Welcome to the rant-o-rama! I’m finishing this up the morning after and my reactions have had a chance to percolate. Not sure that is a good thing.
With the theme of movie songs, I had the feeling we were going to be in for a mess. From seasons past, contestants tend to grab at retreading some old show standbys that they “luck” up finding appeared in a movie (thus making it eligible). Or they get all self-indulgent artist and pick obscure songs previously only heard buried in the credits running at the end of a movie or on an elevator in Macy’s.
Paul – Last week I said Paul should go. I begged for him to go. He’s still here. What can I say different this week? He had on another loud patterned suit. Oh and his voice actually sounds worse this week. It is like he has a frog implanted in there and it is suffocating.
Lauren – She went country-lite with a ditty from non-vocalist Miley Cyrus. I cringed, but tired to hang on. I then left the room in agony. When I returned, the judges were pimping her probably out of fear that yet another female contestant will bite the dust. If you are a singer and competing to win, why would you select this drivel? It isn’t even a good song. If she really is the star in the making/raw talent the judges think she is, then step up to the plate missy and challenge yourself.
Stefano – Oh little Stefano. He’s just so cute that I want to put him in my pocket. He performed Boys to Men’s “End of the Road” and sang his face off. He would be so great for a boy band if they were still in fashion. I think he has a strong voice and when he digs down, he brings out a great performance. He unfortunately isn’t consistent. Pair that with folks wanting to blame him for Pia going since he was standing there next to her in the bottom two and he’s in trouble.
Scotty – Before I get to Scotty, I’ve got a dig for judge Randy. He babbled out that his motto is “if it ain’t broke don’t even think about fixing it” and praised Scotty for consistently doing his country-vibe thing. What?! Hey Randy, so quickly you forget that you road on Pia to move from her ballad thing and sing an up-tempo song week after week. When she did, the next night she heard “Taps.” Hypocritical mishmash gibberish is one again spewing from Randy’s mouth.
On to Scotty. He sang country. Again. It was ok. I’ll give it to him that he’s a good stage performer.
Casey – He gots all “I know myself as an artist” and chose to go against the in-studio mentors’ desire for him to sing “In the Air Tonight.” Instead he sang some carp called “Nature Boy.” Jimmy Iovine got all twisted that Caseywasn’t accepting his help. Weird performance. It wasn’t awful, but hard connecting to since the song is so obscure. Then Casey babbled some high and mighty stuff about his artistry to Ryan and the backstage camera. It might be read as cocky and might hurt his votes.
Haley – Why oh why are the in studio “star” producers/mentors pimping this girl? The resident contestant channeling hooker gear warbled Blondie’s “Call Me.” Yeah, that song really didn’t help her cause. She’s now taken the hooker ensemble upscale to include a stained-glass window mini-dress paired with stiletto purple suede boots. Do the producers really see a market for her? Finally the judging panel piped up that it wasn’t good. J-Lo said, “if I’m going to be honest.” Nah, at this point don’t bother with the honesty. If you’d been honest, she wouldn’t have been pimped so during the semis that she got enough votes to make the finals.
Jacob – Oh my. Jacob gets scolded and schooled by Jimmy for his prima donna “look in the mirror” rant from last week. I mean Jimmy tore Jacob a well deserved new one and went all in with a “who are you to preach to America when you haven’t even put out a record” diss. Funny. Then Jimmy and Will.i.am taunted him as corny for wanting to sing “The Impossible Dream” or “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” When Jacob started whisper singing the first choice, they downright heckled him and he looked defeated. Am I wrong for getting a kick out of this?
Jacob then took their advice and selected to sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Mistake. Again I say there are songs one shouldn’t touch on Idol because of comparison issues to better versions and also displaying a lack of creative vision. I also think the contestants should be better researchers of past seasons to get an idea of where landmine songs might be. It is a competition right? Okay, then put in some work.
Clay slayed that song during the Season Two finale. Like with a full choir coming out and putting it to bed. He then did it as an encore the next night on the final results show and fried it up again. It ranks to me as one of the best Idol performances ever. Jacob’s version wasn’t awful, but it lacked energy, full voice and his typical personality. It was like someone beat him down and then kicked him out on the stage to perform. Him being toned down is good, but this felt like he phoned it in. If he’s feeling skittish from his self caused drama last week, then suck it up. Learn the lesson and move on. Start crumbling and the curtain will close.
James – Wow. What is with this week? These contestants are tossing attitude all over the place to the “mentor” studio producers. James told them that he knows what is best for himself as an artist and screams some metal. Some “Heavy Metal” to be exact. At least I liked the guitarist. For all his whining about artistry and being original, James came off as a super poser to me.
Final thoughts: I’m not sure I like my Idol contestants cocky. This group needs to do a survey of all past Idol finalists and see that being in the top 11, 9, whatever does not guarantee any type of career success. Yes, some have broken out, but that is not the norm.
Paul or Haley should go. Please Paul. Bottom based on singing is Paul, Haley and Jacob (gasp). Bottom based on fan base and people’s personal feelings about the contestants might be Jacob, Stefano and Casey (if they blame him for Pia’s demise because he got the save first).
Photo credit: Flickr image from Joel Mark Witt