Wednesday, March 28, 2012

American Idol 11: Idols Idolizing Idols

Sitting in as guest mentor on tonight's Idol is one of my faves, Stevie Nicks. Jimmy looks awfully happy. Well, Stevie dated him when he still only had one eyebrow, so he knows that she likes him for who he is on the inside.

Tonight's theme is "Songs From Your Personal Idols." (Yes, that's a recycled Photoshop from last year. Sue me.) Try not to think too much about the genuinely iconic artists (including Stevie) who are sure to be overlooked for the likes of, oh, I don't know, John Mayer and the like, or you'll go insane.

Colton Dixon illustrates the above point by breaking out Lifehouse's "Everything." Lifehouse. Really? Lifehouse?? I mean, they make some catchy songs, but they're Colton's IDOLS? Well, not quite. Turns out his idol is really Jesus, as this song was used in a very popular religious skit, in which Jesus smites those who would tempt a young girl with money, drugs, violence and...trying out for America's Next Top Model? I think? Anyhoo, Colton's performance is very Colton: lots of breathy whining that eventually leads to a soaring chorus. And although it feels like the song goes on forever, I swear that it consists of about eight words. The judges worship Colton to the point where I half-expect J.Lo to offer to wash his feet with her hair, but she stops short of that. And lo, Randy doth proclaim that Colton is a contender to be named King of Idols.

Breaking up the very holy vibe is Skylar Laine, singing a song about what fun it's gonna be to shoot the bastard who done her wrong (Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead") while flailing spastically about as if she's being exorcised. Aside from being rather nasally (as usual), I have to say that I'm liking this girl more and more every week. She's at least entertaining to watch, which is more than I can say for this year's sea of boring...what was it Randy called them? Oh yeah, balladators.

Perhaps knowing that the majority of Idolettes would pick terrible idols (i.e., people who've been famous for about a minute), the show-runners decided to also have three trios perform songs from musical icons. First up are Colton, Elise and Phillip with a medley of Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks hits. They start out with "Landslide" with Colton on lead, then Elise breaks into "Edge of Seventeen," followed by Phillip on "Don't Stop." Surprisingly, they don't completely ruin these songs and the harmonies/backing vocals are really good. But I'm quite certain there are backup singers behind the curtain helping out. Steven loves the performance and casually mentions that he just had dinner with Mick Fleetwood. Hmm. How long will it take Randy to remind everyone that he has famous friends, too?

Stripped of all playfulness, Heejun Han chooses to sing not only another boring ballad, but also one of the most played out ballads ever: Donny Hathaway's "A Song for You." Jimmy is happy to see Heejun taking things seriously this week, while Stevie tries to play therapist, suggesting that Heejun was previously acting like he didn't care because he was afraid he wouldn't win. Whatever. We all know that the producers had a nice long talk with him. I like Heejun so much better when he's being goofy; this is frightfully boring. And his accent is more noticeable than ever. Eesh. Of course, the judges love the meh-ness of it all, and basically thank Heejun for killing his fun side.

Hollie Cavanagh says that Stevie got really "pissonal" with her during rehearsal, sharing the story of her mother's death to help Hollie connect with the emotion of Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel." Jesus, another ballad? And now it's snowing in the Idol studio! It must be the FX department. It certainly can't be Hell freezing over, because everything here is the same old same old. Hollie sings well enough, but it's boring, even when she tries to pretend that she's on the verge of tears. Randy says it wasn't a perfect performance, Jen says it was one of Hollie's best, and Steven takes the middle ground. And apparently he's been "trying to get in between" Randy and J.Lo for a "long time?" What does that mean? Never mind. I don't wanna know. Ew.

Eric Benet is DeAndre Brackensick's idol, so I can only assume his ultimate goal in life is to marry and then cheat on Halle Berry. Good luck with that, kid. You know, I'm a sucker for falsetto, but this version of "Sometimes I Cry" is too much. I feel like my head's gonna explode. And it doesn't help that the minute I think, "Prince he ain't," Tyler claims that DeAndre "gives Prince a run for his money." BITCH, PLEASE. HE CERTAINLY DOES NOT. And he certainly doesn't deserve a standing ovation.

Jessica Sanchez is singing Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams." Huzzah! A non-ballad! Oh, wait. She's turning it into a ballad. *sigh* Yes, yes, she sings very well. We know. The judges know. Jessica knows. I'm sure there will be an email from Beyonce tomorrow night telling us that she knows. Whatever. It's still boring. And I'm so distracted by this goofy set design with the doors to nowhere. I kind of wish I could walk through one right now and find a dimension where more uptempo songs exist.

The boredom finally catches up with me, and I doze off for the few minutes it takes DeAndre, Heejun and Joshua to do their Michael Jackson medley. Ah, talk about a sweet dream...

I snap awake just in time to hear Stevie telling Phillip Phillips that if he had been friends with her and Lindsey Buckingham in the '70s, he would have been asked to join Fleetwood Mac, too. (And he would have been one more person in that band that she could have banged.) Phillip grabs his guitar to cover Jonny Lang's "Still Rainin'." See, now, I enjoy this. This is so much better than the DMB vibe he always brings. I mean, there's still a little of that in there, but the bluesy-rockness of it helps cover it up. As the judges give yet another standing O, Randy finally sees his chance to let the world know that JONNY LANG IS HIS FRIEND!!

Joshua Ledet's idol is Mariah Carey, so of course he's singing "Without You," because she totally wrote that song, right? You know, I like Joshua, but there's something missing. I feel sort of the same way about him as I did about Jacob Lusk—I would enjoy his performances so much more if he were in drag. At the end, Joshua manufactures some tears (for, uh...his struggle?) that dry up almost immediately during judging. But the judges are real suckers for the fake cry, so they rise to their feet again and bathe Joshua in the warmth of their saliva. Steven thinks Joshua pushed himself to the limit! J.Lo thinks Joshua is an angel from Heaven!! Randy wants everyone to know that MARIAH CAREY IS HIS FRIEND!! HE WAS JUST TALKING TO HER!!! AND THAT CONVERSATION WAS WAY MORE RECENT THAN STEVEN'S DINNER WITH MICK FLEETWOOD!

Um, is Randy wearing a candy necklace? That can't end well.

The last trio is comprised of Hollie, Skylar and Jessica, who perform a mashup of Madonna's "Like a Prayer," "Borderline" and "Express Yourself." They're pretty good, but once again, I'm sure there's some off-camera vocal magic happening.

Elise Testone not only gets to perform with a real idol—an impromptu duet of "Dreams" with Stevie during rehearsal—but also gets to close out the evening with the ROCK GODS' (you shall have no other Gods before them) "Whole Lotta Love." (OK, so that was ripped from a Blues God. Lots of religions share ideas. Shut up.) As far as Idol-based Zeppelin covers go, I'd say this is the third best...out of three. Adam Lambert did a better job with this song, and Haley Reinhart's cover of "What Is and What Should Never Be" was awesome...even though she wiped out in the middle of it! The judges look like they're unsure of whether this is worth standing up for again, but after a few seconds decide to go ahead and give her the O. As it turns out, Elise and Steven are wearing the exact same pants. I wonder whose waist is smaller? My money's on scrawny Steven. I saw some of his outfits at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they looked like they'd barely fit a Ken doll.

So, who will be hitting the road tomorrow night? I've gotta think that the Bottom 3 will be Heejun, Hollie and DeAndre. And although the voters have it out for the girls (as always), I think a lot of people, including the producers, want Heejun gone. The judges were clearly super-nice to him to lull his voters into a false sense of security. I'd rather see DeAndre go, but I think Heejun's time has come.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

3 comments:

Scope said...

When I heard Steven threw down the name drop gauntlet, I knew the Dawg would have to pick up the challenge. He's in it to win it. Or whatever last night's catch phrase was, and way over name dropped for him. I was surprised he didn't mention that John Oates valet parked his car last night.

And one question: Was Phillip Phillips channeling a little Joe Cocker, or was it just me? That image can't be unseen. You're welcome.

I think it's DeAndre, Heejun, and maybe and Joshua (since he sang ironically titled song) with Heejun going home.

Cora said...

Randy was wearing a candy necklace, you say? There's a mental image that will be stuck with me all day.

I like Heejun when he's being a wacko too. Now that he has decided to be "serious", I'm just seriously bummed out. Now all the fun is gone and I think Heejun will be too tonight. But I hope not! I hope it's DeAndre, because at this point he's just starting to remind me of that Tiny Tim weirdo who sang "Tip Toe Through The Tulips" and I don't think I can take it anymore.

*shudder*

tennysoneehemingway said...

I'm so late to this but thanks for the updates. Now to go back to the start and find out what I've missed out on.

 

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