Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol Recap: Top 6

TROY: I think I am Hot Mess of the week due to my lack of inspiration (in fairness to me, I had tech issues, so I couldn't get this out sooner). Next week I will bring my A game. :)

TRACY: I will expect it to be broughten! Although you are funnier this go-round than you think, dear brother.

So. Broadway night.

TROY: Correction: Andrew Lloyd Webber night. It would have been a lot cooler if they opened it up to all Broadway shows. Jason Castro would have been able to sing something from "Reefer Madness!"

TRACY: Ooooh, too bad! Anyway, Paula, Randy, and Simon each have their signature critique chestnuts that they haul out, dust off, and slap on a contestant whenever the judges have gotten a bad case of the mehs over their performances. For Randy, it's "pitchy." Everything's freaking "pitchy," even when multiple rewinds of the Tivo prove otherwise. For Paula, it's "Hey, you LOOK great!"

TROY: (Or something like "The butterfly is bright and on your forehead with the shine of your smile.")

TRACY: And for Simon, it's a toss-up between "That was Broadway." and "That was Cabaret."

Which leaves me questioning the producers' choice of bringing on Andrew Lloyd Weber as the guest mentor, despite his in-your-face British honesty, coated with a dash of lordly stiff-upper-lip-itude. Because you're just ASKING for the most influential judge on the show (that would be Simon) to hate everything.

TROY: Well, this WAS after Mariah Carey week. It's contradiction year on Idol!

TRACY: At least ALW didn't write "Cabaret," or the contestants really might have been in trouble.

But Llord Lloyd Weber was indeed the mentor, and I thought he was rather sweet. I appreciated that he was frank about the contestants, although generally rather pleasantly frank. Except in the case of his critique of Brooke White, which, had I been in the room after his critique, would have caused me to go charging over for a major high five. (Do British Llords do high fives?)

"I don't think that girl had a clue what she was singing." Heh.

TROY: I LOVED that. I also loved his critique of Jason Castro, but we'll get to that later. Weren't you at least a little sketched out by his permanently arched eyebrows and lack of blinking? I thought he was a great guest, but I was having Bobby "Creepy Cabana" Bennett flashbacks (Google him if you can't remember).

TRACY: You'd better get yourself a really good plastic surgeon, Troy, because you're going to have no patience with your aging self otherwise! I didn't get Creepy Cabana vibes, maybe because the British accent automatically adds a sense of highbrow for me.

Anyway, I don't think most of them had a clue what to do with ALW's comprehensive and varied catalog, which is sad. David Cook totally should have rocked something from Jesus Christ Superstar, Jason probably should have done "Everything's All Right," and Brooke should have put a paper bag over her head and apologized to the free world.

TROY: Don't deny Brooke "The Gift" White.

TRACY: Like I said last week, take that gift back to Wal-Mart and demand your money back.

TROY: Didn't you totally think David Archuelta would have done something from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?

TRACY: Seriously. Oh, and I think they should have all walked in and asked ALW what to sing, because the dude totally made Carly's night. But before she came on stage, we had ....

SYESHA MERCADO, who quite possibly delivered the performance of her life, given that she was the night's standout in front of millions of viewers. I think she came in to early, but the always-professional Ricky Minor and his Fabuloso Band covered her mistake brilliantly. The rest was well sung and delivered with a sass we haven't really seen from her before. Obviously, her real talent lies in musicals, so I think she should probably be voted off with that lovely rendition of "One Rock and Roll Too Many" so she can start her musical stage career and we can think of her fondly when she says goodbye and forget all about all of those bad Whitney imitations. Loved the hair, too, even though it wasn't curly.

TROY: I thought Syesha did a fantastic job, but I really , REALLY hated the song. It was a colossal bore with a monotonous chorus. Oh well. For once, Syesha didn't try to oversing (and we had no one to really compare her to). She was able to showcase not only her voice, but her personality which has been severely lacking. I don't really want her to win because it's definitely a case of "too little, too late," but I think Broadway will definitely suit her well. I actually would have loved to see her get the boot this week, just so she could go out on a high note (and she'll probably go back to being boring next week).

TRACY: Next up was JASON CASTRO, who was a tone-deaf trainwreck of colossal proportions. First of all, it's just odd to see a 20-something singing about withered leaves and how he was beautiful once back in the day and all he has is a memory of what it was like to be young and enjoying life. NO! Just no.

TROY: Do you honestly think Jason picked the song based on lyrics or melody? He probably was busy toking up (it WAS 4/20 this weekend after all), missed the song choice deadline, and then just randomly picked a song on the list. Ugh.

TRACY: Second, Memory is a belter's song, and anything but is going to sound like a pale and slightly unhinged imitation. It suffered in comparison so much, I could hear the sheet music screaming. Or maybe that was ALW in the audience. He was such a ghastly shade of pale when the camera focused on him later, I figured he was still trying to recover from what Jason did to his poor, unsuspecting song.

TROY: I thought Jason was a passive person until this performance. He took "Memory" into a back alley, beat it senseless, and demanded it tell its friends that it "fell down the stairs" (all with a doped out grin on his face).

TRACY: (HA! Troy's A-game is suddenly back. ::::high-five:::)

TROY: I thought this was the worst performance of the season and also one of the most creeptastic. BLECH.

TRACY: Third, he didn't know it was sung by a cat? If it's a musical called Cats, guess what it's probably all about?

Yes, that would be cats.

And if it's about cats, guess who is probably going to be singing the song?

Once again, that would be a cat.


TROY: However, Webby's reaction toward Jason's idiocracy was fantastic. It was akin to Gwen Stefani's reaction to Sanjaya picking "Bathwater": Something like, "Well he picked it. It's a hard song. Good luck."

TRACY: That's LLORD Webby.

I am STILL playing "I Don't Wanna Cry," Jason's song from Mariah week, so I'm a fan of his unique, oddball voice. But "Memory" was a hot mess. (Not to be confused with the Hot Mess of the Week, though.)

TROY: It was TOTALLY in contention for "Hot Mess of the Week."

TRACY: Someone really needs to take away that boy's bong. His remaining brain cells are crying out for a reprieve. ("Save us! Somebody save us!")

Then we had the trainwreckiest trainwreck of all seven seasons of the show put together, BROOKE WHITE, who cemented my wish for her to take a flying leap off my TV screen with her catastrophic "You Must Love Me."

No. I must not.

TROY: Again don't speak ill of the Idol Gift (not to be confused with Paula, who calls herself "the gift" as well). Brooke was perfection this week.

TRACY: In an alternate universe where everything sucks, maybe! Brooke, the gift that keeps on figuratively kicking you in the face....

First of all, Paula was SO right (I can't believe I just typed that) when she told Brooke you don't stop and start again. You don't. Maybe you do at the Sheboygan County High School Music Competition, but not on a stage in front of millions of viewers. It's insulting to the band and embarrassing/unprofessional for you.

And what was up with the whole bit afterward with Ryan, Simon, and Randy yammering on about how courageous she was? Courageous? Did she go on stage and beat leukemia when I wasn't looking?

TROY: Seriously.

TRACY: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think she flubbed a song, unprofessionally shrilled at the band to stop playing and let her start again, and then croaked her way through it and utterly destroyed any love I had left for "Evita" after Madonna killed most of its song catalog.

TROY: That was just ridiculous. I guess they, heaven forbid, don't want to hurt Princess Brooke's feelings. What Brooke did is not what a professional would do on stage. You brush yourself off and keep going. This is the SECOND time she's done this.

And I thought Madonna totally outsang Brooke, and THAT is scary alone.


I was hoping Patti LuPone was in the audience and would come out on stage, bitchslap her, and sing the rest of the song the way it was supposed to be done, but alas, it was not meant to be.

I expected Simon to just ROAST Babbling Brooke, but he was uncharacteristically benign--which lends some credence to my whole leukemia theory. Or maybe she had to beat off some of those swaying zombies in the Idol "mosh pit" with her microphone during a commercial break. Swaying zombies have to eat, too.

Hot Mess of the Century award, right here.

TROY: Amazing gift of the year.

TRACY: And then we had DAVID ARCHULETA, who I think didn't get enough credit from Simon for his major reworking of "Think of Me." Like ALW pointed out, that song from Phantom was written for a diva soprano, and for him to make it a believable pop song took a lot of talent. Plus, he actually took ALW's advice (unlike Dr. Dreadlocks) and kept his eyes open during most of his performance, which I think did help him connect more with the camera.

I liked it. That is all. (Sorry, Virginia.)

TROY: I really liked David's cover as well. David is pretty much the King of Schmaltz and this song is pretty schmaltzy, so no surprise that he pulled it off. I didn't love the performance as I think David brings no real personality to his performances (other than always being so happy).

TRACY: But he's So! Cute! I! Could! Just! Squeeze! Him!

CARLY SMITHSON followed through on her potential and delivered another "Come Together" in the form of a brilliant, bombastic "Jesus Christ Superstar." Loved her hippy-chick dress, loved her attitude, loved her singing. Which means she's probably going to get voted off tonight and Syesha and Babbling Brooke will remain to plague us next week. Sigh.

TROY: Carly OWNED the stage. I loved her performance (but hated her dress--it looked like a tablecloth vomited).

TRACY: (The dress was awesome.)

TROY: She finally went out, had fun, and rocked her powerhouse vocals. Plus, how cool was it to see this totally tatted "rocker" chick get out there and belt "Jesus Christ Superstar." I loved it and, to me, it was performance of the night.

TRACY: I think I finally got a taste of the creepy factor you've said DAVID COOK has. "All I Ask of You" is a basically a crazed stalker song, and I was somewhat skeeved out by his version. Is it just me, or did he have the male version of Runaway Bride eyes during that performance?

TROY: He totally had Runaway Bride eyes, but I think Brooke White was rocking the exact same look.

TRACY: She just had Runaway Bride eyes: The Pasty Version.

Back to David.... I have to say, he really did pull it off vocally. I was fetching some juice for Marin while listening (because my entire life is fetching juice for my preschoolers right now), and I realized that when I just paid attention to the singing, it was really good! He could have gone on stage as the Phantom with that one, and I would have totally believed it. It's hard to compete with Michael Crawford, so I have to give him credit for stepping up. It was a bad theme week for David C., and he still pulled it off.

TROY: You know how much I like David Cook

TRACY: Jealous? You want his hair. You know it.

TROY: Anyway, I thought he did a nice, straightforward version of "Music of the Night." It was nice that he just sang the song, rather than have us judge him on a new David Cook-ified version. At the very least, he sounded MUCH better than Gerard Butler's abysmal bass take on the Phantom for the movie version.

TRACY: But Gerard Butler distracted much of his audience from his abysmal bass with sheer hotness. Gotta give him that.

TROY: David Cook is still a capital A Asshat though.

......................RESULTS SHOW.......................

TROY: And your prediction came true. The RESULTS SHOW was a horrifying disaster as we bid adieu to my pick, Carly Smithson. PEOPLE, WHY ARE YOU VOTING FOR JASON CASTRO? HE IS PAINFUL. At least Brooke White is a hilarious disaster.

TRACY: I find nothing hilarious about a woman who sounds like a traffic jam when she speaks.

TROY: Well, next week IS Neil Diamond week. Imagine the possibilities!

TRACY: Trombone fanfares! Hand-claps! Chest hair! This could be fun! Or it could be a whole new level of suckitude....

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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