Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"I love grandmas": American Idol

by Libby

Another night, another episode of AI. Let us not speak of my predictions of last week, as nothing good could come from it. This episode kicks off with me wondering why in God's name they feel the need to divide the field of competitors equally between the sexes. Here's a thought: let's decide the top 12 of the talent show, by, oh, I dunno ... talent? Eh, maybe it's just me ...

The theme of tonight's episode was inspiration, as in, who in your life inspires you, which of course, simply devolved into a dedication-fest. Lovely.

Kicking off tonight was Phil Stacey. Good, old, bald, Phil supports the troops, seeing as he is one. In fact, Phil is enrolled in the Navy. PLEASE LET HIM SING "IN THE NAVY."


No. Phil instead sings "Missing You." Again, this is a performance that's just so-so until the rockin' chorus! Or something. It's not terrible but it's very 20 years ago. Blah. It's as though the contestants have no idea what year it is. Disturbing. The judges are vaguely approving, and to be honest, Phil doesn't deserve anything more.

The rest of the night is full of inter-familial dedications: LAME. Blah, blah, blah, I love my family.

Jared Cotter loves his parents. Congratulations. Less impressive than that, is his lackluster performance of "Let's Get It On." Simon is absolutely right in comparing this to some kind of crap-ass Love Boat song and dance. However, this does spawn THE Seacrest quote of the night: "Heh, the things we've all done to that song ... memories ... yeah ... " Seriously, has this man ever had sex? This is the least convincing innuendo EVER. Moving on.

A.J. Tabaldo also loves his parents, which is slightly awesome, because in the old pictures, his father resembles a hispanic Ray Romano. Sweet. Then begins the song-gender-confusion of the night, when Tabaldo sings a vaguely unsettling version of Nina Simone's "Feelin' Good." Despite Cowell's disturbed reaction to the song, the judge's where generally appreciative that it wasn't the crapfest they got last week. Simon even goes so far to say it was "nearly very good" which is the nice way of saying "almost not sucktastic."

Sanjaya Malakar, aka "the Indian David Cassidy" dedicated his song to his dead grandfather. Evidently, by choosing his grandfather's favorite song. "Steppin' Out with My Baby" was a strange choice, especially from a weak-voiced, teenager like Malakar. But don't worry, Sanjaya, this song will KILL on the nursing home circuit.

Chris Sligh fans are eventually going to hunt me down and hurt me. Because honestly, I couldn't even concentrate on Sligh's performance of "Trouble" because it was dedicated to his insanely hot wife. Now, it's not that his wife is drop-dead gorgeous but rather that there is a serious attractiveness disparity between the two which I could explain, but editor's would never let me publish. Ultimately, Slight is just ok and is more notable because he is different from the other contestants and sometimes just that is enough.

Nick Pedro loves his girlfriend and the gender confusion marches on. Pedro goes old school like the rest of the crop, because evidently, that's the only choice? I'm so confused. "Fever" I typically associate with female singers, and while Pedro is an okay singer, he spends much of the song atonal and off-beat. Still, the judges are pleased that it wasn't as bad as last week. Now there's something to be proud of.

Blake Lewis loves his parents, but as I mentioned last week, his parents are awesome, thus, this is acceptable. Lewis breaks out "Virtual Insanity" which is a welcome break from the craptacular spectacle this episode has exhibited thus far. Lewis is a departure. He is upbeat and modern and utterly different from the rest of the competitors. Randy and Simon are thrilled by the song and Simon, as per usual, disagrees. Par for the course. Lewis is my favorite, easily, and while not the best singer, he's original, different, and entertaining.

Brandon Rogers has quite the touching dedication to his deceased grandma. Then he whips out Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." Ugh. Strange. It's very touchy-feely and not very distinct. It wasn't showy and Simon is right when he says reiterates that this is a competition and the point is to distinguish oneself. Rogers didn't do that tonight. Yearbook pictures or no.

Chris Richardson also had a super sweet dedication to his grandma and then performs a song with the lyrics, "I could be the one to take you home ..." Grandma. *shudders* Beyond that slight creepiness, Richardson really turned it out. His performance of "Geek in the Pink" was, if nothing else, distinct and memorable.

Sundance Head suffers from several of the episodes recurring flaws. He picked an old school song (at one point does old school become so common that it's just 'school' again?) has a disproportionately hot wife and is overly praised for not being as horrid as last week. Seriously? What is going on here? Head sings/howls "Mustang Sally" and it's not bad. But again, it's not necessarily good, either. Head singing always makes me think of the phrase "White Man Singing" ... kind of the "Dead Man Walking" of AI. He'll go for awhile, but this is no Idol.

Sucked: Sanjaya Malakar and Nick Pedro

Sayonara: Jared Cotter and Nick Pedro

Now watch the tweenagers prove me wrong.


Todd VanDerWerff said...

Actually, "Feelin' Good," while made famous by Nina Simone, was originally performed by a man.

It has become a female standard in recent decades though, so I don't think you're off the mark.


Libby said...

:not smart: