Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Idol 8: Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Wear Black Nail Polish

Hello! Top o' the afternoon to you all!

Okay, so obviously I missed Idol last night. I'm sorry. But celebrating my heritage will always come first. Luckily, my whooping cough did not put a damper on my fun. Robitussin + Beer = good times.

Still, I was determined to give you folks a recap, so I've checked out all of last night's performances online today. Sadly, the channel that airs all the AI episodes seems to have disappeared, so I can only comment on the actual peformances/judges' critiques. No keen insights on Ryan's pointless banter this time around. Sorry.

What I can tell you is that it was Grand Ole Opry night and that Randy Travis was the guest mentor. Travis ("Stick Boy" as I call him) has always creeped me the hell out, because he kind of looks like an anorexic cigar store Indian, if such a thing existed. After watching the videos, I can say that he isn't looking any better with age. He seems like a nice guy and all, but I can't get over the fact that he looks like he was carved out of wood. It scares me.

Michael Sarver started things off with Garth Brooks' "Ain't Goin' Down 'Til the Sun Comes Up," which has been done before on this show (by either Phil Stacey or Josh Gracin, or some other bland dude I can't remember) and it's always a bad decision. In the pop world, it's akin to picking Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" or R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It." Doing a lot of fast jibber-jabber and then singing a few lines of a chorus isn't the best way to showcase one's vocals. But, Michael promised to put his "Michael Sarver flavor" on it, and he did. It was super-extra vanilla. And this guy really needs to work on his singing faces. His mouth was contorted into some freakish half smile/half grimace the entire time. It was like he had a giant piece of chaw in his mouth and was afraid that it might fall out. So that's my two and a half cents. Randy's critique amounted to, "So yo, Mikey, check it out, like, yo, you know, like I'm not sure yo, like, if, like, like, uhhh, it was fun, but uh, like, I don't know, yeeeeah I should stop talking now." Kara told Michael that she missed his "big notes," and then treated him like a 6-year-old who just lost a talent show by saying, "It's impressive that you could remember all those words, though. There were a MILLION! HOW did you DO that??" Instead of punching her like he should have, Michael just said that "country music is about having fun." Then, in true Kara style, she subtly hit on the 6-year-old by remarking that she could tell that the "sun came up a few times" with him. Ew. Paula thought everything was fun. She also thought that Michael showed true artistry by getting another guy to play harmonica. She was obviously "celebrating" St. Patrick's Day since the sun came up. Simon couldn't understand a word and gave the performance a 1.2 on a scale of 1-10. Michael's response was, "Well, if we were all perfect, we wouldn't need this show." Thanks for reminding me of how tragically flawed I am, Sarver. You jerk.

Allison Iraheta is up next with Patty Loveless' "Blame it on Your Heart," which I've always imagined to be the country song I would sing if I were an AI contestant. Yes, I do think about stupid things like that. Hey, I'm not perfect. I need this show and my dorky fantasies. Allison threatened to stink it up with an Ashlee Simpson-style hoedown, which Randy Travis warned her against. Would she go the Mandisa route and ignore her mentor? Apparently, she wouldn't, because she didn't. Good girl. Allison sounded really good, so I have nothing snarky to say about that performance. I love her raspy voice, and she's quickly becoming one of my favorites. Kara throws the "phone book" out the window and tells Allison that she could sing the alphabet and it would be great. Oh, that Kara. Putting her flavor all over those tired Idol cliches. Paula said a bunch of words which prompted Simon to turn to her and ask, "What did you mean by that?" Paula's response? She just stared straight at Allison and said "She knows what I meant." Hmm. Was Paula speaking in code? She did say something about how she'd like to see Allison "experimenting." I just hope Allison is smart enough to turn down any "candy" Ms. Abdul might try to give her. Simon thought the performance was just good, "verging on precocious," while Randy strongly maintained that it was DOPE! Was he talking in code too? I'm confused.

Kris Allen sings another Garth Brooks song, "To Make You Feel My Love." And here comes the ballad brigade. I hate when contestants just cop out and do ballads on country night. A ballad is a ballad is a ballad - it doesn't matter if it's country or hair metal. I always thought the point of these theme nights was for the contestants to show their versatility? Bah. Anyway, I'll stop complaining because Kris sounded really nice on this song. I was all prepared to be bored to death, but I liked it. Paula was also pleasantly surprised, but then started blabbering about some pitchy low notes. I didn't hear any pitchiness. That very last high note might have been a little wobbly, but the rest of it sounded great. What does P-Ab know? She never sang a note without the help of Auto Tune. Simon thought it was terrific, Kara thought it was beautiful, and Randy enjoyed the "tender moments" from his dawg, Kris, whom he dubbed "the tender dawg." Oh, Randy. That's lame. Leave the nicknaming to me, aight?

Lil Rounds disappointed me by not singing "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," opting instead for Martina McBride's "Independence Day," which was already done to death in Season 4 by Carrie Underwood. I appreciate, though, that Lil was determined to honor the genre by not putting too much R&B flavor on it. Lil got all gussied up in her Sunday best, and although she looked very pretty, she kind of aged herself by going Anita Baker style. As for the song, it was okay. A little on the dull side, but for an R&B singer doing country, it was about as good as you could expect. But Randy wasn't having it. He told Lil that it seemed uncomfortable and that she should have sung "I Will Always Love You," mentioning that Dolly Parton wrote it, but the obvious, unspoken suggestion was that she had the chance to Whitney it up and blew it. WHAT. AN. ASSHOLE. Seriously. Here is a contestant who actually wanted to show some versatility by not doing the same old thing and really embracing the genre that was featured, and Randy just wanted her to stick to the tired diva act. It only went downhill from there. Kara was a condescending moron again, telling Lil that it wasn't her best performance, but "good for you for standing your ground." Paula said nothing of importance, and then Simon echoed the same type of sentiments as Randy, all while calling Lil "Little." WHAT. AN. ASSHOLE. When Simon told "Little" that she looked like a wedding singer forced to perform a request, she looked like she wanted to stab him in the face. I know exactly how she felt.

Hooray! Madame Glambert is up next. Randy Travis had no idea what to make of Adam and his ca-raaazy black nail polish. When's the last time Travis was outside? The Glambert freaked Randy out further by choosing a Middle Eastern version of "Ring of Fire," complete with sitar. Oh. My. God. This was fabulous. It was like something out of Firecrotch: The Musical. My Dad had to email me to tell me he thought Adam sang like "a drunk at 3 in the morning," but believe me, I've seen many drunks at 3 in the morning, myself included, and none of us have ever sung like that. Then again, I don't hang out at Posh, but I think I need to start. I have to give The Glambert props here. If you can't dive into the country genre, the next best thing is to take a country song and make it something entirely different, and if country music had a polar opposite, this performance would be it. The judges weren't sure what to make of it. It left Kara "confused and sort of happy." Paula made a comparison to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir," which wasn't completely inaccurate. Simon thought that a lot of people were "throwing their television sets out the window," after that performance. I agree with him, but not for the same reasons. If anything, it was because of the crazy camera work during that song. The camera just kept swinging and spinning around Adam. Maybe the 3 am drunk was the one filming, not the one singing? Whatever the case, even I had to close my eyes for a minute to keep from barfing. Can someone remind the prodcers that this isn't the Blair Witch Project, it's American Idol? The only judge who liked The Glambert's performance as much as I did was Randy, who just yelled out a bunch of adjectives to get his point across.

Scott MacIntyre got back behind the piano to do Martina McBride's "Wild Angels." I feel like I'm just going to keep saying the same thing about Scott every week - "I like him, but he's just an average singer." I think all the judges have finally realized this also, but they're trying to figure out ways to tiptoe around coming right out and saying it. Paula told Scott to change it up by not always playing the piano, and Simon said that was a stupid idea. Then Paula and Simon had another pointless argument, once again forgetting that this show isn't about them and their scripted sexual tension. It's about Simon and Ryan's scripted sexual tension. Randy tried to convince everyone again that this is a singing competition. (It's way too late for that, dawg.) Kara just wanted better vocals out of Scott. Don't we all.

My first prediction from last week turned out to be wrong, as Alexis Grace took the stage in a demure dress instead of the stripper gear I expected. She sang "Jolene" in average fashion, but missed a few notes and seemed to be ahead of the song throughout. Randy, Paula, and Simon were all fairly "meh" about the performance, but Kara the Pimp told Alexis that she should've sung "Last Name" (my prediction) or "Before He Cheats," then bitch-slapped her and told her to get her ass back on the street corner where it belongs. Alexis warned America that she would bring "the dirty" back next week if she's still here. Great. Can't wait. The pop scene needs more scantily clad broads.

Danny Gokey followed with Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel." I didn't really like the way it started, because he kind of sounded like he was just talking through the first verse. It got better during the chorus because he could really belt it out, but then it might have gone a little too over-the-top. It was all very church revival. Oh, and that horrible jacket he was wearing made him look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Kara pretty much agreed with my assessment of the vocals, but took it nine steps further by saying that she would've rather sat through 10 minutes of Danny just yelling at his most over-the-top point. Randy, of course, agreed. Paula and Simon loved the song as-is, Paula so much so that she started drooling, sputtering, and falling out of her dress. Okay, okay, I'm making that up. Her drooling, sputtering, and falling out of her dress had nothing to do with Danny. Just another Tuesday night.

Anoop Desai chose "You Were Always On My Mind" in an effort to prove to Simon that he deserves to be in the competition after his soulless rendition of "Beat It." It was a little dull in parts, but Anoop did what he wanted to do - he proved that he can definitely sing. He wasn't as good as Kris, but I think I actually preferred him to Danny because it was soulful without being shouty. All the judges loved it. Paula and Randy did a lot of simple-minded yammering, as usual, and Kara and Simon both thought it was the best performance of the night. I wouldn't go that far, but it was up there. Simon also took back his remark that Anoop didn't deserve to be there, so, welcome back, Anoop!

Megan Corkrey wants us all to call her Megan Joy now, but eff that. She started this show as Corkrey, and that's what I'm calling her. She decided to take the Patsy Cline classic, "Walking After Midnight," and put her Birdland spin on it. I couldn't stop laughing through this whole thing. What was up with her pronunciation? And her voice...she sounded like a cross between Cab Calloway and Princess Vespa, when she's in prison singing, "Nobody knows da trouble I seen..." There were some decent parts, but it just all sounded so affected to me, like some mall girl trying to be jazzy. For some reason, though, all the judges thought it was wonderful and so much better than last week. I don't know, these people are crazy. Aside from last week's "caw, caw," I thought her vocals were 10 times better then than last night. Oh, and then everyone has to treat Megan like she's a goddess because she managed to perform while having the flu. You know, if this were America's Next Top Model, Miss Tyra would not give a crap about this "sick" business. And neither do I.

Closing out the night was Matt Giraud, who took to his piano for Carrie Underwood's "So Small." Matt did a great job in the pimp spot. He kept the vibrato under control and was the best I've heard him since Hollywood week. I think Matt may have been the best of the bunch. Even though Kris Allen's vocals might have been slightly better, Matt's performance was much more soulful and engaging. Kara certainly liked it. She delivered most of her critique in breathy tones with her eyes closed, and told Matt, "There ain't nothing small about you, that's for sure." Mmm hmm. I knew she set up hidden cameras in the Idol mansion's bathrooms! The rest of the judges loved Matt too, just not in the same way as Kara.

Okay, so who will be in the Bottom 3 tonight? I don't have much time to mull it over, so I'll just go with my first instinct and say it will be Sarver, Scott, and Alexis. Since there is no way they're gonna send the Blind Guy home this early, I think Sarver will be the one to go down before the sun comes up.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksalot.


words words words said...

1. All the judges are completely insane.
2. Randy Travis looks like the child of Frylock and Burgess Meredith.
3. I don't think Simon knows that Lil is Lil's actual name, not a prefix a-la Messrs. Romeo and Wayne.
4. Madame Glambert is your best nickname ever. And I actually liked that performance, although I didn't really know what to make of it.
5. Alexis sang one of my favorite songs ever, and blew it. She had to hit that song hard and be emotional.
6. Gokey showed a crack in the armor. And 1982 Simon LeBon called, he wants his jacket back.
7. Megan. Must. Go. She's an abomination.
8. Matt Giraud is bravely standing in for Ricky Braddy by being a good singer who's about as interesting as C-SPAN.

I say a completely undeserving Sarver leaves. At least three people are worse than him.

Kristi Mantoni said...

I think most of the sane world thought Michael would go but we forgot that the country world vote more!

Chancelucky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I don't care if it was St. Paddy's Day -- I'm Irish -- you were late. Bad Pop Eye.

So glad you loved the Adam Awesomeness. It took me a while to get a groove on this guy, but I love him sincerely. He's too good for AI. I started out freaked by his take on Johnny, then smiled more than I did at my wedding reception. The guy is Freddie's love child from the beyond.

Glad Anoop redeemed himself; Matt was fab.

Chancelucky said...

It seems to me that they've backed off the sexual banter between Simon and Ryan in the last 2 years. I've had the impression that Simon is too old for Paula.

I fear that Michael Sarver may be one of those contestants who refuses to die. The whole Dad thing on the results show gave me the feeling that they want to keep him on.

Travis said...

I think Simon isn't aware that Lil is likely short for Lillian, which is a lovely name but doesn't have the pizzazz for a perfomer.

Adam's choices have been excellent. The arrangement last night wasn't for me because I don't care for that kind of music, but I can find no fault with the performance at all. I thought he was outstanding.

Ian said...

"Ain't Goin' Down 'Til the Sun Comes Up" is nothing. I'm still waiting for someone to do "Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)."

Movie Maven said...

Do the judges know what the word "precocious" means? I wanted to shake them and say, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Also, please do not start hanging out at Posh. Trust.

Michelle said...

Its too bad you werent able to see the actual show. You missed Megan "Joy" turning around to throw up while the idols were standing in line for the closing credits. Now thats good tv.

Angell said...

I just about had an orgasm during Adam's performance. I thought it was FUCKINGLY BRILLIANT and Simon, as usual, has absolutely no clue what he's talking about.

But seriously, can we get both kara and Paula off whatever meds their doctors are abusing their prescription pads on? Cuz neither of them uttered a coherent word throughout the whole show.

Allison is my second fave and I'm voting for an Allison/Adam showdown at the end.

Which one will have the best makeup?

red said...

I was finally able to watch it today and all I can say is I want to do dirty, dirty things to Anoop.


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