Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Top 11

Man. Last year, it seemed like I had all the time in the world to watch and critique the show. Last week was filled with a severe bout of food poisioning and a trip of out town. I haven't seen ANY of the performances. Sorry, kids. Will do my best to stay on target for the rest of the season. And while I didn't watch it, I was THRILLED to hear Lacey is gone. Small graces, I'll take.

It's official. If ever I thought for a moment that the Idol Producers weren't my active arch nemesis, that time is over.

By bringing Miley Cyrus onto this show, a line has been drawn in the sand.
A line made of hungry red ants and weapons grade uranium.

Watching her "mentor" these folks? My brain explodes and my blood boils. To proclaim her as ANY kind of talent (other than a money generating machine) with anything of value to impart is an insult to Talent. Of course, AI is solely focused on making money, so the choice makes sense on that level.

As much as the judges like to talk a good game about music ability, this show has their foot firmly planted in style over substance. Last week's guest performer of Ke$ha is exactly what I'm talking about. While "Tik Tok" is one of those pop songs that has a rift that gets stuck in your brain, it's more about the producing and packaging of that song than the actual singing.

I caught a you tube vid of Ke$ha's performace of "Blah Blah Blah" on AI and thought that her 15 minutes are at 14:25 and counting. I mean, spring for some "rap singers" who can actually rap and or sing. And please, give Cher her headdress back. Because, you, my dear Ke$ha, are not even a poor man's Cher.

Ke$ha is just the harbinger of things to come for the Idols once they go on tour. The producers of AI would pluck out their own left eye and sell their grandmothers on the street to get even a small slice of a cash cow tween fan generator the likes of Miley.

Please take your hunched over posture and Sunset Boulevard hooker clothes and go challenge you tube to another dance battle, Miley. Just get off of my television screen. Take your non-advice and go away. Far, far away.

Okay. Enough bitching. Bring on the songs.

LEE - The Letter (The Boxtops via Joe Cocker)
Well, Lee is cementing his standing as the next Joe Cocker with this song choice. I still like his voice and the fact that he put his guitar down tonight. But his voice isn't awesome enough to carry it all - he needs a bit more personality in his performance to get me to care if he makes it to the next week.

PAIGE - Against All Odds (Phil Collins...via a Mariah Carey cover)
Goof. She started the song off-key and never really righted the ship. Vocally, that performance was a hot mess. A hot mess that's been left out in the sun in a pool full of raw eggs and week old milk. Gah.

Worst vocal of the season? Uh...YEAH.

TIM - Crazy Little Called Love (Queen)
Oh, Timmeh. You wrung every bit of rock and soul out of that song. You are the Pat Boone of 2010. This is not a good thing. This is a very, very, bad thing. Like, "sign of the coming apocolypse" bad. Bad.

This was every word in the thesaurus that equates to "bland."

As much as I'm not a fan of High School Musical, to compare Tim's performance to Zac Efron is an insult to Zac Efron. I mean, at least that kid can sing and dance and can smile without making me think that he's been molested.

AARON - I Don't Want To Miss A Thing (Aerosmith)
If I was a religious woman, I would light a candle and send a silent prayer out to all the tweeners who a fanlits of Timmeh. That they should cast him and his Donny Osmond circa 1974 hair out of their hearts and embrace Aaron.

I'm not a fan of this song choice for him and I still think he doesn't have the experience under his belt to really go all the way, but this kid can at least sing. It's rough hewned, but he does indeed have talent and a voice. And after Paige and Tim, it was refreshing to hear

CRYSTAL - Me and Bobby McGee (Kris Kristopherson)
Oh, Crystal. You definitely lost points with me when you asked for Miley's autograph on your guitar.

Her fan moment with Miley aside, I go back and forth with Crystal. I like her voice and her attitude. I like that she sings barefoot on a carpet. She's been pretty consistant. Still, there's something missing peformance wise. I'm still waiting for her to draw me into what she's doing. I want a performance. I want my socks knocked off.

She's still a top contender, but personally, I'm still sitting in the coffee house. (And there's nothing wrong with that, I just want to have her take it to the next level.) If you've ever heard local performer Cathy Richardson sing any Janis song, you'd know what I'm refering to. Cathy makes you feel like you've been jolted by electricity when she covers this song. With Crystal, I just want another cup of coffee.

BIG MIKE - When A Man Loves A Woman (Percy Sledge)
I wish I could say I liked this performance as much as when he sang "This Woman's Work," but I don't. It's good. It's where the contestants should be. He's still in the front of the pack.

I think this was more about song choice not really killing it for me tonight. He's got a great falsetto, but tonight, he was good, not great. You've got to bring GREAT, every single time.

Hell, these folks don't even sing a full song. They sing like 90 seconds. If you can't be great for less than 2 minutes? I really have to roll my eyes at you disparingly and without irony.

ANDREW - I Heard It Thru The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)
Shot himself in the foot with this song choice...and the arrangement...and the stage performance. Right now, I'm putting him in the bottom three with Paige and Tim.

There was not once good thing about it. Not one.
He's lost his confidence. He doesn't know which way is up.

And at this point, I agree with Simon - he's had more than enough time to pull his head out of his ass and show us that the Paula cover back in auditions wasn't just a fluke.

KATIE - Big Girls Don't Cry (Fergie)
Okay. I'm not a Katie fan, but I have to admit this was a good song choice for her. Fits her range well, it's more contempory. An improvement, even though she sounded a bit sharp throughout.

I think she still needs a confidence boost and her youth is still working against her overall.

CASEY - Power of Love (Huey Lewis and the News)
Shockingly, Casey is still very pretty.

I have to say, I love the Tower of Power-esque horn section backing him up. These are the things I wonder about. Was the horn section his idea or the band leader's suggestion? Because that's the sort of choice I'm really curious about...how much input he's giving to the arrangement/orchestration.

I think Casey has the voice, the musical skill and the drop dead looks to make it all the way. But I agree with Simon that he doesn't add anything "Casey" to the song. It was just a standard, though well executed, cover of a 25 year old song.

With the first few guitar rifts, I was hoping for something a little Santana flavored, but just got the song, pretty much as Huey threw it down. Decent, but no Casey flavor in the mix.

DIDI - You're No Good (Linda Ronstadt)
I have a soft spot in my soul for Linda Ronstadt and since I missed last week, the last memory of Didi was her performance of Rhiannon, so I'm really, really, really hoping for the best.

Oooh...upright bass? Me likely. I'm really starting to root for Didi. There's something about the quality of her voice that keeps me listening. While this didn't measure up to the delivery of Rhiannon, I still thought it was pretty good. Good for standing up for yourself against the judges trying to box you into something you don't want.

Oh. And on an unrelated note, I love that Simon couldn't remember Lacey's name...even though she's only been gone a week. That's hysterical.

SADE - Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
While I love that they broke the mold when they made this girl. For me, this wasn't her best performance, it felt a bit on the screechy side. Still, she's on the better half of the coin and safe.

Bottom Three: Paige, Tim and Andrew
Should be Going home: Paige
Will be Going Home: Andrew

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