Tuesday, April 20, 2010

American Idol 9: The AI Recap That Inevitably Devolves Into Pure Gleekery

Tonight is the precursor to Idol Smokes Crack. Let's get on with it, shall we? Glee's a' waitin'.

For tonight's dreaded Inspirational Songs theme, I have procured a cinder block, which is at the ready should anyone launch into "Greatest Love of All." Mentor Alicia Keys is on hand because she likes being charitable. How nice of her to try to help this mostly underwhelming crop of contestants not suck too badly. Although, her advice to everyone is pretty much, "connect with the song," something I don't think most of them understand. Well, Alicia, all you can do is try.

Casey James is in the Leadoff Spot of Doom performing Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop." OK, I like Casey but he really needs one of those headpiece mics or something, because every performance is just him smiling with his guitar behind a mic stand. He sings well enough, and we all know he's a great guitarist, but it's just all so déjà vu. The Dawg agrees. Ellen also agrees and is upset that she can't use her favorite word, "great." Kara complains that Casey didn't show what makes him different. (What, like his abs? That won't even work anymore. Have you guys seen Timmeh's six pack?) Simon blasts Casey for making a lazy song choice and showing zero emotion.

Seacrest tries to get some emotion out of Lee Dewyze, by reminding him how his BFF Garcia got kicked to the curb last week. Lee predicts great things for Andrew in the future. Yeah, like maybe another neck tat. Lee sings Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer," an odd song choice considering that much of it is "li la li." Not that it matters, because I can barely concentrate on the song due to Lee's ultra shiny lips. Did the guy O.D. on Burt's Bees before the show or what? So, OK, this isn't bad. Just kind of boring. He's sort of growling a lot; I'm not sure why. Randy pipes in with a ridiculous statement: "The show is really about artists this year." Really? What show is he watching, Project Runway? Ellen thinks Lee has soul and depth, and Simon thinks he's sincere. Kara thinks this was Lee's proud moment inside AI's heaven. Seriously? THIS? Don't get me wrong; it wasn't horrible. It just was not THAT good. Kara claims that she could tell that Lee had an emotional connection to the song, and I say that's baloney. No one would know that he gave two shits about that song if he hadn't told us before singing it. I don't know what these judges are hearing. I mean, how much emotion (Paul Simon included) can anyone put into a bunch of li la lis? Was this performance pleasant? Yes. Inspirational? Not really.

Hey, Sully's in the house! This is how we treat our American heroes? I'm pretty sure TPTB tricked him into thinking he'd be sitting in on a taping of Glee. Speaking of, I am starting to fidget. I need to go look at a picture of Jonathan Groff online during the next commercial break. (Hey, there's a shirtless one of him, too! It's kind of a rip though. Can't really see much. Oh, but that face...)

...Anyway....here's Tim Urban now, singing the Goo Goo Dolls' "Better Days," which I've never heard. His version doesn't exactly make me want to run out and hear it, but that's mainly because I don't care about the Goo Goo Dolls or Johnny Too Many Zs in His Last Name. Tim's kind of dull tonight. The chicks still dig him though. The judges are painfully aware of Six Pack Timmeh's popularity, as they have taken to being pretty nice to him, even when trying to be negative. Randy just calls the performance "good karaoke," and Ellen blathers on about soup. Kara doesn't think this was Tim's best night, but still loves his "commercial" sound. Simon says some nice things but ends on "it was a little bit of a letdown," which suggests that Simon is actually expecting MORE from Timmeh these days. Interesting.

Does anyone like these "inspirational" songs? Perhaps Idol should have done a Madonna night instead to coincide with Glee's theme. I know that when I was younger, "Lucky Star" prompted me to buy several items of mesh clothing and wear a pink lace headband practically every day. Now that's inspiration.

Aaron Kelly is covering the R. Kelly (no relation!) dreck fest, "I Believe I Can Fly." Yep, it's back to the ballads for Aaron. I don't know if this song is inspirational, but it sure is apt for this Idol season: I used to think that I could not go on/And life was nothing but an awful song. You said it, kid. The Idiot Pit loves this, and most of the judges give Aaron a pass just for having the guts to take on such a "big song." Simon isn't quite as generous though, saying that if he'd heard this on the radio, he would have turned it off after 10 seconds. Maybe Aaron just didn't connect well enough with the song. Perhaps if he'd urinated on an underage girl in the audience, it would have seemed more authentic.

Poor Siobhan Magnus. She shows up looking like a woodland sprite and announces that she's singing "When You Believe" by...wait for it...Mariah Carey...wait, not done...and...Whitney Houston. You can almost hear Randy's internal dialogue: "What??? YO. *deep inhale* You can't cover Mariah! I know her, by the way. You can't cover Whitney! What? Dawg, uhhhh, what's going down? For me, for Siobhan, this just ain't gonna work. Yo, did I mention I know Mariah? OK, but did I say it OUT LOUD? Maybe I should. I think everyone might have forgotten." That goes on for much longer, but we don't have unlimited time here. This is a dreadfully boring song, but I think Siobhan does a pretty good job with it. Her screaming isn't too out of control and her high notes are really lovely. Randy ends his internal dialogue to basically spit out that Siobhan was just OK because she's NOT WHITNEY OR MARIAH! Ellen disagrees, while Randy silently curses himself for forgetting to mention his ties to Mariah out loud. Kara says, "that was technically very well sung, but this isn't a musical." Sooooo...pop singers don't need to be technically good singers, only Broadway singers? Thanks for finally admitting what we already knew! Simon gives Siobhan a thumbs down, too, and then Seacrest lets her talk for an unreasonable length of time. (Or is it just that it takes Siobhan two minutes to finish a nine-word sentence?) I like that she stands her ground though, and says she ain't scurred of Mariah and Whitney. She's gonna sing the songs she likes no matter who sings 'em, dammit!

Michael Lynche sings "Hero"—not the Mariah Carey song, but the one by the unholy union of the Nickelback and Saliva singers. Unholy because I just don't like those bands, but I actually kind of like this song. It's got a bit of drama to it. Well, not the way Mike does it. He's just kind of jamming out with his acoustic guitar, which I can barely hear, and not doing anything particularly interesting with the song. It's not bad; it's just meh. Because they're short on time, the judges try to blaze through their critiques. Randy and Ellen give Michael a thumbs up and then Kara slows things right back down with a lot of talking just to say that it wasn't her favorite performance. Simon kind of liked the vocal, but is fixated on the fact that the song was from Spider-Man, and therefore cannot be inspired by it. I guess he's a Batman fan.

In the pimp spot tonight is Crystal Bowersox, fresh off of her blown-out-of-proportion "I want to quit" controversy. She's sans guitar this time to sing an impassioned version of "People Get Ready" by The Impressions or any of the 5,000 other artists who have covered it. As the song nears its end, I'm thinking, "Now, compare this to Lee's performance. THIS is someone who can really connect to a song." And then she starts crying. I'm always a little put off by people crying on this show because I'm so used to so much of this being fake, but I think she's having a genuine emotional outburst here. She's had a weird week, she misses her kid, and her dad finally made it out to see her. Or maybe she's crying because she's selling her soul a little bit to make a better life for herself. Ah well. A few more weeks Crystal, and then just take a dive. Trust me, you don't want to win this.

Do you really need me to tell you what the judges thought about the most talented and consistent performer? No. But I need to tell Simon something. STOP TALKING, ALREADY! Glee should be on by now. It was supposed to start at 8:59! Where is it??? End. END!!

Here's my quick prediction and, since my predictions have pretty much sucked all year, I'm not putting that much time or energy into thinking about them. I'm just going with my first instincts. Bottom 3 will be Casey, Aaron and Michael. And I believe little Aaron will fly off to obscurity.

Come on, blow through these phone numbers. Faster! Why can this show never end on time? What the...? Seacrest, you don't have time to schmooze with Alicia Keys! END!! ENNNNNNNNND!!!! It's 9:03 for Sue Sylvester's sake!!

Aah, finally. Glee!

*insert 62 minutes of rapt enjoyment and some cougar-style drooling*

Hey, did you all know that Amber Riley (Mercedes) tried out for American Idol seven years ago, and didn't even get past the initial producers' screening? That would have been for Season 3, right? The season of the divas? The season in which another now big star, Jennifer Hudson, was cut early while Jasmine Trias made it all the way to the final 3? Yep.

OMG. Here is when you know for sure that this is just a TV show and not real life. Who would not have sex with Jesse St. James if he asked? Good Lord. If there had been a guy like that in my high school, well, I'd probably have been 16 and pregnant before that unfortunate condition inspired a TV show of its own.

I totally have to redo my doable men list soon. Jonathan Groff just shot into the Top 5. Sorry, Jackman. There's a new song and dance man in town. And this one's openly gay*. Down to #6 you go.

The Madonna episode tonight was pretty awesome. I especially loved the girls' version of "Express Yourself" (my fave Madge song) and the "Like a Virgin" sequence, but I do have one complaint. WHY WAS JONATHAN GROFF'S "BURNING UP" NOT IN THE EPISODE?? That is another of my favorite Madonna songs, and his version of it is fab-u-lous. And I'm not just saying that because I want to have his curly-haired babies. Take a listen:

Burning up, indeed. Oh, J-Groff, I'm hung up on you. You must be an angel. I wanna dress you up in my love. Please never leave my TV screen, unless it's to come tell me some bedtime stories. Or to help me think up more Madonna-themed things to say.

*I keed, I keed. Hugh's straight. Probably.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Candy's daily Dandy said...

Idol gives back tonight. Do you really care? I don't even think I'm gonna watch it..the shark has jumped is in the house.

SkylersDad said...

Last nights show was the first that I have watched this season. Thank you for saving me from watching this so far, but reruns on every other thing I like forced me to sit through it. I agree with Candy, it is way past time to hit this show with a tranq dart and end it's miserable life.

angelof_mercy81 said...

Loved, loved, loved the Madonna-themed "Glee" last night! Jane Lynch + "Vogue"= priceless

Ian said...

It'll be crazy if Crystal doesn't win this thing, as none of the others seem to fit as winners. Of course, if America wants to give Tim the title, I won't complain.

Cora said...

HAHAHAHA! "Lucky Star" inspired me to wear about 48 braceless on each arm and draw a fake beauty spot above my lip! Total inspiration!


elaine said...

Conspiracy theory time:
I think the AI producers were trying to push a girl vs girl finale. Crystal was the obvious first choice, but then some of the other frontrunners like Lilly and Didi didn't work out. So it was Crystal vs Siobhan. But I think quirky Siobhan pissed off the powers that be, so they started pushing the idea of Crystal vs Lee. I think going from favored child to red-headed step child has sent Siobhan over the edge. The girl has good taste in music and a great voice, but she has totally lost her way. She is now trying too hard and acts like she's in some vapid beauty pageant. The harder she tries, the worse it gets, the more the judges pan her, and the more frustrated she becomes. I am seriously concerned that she's going to lose her sh*t on national television.

The Glee "Like a Virgin" sequence was mighty steamy, but Rachel's gown with the little cape was too hilarious. At first I thought that putting Glee right after American Idol was a genius move, but AI just can't compete in anticipation factor against Glee. I still love AI, but it has now been delegated to appetizer status (Glee is the main course and Jesse St James is the dessert).

red said...

Because Idol ran long, I saw the recap at the end. Holy Christ, these people are terrible! How is that Urban kid even there?!

Glee is getting to the point where I may just have to start watching the musical numbers online. The plot lines and dialogue are just painful!

But, yeah. J. Groff is the hotness.

Soda and Candy said...

*sigh* I just love Glee. And the fact that Mercedes didn't make it on AI just proves my determination not to watch AI.

Mathdude said...

I guess Tim reminds Ellen of Tiquila and soup. Not sure what that means. I almost went with your picks, but I changed my mind and put Urban in the Bottom 3 instead of Casey. I took a lot of heat saying the Rolling Stones night was enjoyable. After tonight, I look wise indeed. I'd predict that Ryan will break up the first 6 contestants into 2 groups of 3, then ask the last one to go to the "safe" group only to have them go to the middle and yuck-yuck that's hilarious, however, the results show is 2 hours long, and I don't know how they could stretch that out.

Bond said...

The only question I have is will you actually do a recap for Season 10? Or will there even be a season 10???

Moxie said...

I don't even want to TALK about AI so will go straight to the fun stuff, aka "Glee."
The "Burning Up" cover is pretty damn good. Just watched the episode this morning and the whole "Like a Virgin" montage was embarrassing. I do love this show, though.

And can I just say that I met a sound guy last night who was headed to the Glee set today?! That makes me separated from Mark Salling by two degrees. I think he's gay too, though. Sigh.

dguzman said...

Or maybe she's crying because she's selling her soul a little bit to make a better life for herself.

Who among us hasn't done the same thing?

I've never much cared for this show; I rely on you to keep me posted on the next non-talent superstar.

Penny said...

OMG. Goff is CUTE!
Didn't know he did a burning up version. I'll have to find that to listen. I still love Fin though...so more for you :)


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I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

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