Thursday, February 16, 2012

American Idol 11: Supersized From-Hollywood-to-Vegas Edition

You may or may not have noticed that I didn't post any recaps last week. I'm leaning towards "may not have," as I think my hits are slipping right along with Idol's ratings. Oh God, why?? Blogging is my dream! It's my life!! Please don't stop reading. YOU MUST LOVE ME!!!

Annnnyywaaaay, I wasn't able to fulfill my recapping duties due to an ongoing personal struggle. Namely, the struggle to stay awake during this show. If you've been watching it, I'm sure you can understand. I mean, I've seen all the episodes, but I've generally been sleeping through them and then watching them later on the DVR, which doesn't allow me time to write a recap and get up for work the next day. It's just so hard, y'all. This is my sob story. I know it's not very good, but I hope it earns me a pass, as well as a golden ticket straight to your heart. This is where I would make that heart symbol with my hands. And then you vomit.

Yes, vomit! Why not? Everyone's doing it! At least a good portion of the Idol hopefuls were doing it last week. This was the sickest Hollywood round I've ever seen, and I don't mean "sickest" in the way that all the cool street kids use it. I'm being literal. I haven't seen this much puking and passing out since New Year's Eve at Verne Troyer's house. Whoa! Look at me, making timely jokes about incredibly relevant pop cultural figures!

OK, I suppose I should start the recapping segment of this recap. Rather than bore you with all the details of the three Hollywood episodes, I'll try to make this as painless as possible with some of the highlights and lowlights that brought us to tonight's Vegas round, which was actually pretty good. So, this will be kind of a long one, but isn't it better than having to read four separate posts?

Hollywood Week - 1st Round (lineups)

Contestants were ushered onstage in groups, where they all lined up and took turns singing a cappella.

Highlights:

  • Lauren Gray sang with her eyes closed the whole time, so she couldn't see Randy waving at her to stop. That's a pretty easy way to get some extra screen time...I can't believe no one ever thought of that before!
  • Reed Grimm did "I've Got a Golden Ticket" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I still found him adorable, even though I immediately wondered what the guy is gonna do when he runs out of weird, quirky songs.
  • Adam Brock said he had a "large black woman inside him." Does Adam read my blog? Does he know about my love of nicknames? If so, thank you, Adam! You will henceforth be known as Madea.
  • Lots of people got sick. Lots of people threw up. One girl (Symone Black) passed out and fell off the stage. The judges put their best concerned faces on for the cameras, but they really took their sweet time getting up from the table to mosey on over and check on Symone.
  • There were a couple of surprising cuts, including VSC (Very Special Contestant) Ramiro Garcia and celebuspawn, Jane Carrey.

Lowlights:

  • Johnny Keyser. Jesus, I hate this guy. Maybe it's completely irrational, but every time I see his fake-baked face, I just want to punch it.
  • Alisha Bernhardt. She's a cop! And she can only sing two songs! And you better sing the song she wants to sing, or she'll tase you, bro! Yeah, this bitch got on my nerves right off the bat with her terrible voice, even worse attitude and dreadful right-off-the-curling-iron ringlets. Seriously, she needed to comb that shit out. Who's she think she is, Nellie Olesen?
  • Pretty much everything else.

Hollywood Week - 2nd Round (groups)

Oh, Group Day. Historically, it's been my favorite part of Idol. What changed that made it suck so? Was it all the germs floating around this year that made it so comparatively weak?

Highlights:

  • Groove Sauce - Nick Boddington (any relation to the guy who carries the Idol finale results in his briefcase?), Creighton Fraker, Reed Grimm, Jen Hirsh and Aaron Marcellus: Yeah, their group name was a little annoying, but they turned in a tight performance of "Hold On, I'm Coming." I still found Reed adorable.
  • Alisha Bernhardt got cut. Of course, so did everyone else in her group. I would feel bad for them, but I didn't really know who any of them were anyway.
  • Two of the Hollywood 5 emerged as singers I really like: cute little David Leathers, Jr. and Ariel Sprague, the latter of whom totally carried their group, despite what annoying little twit Gabi Carrubba would have everyone believe.
  • The Make You Believers were just stunningly terrible enough (right down to that cheesetastic group name) to make a mess that was actually entertaining to watch. Amy "Tent Girl" Brumfield, Jacquie Cera and Dustin Cundiff were all deservedly cut, and hopefully they all went immediately to the infectious disease center. Mathenee Treco wasn't great, but as the best of the worst group, he managed to get a pass to the next round.
  • As a special treat, FOX aired a sneak peek of the latest Hollywood blockbuster: Cowboys vs. Asians. Heejun Han totally won my heart in this episode. He and his other M.I.T. (Most International Team) members, Phillip Phillips and Jairon Jackson, didn't enjoy being bossed around by McCreepy wannabe Richie Law, but Heejun was the most vocal about it, saying awesome things about his newfound hatred of cowboys and that "If Phillip had a kidney stone, Richie had a brain stone." The group ditched Richie's idiotic dance moves and turned in a fairly average performance that still earned all of them safety. Immediately afterward, Heejun admitted to Richie that he "talked a lot of craps" about him, which he'll eventually see on TV. I love this kid.

Lowlights:

  • The Bettys. More like The Barneys, amirite?? All these girls did was fight, puke and bitch about not getting enough sleep before turning in a downright dirge-like performance of "Hit 'Em Up Style." I guess it made sense that Jennifer Malsch and Cari Quoyser managed to make it through to the next round, as they were the least offensive singers, but I was secretly hoping that Cari would be cut, simply because the idea of having to spell her last name every week is a nightmare of Ramiele Malubayan proportions.
  • Two of the Hollywood 5 emerged as people who totally don't deserve to stay: Eben Franckewitz (the low-rent Justin Bieber) and the aforementioned Gabi Carrubba. The other guy, Jeremy Rosado? Well, I have no opinion of him whatsoever.
  • Brielle Von Hugel. This brat, who thinks that being one of the other girls in Pia Toscano's group last year is a claim to fame worth having, was under my skin immediately, wedged right in there next to Johnny. Despite being a terrible singer (and just a pissy-faced know-it-all), she somehow made it through, along with group members Shannon Magrane (overrated), Joshua Ledet (possibly underrated) and some other chick named Amber (uhhh). Frat boy Kyle Crews was the only one from the group to get cut, which delighted Brielle's equally annoying and incredibly two-faced stage mom. I didn't like Kyle very much either, but I'd take three of him over one Brielle any day.
  • Cursed group Area 451 featured jackass Johnny Keyser, lyric-forgetter Bryce Garcia and screecher Kristi Krause. But the big star was Imani Hardy, who might have been the best singer of the four, but she unfortunately couldn't stand up long enough to prove it. Girl must have fainted 451 times, but I had to hand it to her for continuing to get back up. Randy and J.Lo dangled the possibility of letting her stay in front of her for a little while, but ultimately cut her because they didn't think she could handle it. Johnny got to stay though, because he's a pro. In fact, he's such a pro that, when Imani passed out on stage, he just kept right on singing! Whatta guy.

Hollywood Week - 3rd Round (solos w/band)

Highlights:

  • Jen Hirsh, "What a Wonderful World." This girl could be this season's Kelly Clarkson. (Comparing everyone to past Idols is the new black. Read on.)
  • Creighton Fraker, same song. This guy is awesome. It's like Mika and a meerkat had a flaming little baby.
  • Reed Grimm, still kind of adorable despite crying to his mommy on the phone. Not that I have a problem with men crying, but I guess I have a problem with men crying (and exhaling exaggeratedly) to their mothers on national TV over a stupid talent show just because the producers waited until the last minute to tell him he couldn't perform a cappella, as planned. He spazzed out a little bit, showcased his A.D.D. and then decided that playing drums would fix everything. I'm not sure why one would need to play drums to perform "Georgia on My Mind," but whatever. He was good.
  • Apparently, God hates certain American Idol contestants, because he unleashed very distracting thunder during key moments of their songs. And those contestants did not make it through.
  • Adam Brock, "Georgia on My Mind." I'm pushing myself to like this guy because he has a good voice, a really cute baby and is near my neck of the woods (Washington, PA). The reason that I'm having a problem with fully liking him is that, physically, he reminds me of Gokey. *shudder*

Lowlights:

  • Phillip Phillips. I want to like him, but every time I see him perform I just feel like I'm watching the 3rd place winner in the Joe Cocker Impression Contest.
  • Skylar Laine must have finished at the top of her class at the Chrustin Richardslake™ School of Nasally Singing. And Tyler thought this was "the best of the day." He has to be back on drugs, right?
  • I never want to hear "What a Wonderful World" or "Georgia on My Mind" again. Thanks for ruining two more perfectly good songs, Idol!
  • The judges already started putting people in boxes. The minute Reed Grimm started playing the drums, Randy mumbled, "Oh, it's another Casey (Abrams)." Of course! Because everyone who can play more than one instrument is another Casey. I wonder if they pegged Rachelle Lamb as another Brooke White after she messed up the beginning of her song and had to start over? Or Adam Brock another Gokey, what with his glasses and dark hair?

At the end of the Hollywood rounds came the most exciting part of this entire competition: the contestants were put into groups and placed in four different rooms. And we all got to watch them sit...and wait. YOWZA! The excitement was just too much. Would Room 1, which held Creighton Fraker, Jen Hirsh, Hallie Day, Johnny Keyser and Adam Brock be moving on to the next round? Gee, what a mystery! And what about Room 2, which held Reed Grimm, Phillip Phillips and Shannon Magrane? Stop holding your breath, everyone! Those were both winning rooms!!

The fate of Room 4 was a bit harder to figure out, as its residents were Baylie Brown (who cares?), Richie Law (McCreepostle), Heejun Han (funny, but no great enunciator) and Angie Zeiderman (way too interesting for this show). I was pleasantly surprised to see that Angie would live to sing another day, as the Room 4 folks were moved on to the next round.

The minute it was revealed that Room 3 contained Rachelle Lamb and a bunch of other unrecognizable people, it was obvious that they were done for. But there was a little bit of excitement before the cut, which started when some delicate blonde princess got upset because everyone was in fairly good spirits instead of sitting around moping. And then when Rachelle let out the most impressive, demonic burp I've ever heard, the girl flipped her lid. Apparently, burping is a huge sign of disrespect, and Princess let Rachelle know it. Wow. Princess has some stones or she is just seriously stupid, because Rachelle looks like a woman who has whomped some ass in her day. I certainly wouldn't pick a fight with her. As Rachelle angrily defended herself to Princess, I couldn't help but imagine that this war of words could only end one way: with Rachelle jamming a nail file through that chick's spleen. Perhaps it was the fact that cameras were rolling that the dumb blonde made it out of Hollywood alive.

So, that brings us to tonight's episode, and the next stage of the competition...

Las Vegas - 1st Round (groups)

Groups perform songs from the '50s and '60s (what better way to find a contemporary star?) and get a lot of help from vocal coaches, arrangers, choreographers and wardrobe artists. Here's how things go down.

Colton Dixon (last year's leftovers), Skylar Laine, Chase Likens and Cari Quoyser are up first with "Dedicated to the One I Love." It's not super terrible or super memorable. I'm actually too distracted by Colton's hair to pay attention to the song. Did Jane Carrey become his stylist after getting eliminated? I can't figure out why else he would purposely try to look like Ace Ventura. The guys and Skylar stay in the game, but Cari is sent home. Thank God I never have to spell her name again!

Gabi Carrubba, David Leathers, Jr., Jeremy Rosado and Ariel Sprague take on the Megan Joy anthem, "Rockin' Robin." Gabi continues to act like a diva even though Ariel can sing circles around her. The judges love this group, and everyone makes it through to the next round.

Adam Brock, Shelby Tweten, Erika Van Pelt and Angie Zeiderman do a Vegas revue-style version of "Great Balls of Fire" and I like it. Well, except for Shelby. Who the hell is she and how does she get to stay? She's awful. But everyone else stays, thankfully, because I really like Erika and adore Angie's weirdness. She's like a brunette Judy Greer in Madonna's old clothes.

Brielle Von Hugel (more leftovers), Schyler Dixon and and Molly something-or-other perform "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" in their Slutty USO Girl costumes, which should be a best seller for Halloween Adventure this year. Since I don't even know Molly's last name, it's no big surprise that she gets cut. It should be a surprise that the other two don't, but I'm used to these judges rewarding bad singing by now.

Eben Franckewitz, Reed Grimm, Haley Johnson and Elise Testone jazz things up with "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes," and although it's a bit boring in parts (generally the parts that feature Eben), they are good as a group. Everyone's in.

Richie Law teams up with Jermaine Jones for a battle of the big ol' basses. I have no idea what song they're singing, but it's making J.Lo horny. Somehow, they mesh well together, which I wasn't expecting at all. I was kind of hoping that Richie would crash and burn (especially after he moaned that he knew more than the vocal coach), but he and Jermaine both get to stay in Vegas.

Deandre Brackensick (even more leftovers), Candice Glover and Jessica Sanchez do another song that I don't recognize. It could be because Jessica is singing like she's passing one of Phillip's kidney stones, or it could be that I'm distracted by Deandre's Milli Vanilli hair. The entire group makes it to the next round, and of the three, Candice deserves it the most. Remember that. Ironic foreshadowing!

Scott Dangerfield (sigh...leftovers again?), Adam Lee Decker, Clayton Farhat and Curtis Gray should be arrested for what they're doing to "Jailhouse Rock." But bad clothes + bad hair + bad dancing + bad singing = three out of four guys making it through to the next round. Does it really matter which one gets cut? OK, it's Curtis, even though Clayton was clearly the worst.

Britnee Kellogg, Jessica Phillips and Courtney Williams don sparkly pink Barbie dresses for their performance of "You Keep Me Hanging On." The judges search for reasons to save some of these girls even though the whole thing is six shades of terrible. Despite her status as a VSC, Jessica gets cut, and she takes it with all the grace of Effie when they kicked her out of the The Dreams. She spews sour grape juice all over Britnee and Courtney while moaning that she's a "real artist," unlike some other people who are getting to stay. Hopefully, this has proven to some of the more gullible voters watching at home that just because someone is a VSC and does one good thing (like taking care of the boyfriend who had a stroke) does not mean they are a good person or, more importantly, deserve to be handed a record contract.

After Ryan teased us with promises of her all episode long, vocal coach Peggi Blu finally returns! She jumps right in by giving Lauren Gray some shit, making her cry and then yelling at her that there's no crying in singing. But she must have done something right, because Lauren makes it to the next round after performing "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" with Wendy Taylor and Mathenee Treco. Wendy also makes it (who knows why), but Mathenee is out. And that's one more ridiculous name I won't ever have to type again.

Heejun Han is deathly afraid of Peggi, but she takes him into her warm embrace and suddenly the mood shifts to happy shiny shoo-bop shoo-bop. She is impressed with Heejun's group, which also features Jairon Jackson, Phillip Phillips and Neco Starr. Their performance of "I Only Have Eyes For You" gets them all through to the next round.

Groove Sauce minus Reed Grimm—Nick Boddington, Creighton Fraker, Jen Hirsh and Aaron Marcellus—get good reviews for their performance of "Sealed With A Kiss." But just when you think the whole group is safe, Nick Boddington gets the axe.

Since the judges have been doing their typical "everyone is great" routine today, there are still too many contestants, so all who remain are summoned back out to the stage for a quick round of cuts. Sadly, we have to say goodbye to Angie Zeiderman because the judges would rather look at and listen to the bland likes of Baylie Brown and Brielle Von Hugel. Two other good singers, Jairon Jackson and Candice Glover, are cut to make room for some average ones. On the plus side, Gabi Carrubba, Schyler Dixon and Johnny Keyser are sent packing. And hilariously, Britnee Kellogg's elimination forces all her delusions to come bubbling to the surface in the form of weeping and outrageous comments like, "every performance was perfect!"

Whew. So, after all that, the field has been trimmed down to 42. Next week, there will be more solos, followed by the final cuts on the Runway of Doom. Eesh. Y'know, this show would be so much more enjoyable if they'd just institute a Wipeout-style method of elimination.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

4 comments:

Heff said...

The show's popularity and interest IS fading, but the talent actually seems BETTER than normal this year in my opinion.

cube said...

Holy cow! I didn't even know Idol had started its new season.

Cora said...

Ha! Colton Dixon reminded me of Ace Ventura too.

Scope said...

Heejun Han - Disliked him from his audition onward. Glad he trashed talked cowboy-boy, but THE DUDE CAN'T SING 'FER CRAP!

 

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