I missed the show last night, opting instead to take in amateur night at the Apollo. I had to watch the videos online today, and my fears were confirmed: most of the amateurs last night were much better than AI's Top 12 guys.
Since I didn't see the entire show, I'm just going to jump right into the critiques. Sorry if I missed any crazy Seacrest shenanigans at the top of the show. (No I'm not.)
Todrick Hall was up first and took on Kelly "#1 Idol" Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone." Well, it was kind of like a "Since U Been Gone/Da' Butt" mashup. Wow, that guy really wanted to be Adam Lambert. The sassy dancing, the head jerks, the fingerless leather gloves, the crazy song arrangement...yet none of it worked for Todrick. Maybe he wasn't wearing enough makeup? Or perhaps the
force fierce is just not that strong in this one. Oh well. Ellen thought it was — what else — great. Well, the performance was great, but the chorus wasn't great. Somehow that still equated to great. Her grading system is nearly as complicated as Randy's. Speaking of the Dawg, he told Todrick, "You never wanna take a song and completely obliterate it." (The unspoken finish to that thought was: Unless you're Adam Lambert. Or Blake Lewis doing Bon Jovi. Or someone else on some other day, depending on what mood the judges are in.) Kara agreed with Randy. Imagine! Simon said, "I'm all for taking risks, providing you can improve it...it was verging on stupid." Why does this guy always say performances are verging on being something. Can't they just be? Seacrest allowed Todrick to ramble on for a bit, which must have bored the camera man, because suddenly there was a shot of Aaron Kelly, standing on deck looking lost.
Aaron Kelly eventually found his way to the stage. But before his song, Seacrest informed the audience that Aaron is 16, and Aaron reminded everyone in his video package. He performed Rascal Fatts' "Here Comes Goodbye," and I wish he had sung it really badly so this could be one of those really prophetic song choices. However, it wasn't bad. It was certainly preferable to listening to a Fatts original. But holy smokes, did that kid look like a cardboard cutout on stage or what? Expressionless and nearly motionless. It was like someone nailed his shoes to the floor and all he could do is sway his knees from side to side. (He should've at least tried the "Smooth Criminal" move.) The judges all said the same thing in different ways: basically, that Aaron was very good but sorely lacking confidence. Randy was worried that the audience might have forgotten the kid's age, so he quickly mentioned again that Aaron's only 16. Then Simon told him he was cute, which sent Aaron flying across the studio shouting, "He said I'm cuuuuuuuuuuuude!"
All I could think during Jermaine Sellers' shrieky performance of Oleta Adams' "Get Here" was, "Oh, Jermaine. I don't care how you get there, just get to the end of the song if you can. Before I kill myself." Once again, the judges all said the same thing in different and long-winded ways: the performance was too over-the-top and the song was too "old" for him. Randy also got to use his new favorite term, "big pipes." Then Jermaine came down with a case of the stanky leg. I have no idea what that is, but I was kind of expecting him to get rushed off to the ER. But before that could happen, Seacrest brought Michael Orland (the musical director) onstage so that he and Jermaine could make nice after their Hollywood Week issues. Instead, Michael used it as an opportunity to totally feel up Seacrest...and Fauxhawky McGee did not attempt to escape his grasp.
Tim Urban murdered one of my favorites from the last few years, OneRepublic's "Apologize." And I will not accept any apologies. It's too late for that shit, pretty boy. Simon must have felt the same way, because he murdered Tim in his critique, telling him that they made the right choice by cutting him originally (he was only brought back to replace the disqualified Chris Golightly) and that his voice just plain wasn't good enough. Then all of the judges tried to make Tim feel better (or reveled in patronizing him) by telling him that he could still be here next week — but only because girls will think he's adorable and other people will pity him.
Following Tim was Joe Munoz, who was...uhhh, present. I think. Even though he had a good voice, he was even more boring than Phil "Drabby McBlanderson" Stacey, which is pretty damn impressive. In a sad way, of course. Of course, it didn't help that he sang a Jason Mraz song, which is any contestant's way of saying, "I have nothing interesting to offer you, world." For the umpteenth time, the judges all kind of say the same thing: Joe sang the song well, but it wasn't the best song choice. Simon agreed with me that the guy was forgettable. You know which guy I'm talking about, right? I forgot his name already.
Tyler Grady tried to channel Jim Morrison with a cover of —no, not a Doors song — the Guess Who's "American Woman." But he just kind of came off as the butt baby of Randy Travis and Mika singing karaoke. If he had done that in a dark bar at, like, 11:00 pm and I'd had a few drinks in me, I probably would have thought he was pretty good. Unfortunately, I was stone cold sober and he was alone on a giant blue frisbee. So, you know, not great. All the judges agreed (again) that Tyler took too many classes at Robbie Carrico's Fake Rocker College and needs to be more original. But they also thought that he gave a memorable performance. Then Kara told him he should sing something like "1901" by Phoenix, which nearly caused me to bust a gut, because A) I'm amazed that Kara even knew who Phoenix is, and B) that performance would really give Ellen cause to use the phrase "hot mess."
Next up was Falwless's boyfriend, Lee Dewyze, who goes back and forth between looking like a cute teddy bear and a douchey frat boy date rapist. He sang Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars," because it was either that or something by The Fray, Augustana or Tonic, right? Ahhhh, come on, I keed, I keed. I'm just giving Lee some shit. Out of all of the guys so far, it was actually the least offensive and/or boring performance. He finally made the judges disagree...well, at least one of them. KaRandy and "E," as she's now being called, all thought it was kind of pitchy and not rockin' enough. Even though we never saw any evidence of this in Hollywood, KaRandy kept insisting that Lee was a rocker (not to be confused with Lee Rocker), so they refused to accept him singing anything that wasn't "rock." Simon, on the other hand, salivated all over Lee and proclaimed this the best performance of the night "by a mile." His praise got Lee so excited that he nearly ate his guitar pick. But he didn't. Instead, he made Fal's ovaries explode by telling Seacrest that being onstage was so great that he "never wanted to lose this feeling again." Everyone awwwed. In other news, since my blogfriend has already claimed Lee, I am calling dibs on his brother. No facial hair!
In his video package, John Park (not to be confused with John Parr) nearly proposed marriage to Shania Twain, who told him he had a "great bottom end" at his first audition. Well, I don't think that John's performance of "God Bless The Child" made Shania feel like a woman. It probably made her feel sick, like it did me. God bless the singer who doesn't muck up every song with 5,000 runs, because all those runs just made that song a big pile of musical diarrhea. Of course, Randy loved the runs, but he didn't think that was the right song for him. Neither did anyone else. Although, Ellen did still think that he sounded great. God bless her heart.
Michael Lynche reminded everyone that his wife gave birth during Hollywood Week, as if we could have forgotten. Then he reminded me how much I hate Maroon 5 by covering "This Love." Anything sounds better when not sung by human turd Adam Levine, so it was fairly enjoyable. I don't really think the acoustic guitar was necessary. It was nearly inaudible. Anyway, Ellen thought it was a great song choice and she loved Michael's great personality. Kara liked it, but didn't think it was outrageously great. (Now, I just have to figure out where "outrageously great" falls in the scale of greatness. I'm assuming that it's slightly better than Ellen great, but since Kara has no taste, I'm not sure.)
Alex "Not Adam" Lambert has the worst mullet I've ever seen. But he's also one of the better Jason Mraz impersonators I've seen. So as to avoid Mraz comparisons, he opted to sing James Morrison's "Wonderful World." Oh, but wait. Those two are pretty much the same guy. They both have something stuck in their throats. Simon put a lump in Alex's throat when he began his critique with, "I don't know who was happier for that to end, you or me." But no one actually dissed Alex's vocal ability; everyone just thought that he looked really uncomfortable on stage. And for the most part, I agreed with them. Alex's comfort level wasn't helped by all the sexual harrassement: Kara wanted to hug him and Ellen wanted to eat him like a banana. Or something.
Speaking of sexual harrassment, Kara's most wanted, Casey James, showed up to sing Bryan Adams' "Heaven." It might have been kind of a corny choice, but Casey sang it very well. After it was over, Randy had to snap Kara out of her fantasy world (in which she was Lesley Ann Warren and Casey was Christopher Atkins) to give the first critique. She could only manage to sputter out a few nonsensical words before E jumped in to say that she could "feel Kara undressing Casey with her eyes." Simon said he understood what it was like to be "cursed with good looks." And at some point, they all stopped talking about Casey's appearance to let him know that they all liked his voice, too.
Andrew Garcia got the pimp spot, which was no surprise. I may have to start calling him Gokey v2.0 because he kind of looks like him and has, thus far, proved to be a one-trick pony. He gives Fall Out Boy's "Sugar We're Going Down" the same coffeehouse-acoustic-soul treatment that he gave P-Ab's "Straight Up" in Hollywood Week. I didn't like it and neither did the judges. However, they completely missed the point, because they kept talking about how Andrew needed to "take risks" and "be himself" and to go back to what he did with "Straight Up." Ahem. HE WAS BEING HIMSELF AND HE DID EXACTLY THE SAME THING HE DID WITH "STRAIGHT UP." That is why it was annoying. So far, that's all the guy has shown he can do. Did they seriously not understand that?
So, two gals and two guys will be eliminated tonight. Who will it be?
On the girls' side, I wish we could get rid of Haeley, but I have a feeling that she will stick around for a while to annoy the shit out of me. I think the least memorable girl was Lacey, so she will be out. And even though it seemed like she was an early favorite, Simon's post-hypnotic suggestion to the voters about Ashley being in trouble probably worked.
Of the boys, the only ones who are undoubtedly safe are Lee, Michael and Casey...and maybe Alex. There were a lot of crappy performances, but because John lulled everyone to sleep, I doubt anyone voted for him. As for the second loser, it's a tough call between Todrick, Jermaine, Joe and Tim. Todrick could fall victim to the first spot, but Jermaine probably rubbed a lot of people the wrong way in Hollywood Week. Joe was just forgettable, while Tim was just awful. But Tim is still "adorable" to the tweens (and Ellen), and also has the support of VFTW. I'm just going to have to take a guess here and say...eenie meenie miney mo...Jermaine Sellers, off you go.
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