Thursday, March 22, 2012

American Idol 12: Scenes From An American Reality Show

Last night, the Idolettes sang Billy Joel songs and received both performance and fashion advice from P.Diddy and Tommy Hilfiger, respectively. I no longer have any idea what year it is.

Hint #1 that DeAndre Brackensick is probably going home tonight? He was placed in the lead-off spot of doom. Hint #2 that he's probably going home? He sang "Only the Good Die Young." There has to be some kind of stat on how many times a contestant has been voted off after performing an ironically-titled song. I swear it happens a lot. Hint #3 that he's probably going home? His performance was much like one you'd see on a cruise ship traveling the river Styx. None of the judges really find anything that wrong with it, though.

Being from Rhode Island apparently makes it hard for Erika Van Pelt to get into a "New York State of Mind." Diddy and Jimmy tell her to pull back and stop oversinging, but in the next breath tell her to let go and take risks. They should get Kunu from Forgetting Sarah Marshall to come and mentor these kids. (Remember, don't do anything. Well, you gotta do more than that.) The biggest risk Erika took was getting all of her hair chopped off and dyed black, so that she looked (as J.Lo rightfully pointed out) like Pat Benatar. Erika sounds good as always, and even though the judges continue to make nitpicky comments about her supposed tendency to over-sing (oddly enough, something they never accuse Rev. Joshua of doing), they all loved her vocals and her new look. Steven summed it all up with his favorite word, "beautiful."

Speaking of the reverend, Joshua Ledet never heard "She's Got a Way" before. Neither did Steven Tyler! Sheesh. Some kids (and seniors). The Idiot Pit was in full swing for Joshua's performance, but he never really seemed comfortable singing the song and it showed in his vocals. It just wasn't that good. They brought the gospel choir out mid-song to try to prop him up, but it wasn't fooling anyone. The judges tried really hard to not say anything negative, but J.Lo had to admit that she wasn't feeling that one.

Skylar Laine was happier'n a possum rolling in armadillo shit, because she loooves her some Diddy. She still loves him even after he tells her that her vocals sounded "forced." And she loves her cowboy boots too, yet after she and Tommy talked at length about which ones she would wear, she showed up on stage in high heels. I was trying to figure out if Billy Joel ever recorded a country-ish song and I didn't think he had, so when Skylar sang "Shameless," I thought she was at least a little better than Scotty McCreery, aka the guy who picked the one song with "country" in the title for Elton John night. Then it came to light that both Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley had done covers of the song. OF COURSE. Anyway, I thought she sounded better than she did last week, but the judges disagreed with me. Randy said it was pitchy in the beginning, Jennifer would only say that Skylar was "fearless," and Steven mumbled some combination of what the other two just said.

Elise Testone bounces back from two weeks of being in the Bottom 3 with a very good performance of "Vienna." Notice I said "very good" and not"OMG THAT WAS THE BOMB, YO, I THINK YOUR SINGING JUST CURED CANCER," which is essentially what the judges very excitedly bellowed. Randy said Elise had that all-important "moment," but we'll see if that moment is enough to keep her away from the chopping block this week. The voters don't always vote for relevant reasons, you know, and this girl's endless arsenal of bitch-faces has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Still, I think she did well enough (and got talked up enough) that she should make it through. If not, get ready for the bitch-face to end all bitch-faces tomorrow night!

Oh, Phillip Phillips. Every time he speaks, I become more and more convinced that he was the real-life inspiration for Forrest Gump. He's not a smart man but he knows who Dave Matthews eee-IS! Yeah, essentially, he does the DMB version of "Movin' Out," just as he's done the DMB version of everything, always, since the beginning of time. The thing that bugs me about Phillip is that I think I would probably really like him as a person (endearing accent, cute face, plays guitar, seemingly good sense of humor), but I just find him so boring as an artist. I do appreciate that he totally ignored all of his mentors' advice, though. Diddy told him to put down the guitar; he played the guitar. Tommy told him to not wear gray; he wore two layers of gray. Gotta love that. Because really, who needs advice from a guy who can't even stick with one name for his entire life or a guy who makes his living off of over-priced, over-branded, overly boring clothes? J.Lo also appreciated that Phillip stayed true to who he was, but don't think this means they'll stop bringing people in to try to mold these kids into the cash cows that they are hoping for.

One solid argument against listening to Hilfiger's advice is Hollie Cavanagh: what in the hell was she wearing? She looked like a slightly cougar-esque mother-of-the-bride from the future. Even stranger was the video message from her brother. It wasn't really relevant to anything, and I just ended up really confused because he didn't have the same weird accent. Hollie sang "Honesty," and it was probably not her best. If I'm being honest, it nearly put me to sleep. The judges didn't seem very impressed either. Randy did like her outfit, which says all you really need to know about Randy's style.

Heejun Han's performance was where the night really started for me. That was amazing. From his mentoring sessions all the way through judging, he was basically just effing with everyone. Diddy couldn't figure him out...he wasn't even convinced that Heejun was really Asian. Tommy acted like a high school principal in the face of Heejun's antics, primly moaning, "Heejun was testing me." Haha. Yeah, and you failed, dude. Then Heejun started out his performance like he was doing yet another boring ballad before pulling an Elvis Costello and stopping the song to start another one. But unlike Elvis, his reason was that he wanted to DANCE!! Heejun be-bopped around the stage singing "My Life," which was basically him giving the finger to all of the mentors who have tried to tell him who to be. It was fantastic. And it certainly wasn't a great vocal, but Heejun's voice is pleasant enough that it wasn't excrutiating to listen to or anything. Jennifer and Randy seemed to enjoy it, and were glad to see Heejun cutting loose and having fun. One might expect the "badass rocker" to be totally down with Heejun's "message," but Steven seemed nearly as prissy about it as Tommy was earlier. He warned Heejun that "at some point, you've gotta take it more serious(ly)." Yeah, at some point you have to get off the drugs and start recording shmaltzy ballads for terrible big budget movies.

"Everybody Has a Dream" was Jessica Sanchez's song choice because she is the only one who has ever had a dream. In rehearsal, Diddy didn't believe that her dream was real, and whatever he said to her must have worked because she delivered a fine performance. She was sounding more J-Huddy than ever last night. Unsurprisingly, she got a standing ovation from the judges and they said a lot of flowerly things like, "That was a defining moment" (Jennifer), "You have a moment every time you step on that stage" (Randy) and, most nauseatingly, "Thank you for letting me hear you sing" (Steven).

Closing things out was Colton Dixon, who Tommy "enjoyed" very much. Hmm. Who'dathunk Tommy would get along with antoher metrosexual? However, there was trouble in bro paradise when Colton refused to make Tommy happy by getting rid of the dead raccoon on his head. Colton basically took on Billy Joel's most iconic song and completely ruined its barroom appeal. It went a little like, "So, whine us a song, you're the emo man/Whine us a song tonight/For we're all in the mood to cut ourselves/And you've got us wanting to die." At least that's what it sounded like to me. The judges loved him though, and then Colton gave a shout-out to the son of God, immediately winning him all the Midwest and Bible Belt votes.

So, who will be in the Bottom 3? Erika could end up there if people didn't even recognize who she was, but I think she should be OK. People love a makeover. I'm going to say it's DeAndre, Joshua and Hollie. And I think everyone is finally brackensick of DeAndre, so he'll be sent packing. (Can you imagine how much his bags weigh with all those hair products?)

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Scope said...

As soon as Skylar announced "Shameless", I shouted "CHEAT!". Cora looked at me, and I said, "Garth recorded it." (yes, I have the CD) Sure enough, that's the version she sang.

And Hollie was confusing. Bad outfit, and you're right about her brother's accent not matching.

I'm picking DeAndre to go home. I know the show has started, but no one has gone to the final three yet...

Cora said...

I agree. DeAndre will go home. And that HeeJun kid is the most entertaining person I think they've ever had on this show!

DrillerAA09 said...

Sorry, but I have no use for HeeHee. He was a train wreck last night, but he obviously has a huge Asian fan base that will keep him around long past his fifteen minutes of fame.

elaine said...

I actually like DeeAndre, but he needs to stop bopping around and he needs to know when enough falsetto is enough. Actually, he needs to travel back in time and hold off on auditioning for another five years; I think he'd be much better when his voice has matured and he has more confidence. For now, I think he needs his own Disney show. And a modeling contract, because that boy is pretty, even though he kind of reminds me of that crazy socialite in New York who had all the plastic surgery to look like a cat.

If you want to know who will win it all, just ask a preteen girl which contestant her friends like the most. My daughter's class has accurately predicted the last couple of seasons. So far they seem to be leaning towards Colton.


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