Wednesday, May 13, 2009

American Idol Recap: Top 5!

Troy's computer imploded, so we are behind. This week, we'll have a three-fer!
TRACY: Well, it was Rat Pack night, and our top five decided to make it All Ballads, All the Time night on top of it. You know, I would be so off my head with joy if Cecile Frot-Coutaz decided to make one of the last four themes "Oh, HELL No, You Can’t Pick a Ballad" night. Just once. Seriously.

Anyway, how terrific that a wholesome show like American Idol would choose Jamie Foxx and His Ginormous Ego to be this week’s mentor? I guess Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., and Michael Buble all had to wash their hair Tuesday night.

TROY: Buble would have been ah-may-zing (since they've already had Tony Bennett mentor). You know Idol was totally worried he'd show up hammered again.

TRACY: I begrudgingly admit that Jamie F. did a nice job with the finalists and was pretty darn entertaining when he got all up in Danny Freaking Gokey’s (DFG) face. And yes, vocoder aside, the dude is SO talented. (I really did love him in Ray.) But after that whole Miley Cyrus debacle, he’s kinda dead to me now. And you KNOW you did something supremely un-classy when Troy and I are siding with a Disney-bot over you.

TROY: At least JF (and HGE) was coherent and gave good advice/feedback to the contestants, but I'm still scratching my head over his inclusion THIS week. "Blame on the A-A-A-A-A-Alcohol" doesn't seem like something that Old Blue Eyes would have sang. I do think Jamie thinks he's actually Ray Charles sometimes (see: "Gold Digger").

TRACY: I thought KRIS ALLEN didn’t quite get the credit he deserved for a lovely, totally on pitch, clear-as-a-bell performance of “The Way You Look Tonight.” Of the remaining five, he’s the only one I could actually buy as a crooner.

And it looks like Simon became this week’s Delphic Oracle, with his cryptically bizarre comment about Kris’s performance being “a little bit wet,” which he later helpfully clarified as being “not dry.” So, a dry performance is synonymous with a boring one, does that mean that he was giving Kris a compliment?

Do I care? No, I do not.

TROY: I actually really enjoyed Kris' performance. It wasn't "jump-out-of-your-seat" great, but it was on-pitch and, at times, slightly ear delicious (thanks Sedaka!). Sadly, I don't really have anything to snark about, but I do think the judges have it out for him. Enough with the DFG pandering and over-praising! UGH.

TRACY: Still love ALLISON IRAHETA. Still not loving her performances of late. Her “Someone to Watch Over Me” was a’ight, but I think if she’d been the only contestant to sing an up-tempo number, she REALLY would have stood out. Or, seriously, Idol vocal coaches, you couldn’t have figured out where Peggy Lee and the Rat Pack overlapped and steered Allison in that direction? “Black Coffee?” “The Boy from Ipanema?” Unfortunately, it was a snooze-fest worthy of a new Lunesta Fairy crown. I hold out high hopes, however, that she will pass said crown on to Danny Gokey next Tuesday as she sinks her newly 17-year-old teeth into Rock Week.

TROY: I respect your opinion, but WHAT DID YOU ALL THINK?

Ahem ... I mean ... I actually lurved Allison's performance this week, especially after the sucktastic of the last two weeks (seriously ... that "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" debacle pains me, given my Iraheta love). I appreciated that she finally did something low-key and a little vulnerable.

Granted, I don't want Allison to take up where Lil left off (nap break!), but I liked that she mixed it up this week. It's versatility!

TRACY: Right. Oh, and how much did you love Jamie Foxx telling Allison that she was so “innocent” and obviously “too young to have ever been in love." But apparently in Jamie Foxx-land, she is, by two years, not too old to shoot heroin or make a sex tape.

TROY: Have to remember that this man also made the artistic, indie film "Booty Call."

TRACY: :::snort:::

As bitter as I am to see the talented MATT GIRAUD get the boot before DFG, I wasn’t smoking whatever Simon had that led him to declare Matt’s “My Funny Valentine” to be “brilliant.” I thought it was nice, but his pitch was more erratic than the size of my butt, and that falsetto at the end was totally weoird and unnecessary. Once again, I think he would have been AMAZING and a total stand-out if he’d chosen a faster number in that sea of balladry.

However, flaws and all, it was still a really nice performance, and he totally deserved to stay another week instead of Ringy McRinger.

TROY: Yo Yo YO, Matt ... Listen.... You know I'm a fan of yours, dawg. But for me, tonight, FOR ME, it was just a'ight. Some notes were just ... you know. You still did your thang, but I wasn't feelin it like usual, but props for your mad skills and pipes.

Still miles better than you know who.....

TRACY: Oh, gee ... who were you imitating? Give me a minute....

Speaking of DANNY FREAKING GOKEY, I have no idea why the judges and apparently the general public were so in love with his version of “Come Rain or Come Shine.” It started off as yet another mediocre raspy ballad, and then the spirit of Sylvia Plath recalling her electro-shock treatments seemed to invade him, and he went all spaz-o-matic. I swear, by the time he’d finished, that poor boy looked and sounded like he had a hairball.

TROY: I despise DFG and his stupid, smug smile. I have no more words....

TRACY: My oldest daughter Maggie has apparently jumped on the Danny Sucks bandwagon with you, Marin, and me, because while he was singing, she turned to me and pronounced, “Mommy, Danny Gokey needs to be in the bottom three, and then he needs to go home.”

His performance wasn’t helped along any by the appearance of Taylor Hicks on the results show, whose voice I’ve realized bears more than a passing resemblance to DFG’s. I was actually a bit embarrassed for the Gokinator, because though their voices are similar, Taylor just SCHOOLED him.

TROY: Taylor Hicks just SCHOOLED someone? Hell has frozen over, people.

TRACY: Yes, that’s right. I just complimented Taylor Hicks. Even though I was a big fan of Mr. Sweet Home Alabama during the beginning of his Idol run, he lost me somewhere around the Great “Play That Funky Music” massacre of Season 5, and the subsequent “Jailhouse Rock” debacle. But to my everlasting shock, he won me over again with “Seven Mile Breakdown.” Here’s how it went down:

So I hit the pause button on our Tivo after Taylor’s performance, and my husband and I just sat there slack-jawed and dumbstruck for a few moments. Then Jose was all, “Did we actually just like a Taylor Hicks song?” And I was all, “Is that really the guy who unleashed ‘Do I Make You Proud?’ on the world?” And he was all, “I KNOW!” And I was all, “’Member how we really liked him early on in Season XX? ‘Member?” And he was all, “I can’t believe that was actually kinda good. I might not even change the station if it came on the radio.” And I was all, “I KNOW!”

Apparently, getting dropped by 19 Entertainment has worked wonders on the neo-soul-man’s career. He finally got that bluegrassy, southern-rock swamp thing quality that I loved from his original audition back in his voice, and I thought he was just fab.

So SUCK IT, Danny Gokey. That’s how you really bring it when your voice is a Michael-McDonald-esque rasp.


Troy apparently fell asleep during my couch recap. Oh, well. Moving on....

ADAM LAMBERT was fab, as always, although I’m still desperately seeking another Wow! moment like “Mad World.” And I kinda wish he would put his tongue back in his mouth when he hits the high notes—he always looks like he’s trying to blow onion breath in the cameraperson’s face or something.

It was definitely Broadway, but I don t think that’s a bad thing—obviously Adam would be happy as a mascara-ed little clam to be cast in “Wicked” or a “Phantom” revival, etc.

TROY: I think he actually has been in Wicked....not sure what as though....

TRACY: Huh? Who knew? Oh, and I think calling Adam “sleazy” was rude and annoying, but what can one expect from Kreepy Kara? Pot, let me introduce you to sleazy kettle, who also happens to be a shrill, harpy-like kettle that I think should be booted off the show before my head explodes.

TROY: I actually HATED Adam's performance this week.

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

TROY: I know!

"Feelin' Good" is one of my favorite songs of all time and I just hated the dramatics, the screaming, the tongue. I'm normally fine with Adam's over-the-top theatric style, but I just didn't think it fit for this week.

AWESOME entrance though...

TRACY: It was.

Wow factor or not, given his amazing chops, I would have been wicked, wicked (Heh.) devastated to see his foray into the bottom two turn into a fifth-place finish, but since it did not, I now see it as a bit of a blessing. If the producers didn’t rig that whole thing, then it was probably the wake-up call the Glambert fans needed to keep on dialing for my personal favorite. I cannot WAIT to see what he’s going to pull for Rock Week—please, God, don’t let him be Chill Ballad Adam next Tuesday

I’m thinking a tribute to my first love, Joe Elliott, or some Axl. Perhaps some Doors, if Rock Week isn’t confined to hair bands. Or maybe even some Janis turned on its head--THAT would be fun!

I’m also thinking that DFG is seriously toast. (At least, I’ll be doing a DFG is Toast Dance next Tuesday, appealing to the heavens to get him the heck off my TV set. Let me know if you want me to send you the steps.)

But what in the world is Slash going to do as a guest mentor, other than slouch in a corner with a cigarette hanging off his lip and grunt encouragingly? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that man speak, and I came of age during Guns-N-Roses’ peak.

Anyhoo, my top picks were: Kris and Adam

TROY: My picks are: Kris and Allison!

TRACY: Bottom pick: DFG, DFG’s enormous ego, DFG’s smarmy smile.

TROY: Preach.

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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