Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Idol Recap :: Hee Haw Ho Hum

Somehow, after an exciting multi-cultural, multi-faceted start to this season, we end up with a finale that's something akin to Hee-Haw for tweens. It's dueling country-whitebread young'uns Scotty and Lauren in the finale. The closest I've come to watching anything remotely Country Music related was the time Loretta Lynn visited Hazzard County and sang, "Y'all Come". And since the judges can barely be bothered to judge this week, this will be a much-abridged recappery.

Scotty McCreery: Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone”
Scotty McCreery: George Strait’s “Check Yes or No”
Scotty McCreery: “I Love You This Big”

Scotty still sings country like a 1970s K-Tel record, and makes weird googly-eyes at us.

Lauren Alaina: Carrie Underwood’s “Flat on the Floor”
Lauren Alaina: Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis”
Lauren Alaina: “Like My Mother Does”

Lauren emerges as a Lil' Carrie Underwood tonight – she still sings pretty and has an unnerving penchant for sequins.

And, Randy tells us they are "both in it to win it." As opposed to, I dunno, just showing up and shrugging.

So who's gonna slay this red-state showdown? I'd say it's Scotty's to lose. Baby, shut them doors and turn them lights down low….

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Idol Recap :: Destiny Mild

In last week's last page shocker, James Durbin was eliminated. That's what Show gets when it tries to manipulate votes by overly hating on Haley, tipping the cosmic vote balance off James' favor.

Tonight, round 1 is contestant's choice, round 2 is ProducerJimmy's call, and round 3 is up to the Judges. Also, Beyonce is guest mentoring, and she looks just like Lily Hollister.

Scotty McCreery: Lonestar’s “Amazed”

Scotty saunters around the stage without a care on him, tossing the song off all nonchalant-like. It all builds to the last note, which is more mid-range than Scooty's usually bullfrog low register. The Judges liked it despite Randy noting some "pitchy problems."

Back from commercial, Ryan is amid the mosh pit of estrogen…. And of note, are two heavy-set blonds. No doubt some legal advice after Show (allegedly) booted the girls with big booties. See? Fat bottom girls do make their rockin' world go round. Which is about as believable as Puck crushing on Lauren Zizes.

Lauren Alaina: Faith Hill’s “Wild One”

Lauren's narrative this season is "beating back her nerves." And, enough already. If I were Lauren, I'd be more concerned with my outfit, from the Goldie-Hawn-on-a-bender collection. Her performance is OK enough, if a lil' boring.

Haley Reinhart: Led Zeppelin’s “What Is and What Should Never Be”

Haley gives the classic LedZep tune a sorta sultry hungover vibe, and I mean that in a good way. And after 10 long seasons, we finally witness an Idoler tripping on stage. THANK YOU, Live TV! Coincidently, mentor Beyonce also hilariously fell on stage. When the cosmic stars align, they have a strange sense of humor. Randy calls it one of her best performances ever. Stephen notes, "It's not how many times you fall, it's how many times you get back up." And if that isn't the perfect metaphor for Haley's Idol journey, I don't know what is.

The Judges all name Haley as the winner of round 1, with Stephen noting that "she got her freak on." This causes consternation for Ryan, who tells us "my freak is out back, I'll use it later." Ryan is still waiting to grow hair in his special places.

Scotty McCreery: Thompson Square’s “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”

Scotty singing Country. Need I explain anymore?

Lauren Alaina: The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young”

The stage hand is trying to cover up Lauren's panty hose run by applying "a little shimmer." To which Ryan replies, "I know all about that." We know you know, Ryan. Believe us… We know you know. As for the song… Lauren sings it pretty. That is all. The Judges would have us believe there is "magic" and "magesty" and "honesty" in this. Urm, ok.

Haley Reinhart: Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon”

Haley channels some Stevie Nicks with the help of a flowy skirt and wind machines. Looking very much a witchy woman, she does the Fleetwood Mac song proud.

Judges divided on who took round 2: Stephen sez Lauren, while the other two morons chant, "Scotty, Scotty, Scotty." And Ryan is offstage chanting "Scotty The Body, Scotty The Body..." And still, no one is biting.

Scotty McCreery: Kenny Rogers’ “She Believes in Me”

Scotty rocks the serious stool, which is his best look. He actually gives the song a nice, somber quality. And no weird eyes. One of his better performances.

Lauren Alaina: Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance”

Lauren looks like she either raided Tonya Harding's closet, or she's about to film Blades Of Glory II: Electric Boogaloo. But whatevs. She sings pretty again.

Haley Reinhart: Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”

Once again, Show minces the lyrics so the scandalous whore of the song dares to "go out with you to a theater." Because sluts love cineplexes, presumably. It's probably Haley's weakest performance of the night; It's a bit shaky in the beginning and manages to be a'ight around the edges.

So who's gong home? I'm guessing Haley will be the single lady out.

Idol Recap :: "All I Hear Is Radio Gaga"

Two round this week: “Songs That Inspire You” and then the “Leiber & Stoller Songbook” round. Also, guest-mentored by Lady Gaga. This show is nothing if not random.

James Durbin: Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”
For inspiration, James sings the GLEErific “Don’t Stop Believin’”. As if he needed to sway Randy any further, he's also wearing a Journey t-shirt. The performance is actually by-the-numbers and even flat in spots. The Judges love it anyway.

Haley Reinhart: Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song”
Haley breathily sings "Earth Song," but I feel the airy tune could be a bad song choice. Despite the cloud-walking back-up singers from The Matrix, it's rather "meh", until Haley brings out her trademark grrrowl. The Judges hate on it, because they don't want Haley in the finals. Randy accuses her of "screaming it," and Haley rightfully defends herself. And then Stephen calls Randy on his douchebaggery, and says, "don't listen to him." We stop listening to him four seasons ago, Tyler.

Scotty McCreery: Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”
Ryan interviews "Scotty the Body." Note to Ryan: You are the only one who calls him that. Scotty rocks the "serious stool" for “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”, returning to his K-Tel Country roots. And in case he's in any jeopardy, Scotty plays the Jesus-America card. The Judges thought it was "beautiful" and that Scotty is "ready for superstardom." I am ready for my barf bag.

Lauren Alaina: Martina McBride’s “Anyway”
Lauren's “Anyway” is like a red velvet cupcake, It's pretty and smooth, but lacking in substance. Great vocals though, as The Judges agree.

I love when Ryan asks Randy "who won round one?" and he answers, "I think it's a tie between Scotty, James and Lauren," leaving Haley sitting there like the nerd girl from and 80s movie that no one asked to prom. With that, Haley laughs a small laugh, that translates into, "Randy Jackson is a Giant Penis." I laugh with you, Haley.

Lady Gaga enters, speaking seriously about the "kids". And I can't take her seriously while she's dressed by like Cruella de Vil's crackhead sister.

Haley Reinhart: Shirley Bassey’s “I (Who Have Nothing)”
Lady Gaga wants Haley to add some boiled rabbit to her performance stew – a little dramatic craziness. Haley definitely brings some passion and energy to this one. The Judges like this a lot more, and actually give Haley some props.

Scotty McCreery: The Coasters’ “Young Blood”
Lady Gaga wants Scotty to make love to the microphone. Gaga, (if I may call you "Gaga"), I think he's been going steady with that instrument all season. The performance is another Scotty novelty act. With the weird eyes, head snapping and faux-attitude. It's sort of a tossed-off performance, all in all. The Judges loved "the humor." If that what they see as humor, I'm guessing they were the ones who watched 8 excrutiating seasons of "According To Jim"?

Lauren Alaina: Elvis Presley’s “Trouble”
Lauren is afraid to sing the lyric, "because I'm evil." She's afraid America will think she's evil. In related news, Lauren is an idiot. Lauren's "Trouble" is a lively, fun performance, overall. The Judges seemed to have liked the fun side of Lauren.

James Durbin: The Clovers’ “Love Potion No. 9″
James gives the hypnotic “Love Potion No. 9″ a rather unnecessary hair-metal makeover. This is something Winger might have considered circa 1989, until clearer heads prevailed. It's indulgent, silly and screechy. Of course, The Judges love it.

So who's going home? I'd say the votes won't go gaga for Haley.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Idol Recap :: Past and Present Tense

It's "Now & Then" Night. With a contemporary song, then a song from the 60s. And Sheryl Crow is the guest mentor, in case you cared. Meanwhile, The Voice continues to bark at Idol's aging heels.

Steven Tyler Fashion Look of the Week:
Lady In Red

James Durbin’s “Closer to the Edge”
James Durbin’s “Without You”

For his first song, "Closer to the Edge," James rocks the stage like a Billy Idol impersonator, only lacking the subtly of songs like "Rock The Cradle of Love." There's flashing lights and screeching, like we are at the James Durbin reunion tour, where gassy has-beens try to retrieve lost glory. It's uneven and off-key in spots. But if even yearned to see James' underarm hair, here it is. The judges love it anyway.

Next, James sings the Idol fav, "Without You," and breaks down thinking about his family while singing. Camera gives us the close-up of his tearing up eyes. More Show audience manipulation? Probably. The Judges praise the "emotional perfect" nature of the song. Because we don't judge the the actual singing? In a display of audacious transparency, Randy declares the competition is "his to lose." Yeah, Randy, we know.

Jacob Lusk’s “No Air”
Jacob Lusk’s “Love Hurts”

Jacob has raided the Dalton Academy closets again, no doubt searching in vain for Blaine Anderson. Jacob sings "No Air" like Kermit the Frog's sassy gay cousin. It's rather terrible and even the back-up singers look uncomfortable. The judges mildly hate on it, as Randy doesn't seem him as a Chris Brown or Jordan Sparks. But merge them both together, and Jacob falls in that genetic ballpark, yes?

Next, it's "Love Hurts." ProducerJimmy is still trying to get Jacob to turn down the Joan Collins. Sheryl Crow shows him how to sing the song gently and tenderly, which he will summarily ignore in about 45 seconds. Despite the giant harp on the stage that says "turn down the drama, bitch," Jacob is squatting, screeching and wailing. The gentle yearning of this song is completely lost, as the song ends with a wail that sounded something like "waaaaaaaah."

Lauren Alaina’s “Flat on the Floor”
Lauren Alaina’s “Unchained Melody”

Lauren can wear sassy western-inspired outfits and strut around in 3 inches like Tuesday, but she still ain't no Carrie Underwood. After singing "Flat on the Floor", according to the judges, Lauren is "in it" and "rising to the top" and…. Um, do the judges comments mean a flipping thing anymore?

Lauren later sings "Unchained Melody" with the technical proficiency of a beauty pageant contestant. It's very pretty, and very boring.

Scotty McCreery’s “Gone”
Scotty McCreery’s “Always on My Mind”

Ryan still insists on calling him "Scotty the Body." Restraining orders much? Anyhoo, Show has created a Howdy-Doody-meets-Eminem monster with this one… strutting around stage, the rap self-hug, and the eyebrows a'blazin' while singing "Gone." The Judges are all bout this, with Randy chanting his "in it to win it" mantra once again. Which, is beyond meaningless at this point, make us nostalgic for a old-fashioned "you killed it, dawg."

ProducerJimmy gives Scotty mindbending advice which translates into "stay in your box but don't be boring." Scotty sings "Always On My Mind" on the serious stool. It's slowed down and real, yo. And Scotty is much easier to take when he's stationary and not making weird faces. Scotty actually made two good song choices to show his range, and he's almost guaranteed in the finale at this point. And in case he isn't, let's give his adorable grandmother the microphone to say, "He's my Scotty."

Haley Reinhart’s “You and I”
Haley Reinhart’s “The House of the Rising Sun”

Haley wanted to get Lady Gaga's blessing to sing her song unreleased song, "You and I." It's a good thing her name isn't Weird Al, because she'd be totally denied. And then not. Haley's got long pants, supporting my theory of "the better she gets, he more clothes she wears." Haley has really become the little Kris Allen who could this season, surviving lukewarm reviews and support while improving each and every week. So it makes it all the most disappointing that the Judges kinda hate on it. And, all because they want that James-Scotty finale, so the Haley sabotage must begin this week.

For her second song, Haley sings "House of the Rising Sun" will a soulful, raspy, bluesy edge. It's something you might see at The House of Blues. Starts slow on the smoky stool, and then gets all sexy, and then we hit some power notes. Ka-blam. It's easily the most interesting and creative performance of the night. Randy declares it "the best performance of the night" and the other judges co-sign this.

So who's going home? I'm guessing Jacob is heading back to Dalton Academy.