Wednesday, March 24, 2010

American Idol 9: Eleven Number Ones (And Plenty Of Number Two)

I was all prepared to hear some teen idol tunes on American Idol tonight (er, technically last night*), but there was a last minute change. It seems that the judges aren't going to be giving this Top 11 any kind of challenge, as the theme was switched to Billboard #1 Hits. Haven't they been doing Billboard hits for the past several weeks? Oooh, but now they're limiting the contestants to ONLY #1 hits. How difficult!

Before the butchering of songs commences, Ellen and Ryan engage in a bullshit conversation about how important it is for people to vote for their favorites. (Because ONLY YOU can prevent the Alex Lamberts of the world from being eliminated. Yeah, right.) Then Simon sucks up to Kara for no good reason before Seacrest interrupts with some more homoerotic banter. And to keep the good time party bus rolling, we get to meet this week's mentor: It's Miley!

*needle scratching on record sound*

Did I just hear that right?

*spit take*

Yep, it's Miley Cyrus all right. Yo, dawgs, she's only 17! And she's mad pitchy! She's going to mentor these contestants? Well, this should be fun. I'm expecting plenty of pole dancing. Kara probably can't wait for Casey to get all oiled up and take the stage.

Lee Dewyze kicks things off with a cover of "The Letter," which is probably not a nod to former Box Tops singer Alex Chilton's recent passing. Seriously, we're lucky if these kids know who Axl Rose is, let alone Alex Chilton. Lee's bluesy growl is pretty good, but I'm distracted by his hands. Without his trusty guitar, he doesn't know what to do with them. He's just jerking his left hand around in a very spastic manner. Perhaps he prepared by watching a video of Joe Cocker performing this song? Whatever the case, he looks relieved when it's all over. Randy thinks Lee "knocked it outta the box," which, I think, is not quite as good as blowing it out the box. Ellen tries another ridonk metaphor by comparing Lee to her favorite pen. Kara-Bot 2010 says, "Bloop've raised the bar... progress ... comfortable ... good...bleep blork." Simon is the only one who isn't that impressed with Lee's performance, labeling it "corny" and "not contemporary."

Instead of chart histories, someone must have given Paige Miles the list of songs that should be retired from AI, and she goes right for the top: Phil Collins' "Against All Odds." It's soft, then loud, then soft, then loud, then sort of softly loud, then loud, loud, soft, loud and soft. The only consistent thing about this performance is the pitchiness. Even Miley told Paige during rehearsal that she was pitchy. And if Miley Cyrus says you are pitchy, YOU ARE PITCHY, DAWG. When Paige stops the aural assault, the judges sort of stare blankly. Randy, in a fit of yos and wows, can barely spit out that Paige was "terrible." Ellen goes the Paula route by telling Paige that she's pretty. Kara and Simon are stunned by Paige's suckage, and think that she has just simply stopped competing.

Paige must have passed around that list of songs, as Tim Urban picks one by AI's whipping band, Queen. (Seriously, what did Queen ever do to this show? I wonder this every year. No one's songs take more abuse than theirs.) As if Tim doing Queen isn't bizarre enough, he settles on the rockabilly hit "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and immediately transports us into a bad episode of The Partridge Family. Tim slides on the floor and jumps into the idiot pit as if it really were Teen Idol week. All he's missing is a puka shell necklace. Oh, the hell with it. I hope this kid wins the whole show. I would love to see the looks on the judges' faces. They would probably look a lot like they look right now.

Seacrest warns us that Aerosmith is coming up after the break. You know what this means don't you? MUSICAL ARMAGEDDON. I wish I had a bomb shelter in which to lock myself. It just doesn't go away. It will never die. I bet that the only things that will survive the apocalypse are cockroaches and that effing asteroid love song.

Shouldn't Aaron Kelly take his sudden laryngitis and tonsilitis as a sign from God to not inflict "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" on the world? Ugh. He should, but he doesn't. OK, stop crushing on Miley, kid, and let's get this over with. *wince* Hmm. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but this isn't horrible. Oh, I still hate the song with the heat of a thousand suns, but after two absolutely abysmal vocalists, Aaron's pleasant voice is refreshing. Simon thinks Aaron is making himself "old fashioned" but everyone pretty much likes him. However, if I may take a page from Kara's playbook here, I'd like to complain about the authenticity of this performance. This amazing song is about a rugged oil driller who's trying to squeeze in those last precious moments of life with his woman before he has to blast off into space to blow up an asteroid that is hurtling towards Earth—so what relevance does it have to Aaron's life? I mean, he's only 17!!! He can't possibly be expected to convey his lust for Liv Tyler or his sadness over Bruce Willis' ultimate sacrifice.

I expected Crystal Bowersox to put that pantsless bimbo, Miley, in her place during rehearsals, but she actually took her "mentoring" seriously. AND she got Miley to sign her guitar. Hmm. Maybe Dreadsocks™ isn't quite as "authentic" as I thought she was. Oh well, she still seems to be the obvious judge favorite here, and her solid cover of Janis Joplin's "Me & Bobby McGee" does nothing to change that. They all salivate over her for a few minutes, but Ellen suggests that Crystal put down the guitar for a change. At that, Dreadsocks™ reveals that she has "big plans" for next week. Man, I hope this doesn't end as badly as Paula's suggestion last year that Blind Scott come out from behind the piano.

Another of the judges' favorites, Michael Lynche, makes Miley swoon with his version of "When A Man Loves A Woman." He performs it well enough for the panel to like but not love. Kara tells Mike that even though he was "technically" very good, the performance was "overindulgent and loungey." Simon once again agrees with Kara's assessment. He's been awfully supportive of her blathering tonight. Is he trying to give her some credibility before he ducks out at the end of this season?

Suddenly, Kim Jong Il takes over the stage! Finally, some excitement! Oh no...sorry...that's just Andrew Garcia. Or is it Danny Gokey? Gokey v2.0? Kim Jong Gokey? What do I call this guy? After he's done murdering "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," someone might wanna call him a cab to the airport. Even Miley looks disgusted. And, sad as it is to say, she could have probably sung that better. Ellen hopes that Andrew's five fans vote for him, because no one else will. Kara-Bot 2010 says, "Zip zork...remember when you did 'Straight Up'?" Simon is finally tired of hearing that and suggests that, in hindsight, it's possible that everyone just "overrated that moment," because Andrew has straight up sucked ever since then.

Katie Stevens, whom I almost forgot existed, is up next singing Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry (Personal)." It's pretty much sharp the entire way through, but it's kind of like a nice tall glass of milk to wash down the shit sandwich that Andrew just force-fed me. Randy rightfully plays the "pitchy" card, but that doesn't keep Ellen from calling this Katie's best performance. Kara and Simon finally start disagreeing again, with Kara suggesting that Katie stick with pop/R&B and Simon insisting that she'll be better off in country music. Since Katie's actual best performance (pay attention, Ellen) was last week's "Wild Horses," which I described as "Carrie Underwood lite," I have to agree with Lord Cowell on this one.

Miley did not advise Casey James to do a greasy stripper dance (sorry, Kara), but instead lectured him about how important eye contact is. Like, for instance, when she makes eye contact with her fans, THEIR LIVES ARE CHANGED 4-EVA. Yeah, so anyway...Casey surprises me by choosing Huey Lewis and The News' "The Power of Love." Is this the first time anyone has ever covered Huey on AI? I think it might be! Perhaps there should be a Huey Lewis theme night? (Excuse me while I laugh myself sick imagining Tim's version of "Hip to Be Square.") Uh, this is OK. As much as I love horns though, I have to say that Casey should have cut them out of this arrangement. They're definitely making this song sound cheesy and dated. He could have rocked it out a lot more. Randy, E and Kara all think Casey is great. Simon thinks the three stooges are watching another show, because all he heard was "an '80s cover band."

Before Didi Benami takes the stage, Seacrest mentions AGAIN that she's a waitress. She's just a waitress, folks. She's not a professional singer! She certainly doesn't have any ties to anyone on the show! Didi gives me a wonderful gift by choosing to sing Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good." Oh yeah, Didi? Well, YOU'RE no good! Ha ha! See what I did there?? All bad jokes aside, Didi is...well, she's a bad joke. So I guess I can't put them all aside yet. None of the judges like this horrible cabaret number, although, like me, Simon does enjoy the irony of the song title. Didi takes a minute to ramble on à la her doppelgänger, Babbling Brooke White. Oh, she's going in the Bottom 3 for sure.

Siobhan Magnus closes things out with Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." I don't know what's up with her hair tonight. Is she longing for the mohawk of her high school days? Or is she just a big Sanjaya fan? Who knows. Who cares. Siobhan is my prediction to win it all, and her good use of the pimp spot tonight makes me even more confident that I may be right. Of course, she had to scream at the end, which is gonna get old really quickly. I hope next week she does a ballad or something. Or anything that doesn't require shrieking. All the judges give Siobhan good marks, but Simon has to compare his kids again. This time he says that Crystal is the only one who is "relevant," and that everyone else needs to work on making themselves the same.

I originally thought that Tim was so bad that he'd have to be in trouble, but I think that he's going to be saved by VFTW, tweens, religious types and a bunch of people who feel sorry for him. So, that means that the Bottom 3 will be Paige, Andrew and Didi. Everyone, take a look at Paige now. Because next week, there will be just an empty space where she used to stand.

*I purposely waited until after midnight to post this recap. You see, Tuesday was Damon Albarn's birthday and I couldn't ruin his tribute post by making him share the day with American Idol. He hates it. And I can't really say I blame him.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Kristi Mantoni said...

When I was typing about how I liked Didi, I was thinking, "Becky is NOT going to be happy." LOL! I don't think that Paige wants it anymore and I hope the voters felt that too and didn't dial for her. Wouldn't it be GREAT if Time won it all!! VFTW would LOVE it!!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Oh my holy horrible...

Paige is most definitely gone tonite.Or Tim, because I really couldn't sit through another of their performances-ever!

Crystal? Predictable. She may be authentic, but, and I'm paraphrasing here, "like any performer outside a coffee house."
She sounds good but she's completely predictable. Suprise me sister, then we'll talk.

I think that the talent is so bad this year that the people who can perform an entire song on pitch sound incredible.

elaine said...

I assumed that singing "The Letter" was a tribute to Alex Chilton and found it odd that none of the judges - who are supposed to know something about music - made the connection. Perhaps because Chilton is probably rolling over in his grave after that cheesy interpretation on an even cheesier show with special guest Miley Cyrus. I thought that the irony was too much for me to handle. Until Paige performed. That was too much for me to handle. She at least cemented her place in AI history for one of the worst finalist performances ever.

Why is it that the kids do better when given a specific theme like The Rolling Stones, but they pretty much tank when given a much broader spectrum from which to choose? I was hoping for teen idols. I wanted Siobhan to sing "Society's Child" by Janis Ian, Crystal to sing "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, and Big Mike to sing "I'll Be There." (another AI over-done song, but at least a good one) And Tim Urban could probably do a pretty good job at "Daydream Believer."

Ian said...

I'd rather see Andrew go home than Paige. At least Paige is a pretty girl. Andrew's just an untalented waste of space.

Idolhead Ed said...

Elaine I was hoping to hear Siobhan sing "At 17".

Mathdude said...

I got Tim, Paige, and Andrew in my Bottom 3 with Paige going home. I thought Miley as the "mentor" was ridiculous - they must have cut the scenes where Miley showed them how her Autotune works.

Kev said...

Where the hell is William Hung when you need him!!!!

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

I think the only way I would watch this show again is if I came over your house and we drank.

Cora said...

Halfway through Paige's brutal assault on my ear drums, I turned the effing tv off. No more. I just can't take it anymore.

Christ, I think I might watch Dancing With The Stars instead now. Yeah, it's THAT bad.

Chancelucky said...

I think both the talent level and the show's chemistry are off. If nothing else, Paula Abdul always added a measure of unpredictability to the show.

Does anyone track how many times particular songs have been done on the show? How many ties have contestants done Grapevine (I think it's shown up a lot during Hollywood week)? I did think that Andrew resembled one of the California Raisins doing the song.

Madam Z said...

I've never watched American Idol, so have no opinions or knowledge of it. I do, however, think your photo-shopping of Miley Cyrus is pure genius!

Also, I admire your ambition and hard work, in writing this detailed, thoughtful post.

Penny said...

Miley creeps me out. They have a great montage of ridiculous stuff she does/says on The Soup.
Classy lady that one..


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