IDOL REMAINS LIVE 2: RIDIN’ HIGH TONIGHT
American Idol week 8
Wed: The final 13 perform
Thur: Live results
Misery index: Sweet justice/Random
Going into Thursday’s American Idol live results show, I was encouraged by its promised 60-minute runtime. That should leave plenty of time to slash the Idol ranks down to the deserving few. But then, Thursday’s broadcast opened with a gaseous Idol group medley of Michael Jackson tunes. (Hey question, if the vocals were pre-recorded in studio, why was Stefano out of tune? And shit, aren’t all Idol hopefuls ostensibly in possession of live singing skills?) Next up after that bit of bad Broadway, a Hooray For Everybody-style spot starring the would-be idols for a compact car line. Then, a lengthy crossover ad for a new Hollywood thriller which included some words of wisdom to Idol contestants from the sage, experienced Amanda Seyfried. Soon after, former Idol runner-up Adam Lambert (above left, with Heavy Metal James)performed his 2009 hit. Then Sean “Shiddy” Combs performed his new Kanye-aping single; his advice to the budding vocalists? “Keep god in your life.” Shudder. It seemed like no singer would ever be eliminated.
And then one finally got the boot (below in red). One!? Man, this Idol slog is gonna wrap later than the freaking NBA post-season. The good news is that this week, Idol contestants got to work with Jimmy “Check out my red headphones” Iovine and some big-bonerz producers like Don Was and Tricky Stewart. And there was plenty of Steven Tyler hilariousness to counteract giga-hog Jennifer Lopez. Nice.
The bad news is that our prolonged nightmare continues. It was all there: The contestants’ near-simultaneous placating and contradicting of the judges. The marathons of thinly-veiled excuses. The fruitless quests to disguise soulless imitation as art. Even for me, making fun of this shit is easy. I feel so unchallenged. Sigh. Here’s what happened:
Name: Lauren the winner
Last week: Idol favorite urged by judges to pump it up, take it there
This week: Idol favorite fails a second time to get out of second gear
Song: “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain, Lauren’s ah-dull whom she effortlessly surpasses
Scoop: Pitch-perfect Lauren may have been lulled into complacency by adoring collaborators Iovine and Was
Solution: Idol producers should’ve instead enlisted Mutt Lange, writer of her song and banger of its singer
Steven Tyler: “I wish it had been a little bit more kick-ass, please.”
Did she bitch? Yes, with added heavy lower lip and mopey posture.
Name: Casey the beardo
Last week: He put a spell on the judges. Because they’re into corny shit.
This week: He got by with a little help from some non-white friends
Song: “With A Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker, who Casey says “doesn’t look that hot”
Scoop: Casey’s wholly unconvincing soul-man schtick is less Cocker, more Cosby
Solution: Ham-fisted Idol producers might consider ceasing to imply minority acceptance of Casey’s socially dubious routine by ringing him with a chorus of African-American singers.
Steven Tyler: “You are a rainbow of talent. A plethora of passion.”
Did he bitch? No, but the cosmos struck him down.
Name: Ashthon Jones
Last week: Pitch-challenged Ashthon got crud all over us via Monica’s “Love All Over Me”
This week: Paid tribute to idol Diana Ross per last week’s orders from ‘Fer-Pez
Song: What’s with the Diana Ross get-up? Is this American Impersonator?
Scoop: Ashthon is on track to break the world record for highest output of excuses, choreographed winks
Solution: Next week, she might select a song with absolutely no chord changes that invariably cause her to jerk right out of tune. Oh wait, there is no next week for Ashthon.
Steven Tyler: “I think there’s a lot more in there than you are showing us, and that you’re going to.” Snicker.
Did she bitch? Though voted off, Ashthon was Thursday’s only performer in an effort to win the judge’s “save.” Nope. She’s out.
Name: Paul McDonald
Last week: Pearly-white Paul bleated and curtseyed to “Maggie May.”
This week: His tribute to totally legendary raconteur Ryan Adams spurred spontaneous audience clapping.
Song: Hang on — dude, Ryan Adams is your idol?
Scoop: Paul’s fey squeaking caused ‘Fer-‘Pez to turn away, an act she explained as gauging the crowd’s reaction
Steven Tyler: “I love your voice so much that it doesn’t matter whose song you do.” Even one by a no-talent like Ryan Adams.
Did he bitch? A sidestage interview helped Paul to further suck up to Adams and doubt America’s ability to “get it.”
Name: Pia the pageant singer
Last week: Pia stood there singing “I’ll Stand By You”
This week: Pia stood there singing that ballad from Half Baked
Song: “All By Myself” by Celine Dion, dedicated to her presumably gay dad
Scoop: Yeah sure America needs a tight, young piece with flawless delivery to resuscitate Dentist Office rock.
Solution: Strap that arm down.
Steven Tyler: “You just polished that apple — Happy International Women’s Day today.”
Did she bitch? Her comments were inaudible from beneath all that makeup.
Name: Heavy Metal James Durbin
Last week: James rocked Idol with Judass Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.”
This week: Pitch miscues marred an otherwise pristine run at Macca’s third-best post-Beatles jam.
Song: “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney
Scoop: Randy Jackson sez “James Durbin is dangerous, America! This man can sing!”
Solution: Praise may stunt Durbin’s momentum, so he’d better nail “Coming Home” by Cinderella next week
Steven Tyler: “You’ve taken everything that you’ve ever felt and kicked it into next week.”
Did he bitch? His earring seemed happy!
Name: Haley Reinhart
Last week: Versatile, perfectly-poised Haley wowed Idol with Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’.”
This week: Haley commits to Idol history a most singular, daring performance.
Song: “Blue” by LeAnn Rimes
Scoop: It took about five replays for me to determine if Haley’s sultry, Twin Peaks-esque performance flew or flopped. That means it was freaking interesting. Stop the presses.
Solution: Like Lauren, Haley distinguishes herself with a near-perfect pitch, tone, and rhythm. Now she just needs to take a cue from Pia and blow the fuckin’ doors off this competition.
Steven Tyler: “So, so fine. Thank you very much. Un!”
Did she bitch? Before Jackson even opened his mouth. And then continuously. Unwise.
Name: Jacob down with Jesus
Last week: My TV is still exhausted.
This week: Jacob’s number one guy may be J.C., but his number two guy is R. Kelly.
Song: “Fly” by R. Kelly
Scoop: This guy is an advertisement for the mute button. And microphone bite-guards.
Solution: Both big pay-offs on this song were disastrous and served to expose Jacob’s pitch issues underneath all that warbling.
Steven Tyler: “Pure passion. Pure music. I can’t even judge it. Your wings and your voice will fly, soar way beyond your wildest dreams.” Like Napoleon Dynamite.
Did he bitch? Um, weird. Jacob wasn’t allotted time to say a thing.
Name: Thia Megia
Last week: Thia was boring as whale shit.
This week: Hey doesn’t her name kinda evoke a Tylerism? Like, “I wanna feel ya on your thia-megia”? Okay sorry I’ll just see myself out…
Song: “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin or Nat King Cole or Michael Jackson. Fuck if I know.
Scoop: Thia is not a huge follower of Charlie um “Chapman.” But a huge fan of lite-jazz pap!
Solution: Like Pia, Thia is a show dog. Her skill is imitation. Sorry.
Steven Tyler: “I liked the front better than the end.”
Did she bitch? Tearfully begged America for another chance to tuck us all in.
Name: Stefano Dimples
Last week: Shiny Stefano won a wild card despite y’know being a crappy singer.
This week: Stefano teamed with producer Polow Da Don to disco up some pop soul rock.
Song: “Lately” by Stevie Wonder
Scoop: Hey Polow Da Don is modest. Like me, Anso Big Nutz.
Solution: Whenever I get all uptight about some suckbag skating through the competition on looks or demographic appeal, that suckbag is eliminated the very next week. So, the solution is swift, brutal elimination. With lasers. Next week.
Steven Tyler: “It was soaring like a volcano.”
Did he bitch? He opened his eyes eventually. That’s a feat.
Name: Karen who reminds everybody she’s a Latina
Last week: My brain remains in mid-yawn.
This week: Unwisely opts to impersonate her ethnically obvious idol.
Song: “A Song Anso Hates” by Selena
Scoop: It’s clear that Karen has never established an emotional connection to this song she’s sung since age 8.
Solution: Can mimicry give way to artistry?
Steven Tyler: “Let’s see it next week. You’re welcome.”
Did she bitch? Selena wouldn’t bitch.
Name: Countreh Boah Scotty McCreary y’all
Last week: A hil-hil, y’all
This week: More life lessons from a 17-year old self-described yokel.
Song: “The River” by Garth Brooks
Scoop: Y’know, with every passing week, ‘Fer-‘Pez more closely resembles the child of David Brent and Miss Piggy.
Solution: I don’t know, but a huge cowboy hat might obscure his George W. Bush face. Oh and next week, sing this country classic.
Steven Tyler: “You know, someone wrote a song and the lyrics go ‘The carpet’s all paid for/God bless the TV/Let’s go shoot a hole in the moon/And Roy Rogers is riding tonight.’ Well, you were riding high tonight.” And Steven Tyler is high tonight.
Did he bitch? No, but expressed satisfaction with his promise to branch out and bring a “whole different Scottie.” Oh yeah, stud, you are branching the fuck out.
Last week: Sleepy, slinky Naima reintroduced America to Porgy and Bess.
This week: Reggae diva Naima reintroduced America to frenetic dancing, breathlessness
Song: “Umberella” by Riheeanna
Scoop: Naima again breaks new ground for Idol, this time with queasy Five Percenter-speak and a wildly uncomfortable shout-out.
Solution: Naima is a real poise problem cuz Idol is not a platform to further individuality. Just look happy, girl.
Steven Tyler: “You’re crazy good. I love ya. You brought another little something and I adore you for that.”
Did she bitch? Duh. She’s from Milwaukee where bitching is an official language.
MetalSucks’ Idol Remains returns next week where by god Idol better cut more than one singer. There must be blood.