Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's American Idol (You Knew We'd Be Back!)

TRACY: Another year, another season of American Idol, another round of my brother Troy and I entertaining ourselves by publicly snarking about each show. We’re not sure if other people find us amusing, but we’re rather funny on our planet.

Unfortunately, Troy and I always manage to run out of steam and never seem to make it to the finale. This year, in an effort to actually finish up the season, we decided to skip the semi-final rounds and just start with the finalists.

Last year, we dubbed Ramiele “Lullaby” Malubay the Lunesta Fairy of the Season for her unimaginative song interpretations and dumpy fashion sense. This year, judging by those semi-final rounds, it looks like we had at least 15 people vying for that honor, with nine remaining in the Top 13. I'm not sure we're going to make it two weeks from now, the way this season's going down.

TROY: Word. Creativity is NOT a strong suit of this year's wannabes.

"What's that? You chose a Whitney Houston song to sing? How outside-of-the-box!!! Why even have a competition now?"

TRACY: ::::snort::::

I do miss Rose, the blonde with the funky outfits and no parents who had her dreams crushed during Hollywood Week, and my boy Ju’Not, who was TOTALLY ROBBED during the semi-finals (He sounded like Seal, people!).

TROY: Like Seal? Mmmkay. And Rose, Tracy? Really? After shaky Hollywood vocals and that weird, wobbly Hobbit dance she did while botching said vocals? REALLY?

I miss Jessie Langseth--not that she had the best voice or stage presence, but she picked interesting songs and had unique vocals (still bitter about JASMINE MURRAY being chosen over Jessie--WTF Judges?).

TRACY: Agreed. I loved Jessie Langseth and thought she knocked "Bette Davis Eyes" out of the park. I don’t know what the judges are looking for this year, but apparently it's not originality. These contestants seriously need to up the entertainment quotient, or the producers are going to be forced to inject some interest by bringing Crazy Tatiana and her 15 personalities back every show and go, “OK, you get another chance. AAAAANNNNNNNNDDDD, you blew it. Back home you go. … No, really, you get another chance. AAAAANNNNNNNDDDD you suck. Back home you go.”

(Actually, it would be kind of fun to see her melt down every week. That girl either needs medication or a serious karma boomerang on a daily basis until she stops being such a self-centered drama queen.)

TROY: Tatiana was a goddess who, unfortunately, only graced Idol with her presence for a short time. I've never been so entertained by an Idol contestant before! Plus, her crazy was MUCH more digestable than that Jackie Tohn creature (may she fall in to obscurity. I have never been more annoyed by an Idol contestant--the trucker voice! The creepy facial expressions/possessed twitching while singing!).

TRACY: Tatiana? A goddess? Excuse me while I leave the room to avoid expelling my lunch on my laptop.

...

Anyway, onto the top 12.

The night started off with LIL ROUNDS (if I hear another pun using her name, I swear to God I’m going to put my head through my TV set). The Mom Who Lives in a Hotel has a big, booming voice and rarely strays off key, but I give her the Lunesta Fairy award for this round for not meeting the voting public’s expectations. I found her rendition of “The Way You Make Me Feel” unimaginative, and that “Go on, Boy!” that started it off disturbingly awkward.

TROY: Agreed. Lil can sing, but she can't saaaaang. There's rarely any passion in her voice outside of hitting the big notes. I felt the exact same way about her Mary J. Blige rendition last week. All big notes, but no connection to the music.

And can I also say that I'm so sick of Lil' and Danny Gokey (more on that DB later) producer pimping? We get it Idol producers...you want the comeback kids to be in the finals. STOP with the manipulative pre-roll.

TRACY: I know! And dear God in heaven, WHAT was Lil wearing? Somebody tell me the fashion industry isn’t seriously trying to bring back tapered, PLEATED pants?!?! Have they not HEARD the “What Not to Wear” people pointing out how that unless you are a double-zero, tapered, pleated pants make your backside look like a turnip-shaped billboard? (Although it could make for an interesting foray into creative ad placement….)

Because Lil’s not a woman—she’s a MOM.

I didn’t mind her fluffy lavender top as much as Simon did, but I kept thinking during her performance that it really, really wanted to grow up and be a cocktail dress instead of a shirt.

Final verdict: “Meh” on the singing, “MY EYES!!!! THEY BUUURRRRRRNNNN!!!!” to the pants.

Next we had SCOTT MCINTYRE, who is obviously a sweet, sweet guy with a lot of (piano-playing) talent. But “Keep the Faith” is a horrible, horrible song—at least when it’s given that 1986-Bruce-Hornsby kind of treatment. He went off key a few times, and the whole song just sounded dated and irrelevant—I can’t even see Clay Aiken’s fans embracing that mess. Pleasant voice; nice guy; terrible, terrible song.

TROY: Didn't the judges and Scott say that we'd see the REAL Scott McIntyre once he got behind the piano? If this is him, then we may have our new Lunesta fairy. He's a super nice guy, but I can't think of one thing that would make him relevant to today's music scene. He's just tragically boring.

TRACY: Speaking of tragic, someone needs to give this poor guy a decent haircut. It’s obviously not his fault he has bad hair, because he can’t see! Ergo, I blame his peers—friends don’t let friends look like Art Garfunkel.

TROY: WORDY MCWORD. It's like a curlier version of Robert Pattison's rat's nest in between Twilight films. I'm sure it's also full of secrets.

TRACY: Heh. Because he is such a good guy, I’m glad he stayed THIS ONE TIME and hope he can become more current and fun.

TROY: I'm not. He will NEVER be current and fun on this show. Again, nice guy, but it's going to be the same schtick over and over, most likely sending him a long way in the competiton. SIGH.

TRACY: Hey, a girl can dream. (Of not being bored out of her skull all season.)

OK, I know DANNY GOKEY lost his wife at a tragically young age. It’s awful and totally unfair, and I will never stop feeling for the guy. But I’m totally not feeling the love so many people—including, apparently, the Idol producers—have for his singing, thanks to some of the nasty attitude he showed during the semi-finals. Particularly rolling his eyes at and cutting off Ryan Seacrest after his first semi-final performance.

TROY: Not to mention glaring at Tatiana and openly judging her for the crazy that she is. We all did it at home ...

TRACY: ... OH, yes, we did.

TROY: ... BUT YOU'RE ON TV! STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HER! Show some class....

I also feel HORRIBLE about his wife--so tragic and awful. However, I feel that both he and the producers are being incredibly manipulative in using this tragedy to make Gokey Ringy McRinger. This guy KNEW that he would sail to the top 12 and much further.

TRACY: (You're all about the "Mc's" tonight, aren't you?)

I mean, seriously, people. Ryan Seacrest gets enough abuse—including from that revolting, adulterous Brangelina couple ...

TROY: (Let it go Tracy! Team Saint Jolie, BTW.)

TRACY: (You mean Team Sociopath.) ... and he just keeps smiling through it all while being unfailingly kind to the contestants, especially when they get the heave-ho. He’s good at his job—I can’t imagine having to single-handed provide as much verbal filler as he does during the shows. (I’d be stammering incoherently and then running off the stage crying.)

In short, if you can’t be nice to Ryan, you are dead to me.

TROY: He was horrible to Kathy Griffin--Karma Boomerang.

TRACY: True, but Kathy can SO take care of herself. I'm guessing he's learned his lesson on that front.

TROY: For the record, I wasn’t that blown away by his performance of “PYT,” either.< /FONT>

I thought it was much, much better than Lil' and Scott's performances. I still want to break his red glasses, but PYT was the earworm after Tuesday's show. Not that that really has anything to do with the quality of a performance. (Who can forget: "Here come the sun...?")

TRACY: ("Doo-doot-doo-dooooot...." :::zombie wave:::)

I’ll give it a “meh” with a side of “shut the eff up and sing, you diva!”

(Back to Ryan, did you notice how far off the stage he was standing when Kanye West performed during the results show? I had this feeling that Kanye was all, “Yeah, I’ll do Idol, but don’t let Seacrest rub his geek off on me.” Poor Seacrest.)

TROY: Pretty sure Kanye was pre-taped, so Ryan had to stand far away to make it look like it was live. :)

TRACY: Really? They're pre-taping already? E-gads!

That brings us to MICHAEL SARVER, who sang “You Are Not Alone,” a rather charming ballad that he managed to turn into treacle. Seriously, my boy Ju’Not got dissed for THIS?! I’m bitter, people. I’m really bitter.

TROY: Jessie Langesth! Bitter, Party of Two.

TRACY: Michael seems like a nice guy, and I would love to see him succeed on the country charts just to get him out of that dangerous job of his. But would I ever listen to his music? No, I would not. I think he has a pleasant voice, but he’s out of his league so far.

TROY: I totally agree. I just don't get the appeal--who the heck is voting for him? If it wasn't for country week next week, I'd say his time on Idol would be coming to an end shortly.

TRACY: JASMINE MURRAY has to have the best-looking family I’ve ever seen on the show. Which leads me to the only thing I really have to say about her Mariah-Carey-copycat rendition of “I’ll Be There”: She sure wears pretty outfits.

I predicted her ouster right after hearing this. Lovely voice, but a tragically forgettable performance that often went tragically off-key.

TROY: SHE WAS A WILD CARD. BEFORE JESSIE LANGSETH. RAGE.

Sorry--Jasmine's inclusion to the top 13 and subsequent performance made me have Carmen Rasmuessen flashbacks :::shudder:::

TRACY: I really liked how KRIS ALLEN started off with “Remember the Time,” with his original, Jason Mraz-ish interpretation. But it didn’t take too long before I turned to my husband Jose and started singing, "This. Song. Has. Onnnnnnllllyyyy. Six NNNNOOOOOTESSSSSSS” along with the music. Meh.

TROY: I like Kris? I think he needs a lot more time to grow and make himself stand out a little more, but there's just something likeable about him. Then again, I'm a fan of Jason Mraz-type music so I may be a bit bias.

TRACY: And did you see his wife? What was she, like 12? I’m thinking he rescued her from the Pedophile wing of the Playboy Mansion, and she got some sort of judicial pre-teen waiver to marry him in gratitude.

Homegirl also looked a little angry when Simon started talking about how he shouldn’t have admitted to being married that early on in the show. So I have some hope that the wife will thrown down on Simon at some point during one of Kris’s performances. It would make them a lot more interesting.

TROY: That was AMAZING. She'll totally get Daughtried once he gets a little more famous.... Wait...what? Daughtry is STILL with his wife? Uhm...

TRACY: Eh, when you look like you just escaped the Pedophile Wing of the Playboy Mansion, you probably won't have too much trouble fighting off the tween-girl hordes.

As for the performance, I give it an “it was a’ight” with a side of “Ju’Not was so totally robbed.”

TROY: Really? With the Ju'Not still? I'm going to start pimping the "Tatiana was robbed" comments for the rest of this entry.

TRACY: ALLISON IRAHETA is starting to grow on me. I have to give it to her for not picking something totally ridiculous (Anoop!) and taking a chance on the not-so-well-known Michael Jackson B-side, “Give In to Me.” I listened to the clip of Michael doing this song in iTunes, and it creeped me the hell out—I just kept picturing him singing it while stalking a young Macauley Culkin through the deserted halls of Neverland. But Allison made the song sound like it was written just for her. Her voice wasn’t perfect, but she was definitely original, and the song suited her perfectly.

TROY: I really liked Allison's performance.

TRACY: Wow, she turned you around. You were a total hater during the semi-finals.

TROY: She's a total spaz, but it makes her more endearing. I haven't heard the MJ version (but just imaginging = yeesh), but I loved Allison's spin on it. Another earworm that sounds pretty good in the studio version. I'm curious to see what she does next week for Country.

TRACY: (Dear God, country?! To borrow a line from our brother Tommy, I might have to stick a couple of chopsticks in my ears and start scrambling as a preemptive survival measure.)

Had to crack up at her “I’m not dark. I’m not cutting myself” comment to Simon when he erroneously told her to lighten up. I don’t think she should lighten up at all, because singing edgier songs makes her different—and provides a welcome break from Scott’s elevator-esque stylings, among others.

TROY: LOL. Yes! I love Paula's horrified expression when she said that (or she just was startled by a loud noise and needed more meds). Allison is not perfect, which is why I like her more than Ringy McRinger.

TRACY: That said, girlfriend needs to stop with the horrifying grimaces. At one point while talking to Ryan, sh e grabbed her chest and pulled her lips back, and I thought she was going to tell the studio audience that it was shriveling up and about to fall off. Chronic grimacing = so not cute.

Oh, and she should probably learn to speak in coherent sentences on camera.

TROY: Advice than can also be directed toward Miss Abdul.

TRACY: I love ANOOP DESAI’s personality and his voice, but he really has to stop pretending he’s such a groovy cat. It comes off about the same as when Mom used to adopt my “Oh, gag me” Valley Girl teenage slang when I was in high school.” (Tragically exacerbated by the whole Spanish accent thing.)

TROY: She did? That's hilarious!

TRACY: Ohhhh, yes, she did.

Anoop, you are a nerd—a loveable nerd, but a nerd all the same. Embrace it, and stop turning your collar up and stalking the stage like a wannabe fresh-out-of-prison West Coast hiphop artist. “Beat It” was a travesty, and that should never, never happen again. ::::shudder:::: Having Kanye West on the results show just made him look even more ridiculous in retrospect. (Note to Anoop: Please don’t pull that kneeling-on-the-stage-dropping-your-head-in-your-hands thing that Kanye did. It won’t work—trust me.)

TROY: Like Anoop. HATED the performance. I thought his performance of "My Prerogative" was awesome, but this was a hot mess (first Troy-dubbed "hot mess" of the season!). Did this remind you at all of the "Mathlete" rap in Mean Girls?

No? Just me?

TRACY: No, I can see that. Or Leelee Sobieski dressed as DNA in Never Been Kissed.

I’m glad Anoop gets one more chance, but if he pulls that kind of mess again, it’s time to pull the plug.

Another contestant just brimming to the gills with personality is JORGE NUÑEZ. He has a nice, Marc Anthony-like tone to his voice, and I think he’s cute as a bug in a blanket. But “Never Can Say Goodbye” was a forgettable choice capped off by an utterly forgettable performance. (Except for those formidable eyebrows, which while he's singing always look to me like they’re going to jump off his face and start crawling across the stage shrilling, “Ryyyyaaannnnnn! Feeeeeeeeed ussssss!” Gah.)

I rightly predicted that Jorge would also get the boot, along with Jasmine. Sad, but he earned it.

TROY: Ay, Dios mio. Jorge...our Latin brother, was a disaster. He has a nice voice, but went to the Anwar Robinson School of Song Choice (Anwar Who? Exactly...). I was very tempted to fast-forward through his performance out of sheer boredom, but powered through. It felt very much like a torture chamber in Hostel.

That said, I'm very jealous that he got to meet J.Lo (and Marc Anthony) as they reportedly said his performances drove them to tears (bored to...?). Hope he finds his niche and finds some success.

TRACY: I’m a big fan of MEGAN CORKREY’s, even with the abysmal dancing. “Rockin’ Robin” was a silly choice—there is absolutely no way to make that wedding-reception staple of a song current or cool. But that said, I love the unique, folk-singer quality to her voice and the hippie-chick vibe. She’s this year’s Brooke White, without the herculean capacity to annoy the crap out of the free world.

I’m glad she stayed, and I hope her next song choice is more free spirit, less Bar Mitzvah.

TROY: WHAT? You're pimping Megan Corkrey? And comparing her to Brooke White, whom you HATED? WHERE IS MY SISTER?

TRACY: I loathed Brooke White. I just meant that Megan is this season's resident folk singer, except SHE actually sounds like she could stand up against the Indigo Girls and Dar Williams.

TROY: I HATED Miss Gangrine Arm with the 4-Note Range. Who the eff picks "Rockin' Robin," spastically dances to it, and expects to garner fans? She seems like a sweet person, but day-um.

SHE WAS WILD CARDED OVER TATIANNA/JESSIE LANGSETH!

TRACY: Can somebody get my brother a paper bag to breathe into?

(Back to Brooke Whitefor a moment, what was UP with her “performance” a couple of weeks ago? Did someone actually spend the money to make a record out of that mess? I can’t re member the name of the song she was so sure was so fabulous, but it sounded like the Captain and Tennielle without the Captain (and everyone knows you gotta have the Captain). Now I’m all about musically revisiting the 1970s, but not if you’re making the kind of music that’s regularly pumped into the elevators at your local Belk’s. Gross. Someone please collect all those CDs, break them up into little pieces, and rain them down on the terrorists.)

TROY: I believe you can find it next to Diana DiGarmo's "Dreams" in the Walgreens 99 Cents bin...

TRACY: Yes, thanks to some jackass posting private photos just to start a scandal, I, the Girl with No Gaydar, now know that ADAM LAMBERT is gay. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still have an inappropriate crush on the guy. SUCH a cutie, and I’m so glad that losing the homophobic mouthbreather vote didn’t hurt his chances this week.

TROY: Broadway? The shrieking vocals? Guy liner? Did you even need gaydar? :)

TRACY: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I give you Exhibit A: Pete Wentz and William Beckett. 'Nuff said.

Inappropriate crush notwithstanding, I loved, loved, loved Adam's version of “Black or White,” particularly the verbal middle finger he put in the line “I told them about equality, and it’s true you’re either wrong or you’re right."

TROY: I do like Adam, and I LOVED this performance. While I like HIM, I haven't been crazy about his performances, but he really nailed this song. This was my favorite of the night and the studio version has made its way to my iPod (yes--I'm a loser.)

TRACY: (Ummm, mine, too. :::cough:::)

I am, however, a little worried about his penchant for going all Skid Row on us and howling notes like a desperate lead singer from the last of the Hair Bands when Seattle grunge was on the rise. (Ah, Seattle grunge. How I miss you.) I LOVE that he has that crazyass vocal range, but is singing like Sebastian Bach really relevant now? Can he make it relevant again?

I think he might need to tone it down every once in awhile, just to keep from looking like a one-trick pony. (A five-octave trick, but a trick nonetheless.) But I love him, so I’m going to keep on dialing whether he does or not.

TROY: I'm hoping we see this side during Country week (doubt he can display the five-octave range during "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy"). Maybe a quieter, acoustic version of something like "Crazy" or a Dixie Chicks song?

TRACY: MATT GIRAUD did “Human Nature.” He plays the piano. It sounded okay. (Ju’Not!!!!)

TROY: TATIANNA!

TRACY: :::::forehead smack:::::

TROY: Matt Giraud was freakin' AMAZING pre-Top 36. His "Georgia on My Mind" was bloody brilliant. However, ever since then he's been on a downward spiral of suck. Pick it up, Piano Boy, or you'll get a Tyra-esque meltdown from me shortly.

TRACY: Ooooh! Ooooohhh!! We might have to video-blog that!

Closing off the show was one of my favorites going in to the Top 12, ALEXIS GRACE—that tiny sprite who is so impossibly pale, she looks like she might explode if someone accidentally exposed her to sunlight. I liked her version of “Dirty Diana” and think there was something original and fun in there. But she ruined it a bit for me by swallowing the word endings on half of her lyrics, and grimacing and crouching around the stage like a younger and only slightly less insane Joan Rivers gagging over a bad dress at the Daytime Emmys.

I think Simon was right when he said she probably thought it was better than it was, but I think with a little fine-tuning, she could really have something with that cover.

TROY: We're on the same page with a lot tonight--I totally agree. Alexis is my favorite female in the competiton and, while I liked her take on "Dirty Diana," I felt like there was just something a bit off. That's not always bad, but it did need a little more work.

Still, I have no doubt she'll only get better and better.

TRACY: Agreed. Oh, and was she wearing some kind of onesie-jumper thing? Because if that was a (microscopic) dress, those swaying zombies in the front row got more of a show than they bargained for.

TROY: Well, the judges bassically DID tell her to skank it up a bit more....Probably why they gave her the porn spot for DIAL IDOL numbers (apparently IDOL-13 went to an adult phone chat line--hence the new IDOL-36 number).

TRACY: Heh. CONCLUSION: I think the strongest performance of the night was Adam Lambert by a light-year, followed by the imperfect but interesting singing of both Allison Iraheta and Alexis Grace. Still love Megan Corkrey and hope for better next time. The rest … meh, with an extra side of more meh to Jasmine Murray and Jorge Nuñez. Sad as I am to see the little Latin boy go, I think America made the right choice.

TROY: All this fashion commentary from you and nothing about Kelly Clarkson's epic fail of an outfit? I loves me some Kelly, but her outfit made her look like a gold fringed trash bag with two wrasslin' cats inside.

TRACY: Ooooh, I was trying to scrub my brain of that image. Who dressed that girl? Miss Teen Texas? The ghost of Liberace? A Dolly Parton-impersonating drag queen? ARRRRGGGGGHHHH!

TROY: Positive Kelly Note:"I Don't Hook Up" and "Ready" on her new album are totally worth a listen.

Troy's Top 3: Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, and Alexis Grace (but probably should be Danny Gokey vocally--YARF)

TRACY: Double YARF.

TROY: Troy's Bottom 3: Bottom 3: Jasmine Zzzz, Jorge Nuñez, Scott McIntyre.

4 comments:

Angryromancegrrl said...

You know how much I loathe reality shows...and I now I to watch or I won't know WTF you guys are talking about and dammit...I wanna know so I can join in the mockage!

Curse you! :::shakes fist at sky:::

Angryromancegrrl said...

On a side note about pleated pants (noted when Lil wore them) one of my bosses is wearing them today. They are WRONG I tell you. WRONG.

Tracy Montoya said...

Heh. You know you wanna watch!

Tracy Montoya said...

I KNOW! Pleated pants are the devil.

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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