Friends, lurkers, angry anonymouses, lend me your eyes. I won't be posting anything until at least Tuesday, as I'll be spending my holiday in NYC. Don't miss me too much. You really should be playing outside, anyway.
Have a great, long Memorial Day weekend!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Friends, lurkers, angry anonymouses, lend me your eyes. I won't be posting anything until at least Tuesday, as I'll be spending my holiday in NYC. Don't miss me too much. You really should be playing outside, anyway.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
It's American Idol Finale time! We almost have our lives back! YAY!
The camera pans over the audience and—oh, there's Adam Lambert looking like some kind of skunk warlock. Oooh! And there's Michael Johns. Hmm...still married, I see. You suck, Michael Johns.
But there's something that sucks more: the Top 13 group sing! I remember when the top girls did "Born This Way" earlier in the season and they didn't sound too shabby. Apparently, adding the boys in makes it a hot mess. Still, James Durbin, Casey Abrams and Paul McDonald are the true stars here. Focusing on their amazing dancing is helping me tune out the noise.
Hey, it's another Michael! Michael from LOST! (Sorry dude, I don't remember your real name.) I hope that when Ryan Seacrest says, "And the winner... of American Idol...is...," that guy yells out "WALT!"
Since James Durbin has been begging America to give metal a chance all season, Judas Priest decides to give Idol a chance. (I'm sure it has nothing to do with needing money or promoting their tour.) Rob Halford gives The Durbinator his gayest outfit and they rock out on a duet of "Living After Midnight/Breaking the Law." I've gotta say this is pretty damn entertaining. In fact, this one performance is more entertaining than all of last night's show.
The first judge montage is for Randy Jackson, which consists mostly of him saying, "What kind of show is this?" and "IN IT TO WIN IT." Yeah, that's pretty much him in a nutshell, although that montage could have used more name dropping (Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, Steve Perry, etc.) and a handful of "I feel like I'm at a [insert name here] concert."
Jacob Lusk performs "I Smile" with Gladys Knight and gospel musician Kirk Franklin. Yeah, yeah, we know, Jacob. You were voted off because America just wasn't ready to smile.
Queen got off kind of easy this year, so Idol lets Casey Abrams and his duet partner, Jack Black, have a go at "Fat Bottomed Girls." They're dressed like Charlie and Raymond Babbitt, scat like lunatics and scream a lot at the end. Somehow, I'm completely charmed by all of this. Casey is just a doll.
The Top 7 ladies (minus Lauren) take the stage for a Beyoncé medley of "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" /"Irreplaceable" /"Get Me Bodied" /"If I Were A Boy" /"Deja Vu." Holy crap, that's a lot of songs to give a bunch of girls who clearly spent more time picking out their skankariffic outfits than rehearsing. Good God, this is terrible. There are a few bright spots—namely (and unexpectedly), Thia Megia and Karen Rodriguez on "Irreplaceable." But most of it is almost as bad as B's "Run the World (Girls)." Luckily, she doesn't sing that when she finally shows up. Instead, she launches into "Crazy in Love," tasking the rest of the unrehearsed girls with the "oh-ohs" and sticking them in the background, where most of them belong.
Now it's time for Steven Tyler's clip fest, which features him saying a bunch of nonsensical shit and getting censored. What, no "that's beautiful" compilation??
Harold Perrineau! That's Michael from LOST. I had to look it up; it was driving me nuts.
Haley Reinhart gets to show off her wonderful jazzy side with duet partner Tony Bennett on "Steppin' Out With My Baby." (Did he forget the lyrics? See, it even happens to legends.) They sound great together and even cut a rug, with Tony in particular showing off some smooth moves. It still amazes me that I hated Haley when this all started. I really want her to succeed.
Wow, so Jennifer Lopez's video package is all about how beautiful and desirable she is. I'm sure it's in her contract that they're not allowed to make fun of her.
Lil Jon in tha hizzy!! When he introduces TLC, my heart drops as I realize I didn't study for finals!!! Oh wait...it's 2011. I already graduated college! Whew...T-Boz and Chilli scared me for a sec.
Scotty McCreery duets with Tim McGraw on "Live Like You Were Dying." Come on. This is a nice song and these two sound just fine together, but it's not what the people want. GIVE US BABYLOCKTHEMDOORS!!
Ooh, a montage of auditioners injuring and humiliating themselves, presented by that one wannabe DJ guy. No one cares about this except Seacrest.
Also in J.Lo's contract: a gig for her husband! Mark Anthony is joined by Sheila E. for some Spanish song that neither I nor Ron Burgundy can understand. Suddenly, wifey appears and proceeds to shimmy her ass cheeks and flail around Mark, trying to make him look like a desirable male. I'm surprised I'm not asleep yet.
Now we're treated to a film of James and Casey fake-fighting over whose elimination was more shocking. The punchline? Pia Toscano shows up wearing a tiara and a "Most Shocking" sash. Evidently, she threw away the "America Doesn't Like You, Get Over It" sash I made for her.
Stefano Langone makes an enemy of me for life when he launches into one of my favorite songs, Prince's "Kiss." NOOOOOOOOOOO. I just cover my ears and go "lalalala" until McSparkleteeth comes in with some "She's A Lady." Oh, I see. This is going to be a Tom Jones medley. (Well then why did Stefano have to try and fail for the Prince falsetto?) Durbin purrs "What's New Pussycat," Scotty longs for the "Green, Green Grass of Home," Jacob goes solo on "Love Me Tonight," and Casey confronts "Delilah." Then Tom joins the boys for "It's Not Unusual" and, old man or not, blows them all off the stage. Still, their dancing is a sight to behold. James and Casey, especially. But Jacob's little Elvis move puts it right over the top. Tom Jones on every Finale from now on, please.
The final Ford commercial features Scotty and Lauren remembering all the past Ford commercials. Why would anyone want to do that??
Seacrest then announces that Ford is doing some charity thing for teachers, revealing that Scotty and Lauren each got to invite their favorite teacher to the Finale. And to top that, each teacher got her own Ford Focus. (Meanwhile, Lee DeWyze is sitting at home wondering why he couldn't even get a SRO seat.) Scotty and Lauren each get to pick any Ford car they want. If they don't go for the Mustangs, they're dumber than they look. (ETA: Thanks to an unblinking anonymous eye, I've learned that Lee was, in fact, there. This has absolutely no effect on anything.)
Oh, thank God. It's Lady Gaga! She'll save us from all this misery and product placement! And, YES! She's singing the best single the '80s never produced, "The Edge of Glory." She's performing on the edge of a very high, man-made cliff in the middle of the stage...so, not much dancing but there is a keyboard built into that mountain. Is that Clarence Clemons doing the sax solo? If it's him, he's all covered up so I have no idea. And is there something wrong with the sound? (Damn sound people. Where were they when the Top 7 girls were assaulting my ears??) Ah, but here comes my darling Mark Kanemura scaling the cliff! Shirtless! He and Gaga fake freak and then dive off Pride Rock into the abyss. Annnnnd scene.
Lauren Alaina sings "Before He Cheats" with Carrie Underwood. And that, my friends, is the least surprising thing I have ever said.
Now a montage of the other Idolettes making fun of Scotty and Lauren for being young.
End. END. END THIS!!
Beyoncé returns with her new single "1+1," which isn't terrible but the high notes at the end of every verse crack me up. With all the red smoke, the Idiot Pit looks like it's being sucked into the bowels of Hell. Right where it belongs.
Bono and The Edge perform a song from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, as an actor in a Spidey suit flies around above the crowd. I immediately think, "Here's where someone in the audience dies." But there are no mishaps. And who is the guy singing with the U2ers? Did Seacrest even introduce him? He's like a cuter, less stoned-looking version of James Franco. I have to look this boy up. (google google google) Aha, it's the star of the Broadway show, Reeve Carney. Stupid name, but he is cuuuu-uuute. J.Lo denies Spidey the upside-down kiss, but I bet had that cute Carney guy (now there are three words that rarely go together) been in the suit, she would've gone for it.
Commercial break: Zooey Deschanel's new show, The New Girl, looks a little bit stupid. However, lesbian crush trumps all, so I predict that I will be watching this.
Before the results are revealed, Steven takes to the stage to sing an edited down version of "Dream On." Danny Gokey is not on hand to deliver the final scream, thank God.
Let's get Edward Boddington up in this piece!! Finally, the British Royal Envelope Guard hands over the results to Ryan. And your American Idol is...Scotty McCreery!
Well, well. Did all of last night's Lauren-pimping make Scotty's fans mad enough to vote like crazy? Is that what the judges wanted? Did Lauren already know the results? Because seriously, this girl cries at the drop of a hat and suddenly she's out of tears? Does any of this matter?
Scotty's reprise of one of the worst Idol singles in history*, "I Love You This Big," is hilarious because he isn't even singing. He just cries, laughs, hugs everyone, has entire conversations with people into the microphone...it's wonderful. There's your Idol, America. Dubya Magoo. Yee-haw.
*Ranking the Idol Singles:
1. "The Time of My Life" (David Cook)
2. "A Moment Like This" (Kelly Clarkson)
3. "Do I Make You Proud" (Taylor Hicks)
4. "I Believe" (Fantasia)
5. "Inside Your Heaven" (Carrie Underwood)
6. "This Is My Now" (Jordin Sparks)
7. "I Love You This Big" (Scotty McCreery)
8. "Flying Without Wings" (Ruben Studdard)
9. "Beautiful Day" - an effing cover (Lee DeWyze)
10. "No Boundaries" (Kris Allen)
Wow, ranking levels of suckitude is really hard. Only numbers 1 and 2 would rank on the positive end of the tolerability index. Number 3 might be right in the middle and then from number 4 down, it's all in the negative digits.
Of course, the BEST Idol single is the one that has yet to be recorded—the song I wrote back in '08. How has my brilliance gone undiscovered for so long??
Anyhoo...thanks for following my recaps this year, folks. I was so worried that with Simon leaving and all the changes at the judges table (and they have proved to be a Triumvirate of Pointlessness), this season would suck. But it actually turned out to be a lot of fun. It definitely took the bad taste from last year's mess out of my mouth. I mean, the contestants weren't perfect, and some were just downright awful, but most of them were entertaining. Special shout-outs to Naima Adedapo for her BOOM FIRE, Paul for his dazzling smile and rubbery legs, James for his general weirdness, Casey for his I-don't-give-a-shitness, and, of course, Haley for the 'tude and her amazing ability to turn my haterade into blu-ooh-ooh-ooh Kool Aid.
Merry Christmas Happy Memorial Day weekend!
Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
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...
- 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."
- 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!
- 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.
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.
Monday, May 23, 2011
The only good news about this picture is that those aren't Hammer pants. But they may as well be.
This was taken in either Ocean City or Myrtle Beach (most likely Ocean City) but I'm not sure when. I doubt I was 18 at this point, but I'm sure I was over 15, so I was certainly old enough to know better. Let's take a gander at what clueless young Beckeye is wearing: a black, sleeveless mock turtleneck (I LOVED that thing), flats of some sort and pegged, mustard-colored genie pants that are brighter than the nearby park's neon lights. And the dorky pose isn't helping at all. As if that shirt didn't make me look like a no-neck to begin with, I had to scrunch up so that my shoulders are coming out of my chin??
You know, when I look at this ensemble, I can't help but think that last year's Project Runway winner, Gretchen, would probably love it. As if anyone needed further proof that she was the worst winner ever.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
You know, I love all of my commenters. But none give me more joy than the crazy Idol fanatics who tirelessly scour the Blogosphere to give anyone who doesn't like [insert favorite contestant's name here] what for.
I don't usually give the nuts their own special posts (the last time was back in Season 7) but I felt bad for "Ann," if that is her real name (and I have to give her mad props for even bothering to write in a name instead of using "Anonymous"), because she was really, really concerned that her comments would never be published and seen, yet her Internet ineptitude led her to leave said comments on a weeks-old post that no one would probably bother reading again, which also had almost nothing to do with what she was rambling about. So, this post's for Ann: the best little commenter in Texas. Or South Carolina. Or Utah. Or possibly Indonesia. I don't know, StatCounter is really of no help with trying to figure out where people come from. But I'd bet all my money on Texas.
first of all the chick who wrote this article clearly doesnt like country or good wholesome kids . she must like alot of screming and sexual content and bad hehavior she has no class . thats why your on the internet and we really dont know who you are . you idiot . im sure your not going to post this . you can dish it out but you cant take it . they are kids and you are trying to break them down . love you scotty and lauren. sure you wont aprove bloggerAnd six minutes later, fearing she hadn't gotten her point across...
who are you to say whats good and bad a whats your name lets see Beckeye nope never heard of you . scotty yep everyone has heard of him ..shut your no writing ability mouth and crawl back under that rock you came from . probly wont allow this . scarred are yaAs always, [sic]∞ Now...where to begin?
first of all the chick who wrote this article clearly doesnt like country or good wholesome kids . she must like alot of screming and sexual content and bad hehavior she has no class .
Actually, I do like country. That doesn't mean I like anyone who picks up a mic, throws on a flannel shirt and sings a Kenny Rogers song. And I generally like wholesome kids, except for the ones who are made-for-TV wholesome. I don't know what screming is. Sexual content and bad behavior? Yes, please! You know who else likes sexual content? Scotty McCreery. Because he's going to be up to his giant ears in ass when this show is over, and he won't be saying no to any of it. As for having no class, well you've got me there. It's probably why I wasn't invited to the royal wedding. Thanks for bringing up that painful memory.
thats why your on the internet and we really dont know who you are .
Well, "Ann," I've linked to my Facebook page and the other sites for which I write, where I use my full name. So, you could get to know me if you want. Would you like to come over for tea? Or is this a dig at my non-fame? If I were famous, would it suddenly make what I have to say more interesting? I mean, Perez Hilton is famous and he just scribbles on pictures of people.
they are kids and you are trying to break them down . love you scotty and lauren.
Just like Scotty and Lauren will probably never read or care about my evil plan to break them down (because no one knows who I am), they will never know or care about your love for them. Until that day you corner them backstage at the Idol tour. In the two seconds before security ushers you out, I'm sure you'll have a chance to let them know.
who are you to say whats good and bad
A person with an opinion?
shut your no writing ability mouth and crawl back under that rock you came from .
I...wow. The irony of the first part of that sentence is just too good. I applaud you, madam.
probly wont allow this . scarred are ya
You're probably (fixed that one for you, too) wrong. In fact, the only reason your comment wasn't immediately published is because you posted it to an entry that was more than two weeks old. (This is only in place to keep the Chinese pain pill spammers away.) And how dare you bring up my surgical scar! Are you trying to break me down??
In closing, I would just like to say that you've been one of my favorite insane Idolators, "Ann." Really. Your comments made my week. But, as I tell all of your kind, the angry anonymous comment bar was raised with "racist, fat whore" back in Season 7. (Man, what a fun season that was.) So, I'm not completely convinced that you're IN IT TO WIN IT.
P.S. Scotty and Lauren are in the Finale. One of them is guaranteed to win. Both are pretty much guaranteed record deals. What are you mad about again?
Thursday, May 19, 2011
As I'm sure you all know by now, our last hope for an entertaining Finale—Haley Reinhart—has left the building. But next week we'll be attending Elmer Dinkley High's Junior Prom, and won't that be exciting??
Tonight's results show begins like any other results show—with plenty o' filler. Jimmy jabbers on, the Top 13 show up, Ryan brags about the voting numbers and a video package (filmed when Durbin was still around) to promote Super 8 is shown. Damn, those kids got to meet the Bad Robot peeps. I wonder how many questions they asked about LOST? The Lesser Fanning is in the audience to plug the movie and she can barely form a sentence.
Haley's homecoming package is shown first, which is immediately a bad sign. During her trip back to Wheeling, IL, she encounters throngs of screaming fans on the street, hangs out at home with the fam, visits her high school and then puts on a show. She sings "Sweet Home Chicago," which is notable not because she's from Chicago, but because I can pretty much guarantee that she will be the only finalist to sing a song she didn't already do on Idol. Haley seems to handle her newfound fame really well. I love when she says to the weird redhead stalker chick, "Thank you for freaking out." Haley better watch out. That chick totally looks like the type who would sneak into Haley's house at night and shave off all of her hair so she could make a bra out of it.
Seacrest gives the mic to some annoying little stage kid in the audience (named Rihanna, of all things) so she can warm our hearts with her plucky perkiness. The always-terrible Ford commercial is then served up as a chaser.
Remember when Simon tried to jam Il Divo down everyone's throats? And remember how we just coughed them back up like a bad meatball? Well, now Jimmy is trying to do the same thing with his new playthings, a similarly named but less attractive Italian popera group, Il Volo.
OK, so even though I'm not an opera fan, I recognize that these guys are fantastic singers. But American Idol isn't really the place for this. Especially now that the show's gone country. Il Volo really should have worked on a popera version of "Achy Breaky Heart" instead of breaking out the old standard "O Sole Mio," a song much of Middle America only recognizes as "the song from that one Hamburger Helper commercial."
Next up, Scotty McCreery heads home to Garner, NC. All the girls go nuts (not a long trip, obviously), especially when he visits the grocery store where he worked and slips into his sexy smock. Scotty cries in the limo. He cries during the parade. He cries at the concert. Of course, he stops crying long enough to perform babylockthemdoors with surprise guest, Josh Turner.
Suddenly, a Victoria's Secret fashion show breaks out, with Nicole Scherzinger as the star. She sings her new song, the name of which escapes me right now and I don't care enough to look it up. It was probably something like, "Yeah, Uhhh, Yeah" or "Can We Have Sex Now, Please?" or "Read War and Peace to Me, Baby." Yep, I'm pretty sure it's that last one. Even Rebecca Black knows there must always be a rap in the middle of your song, so 50 Cent takes a break from inane tweeting to do the honors. The only thing I catch him say is, "My pleasure's pleasing you," so I assume he works part-time at Chik-fil-A. (Hopefully, other Chik-fil-A goers and/or workers will understand this joke.)
Lauren Alaina gets the hometown visit pimp spot and it's easy to see why. Let's head to Rossville, GA for a little southern exploitation, shall we? Lauren's limo drives through the wreckage caused by a recent tornado. Lauren gets out and stares at the ravaged landscape with a thoughtful expression. Lauren cries. Lauren visits a little boy who saved his family and somehow turns his moment of bravery into a moment for herself. Lauren cries. Lauren sings "Anyway" for all the tornado victims out there (again). Lauren turns her tears on and off with the greatest of ease. Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, Lauren. LAUREN! (Just thought I'd give y'all a taste of what it would have been like growing up in the Suddeth household.)
It's pretty clear from how those homecoming packages were arranged that Haley is out, but she still looks stunned and a little disgusted to learn that she's been bumped for a couple of teenybopping bumpkins.
Haley sings out with "Bennie and The Jets," reminding me that I couldn't stand her back when she originally did this. Oh, Haley. How far we've both come. You finally learned how to relax and use your big voice properly and I finally learned to love you. And now you're leaving me with these two rubes. Ah well.
Despite her initial pissed off look, Haley seems to be having fun right now, belting it out down in the audience surrounded by her future tour mates. I realize just how much I'm going to miss her when she gets to the end of the song and sassily addresses the audience: "Yeah baby, you'll be seeing me! This ain't the end of this. This ain't the end of this thang...SHINDIG! See ya later!" God, this girl cracks me up.
So, I'm just calling it now: Lauren Alaina is your next American Idol. I don't know why I predicted her to be voted off the last two weeks when I've said multiple times that she's been set up to win this season since her first audition. I guess I still always hold out some hope that this show will surprise me. Silly me. Even though everyone loves Scotty, I don't think TPTB want a fourth white guy in a row as the Idol. (He'll still get a record deal.) They want another Carrie Underwood who will make loads of money for them. But they may be in for a rude awakening either way, as it seems that country radio don't cotton to either one of these young'uns. In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz, "HA-ha!"
Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tonight, three judges will watch as the Top 3 Idolettes sing three songs each. And what feels like three hours is really only two.
Round 1 - Personal Song Choice (Guest mentor: Beyoncé)
Scotty McCreery amazes no one by choosing the boring Lonestar ballad, "Amazed." When Same Ol' Scotty™ tries to reach for those power notes during rehearsal, Beyoncé looks nauseated, yet she tells him that he's great. Hmm, maybe they'll make her an honorary judge? One nanosecond into his live perfomance, which begins with him leaning on the piano in an incredibly smarmy manner, I'm overwhelmed by the urge to knock his elbow out from under him so he'll land right on his oh-so-earnest face. I try to listen to the song so I can comment on something other than my ever-growing, irrational dislike for this kid but I can't. It's way too boring. Of course, the judges lap it up like they always do. And Randy gets to tell everyone that he produced the Boyz II Men cover, so he's as happy as a pig in shit.
Beyoncé's advice to Lauren Alaina was to create a stage character for herself to help get rid of her nerves. Apparently, Lauren's character is Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors because her head has been almost entirely engulfed by large flowers on either side. She sings Faith Hill's "Wild One," a song she says she's been singing since she was six years old. You'd think after that much practice, she wouldn't run out of breath at the end of every line, but you'd be wrong. J.Lo claims rather halfheartedly that Lauren "attacked" the song and Randy likes when Lauren is on stage just having fun. Forgetting that she's underage, Steven says, "You're ready for America to be all over you."
Haley Reinhart announces that she's singing Led Zeppelin's "What Is And What Should Never Be," and I immediately declare her my winner. As something of a Zeppelin freak, I'm always leery of Zep covers but I have to give this girl props for having the balls to go there and for picking a song that much of this show's biggest voting block won't know. She's got her dad on guitar, an amazing dress and she's doing a great job with the vocals and the performance until...wipeout! (Maybe Beyoncé greased the floor after Haley made that comment about growing up listening to B's music?) Totally hilarious slip and fall right in front of the judges as she's running back to the stage but she pops right back up and doesn't miss a beat to finish strong. If this girl had a you-know-what, it would be out because she's rocking this. Randy thinks it's one of Haley's best performances ever. Steven asks Haley if she fell for him (har har), while J.Lo remembers all the times that she performed and things went wrong, and all the little people who were fired as a result.
Seacrest asks who wins Round 1 and Randy and J.Lo give it to Haley. Steven probably does too, but he's not really giving a straight answer.
Round 2 - Jimmy Iovine's Song Choice
Jimmy encourages Scotty to lockthemdoors and ask all the lonely cat ladies out there Thompson Square's musical question, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" Dubya Magoo™ is lucky there's a TV screen in between them and him or he'd be suffocating right now. Scotty grabs his guitar for this one but, other than that, I don't hear much difference between this and everything else he sings. I'm sorry, Scotty fans, but I just don't get it. Any of it. I mean, I get that he'll have a successful country career after this, no matter what happens. But I don't get why people think this goober is sexy and/or a one-of-a-kind talent. He seems like a nice kid with a good voice but how many of those are out there?? Unsurprisingly, the judges go apeshit: Steven finally pulls out the "beautiful" card, J.Lo loves all the "moments" that were in the performance, and Randy says that Scotty is approaching Garth Brooks territory. The Dawg also finally seems to acknowledge that he's driven "IN IT TO WIN IT" right into the ground.
Seacrest turns to Scotty and says what I hear as, "Randy has Tremors backstage," and I'm like, Well, that's a pretty cool flick, but what does that have to do with anything? Then I realize that J.Lo had just suggested that Scotty go back to his old buzz cut, so Ryan was saying that Randy had trimmers. But I don't care about Scotty's hair. I care more about seeing if I can connect Scotty McCreery to Kevin Bacon in under six degrees. And of course I can. Kevin Bacon was in Mystic River with Sean Penn, who was in U Turn with Jennifer Lopez who is on American Idol with Scotty McCreery. BOOM. Three degrees.
Before hitting the stage again, Lauren gets some leg makeup because her pantyhose ripped. Doesn't anyone find it strange that a big show like Idol doesn't have enough in the wardrobe budget to have a couple of backup pairs of hose? Maybe Scotty's never-ending parade of flannel shirts broke the bank. Who knows. Jimmy's song choice for Lauren is The Band Perry's "If I Die Young," a band and song I've never heard of. And I wish I'd still never heard of them because the fact that they named their band The Band Perry makes me want to make their song title a reality. Why doesn't Lauren just call herself The Singer Lauren Alaina from now on? And maybe I should go by The Blogger BeckEye? Anyway...because this song is so awful, I YouTubed the original to see if it was really that bad. Turns out, it's not. Not that it's a great song (it's a slowed-down version of Taylor Swift's "Should've Said No" + death), but the way Lauren's version is arranged just makes it sound so plodding and dreadful. The melody seems to completely disappear somewhere in the middle. But Lauren's vocals are good...at least until the end when she A) forgets the key change, and B) tries to growl like Haley and her larynx just crumples up and cowers in the back of her throat. Steven and J.Lo throw the word "beautiful" around a lot, and all the judges point out that Lauren messed up but still think she's awesome.
Jimmy assigns Haley "Rhiannon," which could be a disaster. So many people who try to cover Stevie Nicks songs fail because they try to replicate her unique voice and end up sounding ridiculous. Haley doesn't sound like she's trying to imitate Stevie, which is good, but I'm a little annoyed that they have her wearing a gauzy, flowing dress and are blasting her with a wind machine. I mean, come on. I'm surprised that Jimmy didn't force Haley to wear a top hat and instruct her to twirl through half of the song. Although she seems a little unsure of the words during the verses, Haley's vocals are pretty solid throughout. It's not my favorite performance of hers, and I certainly wouldn't have picked this song for her. I love it, but it's not really a vocal showcase. If Jimmy wanted to give his ex a shout-out, he could have picked a song more suited to Haley's strengths, like "Gold Dust Woman," "Gypsy" or "Edge of Seventeen." But the judges all say nice things, and Randy comes away from this performance wanting his own wind machine.
Steven awards Round 2 to Lauren, while Jennifer and Randy give it to Scotty. Seacrest also asks Jimmy, who doesn't give a real answer. However, he reveals that he must be doing as much coke as Stevie used to back in the day when he describes Scotty as if "Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks had a baby." Yeah. More like Ed Bruce and Garth Algar.
Before the next round, we're "treated" to Beyoncé's new video for "Run the World (Girls)." I like a lot of Beyoncé's and Destiny's Child songs but this is a giant, steaming plate of terrible.
Round 3 - The Judges' Chance to Prove How on the Cutting Edge They're Not
I have not heard "She Believes in Me" in AGES, but here it is coming out of Scotty's mouth. Like tree sap. Kenny Rogers' old face is turning over in its grave during this performance. Now, Scotty's cover isn't as bad as this hilarious version (you will immediately understand why the "singer" disabled comments) and I guess it's not really bad at all, but he just doesn't have the charisma to sell this. He's squinting, pretending that he's on the verge of tears, holding his mic like it's a burrito, trying to hit glory notes and failing...you know the drill. Same Ol' Scotty! The judges were apparently listening to something else because they all think Magoo nailed those big choruses. I'd rather hear his dad sing a song. I enjoyed Pop McCreery's little snippet of babylockthemdoors much more than anything Scotty's done in several weeks.
The other country singer gets saddled with another country ballad; this time it's Lauren with Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." I am beyond sick of this boring song, but Lauren is actually doing a good job with it. Then again, there really isn't much to it. Still, the judges love Lauren to pieces and the performance gives J.Lo the "goosies." Randy and Steven stop short of arguing over which of them is better friends with Lee Ann Womack.
Haley closes things out with Alanis Morissette's angry girl classic, "You Oughta Know." I remember rolling my eyes when Crystal Bowersox sang this with Alanis last year and she had to change the BJ line to "Will she go down with you to the theater?" Well, I guess the censors didn't want to take any chances of Haley slipping up so they changed it to the even less offensive, "Will she go out with you to the theater?" (Coming after the line, "Is she perverted like me," I guess we have to assume Haley's talking about one of those theaters with the DNA-laced floors.) But the censors don't seem to think that the whole image of her scratching her nails down some random's dude back is too dirty for 9:55 pm. Go figure. She stumbles over some of the words in the verses (like every drunk college chick including myself did) but she really rocks out the choruses. I kind of wish she'd gotten to sing the Zeppelin song last but hopefully people will remember it and vote! She is IN IT TO WIN IT, after all.
Round 1 went to Haley, Round 2 to Scotty...so, guess who wins Round 3? Yep, two out of three judges preferred Lauren in that round. Aww, isn't that nice? Everyone gets a trophy!
But everyone can't get a trophy. Someone has to go home. I just hope that it isn't Haley. It shouldn't be. I haven't voted since that one time in Season 7 but I actually voted several times for her tonight. Honestly, I really can't see having two country singers in the finals. I think they're going to split votes. And as much as I've been convinced that Lauren is destined to win this thing, I don't think there's any way that Scotty will be eliminated. I guess that leaves me with Lauren as my prediction to get the boot.
Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I used to call K-Fed "The Sperminator," but now that Arnold Schwarzenegger has a love child (and since K-Fed's 15 minutes were up a long time ago), the nickname can attach itself to an even more fitting host.
So, yeah, Ah-nold got a household staffer knocked up. Ah-nold cheated on Maria Shriver for pretty much their entire marriage. I know I shouldn't be surprised by any of this, but I am. Because it never ceases to amaze me how money can cause so many women to lower their standards. Seriously, several women willingly had sex with this guy? EWW. It's even grosser if you imagine, like I do, that his mid-sex shout-outs are lines like, "CONTRACT YOUR AB MUSCLES!" and "WHO IS YOUR DADDY AND WHAT DOES HE DO?" and
"GLLAARRRAAAGGGHHHHHAARRRGHHH!!!!" Not to mention O-faces that will give you nightmares for weeks!
Friday, May 13, 2011
I apologize for my recap being a day late. Actually, why am I apologizing?? This apology should be coming from the Blogger Nerdery. I'm not the one who decided to blow up millions of blogs for two days. (You may also notice that my recap from Wednesday's performance show is gone. I've been told that Blogger temporarily ate everyone's 5/11 posts but they're scheduled to barf them back up soon.)
Anyway...since it's Friday afternoon, I imagine everyone already knows that The Durbinator was terminated. There was a lot of crying but as he was being lowered into a vat of molten steel (a fitting death for a metalhead), he gave Haley, Lauren and Scotty a poignant thumbs-up. So, I think he'll be OK.
Now, let's get into the good, bad and ugly of it all, shall we?
The Idolette duets. Yes, both of them were surprisingly good. All during Scotty and James' performance of Brad Paisley's "Start a Band," I kept wishing they would have done Art Brut's "Formed a Band" instead, for maximum hilarity. As it was, though, they did a decent job. Certainly better than I was expecting. Even more surprising was that Haley and Lauren totally blew them off the stage with their version of Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead." I never expected those two to harmonize so well but they really did a great job. But Good Lord, how many country songs are there about women killing abusive husbands/boyfriends/milkmen? It's like every female country singer is vying for a spot on the Lifetime Movie of the Week soundtrack. Won't someone do a song called "Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?" Look, country music writers, I'll even give you a head start: My cute boyfriend took me to his cabin/But Mama said, "He's a dangerous guy"/Made a big mistake when I didn't believe her/And now I'm fighting for my life to-niiiiight. That took me five minutes. Make it happen. And I want royalties.
Lady Gaga's performance. So, originally I was annoyed because I was led to believe that this would be a LIVE Gaga performance and it turned out to be a clip of her HBO concert. But I never get tired of hearing "You and I" (even though they didn't air it all the way to its frenzied end) and I don't get HBO anymore, so I guess it's cool that I got to watch a free clip from the show. I think it's kind of hilarious that the judges (unjustifiably) dissed this song when Haley sang it, yet this is the song they chose to show. Gaga is supposed to perform (really, for real) at the Finale, where I imagine she'll be busting out her '80s-tastic new song, "The Edge of Glory," or the supposed new single, "Hair." (Anything but that awful "Judas," please.)
Jordin Sparks' body. Well, hello Miss Thang! I'm sure some people will still claim that she's fat but some people are just jagoffs.
Steven Tyler's new song/video. I was expecting to hate it but Steven's new song, "It Feels So Good," was super catchy. It sounded a lot like anything by '90s-era Aerosmith with even more of a pop sheen. And, for as progressively watered down as their music has become since the '70s, I still like a lot from the Alicia Silverstone period. Also, his new song is, to use a Simon-ism, 100 million percent better than J.Lo's.
Haley made it to the Top 3! Wow, a month ago this would have been filed under "Bad." But no contestant has improved as much as she has. She's finally stopped just growling at everyone and is really singing. She's definitely got the best voice of the remaining finalists but I think we all (including myself, despite my halfhearted prediction that Lauren would be eliminated) know that Little Miss Alaina winning this thing is inevitable.
The Windows 7 ad. Oh, that wasn't an ad? Just a heavily product-oriented montage of the Idolettes Skypeing their families back home? Didn't care.
Enrique Iglesias. Yeah, it's great that he removed the witch mole but he hasn't replaced that void with any talent. (Of course, the Idiot Pit went insane for him.) What was the name of that song he sang again? Something about liking it? I can't remember...did he ever actually sing the title?
Jordin Sparks' performance. She should have just come out and shook her newly-toned ass because the song was incredibly annoying. Like Enrique's song, I can't seem to remember the title of this one. Something about being a woman? These people should really say the title of their songs more often so that we'll remember them easier. Can't say the dance spectacle was all that interesting either but I did enjoy when Jordin went over and stole a kiss from Steven and then blew right by Randy without even a glance.
James Durbin's elimination. I'm not a HUGE fan of James but I didn't think he should have been the one going home. (Lucky for Same Ol' Scotty that there are plenty of songs about 9/11 available and tons of lonely fortysomething housewives out there who dream of corrupting his donkey-eared ass.) His sing-out of "Maybe I'm Amazed" wasn't all that great but it's understandable considering that he was openly weeping.
The Ford commerical. Duh. It will be in this section 99% of the time. I know it seems like I say this all the time, but this one seemed much worse than many of the others. It must have been because of that dumb Owl City song. Like that isn't horrible enough in its original form.
James Durbin's ego. If anything made me a little happy to see James go, it was his irritating post-elimination comment to Seacrest: "I did so much stuff that's never been done on the show before." Come on, dude. This is American Idol. No one's changing the face of music or TV here. And you're certainly not changing the face of anything by covering 20-year-old metal songs and bringing the Ed Grimley 'do back. You had a good run, kid. You could have left with some grace.
Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
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.
Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.