Wednesday, February 25, 2009

American Idol 8: And I Am Telling You This is Not a Singing Competition

Cue dramatic music. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire lighting. All quiet in the studio. Seacrest enters and asks, "Where else can you find a welder, bartender, font designer, and a comedian?" Uhhh....ooh, ooh! I know! Clue? A Village People concert? Flashdance? (Yeah, I'm pretty sure Tina Tech was a font designer by day.)

Hmm, apparently my answers are all incorrect. All of these professions are represented by the contestants in Group 2 of American Idol's Top 36.

I know it's going to be a weird night because Ryan is dressed like a 12-year-old boy. Also, the judges are arranged backwards, and they've decided to switch up who gets to critique first with each contestant. Gee, I can't wait to hear Paula try to form her own opinion.

As with last week, tonight's theme is Songs (from any year) on the Billboard Hot 100. As with last week, contestants will probably still manage to pick all of the most tired or completely wrong songs out of the thousands available.

First up is Jasmine Murray who always gets big love from the judges for having such a commercial look. She opts for Sarah Bareilles' "Love Song," which, I imagine, is for Kara's benefit since she suggested it to Anne Marie (a little too late) last week. Jasmine spends about 90 seconds looking for the right key but never finds it. Randy is no longer speaking in full sentences, opting instead to just bark out some of his outdated buzzwords and phrases. His critique adds up to: "yo, aight, yo, check it, pitchy." Paula must have cracked the bottle earlier than usual this morning because she is hammered. Kara and Simon are disappointed in Jasmine's lousy performance because she is just so darn commercial! Gee, it's so unfortunate that her vocals aren't up to par, because they could never successfully market a pretty girl who can't sing.

Jasmine is actually surprised by the negative comments and stands there grinning like an idiot. Then, she tells Ryan that she tried voting for everyone last week. And....there it goes. My last nerve just snapped in half.

Matt Giraud takes the stage next to sing "Livin' La Vida Loca." Er, I'm sorry, make that "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay. I started to warm up to this guy during Hollywood week, so I had high hopes for him. But he's suddenly turned into Goat Boy. Who the heck tries to give the Stevie Wonder treatment to a Coldplay song? That's as silly as trying to make a rap version of Air Supply's "All Out of Love." I'm disturbed that Kara and I are on the same wavelength, as she tells Matt that the song he chose "doesn't lend itself to that type of [bluesy] interpretation." Paula agrees that it's the wrong song, but applauds him for "bringing what he brought to it." She's so wise. Simon calls Matt a "wannabe popstar," while Randy trots out, "yo, mad talent, yo, you got it like that, work it out man." When Matt says that this is the kind of music he wants to make, the judges all turn on him and warn him that he won't make it unless he stays in the box they've created for him.

Somebody named Jeanine Vailes is taking the stage to sing "This Love" by Turd Levine and Maroon 5. Since this girl has never been on camera until now, the odds of her making it through are slim to none, even if she's as good as Ricky Braddy was last week. I'm already skeptical because of the horrible outfit. She looks like she just left the boardroom and is in the middle of changing into her nighttime street corner work clothes. Add to that the awful song choice, and I hate her before she even opens her mouth. Then, she justifies my hate by opening her mouth and making an already bad song even worse. She sucks. All the judges are pretty much in agreement over this. Paula, always looking for a bright side, tells Jeanine that she has great legs. All the judges are pretty much in agreement over this, also. Kara stares blankly at her for a second and then says, "I'm trying to think of what else about you is pretty." Wow, you know, I'm no fan of Jeanine, but I kind of wish she'd run over there, wrap her gorgeous legs around Kara's neck and just snap it like some kind of Bond villain. What a condescending bitch. Instead, Jeanine just stands there and tries to blame her suckage on her "under the radar" status. Yes, that must be it. If she had only gotten more screen time, she would've known how to sing in tune. Well, maybe she can go do some Nair commercials or something and then come back next year.

And now, the moment everyone has been waiting for. Who will the next contestant be - Nick Mitchell or Normund Gentle? Nick appears in the pre-performance interview, but it is Normund who takes the stage. Knowing that he probably doesn't have a chance in hell to make it through to the Top 12, he doesn't bother to learn a new song and pulls out his trusty Dreamgirls favorite, "And I Am Telling You." Everyone in the audience is stunned that he is making a mockery out of the whole show. He sings in a very nasally tone (a nod to Chrustin Richardslake™, perhaps), hits some horrible high notes, sings to Doogie (who's down in front yet again, sans Ted Danson), humps the Idol logo, and basically takes a huge dump on stage and revels in rubbing the judges' noses in it. The funny thing is, although he hits some really nasty notes, he really doesn't have a bad voice. It wasn't nearly as bad as any of the last three performances, and it certainly wasn't boring. Randy thinks Normund is entertaining, and Kara actually says something funny when she mentions that Normund wears the same shirt every week, just like Simon. Paula thinks Normund is paying homage to Olivia Newton-John and/or Jerry Lewis, and uses about 5,000 words to basically say, "you're fun."

Simon, however, is not entertained and "prays that Normund does not go through to the next round." Well, the judges put him in the Top 36, so why not? It would be hilarious if he made it to the Top 12, but I don't think he will. Not even with the support of all the Worsters or everyone else in the world. The producers (and Simon) will never let it happen.

Paula's drunkest moment comes when Seacrest asks her if she would vote for Normund based on that performance. At first, she starts mumbling something, and when Ryan asks her again to answer the question, she says that she thought he was talking to Simon. Then, when she finally does answer, her response is literally, "Y'know blah blah blah blah blah." And that, folks, is why she makes the big bucks.

Allison Irehata, 16, is interviewed by Ryan, and she acts like she's been drinking from Paula's cup. The 16-year-old then tries her hand at Heart's "Alone," one of the songs I suggested should be retired from the show. Obviously, no one listens to me. I'm all set to hate this because I remember 16-year-old Allison from Hollywood week and thought she was awful, even though the judges labeled the 16-year-old "the dark horse." However, I'm rather surprised because, aside from a little growling and shrieking in some parts, it's pretty good overall. This 16-year-old definitely can sing and is the best so far. The judges milk the catch-phrase cow dry on this one:
Randy - "blew it out the box, yo"
Kara - "you have serious chops"
Paula - "you could sing the telephone book"
Simon - "the competition just started"
All together now - "you're only 16!!!"

Allison's performance is even more impressive when you realize that she's only 16 years old. My, what a powerful voice for a 16-year-old. Did I mention that she's only 16?

We're finally treated to a cute guy in the form of Kris Allen. He looks like a metrosexual version of Ryan Adams. For some reason, he chooses to sing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," and it's pretty boring. This is the second performance in a row that has actually been in tune, so I probably shouldn't complain, but he's actually become instantly less cute to me because he's so dull. Ryan Adams would probably smash a whiskey bottle off this guy's face. Kara says Kris made a bad song choice and that he wasn't as good tonight as he was during Hollywood Week. I can't believe that Kara and I keep agreeing. Paula and Simon disagree with us, and Simon tries his hardest to swing the vote towards a commercial-looking person, since no one in their right mind will vote for Jasmine. He says that chicks will love Kris, even though he's not as good of a singer as Danny Gokey. (Amazing that they manage to pimp Danny on a night when he's not even performing. Ugh.) I'm not exactly sure whose side Randy is on. I think "nice jump off, baby" is probably a good thing, right?

Dressed up like a Cabbage Patch Doll, Megan Corkrey sings Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" while making stupid faces. She also makes Casey Carlson look like Cyd Charisse with her one dance move, the torso-jerk. Her vocals aren't bad, but they're not great either. Usually, the contestants start out a little shaky and gradually get better, but Megan is doing the opposite. Paula says that Megan did everything right, while Simon agrees with me that the song started well but was a bit overdone in the second half. He hopes America votes for her though because she's relevant and pretty. Randy says she's definitely got the "Duffy and Adele vibe dropping off." And Kara uses her favorite term: package artist. Kara and Simon are already imagining all of the money that Megan could potentially make for them.

Matt Breitzke reminds me of a song I had forgotten all about - Tonic's "If You Could Only See." I always liked the song, but thought that the singer's voice was a little annoying. Unfortunately, it sounds like Matt is trying to imitate him. All of the judges basically say the same thing: "We like you, the song didn't suit you, every note was in key, but the performance was boring." Translation: "We already have a blue-collar guy in the Top 12. Sorry. No room."

Jesse Langseth takes time out from being a single mom, trying to hide the fact that she's Jonny Lang's sister, and getting arrested for DUIs to sing Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes." At the risk of sounding like Paula, Jesse really does have a nice tone to her voice, but sometimes it just seems like she's forcing this bluesy chick schtick. Kara thinks Jesse looks great but sounds just "okay," and Randy is not blown out his box. Paula and Simon are on opposite sides of the fence with Jesse, as Paula finds her "captivating" and Cowell thinks she's "forgettable." Simon says that the performance was "too cool for school." Well, I've got a news flash, Walter Cronkite. It wasn't.

Looking like a lopsided Chia-Pet is Kai Kalama, who sings Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted." He's a little dull, but sounds perfectly fine to me. I was sure that the judges would fawn over him, especially since his sick mother is in the audience, be-bopping to the music. Surprisingly, they all have generally negative critiques. Kara thinks the song was too old-fashioned and that Kai "fell off pitch" sometimes. Paula thinks, ooooh, "fell off pitch" sounds smart and so repeats the sentiment. Simon thinks Kai is a little corny and would make a much better back-up singer. Randy thinks that Kai played it too safe. Translation: "We already have a 'Very Special Contestant' in the Top 12, and the Blind Guy will probably make it through next week, so that's two. Sorry. No room."

The contestant with the most ridiculous name, Mishavonna Henson, sings a song with some of the most ridiculous lyrics ever written, Train's "Drops of Jupiter." She's got a nice, husky voice, but she sounds a little pitchy to me, dawg. And this is just such an awful song. The judges all agree that it was a poor song choice for her, but all seem to actually think the song itself is good. Why does that not surprise me? Simon thinks Mishavonna is too serious and Randy wants her to "shake it out," whatever that means. Kara says the same thing she has used as her "big but" in just about every negative critique: "That's the thing with you, you really are a good singer." Yep, just one more good singer they chose not to pimp, who has virtually no shot at the Top 12.

The night finally ends (huzzah!) with the fierce and fabulous Adam Lambert. I never imagined in a million years that he would cover "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," but he does. And it's like Jagger: The Musical. Good Lord, I LOVE HIM. He's kind of hilarious because he's so over-the-top and theatrical, but there is no doubt that the boy can sing his face off. Paula stands and delivers her trademark seal clap. She begins her critique with, "I don't even have words to express that," and then babbles incoherently to prove her point. Kara praises Adam's "outrageous" vocal technique and amazing range. Simon thinks that people will either love this performance or hate it, and Randy is among those who love it. In fact, he thinks it's "da bomb." Then, he starts bellowing, "What? WHAT? Come on!!" to no one in particular.

Adam will definitely make it through to the Top 12. He's one of the best technical singers they have, has been heavily featured throughout every stage of the competition, and it's no accident that he was in the pimp spot tonight.

I think the top girl will be Allison, so that only leaves the question of who will be the third pick. I'm debating between Kris and Megan, either of whom could easily be brought back for the Wild Card round. Tween girls will definitely like Kris, but I'm not sure they'll vote for him when they have probably never heard that Michael Jackson song before. They will probably like Megan a little more because she sang something current and kind of looks like Reese Witherspoon. So, that's my Top 3: Adam, Allison and Megan.

The results will be revealed tomorrow night, and Brooke White is stopping by to perform her new single. I wonder if she'll teach everyone how to stop and restart a song on live TV?

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksalot.


Bond said...

Can we just not take anyone from last night. I was so bored throughout...OK, we can take Adam...but anyone else moving on is being given a real blessing.

Nick/Norman pi**ed me off..the guy has a voice and has decided to make a fool of himself when a real singer should have had the chance...hell the guy made Sanjaya sound like Frank Sinatra with his performance last night.

gizmorox said...

It's a pity that last dude's hair is so freaking ridiculous, because he could almost be attractive. Your recaps are thoroughly entertaining :)

Gwen said...

I stopped watching when it got to the 12 singers a night thing but your recaps are keeping me updated and laughing until I can care again. Which might be never.

Movie Maven said...

By all rights, I should love Lambert, but he just reminds me of a lot of douchey people I have encountered. He probably brings a rolling suitcase to auditions. But Miss Alison was a welcome surprise! I did manage to watch the whole 2-hour broadcast in about 35 minutes, knowing that if Seacrest or the judges did anything ridiculous of note, you would mention it. Props!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Yeah, what was up with Seacrest and Simon's outfits last night?? Simon looked like he was wearing a dirty, mangy, white undershirt and Ryan with a golf shirt that did him no favors by showing off his little girly arms.

Oh, how the mighty fall hard. Yawn! The talent sucks so bad this year it's killing me. I waited all night to be blown away-only to finally get it from Lambert-and I'm not quite sure if I would have been THAT blown away if I wasn't starving for it like a rabid dog at that point.

I decided I'm only watching the last 15 minutes of tonite. I'm getting what info I need then I'm moving on. *sigh*

Fancy Schmancy said...

I missed the first half, and wish I had missed the second half. Thanks for letting me know what I missed. I'm digging the Lambert kid, because he is so flamboyant. Reminds me a little of Danny Noriega last year, perhaps they will become a couple...

BeckEye said...

Bond: "...the guy has a voice and has decided to make a fool of himself when a real singer should have had the chance."

Okay, but whose fault is it that a "real" singer didn't get a chance? The judges are the ones who put Normund through, knowing full well what he was bringing to the table. If any real singers are feeling miffed for being cut in favor of this guy, it's not him that they should be resenting. And he didn't so much make a fool of himself (that's his act - he's a goof) as he made a mockery of the show, which is exactly what it deserves at this point. They go on and on about how this is a singing competition, and they consistently put people through who make good TV, but not necessarily beautiful music. It would be poetic justice if Normund won the whole thing.

red said...

I have several comments:

1. I'm so glad I don't have to hear how great Jasmine Murray is for the next few months. She's not very good.

2. I agree with your predictions, but I wish Kris would make it rather than Megan. Megan is so one note for me...and that wiggle she does is just ridiculous. How do the judges not call her out on that?

3. Matt Giraud will be back for the WC. He can't not be.

4. What are they gonna do if they end up with, like, 8 men and 4 women?

5. I loathe Kara with the fire of a thousand suns, but it is nice to have someone on the panel who can actually really sing and sounds credible when she talks about singing. You know, if this were still a singing competition.

6. I like the rotating who starts the critiques thing. They do that on Canadian Idol and it totally works.

7. Um...I think that's all.

Ian said...

I really don't like Megan. Her affected "jazzy" vocal mannerisms, dumb twisting, ugly tattoo and kid pimping all add up to someone I don't want to watch.

I picked her to make it because Simon gave her the Michael Sarver treatment. You know, "it wasn't that great, but I hope America votes for you anyway." I'd love to be wrong on that. Then again, the judges will probably put her in the Top 12 as a Wild Card if she doesn't get voted in, since they seem to love her so much.

Dale said...

Keep the 16 year old, she's only 16! and send everyone else packing, no redos, no wildcards, fuck it!

Loved the recap!

Kristi Mantoni said...

"And it's like Jagger: The Musical." HA HA HA HA!!!!!!! I spit out my Mt. Dew on that one!

I think you're right about the Adam and Allison as the top two and the Nick isn't going to be the third one...but wouldn't that be effing fantastic?!?!?

Dave said...

That pic you have of Jesse makes her look like Jeanine Garofolo without all the cigarette smoking. I'm now confused; does that make Jesse unattractive or Jeanine suddenly hot?

Anonymous said...

The only performance I saw was Normun's, and he made me laugh hysterically, so I'm rooting for him.

LiLu said...

I'm so bummed I missed the comedian guy. He was hilarious during auditions!

CDP said...

I can't believe there are still so many of them. I think I'll probably start to watch it when it's down to 10 or so.

cube said...

I really dislike this new voting system. I'm committed now and I'll watch it because like a train wreck I can't look away, but I liked the old way better.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm so glad that you have are starting to groom a replacement for the Aussie guy this time around. I was starting to get worried that there would be nothing in it for you.

Travis said...

We were completely on the same page this week. Most of those kids just couldn't get out of their own way.

The judges deserve whatever they get with the Nick/Norman creature.

My Lady called Adam funky and fabulous. His vocal choices are brilliant and I'm surprised he's not on Broadway.

Sunny said...

I will miss Nick/Normund, but there's Adam, such a bright shiny object to entertain me.


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

My photo
I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine