Wednesday, May 11, 2011

American Idol 10: Two Guys, Two Girls and a Poker Face

5/17/11 EDIT: Oh, look! Blogger finally decided to put my post back. Of course it removed all of the comments, so sorry to those of you who took the time to pop in and say hello.

5/18/11 EDIT: I found the lost comments in my Gmail trash (because I usually wait until all of my email folders are ready to explode before cleaning anything out) and have added them back in the comments section. And I've even responded to them! (I know, I know, I'm terrible at responding. But I read them all, trust me.


Tonight's American Idol opens with an ultra-dramatic montage of Idolettes past visiting their hometown fans, which is only worth watching for the well-placed Archie "GOSH!" Yes, yes, we know, Seacrest...voting tonight is very important because we will be deciding the Final 3. We will be deciding whose lives will be changed. We will decide which hometown heroes will be made. Yadda yadda yadda.

There are two rounds tonight: Round 1 will be songs that inspire the contestants (and hopefully they're all aware of my long-standing ban on "Greatest Love of All") and, in Round 2, the gang will raid the vast Leiber/Stoller songbook. And, for some reason, Lady Gaga is the guest mentor. There doesn't need to be a reason. Anything to keep will.i.am at bay. And I just love that Lady.

James Durbin is up first (for the second week in a row) with one of the biggest songs in the history of ever, "Don't Stop Believin'." He calls out to Randy, "You know the words," as if there is anyone alive who doesn't know the words. I've heard a lot of versions of this song and I guess it's a testament to the power of the song that they're generally all pretty good. James' version is pretty good as well, although far from perfect. If Journey's original is the top and some drunk dude rocking a fringed leather jacket at a karaoke bar is the bottom, James is somewhere in the middle or lower-middle. He's actually slightly below the Season 8 Idolettes' group sing, which was one of the very few group sings that actually worked. Of course, in that version, the powerful ending came from Adam Lambert, who hit those high notes much more effortlessly than James does. Does "more effortlessly" make sense? I don't know. Perhaps it's while I'm pondering that that I completely miss what Steven and Jennifer have to say. Eh, it was probably something like, "That was beautiful," and "You're amazing, baby," respectively. Randy is loving James right now, mainly because James has given him an excuse to remind everyone that he was in Journey for a while. Slappin' da bass. In terrible spandex. After they started to suck. Of course, he doesn't mention those last two things.

Hey, where's Gaga?? I guess she's only popping in during Round 2? Boooo.

I start to suspect that Haley Reinhart is trying to lose when she announces that she's singing Michael Jackson's "Earth Song." I can just hear the critiques now: Steven will just shrug and say "beautiful," Jennifer will chide Haley for picking a song no one knows and Randy will say something about how she can't compare to Michael Jackson. Wow, this is a terrible song. The gospel choir probably even thinks so. But it makes sense that a hippie chick like Haley would connect with a song about the environment. And she was asked to sing a song that inspired her and she did, so I can't fault her for that. Still, maybe she should have gone with something like "Big Yellow Taxi" or "Mercy Mercy Me?" Anything but this, really. She manages well with it up until the middle when she falls back into her old screaming and growling ways. As predicted, Jennifer chides Haley for picking a song no one knows. Also as predicted, Randy says that Haley shouldn't try to cover THE GREAT MICHAEL JACKSON. But he also throws in the old standby, "I'm confused about who you are as an artist." Then he just goes off about how Haley should have done this, that and the other, while Haley fumes, shoots daggers at him and sasses back, "I thought it was beautiful the way it was." Oddly, Steven agrees with her without actually saying the word "beautiful." He just says that both J.Lo and Randy are wrong. This prompts Jen and Randy to start yammering some more, allowing Haley to sass back some more. Sometimes the back-sass rubs me the wrong way but I'm kind of on Haley's side here. Mostly because Randy is a terrible judge. He's constantly giving contradictory advice and trying to lock contestants in the boxes that he thinks they should be in. And Haley really looks like she wants to kill The Dawg. I can't believe I started out hating this girl. I love her now. Which probably means that she'll be going home tomorrow.

Somewhere, high atop a horse in the middle of a field, Kristy Lee Cook is smiling. Why? Because Scotty McCreery is singing "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning." 9/11 FTW!!! I guess Dubya Magoo™ isn't quite as dumb as he looks. I have nothing else to say about this really. Vocally, it's fine. Clearly, regardless of the outcome of this contest, this kid has a huge future in country music. Randy agrees that Scotty is ready for stardom, Steven thinks the performance was beautiful and Jennifer admits that she's in love with Scotty. Hmm, could she be thinking of trading in Skeletor for husband #4?

Casey Abrams and Dancin' Paul McDonald are in the audience to help Seacrest introduce Lauren Alaina, who is covering Martina McBride's "Anyway." Kristy Lee Cook is now shaking her head, remembering how her impossibly long stay on Season 7 finally came to an end the week she sang this song. But Kristy smiles again when Lauren dedicates this song to all the tornado victims. Damn, y'all. The Southerners came to the show with aces up their sleeves! One might even say they're in it to win it. Lauren gives a very good vocal, despite looking like she was gonna cough up a hairball at one point. I don't know if she ran out of breath or what. Steven says that Lauren can "deliver a song like a blue plate special" before tossing a "beautiful" in there. J.Lo beams with pride and practically admits that the judges all want Lauren to win. Randy says Lauren is back and IN IT TO WIN IT! Seacrest foolishly continues to ignore my advice from weeks ago about not ever letting Lauren talk before or after performing. Listening to her try to explain why this song means so much to her is excruciating. Like, tornadoes are bad, y'all. It's sad when bad things happen. Like, bad stuff is really poopy. Teee hee hur hur hur.

Ryan brings out all four Idolettes and asks the judges who won Round 1. À la Miss Abdul, Jennifer refuses to answer. Randy says it's a tie between Scotty, James and Lauren. Hmm, so pandering, screeching and more pandering all get a pass? Haley just laughs and resists the urge to kill him.

Ah, Round 2. Finally, some rah rah ah ah ah...aahhhhh...oh dear. I love Gaga's weirdness but whatever she's done to herself is not a good look for her. She looks like the love child of Carol Channing and a rabid raccoon.

Haley is up first this time, meaning the producers switched the order around to bury her in the middle of the pack and to let James perform first and last. (Too...much...pimpage. Can't...breathe.) Haley is singing "I Who Have Nothing," during which Gaga encourages her to be dramatic and a little bit psycho. She follows all of the Lady's advice and gives an amazing performance. This time, the judges give her a standing ovation. This is just like last week when they gave negative critiques on the first song and then salivated over her second song. Jennifer exclaims, "This is why we can't take it easy on you...look what you're capable of!" Randy says Haley "just had a moment" and that she's in it to...something, something. Steven says Haley just "Reinharted herself into the middle of next week." And if that was too confusing for everyone, he also calls the performance beautiful. Haley complies with Ryan's request to go give Randy a hug, but it's totally an ass-out hug.

I realize that it does Haley no favors to respond the way she has tonight, but she's reacting to these idiots the way I probably would. That's why I'm loving it.

During Scotty's rehearsal of "Young Blood," Gaga tells him that he needs to learn to sing INTO the microphone. She suggests that he pretend the mic is his girlfriend who will leave him if he doesn't stick his tongue down her throat. Scotty tries to play the good Christian boy card, acting as if "Thou shalt not French kiss" was one of the Ten Commandments. I'm not quite sure why Gaga finds Scotty so funny, unless she's being nice and omitting the word "unintentionally." He looks RI-DAMN-DICULOUS onstage, jumping around, running into the audience and making cartoonish faces. The vocals aren't really that great either. But the judges love Scotty. He could have concluded his performance by taking a giant dump on stage and Randy would have just said, "Yo, you're shittin' to win it!"

Lauren also plays the good Christian card while rehearsing her second song, Elvis Presley's "Trouble," by whining that she can't sing the line "I'm evil," lest the audience think Goody Alaina is a witch and burn her at the stake. Gaga convinces her that it's OK to pretend that she's evil for just a little under two minutes, so Lauren tries really hard and fails. This is definitely not her best performance. And the glittery gold ensemble is definitely not her best outfit. (Why do the stylists insist on making a cute teenager look like a 40-year-old Real Housewife of Gaudytown?) Like Scotty though, the judges love Lauren and can find nothing bad to say about her.

James closes things out with a hard rock version of "Love Potion No. 9." All of Gaga's pre-performance grinding did little to help James turn in a dancetastic performance but it's still fairly entertaining. It's kind of annoying when he tries to pull a Robert Plant-like pause at the end of the song but whatever. J.Lo says, "That showed me you can sing anything," while Randy bellows that all of the Top 4 (even Haley) are IN IT TO WIN IT! Unsurprisingly, Steven thinks James' performance was "a beautiful thing."

Although everyone probably thinks Haley is going home, the Daughtry curse looms large over Top 4 week, which could mean that one of the early favorites will be out. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Haley and Lauren will be the Bottom 2 and that Lauren will be the one sent packing. I'm actually really looking forward to seeing that. The girl has obviously been coddled all her life and this is the first time she's ever been in a situation where everyone isn't telling her that she's the greatest singer alive. Maybe it's mean but I'm kind of in the mood for a meltdown.


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8 comments:

Scope said...

While Lauren is very annoying, I think of the final 4, she's the one that NEEDS the title of "American IDOL" so much more than the the others.

Haley goes back to Wheeling / Harper Collge. For a day or two. Then back for the finals.

Cora said...

I want to see Scotty go home. I was tired of that clown months ago. C'mon Daughtry Curse, take out McCreepy!!

*fingers crossed*

kcqueen said...

"Yo, you're shittin' to win it!"

Awesome.

Total agreement with the review, but I did actually like both of Haley's songs. It would make my life if Haley bumped James out of the competition. I'm over his poser rocker act- not to mention the gag me adulation he gets from the judges. (although Steven Tylers face during James songs is pretty hilarious)

Pretty sure Scotty will walk away with all of it; I'm guessing Haley will (undeservedly) go home tonite, and if she does, I hope she looks right at Randy and says:
"Dawg. I know where you live"

Anonymous said...

I love American Idol, I really do and I love Lady Gaga, but the two of them together was just too much. i would have preferred Jessica Ferguson hitting the stage singing "GO" rather than subject the American Idol audience to that mess Gaga did.

Anonymous said...

BeckEye,

You are the funniest lady alive! My coworker and I can't wait to read your reviews every week so we can laugh out loud. Just when we think your comments couldn't get any smarter, you manage to outdo yourself. "Dubya Magoo" is a classic but "...you're sh*ttin' to win it" is absolutely brilliant. Now that should be double trademarked! Keep up the good work. Hopefully someone in Hollywood is reading your stuff because it belongs in the movies for sure. D&M from Massachusetts

cube said...

I'm sorry I missed the Gaga episode of AI :-(

BeckEye said...

Here are the comments that were devoured by Blogger:

Cora - I want to see Scotty go home. I was tired of that clown months ago. C'mon Daughtry Curse, take out McCreepy!!

*fingers crossed*

Scope - While Lauren is very annoying, I think of the final 4, she's the one that NEEDS the title of "American IDOL" so much more than the the others.

Haley goes back to Wheeling / Harper Collge. For a day or two. Then back for the finals.

kcqueen - "Yo, you're shittin' to win it!"

Awesome.

Total agreement with the review, but I did actually like both of Haley's songs. It would make my life if Haley bumped James out of the competition. I'm over his poser rocker act- not to mention the gag me adulation he gets from the judges. (although Steven Tylers face during James songs is pretty hilarious)

Pretty sure Scotty will walk away with all of it; I'm guessing Haley will (undeservedly) go home tonite, and if she does, I hope she looks right at Randy and says:
"Dawg. I know where you live"

Anonymous - I love American Idol, I really do and I love Lady Gaga, but the two of them together was just too much. i would have preferred Jessica Ferguson hitting the stage singing "GO" rather than subject the American Idol audience to that mess Gaga did.

Anonymous - BeckEye,

You are the funniest lady alive! My coworker and I can't wait to read your reviews every week so we can laugh out loud. Just when we think your comments couldn't get any smarter, you manage to outdo yourself. "Dubya Magoo" is a classic but "...you're sh*ttin' to win it" is absolutely brilliant. Now that should be double trademarked! Keep up the good work. Hopefully someone in Hollywood is reading your stuff because it belongs in the movies for sure. D&M from Massachusetts

BeckEye said...

And now, my responses:

Cora - I'd love to see him go, too, but I have a bad feeling it's gonna be a Hee-Haw finale.

Scope - Just because she needs it doesn't mean she should have it. Like me and Thin Mints.

kcqueen - Looks like your life has been made!!

Anon 1 - Really? I thought Gaga was pretty fun.

Anon 2 - Really? I'm the funniest lady alive? Well, OK. You can think that. I won't stop you.

Thanks so much for de-lurking and commenting and making my head swell. :)

 

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