Thursday, April 05, 2012

American Idol 11: Songs From the Year Most of You Weren't Even a Glint in Your Parents' Eyes

Hey, folks! So, I know I never posted a recap of last week's results show. Perhaps I was severely depressed over my dear, sweet Heejun's ousting. Or perhaps I had better things to do. You pick the story that you like best. While you're at it, concoct a good excuse for why I couldn't make a fancy Photoshopped image for this week's post.

Although the words, "It's '80s Night," usually fill me with glee, the same words usually make me cringe when followed by "on American Idol." The '80s are MY decade, and this show's idiot contestants have historically treated it pretty badly by zeroing in on all of its worst sappy ballads, or just flat-out breaking the rules by picking old soul/R&B songs that just happened to have been covered in the '80s. Let's hope not too much of this nonsense goes down tonight. I'm already on edge looking at Randy's psychotic clown shirt. Did he go all Scarlett O'Hara and tear down a circus tent to make that? Eegads.

Tonight's mentors are Gwen Stefani and one of the guys from No Doubt. I don't remember which one, because Gwen is always standing in front of them and hogging the spotlight by posing seductively with fruit and such. Don't speak, No Doubt guy. I know what you're thinking.

DeAndre Brackensick kicks the show off in the cheesiest way possible—sitting in the audience warbling a vaguely familiar DeBarge song. I don't know the title and don't care enough to look it up. If it ain't "Rhythm of the Night," who cares, right? His falsetto isn't as grating this week and he actually sounds decent, but I still find this kid boring as shit. Of course, the judges praise him like crazy, with Jennifer barely able to contain her love for Little Mr. Hair-Tosser, and Steven announcing that he was "captivated." Randy guesses that El DeBarge is probably proud of DeAndre right now, which marks the first time anyone has stopped to think about El DeBarge in the last 20 years. The Idiot Pit has no idea who that is. They probably think the El DeBarge is some kind of ferry that takes you from Chicago to Canada.

The mentors save us from the eleventy-millionth terrible AI cover of "Hallelujah" by convincing Elise Testone that she sounds much better on Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is." There's something about Elise's voice that bugs me. Even when I like her performances, there's always a note or six that are just cat-in-heat awful. This song is no exception, but I actually prefer her on this to some of the other songs that have earned her wild praise from the judges. Accordingly, the judges bitch about her pitch this time around and give her negative remarks across the board. J.Lo has a Paula moment when she says, "Yeah, I think what THEY heard was..." before Randy even gives his critique. Steven also has a Paula moment when he fails to string a coherent sentence together.

Adding some extra padding to this two-hour extravaganza are Idolette duets. The first duet belongs to Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine. They sing "Islands in the Stream," and it's about as bland and expressionless as Kenny Rogers' new face. They don't sound BAD; they're just there. I notice that Colton's all blonde now. I guess he doesn't look like Ace Ventura anymore, but he still looks like a horse's ass. Seacrest tries to ignite some Colton/Skylar romance rumors, but give me a break. They can't even sing the line "making love with each other." That would probably get Colton kicked out of his church.

There are so many songs from the '80s that I adore, yet Phillip Phillips hones in on one I absolutely hate: "That's All" by Genesis. Ugggggh. I can't even really focus on it because I hate this song so much. He sounds OK, I guess. Typical Dave Matthews-meets-Joe Cocker stuff. The judges love Phillip as always, and love that he brought his brother (or brother-in-law?) on stage to accompany him.

As DeAndre kind of looks like a Pointer Sister, he gets to duet on "I'm So Excited" with Hollie Cavanagh, who looks like a mannequin who just came to life and is trying to figure out how her body works. Holy awkward. And holy cheeseball. For some reason, Steven loves this duet, and says "beautiful" a record number of times.

Well, well, well...what's this? Joshua Ledet is singing "If You Don't Know Me By Now," because it's an old soul song covered by Simply Red in the '80s. How lucky for him. Joshua gets propped up by the gospel choir once again, and wins the judges over toward the end of the performance by screaming his little heart out. Cue standing ovation and tongue bath. Randy babbles on about how Joshua's GOTTA HAVE IT, which is apparently the catch phrase he's trying desperately to make happen this year. I guess IN IT TO WIN IT is out?

Jessica Sanchez takes on a Whitney Houston song, and thank God it's "How Will I Know" and not another ballad. Jessica claims that it's actually her alter ego, B.B. Chez, who is performing tonight. You know, it's annoying enough when a huge celebrity like Beyonce adopts an alter ego, but when a 16-year-old reality show contestant does it, you just kind of want her to fall face first off the stage. She doesn't though, and Jessica or B.B. or whoever the hell she is performs it well enough. Jennifer still can't believe that those big vocals are coming out of Jessica's little body, and Steven thinks everything Jessica does is...wait for it....BEAUTIFUL. Randy takes this opportunity to remind everyone that he KNEW WHITNEY HOUSTON! AND HE WORKED ON THAT SONG!

Elise and Phillip drag the Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks classic, "Stop Dragging My Heart Around," through the mud and I am not happy. The judges somehow think this is great. Lunatics.

OK, let's forget Randy's shirt for a second and focus on Steven. What the hell is he wearing?? Is he dressed like a...rag doll?

Speaking of hot tramps and daddy's little cuties, Hollie Cavanagh shows up in a bright blue Tina Turner-esque dress that I have to admit to liking. It's one of those dresses that I would impulsively buy, try on several times in front of my mirror, but never wear out because I'd be afraid that people would mistake me for a streetwalker or just your run-of-the-mill slutty cougar. Anyway, Hollie insists on singing "Flashdance...What a Feeling." Jimmy Iovine is right when he says this is a corny song. And I'm a Steel Town girl who grew up wanting to live in an awesome loft and dance like Jennifer Beals (before I knew it wasn't her dancing) for much of my young life, so if I think it's corny, you know it's corny. I don't know why they didn't talk her out of it. She falls way short of taking her passion and making it happen. In her defense, it's probably pretty hard for a cyborg to effectively convey the joy of dancing. The judges all tell Hollie to stop listening to what everyone is telling her to do and listen to what they're telling her now: Let go. Stop thinking. Be HUMAN.

I'm sure Jessica and Joshua were paired up for a duet by total luck of the draw. It's not like they're the judges' two favorites or anything. Of course not. They sing the Aretha Franklin/George Michael number, "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me." In order for these two to NOT get a standing ovation, one or both of them will have to slit an audience member's throat and then force the judges to drink the blood. No blood is shed, so the judges get up off their asses and crawl up Jessica and Joshua's. J.Lo predicts these two could be in the Finale. Steven says that the performance was "so over the top that it defies judging." (As if he ever really judges.) Randy says JESSICA AND JOSHUA GOTTA HAVE IT! THEY'RE SO FETCH! I WORKED ON THAT SONG, TOO! I KNOW ARETHA FRANKLIN! GEORGE MICHAEL HIT ON ME ONCE! DAWG! YO! HOW AM I STILL EMPLOYED?? YEEEAH YEAAAH!

Colton Dixon takes on Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," and much to my surprise, I don't immediately hate this version. It's not quite as whiny and emo as his stuff usually is. In fact, it kind of reminds me of Rick covered by Coldplay. Then Colton admits to Seacrest that he totally ripped off the arrangement from a band called Quiet Drive. Well, at least he didn't pull a Daughtry and actually copped to it right away. The judges all love Colton, but they love the band's drummer even more. Said drummer, known only as "Rex," gets more accolades than Colton, yet the camera man doesn't even bother to get a close up of the guy.

Closing things out is Skylar Laine, who, at the prodding of the mentors, switches from her originally planned "9 to 5" to "Wind Beneath My Wings." Skylar sounds a little nasally as usual, especially at the beginning, but she does a good job with this. I'm actually impressed by some of the notes she hits because I didn't know that she had quite that range. So, it's a good performance to close out the show, but I still can't help but wish that someone would just kill this song. The judges give Skylar a standing O, and J.Lo tries to squeeze out some fake tears. Steven predicts that Skylar has a great career ahead of her. Well, since she's not likely to win the whole thing, I suppose she could end up opening for Bucky Covington some day. Whoo!

It seems very clear to me that the Bottom 3 will be DeAndre, Elise and Hollie. I'm not completely sure who will be going home. I think everyone is sick of DeAndre, but the judges really pimp him hard, so I have a feeling that Hollie will be the one sent packing. At least she only has to pack an oil can and a few extra fuses.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Dave said...

I think Elise will be going home, but I think it should be Joshua. Nothing annoys me more than people who can't just sing the song.

All of his vocal acrobatics and runs make him sound like someone put Mr. Happy in a vice grip and won't let go. I hate that crap.

Scope said...

I think you're right with DeAndre, Elise, and Hollie.

But after weeks of predicting DeAndre will get the boot, I'm changing up and picking Elise. Hollie is about to go home soon, if she doesn't grow a personality.

Cora said...

"THEY'RE SO FETCH!" Ha! You just made me snort out loud and look like an idiot. Thanks a lot.


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