Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The 80s works on Idol, at least for tonight

Before we get on to the show, I guess I should begin by recapping the Idol "scandals" of this week. The major one is the revelation that David Hernandez was a gay stripper for three years. This begins to explain where he picked up the crazy dancing style that David does whenever possible (the revelation of the final 24, the medley in last week's results show.) I have no idea whether this will hurt him in the competition, but I can't imagine it would help. It seems, though, that Frenchie Davis got a very raw deal--once again, someone who took their clothes off for money is allowed to stay in the competition, even though she did the same thing and was kicked off the show in year two. (Don't get me wrong, I don't think David Hernandez should be kicked off the show, it just doesn't seem fair that the rules changed at some point and no one explained why. Not explaining the reasons for things--wow, that never happens with American Idol producers, does it?)

Then there are alleged "lesbian photos" of Ramiele out there. I saw the apparent photo, and it was the lamest excuse for a lesbian photo I've ever seen. She was touching another woman's fully-clothed breast. Call me underwhelmed, but I think the taped piece a couple years ago on Idol when Kellie Pickler and Katharine McPhee were playing around on a bed together was 100 times more exciting if you're talking about Idol and lesbian stuff. Please, celebrity media, don't insult us with these poor excuses for scandal. Oh, and there are apparently some nude photos of Amanda Overmyer floating around the Internet. I have nothing to say about this because I just don't care enough to look for them. If you have seen them and want to talk about them, please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Tonight's theme was the 1980s, and it was fun. I believe this is actually the first time there has been a pure 80s theme on the show--as opposed to, for instance, a band like Bon Jovi with a bunch of 80s hits--and it gave us a bunch of new songs to Idol and a little bit of a freshness that had been lacking. It was also helped along by a bunch of pretty good performances.

Luke Menard (Wake Me Up Before You Go Go)--This wasn't one of those good performances. Why is this thoroughly unimpressive singer, who tonight showed off a sort of squeaky, tinny voice, still on my TV? I suppose it's because he's a good looking guy--even as a straight male, I can see that. Now I guess I know how women feel when they have to sit through Haley Scarnato and Kady Malloy. Anyway, Simon's absolutely correct as usual--Luke has no chance to win, he's simply not good enough. And I have no idea what the "great instrument" is that Paula referred to Luke having. It sure isn't his voice. I think we can all use our imaginations.

David Archuleta (Another Day in Paradise)--All I could think of during this performance was the radio version of this song--I believe it was during my sophomore year in college--which spliced, throughout the song, snippets of a President Bush (the first one) speech about the homeless. All of a sudden, in the middle of the song, you'd hear Bush say, in that odd speaking style of his, "I'm talking about the homeless." It was very strange. Anyway, David was fine, but even before Simon said it, I was thinking, "Two slow songs in a row? I hope he does an up-tempo song next week." I thought it was a nice performance and like how he changes enough to make the song his own (although apparently his arrangement of "Imagine" last week was originally done by Eva Cassidy--shades of Chris Daughtry and "Walk the Line," anyone? Actually, it was slightly different because Chris was praised effusively for coming up with an original arrangement by the judges and didn't say anything, where the judges didn't say that in this case and therefore he didn't actually take credit for it.) And I just thought of something--that maybe David doesn't have this thing wrapped up yet. Considering the story he told at his audition about losing his voice for a few months, and his story tonight about losing his voice while singing during a fundrasier, hmmm...

Denise Richards is in the audience in an American Idol semifinal show? Wow, her career must really be hurting. She may be on Celebrity Apprentice by next year.

Danny Noriega (Tainted Love)--I was thinking after the second singer that I wondered if we'd hear a quintessential 80s song like Tainted Love, and, boom, it's the next song. So I was happy with his song choice. Once again, I don't know what Paula was talking about when she says "you've got great vocals." I don't think they're anything special, and while I still find Danny's whole performance and personality compelling and watchable, I don't think he's that good a singer.

David Hernandez (It's All Coming Back to Me Now)--This was solid, if not spectacular. And if you remember this as a 90s song because of Celine Dion, Meatloaf actually recorded it in the 80s-and then, of course, sang it with Katharine McPhee on the season five finale in a performance I really enjoyed--but Meatloaf later said on Howard Stern was terrible because he felt McPhee didn't really get what he was trying to do or something. And I don't want to hear about your boogers, David Hernandez. In Danny Noriega's words, that was TMTH.

Michael Johns (Don't You Forget About Me)--I do think Simon is correct, that Michael hasn't found quite the right song for him (although Bohemian Rhapsody in Hollywood was really good), but I think this was probably his best performance of the semifinals. I liked how he instead of keeping the song low like in the original, he took it up a key as the song went on. And Randy, this song was done by the band Simple Minds. They're not from Australia, and Michael Hutchence is not a member of the band. I suppose it was nice, though, that Michael was polite enough not to correct him on camera.

David Cook (Hello)--That was cool--making a Lionel Richie ballad into a smoldering rocker. This performance was so good, I didn't even think about his bad hair the whole time--or even reminisce about that video with the blind woman. I think David is a darkhorse--he's got a good and distinctive voice and has enough confidence to take some risks.

Jason Castro (Hallelujah)--I remember this song most fondly from the final moments of the season one finale of "The O.C." But that's not relevant here. What is relevant is Jason was quite good--this was certainly his best performance thus far. He showed he could really sing. Can this guy win? Really unlikely, but I wouldn't count him out yet.

Chikeze (All the Woman That I Need)--I had no idea this song was a cover when Whitney did it in 1991, and so was ready to start raise the "flouting the theme" issue until Chikeze mentioned it was first recorded in 1981, and then redone by Sister Sledge (!) the next year. I thought this was OK, but it's a song that provides a lot of opportunities to show off vocally and I don't think Chikeze did enough in that area. But it wasn't bad, and I do hope Chikeze sticks around in the competition because he brings some diversity to the guys in many ways.

Who's going home? I hope Luke Menard is. The other bottom two will probably be Chikeze and Danny, and I think it will be Danny.

Fingerhut out.

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13 Comments:

Anonymous John said...

What an excellent blg today--a great way to start my morning with my coffee. Oh, and Paula looked great and was happy-goofy last night, as opposed to weepy-goofy or slurry-goofy.

The scandals! I had heard vaguely about the Ramiele thing, though it doesn't sound like a big deal.

David Hernandez: ya know, a guy's gotta eat. Though seriously, I can think of a list of jobs longer than my arm that I'd take before "gay stripper." And to paraphrase REM, Frenchie got a raw deal. Though I found her repulsive and thought her singing really overrated.

Nude Overmeyer: I'll pass.


The performances:
Luke: you know what I've been thinking? He's just not fun. I mean, he's done two fun songs in a row, he smiles nicely the whole time, but it's just not any fun.
Excellent point though about "what women go through" watching the hotties. He is a nice looking guy and I actually felt for him when Simon told him his opinion(the truth).

David: when I heard that he did this song, I cringed. He did a nice job though, good vocals, and I think that he was sincere when he said why he chose the song. If next week is 90s week, though, he should do something fun, like This Is How We Do It or I Touch Myself.

Danny: um, fun and creepy. Not a great vocal, though, but he would have been a great character on The OC.

Lap Dance David: It left me a little cold. I've always thought this was an odd song. But he can sing and could still surprise us, I suppose.

Michael Jones: he did a really good job. I hoped that he'd knock the cover off the ball, though, and he just had a nice stand-up double instead. He's still my favorite of the dudes. And yes, he's a trooper for not correcting Randy AND for switching spots with David Cook at the last second.

David Cook: my favorite performance of the night. Randy called it emo, which really wasn't right. To me it felt more like the way the Foo Fighters would do this song...which is a big compliment, I suppose.

Castro: nice job. Good vulnerability in the vocals. Well performed in the best sense.

Chikeze: okay, I've never liked this song but I thought that it was okay. For Nineties week he should do Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Leaving us will be....Luke and David H.

3/5/08, 9:21 AM  
Anonymous kson220 said...

First off, let's get the "scandal" straight. He was not a gay stripper, he was a dancer/stripper that caters to both men and women. That does not make you gay, it makes you questionable. Doesn't really matter to me, I don't get him or the buzz that he is good. I can really do without him. But, he is not the 1st ex-stripper on Idol, and he won't be the last.

John, what was so repulsive about Frenchie Davis?

Ramiele photots? Who cares?

On to the singing.

Luke Menard-Please Dear Lord, let Luke be voted off this week. Cute is just not enough to overcome boring in a competition like this.

David A.-I don't think he is going to have another "Imagine" performance soon, but I thought he was really good. I like his voice, he's a cute kid, and he strikes me as someone who won't get too big for his britches. One of my picks for the final four.

Danny Noriega-I didn't like Sanjaya last season, and I don't like Sanjaya this season. But, seriously, Danny has a voice, but his presentation drives me out of my mind. He annoys me to no end.

David H.-As I stated above, I don't like him. I think his singing is only slightly better than mediocre, his dance moves are weak. Unless I am missing something, just counting the weeks until he goes.

Michael Johns-Can you hear this song and not think about The Breakfast Club? The 80's were my time (I graduated from high school in '84), and Don't You Forget About Me has always been one of my favorite songs. With that said, I thought thatMichael did a good job. Of course, I am still partial to his Bohemian Rhapsody, but I thought that he had a good solid performance. With his looks, the accent, and his performances, barring some totally unforseen incident, Michael is going to go really far this year. Yeah!!!!

David Cook-So not a fan, but he took a song that I never really liked much and made me really enjoy it. His hair is awful and he reminds me of plain toast. Dry, boring, and in need of some kind of topping.

Jaosn Castro-Just love him. He has a good personality without being over the top. He can definitely sing. I loooove his hair. I have never heard this song before, but he kept my attention and had me totally into it from the beginning. I agree that he probably won't win, but he should be around for a while.

Chikeze-He can sing, but he kind of bores me. I had heard the Sister Sledge version back in the day, and of course everyone knows the Whitney version. Chikeze did a reasonably good version, but there is still something missing with him. He is lackluster. He too is like toast, only this time, it is pumpernickel.

Who goes home? Luke must go! And I hope Danny Noriega, but I have a feeling that it will be Chikeze.

3/6/08, 1:48 PM  
Anonymous John said...

KSON220 On Frenchie: you know what, you are right to ask that question. I'll withdraw my earlier statement that. I can't even remember what she looked like and what I do remember was that she was on the heavy side. She may have even been pretty--I can't remember.

Either way, it wasn't a fair thing to say--I did think that her talent was overstated a bit to make it more of an "outrage" that she was dismissed. Chalk this up to a failed attempt at outrageous humor. Now I know how Aubrey Huff felt...

3/6/08, 2:36 PM  
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