Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol: Top 8 Recap

TRACY: This week, American Idol was all about songs that inspire. And I so wasn't. Were you inspired, Troy?

TROY: Ridiculously inspired.… only not. And how does one pick a song that truly INSPIRES them? I'd pick "Umbrella." Just 'cause.

TRACY: MICHAEL JOHNS kicked off the show (or, at least, I think he did. It's all a horrible, uninspiring jumble) with Aerosmith's "Dream On." It started out really nice, but judging from past performances, I knew we were in trouble as soon as he got to the higher notes. And yes, Mr. Johns turned a lovely shade of purple and started really straining for those notes, before launching into a disastrous falsetto that I am convinced probably shattered every windshield in the American Idol parking lot. He has been so fabulous for the past couple of weeks, but this week, I was left with a big ol' case of the mehs again.

TROY: Well "Dream On" was the death sentence for another music reality show contestant (Hi, Jordis!) and it looks like it claimed another. Dude, Michael … what was that travesty? I've been really impressed with him the last few weeks. Remember when we couldn't even be bothered to write about him? He went from unmemorable to one of my favorites. What happened this week? I feel inspired to give him a Tyra-induced ass kicking.

And the tantrum about how "Dream On" is about dreaaams and that you dreaaammeed about making it in America was ridiculous, Mr. Johns. Shape up.

TRACY: Oh, and here's some more advice, dude: If you're going to try to rock out to Aerosmith, you really must not wear a jaunty little cravat. Aerosmith + jaunty little cravat = hot mess of the week.

TROY: I'm saving my hot mess award, thank you.

TRACY: Someone else who has been fabulous for the past couple of weeks and just TANKED this week was CARLY SMITHSON. First of all, the only thing a song like "The Show Must Go On" could inspire me to do is throw myself under a bus. Depressing much?

TROY: In case you forget, the SHOW MUST GO ON. To make sure of it, Carly will bug out her eyes and start shrieking, scaring animals and small children. Whose idea was it to pick this song? Carly might has well come out singing "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" while the last 10 minutes of Old Yeller played in the background. Definitely one of the strangest song choices of the season.

TRACY: Second, could someone please soften up homegirl's makeup? Those goth, heavily-lined eyes and that severe, pale lipstick don't really help when her expressions while she sings invariably fall somewhere between furious and ready-to-jump-in-the-mosh-pit-and-kill-someone-with-an-icepick.

TROY: Word.

TRACY: So, not-so-inspiring song choice and female-serial-killer stage presence. And while I am convinced that Randy Jackson falls asleep during most of the performances and then wakes up only to declare the majority "pitchy" on a mere whim, she was totally pitchy. In fact, she pitchied the hell out of that song. What happened to solid-as-a-rock Carly?

And will she ever put on a pair of sleeves? Just once, I would like to not hear my husband Jose complaining about her, quote, "butt-ugly tattoo" the entire time.

TROY: She has to show how "edgy" she is. Whatever.

TRACY: Was it just me, or did JASON CASTRO look muy bizarro sitting on that stool hunched over his Very Tiny Ukelele? But if you got over that (and the dreadlocks--always the dreadlocks), the song was a'ight. I like Israel Kamawakawhatever's version of "Over the Rainbow"--so much so that when I discovered it wasn't on the "50 First Dates" soundtrack, I downloaded it separately from iTunes and burned them together the way it SHOULD have been. Like Michael Johns and his Queen medley, Jason didn't color outside the lines either with this one, but it was sweet and suited his voice. I have NO idea why the judges went nuts for him this week and not last week. Perhaps it's inversely proportional to the amount of weed he's smoked prior to the performance? And whether he's shared said weed with Paula or not?

TROY: I heard an audio only version of this performance and I thought it was lame. All of the judges must have been sharing what Jason was smoking. I feel that, once you get past the guitar, his voice is really thin and quite nasally. Plus, the kid has ZERO stage presence (Vacant stare! Social Awkwardness! The dreads!). I'm not quite getting the appeal (outside of the obvious 420).

TRACY: What is 420? I feel suddenly old and unhip.

Speaking of unhip, I can barely bring myself to type about the catastrophe that was DAVID COOK. Seven straight weeks of pure vocal brilliance, and he sings like THAT for inspiration week? Does he have something against Africa? What the heck?

TROY: What was that mess on his hand? "Give back." HORK! We all know I'm not a big David Cook supporter and so this week really set me off. And again with the talking back to the judges. Sigh.

TRACY: I didn't hear any talking back to the judges! The hair looked fab, though. (Bless you, Idol Stylist.) And unlike Simon, I was totally down with the white jacket. I am just going to remember the hair and jacket and pretend the song didn't happen while I wait for him to be great again next week.

TROY: Unless America wakes up and sends him packing!

TRACY: Shhhhhh!

OK, what was up with SYESHA MERCADO singing Fantasia's "I Believe?" That song is suckTASTic, and the ONLY reason it ever worked was because Fantasia sang the snot out of it. Does Syesha really think she can compete with Fantasia, the woman who was born to show the world how to testify to the Lord in song?

First it's Whitney, Whitney, Whitney, and then Fantasia. I can't work with this anymore, Troy. I'm done. I'm totally done with this girl, fabulous hair or no fabulous hair. I think she needs to go. Because as Entertainment Weekly pointed out, it's either a HUGE case of hubris or a horrifying lack of imagination that's driving her song choices, and I don't think it's ever going to stop.

I think Syesha has Whittasia Careyitis. She clearly has an addiction for going for songs that are way beyond her current level of talent and vocal gravitas. The judges tell her every week that she needs to stop trying to be Whitney Houston, but it's just not getting through that head of hers (great hair or not). This girl needs to be sent to musical rehab to cure her of this illness that she clearly cannot rid herself of. Be gone, imposter!

TRACY: Jose and I gave KRISTY LEE COOK some huge props last Tuesday night. Her "Anyway" was pretty AND pretty much on key (Randy's dumbass "pitchy" proclamation notwithstanding.) I finally saw the talent that made the judges put her through to the semi-finals. Good for her! She's a (cage) fighter, and I'm starting to really respect that. She deserves another week, if only because SHE didn't try to sing Fantasia.

TROY: I shockingly agree. Krusty is really turning things around for herself and starting to be likeable. She's pretty humble, takes her criticism like a champ, and smartly chooses her songs (the horrifying "Eight Days a Week" aside). I'm not lobbying for a Kristy win, but I'd rather see her succeed than other contestants with a fake sunny disposition and manic grin (Hi, Brooke White!).

TRACY: I liked DAVID ARCHULETA's "Angels" well enough, but it wasn't exactly the most memorable performance he's given. I'm not sure why the judges went so nuts for it--on a David scale, it was a solid 6 rainbow gummy bears out of 10.

TROY: And I'll give him 7 happy star unicorns. It was another "look at me – I'm so EARNEST" David Archuleta performance, but it was a'ight. His vocals were good, but I'm just increasingly bored by him each week. He has the votes, so I'd like to see him try something different one week. This could have been the perfect week for "Umbrella" ella.

TRACY: You know, THAT would have been interesting! Although I'm not sure what you find so inspiring about standing under someone's umbrella (ella, ella, hey, hey, hey).

Oh, and we closed the show with BROOKE WHITE, and I can't figure out for the life of me why. The song choice was cloying, the performance just shy of terrible. And she must've been reading the blogs that called her out for the manic grin in the middle of "Jolene," because she really went overboard trying to look Very, Very Serious all throughout her song. There she was, forehead all wrinkled with concern, eyes slightly squiinted, body hunched over the mike. It looked like she was singing "You've Got a Friend ... with Cancer."

TROY: I just realized that Brooke's version of "Jolene" would have been a lot more interesting had she switched the name "Jolene" for "Jolie." Just imagine it – it makes the song 10x much more enjoyable.

TRACY: Ha! And switched out Jennifer Aniston for Brooke. That is totally evil.

TROY: Anyway … I really don't want Brooke White as a friend after this performance. I'm terrified that she would just passive aggressively scold me and manically wave her hands. There is something so incredibly unhinged about her. I hope she continues to be put in the bottom two each week, just so my cold little heart can be warmed with the joy of seeing a new Brooke White meltdown. Okay? OkayOkayOkayOkay!?

TRACY: :::snort::: Cute dress, though.

TROY: (Here comes the sun…)

TRACY: (Doo-doot-doo-doot.)

TROY: Before I forget, I'd like to award HOT MESS OF THE WEEK to….Teri Hatcher! Didn't this woman used to do Broadway? Her shaky performance of "Before He Cheats" was just…bizarre. I know it's for charity, but I feel like people would have paid more to NOT hear that voice.

TRACY: WHAT?!?!?! That wasn't a JOKE? She actually believes she can sing? I thought she was just being cute. If she was on Broadway, then she really was the Hot Mess of the Week. Wow. I'm ... I'm totally speechless.

Since I wrote most of this last Wednesday morning and SOMEONE wasn't able to fulfill his end of the snark bargain before I left for a work thing in Seattle on Friday morning, I'm going to have to talk about the results show in the past tense, since it's waaaaaay in the past. Last week as I wrote this, I predicted Syesha would go, though I figured there would be at least one person in the bottom three whom we loved.

TROY: I also thought Syesha would go with her boring performance that would never compare to the original Fantasia song. I also thought the bottom 3 would have everybody's favorite manic and David Cook for shock value.

TRACY: I was hoping for Brooke White, but I figured she wouldn't be there. The musical Kaavya Viswanathan is still riding on her Pat Benatar acoustic mimicry.

TROY: Instead, my favorite, most improved contestant left: Michael Johns. THE CURSE OF "DREAM ON" LIVES! Beware all ye who attempt to hit those high falsettos. Ye shall enter the depths of thy reality show obscurity.

I'm pretty devastated by this development. I finally pick a contestant to root for and he is kicked off. Bleak. Well, if I am cursed and the person I root for is kicked off then I say….gooooo Brooke!

TRACY: Yaaarrrgggghh! Please, no. Anyone but that.


Angryromancegrrl said...

The leather pants were so wrong! To this day, I have no idea what he sang.

Tracy Montoya said...

Totally wrong. Sick and wrong.

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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