Well, kids, American Idol 8 is in full swing, and we are finally down to the top… thirteen? Okay, whatever. While I have been watching the whole season up to now, I decided early on to leave the blogging to Gordon until we got down to the real competition. So we’re now there, and I will try to provide my recaps of the previous night’s performances in as timely a manner as my crappy day job allows. After having read Gordon’s live blog of last night’s show, I can tell that we are going to have some serious differences of opinion. Seriously.
Let me start off by saying that Michael Jackson night is a frightfully bad idea. So many of his songs are so ingrained in our collective consciousness that it is nearly impossible for anyone to do justice to the originals. Also, although many people don’t remember this fact, Michael Jackson, along with an impressive amount of mega-hits, also wrote a whole lot of really bad songs. I only thank god that the producers have not decided to do two weeks of Jackson songs like they did with the Beatles last season, which turned out to be two weeks of utter murder on the ears.
So, how did the Idols do last night? Shut up. I mean, let’s find out!
Lil Rounds: Singing (or shouting, to be more accurate) “The Way You Make Me Feel,” Lil Rounds brings an air of confidence and excellent stage presence to the table. Her vocals are not wonderful, though, and definitely inferior to her last performance. Still her attitude and self-assuredness allow her to pull it off. Too bad everyone was apparently too embarrassed to tell her that she had a dead jellyfish sitting on her shoulder.
Scott MacIntyre: I’m very, very worried that we are going to see someone fall off of the stage before this season ends. Anyway, the blind guy sang a lot better last night than he did in the previous round. The problem is, he’s still just not a very good singer! I’ll give him a few points for improvement, though. After Scott’s performance of “Keep The Faith,” Simon made two comments that made me angry. First, he said he hated the song because he had never heard it before. By that logic, Simon must hate every song, because at one point in his life, he had never heard any of them. Next, when Scott said he was just trying to be artistic, Simon said, “Not on this show.” Ouch. That will do a lot to boost the integrity of an overblown karaoke contest.
Danny Gokey: “PYT” is one of those Jackson songs that can’t really be touched, but Gokey decides to touch it all over. He brought some good energy to the stage, but I felt that his gruff vocals seemed overtake the melody and make the song sound messy. He’s a crowd favorite, though, and he will not be going anywhere.
Jasmine Murray: Jasmine sings “I’ll Be There” and she sings it passably well. She was a little off key in several spots, but it was a nice enough performance. However, I don’t think this girl has what it takes to make it much further in this competition. I’ll give her two more weeks, three tops.
Kris Allen: Why anyone would pick “Remember The Time” is beyond me, and it doesn’t do Kris any favors. I have a very strong suspicion that his guitar was not plugged into an amp, because his strums did not seem to match what I was hearing. The singing was pretty average. The only thing that would have made this performance any good would have been if Kris had gone full-on Micheal Jackson and danced like an Egyptian before disappearing into a puff of sand. Unfortunately, Kris will not be going anywhere either because of his looks. He is this season’s marginally talented pretty boy, like Ace Young, Jason Castro, or Chris Richardson from previous seasons. The female vote will push him through for at least four or five more weeks.
Alison Iraheta: Alison picks “Give In To Me,” and she rocks it! I really like this girl’s singing, but I think her absolutely goofy, awkward, spastic personality may prove to be her ultimate downfall. Seriously, she should lay off the crack.
Anoop Desai: Anoop decides he doesn’t want to stick around anymore by singing “Beat It.” That was even worse than last week. I think Anoop’s failure to take this competition even a little seriously has destroyed his chances of advancing any further. Oh well, he always has a career as an understudy for the next “Harold & Kumar” movie.
Jorge Nunez: I like Jorge and his usual enthusiasm, but this performance of Jackson 5 classic “Never Can Say Goodbye” was not great. He somehow managed to drain the song of all of it’s energy, emotion, and melody. The song was barely recognizable until the last thirty seconds. Looks like the kid from Puerto Rico may have purchased a one way ticket home.
Megan Corkrey: Before the music even started, I knew by the sheer ridiculousness of the song choice that “Rockin’ Robin” was going to be bad for Megan. It’s far too young of a song to be taken seriously. Despite that, Megan actually sang better than she has in previous weeks, but still nowhere near good enough to justify her position on this show. However, I think her looks will carry her through to safety, because that’s the kind of show this is. Right, Simon?
Adam Lambert: Singing “Black and White,” Adam’s performance started out pretty rough, with a particularly nasally vocal not helping things out. However, Adam wisely decides to turn on the hair metal screams, like a weird hybrid of Axl Rose, Rob Halford, and Robert Plant. Personally, I hated it, I hate his voice, and he looks like a Pokemon. That said, it was very entertaining to watch, and he’s safe by a mile.
Matt Giraud: “Human Nature” is an excellent song. Matt takes it and doesn’t really do anything special with it, but his voice sounds pretty good, and I think he did enough to make it through to next week. One note, though: songs should have an ending. This one just kind of died. Not a good idea.
Alexis Grace: Alexis tries to bring some soul to “Dirty Diana” (get it? They told her to “dirty it up,” so she picked this song and dressed like a whore!). I’m sorry, I’m just not buying the “soul” vibe from this chick. It seems forced and completely out of her range. She didn’t sing horribly, but it wasn’t anything great. The judges praised her enough and she got the final spot, so she’ll be fine.
So there it was. So far, only Alison Iraheta has distinguished herself this season. Everyone else sang somewhere between “awful” and “pretty okay.” If I were to pick two to go home, it will be Anoop and Jorge, with Jasmine rounding out the bottom three. I’m not optimistic about this season so far. I thought last season was the worst ever, but we’ll see if this one has the ability to top it.
One last note: They have GOT to get rid of the four judges format! It’s too freaking long to listen to four people critique a performance. Especially since Randy Jackson says the same thing every night. Add to that Paula’s increasingly long-winded and incoherent rambling, and we’re actually getting more judging than singing! You know, I read a short interview with Paula Abdul a few weeks ago in which she stated that she’s had some back surgery that has completely cured her pain, and now she is completely off of the painkillers and feeling great. Judging from her teary-eyed and unintelligible blathering last night, I think she has most certainly left the painkillers behind and moved onto something much stronger, like heroin. Or paint thinner. Someone please fire her. Please. Randy too.