Tuesday, April 07, 2009

It's Lambert's to lose

For the first time in a few weeks, I'm back in full blogging mode tonight--I get out of work early tomorrow for Passover, so I can come home and take a nap if I'm tired. So let's break tonight's show down, which was a fairly entertaining one for this season, singer by singer.

But first, a word about the theme. I like the birth year theme, because it gives the singers enough songs that they should be able to find something good to choose from, but does limit them enough so that they can't pick just anything. (Of course, some people still cheat, which we'll get to momentarily.)The birth year theme also gave us one of my favorite Idol performances of all time, Constantine's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which in some ways changed the way Idol contestants envisioned what they could do, not always in a good way (like that Michael Johns doing "Day in the Life" montrosity last year.) Tonight, the one problem with the theme was that there were so many singers born in the mid-1980s that the flashbacks I was getting to junior high school were giving me the shakes. Even so, it was nice to see some fresh songs that I don't think have been done on Idol before. Some weren't particularly good choices for the singers, but we'll get to that.

Also, the producers of this show--and the judges for that matter--should be embarrassed at how long the show ran over tonight (my DVR was set to go seven minutes past nine and it still cut off during the recap) and how Adam didn't even get a full critique (and Matt got three words from everyone). How did they get that far behind and not appear to know it until 8:55? They only had eight singers tonight. They've done 10 singers in an hour before and they can't fit it eight now?
I know it has a lot to do with having four judges, which everyone knows by now is a mistake. But why can't the judges in the early part of the show learn to speak concisely--both Paula and Kara just go on and on and on, and tonight often said similar things, although Kara is much more annoying at it. At least they skipped that ridiculous intro where the judges walked out tonight. They got through seven years with Ryan introducing the judges--we really didn't need that weirdness this year to add to all the other horrors we've had to sit through. On to the singers.

Danny Gokey--Anyone who's ever read this blog knows what I'm going to say about the song selection here. Mickey Gilley's "Stand by Me"? I know this has happened before, but isn't this kind of cheating? I have no idea if Mickey Gilley's cover of "Stand By Me" was popular or not (I listened to it on Youtube, and it's basically a country version of the song, not the weird jazzy thing that Danny did), but this isn't a song from 1980, it's a song from the early 60s. Here's a question: The movie "Stand by Me" came out in 1986, and the song (the Ben E. King version, of course) became a radio hit that summer again, if I recall correctly. Could someone born in 1986 sing that song for the birth year theme? Anyway, Danny's peformance was actually pretty good, even with the strange arrangement of the song. He's got a nice, gravelly tone to his voice, but he still doesn't strike me as that special or remarkable. Others seem to disagree, though.

Kris Allen -- First of all, Kris, that whole surrounded by fans thing didn't work for Matt last week. I have no idea why you decided to do that, but don't do it again--it just makes you look lame and we couldn't even see you that well. Then the choice of song--why would you pick a song that pretty much stays with the same limited notes/melody the whole way through? Adding a little jazziness didn't really change that. Simon was right, it was boring--and seemed like you've been reading your good reviews.

Lil--Actually, unlike the judges, I thought this was a pretty good song choice for Lil, until she started to sing it and I thought, before the judges said it, that this does sound kind of karaoke. Of course, the problem with this kind of critique of Lil--the karaoke critique--is that, as Randy unwittingly pointed out during his judges critique, they keep telling Lil to be somebody else ("Oh, you should sing Mary J. Blige, oh, you should sing Keisha Cole, etc.") So she was just trying to be somebody else by doig a karaoke performance, just not the right person as far as the judges are concerned. Here's the other problem with Lil, as Michael Slezak at EW.com has frequently pointed out in recent weeks--the judges keep talking about how talented Lil is, but we really haven't seen much evidence of it. Whenever they showed her in Hollywood, she was shouting and oversinging, and other than her very good semifinal performance, she hasn't had one really good performance in the finals. What exactly did she do to be talked about as "mad, mad talented" by Randy every week? Sorry, don't see it.

Anoop--OK, I'll grudgingly congratulate Anoop and the rest of the University of North Carolina for their victory last night. They deserved it--they were the best team this year. I just wish that the championship game would have been a litle more interesting--having it basically wrapped up by the first TV timeout was pretty boring. Then again, I was able to get 24 instead of wasting my time waiting for a hopeless Michigan State comeback. Wow, I can't believe UNC has won two titles since the last time Duke was in the Final Four. Oh, Anoop's singing. I thought he was great--gave it his own spin, confident and assured, good song. If he does that a couple more weeks in a row, he has top four potential--which didn't seem likely a few weeks ago.

Scott--Tonight may have been the best example of the judges patronizing Scott because of his blindness. If anyone else had been that bad and botched that many notes, would they have gotten the "Well, bad song choice, and boring performance, but it wasn't that bad" critique that he got. Simon said he picked a bad song--the song was fine, he just didn't sing it well. Please America, haven't we had enough?

Allison--She was really good, because she took a song that's often sung on Idol in a very quiet, safe way, and put some vocal power behind it. I think it was one of her best performances of the season. Having said that, please stop comparing her to Kelly Clarkson, judges. It's not fair to her, and while I see the comparison somewhat vocally, there is a huge gap in personality--as the judges sort of acknowledged. Allison seems to have plenty of personality in the video clips, in interviews with Ryan on stage, etc. But she doesn't have much personality when she's singing--something Kelly Clarkson always had a lot of. It may just be an age thing that she'll develop, though. Oh, and I can't believe there's a contestant on American Idol that was born two weeks before I graduated college.

Matt Giraud--"Part-time Lover"--the song that was forever soiled on the Idol stage by the version that Kevin Covais gave us. Matt was much better than that, but I wasn't loving it as much as the judges. Too much growling and vocal runs and scat singing, and not enough just pure singing for me. But it should get him to next week.

Adam Lambert--When this show started, I was a little skeptical of Adam and all his flamboyance and theatrics. (By the way, loved when his dad said he was never interested in sports.) But I'm firmly on the Adam Lambert bandwagon now. Another really great, mostly restrained performance. The guy can sing, and he's interesting. I know there are a lot of Danny Gokey fans out there, including one of my family members, but come on--Adam is kicking his butt every week. Has Simon ever given a standing ovation to any contestant before?

Bottom three: Scott, Lil and let's say Matt because he seems to be there a lot.
Going home: Let's hope it's Scott.

One other thing: PLEASE LEAVE SOME COMMENTS.

Happy Passover, happy Easter and Fingerhut out.

Labels:

21 Comments:

Anonymous Wei said...

my tivo is set to 4 minutes over and i hear 2 lines of Adam's performance. Fuck you, american idol.

4/8/09, 1:04 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Luckily, Mom told me to go and put on my tv and pause the show as it was about to run over...so I saw Adam's performance first...I have not really liked him but I thought he was great last night.

I am still a Gokey fan and he needs the right song choices, please someone help him show his incredible raspy range of voice. Lil is losing me week by week but looks really good at least. I love Allison and I agree with comments about no personality on stage...for such a great singer, she needs to shine more and put something into it. Also, I really enjoyed matt last night and all of his runs in part of the song.

Great comments about Carolina..they deserved it but what an awful game...so yes watching 24 was much better!
PLEASE SEND SCOTT HOME...awful...

4/8/09, 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Adam can really sing but something about him I don't like. It's the over-confident, somewhat arrogant attitude (that's the vibe I get).

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