Monday, March 07, 2011

So we're down to one?

As far as my Jew-counting project on American Idol goes, last week was a week John Galliano would have loved. Of the four possible Jews left on American Idol, all but one were eliminated--and the one's that left is the one whose suspected Jewish heritage I'm most unsure about.

First of all, Rachel Zevita, she of the Hamsa necklace in the auditions, was eliminated after singing a very strange version of Fiona Apple's "Criminal" (like Randy Jackson, I didn't figure out what the song was until it was nearly over.) I did love when she threw off the cape, though, think she had a cool voice and was kind of interesting--but I can't blame America for not voting her through because her actual performance wasn't very good.

Brett Loewenstern, who seemed pretty Jewish, also didn't make it to the second round after singing "Light My Fire" and flipping his hair a lot. I think he probably would have been entertaining as a finalist and wasn't bad--but he had no chance of winning the whole thing, so it wasn't that big a deal.

Finally, there was Robbie Rosen, who actually had an article in the New York Post about him entitled something like "Could He Be the First Jewish American Idol?" The answer is no, not only because he isn't one of the 13 finalists, but also, as my former coworker Anne wrote, "Robbie Rosen was never going to win American Idol." Why? Because his voice wasn't that great and, as far as I'm concerned, he sang too slow. After a mediocre version of "Angel" on Tuesday night, he did get picked as one of the wild card performers, and listening to him sing "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word," it sounded like every word was the hardest word for him--because it took him so long to get through the song with all his vocal runs, etc. It became annoying. But I'm sure he's a nice young man.

So all we've got left is Casey Abrams, who has to be considered a favorite with his spellbinding rendition of "I Put A Spell On You." I have no actual evidence, though, that he's Jewish, other than his Jewish-like name of Abrams and his Seth Rogen-like look. Funny story, though--I noticed my blog got a couple hundred hits after the Idol shows last week (and that's way more than usual.) Why? Because lots of people were googling stuff like "Casey Abrams Jewish" and Tim Halperin Jewish" and arriving at my posts from the last couple weeks. (As we discussed last week, the answer to the Tim Halperin question is no.

So what do I think of Idol as we go into the final round? Some random thoughts: I think two of the wild card picks were complete wastes--both Ashthon and Stefano did nothing to distinguish themselves from the dozens of similarly mediocre singers that have been eliminated in the round of 24 over the past five years. Naima, though, is at least compelling and has a good voice. I barely remember the guys other than Casey and Jacob Lusk, which doesn't bode very well. Haley Reinhart is the most (unintentionally) funny contestant they may have ever had on the show with her overwrought, trying-too-hard vocals. Pia Toscano had a nice performance, but Randy proclaiming it one of the best performances ever on Idol makes me wonder whether his Simon Cowell-like judging this year may be short-lived. And Karen Rodriguez singing in Spanish--sorry, I don't like it. Can Robbie Rosen sing "Jerusalem of Gold" in Hebrew on the show? If Fox wants to start a show called Bilingual Idol, that's great, and she can sing it on there (and I might even watch it). But I don't really want to see that on this show.

Please leave comments if you disagree. And enjoy the first week of the finals!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your commentary, but must disagree about Karen singing in Spanish. I really, really liked it and thought she did a great job of balancing the languages and giving it a special flavor that is new and different for Idol. Now if she starts translating every song she sings it will begin to get a bit tired, so we shall see...


3/8/11, 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Kcitbs said...

Oh I totally agree! When Karen first sang in Spanish, it seemed like a gimic to try and get all the Spanish lovers to vote for her-because well, it wasn't that great. And I have noticed that Randy has been doing a lot of Simon critiques, but the one thing that has been bothering me is that he keeps on saying things like "I agree with my fellow judges; I disagree with my fellow judges; I differ from my fellow judges" Honestly, if he just tells us his own thought we will be able to figure out whether he agrees or not. And I noticed Brett wearing HUGE stars of David's-there is not doubt he was Jewish(and the fact that he was so loving also helped!)
Casey has a really good chance in the competition- I like him, Lauren, and Pia. Rachel is just awkward.

3/12/11, 3:22 PM  
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