Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"Thank God for the background singers!": American Idol

by Libby

It's Tuesday night, and it's time for "real" AI to begin. Being a relative newbie to the ways of the Idol world, I was unaware before this point that the main criteria considered in choosing a guest mentor is how creepy they look, in order to lessen the creepiness of Paula Abdul, evidently.

That being said, Simon and Seacrest's homoerotic name-calling, reached a new fevered pitch tonight, with the two exchanging barbs about being closeted and high-heeled shoes. Eh.. it was uncomfortable, obviously, for Melinda Doolittle, as it was IN THE MIDDLE OF AN INTERVIEW WITH HER, but ultimately, she couldn't have felt any more uncomfortable than ALL OF AMERICA. One can only imagine what the unseen footage from their trip to Africa contains, but it's a safe bet that it is there that a person can finally see what spurred this latest, lamest, lovers' quarrel. Sheesh.

With that being said, was I the only one who felt awkward about Ross' involvement with the show. Perhaps I'm alone, but, really ... Dreamgirls, anyone? Weird.

Okay, on to the actual show. My apologies for having so much random filler, but I guess that's inevitable after watching so much of this show. Seriously ... two hours for this? Unacceptable.

Brandon kicks off the show with a Ross classic and promptly forgets the words. Seriously, what the hell? I know 3 year olds that can sing this song without messing up the words. What a 'tard. As if that weren't bad enough, Rogers has started doing this weird lean forward thing while he sings that makes it look like he's in one of those old V-8 commercials. Not even a little bit cool. Overall, he just seemed nervous and not very spirited. He doesn't sell things very well, and he just doesn't seem all there. The judges tend to agree, as knowing the words to a song helps one's performance considerably, as a general rule, though Paula likes it, because she's ... not always all there. Go figure.

The next performance is so much better than Brandon's, there really aren't words. Let me say this: I am not a gusher. I do not like things, as a general rule. It's just sort of who I am. But Melinda Doolittle is truly amazing. I wish she was not on this show, because to even compare her to LaKisha, seems like a step down for her. As per usual she was phenomenal, even doing some crap-ass song from "The Wiz."

As I mentioned last week, Chris Sligh should be performing better than he is, and that just continued on this week. From losing the glasses to remaking a Motown classic into a crappy(er) Coldplay song, he was just missing on every single cylinder. The boy has got to realize that makes him special is being quirky and different. He's never going to be a heartthrob, so why lose the glasses? "Endless Love" is timeless, so why not just sing the hell out of it? It's hard enough to lose when you don't have talent, but to piss away perfectly good opportunities is even worse.

Gina turned in a perfectly acceptable showing tonight and is doing what she needs to do to stay in the competition. It seems that we're still at the point where one just needs to stay in the middle of the pack in order to not be eliminated, and she definitely did just that. Her song choice of "Love Child" was spot on, as that's about as punky as Diana Ross gets, and right now she's just doing enough to get by ... and ultimately, isn't that what America is all about?

America ... are you serious? This is unacceptable. It is not acceptable that I have to sit and listen to Sanjaya attempt to sing every single week. Sanjaya is to singing what Rex Grossman is to football. Both of them look absolutely stymied as to why they are where they are and what they're supposed to do next. Their marginal talent isn't enough so they just throw it all up in the air and hope to God that everything turns out alright. Well America, we saw how well that worked in the SUPER BOWL, and yet, you keep voting for this poor, embarrassed/ing man child. Ugh. Evidently Sanjaya attempted to sing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" this week, though his lack of projection meant that I couldn't even hear him. Whatever. Diana Ross mother-loves him just like all the grandmothers out there who insist on voting for him. Evidently, America has found it's new non-threatening male heartthrob. Sanjaya IS the new David Cassidy. I hope you're happy America.

As if that wasn't enough, we had yet ANOTHER Idol forget the words to the song they were singing. Excellent work, Haley. As though you didn't have enough going against you, including your inexplicable need to have hand gestures for every word you say, you can't even remember the words to the one song you have to sing this week. Kudos. However, she's attractive, so she'll stay. Much like how she made it into the top twelve. Haley's performance was so, so quiet and pitchy and meh, but she has breasts and isn't afraid to use them, so she stays. Quality, huh?

I would like to go on record and apologize for my unfavorable comparison of Phil Stacey to a grey. This was obviously an unfair comparison, as Stacey looks much more like this than any alien I could find. God bless the Yellow Kid! That being said, Phil had a fine showing tonight, though I'm concerned by a trend with him: During the verses, the man sounds like your typical hack-lounge singer, but during the choruses, he always manages to really turn it out. I'm just confused. He was boring tonight, but good enough. Sad, but true.

LaKisha (or Kiki, I guess)(seriously, KIKI?) was fine tonight. Nothing tremendous, but great for AI standards. Blah, blah, blah, I just don't care. Melinda outshines her in every possible way, even down to WARDROBE. I'm just not overwhelmed.

Blake did something the judges hate tonight, and I can't say I completely blame them. Lewis attempted to 'modernize' a Motown hit, while failing to realize that there is no need to modernize the classics. It is, indeed, why they're considered classics. I do respect his decision to do so more than that of Chris Sligh's however, because Blake seemed like he was truly trying to make the song his own, trying to put his own spin on it, which to me, is what would make this show stand out from being just a big damn karaoke contest. But evidently, I'm on my own on this one.

Fantasia, dammit, I mean, Stephanie, sang some song I'd never heard of and hope never to hear again. For one, the song was crappy; for two, it appears that she sang a crappy song crappily, which is never a good thing for someone PARTICIPATING IN A COMPETITION. Sheesh. Some people never learn.

Chris Richardson, pretty as he is, picked another crappy song that I'd never heard of. As a general rule of thumb, I think it's to one's advantage to pick a song that has an actual chorus, but maybe that's just me. He's just so, so, pretty, and while he can't sing that well, he won't go soon ... he's just too nice to look at!

Now, for me going out on a limb: Jordin Sparks may very well be your next American Idol. While not the best singer, she's easily the most marketable (read: most attractive) contestant with the best voice. I love Melinda and evidently there are people who love Kiki (shudders), but mark my words, America likes pretty people. And Pretty Betty has got it. (Further explanation of "Pretty Betty." 'Ugly Betty': pretty ... see: Pretty Betty. *sighs* I hate it when I have to spell it all out for you, people.) That being said, Sparks broke out her second song from a cartoon tonight (lay off people, the girl is 17 -- though I am really looking forward to her inevitable performance of "Gaston" from "Beauty and the Beast") and did a bang-up job. She deserves the respect she's getting and is definitely a contender.

Overall, tonight was yet another lackluster one. And people wonder why I loathe this show ...

Abominable: Who else? Sanjaya

Arrivederci: Chris Sligh.

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