Archive for March, 2012

Nobody Voted For Her

Oh Erika Van Pelt, you were doomed from the start. As a rock-influenced girl who at one point had pink streaks in her hair, you had no chance. You probably didn’t know this, of course. So thanks for trying. Anyway, here’s my farewell song to Erika, to the tune of the Billy Joel song everyone should’ve covered this week, “We Didn’t Start The Fire.”

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Top Idol Performances: #30-26

We’ve somehow made it all the way to the top 30! I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel, y’all, and it looks oh so pretty. Here we look at the joys of midtempo/uptempo songs from a bunch of contestants who were much better known as somewhat stale belters at times. Man, now that we’re in the top 30 I really do love every single one of these performances. I’m sad I’m cutting a few of these.
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No Dancing For Jeremy

In a ridiculous move that at one point placed six out of the thirteen finalists in danger, Idol announced the bottom 3 vote getting guys and girls and there were really no surprises. The only one who was sort of a shock was Joshua – but when you consider he performed first and really has no actual fanbase to speak of, it’s not all that puzzling. Anyway, all the ridiculous nonsense with the bottom six and the bottom guy and girl and the judges deliberation and what not ended up with sweet Jeremy Rosado getting the ax. And no one really cared. He didn’t even get to sing himself out. Again, sad. Idol, stop robbing people of their swan songs. It’s just mean. I’ve come back to remedy that yet again! And because I know everyone wanted to hear me sing some Whitney Houston ‘ere goes:

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The Top 13 Are Surprisingly Fantastic

So every year Idol likes to tote that it’s the best year ever and the talent is better than ever before. And for the most part, Idol is a lying liar who lies. But I don’t think I’d have any qualms with the claim that this is the most talented group of finalists we’ve had. (I’m not saying they definitely are, just that there’s certainly a convincing argument there.) First of all, everyone can sing! I know this seems trivial, but usually there are a few people who struggle with hitting the right notes and staying on key, so this is a pretty big deal. Secondly, some of them are fantastic singers. Every single girl has the potential on any given night to give a true show-stopper and a couple of the boys seem to have that in them as well. I love it. I haven’t been this into a season since Group 2 performance night during Season 8.

You know what else makes this season fantastic? The judges! Yes, yes the judges. I know, I know, that seems Ludacris like baby, baby, baby oh. But it’s true! All three of them were constructive and insightful and even for the entire show. Did I disagree with a few things they said? Sure. But I also disagree with a few things you said. Overall, they judged the performances like they actually were watching them. Again, that might seem trivial but I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that about the judging panel before. They critiqued everything they saw. They mentioned some of the unique difficulties contestants on the show have that are sort of artificially constructed. It was refreshing. It was so refreshing that I only spent about a third of the time Randy was speaking trying to figure out what misguided piece of bling he was sporting on his coat.

And for the Human Torch piece of this fantastic show (did that make any sense? No. But neither does the show being fantastic, so roll with it), Mary J. Blige was one of the best mentors yet. She was entertaining and engaging! I mean, her uncontrollable yelps and giggles while contestants were nailing it were totally appropriate and endearing. And on top of that, she knew what she was talking about. I mean, it’s one thing for her to try to explain something, it’s another for her to go on and sing an example. She helped pretty much every contestant in a really specific, pointed way that added pretty significantly to their performance. It’s a shame she actually has a career of her own because I would love for this to turn into a permanent gig for her.

So yes. The performances were decent, good or fantastic. Let’s get on to those.
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Top 13 Song Choices: Stevie Wonder & Whitney Houston

This week the guys are singing Stevie Wonder songs and the girls are singing Whitney Houston songs. I appreciate the theme because it’s specific and not a cop out theme like “Songs From An Artist You Can Name” or “Songs With A Preposition In The Title” or “Love Songs, Party Songs, and Songs About Life.” That said, it’s an awful theme for way more reasons than it’s a good one. The gender divide is stupid. Let the girls sing Stevie and let the guys sing Whitney. They’re singing the same night, you can’t restrict them to different songbooks. That makes no sense. And means I won’t get Skylar Laine spazzing out on “Superstition.” Also, Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston are the 1st and 3rd most covered artists on Idol, respectively (thanks WhatNotToSing). This week’s theme could’ve been “Innovative, Relevant Song Choices” and we still would’ve gotten 4 girls singing Whitney Ballads and 3 guys butchering Stevie.

But enough of my bitching about the theme. On to my always intelligible, never confusing song suggestions for our Top 13!
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Top Idol Performances: #35-31

Included in this update: four winners and 3 white guys with guitars. And yes, all three white guys with guitars are winners. Because I love myself a good WGWG performance. Of course, while four of these performances are all probably remembered to a degree, I always need to include that one long-forgotten performance. Or else I just wouldn’t be me, y’know?
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The Final Thirteen

So America and the judges actually managed to put together a pretty solid group of finalists, didn’t they? I mean, I’m not truly offended by any finalist. Yes, Phillip Phillips Phillipson sounds like he’s gargling rocks most of the time, but he seems like a cool enough dude. And no, black Hagrid and Pillsbury dough boy Rosado and Sideshow Bob and To Catch A Steven Tyler Predator bait aren’t the most interesting or vocally talented people ever, but they’re all properly inoffensive. And Heejun! Well, that one isn’t much of a singer, is he? But at least he’s fun before and after he performs. All I ask for is an entertaining show and if he provides some of that, I’m good.

But then there are also finalists who could be really exciting, too! Maybe Colton will end up crowd surfing! Jessica and Hollie are teens who can sing and don’t feel like they’ve just outgrown Toddlers & Tiaras. Josh is everything Jacob wanted to be and so much more. Elise and Erika actually feel like real people who might live on this planet we call Earth and also happen to be rock stars. And Skylar, well, I don’t think we’ll have a dull moment with Skylar.

So yes. I am excited for the group we have. But that also means we lost 12 people this week. And it was sort of sad. But not really, because for the most part, the right people went. Anyway, I’m always of the opinion that everyone deserves a swan song, and these poor semifinalists that get culled never get their own. So, I’ve decided to give them one with my beautiful voice on a song America clearly didn’t hear enough of this past week. I present, to the tune of Adele’s “One And Only,” “The Final Thirteen.” (Lyrics below)

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