Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Idol 9: The Craptastic Four

OK, so maybe not all four are craptastic, but there's no way I was passing that up on Movie Night.

American Idol reduces its carbon footprint tonight by not only reusing the "songs from movies" theme, but also by recycling one of last season's mentors, Jamie Foxx. Seacrest lists Jamie's many achievements as I stubbornly say to no one, "He'll always be Wanda to me. Haaa-ay."

Jamie has brought two sets of tee shirts for the contestants—half that read CONTESTANT half that read ARTIST—and says he will pass them out accordingly. Something tells me that he might be a little nicer than I would be in the same situation.

Jamie gets all up in Lee Dewyze's grill during rehearsal to see if he can deal with the pressure of those beady little eyes. Apparently, Jamie thinks Lee can hang, as he gives him an ARTIST shirt. I fight the urge to bash my head through the TV screen when it's revealed that Lee is singing that old Idol standard and one of the dumbest songs ever, "Kiss From A Rose." As I think "he sounds aight, but he's not doing anything new with it," The Dawg comes along and says the same thing. Ellen and Kara make some halfhearted negative remarks before wiping them all away with a "but you're still great." Simon agrees with Randy. And he's upset that out of "so many brilliant movies and so many brilliant songs," Lee chose that one. I sense that we might hear this criticism a lot tonight, so let me just address Lord Cowell.

Dear Simon: If TPTB only give the contestants 34 songs to choose from as they did this week, there aren't "so many" others that Lee could have picked. And as far as "brilliant" choices go, it's kind of hard for these kids to shine when that list of 34 includes a song from High School Musical, a bunch of Disney themes and a bunch of lame ballads. Not to mention that there are two RAP songs on the list: "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Lose Yourself." Look, I have nothing against rap, but seriously? Rap in a singing competition? Were those songs thrown in there out of morbid curiosity to see if anyone would take the bait? And worse than that, you actually put the Rocky theme, "Gonna Fly Now" on that list!! What does that have, like six words in the whole song? As much as I hate "Kiss From A Rose," I have to admit that it's one of the more non-ridonk choices.

Moving on...

Jamie tries to get Michael Lynche to loosen up by dancing with him. It must not have helped, because Mike gets the dreaded CONTESTANT shirt. Mike promises that he'll do better in the live performance. He does an OK job. I mean, I don't know how excited I can possibly get over Michael Jackson's ode to Willy the whale, "Will You Be There." Randy immediately yells at Mike to get back in his R&B box. Ellen thinks the performance was good, if not a bit predictable. (I don't think anyone could have predicted a song from Free Willy. Just sayin'.) Kara is like, "Hey, remember all those other songs you sang? I liked them better." Simon admits to never having seen Free Willy, and the rest of the panel acts like that's something to be ashamed of. (If so, I'll remain ashamed, thanks.) Then Simon once again grouses that Mike could have chosen from thousands and thousands of songs. Well, not really. Unless British people use different numbers. Is he counting in stone? How does 34 equal thousands? I need a conversion chart.

Since the duets worked so well last year with a much more talented crop of contestants, they continue this year. First up is the Final 2, er, I mean Lee and Crystal Bowersox. They both bring their guitars for a slightly more rocking version of "Falling Slowly" from Once. Hmm. This is actually pretty good. It's no Glamaheta doing "Slow Ride," but it's good. All the judges lap it up, and Ellen says Lee and Crystal are like the new Captain and Tennille. And pimpage...pimpage will keep them together.

Mr. Foxx asks Casey James to seduce him during rehearsal. Apparently, his charms worked because Casey got the ARTIST shirt. Casey then performs a stripped down, slower version of "Mrs. Robinson" from Idiot Pit Island with a...what is that? It sounds like a mandolin but looks like a toy guitar. Whatever the case, I actually think this is a pretty good performance. Mostly because there is no bleating! Casey must have really worked hard to get his vibrato under control after Kara called him a lamb last week. All the judges try to resuscitate the lame joke that Kara is Casey's own personal Mrs. Robinson, hardy har har. Randy somehow doesn't think that Casey didn't change the song at all. I suggest he go back and listen to the original. Ellen does think that Casey changed it up. And she hopes that next time (if there is a next time), Casey gets a "big boy guitar." Kara says this song was a good choice and then talks about herself for five minutes. Simon is still pointlessly bitching about song choice. Perhaps he would have preferred that Casey cover "Jai Ho?"

Dreadsocks™ meets Jamie and is immediately starstruck, causing her to screw up her rehearsal and "curse on the TEE-vee." She still gets the ARTIST tee shirt because, well, yeah. I love the fact that she is singing "I'm Alright" from Caddyshack because A) Kenny Loggins is the King of Soundtracks and B) It always makes me think of that dancing gopher, which always makes me smile. She puts a little bit of an alt-country/soul vibe on the song and does a great job, as usual. Randy and Kara agree with Jamie's choice to give her the ARTIST shirt. Ellen says that she "Crystallized" the song, meaning "took it and made it better." Simon says Crystal is back in the game. Everyone in the dugout scratches their heads and wonders when she was ever out.

The final performance is Casey and Mike's duet of "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman," which I'm fully expecting to hate or find terribly amusing. But I'm really surprised when they sound much better together than I ever would have imagined. Ellen takes the opportunity to remind everyone that she, in fact, has loved a woman. Kara and Simon think the duets stole the night. I have to agree. Both were pretty good, and better than any of the solos. And although the Casey/Mike pairing wasn't as good as Lee and Crystal's duet, it was certainly better than Smuggie and Kris Allen's cover of "Renegade" last year.

My predictions are so off this year, I don't know why I even bother. But I'm just going to guess that Casey and Mike will be the Bottom 2 and that (eenie, meenie, miney, mo) Casey will be going home.

And finally, Seacrest says the words I've been longing to hear: Glee is next!

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Scope said...

But what the HELL was up with Crystal's boyfriend and the flag gym pants? Granted, this is the first episode I've watched since way early, but I can't get that dude's getup out of my mind.


Ian said...

I envy you. You can actually think of funny comments to add to your recaps of this boring season.

I think the only reason they put rap songs on the list is because of Kris Allen pulling off "Heartless" last year. As for the Rocky theme, you got me there.

BlackLOG said...

I manage to avoid all reality music shows. I can even justify this, as I down load a lot of music. Without fail anything that turns out to be from these show, I don’t know the names of the contestants, turns out to be dull and formulaic (not sure that’s a word but it is now). Some of them might have great voices but they end up on a conveyor belt of dull and lifeless music that is manufactured. I also strongly suspect that the artist will not make much money out of it as that goes to the shows organisers….All they get is 15 mins of fame and all the rubbish that comes with it. All that just to be a Z list celebrity….Like your blog though, not sure how you can manage a daily output I struggle to post once a week ….

Scott said...

Wow. Gangsta's Paradise was on the list?

SkylersDad said...

I had no clue that they could only choose from 34 songs. Wow Simon, even my limited math skills know that 34 is just slightly less than thousands.

elaine said...

Nobody wants a roundhouse kick to the face when Crystal's boyfriend is wearing those bad boys.

I totally called it on Lee and Crystal singing "Falling Slowly." I had also predicted that Casey might sing "Mrs. Robinson," which I thought would have been better for Lee if he had not already sung some Simon and Garfunkel earlier. I was kind of hoping that Crystal would stray from the list and sing "Hopelessly Devoted to You."

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

That is one of your best Photoshops ever.

Heff said...

Since you're experiencing total suckatude with your guesses this year, I'll say "The Contestant formerly known as MIKE" is going home.

Lola Lakely said...

Once again, your commentary makes me wish I watched American Idol.

Lola Lakely said...

Oh and go Glee!

Penny said...

Your commentary is SO MUCH better than the freakin show itself :)
I'm so over Idol...but I love reading your recaps :)

BeckEye said...

Scope - I was waiting for him to yell, "Rock flag and eagle!"

Ian - Well, thank you. We have to laugh about this season or we will cry. Or become violent.

BlackLOG - Thanks for stopping by. Don't feel bad about watching AI, you're not missing much. It's completely out of character for me to like a show like this, but I do. I couldn't tell you why.

Scott - Yep. I wish someone had done "Amish Paradise."

SkyDad - I don't know if the judges think that no one realizes they're full of shit or if they just don't care.

Elaine - There's always room for the "Grease" soundtrack!

WWW - Why, thank you!

Heff - You are correct, sir.

Lola - Thanks! And yes, Glee is awesome.

Penny - Thanks! :)

Cora said...

Baahahahaha! That picture is FABULOUS! *snicker*


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