Tuesday, March 09, 2010

American Idol 9: As The Girls Move Closer To The Top 12, Kara Moves Even Closer To Simon

AI opens in usual over-dramatic fashion tonight, with the Top 8 girls lined up single file, backlit in ominous blue tones. As they all take a turn being called out of the line by Seacrest, I can't help but feel like the audience is going to rise up and stone to death the last girl called.

Instead, Ellen takes one for the team by perching on Simon's lap and seductively nuzzling his ear. You know she can't be enjoying that. She's got Portia de Rossi at home. I'm assuming this is a joke directed at Kara, who has been steadily inching her chair closer and closer to Simon's all season long. Pretty soon she'll be sitting on his left. Testicle.

Well, no more time for fun and games! Seacrest shrieks that "time is tight," because they've only (thankfully) got an hour to jam in as many commercials, er, performances as they can tonight. And then...Glee is on!!! Hooray! I'm so happy that last season's finale is airing because I never had a chance to catch it.

Apparently, there is no theme tonight. No time for themes! Just sing! GO!

Katie Stevens! No time to talk about how you're only 17! Hurry up and sing! Katie rushes out on stage to sing Madame Clarkson's "Breakaway," and her version is like karaoke night in Dullsville, man. The judges rush through their critiques (even Kara, amazingly enough) and pretty much all come to the same conclusion: Katie is a decent singer, but she doesn't know who she is yet. She needs more time to marinate in her own juices. Or something. But Ellen makes sure to get some "greats" in there, specifically "great song choice" and "great voice." But "no feeling" negates those greats. (I'm a rhyming mofo all of a sudden.)

My girl Siobhan Magnus is up next. I'm not sure what on Earth she's wearing, but apparently Laura Ashley is still in business. I had no idea. I absolutely love this girl. I love her more and more every week. She's so wonderfully weird. And OK, so she's not a snazzy dresser, but with that voice, she doesn't have to be. This bird can sing. She covers "House of the Rising Sun," and despite the fact that the song really needs to be retired from AI at this point, she does a really nice version. All the judges love her, but Simon isn't feeling it this week. He says that she didn't have any "big moment" like she did last week and that everything was "a bit weird." And constantly rubbing your nipples and using a box cutter to style your hair isn't weird? Come on. There's bad weird and good weird, and Siobhan is definitely good weird.

Lacey Brown should have been gone weeks ago, and yet here she sits, launching into Brandi Carlile's "The Story." Hmm. Her version is really nothing special, and she makes it into more of a straight ballad, but this is actually the first time I've ever thought that she has a pretty good voice. I'll give her a C. The judges all basically agree that this is Lacey's best performance to date. She'll probably make it through to the Top 12, but I don't see her going much further than that.

Katelyn Epperly takes the stage for her rendition of Carole King's "I Feel The Earth Move," which feels like the second karaoke performance of the night. Even more than karaoke, I feel like I'm watching that show Your Big Break. Does anyone remember that? It wasn't on very long. Alfonso Ribeiro hosted it, and they would give contestants "makeovers" to look like the singers they sounded like. That's what this reminds me of. Even though I know Katelyn's hair is always that big and curly, she kind of looks like she's trying to be Carole King, sort of bouncing around while playing the keyboards. The thing is though, I want to like her because I think she has a really good voice and star quality. But I'm not in love with this performance. The judges (and maybe they're just being agreeable in the interest of saving time tonight) once again all sort of say the same thing: nice hair, but the performance was nothing special.

My least favorite contestant, Didi Benami, takes on one of my favorite songwriters, Stevie Nicks, for a version of Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon." I immediately cringe in anticipation, but I have to begrudgingly give Didi some props here. Usually, when people cover Stevie, they can't help trying to imitate her, and just end up sounding like an out of tune goat. Didi, whose vocals always sound affected to me, is actually doing a good job of not sounding affected tonight. Still, everything about this girl is so boring. I understand that she's trying to make the song her own, but she's practically turned it into a lullaby. Randy and Ellen think Didi is much better than last week, but are still a bit lukewarm on the performance. However, Kara and Simon think it's the best they've heard tonight, and it's one of Kara's favorite moments all season. And this is one of the many reasons I can't take Kara seriously.

Paige Miles heads for cabaret territory with the old Charlie Chaplin standard, "Smile," and it's all just very "meh." Her voice seems to be cracking throughout, so I can't tell if she's nervous or just very emotional. I'm leaning a bit towards the latter just because, based on some things other contestants have said tonight, I'm starting to think that the theme has been "songs that have personal meaning" all along. When the judges all tell Paige hers was a terrible song choice, she admits that she chose it because she loves the song and that it does deeply affect her. So, I was expecting her to haul out some touching story about one of her parents or something, but then she says it's because she's a huge Michael Jackson fan and he once recorded the song. Oh, Paige, Paige, Paige. You need to learn how to tug on the audience's heartstrings, dear. That "I miss Michael Jackson" story just isn't gonna fly.

I ask Crystal Bowersox to "Give Me One Reason" to keep this show on, and she does just that with a nice, soulful version of the Tracy Chapman song. Unsurprisingly, everyone loves her, and Ellen says that she needs to find new adjectives to describe her. Since Simon went on Jay Leno's show last night to pimp the hell out of Crystal, we don't even really need to know what he said, right? Well, I'll tell you anyway. He used his mathematical prowess to proclaim that Dreadsocks™ was "one million billion percent" going to be in the Top 12 and that she's "the one to beat." So, I guess Simon suddenly has an affinity for buskers. Whodathunkit?

Lilly Scott closes out the night with Patsy Cline's "I Fall To Pieces." She changes the song up just enough to suit her style and the peformance is, as Simon says, "cute and quirky." However, Simon doesn't feel like she had any "wow factor" on that song. The other three disagree, applauding Lilly's originality and contemporariness. (Holy shit, that's really a word!)

I get the very strong feeling that the judges are trying to ditch Katie, who hasn't turned out to be the Female Archuleta for whom they had hoped. And I think giving her bad critiques across the board and putting her in the lead-off spot, coupled with her inability to be the least bit interesting will get her bumped from the show. And although Simon seemed to be trying to sway the audience to not vote for Katelyn and Lilly, I think Paige will ultimately be the second girl sent home, thus completing the ethnic cleansing of the girls' side.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Ian said...

Wow. Including mine, this is the fourth blog I've read predicting Paige and Katie to go home. If it's not them I guess we'll have our first true shocker of the season.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

My roomy DVR's this show, and I skimmed through it. I'll give you my impressions.

Katie: I don't remember.
Magnus: I agreed with Simon. Weird. Her singing was too matter-of-fact, enunciated, almost monotone. This girl can sing okay, but this song requires a booming voice like Eric Burdon from The Animals, and her version didn't sound pained like it should: just weird.
Lacey: Reminds me of Liza Minnelli. I hated it.
Katelyn: Couldn't sing for shit. Couldn't hit the big notes.
Didi: Butchered Rhiannon. Underwhelming.
Paige: Fairly good, but I agree with you: boring.
Crystal: Outstanding! She is really, really good.
Lilly: I usually like what she does because she's got a quirky indie rock flavor, but with Patsy Cline, it was just crappy.

Okay, so I only really liked one girl, so she's my winner! I'm going her and the long-haired blond guy as my winners.

Anonymous said...

Lacey's gone. She HAS to be.

Dave said...

I don't think Katie will be eliminated; she's had too much face time to not make the Top 12. The sad part is that she is actually taking the judges's advice and it's hurting her.

I'd look for Paige and Didi to get whacked this week.

Scope said...

I thought you said "karma" was inching closer to Simon. That he was going to get vicious retribution.

Wait, maybe, just maybe it is.

Idol Women said...

Spot on as always, babe. My Lilly thing has less to do with Lilly's actual singing and more to do with my unhinged love for Patsy Cline - if you're going to mess with Patsy, at least make it sound good. Lilly's version was deranged.

But I've dropped my vendetta, we can totally have a three-way with Katelyn, or whatever. But then let's go drinking with Didi so you can get to know her better - can't we all just get along? :)

Your fan,
Lady C

LiLu said...

New goal: work "contemporariness" into conversation today.

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

I am glad I haven't heard Didi sing, because her picture is too purty and I don't want that to change.

Falwless said...

Man, I really like Didi...

Cora said...

The only two contestants I like this season are Crystal and Lilly. The rest of them just make me so bored I actually wander out of the room to go do ANYTHING else.

Penny said...

I have nothing to say here..except I hate Bowersox. Why do I hate her so much??


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