Saturday, April 19, 2008

American Idol: Top 7 Recap

TRACY: So Mariah Carey was surprisingly coherent and not the megalomaniacal crazy I thought she'd be--at least on the first night. The second night was a bit of a different matter entirely, but we'll get there....

TROY: Wouldn't it have been great if she came out in an oversized graffiti t-shirt with a popsicle cart, ala her "Glitter" meltdown?

TRACY: OMG, totally.

TROY: Oh, well.

TRACY: For all the reasons that everyone else was against Mariah Carey night, I was against Mariah Carey night. But I actually enjoyed much of it--probably because my favorite contestants left are men and having men sing Mariah Carey is "unexpected" and "a risk" rather than a horrible wannabe yet pale imitation (*cough*SyeshadoingFantasia*cough*).

TROY: Well, it seemed like a trap from the "Saw" series. Each season, the judges have to tell a contestant (Hi, Syesha!) that they will never, ever be Whitney/Mariah/Celine, despite said contestant's protests. To have every contestant sing songs from an artist they will never live up to just seemed sick and wrong. However, there were quite a few surprises (both good and bad).

TRACY: We started off with DAVID ARCHULETA singing (SURPRISE!) a ballad from a Disney film

TROY: (Er…Dreamworks film, actually.)

TRACY: Whatever. If anyone was put on this earth to sing Disney ballads ...

TROY: (Er…Dreamworks ballads.)

TRACY: (Whatever.) ... it was David the human plush toy. If anyone was NOT put on this earth to wear leather pants, it was David the human plush toy.

BLAAAAAAAARGH! What the hell were you thinking, Idol Stylist? It's like slapping vinyl chaps and a spiked collar on Teddy Ruxpin. The operative phrase is SICK AND WRONG, people.

TROY: At least they were baggy leather pants?

TRACY: I was so squicked out by the leather pants, I barely registered the song. I'm sure he was smashing as always. But leather pants? GAH!!!!!!!!

TROY: Ohhhh-kay. First off, Syesha must have been PISSED that she didn't get to sing this song. Since it was originally a duet between Mariah and Whitney Houston, Syesha would have had DOUBLE THE OVERREACHING! Anyway … I didn't think David was that great this week. Of COURSE he chose the "Prince of Egypt" song, but I didn't feel like he added anything new to it. It was just sort of a bland version of the Mariah/Whitney sing-off." Not like it matters … David is essentially the 4th Jonas Brother now and pretty much unstoppable. Evil stage parent, be damned.

TRACY: Next up was CARLY SMITHSON singing "Without You." She actually covered up the tats and looked rather elegant in her pretty dress, and she didn't seem to be as rage-filled as she did last week. I thought she did a solid job with the song. Unfortunately, solid just isn't going to be the Davids, but I hope she hangs on. She is, after all, the best female vocalist we have left, and I know she has another "Come Together" in her.

TROY: Carly definitely toned down the Runaway Bride eyes this week and stopped screaming at us. I just thought she was totally meh. Wouldn't it have been cool if she did an acoustic version of "Heartbreaker?" In fact, why didn't anyone sing one of Mariah's fun songs. Funsucking contestants.

TRACY: Mariah has fun songs?

SYESHA MERCADO sang "Vanishing." Yawn. Still done with her.

TROY: Agreed. I don't even want to write about her anymore. She makes obnoxious song choices, is rumored to be a betch, and doesn't even provide the trainwreck factor that manic Mary Poppins has. Speaking of ….

TRACY: I thought BROOKE WHITE was unspeakably atrocious. She delivered "Hero" with all the nuance and subtlety of a live hand grenade. It was like having your mother nag you for a solid two-and-a-half minutes while accompanying herself on the piano. Ugh. Just ... ugh.

And I don't know why NO ONE has mentioned this on any AI blogs that I visit (OK, that's all of two. But still.), but did you notice how when Simon was delivering her critique, Brooke interrupted him to shrill, "Mariah Carey PRAISED me."

Honey, Mariah Carey praised EVERYONE. She admitted herself that she's not comfortable criticizing people, and she probably would have praised Sanjaya with a bad case of strep. Get. Over. Yourself. RIGHTNOW!

I want her to go. Now. Get her off my TV screen, America. Seriously.

TROY: America, keep Brooke in for ATLEAST another couple of weeks. What will I do without my AI trainwreck to look forward to? Be honest, you LOVE seeing what crazy shizz she's going to pull off every week, inching closer to the brink of insanity.

The wide, bat-crap crazy eyes! The extending pouty lip of bewilderment that the judges would critique Princess Brooke! The unstable shaking! Brooke White, you are the gift that keeps giving.

TRACY: Somehow, I just can't bring myself to be amused by excessive annoyance. Take that gift back to Wal-Mart and leave it there with the cheap sweatshop towels and fake organic fruit. Moving on ... I thought KRISTY LEE COOK did a solid and quite pretty version of "Forever." I liked the country take on it, and I could actually see myself listening to that more than once.

My husband Jose liked Kristy's performance so much, that it coupled with the aforementioned denouement to Brooke's month-long whine-a-thon caused him to take a flying leap off the Brooke train onto Kristy Lee's haywagon. Unfortunately, Kristy Lee's haywagon drove on for exactly 24 hours beyond that performance, so now Jose is wagon-less and quite grumpy about it. He's been muttering "Brooke totally should have went." every time someone so much as considers saying the words "American Idol" around him.

SEE what you did, America! MY POOR, TRAUMATIZED HUSBAND!

Long story short, I thought Kristy deserved another week for improving yet again and for being a million light years better and more likeable than Pasty McWhinypants.

TROY: I HATE that I'm about to say this, but I actually started to like Kristy in the last couple of weeks. She's proven herself to be self-deprecating while having a sense of humor. Her voice has also grown so much. Her "Forever" was actually really good in my opinion. It was just a slightly country twinged version that would be pleasant enough to hear on the radio. Damn you, Kristy Lee Cook! You were my trainwreck! I must be growing soft, Tracy.

TRACY: Yeah, but she deserved us to go soft on her--she improved!

DAVID COOK was once again genius. I've always hated "Always Be My Baby." Mariah may write her own songs, but they are largely sentimental crap. However, David is so good, he can even make sentimental crap sound wonderful, and so I bow to his amazingness. As well as to his once again amazing hair.

TROY: Genius? He turned "Always Be My Baby" to "Always Be My Baby or I Will Stalk You, Kill Your Friends, and Skin You Alive."

TRACY: In your alternate universe of hatred, maybe.

TROY: It was soooo creepy.

TRACY: Hater.

TROY: I can appreciate that he did something completely different with this song, but I'm just not a fan. There is something about Mr. Cook that is just unsettling. The serial killer stare perhaps?

TRACY: You really have to stop ragging on him, because the poor boy's brother has cancer, and he has been quiet about it, refusing to capitalize on that sad fact to garner sympathy votes. You KNOW the musical Kaavya Viswanathan would have been performing in a sandwich board with her unfortunate brother's cancerous photo slapped all over it had she been in poor David's shoes.

Poor David. My heart really goes out to him. Don't ever get cancer, Troy. I mean it. And that goes for Tommy and everyone else in our extended family, too.

TROY: To quote Cordelia Chase: "Morbid, much?"

TRACY: I'm just saying.

I'm not sure why, but I went completely bonkers for JASON CASTRO's "I Don't Want to Cry." Maybe it was the Spanish guitars. Maybe it was because it was a sensitive beta male singing about crying. Maybe it was the fact that Jason actually displayed a confidence I haven't seen in him since he started the show, and for the first time looked like he wanted to win this instead of looking like he'd just been beamed up on stage by Bill and Ted's excellent time machine. But I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it. Wanted to marry it and have its children. I even downloaded it.

TROY: What….?

TRACY: Seriously. I'm listening to it right now and still loving it. And, I have to admit, I started having a wee bit of an inappropriate crush on Mr. Castro. Until I imagined getting my hand irretrievably tangled in his dreadlocks, ripping one out, and dropping it into an unsuspecting bowl of soup. Which quite spoiled the fantasy and killed my inappropriate crush. But for half a minute there, he was kinda hot.

TROY: I'm going to be sick. JASON CASTRO? Jason Castro is dead behind the eyes and can barely form a sentence!

TRACY: I'm sure he's a scintillating wit when he's not smoking courage-in-a-bong.

TROY: Maybe I have to re-watch because I just thought it was aiight. The studio version sounds nice, but I didn't think it was anything remarkable.

TRACY: It was amazing!

TROY: Dread soup, man.



TRACY: The results are in, and after weeks of wanting Kristy Lee to go home, I totally wanted her to stay and could have happily sheepcrooked Syesha or Brooke off the stage myself. Sadly, that was not meant to be, and she was not meant to get her horse back. Both of which suck.

TROY: You're going soft too! Remember all of the horse jokes you used to make!? I did feel bad for Kristy, but, c'mon, did you actually think she'd win? I think if she finds the right song, she could do well in the country industry. If BUCKY COVINGTON and JOSH GRACIN can find moderately successful singing careers, Kristy should be fine.

One last horse joke for the road?

TRACY: We could tell Kristy Lee "Screw you and the horse you rode in on," but she SOLD it.

OK, it's a repeat, but still funny.

And BTW, why didn't she just put her plane ticket on her AMEX instead of selling the horse if she loved it so? I mean, she lives in OREGON, it's not like tickets to L.A. are going to be the expense equivalent of adopting a kid or buying a penthouse condo in NYC.

Sympathy slowly draining away....

I guess every reality show needs a train wreck and a soporific disaster, and Brooke and Syesha are filling those roles until next week. If any of the other top 6 survivors go before those two, I seriously might just burst something.

TROY: Brooke White: Final Two, America. Don't take her away from me!


Oh, and before I go, what a SHOCKER to see Mariah Carey in a bandage dress. With cutouts--how elegant. I know she's lost weight and all, but those dresses are still NOT FLATTERING, unless you're a hooker hanging out at the 7-11 truck stop on I-95 north of Toledo. We all know you like bandage dresses. Now maybe one of these days you can show a little bit of imagination and wear something that you can safely bend over in without doing a Britney. I'm just sayin'.

TROY: Mariah will be 80, playing Bingo at the VFW and still wearing the hootchie dresses. I think it's just who she is and the fact that she totally lives in Mariah land.

TRACY: And what is up with the stage hogging and the yammering while pretty much ignoring everything Seacrest is saying to you in a desperate attempt to extend your few seconds of Idol stage time? Note to future guest stars--leave off the drugs before you go on stage, people. No one wants to buy an album from a hot, self-centered mess.

TROY: Apparently they do. Mariah is on track to sell 500,000 copies of her new CD. I don't think Mariah is on drugs…I think she's just naturally high. Afterall, she's all about unicorns, rainbows, and calling people "dahling" or "lamb." She seems pretty intent on pretending to be 25 for the rest of her life. Anyway, I thought she was a good mentor and a decent musical guest. Plus her "Touch My Body" video makes me laugh.

Until next time!

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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