Tonight’s especially boring show was themed, “songs from when the contestants were born”, but you wouldn’t be faulted for thinking it was “songs from when the contestants were boring”. Because tonight was unfailingly boring. Sure, there were a couple of good performances, but there was nothing especially interesting tonight, even with the reveal that Jermaine the Not So Gentle Giant was sent packing for concealing multiple violations of the law, including giving the authorities a false identity in two instances. Even the baby pictures that the producers mine for laughs didn’t perk up the night. And why did Jeremy have to get the rosado slip last week? All the ones I love to chop are taken away from me.
According to his parents, Phillip was born a premature baby born with dead bowels who almost didn’t make it out of infancy. That may explain why he sings like he’s taking a dump on stage. Phillip shit out Hard to Handle without his usual energy (due to the kidney stone surgery), but that didn’t stop him from the sex faces.
In the mentor portion, Jimmy and Will I Am said he nailed it after singing a few uninspired bars, but I did not hear that, and I am wondering if they’re pumping up Phillip now so they can cut him down later. It was a totally bar band level performance with zero distinction in his vocals other than generic rock growl. I will cut him some slack for having had surgery, but that was pretty meh.
It looks like they’re front loading the front runners so they can keep giving them the pimp spot later on in the season. Jessica is half Mexican and half Filipino, but acts Japanese, covering her mouth when she giggles in that Japanese schoolgirl way, and flashing the peace sign (I know her voting number was two, but that’s a classic Japanese girl peace sign).
Jessica’s voice is very mature and powerful, but Turn the Beat Around is total shit. I never noticed how dopey the lyrics were — it’s like an unfunky, dumber version of Dance to the Music, where there’s even a part to sing retardedly about the flute player.
Having Jessica sing moronic nonsense like this is akin to using a thoroughbread for pony rides. She didn’t help matters by playing charades on stage. At first, I thought she kept tapping her ear because her in-ear monitor was slipping out. Then I realized she did this every time she sang, “love to hear percussion”. Then I realized she was acting out many parts of the song, which I find totally annoying. I’m surprised she didn’t spin every time she sang, “turn the beat around”. Actually, that might have been interesting.
When Jessica really goes for the big note, her jaw unhinges and it looks like she’s going to swallow a capybara whole. I call that her Siobhan Magnus moment.
I mentioned last week that HeeJun’s singing style is 100% noraebang. Noraebang is Korean style karaoke, done in a private room and singing in front of your friends instead of total strangers. Some sell beer and some are BYOB. The BYOB ones are the best. Most of the songs in the noraebang catalog are love songs — I don’t think there are even a dozen songs that don’t have “I love you” in them. The style is overly earnest and emotional, and sung with a hand on your heart. This is HeeJun’s style, and it’s really much too treacly to be interesting. If you try real hard, you can hear some soulful color in his voice, but he one of the weakest singers in the competition.
The only thing HeeJun has going for him is his schtick — what was funny at first has a grating, Yakov Smirnov quality to it now. Dressing like Jerry Lewis was part of the schtick tonight.
I don’t know if HeeJun studied the game tape on Scotty McCreary and decided that holding the mic oddly could be his new trademark, but for some reason, he sang most of the song tonight with the mic off to the side. Again, this isn’t a snippet of time — he sang the entire second half of the song like that.
I hated the way Let’s Stay Together started — Elise was too breathy and it dragged. Then she jumped into the song feet first, and while it did not blow me away by any means, it showed off the nice rasp in her voice and it was better delivered than last week performance. However, I never really got to feel the song, as it was missing emotion. Elise joked that “a lot of babies were going to be made tonight” because her performance was going to be all hot and sexy and shit. I don’t think there were any babies made tonight because of the performance, but I’m not really sure what’s going on with her hand and Ryan’s crotch.
She should know that crotch touching is Skylar’s trademark. Don’t be infringing — get your own thing.
DeAndre’s mother said that when he was 4, he sang at a Christian choir, which is when she realized he could be destined for greater things. She claimed someone told her they would see him one day on American Idol, “no joke”. Okay, let’s do the math — DeAndre was born in 1994, he was four years old in 1998, and Idol the airwaves in 2001. So either she got all her memories jumbled up or this person foresaw not only DeAndre on American Idol, but the show American Idol itself. A goddamn Nostradamus he was! Or maybe he was a time traveler.
Jimmy Iovine was trying to push No Doubt as hard as he pushes his Beats shit. Beats is the Monster Cable of audio equipment — you can get the same quality at a much lower price, and most of what you’re paying for is marketing. Do you know who used to manufacture Beats for Jimmy and Dr Dre? Monster Cable.
In the end, DeAndre sang Endless Love, and while it wasn’t an awful, fiery trainwreck, it wasn’t that good. His voice was thin and nasally, and he didn’t deliver a single lyric with any conviction or proper emotion. Making doe eyes at the camera just doesn’t cut it. And apropos of nothing, here’s a chop I forgot to post last week.
Hey, is this American Idol or the Junior Miss Podunk Pageant? Shannon’s rendition of One Sweet Day made me wonder if I was watching TV at home or sitting in folding chair at the county fair. Her voice, of course, is nowhere big enough to carry that song. On the bright side for Shannon, she hit all her notes and didn’t embarrass herself like last week. But she’s still the Vote For The Worst pick.
Colton “sang” the entirety of Broken Heart with a shrill, adenoidal whine that reminded me of a dental drill. Even Steven, who repeats platitudes instead of critiques, outright hated it. When Colton makes that self-congratulatory, ferret-faced smile that drips with douchey smugness, it reminds me of Tom Cruise and then I want to punch him in the face.
I’d love to see him get kicked off, but he inexplicably has fans. I suspect many of them are The Nightmare Before Christmas die-hards.
Oh, and get your own trademark — Colton is clearly ripping off Phillip’s “sex on stage” schtick.
While I hated the Jimmy Iovine influenced arrangement of Heaven (featuring way too many stops for my tastes), and while Erika didn’t go as balls out in the chorus as I would have liked, I absolutely loved the makeover she got, shedding the previous frumpy bridesmaids dresses for an all black ensemble with flowy lace sleeves and leather pants. The new, improved hair was just gilding the lily. One day she will look that good and sing even better and maybe it won’t be so crazy to think she’ll make the finals. She’ll lose to a Phillip, granted, but I’m starting to think she’s graduating her fodder station on to the top three.
Of course, this means she’ll be the next one out. I have the worst luck when it comes to making predictions.
Was Bonnie Raitt’s version of Love Sneaking Up On You ever this shouty? Holy crap, I couldn’t tell if Skylar was in a singing competition or a hog calling contest. And she slammed her head into things as a baby? That picture of a scabby baby Skylar looked like a Star Trek alien. It’s amazing they didn’t call CPS.
Oh, and did Skylar touch her crotch this week? Yes. Yes she did.
At a very specific angle, when stars align and everything is just so, Skylar looks like Amy Poehler. NOT AS ATTRACTIVE, mind you, but there ya go. Otherwise, she looks like a soccer mom. But she’s only 18. She’s like a 2 year old car with 100,000 miles on it. Maybe it was all the infant head banging.
Joshua’s mom kind of looks like Aretha Franklin, which may explain the source of his amazing pipes. Then again, he didn’t suit up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an All-Pro defensive tackle, so maybe this looking like someone thing has no merit.
Joshua sang, When a Man Loves a Woman, which, presumably is in reference to his mother. And he sang the shit out it. My only tiny issue with his bravura performance is that it was stuck at 11 the whole time. Then again, this is Idol — if he didn’t so this, the judges would criticize him for it and no one would pick up the phone to vote.
They brought out like, a gallion pounds of cooked crawfish for Joshua, which gave me a food boner. For some reason, the whole thing was more awkward than funny, like he was embarrassed to suck the head and pinch the tail on national TV. I will say, Joshua is very classy — when he eats crawfish, he does so with his pinky out. That’s good manners. I’m sure he does other things with his pinky out. Like… drink tea. Yes, drink tea.
I assume that Hollie did a lot better with Power of Love in dress rehearsal, because the judges really wanted to praise her to the heavens over the performance. Randy even tried a feeble attempt at suggesting it was the best performance of the night. But it sooo wasn’t. Hollie’s enunciation is so slurry and strokey that it rendered the entire first verse unintelligible. She was also quite pitchy in the beginning, and while she recovered a bit for the chorus, she tanked the last glory note, choking on it a bit before veering off key. I wish the judges could all extemporaneously critique the performances instead of reciting canned blather, but they all have dress rehearsal notes they go off of, and they seldom stray unless the results are egregiously worse in the live show.
We met Hollie’s family tonight, and they finally explained that they are English immigrants. I know a lot of people were wondering why she had a Madonna-esque Englishy accent. It also explains the albinism. As pasty as she is, it’s even worse without the make-up and contacts.
Even though she kind of choked tonight, Hollie has become one of the front runners in the competition. I dunno — to me, she’s like a Pia Toscano Mini-Me — quite the belter (although Pia voice is bigger) but so stuck in her little rut and only comfortable inside it that it’s gotten stale for me already.
I don’t have time to get into the Jermaine situation, although I thought the whole segment was rather tasteless and exploitative — in other words, it’s got Nigel Lythgoe’s fingerprints all over it. I don’t think anyone will be voted off tomorrow — the past precedent when someone was kicked off in the finals was to add this week votes to next weeks votes and then kick off the person with the lowest combined votes. Of course, this will not be revealed until they whittle it down to the bottom two. So I implore you to DVR the results show.
You have been warned.