Wednesday, May 13, 2009

American Idol 8: SausageFest 2009!

Last night, three dudes tried to make up for the absence of the little red-headed girl. I'm not quite sure they pulled it off.

In years past, each of the Top 3 finalists got to sing 3 songs - one judge's choice, one Clive Davis's choice, and one personal choice. This year, however, the contestants only got to sing 2 songs apiece. I'm not sure if that's because Sony BMG demoted Clive last year or if it's because KARA DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO SHUT UP, making it impossible to cram in 9 truncated songs in one hour.

Also, since there are 4 judges this year, Simon and Paula got to keep their individual picks, while Kara and Randy had to team up to choose one song for Kris Allen. I guess that makes sense, since together they almost make up one brain.

Smuggy Smuggerson was up first, which may be punishment for his horrible death scream last week, or may be some sort of thinly-veiled call to arms for his fans to vote for him like mad. I tend to think it's the latter, since the judges have never stopped pimping this guy, even though he sets music back 10 years every time he steps out on stage.

I was actually pretty impressed with Paula's pick of Terence Trent D'Arby's "Dance Little Sister." Not because it was an obvious "comfort-zone" gift to Danny, but because we just don't hear enough of TTD these days. Certainly not on Idol. It's one of those forgotten '80s hits that I love to be reminded of, although "If You Let Me Stay" would have been a much better choice. Then again, I'm glad Paula didn't pick that one, because I wouldn't want Smuggy dripping his mediocrity all over a song that I really like.

Dorkey, of course, didn't even know the D'Arby song, so I was kind of looking forward to a hilarious lyric-forgetting meltdown, like in that video that's been going around of him slaughtering "Billie Jean." Unfortunately, he must have actually practiced because he didn't flub any words. That didn't make it good, though. I mean, the vocals weren't bad, and about as good as Gokey gets, but he certainly didn't do anything to shed the nickname he's earned around the blogsphere - Karaoke Gokey. Plus, that lame attempt to scat during the sax solo and the hideous dancing just made me feel like I was watching some awful wedding singer.

But if the judges didn't de-pimp Danny after last week, they certainly weren't going to after this adequate performance. Randy thought it was dope, dude, and Paula thought Danny was fantastic. She even complimented him on his dancing and used the fact that she's a choreographer to establish that her opinion must be the right one. Simon liked the vocals, but said that the dancing was horrible (he knows more than the resident choreographer) and that the sax sounded like a "toy sax." Hmm. Maybe it appeared that way because the saxophonist was gigantic? Yeah, if I were Simon, I wouldn't have insulted that guy. Kara actually gave the most honest critique, that the dancing was horrid and that she probably wouldn't remember that performance the next day. Wow. Right on. And yet I still don't like her.

Apparently, Simon began molesting Paula while Ryan was giving Danny's call-in numbers. The camera wouldn't even cut away as they usually do when those two carry on, so it must have been R-rated. Instead, I was treated to a neverending shot of Ryan looking uncomfortable and Danny standing there with that stupid face on his head.

Kris Allen took the stage next for KaRandy's pick, OneRepublic's "Apologize." I am such a dork for this song and always happy to hear it, but I was a little worried that KaRandy was trying to screw Kris over with this one. Those high notes are really tough to reach, and the song is SO recognizable that it's damned if you do/damned if you don't as far as changing the song up. Kris chose the "damned if you don't" route by doing a fairly faithful version, piano and all. Kris was able to hit the high notes he went for, but smartly brought the majority of the song down to a lower key. It wasn't my favorite performance of his, but it wasn't bad.

Randy was like, "Dawg. It's who you are as an artist. Dude. It's the kind of record you'll make. Yo. Eep...orp...malfunction...malfunction." Kara, with her best condescending sneer, told Kris his performance was "competent," which isn't good enough at this stage of the game. (I guess "competent" only counts in Gokeyland.) Paula said there was a really loud "bum note" (really?) but that she was proud of him anyway. Simon took the opportunity to not critique Kris, but to take out some pent up aggression on the two birds. First, he told Paula that her comment didn't make any sense. Then, he told Kara that she couldn't pick a song for Kris and then bitch about the way he performed the song if she didn't tell Kris how he should've performed it. Kara started waving her arms around like an ape, screaming about how she shouldn't have to tell Kris how to interpret the song (a point I actually agree with) and then tried to pull the I'm actually an artist routine on Simon. "What are you talking about? Have YOU ever interpreted a song? I WROTE 'OPEN TOES,' BEEEEYOTCH!"

While it's always fun watching Simon annoy Kara, I'm so over these damn judges making this show all about them.

As we all know, this season is all about Adam Lambert. How many times has he been in the pimp spot? Enough that, next year, we may all have to start calling it the Glambert spot.

Simon chose U2's "One" for the Glam One, which seemed like an awesome choice. But, although this started out very nicely, it quickly devolved into an unrecognizable melody and a lot of yelling. Now, I love the Madame and I enjoy his high-pitched wailing when it's appropriate. But in this song it's so not appropriate. For me, this was his worst performance yet.

I think the judges are on autopilot at this point though, because they all went nuts over this. Randy was the only one who said he didn't like the way Adam went off the melody, but still thought it was a good vocal. Kara blahed a lot of blah, and Paula and Simon gushed of Adam's brilliance, with Paula, once again, giving Adam the crown well before the competition has ended.

Before the next round of songs, we got an Idol Gives Back report from Africa, courtesy of Carrie Underwood...who else? I get the feeling that when Simon Cowell needs his car washed, or Paula needs someone to pick up a prescription, they call Carrie. And she is always available.

Danny Gokey returned for his personal song choice, Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful." I didn't take ANY notes during this performance because I was falling asleep. Also, there was nothing so awful that warranted snark, but it was also so unremarkable that I couldn't think of anything particularly good to say. I was, once again, sort of amused that Kris was just blasted for being merely "competent," while Gokey is routinely showered in drool for the same thing.

Randy thought that Gokey not only proved that he can sing, but that he can really, really, really sing. Really. Kara was stunned, Paula was breathless, and Simon described the performance as a vocal master class. I need to borrow a line from Randy to respond to that one. *ahem* WHAT???

Once again, Smuggy couldn't just take the accolades with a smile and some class. He had to start yapping about how much he agrees with the judges for thinking he's great. I wanted to kill him when he told Ryan, "I just come out and do what I do best." What's that? Acting like a douchebag? Yeah, I'll give him that. Nobody does it better.

Kris Allen's inspired personal choice was Kanye West's "Heartless." (If he'd have done the Gay Fish song, I would've voted for him until my fingers fell off.) Kris has always been really good at working any song into his coffeehouse dude style, and this was probably one of the best examples of that. Randy and I both liked Kris's cute, fun, acoustic version better than the original, but Kanye would probably disagree BECAUSE HE IS A DAMN MUSICAL GENIUS, MOFOS!! RANDY JACKSON DOESN'T CARE ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE! OH, HE'S BLACK? UHHHH...SO WHAT? DON'T QUESTION THE GREAT AND POWERFUL KANYE!

Kara told Kris he was brave and fearless because, "Who just stands on stage with an acoustic guitar?" I know, right?? That's SO crazy! No one has ever done that. God, that woman is so ridiculous. You know, Kim Kardashian was in the audience last night. I bet even she'd be a better judge than Kara. She has long, dark hair, so it would be kind of easy to make that switch, too. (I know all about interchangeable brunette syndrome.) The only problem might be finding a chair that could accommodate her badonkadonk.

Paula said that performances like that one are what keep Kris relevant. Simon had written Kris off after the first song, but changed his mind after "Heartless." Kris just smiled and pretended like he didn't know that the judges have been pushing for a Gokey-Lambert final since Day 1.

Closing the night out was Adam, with his cover of "Cryin'." Kara must have been so happy that someone was finally singing an "early" Aerosmith song!

I liked this performance much better than "One," but I still don't think it was one of Adam's best. I started to wonder if he switched over to autopilot along with the judges. The worst part of the whole thing was that the disembodied backup singer was way too loud. Adam has a good voice; she didn't need to help him out that much. Sheesh. And I have to say that I love his style and I dig the shriek, but I think he's been relying on that far too much. People are going to start thinking that's all he has, which isn't true.

I don't know. Maybe the magical Glambert dust wasn't totally working on me last night because the judges used it all. They did everything but kiss his feet (and who knows what happened after the cameras stopped rolling). And when Kara and Paula insisted that Adam was guaranteed a spot in the final, Simon stressed to the audience that we shouldn't assume that Adam will sail through and to make sure that we vote, vote, vote! I wish, at that moment, Allison would've popped out and said, "Oh, why don't you just BEG, Simon?"

Well, I didn't vote so I can't really be upset about the outcome, whatever that may be. But if you thought that Cowell was pissed when Melinder was voted off in Season 6, you ain't seen nothing yet. If, by some bizarre turn of events, Adam doesn't make it through, he will burn that theater down to the ground.

I think that Kris should be in the Finale with Adam, but how do you fight a prophecy? Unless someone figures it out, next week is Adam vs. Danny. As it is written, so it shall be done.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksalot.


elaine said...

There must be something wrong with my tv, because both my husband and I thought that Danny hit some seriously wonky notes at the beginning of "You Are So Beautiful," yet the judges thought he was flawless.

Adam was way too shreeky, but I really enjoyed him when he abandoned the falsetto for a few lines of "Cryin'."

Kris is so cute I can hardly stand it. I try not to gush too much in front of my husband, but he makes me feel all giddy like a schoolgirl. Plus, he is super talented. His Kanye cover was the epitome of "artistry" and "making it his own." Dawg.

J. Hi said...

My favorite performance was Kris' "Heartless." And I did want to bitch slap Kara, so annoying.

Kristi Mantoni said...

heartless was the best of the night. I'm so glad that it just wasn't me who thought Adam was off last night. I'm pretty sure he's going to be in the finale but I wish he would have done better. (I was also hoping for "Wicked Game".)

jolie said...

kris killed with heartless. he won the night. I'm hoping for a kris-adam matchup, too, but like you have a feeling - cynic that I am - that it's danny and not kris to make it through to next week.

so here's the thing - the producers should really WANT kris to go up against adam because that's where the real drama is. if it's just danny competing with adam, well, we all know how that will end.

words...words...words... said...

I won't go over the same stuff I put in your stopgap post, but...

1. I never realized the judging double standard for Gokey and now I can't think of anything else.

2. I am sore afraid that he will be winning now. I wish this show were a nighttime soap so that Allison's exit could all be a bad dream.

Mike said...

TTD is the the dope diggity yo!
Glad you see the light of Terrence Trent!

Getting tired of the Glambert shreek. The Goekey Pokey is has lost me.

Its down to Uber boring Kris to at least keep this thing interesting to me.

Ahhh...what happened to the days of Michael Johns!

Cora said...

It was Adam's worst show by a lot. I just wasn't feeling the Glambert at all. But I don't care. My kid and I stayed up voting for at least an hour - she was punching out votes on her cell, and I was voting double-time using both my cell and my house phone at once.

If Adam doesn't make it in I shall be frighteningly displeased. Grrr.

Coaster Punchman said...

Why is everyone trashing on Madame's performances on the very night I became a Madame convert? (Simply for lack of an Allison.) I thought he rocked the house.

Melinda June said...

That damn Gokey.

The only plausible explanation is that he's put a spell on the judges that is activated by the 666 in his mic hand when he sings. Though it's probably just a 333, what since he's not good enough to be the actual Antichrist.

red said...

I didn't hate "You are so Beautiful," but I still hope and pray Gokey gets sent packing. For all the blathering about being "current" on AI, the judges sure don't seem to notice Danny is stuck in 1997 singing Christian Rock covers of everything.

And can we please stop calling Allison a redhead? A bottle of magenta hair dye does not a redhead make!

Fancy Schmancy said...

Oh, my. I thought it was only me who was almost saddened by Adam's performances last night. And I bow down at Adam's feet. I have to say that watching it back now, maybe Kris is the the one who has the truly raw voice that needs to win...

Candy's daily Dandy said...

I thought Adam was beginning to show a few kinks in the armor last night also. I'm still diggin the Madame though.

I was still entertained. I think Kris willllll be in the final two.
If tweenie boppers hold all the power.

We shall see.

LiLu said...


Now I want sausage.

(Either kind, thanks.)

Dale said...

Thank you for posting the Billie Jean video link, that was painful and wonderful both!


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