Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The fix is in (although I can't really blame them)

So why did they have so much trouble fitting in 10 songs and judges' comments two weeks ago, but tonight's nine songs with judges' comments seemed like no problem--and was filled with plenty of breezy conversation before about why a judge or a singer picked a particular song? I don't know, but thinking about a subject like that, or whether the producers could have made it any more obvious tonight that they don't want Syesha in the final, is a lot more interesting than any of the performances were tonight. Nothing terrible--although my sister tells me that if I knew that Chris Brown song, Archuleta's performance would have been pretty bad--but nothing memorable or special, even if it is the "CLOSEST RACE THE SHOW HAS EVER SEEN" according to Ryan. I'm not sure I believe that--weren't Ruben and Clay separated by less than one percent of the vote? (Yeah, yeah, maybe this is the tightest three-way race ever....)

The show began tonight with a glimpse of celebrities in the audience which included someone that appeared to be Lloyd from "Entourage." Yeah, he's funny on the show, but he qualifies as a celebrity in the Idol audience now? This season really is driving people away.

So tonight is the judges' choice show (my co-worker Barbara's favorite week). In past years, it has also included a choice by Clive Davis, along with a contestants' choice, but once again Clive Davis is missing and the arrogant idiots that produce the show get a choice. But I'll deal with that later.

David Archuleta ("And So It Goes")--Sort of a random song choice by Paula--an OK song, I guess, but probably not in the top 15 or 20 of good Billy Joel songs and I don't think I've heard it in more than a decade. And I actually thought it was really good, as good as Archuleta has been since early in the competition--although the long a capella made me think he was going to go all Bo Bice, final three a capella performance on me. Why was David so good? I'm going to speculate, with little evidence, that it was because of the absence of David's dad from preparations this week. If you didn't hear, David's reportedly overbearing stage dad was banned from backstage and being with his son during rehearsals, etc., not because he was obnoxious but because he urged David to add a line from Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls" to his performance of "Stand By Me" last week, since the Kingston song samples "Stand By Me." I forgot to mention it in my blog last week, but I kind of liked that--it made David seem more hip to current music than he had seemed all year, but Idol didn't like it because they had to unexpectedly pay extra for the right to that song. Yeah, it's a shame that they only made $9.9 million instead of $10 million last week. Anyway, what I liked about David's song was that--despite Simon's statement that it was predictable--it really wasn't. It didn't have the same vocal runs in the same places that so many of his songs had the last few weeks. He just sang the melody for the most part and it was good.

Syesha "MLK" Mercado ("If I Ain't Got You")--I have to agree with Simon that it wasn't a real good choice, since it's a well known song with a lot of vocal runs that Syesha isn't going to sing better than Alicia Keys did. Syesha did a good job, but it was the typical Syesha performance--vocally solid, but with nothing exciting that made it unique or drew me in emotionally.

David Cook ("First Time I Ever Saw Your Face")--It was a strange choice by Simon--giving a song sung by a legendary female singer to a male--but I agree with him that I'd rather see the singers challenged with a curveball than thrown a fastball down the middle. I didn't like the high-pitched stuff early in the song, but did like the high notes at the end. Overall, good but not great.

David Archuleta ("With You")--I'm either too old or not hip enough to know much of Chris Brown's work (although I am familiar with his bad acting on "The O.C." a couple years ago), so I don't know how this compares to the original. What I do know is that I was glad David tried a young, fresh song like this, but he looked very uncomfortable doing it, especially in the first half of the song before he settled down a little.

Syesha "John Lewis" Mercado ("Fever")--I have no idea why Syesha picked this song. I suppose she thought it would be sexy, but her performance wasn't. It's such an old song, and has been covered by so many people, it's almost like a cliche. And Syesha did absolutely nothing new with it. I'm falling asleep just remembering it.

David Cook ("Dare You to Move")--David seems to be a devotee of "lack of melody rock," which I don't really care for all that much and will be the reason I don't think I'll be all that interested in his album. But you never know. As for this performance, it was predictable and boring, if fine vocally.

So now we get to the producers' choices, where Nigel Lythgoe and his gang of evil dummies take over. Considering that the NBA is the only thing that brings out more conspiracy theories these days than American Idol, having the producers choose a song means they're just asking for criticism. Placing producers' choice last on the show--so it is the final impression the viewers receive--raises even more questions. And then when they pick such an unknown, melody-free song for the singer they'd rather not have one of the final two (Syesha, because a David-David final would be much more interesting), they might as well just tell us who to vote for. It would be less subtle.

David Archuleta ("Longer")--Nigel and the gang aren't interested in challenging anybody. They gave David the most treacly ballad they could find, and he sang it pretty well.

Syesha "Malcolm X" Mercado ("Hit Me Up")--A song from the movie "Happy Feet"? Really? I suppose the producers "thought" this song would show Syesha's "personality," but why, at this point in the competition, would you give any contestant a song with virtually no melody and hardly any lyrics, for that matter? Syesha did what she could with it, but there really wasn't anything to do with it.

David Cook ("I Don't Want to Miss A Thing")--So they gave the other David a treacly ballad, but done by a rock band, and David gives a good performance but doesn't break any new ground. I was most amazed that Simon called this "one of the greatest songs of all time." What? I know the writer, Diane Warren, was in the audience, but really Simon? That's not even one of the best Aerosmith songs of all time. This show is apparently driving everyone crazy.

Syesha is out tomorrow night, and we'll be a day closer to the end of the most boring Idol season ever. Hallelujah. Fingerhut out.

Labels:

13 Comments:

Blogger Amy said...

Not much to say except if David A wins, I think I am done with the show for good.

David Cook had the best talent and some serious range in his voice. Still listen to his Music of the Night on youtube at work...

And, David A basically ruined "With You" for me...he killed it. Seeing a 17 year old teeny bopper white kid singing My Boo was just really disturbing and bad...that song is so good and he ruined it.

DC all the way...Fingerhut JR out

5/14/08, 12:48 PM  
Anonymous kson220 said...

David A-1st song good; 2nd song, not so much (right on the money Amy); 3rd song, just OK

Syesha-1st song, OK; 2nd song, NO; 3rd song, NO

David C-1st song, GREAT; 2nd song, good; 3rd song good.

Syesha goes home.

5/14/08, 9:25 PM  
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