduring, and his answer basically amounts to, "because they'll last forever." Okay, usually Paula imitates Randy, but obviously she's starting to rub off on him as well.

Syesha Mercado opens the Lennon/McCartney songbook and kicks things off with her rendition of "Got To Get You Into My Life." How funny! I was thinking that exact thing about Michael Johns. You go, Syesha! This is the best boat cruise ever! Ehhh, I don't know dawg, this is just kind of corny. She is in tune and sounds much better than last week, but I'm not that into it. Randy offers up a few "yo's", a "pitchy" or two and finally settles on "aight." Paula tries desperately to remember what Randy just said and sputters out a fairly good replica. Simon thinks it's better than "aight," but I can't take him seriously when his white henley is so dangerously unbuttoned. At any rate, his chest hairs think Syesha is the shizzy.

Up next is Chikezie, wearing some of Blake Lewis's old clothes and promising to put "his own funk" on "She's A Woman." I'm not much of a Chikezie fan and was fully expecting to hate this but, much to my surprise, I am kind of digging him right now. It starts off like a little hoedown and then bursts into a hard rock joint. I actually like the country/bluegrass part more than the wannabe metal section, but Chikezie manages to borrow from Ray Charles, Corey Glover and Ricky Skaggs all at once, resulting in an entertaining performance. I have to give him props this week. All the judges love it.

Ramiele Malubay dedicates "In My Life," one of the best and most beloved Beatles tunes, to her close friends who have already left the show. Well, she shouldn't feel too bad because she'll probably be reunited with them soon enough. Maybe even as soon as tomorrow night! Her performance isn't bad, but she is just so dull. There is absolutely no emotion coming from the stage. It's like when I hear Mariah Carey sing. (Randy knows her, you know.) She's a pretty girl with a pretty voice who can hit all the right notes and smile at the camera with the little red light, but there is nothing behind it. It's all just so mechanical. The Dawg and P-Ab tell pretty Ramiele that her performance is pretty boring and pretty safe, and then Simon dares to blame it on the song. Really, Simon?? The song itself is boring? God, I'm so glad I broke up with him.

Jason Castro brings back the acoustic guitar for his cover of "If I Fell." Now, this is my favorite Beatles song, and I was wondering if anyone was going to sing it. Jason's isn't the best version I could imagine. He hits a couple of bad high notes and it kind of drags, but he really does have a pretty voice. It's not a complete failure, but this definitely isn't his best performance. Apparently, this is one of Randy's faves too, and he pretty much agrees with my assessment. Paula disagrees with Randy, which causes everyone's jaws to hit the floor simultaneously, shaking the brand-new studio down to its very foundation. Simon calls this song boring too. Grrr. Where is Maxwell and his silver hammer when you need him?

We go from my favorite song to one of my least faves, as Carly Smithson takes the stage to sing "Come Together." In her pre-performance tape, she said she was going to "change it up a little," but I'm not hearing anything very original. There's no getting around the fact that this bird can sing, but there's actually a bit too much yelling in this for me. This is like all at the top of her voice. For Randy, yelling is better than singing, so of course he loves this. Although, he does surprise me by using the word "stellar" instead of "dope" or "hot." Paula stamps Carly with several gold stars and Simon compares Carly to Kelly. Clarkson.

Leaving his guitar in a jar by the door, David Cook rocks the mic stand for his Daughtry-esque cover of "Eleanor Rigby." No, I shouldn't compare him to Daughtry. They share a similar sound, but David is more of an "everyman" and he doesn't wear all of that annoying eyeliner. However, I'm not a fan of the super-high, flipped-up collar on his jacket tonight. It makes him look like a hipster vampire. Unlike a vampire, though, he does not suck. I enjoy his performance and the judges do too. Simon is particularly happy and declares that David could win the whole thing if voters treat this "like a talent competition and not a popularity contest." I guess that's the nicest way possible of saying, "If you had to rely on your personality, you'd be soooo dead." I disagree on that point, too. David comes across as very humble and sweet, so I'm not sure why Simon thinks he's so bland.

The whitest girl you know, Brooke White, takes to the piano sans shoes for "Let It Be." As usual, I really enjoy her performance. She's quite the opposite of Ramiele. She might hit a bum note or two every now and then, but I always feel like she's emotionally connecting with the audience and really caring about what she's singing. Randy and Paula are doing some kind of mind-meld thing on me because they say, essentially, the same thing and Simon proclaims Brooke as one of the best tonight.

David Hernandez gives us his take on "I Saw Her Standing There," and suddenly Tiffany's version doesn't seem so bad. Ugh. It's like he's trying to make a soul song out of a peppy pop tune. Besides that, I hate when contestants go into the audience or, in this case, start from out in the audience. Both are unforgivably cheesy. Paula and Randy aren't feeling it either, and each of their 1/2 critiques adds up to one big "eh." Simon calls it "corny, verging on desperate." Seacrest stuffs a sawbuck into David's g-string to make him feel better.

Amanda Overmyer threatens to put her "little Amanda spin" on "You Can't Do That, " which I immediately assume means "This is gonna hurt." Well, you'll notice that I'm not calling her Jamless Joplin™ this time around. That's because I'm even more surprised by Amanda's performance tonight than I was by Chikezie's. I can't believe it. She is actually good. I am actually enjoying this. She totally raided Steven Tyler's wardrobe before the show, but I don't even care. I dig the whole performance. I'm still not sure I believe that the bluesy rasp isn't forced, but she sounds more natural right now than I've ever heard her. Randy loves it and Paula reminds us that THIS IS THE BEST SEASON EVER!! Simon isn't as blown away this week as he was last week, but he still thinks Amanda is a breath of fresh air. And he needs it, considering that he spends every show downwind of Paula's whiskey breath and Dawg farts.

The man I'd most love to find coming through my bathroom window, Michael Johns, is up next. Ahh, in his interview tape, he's wearing a white henley, also dangerously unbuttoned! I hope Simon is paying attention, because Michael is really making that look his own. He's just raised the bar of sexiness. You see, it all comes down to shirt selection. Some chests just aren't hot enough to pull off that many undone buttons. Sorry, Simon. Just being honest! Ahhhh, anyway....Michael takes to the stage to perform "Across The Universe," a song that has some sort of sentimental value to him. I'm very happy about this because I've been wanting him to finally sing a slow song. He sounds really good. He looks really good. I can actually feel myself ovulating. I think Paula feels the same, because she's all glowy and gushy. (Stay away from him, Drunky.) Randy and Simon, obviously feeling inferior, tell Michael that he could've done something "bigger" with the song. Then Simon acts like a mean dad with his "Why can't you be more like Carly" baloney, claiming that Carly brought something brilliant to her song. Oh, really? What was that, exactly? Boobs? Give me a break. This was a lovely performance. And I'm not just saying that because he's a lovely man.

Kristy Lee Cook is so concerned about impressing Simon and doing what the judges think she should that she makes the bizarre decision to do "Eight Days A Week" as a country song. Apparently, speeding a song up and adding some fiddles automatically makes it "country." That's all Kristy Lee did. She is one of the most boring people (with some of the worst clothes) to ever grace the Idol stage. None of the judges like this garbage either. This drab display even inspires Paula to be straightforwardly negative for once! Simon tickles my funny bone by likening this performance to being at a "ghastly country fair," but I'm still mad at him.

Getting the anchor position once again is David "Why Don't They Just Crown Him Now" Archuleta, who is performing "We Can Work It Out." He's doing the Stevie Wonder version though, because that's the only version he knows. Criminy. Kids! It turns out to be a very bad choice for David, who forgets a bunch of the lyrics and falls short on some of the high notes. It's still obvious that he has a great voice, but he's not showcasing it tonight and the judges let him know it. He must be nervous as hell because he looks like he's gonna drop a load onstage. And, let's face it, he could do just that and still be safe. There's no way this kid is going home. He won't even be in the Bottom Three. He gets a pass.

So, who will be in the Bottom Three this week? Judging solely by their performances, I have to say it will be Ramiele, David Hernandez and Kristy Lee. I think one of the girls will get the axe, but which one? It's a tough call. Based on their talent, Ramiele deserves to stay over the horse whisperer. However, there have been a lot of blondes bounced over the last few weeks and I think Kristy Lee might strangely have a lot of fans. She is going to be another Carmen Rasmusen, sticking around much longer than she should. That means Ramiele will be taking the long and winding road home tomorrow night.


Slave to the dogs said...

I can't believe nobody did Hey Jude.

And funny that Come Together is one of your least favorite Beatles tunes - it's one of my faves. It gave me the creeps as a kid and I've never gotten over it.

Travis said...

I'm pretty much on board with you this week.

David Cook had a wow moment. Carly can sing. Michael is polished. Chikezie and Brooke showed they have what it takes to get to the top 6.

Amanda quit screaming. Archuleta messed up but he's got the fans. Jason was meh. Syesha was good but didn't stand out. Ramiele has a good but boring voice. David H had a huh? moment.

And Kristy is probably out.

Red said...

God, I hope Khristy is out. I seriously could not take another Carmen Rasmusen.

Gifted Typist said...

So sorry to have to say this, BeckEye, but Michael should prolly go tonight, but because this is a popularity contest not a talent contest, he will prolly survive.

I've offered him a place to stay should he need comforting and reassurance.

cube said...

Kristy Lee's performance last night was laughable. I soon as I heard the sped up fiddles I knew she would bomb & she didn't let me down.

I predict that Kristy Lee is going to get kicked off the saddle tonight.

CDP said...

I've been hearing the death knells of your romance with Simon for some time now, but it's clear that you've completely moved on now.

Mike said...

Agree with your bottom 3. I think Ramen noodles will be the one to go. Cant wait to see the blubbering as she wrecks the Beatles for the last time!

Seacrest is gay? Amazing!

Love your recap. Anyone that knows the Rutles and can use the lyric of " a jar by the door" so effectively is HUGE in my book.

Falwless said...

I picked the same bottom three. Which just proves we both have flawless judgment.

And thank you for saying something about Kristy Lee's clothes. It had to be done and you're the perfect one to do it.

I've decided to concede Michael Johns if you'll let me have my way with Jason Castro. Holy crap that boy makes me weak.

And I was totally with you with the preparing to hate Chikezie but instead rather delighting at his performance... surprising turn for Tic-Tac Teeth.

Sauntering Soul said...

I haven't watched yet but it's waiting on my Tivo when I get home tonight. After reading your review, I can hardly wait to see it!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

What's going on there? Was there a sale on white Henley shirts, or should we be reading something more sinister into this?

Bluez said...

Chickeze really surprised me, I really liked his cover. Brooke was good, Dave Cook was good, Carley, Jason and Amanda were good. David A screwed up but not bad enough to get eliminated. The rest were forgetable except for Kristy Lee, she sucked pond water, she's outta there!

Movie Maven said...

I got really scared when I made the same comment Paula did about Chikezie before she said it, because it might mean I'm on the road to...wherever the hell she lives. (It was the O Brother, Where Art Thou? comparison.) Tic-Tac Teeth really stepped it up! Yay!

Also, listen, girl. I want to get my hands on Michael Johns' savoy truffle* as much as the next girl. But he's kind of not that great a performer. It saddens me to have to say it, but it's true.

p.s. Best. Title. Ever.

*yeah, that one was Harrison's, but I like it so much!

Chancelucky said...

Great recap as always Beckeye.

It was strange to see someone in the cleanup spot screw up that badly. I don't know if I've ever seen it be that extreme.

Alice said...

when i found out (from your blog, obvs) that it was beatles week, i was REALLY concerned.. but like you, loved brooke's and chikezie's takes. can't bear to listen to the ones you say are slaughtered.. don't have the heart to do that to my ears.

DrillerAA said...

I have to completely agree with your bottom three. I really think David H. is in trouble. That kind of a "shark eye" stare, virtually no personality, and letting the back-up singers do your high notes for you all add up to a cab ride to LAX.

fran said...

1. Why is everyone so surprised that Chikeze was good? He's good every week.

2. Michael Johns wins the "Most Egregious Squandering Of Talent" award every week.

3. I have an irrational hate for Jason Castro. He reminds me of the guy in Animal House that gets his guitar smashed by Belushi. I bought my love a chicken that had no bones...

4. David Cook is by far my favorite, although I seem to be the only one disturbed that his (admittedly powerful) version of "Eleanor Rigby" was completely incongruous with the melancholy lyrics.

5. Note to David Archuleta: The emperor has had no clothes for a few weeks now. Being cute can only get you so far.

5. Ramiele and David H., the bus is running. Kristy Lee and Syesha, don't make dinner reservations more than a week in advance.

Kristi Mantoni said...

I think your bottom is spot on. Your bottom 3 that is! I think it's going to be the stripper to leave us. "I saw HER standing there" give me a break!

SkylersDad said...

I think Ramiele is gone!

M@ said...

The ladies at work today were discussing this show. I am honestly amazed at how much time you spent on this. Amazed.

Dale said...

I don't like 'Come Together' either but like Carly's version. I really liked Chikezie too. If only the horse whisperer had slowed down 'Eight Days A Week' she might have had a chance. Nice recap and no dropped loads!

kellypea said...

I have way too much to say about this for your comments box. Way. Couldn't you just see the little horsey Khristy was clip clopping along on? Unbelievable. And I barely survived Hernandez' cheeseball performance. He HAS to go. Has to. Doncha think Jason had a bit of the Tiny Tim thing going on? At the end? I like him but I want him to sing a different kind of song just to see if he can. David Cook was outstanding -- and I was thinking he looked vampirishy too. Somebody should have done Bessame Mucho (since the Beatles always used to sing it) just so we could all remember SunJamMan. Yanno?

BeckEye said...

Slave - Maybe Randy will sing "Hey Dude" tonight. Dawg.

Travis - I'd like to polish Michael's...oh never mind.

Red - I was watching Idol Rewind the other night, and there was Carmen, bleating away.

GT - You're lucky that I like you or you would be dead now.

Cube - Never underestimate the power of the bland blondes. She's the only one left, so I'm afraid she might hang on for a while longer.

CDP - He just couldn't compete with Michael. Totally different league.

Mike - I was wondering if anyone would notice the Rutles reference. Well, I cracked myself up.

Falwless - Don't you mean we have falwless judgment?? You, me, Johns, Castro. Double date. This Saturday. Be there.

Sauntering Soul - I wish I had Tivo so I could enjoy this show AND have a social life.

Barbara - Maybe it was a sinister sale.

Bluez - Michael was NOT forgettable. Watch it, missy.

MM - I hate when Paula and I have the same thoughts. It doesn't happen that often, but even once is scary enough. And it's funny you mention the Harrison tune because I originally had a reference in here to Paul McCartney sitting at home and "gently weeping" during Hernandez's performance. I got rid of it because I'm too anal to leave a non Lennon/McCartney song pun in my recap. Oy.

Chancelucky - Yeah, they needed someone to clean up after the clean-up batter.

Alice - Just watch Michael's performance. He's always worth a look or 2 or 40.

Drilleraa - Shark eye. Ha.

Fran - As you might imagine, I can't get past #2. Say what you will but I'd let Michael squander his talent all over me.

Kristi - Well, I'm not a fan of the "gender switch" songs either, so I'm glad he didn't change it to "him!"

Skyler's Dad - Arrrrrgh ....watching right now and they just proclaimed her safe! Dammit! That girl has 9 lives!

M@ - How do you know I spent a lot of time on this? This shit just pours out of me.

Dale - Any song referencing toe jam really doesn't appeal to me. It's just a personal preference.

Kellypea - Sanjaya is in the audience tonight! Would you like him to get up and sing "Besame Mucho" for old time's sake? He's got that creepy facial hair going on again.

Anonymous said...

so sorry Beck! I did mean to put Micheal up there with the pack that were decent, he is never forgettable.

they got it half right, I still think David was better than Kristy Lee however I'm not a fan of country music. She'll be next.


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