Wednesday, March 02, 2011

American Idol 10: Girls Rule, Boys Drool

The Top 12 girls are singing tonight and, with a few exceptions, this group of chicks absolutely dominates this year's guys. It's actually a shame that American Idol went back on its promise to not practice gender equality when picking the Top 12 this year, because a few really terrific ladies will be sent home to make room for some of those stupid boys. Ewwww! It's not fair! Boys are gross!!!

There's lots of talent in the house tonight, so I must warn you...I'm going to be saying a lot of nice things. Of course, I haven't abandoned my snark completely, but those of you who only come here to catch me in total bitch mode may be out of luck.

Up first is Ta-Tynisa Wilson, fresh from raiding Julie Zorrilla's wardrobe, asking us to make her feel like she's the "Only Girl in the World." Sorry, but I can't oblige. This is just aight for me, dawgs. Ta-Tynisa would have been a shining star in last year's lame group of girls, but average just won't cut it in this group. Steven and Jennifer are still nice to her anyway—surprise! Once again, Randy steps forward as the voice of reason to let everyone know that this performance was "just OK." As I said last night, it really bothers me that Randy and I are constantly in agreement these days.

Naima Adedapo looks like a giant banana. And I mean that in the best way possible. I'm assuming that she's singing "Summertime" because she wants to hear Randy blather on about how Fantasia's cover of it was 20 billion gazillion times better than anything anyone's ever sung before. Well, other than some weird Vegas-style dancing, this is a very good performance. It's a jazzed-up arrangement that shows off her—as Steven calls it—"old-timey" voice. I definitely like it better than Fantasia's cover. Then again, I like just about anything anyone's ever sung better than anything by Fantasia. I also prefer the sound of jackhammers, cats fighting and whales raping dolphins to any sound that comes out of Fantasia's mouth. But I digress. This isn't about how much I dislike Fantasia; this is about how much I do like Naima. She's got a great voice and good stage presence. Her mouth nearly comes unhinged on that last big note but she nails it, so it doesn't matter. The judges are rotating turns, so J.Lo is up first this time. She calls Naima an "exotic flower," which Naima claims to be the meaning of her name. (According to the internetz, though, it actually means "tranquil" or "graceful.") Randy says he liked the second half of the song better and then brings up Fantasia's version, as he's been programmed to do. Steven compares Naima to Ella Fitzgerald and says she's "what America needs." Hmm. Maybe we could get lower gas prices first? Then we'll take Naima.

Kendra Chantelle is making me do something I hate: eat my words. Last week, I said of Kendra: "Boring. She'll be gone early." While I'm not sure I'm entirely wrong about the latter part of that statement, I am wrong about the former comment. She's not boring. She's doing a great version of Christina Aguilera's "Impossible," leaving me with not much to say. I just think she's really good. Unfortunately, she didn't get a ton of face time in Hollywood, so I don't think she'll be getting a lot of votes. The judges all love her though, especially Steven, who looks like he's about to pounce on her like some kind of elderly jungle cat. Randy compares her to Lauryn Hill. Uh...OK.

On the flip side, one of my faves, wacky Rachel Zevita, is totally letting me down tonight. First of all, I hate "Criminal." I always think of kiddie porn when I hear it, because of that horrible Fiona Apple video. And kiddie porn is not something I like to think about on a regular basis. Anyway, this is just not very good. The arrangement is really odd and the vocals just aren't there. (The dramatic cape bit at the beginning was pretty entertaining, though.) Steven says that the arrangement was "a little too Broadway" for him, to which Rachel replies, "I think that's the one thing I've never sung." Steven has no response. DEAD AIR. Nigel Lythgoe nearly falls off his diamond-encrusted easy chair while Steven and Rachel waste seconds of precious air time by just staring awkwardly at each other. Finally, J.Lo comes to the rescue by firing off some Paula-meets-Kara comments. Randy, again, provides the voice of reason: "It wasn't great."

And then Karen Rodriguez comes along, with the strength to carry on. And you cast your fears aside and...yadda yadda...something Spanish. The problem here is that "Hero" is an incredibly boring song. But if you can get past that, it's easy enough to enjoy this performance because Karen has some great pipes. Also, she does part of it in Spanish, which kind of masks its suckitude. I'm digging the new smoothed-out 'do as well. I guess she straightened her hair to avoid getting all tangled up with Ta-Tynisa, Ashthon, the Laurens and Brett, who's watching from the sidelines. Seriously, what's with all the out-of-control bed head this season? Anyhoo, the judges (and my dad) all love Karen, and she seems to be a shoo-in for the Top 12. Now if only she would get off MySpace and on Facebook.

Wait a minute...did Randy just blow an opportunity to remind everyone that he knows Mariah Carey? Or did I just miss it? I can't imagine he would've missed that chance.

I'm always ready for some Etta James, so I welcome Lauren Turner and her cover of "Seven Day Fool" with open arms. She's got a really great, bluesy voice. I'd say, based on this performance, she's one of the top three girls. However, no matter how many times Idol tries to fool us into thinking that this is a singing competition, I don't think Lauren will get the votes because A) the texting teens and tweens don't know this song, and B) she doesn't have the typical pop star "look." I don't like being wrong, but I'd be happy to be wrong about this. And, who knows, maybe she'll make it through since the judges are doing their best to talk her up. Randy says she's Amy Winehouse-meets-Florence and the Machine. Is he just pulling names out of a hat to compare everyone to tonight? Thank God Randawg continues to be an idiot so I don't have to agree with him all the time.

Ashthon Jones didn't look where she was going and now she's got love all over her. I sure hope it's not Steven's. Whoever's love it is, Ashthon does a great job with it. I've liked this girl from the beginning. She's just—as the judges like to so often say—the whole package. Steven says she has the "confidence of a queen," while Jennifer says she has "all the makings of a diva." Because he likes putting people in boxes (and because Ashthon has crazy hair), Randy suggests that Ashthon is much more Diana Ross than Monica.

Here's Julie Zorrilla in another pageanty dress. (If Lea Michele ever gets married, she could totally use Julie as her wedding cake topper.) Even though she's been one of the judges' early favorites, she kind of mangles La Clarkson's "Breakaway." Based on this, Julie's definitely not Top 12 material. More like Miss America fourth runner-up. The judges can finally all agree that someone gave a bad performance. If Julie manages to get voted in tomorrow night, it's gotta be because of her looks and/or the constant pimping during the auditions and Hollywood week.

Haley Reinhart sings "Fallin'" as I fantasize about her fallin' off the stage. WHY IS SHE STILL HERE? Sweet holy hell, I cannot stand this broad. She looks like a pornstar and sounds like...wait, did I already use the "whales raping dolphins" thing? Damn. OK, then she sounds like one of Charlie Brown's teachers. The angry, slutty teacher who never shows up in any of the Peanuts specials. Apparently, this girl has a lot of fans, which doesn't surprise me since so much of the general public has terrible taste. (See: Ke$ha; Bieber, Justin; Rock, Kid.) I just don't get it. How is constantly growling and never enunciating considered singing? Once again, The Dawg comes to my rescue by telling Haley that the song just didn't do anything for her, prompting her to make terrible bitchfaces. Steven just wants to nail her, so he thinks the performance was great, and J.Lo can "see colors" in Haley's voice. Can someone please yank on Jen's face Scooby-style and make sure that isn't Paula under there?

Next up is Thia "You're Only 15" Megia. Apparently, I've been dubbed the "Thia hater" by IdolHead Ed, which I wasn't aware of until I saw the keyword search (below) show up in my StatCounter. It's no "beckeye michael johns obsession," but still makes me feel a bit famous nonetheless. Anyway, since I've been down on this girl (and what I perceived as an affected voice) since day one, this may come as a shock: I think her performance of Irene Cara's "Out Here On My Own" could be the best of the night. It's definitely in the top three. She doesn't sound at all fake to me this time around. I just hear a young girl with great control and a lovely tone. A tone that Randy compares to...Michael Jackson?? OK, he is just randomly saying names.

Back to the search terms for a second. To the person who is looking for pictures of Scotty McCreery shirtless: I'm sorry. I can't help you with that or your obvious mental illness.

Lauren Alaina gives a rather entertaining performance of Reba's "Turn on the Radio." This is another girl who kind of rubs me the wrong way (must have been all the pimping), but she does have a good voice and seems comfortable on stage. J.Lo says that Lauren's voice is effortless, while Randy hands her a Kelly Clarkson-meets-Carrie Underwood comparison. And we all know that Steven loves Lauren ever since they had their little asteroid love song duet back during her audition. (Hey, I haven't seen that clip in a minute...can we see it again? PLEASE??) Lauren then tries to be funny by revealing that she's nicknamed Ryan "Peaches." The punchline? Because he's from Georgia!! Wow, Lauren should probably just sing and never talk. Besides, that nickname definitely clashes with Ryan's current shade, which is more burnt sienna or persimmon than peach.

Closing the evening out is Pia Toscano with "I'll Stand By You," which is quickly becoming an Idol standard. Pia does one of the better versions I've heard, though. She is really good. I'm not sure the performance quite warrants the standing ovation that it gets, but it's certainly one of the best of the night. (Good Lord, I'm sounding like one of the judges now. How many times can I say someone was "one of the best of the night?") Of course, it doesn't hurt that Pia looks great, too. Randy and J.Lo gush, while Steven's idea of a critique is, "After Monday and Tuesday, even a week says WTF." I mean, I guess that's...clever? But in this context...oh, never mind. I'm not even going to bother trying to make sense of Mr. Tyler's jibberish.

The majority of the girls did really well tonight, so it will be hard to predict who will stay and who will go. I think Ta-Tynisa and Julie did the worst and should not move on. Everything else is too close to call. Haley is horrible but, as I said before, she has a lot of fans. Rachel was disappointing, but people seem to like her and she now has the support of VFTW. The rest of them were all good.

Here's my best guess for how this will play out...

Top 5: Karen, Ashthon, Thia, Lauren A and Pia
Wild Card: Naima

By the way, they're not announcing the wild card picks tomorrow. Apparently, the Top 10 will be picked and then all the losers will come back next week to sing for the remaining two (or three?) spots.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Coaster Punchman said...

Ok, so should I start watching next week then?

Scope said...

I would guess the wildcards will be an even number. My guess is 4, so that there's 12 & 12 after that, and you aren't doing any "single" elimintations until the top 12.

And unlike on the guys, there very few on the ladies that I think MUST NEVER BE ON MY TV AGAIN.

JJ said...

Um - I beg to differ. Many of the top 12 ladies sounded insanely unprepared. Thia was the only one I could watch the whole way through without FFing the DVR.

the guys weren't much better I guess, but I am kind of buying into the skinny hipster dude that you weren't digging. And I've got to agree about Lusk and Casey. Those guys are both pretty incredible.

elaine said...

Haley has to be the most annoying contestant ever. She reminds me of the SNL spoof of Miley Cyrus. I can't tolerate how she switches back and forth between overly-sexy looks (or a lame attempt at it) at the camera and cutesy baby faces. And her singing is atrociously over the top. I had to leave the room when she performed, but I still heard her literally growl at one point.

Thia has a lovely tone to her voice, but she can't ever seem to find the right melody.

Rachel is more contrived than Lady Gaga. (I love most of Gaga's music, but she tries too hard to be shocking and different).

Fiona Apple was such an ungrateful and pretentious brat back in the day, but I admit that I have always loved the song Criminal. Too bad Rachel pulled a Thia and completely tossed the melody out the window. The cabaret strip show was a bit pathetic and desperate.

Naima and Pia really stood to me as the best of the evening.

Cora said...

All I could think while Haley was "singing" was that she'd make one kickass guard dog. If I heard all that growling from behind a fence, I'd immediately move to the other side of the street. What is wrong with that girl?

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

Whales raping dolphins. I could scrub my brain with Comet and that's never coming out.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

I like Haley, big fan. And I like Lauren Alaina. I thought it was nice to hear her sing something other than Aerosmith. The girl got mad pipes, it's just a fact. The chick got huge facetime on Aol today. The powers that be must love her,

The last chick? Did I miss something?


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