The great thing about last night is that I got back to the gym for some much needed, low-impact exercise. The bad thing is that I didn’t have it setup to record the first 30 or so minutes of American Idol. At least this week I remembered to record Criminal Minds and Law and Order: SVU (back on after a brief hiatus). Looks like CBS is sweet enough to include full episodes so I can catch up on all things Supervisory Special Agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore squee!) and CM.
Oh, we are supposed to be chatting all things Idol here. Yeah, yeah. There’s no male eye candy to look at on the show this year. We do have Steven Tyler though. He’s more comforting to view than sexy. He’s the guy who has been through some stuff in life, gets its reality, and made it out on the other end to talk about it. That’s my type of peep. Don’t give me nonsense banter and fluff like Randy or the pageantry feel of J-Lo. Give me the straight talker.
Note of warning: Please forgive me if today’s Idol rants veer off into any mentions of violence. I watched the performance and am continuing the result shows while whisking through “Catching Fire,” the second book of the fab “The Hunger Games” trilogy. Things are quite twisted and dicey in the land of Panem and may have crept into my reality.
The Performance Highlights and Lowlights
- The theme was songs from 2010-2012. Big obvious grab at trying to make the contestants sound more relevant than stumbling through 30-year-old classics. I wish DeAndre had made it to this week to see what he would have gone for. It might have helped him in terms of connection with viewers.
- Why was Akon the guest mentor? You couldn’t find a better vocalist from the past three years? Idol’s own winners Fantasia, Carrie, or Jordan Sparks would have been better choices. Or contestants Jennifer Hudson or Adam Lambert. They’ve all had hits in the past three years. They would also be good mentors to help the contestants understand song choice and connection past the stage spotlights and into the television camera and viewers at home.
- I had to go online to watch the solos of Skylar and Colton. Glad I missed them live. I’m tired of Skylar screaming lyrics at me. It included use of a guitar and “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” by Idol alum Kellie Pickler. Meh.
- You know where I am with Colton, and his version of “Love the Way You Lie” caused me pain. Stop with the moody lighting to force “moments,” Idol producers. A big bag of hit the road jack, here’s your door prize, for Colton. Speaking of jacks, would it be wrong to set loose some of the H. Game’s tracker jacker bees on him?
- I wandered in on the live show at the end of Phillip and Elise’s duet on “Somebody That I Used to Know.” What I heard was pretty good. I like him singing with other people far more than I do with him as a soloist.
- Is anyone else bored by Jessica? She picked a not well-known song by Jazmine Sullivan, “Stuttering,” and sang fine. Beautiful voice as always, but it was a yawn. I wasn’t even moved to look up. That was a moment where the Gamemakers would have tossed in some fireballs to liven things up. I guess I’d listen again. Nah, meh.
- Fantasia gave a video message, birthday shout out to Joshua who is now 20. Happy B-Day! He sings with such old soul connection that I forget he’s that young. We got “Runaway Baby” and I wish he’d sung a slower Bruno Mars song. It was upbeat and catchy, just not my fave choice. Meh.
- More Skylar and Colton trauma via their attempt to channel Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean on “Don’t You Wanna Stay?” Well, I don’t want either of you to stay. I could have done without Colton and Skylar butchering the song. Stop not calling stuff straight, judges. It was off-pitch, donkey doo.
- Oh, Hollie. Her song choice, P!nk’s “Perfect,” further confused me on what type of artist she wants to be. I don’t believe anything she sang. Here’s your door prize.
- Phone-it-in Phillip attempted to “Give a Little More” as his song choice. Same old gig. No further growth. Meh.
- Since Hollie was odd girl out for duet partners (she paired with DeAndre last week), we got a trio of her, Joshua, and Jessica. They sang “Stronger” and it was a hot mess. Jessica screamed and the harmonies were way off. The judges praised them to the high heavens. I reached for Katness’ bow and arrow pack.
- Elise rounded out the night with “U and I.” Good song choice for her and, by the end, she got to toss in some ad-libbing that showed her connection to what she was singing. I’d listen again.
- It felt a bit like the contestants had become complacent in their performances. Like they took for granted some thought of being a frontrunner.
- The results show gave us the guest performances of alums James Durbin and Jennifer Hudson.
- But first, we ripped into P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass.” This was a dud group performance. The song was fun and catchy, but not something for a pack of capable singers to dig into.
- Oh, yippee. We started playing the “put people in groups and have the last contestant standing pick one” game. Wise to the stupidity of the created drama, those left to make the choice have been refusing to for years now. The producers also like to have a group standing that you think should be safe, but aren’t.
- Oh, my ears. James still likes to scream.
- J-Hud was good as was Ne-Yo, who joined her. Her song, “Think Like a Man,” is slowly growing on me. I do miss the days when peeps performed with live musicians versus backing tracks.
- The groups were Hollie, Phillip, and Colton on the left and Jessica, Elise, and Joshua on the right. Ryan told Skylar she was safe and then asked to pick sides. She bailed so Ryan put her in the “top three” group. The group with Colton (her Internet rumored boyfriend). Ryan asked the judges what they made of the “bottom three” group. They each professed utter shock and Steven said they’d be using the save. Hmm… What is the point then in someone bothering to sing for their life if they already know they will be saved? Feels like a bucket load of…
- That’s right. I call scripted drama Idol shenanigans. Remember last season and the drama of Casey Abrams nearly collapsing when saved? On that, I wrote “Oh judges, producers, and Ryan you do not fool me. Call me a skeptic, but the drama of last night’s results show felt pre-planned to me.” Ding, ding, ding. Looks like this year, we are back at it again. Earlier yesterday, host Ryan and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe were even tweeting to build the “shocking moment” up
- Randy screaming for folks to “vote for the best” in terms of singing is hypocritical when just last week he was telling us to vote for the “total package” artist since it was about more than voice.
- If we are to believe the voting result, it could be because Jessica is wandering down the Pia Toscano path of being able to sound great on ballads, choking a bit on up-tempo numbers, and hitting a zero in hitting more than a superficial connection with viewers.
- Ryan didn’t mention it, but if history is followed, next week would have us losing two people instead of one. If they toast two, I predict it being Hollie and one of this week’s bottom three.
Your thoughts on the use of the save? Thoughts on the bottom three? Anyone totally wow you Wednesday night?
Image sources: fanpop.com, telegraph.co.uk, mtv.com, myamericanidoltv.com