Rants from American Idol Addict: It’s the ’80s and a Top 8 Review

Come on, sing along with me:

  • “We are living in a material world and I am a material girl.”
  • “Do you really want to hurt me?  Do you really want to make me cry?”
  • “Everybody wants to rule the world.”
  • “Let’s go crazy. Let’s get nuts.”
  • “Ohhhh… we’re halfway there.  Ohhhh… living on a prayer.”

That’s right, peeps.  The Idol contestants carried us back to the 1980s and sang songs from before they were born.  Yeah.  Feeling kinda old right now, eh?  Since we have a batch of talented singers this season, the performance night was not the trauma it has been in years past.  Thursday night, however, was a different story.

The Performances

  • The celebrity mentors this week were Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal from No Doubt.  Why?  There are a ton of ‘80s stars that could have been brought in.  Guess the producers felt they wouldn’t be relatable?
  • DeAndre – Full disclosure: I’m a huge DeBarge fan.  HUGE.  Like, they were part of my constant replay list growing up and still are now.  When I heard El was coming out with a new album a few years back, I was squeeing for days and downloaded it the day of release. 

While “I Like It,” might be unknown by some, it is true R&B and was a great choice for DeAndre’s voice.  It allowed us to hear the beauty of his natural lower register while getting touches of that magic falsetto.  And the technique he has!  I was up clapping, dancing and singing along.  I hope going first doesn’t hurt him.  I’d listen again.

  • Elise – She brought us “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which on paper looked like a good song choice for her.  As Randy said, she was a bit flat during the song and so the performance sounded off.  It is a let down from last week’s master class on how to rock out on Idol.  By the time she was done, I didn’t want to know any more about love.  I’m worried about her because I’m not sure she has the fan base to rally and save her. Here’s your door prize.
  • Colton and Skylar duet on “Islands in the Stream.”  So not a song I like and this is just messy to me.  Their voices don’t gel as nicely as some of the other duos.
  • Phillip – He looked like he might be sick—sweaty/clammy with watering eyes.  I hope he’s okay.  The performance was like he was phoning it in, thus he’s taken some steps back.  Here’s your door prize.
  • Hollie and DeAndre duet on “I’m So Excited” and I’m so wondered why another song wasn’t chosen.  They both sounded okay, though Hollie looked a little stilted against DeAndre’s new found confidence and natural performance happiness.
  • Joshua – He caressed and cooed every moment of “If You Don’t Know Me by Now.”  It was very good and tailored down from usual church flair.  I am concerned on how he will be able to show growth as we move along.  Also, is he getting stuck in a rut on song choices?  I’d listen again.
  • Jessica – She sounded a tad bit under the melody for the first part of “How Will I Know and was okay the rest.  True confession: This is one of my fave Whitney Houston songs and I spent a lot of time belting it out in the halls during eighth grade.  Jessica missed the spirit of the song and she’s starting to bore me a bit because nothing is changing. Meh.
  • Phillip and Elise tackled “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” and redeemed themselves from their lacking solos.
  • Hollie – That put the “b” in brutal.  Wow.  “Flashdance… What a Feeling” of torture listening to her murder that hit.  She just may have bought her own ticket home.  Here’s your door prize.
  • Jessica and Joshua returned with their duet “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me.”  Best duet of the night and, like Elise and Phillip, two well-matched voices.  Joshua pushed himself the most during the song and soared comfortably.

Jessica needs to relax a bit and let go of some possibly self-taught, formulaic diva moves.  Like how she holds the mic and flutters her fingers against it.  And some of the head tilts and turns.  Her movements are beginning to feel contrived and not like natural flows from a performer enjoying the moment.

  • Colton – Colton sang “Time After Time.”  I love the original version of this song.  I love heartfelt remakes when done by talented performers.  I’ve downloaded Javier Colon’s version from the first season of The Voice.  If you were to download this from Colton and put it on my iPod, I would fight you.  Will somebody give him his door prize, preferably after the judges’ save is used so he really has to go?
  • Skylar was in the pimp spot, presumably to give her a “moment” while she sang “Wind Beneath My Wings.”  It was nice to hear Skylar just sing versus do the vicious stabby yell singing she gave us last week.  Unfortunately, she headed that way towards the end.  That said, it was a bit “zzzzzzzzzzzzzz” for me.  Torn between I’d listen again and meh.  Watched again.  Meh.

The Results

  • Feel better, Joshua!
  • Too bad they don’t let Jimmy Iovine sit on the judges’ panel and give his critiques right after they sing on Wednesdays.  For the most part, he is dead-on and the truths he spouts would help voters.  The judges are letting too much slide by and giving praise to favorites based on image.  Phillip is a perfect example of that since he was not good this week, but they cooed and coddled.  Jimmy called him out.  Go, Jimmy!
  • Speaking of Phillip, is it me or does he seem like he could give a rat’s… cough… foot on being there?  There is a vibe starting to come out of him now that feels quite different from the smile he pastes on.
  • J-Lo shows us the premiere of yet another video.  I’m not watching because her self-promo already passed the expiration date for me.
  • Boy band alert!  Boy band alert!  The Wanted perform “Glad You Came.”  Ooo.  Ooo.  No, must fight off my boy-band addiction.  Must not succumb to the styling and cuteness factor.  Must not listen to the catchy hook.  Retreat!  Retreat!
  • Kellie Pickler performs.  Yeah.  Can we put her back in the bottom three?
  • First into the bottom three is deserving Hollie, then DeAndre and Elise.  Phillip (or my permanent bottom, Colton) should be there in DeAndre’s place.
  • Hollie is sent back to couch safety, thus leaving Elise and DeAndre as the bottom two.  No, no, no.  I’m getting a very bad feeling about this for him.
  • DeAndre must sing for his life.  Ahhhhh!  I send the judges energy to back up their praises of him and use the save, but they do not.  Jennifer says she wanted to keep him, but the other two did not, and mentions they brought him back as a wildcard (thus giving him a save already).
  • Okay, what is the point of the save then?  If you think that “America’s vote” was wrong—as both Randy and Steven said they did—then use the save to make it right.  I suspect they are holding the save to protect Skylar or Colton should they fall down.  I’m not delusional to think DeAndre would have been able to win, since R&B vocalists aren’t a top 40 hit maker right now.  I do wonder how safe the other best voices—Joshua, Jessica and Elise—will be if they need to be saved.  Do the producers feel they are marketable or would they have the judges hold the save for a perceived money-maker?

Was anyone else sad to see DeAndre go?  Who are you rooting for as top two or three?  What is your take on the judges this year?  Do we need new blood?

Other Idol Tidbits:

*Image sources: zingpat.com and americanidol.com

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10 Responses to Rants from American Idol Addict: It’s the ’80s and a Top 8 Review

  1. You get it right every time, Judge Barb. Hollie or Philip deserved to walk last night.

  2. Heard some guys talking about the show on the radio about how the last five seasons of Idol haven’t produced a true “star” b/c the kiddies vote for cute guys instead of real talent.

    Do you agree?

    • I do think some of the “teen vote for the cutie” stuff does play in…that is why we seem to lose some talented ladies sooner rather than later. I also think that there is another element of voters that are voting for genres versus the best talent or image versus the best talent. I still can’t explain the year Taylor Hicks won. No kids did that.

  3. S. J. Maylee says:

    I agree Bridgette, but I guess only to a point. You’ve seen DeAndre, man oh man that boy is beautiful! I’m a fan of Elise’s but I understand why she was in the bottom 2. Normally I would totally vote to save Elise, but DeAndre rocked this week. I’m afraid we just missed out on seeing that beautiful boy grow right in front of our eyes. It will be interesting to hear the news on his future for sure. Thanks again for the round up Barbara, it helps me cope 🙂

    • Ha ha, writing the posts help me cope! Losing DeAndre after such a great improvement week was hard. I actually cast votes for him. First time this season. I do wonder if some of the teen girl votes have been too split this season with Colton being pushed at them, the natural cuteness of Phillip, and the beauty of DeAndre. And I agree that we missed on seeing some quite special moments from DeAndre. He was so capable of having a magical moment and was finally heading that way.

  4. glad for your recap since i had to go out and forgot to tivo the show. not surprised about Deandre. idol likes rockers. period.

    • Yep, Louise, Idol does like rockers and after that country. R&B stylings are harder to win with as is general pop singers. Someone has to really be exceptional and even then it is a hard road.

  5. Ali Dent says:

    The 80s music. Hum… My 13 year old is an avid musician. He can recognize a piece of music as baroque, classical, 80’s or 90’s. He likes most but he deplores the 80’s. I wonder why?

    • Ha ha ha, Ali! Um, because a lot of ’80s stuff is cheesy fun. There are some great tunes in the mix, but also some that are simple and silly. “Ghostbusters” immediately came to mind. Heh. I’ll still sing along to it.

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