<i><b>THIS</b> is AMERICAN IDOL!</i>


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's Confetti-eating Time!!!

Idol 2014 Results Night! I'm in the LBC and Dr. L is in Champaign Illinois, but we are comparing notes via texts and emoticons LOL.

So it all comes down to this. They stick us back in the box with the green light. Caleb and Jena re-live the audition days. Caleb says the line that will be my new catch-phrase for the next year: "Let's break some necks and cash some checks" -- THIS is American Idol!!!

So the two Idol hopefuls walk out and deliver a medley that, honestly, I fast-forwarded through. I'm going to be doing that a lot tonight LOL. They sound fine, maybe Jena had that goat-warbly thing going a little too strong, and Caleb was channeling Meat Loaf, but it's the shmaltzy opener, what do you expect. I was seriously afraid for them when the COLUMNS OF FIRE erupted behind them -- did you see how they were sweating afterward? It must have been hot as hell. You see Ryan didn't come out for any of that, nor did harry with his velvet jacket, ha. 

Ryan makes his usual creepy sexual-objectifying comment about Jlo, and she thinks about the millions they are paying her and smiles graciously. 

So they bring out Sam, and Phil Philips. They sound good together. Full disclosure, I fast forwarded again LOL. But Phil seems like an old pro already. Can't help wondering if his family is still eating dog food and living in a fridge box on Skid Row, however. 

Jennifer Nettles is next, with Jessica. I wonder why they buried her up front like this? Maybe so we don't think what might have been? I didn't care for Jess's dress but she sounded good. I may have to download some JN music. 

Ryan talks to Randy in the crowd, and Randy is wearing a hot pink velvet jacket so we don't forget about him. Randy tries to talk about "growth" but it's the same as the last 13 years, you can almost see the producer's hand up his ass making his mouth move. 

Now they show us the Jlo performance they taped last night. Nice fake intro guys! It was a combo of both takes from last night, as expected. The ending was from the 2nd for sure. You could just see me and RT on one angle! I see why they pre-taped it, Jlo wouldn't be able to spring back and do the rest of the show after two of those workouts. 

Now we see the first of the good old Idol clip montages. Harry's poker face. Ha ha! He was watching a barn-burner and barely cracked a smile! Oh, Harry.

 Next up, It's Caleb and KISS!!! 

Caleb is wearing my Cobra jacket from the Keith Urban Collection. These shirtless painted-up grandparents came out and rocked the FUG out of it. It was a little creaky on the start but once it hit the chorus it got better. For pure spectacle it was well worth it. More fire! I bet Caleb lost five pounds. After the songs, Caleb's brother comes out and shows us his future as a Juggalo. 

After the break, the second of the wacky Idol clip montages. Crazy lip syncs! This was weird, but less humiliating than most Idol clips on these type shows. The one of Keith talking about robots and corn on a train made it worth it. 

Who is Aloe Blacc? Is this the most unlikely name since Fox Mulder? Could he be any pitchier? What is this song mashup? Why so many questions? Baseball Cap Guy comes out and actually makes Dexter in his shiny suit and chin-strap beard look like a GQ cover model. Wow, Alex can really sing. He makes 90% of these other guys sound like crap in this guy-group thing. 

The Ford Rider video was weird. The funniest thing was when Majesty came onscreen and the crowd cheered -- what if she had made it to the Top 3 or so, hmm? Then they give Caleb and Jena their new obligatory 2015 Mustangs -- wow, these new Mustangs are so stylized now they look like Transformers or something. I liked the convertible that Jena got. it's just as well Caleb got a hardtop, he might blow off what hair he has left with the ragtop version. We see the Idols reward their mentors, and is it me or do we usually see them before this moment? They just kind of spring these guys on us, so I don't know how to feel about them. Good on them for getting a new Fusion, though. 

Demi Lovato comes out, and I recall the girls behind us on Performance Night going NUTS when they announced her being on the show. Really? Demi Lovato is that big of a star? This Disney factory is creeping me out, y'all. Some of the Idol girls come out and sing with her. Still seems strange not to see MK, and we get that Mystery Girl again, what's her name? And then Demi and Jena take turns yelling in each other's faces. I'll give them this, though, they blew Aloe off the stage. 

So next, Jena rolls out with a piano and sings Decode. I like her a lot better when she's just doing it without the band. Then Paramore shows up and I'm teleported back to hair and pants I had back in 1983. I didn't have the tank top, though. Maybe I should have. It's funny, Jena looks like the pro here and the chick from Paramore looks like the starry-eyed Idol finalist getting to sing with her "Idol". The balloon drop was hilarious! it totally obscured them. I think somebody read the memo wrong on the size and number of balloons. Good song, though. 

John Legend shows up and classes the joint up. Are we on a different show now? Malaya gives it the old college try but she's in too high a key. Mr. Legend sounds silky smooth as usual. I wish there were more like this!

Now the 3rd Idol Memory Lane clipfest. Ryan does a creepy Time-Travel narration (recorded in real time during the auditions but talking about the thousands of hopefuls as if they are past-tense losers already -- which I guess they are). I wanted him to tell the girl who said "I got a Golden Ticket": "Yeah, but you didn't make it." 
Maybe Ryan is like the main character in Slaughterhouse Five now, and exists outside of time. It is terrifying to contemplate. 

Back to reality: Alex teams up with Jason Mraz. This is shaping up nicely. The harmonies with Alex are great. Dr. L said she would buy this song! Best of the night so far. Just when I think the sound on my TV is going bad I hear something like this and realize it's OK, LOL, it's just the other singers. 

Randy and Ryan's family make an awkward intro for him to sing. They look just like the Atlanta Junior League and their loyal servant in the pink jacket. Ryan assaults our ears with the worst vocal ever on idol, and then Richard Marx rises from the grave to show that even a corpse can show Ryan up, if it has talent. 

The 4th clip montage is really funny. The judges were so entertaining this year. I am so glad they are coming back, it's a good mix of personalities. Hey, there was Casey and Haley out in the crowd from Season 10! I wonder if they are still a couple? So cute. 

Darius Rucker is in the house! He sounds great, but is the mix off tonight? it's hit or miss. CJ strolls out with Dexter. It's an OK jam, but not as great as it probably sounded on paper. Thank you, Idol, for flashing to the shot of the woman with the enormous boobs, I was starting to zone out. 

Lady Antebellum frolicked across my TV in fast-forward and now Ryan is standing with Jena and Caleb's fams. John Locke from Lost is back there behind them too. Caleb's dad looks like a guy you could buy some good acid from in back of the Roadhouse. 

Now the second of the pre-recorded songs from last night. You can hear the shouters from the crowd name-checking the judges apropos of nothing! So funny. This was the second taping, because you can hear the clapping. But Jlo's vocal was better for sure. All I can say is, you guys really missed out on Blister In The Sun LOL. 

So now the moment of truth: Jena and Caleb onstage with Ryan awaiting the results. Jena looks great, and Caleb looks like he has a spacesuit tuxedo made of metallic leeches. Dim the lights…

WTF?!!! Caleb wins?!!! Wow, I did not see that coming. Although, looking back on last night, he REALLY got the applause. So maybe we should have known. Jena is doing her best not to burst into flames I think. She's smiling, as are her parents, but it's the kind of stank-face smile when you know the camera is on and you won't show your enemies you have real human emotion. Nobody looks more surprised than Caleb himself, except maybe the judges, who all stood there looking gobsmacked. 

I LOVE that he made no immediate attempt to sing his victory song. I sort of hoped he could blow it off entirely, but he was a trooper and sang about 30% of it. I almost feel sorry for Simon Fuller and 19 Entertainment; good luck marketing Caleb's AOR/Classic Rock album to the over 40 crowd who love the genre he sings in LOL. 

So that's our season guys! It was fun, started off strong, and then got idol-ized by the end. Maybe next year they will just throw the votes out altogether, and if they know in advance they will get who they want, they can stop with the shenanigans. See you next time!

K and Dr. L Out!!!

Live Blogging The Finale With RT and K

Idol Finale Recap: Just like Highlander, there can be only one!

This was an extra special Finale, because for the first time ever, Master K and Rubbertoe got to team up and check out the finale together! Dr. L was so jealous! But she had to work while we were able to slip away and spend the day at Idol. It was so much fun. 

We were able to have a few beers and some tacos before the show,

and RT got some pictures of some of the superfans. One guy had a sign with every member of Jena's family's signature except hers -- you gotta admire his tenacity but it was bordering on creepy. We got there early enough to get great seats, about six rows back on stage right. Idol Wannabe Sighting! We saw Emmanuel Zidor posing for lots of pics down front. Don't remember who he is? I think he got knocked out in Hollywood or shortly thereafter:

So onto the warmup. The guy working the crowd up deserves a special mention. He was like a little Ryan Seacrest clone on crack. He took about a million selfies with the crowd and kept up the DJ action with music from his cell phone. Songs I never thought I'd hear at an Idol event, like 2Pac and Dr. Dre singing California Love: "Out on bail fresh outta jail, California dreamin/Soon as I stepped on the scene, I'm hearin hoochies screamin'"--it was pretty funny hearing the crowd sing along.

Idol-adjacent sighting: Jena's brother was working it for all he was worth pimping himself out for pictures. RT pointed out how funny it was when there was nobody left to snap one with, he looked so lost LOL. 

So we ran through rehearsal on going nuts/bananas when Ryan kicks off the show, and then Seacrest appears, looking like Ricky Ricardo's maitre-D at the Copacabana in his ivory jacket. The show begins. You can't hear it on the TV, but throughout the show there are continuous random screams of "WE LOVE YOU JLO" or "HARRY!!!" and occasionally a contestant's name. 
They kick it off with a funny video of Jena and Caleb battling it out on a prom stage. Then the contest begins, with songs chosen by Simon Fuller, longtime Idol producer.

Jena sings Dog Days are Over, by Florence and the Machine. I have to say, she sounds really good in person, and she knows how to work the stage. We thought it wasn't bad. A good start to the show. The judges love it, of course. 

They cut to commercial, and then Caleb comes out to sing Dream On, by Aerosmith, the classic. This guy has some pipes. Holy crap, he just kept building. I don't know if this comes across on TV, but the crowd reaction to him vs Jena's 1st song was about 3x as enthusiastic. He definitely took Round One.

Next was Idol's Favorite Moments. Jena does the Elvis song, I Can't Help Falling In Love. RT turned to me and said, "really?" He wasn't blown away the first time, like the judges seemed to want everyone to be. She does an OK job, but after it was over, Rubbertoe shrugged and said he didn't really hear anything this time that blew him away either. I almost forgot, they had the Seacrest Lite Guy come out while we were on the break to warn us not to clap during the next song. This was it. I guess he didn't want us to ruin a "moment", but there wasn't really one to screw up. They praise her like it's one, for sure. All I kept thinking was, now we heard her do Creep twice and this song twice, in case we didn't get it the first time.

We really had a good laugh watching Randy trot over and hold up the numbers after the performances. HA! I guess they had to give the Dawg something to do, that redundant sack of crap. 

PS, all the security guys standing around acting menacing on the edge of the stage looked like they were straight out of the Russian Mob. 

So Caleb does Maybe I'm Amazed again. I was amazed at how well his voice had recovered after they had reminded us One million times last week that he had a strained vocal cord. No problems tonight. He did another stellar job. of course the judges had to play it up as if it was Jena's round this time -- I can assure you the crowd was not as conflicted. After they hemmed and hawed that it was a "tie" now going into the third round, one of the ladies beside us called BS on it. Regardless of the motives, they try to perpetrate some drama. 

The Director comes on the mic during the break and tells us that if we stick around, we can see the judges sing (to be aired tomorrow). Of course we are! More on that later. 

So Ryan comes back from the break and reminds us Jena was the first ever Wild Card to make it this far, OMG! Rubbertoe called this tactic way back in the season. They have to trot it out so we can factor that into our voting for this Plucky Underdog. She sings her "single", and it was OK. Catchy. RT has a theory that they give the contestant they want to win the better song. This one maybe had more of a melody.

Caleb sings his "winning single". It was definitely more of a rocker tune, but it wasn't quite as catchy. I had to crack up that he gets the explosion at the end, and the whole time he had the Illuminati Triangle behind him onscreen LOL. No explosion or choir or bagpipes behind Jena, but maybe they don't think they need them. 

So Ryan sends us off to the voting with a host of Idols swarming the stage singing the Kelly song Break Away. It was hard to remember some of them -- and what happened to MK? She wasn't there. I did a little investigating and found out she was sick, but will be on the tour. 

So the main show is over. While we wait, the Seacrest On Speed Dude whips the crowd back up with more tunes, this time with some kind of DJ app that blends beats together. RT and I compared notes about who really won the night. Without much elaboration, it was clear that Caleb did better on the night -- but that idol definitely wants Jena to won, so she probably will. Listening back to Caleb's "winning" song, it was much weaker than Jena's, and maybe the explosion was to help mask that. If you look at Caleb's face afterward, he seems a little disappointed -- maybe he was hoping to hear some praise from the judges and didn't get it, or maybe he was bummed his 3rd and final song was kind of light-rock-pop-blah? (Side note, we saw him after the show and he seemed pumped, and happy. So maybe here at the end of the show he was just coming down realizing this was his last song in the competition). 

The post-show cranks up with an Idol "supergroup": Keith on lead guitar, Randy on bass, Harry on keys (two keyboards -- a piano and an electric organ) and Jlo in a cute little dress sitting on Harry's piano, singing lead. before the actual taping, they jam on about four different songs, the best of which were Dire Straits Sultans of Swing and Violent Femmes Blister in the Sun. Makes me wish they could just play a set off the top of their heads…

The actual songs they perform are a pairing of True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, blending into Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac. You will see all these tomorrow. (Take note: at some point rearranging the set they bumped Jena's Big Board sign, and it was dangling at an angle -- I kept worrying it would fall and Ricky Minor would go Splat! But it held on the rest of the night. I'm curious if you ever see it tomorrow night.) The 2nd take was by far the best, but the crowd forgot the Ryan Lite Dude's admonition not to clap, and we clapped all through the 2nd run of True colors -- it might screw up the take. Too bad if it does -- as RT astutely pointed out, Jlo was a bit 'pitchy' on the first take LOL. 

So they call it done and they break down the set again. This time they set up a seizure-inducing light array for Jlo's dance number. We were very entertained watching the choreographer working with the Faux JLo and the dancers, tweaking some of the steps. I was cracking up -- it was so elaborate, I couldn't imagine what any more rehearsal was going to help if they didn't know it by now! Jlo came out in a bathrobe and did a little step or tow, and I guess they locked it in.

So when the lights come up, and the stage facade opens, Jlo is now out of the robe, revealing a slinky spangly outfit. I can't tell you the name of her song -- maybe something about The First Time? She kept saying that, and counting off the Second Time, Third Time, etc. It was an OK banging-beat number, but what made it was that Jlo was dancing her ass off. I was actually afraid for her a couple of times, jumping on tables and whatnot. She really is a fantastic performer, she gave 150%. When it was over, just as we were about to leave (RT said, "I can't imagine her doing another take after THAT") -- they said she was going to do another take. Damned if she didn't do it all over again. It might be me, but I felt like the effort made the 2nd take suffer a little. She again danced admirably, but maybe at 125% this time. There was an amusing glitch as her mic was probably supposed to be turned off during one note, after a sequence where she probably didn't really have enough breath, and holy crap was it off-key. But hey, at least she was really singing the darn thing. She thanked the crowd after the songs, a real class act. 

So we made our way outside and strolled by the media set-up with Caleb and Jena talking to the press.

I snapped a couple pics, but there was a pretty good mob so I didn't try to get closer. I almost walked right into Dexter, and could have probably actually talked to him, but by this point I was tired and ready to head home. All in all it was a great night at Idol, and so much fun to share the experience with RT.

Now we just have to wait and see how America saw it…

Dr. L and K Out!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I watched 500-plus hours of this?

Ah a trip down Memory Lane with Idol. How simple was it in the beginning with Kelly? Wow, none of the Idol BS distracting us. They showed us a selection of the Idols over the years, while conveniently leaving out a few LOL. It's not like there are 13 superstars out there that were minted by the Idol machine. But there were some great ones. Didn't Ryan transform, though? I like to think he's that same bleach-tipped douchebag on the inside.
So finally the contestants come out. Seems like Sesame Street, one of these things is not like the other. Won't be as much drama without Jessica -- but wait! Seems like Caleb has some medical drama. Maybe to win over the fans he alienated after he called them retards?

The judges come out and Jlo is wearing the see-thru dress from Barbarella. Keith is wearing a t-shirt anyone can actually get, from the Ryman auditorium in Nashville. Ryan couldn't take the messiness of the scruff look, he's back to his mandroid self.

Hey! On the clip from the Idol's trip home, they showed Jena hugging on a King Charles spaniel! That's the kind of dog Dr. L & I have, so cute.

Now a band called Chainsmokers is singing a song called Selfie? WTF? Now it's like a lame-ass club up in Idol. Seriously, this is the most soulless honky dance beat ever. Mercifully, it's over quick. Then they trot out a video of Farmbot (Carrie Underwear) to remind us how the Idol Overlords made her, and I guess can break her (not).

So first up: The Dawg selects a 25-year-old song from INXS to show us "where Caleb can go in the future." OK---? Make sure to rub it in that he is not 100% vocally, guys. He does OK on the song, holding back a little, understandably, only had a couple breaks in the performance due to the injury. It was a pretty good song choice. The judges at this point are throwing only softballs.

PP pops in with a cell phone video to remind us white guys with guitars can win!

Up next, Alex. Randy picks a Bastille song. It starts off shaky to me. Then he really comes alive. He ends strong. I don't know if this was the best song choice, and maybe his nerves got to him, but he pulled it off pretty well. Jlo loves it, the Harry gives him the "constructive" compliment. As if they need to shaft him to keep Caleb in! But they're hedging their bets. Hey, I just noticed: does Alex have really tiny ears? Weird.

Kris Allen comes out of Witness Protection to remind us he won, how funny.

So Jena. Stepping up the Crying Game jacket this week to Cher levels.   Doing Titanium. The lower register is nonexistent as usual. Just noticed her pants make her look like she's a lion tamer or something. I think the chorus of this was just kind of screechy. If I can predict, this was her worst performance of the night. Of course, the judges act as if she knocked it out of the park. I didn't hear it. Jlo looks like she wanted to keep it real, amazingly. Ryan has to remind us she's a week away from winning LOL.

David Cook appears in the cellphone video. Why do these look so crappy? My phone is nothing special and it takes better video than this. Maye it's more "real" this way.
 Now Round Two, the judges picks.  They choose Imagine Dragons for Caleb.  I find myself cringing when he sings, thinking about his voice. He's hitting a few more bum notes now, but overall he pulls it off. I don't know if his was the most exciting song choice ever but he will coast on his old performances. Jlo has a funny comment about telepathy with Caleb. It's all smoke and mirrors from them at this point anyway.

Candice Glover? Who's that? :-)

The judges pick Stay by Rihanna for Alex. This was much more in his wheelhouse. I wasn't familiar with the original but I liked this version. Would a pop music fan love or hate what he did with it? I like that he always has genuine emotion in his performances, every time. Keith has a moment with Parrot Breath but the judges love it.

Ha! Lee DeWyze reports in from the closet of his apartment LOL. What a f@#&ing loser.

Jena: the judges pick a Demi Lovato song -- I guarantee you I have never heard it. Maybe the tweens will swoon over it but I thought it sucked like a Tijuana donkey show. Wow, this was all over the place. Amazingly (not) the judges act like this was the BOMB. sigh.

Fantasia makes her vid, and reminds us you need a little of the cray-cray to make it in this biz. But her sentiment seemed really heartfelt. BTW, I really love the banter from the judges this year, so glad they are coming back.

Round Three, the hometown folks pick a classic Led Zep song for Caleb. In his prime he would have SLAYED it. As it is he does a pretty good job. Jlo does her version of the Santanico Pandemonium dance LOL (remember From Dusk Til Dawn?) Of course the crowd goes nuts, because hey, good music blows the shit out of Demi Lovato and her ilk any day. Ryan makes a creepy joke about Jlo giving everyone an erection? Damn.

OMG, Scotty McCreery. He really parleyed Idol into a trip out of his Alfred E. Neuman-looking existence.

Alex: the hometown folks select One Freaking Direction?!! Holy shit. I hate these guys. They give him the fancy graphic package behind him. This was probably a win for the text-voting tween girls but was this song forgettable or what? Would've been great for six or seven weeks ago, but not a "moment" in the least. The judges just gloss over it. Keith tries to keep it real but even he was sugar-coating it. "Your averages are strong" is a nice way of saying this one was not.

Jordin Sparks is a shell of her former self. I like how she says idol gave her "her Start". What's her Finish? (I was actually surprised to see she ranked 11th on all-time idol sales. That's a hell of a lot better than Candice at 54th...)

Fox has a show where naive girls are tricked into marrying a fake prince Harry? My God, Fox really sucks. They'll cancel quality scripted shows in heartbeat, just to put crap like this on the air.

 So, the hometown wants Jena to do Creep AGAIN? This is kind of a weird gamble. Dr. L said she would rather hear her sing something else. If she was trying to re-create a "moment" it was a fail in my book. The judges look less than enthused. Harry cobbles together some nonsense for his critique. Keith talks about everything but her actual performance. Jlo anoints her the winner. Gag! So anticlimactic.

So Caleb and Jena advance to the Finale -- what started off  as a breath of fresh air, unpredictable season has been wrangled back into Idol consistency.

-- Dr L & K Out!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Musical Platypi

Idol Fab Four: they start off with a recap (Vote For The Worst used to call them "re-craps") of the fake drama of last week's "twist". Then the REAL twist happens, when Ryan appears with about a week of scruff and NO TIE? Holy shit, it must be the Apocalypse. The theme is apparently love songs? And breakups?

The Top Four walk out, and only Jena has any color on -- coincidence? There are no coincidences on Idol. Harry calls out Ryan on the scruff -- it's that obvious. For those of you who might read this and not live in LA, there's a lot of pressure to have the scruff, because clean-shaven guys stand out like lepers or something.

First up, Caleb. Doing a Bon Jovi classic. It actually shows a little more range than some of his rockin' tunes. It's a pretty typical Caleb performance in all other ways. I actually saw Bon Jovi back in the day, I'm that old. He flew around the stage on wires like Peter Pan at one point and someone in the audience pelted him with ice LOL. Ah, memories.
The judges love it. He's pretty obviously safe. The "selfie" gag is ridiculous. We should Photoshop somebody like Josef Stalin with him or something.

Up next, Jessica.  Doing a Kelly song. Could be awesome, or suicide. It starts off like a deer in the headlights thing, but livens up a little in the chorus. I don't know if it's the arrangement or what, but I didn't love it. Bad song choice. This is the part of the competition where you can't have any missteps. The judges make some really good comments -- Harry says it best, she has to externalize the emotions, and she isn't doing it.

I am reminded of the old joke about the two guys camping in the woods that wake up to a bear busting into the camp. They run and get some distance on the bear, when one guy stops to put on his shoes. The other guy says, "That isn't going to help you outrun this bear!" And the first guy says, I don't have to outrun the bear -- I just have to outrun you." Jessica just needs to outrun Alex at this point, and it remains to be seen if she will.

Alex: doing Too Close by Alex Clare. Starts off strong. I really like this song. This was an awesome song choice. He does a great job with it, and may have just buried Jessica. Harry loves it. Keith and Jlo want more from him, but I think he doesn't have to outrun the bear here.

Jena's gonna do Pat Benatar? She sings Heartbreaker. The phrasing as usual annoys the hell out of me, but the song forces her to project, so there's less of the low register funkiness. It was more like one of her duets with Caleb, which I usually like.  The judges wanted more performance from her, but I think this was more challenging vocally for her and she had her hands full keeping up. In the post-critique segment you could tell she doesn't like the negative comments LOL.

Round Two: Caleb does Creedence. He really is going to do well in whatever band he winds up in post-Idol. He does a fine job, nothing shocking but predictably good.

Jessica: doing    a Pink song, wearing the leather jacket from The Crying Game LOL. Ironic that this song says "I got my rock moves" when she has none. They crank up the stage flames though, and then the judges crank up the flames of their own. In her post-critique comment section she thought THIS was her best perfomance? They really have no clue.

Jena is doing Lady Gaga. The arrangement SUCKS beyond belief. They tried to turn a dance-pop song into an Evanescence song or something. The judges look like they're watching testimony at a war-crimes trial or something. It was not good, even if she is TCO. Keith says he likes how they butchered the chorus? WTF? Jlo basically confesses that it's a Caleb/Jena show, even if she didn't like that performance so much. Harry asks why she bailed out on the high end, and she admits she couldn't do it. Smart girl. She's going to sail on, regardless.

Alex Round Two: doing I'm Yours, Jason Mraz. Been done to death on Idol, but the sentiment is sweet. I had a shiny-armed jacket like that in 1984, except it said CORVETTE down the arm, LOL. Classy! Alex does OK, but coming off the over-the-top performances of the others, it seems a little subdued? The crowd liked it. The judges, not so much. They wanted him to step up to the others' level. I'm torn -- I am kind of tired of the big overblown performances but it would be nice if he went a little bigger.

Can I just say, this show is too freaking long?

Round three: Caleb does Maybe I'm Amazed, a classic McCartney song. I wonder  why he doesn't do more new stuff? Oh well. I love this song. Best song of the night so far. That was fantastic! At this point, it's Caleb's game to lose. That was a really smart song to end on. Harry said it was phenomenal, Keith invoked Nicole Kidman, Jlo said it was his best yet.

Jessica: she does Gaga, You and I. She looks great, I'm not familiar with this song, but i like this country vibe she does. Perfect absolutely perfect song for her. She knocked it out of the park. The judges love it. She made some ground back on Alex tonight, but is it enough? I have been living for these moments the past few weeks, when the judges like a contestant's performance and they can bask in it and smile. Jessica, Alex don't hear it often enough.

Jena does an old Elvis song. A really brilliant, gutsy choice to just sing it with her own piano accompaniment. This was fantastic. For the first time I could actually hear what her boosters have been hearing. I always feel like when the Idols go out on a limb and ditch the band they deserve big time kudos. A "musical platypus" indeed. She just snatched the crown back from Caleb.

Alex does Yellow by Coldplay, from when Coldplay was actually great, and not the bloated hype monster they are now. This is actually a pretty smart move in a way, as it's one of the newest, most recognizable songs for a younger audience. He did a great job, looked good, and the judges praised it. All the Idols did their best on the last songs.

Dr. L said she's going to vote for Randy LOL. When he walked out on stage it was like he was like the fifth Beatle or something.  This is a tough call on the B2 -- not who's going to be in it, which is obviously Jessica and Alex, but who is going home. I would say Alex was consistently OK on his three songs, but no fireworks; Jessica was OK on one song, ai-ight on another and really great on the last. For what it's worth the judges seemed harder on Jessica than Alex early on, but they did give her that flamethrower special effect, which is usually a hypnotism method they use to keep somebody in.

I'm going to say Alex goes home. I would have said Jessica no doubt before that last song, but now I'm not so sure...

Dr. L and K out!

The Fab Four

Round 1: Breakups Caleb - You give love a bad name - Caleb rocked it...especially in the upper register (10) Jessica - Since you've been gone - This is horrible. I always have a hard time when current idols cover past idols, I'm not sure it Kelly or Carrie...this just isn't good. Its like she is screaming the whole thing (2) Alex - Feels like I'm too close - Classic Alex version of the song. Good. Not one of Alex's best....but still pretty good (7) Jena - Heartbreaker - Pat Benatar - This is a great choice for her. Mmmmmm.....I'm not loving it as much as I thought I would. It seems a touch high for her....I would have liked her to have taken it down a couple of chords..(6). Round 1 Goes to Caleb. Round 2: Dedications/b> Caleb- CCR (One of my alltime favorites)....and this is s a great choice for Caleb. Another great performance. Down a couple notches from the first one...but still really good (8). Jessica - So what ...Pink. Beginning came across completely corny...but once it picked up it was awesome. (wow...the judges are throwing her under the bus on this one. I COMPLETELY disagree with them here. (8) Jena - Bad Romance. Wow....this is how you take a good song and completely destroy is. This arrangement was absolute hideous. This is beyond bad. (2). Alex - I'm yours - Great Great Choice. I like it...but don't love it. What I'm thinking during this performance is that Alex has peaked. He is good at what he does...and I will buy his album because I like him....but as far as AI goes.....he's not going higher than 3rd. This finale is already ordained...and the judges don't need to try so hard to ensure that because it was already going to happen despite their pimping Caleb and Jena. (6) Round 2: Close tie between Caleb and Jessica (despite the judges). Edge goes to Caleb though. Round 3: Maekups Caleb - Maybe I'm amazed - Another Amazing Caleb performance. I love that Caleb showed that he can do more than just an upbeat rock anthem. He rocked this generally slow ballad. That was a solid (10). (Can I just say that I find it ULTRA annoying how they keep going to commercials after a performance and come back for the judges comments. Why are they doing this? It completely breaks the flow of the show. Jessica - You and I. Now THIS is how you take a Lady Gaga song and make it your own. Another solid (10). Jena - Can't help falling in love(ELVIS) - Pretty....but left me what? It just didn't go anywhere (5). [Tou've got to be kidding me....Jennifer gives her a standing 0 1/2 way through..and Keith as well. Jennifer was just too WAAAAAAAAAY over the top. That performance was no where near the hype that they gave her. Alex- Yellow. A good cover of this song by Alex....but I just get the feeling that Alex isn't really even trying that hard at this point. (6) Round 3: Tie between Jessica and Caleb. Edge going to Jessica on this one. Final Totals: Caleb: 28 Jena: 13 Jessica: 20 Alex: 19 Wow....I found my final tally interesting because I expected Alex to have the lowest total. Jena? Perhaps I expected more from her. Obviously the Judges disagreed and America will disagree as well. America will send Jessica home.....followed next week by Alex....setting up the Caleb/Jena finale that AI has so desperately wanted.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Results nite --- whaaa?

A couple of things: first off, Dr. L & I have gotten three or four emails from the Idol audience people this season, on the day of the show, to get tickets. It just isn't enough time, to drop everything with no notice and drive up and wait to get in. But maybe it will work out next time and we can go. We got an email today! I wish we could have gone and seen Keith perform, but we just couldn't make it.

But the real thing I wanted to ask was, did anyone think it was weird, the "twist" where the Idols basically get their own Judges Save? As soon as Ryan announced it, I told Dr. L this sounded like some shenanigans. In my mind, the only reason they would trot this out was if one of TPTB favorites was in danger of getting voted off. Does Sam qualify? I guess they wanted him one more week over Jessica, right? We speculated that Jessica picked up the remaining Alabama voting block once CJ got the boot, and this put Sam out.

And who do you think voted No? Sam sure did seem at peace with getting the boot. I wonder if he and Jessica voted no, just to get it over with LOL.

The Love Child of Jason Mraz and David Lynch

Idol songs America has chosen is the theme this week -- I wonder if the sky was the limit or did they have to choose from a list?

Keith t-shirt update: is this from the show Heroes? Ryan makes a bizarre comment about somebody's cologne. (On the first break, he jumps into Harry's arms like that monkey boy character from SNL about 15 years ago.)

They show a clip about Jason Mraz-- I've heard wanna-be Idols sing his song a million times, but couldn't have told you what he looked like until now. He's the Mentor tonite.  Dr. L said he has the most pleasant voice, she wants him to read a book to her LOL.

First up, Alex in the KOD spot. Mraz has some good advice about opening Alex up. Let's see if he takes it. Doing Sweater Weather. I like this, I think he's modern and catchy enough with this to stay, but this is the top of the show and he could be forgotten. They give him the back-handed compliments so maybe they think (or hope) he's gone?

Caleb: oh, dear God, he's doing the lamest Aerosmith song of all time. I guess it's a "hit" but literally any other song by them is more genuine Rock. I'm sure he'll do fine. Then again... the start of this is awful. He's off-key all through it. Sure, he powers up in the end, but damn. This was a major mistake in my book. Let's see if they call him on it: nope, JLo turns it into a positive somehow. Dr. L said she wonders if they cut Jessica the same break. Harry is talking about looking in the camera? WTF? What about the singing? Keith is talking about "feeling", what bullshit.

Alex, Jena and Sam perform together -- nice harmonies here. Keith loved it! Never heard a group number get that kind of crowd reaction, impressive.

Jessica is doing Human by Christina Perri? Never heard it. Mraz gives her a crash course in performing LOL. This song has a weak opening, but a nice chorus - her voice is strong and clear in those parts. I don't care for the song but I tough she made the best of it, WAY better than Caleb. Best of the night so far in some ways, but Alex was more pleasant. True to my prediction, they can't really praise her, but they have to "school" her on what she did wrong. She still seems happy -- maybe they beat her up less this week, so it's a victory.

Sam: they dressed him like a nitrous oxide salesman at a Phish concert, what the hell. His dog (and Ryan's) are so cute. Who the F is Arianna Grande? She's wearing one of Harry's sweaters as a dress. Jason wants him to get lost in the song, that shit will never happen. Doing "Sing"  -- nope, he did not get Funky with it. Still, it was a decent vocal. Keith craps over his lack of falsetto, but JLo likes his "looser" performance. Harry blames him for "de-funking" he band, LOL. I think it's clear now they want a Caleb-Jena Finale.

Godzirra is coming! Can't wait.

Jena - My Body, another song I've never heard. At least Idol is losing some of the old dusty standards they used to perpetrate on us every year. The song begins and it's a warbly bag of marbles in her mouth. Then the chorus kicks in and it's just kind of sharp and shreieky to me. The next verse is better, but this is is all over the place for me. Her performance is at least more lively than the others. The TCO gets the light effects, don't they? And Jlo just creams all over it. Yep, they just praise her to the moon. And -- wouldn't you know it? The "random" song America chose is one she wanted to do anyway? What a coincidence.

Caleb and Jessica do the Stones. Wow, they sound good together. Caleb almost knocks her out with a wild swing LOL. She looks uncomfortable singing about making love to Caleb, it's so funny. Ryan picks up on it and tries to milk the discomfort for a cheap laugh, typical. Imagine Ryan making love to you -- yeah, that's creepy as hell, isn't it?

Alex is backstage getting made up. His hair is dangerously close to Eraserhead levels. He gets a video request to sing Say Something. He has a really radio-friendly voice. Do these slow, Emo songs help or hinder a contestant? It would be interesting to see a study. I think his voice sounds pretty, but it is kind of putting me to sleep. The crowd loves it, Keith jumps to his feet, so they appreciate the vocal. Harry actually says kind things! They have to eliminate him, Sam and Jessica in the next few weeks, so who knows who will go first.

Jena: doing Valerie. Maybe taking on too big a voice in this song, though she didn't choose it. One thing that works for her is she believes she belongs here onstage, so that paves over a lot of her sometimes less-than-stellar vocals. I thought it was a little too old for her.
Incredibly, Jlo keeps it real. The crowd is so primed to hear praise they nearly revolt. When harry asks what name she wants to be known by, she confirms she's a little Diva by saying she wants to be known by just her first name. Hah!

Sam, doing a Fray song. They open on it with very little fanfare, maybe for good reason: this is another pleasantly forgettable performance. Jlo reads off her script, because she probably forgot what she was supposed to think.  So does Keith. They (Idol) don't want to sink him but don't save him either.

Jessica: got some kind of glam stage setup here. Thank Gd for once she doesn't have her guitar! This is a Lana Del Rey song. She looks nice, great tattoo! and this was great for her range. Harry actually liked it -- and I agree with Keith that there was a David Lynch vibe to it. Jlo had to take a dump on it at the end -- got to protect Idol's TCO.

Caleb: holy shit -- Whitesnake?!! THIS is what Caleb is built to sing. He could go on tour tomorrow with a rock band. Effortless.  To us, he's the one to beat, but who knows what America thinks.

So the Bottom 2 should be Sam for sure, and maybe Alex. Now, they said Jessica was in the B2 last week, so maybe she doesn't have the voter base. So I guess I will say the B2 is Jessica and Sam, and if there is justice, Sam goes home. If the tween girls really are googly-eyed about him, Jessica goes home.

Dr L & K out!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The AI- Five

To begin with...I Loved Loved Loved Jason Mraz as a mentor. Young, Contemporary and I really thought he gave them great feedback. Kickin off the show...Alex. I recognize the song, but I don't really know it. This is a great choice for plays very well to the uniqueness of his voice. Caleb - oh wow...this is not good at all. I have never heard Caleb sing so badly off key.....definitely got much better as the tempo picked up, actually got pretty good 1/2 way through, not enough to make up for the truly awful beginning. Oh man....I wish they would stop these duets, trios on performance nights. Save it for the results breaks up the performances too much for me. Next up - Jessica (Country Cool). Song starts off kind of boring and way too low for her range. I kinda feel sorry for Jessica with this song....the song just plain sucks. I don't know this song but the lyrics are too repetitive and the melody of the song is just not exciting. Sam - The vocals were good...and I thought the song was a great choice for him. I liked the up tempo groove feel of the song...and I loved his look. But the performance aspect drug him down. Sam is just incapable of coming out of his shell. Jena - Another song I've never heard. Started off bad...maneuvering the crowd and singing is not for Jena. But she really picked it up. By far the best of the first round. Jena is really becoming a great performer. Round 1 - Jena, Alex, Caleb, Sam and Jessica Second round Alex - Say something....oh man, I hate this super boring. I actually like Alex's version much better than the least Alex's unique delivery brought something interesting to an otherwise really boring song. Jena - A good solid performance, but not as great as her first one. Great in the upper range. Jena also had a great look in both of the rounds...loved the red/white stripes and the b/w dress. Sam- Vocal is good...but again, the performance is weak. He had his eyes shut throughout most of the song. I was hoping that Sam would grow more as the weeks advanced. I'm now convinced that he is just a little too immature and shy to really be more of a performer than he is right now. Jessica - What the what....the overly dramatic initial pose was just weird. Vocal is awesome though. Performance is getting more and more kitschy...just plain weird. She looks beautiful in the red dress though. Keith called it "David Lynch-ish"...I love that comment. Caleb - Great song choice for him. The song allowed him to highlight his top range vocals. Round 2 - Caleb, Alex, Jena, Jessica and Sam Bottom 2 will definitely be Jessica and Sam. Rubbertoe would send Sam home.....America, however will say goodbye to Jessica....although Sam's turn will be next week because it is obvious that the top 3 will be Caleb, Jena and Alex.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Can Haz Idol?

Idol Top Six: interesting that they try to "label" the contestants -- I was wondering what they'd say about Jessica ("Rebel") and Jena ("Wildcard"). Alex is a "Troubadour"? Eh, I guess it fits as well as any frame. They might as well have had a "?" for him and "Winner" for Jena. You gotta love that they're playing her like a longshot.

Dr. L commented that when the Idols came out, Jessica was working the legs! I guess she stepped up her game to compete where she can.

So it's "a little bit Country, a little bit Rock and Roll".


Jena -- in the KOD spot doing Barracuda. Wow, it takes balls to attempt Ann Wilson. She really doesn't have the pipes for this until the very end -- I always suspect that she's a better singer with some bad affectations. BTW, I finally listened to Lorde "Royals" for the first time and I get what Jena is going for. I wish she would just sing. Her listless performance took away from the vocal, but she's not going anywhere.

I liked Harry's new hairdo, but Keith's shirt was obviously a re-tread of the classic Woodstock bird. He'll step it back up next week. Who the F is R5? I have to admit I'd never listened to Skrillex until today, and I never will again LOL.

Next up: Sam. It's Time by Imagine Dragons. I think he kind of came alive by the end of the song. He's always consistent with the vocals but it's his arc to try and sell the emotion of the songs. I think this felt more like a real performance and not Sam onstage at the Retirement Home on Bingo Night with Gram and Grampa. I never understand how guys like him come back after being voted off -- he hasn't changed that much, so why is anyone else voting for him?

CJ: the man from Jasper. Is this his week to go home? He's doing a feel-good AOR classic, American Woman.   He commits the Idol primary sin of singing lyrics that have "gotta go" or "bye-bye". I think he could sing a rock song like this, but this was not the best performance. Kind of herky-jerky. Harry takes his weekly crap on him but they all kind of take it easy -- I think they know he's probably gone. Nice jacket, though!

Side note: Ryan's patter with the Judges, JLo in particualr, has been cringe-inducing all season. Sometimes with her he almost seems like a creepy lech. But he's pushing this awkward, forced familiarity on all of them that rings totally false. The banter between the Judges this season, ironically, seems genuine. I can believe they kind of get along. Ryan just seems like a doofus inserting himself into the mix because he's a gazillionaire and the "veteran" of the show.

Alex: namedropping Jeff Buckley and Jason Mraz -- you can hear them in his music. I'm not feeling his jacket with the contrasting piping. So glad his pants reach his shoes, however. He's doing a Neon Trees song. Keith always knows the lyrics to these songs, have you noticed? Alex is a little out of his comfort zone, and we see a more rocking side. It's probably good for America to see it. He probably needs to do some cardio if he wants to do it again, LOL.  Wow, the Judges didn't embrace it. Is he competition for Sam? It wasn't his best performance but we'll see how he does later.

Caleb: the resident Rocker. Doing Sting Me. I like that he doesn't go for the low-hanging fruit, and picks some out-of-the-box songs. Dr. L says now we've left the competition and are just watching a show. Caleb is born for this. Best of the night so far. The mic drop was hilarious, and showed he was a trooper.

Jessica: in the ... bottom Pimp Spot? Other than her standing in place, she was the only legit rocker besides Caleb. Great voice, possibly the best left here? Amazingly Harry praised her!! They all kind of back-handed praised her, but of course, it's with caveats. I see now why the had Jena up first: they had to distance her from the real rockers. I wonder if they will change the order for the second rounds?


Yep. Sam is up first in the Country round. Doing Shania Twain. This is way too reserved. When it hits the chorus he relaxes a lot. The song is too old for him, for sure. Harry looks like he's passing a kidney-stone as he watches Sam sing. Keith brings up the relax thing. When Ryan asks if he was comfortable Ryan makes the creepy Uncle thing again -- ugh! Just stop it. This was kind of forgettable. \

WTF -- Grumpy Cat? This reminded me of last week, what Rubbertoe said about the Special Guests on the show. Idol is digging up YouTube LOLCats now? Damn.

Caleb: doing a FarmBot song. He rocked the shit out of that -- I don't know if you could call it Country any more, but it was good. The beginning was a bit of a stutter, but he kicked in pretty quick The first was way more of a moment, for sure, but this was good.

Alex: doing a classic Willie song. He does better on these quiet more intimate songs. This was pretty rendition. Probably good for some Granma votes! It was Legit Country sounding, too. Harry feels guilty for beating him up earlier and praises him.

BTW, Dr. L and I went to see Captain America TWS this weekend, and when the  trailer for Godzilla came up (just saw it in the commercials) a dude in the back of the theater yelled out "GodZIRRAH!!!" It just cracked us all up, I don't know why.

Jena: doing Carrie Underwear as well, of course. Damn, she can't help but do her Lorde all over the intro. JLo has the "goosies" on one cutaway in the middle, but maybe you had to be there. This is way better than her first song, but it's still nowhere near a "moment". Maybe it's because I never feel like she really sings the song, but just notes? The Judges cream all over it, which baffles me. Harry comes close to expressing this, thank God, the thing about disconnected melisma I was trying to say. I like her stank face as he dared to critique her.

We're gonna go see this tour! What about ya'll?

CJ: he should own this round. Doing Zak Brown band, a smart choice. This is better than the first song by a mile, but he gets off key in the middle. They stick the knives in, because maybe they know it's his time? This was not enough to stay in, I think.

Jessica: in the Pimp Spot again?!! Doing Jolene, a good song to show her range. I thought this was fantastic, having grown up hearing this song a million times before. I agree that the arrangement was a little weird, but holy crap her vocals are strong. We know Idol wants Jena to win -- is she that far ahead that they are OK with Jessica now? Maybe they just don't want it to be a Sausage Party going into the bottom five.

Bottom Two: Alex and CJ. Going home: CJ, I'm afraid. I know we've predicted it for a while now,  but who else could it be this week?

-- Dr l & K OUT!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Competitor's Picks

So let me start off by just saying that I think this was one of the best Idol themese ever and it resulted in a show where all of the competitors performed well. It also had a second benefit. It really came across that these contestants really DO like each other...something that has always made AI a special kind of show....competitive but not cut-throat. One additional comment before we talk about the performances. I thought there was a lot of really weird stuff...why is AI doing this? Why were Terry Bradshaw and the UFC or whatever woman on the show for? What was any of that about....and why bring in Demi Lovato...who was treated like a 4th judge, but only parroted the comments of the other judges? With Idol's ratings way down and them seemingly struggling how to keep the show relevant I have 3 suggestions: 1. Stop trying so hard 2. Get rid of the stupid Judge's Save 3. Return to the original formula that worked so well...including the recap at the end and the group numbers (as cheesy as they are. Ok...enough of the soapbox....lets talk about the show. Best of the night? Surprisingly I would have to say Jena. It almost comes across that AI is molding her to win the show. She is gradually looking more the part and the judges are beginnning to hype her more and more...including Jennifer saying last night "You will be here to the very end". Close second - Caleb. Song was perfect for him. He shines in the upper range. I think it is clearly going to be a Jena/Caleb finale Third best of the night - I am going to completely disagree with the judges on this one but I say Jessica. I thought Jessica sounded great, she looked great and for once she looked comfortable (Despite the judges saying she didn't). I thought it was by far her best performance and one of the best of the night. Fourth - Alex. Doing what Alex does best. Problem with Alex is that these slower songs don't really do much to propel him to the front. They are nice....but I can't see him as the Idol winner without more. Fifth - Sam. and Sixth - CJ - both were good, but rather lackluster and a little boring. Sixth - Dexter. It was ok...not bad....but just didn't rise to the level of the others. So....Rubbertoe's bottom 3: Sam, CJ and Dexter - with Dexter going home. However....I think America is going to send CJ home....these will be the bottom 3 though......I have to believe that despite the judges obvious attempts to trash will backfire on them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Radiohead in the Pimp Spot, Who Woulda Thunk It

Idol Top Seven

Had to crack up at the sign in the audience that said "Old Broads Love Sam Too".
Keith t-shirt update: for those of you old enough to remember, the drawing on the shirt is an accessory of a turntable, so you can play a 45.

So, the Idols are picking songs for each other. Randy says it isn't sabotage, but hey, it can't be worse than what some of them pick for themselves each week. Some of the choices are really intriguing. let's see how it pans out.

Caleb: picked Alex' choice, a Kings of Leon song. Perfect song for him. This is one of those KOD spots where they KNOW he isn't going anywhere. So they must want to prop up one of their other Idols who would have died in this spot. Caleb is going to do well post-Idol. The judges all love it.

Jessica: Ryan owns up to his lack of bad-ass-ness in referencing the Miranda Lambert song. This was probably a smart choice to shift her rocker vibe over into Country, always good for a couple of votes. I think I've heard this done better on Idol before but she did a fine job. Dr. l said she hated her pants LOL.

Idol conspiracy note: I had a "Hmm?" moment in the opening sequence where they were playing up the sympathy for Malaya leaving, and then Jessica is edited in saying how happy she is (out of context). Now the judges shit on her from a great height, right after Caleb rocked it out. I think this is the substitute KOD spot I was referencing earlier. They must want her to go, and I think it's to send Jena forward, if that makes sense.

Demi Lovato walks on with the most god-awful haircut I've ever seen. It's not punk, baby. And those extensions look like they should be swinging behind a horse's butt.

Sam and Alex duet. I think the set is supposed top remind us of a basement, but I'd venture it's the only basement no dope would ever get smoked in, looking at these two. They sound good together. I thought the judges weren't supposed to critique the duets? Harry heaps derision on them anyway.

CJ: loves Spongebob and grillin'. He's doing a John Mayer tune, Gravity. This is such a sleepy song; he does a good job with it, but it never really goes anywhere. I think sometimes America blanks out on songs like this. They showed his family in the crowd, so he's got that working for him. Keith says what I was trying to say -- he needed to build to a crescendo. JLo, too. Harry praises him as well -- this is shaping up to be one of those old Idols from the Simon era where they are manipulating the votes big-time. I think they want CJ fans to think he's safe -- and he's far from it.

Who the hell is Martin Garrix? All I know about new music is what they play on KCRW, and I've never heard of this kid. Clara Hill is fantastic, BTW. You'll never se her on Idol.

Dexter: doing Muckalee Creek Water. CJ picked a good one for him, this is right in his wheelhouse. This is what CJ needs desperately, something that has some more power to it. I agree with Jlo, I like the edgier tune for him. I'm not a country fan by any means, but I can see how he would fit in with that genre. I think he sealed CJ's fate with that one, despite what they said to him.

Caleb and Jena are doing the Stones. It was kind of a weird bastardization but it showcased how these guys are easily going to the final four or so. I do like Jena's voice better on the duets but some of her goat-strangling oddness crept in. Of course Demi Lovato loved it, she has no idea how badass the original really was.

Alex: doing the A Team, a Dexter pick for him. I would probably buy a record Alex would release. He seems like an Indie guy, and he already sounds very professional. Hard to believe he's just 20. I don't know where he stands with America, but has be been in the B3 yet? This was a good song choice. I think he's safe this week.

Sam: doing a David Gray song Jessica chose for him. I like David Gray. Once again I get the disconnect, because he sounds grown-up, and then I look up and he's got that Keebler elf hat on, and looks like the love child of Howdy Doody and Ricky Nelson.
Jlo's look when he finished was priceless, kind of a "huh? Oh, OK". They take it easy on him.

Alabama Power LOL, the trio. Lady Antebellum. Jessica has her dress from her side job with the X Men on. The avalanche of scorn continues from Harry, and the others praise the individual vocals. Maybe it was kind of cobbled together, but it seems kind of over the top to beat them up for that very reason.

Jena: doing Creep by Radiohead. I had the great fortune of hearing Radiohead do this live, when they opened up for REM back in the day. This version started off weird, but it came together somewhat during the chorus. She was doing fine until a kind of screechy section mid-song. The judges orgasm all over it. It's clear now -- she's the Chosen One. My

So it's almost easier to count down from Jena to the bottom now: you know she's not going anywhere, neither is Caleb, Alex is probably fine, so is Dexter, then there's Sam, Jessica, and CJ. I think CJ is in the most trouble, performance-wise, and Jessica is next. Sam has a lot of hype buoying him up now, so I don't think he's going away.
I say CJ goes tomorrow, but it's Jessica's time soon.

K out!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Kids in America Eat Some Rock Lobster While Burning Down The House (and other great songs they should've sung on 80s Week)

80s Week! Cookie is back! With his rockabilly Clark Kent glasses look. Let's get to the Idol intro...

Idol relives the drama of Sam's near-elimination. Like Rubbertoe, I think this was kind of pre-ordained to some degree. Have they been sitting on all that confetti all season? What a fun mishap that could have been. Just an oh shit moment raining down live on Ryan. 

The Top Eight get to address the camera and make the claim that they're the next American Idol: some of them sound like they believe it, others not so much. JLo and Keith come in looking retro, so cute. Harry looks like he's over it (a theme that will play out all night).

Ryan claims Facebook, Snapchat, the Selfie, etc did not exist in the 80s. I beg to differ: we had Selfies, we just had to use Polaroid. And now we're into it:

Jena -- doing some kind of warped version of I Love Rock-n-Roll, it kind of freaks Cookie out at first. The firs thought I had was that Simon would have called it indulgent. Typical of Jena, I can't hear a damn thing when she's in her lower register. This sucked, IMO. No wonder they buried her in the KOD spot. JLo tried to keep it real, this was lifeless, but nobody really dressed her down. I think they want her to stay in. 

Keith's 'bear" shirt is awesome again. I cracked up when Jena's "number getup" was straight out of Jane Fonda's workout video. 

Dexter -- does the same Alabama barroom version of "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" that I heard a thousand times back in the day. But He's good at entertainment value, almost how Taylor Hicks did it. that's good and bad LOL. 

Alex and Sam duet: they sound really good together, they should hit the road as a new Jan and Dean or something. The Wonder (Bread) Twins. 

Malaya doing Chaka Khan. Sounds like Cookie gave her some good advice. Can she take it? It was too sleepy at first, then she was struggling thought the supposed "wow" moments, to me and Dr. L. When the judges all say "we know how talented you are, BUT" then you know they want America to overlook the actual performance.

Harry goes into the pit for Caleb and Jena's duet -- hilarious. You know, I kind of love her in the duets. They play off each other well. 

Jessica does Blondie. Cookie is so right, she needs to lighten up. I think she's trying. Man, she's really got a great voice. She kills the vocals here. They never really praise her but I feel like she delivers week after week. 

Sam -- doing Cyndi Lauper. They are really pushing this kid and trying to get a connection out of him. He brings home the goods vocally but they still want more. I think harry is on the right track with the Ricky Nelson suggestion, but the idea that this kid could deliver even the 50s version of sex appeal that RN had in spades is kind of funny. 

CJ and Malaya suck the life out of a song that was kind of lame to begin with. Wow, they looked awkward. Harry couldn't help himself but to shit on it a bit. 

Alex -- Every Breath You Take: this is how you make a song your own. This was incredible. We loved it. It just really pulled you in, and delivered a surprisingly big note near the end. This was as close as we've had to a "moment" performance in a long time. Harry and the others seemed to be ready to crap from a great height on it but I couldn't disagree more. I felt for Alex having to listen to it.

Jessica and Dexter -- it has to be hard to sing a cheesy love song to a lantern-jawed redneck in a backwards trucker cap, but she gives it a shot. Their voices sound good together, but I always hated this song. There's some fun with the musical chairs onstage. 

Wow, when the impromptu "Like a Virgin" kicked in, it really showcased how Ryan can't sing his way out of a wet paper bag. 

CJ -- doing "Freefallin'". Sounds like they're going for a new vibe on it. It sounded better acapella in rehearsal, but this one sounded better when he hit the chorus. I keep coming back to his genuine-ness but I can see how the shaky vocals could be damning him in the voting. 

Caleb -- doing Journey??! This could be genius. Faithfully -- he's going for the intimate rock thing. I think he pulled it off. He really seemed to be focused on the message of the song, I thought he was going to cry. He definitely killed it, even with Keith's WTF? comment about a fanny pack. 

Who's in trouble? I have to say Malaya for sure. Dexter kind of phoned it in but he might get the Classic Rock vote. CJ was dangerously boring, so he might get slammed for it. And Sam was still Sam, and that got him voted off last week. If two of them go home, I say Malaya and Sam. If only one, maybe Malaya? We'll see. 

The real question is, how will I get all of Keith's t-shirts? I couldn't find this bear shirt either. And I will NEVER forget the Cobra Jet fiasco of last week. The search goes on…

K Out!

Put on your black jelly bracelets...its time for the 80's

Are you ready for the 80's, ready for the 80's ready for the time of your life.....are you ready for me....cuz I"m ready for you baby. Ok....just a little Village People (But that was the 70's)... Anyway...I do love 80's music, so I'm anxious to see what they are going to do. What is Dexter going to do? Hmmmmmmmm I would love to see Caleb do "Relax" - Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I think he would be a very interesting version. Sam Wolf could do Rick Astley. Maybe some Alison Moyet from Jessica? Jena - Joan Jett. I love Rock and Roll. I thought she did a good job, but with so many 80's artists that could showcase her unique voice, I don't know that joan jett was the best choice for her. Next up....Dexter. Keep your hands to yourself. David Cook was right, You can't understand 4 of every 5 words that Dexter says...and when you sing an iconic song with lyrics like this, you lost it when you can't understand the words. I thought his performance was good, but the vocal was not great. More Duets? Really? Sam And Alex - As much as I love Sam...watching him head to head with Alex it is painfully obvious how much a better performer Alex is. Alex looks comfortable and professional....Sam looks like a kid at a talent show. LOL....Sam thanks the Judges and AMERICA for giving him another chance? Dude.....America voted you off. Malaya - Chaka Khan. Through the fire. I'm not personally a fan of Chaka Khan or this style of music. Okay...with that said. This is not good. The beginning was extremely weak right up to the "C'mon" which came across very high school talent show ish. I do love her Dad though. I did like the build up, but the entire performance was a little cheesy. Jena/Caleb duet - I don't know the song.....and the duet is not good....but they look like they are having that's cool. Jessica - LOVE LOVE LOVE the friendship braclets and the checkered vans. Call me...Blondie. Great choice. I think this is a perfect song for her and she could really blow this one out of the house. Stange...her hair matches her shirt. She's definitely got a great voice....problem is....she is not a performer. With a better performance this would have been an idol moment, but instead it was just a decent performance. Too bad. Sam - Time after time - Cindy Lauper - Hmmmmm interesting song choice. I think the arrangement with him alone on guitar was not a wise move for someone who got sent home last week. He needed to come out and do something much more than this. This came across to me like he already gave up, not that he kicked it up. What remains to be seen is if the tween vote was rocked last week by his near departure and come up in strong numbers for him. Another Duet - CJ and Malaya. This one is weak weak weak. Alwx- Every breath you take - the Police. Just noticing that the violin player looks like sideshow bob in the silhouette. I actually really like this/ I like his voice a lot. For me....this competition is clearly coming down to Alex, Caleb and Jena. Caleb blew Another Duet - Dexter and Jessica - Dexter is super weak.....Jessica though sounds great. Next up - CJ.....Freefalling - Tom Petty. whoa......beginning is way off key and CJ looks like he is in pain...did he say "Love Cheesus". Wow...this is painfully bad. I love CJ, but this arrangement is horrible and is not doing CJ any justice. CJ is going home. Caleb - Doing Journey. Faithfully. I DO think this is a perfect choice for him. Caleb Blew this one out of the water. By far the best performance of the night. Rubbertoes bottom 3: Malaya, Dexter and CJ America's bottom 3: Malaya, Dexter and CJ Going Home: Sadly CJ. If 2 go home....I would say Malaya and CJ.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Back to the Start -- and some weak Duets

Idol Top 8

Going back to the start? I don't get this theme -- maybe it will become apparent as we hear these retreads. BTW, I want Keith's Cobra Jet shirt -- I will now seek it out online. 

Oh, and we are back to the Idol tradition of Duets. 

Jessica -- doing an original song. I really like this song. Her dress makes her look like a tomato. I thought she did a good job, maybe one of her better performances. 

CJ-- I like his soul sound. Not as much a fan of this song, but the crowd seems to love him. He does seem like a genuine guy. I think he's OK on votes -- has he been in the B3 yet?

Now, the first Duet of the night. Wow, I already had doubts about the styling tonight, but Jena and Alex look like ass. Alex looks like a demon ate an H&M store and had a Sherwin Williams as dessert, then puked them back up on him. They sound better than they look, but were so intent on not screwing up, I couldn't really enjoy it as it had me on pins and needles too. 

Cobra shirt update: it is harder than I thought to find this exact shirt. I found a lot of knockoffs but I am determined to find it. 

Now Sam -- he has one of the best voices left in this year's group. I guess it's a disconnect with his Howdy Doody exterior, but I could hear him on the radio. Harry is right, that he needs to connect. 

Caleb and Jessica duet on  the classic Stop Draggin' My Heart Around -- this was a great matchup, they both have that AOR rock sound. 

Malaya -- her Dad seems cool. I think she's really grown a lot through this process. She re-does Ain't No Way. I was worried it would go off the rails and it kinda did once or twice but it held together much more, and showed off her range. SHe's getting better at control, and as she gets older she'll really be great. Is America behind her, though? I don't know who her voting block is. 

Dexter -- I had one of those sailor suits too, pal. This song is another in a string of perfect choices for his fan base.  Hey! it was great to see Alison. She sounded great too. 

Malaya and Sam duet -- this is like some Donny Osmond flashback from 1973. For the first time I really see how young they are! Kind of awkward for me. 

Jena -- hearing her audition again, I was reminded how I would never have voted her into the show. I wonder if her new version of Adele will be be any better? The chorus was OK, pretty good actually, but this arrangement was like a dirge. The melody was kind of strangled. Then she went into a goat-murdering melisma sound at the end. She looks the part, but I feel like I'm on acid or something when I hear her singing. 

CJ and Dexter -- this was shaky at the beginning but found itself. I just love seeing these two Alabama country boys making it this far and genuinely seeming excited to be here. 

Caleb -- Chain of Fools. This was another nuclear bomb performance. I don't know if he will win this thing, but he was born to do this kind of gig for a living. It always seems effortless. Maybe Harry is right, I find myself wanting to hear him do something that isn't cranked to eleven, too, but how would America react?

Alex -- interesting that he and Jessica get to do originals on the Idol stage. I could hear this on the radio -- I agree with Jlo, I feel like I already have. This was one of those rare Idol nights where everybody seemed invested, and it was nice to hear. 

Cobra shirt final update: sadly, I don't think they make this anymore. James Durbin ('memba him?) was rocking this shirt last year as well, but the website that had it ( doesn't carry it anymore. Looks like I'm going to have to break into Keith's trailer…

This was a tough one to call. Dr. L & I drove into Hollywood tonight and went to a taping of @midnight -- it was a lot of fun but damn it took a lot of time. Upside was, the 101 was running like the Autobahn. But we still got in late and Dr. L fell asleep on me as the DVR of Idol was just beginning! So this is my take on the Top 8.

I would say B3 is CJ, Malaya, and--to me-- Jena. I doubt America will see it that way, but who knows. I would say CJ might be heading back to the farm, but he does have that big ol' Bama voting block. I guess I will say Malaya gets the boot. 

-- K out!