Sunday, March 29, 2009

…reacts to American Idol Top 10

One of the perks of my new job is having co-workers who are just as obsessed with American Idol as I. So it was only a matter of time before we arranged our first ever American Idol party! I absolutely adore the girls in the typing pool!

We’ve managed to assemble a good cross-section of tastes too. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if we all liked the same singers. My girl, H., loves Allison the best, S. is an Adam Lambert groupie, and G. is firmly on Team Gokey – we give her a hard time about that, but love her anyway. I’ve been reluctant to pick a favorite so early (I always end up getting disappointed), so for the purposes of this event I decided to back Kris Allen. He was my favorite last week, so I figure… what the hell…

So we met at G.’s house, had some cocktails, made some silly signs to wave around, ate some junk food, and sat down to enjoy our first group American Idol watch. As fun as it was, slicing and dicing each performance (and each outfit) as it came up, I found that my focus wasn’t as tight. I only remembered a few of the performances, and even those were a little hazy a couple of hours later. So my coverage will again be short and sweet, but maybe that’s a good thing…

Proceed to the jump…

So this is Motown week, apparently (I hadn’t realized), and our lovely yet entirely unhelpful guest mentor is Smokey Robinson. I love these songs and everything, but I’m really itching to hear these singers take on some current songs.

First up is Matt Giraud singing Let’s Get It On. This song has always made me uncomfortable… probably because the lyrics bring out the prude in me. Sorry, nine years of Catholic school does something to you that cannot be undone. Anyway, he starts at the piano (booooring) but quickly gets up and takes it to the audience. Matt continues to impress me. If his vocals continue to be this good, I think he’ll be contender for the Final 5 or so. Randy is still pushing the Justin Timberlake comparison, which is more than generous, in my opinion, but hey… if Matt keeps these kinds of performances coming, maybe he will have earned it.

Good God, what is Kris Allen wearing? Did he bedazzle a military shirt? Is this what we can expect if DADT is repealed? Whatever, he’s still hot. Tonight he sings How Sweet It Is with his trusty guitar on his shoulder. It’s good – not as good as last week – but good. As much as I like him (and as cute he is) he needs to have great performances every week if he’s going to survive in this group of awesome male vocalists. He’s probably in third place at the moment, behind Adam and Danny, but Matt and Anoop are right behind him. And then there’s always Lil and Allison to consider. Yeah, he has to deliver every single time with memorable performances and top-notch vocals if he wants to make it.

One of the girls in the typing pool, and I won’t say who, is so absolutely angry about Scott MacIntyre that she’s probably going to hell. She’s being saying all along that he doesn’t have the chops or the personality – he’s been getting along based solely on the fact that he is blind. We all wince when she says it, but you know, she’s right. At least tonight’s performance brought her some satisfaction. This was… not good. His rendition of You Can’t Hurry Love was mediocre at best, and we’re finally starting to hear how flawed his voice is. He has some great moments, for sure, but there are parts of his range that fly straight up his nose. Sometimes he sounds like a goose. Or a buzzer. You know? And you know the party’s over when the judges have been given permission to criticize him, which they do tonight. So, Scott’s days are numbered. But seriously… well done on the pink pants. Why not wear horrendous colors, especially when you don’t have to look at them. Sheesh.

The girls in the typing pool are obsessed with Megan Joy’s tattoo. I mean, I don’t think we even watched her performance because we got sucked into a debate on the pros and cons of body-ink. You know, I don’t think her tattoo is particularly cute either, but do we really have to spend 10 minutes talking about how, when, and why she got it? Do we really care that much? All I know is she sang For Once In My Life and it was alright, but Simon, who used to be her biggest fan, did NOT like it and told her she was in trouble.

Anoop, who still hasn’t managed those eyebrows of his, is going to sing Ooh Baby Baby which is the prettiest song with the most unfortunate name in the whole world. It’s another terrific performance, and one in which Anoop gets to show off his amazing falsetto skills. I’m not sure why he dressed like he just got out of study hall, but I guess that’s his thing.

Michael Sarver is here to tell us that he Ain’t Too Proud to Beg. Well, I’m begging him to go away. Yes, I’ve had it. It’s so hard to believe that I actually liked him for awhile. Compared to the rest of the field, he’s nothing but a better-than-average karaoke singer, and that just doesn’t cut it anymore. And he sings like he’s having a seizure. All that jaw-flexing and facial ticking… singing should not appear painful!

Lil Rounds is ready for her closeup as she sings Heatwave. I love this song, although I can’t hear it without thinking of the opening of Sister Act (CLASSIC!). She looks fantastic… new weave and a gorgeous flapper dress. The singing, however, is… just ok. She gets a little screechy and screamy, especially during the yeah-yeah section, which I’m tempted to forgive because it’s hard NOT to scream a bunch of yeah-yeahs, but it wasn’t her best vocal. I really need Lil to have an Idol moment here soon, because she’s borderline boring and I can’t stand the idea of her leaving before the Final 5.

The highlight of the night has to go to Adam Lambert. Why? Because YUM! Somehow, the girls and I didn’t see Adam when all the Idols came out at the start of the show, so when the lights hit him at the beginning of this performance, we all went a little slack-jawed. I may have drooled. He sang Tracks of My Tears entirely in falsetto, and it was sooo beautiful. And I don’t know if he meant to channel a young Elvis, but if he did, I guess I finally understand what my mom is always talking about. Simon called it the best performance of the night (DAMN STRAIGHT RIGHT) and Smokey stood up to applaud. The girls all said they were moist at the end of it. First I said eww! but then I said me too.

Here comes Hokey Gokey to kill my buzz. And dammit if he isn’t singing one of my favorite songs, Get Ready. To be fair, I didn’t hate it as much as I could have… I thought his vocals were great. But there’s something about the way he performs that irritates me. I thought it might be his tendency to run around and jump and act all sugared up, because there’s energetic and then there’s crazy, but that doesn’t quite seem to cover it. I’ll have to think on this further. At least Simon finally stopped pimping him so much. Maybe the tides are turning.

Finishing the show is Allison with Papa Was A Rolling Stone. Allison is another person in danger of being a little bit boring, despite her amazing talents. You have to switch things up every single episode to keep the fans in your corner, and I’m not sure Allison is giving us a whole lot of variety. Clearly she’s a great singer so I’m pulling for her, but she has to step out of her comfort zone soon or she’ll just be buried in the middle of the pack.


No surprise there. Michael Sarver got the boot. I really won’t miss him. The big surprise though was seeing Matt land in the bottom 3. That’s like… a travesty. It’s probably a good thing, though… he had a little scare so America will keep him out of the bottom for a little while. That’s how these things work. At least Scott wound up down there – he totally deserved it. I hope he underperforms again and goes home next week.

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