Am I the only one who’s not feeling it this time around? I have yet to pin my hopes on anyone in particular in the American Idol race. What seems to be the problem here? Is it lack of talent? Not really – everybody’s “doing their thang” and “working it out”, but something’s just lacking for me. What can it be? Could it be the music choices? Perhaps, but it’s more than that. Is it the weekly themes? Maybe, but it’s still something else. I can’t put my finger on it. Can you guys?
Here’s what we saw this time around: Amidst the familiar Idol theme music and the swirling lightshow, the judges, looking like Ken, two Barbies and a misfit Teddy Ruxpin made their entrance and waved to the cacophonous crowd, followed thereafter by the Big Nine. And so began another “Show and Fell” on AI.
This week, the idols got to choose music from the Itunes most downloaded music list. Whoop-de-doo. Kasey Kasem got a shout out for his America’s Top Twenty Countdown. Remember him? Last I saw him he was helping out contestants on the Pyramid with Dick Clark. Like Dick, he’s still in the biz – playing tunes on the radio for those old souls who seek him out with the dial on their car-radio.
First up, we’ve got Anoop Desai. He’s chosen an Usher song. I didn’t catch the title. I don’t know much about Usher, but the song’s kind of catchy, but as Simon would say, “forgettable”. Personally, I’m thinking Anoop would do himself a great service if he jumped on the “Slumdog Millionaire” gravy train and Bollied up his performances with some undulating vocals and shimmies in his steps. He could learn a thing or two from Megan Joy on that score. Apparently, the judges might be thinking the same since they kept talking about him getting back some “swagger”.
Speaking of Megan. Apart from that distinctly distracting “tat” running down the length of her right arm and the nod to Bob Marley with the one pseudo-dread, what was she thinking? The girl has a pretty face, there’ s no doubt about that and her teeth would make any dentist do a double take, but who’s picking out her wardrobe? First she’s got more jewelry than all the Beastie Boys combined and then there’s the skin-tight, strapless boob-tube top. Never mind the red mini-jumper thing that looks like it was left over from her maternity days (come Results Night). What?! I’m with Kara D, she was definitely in trouble from the get-go. When Paula’s stammering her critique, watch out!
So Gokey (or as I like to call him Robert Downey Jr. meets Elton John) pulls out the country heart-strings of Rascal Flatts and punches up “What Hurts The Most”. You know when Paula starts nodding her head like one of those dogs in the rear window of a car that you’re “in the pocket”. Kara’s got goose bumps; on to next week he goes.
Next we have little ingénue, Alison Iraheta. I can’t quite nail this chick. She’s got tons of spunk and serious “pipes”, but again, wardrobe is seriously letting her down. Decked out in a pinky, punky, vertical white-striped number with black leggings and WHITE shoes(!) I was a bit waylaid, but truth to tell, she really pulled it out – soft start to powerhouse finish. I got some “mad love” for her too, Randy. Simon thought she looked like something out of “The Addams Family.” Coming from a Lurch-alike, that’s rich!
Here comes Mr.. MacIntyre. Now, don’t get me wrong. I worked with a blind boy for a year once and I have the utmost respect for “challenges” (mind you, my blind boy loved the Pogues and wore HIS leather jacket from day one). We’ve got sweet Scotty all decked out in black buck with a brand new rockabilly hairdo and what’s he singing? “Just The Way You Are”. Isn’t that a bit ironic? I can see Scott’s new album right there in the Easy Listening section by next Christmas. Any takers? Grandma? Okay. I’ll see what I can do.
Matt Giraud comes up with a new twist: he’s a pit player – thrust in the middle of a swarm of swooning teens and tweens, he belts out The Fray’s “You Found Me” and Paula accuses him of “aborting his riffs and falsettos” for his efforts. Kara wants him to commit to a genre. On second viewing, I’m thinking of committing to Matt. He’s got a pleasant demeanour, he can belt it out when he wants to, he’s polite, he’s hip. I’m almost on his bandwagon.
Lil, Lil, Lil. She’s looking so glam tonight with the sleek hair, the ‘4os style dress – kind of Billie Holiday meets Mary J. Uh oh. She’s singing Celine. Bad move, cuz everybody knows by now if you do Dion one of two things can happen: you either get accused of copycatting and you’re not up to snuff, or it’s too safe and classic and not fresh enough. Bingo! Randy wants more swagger and tells Lil to “young it up”. Someone could write a dictionary based solely on the lingo that emanates from the mouths of the Gang of Four here.
Randy ends up with a bedtime hug from one of Lil’s toddlers and after the break, Ryan Seacrest can’t resist getting one from big R too. How sweet!
Now comes the showstopper. This guy is out to win. See how he “swaggers” on cue. He “youngs it up” every week; he riffs and rolls high and low, he’s in every pocket like a black billiard ball. He is cool, he’s risky business. What’s on tap this week from Adam Lambert? Wild Cherry’s 1976 hit: Play That Funky Music
Here’s the thing, Dawg; this ain’t no ordinary disco dancin’ tune, AL (looking like Kurt Russell doing the biopic of Elvis) is channeling Axel Rose! What’s really amazing is that it works! My only issue with this performance – well, there are two really – is Lambert’s pants. The seat is just too saggy and why put your wallet in the back pocket when you’re on stage anyway?
My prediction: Adam Lambert is going to the Final (unless he mucks it up with something SO out there that the audience just bails). I remember the turning point for me with David Cook last year was when he did Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, but twisted up Chris Cornell’s version. That ROCKED! I had not liked Cook up until that point, but that one performance completely turned me into a fan.
Trouble is, when you go out on a limb sometimes, it can really crack like a cartoon tree and send you pitching into Idol oblivion. Look out Adam Lambert! That’s all I’m sayin’. Hey, Buddy! Nice touch, giving kudos to the band. Brownie points for sure with that move.
Speaking of David Cook. Did anyone else think he looked a little bored with it all? I don’t know. This Idol phenomenon must be a serious grind, don’t you think?
Oh, and Lady Gaga. Yes. Nice zipper on the eye there. I’m guessing the choreography was Wade Robson from “So You Think You Can Dance”. Either that, or Paula’s been swiping ideas from him. Question: Which came first, Lady Gaga or that white-haired character in Monsters vs. Aliens? Cool piano though – I’d lose the starfish.
Last, but definitely not least, it’s the married guy (Simon warned you about letting THAT cat out of the bag too early) Kris Allen. I’ve always been partial to Canadian singer Corey (I Wear My Sunglasses At Night) Hart. That’s who I’m hearing whenever Kris sings. And that’s not a bad thing – to me anyway. Taking the Bill Withers hit, “Ain’t No Sunshine” and putting his own spin on it as well as playing a funky keyboard, well…he might just have displaced Matt Giraud for me. Kris was looking for a “signature moment” and he found it. Everybody loved it.
Day Two: Results
There was no “joy” in Idol-land for Megan. After a crack about not caring about Simon’s criticisms “I love you, Simon, but I don’t care” (is that not suicide right there?) the judges declined to save her from the axe. Girl are you crazy? Wait a minute, I can see from your squawking eagle/swan reaction to being sent to the Bottom Three stool that you are certifiable. By the way, what was up with those Elaine Benice office-party moves?
Scott MacIntyre got a big chocolate cake (had to mention that cuz it was the best part of the show for me). The contestants had a mimic-off – impersonating each other, falling about in fits of laughter and giving the general impression they really like each other. Megan could be heard to be saying “Call me” as each one was eliminated from the “hot seat”.
Oh, and there was a grand performance of Randy’s ex-band’s biggest hit, “Don’t Stop Believing” where Scott really looked pretty good and Megan was a fish out of water in fire-engine red jumper.
Anoop missed the chop by a hair’s breadth and Alison is going to rethink her wardrobe, but not her hair for next week. ( I think she should go black.)
That’s all from me. Tune in next week as competition gets more intense, Paula decides whether to go straight or curly and Simon buys yet another black cashmere v-neck to enhance his huge head.