Thursday, April 19, 2012

American Idol 11: The Not Quite Magnificent Seven Ride Again

Last night on Idol, the contestants each sang two songs from different time periods/genres. Ryan reached into the theme hat and pulled out "anything from the last 12 years" and "anything that might have been performed on Soul Train." OK, sure. Let's see how that went...

Hollie Cavanagh drew the Leadoff Spot of Doom because clearly TPTB want her gone. For her contemporary choice, she chose Adele because apparently Adele is the only person who has put out any songs in the last few years. I have to say though, after hearing "Rolling in the Deep" mangled by everyone who's tried it (except for adorable man-child Jonathan Groff, whose Glee version was just fine), it was nice to hear someone actually do the song justice. Hollie sounded great and actually seemed like a human instead of a cyborg. However, on her second song, "Son of a Preacher Man," it was revealed that Hollie had merely been upgraded to a more advanced machine made of mimetic poly-alloy. She didn't sound bad, but Hollie singing soul...yeah, it doesn't work. It all just played like a comedy sketch from The Whitest Kids Girl You Know. Randy said that Hollie did better in Round 2 than Round 1 (wrong), and Jennifer said nothing worth remembering. Steven said he couldn't judge the first song because it was "perfect," and then after the second song, he said "When I close my eyes, I picture you doing all this other stuff." Perv alert!

I wasn't sure if Colton Dixon did something new to his hair, or if the hen perched on his head just had her period. And I wasn't sure what in the hell made him decide to sing an emo version of "Bad Romance," backed by an all-girl band. It was just as ridiculous as you'd imagine. The judges went all ga-ga rah-ah-ah over it though, as they so often do. Randy even brought back his old favorite phrase, "We were just at the (Colton Dixon) concert!" For his second act, Colton sucked all the soul and fun out of Earth, Wind and Fire's "September" and turned it into some kind of half-assed OneRepublic power ballad. Still, it didn't bother me as much as "Bad Romance." Maybe because it seemed like it was 30 seconds long. The judges didn't like it, so they all blamed the song. It was the song's fault, Colton! Eye-fuck the camera again, pleeeeeze!!

Someone must have retro-fitted Elise Testone with some of Hollie's old robot parts, because she barely moved during her cover of Alicia Keys' "No One." She sang it well enough though, and the judges seemed to like it. Well, I know that Little Ms. Goosies and The Dawg liked it, but I have no idea what Old Man Tyler was trying to say. Round 2 went much worse, as Elise tried to growl her way through Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." Meh. I don't think even Bret Michaels would have been turned on by that rendition, and that guy gets turned on by envelopes...glass menageries...everything, really. I couldn't pay attention to the judges' critiques because they kept making mistakes, like J-Lo calling Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" "Somebody to Love," and Randy claiming that Al Green sang "Let's Get It On." Then Elise said something that amounted to I need at least six minutes to perform a song well. Gee, it's too bad most pop singles are half that length.

Next up was Phillip Phillips, the only contestant for whom "song choice" is never an issue, because he just Phillip Phillipses (read: strip it down to its most boring, basic shell) everything into a standard product. And after putting Usher's "You Got It Bad" through the Dave Matthewsizer, he got the standard standing ovation. Randy and Jen gushed over Phillip's artistry and sexiness, respectively, while Steven clearly forgot who he was critiquing because he said that, with Phillip, "we never know what we're gonna get." I'm guessing that Steven is really easy to surprise. Anyway, then things got worse in Round 2 when Phillip put down his guitar for a cover of "In the Midnight Hour." It went how it always goes when Phillip is without his guitar—he made a lot of ridiculous faces and loped around the stage like an ostrich with scoliosis. Jen loved the "dance" moves, while Steven loved Phillip's "brilliantly awkward" appeal. Randy said, "Exactly what you need is what you have." What? Oh my God, all of these judges need to hire surrogate speakers.

Apparently, Jessica Sanchez's performance of Alicia Keys' "Fallin" was brought to us by Traveler's Insurance. (Sight gag!) Steven thought the performance was "passionate," but I thought it was boring. I mean, the girl can clearly sing but she needs to do more than that. Jen said something about "juggling balls" and I waited for a pervy comment from Steven that never came. In Round 2, Jessica (or, according to J-Lo, BB Chez) did "Try a Little Tenderness" while trying a little Joshuaness (yelling). On the heels of the MOST SHOCKING NEAR-ELIMINATION AND SAVE EVER, Randy made sure not to over-praise Jessica by saying a few things about not connecting with the audience that could have been construed as criticism.

The second Lady Gaga song of the night came from an even more unlikely source: Skylar Laine. She selected Gaga's country version of "Born This Way," basically cutting out all the references to anything remotely LGBT to ensure that all the Hicksville fundies will still vote for her. I'd heard the country version before, so it wasn't all that odd to me. I enjoyed the performance, especially the cute fiddler who stalked Skylar all around the stage. And while Skylar did a good job, Jennifer went way overboard by claiming that "a more perfect song for her doesn't exist." I mean, come on. I think the Kellie Pickler song she did last week suited her better than this one. There are plenty of songs out there that are way more "Skylar." I don't necessarily think "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" is one of them, but Skylar did a pretty good job with that one in Round 2. And that fiddler was still following her. Oh, the perks of being an Idolette.

Joshua Ledet got the (double) pimp spot, which came as a surprise to no one. For his first song, he dressed as a valet and lived up to his Mantasia moniker by taking on Fantasia's awful Idol single, "I Believe." The gospel choir was dispatched to Joshua's side...AGAIN. The judges gave Joshua a standing ovation...AGAIN. Steven said that Joshua could sing the phone book...DRINK! To close out the evening, Joshua whipped out "A Change is Gonna Come," which is always good for an automatic standing O. The gospel choir was strangely absent for this one, and only half of the Idiot Pit was swaying. Oh no! An Idiot Pit divided can not stand! Standing O, tongue bath, hyperbole, tongue bath, jibberish, tongue bath, Randy's not-so-subtle (and inaccurate) dig at The Voice, The End.

I'm thinking this week's Bottom 3 will be an all-girl affair, with Hollie, Jessica and Elise. I almost want to replace Jessica with Colton for two reasons: 1) The judges would never let Jessica be eliminated right after saving her, and 2) Colton sucked. But Colton could sing "I'm a Little Teapot" while slaughtering a panda and dumb girls would still vote for him. So, I think Jessica could still end up in the bottom. She won't go home, though. And I think Hollie bought herself some time with good performances and a likeable, albeit stiff, presence. Elise is inconsistent and looks pissed off all the time, two things that probably aren't earning her throngs of fans. Therefore, I predict that Elise will be watching her kiss-off package this evening.


Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.

1 comment:

tennysoneehemingway said...

Thanks to you, 'tongue bath' has entered my vocabulary and is used at every opportunity - appropriate or not.

 

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