AMERICAN IDOL NIGHT 22: TOP 11 PERFORM!!
It's time yet again to interrupt a rousing round of Need For Speed: Most Wanted
to slog through another excruciating two hours of American Idol
. Honestly, I love the show, but do we really need this much of it?
So who will blow it out of the water, and who will just plain blow it? We'll find out today as the best of the rest (oh, and Kellie and Kevin too) perform tonight.
(live blogging, keep refreshing!!)
And we're off. Ryan is standing next to someone who is smiling as though she might have heard Seacrest fart before the cameras went hot. Cue the opening and all the audience clamoring as we wade through tons of posterboard signs with different names emblazoned on them, declaring varying levels of adulation for random horrible contestants.
The contestants come out, and it looks sort of like it's a funeral or Johnny Cash night for a bit, since most of the first group is wearing black. Kevin is just so annoying already.
The theme for tonight is songs from the 1950's, which pretty much makes it identical to the Hollywood auditions. Paula thinks the contestants will be stellar, though she also predicted that New Coke would be the drink of the 80's. Ryan challenges Simon on his weekend press stint and his prediction of the top three (which, incidentally, is Kellie, Taylor, and Chris, with Chris and Taylor making the finale.)
Good grief. What did we ever do to you, Idol
, that you have decided to curse us with Barry Manilow
? Please, make it stop! The Idols sit at the feet of the alleged "master," and most of them succeed in feigning interest in what he says, with the exception of Chris, who seems to be wondering when it will be Tommy Lee night.
Up first is Mandisa
. I don't mean to be one of the makers of fat jokes, but tonight totally disproves that black clothing is slimming. Mandisa went against Barry's advice in opening soft and ending big, which is what she does all the time anyway. Barry says that Mandisa has no range, but I don't think he meant it as an insult, even though it clearly is. One thing is for sure, though. Mandisa is the spitting image of Aretha tonight. I think Mandisa should have started out big too, because the soft opening exposed a bit more shortcomings. However, once she gets it crunk, she really delivers. Tonight she's more in her element, and this is a nice performance. This performance tonight proves what we've known all along, and that is that Mandisa NEEDS to be singing soul. It was definitely hot, and I'm just waiting for Randy to back me up on that. Randy is speechless, with the exception of a barrage of "dawgs" and "yo's." Paula looks very tore up tonight. She calls Mandisa a thorobred, which again is not an insult, even though it is. Simon thinks it was a sexy performance and that the song should be used as a stripper performance song, which I repeat is not an insult. Wow, Mandisa has some thick ankles. Still, I want to vote for her tonight. 1 866 IDOLS 01
After the break, Bucky and Paris...
We’re back, and naturally Blogger thinks that it would be a great idea to go down for maintenance right in the middle of prime blogging time for the most popular show in America. Bucky Covington
is up next. Barry criticizes and de-pimps Bucky by saying his song is too repetitive. This is the guy who wrote “Mandy” by the way. I’m ready to drop kick my TV. Bucky will be singing “Oh Boy.” At least that’s what passes for singing from Bucky. I’ll tell you this: the song doesn’t make ME want to scream “Oh Boy.” Rather, it makes me say “Oh Crap” as I mute the volume. This is just wretched. His stage moves just look mechanical, and he sort of seems to just be marking time. I didn’t like that at all. Randy thinks the song was a good choice and compliments his hairstyle choice. Paula has bunnies and puppies on her mind, so she’s not going to say too much in the way of negativity. Simon brings it back to reality, saying it’s nothing more than a pointless karaoke performance. And again, Paula and Randy attempt to shout her down. Paula lays the hammer down by saying “people love you,” as though that is supposed to absolve him for a complete lack of talent. Seriously, Paula, you know as well as I do that you’d never sign him to your own record label. No votes for a bad performance. 1 866 IDOLS 02Constantine Maroulis
and Ryan Cabrera
are in the audience. Someone has a record to pimp.Paris Bennett
, whom I shall never ever ever vote for again after her moronic singing ham-fest last week during the Ryan interview, is up next with her pitiful baby voice. Barry strokes her ego for just a moment more. Apparently I missed it when Congress passed a bill that said "Thou shalt not ever under any circumstances say anything negative about Paris." I think Barry and Paula must have been in the same high school choir or something. Paris is going to sing “Fever.” It’s really about time for this girl to consult a stylist. I can say okay to the yellow Marilyn Monroe dress, as long as she’s not standing over an air vent, but the hair and the 95 thousand wigs have to go. I’m bored with the song choice, and overall, I’m just bored with Paris herself. She’s been a one-trick pony this whole time, and while it’s great that a 17 year old can sing classic songs with some degree of soul, I find myself uninterested in her. Randy thinks she really blew it out the box tonight. Paula and Randy seem to forget how much they told Lisa to stop singing old folks’ songs, and they spread praise all over Paris with a shovel. Pimpage galore. Simon also forgets how much he almost always criticizes people for not getting out of the comfort zone and for singing safe songs, and he says that Paris is doing what she does well. Pimply pimpage. No votes for Paris tonight. 1 866 IDOLS 03
After the break, Chris….
Ryan gets a seven year old to teach him how to use a cell phone. She is way under-impressed by Mr. Seacrest. The seven year old manages to pimp Ace. Chris Daughtry
is going to sing "I Walk the Line." Barry Manilow doesn't really know Johnny Cash music apparently. This is quite disingenuous of Chris, since this will almost certainly capitalize on the popularity of the recent Joaquin Phoenix movie. Unfortunately, Chris is going to turn it into a Toad the Wet Sprocket song. This may be Chris's first mis-step. The opening notes are a bit low for his voice and he falters quite a bit. Once he kicks it up into the next octave, he's fairly steady. This is not all that bad, but again, it's Chris doing the same song he's done every other week. Picking a performance by Chris is sort of like deciding which Creed CD you want to listen to; it really doesn't matter what you decide on because you know no matter which song you select, it's going to be all pretty much the same. I want to see some diversity. Some of the latter parts of the song fall a bit sour. What can I say? It's not my favorite performance of his, and I didn't like the version of this song, but it's quite obvious he's going to sail through the competition like a child running through a McDonald's playground. Randy says some sort of blather that I ignored, because his comments are becoming more cut and pastable than Paula lately. Paula again states that he should already have, at minimum, the Nobel Prize. Simon compliments him on taking the song and "making it his own." Simon thinks it's great that he refuses to compromise. I can vote for Chris on this occasion, but I want to see more next week. 1 866 IDOLS 04
After the break, Katharine McBabe...
Somebody give Katharine McPhee
's stylist a raise. She looks crazy hot tonight. Katharine gets a pre-pimp chat session with Ryan Seacrest. Maybe the VTR machine was stuck and they needed to kill time. Who knows? Anyway, time for the production piece. Katharine gushes over Barry the same way she gushed over Stevie. I would rather swallow a box of tacks than have Barry for a vocal coach, personally. Wow, we're spending a ton of time on Katharine tonight. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. This song is hitting me in all the right places. It's a bit slow, a bit soft, but her voice is just right for it. I can't really find anything to complain about with the possible exception of one slightly sour high note, but otherwise this was a pitch perfect performance, and my phone will likely come down with some McPheever tonight. Loved it. Randy says it wasn't his favorite vocal performance but that it was strong and that it was a tough song to sing. Mad props from the Randy. Paula encourages Randy to criticize her for some reason that I'm sure doesn't involve tranquilizers. Paula states that she thinks Katharine will win the competition after having criticized Simon for making similar predictions earlier in the show. Simon says Katharine has become a star tonight. It's good to know that Katharine has just one or two strips of double-stick tape between her and a serious wardrobe malfunction. 1 866 IDOLS 05
After the break, the ... wait a minute...the Silver Fox????? Much more of this and it'll be back to playing Madden
Ryan is in the audience annoying people.Taylor Hicks
felt the need to impress Barry by walking up to Barry while butchering "Mandy." Barry calls Taylor a "whiskey tenor," by which he probably means you need a fifth of Jack to like what Taylor's doing tonight. Barry pimps Taylor, calling him the best male vocalist this year. I like Taylor, and maybe I'm just hard to please, but I'm not hearing much diversity from him either. And all the pimp-walking while performing is just taking away from whatever vocal he might have. The band is overpowering him tonight. Taylor is all style over substance tonight, and this is the first time I've really actively disliked his performance. It's just sort of getting to be a bit old. On the other hand, I'd definitely like to hear more from the saxophone player. Taylor, love ya, love Birmingham and a certain girl from there who knows who she is, but tonight just didn't do it for me. Randy doesn't think that the song was challenging, since it was yet another four or five note range type of song. Paula extols how everyone danced to this song back in the day (and that day was a Wednesday, apparently, and Paula was turning 30 for the first time.) Simon is going to rip him a new one, and he isn't able to get his criticism out before the useless sycophantic audience tries to drown him out. Simon says it's a huge mess and that it was a stupid party performance. Paula shouts him down with some inane crap about how Simon can't dance. In case she forgot, Taylor doesn't know how to dance either. Paula says something insane about a medicalert bracelet. Ryan compares Taylor to George Clooney, Jay Leno and Phil Donahue, which isn't an insult, but really it is. I mean REALLY it is. 1 866 IDOLS 06
After the break and some domestic violence counseling for the judges, Lisa...
is up next and is looking as cute as always. Really, is there any chance for this girl unless Paris gets booted? We can hope, can't we? Barry says Lisa shouldn't know "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" because he isn't aware of recording mediums such as CDs and tapes, due to the fact that nobody ever buys any of his. How did the casting director for Lord of the Rings
miss casting Barry as a hobbit, or perhaps as Gollum? Time for Lisa to sing, and unfortunately she's just turning in yet another performance. I mean, she's very talented, but it's like she phones it in every week. What Lisa MUST have is something to set herself apart, and tonight it's just not clicking. She missed a lyric there too, and somewhere in the void, the ghost of Melissa McGhee cringes. There's really nothing to complain about with the vocals, but there's really nothing to just jump up and down about either. I wouldn't NOT vote for her, but still... Randy thinks it was a good performance, but you can tell by his tone of voice that he is seriously about to de-pimp her. Paula likes that she brought back some youthful energy. Simon continues his beef with Paula over dancing. Paula is choking to death next to him so it's hard to hear his comments. He thinks that it was nothing better than a high school play performance. Ryan pleads with us to pick up our phones and vote for Lisa because even he knows she's likely to get the heave-ho this week. 1 866 IDOLS 07
After the break, the Anti-Sex Symbol...
is up next, and I no longer feel bad about making fun of him. Barry thinks "When I Fall in Love" is perfect for Kevin's age, because in twenty years, when Kevin has developed from his current state as a sperm into what might pass for a full-grown adult, Kevin might actually attract a girl. Though I wouldn't bet on it. Kevin is really buying into his own hype as a sex symbol. Oh dear, he's sitting on the stage risers. This song is completely wrong coming from him. Kevin, dude, get your hand out of your pocket. There's way too many ways to make a joke about that. Do I need to say anything about his vocals? They haven't changed from their previous pattern of suck. Kevin sure does blink an awful lot. One day he is going to watch the tapes of this and be very embarrassed. What a horrific singer! Even Jasmine Trias
can't make this performance enjoyable. Randy sees himself in Kevin, although five hundred pounds lighter and milky white. Paula thinks it took courage to sing the song, and she wants to adopt Kevin. Simon likes Kevin as a person, says it wasn't the best performance but that Kevin's target audience (the deaf population) will love that performance. Wow, some surprise pimpage there! For a more honest opinion given by Simon, listen to his recent Howard Stern interview
. Still, no votes for me from Kevin. Ryan babbles something, and I'm thinking that if I were Kevin, and Ryan called me "Chicken Little" just one more time, I would haul off and belt him in the mouth hard. 1 866 IDOLS 08
After the break, Elliott...
has his shirt untucked. Why the tie? Elliott didn't like Barry Manilow going into the show, but he apparently changed his mind, which is something you sort of have to say to not hack anybody off. Barry is de-pimping Elliott as well. Wow, this 2 hour Idol crap has got to go. My butt is growing roots into the seat. Does the fact that I'm actually bored enough to type the previous sentence tell you anything about the excitement level of these long production pieces about the contestants and Barry? Elliott continues to be a one-trick pony as well, and call me crazy, but is ANYONE going to leave their comfort zone and try something wild tonight? Paula has two fingers up in the air, but that's only because she's demonstrating to Simon how high she has learned to count. Elliott's performance is fairly okay, but to be honest, I'm finding myself daydreaming and just sort of bored by it. The only thing that has really got me crunk is seeing my girl Lindsey Cardinale
in the audience. I still sort of want her. Randy says Elliott worked it out. Paula has goose bumps and a glaze over her eyes. Simon and Paula have their witty banter again. Simon thinks his singing was fantastic. I can vote for Elliott tonight. 1 866 IDOLS 09
After the five millionth break, Icky Picky will be singing (surprise!) some country...
Note to Idol contestants: we know what you all LIKE
to sing. Now it's time to show us you have range.Ick Pickler
is up next, and she had no idea that Patsy Cline was in the 50's, but that's only because she doesn't have any idea about anything. Kellie is still working on learning to spell her own name, and she's still can't believe that Kellie is not spelled "P-I-C-K." Barry is pimping the bejeebers out of Kellie tonight. Kellie is singing "Walking After Midnight," and she does this lame pimp strut onto the stage. Yet again we get to hear the interior of the Pickler sinuses invading our ears. She has quite a bit of trouble making it down the steps and making love to the camera at the same time. She's just sort of traipsing about, sticking her butt out in the air and inexplicably singing to Paula. I'm going to say something that I'll probably regret later, but the very last part of the song was actually not horrific. She then messes that up by shuffling around and breaking her mic pack. It's a wonderful thing that her mic is off. She still thinks Simon was calling her a mink coat. She's amused that someone has drawn a pickle, probably because she's never seen a pickle before. Randy likes her, Paula likes her, and Simon calls her ballsy. Kellie says "I don't know" for what must be the millionth time in her life when Ryan asks her what's up. Then she makes some moronic comment about her eyelashes before being completely mystified for a second time by the pickle poster in the audience. Once again, no votes from me, based simply on the annoyance factor. 1 866 IDOLS 10
After the break, Ace is liable to do something involving eyes and cameras...
Is it over yet?
Sammie the seven year old does a better job hosting the show than Ryan. Seriously. Hire her, please. Ace Young
wants to do a jazz rendition of "In the Still of the Night," which Barry thinks is a bad idea. Early bold prediction: look for Ace in the bottom three again tomorrow. Thankfully, this is the last we have to see of Music Teacher Barry for the night, though I'm sure we'll be cursed with a performance tomorrow night.
I'm serious, guys. Hire Sammie.
Ace didn't need to do this. This isn't really a jazz rendition of the song as much as it is a 98 Degrees or Backstreet Boys version of it. Ace's voice isn't even right for this song, and it lacks soul. Ace flubs the lyrics, and Melissa's warming a place up for him. That falsetto at the end was wretched and his voice almost cracked a million times during it. Ace's brother is rockin' that unibrow thing. Paula completely has caught the vapors. Randy says that Ace is back. Paula actually counted the number of signs containing marriage proposals for Ace, but that's only because she made most of them. Simon says it's not the best vocal and gets to say little else because of the stupid audience. Simon thinks he won't be in the bottom three this week. I won't be voting for him. 1 866 IDOLS 11
Well, that's it for another torturously long episode of American Idol
. Be back tomorrow at 9/8c for the results.MY PREDICTIONS
Lisa is going home. Kevin should be, but I'm pretty sure he'll get carried for another week or so.