Tuesday, March 20, 2007

American Idol 6: Top 11 Contestants Perform

Two hours? Waaaaaaaah! Mommy! I don't mean to whine, but wowsers are these first shows way too long.

So, anyway, time to start... let's do the do.

If you read most of the commentary out there on the web, the general consensus seems to be, and I quote, "mehhh." Most people seem to pretty much agree with me that we've got a group of talented-but-not-quite-previous-season-talented kids on hand this year. Will the kids change our minds tonight? Heck no. But they can sure try.

The drama du jour is the fact that tonight's vote determines who won't be going on the nationwide tour this summer. Last year, it was Kevin Covais who just missed out. Think Sanjaya's got the juice to outdo him? Think pigs can fly?

This year's group take the stage, and save for Melinda and a couple of others, I'm not sure I see anything that will make me fork over a lot of moolah to take my wife to the tour when it inevitably comes through Memphis.

Ryan polls the judges. Randy is all "dawg" and "yo" on those that forget their lyrics, because time for that is well over and done. Paula encourages the contestants to picture Simon naked, as she so often does in her rare sober moments. Sanjaya has been doing that all along, I suspect, but most of the other contestants have chosen not to permanently scar themselves by partaking. Nobody bothers to get a comment from Attila the Brit.

And speaking of Brits, tonight's theme is "British Invasion." And representative of this music are Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits and Lulu of... something. They will coach these kids into abject failure this week. I'm noticing a theme with these "guest coaches" from all the various years. Quickly fading artist + cheap shot on nationwide talent search = extended reprieve from oblivion. You think?

Haley Scarnato sure is proud of those legs, isn't she? All nine miles of them. Lulu rips her up one side and down the other about her enunciation and technique, which is rather kind. Dr. Phil sits off to the side, waiting his turn to similarly eviscerate her personality, or lack thereof. They spend a lot of extra pimp time on Haley, because they want her on the tour. Sex sells, ladies and gentlemen. Girls want to be like her, and guys want to be with her. She struts out onto the stage nearly naked and showing off every inch of cellulite the back of her thighs can muster. I'm very afraid that her top might come flying off and put somebody's eye out. If a button burst, I'm sure it would slingshot well out of the studio on to somewhere on Hollywood and Vine. It's hard to pay attention to the actual song, when what she's quite obviously selling tonight is S-E-X and lots of it. Vocally, she sounds like Olivia Newton John Lite. There's nothing incredibly memorable or exciting. Nothing horrific. At least she's put some life into her usually drab performances, though when she snarls into the camera, she looks like she's passing an undigested and unchewed Dorito through her colon. Randy thinks she chose the perfect song and believes it was her best performance. Probably right. Paula stutters and says something that, when translated, means that she altogether likes Haley. Simon is smiling and calls her a "naughty little thing," which means "meet me in my dressing room," and he reckons that people will remember her more for her sexuality than her song. Haley says it's all about prayer, but between that and a wing, prayer is the only thing holding that top of hers on.

Chris Richardson is up next. His goal for this week is to finally nail a song straight through his left nostril. I'm picturing a different sort of nail...the kind that runs down a chalkboard. He ever so modestly wants, aside from showing us that he is, in fact, a great performer, to show us that he is, in fact, a great singer, despite that fact that he is, in fact, not. Peter Noone essentially says "dude, you suck," and then vainly attempts to coach him through one of the seminal songs of Pete's younger years. "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin?" How about not letting the moon catch Chris singin'? He sits onstage with a guitarist, both of whom are desperately, yet unsuccessfully, trying to grow hair. Chris squints as though the stage lights were going supernova, then he blasts all the air in his body out through his nasal cavity. He holds his abdomen, which further confirms that he's not a bad singer; he's just suffering from some severe gastrointestinal disorder that makes him sound this way. He seriously creeps me out every time he eye-boinks the camera. It worked for Constantine and Ace Young. Not so much for young Mr. Richardson. The trailer park showed up to cheer him on. Randy thinks it was a great performance. Granted every note WAS in tune, but it was all thin and shallow. Paula thought it was all very sexy, which it was, but in a Deliverance, make-you-squeal-like-a-pig sort of way. Simon thinks it was his best performance ever, comments on the nasality, and then gets cut off mid-sentence by the theme music. Ryan chats him up, they laugh and giggle a bit, creep me out, and I need a commercial to go wash myself of all the ickyness in the air now.

Stephanie Edwards gets the Coke pimp chat spot. Wanda from Houston asks what the hardest part about getting ready for the show is. Who picks these lame questions? I don't even care what the answer is. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm sort of apathetic about Stephanie in general. This is not really her fault. It's just that she's managed somehow to get shoved into this generic bunch of performers and somehow, when among them, managed to be even more generic than the sum total of the rest. I mean, come on, Sanjaya is bad, but at least he's extraordinarily bad. Lulu is reminded of...wait for it... Beyonce. Gee, we haven't heard THAT one this year. Unfortunately, we already have a Beyonce, so I'm not so sure that we need a Stephanie. For the moment, though, we're getting one. We're also getting a backup singer that looks suspiciously like Christina Christian. Nah. Couldn't be. She's singing "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," in the same style that Beyonce would, were she here tonight. I wish Beyonce WERE here tonight. Or better yet, Jennifer Hudson. Yeah. That's the ticket. Oh yeah, right, I'm supposed to be commenting on this performance. Sorry...it didn't captivate me. My mind wandered. Oh wait, it's wandering again. I suppose this is okay, but I really wish Stephanie would strike out on her own and really wow me. I want to like her really badly, and I want to cheer her on. It's just that I would never ever in a billion years pay thirteen bucks for her CD, thus far. Randy doesn't totally buy it either, and he calls her pitchy a lot. Paula's eyes are really kind of sunken in tonight, don't you think? She butters her up with compliments on the outfit, then calls her a big ol' fraidy-cat. Simon asks how she thinks she did. Stephanie answers nervously "uh...well?" Simon believes she's losing her edge, and I'm sort of left wondering where he found her edge to begin with. That kind of an edge you could let your two year old play with safely. Ryan baits Stephanie with a question about the "edge" comment, and it's just painfully obvious that Stephanie either doesn't know what to say or just doesn't want to talk. That's sort of endearing, but sort of frustrating at the same time.

Am I the only one who isn't thrilled that TMNT is a "film for all ages?" I was hoping for something more grim and gritty.

Ryan shills for AT&T Wireless, formerly Cingular Wireless, and currently the company that screws you over on every bill you receive.

Blake Lewis is up next, and Peter Noone enjoys the odd bloke that Blake is. Ladies and gentlemen, the beat box is back in the house, along with the hideous golf pants. I wouldn't wear them on YOUR butt. I like this song, and I like Blake singing it. Someone should probably turn down the backup singers just a hair, since they're overpowering him just a tad. By the middle of the sing, they have the mix down fairly well. I don't know if it's the fact that I really love this song or that I'm a big fan of B-Shorty, but I was totally down with this performance. Totally. I feel goofy for even saying it like that, but I loved it. Randy gives it the massive "yo factor." Paula makes the prediction she usually kills Simon for, essentially naming Blake the winner. Simon thinks that he did a great job with the song and rightly believes this to be the best performance of the night so far. Ryan eliminates all possibility of himself being straight with the dance moves that he busts. He really broke a move there. Broke it good.

Shockingly, Lakisha Jones knows next to nothing about the music of the 60's. Lulu thinks "You're My World" would be the most perfect song for Lakisha to sing at her funeral in a few weeks. I bet without plastic surgery, Lulu would look like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. Lakisha comes out looking like a big ol' sushi wrapped in seaweed, singing "Diamonds are Forever." So much for that no-talent hack Lulu's suggestion, I suppose. Do not stand in the mighty swath cut by the all-knowing Lakisha, mere mortals. Granted, she sings it fairly well, but she sort of looks like Grimace from McDonaldland slapped on a green dress and a weave. The song itself is boring. Her vocal is nice, but this is no American Idol we're looking at here. Randy didn't think it was all that great. Paula wholeheartedly disagrees. Lakisha is wearing a million dollars worth of diamonds, which Simon takes issue with. All this goes to prove that you can put up all the tapestries you want to, but if you're hanging them in a burned down shack, it doesn't really make that much difference. Simon thinks the performance was far too elderly for his taste, and he didn't enjoy it much either. Paula is sensitive about issues of age, mainly due to the fact that she's advancing way past her prime, and can't nearly do the things she did in the "Cold Hearted" Video or even the "Shut Up and Dance" dance lessons anymore. Shoot, Paula can barely still do "Sweatin' to the Oldies." Lakisha plops down on the stool, sending a few Fry Guys scampering out of her dress. Ryan pimp chats her some more, and then there's the now-requisite gay banter between Ryan and Simon. Randy emphasizes again that the performance shouldn't be all about the diamonds, but more about the Lakisha. They're spending a lot of extra time on this chick. I think we're being sold something.

In case Phil Stacey has time to sing, we'll hear him do "Tobacco Road," which, if I'm not mistaken, was performed by Taylor Hicks last year. Peter Noone enjoys it, and Gollum...er, Phil is gobsmacked by the praise. Phil launches into the most atonal performance of this song that I've ever heard. He's slightly covered by the raucous guitar licks, as well as the upbeat rock tempo. Essentially, he just ends up shouting the crap out of it, being neither pleasant nor compelling nor incredibly enjoyable. I find myself wanting to use him more as women's roll-on deodorant than as someone to look at on the TV. There's a lot of energy in this performance, to be sure, but most of it is spent to cover up horrid vocals. Randy thought it was pretty good, though he's not totally committed to that judgment. Paula thinks it was half in half, and she rebuffs Simon for some reason in the middle of her babbling. Simon eyes her breasts for a moment, wonders why they're sitting on her kneecaps, then looks up at Phil. He thinks it was a "bad bar band" performance. He predicts Phil will take the long road home, and that would hurt my feelings none. Phil appeals to the audience, wonders if they had fun, eats up the lackluster applause, and grimly stares fate in the face as he runs through a mental checklist of what he needs to pack when he gets back to the apartments.

Jordin Sparks is up in the Coke pimp chat spot. Ryan laments how he can't tell us what goes on during the commercial breaks, which is sort of like telling us what goes on, only not. It's nice that there's something we don't get to know, but we totally no about it now. Jordin talks excitedly about lots of things. Lulu talks about Jordin's big song, but speaking of big, is Lulu that short, or is Jordin really that tall? I thought at first she wore big heels, but wow, she's a vertical chick! Lulu is completely enamored of Jordin, and despite the fact that she's been enamored of everyone tonight, including the janitor, I choose to embrace this evaluation of our young Miss Sparks. From the opening notes of this song, I want to immediately log on to Amazon or iTunes or somewhere and get this girl's CD. This song isn't very energetic, but she's bringing a different sort of intensity to it nonetheless. This is perfect. I don't want to hear any more music after this, because I want to savor this performance for a couple of hours. I want to swirl it in my coffee and eat it with biscotti. Girl...you record a CD. I'll buy it. Randy thinks it was one of the best of the night. Paula seconds that emotion. On to Simon who thinks she sang it beautifully, but he wanted to jump off a bridge because it was such a gloomy song. That's actually an endorsement of Jordin, because she made the song VERY believable. Simon makes yet another autoerotic reference to Simon, thinks better of it, and jumps immediately to Randy. And we all bask in the afterglow of the glory that is Jordin Sparks.

After the break, the wild side of Sanjaya. Put on your hard hats and your feather boas.

Ryan and Peter Noone chat it up in the audience, and Peter manages to chat it up, irk Simon, and be completely endearing.

Sanjaya Malakar can't figure out which song he wants to slaughter this week. His struggle to decide eats up precious moments of my life, so I am forced to web surf while he makes up his melon. Hmmm, it appears that the media consensus on Mr. Malakar has been quite grim, with most pundits agreeing that he sucks harder than a factory full of Hoovers. Meanwhile, even normally cheery, pink-smoke-up-your-bum, rainbow and smiles Peter Noone is looking at Sanjaya like "dude, just forget it, you're out of your league, and it doesn't matter what you pick." He's going to go with "You Really Got Me." He has neither the vocal edge nor power that he needs for this song. This is a really bad karaoke night performance. I hate this. I capital H Hate this. His pre-teen girly fans who don't quite get that he's monstrously gay are in the audience crying. Sorry girls, sexually speaking, you have about as much chance of scoring with Sanjaya as I do of sprouting wings and flying. A little blonde chick who will undoubtedly remember this in fifteen years as the central point of shame in her life, is crying uncontrollably, as though she just heard that Paul McCartney got married. Meanwhile, the rest of us who aren't teeny-boppers are crying for an altogether different reason. You VFTW people really really REALLY need to not vote this week, because we simply must be spared another week of this atrocity. Randy enjoys that he came out of his shell and conspicuously avoids any real critique of his vocal performance. Paula, who would have no room to talk, concurs. Simon thinks that the crying girl says it all, and I'm convinced that he means that in a bad way. You had to know that this chick is named Ashley, probably with an I at the end or something equally horrid. I really have had a butt full of this kid, so send him packin' this week, would ya?

Gina Glocksen is all leathered up. I feel like I could fold her up, stick some money in her mouth, and use her as a wallet. The question du jour for her is "how does American Idol make you stronger?" I mean, come on... seriously... the producers are making up these questions. Either that, or the mental power of most of this audience is nearing retard level. Lulu hesitates over the key that Gina is going to be singing in, and she ratchets Gina up a notch. She kicks Gina around a bit, and Gina proves to be the one of this bunch who will actually take constructive criticism, soak it in, run with it, use it, and become better for it. She launches into her performance, which as songs go should be right in her wheelhouse. I sort of like this. I'm actually kind of glad that the rocker this year turned out to be a girl. As always, I enjoy her energy, spark, and overall emotion. She performs the heck out of a sing, even if she doesn't nail every note. I love her rock and roll voice. She's not quite a siren, but for some reason that's okay. Randy enjoyed that she kicked over the mic stand, but he found her overall to be just "alright." Paula thinks she made a major improvement over last week. She jokingly calls "Paint It Black" Simon's favorite song, which as jokes go, ranks slightly above the one about the chicken and the road. Simon found Paula's joke to be tortuous and only slightly less bearable than Gina's performance. Gina, of course, is a fan of Simon, and she completely digs what he's saying. And that's worth a lot. I get the feeling that Gina might not start out in her career with all the advantages, but she'll open herself to growth. Simon still isn't having it with the whole "be you, do what you do" philosophy, and he instructs everyone that you should, by crikey, SING! And sing well.

As we rejoin the judges, they're all in their own little world, having some sort of confab about whatever it might be that they talk about when we're not looking.

Chris Sligh and Peter Noone gab for days and days about the song "Henry the Eighth." Peter encourages Chris to dig deep, feel the song, and not let last week's criticism affect him too much. Chris sings "She's Not There" as performed by the Zombies. Man, I miss the Zombies. Granted, I wasn't alive when they were touring, but I miss them anyway, because their songs completely rock my boxers. Chris oozes through the audience, wearing an outfit that must say "WARNING: Makes fat people look much fatter" on the inside label. I sort of like the way he's singing this, but I still don't think he's in his element. It's clear he desperately wants part of Gina's "rocker" action, but he can't begin to look the part. Altogether, I find this performance to be a mixed bag, and I am getting more and more concerned about Mr. Sligh's future in this competition. I feel like he'll make it a little ways, but he's going to be in trouble in the coming weeks. Randy hated how it started, but loved how it ended. Paula likes the fact that his clothing makes her feel skinny, and she generally likes his vocal. Simon thinks that Chris did all he could do to engage the audience. Chris starts jumping in, not realizing that Simon isn't going to rape him on the criticism. Simon is surprisingly generous and fair, and I think that Chris needs to settle down just a bit, ease on the nerves, and next time hit Paula with the mic stand instead of Simon. Fro Patrol? Spare me.

Melinda Doolittle is going to sing "As Long As He Needs Me." She does her cute little fish out of water thing, then proceeds to sing better than anybody else this year has ever sang, even in the shower. She opens up while sitting and staring into the camera. You really don't need me to say it do you? She's fabulous. Vocally, she's unimpeachable. She does manage to spit all over the microphone, which isn't the sexiest thing I've ever seen, but I forgive her. I bet even Mariah Carey spits all over her microphone. I bet Celine Dion has to mop down the floor after she sings. Is it just me, or do you all really want to punch crybaby Ashley right in the mouth? Or at least help her find some meaning to her life that is much more deep and earth-shattering than a performance by someone who isn't even a true celebrity yet? Somebody buy this kid a therapist! Randy finds this to be the best performance of the night, which...I mean... DUH!! That's why she continuously closes out the show. She's awesome. Simon wonders if she's really as nice as she seems, and then after planting that seed of doubt, immediately confirms that she is, in fact, that nice. I'm thinking that she must be, even though I have no way of objectively determining that, but I want to believe it, and I also want to buy every single scrap of music that Melinda will ever record.

Time for a recap of the dress rehearsal from before the show aired. And time for this recapper to shut up.

Who's going home? I hope it's Sanjaya, but Phil, buddy, it ain't lookin' great for ya.

Who's this year's top three? I think Blake, Melinda, and Jordin.

See ya tomorrow night for a blessedly shorter show.

10 Comments:

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Erik said...

Dude-

This line (A little blonde chick who will undoubtedly remember this in fifteen years as the central point of shame in her life, is crying uncontrollably, as though she just heard that Paul McCartney got married. Meanwhile, the rest of us who aren't teeny-boppers are crying for an altogether different reason.) made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. Thanks!

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

:)

I think your top three is close - but I think Chris R may be a sleeper to get in there.....

And Sanjaya has made me cringe for weeks, but I liked it tonight. He stepped up - I thought it was good. The best? No way. But dawg, he worked it out! ;)

My very faves are Blake and Jordin - for now anyway. My prediction is that Melinda or Lakisha will be the Big Shocking Departure in a week or two. . .

Going home tonight - Phil or Stephanie

 
At 8:37 AM, Blogger Dan Meyer said...

Does AI/19/Freemantle try to get 5 guys/5 gals for the tour or is equality of sexes important from that standpoint? If is DOES matter, I'm thinking that Stephanie is most likely out with only Melinda and Jordin completely safe; if they don't care, then Sanjaya, Phil or Stephanie could go (Haley did well enough to be semi-safe).

 
At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Ashli With an "I" said...

I agree with a lot of what you said, totally.

However, Ashley spelled with an "I" at the end isn't a bad thing.

Yes, I'm an Ashli with an "I", not any other spelling.

I was born in the 70's. "I" wasn't used often back then like it is now.

Don't diss the "I"!!! Not all of us Ashley's are out of control on TV ya know.

 
At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris R., Blake and Jordin are in it to win it!!!

 
At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Cleo said...

"Ryan eliminates all possibility of himself being straight with the dance moves that he busts."

Hmm, I thought he just about proved himself to be straight with those dance moves. Gay people generally dance much better than that.

Another great recap as usual, Mr. Married Guy! ;)

 
At 3:24 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

Sorry Ashli! :) So much for my broad sweeping generalizations :)

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger bad kitty said...

What Erik said. And it is lines such as that one that keep me comin' back for more.

OMG, poor little "Ashli" - WTF???? Girl needs therapy AND meds. Stat!

Your top three is so spot on. I'd love to see Gina up there somewhere (like, say, four); but if Blake is not in the finals, there is something very wrong with the world.

Pauler seemed more coherent this week than most...perhaps there was only a single shot in her Coke cup this time?

Who should go home? geez, Sanjaya already.

Who will go home? probs Phil or Stephanie?

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Deborah said...

You know that crying girl has been on so many news channels. UGH. The Today show had her and I saw her on MSNBC too. And interviewing her! Seriously...what the hell!??

Jorin was perfect and precious and gave me goose bumps. Her emotion was awesome. I have liked her since her audition and she gets better and better. YAY!

 
At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Kymberlee said...

Hey JD....
Can't find your review of the results show anywhere.... WTF??

xoxoxox
KC (a.k.a. DQ)

 

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