Sunday, March 08, 2009

…reacts to American Idol Top 36 Group B

Yeah, so I guess I’ll comment on the rest of the American Idol preliminary rounds. I’m in a why-the-hell-not kind of mood.

Question: where are all the good female singers this year? I mean, has the addition of Kara to the judging panel made them incapable of recognizing female talent? If so, throw her ass out straightaway because this season has turned into a sausage-fest. Don’t get me wrong – the guys are awesome; there’s eye-candy AND talent this year in that department, but I’m sad that I don’t see any women capable of carrying on the Kelly/Carrie tradish. At least, I don’t see one yet.

Group A only gave us one female standout in Alexis (that is, unless you dig Tatiana, which I kind of do, but only because I like my reality tv served on a crazy bun with a heaping side of social ineptitude). Group B continued this trend, but with some slight improvements. For one thing, I could tell the girls apart, and I even managed to remember some of their names.

Jasmine Murray was a huge disappointment. I know the judges overuse the “song choice” critique, but that’s all there was to this debacle. I appreciate what Jasmine was going for (I think) with Sara Bareilles’s Love Story, but that song exposed all of her weaknesses when she needed to sing something that showed off her strengths. Based on that performance, it’s hard to know if she has any strengths at all. So sad, really.

The same can be said for Matt Giraud. I love Vida La Vida as much as the next person, but this was not his jam. I wonder if these contestants are psyching themselves out. No one wants to be called a one-note, but this was so far left-field for him (note: the rare appearance of a baseball reference. It’s like a unicorn around here). Here’s the thing: I would rather be called a one-note than an epic failure. It’s true: the judges get tired of the same thing over and over, but the audience tends to eat it up. Advice for Matt: do what you do well, and tell the judges to STFU (well, don’t… but maybe think it in your head).

Jeanine Vailes was an unknown prior to this performance of Maroon 5’s This Love, and afterwards… still an unknown. (note: she’ll fix this on the results show by wearing suspender-shorts and a flannel top. She’s not the first person to try lumberjack chic and she won’t be the last, but big ups for wearing something memorable.)

Nick Mitchell slash Norman Gentle. This guy… I don’t know. A part of me wants him to win the whole damn thing because he so sincere. It takes a lot of courage and self-esteem to humiliate yourself on TV. Do you think he knows that he embarrassed himself? Was that the whole point? I guess what I’m saying is: I don’t know how Nick wants me to take him. Am I laughing with him or at him? Or both? I think both, which is why his shtick doesn’t work. He needs to commit to one voice in his head and stick with it. Otherwise he is just wasting our time. I suppose he is a good singer, but I can’t suppose that we’ve seen him at his best because he was too busy humping the scenery and acting like a fool. I’m sad to say this, but, Nick: And I Am Telling You… pretty sure you’re going.

Allison Iraheta – LOVE HER! On a night when everyone else was mediocre, this gal came out and put it on blast. Her rock vocals were genuine, and she managed to hit all the notes. In fact, it was pitch perfect. It was the only truly exciting performance of the night in my humble opinion – it helps that I love to hear Alone in just about any context. I do want to mention, however, that on any other night it might not have gone over so well. It was so close to the original – I mean, there wasn’t any making-it-her-own. It was a carbon-copy - an AWESOME carbon-copy - but a carbon-copy none-the-less. That said, I’m very excited to hear her sing some more.

Kris Allen is, like, sooo cute. I don’t even mind that he’s a worship-leader, or youth pastor, or Jesus freak or whatever the kids are calling it these days. How many church musicians can we stuff into one season, ya’ll? If Kara doesn’t work out, will they replace her with the Holy Spirit? I wasn’t a huge fan of his rendition of Jacko’s Man in the Mirror, but it was proficient and that, apparently, is plenty to get past the rest of these losers.

Megan Corkrey showed up to sing Put Your Records On and single-handedly bring back crimped hair. Can we all agree that she failed on both counts? Unlike some of the others, I thought she made a good song choice. She just sucked at it. However, I like her and I can see what the judges see in her. I’m going to chalk this one up to nerves and bad dancing.

Matt Breitzke’s rendition of If I Could Only See was passable but utterly forgettable. Very karaoke. And really… we only have room for one blue-collar worker around here and the roughneck already won a stool.

I actually liked Jesse Langseth. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to show up on one of these preliminary shows and establish a presence when one hasn’t had a single hair on one’s head featured in any audition footage. Seriously, I don’t remember her at all from the previous episodes. Her performance of Betty Davis Eyes had plenty of soul, and I particularly like the Joss Stone quality of her voice. Definitely one of the better female performers of the night. (clap, clap… clap).

Everything I like about Kai Kalama is completely erased by his hair. I don’t like hair that isn’t a bad wig but looks like a bad wig anyway. Does that make sense? Let me elaborate: I like wigs that are wigs and I like hair that is hair, and I accept wigs that look like good hair and maybe even hair that looks like a good wig, and I always appreciate bad wigs that are bad for the sake of being bad. But hair that looks like a bad wig or wigs that look like bad hair are UNACCEPTABLE and that is Kai Kalama to me. Such a shame too, because he had a tender back-story involving a sick mother and a life on hold, but he didn’t milk it enough apparently (he should have talked to Gokey), because I didn’t feel anything. Let’s put him in the decent but forgettable pile with the others, shall we?

I have absolutely no opinion about Mishavonna Henson and her performance of Drops of Jupiter. Take that back. I hate that song so she was doomed with me. I do, however, love her name. I may name a future pet after her.

And here comes Adam Lambert. Remember what I said about wigs? Well, that applies here too, but to a lesser degree. It’s bad hair that looks like a bad wig, but not so bad as the one on that other guy. I’m going to stop trying to explain this to you. So except for the hair, he is like sex on that stage, or at least as close to sex as anyone can be when standing within 50 feet of Ryan Seacrest. There was self-indulgence and some over-singing, to be sure, but he was one of maybe three performers who actually proved they could sing, so… I got my Satisfaction, even if he can’t get any.

So who did America choose? Results are after the jump...

The top two were no surprise. Adam electrifies me in a way that I can’t explain, because if I could I think I would be ashamed, so I’ve decided to ignore everything and just look at him in hopes that things will become clear or I’ll pass out or something. And of course Allison made it through, because DUH. The final spot went to Kris Allen and I was a little surprised with that one. I don’t have the voting tallies in front of me (and I really don’t care) but I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that he just barely squeaked ahead of Jesse and Megan, thanks to the almighty force of his cute, which is great and powerful and absolutely correct. I’m going to dub it the Righteous Cute and form a cult, and my followers and I will wear Snuggies and eat only fruit-flavored popsicles until the Chosen Hotness returns.

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