Thursday, April 26, 2012

American Idol 11: We Will Rock You To Sleep

Last night, the American Idol contestants each got to perform two songs. The first round featured the songs of Queen, a band that, according to The Dawg's voiceover, has a history of "making magic" with Idol. Interesting. It seems that Professor Dawg of the Revisionist History Department is remembering the one or two good Queen covers to ever come from this show and completely glossing over its appalling annual tradition of brutally raping the Queen catalog.

Because either they're extremely forgiving guys or they really need new shoes, Brian May and Roger Taylor showed up to chat with the Idolettes and accompany them on a show-opening mashup of Queen hits. Eh, I guess that group sing wasn't terrible by Idol standards. (That means it was still fairly ridiculous.)

Jessica Sanchez kicked things off with the worst version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" I've ever heard. And I'm counting that drunk guy who belted it out in the back of a police car. Making it even more unbearable was the lame attempt to recreate the original video by projecting four disembodied Jessica Sanch-heads on the screen behind her. Good grief. But of course, the judges couldn't say anything too bad about her. Steven admitted that "rock wasn't her forte," but still surmised that Freddie would have been proud of the performance. J.Lo pretty much said the same thing. Randy avoided criticism altogether and claimed to have loved it.

Although I predicted that Skylar Laine would sing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (the one rockabilly song available), she opted for "The Show Must Go On," so I had to give her props. I thought some of her glory notes sounded a little strained, but otherwise it was a good performance. The judges all went nuts and Randy excitedly whipped out his new catch phrase, "SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT."

I was hoping that Joshua Ledet would don a skirt for "I Want to Break Free," but he wore a boring suit and grabbed an old-timey microphone for "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Seriously, Joshua can sing, but this was NOT GOOD. His voice didn't fit the song at all, and then he just yelled a lot. But the judges are on auto-pilot with him now, so they all gave him the now-standard standing ovation. Even though Jennifer seemed the most hesitant to get up out of her chair, she said that "the Joshua part of the show is her favorite part."

Elise Testone followed with a fairly meh version of "I Want It All." I wasn't feeling all. Like I said last week, I'm over this chick. The judges thought that Elise was totally "in her element" though, and let the overblown praise continue to flow.

I'm also over Phillip Phillips, whose version of "Fat Bottomed Girls" sounded just like every version of every song he's ever sung. Randy was the only one who only "liked" it, while Jennifer and Steven continued be awestruck by Phillip's samey-sameness. Steven said that he loves watching Phillip run out of breath, so that's apparently the mark of a truly great performer. See how we're always learning new things by watching Idol?

Hollie Cavanagh ended the Queen round with "Save Me," an underrated song that I've always loved. However, I didn't really love Hollie's version. It wasn't terrible, but she really didn't go for a lot of the glory notes, and as usual, felt a bit stiff and emotionless. J.Lo gave Hollie some advice about forgetting about the audience and just having fun onstage, and it was actually so constructive and well articulated that I fell off my couch. And then I gave her a standing O. They're all the rage now.

Evidently, half a theme was good enough for the producers, as they let the Idolettes sing whatever they wanted in the second round.

Jessica tried to push America's weepy buttons with "Dance With My Father." Yeah, yeah, Jessica has a good voice but I just felt bored by this. J.Lo went back to making no sense during her critique, saying that Luther Vandross is one of her favorite singers ever, but that Jessica sang the most beautiful version of the song she'd ever heard. And even though all the judges were nearly orgasmic over this performance, not one of them stood up. They're saving their strength for Joshua.

Skylar grabbed her gee-tar for a cover of "Tattoos on This Town," which I'd never heard but immediately assumed was a Miranda Lambert or Kellie Pickler song. But after a quick Google search, I discovered that it's by Jason Aldean, who's like the country "it" kid right now. Anyway, I liked it. Skylar is by far the most poised and professional contestant left in the competition, so I always enjoy her performances, but she's always at her best when she's singing country. She came off as very natural and was kind of like watching any established country artist perform. So, I'd like to invite all the crybaby Scotty/Lauren fans from last year who accused me of being a "country hater" to lockthemdoors and suck it.

Oh, I almost forgot that during Skylar's critique, Randy took credit for inventing the word "ginormous." I think The Economist and Buddy the Elf might have something to say about that.

When Joshua returned, he was "Ready for Love"—not Bad Company-style, but india.arie-style. This was much better than his first song, but was it really worthy of another standing ovation or the judges' simultaneous orgasm? Probably not.

Elise courted the people-who-don't-watch-American-Idol demographic by performing Jimi Hendrix's "Bold as Love." I don't know how this girl went from one of my early favorites to someone I can't wait to be gone, but she has. Her performance was all over the place, and I got the distinct feeling that she was trying to hard to position herself as the "cool rocker chick." Oooh, she listens to Hendrix so she MUST rock, right? Whatever. I just discovered that John Mayer covered this song not too long ago, so I'd bet money that that's where Elise heard it, too.

OMG, in a shocking turn of events, Phillip decided to cover a Dave Matthews song! I have no idea what song it was, because all DMB songs sound the same, and all of Phillip's covers sound the same, so it was essentially the sound that Phillip's favorite color, gray, would make if colors could make sounds. Steven and Randy loved the performance, but Jen thought the song was a little obscure and "too artsy," something that has never been said about any of her songs.

Hollie closed out the night with a very nice rendition of "The Climb," and actually seemed invested for once. Well, if you can't find an emotional connection to a Miley Cyrus song, whose songs can you connect to? Somehow, Joshua hadn't completely worn the judges out, so they managed to stand up for Hollie's performance.

Sooooo...who will be under pressure? I'm guessing that viewers are tired of the excessive Joshua pimpage, which will lead to a repeat of the Bottom 3 from two weeks ago: Jessica, Joshua and Elise. And even though part of me thinks that Jessica could get Pia'd, I'm more convinced that everyone is just sick to death of Elise, so I'll be waiting for the hammer to fall on her tonight.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksaLot.


Dave said...

If I were on Idol, there would only be two Queen songs I would attempt: "Princes of the Universe" or "I Want to Break Free".

"Princes" is the ultimate trash talk song ("I have no rival/No man can be my equal") and I would dress up in drag for "I Want to Break Free".

Other than that, I'm avoiding anything having to do with Queen because anything less than Freddie Mercury is only a pale imitation.

Cora said...

Anytime Joshua steps on that stage he gets a standing ovation. I'm really getting irked by that. Does he put thumbtacks on the judges' chairs before he performs?

Scope said...

I agree with you that the Judge's push for a Joshua/Jessica Final is really getting on my nerves.

He didn't stink on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" he was truly rancid. And for all the Hollie/Robot talk, Jessica looked like the automaton on "Bohemian Rhapsody".

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