Thursday, February 28, 2008

American Idol: Top 10 Men!

Troy and I didn't blog about the top 12 women last week, because we were so meh about their performances, we couldn't drum up enough energy to lift our listless heads off our couch cushions and snark. So, we'll have a brief interlude about the women's performances last week to start off, and then we'll launch into the men's performances from Tuesday night.

Troy, how sucktastic was the women's night last week? I think I accidentally slipped into a coma after the biker nurse.

TROY: The women weren’t as bad as they were just…BORING (save for Amy Davis who seemed to be having an allergic reaction to hitting right notes). There are two or three that stood out, but other than that…yeesh.

TRACY: I'm just glad that they're done with the 60s now, so maybe that theme will not come back. Ever. Because obviously these 20-somethings are too young to know that decade's oeuvre (Excellent word alert!) well enough to cherry-pick decent songs.

TROY: I normally don’t mind the 60s theme, but you’re right: these contestants siz-ucked at song choice. Pick Ray Charles! The Beatles! ANYTHING better than “Where the Boys Are” and “Groovy Kind of Love.” ZzzZzzzzZ…

TRACY: Here's who I loved: I ADORE Amanda Overmeyer, aka "the biker nurse." First of all, I would KILL to have a raspy, Joplin-esque voice like hers. (I would not, however, smoke the pack a day it probably requires to sound like that, given that I find cigarettes aggravating in every way.)

I'm awfully glad SHE does, though, because her voice is FUN, and she killed with "Baby, Please Don't Go." For a moment, I forgot I was on my couch watching TV and was momentarily transported to a smoke-filled dive bar in Baton Rouge. (Most likely fending off all the leprechauns that truddled over to hit on me because I was the only woman shorter than they are in the place. Let's just take a moment enjoy the fact that I haven't done the bar scene in years.)

Girlfriend can SING, and I'm not ready to pronounce her a one-note wonder yet, like some of the haters out there. I bet she would still rule with a slower-tempo song like "Landslide" or "Mercedes Benz."

TROY: I like Amanda, but I hate how “over it” she acts. Listen lady, you’re on “American Idol.” If you think you’re better than it, then you should go audition for “Rock Star” or –ha- “Rock of Love.” Until then, plaster on that fake smile, wave your spirit fingers, and pretend you really REALLY enjoy singing “C’Mon Get Happy” with the rest of the AI lot.

That said, she has a really unique voice and is definitely refreshing compared to the Pollyannas in this competition. I get a little worried about the Exorcist-eque trance she goes into during her performances and about the giant dead skunk needs to be removed from her head. Still, she’s my favorite female in the competition (probably because I tend to gravitate toward the crazy ones in reality shows--I’m looking at you Omarosa and The Bachelor’s Trish).

TRACY: My other favorite was Alexandrea Lushington. Sure, she had a few missed notes, and you could hear a definite break where her head voice ran out and her falsetto began. But how cute was she in her suspenders? She picked a good song, she has a nice voice, and she's a great performer.

TROY: I thought Alexandrea was okay, dawg. Nothing really stood out as “favorite” material to me, but she has a nice voice and a sunny disposition. I’d put her in the next category.

TRACY: In my personal good-but-not-yet-great category were A'siah (Asi'ah? Asia'h? Where the hell does that apostrophe go?) Epperson and Syesha Mercado.

Syesha seems sweet, but her Tobacco Road suffered in comparison with Phil Stacey. PHIL STACEY, people. Syesha, you're talented, but pick something original next time.

TROY: You remember a Phil Stacey performance? Wow…

TRACY: I KNOW! As for Asia'h ... I've been listening to Janis Joplin's music since I was a wee lass. I love Janis Joplin. Janis Joplin is a rock goddess the likes of which we will never hear again. You, madam, are NO Janis Joplin. Never, ever, EVER put a pop princess spin on a Joplin classic again, unless you want me to find every biker nurse I can and march on Hollywood to protest your egregious defilement of one of the greatest singers EVAH. I do like Asi'ah's unique voice but ... Janis?! Really?!?!

TROY: I can’t really appreciate A’siah’s “Piece of my Heart” either. Only singers like Pink and Melissa Etheridge have the raw voice to cover Janis. As’iah’s version reminded me of something I’d hear on a Kidz Bop CD. Meh.

TRACY: Here's something so snarky, I'm not sure I should type it. But since it came from my husband Jose, here goes: I know the poor thing just lost her dad, and I am glad to see that she managed to come into the competition anyway. We all have different ways of coping with loss, and immersing yourself in something you love is probably a healthy way. But she's a LOT more bubbly than I could imagine being in her shoes. (Good thing our parents are immortal, Troy.)

TROY: (Seriously. They are. Thank God. )

TRACY: When she was talking after her performance--or, more accurately, squeaking and giggling--Jose looked over at me and said in his best approximation of a perky cheerleader staccato, "Hi! My dad's dead! Yay!"

TROY: Hate mail can be sent to: TracyMontoya at aol.com

I kid, I kid.

TRACY: I told you it was snarky.

I also find it tacky when Seacrest and the producers try to parlay her dad's loss into votes on her behalf. I do feel bad for her, and I know that no matter how happy she looks on the outside, she's traveling a rough road right now. But it's time to stop the whole Oliver Freaking Twist thing already and let her sink or swim on the merit of her voice, OK, Nigel Lythgoe?

TROY: I’m almost sensing shades of Kellie Pickler here. Remember the mommy and daddy issues that allowed the judges to look past her thin, whispy version of “Since U Been Gone” at the auditions? Remember how you, my sister, CRIED at her story and couldn’t wait for her to move onto the Hollywood round. People love a sob story that turns into success. I think Idol is thinking this is rating’s gold (which it’s not).

TRACY: I did NOT cry. I just got a little farklempt during her audition. I quickly got over it.

Oh, I also liked Ramiele Mabulay, too, although I thought her song choice made her seem old and dull. But she's got a great voice! Jose calls her Ramiele-'Bot--in a good way because she never misses a note.

TROY: Aw, I like Ramiele. She reminds me of Tila Tequila with about 100% less dirrty. She really doesn’t have much of a personality yet, but I really like her voice. I’m hoping she’ll pick some better songs and continue to showcase her voice, which I think could turn out to be a powerhouse.

TRACY: Everyone else, I was just meh about. Last week, I rightly predicted Joanne Borghella and Amy Davis would go home, with Kristy Lee "I-AM-BUGGING-OUT-MY-EYES-AT-YOU-BE-AFRAID" Cook as a possible alternate. But I think the country obviously felt too sorry for her poor, abandoned horse to vote her out just yet.

TROY: Joanne was horrifyingly bad. How do some of these people make it past Hollywood? She wasn’t even good TV! Bring back Nikki McKibbin!

TRACY: Fun Fact: You can't tell Kristy "Screw you and the horse you rode in on," because she SOLD IT.

TROY: Ha. I really do not like Kristy, but I can’t hate on her for selling her horse. Sometimes … you just have to …sell … your … horse (I don’t know where I’m going with that)? Kristy is a one-trick pony (no pun intended) and I’m hoping America sends her packing soon.

TRACY: That was very Paula-esque. So anyway, the men.

Do you like DAVID ARCHULETA yet? He took a big risk doing John Lennon's iconic "Imagine," but I thought he knocked it out of the park. And I loved it when he told Randy why he sang the third verse instead of the first. So! Cute! I! Could! Just! Squeeze! Him!

I think David is the one to beat, at the moment.

TROY: First off … am I going to hell for being reduced to tears of laughter during the YouTube clip of him singing “And I am Telling You” to the first round of AI contestants?

TRACY: No, there was definitely some EZ-Cheez in that video.

TROY: Okay … I really like David. The cynical part of me still thinks the Melinda Doolittle act is fake, but I can’t deny his contagious enthusiasm. He has a tremendous talent, and despite being 16, hasn’t annoyed the hell out of me (I’m looking at you Diana “C’mon ya’ll! Snellville!” DiGarmo). He’s the frontrunner, for sure.

TRACY: Onto my personal favorite, DAVID HERNANDEZ. When the band launched into the waka-waka-waka intro beat of his song, I turned to Jose in horror and wondered aloud if the boy was actually going to perform "Shaft." (!!!!) But fortunately, he'd merely chosen to kick some major ass with "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Although I love the Temptations, I'm not crazy about that song in general, but David was five kinds of awesome (one for each Temptation). I thought it allowed him to show off the range and power of his voice quite nicely. Now THAT was the way to end a song. Viva la raza! Mi amigo con queso!

TROY: The DAVIDs this year remind me of the EJay, RJ, and AJ debacle of season one. Bleh.

Anyway, unlike you, I lurve “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” I thought David was fantastic this week. He went from “meh” in my book to “a-meh-zing” (that was terrible--I apologize).

TRACY: :::mental forehead smack:::

TROY: Here’s hoping he can continue the upswing and represent La Raza in better ways than other media figures-- Jessica “Don’t Call me Latina” Alba.

TRACY: Word. Which brings us to the third David, DAVID COOK, whom I also love. I thought David did a fab job with "All Right Now," and I can't wait to see what else he comes up with throughout the competition. It strikes me as hilarious that even with his short hair, doofus sweater vests, and now-public declaration that he's a "word nerd," David can still come off as a "real rocker" and Robbie Carrico cannot.

That's because if you want to sing rock, you need the vocal bombast David Cook has. You need that sandpaper grit in your voice. You need his light and shade. You do not need the lilting tenor of a terrified third-grader with a cold singing "Kumbaya" solo in the church choir.

Do you HEAR THAT, ROBBIE "I'm-a-rocker-no-really!" CARRICO?

TROY: I’m disappointed in you. You didn’t address David Cook’s horrifyingly smug encounter with Simon this week. AWFUL. David went from one of my favorites to someone I hope gets kicked off SOON. I’d almost say it was as bad as Jacuzzi’s meltdown last week in terms of how creepy David was. He glared Simon down as if lasers were going to shoot from his eyes and strike the Brit dead.

My biggest pet peeve is when any contestant talks back to the judges and they are immediately downgraded in my eyes. David-- you’re dead to me.

TRACY: I didn't think he was THAT bad, but yes, he needs to stop it. Now.

Anyhoo, when ::finger-quotes::: "rocker" Robbie launched into "Hot-Blooded," I told Jose that I would only respect him if he took it up an octave and broke into the Foreigner falsetto at the end. He did not, hence, zero respect. Skunky hair, leather cuffs, and terrible kerchiefs do not a rocker make.

"Hot-Blooded" is one of those rockin', feel-good songs that make you want to drop to your knees and air guitar whenever you hear it. All I wanted to do during Robbie's version was swipe my daughter's toy "Wiggles" guitar and drown him out with snippets of "Fruit Salad" and "Play Your Guitar with Murray."

Son, I'm begging you Robbie, for the LOVE of HUMANITY, your voice just won't do the David Covington/Joe Elliott/Axel Rose thing. Give it up, and go sing some Barry Manilow or something. Because this is just starting to become uncomfortable.

TROY: AND THEN HE RIPPED OF THE WIG…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICyYiJiDGN0

Uh…anyway….

I don’t have the seething hatred that you seem to have for Robbie, but, at the same time, ditto? I do think Robbie is a total wannabe desperate to free himself from his no-hit-wonder pop star past. It didn’t work for Ashley Angel, and I’m hoping it won’t work for this faux rocker. His version of “Hot-Blooded” was less than and incredibly monotonous. I’m not getting the appeal at all.

TRACY: I thought DANNY NORIEGA redeemed himself after that awful tantrum he pitched last week. I'm guessing his mother charged backstage, grabbed him by the ear, and gave him a taste of what-for for completely losing his sh*t and embarrassing every Noriega who ever lived, because he was almost sweet last night. Actually, I'll admit, he was totally sweet. (Loved the "ish" dialogue with Simon!)

I do think he has an amazing voice, but he picked the wrong song and we only heard traces of that powerful range last night. Number one, Ruben Studdard blew my hair off with his version of "Superstar," and I swear, you could be Sting himself and you'd suffer in comparison. So, once again, I'm wishing that a contestant would pick something original next show. In fact, DANNY'S the one I would have loved to see do "Hot-Blooded." He would've worked the Foreigner falsetto--or better yet, just sang that higher octave in his chest voice like the badass he is.

TROY: I really didn’t think his “meltdown” last week was that bad, especially compared to Jacuzzi’s Tourette's and David’s smug face this week. However, while Danny has a fantastic voice, his ego is becoming overinflated. He’s definitely one of my favorites (mostly because he is so ridiculous), but I’m hoping he curbs the attitude a little bit and has a little more of that humble pie.

TRACY: You know, I rather liked JASON CASTRO's take on "I Just Wanna Be Your Everything." There aren't many people who can not only modernize an Andy Gibb song, but who make you want to get up and dance to it without jabbing your Saturday-Night-Fever finger all over creation. I think he got shafted by the judges.

TROY: I really liked Jason Castro last week, but I was left a bit cold this time. While I liked the modernization of this song, there were a few too many pitch problems. Jason’s social awkwardness about interviews was funny, but outside of that, he doesn’t seem to have much of a personality.

TRACY: MICHAEL JOHNS sucked. "Go Your Own Way" is an excellent song (and Stevie Nicks is the other goddess of the Church of Rock), but only if the singer doesn't sound like he's giving himself a hernia trying to hit the high notes on the chorus. Poor, poor Lindsay Buckingham probably wanted to shoot himself after that mess--or at least gloat that he's not in any danger of losing his job.

No wonder the back-up singers sounded like they were practically screaming to drown Michael out. But alas, the Dude from Down Under needed more help than even those three uber-talented women could give.

TROY: I was honestly worried for Michael Johns. That boy looked like he was in pain with the veinage in his neck and the red face.

TRACY: Perhaps he just needed some fiber.

TROY: I LOVE that song as well and I’m glad the judges stopped sipping on the Michael Johns sauce long enough to know this was HORRIBLE. It won’t result in him being eliminated this week, but I think there will be some love lost for the Aussie.

TRacY: CHIKEZIE started off amazing. His video was sweet (although who would change the pronunciation of his name just because a few idiots couldn't manage it? Have some pride, man!), and he proved to the world that he belonged in the competition with "I Believe to my Soul." But once again ... the snippy little comments to the judges. He didn't go completely off his nut like he did in his first outing with the top 24, but I still saw traces of last week's Ted Bundy moment there. Maybe he should borrow Danny Noriega's mom and get a grip, if he sticks around.

TRACY: Jacuzzi (No, I don’t want to know your name, sir.) really had an impressive performance this week. However, as mentioned before, after you go off on the judges, you’re dead to me. His Tourette's from last week seems to have calmed a bit, as his comments were more in jest than anger. Still, I’m hoping he goes this week.

TRACY: But the horror show moment of the night goes to *sob* JASON YEAGER, aka The White Tommy. (Last night, Jose decided that if you combined my brother Tommy's DNA with Val Kilmer's, you'd end up with Jason Y.) I thought his "Long Train Running" was kind of sweet, but I guess "kind of sweet" doesn't really cut it when you're up against the likes of David-Cubed. And yeah, that little head-down-elbows-up thing looked a bit ... odd--the only place you need to be practicing that move is at the gym while doing pec flies.

BUT HE LOOKS LIKE OUR BROTHER! (So I voted for him again.)

TROY: STOP. You’re only encouraging him (I am not seeing the Tommy resemblance at all, btw).

TRACY: Jose does. I think you're just being contrary.

TROY: Jason seems like a really nice guy, but this competition is not about being “nice.” He simply does not have a strong enough voice or personality to carry him any further. Jason needs to do something big that will set him apart, and unfortunately the little blonde streak in the front of his hair is not enough (and about 5 years too late).

TRACY: Why, dear God, WHY, after he received a critical drubbing from the judges, did Ryan Seacrest insist on beating his poor, downtrodden pony ad nauseum, ad infinitum? He just wouldn't STOP asking the poor boy uncomfortable questions, and then Jason fell victim to another one of Simon's zingers when it wasn't really his fault that that awful conversation went on and on. That was horrifying judgment on Seacrest's part, and I really wanted to reach through my TV and smack him. (Shut UP already, Seacrest!)

TROY: I did feel bad for him. Jason looked like a wounded puppy and Seacrest kept kicking him. Guess we know who TPTB want to go this week…

TRACY: Forgot LUKE MENARD again. He really sucked.

TROY: He improved upon last week’s Menard Massacre. Is it just me or did the acapella group he is in SUCK? Ick.

TRACY: On the basis of the short snippet they showed, it sucked.

On Thursday, I predict that Jason Yeager will go--although he could drum up a sympathy vote. Luke Menard should go as well, although I wonder if there might be a surprise elimination. If pity for Jason and Luke's hair saves one of them, then perhaps Robbie Carrico will get the boot.

TROY: Jason Yeager is a goner. I think we’ll have one more round of Menard Massacre to go, as he is getting the Antonella Barba vote (pretty people!). My other prediction is Jacuzzi/David Snaps-A-Lot. Talking back to the judges = instant karma boomerang.

TRACY: We all know the top ten is the place to be, and I'm hoping we see the Davids Hernandez, Cook, and Archuleta there, as well as Danny Noriega and Jason Castro. But Michael Johns could either coast in on his looks or genuinely give one of those five some competition if he steps it up, as could Chikezie if he gets a much-needed attitude adjustment.

1 comment:

Angryromancegrrl said...

The women.....I'd say it was sad but that would mean I cared! 'Meh' is an apt description. The only ones that really stuck in my noggin are the horrific one. i.e. Hopelessly Devoted. Unless you are part of the Grease cast, it's a bad idea. Hell, it's a bad idea even if you are in the grease cast.

I missed most of the men because my sister called and we had to talk. A lot. It’s what we do. I did see the fabu Hernandez and he rocked! LOVE him! And I saw the sad Hot Blooded. So sad. See, I do care.

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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