Tuesday, March 02, 2010

American Idol 9: If You Can't Rock The Mic, Rock A Onesie

Just when I had finally made peace with the fact that my poor ears were once again going to be assaulted by this year's crop of girls, AI pulled a fast one. Since Crystal Bowersox had been hospitalized (not sure why...perhaps for a case of dental jaundice*), it was the boys who were up tonight. And since, as Simon mentioned, the terrible girls have thus far been a "smidge" better than the boys, well, I'm not ashamed to say that I wept upon hearing the news.

The musical theme is still Billboard hits — a vast ocean of greatness in which these kids are bottom feeders. "Things that we don't know nor care to know about the contestants" is the conceptual theme of the evening and, evidently, Ellen has decided to play along. A lot of people don't know this, but sometimes she likes to dress up like the late great Steve Irwin.

What we didn't know about Michael Lynche is that he's a theater nerd in addition to being a football player. I'm sure it killed him to reveal that instead of rehashing the same old "I missed my baby's birth for this, so please vote for me" story once again. The judges comments from last week certainly killed him, so, to prove himself, he trades in Maroon 5's turd-rock for a bit of James Brown soul with "This Is A Man's World." He sings it pretty well and looks comfortable on stage, but it's really not that original. But since the judges only seem to care about originality when the script calls for them to feel that way, they all love this performance. Randy gives Big Mike a standing O while Simon applauds him for going "from a pussycat to a lion in one week." As ever, Ellen the Tiger thinks it's grrrrrreat!

John Park tries to channel John Mayer (WHY?) by taking a seat and donning a slightly rumpled white v-neck tee for Baron von Douchingstein's "Gravity." A fitting song choice, considering that I keep hoping to either be knocked out by a falling apple or sucked out into space during the entire performance. The judges all agree that John is boring and pretty much ensure that he'll be going home. A halfhearted attempt at constructive criticism is attempted by Kara who, after Simon pushes a random button on the back of her bobble head, spits out, "Take some risks." Last week, I compared the ousted Joe Munoz to Phil "Drabby McBlanderson" Stacey, but John definitely takes the Drabby award this go-round.

I may continue to give out Drabby awards in honor of Phil's one superfan, who sought me out last week to prove that Sir Stacey is not boring by producing a mile-long list of things he's done since Idol. As if just simply staying active equals not boring. Come on. John Tesh is probably the hardest working man in show biz, but if they could bottle his music it would be stronger than Nyquil.

Adding to the list of things that make me go yaawwwwn, Casey James reveals that he's picked a song that's been done to death on AI! Hooray! His lame excuse for not knowing this is that he grew up without a TV and never watched the show before. OK. But after someone told him that at least four contestants had already covered Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be," maybe he could have picked something else? Nope. He just promises everyone that he's going to put a new spin on it and then doesn't deliver. He's more interested in jamming out on his pretty blue guitar than singing well or giving a halfway enthusiastic performance. All I can really say is that he's a better guitarist than a singer, which won't get him far in what often masquerades as a singing competition. All Ellen can say is...wait for it...wait for it..."that was great!" She also perfectly sets Kara up by telling Casey that he has a "stiffness about him," but the bait just dangles there, unbitten. Kara, who had previously been staring at Casey like she wanted to dip him in butter and slather him on her potato, tells him that he took two steps backwards with that performance. No one is more surprised by this turn of events than Casey, who is clearly confused by the cougar's sudden cold shoulder. Simon verbalizes what we're all thinking when he turns to Kara and asks, "Did he not return your calls, darling?"

Alex Lambert is still sporting the worst mullet in all the land, but he suddenly turns super-cute in his video package while talking about how he created his own language (adorable because it reminds me of something I used to do when I was little) and his near-crippling stage fright. How this kid just won over every girl in America (ahem...yes, including stupid ol' me) by admitting that he pukes before every performance is beyond me, but that's exactly what he did. Must be that Florence Nightingale Syndrome at work. He picks up the acoustic guitar to cover John Legend's "Everybody Knows," and gives a much better performance than last week. Is it 300 million percent better? Mmmmm, I'd say more like 157 thousand percent. Simon insists it's exactly one million times better. What? What happened to percentages? These critiques are getting confusing. Anyway...another hook is baited when Randy starts off with, "You know what I loved about your package?" Michael Bluth answers with, "There really has got to be a better way to say that," while Lindsay's wife blathers on about Alex's ripening banana. [Insert joke about Seacrest's banana stand here.]

Todrick Hall reveals that he was the first African-American Fritz in The Nutcracker. Since I've never seen The Nutcracker (I don't think that movie by the same name on Cinemax After Dark was the one he's talking about), I'm not sure what that means, or what it has to do with Todrick's weirdly balladized version of Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It." I appreciate that this guy is trying to go the Adam Lambert route by changing songs up, but he's really not very good at rearranging them. More importantly, he doesn't have the stage presence or vocal power that Adam did. The whole thing is just kind of "meh," and the very last note is pretty scary stuff. Of course, that last bit of runny falsetto mess is the only part of the performance that Randy liked. In trying to give Todrick some advice on not completely destroying songs, The Dawg lifts his leg on Ellen's territory and barks out, "Great is great, you just need to sing it greatly." Even E doesn't understand that. She and Kara are only left with critiquing Todrick's dancing (it's great, natch). Simon wraps things up for Todrick quite succinctly with, "This is not working out at all for you." Todrick is clearly confused by the judges' attitudes and turns to Seacrest with, "I thought that they wanted us to take the songs, change 'em and make 'em our own." The judges really have nothing to say about their constant mixed messages and fickle nature, other than to tell Todrick he took things "too far." I'm sure it's all clear to him now.

Up next is Jermaine Sellers, who tells America that he "rocks his onesie," as he parades around in said garment, which is covered in dinosaurs. But if there's one thing Jermaine knows how to do (besides sing badly), it's wash away any ounce of likability immediately after it accidentally leaks out of him. First of all, he looks RIDONK. He's dressed like a sexually repressed third-grade science teacher who just happens to go to the same barber as Bobby Brown. And then he unabashedly destroys the Marvin Gaye classic, "What's Goin' On." Even Ellen can't muster up a "great" for any part of that mess. Randy can barely form words: "Yo, dude (deep inhale) ahhhhhh...ehhh...dude...ahhhhhhhhhh, I don't know." After hearing from all of the judges, Jermaine annoyingly asks them, "What should I sing next week? I'm gonna let y'all pick it." Without missing a beat, Simon says, "I'm not sure you're going to be here next week," to which Jermaine replies, "I KNOW GOD." What the...? Really? Seacrest doesn't even attempt to stop Jermaine's jibber-jabbering, as he continues on about his relationship with the Lord and his "homeboy, Jesus." Um, I know God too, and I refuse to believe that He would let this guy continue to murder innocent music week after week. I have to agree with my homeboy, Simon and guess that Jermaine will be cast out for his sonic sins this round.

Someone who will probably still be here next week is Andrew Garcia, although it's only because he's still riding on that so-called "brilliant" cover of "Straight Up" he did way back in Hollywood Week. The momentum he gained from that has to give out pretty soon though. He's totally running on fumes now. At least he put down the guitar this week for a straight-up version of James Morrison's "You Give Me Something," but it's just not that good. I mean, he and Alex Lambert both have that Morrison/Mraz thing going on, so they have to cancel each other out, right? If there's only room for one, I vote for Alex. He's better vocally and facially. (He'll lose every time in the hair category though.) The only judge who liked Andrew's performance is Ellen, who stops just short of calling it "great." Randy tries to gaslight Andrew by insisting that the he should stick with the guitar, even though the judges all told him last week to stop doing the same old guitar schtick.

I thought Aaron Kelly's big reveal was going to be that he's really only 12 instead of 16, but no. However, I have no interest in what he's saying, so I can't impart any big Aaron secrets to you all. Sorry. He gives The Temptations' "My Girl" a bit of a country twist, and seems a little more loose this week, as compared to the slightly swaying robot he was last week. Randy blows everyone's mind by not mentioning that Aaron is only 16, but he makes up for it by proclaiming this performance "200% better than last week." (Yay! Percentages are back!) Simon then asks Aaron how old he is. Is he kidding? He doesn't seem to be. Good Lord. Then, in what seems like another joke, Simon starts talking about how Aaron should follow Justin Bieber's career trajectory...all while the audience chuckles and Aaron looks mildly agitated.

Tim Urban loves his family. Good to know. VFTW loves Tim Urban, even though he might be disappointing them a bit this week by out-performing Jermaine. His cover of Matt Nathanson's "Come On Get Higher" is certainly better than last week's "Apologize," although he's once again proving himself to be an average singer, at best. KaRandy doesn't think there was anything special about his performance, and Ellen tells Tim that he should be an actor, like maybe on Glee, RIGHT AFTER she says he has no stage presence. Yes, because actors don't need stage presence. Great idea, Ellen. Simon surprises everyone by giving Tim good marks, claiming that he "improved greatly" from last week, has a good attitude and sounded "more relevant" than most of the other guys tonight.

In the pimp spot is Lee Dewyze, who insists he's a nice guy even though he was a bad kid. Or something like that. He dumps the guitar for a cover of Hinder's "Lips Of An Angel," a song I loathe more than I can possibly explain. However, since Lee doesn't sound like he's simultaneously eating glass and shitting cardboard (like Bob Hinder, or whatever the guy's name is), the song sounds much better than usual. It's not my favorite performance, but I still like Lee and so do the judges. Quickly, what do they think? Randy: "Dude!" Ellen: "Great!" Kara: "You're very commercial!" Simon: "Vocally, you're head and shoulders above everyone else." Seacrest: "Call me!"

Two boys will be eliminated this week, and I think I pretty much made my predictions above. John and Jermaine must go.

The girls are up tomorrow night. God help us all. (I know Him, you know.)

*I keed, I keed. I hope she's OK.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Bond said...

I saw the first three and decided I am so over this show

Kristi Mantoni said...

Mullet Boy pulled it out last night! I'm not sure how the vomiting story won me over but it did. I'm thinking it will be John and Todrick going on Thursday simply because Jermaine's got the God thing going for him.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

I still think Casey is really good. He just went too heavy on the guitar. I thought his version of Heaven by Brian Adams was really good. He's going to win is what I think. You heard it here.

Jenna said...

I nearly spit out my hot chocolate at "Bob Hinder or whatever his name is." That song is absolutely the worst.

elaine said...

The Florence Nightingale syndrome almost makes up for the Florence Henderson thing that shy kid has going on with his hair.

I feel sorry for Tim Urban. He seems like a sweet kid, and I feel like he's there just so he can be shot down. Bless his heart, he just doesn't have the best vocal chops, but his good looks and charm are going to keep him there just long enough for it to be painful. Although last night I think he sounded better than even Andrew Garcia, who desperately needs to wake up and connect with the music.

Blanche said...

My faves are mullet boy and big Mike. I like the dude who sang that gawd awful Hinder song however he's too commercial sounding. The rest just plain suck. Well, maybe not Andrew but he better step it up a notch!

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

I am not even watching this season, and I have heard that Gavin DeGraw song more on American Idol than everywhere else put together. Ugh.

I laughed my ass off at "Seacrest: Call me."

Also, I'm pretty sure Alex Lambert is the quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

Gifted Typist said...

Still can't get into it this year - what is wrong with me

Penny said...

I kind of like Alex. He is sort of weird and I do not dig the hair...but his voice draws me in.

Shelly said...

Your recaps are the best thing ever.

carissajade said...

I'm like Bond... I quit halfway through the girls episode... jUst can't take it anymore. I am glad that I can rely on you and my co-workers to keep me in the know.

J. Hi said...

It's just bad this season, baaaad. I find myself wanting to like these guys but I just don't.

I had the FN syndrome too. After seeing Alex's story, I did want to hug him and stroke the mullet.


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