Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Idol Recap: Maybe They Should Have "Let It Be"
We're back. Top 12. New Stage. New Opening. "Most Talented Group Ever"TM (unrtil next year). And Ryan is wearing his big boy suit. This is American Idol.
Tonight, the Idol 12 will have access to the Lennon/McCarthy songbook. I look forward to seeing them (::cough::deficate on) pay homage to their great works. As Randy said, Lennon and McCarthy put it down. In my mind, there are few musicians that can even come close to equalling the success of Lenon/McCarthy - on multiple levels. So these bitches better pay some respect.
Sayesha "Got To Get You Into My Life":
There's something about her that is faintly rehearsed every time she talks. Like, this girl is on stage (in her own mind) 24/7. It's an OK performance, but rather forgettable. Much like Sayesha.
Chickezie "She's A Woman":
I initially hated on Chickezie at first. He seemed another generic R&B Idoler. He's grown on me a bit, but he's also the token R&B guy, no matter how you slice it. Chickezie sings "She's a Woman." The song is unrecognizable, but the judges are right - he rocked it out. Then Ryan ghetto-hazes him on stage... is there a flask hidden in his OshKosh B'Gosh suit?
Ramiele "In My Life":
I'm actually a big fan of Ramiele - she's got a great voce and if she progresses, she'll do well in this competition. She dedicates the song to her "fallen" (voted off) Idol comrades. Y'know, they ones she bawled over like they were prisoners of war. Ramiele sings "In My Life," which is one of my favorite Beatles songs. She sings it fairly simply It's a'ight. The judges are right tho - she's holding back and getting predictable. If she doesn't start bringing it, she'll be out.
Jason "If I Fell":
Backstage, he referred to this season as "The David Archuletta Show." I love the muck simmering under this show's squeaky-clean surface. I like Jason well enough - he seems like a nice enough guy and he's a bit of a throwback singer-songwriter dude. Jason sings "If I Fell." This week is definitely in Jason's wheelhouse, as they say. I imagine Jason and his family singing the Beatles songs sitting in a circle, all with dirty bare feet. Definitely dirty bare feet. As I would expect, he simply sings the song. Simon has a good take on it as "a student on his bedroom at midnight" (after a few bong hits). Simon didn't mention the bong hits.
There's some weird tomfoolery over Simon/Ryan about the "student at midnight" where Cowell cautions (threatens?) Seacrest to tread lightly. Just what goes on in Seacrest's personal life exactly? It you connect 7 seasons of Simon's clues, winks and innuendos, maybe you can figure it out. It's like a poor man's "Lost."
Carly "Come Together":
I sorta like Carly. She has a good voice. But she always seems to lay on some hardship layer to everything she says. Almost deported. Sick. It's always something with this one. This week, she works SEVEN DAYS a week, people! And she has to room with Amanda Vampireyer. The Guinness pint is alwasy half empty, eh? Carly sings "Come Together" quite well, altho a bit shouty in spots. She has the benefit of singing this many times at her bar, which does give her a distinct advantage. Judges = love.
David Cook "Eleanor Rigby":
David Cook has grown on me over the last few weeks. He's a good singer and he knoes when to switch it up. For my money, his version of "Hello" was the best performance of this season. (I'd give points to David Archuletta's "Imagine", but that was a copy of another cover). I do like the way Cook also seems mildly bored participating in the show. Hee. I think he's one of the top guys tho. He rocks "Eleanor Rigby." He "makes it his own" in a fairly good way, but I think the song looses some of its simple pathos. It's sorta like he forgot what the lyrics are saying. He's gunning for that NuDaughty spot, and he just about takes it. He's not quite as good as Chris Daughtry, but he's one of the most interesting performers in the show. My caution: You can't just "rock up" every song every week.
Brooke "Let It Be":
The imtermitably nice one. Brooke is one of my favorites in the gals side. She's got that real-deal songwriter-songstress vibe. Plus, she seems so freaking genuine. She's 24 years old, and actually listens to the Beatles. Points! Brooke sings "Let It Be," one of my lesser-favorite Beatles songs, probably due to overplay (cuz it really is a beautiful song). Brooke does a wonderful job with it. She's got this throaty voice thing that comes up, giving it her own distinctive sound. "Heartfelt"-- Randy is right. That's Brooke... heartfelt.
David Hernandez "I Saw Her Standing There":
David used to be a male stripper for the mostly-male clientele at Dick's Caberet - giving fully nude lap dances. There's a lot of easy jokes around this, and I will only be using half of them. Seriously, it's hard to forget that now when he (ahem) performs. That aside, David is a very good singer, but he seems more Broadway than Pop Star to me. And on 80s night, he should have sung either Jermaine Stewart's "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" or Adam Ant's "Strip." Ok, thats two. David mentions being a student and working at a Pizza Bistro, none of which involve full-nude lap dances. That we know of.
So anyway, David sings "I Saw Her Standing There." It's one of the Beatles earlier songs, before they matured and experimented with more interesting melodies. On a difficulty meter, I'd give this one a 2 out of 10 because, c'mon, Tiffany even did a cover of it... the gender-bending "I Saw Him Standing There." Which, come to think of it, David should have sang. David does a nice job with it, but it's hard to do this song and not come across as a bit kareoke. I actually think David could have done better with song choice. He could have done a good "Helter Skelter" and rocked out a bit - or done a simple version of "Til There Was You." The judges are right.
Amanda "You Cant Do That":
Amanda answers the age-old question: What if the Hot Topic checkout girl got caught in a transporter accident with Lily Munster? I wanted to like Amanda, with her throwback 60s girrrl power growl. But let's face it, she sounds like Janis Joplin after the stroke on her sixth whiskey-soda. Amanda promises (threatens?) to put her "Amanda Spin" on it. I'm sure Lennon is spinning in his grave right now, dear. It's sorta typical Amanda. There's some good notes in this growl-slur-cuisinart. As far as the Amanda-meter goes, it's one of her better performances. The judges must be drinking Amanda's whiskey, cuz they seem to enjoy her brand of "singing."
Micahel Johns "Across The Universe":
We will compare him to Michael Hutchance because he bears a passing resemblance. Some girl should get plastic surgery to look like Whitney Houston so she can sail to the finals. There's something a little Fakey McInsincere about this guy. The judges like him. Paula loves thinks he is the whole package.. or, said something about his package. I think. Allegedly. "Across the Universe" is a beautiful song. Michael gets a little shouty on the song's ass. This is a simple, quiet melody. Quiet time, Michael. And he's doing the closed-eye-hand-reach thing he's become so very fond of. It's OK-ish.
Kristy "8 Days A Week":
She sings "Amazing Grace" well. She sang it as her default like 50 times. Or maybe just two. Kristy is an OK singer, but nothing too memorable. But watch out! She's got "hot girl" plus "Red States" appeal. Taylor Hicks won on half that equation. Kristy does a "country version" of "8 Days a Week." Not a fan of this at all. I feel like I should hear a warbled recording saying "this ride is about to start...." Didn't "Hurray For Everything" perform this version at Six Flags?
David Archuletta "We Can Work It Out":
I love him like the little brother I never had. He's just so sincere and endearing and also, btw, talented. But unaware of his own talent. He's like a little monchichi. He does ok, but it's a little pitchy and nervous and hesitant. The judges keep it real and lay into David a bit. He's dying inside a bit and I just want to buy him a Peanut Butter Parfaitat to make him feel better. He is totally going to cry in his animal crackers and milk tonight.