Motown week on American Idol is always a mixed blessing: it's both an opportunity to hear some great songs and an occasion for slaughtering great songs. Hopefully the music wins out over the carnage. Let's get right to it.
His version of "Let's Get It On" unquestionably beat the last version from two years ago when a contestant dedicated his performance to his mother (eww!) but I'm not sure I feel a whole lot more comfortable hearing a guy dressed like Ward Cleaver croon his way through a song about bumping uglies.
But it was still good. Tough song, he did well with it. I just don't want to see his thighs hugged that tightly by a pair of slacks again anytime soon. Matt can breathe easy (which is more than I can say for his thighs).
I know the ladies love him and his rendition of "How Sweet It Is," but . . . well, the ladies love him. I still can't get past the notion that David Archuleta went through puberty and returned for another round. In the end, I don't think he's that great a singer, and his guitar playing continues to be completely inaudible. I'm glad he feels comfortable with a prop, but if the competition ever forces him to leave the comfort of his college quad, I don't think he'll be up to the challenge. But hey, Jason Castro got by for a long time on similar talent (but a lot more coolness). Kris ain't goin' anywhere.
I don't think I'm in the majority here, but I'm liking Scott more with every passing week. I like his voice more now than I did at the beginning, and his nerves aren't as shaky. But for some reason I feel like Chandler in the episode, "The One with All the Resolutions," in which he screamed, "Somebody please comment about the pants!"
Scott is wearing pink pants. And it seems fairly obvious that all of the judges have made a solemn pact not to comment on his clothes because he's blind. Isn't it insensitive to not comment on the pants? My theory: the judges are compensating for the no-pink-pants-comments restriction by being extra harsh on his vocals. No, he is probably not as good of a singer as the two who went before him, but he's better than a lot of performers who have made it much further in years past. Still . . . Scott's in danger.
Before Megan even started singing "For Once in My Life," my wife reminded me not to look at her. Too late. At first I really liked her outfit . . . and then I realized I wasn't on a Carnival Cruise and Kathie Lee Gifford isn't the woman she once was. But she's feeling better, so that's good. As Paula said, the camera loves her . . . but the microphone does not. The thing about being quirky is, if you're not quirky enough, you're just bad. I actually didn't think she was as bad as the judges did, but . . . yeah. Not quirky enough. We may have seen our last Megan "Corkscrew" dance of awkwardness.
Anoop just gave Smokey a look that clearly said, "Who are the Miracles?" And he's dressed up as Richie Cunningham, which would officially make him "Anopie." But his vocals are, in a word, hot. Too much breathing and P-pops into the microphone, but he definitely did well. I think Anoop has some legs in this competition. Kara is connected to Anoop's chest, I think. I'm not sure she's comfortable being a judge yet. She needs more work than Anoop's eyebrows. All in all, the judges are delivering some long-winded speeches. Where is the Oscars orchestra when you need 'em? Anoop risks the "Anoops! We forgot to vote" dismissal.
This should be Michael's bread and butter, because he rode the funky groove of Rhythm and Blues all the way to this stage. He's left that country for the last few weeks . . . let's see if he follows Smokey's advice and belts it out. Um . . . a little bit. I think he's got to elevate his performance a couple of notches if he wants to make it to "I want to vote for him," instead of "I want him to sing at my wedding." And it kinda crashed at the end in Oceanic 815 fashion. I'm being harder on him than I was on Scott. Holy moly, he made Paula cry with his mediocrity. And Kara is wasting our time. Yikes.
Lil got her "Heat Wave" goin' with a loaner from the set of Salt 'n' Pepa's "Giving Him Something He Can Feel" video. She looks the best she's looked so far, but her sound was . . . off. I think her big problem was similar to Michael's in that she doesn't have to try hard to sing, but she did. It just reeked of trying too hard. There was a classic moment when Paula was standing up, shaking her booty while Kara was sitting down shaking her head in stunned silence. The judges . . . man, I'm so sick of them suggesting songs. They tell her one week that she could sing the phone book—the next they tell her she chose the wrong song. So . . . I guess she should have sung the phone book. Lil . . . You shouldn't be goin' anywhere, but you might.
He ditched the dead crow hairdo in favor of an Elvis ducktail. Um . . . Smokey Robinson and Barry Gordy gave him a standing ovation. What else do you say? (He looks like Kurt Russel tonight, and he's better than everyone else and can no longer be considered a one-trick Broadway show pony. I might buy that track off iTunes if I can. He's so good, his iffy notes make you question if he's singing off key or if you're just not artsy enough to recognize his nuance . . . that's what else I say.)
Um, Danny? You didn't follow Smokey's advice, bro, what gives? He is a good singer, and it was a good vocal. But being from Wisconsin does not excuse being that cheesy with the dancing. Paula rhymed! And I really like it when the judges are to-the-point. Why can't someone remind them to do that all show long. For the first half hour of the show, only two singers performed. In. Ex. Cusable. And so was that dancing, Danny. And, yeah, I know you're a youth pastor or whatever, but you can still sing "make love to you" on Idol. If you can't, pick a different song, dude. Don't make the judges use their save this early. They won't need to, though.
I wish they would show Allison's middle name, because I feel the need to use it in mock disciplinary fashion. I'll assign her one for the time being: Allison Michelle! Dang! If we hadn't already met him, I would have thought for sure Allison's papa really was a rolling stone. That may have been Allison's Jordin Sparks moment. That girl, Danny, and Adam are making the first several performances of the night look like total crap. Wow.
Okay, after hearing the first view back again, I'm embarrassed by my leniency on the first half of performers. My predicted bottom three (and Heather agrees): Scott, Megan, Michael.