Tuesday, May 06, 2008

American Idol 7: Hello Cleveland!


Tonight, American Idol meets The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame. Will these two entities go together like sugar and water or oil and water? Or will the evening be the musical equivalent of the Exxon Valdez disaster? Let's find out...

First Round

David Cook pisses me off right out of the gate by taking on a Duran Duran song. It wouldn't bother me if he did something awesome with "Hungry Like the Wolf," but he just takes out the keyboards, speeds it up a bit and does a lot of rock star posing. Then he flubs the lyrics near the end. Now, I'll admit to sometimes singing the "juices like wine" part when I should be singing "discord and rhyme," even after all these years of Durannie-ness, but hey, I'm not on stage being judged. And besides, he didn't say either of those things. It was more like "uh duh nah why uh zussuz like wine." Randy and Simon think the performance was just okay, but Paula is totally going to slap on some war paint and a loincloth and chase David through the woods later tonight. If he shows up with scratches on his face tomorrow night, you'll know I'm right.

By the way, I should mention that I was confused by David's choice at first because, although it is a travesty, the double D are not in the R 'N R Hall...yet. But with a bit of Internet research, I discovered that the gang is picking songs from the Hall's "500 songs That Shaped Rock and Roll" exhibit.

Rolling onto the stage now is Syesha Mercado with her version of "Proud Mary." Actually, it's not her version, it's Tina Turner's. The dance moves are Tina's, too. I think Syesha even swiped that shiny dress from Tina's closet. This whole performance is like that show from a few years back, Your Big Break. (I don't know if anyone remembers that, but it was kind of like karaoke night with better costumes.) I'm kind of embarrassed for Syesha, yet Randy thinks she is "in the zone" and Paula yammers something about "magic." Simon, as always, plays the voice of reason and calls the performance what it is - a bad impersonation. Syesha defends herself by saying she had fun, to which Simon replied, "Good. I didn't." Me neither. And if Ike were still alive, Syesha would be showing up with some bruises tomorrow to go with David's scratches.

The guy I most wanna party with, Jason Castro, flashes a mischievous smile and warns everyone that he's "obviously" singing a Bob Marley song. People will say that his version of "I Shot the Sheriff" sucks, and that's probably mostly true, but I love that Jason is having more fun tonight than I've ever seen him have. And he's just a dreadlocked doll baby. As expected, the judges pan his performance without mercy, with Simon going so far as to call it "utterly atrocious." His snit continues as he asks Jason, "What were you thinking?" and Jason happily responds, "I was thinking Bob MARLEY!" Good Lord, I love him. He just does not care.

Simon insists that "no one can do Bob Marley," ensuring that there will be a bob Marley theme night next season.

Little Lord Archuleroy gets the pimp spot (surprise!) and chooses yet another mid-tempo croony number. This time around it's Ben E. King's "Stand By Me." As always, he sings it pretty well. As always, it sounds the same as everything else he sings. As always, the judges fall all over themselves to praise their chosen one. Simon can't pass up the opportunity to further insult Jason by telling Archie that he "could've whistled and still sounded better than the last performance." Boy, it must really suck for the AI gang that Paula screwed up the evil plan to oust Jason last week. Now they're twice as pissed and three times as transparent!

Second Round

David Cook's second song is The Who classic, "Baba O'Riley." This is definitely better than his first performance and his vocals are quite good, but I'm not wild about the slowed-down tempo. This is a bombastic rock tune, not some emo puddle of hoobastaind! Still, all of the judges love it. To them, if your name is David, you're golden.

Before the break, Ryan announces, "Coming up, Syesha and...(look of doom) Jason." Wow, this anti-Jason campaign is really in full swing. Would anyone like to critique his next song before he even sings it? Paula? Anyone?

As promised, Syesha is back and explaining the story behind Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come." During this speech, she basically equates the Civil Rights movement to her time on American Idol. Wow. Okay. The Tina Turner charade was strike one and this display of narcissism is strike two. Strike three comes in in the form of Syesha's painfully slow vocal ascent from Dullsville into Shriektown. Oddly enough, the only judge who doesn't enjoy this boring shout-fest is Randy, who usually loves it loud. Paula actually gives Syesha a standing ovation, hugs herself and blathers some motivational dreck that causes Syesha to cry unconvincingly. (Doesn't anyone remember that she's an actress?) She sobs and sobs, but when Ryan asks her to explain why she's so emotional, the tears dry up quicker than you can say "I have a dream...that I'm in the final three," and she cheerfully talks some more about the song's ties to the Civil Rights movement. (Ties that she admittedly didn't even know about until she did a quick Google search a few days before the show.) This is as shrewd as dedicating a song to a dead family member, proclaiming your patriotism or revealing the various afflictions that threatened to end your singing career forever.

Jason grabs his guitar to sing "Mr. Tambourine Man," and I'm all prepared to love it, but my pretty pretty stoner forgets an entire line. Not only does he forget the words, but he replaces them with some silly "uh uh uh uh uhs." Honestly, forgetting the lyrics is always a horrible mistake, but I still think Jason's voice sounds nice. And, really, who could ever understand what the hell Bob Dylan was saying? Besides, even the Little Lord flubbed his lyrics on the show before. Brooke was allowed to mess up two or three times before ever getting voted off. David Cook just effed up lyrics about 45 minutes ago! So, I don't think it should be that big of a deal. Jason didn't make us wait through an uncomfortable silence while he stopped and started over. And he barely blinked when he forgot the words! He got through it and got right back on track. That should count for something, right? Wrong. None of this matters. The judges hate him. Simon tells him to pack his suitcase.

Closing out the show tonight, and squinting like Mr. Magoo, is Little Lord Archuleroy. He is singing Elvis's "Love Me Tender." He should change the title to "Love Me Tweeners." Ugh. Everything this kid does is so formulaic. No wonder the judges love him. Randy is loving him a little too much. He tells David that he loves how he "was so tender and caressed every word." Eh? My roommate announces that Randy needs to "go stroke it off in the bathroom." I plan to kill him in his sleep for putting that visual in my head.

Overall, this evening was completely underwhelming. Kind of like actually spending a day at the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame.

I'm sure that the judges and producers feel confident this week that the furor over "Paulagate" has died down enough that they can finally boot Jason, so he probably will be packing his Boones-stained duffel bag. However, I will vainly hold out some hope that the public's votes actually matter and that it will be Syesha leaving us tomorrow night.

Jason basically told Entertainment Weekly that he was ready to go home, so I won't be too sad for him if he does go. But if he does, the last few shreds of fun left on this show will go with him.

21 comments:

Red said...

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but, while Little David is incredibly formulaic and vanilla, I do think he has the most natural vocal talent of all the remaining contestants. He's not an "artist" but any stretch of the imagination, but the boy can sing.

This week we completely disagreed on just about everything. Which I kinda love. Excellent as always.

fran said...

Hahaha...I never realized it until you said it, but little Davey really does squint like Mr. Magoo. He walks really weird too, like his knees don't bend. I do think he's the robot kid from A.I., I really do.

What does Jason have to do to get booted from this show? Take a shit onstage? We'll find out, since that's exactly what he did. I loved how he said he picked Bob Marley for "obvious reasons". He might as well have bummed a match from Ryan and lit up onstage.

I give up. I'm tired of the contestants being harangued for hewing too closely to the original arrangement of a song. Syesha was great, and I don't even like her. If there is any justice, she will join Cook in the final 2 and then lose.

Bloody Awful Poetry said...

I hope they cancel this show really really soon.It's like a crime against humanity.

I will miss Jason an his dreads very much too. He bacame my own personal hero the minute I saw him yawning his face off backstage during last week's results.

Gifted Typist said...

You're too hard on Syesha. Yes, she does impressions. And it was inappropriate to push the comparison between her time on Idol and the civil rights movement. She's no Einstein.
But at least she cares about what she's doing which is more than you can say for Jason who may as well shooting a third finger at the audience. He's a lucky quitter and those people are the most irritating of all.
I think people keep voting him in again cuz they want to see him yawn.

He show go tonight, off the toe of Simon's boot.

Gifted Typist said...

sorry, BeckEye, it's early (such is my devotion to your recaps that I'm reponding before my typist's fingers have woken)

"be" shooting a third finger

and

"should" go tonight. off the toe of Simon's boot

Andrew said...

Anybody catch what happened in the recaps at the end of the show? Lil' David's ending for "Love Me Tender" appears to have been snipped from his rehearsal run through, rather than from the live show. Nigel & Co must have been running short on time to get that thing slapped together...

Anyway - I'm now of the opinion that the best outcome for all involved would be for Jason to go home tonight, DC to follow next week, and let LLA and the SM-bot battle it out in a cage match for the chance to sing "Do I Make You Retch?

Bluez said...

I still think Jason has a good voice. Too bad he f'd up but like you said, he wasn't the first. Someone's gotta go and I think its him. Syesha will be next leaving the two Davids standing.

Dale said...

The lyrics flub from Mr. Cook should have been focussed on more by those drunk judges and they really overpraised him for his marginally better second song. I still like him, I just think they should be more honest.

If I could though, I'd vote Dreads back on and get him to win though, I too love that he just doesn't care. BOB MARLEY!!

I want you on the panel Beckeye, right next to Simon (Cowell, not LeBon).

CDP said...

I thought Jason was pretty bad but I did love his "whatever" attitude and the "of course" Bob Marley explanation. He really doesn't care what anyone thinks, and he's fun to watch. I hate "Love Me Tender" so much that I couldn't watch it, and I liked David Cook but wished the Baba O'Reilly arrangement had been better. It started good but turned into a show tune at the end. Excellent recap as always.

Malcolm said...

Because I heard about the RRHOF angle, I watched the first few minutes of AI last night. When dude launched into "Hungry Like the Wolf", I was wondering what your reaction would be. I switched back to the Celtics/Cavs game so I missed the rest of the show.

Slave to the dogs said...

" his Boones-stained duffel bag".

Dude. Stoners don't drink Boones! With my friends Mickey's big mouths were the swill of choice.

I missed the show last night but somehow I think your recap was better.

Mike said...

I sat with mouth agape when syeesha compared her "struggle" with the civil rights movement.

Sam Cooke is doing the counter clockwise horizontal sping as we speak.

It makes a dude like castro that more likeable. He isnt acting like the trap door to hell is gonna open up wide if he doesnt win frickin idol!

Phew...I feel better now.

Sauntering Soul said...

Even though Jason flubbed the lyrics he sounded EXACTLY like Bob Dylan. Jason was not the best last night, but I'm still pulling for him.

I'm incredibly tired of Little David. And like all of y'all, I also don't understand why the judges fall all over themselves trying to heap that much praise on him. He has a 'nice' voice but I would stab myself in the eye with a pencil if I had to sit and listen to an entire CD of his at one time.

Honestly, I can't wait for this season to end and I've never felt that way about AI before.

jolie said...

what song was that? you say "love me tender"? seriously? the tune was all outta whack! talk about sam cook spinning in his grave, betcha elvis is too.

I'm here saying "boo" to LLA. mcgaspy magoo needs to say bye-bye.

Mathdude said...

I got the Davids safe, and I'm thinking Syesha is packing her bags. Great recap as usual.

Beth said...

Y'know, while listening to the AI wrap-up on the radio this morning, I wondered when Duran Duran had been inducted.

Movie Maven said...

As always, you're spot on. The LOOK OF DOOM Seacrest gave the judges when introducing Cannabistro was soooo transparent.

And was it just me, but was Little Lord's rendition of "Love Me Tender" weirdly churchy? The whole time, I was imagining him in some boys' choir, like, "Love me Jesus, love me loooooord..."

Movie Maven said...

Also, good call on Sy's alligator tears. Girl wasn't even a little bit affected by them when she "composed" herself.

DrillerAA said...

Jason, bend over, put your head between your legs and kiss your butt goodbye.
It's just that simple.

Once again proving that your boy MJ left far, far too early in this competition.

Kristi Mantoni said...

When I found out Cook was going to sing "Hungry Like the Wolf" my first reaction was "NOOOOOOOOO!!!" Boy, was I right!

I still have no clue who the hell is voting for Syesha. Are people voting on race alone?

I'll miss Jason. He's always so cute and goofy! You gotta love the kid!

I still listen to MJ "It's All Wrong but It's Alright" all the time! I adore it!

Cleo said...

This whole season has been completely underwhelming: mind-numbingly boring, with very few memorable performances from very few memorable performers. The best thing about it has been reading funny recaps like yours.

I have to thank you for your "uh duh nah why uh zussuz like wine" line. Yesterday a friend of mine posted a comment to my MySpace blog about Jason needing to go because he messed up the lyrics to "Mr. Tambourine Man". I just had to call this self-professed Durani out, but I was at work, and I don't have sound on my PC at work, so I used your line to make my point. As soon as I got home I re-listened to David C.'s performance. You heard it right: "uh duh nah why uh zussuz like wine". Well, it was pretty close, anyway.

 

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