Tuesday, February 10, 2009

American Idol 8: What Just Happened?

I've been sitting here staring at my computer for a while, trying to figure out how to recap the pile of nothing that American Idol served up tonight. Perhaps with a bigger pile of nothing? We'll see how it goes.

It's Round 3 of Hollywood Week, where the field of 72 contestants is narrowed down to 50. Unfortunately, the show is being edited to look like a hyperactive kid is continuously flipping through the channels. A few (crazy) people get some QT with the camera but, for the most part, there is just a parade of changing faces whizzing by, each stopping to sing one or two lines of a song on the AI menu, followed by much mugging and nodding by the judges. It doesn't even follow a consistent time line, so I guess I'll just pull out some of the highlights and lowlights.

The Bold:

This is already shaping up to be the year of the fabulous gays. (Although, for some reason, Queen Bee Von Smith's audition isn't shown.) Adam Lambert's piano bar version of Cher's "Believe" is so atrocious that it's almost a work of art. On the flip side, Nathaniel Marshall and his 5,000 headbands perform an acoustic version of Rihanna's "Disturbia," which should be awful but is disturbingly enjoyable.

Then there is Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle. I can't figure out if he's a gay man or just plays one on TV. He toys with the idea of playing it "straight," but ultimately decides to audition again as Norman, with a ridiculous version of "Georgia." Look, I'm all for silliness, but I can't take this guy. He is NOT funny! Of course, I may still be bitter that he made it through to Hollywood and my beloved Joel Contreras did not.

The Beautiful:

As if. Nothing to see here, folks. Keep it moving.

Well, actually I take that back. Adam Lambert looks like he was created from the DNA of Ewan McGregor and David Cassidy, so he's quite lovely to look at.

Oh, and then there's my lesbian crush of the season, Casey Carlson. Her hair sure looks purty tonight.

The Bland:

Ugh. So many fit into this category.

Danny (The Widower) Gokey disappoints me tonight, rasping his way through "I Hope You Dance" fairly well, but ruining everything with a sudden, misplaced, loud growl and one last high note that he can't quite reach. However, Paula obviously thinks this is the best thing she's ever heard, as she switches between doing "the lasso" and rocking back and forth while grinning like a maniac. God, she looks like a Kristen Wiig character tonight.

Danny's buddy Jamar Rogers sounds like a croaking frog. But everyone loves him.

Matt Giraud breaks out the keyboards for a nice version of "Georgia," which I would probably like a lot more if he wasn't trying so hard to seem authentic. The judges all flip though, and give him a standing O. And, in Kara's case, that means something a little different.

Ryan reminds everyone that Scott McIntyre is blind, so I'm a little confused when he keeps looking down at the piano keys while he's playing. After a little Googling, I realize that Scott is actually "legally blind with two degrees of tunnel vision," so he's not like Ray Charles blind. He can see something. Still, seeing the world through a tiny, rolled-up newspaper doesn't sound like much fun either. Anyway, he sings Daughtry's "Home" (the first of many former Idols' songs pimped tonight) pleasantly enough, but it's all rather Boy Scout-ish for my taste.

Jorge Nunez, Stevie Wright, Lil Rounds, Alexis Grace, Ann Marie Boskovich, and Jasmine Murray all remember their words and sing in key, but none of them really have any wow factor. And I kind of liked Stevie from her first audition, but she pisses me off tonight by singing that stupid "Bubbly" song. Can we please ban that from the show? How about the world?

The Big Ol' Trainwrecks:

Maybe next time, Kendall Beard will think before she sings "Before He Cheats." She's really taking a Louisville Slugger to that song. Wow. Awful.

I forget all about Kendall when Kristen McNamara brutally attacks an innocent Kelly Clarkson song. Because of you, Kristen, I am afraid. Of you ever opening your mouth again. I think Kelly Clarkson just died, rolled over in her grave, and then came back to life to seek vengeance.

Stephen Fowler pulls a Brooke White when he freezes up during his cover of David Cook's "Time of My Life," and asks to start over. The judges give him another shot, but he can't get the lyrics or the melody right to save his life. I don't know about the 3 Stooges there, but I am giving Stephen a pass. So far, I think he has the best voice out of the whole bunch.

Also derailing is Joanna Pacitti, this year's Queen of Controversy. I really, really want this girl to fail. You may think that sounds mean, but with all of her connections, she has absolutely no business being on this show. So, imagine my delight when Joanna can't remember ANY of the words to "If I Ain't Got You" and drags it out into one long, flubbed disaster. I'm a little suspicious, though, that TPTB left this in the show to try to prove that Joanna isn't a pro getting a free ride.

Casey Carlson forgets her lyrics also, but her hair sure looks purty.

The Batshit Crazy:

Who else but Tatiana Del Toro? She is one of the few who gets extra attention tonight, complete with her own "Greatest Hits so far" montage. This girl is starting to win me over. I used to think that she was putting on an act, but now I believe that she's truly mentally unstable. I don't think the judges will cut her any time soon, because they're probably afraid that she'll burn down the studio if they do. The interesting thing is, although she tends to overdo it, she actually has a pretty good voice, unlike Nick/Norman whom the producers are clearly keeping around for entertainment purposes.

The Big Reveal:

In the end, the contestants are divided up into four groups and placed in different rooms. Simon wisely chooses to jet off to London, leaving Snap, Crackle, and Pop to deliver the results. Since three of the four groups make it through to the Top 50, the judges' job really isn't that hard. Of course, they have to play act like each group is being cut before they jump up and down and yell, "Psych!" Lame.

Tatiana and Nick/Norman both make it through, so, you know what? I hope that one of them wins the whole thing. We're constantly reminded that this is a singing competition, and yet the judges constantly keep crazy people who can't sing over sane people who can. Seeing Simon being forced to pony up the cash to make and promote a Norman Gentle record would be delightful.

Pretty much everyone who got a lot of face time during the auditions is included in the winning groups, except for Michael (Jason's brother) Castro, lady rapper India Morrison, and Leneshe (The Poor Girl) Young...none of whom I have strong feelings for one way or the other. Unfortunately, that's the case with most of these contestants so far.

Tomorrow night, the judges cut the group of 50 down to 36 and, for some reason, this will take two hours. *groan*

As ridiculous as this show gets sometimes, at least the judges don't live in a mansion or something stupid like...Wait. What did Ryan just say? The contestants are going where tomorrow? Oh. The Judges' Mansion. Of course. Can't wait.

Videos of all the auditions can be found on MJ's Big Blog.


bloody awful poetry said...

What? The judges have a mansion?

And yeah, Adam Lambert is quite all right to look at, but he packs waaay to much Pretty for me to stomach.

(Wasn't Joel Contreras the Guy-Pod dude?)

bloody awful poetry said...

Ooooh and I also wanted to tell you that I have finally started watching "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia". I need more time to get familiar with names and faces, because it's all a bit blur to me right now (but that one guy is really pretty cute) and I have not yet managed to pee myself laughing, but I suppose it's only a matter of time =)

Sunny said...

Last night's episode was without a doubt one of the worse Hollywood eps to date. After 7 years you'd think they could get this part right. Well, at least they were cued in on how to work Tatiana.

Kristi Mantoni said...

"Seeing Simon being forced to pony up the cash to make and promote a Norman Gentle record would be delightful." I concur! So far, I'm shaping up to be a Worster this year. I'm looking forward to it. I was a Worster with Sanjaya and it was a blast. I'm pretty sure some of my friends wanted to hit me.


The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Ha, I can't stop laughing at the line "I think Kelly Clarkson just died, rolled over in her grave, and then came back to life to seek vengeance"! Genius.

J. Hi said...

I heart Adam Lambert.

Tatiana? WTF?

Ian said...

It's good to see someone else who isn't gushing about Matt Giraud. While I was more impressed with his vocals last night than I have been since they first showed him, he still seems kind of smarmy to me.

I'd love to see Norman Gentle win, for the exact reason you say. Of course, if that did happen they'd probably bring in more plants next year like they did as a reaction to Sanjaya.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Yeah, the judges mansion??? WTF is THAT??? Puh-leaase.Cheese at it's worst!

I was totally diggin Adam Lambert until I saw his full on black manicure and his song choice. Cher??You know what that's code for-he's still cute, (even with some acnes scars) but not crushin material.

Tatiana is a crazy loon and I am afraid for all the staff over at Idol when/if they decide to cut her loose. Freak.

red said...

My faves are the piano bar guy, the widower and the Indian dude, Anoop. Those boys can sing!

They can't let Tatiana get to the point where the audience can vote for her, right? Vote for the Worst would have an effing field day!

Falwless said...

You're right, Tatiana is 100% certifiable plum batshit crazy. I'm so tired of her.

Gokey underwhelmed me last night, too. Wasn't too keen on his choice of song.

Giraud (piano bar guy) is quickly growing on me and could be my back up crush. We'll have to wait and see about that one.

And two hours tonight?!?!? YES!!!

I could watch 4 hours of Idol every night.

And to think I wonder why I am celibate and my best friend is my fucking cat.

P.S. Nice work with the Lambert geneology! He truly looks like their offspring. If two boys could procreate, that is.

words words words said...

The entire American Idol phenomenon is circling the drain before our very eyes. Whoever is responsible for the show's makeover between last season and this season should be strapped to a chair and forced to watch nothing but VH-1 and E!.

The ultimate indictment is that they've seemingly forgotten the VERY SERIOUS warning that anyone who forgets the words is automatically gone. You know, unless you're Joanna "Maybe This Is Why You Keep Needing More Chances" Pacitti.

We see lots of drama and very little singing, and my conspiracy theoryesque opinion is that this is so they can put through the plants and whoever else they want to without a backlash based on, you know, singing ability.

All that said, my favorite is Piano Bar Guy, and I really wish Tatiana weren't kind of hot.

ÄsK AliCë said...

Ok what? The judges have a mansion?? This is precisely why I stick to television that enriches my mind and soul. You know, stuff like The Bachelor and The City.

Mike said...

bat shit crazy. Love it. totally tat.

The Paula Lassoo...I had my son laughing as I did my own laaame impression of it.

Adam Lambert/ black nail polish and doing goth Cher.....hated it.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I agree with you, a steaming, smelly pile of horse dung.

However, watching Paula sway back and forth on her feet doing her seal clap in a drug/alcohol induced haze was almost worth it. Let's see if she brings her crazy with her tonight. Oh, that's right, she doesn't leave home without it!

CDP said...

I missed it, but having seen it last week, I agree...Tatiana is genuinely insane.

SouthernBelle said...

American Idol Schmamerican Idol. Who won the Crotch-test???

Doc said...

As much as Flannery loves this stupid show, the only way I can keep up with her obsession is to follow your recap. Thanks in advance for saving my marriage. You can never know the noble work you do. May you live to be a thousand years old.


Just Watchin said...

Actually, the blind guy did say that he was "legally blind" on the very first episode, and explained that his range of vision was like "looking through a straw". Just wanted to point that out so you don't keep feeling like you've been defrauded.

Anonymous said...

1- I agree that the "the Judges' mansion..." has become annoying. I want to tell Ryan, "OK! They're rich and living in luxury and awesome and Simon holds the world on a tiny sceptor in his left hand. We GET it."

2- Tatiana is growing on me too. Kind of like when you see a little bump on your arm and pick at it. Then you realize it might be something dangerous, so you leave it the fuck alone until a professional can check it out. Kind of like that.

Anonymous said...

Words, you think Tatiana is kind of hot and you dared sorta make fun of me saying Seacrest is a little hot?? At least Seacrest is AMUSING and not constantly annoying! hahaha. Oh well, to each his own.

words words words said...

Kimizzy: Well, I think she's hot in a "will you please not open your mouth or this isn't going to physically be able to happen - I'm serious" way. I'm pretty sure Seacrest is a cyborg that doesn't actually have genitals. Kinda like a Ken doll.


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