Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American Idol 9: Is It Still Anti-Climactic If The Whole Season Was Underwhelming?

Hooray! We're down to American Idol's Final 2 and I couldn't be more excited. I'm so looking forward to the end of this lame season. And I'm so looking forward to the end of this particular episode because Glee's theme tonight is Lady Gaga. I've seen some behind-the-scenes pics and I've been promised Jonathan Groff in a red lacy number.

(Small trip into the future: Not only was Groff not red-laced to high Heaven but he WASN'T. EVEN. IN. THE. DAMN. EPISODE. Luckily, it was a good episode regardless but how does he disappear for an entire episode and none of the other characters even mentions it? And in the middle of a story arc that he is very much a part of?? Arrrrgh, it's maddening. Speaking of maddening, back to AI.)

Tonight, each contestant will sing three songs: 1) Their favorite from the season, 2) Simon Fuller's pick, and 3) Their potential Idol single.

Up first is the battle of the repeats. I EFFING HATE REPEATS. Seriously. The judges bitch all season about song choice and then when they get to the big ending, they're just like, "Eh, yeah, just sing something you already did. That's cool, whatever."

Lee Dead Eyes™ chooses Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" for his retread. I remember this being kind of boring the first time around, and there is nothing different about this time. Interestingly enough, even though it's basically the exact same performance he gave when the judges salivated all over him, they're now kind of lukewarm about it. Except Ellen. She says she couldn't be prouder of Lee if she "birthed him herself." KaRandy thinks Lee needs more energy. (Thanks, Mr./Ms. Obvious.) Kara blows herself out tha Dawg's box in time to tell Lee he was "connected to the song." (Next year I have to remember to create a drinking game where I drink any time Kara says any form of the word "connect." I'm sure the Simon-less season will be much more bearable if I'm shit-faced.) Simon expects more from Lee. He's clearly backing off from his chosen one this week to scare the little girls into voting like mad.

Dreadsocks™ reboots "Me and Bobby McGee" and it sounds as good as it did the first time. Can I say it? Before Simon does, or before Kara interrupts him and does? Round 1 goes to Crystal. You know who seemed to enjoy that performance? KEVIN COVAIS!!! K-Cov in the house!! I wish Ryan would ask him to critique Crystal, but he asks the usual suspects instead. They all love Crystal, as they should. Simon says she's back at her best after three or four shaky weeks.

The second round is Simon Fuller's choice, so expect some boring ballads.

Lee's doing R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," which, although a ballad, is normally not boring. Normally. Actually, I don't really mind Lee's acoustic interpretation of this...until the gospel choir comes in. I'm sick of Lee being propped up by backup singers and bagpipers and such. I hope that gospel choir is getting paid overtime this season because they've been working harder than anyone. Randy feels Lee's passion. Ellen says words I immediately forget. Kara says Lee is "emotionally accessible," a term that I will add to the drinking game. Simon C. loves Simon F.'s song choice, but thinks that Lee is nervous and that, basically, he needs to get over it.

Crystal gets saddled with "Black Velvet," and does a remarkable job with it. She sounds better than Alannah Myles, whom I once had the misfortune of seeing live. I was a little worried at the beginning because I thought Dreads was going to plummet down the giant staircase, but she worked it out. The judges bathe Crystal lovingly with their tongues.

And now for the potential singles.

Well, well, well. Isn't this an interesting turn of events? Evidently, the giant turd that Kara dropped and packaged as a song called "No Boundaries" last year was the last straw. This year, the Idols just get to steal other people's songs. Because, as Britney Spears (probably) once said, "Being original is HARD, y'all!"

What I don't understand is, if the show has good relationships with people like Lady Gaga, Pink and other artists who know how to write contemporary, catchy pop tunes that aren't completely mind-numbing odes to chasing rainbows, why don't the producers enlist their help to come up with some original tunes? Why be content with yet another lazy cover? Wait. Why am I expecting more from this show? I should be expecting less.

Lee covers U2's "Beautiful Day" and it's...well, it ain't pretty. Look, I give Bono a lot of shit but that crazy bastard has a giant ego for a reason—he can actually sing and is a fantastic performer. Lee is just sort of lumbering around the stage while shouting monotonously. Wow, I've never really noticed it before but I think Darius Rucker might have
more range than this guy. Good Lord. The judges are much nicer than that performance deserved, although Kara suggests that Lee got "swallowed up in the song." Simon thinks Lee has made the most of his time on Idol, and still can't believe that he used to work in a paint store. I wonder if paint sales have dropped dramatically since Lee has been on the show? Simon has really been painting paint stores as the worst places on Earth. Is he just confused? Does "paint store" mean something else in British English? Like, "leper colony?" Or "fart factory?" Or "portal to hell?" Or "Starbucks?"

Crystal covers Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain." I've only heard three versions of this, Patty's, Kelly Clarkson's, and now Crystal's. Honestly, I would rank them in that order, but even for the third-best version of it, Crystal turns in a great performance. She's certainly miles better than Lee. All the judges love Crystal again, but who cares what the first three have to say. What may one day be the answer to a trivia question is Simon's final critique: "That was outstanding."


Wow, after Ryan recaps the phone numbers, there are still three to four minutes left. It's soon revealed that they've prepared a video tribute to this Idol year. Will "Pop Idol" Young sings the kiss-off song we've heard all season long and, in the audience, Siobhan Magnus seems to be mooning over him. I hope someone told her he's gay. Of course, if she's anything like me, that will only make him more attractive.

Sooooo...who's going to win? How the hell should I know? I think my prediction percentage is in the negative numbers at this point. This was a terrible year for singers and it was a terrible year for Beckstradamus.

But since I have to guess, I'm going to stick with Lee. Crystal is so much better than Lee, so she doesn't need the guidance that he will. He'll be easier for the producers to control. And the second runner up will get a record deal anyway, so what does it matter? It's going to be a repeat of last year, with the more commercial singer taking the title and the "different" one placing second and getting a lot more attention.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Anonymous said...

You know, you're probably right and after last year I think anything's possible, but really, if Crystal DOESN'T win there's a big problem. I mean she's just skads better than everyone else. I mean by far. Sure, she's less controllable and less commercial probably, but man, she is so much better. I hope whoever really decides these things picks her. It's about time they had someone who isn't instantly forgettable. I mean apart from Kelly Clarkson, I barely remember any of the winners. I'm shocked Lee even got this far. I mean he seems like a nice guy and all, but apart from that one show last week, I couldn't figure out why.

Renee said...

Thanks for sticking with it all season. Your recaps have been the highlight of my Wednesday mornings. And now a gift for you (even if you've already seen this, it's worth another viewing.) Check out Kurt Nilsen's version of "Beautiful Day" to hear how it should be sung by someone who is not Bono. Kurt beat out Kelly Clarkson for World Idol. It would be sad to have to hear Lee's version on the radio when this doesn't get played. All the studio magic in the world won't make it interesting.

Flannery Alden said...

Phew, I'm glad to have read this. I thought I was just depressed and not enjoying things like I used to. I'm relieved to read that others found this so underwhelming too.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

*yawn* Was that on last night???

I watched it after Glee, and I kept fast forwarding through the performances. Seriously.
I thought it was that crappy.

Who cares who wins. They both suck.


Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

So, how long before the announcement that the show is going to be canceled?

Scott said...

I usually tune in by the time the show gets to the final 3 or 4, but I have no interest this time around.

Ian said...

According to DialIdol Lee has this thing in the bag. What a season.

red said...

Will Young was there! I heart him!

I am so very, very glad I quit Idol before this season.

Gifted Typist said...

I tried in the auditions
I tried when they got to hollywood
And I tried once when they were down to the top 12 and I could not get into it this year.
Not even sure I can watch tonite

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

What Red said. (The second thing.)

Heff said...

It has been a PAINFUL season, hasn't it...I mean MORE painful than usual, lol.

I think "Beckstradamus" has successfully picked the winner !

Jon said...

I haven't watched this show in years, so it's hard for me to be underwhelmed. Or even overwhelmed for that matter. I think I'm just plain old "whelmed".

But Dreadsocks sounds suspiciously like Red Sox, so boom. There's your winner.

Mathdude said...

I too am taking Lee for the win using the exact same logic as you. Crystal is much better though. We'll see. I don't think the show can survive too long without Simon. We'll see.


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