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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Idol Eyes (Are Smiling . . . Happy SPD)

Tonight I thought I'd do things just a bit differently, updating our little American Idol recap as I went along but without a dozen separate posts. For starters, I'm just so happy the producers of Idol have decided to employ every conceivable method to push the show beyond its time limits. Last week we had an extra performer and an extra judge, and an elaborate intro. To make sure the results show could run long, they decided to add the bizarro judge save, a hopelessly convoluted gimmick that allows the judges to save one fave from elimination, one time, up until the final five round, after which no more saves shall be offered. And that's not even counting the human show delay: Kanye.

Essentially they're telling America, vote for the people you're afraid we won't save (a repercussion they seem to have realized, prompting the "You gotta vote" promos they've been running). But it's just so awkward and pointless and silly. But then again, so is the show . . . let's not think about it too long.

Okay, time to wait for the show to start . . . commence waiting.

So we're getting a little bit country? I dig it. And I love Randy Travis. Everything about him. The preamble is ridiculous, but . . . let's get to the music.


Michael Sarver
"Ain't Goin' Down ('til the Sun Comes Up)" . . . dude. That's a tall order for a big dude burnin' throuh a lot of precious oxygen—no way that performance was green. He did okay, but the impression he leaves you with is, "Wow, that must be hard." You wanna leave people thinking, "Wow, he made that look easy." Not a great choice in my opinion, but doing something similar in the opening rounds got him through. I'm on the fence with this one. He handles the judges well, I'll give him that. If elimination is a sniper, it might pick him off like a fly on a sow's backside.

Allison Iraheta
Patty Loveless might be the single greatest Country name in the genre's grand ole history. And when Randy Travis gave her props for her mature (for a 16 year old) rendition of "Blame it on Your Heart," that girl must have been flyin' high. It was just a tad bit cutesier than she's been, but . . . other than that, she pretty much rocked. She's growing on me, and she's sticking around. I'm getting the feeling that there's absolutely no reason for Simon to comment on tonight's show, because he hates country music. We'll see if he likes anyone.

Kris Allen
Randy hit on a real solid point: Kris is good at singing ballads, and it's about time he actually sang one. He's also getting away with singing a song that ain't really country. Sure it's a Garth Brooks song . . . that used to be a Billy Joel song . . . that's really just a Bob Dylan tune. But hey, I'm lovin' the Garth. He sounded okay . . . I got a bit bored and a little distracted by the massive AI reverb. Paula sounds like she's about to break up with him. Simons drooling on him. Randy loved it. Kara is surprised that a non-country song didn't sound like country. Ah well, Kris isn't going anywhere.

Lil Rounds
In her interview, I can already tell Lil's making a mistake. She has no idea how well the R&B and Country worlds blend. Did I mention I love Randy Travis? Well, strategy shmategy. I think she could have improved on her performance if she let her true self shine through, but she's still pretty freakin' awesome. Her "Independence Day," was [insert fireworks cliché]. It's cool. She'll move on through, and if she doesn't, the judges love her enough to save her. Wow, the judges really talk a long time. Simon called her "Little." Simon agrees with me and is getting characteristically pummeled for it.

Adam Lambert
Randy Travis is a pastor in the church of Country, and he just kicked Adam on out of the parish. Priceless video of the mentoring session. Oh man . . . Adam is pretty much what Jack Black always hopes he could be . . . and then some. His mystical version of "Ring of Fire" was, as Heather put it, "a little weird," but I actually liked it. I mean, he stuck to who he is (a little weird). He kept it Country, but he made the country India. The vocals were tight. The jeans were tighter. Judge reviews for the courtesy of Steph: Kara was confused and weirded out . . . but I think her eyes were happier than her ears. Paula seemed perfectly at home in the mist. Simon's reaction: "I think what Randy Travis was trying to say was, What the hell was that?" He called it self-indulgent rubbish . . . which I think is pretty much Adam's market anyway. Randy actually loved it and compared it to Nine Inch Nails . . . and if Trent Reznor ever channeled Liberace. Whatever, he's cruising on through on a magic carpet.

Scott MacIntyre
When I heard him say he was performing, "Wild Angels," my reaction was identical to Randy Travis's: dude, you kidding? But holy crap, this was his best performance ever . . . freaking ever. The weak, tremulous uncertainty got replaced by a strength I had yet to hear on a single clip of his performances. It was really good, really strong . . . I thought he kicked it. Paula just called the blind man crippled. Simon just called Paula stupid. Um, I'm not agreeing with Paula and I'll leave it at that. And dang, the judge critique sessions are turning into drawn out divorce proceedings. Overall, the judges are kind of being downers on this one, and I really don't get it. Is this show going to be three hours? Look who's talking; I told myself to keep these short. Scott is walkin' the line between safety and scary.

Alexis Grace
Lexi's "Jolene," had more great moments than bad ones, but she definitely had some of both. She did have some pitch problems and some groove problems . . . and I guess it's just not the song that's going to awaken the inner "yahoo!" in most people. And oh gosh, now this is turning into a debate. The judges are grumpy now after their little spat. They're telling Alexis to get dirty again, which makes me cry inside. Alexis is flirting with a surprise exit.

Danny Gokey
Danny's singing about Jesus. I'm shocked. And I'm even unsarcastically shocked to see how nervous he was in front of Randy Travis. In his actual performance, he stumbled out of the gate a little bit, sounding almost like he was rehearsing a speech. But then he turned his Danny on and rocked it. He does look like he's on an expedition to the ice planet of Hoth, but it's all good.

Anoop Desai
Anoop may be from NC, but it seems like this round was timed expressly to eliminate him. However, his "Always on My Mind," proved one piece of advice beyond a shadow of a doubt: "Dude, they got the reverb blasting, sing a stinking ballad!" Anoop really did it. It was Willie-riffic. I'm so glad to hear this guy finally sing and stop pretending. After that (and after surviving his vocal atrocity) I really don't see him going home.

Megan Corkrey
Is she gonna go on and grow on me? I mean, I have to close my eyes to enjoy the performance. Pretty as she is, I can't stop laughing when she does her little dance that looks like she's trying to shake free from the two rocks tied around her neck. But I do like her voice. And apparently she was sick to the point of hospitalization with the flu. Hopefully that won't influence (sorry) people's votes. But it will. Pretty impressive that she gave that performance while sick (although I'm not sure which performance was more convincing: "Walkin' after Midnight" or the endless coughing afterward). Megan might be in just a little bit of danger . . . quirky often means a few people really like you, but that's not really what you're going for in this competition, is it?

Matt Giraud
He sang, "So Small," by Carrie Underwood, and he blew it up. I had never heard the song, but I am thrilled that I did. Man, he can sing. How's that for short?

I don't know if they'll do a bottom three or not, but here are the people I'd suggest may want to pack their bags just in case: Alexis, Megan, and Michael.


  1. Awesome. Thank you so much! I really hope I can catch the ones I missed online somewhere today. Sheesh- not sure who I'll pick for bottom 3. Maybe Anoop, Megan & Michael. I think Michael was bad enough to go home, I hope.


  2. Oh Adam, you totally CRACK ME UP!! I read your reviews at my desk at work and actually laugh so hard I have to re-apply my mascara. I look forward to this every Wed. morning...I want you to know. Your description of Megan is so true. So, I am going with your picks cause I thought Anoop was terrific this week. I still like Adam a lot, even though he turned Burning Ring of Fire into an Egyptian song. I felt like I was in a church service when Danny was singing. I am torn between choosing Alexis or Scott as my 3rd. I do think that Michael is out the door though...we will see. Thanks for entertaining this grandma of are the best! Goodbye Simon, hello Adam.

  3. Wow, you were right on about the Surprise Exit!


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