Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Idol Recap :: iTune In, iTune Out

Tonite's theme: The Idolers can sing any song "as long as it's a popular download on iTunes". That is fairly broad, huh? At least there's no excuse for NOT being contemporary tonight. You know, like most weeks, when the Idolers sing songs from the fossilized remains of a "musical legend" and then get criticized for not sounding "contemporary" for singing a 30 year old song. Idol, you fickle bitch.

Except, only 2 out of 9 Idolers choose songs from the past 5 years. Yeah, I know.

No mentor this week, so the Idolers visit Ryan Seacrest's daytime haunt. No, not under the bridge -- or next to a Pot of Gold (perhaps I need to lay off THE SOUP), but his radio studio, where he hosts "America's Top 40." Remember Casey Kasem's long distance dedications? Whenever I'm in bad mood, I just listen to the classic dedication to the dog named Snuggles. It's a situation we can all understand whether we have kids, or pets, or neither.

Anoop Desai "Hold" by Usher
At least, I think that's the name of the song, as The Show refuses to introduce it properly. And if you think I'm intimately familiar with Usher's body of work.. you are mistaken. Anoop wants to do something different and "sing a song I would relate to if I was watching the show." The entirety of "Jacob's Ladder" was less confusing than that sentence. Anoop, if there is one thing you shouldn't attempt on this show, it's the bending of minds like that. This is an odd mix, Anoop making porn faces and swaggering with a bit of attitude. I don't think was the right song for him. Anoop might have had a "moment" by picking a contemporary ballad. I agree with Kara on this one, that it looked like a "frat boy on a dare." Anoop seems unfazed by judges comments and stands by his choice because he wants to be an R&B artist. Self-awareness is your friend, Anoop.

Megan Joy "Turn Your Lights Down Low" by Bob Marley
Remakes aside, Bob Marley? THIS is not a contemporary choice. Megan insists this is one of her favorite songs. "Then why you gotta do me like that?" says song. Every week, in vain, I root for Megan to turn it around.If you aren't LOOKING at Megan, and just LISTENING, you'll discover she sounds like Ethel Merman on a bender. There are moments where it's not bad, but I think once again, Megan picked the wrong song. Amy Winehouse, Megan? Oh, Megan, everyone likes the idea of you... it's your performances that don't match up to that.

Danny Gokey "What Hurts The Most" by Rascal Flatts
Let's see what pair of glasses Danny Jesse Raphael is wearing this week... did he settle on a pair? Danny is starting to flatline as the "Hootie And The Blowfish" of the season. Y'know, at first they sound great and unique... and then after a lotta airplay, you start to wonder why you liked them so much. It's a technically good performance, but I think The Show is beginning to wonder if Danny has the artistic chops to create music. The judges love, which shows they still have some faith in him.

Allison Iraheta "Don't Speak" by No Doubt
Really? A song that's 14 years old qualifies as a "top iTunes download"? OK, Show. Allison rocks the stage looking like one of Sydney Bristow's alter egos going undercover... at the prom in some undefined Eurotrash country (aren't they all on that show?). Girl needs a less extreme colorist. It's ok, but Allison is becoming one note. The judges mildly like. Kinda. What everyone seems to be dancing around is this: Allison is starting to become gimmicky.

Scott MacIntyre "Just The Way You Are" by Billy Joel
Scott says he loves Billy Joel for his music, his song-writing, and his performances. Not to be rude, Scott, but... performances? I'm not sure you're a qualified judge there, with all the blindness and what not. Also, again, this is a top download? A song from 1977 with two download bars? (yes, Show, I checked. Suck it.). It's a good performance, and a good song choice for Scott. And good choice to strip down the song arrangement. It's good, but unfortunately, I'm not sure if the nation is still enthralled with the walking "inspirational story" that is Scott. Not his fault, but a reality.

Matt Giraud "You Found Me" by The Fray
Wow, something actually current. Which may be good move for Matt. After (unjustly) bottom three-ing last week, he needs something memorable. The first few notes are a little off. It's a bit of a frentic performance. There are moments that are good, but the sum of the parts does not equal Matt's "moment." Much less so. Matt probably should have chosen Timberlake, Robin Thicke or Maroon 5 (Matt could probably out-sing Adam Levine, truth be told). The judges don't like, and they are sadly correct. Matt responds, "I just want to show them that R&B isn't the only thing I can do." A lovely sentiment, Matt, but fighting out of the box The Show has placed you in -- that can only end in tears.

Lil Rounds "I Surrender" by Celine Dion
Lil wants to pick a good song, after being criticized for making bad songs choices. I think she's done it this week. She picked a difficult song, evoked a diva, and delivered. The judges find it boring, and want Lil to sound less old fashioned. Because it was ok when other contestants sang 30 years old songs. Lil doesn't get enough credit for, y'know, actually SINGING WELL. But there's an adorable moment with her kids in the audience that will earn her a few votes.

Adam Lampert "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry
From 19-effing-76. Adam promises (threatens?) to give it a contemporary spin to sound like "something that could exist in a current pop record." By "something", Adam means wailing. By "current", Adam means "kinda creepy". Adam is 45% less poseur goth rocker this week. I'm guessing the boy has internet access - and has read recaps. Like mine. It's OK but a little bit of a novelty act. Like, Adam is channeling Normund Gentle this week. It's got some entertainment value, I will give him that. It's a fine performance. But Jesus Christmas, what exactly are the judges hearing in that studio? It's not what I'm hearing on my couch. They gush, praise and rhapsodize. Um, what now?

Kris Allen "Ain't No Sunshine"
Kris is looking to take an old song and give it a new spin. And that he does. I've said before Kris is a dark horse in this competition, and this performance proves it. For my money, it's the best performance of the night. Ladies and gentlemen, Kris Allen is the new Danny Gokey. If he keeps this up, he could very well sail up to the finals.

So who's leaving us tomorrow?

I think Matt's frentic performance will mean he's going iHome.

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