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


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!


Rubbertoe said...

Loved your review. I was really anxious to read your reviews to see if I was completely offbase or if it were the judges. Your reviews...interestingly....came in between the Judges and Me. So I appreciated a different perspective. I just didn't get the whole Jena/Elvis was kinda blaise for me...maybe I need to go back and watch it again. It was late and I was pretty tired. I'm hoping that Alex goes and not Jessica...mainly because I want to see Jessica's homecoming more than Alex. I think its pretty clear that its going to be Jena. Call me a conspiracy theorist...but I think AI producers want a female. They manipulated the hell out of last year, but Candace was not really the young hip female that the producers wanted. Jena has been pimped since she (maybe predicatably) ended up a "wild-card". Is it created drama that the eventual winner almost didn't make it onto the live shows? They tried that storyline with the first season of X-Factor...which incidentally really killed the show in my would think that AI would learn from mistakes rather than repeating them. And now we hear there is another "twist" with this summers auditions? A "Game-Changer"....ay yi yi....just stop it with the gimmicks already.
Oh....and be the way....I was scruffy....when scruffy wasn't cool.

DrL/K said...

We always look forward to reading your review every week as well! I think I was impressed with Jena on the Elvis thing because I was not expecting much; I thought the band would come in, she'd blend in and disappear, but she actually held it together with just the piano.
I totally agree that they are orchestrating a Jena finale. What the hell was up with Jlo running out there? Idol got so many things right this season, only to throw it away (out of fear of losing $, maybe?) as the show got further along. If they would just let the contestants stay or go by talent, I think America would watch like they did in the early seasons.
We're really hoping we can get tickets to one of the last shows. By the way, we are from the part of the country near Jessica's hometown. I am hoping we get to see it too LOL, to see how they portray it. It truly is a hick town.

Oh, and we were out at karaoke the other night and we may have recruited some new bloggers. A young guy who is a student in Dr. L's class, he loves Idol and was so excited to hear we had a place for him to share his take on the craziness!

Stay scruffy, my friend.

Rubbertoe said...

Would love to see some new bloggers!!!! Would love to get together for taping too...I've had the same problem this year. I get emails about 2 hours before the start of the taping....too late to plan anything.