Tuesday, May 24, 2011

American Idol 10: The Elmer Dinkley Junior High School Prom

You know, the perfect capper to this nicey-nice, non-judgmental season of AI would be to just crown both Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina the co-winners. I mean, it is the 21st century, the era of "EVERYONE GETS A GOLD STAR!" And while I'm not a fan of that mentality, I would have been on board with skipping tonight's hour-long snoozefest to just hand these kids each a blue ribbon, a Ford Festiva and book them an opening slot on Keith Urban's and Taylor Swift's tours, respectively. But we're not getting off that easy.

Making tonight's finale even more unbearable is the knowledge that the judges and producers already determined back during the initial auditions that Lauren would be this year's winner. So let it be written. So let it be done.

And just how has the deck been stacked in Lauren's favor tonight? Let me count the ways...

  1. Apparently, Scotty won the coin toss to determine their singing order, yet deferred to Lauren like a good Southern gentleman. Yeah. Are we sure he wasn't encouraged to defer to her, should he win the toss? I imagine some producer pulled him aside beforehand and was like, "Hey, kid. You're gonna get your record contract, but you need to step aside for now. The girl is winning. So, whatever happens in that coin toss, make sure she gets the pimp spot."
  2. There was news that Lauren had lost her voice and might have to be replaced by the second runner-up, Haley Reinhart. But come show time, Lauren was standing onstage, proclaiming her determination to get through this. They even brought a doctor out to let everyone know that she "blew out a vocal chord," but thanks to plenty of drugs, she'll be fine! And, as always, you must wait until the show is over before calling in with your pity votes!
  3. Scotty's potential single is a complete piece of shit, while Lauren's is an ode to her mother and, more specifically, all the mothers out there with unlimited text messaging and/or autodialers.
Let's get on with this, shall we? Each contestant gets to sing three songs:

Round 1 - Contestants' Favorite Songs from the Season
Round 2 - The Idols' Idols' Picks
Round 3 - New Songs/Coronation Singles

Scotty McCreery kicks the show off with a retread of Montgomery Gentry's "Gone." Whaaa??? How can he not do babylockthemdoors as his fave? I know he didn't actually perform it during the live rounds, but that's a minor technicality. I actually find myself liking this performance better than the first time he did it. Or maybe I'm just thawing to Dubya Magoo because I'm not a fan of The Lauren Alaina Show.

In Round 2, Scotty performs one of his idol's songs—George Strait's "Check Yes or No"—picked by the man himself. It's nothing amazing. What is amazing is that this kid hasn't run out of plaid shirts yet.

Speaking of nothing spectacular, Scotty's last number is the original song, "I Love You This Big." If saddling Scotty with a song that sounds like it was written by a toddler while clips of him mostly crying play behind him isn't sabotage, I don't know what is.

Lauren Alaina's first song is Carrie Underwood's "Flat on the Floor," which she performs clad in one of Liza Minnelli's bingo outfits. Her voice is straining a bit in parts, but that's just because she's soooooo braaaaave, y'all!

Lauren also picks Carrie as her idol, so Carrie gets to pick Lauren's second song: Pam Tillis' "Maybe It Was Memphis." Maybe Lauren should have let Carrie pick her outfit, too, instead of taking the stage dressed as Vegas Baby Prostitute Barbie. Terrible fashion aside, Lauren's vocals are pretty good through most of this. Her voice cracks again when she tries to go for the power notes but that's just because she's SOOOOOO BRAAAAAAVE! Uhhh mah gahhhh, y'all! Laryngitis is like a tornado and Lauren's byoootiful voice is totally like a brick church that nuthin' can knock down!!

And now for the pièce de résistance—Lauren's single (a Kristy Lee Cook cast-off), "Like My Mother Does," which is for the moms, y'all. It's for her mom and your mom and your mom's mom and, if you're a mom, then it's for YOU most of all. Mama Suddeth cries and throws her hand in the air like she's at a faith healer. Concerned that people don't realize that LAUREN IS TOTALLY A GOLDEN CHILD WHO IS SERENADING THE WOMAN WHO BROUGHT HER INTO THIS WORLD, Seacrest helps her down the steps (where was he when Haley needed him?) so that she can sing it two inches away from her mama's face. They hug. They cry. Dad cries. Surprisingly, J.Lo does not cry. Jacob Lusk looks confused. He's probably thinking, if Lauren doesn't win tonight, it won't be because she sang badly, it will be because Americans hate their mothers.

Tonight has been awfully boring. You know it's bad when the most exciting moment is Scotty's googly-eyed performance of "Gone." Taio Cruz's performance of the fan-written song, "Positive" was kind of pointless. Not even the laser show and now-mandatory LED-lit backup dancers could make it the least bit interesting.

To make room for as many commercials as possible, there was no judge feedback (not that we ever need it) after Round 1. After Round 2, Randy and J.Lo both awarded the first round to Scotty and the second round to Lauren. Steven gave both to Lauren "because she's prettier." Off in the distance, a dawg is heard to bark THEY'RE BOTH IN IT TO WIN IT.

However, Round 3 makes it clear that while both may be in it, only one can win it—and that's the one who sang the song about mothers. She must win the whole mother loving thing. Steven reminds us that he picked Lauren as his American Idol from the first time he laid ears on her. (As if we'd forgotten.) And now, he says, America will agree. I'm sure they will. Or the votes will just be thrown out and the producers will nod America's collective head for it.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Cora said...

*sigh* I missed the whole thing. I had to write a declaration for court and missed the whole flipping thing. So unfair. Grr. But thanks to you I now realize I didn't miss much at all, so I'll stop pouting about it now. Thanks, Beckeye.

kcqueen said...

Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I don't remember the last time I was so blatently manipulated, but I'll tell you what- I bet, (and really hope) that this is undoing of the producer's dreams. I mean, I turned and looked at my husband and said, "This set up is about as obvious as a turd in a punchbowl"

And I'm not that bright, so I'm guessing most of the viewers saw through it as well. I'm a watcher, not a voter, so if Lauren wins, I can't get too upset. If Scotty comes in 2nd, does he still have to sing that shitfest, "Love you this big" song? Good God, tragic doesn't describe it.

It did occur to me that maybe the producers don't care who wins, they just set up the contest to see how many votes they could get; You know that the Scotty fans texted their fingers to the nubs last night trying to override the favoritism. Oh well, what does it all really matter, anyway?

JJ said...

I've never been more bored with the final 2 contestants on this show. Is there any possibility that they'll both lose?

Also - That Taio Cruz fella performed like a lump of shit. The best part of his song was when the mic cut out and you couldn't hear his uber-autotuned voice.

Sorry for all the negativity.. Let me think of something positive to say... Ryan looked adorable in his tiny tuxedo!

Anonymous said...

Because of general life stuff, there have been times when I've missed an episode during the season. This is the first time since I started watching (season 3) that I've watched every one during the year and then just not bothered with the final. Lauren or Scotty? Scotty or Lauren? Who the hell cares?

I miss Haley. And Casey. And Pia. And even Paul.

Anonymous said...

Do the producers really think the viewers are so blind they can't see this manipulation to be sure AI has a female winner this year.
First, let's make sure we get some sympathy votes for Lauren's voice problems. Then let's find Scotty the (almost) worst song in the history of AI seasons. Oh yeah, we will give Lauren a song about MOMS,sob, sob. Yep, that
should do it.

Deb V said...

I kinda hope Scotty wins in a landslide, (not because I think he's anything special) in a great American middle finger gesture to AI...if she wins, then clearly...
Americans = Pavlov's Dogs.

Did LOVE David Cook though. Best thing about the show, besides this recap.

Billy said...

Seriously, shows like this need someone mean. I occasionally have to suffer through DWTS, and at least those judges know how to be both affirming and critical when either are needed. And, all three share the responsibility. You don't have to have a Simon to have a critical ear.

Instead of a sincere contest, has it simply become an attempt at pop beatification?

Idolhead Ed said...

He's probably thinking, if Lauren doesn't win tonight, it won't be because she sang badly, it will be because Americans hate their mothers.
You kill me. What the hell will I do when the season is over and you don't do this anymore. You have to start doing the voice and X Factor.

Vina said...

Idolhead Ed stole the words from me...I am sitting here thinking to myself how much I have enjoyed your "reviews" this season. I just found your blog recently and went back through to every AI one! You MUST do The Voice and X-Factor! I can't wait for Simon to come back and give some REAL criticism.
As for who wins tonight...who cares? Haley SHOULD have!
Thanks for the enjoyable blog.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it a nice touch that the "doctor" strolled out in front of the millions in his scrubs? WTF? Was that to prove he was a real doctor or was he in the midst of performing surgery back stage? Give me a break! I hope Scotty wins just to shove their manipulation down their throats.

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

That Photoshop is hilarious :)

elaine said...

If it makes the Scotty fans feel more hopeful, my daughter said that every single girl in her 5th grade class is totally in love with Scotty and voted as much as they could for him. So he's got the 11-year-old girl vote secured. They probably even fell for that lame love song. Too bad that voting lasted four hours, which is significantly past the girls' bedtime.

The determining factor is probably up to the nerds who have their computers hooked up to their phones to dial over and over and over. I'm guessing that demographic would be young men, who would probably vote for Lauren. So I guess tonight's results are a toss-up.

Scope said...

I voted for "meteor strike". I think Lauren is going to get her crown.

But tomorrow, I'll let you know what my predictions are fot their futures.


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