Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Idol Recap :: Born To Be Mild

Last week Karen Rodriguez practiced Santeria and spared herself from eliminations. Meanwhile, Ashton Johns did the "Dance Monkey!" sing-for-her-life and was answered with J Lo's stinging, "Not this time, baby."

Steven Tyler Fashion Look of the Week:
Rainbow Brite Does Woodstock

They’re singing Birth Year Songs tonight. Remember what I said about "Everything is different this season, but nothing has changed?"? Yeah.

Naima Adedapo, "What's Love Got to Do With It" (1984)
Naima's mom comes on the screen looking tres Navi. Then Naima takes the stage like a Rasta Predator, but gives a middling performance. It's disappointing, because she's one of the more-talented girls this season. Tyler says she has a "sorceror's grasp of melody", J Lo's concerned about pitch problems and Randy finds the "vocals all over the place."

Paul McDonald, "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" (1984)
Producer dude tells Paul he "sounds a little hoarse today," and I'm all like, "how can you tell"? Paul continues his odd stage persona of squatting and twitching, like a Meth head with bowel issues. It's far from great, as Paul struggles through some throaty cold issues. The Judges give him a semi-pass, and they still enjoy his distinctive voice. For this week, anyway.

Thia Megia, "Colors of the Wind" (1995)
Thia goes full-tilt Disney Princess on this one. It's nice and pretty but a little boring. The Judges, also bored. Ryan assigns Thia’s weak performance to post traumatic stress at the hands of the awesomely aggressive vocal coach from hell, Peggi Blu, who’s in the audience looking splendiferous. During Hollywood week, she played Granny Goodness to little teen furies with such encouragement as, "You’re going to die onstage in front of all those people. I’m going to be laying in my bed watching you just croak” and “No! What is that? Sing, dammit! Do it from the top one more time, and don’t make a mistake.” That bitch needs her own show.

James Durbin, ”I'll Be There for You” (1989)
Is it me, or is James Durbin looking more and more like Adam Lambert each passing week? I suppose as the annointed “rocker”, he must “fit the suit.” You know, like Johnny Bravo. It’s an OK performance, but seems waaaay too fast and pop-lite, almost like a Kidz Bop version of the Jovi classic. Tyler cautions the “poppy-ness” but there’s love all around, cuz Show wants James in the finale.

Haley Reinhart, ”I'm Your Baby Tonight” (1990)
Producer dudes still sporting indoor sunglasses. What did I tell you last week? It’s the look de douche. Haley invokes one of the diva goddesses, often resulting in Idol banishment. To her credit, she sings it better than Whitney can these days, but that’s crack-is-whack faint praise. It’s a boring, middling performance. J Lo starts off with the “you look beautiful tonight” and we know where this is going. It’s Idol-code for “you sucked the big one, girl.”

Ryan then awkwardly wipes lipstick off Haley’s chin, and Randy comments, “Ryan’s doing make-up now.” Now, Randy? Where you been, dawg? Ryan's probably been doing make-up since middle school.

Stefano Langone, ”If You Don't Know Me by Now” (1989)
Stafano sings the overplayed Simply Red classic, foregoing News Kids on the Block and Milli Vanili. J Lo mouths the words like a lovesick school girl. It's a solid performance, with the Judges noting the "hot vocals." J Lo thinks Stefano can "take this" if he "stays rights there" and "connects to her eyes." And by "this," she means her vagina.

Pia Toscano, ”Where Do Broken Hearts Go” (1988)
Adorable lil' Pia singing her heart out via video. Aw. So Pia's performance... I don't love this arrangement, but it almost doesn't matter -- Pia just nails the whole thing vocally. The Judges nod stoicly, with their "seriously awesome" eyebrow knitting - then give verbal loves.

Scotty McCreery, ”Can I Trust You With My Heart” (1993)
The Travis Tritt, um, classic (?). Arsed if I know. This is Country Music. Scotty continues to serve up Hazzard County style music, a little too Boars Nest for this city slicker. Fine for what it is, and Scott sings it classic country and all.

Karen Rodriguez, ”Love Will Lead You Back” (1989)
Karen rocks the Coke seat pimp slot, looking like a Space Age Hooker Bratz Doll, with hoop earrings the size of hula hoops. (Note: Is the phrase "Hooker Bratz Doll" redundant?) Karen wants to prove she's not just a Spanish singer, so she sings Taylor Dane and drops her now-trademark espaƱol. I don't think Karen knows what the word "prove" means. The Judges are like, "better than last week, but also rife with some meh."

Casey Abrams, ”Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
First time Nirvana is ever sung on Idol. I'm actually a Casey fan, but this is a bit of a mess for me -- off-key and shouty. There's some flashing yellow rocker lights that only serve to make Casey resemble a slightly musical member of the Sinestro Corps . Tyler enjoyed, J Lo found it a little screechy, and Randy liked the fearlessness.

Lauren Alaina, ”I'm the Only One” (1994)
Lauren rocks the Melissa Etheridge tune, and starts off a bit rough. She eventually finds her way. The Judges like it, and even believe her cold may have helped the song out.

Jacob Lusk, ”Alone” (1987)
Jacob insisting his mother can't sing, while she insist she can. Cute. His performance? Not so cute. It's overcooked Meatloaf in a "I'd Do Anything For Love" way. We even get cascading finger action and fade to black drama. "Mommy Dearest" was subtle filmaking compared to this. The Judges, meanwhile, liked this quite nicely. Whatevs.

So who's going home? I'm guessing America won't consider Haley their baby tonight.

No comments: