Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Idol Recap :: "Soul Sucking"

Last Wednesday's Idol started all comic book cover blurby - with big red letters that read "ANOTHER IDOL MUST FALL." Dramatic much? And why only one? Cuz I would totally back up "Four Idols Must Fall."

This "Crisis of Infinite Idols" began with a group sing of Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go, Go," which managed the nigh impossible task of being even cornier than the original video. It's also auto-tuned within an inch of its life, betraying any notion that this is happening in the now. And the Idolers mouths match the words less than Speed Racer ever did.

Paige gets the lowest votes, and in a move that is simultaneously merciful and insulting, Simon dashes any hope that they will use "The Judge's Save" - before Paige even sings a note. “I don’t want to give you any false hope here," Simon sniffs, "It’s the end.” If only, Simon, We have like 10 weeks to go. Or, as Reality Blurred summarized, "Paige Miles out, but American Idol 9 still sucks."

This week's theme is Soul and R&B. During the week, I had nightmares of Andrew Garcia reimagining Rihanna's "Umbrella." Usher is the guest mentor, taking precious time in between his albums and porn tapes.

Siobhan Magnus "Through The Fire"
Siobhan meets Usher looking like Carol Seaver thrown into a blender and set to "anime." Her rendition of "Through The Fire" is a bit of an uneven mix, all in preparation to deliver yet another “Siobhan Shriek.” The judges didn't much care for it and Simon was like, stop screaming already.

Casey James "Hold On I'm Coming"
Usher describes Casey's voice, saying he has a great tool. Meanwhile, Kara gets the squishees thinking of Casey's tool. Me? I just think Casey is a tool. He sings "Hold On, I'm Coming" with a bluesy authority, but it's still a sort of "really good bar band" performance. The judges like it, because relativity is everything this season.

Michael Lynche "Ready For Love"
You just knew, with R&B week, that Big Mike was gonna sing some song about sweetly sexing up some fine lady, right? Usher tells him to sell it to the back row, and shows him how by date raping the camera. Mike is thankfully less loungey this week, and actually gives a solid lactose-free performance, although it lasts 100 years and a day. The judges like it, and Simon even thinks Mike had a moment. (Really now, Cowell?)

Didi Benami "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted"
Didi gets mushy during practice sessions with Usher, because the song is meaningful to her. It probably reminds her of her dead friend she mentioned during auditions. Unfortunately, this kills her performance, turning it into a sad, warbly dirge. Apparently, what becomes of the broken hearted, is that they sing badly on nationally televised talent shows. The judges didn't like. Ryan tries to get Didi to tell the "dead friend" story, but she refuses to go there. Props to her for that.

Tim Urban "Sweet Love"
Ryan interviews Tim on the pimp stool, where they talk about how the press has dubbed him "Teflon Tim," due to his staying power and, y'know, marginal talent. Usher encourages Tim to imagine him as a woman he's loved... or something. What? Is Usher now busting moves originated by Season Seven's pick-up artist, Andrew Llyod Weber? Careful, Tim, or you'll end up in Usher's next video. Home video, if you know what I mean.

Tim starts the song sitting pensively on the Idol stairs, as if to say, "take me seriously, bitches." But we can't, as Tim quickly devolves into a cruise ship style performance, with pleading puppy dog eyes. It's rather mild and inoffensive, but also, notsogood. No wonder Vote For The Worst is backing Teflon Timmy. The judges don't like it, and Simon sums up the whole situation by saying,
"I don't think it makes any difference whatsoever what we say to you Tim. It was completely an inappropriate song, it was like a mouse picking a fight with an elephant, you're not going to win. But it doesn't matter because you're going to smile, the audience is going to vote for you. Nobody cares, you're going to be here next week, so well done."

Andrew Garcia "Forever"
Thankfully, this week, Andrew doesn't try and reinvent a song by mercilessly massacring it. Nor does he give us a weird Telemundo cover version. Instead, he sings a song actually suited for him. The judges are just grateful he didn't suck. Because, that's enough this season. Simon says it was good, but Andrew runs the risk of being "boring." At this, Andrew's mama emerges from the crowd, having apparently slain a zebra on the way over to the studio, now wearing its skin as a prize. She's delivering a sassy melange of "Oh no you di'int" and "I'm on TV and talking to Simon."

Katie Stevens "Chain of Fools"
Katie taking on Aretha Franklin is like Heidi Montag trying to be like, a super-serious actress and stuff. Which is to say, "Darlin', this shit won't stand." It's basically a big song delivered by a little girl - as Katie struts the stage like a Hooker Muppet.

Lee Dewyze "Treat Her Like A Lady"
Lee talk to Ryan on the pimp stool, all nervous. Lee rehearses with Usher, all nervous. Lee's biggest issue? The dude is nervous. The good news is that he sings "Treat Her Like A Lady" quite well, giving it a rough edge that suits his voice. The judges rightfully like it. Me? I'm hoping for a Dewylsox finale.

Crystal Bowersox "Midnight Train To Georgia"
Crystal drops the guitar in favor of the piano this week. Not her best performance, but against the Redial Idols, it's like Celine Dion pounding her chest at the Oscars. S'all good. Judges like it, but Simon advises her, “Don’t let this competition turn you into something you’re not.” On this show? Hello, irony. Nice to see you again. Thanks for dropping by.

Aaron Kelly "Ain't No Sunshine"
Also memorably sung by Kris Allen last season. Archie 2.0 tackles the song, and while it's ok, it's also rather bland and boring. Put him back in the oven, the boy ain't fully baked yet. EW.com puts it best, "And even though none of the judges could be bothered to mention his name, it needs to be said that when it comes to the Idol stage, “Ain’t No Sunshine” belongs to season 8 champ Kris Allen. And it was not fun to watch a child scribble over his legacy with a magic marker, thank you very much."

So tonight's episode wasn't as horrible as last week, but remained maddeningly middling. It's perhaps a worse offense, as I prefer either "so bad it's entertaining" or "actually good." Le sigh.

So who's going home? I think Teflon Tim might have another week in him, so I'm guessing it's bye-bye to Didi.

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