May 12, 2009

Idol Recap 5/12/09

So this is actually my favorite week of the Idol season. There are generally some fun scenes with the contestants going home. Of course, tonight, the Idol producers decided to cut that out and save it for tomorrow. I guess they are out of former Idolists to trot out for "live" performances. Blake Lewis and Chris Sligh must be busy.

We all know tonight is all about who will join Adam in the final next week. They really should just let Adam rest his voice and take a bye week. Or, maybe he could test Randy's theory, and come on out and sing us entries from the Hollywood, California Yellow Pages.

Could we have been reminded any more times during the course of this hour of TV that Kris Allen is "humble" and a "dark horse?" Good God... you'd think the kid is talentless or something. I mean, judges and producers, it's pretty transparent that you want a Danny-Adam matchup in the final. Even Seacrest feels that it is incumbent on him to remind America after Kris' incredible take on Kanye's Heartless that the vote for the final two is still up in the air. Alright Idol producers... methinks thou doth protest too much.

Tonight, we saw Simon lob a verbal bitch-slapping hand grenade at not just Kara, but also Randy. Simon rightfully called them out for critiquing a performance of a song that they had chosen because the contestant did not rearrange the song. Hmm... maybe I (and Kris and Simon) are a little dense, but isn't it supposed to be safe to assume that if you play the song the judges choose for you straight to the vest you're not going to get slammed for not taking artistic liberty with the song? I'm all for reducing the Idol judging panel to two chimps and Simon.

Let's do a review contestant-by-contestant starting with...

Danny Gokey
Gokey starts off the night in the dreaded opening spot sounding again, like Michael McDonald. He sings a song by an artist that nobody seems to know, except for the judges. Hell, Gokey doesn't even know the song himself when he just happens to receive the song assignment via text message from Paula while he is live on air on Milwaukee radio. Those pain pills must have given Paula some mean telepathic skills. Anyway, Gokey shows off his power voice, which is, and has always been, third behind Allison and Adam in this competition. Unfortunately he also chooses to try to dance. Just not a good idea. However, Gokey redeems himself in a big way, starting off a monster second half of the Idol show with his own version of the classic You Are So Beautiful. Simon calls it a "vocal master class." It really was pretty terrific and a smart choice to try to separate himself from Kris who couldn't dream of belting out and holding notes that way that Gokey does.

Kris Allen
The "humble, humble, dark horse" contestant starts off with a decent version of Apologize by One Republic. I would agree with Kara's characterization of it as a "competent" rendition. At this stage of the competition, unfortunately, it's not the kind of performance that people are going to remember. It's not particularly strong, there are some flat notes in there, and while good, just isn't great. We will all have forgotten about Apologize by tomorrow morning, however, because when we think back to Kris' performances on Idol, we'll remember how confused and befuddled we all felt when Seacrest announced that Kris was taking on Kanye's Heartless. I mean, I had zero idea what Kris was going to do. I figured that it was his way of saying, "FUCK YOU. YOU WANTED ME TO GO DOWN, PRODUCERS? WELL I'M GOING TO GO DOWN AND GO DOWN IN FLAMES!!" Yeah, I was pretty wrong. Kris pulled out a kick-ass acoustic version of the song. Just him and his guitar on stage. I hate to give Kara credit again, but as she said it best, it truly was "fearless." And it resuscitated some suspense into tomorrow's results show.

Recap interlude in honor of the Idol Gives Back interlude of the show. The producers felt that it was important that we remember that in the past, in better economic times when attorneys weren't offing themselves in their offices after being laid off, Idol has donated to charity for a week. How'd you all like Carrie Underwood rehearsing her future taking over for Sally Struthers. As much as I did? Carrie, here's your line, "For 13 cents a day you can support a starving child in Namibia." Carrie Underwood - THE face of American Idol. I'm definitely not complaining about that one.

Adam Lambert
Adam goes in the prized clean-up spot. Simon makes sure that we all are aware that he managed to wrangle Bono on the phone and get special clearance for Adam to sing U2's One. Can there be any more doubt that the producers are desperate for Adam to be in the final next week? Anyway, One is probably one of the greatest songs ever written lyrically, and one of the best songs ever performed. Thus, this performance had tremendous amount of promise. And I just did not like what Adam did to the song. He took it a little too far in terms of artistic liberty and making huge runs and holding out notes. Adam, simple can be alright for songs. You should know that with Tracks of My Tears for earlier this season. Remember Mary J. and Bono's beautiful version of the song? Adam finishes off the show with his version of Aerosmith's Cryin'. Most people will take this as Adam wanting to sing a great "old Aerosmith" song. I personally think Adam is sly like a fox, is banking on being in the finals with Danny, and knows that he just beat the ever-loving shit out of Danny in the one statistic that we can compare them in so far - mimicing Steven Tyler's voice. Parts of the performance wouldn't have been all that impressive even at earlier stages of the competition and would've been deemed to be karaoke. Other parts were pretty great and came the closest to actually pulling off Steven Tyler's voice that we will ever see on this show.

Alright, so predictions...
At this point we know that a huge number of Allison voters lost their contestant, so we have to try to predict which of the remaining three they are going to go to. My theory is that it is the voters of the fourth-place finisher who decide the two finalists, as suddenly 15 million votes become "free agents." I think that Allison's voters will entirely stay away from Gokey and mostly go to Adam. Who won't really need them. A small amount will go to Kris.

Therefore, in the end, I think the producers get their dream and it's

- good versus evil
- cleancut church singer versus black nail polish and leather
- widowed straight contestant versus ambiguously gay contestant

I see a Gokey/Lambert final.

6 Responses:

sas said...

I'm an Allison voter....and Im going to vote for .......

I refuse to participate any longer in that joke of a show......

Allison can outsing them all.......

I just don't care who wins.....the show is so freakin rigged...

so - refuse to be manipulated by the producers and the judges, particulary Simon

Anonymous said...

I vote for.....ALEXIS GRAY!


Anonymous said...

SAS is simply being ridiculous. While I happen to love Adam (he's an awesome singer) I am a big fan of Allison.
It should've been Allison, Adam and Danny. However, Danny & Allison are a tossup (just totally different styles).
Adam consistently out-sings them both (even if you don't care for is style of singing).

Nikki said...

Hello!! Chris is all that and a bag of chips!! YUMMY...

Nikki said...

...And and great singer with awesome talent but that is beside the point.

Anonymous said...

He certainly doesn't suck, Nikki. He just doesn't have nearly the same range as the others.

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