Wednesday, March 07, 2012

American Idol 11: I Wanna Dance With Somebody Who'll Just Call to Say He Loves Me

As promised, tonight's episode of American Idol features the guys singing Stevie Wonder songs and the girls wading through Whitney Houston's catalog. No one sang either of the songs referenced in my post title because, well, I don't know. Probably because they're uptempo. Or because that Stevie song is one of the most awful things ever recorded. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Jimmy Iovine returns as mentor, and is much nicer to the kids' faces than he was in last week's scathing video reviews. He brings along Mary J. Blige for some help, while sits at home in a dark corner, rocking back and forth and gently weeping.

Going first is usually a bad thing, but I think Joshua Ledet will escape the chopping block this week. He puts the power of the Lawd into "I Wish" while his hand flails wildly, searching for someone to heal. He does a pretty good job, but I can't give him my fully attention because I'm too distracted by the rhythmically challenged folks down in front. Yes, the Idiot Pit has made their most non-triumphant return. The judges are paying attention, though, but when they start to talk I'm distracted again—this time by Randy's bling button. What the hell is that? Lucy Van Pelt? I don't know. My mind stops wandering just in time to catch Tyler's first "beautiful" of the night. Everybody drink!

Elise Testone had planned on singing "The Greatest Love of All," a song that, as long-time readers know, WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Luckily, I don't have to shoot out my TV set, because Jimmy and Mary J. smartly steer her toward a different song, "I'm Your Baby Tonight." Well, actually, I don't know how smart that decision is, considering that Elise looks super uncomfortable from beginning to end, and the vocal isn't anywhere near her best. The judges all pretty much say the same thing, while Elise just stands there looking irritated as hell.

Jermaine Jones sings well enough, but his performance of "Knocks Me Off My Feet" is not exactly doing that. By the time he sings the line "I don't wanna bore you with it," it's already way too late. The only judge knocked off his feet is Steven, who says that Jermaine's voice fits the song BEAUTIFULLY. J.Lo wants Jermaine to connect with what he's singing, while Randy says he only loved the verses, not the chorus.

To help Erika Van Pelt bring her own style to "I Believe in You and Me," she gets some electric guitar accompaniment to turn the song into a rock ballad. I've never much cared for this song, but I actually like the way she's brought it down about 97 octaves. I like her husky voice, as does Steven. He might even say it's BEAUTIFUL. (And he does.) Jennifer likes Erika, but thinks she's playing it a little safe, and can't wait to hear her really bring it. Fauxhawky McGee proves that he's not as good at the nicknaming game as I am when he reveals his obvious moniker for Erika: EVP. I don't like it. It reminds me too much of electronic voice phenomenon, and that shit freaks me out.

Jimmy asks Colton Dixon to play an original song to help him prepare for his cover of "Lately," and...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Ugh. Sorry I dozed off there, but this is the worst Ace Ventura sequel ever! Of course, Colton is in no danger of going anywhere, because apparently girls like guys with raccoon hair and toothpick legs. Steven likes Colton's BEAUTIFUL voice, Jen likes that he showed us his heart, Randy likes his power notes and Ryan likes his "smoldering eyes." Oh, and Julianne Hough likes living in denial.

I should have just stayed asleep because now Shannon Magrane is on. She has nothing. Nothing. NOTHING! Except a rich dad and a huge house. I've always thought this girl was terribly average, but her performance tonight is below even my expectations. Finally, the judges hear it too, although they try to prop her up with nonsense like, "I KNOW you can sing this," while making a bunch of excuses for her, including blaming the band for possibly throwing her off.

Alert the press: DeAndre Brackensick has pulled his hair back! How will he get through an entire song without shaking his glorious mane? He bravely soldiers on through "Master Blaster," trying his best to sound like Stevie and offering up some hilarious dance moves. Steven dubs DeAndre the "male Naima" before tossing up another BEAUTIFUL. (Are you drunk yet??) J.Lo and Randy say they didn't want the song to end, and Randy commends DeAndre on singing something upbeat instead of always being the "balladator." Because that's a word.

No doubt everyone assumes that Skylar Laine's performance will be the train-wreckiest of the bunch, since Whitney never wrote a song about coon huntin' or off-roadin'. But she surprises everyone (including Mary J., who comes down with a case of J.Lo's goosies) with a pretty good performance that makes the song sound like it could've been a country ballad. Jen says that there were some nasally parts near the beginning, but it turned into the biggest moment of the night. I find this interesting, because I personally liked the beginning of the song better and thought some of her glory notes were a bit on the screechy side. What does Steven think? Well, he thinks that Skylar's voice is a beautiful thing of beauty that is really beautiful. (Oh, the hangovers we'll all have in the morning.)

Hey, it's Heejun Han! I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I love this kid. I just love his deadpan delivery of everything he says. And the autographed pictures he gives Jimmy and Mary are adorable. He does a good job with "All in Love is Fair." I actually don't notice his accent that much this time around, which is a plus. But I'd like him to do something uptempo for a change. I'm tired of him being the balladator. Jennifer loves Heejun too, but Randy only likes him a lot. I have to wonder if Steven was unhappy with the performance, because he gives Heejun a "fantastic" instead of you-know-what.

Hollie Cavanagh is up next with "All the Man That I Need," which Randy refers to as "Whitney's primes joint." I always knew that he would completely abandon the English language one day. Hollie gives a fine performance, prompting Jennifer to predict that there may be a sing-off between two girls in the Finale. HA! Yeah, this year's girls may be better than the guys overall, but we all know that the primarily female voters only vote for the boys they think are cute. So, if there's to be any girl-on-girl action in the Finale, the producers are going to have to arrange it. And don't think they're above doing that.

Another of the male balladators, Jeremy Rosado, takes on "Ribbon in the Sky," as I get back to the nap I started during Colton's performance. A wide awake Tyler praises Jer-Bear's BEAUTIFUL voice, which Jennifer builds upon for a "really, REALLY beautiful." Randy thinks Jeremy needs more swag. Jeremy has no idea what that is or where to get it.

Unsurprisingly, Jessica Sanchez is singing "I Will Always Love You," as she's probably the only girl (aside from Hollie) who can handle it. She's also a chosen one—and the other girl in that final female sing-off that Jen wants so badly. I know that I usually have something smart-assy to say about all of the contestants, but Jessica is a really good singer. Her performance knocks the snark right out of me. Some may complain that the judges—who give her a standing ovation—are pimping her too hard, but why bother? They're pimping Colton and DeAndre too. At least this chick deserves some pimpage. Of course, Steven's claim that Jessica "just made 40 million people cry" is a bit much. Probably only 25% of that number still watches this show, and of them, maybe only 5% are crazy enough to cry over a heavily condensed cover song.

Closing things out is Chosen One Phillip Phillips with"Superstition." As expected, he makes it look and sound like everything else he sings: some unholy union of Dave Matthews, Joe Cocker and a guy taking a giant dump. But look at that face, girls! (Well, not in this particular picture. That's hideous.) You'll all vote for him. Steven tells Phillip, "you just ARE" (we can all assume the omitted word is "beautiful") and J.Lo says, "you killed it." Randy continues babbling about how Phillip is keeping the "alt/indie spirit alive" because, once again, HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT WORDS MEAN.

The elimination is going to be a bit different this week, as it's a "boys vs. girls"-type situation. The guy and girl who receive the least amount of votes will both be put on the chopping block, and the judges will decide which one goes home. I'm thinking that this will be one of many ways the judges try desperately to help a girl win this year. Although I would expect there to be a Bottom 3 girls and Bottom 3 guys just to waste time, based on Ryan's explanation, I'm guessing there will only be a Bottom 2. If that's the case, I think it will be Shannon and Jeremy, with Jeremy going home.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Cora said...

I agree completely with your prediction, although Erika and DeAndre could be in some trouble too.

I never expect the wild cards to hang around for long because they didn't have the fan base to get voted in in the first place. So, if it's not Shannon, it will be Erika in the bottom two, with Jeremy saying a very tearful, drama-saturated goodbye.

DrillerAA09 said...

Likewise, I agree with your prediction of the bottom two. The only question is will J-Lo pull the Latina save card out a second time.

Scope said...

I just thought I knew more Stevie Wonder than that. Bust based on my voting, it would have been easier if they had a button to vote against Skylar & Elise.

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