Wednesday, May 13, 2009

American Idol Recap: Top 4!


She can’t be gone, Troy. She just can’t. I won’t believe it. Allison is still here. She’s still hereshe’sstillhereSHE’SSTILLHERE. She hasn’t been kicked off. I won’t believe it; you can’t make me.

TROY: The first stage of grief: shock…and denial.

TRACY: Oh, it huuurrrrrrrrrrrrrtssss. Why, God, WHY??

TROY: Did you vote? We didn’t vote!!!!! ( second stage: pain and guilt)

TRACY: I am so bitter, I’m leaking dandelion sap.

I’m typing this reclining on my chaise lounge with an ice pack behind my neck, because otherwise, I might just spontaneously combust from rage.

TROY: Third stage: Anger!

TRACY: Barring the severe injustice of the results show, this was my favorite theme night on Idol ever in the history of ever. (Though let us pause for a moment to regret that we did not get to see Trainwreck Anoop sneer and strut his way through “Welcome to the Jungle” or “Pyromania” in front of Slash.)

TROY: (I would have lurved to have seen Megan CAWkrey’s version of a rock song. She would have had the Janis-drunken swagger down at least.)

TRACY: Props to you, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, for managing to create a “Hell, No, You Can’t Sing a Sappy-Ass Ballad” night without actually calling it “Hell, No, You Can’t Sing a Sappy-Ass Ballad” night.

How big of a dork am I that I downloaded both duets immediately when they were up on iTunes? (And it’s a huge testament to Kris Allen’s talent that I can love “Renegade” for his performance despite the fact that Danny Gokey is audibly bursting blood vessels and vocal cords beside him.)

TROY: BOTH? I loved Adam/Allison but refuse to spend 99 cents on anything that has a trace of DFG. Every time a DFG song is downloaded, an angel loses its wings.

TRACY: Heh. And speaking of Slash, did someone cryogenically freeze him in 1992 and then thaw him out for this gig? Because he looks eerily the same as he did back when I was rocking to GNR’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” cover in college. Perhaps its the sunglasses.

TROY: Gotta be the Men-in-Black shades.

TRACY: Roight.

So we started out with ADAM LAMBERT doing so-classic-it’s-almost-untouchable Led Zeppelin, with “Whole Lotta Love.” But of COURSE Mr. Five Octaves with Eyeliner could touch it, and he delivered a KO that actually made me go “Robert Plant Who?” Loved it, loved it, loved it, want to marry it and have its babies.

What I loved even more was how right after glowering and snarling into the camera, Adam’s face completely transforms after the last note into a bright-eyed “Hi! I’m Adam!” smile.

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

TROY: Definitely shows what a great performer Adam his – he gets so intense while singing, but can snap out of it right after the music stops. That said, I didn’t love Adam this week.

TRACY: ::::incredulous, google-eyed stare::::


Again, his voice is amazing, but I don’t love the abundance of showing off that goes on. I think Adam’s biggest problem is that he suffers from Aguileritis.

Symptoms of Aguileritis include showcasing your five octave range EVERY 3rd measure, stretching out a syllable to 10, pained facial expressions, and glass shattering.

If your loved one suffers Aguileritis, please … get them a glass of water.

TRACY: I think I might do a Keifer Sutherland Angry Head Butt on you if you were here. Since you're not, I'm just going to pretend you didn't go there.

TROY: I’m still on Team Adam though. Promise!

TRACY: I swear, if Adam doesn’t win this thing, I’m going on a hunger strike until America comes to its senses and sends Danny Gokey to the vet for de-barking surgery.

(I’m not being entirely unselfish here. After looking at photos of myself in that orange dress I wore to our cousin’s wedding, I could use a short hunger strike. Why didn’t you tell me I looked like the Great Pumpkin?)

TROY: (You did not!)

TRACY: And before we leave off with Adam, I’ll ask: Was Kara’s chair vibrating shortly after Adam’s song, or what? Because otherwise, there is no excuse for that mess. She called him sleazy? WHATevah, Jackie O’Nasty.

TROY: Useless Kara commentary? I’m shocked! Thank GOD Simon said she’ll be back next year!!!

TRACY: I'm praying to the TV gods that he's pulling a Barbara Walters and denying she's being fired, so she can come up with her own "exit story." Here's hoping for a nice Star Jones-esque trainwreck between this season and next!

Next up was ALLISON IRAHETA with “Cry, Baby.” Now you KNOW how much I love the late, great Janis, so the fact that I merely enjoyed Allison’s take and wasn’t pelting my TV with popcorn, toys, my small children, and whatever else was within reach is a huge compliment. But I have to say, she was freaking AMAZING during her exit (Rage.) performance. After I shifted my slack jaw back into place, I turned to my husband and went, “I actually really love this.” He called it "the best I-just-got-kicked-off-of-American-Idol performance I’ve ever seen.”

TROY: Totally agree. Allison’s final performance gave me goosebumps (a rarity in Idol-land). Did you notice Kara shrieking in her face as she was singing to them? “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!!!!” I agreed with her and was disgusted at the same time.

TRACY: Ugh. I’m thinking that Allison’s high emotions after getting the unjust boot (Rage.) finally gave her that extra dose of oomph she needed to really tear the roof off the studio. If only the producers had known that earlier. They could have bitch-slapped her and told her her dress was ugly before every performance and maybe she would still be with us. I know they always tell contestants “this is not the end,” but this better not freaking be the end for her. She’s too talented.

TROY: If we would’ve seen that performance from Allison on Tuesday night, it would have made the list of the ten best Idol performances EVAH. She was robbed, man! ROBBED! Here’s hoping 19 Entertainment doesn’t force her to make some watered down Bo “The Real Thing” Bice drivel.

File “Iraheta” next to “Trenyce” in the “Underappreciated Idols” folder.

TRACY: Totally.

DUET #1: Again, it’s a huge testament to Kris’s talent that his being paired with Danny Freaking Gokey that I actually still loved their performance of “Renegade.” As much as it pains me to admit this, I think Danny’s half was the best performance that guy has given since the top 12 began. It was nice to hear him sing an up-tempo song that actually had some energy and a good melody.

TROY: This was amazing in comparison to the terrors Gokey inflicted later on in the show. I will (begrudgingly) admit that some of their harmonies sounded really great.

TRACY: However, I need to have a word with the sound mixers.

Dear Sound Mixing Guy or Girl:

After months of dealing with DFG’s obnoxious behavior, you should have known that he is the Molly Shannon of American Idol and would try his banshee-like best to upstage and drown out the softer-voiced Kris. Maybe next time you could turn his mike on mute and see if their voices balance better.



TROY: Oohh.. can I co-sign?

TRACY: Of course.


Troy and Me

It was kind of nice seeing Kris rocking something other than a plaid shirt and long-sleeved tee. Leather jacket and motorcycle boots? Kinda hot. I finally see what all those teenaged girls are so gaga over.

Both of them went off key a little, but all in all, I liked most of it. (That would be the parts on which Kris was singing.)

TROY: I’m sad that Gokey received some praise in our recaps. I feel unclean.

TRACY: Rather than being the second coming of Axl Rose, KRIS ALLEN is more of an REO Speedwagon-style rocker. But I thought he managed not to sink like a folksy little rock, as expected. “Come Together” was a rather unfortunate choice, given how Carly Smithson killed it, stuffed it, and hung it on her wall last season—and at first, Kris’s version sounded like a pale imitation. But I ended up thinking that he put his own kinda nice spin on it, so I rewound and gave it a second listen. And I have to say, it was pretty darn good. I loved when he dropped it down an octave and tooled around with the melody in a few parts. It was understated, but very, very accomplished, and he got absolutely shafted by Squeaky Fromme and Simon. I cry “sabotage,” and I cry it hard.

TROY: Kris totally got thrown under the Idol bus. (driven by Kara and her runaway bride eyes). I enjoyed Kris’ performance and was shocked that the judges said he was lacking energy. The boy was singing, playing his guitar, and rocking out in his non-rock way. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM HIM PEOPLE? NIGHT TERROR SHRIEKING? (We’ll get to that later.)

TRACY: Kris’s wife looked so happy for him when he was officially declared a member of the top 3, all jumping up and down with her cute little pre-teen grin, that my maternal instincts kicked in and I wanted to jump up and down with her, and perhaps buy her a Cabbage Patch doll. I am thrilled that the American people had the good sense to keep him, even if they delivered an epic fail on Allison.

TROY: 5.6.09: Never forget.

:::moment of respectful silence:::

TRACY: I think perhaps it’s safe for Howard Dean to run for president again, because The Scream that Killed a Presidential Run might have just been overshadowed by that horrible, horrible drunken banshee wail coming out of DANNY FREAKING GOKEY’s throat. The last ten seconds or so of "Dream On" sounded exactly like that scene in that old 1987 horror movie, Prince of Darkness, where that girl barfs up her own intestines.

Double-ewwww. Tee. Eff.

TROY: You know I have to bring it up (as we do every Idol year), but remember the epic fail that was Jordis Unga on Rockstar: INXS when she performed “Dream On?” Need a reminder? “Dream On” is NOT a smart choice for a reality TV karaoke competition, people!

Jordis’ epic fail (and seemingly cramps-induced howl--see 2:12 in the video) is a musical masterpiece compared to the mess DFG inflicted upon us. My ears STILL hurt.

I do have to thank Danny because I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder at an Idol performance than I did at this one (and I watched the Sanjaya season, people). The combination of this boy thinking he nailed it and the look of pure horror on the judges’ faces is classic.

Listening to the studio version isn’t much better. I think someone goes Lorena Bobbit on him at the 2:27 mark. Really.

TRACY: And what was up with the relentlessly dorky pin-striped pants and vest? Um, hello, ROCK NIGHT?! Couldn’t you at least put on a pair of jeans with a tiny fray in the knee or something? Pin-stripes? Seriously? And that chunkalicious chain with the pin-stripes? Looks like someone robbed Mr. T in his sleep, and with the way Mr. T’s career has been going since The A-Team ended, dude can’t afford to be losing any of his bling. That’s just cruel.

And Smarmy Gokey had Douchebag Moment #57 with his whole “I went home and laughed” about his screaming, flu-ridden banshee wail. I could just SEE his whole thought process in that smug mug of his: “Well, OBVIOUSLY I’m safe, because I’m awesome. Ergo, the botched note or two at the end of my song is funny, since there’s no way I could POSSIBLY be kicked off the show in all my awesomeness.”

TROY: Don’t forget Douchebag Moment #58 when he pulled a Guarini and told the judges something to the effect of, “It wasn’t that bad! I’ll have to go home and play back the tape!” Why are people voting for this man?

TRACY: Whatever. So bitter.

DUET #2: Allision and Adam were absolutely perfect together with “Slow Ride,” proving once again that Allison was so robbed. I can’t even talk about it anymore, or I might just turn green and burst through my clothing. Hulk sad.

TROY: I thought it was a weird duet choice (Allison said Adam “Play that Funky Music White Boy” Lambert picked it. Go figure.), but thought they both sounded flawless. If the producers can promise that these two will duet on tour this summer, I’m so there.

TRACY: I can’t let this recap end without discussing Gwen Stefani’s “performance” on the results show. OMG, did Gwen actually have a Jack Palance moment and do PUSH-UPS while singing “I’m Just a Girl”? [Who Sucks.] Wow, four push-ups. Holy feminist icon, Troy. Gloria Steinem should just retire.

TROY: Oh please. Would you rather she bake cookies for the boys while performing? Perform Destiny Child’s “Cater 2 U?” It was a call-out to REAL No Doubt fans who watched her do a similar routine back in the Tragic Kingdom days (where she did back-flips and way more than 10 push-ups). Don’t hate.

TRACY: It was a call-out to people who have the misfortune of being tone-deaf and easily impressed.

And where were her pet racist caricatures harajuku dancers? It’s a sad day when you can’t even make your own song sound like your own song. No wonder the judges were nowhere to be seen—Fox obviously didn’t want to have to show Simon hurling during that performance.

TROY: She’s back with the boys – no more Harajuku. And it was pre-taped!

TRACY: I can’t believe you like this mess enough to pay to hear her sing live. Since she doesn’t do backflips on stage anymore, I can’t imagine why that would be even remotely enjoyable. Hot mess of the night, y’all!

TROY: The woman was running around the stage like a maniac with the energy of a teenager and she’s forty! Give her a break!

TRACY: Dude, I'm 38--do I look like I should be in a home or something? I'm not impressed.

TROY: Your irrational hate of Gwen is blinding you from realizing the real hot mess of the night (hot mess of the WEEK was DFG by a landslide): PAULA ABDUL.

Gwen’s vocals have never been strong, but she at least sang LIVE, unlike a certain reality TV judge who makes a living on critiquing the singing of others.

TRACY: Ooooh. Oh, yeah, that was very, very sad. I was literally cringing on the couch in embarrassment for her. She's a better dancer than Gwen, though.

TROY: The dancing was great, but Paula couldn’t have even sang to her backing track? FRAUD!

According to the song, she’s just here for the music people (and, uh, the endless supply of oxycontin).

TRACY: Well, it oughta be fun watching Kris get sabotaged again next week. Here’s hoping the girlie-girl vote (and, um, mine) ...

TROY: (I’m in, too…)

TRACY: ... can keep him afloat into the finale with Adam (who had BETTER be a lock), because watching Smarmy Gokey for half of the two-hour show is probably going to make me punch my TV. And it’s new, so I really don’t want to hurt it.

Save Kris! (And Adam, of course.)

TROY: Right your past wrongs and make way to a better future. Vote Kradam for the finale.

We beg you.

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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