Wednesday, March 16, 2011

American Idol Snark Station: Messin' With Moi

I don't know, Party People. I'm just not feeling the contestants this season. I don't doubt that there's talent here, the potential, if not for musical greatness, then at least for a halfway decent pop musical career complete with a profile or two on E! News and a short stint in rehab. But with the exception of Casey, there's no one here to really love. Here's how last night shook out for me.

"What's Love Got to Do With It?"
Not a great performance by any means, but it was the most animated. Plus, I just really, really like this girl: her personality, her look, that certain bluesy quality in her voice that I've heard before but which she's just not exploiting lately. Get it together, girl.

Paul: "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues"
I really hate to hate this performance. Paul is adorable, what with those teeth, those long legs, that southern accent, but I really think he's a wee bit out of his mind. I don't know what he was doing up there, but surely it wasn't singing? Was it?

Thia: "Colors of the Wind"
Zzzzzzzzzz. Who needs sleeping pills when there's Thia? At times, she was singing so low, she struggled to properly articulate the words and all I heard was Charlie Brown's parents, only as altos. Randy was spot on when he called it a pageant-ey performance, and La Lopez picked out that shakiness in her voice that I noticed, too. Pretty girl, though.

James: "I'll Be There For You"
When I was young and single, my best friend and I used to amuse ourselves on the weekends by screaming around Albuquerque in her convertible, top down, wind in our hair, singing songs that we absolutely hated at the top of our lungs to the vehicles unlucky enough to pull up next to us at stop lights. One of our absolute favorite love-to-hate songs was Bon Jovi's, "I'll Be There For You," so hated in fact, that I'll bet there are at least a good half dozen people still living in this city who can't hear this song without remembering some crop-haired platinum blond hanging halfway out the passenger side of a white Miata screaming, "I'm sorry I missed your birthday, baby!" arms flung wide, one hand clutching a super-sized Sonic cherry limeade, the other flashing the Dio devil sign. In other words, I still hate this song, but it sure brings back fond memories.

Haley: "I'm Your Baby Tonight"
Good lord, that voice was all over the place. Up down, sideways, all the way to China and back. But not in a good way. She's goin' home.

Stefano: "If you Don't Know Me By Now"
One of the few Simply Red songs that doesn't make me want to stick pieces of bamboo under my nails. It was a'rite. What I'd really like to hear, is the band he formed with Casey, Paul, and James.

Pia: "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?"
I can't comment on the song because I'm more horrified by her sartorial choice than I am bored by choice of song. Not only did she willingly, and with no gun seemingly held to her temple, choose to wear a romper on stage, but she chose to wear a romper made out of the most unforgiving fabric known to God and man: silk satin. In white. The horror.

Scotty: "Can I Trust You With My Heart"
This guy always sounds the same, but the sounds he makes are sung well, on pitch, and with personality. But I still cannot get around the fact that he looks like the love child spawn of Alfred E. Newman and George W. Bush.

Karen: "Love Will Lead You Back"
I'm sorry, I can't take seriously any gal that comes out dressed like a stewardess on an airship headed for the Zenon Planetary System in the far corners of the Nebulon Galaxy, I don't care how much her mommy loves her.

Casey: "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
This song is near-sacred to me. It still takes the top of my head off, pulls my heart out of my body, and raises the kind of emotion that makes me thankful for the few and far between moments when rock and roll manages to achieve a level of sublimity that approaches high art. It should not be messed with. Ever. That being said, I love Casey and hope he doesn't go home for his sacrilege.

Lauren: "I'm the Only One"
The great thing about Melissa Etheridge is not just that she possesses a powerhouse voice and ample guitar-playing skills, but that she is also somehow able to take emotions that under ordinary circumstances would come off as embarrassingly desperate and co-dependent and turn them into something Shakespearean in their dramatic importance. I don't care what the judges said, I don't care the few moments of interesting country twang, Lauren didn't even come close to doing this song justice.

Jacob: "Alone"
What woman, alone in the shower or racing down the freeway or cleaning house by herself, hasn't at some point fantasized herself as Ann Wilson, swathed in layers of flowy PNW hippie silks, a mass of black curls tumbling menacingly around her shoulders, belting out songs like this in an eight-octave range so powerful it brings down squadrons of F-16s and makes men lose their minds. Don't mess with my fantasy, Jacob. Sing some real gospel.

Who was most fabulous this evening? La Lopez, gloriously lion-maned and animal-printed, and, I might add, level-headed. She gave the best advice of the evening.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your blogging this show. One, because you're HILARIOUS. Two, because it means I don't need to watch most of it.

I decided to just watch my 3 dark-horses (minus the bios), Haley, Alaina and Casey. Then, if YOU say someone else was worth watching I can go back to it.

Haley was BLOODY awful and is no longer one of my 3 darkhorses. So, even less to endure in the future.
Randy was off-base when he said "Yo dog, I don't know who you are, dog. One week, you're country, then you're something else". That wasn't her problem. Her problem was she sucked and she has bad taste.

Casey was BLOODY awful. Yes, it was brave to do a Nirvana song. No, it wasn't good. He needs to forget Brave (he's already won that title) and focus on good. La Lopez's comment that Kurt Cobain "never yelled" was her low moment to date. He did his share of yelling.

Alaina was pretty darned good. I liked the unusual way she shortened and lowered the runs. If she did that BECAUSE she had a cold that's showing some smarts. Methinks the judges should shut up about her being "country".
This girl can sing rock or pop or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Ooops. My "Alaina" is actually "Lauren".

moi said...

Troll: Right! Simon would have said exactly that to her: "You suck, you have bad taste. Go do something else for a living." Let's take a moment, shall we, to mourn the loss of Simon . . .

I don't know if I liked Lauren/Alaina as much as you, but she is still one of my favorites. I agree with you on her ability, I just don't think she showed it last night.

And I'll give Lopez props for pointing out that Kurt did not, in fact, scream. He did something with his voice that was somethign else entirely and that no one has really ever done—he dragged sounds out of it, sounds resulting not so much from how his voice was structured, technically, but sounds that were an evolution of how he felt about what he was singing. I know you hate Courtney Love, but she could do the same thing. It's a remarkable quality and few rock and roll singers have it.

Kymical Reactions said...

Husband thought all performances were awful. I wasn't too far off from his assessment. No one sounded on key - and I think this is really where Simon is missed. He always realized that, it may sound "meh", as a live in the moment performance, but to the people at home, and if the contestants went back to watch, they would see just how bad it was.

And I'll leave off with - NO ONE should sing a Nirvana song but Kurt Cobain. And well,... you know.
(unless it's Dave Ghrol, yummy)

sparringK9 said...

fun read. I hate Bon Jovi with a red hot passion never understood the appeal. I could walk into a hole in the wall bar anywhere USA and see local talent smoke these losers.

I have never, ever fantasized about being Ann Wilson. Id be worried about my bad cholesterol count. DId not like jacob singing this. wasnt good.

I hated the first girl. but I hate Paul even more. SOrry. but he has the gayest dance moves i have ever seen. what is that "little girl gotta go potty bent knee crouch thing"? Hes awful. i thought the singing sucked like a hoover on a curtain. I dont get him at all. yes nice smile. *shrug*

as a judge, i would declare that no whitney houston song can ever ever be sung on this show. from now on. all seasons.

everything else was so dull i took a xanax to wake up.

now. about casey. oh my God. The helper guy in the industry tried to tell him, but he wasnt having it. The soul searing mr Cobain is not coverable. NOT coverable.

steven tyler is a worthless lump of hair and necklaces. has he EVER contributed one useful observation? he likes everything. i miss simon.

this show SUCKS!!! but top chef sucked too.

i gotta kill that TV

moi said...

Kym: I'm a Grohler, too. "Times Like These" will forever endear me to him. What an amazing song. And, I love him for covering "Down in the Park" and bringing back some well-deserved attention to Gary Numan.

K9: Bwahahahaha to your Ann Wilson comment. Seriously, though? Man, I'd give anything for those pipes. I didn't get to Top Chef because I had to tape Justified (try it; best show currently on television, sneaks up on you with its horror and humor and smarts) while watching Idol, which didn't let me also tape Top Chef until 10pm. I'll catch up later, but, yeah, that show sucks now that Karla is gone, baby, gone.

Jenny said...

I fell asleep during Thia's performance, woke up with Top Chef on and I'll have to go back tonight to catch up, or maybe not?

As Troll said, with your write ups, who needs the show?

I don't understand the song choices this year. At all. It's clear they have some new options, but I watched Casey's Nirvana this morning on Youtube and was HORRIFIED. It's the male version of picking a Whitney Houston classic/etc. Just.Don't.

Any guesses on who will go home?

Buzz Kill said...

You know my thoughts on Idle and how it has single handedly destroyed music in the 2000s, but the Mrs and The Pudge watch this, so I enjoy your write-ups and can sort of follow what they're talking about.

You didn't miss much on TC last night. Padma was wearing a bikini - that's about it.

moi said...

Boxer: I'd say it's between Haley and Karen. Although if I could send Pia home for high crimes against fashion, that would be awesome.

Buzz: I knew you'd be over here to say something about that bikini. I hope she looked good. Idol is mainly fun to pick on, although there have been flashes of brilliance over the years, and I will always defend my belief that Kelly Clarkson is a gift to pop music.

Pam said...

Naima: She needs to def. pull it together or she will be home soon. I think her emotions run her. ANd please, no Tina.

Paul: I'm crazy about him but if he doesn't reign in his jerky movements, he's gonna lose me. I think it would improve his performance also. He needs to study Joe Cocker and channel that energy into standing still and connecting with the camera and letting girls fall in love with him. It would work. For me anyway.

Thia: We kinda liked her at the time, because at least she had a melody on the go. Young but potential, and I usually don't like the young ones.

James: Holy crap, you and your friends sound like me and my friends. I can live with his performance just to hear this story from you! He too has a bit of melody to him which keeps me from wanting to push him down the stairs.

Haley: Please send her home. Now. Gawd-awful. She's the one I'm just not getting. Needs to find herself and quick.

Stefano: He did the Harold Melvin version instead of the Simply Red version and did a good job, but it didn't sell me on him. I think the girls probably like him a lot. Potential but meh. Meh. Meh. He is too young to feel that song. A song you have to have lived to sing it right.

Pia: I'm just not liking her at all. ZZZZZZZZ to her also. The outfit??? HOLYGODNO!!!!! I'm with you on that. Plus, her attitude. She is gracing us with her presence like she has already won the dang thing. Pretty girl, needs to get over herself.

Scotty: He's growing on me each week, and is obviously enjoying the heck out of being there. Agree he needs to change the tempo of song choice soon or he will be out out out on his ears.

Karen: She is this year's Adam Lambert (to me) ... meaning she is playing the part of a star, not being the star herself. Each week has been costume costume costume. At least Adam delivered on performance (whether you liked him or not) ... but it is that character role that bothers me with her, nothing genuine about her. I think it is there but meh. She can go home too.

Casey: I had this discussion with Kymmie on FB last night ... it is his fearlessness with the song and singing it in a maniacal manner, not the sultry over-educated-medicated-melodramatic rock star version. It worked for me. I loved it. I love him. Even voted for him last night via facebook.

Lauren: Not old enough to feel the passion in this song. Has she ever had a boyfriend (girlfriend?)? This is a song that must be felt, not just belted because you can hit the notes. Much like Stefano above. Not enough life experience, sorry. I like her but again, her age works against her for me.

Jacob: WE thought he did a good job with this song and thought it suited him. An interesting choice for a man to sing this woman's song. I enjoyed it and would like to hear more. Yes to the gospel but he's gotta be able to deliver more than that to win it.

I am truly horrified that I am liking Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. She looked fabulous. I'm starting to want to BE her. In looks and style anyway. When I'm not being Ziva David from NCIS.

Anonymous said...

Better song choices for Casey from 1991 that would still be considered "brave" by Idol's milquetoast standards.

"Right Here, Right Now" by one hit wonders Jesus Jones. Kind of fits Idol thematically.

"Give it away" by The Peppers.

chickory said...

@give it away? that song isnt singable even by anthony kaedis or whatever his name is.

Jenny said...

1991: INXS, REM, Crashtest Dummies, even J.Cougar Mellencamp had a hit. He had OPTIONS.

I'm not lovingn Pia anymore. I just watched her from last night.


moi said...

Pam: Every girl should have a period of time in her life when she runs around her town like a little savage, pillaging, looting, taking no prisoners, a Poison video come to life, only with better hair. Okay, maybe not better hair. But definitely better outfits. Sounds like you and I could trade some stories. But, man, I'm glad it's over.

(See there how I skirted the mind-blowing realization that you actually liked Casey's performance? :o) )

Troll: I just ran down the list of the top 100 songs of 1991. Whoa. That was a suck-ass year. Thank God for Nirvana. Nah, nah, had I been picking for Casey, it would have been "Wicked Game" or "Losing My Religion."

Chickory: ROTFL. "Give it Away" is totally dense, but hilarious nonetheless. How come everybody wanna keep it like the kaiser?

Boxer: Heh. That would have been interesting, Casey covering Cougar's "Get a Leg Up."

chickory said...

stradling a muscle car a la whitesnake

Pam said...

Glad it is over? Maybe. But if you look back with a sly smile on your face thinking of all the things you got away with ... now that is something I'd never want to change. I still liked the performance. I stand by it. More amazing is that the powers-that-be who control the rights to the song let it BE used ... hmmmm, what does that say as to where we are as a society? I'd rather have Casey doing Nirvana (for whatever his reasoning) than Durbin doing Bon Jovi. And some of my running around town (at least certain night clubs in town) totally involved dancing the night away to Livin' on a Prayer. Sherlock's anyone? Anyone? OKC joke, I guess.

moi said...

Chickory: You are currently doing this? I'm impressed.

Yeah, that Tawny Kitten, she had all us goils spending a fortune on hair product and suntan lotion.

moi said...

Pam: Okay, I can respect that. I also wondered the same thing about the song rights. I don't remember if Grohl or Courtney Love owns the Nirvana songbook; either way, I can't imagine either one of them releasing the rights to AI. Actually, I can imagine Love. I hear she's broke.

You know what I'd like back? Some of that energy it took to hit 3, 4 clubs a night, dance my ass off, flop in bed at dawn, sleep a couple hours, schlep to work, and start all over again. It would really help my running :o)

Aunty Belle said...

reckon' I'se glad I missed it>>>

But on yore MCW? THas' the VERY scene I'd choose too. It is priceless. Now drunk scenes are, I dunno, mebbe more menacin' or disgustin'.

Anyhoo, happy MCW, a day delayed.

moi said...

Aunty: I think being a little bit giggly is charming. Out and out sloshed is just as you put it.

Thanks for dropping by!