Though I didn't plan on watching any of The Messiah's coronation, I DVR'ed it... you know, in case anything happened. No, no, I wasn't hoping for something, I wasn't wishing for a big whatever to happen, but I wanted it on tape in case... well, things went bad.
I got home from a full day at The Happiest Place in the Mall, and also a shift at Starbucks, and before I watched American Idol, I figured I would flip through some of the inauguration ceremony. After throwing up in my mouth twice, peeling back three fingernails and getting a migraine from rolling my eyes during President Obama's speech, I decided it was time for something else.
Just so we're clear... Condi Rice, Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas and Colin Powell paved the way for our first Half-Black President... and they were skewered in the media. They were slaughtered in the papers. They were called "Uncle Toms" and "Whitey Lovers" and more. So... Barack Obama doesn't impress me. Furthermore, I've tried to root for him. But I cannot. To root for Barack Obama to succeed means wishing that all he stands for will succeed. And I want everything he stands for to utterly fail. Because if he fails, that means conservatism, and America, will succeed. I wish the man well, I hope our country doesn't fall apart, but I cannot and will not cheer for the accomplishments former (very few) or future of President Obama, not because he's black, but because what he stands for is wrong.
Sorry. I had to rant for just a minute. Whew.
Is American Idol!
Here we are in The City By the Bay, that being San Francisco! Already, the previews look less than promising, with a silly laughing girl, another struggling to get out "larynx" and still another heartwarming (re: sob story) tale of a guy who "needs this!".
But, on the flip side... McPheever started here in San Francisco. Kat McPhee, one of my favorite idols. She's no Pickles, though. I love Pickles!
Randy, Simon, Kara and Paula are ready, and here comes said silly laughing girl, in a silly flowing dress with a Mexican accent. Her name is Tatiana. She just saw a psychic who told her that she would make it to the Top 12. And they play her laugh over and over... its pretty bad.
"I desire to be the American Idol more than anyone wanted anything," she says. Thats a pretty broad statement. I mean, I am sure Erin the Marine Wife wants her husband home, I'm sure KT would love to NOT be at work right now (I'm assuming that is when she's reading this), I'm pretty positive that The Lovely Steph Leann would rather be asleep... and I had Zaxby's for dinner, so I'm pretty sure I would like to visit the bathroom, all more than Tatiana wants the Idol crown. Where was I even going with this?
Tatiana comes in and hands off her portfolio photos and music. And she's taking on Aretha. The way the show was setting this chick up, I expected her to be terrible... and she's actually not that bad. However... Simon doesn't like her--and so without another word, Tatiana starts singing Whitney. Simon starts talking again, and she starts singing again. Paula pipes up to say yes. Randy says yes. Kara says no. Paula says yes, Tatiana gets the Golden Ticket. And she laughs on the way out. That's quite annoying, actually.
Nick, a bad beatboxer (and I mean bad like really crappy, not bad as in early Michael Jackson), totally bombs out. Dean Anthony Bradford, a self proclaimed "failed entrepenuer", is wearing this gawd-awful jacket, hoping to impress. He seems like a funny enough guy... but can he sing? Let's find out!
The answer? No. The Lovely Steph Leann is actually upstairs asleep right now as I watch this on DVR, so I will reach over and grab the blanket and cover my own face. The judges show mercy upon America and reject DA Bradford.
Jesus Valenzula is up... I mean, his name is Jesus! Hay-suess is how we Mexicans pronounce it, though. Though it might be cool to see him get through to the Top 12, just to see people hold signs that say "Vote for Jesus!" He comes with like, 27 people, which I'm sure all are in the same car... hey, hey, yes, I made a joke... I'm half Mexican, so I can riff on the stereotypes, okay? But YOU can't. So there.
Simon says no way. His kids come in with him at the request of Paula and Kara, and one of them is holding a sign that says "Make No Excuse, Its Hollywood for Jesus!" That's kinda funny. Randy, Kara and Paula send him through. He doesn't make it past the Hollywood round, that's my prediction.
Dalton has this talent for doing the Rubik's cube really fast. Bailey Turnbow, the son of The 47th Coolest Thing of 2008, can do it better. I've seen the kid in action. He actually showed me his Rubik's Steroid Monster last week, its like a 12 sided cube that...
Oh, so Dalton is doing his Rubik's thing, and finishes in 24 seconds. I used to peel off the stickers to impress Janet, the cute girl that lived upstairs in our Austin, TX, apartment building. She was a year older than I, and I haven't actually seen her in about 27 years and I'm saying this to distract myself from the butchery of "Baby Baby" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. Wow. Terrible.
Another bad voice, with one guy who keeps going after everyone tells him to stop. Idol now shows us clips from The Summer of Love, 1967, how San Fran played a big role in the music scene.
But now... here in San Francisco, Simon and Kara go at it like Simon and Paula. Aaaaaand here comes Akilah, who has a folder full of papers showing training plans for singing, maps and charts of the human vocal system, which includes "the lar-nax" and the "tray-chee-uh". Or "tray-she-uh". And there is a "distinctive sound to my voice". This will be frightening. I feel bad for the pretty blonde sitting next to her in line.
These are moments that I want The Lovely Steph Leann next to me on the couch. Her reaction right now would be priceless.
Akilah has an original song called "Make Sweet Love". Okay... um... I'm going to take an entire paragraph to try to relate what I'm seeing, but here goes... so you know, in the movie "The Ring", this underrated horror flick from like, 2002, where Samara the dead girl is coming out of the television... she does this weird stop-motion kind of walk thing, like they removed the frame of film between this step and that step, so its not a fluid walk, its like she immediately moves from one step to the next... Akilah's jaw is doing that. Its weird.
Like, I want to laugh, but at the same time, I'm terrified. What if Akilah's jaw comes out of the television and renders me dead like Samara did with that Noah guy? The song "Make Sweet Love" is terrible... and she's not really all that bad... until she does "Natural Woman". Aretha belongs up there with Whitney, Mariah and Stevie. Don't. Just don't.
They shut her down, she begs for more music, and Akilah's jaw begs for help. The charts don't help, and apparently her lar-nax is not helping her tray-chee-uh. Please, for the love, get her off the screen! She tries to sing another one!
Akilah's jaw just said, "I shouldn't have let Simon, Paul and Randy, and Kira, though I don't even know Kira, whoever she is, I shouldn't have let Simon, Paul and Randy era... era... e-rack-ti-tate me." Eractitate. I don't know what that even means, but I think I'm going to use that. She wasn't being "true to my own true self".
Finally! They show someone good... singing Stevie! Another good one, singing Aretha! Another good one, digging on some Dusty Springfield! Yay!
Annie Murdoch is trying on "Summertime" from "Porgy & Bess", a show I know very little about. But to all you aspiring Idol'ers... you should never, ever, never, ever sing this song. You will ALWAYS be compared to Fantasia's performance in Season 2. Of course Annie is just terrible so it doesn't matter.
If David Cook and Rob Thomas had a love child together, it might be this kid coming up, Adam Lambert. He's singing "Bohemian Rhapsody", and nailing it. Randy likes him. Kara likes him. Paula likes him. Simon likes him. Off to Hollywood for Adam Cook Thomas.
Oh geez, backstory. Here's Kai Kalama, the last of the day. He works as a musician at night, because he takes care of his mom during the day, his mom being afflicted with a seizure disorder. Mom feels a little guilty because Kai is sacrificing, and in the background, we hear Israel Kalawoeaookale'loeoalleo'owele's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Tears all around.
Kai is going to sing The Platters' "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"... and predictably, he's good. I couldn't imagine, after that story, this guy sucking. The judges tell him a big yes, but tell him to work on showmanship and be more confident.
After all that, only 12 get the Hollywood call... and tomorrow night, its off to the races as Idol, and Clouds In My Coffee, goes to Churchhill Downs, Kentucky, home state of The Goddess!