March 17, 2009

Idol Recap 3/17/09

And a wee fine St. Patty's Day to ya' all. Alright, I'm not going to lie, I don't get this holiday. Probably because I don't have a drop of Irish blood in my Russo-German body. Probably because I got pinched too many times in elementary school because I hated the color green and would never wear it, regardless of the occasion (except for the one year that my BFAA pee-wee baseball team was the Athletics and I had to wear those horrifying green stirrup socks). Anyway, if you're reading this, maybe you skipped the Smithwick's and the Guinness and you watched Idol tonight. Or maybe you're watching it drunk, which could be entertaining after all.

Tonight is Grand Ole Opry night on Idol, otherwise known as the night Jeremy has practically zero interest in the songs that are sung and probably will only have background knowledge of no more than half the songs. Like Simon, I'm just not a country music kind of person. It'll be a true test of the range of some of the performers, namely Allison Iraheta and Lil Rounds, who have both managed to survive up to this point by singing only one kind of music, country for neither, and singing it well.

That said, on to the recap. Same ground rules as last week... I'm live-blogging, so any overlap of judges' comments is inadvertent. In fact, the more I overlap the comments of the judges, the less you should probably read this blog. For many reasons.

I promised one of our readers pictures of hot female contestants a few weeks ago. Here is Adam Lambert, courtesy of I saved you from the picture of him making out with another guy in this same costume. You think the producers of Idol will let him win? Really????

Tonight our guest host is Randy Travis who has apparently had albums out for 23 years and who I don't know one song by. Randy Travis and Landry from Friday Night Lights - separated at birth? Just a thought.

Michael Sarver:
It's almost unfair that this guy gets to compete on "country night." There could not be a genre more in his wheelhouse. His vocals didn't exactly shine but he performed the hell out of it. He's likely going to get through with no problem with that "awww shucks" charm. I'm coming back here after the show ended to say that as the show went on, it was clear that he had one of the weaker vocal performances. But he still will appeal to an enormous cross-section of American voters. Going first might hurt.

Allison Iraheta:
It's no secret I'm in the tank for Allison and think she's got a killer rock voice. Unlike the judges, I was not super impressed with her performance tonight. Probably because I don't love country and probably because I thought that she was struggling with trying to grasp the country nature of the song. That said, it was still a strong performance and she's got to have more upside than any other Idol contestant (to use a Mel Kiper term since this is a sports blog at heart)

Kris Allen:
A wise choice to leave the guitar behind and show off his amazing ballad voice. I thought it was a dynamite performance, a beautiful performance (aside from the last note which was a little bit of a reach), and combined with his looks will allow him to sail through. Apparently my wife thinks that he's hot, for what it's worth. He could be very, very dangerous for a few weeks to come.

Lil Rounds:
Did more than enough to survive country week, which I was very concerned about for her. I guess the bottom line is when you have a voice like she does, it really doesn't matter the genre. It was a very measured performance and she clearly held back for a lot of it. It wasn't necessarily the best that she can do, but I applaud the heck out of her for trying to choose and perform a true country song. Also, how about Kara mocking deaf people during her critique when there is a blind guy who is in the wings about to perform later. Nice Kara... nice.

Adam Lambert:
Holy shit, what just happened? Alright, so he is now officially the most offbeat, dangerous, mothers hide your children's eyes from the TV for five minutes finalist Idol has ever had. I mean, Adam channelled his inner Boy George tonight. There were some truly great Thom Yorke'ish Radiohead notes hidden in there, but all in all, this was a horrible, and actually downright scary choice to appeal to the voting American public. But he seems to have a lot of people who love him if DialIdol is worth anything. Verdict - SLIGHT DANGER.

Scott MacIntyre:
Thank you so much Randy Travis for the most blunt honesty we've ever had from a guest judge. Please come back every week. I don't get the deal with this MacIntyre thing. He's getting insane feedback from the audience, but his vocals didn't come within a country mile (get it??? country mile???) of Adam, Kris, or Michael. He just can't hold out his power notes at all. Sure, I get it. He's blind. It's impressive that he can play the piano the way that he does. He's got an above average voice. But let's face it, he is not an American Idol. And now Paula and Simon are battling over who can be more politically correct in critiquing the blind guy. We're at like a 14 on the unintentional comedy scale of 1-10. I'll say it for you judges... he's good for a blind performer.
Verdict - DANGER

Alexis Grace:
I was definitely expecting more on country night out of Alexis. Alexis just didn't mesh with the song and didn't pull it off that well. It's super, super, super dangerous to try to pull off Dolly Parton, and Alexis fell right into that bear trap. It was a performance by Alexis that was memorable simply because it wasn't memorable. I still think she'll get through though because she's got a huge following.
Verdict - SAFE.

Danny Gokey:
Started off really, really rough and then just morphed into a great performance when he hit the bridge and chorus. I was starting to think that he was going to be in a little bit of trouble, then the voice rose, the lights came up, and BOOM. He's going to be around for quite a while.
Verdict - SAFE.

Anoop Desai:
The return of Anoop. That's about all you can say. Made me look smart picking him back in the top-36 to be one of the five to watch. His vocals were FANTASTIC. I mean, truly and honestly fantastic. He did an incredible job of switching up a country music standard and making it fit him perfectly. He went from probable elimination coming in to the night (unless the Indian-American vote pushed him out of elimination) to the best performance of the night so far.
Verdict - SAFE.

Megan Joy:
Apparently the "Corkrey" was causing her to finish in the bottom part of the voting. Not her poor vocals. Or her shitty-ass dancing. Listen, judges, are you happy? Was it that important to gender balance the top 12 that you gave a wildcard to Megan and Jasmine over Ju'Not? Apparently she has the flu and did a roundtrip to the hospital today. I give her credit cause God knows I wouldn't have been up there after the flu. That said, I think it's over for Megan.
Verdict - DANGER.

Matt Giraud:
He inadvertently proved my point as to why Scott MacIntyre totally doesn't belong here. Matt had ten times the vocals of Scott and played the piano better than Scott. But let's focus on Matt... it was a terrific performance, it's not easy to rearrange a Carrie Underwood song for a male's performance as Matt did, and he'll benefit from going last when it comes to the voting. You know... that whole recency effect that they teach psychology majors like me.

Verdict - SAFE.

Predicted Bottom Three:
Megan Joy
Scott MacIntyre
Adam Lambert

3 Responses:

Anonymous said...

Good for a blind performer? Like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder...?

Benjamin said...

There are 1.3 million legally blind persons in the US, which amounts to about one in twenty.

How many current pop music acts are there right now? How many are blind? Do you think it's really one in twenty?

You picked two great performers, anonymous, but I bet you can't name another one.

It's pretty obvious that a blind person is at a huge disadvantage when it comes to musical performance. The fact that two have succeeded shouldn't have anything to do with how you judge this one, and Jeremy's right, Scott just isn't very good.

J-Red said...

Umm, 1.3M in 300M is 1 in 230 or so.

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