Instead of just doing the humane thing by cutting the show down to an hour, American Idol continued its trend of having each contestant perform two songs. And because that didn't even take up enough time, they also threw in a couple of group sings and a whole lotta married couple-style fighting from Jimmy Iovine and mentor Steven Van Zandt.
This week, the themes were '60s music and Britpop. Technically, I think "Britpop" was the label placed upon early '90s bands like Blur and Oasis, but apparently AI meant anything remotely poppy that originated in the UK.
Little Steven gave Hollie Cavanagh possibly the best piece of advice ever by telling her not to care about what the judges think, because who the hell are they? He played it off like he was kidding, but I think we all know he enjoyed saying that. Hollie kicked things off with Ike and Tina's "River Deep - Mountain High," and perhaps she took Little Steven's advice to heart, as she seemed much more comfortable onstage. J.Lo said that it was "a different type of Hollie" than she'd seen before. For Round 2, Hollie did a good job with the overplayed Leona Lewis tune, "Bleeding Love," which I still like because it always reminds me of Mark Kanemura and Chelsie Hightower on So You Think You Can Dance. Randy said Hollie was two for two on the evening, and that she was peaking at the right time.
What better to follow the inoffensively pleasant sound of Hollie's voice than the maddeningly overrated Dave Matthews-Bland™? Seriously, I'm about to start watching this kid on mute. Phillips destroyed the melody of The Box Tops' "The Letter" in Round 1, and even though he stayed true to the melody of The Zombies' "Time of the Season" in Round 2, it still sounded awful, especially those high notes that he kept trying so hard to reach. Still, the judges loved DMB. And the audience probably still does, too, especially since he was accompanied by a hypnotically twirling tie-dyed backdrop, that was probably just a subliminal message to vote for him. However, considering that Seacrest pointed out DMB's girlfriend sitting in the audience, he could be in trouble with his horny, delusional fanbase.
Skylar Laine was up next, and I was happy to see her doing an uptempo number—CCR's "Fortunate Son"— in the first round, because I love watching her spastically dance. She slowed it down for Round 2 with Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," which was good but not quite as entertaining as the first song. And I was very distracted by her snakeskin dress, because I kept wondering if she actually wrassled, killed and skinned that snake herself. I'm willing to bet that she did. The judges all had great things to say about Skylar, as they should, but I have a feeling that she's going to be the one leaving us tonight. She shouldn't be, but I don't think she can compete with the judges' two-headed love child, Jesshua, or the tween/cougar poster boy, DMB.
Jessica Sanchez took on the second Tina Turner song (by way of CCR) of the evening with "Proud Mary" and tried her best to do the Tina hair tosses and shimmies, but she just didn't have it in her. In Round 2, Jessica was sprawled out on the floor, surrounded by fog and a shit-ton of candles. It looked like we all just accidentally stumbled onto the scene of a virgin sacrifice. Evidently, her very nice version of "You Are So Beautiful" appeased the dry ice gods, as her life was spared. Jennifer said that she keeps forgetting that Jessica is only 16, despite the fact that they mention that she's only 16 every week. Steven certainly didn't forget, and dropped this nugget of Tyler widsom: "The only thing that gives experience a run for its money is a 16-year old." That probably means something completely innocuous, but coming out of his mouth it just sounds...I don't know...rapey.
If you can believe it, they saved Joshua Ledet for the pimp spot! It was even more appropriate this time, as he kind of dressed like a pimp in Round 1. It was a no-brainer that Randy would love Joshua's ridiculous, striped-sleeve jacket, just as it was a no-brainer that the judges would treat Joshua's performances as if they had healing powers. Against all odds, he didn't get a standing O for his Round 1 cover of The Temptations' "Ain't to Proud to Beg," but the judges made up for it in Round 2 by not only giving Joshua's scream-tastic performance of the at least partially Australian Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody" a standing salute, but also by escalating the compliments until they reached the most hilarious level possible. (#1 - Steven: "You're one of the top two best Idols of all time." #2 - Randy: "You're one of the best singers ever on this show." #3 - Jennifer: "You're one of the best singers of the last 50 years.")
As for the group performances sprinkled throughout the night...the less said about them, the better. Although Hollie, Jessica and Skylar gave "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher" the cruise ship treatment, it was far preferable to Joshua and Phillip's cover of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." Baby, something beautiful was indeed dying. It was that song. If you've ever wondered why Fantasia and Dave Matthews have never done a duet, now you have your answer. Seriously, that was just outrageously bad. Of course, the judges ate that shit up, rolled around in it and rubbed it all over each other.
Speaking of stool, who's gonna be in the uncomfortable stools tonight? I think it might only be a Bottom 2 from this point forward, so I'm gonna guess that it will be Jessica and Skylar, with Skylar going home. Unless DMB's fans are really really pissed about that girlfriend.
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I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.