IDOL REMAINS LIVE 4: METAL VS. IDOL
American Idol week 10
Wed The final 11 perform the hits of Motown Records
Thur Live results + one freak-out
Misery Index Goddammit, I just knew that this was coming after Randy Jackson’s shout out to Motown founder Barry Gordy a few weeks back.
Tyler-o-meter Waaaaay too nice to this gaggle of lames
To borrow a phrase from Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, let’s talk a bit. First, I reiterate that the purpose of Idol Remains is to examine American Idol through a Heavy Metal microscope. If metallists have an edge on other genre fans, it’s our ability to identify the genuine, the real, and the compelling. We’re not about only beauty, but reality, force, and truth.
Therefore, to us, the American Idol construct sucks donkey balls. True, the show ultimately suffers only a moderate shortage of skilled singers, yet Idol’s bombastic production, ramped-up human drama, and hollow, obtrusive promotional partnerships cannot mask its dearth of credibility. See, I could stand up in English class and fluidly read from Crime And Punishment, but as I have not faced the challenges of life in 19th century Russia, my performance is bound to the realm of recitation. Likewise, nearly none of these Idol sucks emote or express in any real way. They are karaoke singers, impersonators, and students of mimicry. Not artists. Not in this lifetime.
And there is no place for these phonies in modern music. Their ranks are already swelled by the physically gifted and socially fortunate: ambitious models, drugged-out jewel thieves, puggish reality stars, and sidelining actors. Enough.
And yet, week ten of Idol was all about opportunity. Opportunity for training-wheels singers to exploit the pinnacle of American hit-making. Opportunity for big bonerz music producers and Idol minnows to hijack secondhand glow from Detroit’s finest bygone moments. Opportunity for Motown to hawk its back catalogue. Opportunity for the TV to help our society to tweak our ethnic and political history. Opportunity for Idol producers to preemptively explain the fallacy of soul music sung by the privileged and soulless (Motown’s hits were cough “music for everybody”). Best of all, it was an opportunity for all of us to glory in the majesty of Motown: It is not about chops; it is about emotion, experience, and backbone.
Idol so clearly lacks all three. So, only this last and most beneficial opportunity was missed. How sad. This show sucks! Alas, your Idol Remains recap of doom:
The bottom three: Thia, Stefano, Casey
Name: Casey beardo
Last week: Idol face-mulleteer stank up “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
This week: A handful of glop failed to hold back his hair, a roomful of producers failed to hold back his screeching.
Song: “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye
Kill me? Yes. Recorded music’s greatest single falls square in veiny Casey’s wheelhouse, but dude does little more than continue to hammer at America’s gag reflex with unconvincing soul man-isms.
Steven Tyler: “Perfect pitch and a perfect mix of crazy-ass, out-of-control ego.”
Voted off — Saved by judges aw shiiiiiiit
Name: Thia Megia
Last week: Yawn to the power of sigh plus shudder.
This week: Thia finally gets my heart pumping, though only during her wave bumper when she ducked out of the lighting and momentarily resembled an crazed drag queen.
Song: “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” by Martha & The Vandellas
Kill me? OMG Yes. Though consulting producer Jimmy Iovine was “pleasantly shocked” by Thia’s confident rehearsals, I was just regular shocked at her Teddy Ruxpin-like ability to sap a song’s lifeforce. #IgnorantThursday
Steven Tyler: “You’ve taken a step out. Just great. I’m good, I’m good with it.”
Name: Jacob down with Jesus
Last week: Jacob asked how does he get me “Alone”? Um, not without earplugs and ecstasy, dude!
This week: Iovine warns Jacob to back off the licks and runs; Jacob pledges to “relax off of” the song. But did he do it? Kinda.
Song: “You’re All I Need To Get By” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Kill me? Yes, but revive me only for Jdw/J’s Seal-style low-to-high run that set up his finale. Tasty.
Steven Tyler: After taking the stage to bark a Hallelujah into Jdw/J’s mic, “You held it back; you milked it, man.”
Name: Lauren the winner
Last week: Lauren shifted into third gear for a measured run at a ranty, chest-thumping rock song.
This week: Her own anti-hater speech and Iovine’s veiled hints at divaism set up a trademark safe, unemotional Lauren performance.
Song: “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by The Supremes
Kill me? No. She left me hanging, but hey, she did surpass the song’s Robin Williams version (here, 4:17).
Steven Tyler: “Well, baby, you ripped that song another beauty mark. I don’t think you listen to anybody about anything, and I love that about you.”
Name: Stefano dimples
Last week: Stefano channeled his inner pillow salesman with a snoozy regurgitation of a regurgitation of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.”
This week: Stefano is also warned by Iovine to avoid oversinging. Thank you, Jimmy. Tricky Stewart warns Stefano to connect with his audience by keeping his eyes open. Thank you, Tricky. Stefano fails to heed either of them. Fuck you, Stefano.
Song: “Hello” by Lionel Richie
Kill me? Yes. Stefano’s rootless, inept attempt at this borderline joke song recalled not Lionel’s mastery, but rather Seinfeld’s “Helllooooo!” gag. La-la-laaa.
Steven Tyler: “You ramped up too soon. Just gotta pull it back a little, man, and you’ll have it.”
Name: Haley Reinhart
Last week: Haley skirted elimination last week by virtue of her opponent’s unwillingness to sing in English.
This week: Haley skirts elimination by virtue of her skirt.
Song: “You Really Got A Hold On Me” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Kill me? No. Haley’s consistently unsure footing seems to indicate that she has the pipes but not the purpose. And we know what that means: future career as sexy backing vocalist.
Steven Tyler: “I feel [Randy] and I felt her. It was beautiful. You don’t look a day over fabulous.”
Name: Countreh Boah Scotty McCready
Last week: Look, I don’t want to just beat up on Scotty cuz he’s a pandering cheeseball with a silly voice and goofy movements, but … Okay I don’t know how to finish that sentence.
This week: Scotty professes a lack of awareness of Motown, blacks.
Song: “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder
Kill me? Yes. Though I bet Sergeant D would laud Scotty’s use of wiggerish arm movements.
Steven Tyler: After comparing this fail machine to uber-stud Harry Nilsson, “You, more than anybody, know that you can’t make a three point shot from under the net. You took a big chance in doing that [song]. I loved it; you really ripped it.”
Name: Pia the pageant singer
Last week: Hearts, broken or otherwise, do not “go” anywhere. End of discussion.
This week: Iovine states that “Pia was born with a great instrument.” Hey-oooo!
Song: “All In Love Is Fair” by Stevie Wonder
Kill me? Super yes! Beautiful gowns are for pageants, uniformly lovely ballad singing is for recitals. Get the fuck off the stage, srsly.
Steven Tyler: “I think you are the closest star in this American Idol universe … If steppin’ out, puttin’ on your sneakers, and kickin’ some ass is what you need to do right by [the other two judges], then, guess what, I know you’re gonna do it.”
Name: Paul McDonald
Last week: Um … gosh I love that song “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues.”
This week: In his intro montage, it appeared that Paul understand Motown best among the Idol hopefuls. Then he mired a Smokey jam in non-committal folk-rock bullshit. Appearances can be deceiving.
Song: “The Tracks Of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Kill me? Yes. We all must be sick of searching for his nutless tenor beneath the backing vocals.
Steven Tyler: “Like Bob Dylan, like Willie Nelson, your voice is different.”
Last week: ‘Fer-‘Pez vowed to no longer overlook Naima’s wonky pitch.
This week: Feel-bad Naima sings Motown’s feel-good classic, caps it by blowing an angry-looking kiss.
Song: “Dancing In The Streets” by Martha & The Vandellas
Kill me? No. Naima benefited this week from a snappy arrangement, but again, it defies logic for her to stop singing in order to dance. Between dancing and shitty pitch, which is audible on a single?
Steven Tyler: “I don’t know what to say again. It was E to the Z, ooh tweedly-dee. [You] ate the stage; you were beautiful!”
Name: Heavy Metal James Durbin
Last week: James took on Bon Jovi’s best ballad + pyro!
This week: James took on poverty and racism as the only Idol contestant who knows about being an underdog.
Song: “Living For The City” by Stevie Wonder
Kill me? No. James may be the only Idol hopeful who seeks out the spotlight. Ironically, it’s his competitors who seem Tourettic as their eyes compulsively avoid the camera.
Steven Tyler: “I think it sometimes takes a little crazy to make a difference in this world.”
MetalSucks’ Idol Remains returns next week just like all the Idol contestants cuz none of them were fucking cut. Great job, voters! Keep music and TV shitty!