Monday, April 06, 2009

American Idol: Top 10 Recap

TRACY: I let us fall behind, so we’re catching up with a two-fer Idol recap post.

Before we get to the songs, Troy, I just have to ask, are Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta the only two contestants left who haven’t snarked back to the judges?! For a group that seems to get along so well, too many have a disturbing habit of forgetting their manners when they’re up on the stage listening to feedback. Sad.

TROY: I believe you're correct...and you know how much I HATE when the contestants sass back. Seriously, I think there needs to be a rule that once a contestant talks back to a judge, they are eliminated on-the-spot.

TRACY: Anyway, two weeks ago was Motown Week, and I have to say, I ADORE Smokey Robinson. He may not have had much to offer in the way of constructive criticism, but he has such a lovely personality to go with that amazing smile, I think he still managed to teach the contestants something, i.e. how far grace and warmth can take you in the music business, when they’re added to heaps of talent.

TROY: I agree and he seems super nice and is obviously a legendary talent, but ZZZzzzZzZZZZZzzzzz... Can we get a guest mentor who tells the contestant like-it-is? Raw honesty may have prevented us from having to endure Michael Sarver's massacre of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg"

TRACY: More on that, later. For once, most of the contestants managed to at last demonstrate why they made it into the top ten. So I guess we can put off recapping “Cooking with Nigella” for at least another week, Troy.

TROY: My Tivo is on standby for that season pass...

TRACY: As it probably should be....

Leading off that "FINALLY showing some talent" group was MATT GIRAUD, who knocked it out of the park with “Let’s Get it On,” completely obliterating my traumatic memory of last year’s Jared Cotter grinding and running his hand down his face while SINGING IT TO HIS MOTHER!!! GAHHHHHH!!!!!!

TROY: Thanks for that reminder--BLECH.

TRACY: Anyway, for once, I have more to say than, “Matt played the piano. He was a'ight.” Although he had a couple of wonky notes, overall, he worked it out. Good on ya, Matt!

TROY: Matt's one of my favorite contestants and this song definitely suited and showed off his mad vocal skills. However (this may be blasphemy), I'm just not a big fan of "Let's Get It On." I get that it's a classic and there are some awesome riffs, but it just sketches me out (probably because of Mr. Cotter's...uh..."interpretation").

TRACY: (Excuse me. I think my skin crawled into the next room while I was having the Jared Cotter flashback, and I need to go retrieve it.)

Another person who shocked me into REALLY liking him was KRIS ALLEN, with “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You). The 12-year-old wife was still in attendance (Doesn’t she have anything else to do other than camp outside the Idol mansion to beat off Kris stalkers, say a JOB?!), but I managed to focus more on his singing this time, which was terrific. I really, really liked him.

TROY: His poor wife! She so did not know what she was getting into when Kris was selected for Idol. If she sees what you're writing about her, you may have a new Debbie Gibson on your hands.

TRACY: You KNOW Debbie's "fan" is totally going to see this now. Nice one.

TROY: I've been a big fan of Kris' since the beginning and I really enjoyed this performance. It wasn't a MOMENT yet (it wasn't even Chris Klein/Meni Suvari's rendition in "American Pie"), but it was miles ahead of certain other people in this competition COUGHmeganCOUGH

TRACY: I also figured out why he was bugging me during the last few weeks. He looks like a white Enrique Iglesias, which added an even bigger ick factor to his performances for me than his angry pre-adolescent spouse. But now that I've figured it out, I have acknowledged the disturbing association and have moved on completely. I now like Kris a lot—he was fab.

Also … loved the shirt! (Although was I the only one who thought it might have the numbers from “Know1ng,” that new Nicholas Cage movie, running along the bottom)?”

TROY: Really? I was going to say that it looked like a computer virus was taking over him. The idea was cool, but employing the "less is more" strategy would have been very beneficial.

TRACY: SCOTT MACINTYRE was all over the place, except for on the right notes with “You Can’t Hurry Love.” He has a tendency to randomly shriek select notes here and there, so it was more like, “You CAN’T! HurRY LOOOOVVVE!!!” Ouch.

TROY: Again, the idea of reworking "You Can't Hurry Love" into more of a ballad is interesting, but Scott does not have the chops to pull it off. Again, super talented PIANO player, but just not a good singer. I definitely think he's our Lunesta Fairy this year.

TRACY: Agreed. And the pink pants?! MY EYES!!!! THEY BURRRRRRRRNNNNNN!!!!

TROY: The pink pants earn the EPIC FAIL award for this week. Jebus they were baaad. Like Clay Aiken-"Grease"/red leather jacket bad....

TRACY: Props to Scott for engaging in some pretty funny repartee with Ryan over said pants. Who is dressing this poor boy?! For the love of all that is holy, please STOP IT!!!! I think he'd do better if you dropped him in the middle of Macy's and told him to have at it.

He’s blind. That just ain’t right.

I have to say, during the results show, when Scott sang a little solo snippet in the Motown medley, I realized that he’s not all that bad when he’s not turning every song known to humankind into a Kenny G./Michael Bolton EZ-Cheez-fest.

TROY: It also proves that Scott cannot choose a song/arrangement to save his life. I'm so not a fan.

TRACY: You know I’ve been a fan, but MEGAN JOY CORKREY blew huge, gelatinous chunks with “For Once in My Life.” Even though Kara’s freakish intensity scares me sometimes, I think she was right on the money when she said Megan should have sung “My Guy,”—something fun and light in a slightly higher register.

Although perhaps it wouldn’t have been quite as painful if she’d actually managed to sing more than two notes in key. Ay.

TROY: Can you imagine a Megan drinking game? Have a shot everytime the girl goes off key! You'd be completely gone by the end of her 1 1/2 minute song.

Megan was horrifyingly bad.

TRACY: ANOOP DESAI did a terrific job with “Ooooh, Baby, Baby,” a beautiful ...


TRACY: (Stop that! I love that song!)... song that really is all over the place melodically, and so difficult to sing. Anoop has a fab falsetto and unlike the person who came before him, managed to hit most, if not all of his notes.

However, what was with the funereal facial expressions? He looked like he was going to follow the “ooooohhh, babyyy, babyyyy,” with “someone just ran over my dog, and I am taking Cymbalta for my depression.”

Love that Randy asked him to bring the “energy” back. Next week, Trainwreck Anoop! Whee!

TROY: Thank God! Anoop's only saving grace is that he's a trainwreck when hopped up on "ENERGY." He reminds me a bit of Jessie Spano during her "caffeine pill" incident. Good times...

TRACY: MICHAEL SARVER was an unmitigated disaster of gargantuan proportions, and I am so glad he got the boot. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” is bar none my favorite Motown single from back in the day, and he slaughtered it. Listening to that mess was almost as traumatic as that time I watched Grandma behead chickens on the farm when I was five. (Did you know they actually do run around for awhile after you chop off their heads? :::shudder:::)

TROY: Lots of pleasant imagery in this recap today!

My feelings on Michael Sarver have been pretty clear since the beginning of the season. Not said to see him get the boot at all.

TRACY: LIL ROUNDS sang “Heatwave.” It was VERY competent, but overall, I am still kinda meh about this girl.

TROY: Lil never has an emotional connection to her song, creating the MEHs. Plus, "Heatwave" blows on Idol (Kimberly Locke ruined it for me in Season Two--back when Simon dubbed her the "Burger Queen").

TRACY: I was not at all meh about her cute fringey dress, though. She looked slamming in that frock, although I could have done without the horrible wig. Maggie and Marin have a toy box of dress-up clothes, and that thing on Lil’s head looked like their acrylic Morticia Addams wig after it’s been sitting crushed into the bottom of the box for a few weeks. She’s a gorgeous woman, but the bad wigs, man…. Painful.

So even you, who have not jumped on the ADAM LAMBERT train as wholeheartedly as I have, MUST admit that he did an American Idol performance for the ages with “Tracks of My Tears.” That was … that was … words cannot express how fabulous, how perfect, how utterly wonderful that was.

But I will try, because it’s my blog. Adam just showed all of the haters that he can indeed tone down the theatrics and the vocal bombast, and underneath the showman, there is one kickass musician.

TROY: I loved Adam! I've said that he's one of my favorite contestants this year! At least when he sucks (see:"Ring of FYYYY-YAHHH"), he remains INTERESTING.

I wasn't all that familiar with "Tracks of My Tears," but it was so nice to see Adam tone it down and really have a MOMENT. He was utterly fantastic and I have no snark for him this week.

TRACY: Ever since I had my daughters, I have a tendency to cry when I hear beautiful music (and watch sappy Hallmark commercials, but that’s another story). I have to admit, I got a little farklempt during Adam’s performance, and almost lost my mind when Smokey Robinson gave him a second standing ovation. (The first doesn’t count, because those goobers in the audience jump to their feet for everyone. Megan could caw an entire song, and I think they’d still give her a standing O.) SO gorgeous.

TROY: Crying over IDOL? You really just admitted that now? Really? :)

TRACY: Quiet, you.

I think the suit and slicked back hair was a nice change, but I hope that’s going to be the exception rather than the rule. I love Adam’s look, and I don’t think he should change a thing.

If I didn’t like snarking over this show so much, I’d just say these people should save the world some time and just declare the boy the winner.

::::deep Mortal Kombat voice:::: FATALITY. Adam Lambert wins.

As an aside, when is Kara going to relax? Those bugged-out eyes! That freakishly intense delivery! Those erratic, axe-murderer hand gestures! I feel like she’s going to run up on stage and drive an icepick into the contestants’ foreheads every time she finishes her commentary. “I’ve got SIX! WORDS! FOR! YOU!!!!! ONE! OF! THE! BEST! PERFORMANCES! OF! THE! NIGHT!!!!!!” ::::::icepick:::::

(BTW, I feel compelled to point out that that was eight words. I’m just saying.)

TROY: There's a bunch of reports that the rest of the judges despise Kara, so I'm thinking that the frantic delivery and gestures are part of her trying to prove herself or something. She's really useless, isn't she?

TRACY: Totally. I did not hear that about the other judges hating on her, but it gives me hope that they'll give her the Heisman before next season.

TROY: One benefit to the Kara addition is that she's really made PAULA step up her game this year. Articulate and constructive, I'm appreciating "the gift" more and more each week.

TRACY: That brings us to DANNY FREAKING GOKEY, whose dancing was so spazzy and epileptic, I had a hard time concentrating on the singing. His “Get Ready” was okay, but it wasn’t enough to make me like him or his attitude any more.

TROY: The dance moves! For the love of God, those DANCE MOVES.

TRACY: And did I miss something, or did this guy TOTALLY DISS SMOKEY ROBINSON?!?!?! He’s all, “I’m going to listen to Smokey’s suggestion to sing the backup part, because he’s been in this business lo nger than I have.” And then he gets up on stage and blows him off?!?! Let me say that again—Danny Freaking Gokey BLEW OFF SMOKEY "I have 37 top 40 hits" ROBINSON.

TROY: Sally Jessie Rapha-gokey is an asshat. I can't even snark properly because my haaate for him is so strong.

Enough said.

TRACY: I’m done with him. The Danny Freaking Gokey train has left the building, and I am running madly in the opposite direction with my hair on fire. What a tool.

I didn’t think anything could make me love a performance of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” more than the unjustly ousted David Hernandez’s fab version from last season, but ALLISON IRAHETA totally laid down the funk and killed it. I think she’s terrific.

TROY: I've said it once, and I'll say it again, Allison is the best teenager this show has ever had (suck it, Jordin Sparks). I know it took a little bit for me to warm up to her, but I find her super-awkwardness very endearing and the girl can saaannng.

TRACY: That said, she really needs to start paying attention to her consonants, because she tends to swallow them. “Pa’a wahnuh rolllinnnnn stoooooooooohhhhhhhh! Wherevahhh heeee leeeehhhh hi’ hah wahn hin hoooooooome.”

Enunciate, chica! Eeee! Nun! Seee! ATE!

So all in all, a great show that didn’t come anywhere near the somnambulance of the last couple of rounds. I was glad to see the out-of-his-league Michael Sarver go. (Alexis Grace was so totally robbed.)

TROY: I agree--if only it could have been a triple elimination with Scott and Megan following him on the way out.

TRACY: Tracy’s Top 3: Adam Lambert; Adam Lambert again, because he deserves two spots; and Kris Allen.

TROY: Adam was great, but show Allison some love and your list is perfect.

TRACY: Tracy’s Bottom 3: Megan CAW! Corkrey, Scott McIntyre, Michael Sarver (by a mile)

TROY: WORD to this

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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