Beth, I’m so glad you’re back, and I’m thrilled that we have finally reached the live portion of American Idol. These are always fun rounds when it is jam-packed with performances, and we get to see who can handle the pressure of America’s unforgiving gaze. Also: Jennifer looks like she’s ready to clubbing. I love the hair fountain.
Beth: I have serious issues with Jennifer’s hair fountain (great description, by the way). My issue is this: if you have someone to wash, dry and style your hair while you sit and count your money, SKIP THE PONYTAIL, MY GOD. I’m sorry, Adam. I know she’s your pretend girlfriend, but that makes me crazy.
First up, everyone’s favorite puppy kicker, Clint Jun Gamboa going where only the most soulful, powerful Idol contestants should ever go: Stevie Wonderland. I do believe the stage and the song (“Superstition) ate him alive, mad scientist spectacles and all. He hit the notes, but the spirit of the performance fell flat. The judges were understandably gracious, as is their custom for the first performance of the year. But there is no way I’ll remember this song. This is a strong group of guys and six of them are going home this week. Clint should be one of them.
Beth: Well, you know how I feel about Clint. I’m not a fan. Once he took the stage, it took me but a moment to finally realize who he looks like. He looks like a younger Alton Brown.
True story. Once I figured this out, I was just fascinated by their resemblance, I do remember him singing the song that’s been sung on Idol 4,320 times but only because he looks like Alton. Not because it sounded good.
Jovany Barreto should thank the Idol producers for showing that clip of his abs (which . . . whoa, look bulletproof). He just sounded weak. Again, the pitch was good, it was just the power that’s missing. Is it just me, or have both guys sounded like they are singing from backstage? He sang Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be,” but I was not the greatest fan of that song. But anybody watching with the volume down is probably dialing their votes for Jovany right now.
Beth: I agree with you, Adam. He has beautiful abs. And, I agree with Randy and you, he did not sound great. I think J-Lo’s hair fountain is too tight, I can’t come up with any other explanation as to why she likes him. Oh wait. Yes, I can. Abs.
Jordan Dorsey chose Usher’s “O.M.G.” They played the music. He sang some words. He danced a little. But OMG, he sounded like . . . Usher, when he performs live. He did add his own personal flair to Usher’s version, if his idea of personal flair is inaudible, off-beat vocals. But what he lacked in sound he made up for in awkward clumsiness. Then came the kiss of death: “That song was not me.” Oh, well, in that case let me vote the night away for not you.
Beth: I like Usher. I like the way he has this adorable baby face and mostly, I love the way he dances. I mean, seriously, Adam, have you tried to dance like Usher? It’s not easy, man. Trust. Me. So, Jordan’s version was, like you said, inaudible and off-beat and pretty much sounded like complete crap. I actually feel bad for Usher’s song.
The white-knuckle pace of the evening still allows for interview time with Tim Halperin. He gave us the “we’re all so supportive of each other” speech. That was more convincing than his version of Rob Thomas’s “Come on Over.” Maybe I need to see an audio specialist, but so far none of the vocals have sounded very full or vibrant. What I did hear of Tim was dull, flat, sharp, and blah. And it’s yet another attempt to reproduce an original with no sense of personal style. Beth, I’m officially disappointed thus far.
Beth: I see your disappointment and I’ll raise you a WTF. Seriously. I could use some potato chips right about now. Maybe a Dr. Pepper, some ice cream. Anything to get my mind off of this crap.
Brett Loewenstern. “Light My Fire.” Beth, I can’t do this. I can’t. If anyone lights this poor cocker spaniel of a boy’s fire, I’ll barf. I laughed at first, because I thought he was kidding. But he wasn’t kidding. And now I’m crying from embarrassment. And from more laughing, because I got over it. I’m not happy that he made the show. I’m ready to walk out in tears a la J-Lo.
Adam, let’s storm out. His performance easily qualifies as one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen on TV, which is saying a lot because well, there’s a lot of crap on TV. Wait. Steven liked it? J-Lo is pretending to like it? Whatever. Either way, Brett’s a sweet girl, so maybe that’s what they like about him. Her. WHATEVER.
I’ve finally placed it. Steven has a very Pam Dawber vibe going right now. Anyway, on to James Durbin. And holy crap, he’s singing Judas Priest! “You Got Another Thing Coming” is my favorite Judas Priest performance on Idol ever. And yes I totally had to google it. But James was hot. He’s the only guy so far with a serious expectation for advancing. I like this kid. He pretty much belongs on stage and on camera at all times.
Beth: I’ll have you know, I had to Google Pam Dawber. James is a perfect MIXTURE of David Cook and Adam Lambert. I wasn’t a fan of either guy which shouldn’t surprise you that I’m not a fan of this cat, it’s not like I want to stab him or anything, he just needs to grow on me. A lot. But listen, I thought it was a good performance.
Robbie Rosen goes with a softer, more sensitive delivery of Sarah McLachlan’s “Arms of an Angel,” because if there’s anything I would complain about Sarah McLachlan’s music, it’s that it isn’t soft and sensitive enough. Robbie was terrible. The song was just a stilted mess. I like Robbie. I think he’ll survive this vote on the strength of his smile alone. But that effort made David Archuleta look gruff and intimidating. I will say, I’m glad someone finally slowed this show down. Everyone has been upbeat. I just wish he would have chosen a pace slightly faster than Coma.
Beth: I just fell asleep on my keyboard. Man, this is the most boring song EVER. And also, Adam, I know that you are just waiting for me to mention his nose, but I’m not going to do it, nope, I’m not. This performance was crap. Why are the judges pretending it was good?!?! Well, just the rookies are pretending it’s good. But it wasn’t. It was CRAP.
Oh, I’ve been looking forward to Scotty McCreery. Can we talk about the shoe polish in his hair? It’s like he saw your Alfred E. Newman/Clay Aiken comparison and decided he didn’t resemble them quite enough. However, he joined James as the only guy committed to singing what he’s actually good at. The John Michael Montgomery “Letters from Home” song choice perfectly showcased his aw-shucksiness. I think I love him.
Beth: yes, we can definitely talk about the shoe polish. Totally distracting. But really, I loved this performance. He’s got such a great voice. And Adam, I’m just going to say it, if this boy would have put on a cowboy hat and removed that necklace, well, I’d say he’d be nearly sexy. Cowboy hat, Scotty. Cowboy. Hat.
Stefano Langone is going to be a problem. His song choice of “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars is a teeny-bopper fangirl dream. His pace was off. His volume and pitch were having an all-over-the-place contest (pitch won). The judges loved him. The girls in the studio really loved him. I mean, he dedicated it “to all the ladies,” so what’s the point of critiquing him? He can’t lose right now. But I’m a little nauseated.
Beth: Wow, he is one Ralph Macchio lookin’ mug, isn’t he? Adam, if girls go crazy over Justin Beiber, I am certain they’re going to love Stefano. I don’t even if that line makes sense. But I stand by what I said. Whatever it was.
Paul McDonald is singing Rod Stewart, “Maggie May.” First reaction: perfect choice. Completely suits his voice. Second reaction: terrible choice. He sounds like a Rod Stewart impersonator . . . dressed up as a Kenny Loggins impersonator. And he also bowed a lot. Like he’s a thespian. So he’s Rod Loggins as Hamlet. His smile is nice, although his teeth are frighteningly white. Yes, Randy. Paul is so unique and different. And a carbon copy of Rod Stewart. Hmm. He’ll be back.
Beth: Yes to the bowing, yes to the white teeth, yes to the Rod Stewart, yes to Kenny Loggins, it’s like we share the same brain, Adam. I have to question anyone who wants to be like Rod Stewart, because seriously? Rod Stewart?!
Jacob Lusk is not about the drama. So he chose “A House Is Not a Home,” a song I associate with Kristin Chenoweth on Glee. So not at all dramatic. Jacob’s faces are growing on me, but it’s strange to see looks so comical on top of vocals that dramatic. But he’s undeniably a better singer than almost anyone. Jennifer just dubbed him the second coming of Luther Vandross. Not sure I’d go that far, but he’s super.
Beth: I do love Jacob’s willingness to show us his true feelings. It’s complete endearing and also? Boy can sing.
Casey Abrams is Will Ferrell, right? Or did Grizzly Adams learn to channel Taylor Hicks? He sang “I Put a Spell on You,” and looked like a hypnotist while he did it. I’m not entranced, but he can definitely sing. For real. He just looks hilarious while doing so. That’s okay. I like laughter. He’s a lock for next week.
Beth: Casey is pretty much brilliant in my book. He blows me away every single time he sings. I don’t know if Casey is Will Ferrell as much as I think Will Ferrell would play a perfect Casey. I love it, I love that he’s so willing to step out of the box and can just naturally be awesome. He reminds me a lot of me. heh.
Tomorrow night. The girls. Hoping it’s slightly (or a million times) better than tonight’s show.