Thursday, May 5, 2011

So Long Idol, My Heart Belongs Anywhere But With You

Something old, something new, tonight my Idol blog is through.  What started so strong early in the season has turned into a typical Idol season in which the audience (at least me) struggles to really care who is going to win the competition because let's be honest: no one is likely to buy the winner's album anyway.  Between the mediocre performances, the crappy, too kind judging, and lack of personality for the contestants, I have simply become tired of finding something to write about, rant about, make fun of.  For my six readers, thanks for reading this shlock.  Now onto tonight...

Sheryl Crow as music royalty?!  Really?!  First Carole King and now Sheryl Crow?  Apparently anyone who is willing to sell themselves out to Idol becomes royalty.  I wonder what real music royalty like Paul McCartney would be considered?  At least he has already been deemed Sir Paul McCartney by the Majesty herself (at least I think that is how it works)!  Damn Monarchs and their crazy love for pomp and circumstance (well that Royal wedding was kind of cool).

James Durbin
Up first was Durbin with Jared Leto's "Closer to the Edge" which started very slow and pitchy and didn't get much better.  In an out of character performance, Durbin seemed to be one note flat during the entire performance.  Rather than enjoying what could have been a great performance, I felt as if I was being screamed at during the entire song. Shocking, he said sarcastically, the judges praised the performance...sometimes I feel like the judges are judging three year olds with their need for continued positive reinforcement. 

Like Durbin's first performance, he seemed to struggle during "Without You", both in pitch and emotions.  While Durbin seemed to find his voice when the power chorus came out, he showed that when he isn't bringing the power, his voice isn't as great as has been said all season.

Jacob Lusk
"No Air" started with Lusk on an odd-sounding falsetto that didn't quite find the right note. Lusk seemed to struggle through the entire performance and like Durbin, seemed to yell the entire song.  It was nice to see Randy Jackson actually provide something besides smoke up the ass of the contestants.  Jennifer Lopez who started the season strong has fell into a Paula-Abdul like trance of only providing the positive while Steven Tyler continues to be completely useless.

Lusk definitely put himself into "Love Hurts", but once again, did little to show who he is as an artist.  I struggle to understand why Lusk hasn't realized that Gospel is his thing and he should continue down that path.  Like I learned in my 8th grade play, "The Competition": Just Be Who You Are. What Lusk is is on the ropes.

Lauren Alaina
Lauren Alaina brought out her country pipes and picked the right song for a genre which she should pursue post-Idol.  While clearly no Carrie Underwood, Alaina is much more talented than previous ditz and Idol contestant Kellie Pickler and with Pickler finding success, Alaina will most likely find marginal success, as well.  Alaina should definitely stick with anything country-related as Idol enters its final weeks.

Donning Farrah Fawcett-esque hair and a beautiful long-flowing dress, Alaina looked the part for her performance of "Unchained Melody" but unfortunately didn't bring anything special to the song.  Pitchy during parts and simply boring, Alaina doesn't have the type of voice to do a classic like this, especially the famous high note.  I actually would have liked to have seen James Durbin or Jacob Lusk perform this with their range.

Scotty McCreery
Scott McCreery's "Gone" was solid, however one has to wonder what else McCreery has in his arsenal to win this thing.  I stick to my theory that he will have a #1 country record and will do really well with that genre, but he still look like a young kid out there who has no idea what to do while he performs.

Like Alaina, McCreery bored the audience with his second song; what McCreery did different from Alaina, however, was that he was pitch perfect (as always)  and made "Always on My Mind" a very tender moment.

Haley Reinhart
Haley Reinhart took the poor advice of Jimmy Iovine who continues to show that while he may be a good producer for established artists, he isn't doing much for the Idol contestants. During the Iovine chosen Lady Gaga song "You and I", Reinhart technically sounded good, however the performance was simply mediocre and Gaga is not an artist who Reinhart should model her career after.

Reinhart saved the best for last with a belting rendition of "House of the Rising Sun", by far the best performance this season for her and possibly one of the top performances of any artist this season.  While I still don't love her growling during songs, Reinhart showed her power when she sang a capella...props to Sheryl Crow for that suggestion.

How the top five will fair during the rest of the season (as if I truly care):

5. Jacob Lusk
4. Haley Reinhart
3. Lauren Alaina
2. Scotty McCreery
1. James Durbin

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Idol Shows Its Age With Carole King Theme Night

Just like me, it sounded like even the Idol in-studio crowd was tired of Idol and its remaining contestants leaving Ryan Seacrest with requests of the crowd like:
  • "We need that energy." 
  • "Come on, bring that energy."
  • "We want that energy." 
Seacrest even sounded desperate when telling a little girl to write down the date that tickets goon sale for the Idol Top 11 that no one cares about.  At this rate, the top 11 will be playing at local fairgrounds (which makes sense since most of them will most likely be doing that as solo artists in the future).

Back to tonight's in-studio audience. Why was the in-studio crowd so lackluster tonight?  Perhaps because of the ridiculous theme night of songs written or performed by Carole King.  Seriously?  We go from songs from the 21st century to Carole King?  You know Idol has reached the bottom of the well when it resorts to having young contestants sing songs of an artist who was popular before they were even born.  What's next? Songs of Liberace?  Songs from the Baroque period?  118 compositions that have hit the Billboard 100 is impressive, but unless I wear dentures and mom jeans, Carole King is not in my vocabulary.

Jacob Lusk started the night with a mediocre "Oh No, Not My Baby".  Lusk started slow and finished strong, but the song was nothing special.  And judging by his outfit, I think Babyface, tonight's mentor, might have called in a favor from Stevie Wonder to dress Lusk.

Lauren Alaina followed with the very boring "When You Leave" that left me wanting to leave the room and perhaps Idol for the remainder of the competition.  While Alaina sounded good, like Lusk, the song did nothing for her voice or her chances to stay in the competition.  After two performances, I dislike Carole King even more than I did before tonight's show.

Country bumpkin, Scotty McCreery, brought something a little different when he was forced to stray from his go-to country roots with "You've Got a Friend". Like his fellow contestants, the performance was extremely boring.  I do give McCreery credit, however, for sounding better than Lusk and Alaina.  It amazes me that Idol continues to take contestants out of their comfort zone with these stupid musician-themed nights.  While I understand that Idol can only do so many decade-themed nights, there are other ways to provide broad theme nights and not songs of the once popular and no longer relevant musician-themed nights.

Of course, leave it to King James Durbin to leave me eating my words (a bit) when he performed the classic tune, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?".  Judging by the feedback from Randy Jackson and most likely the voting public, the answer is yes.  Durbin meshed Bryan Ferry's version of the song with a Weezer-like pop-rock arrangement into a perfect fit.  Tonight, James Durbin showed the true control he has with his voice.

Casey Abram performed "Hi-De-Ho" taking viewers back to a simpler, cooler time with his Cab Calloway-esque version of the song made famous by Blood Sweat & Tears.  While more entertaining then the early performers, I continue to struggle with how Abrams will ever go prime-time with his brand of music. Idol has done a solid job of bringing together its most eclectic top 10 ever, however there is still only one, maybe two, performers who have the possibility of selling records to the masses.

Batting clean up was my least favorite contestant now that Stefano was booted last week, Haley Reinhart.  Good performance but seven performances later, I never wanted to hear a musician's songs again less than Carole King (in all truth, outside of "You've Got a Friend", I don't think I wanted to hear a Carole King song even before tonight).  Between the showcasing of contestants' idiosyncrasies a week or two again and eight Carole King songs, Idol officially jumped the shark for the season tonight.

Most interesting thing about the night is that 'The Voice", airing a night earlier, showed how a fresh new show can add life to a singing competition.  With four young, relevant judges, and a fun concept where a contestant's age and how they look doesn't matter in the first round, "The Voice" showed that it too can find talent and perhaps someone who can actually sell more albums than the winner of Idol.  Also interesting is the fact that "The Voice" judges provide positive comments, but don't make you feel as if every contestant in front of them is the second coming of Jesus and has the potential to be bigger than music legends like Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

Most obnoxious thing of the night? Extending an already long night with time-wasting duets.  Note to the Idol producers: if you do not have 90 minutes to fill with competitive singing, cut it to an hour and save the viewing audience 30 minutes of their lives. If you feel really compelled, save it for the joke-of-an-hour results night when viewers can simply tune in during the last two minutes to catch who was kicked off.

Most disappointing thing of the night?  J Lo crossing her legs too quickly when being serenaded by Jacob Lusk and James Durbin and leaving Egotastic (and me) without a prime opportunity to sneak a peek.

Most disturbing thing about the night? Steven Tyler trading his creepy leering stares for a six-year old on his lap. I know Tyler likes them young, but that is simply gross.

And on that note, I am going to prepare for my trip to Hell.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And Then There Were Seven...

Trying to make up for the lack of females remaining on the show, Idol kicked off the night with a bloody awful rendition of Pink's "So What?".  Not only were we forced to listen to the five booted women harmonize horribly, but I believe my ears bled having to listen to Paul McDonald try to keep up with the women.  After witnessing this massacre (possibly on par with the Charles Manson murders), America is definitely content with the decision to kick off the majority of these folks...although not according to Steven Tyler who spewed more useless crap with words of "you made America think twice".  Think twice about voting them off?!  Not quite, perhaps think twice about watching this terrible show!

Taking on America's favorite home-wrecker Lee Ann Rines, Scotty McCreery sang "Swingin'".  Underwhelming and boring throughout, McCreery finally showed that he was human and not king of song selection.  Perhaps most annoying was the skit prior to his performance where his contestants teased him about the way he holds his microphone; having not paid close attention in the past, I am now totally annoyed when watching McCreery perform.

James Durbin continued to show that he is the one to beat when he performed Mule's "Uprising".  While the judges raved so much about this performance that I thought J Lo might spread her legs for him right there and Randy might hold him like McCreery holds a microphone, I simply thought it was a mediocre performance.  Always preferring folks like Durbin and Lambert to use their screams in moderation, I wasn't a fan of the screams near the end of the song.  Coolest gimmick?  The drummers.

Amazingly, for the first time, I enjoyed Haley Reinhart's performance when she sang Adele's "Rolling in the Deep".  While pitchy at times, Reinhart chose a great song for her throaty voice.  Once again, however, I became irritated when Reinhart's fellow contestant commented on her idiosyncrasies, including how she growls during songs.

Jacob Lusk took on the mighty Luther and the very beautifully written "Dance With My Father".  Sounding much like Kermit the Frog for the second or third time this season, tonight's performance didn't do much for me.  Lusk did an outstanding job at hitting the high note near the end and even better job at not being the Diva that his fellow contestants described prior to his performance, but unfortunately not a bang up job when it came to the overall performance

I am afraid to insult Casey Abram's performance of "Harder to Breathe" as I am downright scared of the guy when he puts his angry face on during performance. I haven't seen such an odd face during a performance like this since John Mayer started out and couldn't avoid his "O" face while singing.  Perhaps I heard something different than the judges, but it seemed like Abrams was off just a bit a number of times during the song. 

Abrams does score points for getting Seacrest to acknowledge there was a joke in Seacrest wearing a beard (hey Troy Aikman recently shed his when he got divorced so perhaps there is a new couple in the future).  Seacrest followed with the gem, "this is what it feels like to be a man".  Yes, Ryan, those over 5' tall and 18 years of age are considered men...don't worry, a few more inches and you'll be there.  But we weren't done there when Seacrest stated "I can't get it off". .I wasn't sure if he was talking about the glue from the beard or perhaps the glue from someone else pre-show.

Stefano Langone hopefully earned the least number of votes with a terribly cheesy and poor rendition of Ne-Yo's "Closer". What was once a cool and sexy song was turned in a performance that was closer to what one would see at some small-town karaoke bar than what is expected from someone in the top seven.  Shocking (he said sarcastically) that the judges liked the performance.

Lauren Alaina batted clean up with Sara Evans' "Born to Fly" and had me agreeing with douchebag producer, Jimmy Iovine's comment that Alaina tends to hold back during her performances.  At points in the performance, I saw the Alaina that had the potential to win this thing, but unfortunately she seemed stiff through much of the performance and just didn't bring it.

Voting has been unpredictable so it is hard to say who is going to go home tomorrow night, but I would put Langone, Abrams, and Alaina in the bottom with Langone going home.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Idol Takes on The Movies

After playing up the Pia exit on the intro, Idol wasted no time in getting down to the night's theme of songs from the movies.

Paul McDonald got the night rocking with an energetic "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" by Detroit's own Bob Seger.  While the judges praised McDonald (as they seem to do for every contestant this season), McDonald has worn out his welcome with me and most likely America, as well.  Watching the saxophonist blow was much stronger (and made for much better dirty thoughts) than watching McDonald's performance.  True, McDonald has a very unique and cool voice, however his range is limited and wears thin quickly.W ith Kenny Loggins performing the vast majority of great movie songs in the 80's ("Footloose", "I'm Alright", "Meet Me Halfway", "Highway to the Danger Zone", and many more), I would have much preferred to see McDonald's raspy voice take on a Loggins favorite. 

Lauren Alaina channeled everyone's favorite former jailbait Miley Cyrus with a song from...the Hannah Montana movie?!  It is times like these that I remember she is just 16 years old.  While I originally found Alaina to be the front runner, she is another contestant that I have grown tired of. In addition to paling in comparison to Miley's version and including a few pitchy moments, the performance was pretty darn boring. Alaina shows her age with the lack of stage presence she brings week in and week out.

America's next castoff (I hope) Stefano Langone performed a fitting song for him with Boyz II Men's "End of the Road".  It is nights like tonight when I truly miss Simon because regardless of how mediocre this performance was (or above average as the judges thought), Simon would have found a good dig on this kid. While I cannot deny Langone's passion tonight, Langone is simply lame.  He looks lame, he acts lame, he sings lame.  The only cool thing about this kid is that his dad is a dead ringer for Howie Mandel and I don't even know how cool that is in the year 2011 (although I do love Howie).

Country boy Scotty McCreery took on "Across My Heart" from the little seen movie "Pure Country" and once again nailed it.  McCreery will once again coast through to next week, but one has to wonder when his love of country will doom him since the majority of viewers are most likely not country fans.  True Carrie Underwood won Idol, but she performed a number of crossover hits while McCreery stays true to his true country roots.  As said in many blogs in the past, it really doesn't matter at this point as McCreery is guaranteed a record deal and most likely great success in the world of country.  McCreery is one of the youngest contestants, but probably the first contestant in the history of Idol to choose the right song week after week.

Casey Abrams battled the ego of Jimmy Iovine by defying Iovine's song choice when he performed Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy".  While the song was a little too loungey (yes, a made up word) for my taste, it was a solid performance for sure, reminiscent of a mixture of Harry Connick's cover and Celine Dion's cover versions.  Props to Abrams for not only taking on the way-too-cocky (and bordering on the point of just being a d-ck, Jimmy Iovine), but also for dropping the name of recent Grammy winner Esperanza Spaulding. 

Haley Reinhart performed Blondie's "Call Me" and outside of looking hot in her sparkling dress, her performance once again didn't do much for me.  Interestingly enough, while not a fan of Reinhart all season, this is the first time that I didn't despise her. 

Jacob Lusk performed "Bridge Over Troubled Water" which apparently wasn't made famous by Simon & Garfunkel, but instead was from the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness". Lusk shined on this gospel rendition of the S&G classic, but once again, failed to bring excitement to the table.

Which brings us to James Durbin.  Thank goodness for Durbin who finally brought a smile to my face for the first time this evening when he performed Sammy Hagar's "Heavy Metal".  For the second time in the evening, a contestant went against Iovine's song choice and once again, the contestant slayed it.  Tonight, Durbin separated himself from Adam Lambert and showed that he is his own man and has the making of a real artist.  While I wasn't familiar with the song, I couldn't help but rock out with Durbin.

Before Durbin performed tonight I was going to write that Idol was going to crown another contestant who was going to sell 50,000 albums tops (not counting McCreery because I truly do not feel he will win).  A number of the contestants are extremely talented and will sell records in their own genre of music (McCreery in country, Lusk in gospel, Abrams in blues/jazz), but after Durbin's performance, it seems that Idol may finally have the guy who will prove that Idol can actually move albums. Yes, Durbin at times can show signs of a prima donna in the making and he is still compared often to Adam Lambert, however Durbin appears to be less polarizing than Lambert and that alone could spell better success for Durbin.

Overall, an interesting night, mostly because Idol's experiment of having a producer help contestants choose songs backfired greatly when he got the smackdown and proved wrong... twice.  It makes one wonder whether he or anyone else will be back next year in that role.  Idol needs to continue to stay relevant with "X Factor" hot on its heels (starting next fall) and it now appears that along with changes to the voting, it may need to make another change, as well.  Should Idol not make one or both of these changes, expect Idol to see its days numbered beginning in the fall.

Toscano's Exit Outrages America (Or Those Who Care)

Having been out of town on vacation last week, I missed the opportunity to blog about last week's Idol performances and the subsequent ousting of the exceptionally beautiful and reasonably talented Pia Toscano.  As soon as it was announced that Toscano was the performer going home, the blogosphere lit up with rants and raves on how such a thing could happen.  Billboard offered their own theories which I am happy to comment on and then expand further with my own theory.  Billboard's theories included:

1) Girls don't like girls: Couldn't agree more.  With only two girls now left, it is apparent that those that actually waste their time voting for their favorite performer are in fact (young) girls.  As for why Toscano was chosen this week when she is one of the top two talented females on the show this year, it is very apparent why: girls don't only dislike other girls...they greatly dislike hot girls.  Look at a pack of girls at the mall and you are guaranteed to find one shorter, fatter, uglier girl with the bunch.  Why?  Because girls are so charitable and want to help this poor troll? is that shorter, fatter, uglier girl makes the other girls feel better about themselves.  When young girls looked at Pia, all they saw was a shorter, fatter, uglier girl in the mirror and guaranteed they didn't like it.

2) Lack of guidance by the judges: While this year's talent does seem to be more talented than recent years, these kids are also far from perfect. The judges bestow such positive accolades you almost feel like each of these kids will put out a #1 album.  Unfortunately for each of them, if the past is any indication, the majority will be lucky to sell 50,000 albums.

Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson at times try to offer some guidance, but overall the judges are way too positive with their feedback.  Having watched the performances after knowing who was kicked off, it is interesting to note that these two actually gave Toscano more constructive criticism (which some view as negative feedback) than any of the other contestants last week.

Steven Tyler continues to be completely useless with only positive words and way-too-creepy leers at the girls.  With only two girls left, it looks like we will soon see Tyler's other side when he leers at the boys.  With some of his leers, I seriously feel like he is the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood just waiting to eat one of the female performers.  

3) Presumptive Winner Syndrome: Every season we get to a point where a contestant who is more talented than most of the others is voted off and then we have to continually listen to the judges rant and rave about how important it is to vote for your favorite performer.  Granted, America usually gets it wrong later in the competition, but I don't really understand why America is so up in arms about Toscano or really any other performer for that matter.  Looking at every year except when Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood won, the runner-up or those finishing even lower (Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson) outsell those who win.  Would you really want to have to sing that cheesy winning song and then release it as a single?!

A note to the judges: if you are going to make a big deal every year about too-talented contestants being voted off early then CHANGE THE VOTING!  While I haven't watched "Dancing With the Stars" in years, it seems that their voting model works: 50% of the outcome is based on America's voting with the other 50% being the judge's votes.  Do the producers really think America is smart enough to pick the best person?  Looking at the number of albums sold by the winner every year, the answer is no, but more on that in just a minute.

4) The producers deemed it so: A stupid theory that the producers rigged the competition. What is interesting is that this is the first year that we aren't hearing about the controversial Vote for the Worst where the public votes for the worst contestant each week just to f-ck with the show.  

5) You can't touch Tina: Another stupid Billboard theory.  While I admit that it is dumb to tackle artists like Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, Toscano proved me wrong this year.  
Now for my theory and one that I seem to share every year: AMERICA IS STUPID.  Leave the fact that America continually ranks behind a number of countries in math and science (heck, probably English as well!), what other reason could there be?  Let's look at some of the reasons why America is stupid and probably shouldn't be trusted fully with voting for the best singer:

1) Almost 10 million people watch a bunch of poorly acted, overly tan, moronic 20-somethings fight, drink and tan every week.  Yes, I am talking to you pathetic people who watch "Jersey Shore" each week.

2) Because of the pathetic American people who watch "Jersey Shore" these poorly acting, overly tan, moronic 20-somethings just received a raise to over $100,000...AN EPISODE!

3) Our highly respected educational establishments are paying poorly acting, overly tan, moronic, midget, oompa-loompas like Snooki more money to speak than highly respected people like Maya Angelou. That's right, Snooki was paid $32,000 to speak at Rutgers recently when they paid Angelou just $30,000.

4) Look at the covers of magazines like Us and OK and every other week you see girls from some television show called "Teen Moms".  These girls are now glamorized for being young and having kids out of wedlock...know what we used to call these girls when I was in high school?  Sluts.

5) America voted George W. Bush into office.

6) America voted George W. Bush back in office.

At the end of the day, Toscano is going to be fine.  Already, she has probably received more media attention than she ever would have received if she finished in any spot but the top.  And Idol?  They love the attention.  Since the beginning of the season, Idol has continually seen a drop in ratings and there is nothing better than having the media spotlight back on the show to give it a spike. Hmm...perhaps theory #4 above isn't so crazy after all.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Still reeling from a night in which I witnessed the worst disaster in world history... 

Last night was so bad that Amtrak issued a press release that it no longer owns the dubious distinction of being responsible for the biggest train wreck...that distinction solely rests with Charlie Sheen from now own.  Heck, if Rodney King had been there, even he would have admitted that his beat down at the hands of the LA Police wasn't as painful as having to endure 75 minutes of the destruction of Charlie Sheen.

On a night when Charlie Sheen would either see his stock soar or plummet, Sheen quickly proved to the world that he is as worthless as the house that you own right now.  Never before has mankind witnessed someone go from hero to many to zero in such a quick timeframe.

The night began so promising at Hockey Town, getting our drink on (as adult beverages could only enhance what was expected to be a memorable night).  Memorable it was, but unfortunately for such the wrong reasons.

Kirk Fox, a comedian who quickly proved to the be the WORST comedian ever to grace the stage of The Fox (or any stage for that matter), opened for Sheen.  While it is true that no one was really going to get a fair shot as the crowd was anxiously waiting for the Warlock, Fox lost the crowd in less than two minutes flat.  With jokes that were less funny than watching an inebriated David Hasselhoff eat a hamburger off the floor, I found myself realizing that my four-year old daughter could string together a better joke than this guy.  Sh-t, my daughter's knock knock jokes that make NO sense whatever actually would have elicited more laughs than this guy.

After watching Fox bomb worse than Pearl Harbor, The Warlock finally took the stage with his Goddesses in tow.  With the Goddesses twisting tongues like every guy has fantasized and Sheen soon thereafter putting on a Tigers jersey (clearly pandering but still great to see), the night seemed like it might not be so bad after all.  Boy is that an understatement.  What followed was 60-70 minutes of a guy who clearly has hit rock bottom.

Having said to my friends prior to the show that Sheen missed the opportunity to start his tour while he was still red hot (lets be honest, America has already grown tired of Sheen's rants and raves), one friend mentioned that he needed time to put together the tour.  Seriously?  Saturday's night "performance" needed preparation?  From Sheen's Presidential address to his pure disregard for the fine people of Detroit when he didn't even finish the show, the night was pure crap.  F-ck, I thought the Ted Danson and Howie Mandel movie "A Fine Mess" was a hot mess, but nothing held a candle to the fine mess left by Sheen last night. 

Between the sh-tty rap performance by Sheen friend Dirty Nasty (aka Simon Rex...aka the guy who appeared in masturbation videos Young, Hard & Solo II; Young, Hard & Solo III; and Hot Sessions III so says my buddy Sips, aka the tool who was a VJ on MTV), Sheen directed/produced "movie" starring a young Johnny Depp and Clint Howard, shots at Detroit and the ready availability of crack, and the granddaddy of them all, "Sorry dude, already got your money", the night was simply a disappointment.

Sheen's career very well could have ended on Saturday night.  Sheen once hailed for being the guy who went against the establishment will now simply be pitied for being so pathetic and for wasting 75 minutes of the lives of 5,000+ (and unfortunately others who waste their money to see him on tour). 

For me, I lost a guy who I used to admire as an actor.  Wall Street. Platoon. Sh-t, even Major League.   For me, Sheen joined the circle of actors for which it will be difficult to watch on film or television again (yes Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise, I am speaking of you). For me, I lost the only man I followed on Twitter.

As I told my friends after the show, a show in which I was provided free tickets: it was the worst performance that i never paid for.  Charlie Sheen has officially gone from doing blow to just blowing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

After Tomorrow Night, Only Nine To Be "Still Standing"

The Bitch is Back.  After a week off due to illness, a new blog post for your enjoyment.

During a season in which we have seen the absurd (Hulk Hogan? Casey Abrams almost kicked off and almost have a heart attack rather than some of the talentless females? Shameless plug for J Lo's new video? Steven Tyler trying to hide his creepiness? Steven Tyler trying to actually be a judge that has something valuable to add? ), we have also been graced with some very strong occurrences (last week's Motown theme week and a much improved Jennifer Lopez, and a very hot Lopez).  Tonight fell somewhere in the middle as the contestants took on the songs of Elton John.   Apparently this is Elton John week as Idol featured his music tonight and he will be on SNL this weekend.

Scotty McCreery kicked off the night with little known tune "Country Comfort", a song that once again was a fine choice for Idol's good ole country boy.  McCreery hit all of the notes, but I simply found tonight's performance boring and lacking a little something.  As I thought about this week's theme this morning, I thought that more popular John songs like "Levon" or "Tiny Dancer" would be a perfect fit for this country bumpkin.

The contestant that I hope gets kicked off next, Naima Adedapo, brought Jamaica to the Idol stage with a reggae version of "I'm Still Standing".  Unfortunately for Adedapo, she can't sing R&B, Jazz, Reggae, nor any other type of music in tune.  As I listened suffered through this painful rendition, I felt as if I just got off the cruise ship in Jamaica and was forced to have to wade through the awful welcome band to get to the shops that were going ultimately going to take advantage of another stupid American.  Adedapo seems to want to differentiate herself from the crowd.  Good news?  Success...she has proven herself to be the most terrible of the bunch.

Idol's most unique and quietest contestant, Paul McDonald, failed to connect with one of Elton John's best songs,"Rocket Man". At times sounding like he was ahead of the music (and at times behind), McDonald struggled tonight.  Like the judges stated, it feels like McDonald is holding back.  Expect McDonald to be gone in the next 3-4 weeks as America is going to grow tired of his oddities.

Resident Idol hottie Pia Toscano took on Michael Jackson's favorite song, "Don't Let Your Son Go Down on Me"...wait, I think it might be "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".  Performing with an almost country twang at times, Toscano proved once again that she can sing a ballad.  The question is whether Toscano is really marketable?  Take her out of her stripper heels and her short dresses (and trust me, I have in my head...many times) and I have a tough time imagining her on the radio.  Outside of a select few leading ladies, many of the females on the radio today don't sing the traditional songs that Toscano seems to take on week after week.  As of today, the only way I see Toscano on the radio is as part of a rap-type song like Skylar Grey on Dre/Eminem's "I Need a Doctor" or Rihanna on Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie".

Idol's cheesiest contestant (and very poor man's Enrique Iglesias), Stefano Langone, butchered my favorite John tune, "Tiny Dancer", making me long for the cast in the awesome movie "Almost Famous" singing it on the tour bus.  The good news for Langone is that Iglesias bowed out of Britney Spears' tour before it even began so perhaps this train wreck can join another train wreck.

Lauren Alaina performed solidly as she always does with Norma Jean (better known as Marilyn Monroe) tribute song "Candle in the Wind". A very sensitive performance, I would have liked to see the song one octave lower as it seemed a little too high for Alaina.  Props to the fashion coordinators for hiding Alaina's Kelly Clarkson-esque curves. 

Crazy man James Durbin "rocked" out to "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)".  While normally liking Durbin's schizophrenic-like performances, tonight's Wednesday night performance was just alright (and could have gone without the Lambert mid-song squealing).  I would have much preferred to see Durbin taking on "I'm Still Standing" or even better "Pinball Wizard".  With all that said, it was nice to see someone bring some fun to the show and he always perks up the crowd.

Thia Megia slowed things down again with "Daniel".  Looking pained during a few notes, Megia sung the song beautifully, but she simply bored me.  Once again, I have trouble finding a way that Megia will make it on the airwaves.  I kept waiting to hear the song open up, moving away from the boring ballad and was disappointed to not see that happen.

Sasquatch Casey Abrams cleaned himself up and performed a very tender version of "Your Song".  While the performance was strong, I would have liked to see Abrams put some of his own touches on the song which you could almost see occur once or twice, but never come to a full boil.  I do hope that America is smarter this week and leaves Abrams off the elimination list.  I do fear that Abrams appears to have lost a lot of weight since the beginning of the show, most likely due to his health issues (colitis) I don't know what would happen if he really got kicked off after watching him nearly fall to pieces last week.

Gospel warbler Jacob Lusk wins the award for the contestant who connected most with their song choice.  While "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" is far from my favorite song, Lusk hits the notes spot on tonight just as he does week after week.  Still, I am ready for Lusk to make his exit, record his gospel album, and take his spot amongst the top of the gospel charts....most ready for his exit.

Finishing the night and doing her best Michelle Pfeiffer impersonation, Haley Reinhart did the best job job destroying Elton John.  The judges loved the performance, however I simply couldn't put my finger on the arrangement (sultry? jazzy? bluesy?).  I don't like Reinhart, her voice, or her personality, and I simply want to see her go.

Bottom three may very likely see Naima Adedapo, Stefano Langone, and Paul McDonald...or ideally Reinhart in McDonald's place.