Wednesday, March 16, 2011

American Idol Top 12 perform songs from the year they were born

Why don't American Idol producers just call it Lite FM or Classic Rock Night instead of "Songs from the Year the Performers Were Born"? I know, I know: that would scare viewers -- and the point of the evening or exercise is to see if American Idol contestants can make these 15- or 20- or 25-year-old songs sound contemporary. Yeah, good luck with that.

I am already bored and depressed by American Idol Season 10 after initially being excited, mainly by the new judges (note to Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez: we won't hate you if you tell someone they sucked) and (supposedly) more contemporary approach and producers. I thought I was going to get new and exciting this season. Instead I'm hearing same old, same old. Paging Simon Cowell's X Factor.

Granted, there is nothing truly new under the sun -- or on the Idol stage: James Durbin is Adam Lambert 2.0 (the hetero version); Lauren Alaina is a younger Kelly Clarkson; and Casey Abrams (whom I think is very talented) is a younger, hipper Taylor Hicks (whom I also really liked -- as did millions of American Idol voters). But I was hoping for... I don't know. Some excitement.

ANYWAY, on with the show, which is live this week.

NAIMA ADEDAPO singing Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It": OMG, stop with the water works already, Naima. Get a grip, girl. (Listening.) Erg. Uh. Merp. Not good, dawg. Not good at all. Very pitchy -- or as we now say, she was really off-key. WHA?! Steven Tyler LOVED that?! Are you kidding me? What's in his cup? OMG, did Jennifer Lopez just say that Naima is consistently pitchy?! Hallelujah! And yes, Randy, the vocals were a mess. FINALLY, the judges are getting tough. I like Naima Adedapo, but she is not this year's American Idol -- and unless someone does a whole lot worse, she's gone. My grade for that performance: C

PAUL MCDONALD singing Elton John's "Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues": Question: How does Paul sing when his pants are so tight? Just curious. Though the bigger problem is his cold. "Not good," says the spouse. And I have to agree. I think it's the laryngitis, but still... it's not a good performance. Very pitchy -- and just weird. I feel bad for the guy, because we know he can sing, but that was a hot mess. And J. Lo, it did NOT sound good. (So much for Jennifer Lopez getting tough -- or at least honest.) Thank God for Randy Jackson? Our grade for Paul McDonald (cause the spouse is watching with me): C

THIA MEGIA singing Vanessa Williams' "Colors of the Wind": Bleh. Yawn. Why is this 16-year-old singing like some 50-something lounge act? Simon Cowell would be all over her. Again, thank you, Randy Jackson. That was boring as hell -- and the only reason it was safe was because Naima and Paul were worse. Memo to Thia: STOP SINGING BALLADS. Remember the magic two words: SONG CHOICE. Balladeers don't make it to the top. Our grade for Thia Megia: B-

JAMES DURBIN singing Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There for You": Is everyone going to be off-key tonight? SIGH. Sadly, James Durbin is no Jon Bon Jovi. Also, is it me, or does this arrangement seem really slow? Maybe it's just because I'm bored. Again, don't know what Steven Tyler was listening to. That performance was mediocre at best -- not great, J. Lo. Though it was better than the previous three performances. Anyone else missing Adam Lambert? Our grade for James Durbin: B

HALEY REINHART singing Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight": Is she trying to sing "I'm Your Baby Tonight" as a country song? A jazz standard? I'm confused. What I want from you -- and the rest of the Idol contestants -- Haley, is one really exciting, pitch-perfect performance. Really, is that too much to ask? Uh-oh, the dreaded "You look so beautiful tonight," from Jennifer Lopez. So you know something bad is coming. Ding ding ding. Haley's performance did sound forced. And Randy's right on: it was just OK. So is Haley the one going home tomorrow? Can we send all five of them home tomorrow? Cause I don't think I can take this for another two-plus months. Our grade for Haley Reinhart: B-

STEFANO LANGONE singing Simply Red's "If You Don't Know Me By Now": Of all the songs Stefano could have chosen.... Sigh. Why do I feel like I'm at a wedding -- that's winding down? The sad thing is, so far this is the best performance, vocally, of the evening. But I am soooo bored. "Schmaltz," says the husband. Bleh, says J-TWO-O. (J-THREE-O has stopped watching Idol.) For the record, I said it was the best performance of the evening before Randy did. Ahem. Our grade for Stefano Langone: B+ (barely)

PIA TOSCANO singing Whitney Houston's "Where Do Broken Hearts Go": Can the producers please ban Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Mariah Carey songs? Pleeeease. Where do broken hearts go? They watch American Idol and blog about it... week after week. SIGH. I like Pia's voice, and she's on key, but it's a very safe, very boring song and performance. I want to hear her sing something that gets me out of my seat, not falling asleep in it. But I know the judges will love it. Ding ding ding. Thanks for proving my point, Steven Tyler (and J. Lo and Randy). And that's up tempo? Geez. Maybe for a funeral. Our grade for Pia Toscano (who I predict will make it into the Top 3): A-/B+

SCOTTY MCCREERY singing Travis Tritt's "Can I Trust You with My Heart": Quick aside: The spouse swears that Scotty looks like Alfred E. Newman, and I have to agree. He also agrees with me that Scotty can sing -- and will have a career whether or not he wins Idol. Not my favorite song, but I do love Scotty's voice -- and he brings it every time. At some point, he's going to have to branch out, but you know what? I think he'll be fine. I don't know if he can trust me with his heart, but he can trust me with a vote. For me that was the best performance of the evening. Our grade for Scotty McCreery: A-

KAREN RODRIGUEZ singing Taylor Dane's "Love Will Lead You Back": Just. Shoot. Me. "CHEESE," says the spouse. Make that Cheez Whiz. "But she's got some serious boots." That spouse, he can find the good in anything. "And she's got some serious hair." True dat. She's also got some serious pitch problems. Yet another uninspiring, boring performance. Yawn. Karen will be safe this week, but she's a goner. Our grade for Karen Rodriguez: B (for bleh)

CASEY ABRAMS singing Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit": Pretty gutsy move. "He takes the prize for the night," says the spouse -- and I have to agree. "It was so anti-Thia," he added, which was a compliment. And I liked it too. HAVE NO IDEA WHAT J. LO WAS BITCHIN' ABOUT. OMG, SHUT UP, Randy. It's not all about you. And I disagree about it not being great vocally. Thought it was a great performance. In fact, it may have been my favorite of the evening, mainly because it didn't bore me -- and I like Casey (though those blinding white calves!). Our grade for Casey Abrams: A/A-

LAUREN ALAINA singing Melissa Etheridge's "I'm Not the Only One" with the flu: Good song choice, but no song is going to sound great when you have the flu. Someone get the contestants a family-size bottle of hand sanitizer -- stat. (Wonder how many contestants are going to make it to the results show tomorrow?) Considering Lauren has the flu, not bad, dawg. Not bad. Not great, but clearly the girl can sing -- and that was MUCH better than the first four performances tonight. And props to Lauren for giving it her all despite having the flu (and clearly not being 100%). We give Lauren Alaina an A-, and if she had been healthy, I bet it would be an A. (She is so going to be in the Top 3.)

JACOB LUSK singing Heart's "Alone": I hear the ticking of the clock -- and can't wait for Idol to be OVER. Love Heart, not loving Jacob's performance of "Alone." Just not working for me. Bad song choice. And Jacob can sing. Just too outside his wheelhouse -- and pitchy. The judges will love it though -- and Jacob will be safe. Our grade for Jacob Lusk: A-/B+

That's it for me, fellow American Idol masochists (i.e., viewers who watch American Idol week after week expecting something different). Will post who got sent home tomorrow tonight. My prediction as to who will be in the Top 3 this year: Pia Toscano, Scotty McCreery, and Lauren Alaina -- and, if he stays healthy, Casey Abrams (making it my Top 4 pick).

UPDATED: And Karen Rodriguez gets voted off Idol island. Should have been Naima, based on singing, but Karen was destined to adios eventually (IMO).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you mentioned yet that someone needs to teach Paul McDonald how to command the stage? His awkward movements are painful to watch and distract me from listening to him.