Tuesday, April 24, 2007

American Idol Season 6: Idol Gives Back

Okay, so the concept was novel and exciting waaaaaaaaay the heck back in 1496 B.C. back when they first started plugging this whole "Idol Really Really REEEEEEEEALLY Gives Back" thing. However, for the past few weeks, it's almost become something I dread. For one thing, it's going to be long, what with the whole two night extravaganza thing. It's going to be packed. And it's going to be full of more cheese than the state of Wisconsin and Mickey Mouse's house.

I guess I might end up kicking myself for being so cynical about this whole thing, but for now this whole thing sort of reminds me of the expensive, extravagant celebrity galas that are supposed to be for the starving children of Africa, yet end up being something that's so ungodly self-indulgent that you sort of miss the point. Oh wait... No seriously, it's always nice when the stars throw themselves a huge (and coincidentally ratings-boosting) charity bash, so they can fulfill their annual quota of Caring (TM).

Still, I'll try to go into this with an open mind...

We open with Ryan Seacrest in the giant control room, which I believe is onboard the Death Star. If you look really carefully, some of those monitors are showing X-Wing fighters converging. I always knew Simon was a Sith Lord. Wouldn't you like to have a set-up like the A.I. control room in YOUR room though? You could watch all the channels on your satellite dish at once. ANYWAY, Ryan lets us know that today, every time we vote, we'll donate a dollar to the starving children of Africa or someplace with a premium on dirt and yuck. Is Ryan bulking up? That sport coat looks like it's about to pop open and fly straight off of him. News Corp is going to donate a pile of money for your calls. Ford, Coke, and AT&T continue their long-standing tradition of financial support of Idol. I know you're all shocked by that. Imagine, if you will, product placement on this show by...Coke! And Ford! Such unprecedented generosity. And tonight's mentor is none other than U2's Bono, who I am told does charitable work even in his sleep.

And now, here's a look into Simon and Ryan's honeymoon...err, African trip, set to one of those horrid 90's throwback songs that are supposed to evoke sadness but instead evoke nausea. These poor poor kids though. I can't speak ill of them, because truly their living conditions are beyond deplorable. Ryan doesn't show a whole lot of emotion, because his central processor is only programmed to emote one way. Simon, on the other hand, is emotional to the point of nearly bawling like a baby, which is a contrast that almost makes me uncomfortable enough to actually vote tonight. Seeing the hardened meanie almost cry is a bit unnerving.

Completely spoiling my mood, Chris Richardson picks Eric Clapton's "Change the World" as his inspirational favorite. See, there's one cardinal rule that I have. And that is YOU DO NOT murder a Clapton song. And that's exactly what he's doing with his stupid nasal thing and his complete failure to ape Justin freaking Timberlake. I really wish an asteroid would rocket toward earth, smash into the Idol studio, and land right on Chris's head, not killing him but removing his voice, thus stopping this unholy mockery and massacre of a song that I will now have to listen to again to regain my liking for it. Brandon Rogers likes Chris, but I do NOT. Randy thinks that Chris has for the first time shown he was in it to win it. I wonder if the judges will be more charitable tonight because of the theme. Paula says "See what Randy said, rinse, and repeat." Simon thinks he has potential tonight, calls the performance sexy, and then proceeds to say that grass is red and the earth revolves around the moon. Vote tonight, but not for this hoser.

Myspace has been helping out too, and if you don't get enough of this and need to live all this over again, you can go to www.myspace.com/idolgivesback Make sure you brush your teeth after. Well, I guess I was wrong about the kids here in America. They're getting some of the pie too. Randy is going back to New Orleans to help out the Hurricane Katrina. Idol is also going to the backwoods of Kentucky to donate teeth and education to the backwoods hillbillies. They're also going to some Indian reservation in Arizona and Ryan's old hood in the A.T.L. So we're helping everybody, I suppose. Personally, I would like my charity dollars to go to help out Justin Guarini.

Melinda Doolittle is going to perform a Faith Hill song, FINALLY, and I'm ready to hear her tickle my ears. I have to say, she looks smashing tonight. Not too glitzy, but very very attractive. She's feeling the song, interpreting it for us, and wearing it all over her face. I don't like the Faith Hill version of "There Will Come a Day" anymore, because this performance is like a billion times better. I don't even think we need to worry whether or not this chick wins the competition, because she is going to be prominent in the recording industry for quite some time to come. Melinda, I love ya. Randy says that she is "so dope." She is beyond their criticism by now. I suspect the mini-bar in Paula's room is completely bone dry. Simon calls it a vocal master-class and praises Melinda for not doing a copycat job.

After the break, Blake. Wouldn't you hate to be the people who got seats behind the chicks with that HUGE "The Blake Girls" sign? You'd miss the entire show.

Why haven't I seen Bono yet?

NewsCorp will be donating five million bucks if they reach their goals in call volume. Blah blah more about sponsors blah blah blah. And speaking of sponsors, Coke (gasp!) gets to ask Blake Lewis a stupid question like "what's the biggest sacrifice you made by coming on Idol aside from maintaining your street credibility?" He says something predictable about family. Blake will be singing John Lennon's "Imagine," which, and I know I will get beat down for saying this, I always thought was a completely over-rated song. Vocally, there's almost a three note range to this song. Blake handles it admirably, though. He sort of looks like he feels the song, but I wish to goodness that he'd quite dipping his head. He keeps cocking it back, then dropping it, leaning back, drooping, over and over again. I wonder if someone put a nakey pic of Haley Scarnato on the floor or something. Or maybe that's where the Idols have taken to scrawling their lyrics so that they can forget them. Randy didn't find it to be all that great of a performance. Good thought, Randy, because it bored me to death. Paula breaks away from Randy's judgment for once, calls Blake emotional and sensitive, and then leans away as Simon prepares to lambast him. Simon thinks it's a ballsy choice, thought it was sincere, but thought that it didn't really go anywhere. Not such a great night for the Blakester, but we'll see how well he does in the final count.

Still no Bono. Hrmmm.

If you hadn't heard (in case you're DEAF) you're watching "Idol Gives Back." And you can download videos from iTunes and Ford will give your money to someplace.

Ryan Seacrest goes to some place in Africa where apparently music by the Judds continuously plays in the background. It costs 50 cents a day to feed a child. Okay, if we can do that in Africa, why does it cost me five bucks a meal to eat? I think we Americans are getting screwed too. Honestly, though, I do hope those kids get their meals. Poor guys. I can't imagine what it must be like to have to endure that life. I say that with all sincerity.

I also say with all sincerity that Lakisha Jones needs to go, because this is twice that she has committed the cardinal sin of singing yet another Idol winner's song: "I Believe" by Fantasia. Unfortunately, Bono is nowhere to be found, so we can't tell if she followed his mentoring advice. My guess is probably no. Hmmm...trying to tell us something Lake Isha by singing these Idol winner songs? Is it sort of like when you told us last week that if God hadn't meant you to win, he wouldn't have let you come this far? Well, let me tell you...I'm not a huge fan of Fantasia, but I'd rather hear her fart this song than listen to this version you're doing. Guys, seriously, we have Melinda. What do we need this cocky chick for? To call this performance "pitchy" is to say that the Chicago Cubs haven't won the World Series in a few months. Ouch. Ouch. Any more of Lakisha and I'll be the one giving back... my lunch. Randy didn't think it was a great performance. Paula sugar-coats the fact that she hates the performance, and she blasts Lakisha for performing yet another Idol winner song. Big rule: DO NOT DO THAT. Even Paula starts to get a few boos from the idiot crowd, who apparently never criticize ANYONE EVER. Simon prefers the Fantasia version, and he rightly points out that Paula does too. Paula refuses to admit it, but it's obvious from her stuttering and failure to outright deny it that that's the case. Simon calls Lakisha out for her shouting AGAIN and the idiotic sycophantic crowd boos and fails to let Simon finish his actual constructive criticism. Lakisha gives the judges her best "b***h please" look and thankfully we're going to a commercial and getting this manatee off our screens.

Heaven forfend that any actual thoughtful question should be asked of these contestants on the air. Phil Stacey has to answer what he misses about home. Duh, his kids. But not enough to actually be there. Go figure. He's going to sing "The Change" as sung by Garth Brooks. Methinks Phil has taken to heart the rumblings that he might be good at the country music bit. At first, I expect Garth's voice to come out. It doesn't, but then I realize that it's Uncle Fester and Lurch's illegitimate child up there singing, and I sort of adjust my expectations. To be honest, it's not the worst thing I've ever heard, but then again this song isn't the best ever. I'm sort of getting a butt full of the sappy songs right now, because there's so much saccharin and sweet and not enough zip, bam and pow. This Phil performance isn't anywhere near what his performance on country night was like, but I have to grudgingly admit that it's not that bad. Randy refers back to the country thing and congratulates him on a great performance. Paula calls it his best. The happy juice is flowing tonight. Simon likes it, and Phil's wife has her perma-smile on. Simon thinks people like Phil, which is probably why he's been in the bottom three almost every week this year. He's growing on me, like a tumor, but I'm not sure I'm quite there yet.

One more performance left before we can stop being touchy feely for the next 24 hours. ConAgra Foods is going to show us a video about a food pantry service. I've participated in these before, and they're quite a good work. It's also a fabulous experience to volunteer with one of these centers. I'm not surprised that Simon wasn't aware of these things, but I appreciate the fact that he's not above visiting them. I've gained a lot of respect for him.

Jordin Sparks is going to sing "You'll Never Walk Alone." I'm actually glad she's singing something slow and soulful tonight. I've had a bit much of the peppy teenage Jordin the last few weeks. I like Jordin, but I thought she had some issues with the lower notes in the song, and she lost control of her vibrato in the opening verse. However, once she hit her stride, she took this song and knocked it completely out of the park. I sort of think she's fighting back tears just a bit, and I wonder if that's not making it just a bit hard for her to sing. She finishes out the sing in style, and I loved it. Randy calls it the best vocal ever, to say nothing of the hottest song of the night. Jordin lets those tears through. Paula echoes the sentiment. Simon thought Jordin was fantastic and that she'd have a hit record with it. I have to agree. She looks really pretty tonight, too.

Ryan says that the call we make to vote could be the most important call we ever make. Nothing like extreme hyperbole to fire up the voting crowd.

Oh crap. I had to be reminded of Chris Richardson in the recap. I wish I could go back in time and give his car a flat tire so that he couldn't have made it to auditions. I know this sounds SO mean, but I'm so done with him. Oh, and La-Diva too.

Bottom three predictions: Clearly Melinda, Jordin and Phil were the best of the night. It's almost certain in my mind that Chris and Lakisha will be in the bottom, and I'm sort of thinking Blake might be in danger too. It's Blake or Phil. Go figure. It's gotta be half of them.

See ya tonight for one of the biggest shocks we've ever had on American Idol...Ryan is gay. No, wait...

8 Comments:

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

Good Lordy, your recaps always have me rolling in the aisles, but tonight's is just too chock full of goodies for me to even mention. I will be giggling myself to sleep. You nailed it all, you did.

 
At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I got out of tonight's program.

Yes, I knew it was going to be a "telethon" and I agree with you about the celebrity self indulgent charity galas, but all that aside there are other issues that I would like to bring up.

I was greatly impressed with Simon and his "shock" about the state of the world. These rich people just don't get it. I just watched a "Simon" clip and he said it is all about awareness, and he didn't have it. I believe him, he has always been in his own world. He said you hear or see "blips" but until you see it first hand, it doesn't mean a thing. I think going to Africa has and will make Simon a better man.

I loved the inspirational songs. I loved Jordin's especially, as it is one of my favorite songs.

But, here is my point if I ever get there. I watched this show and almost got sick with sadness. I watched the horror of so many places. These people are human beings, just like us. It tears me apart.

No, Brangelina and Madonna and their adoptions don't tear me apart, that is one kid. They should take that money and save many! All for show! I also think Oprah's school is for Oprah's ego!

I watched something I never thought I would see tonight. I saw Simon humbled and like he said, "this place is right down the street from me, who knew?" when talking about the food bank.

I am still feeling sick, I can't get those images out of my mind and I am having trouble existing in this horrible world anymore, it just destroys me.

How could you watch this show, or any show for that matter that depicts the plight of your fellow human being and go immediately into "funny mode"..actually as you are watching it????

"Hahhahaha, look at those starving orphans..what kind of joke can I stick in here now"??

You don't always have to be "on". you could have written something from your heart tonight. It is not about the "cheesiness", we all know that American Idol is full of it. But, it is about how your heart feels when reminded that you had dinner tonight and thousands of kids will starve to death before you wake up.

Did you see that? That was a tear falling on the page as I write this!

So sad! I am just so sad!

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

Some of us cope with the world through humor. I agree...parts of what we saw last night were just horrific. I do occasionally write pieces from the heart (read back through the archives) but tonight just wasn't that night for that.

 
At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Cleo said...

"I wonder if the judges will be more charitable tonight because of the theme."

I think they were...

"Personally, I would like my charity dollars to go to help out Justin Guarini."

...and apparently you were, too. Hehe!! Why help him?! Hehe!!

I know that Idol has been hyping "Idol Gives Back" ad nauseum, but I applaud them for doing something to help the less fortunate. I especially like that they -- and NewsCorp -- made it easy for people who don't have a lot of money (like me) to pitch in by simply dialing their phones. I attempt to vote for at least one contestant (Melinda) at least once every week, but I am not very patient; if I can't get through after a couple of tries, I will give up. Well, last night I dialed and dialed until I got in three votes for Melinda and two for Jordin. And I just fed a needy child for a day. Yay!!

You know, I have always had an inexplicable "thing" for Simon. Now it's a little less inexplicable.

Lightening up,
Cleo

:)

 
At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I would have found the article a bit more clever if the Justin Guarini line hadn't been directly lifted from another blogger at phillyburbs. Your comment about him was especially distasteful because you met him at the Texas Idol tour and you know it's not true. You tried so hard to appear cool and witty but anyone who has seen Justin with TWO hosting jobs on TVGuide, or saw his pictures from "Fast Girl" in People knows just how lame it was. Sorry to see you've fallen into the 'hack writer who doesn't bother to research' his stories category.

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

I haven't ever been to phillyburbs, so if they wrote something similar to what I wrote, then good for them. Great minds think alike, and oddly enough, so do ours.

I never met Justin, and I've never been to the Texas Idol tour. That being said, I haven't got a thing in the world against him. In fact, I really really appreciate how hard he is working.

It's just a joke. Get over it.

 
At 7:19 AM, Blogger Louise7 said...

Melinda Doolittle in her first-ever Nightclub engagement

November 17-21, New York City

FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY, the nightclub proclaimed "Best of New York" by New York Magazine, will debut MELINDA DOOLITTLE in her first-ever nightclub engagement from November 17 – 21. The “American Idol” finalist will perform an intimate evening of jazz standards, pop hits and Broadway classics, in addition to selections from her CD, Coming Back To You. All shows are at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street). For ticket reservations and club information, please call (212) 339-4095 or visit feinsteinsatloewsregency.com and TicketWeb.com

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melinda Doolittle in her first-ever Nightclub engagement

November 17-21, New York City

FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY, the nightclub proclaimed "Best of New York" by New York Magazine, will debut MELINDA DOOLITTLE in her first-ever nightclub engagement from November 17 – 21. The “American Idol” finalist will perform an intimate evening of jazz standards, pop hits and Broadway classics, in addition to selections from her CD, Coming Back To You. All shows are at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street). For ticket reservations and club information, please call (212) 339-4095 or visit feinsteinsatloewsregency.com and TicketWeb.com

 

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