Wednesday, March 03, 2010

American Idol 9: Girls Gone Mild

After a one-day delay, the Top 10 Girls finally get to take the stage tonight. Ryan escorts Crystal Bowersox out to center stage to vaguely talk about her mystery illness and welcome her back. Ellen is very happy to have Dreadsocks™* back, and has worn one of Michael Johns' old ascots for the occasion.

When asked if she's ready to go, Crystal says she's a "tough cookie." As if to test her, she's put in the death spot. Since the "things no one knows or cares about theme" continues for the girls, Dreadsocks reveals that she has a twin brother who is a real square, man. I was hoping this meant that she would be singing my fave Elvis tune, "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care," but no such luck. She does pick a terrific song though, CCR's "Long As I Can See The Light." This girl is really good. Really authentic...which means that she's totally wrong for this particular competition. Still, I'm glad she's in it because she's one bright spot in an otherwise dismal crop of broads. Randy does something that completely amazes me: he begins a critique with "What's going down?" that is actually positive. Whoa! That's never happened! He's really changing things up this year. Everyone loves Crystal, especially Simon, who apologizes for "misunderestimating" her last week. Hmmm, maybe the whole "out sick" thing was all part of her "strategery?"

Before I go on to the poor sap who has to follow Dreadsocks, let me just get this out of the way. Kara is being extra annoying tonight. Her fake flirting, head bobbing, lip pursing, constant hyperbole and inability to distinguish one Alanis Morissette song from another...all of it is just pissing me off extra hard. So if I skip a lot of her critiques, that's why. And it's not like she ever says anything important anyway.

OK. Haeley Vaughn. Look, I love VFTW and I totally get their mission. Tatiana del Toro, Megan Joy, Normund Gentle...yes. But this Just no. I could never even cast an ironic vote for her. She makes me want to pull my brain out through my nose. She can't sing a lick and that constant creepy smile has got to be hiding the soul of a sadistic freak. She certainly enjoys torturing me. Against all odds, Haeley has figured out a way to be even more intolerable: she's singing Miley Cyrus' "The Climb." I will say that she sings it about as well as Miley. And there's no hidden meaning there. Just take that for what it is. The judges' descriptions of the performance range from "excruciating" to "complete and utter mess," and even though Simon says he doesn't want to make things worse, he tells Haeley, "It's ironic that you were singing about climbing when you fell off." And like a mother hen, Seacrest jumps in and angrily clucks, "How is that not making it worse?" Awfully high and mighty for a guy who never has to hear these horrible performances because his ears are always clogged up with Dippity-Do residue.

Lacey Brown likes antiques. If she's trying to prove with this reveal that she isn't as boring as we think she is, she fails. Since Kara told Lacey last week that she should do something like Sixpence None The Richer's "Kiss Me," she does just that all while insisting that she was gonna do that song anyway. I'm sure she's done it before at the karaoke club, since she's bringing some of that drunk/embarrassed/"My friend Heather totally bet me I wouldn't do this" swagger to the stage for this rendition. The Dawg recognizes the karaokiness of the whole thing as well, but Ellen thinks Lacey's adorableness makes up for everything. Kara refuses to admit that it was a stupid song choice, and Simon makes a pretty good observation: Lacey only looks like she's taking part in a competition, rather than trying to show the world what kind of artist she is.

Katie Stevens can say "Give me a kiss" in six languages. Oh yeah? Well, I can say "I don't give a shit" in nine. In an effort to please the judges and prove that she's ONLY 17, Katie opts for a more youthful song this week, but one that is quickly becoming a standard for Idol girls — Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On." Hmm, that's good advice. Maybe I should be listening to real music instead of this nonsense? But no, I must press on for my five fans, handful of haters and 300 lurkers. Katie does have a nice voice and she's a nice girl and this is all very nice, but it's yet another karaoke performance. While Simon recycles the "you're not showing us what kind of artist you are" line, Ellen asks Katie if she's 17. Then Kara says something about her being 16. Then the panel takes some time to discuss if Katie is 16 or 17. I think next week, Katie should sing Winger's "Seventeen" so there's no more confusion.

Of course, Katie has no idea who Winger is...and she probably doesn't even know who Corinne Bailey Rae is. Which brings me to this tangent: I am getting violently angry listening to Simon and Katie talking about how she should do more "research" to pick songs. They asked her which young artists she likes and she couldn't even name ONE. It seriously amazes me every year how little music these contestants know. How is that possible? I live, breathe, eat and shit music, and I'm not even trying to make that my career. Youth is not an excuse. I knew more music at five than this girl knows with 12 more years of life under her belt. Or is it 11 years?

Up next is Didi Benami, who apparently likes to meow. That's not surprising. I don't like cats and I don't like her. I can't even put my finger on what it is that I don't like about her, but I dislike her SO MUCH. Like, so much that it nearly surprises me when I feel the hatred rising up inside of me. And she seems like she might actually have a nice voice, but there's something so fake about her that just makes me want to punch her. Her version of Bill Withers' "Lean On Me" is the third karaoke performance in a row and the judges' comments bring her to the verge of tears. Not Ellen though! Ellen thinks Didi has a great voice, a great smile and a great presence. The song choice though? OK, not the greatest.

Oh, Michelle Delamor. What are you wearing, girl? I can't explain this get-up. I can only imagine that it's pretty close to what Adam Lambert might wear on his wedding day. Of course, The Dawg and Ellen—two people known for their amazing style—love the outfit. As for the song choice, Creed's "With Arms Wide Open," their feelings are rather lukewarm. Kara and Simon are on the other side of the fence, with Kara gushing that this was her favorite Michelle performance EVER. My opinion? It was a totally bizarre choice and not very well sung. What does Vera Wang think? Who knows. She's in the audience, but the camera man has no idea who she is.

Lilly Scott straps on her 12-string guitar for a cover of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," and keeps her eyes closed through most of it, even though she promised to look at the camera more often. Ah, who cares. This is a great performance. And I like when singers close their eyes. It's better than the ones who make googly eyes at the camera every 5 seconds (see: Constantine Maroulis, obvs and Katelyn Epperly, still to come). Randy, E and Kara all rave about Lilly, but Lord Cowell is only willing to give her a "good." He thinks Crystal was better. Way to spark a contestant rivalry, Simon!

I mentioned before that the idea of "indie" artists being on Idol is laughable, and I need to mention it again since Kara is blathering on about how more indie types might want to try out for the show now, after seeing people like Glambert do so well, and now Lilly and Crystal. Warning to you indie types: don't do it! It's all well and good to "be yourself" while you're on the show, but just wait until you try to release that first album.

And this brings up another point: if the judges realize that most of us really like people like Lilly and Crystal because they're not doing the same generic pop crap that this show keeps churning out, why do they insist on continuing to churn it out?? *sigh* I guess this is a conversation for another time. I've got three more girls to get through right now.

Katelyn Epperly makes the bold choice to make Coldplay's "The Scientist" about five times slower than it already is. We may just run into the 10:00 news here. She plays the piano well enough and I really do like her voice, but this arrangement is just terrible. Oh, and yeah, the googly eyes I referred to earlier. PLEASE STOP. Before she went out on stage, Katelyn was talking about how much this song means to her and how she hoped the judges would be able to feel that, yet all I see is someone who is just performing. There's no emotion there. The only thing I'm feeling is tired. Ellen feels the same. The Dawg digs it. Kara "kind of loves" Katelyn, but tells her to figure out who she is. (I wish Kara would figure out that she's the unwanted judge that no one even "kind of" loves.) Simon calls Katelyn on her "corny" stage presence, and also mentions that her version of the song was nearly identical to Natasha Bedingfield's cover, which Katelyn claims to have never heard. I'd like to believe her, but I'm not sure I do.

Paige Miles does an OK cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Walk Away," a song co-written by Kara. Kara complains about how Paige was smiling too much during the performance, because it's supposed to be a much angrier song. I love when Kara tries to pretend that her songs have depth. Ellen, God bless her, thinks Paige is great. Randy and Simon both like Paige, but didn't love that performance. Simon thinks that Paige has poor song selection skills. I was kind of waiting for him to say, "Never pick another Kara-penned song again," but he didn't.

The evening closes out with Siobhan Magnus, who used to rock not a onesie, but a mohawk. She belts out Aretha Franklin's "Think" and shrieks an amazing note that would bring a sparkly tear to Glambert's eye. Hey, haven't I been saying for weeks now that this girl is the one to watch? If you haven't been paying attention, um, yes...yes I have. All the judges go nuts for her, except Simon, who just loves to play the contrarian. He thinks "parts were terrible, and parts were incredible." And I think that box-cutter hairdo of his is incredibly terrible, so there you go.

So, who goes home this week? The only one I'd put money on is Lacey. She's gotta be out of here. I'm still surprised she wasn't gone last week. As for my other guess, I'd love to be rid of Haeley, but I think with the support of VFTW and people who feel sorry for her, she'll stick around at least one more week. Therefore, I think it's between Didi and Michelle. It's a tough call, but I'll say that Didi Benami will be no more. And she will make a huge, weepy scene.

*I'm just claiming the nickname for Crystal, not the creation of the actual Dreadsock. Yes, it's a thing. Not invented by me.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Kristi Mantoni said...

The girls were way worse than the guys so it's hard to pick who's going home. I think Lacey was helped by going after Haeley so I'm not sure if she's going home or not. Michelle and Didi were bad as well but Didi almost cried and even I felt sorry for her. I don't know!! Lilly was my fave!

Ian said...

Couldn't work in any Arrested Development references this time, huh?

I didn't think Didi was that bad. At least, I certainly don't think that performance was bad enough to cancel out all the exposure she got earlier. My gut says Michelle leaves with Lacey tonight.

By the way, isn't it nice to see Simon finally admit that the judges often contradict themselves?

Penny said...

your hatred of Didi is similiar to my hatred of Dreads.

I agree with sentiments on Haley. Such a weirdo. She's like a bad accident have to kind of look at her creepy smile...can't look away..

Dave said...

Even with VFTW, I think Haeley is in danger. Didi will probably also go home.

Shelly said...

Sounds like this season is the worst so far.

Renee said...

Am I the only one who thinks that Lily looks like the Albino in The Princess Bride? I like her, though, second to Dreadsocks. Thanks for articulating what's disgusting about Kara yet again. You are my most forwarded AI reviewer. Thanks for a great recap!

Bond said...

I let TiVo do it's thing and then I watched the performances and the judges little back stories at all.
There are only three girls who should be competing in this thing next week..Crystal, Lilly and Siobahn...the rest can pack their little suitcases and go home...TONIGHT

Oh and would they PLEASE take Ellen and Kara with Kara rubbing Simon's johnson as the contestants sing? She is practically sitting on his lap.

Anonymous said...

I thought Crystal, Lilly and Siobahn were the best three and also Katelyn who I thought did a fantastic version of Coldplay and the judges must've been on crack not to think so. I mean they spend half the time telling people to make songs their own and when they do, they hate it. The song sounded great slowed down. You're all delusional if you think otherwise. As I am the ultimate authority on everything, you know I am right. :)

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

I'm so intrigued by that meth addict looking photo you use for Crystal. I can't tell if she's actually pretty or not.

And you HAVE to add Ace Young to the Creepy Looking At The Camera All-Stars.

Mathdude said...

I got Haeley and Didi and Todrick and John. We'll see.

Miss Yvonne said...

Haeley. Or however her parents spell her name. Ugh. She's awful.

angelof_mercy81 said...

Thank heaven for your recaps. I forgot to record the show last night, although it sounds like I didn't miss much anyway.

I agreed with three of the four eliminations; I didn't think Michelle should have gone home just yet. My money was on Lacey, so I was surprised when she squeaked by yet again.

J. Hi said...

I am still baffled that Haeley got through in the first place. I felt bad for Didi. I like Lilly but why does she remind me of the Olsen twins? Katelyn's hair scares me. I like Siobhan but I don't know why.


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