Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Riff on Celine (with Idol coverage thrown in)

After a disasterous week when my loyal and beloved DVR betrayed me--if it had a Facebook page, it would have felt like it would have blocked me--I now grab the remote and turn it on... to see... if Idol is recording right now...

And it works!



Last week we saw Mike the Oil Rigger say goodbye... okay, well y'all did. I didn't. Idol didn't record, though we've been over that a thousand times and back... tonight, though, its back and Seacrest comes out and introduces the group and here we are again! The judges, Cranky Simon, Flaky Paula, Dawgy Randy and Hotness Kara (do I find her hot? absotively. no question). Then Seacrest makes his grand entrance...

Who's left? Red Ally, The Ambigiously Gay Adam, Scott the Blind Guy, The Widower Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, MJC, Matty G, Lil Rounds and Anoop Doggy Dogg.

Randy tells us that last week was hot, and Seacrest makes some joke about Paula's props... which I don't get. Didn't see it. Okay, I'll quit reminding you about this.

This week's theme, the Most Popular Downloads on iTunes, which is totally product placement.... but it should be good.

Anoop Doggy Dogg is taking on a Usher song, "Caught Up", and in his interview, he's sporting a slight porn 'stache, which cracks me up. You don't see too many porn stars from India... okay, I don't see porn stars anyway, but you get my point.

He actually kinda sounds like Usher to begin with, and his snarl to the camera while he sings makes me laugh really loudly. The Lovely Steph Leann is chuckling from under her blanket, this one the beige cashmere one. The Eyebrowed One is not bad, actually, though watching him is just hilarious.

Randy tosses out a "Ya know what's interesting?" to begin with, but praises his vocals. Hotness Kara says that he imulated Usher too much. Flaky Paula starts talking, and I have no idea what she just said. Cranky Simon says it was a complete and utter mess, calling him a "Wannabe".

Megan Joy (Not Corkery anymore, apparently) is doing a Bob Marley/Lauren Hill song. She laments that last week she just got pounded by the judges, but tonight she's excited cause she's doing a song she luuuurves...

I look at The Lovely Steph Leann and comment, "Her voice is just so... odd." The Lovely Steph Leann pauses, then says, "Hmph. She does have pretty teeth, though."

She is wearing a ton of beads, and her outfit makes it look like she just got those at Mardi Gras. Hotness Kara says, "Megan... I reeeeeally like you. But I think you're in trouble." Flaky Paula struggles to form a coherent sentence. Cranky Simon says that the problem is the song was boring and monotonous, and that she's becoming boring. Dawg Randy tells her it was boring, like watching paint dry.

And he says something perfect... "Just because you love the song doesn't mean you can sing it." That's sooooo truthful.

Up next, The Widower Danny Gokey is singing "What Hurts the Most" by Rascal Flatts, ensuring not only every woman with a heart in America will now lay at the foot of their televisions, including my friend Cindy Jo who would possibly consider leaving her own boo to fly to The Goke... but also ensuring that The Lovely Steph Leann will consider leaving her allegiance to the talents of The Ambigiously Gay Adam to permanently dock in Camp Goke.

The Lovely Steph Leann loves loves loves her some Rascal Flatts. Maybe not individually, but the group as a collective whole might be members of The Colin Firth Club. Or maybe they just play the annual meetings, when Patrick Dempsey is chatting it up with Hugh Jackman.

Funny story... she just got her very first Spam Text on her phone. Something about YourIQFlirtTest dot com or something. I think she's deleted it.

I'll refrain from my thoughts, instead simply asking The Lovely Steph Leann, "How's he doing?" She winces, saying, "I can't tell if he's sharp, or I'm just not used to that song in a higher key... but the back up singers? Horrendous. They should shut up."

Flaky Paula starts it off, still trying to figure out how to approach The Widower Danny Gokey. "You leave me wanting more," she has no trouble saying. Cranky Simon said it was his best performance of the season." The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up and says, "Well, evidently, they didn't think he was sharp." Dawg Randy does the whole, "Tonight's show starts RIGHT HERE!", leaving Anoop Doggy Dogg and MJ(c) backstage wondering how to kill The Goke. Hotness Kara said The Widower moved everyone emotionally. For me? It was pretty good. Better than the first two.

Tonight's show starts right here! Yeah dog! Yeah boy! Right here, that was hot!

Lil Red Allison is excited that she has the freedom to choose her song, busting out the guitar, and is going to be doing No Doubt's "Don't Speak". In another "I'm freakin old" moment, she says, "I grew up listening to the song...." Yeah, it was mid-college for me.

She hasn't gotten much pomp and circumstance and fanfare, not like The Goke or The Ambigiously Gay Adam has, but I really like this chick. I miss Alexis Grace, but she's a nice replacement. Could she be my Next American Idol? We'll know soon enough.

I thought that was really good, by the way. And in a sign that I don't know much about judging music, Dawg Randy goes on and on about the good vocals and such, then criticizes the outfit. Hotness Kara tells her she is a rocker, though the song sounded a little forced. Flaky Paula tells her it was great she brought out the "ax". Cranky Simon smiles, as if he is holding back a laughter at Flaky Paula, which is very possible. Cranky Simon did jank on the outfit again, and agreed with Hotness Kara's "forced" assessment.

Scott the Blind Guy is doing some Billy Joel, leaving me to wonder what song by Billy Joel could be on the iTunes chart? Well, its "Just the Way You Are", which is an amazing song. He's stripping it down, with just him and the piano.

Sitting at the piano, he begins... "Don't go changing... to try and please me... you've never let me down before..." Gosh I love this song. Billy Joel, one of my top five artists ever.

One better would have been "She's Always A Woman", which is kind of an Amywible song, so maybe its good he didn't that. Then again, to see Scott the Blind Guy bust it up on "Only the Good Die Young " would have been awesome, or even hear him say "heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack" in "Anthony's Song (moving out)".

However, this song? He nailed it. I loved it. Best he's done this year, both me and The Lovely Steph Leann agree.

Hotness Kara loved the look, loved the sound and loved the fact he's stripped the song down to just the piano. Flaky Paula meanders about how proud she is for him. Cranky Simon calls it his best performance by a country mile. Absolutely a different Scott the Blind Guy. Dawg Randy calls it one of the best of the entire night.

Tonight's breakdown after five... Scott the Blind Guy, The Widower Danny Gokey, Red Allison, Anoop Doggy Dogg, MJ(c)

The Lovely Steph Leann comments that the song itself is sort of dated, as much as we love it, and it was great that Scott the Blind Guy made it what it was tonight. I reply that I'm even tempted to go and get the entire song on iTunes (Scott the Blind Guy's version... I've long since had the Billy Joel version).

Matty G was declared a front runner by the judges last week, and still ended up in the Bottom Three somehow. Tonight, though, he's singing "You Found Me" by The Fray. Ya know, The Fray is one of those bands that you don't know you like until you hear them...

He started out a little rough, and picked it up quickly. His keyboard planted on a small stage in the middle of the swaybots, he's rocking it out pretty well thusfar. I do like this guy...

Flaky Paula didn't like it, likening it to when he sang Coldplay. Cranky Simon says it was a "someone trying to be someone else" kind of song. Dawg Randy says his problem is that it was the wrong song, suggesting "Apologize" by OneRepublic. KT would have loved that. Hotness Kara says that Matty G has got to commit to either R&B or rock, but doesn't deserve to go home.

Lil Rounds, another that I thought would be a judges fave, but has been overshadowed by The Ambigiously Gay Adam and The Widower Danny Gokey. She's taking on "I Surrender" by Celine Dion...

I vaguely remember this song, to be honest... but as a guy, I'll admit, I do like Celine. Chick's got some pipes, even if she needs to eat a sandwich. My favorite Celine Dion song? "Nothing Broken But My Heart", from her self titled album in... 1991? 1992? Wicked bad soft heart breaking song... "baby, since you left me, you might think that my world would fall apart, but if you see me, maybe you'll see that nothing's broken, nothing's broken but my heart..." Ouch.
My favorite Celine Dion Songs...
7) "Because You Loved Me" from that stupid Michelle Pfieffer movie where she goes into the prison, somehow ends up broadcasting through a riot and Robert Redford likes her. I hated that film, because as a journalist student, that movie is an insult, but also because of Redford's involvement, the entire final scene takes on a "Prison isn't for punishment, its for rehabilitation" kind of tone. I actually hated this song for a while, but it grew on me, and now has a permanent attachment to Troy State University memories with me, having seen it at the on campus theater with... uh... I don't remember. Heather Howell, maybe? And for whatever reason, when it comes on the radio, I have to listen to it. I hate myself sometimes. Oh, its also on the album "Falling Into You", which The Lovely Steph Leann refers to as "The White Album". Not The Beatles, mind you, but the Celine CD that's all white.
6) "Where Does My Heart Beat Now", from the album "Unison", her first American hit
5) "When I Fall in Love", a remake from the "Sleepless in Seattle" soundtrack, a duet with Clive Owen. By the way, not only is the film awesome and in The Dave100, the soundtrack is awesome too. It's also on the album "Colour of My Love", which I refer to as The Venetian Blinds Album. You'd just have to see the cover, really.
4) "To Love You More", from "Let's Talk About Love", which The Lovely Steph Leann refers to as "The Black Album". See #7 above. I remember The Unmarried Stephanie Campbell, Jason Quinn and myself were driving to Atlanta one evening, and this song came on. Naturally, I just belted it out. Loudly. After it was over, both looked at me and then said, "Wow. You hit those notes. Holy crap." When I remind The Lovely Steph Leann of this story, she says, "No, what was crazy was you hit the high notes, but you can't hit the notes in your range. That's what is scary." Mind you, this Celine section was written after Idol is over, I pull it up on iTunes, play it, and say, I'll see if I can hit the high notes again." She looks at me, deadpans and says, "Let's not, shall we?" I'll be waaaaaaaaaaiting for you, here inside my heart, I'm the one who looooooooooooves you mooooooooooore....... Somewhere out there, someone has this song in their head. And it makes me smile.
3) "If You Asked Me To", from "Celine Dion". Just a great song about a chick who is so much in love, she'd do whatever. It should always be like that. Right? Right.
2) "That's Just the Way It Is" from "All The Way... A Decade of Hits". Just a great sing-song song. Fun. I like it. Makes me happy. I even like the "Mmm mmm" part at the beginning. In fact, I'm moving this song to the Hannah Pruitt Playlist of Songs I Want to Listen To Alot.
And of course...

Truthbetold, when I went to YouTube, I looked for this song not even knowing if I would find a video... and I did. A number of things to notice... first, notice the Vh1 logo in the bottom right corner, a logo that doesn't even stay there all the time (when have you ever seen the logo disappear lately on any channel?) Secondly, its the number one video. Third, it kinda looks like a clean version of Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut". Finally, notice how great Celine looks here. Seriously. She's not a stick, she's got a head full of great 1991 hair, she's got some curves, her dress does her justice, I mean, she's looking great here.

The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I can't pick a favorite Celine song. Its like asking me what my favorite book is. Can't do it."

Back to the show...

Dawg Randy says it wouldn't be his song choice, but he liked it quite well. Hotness Kara says she would have rather heard Mariah, but she really liked the song anyway. Flaky Paula wants to see a joyful Lil, not an adult contemporary Lil. Cranky Simon says it was "a safe song, sung to just stay in the competition". Both The Lovely Steph Leann and myself agree... she sang the song awesomely... but it was kinda boring.

One more note on Celine Dion... the song "Its All Coming Back to Me Now", which plays out like a soft rock version of a rock opera, is notable for the overblown, expensive, epic video that came with it... and the video looks an awful lot like Meat Loaf's video of "I Would Do Anything For Love (but I won't do that)". Anytime there are similarities between Meat Loaf and Celine Dion, its never a good thing.

And now its time for The Love of the Producers, The Ambigiously Gay Adam Lambert. He's doing "Play that Funky Music" by Wild Cherry.

He looks like a grown up version of a doll of the other guy from Wham! would look like. He also screams way too much.

And here go the judges telling him how much they love him. And here goes The Lovely Steph Leann telling me how effortless his vocals were. I don't know a single person--and neither do you--who would own an Adam Lambert CD when it comes out.

Flaky Paula calls him True Genius. Cranky Simon says it was original. Dawg Randy says that The Ambigiously Gay Adam brought it, who then gives a shout out to the band. Hotness Kara drools. Its hot drool, but still... she says it was like "Studio 57 up in here!" Does she mean The Blue Oyster Bar?

Finally, Kris Allen wants to make an old song current... he's doing "Ain't No Sunshine", which is huge... this song is one of my Top 25 songs of all time, and is in my favorite musical moment of all time in any movie--"Notting Hill", a Top 20 movie in The Dave100...

And once again, Kris Allen brings it. A conasseur of the original, having heard Bill Withers sing it many, many times via my iPod, Kris is doing it justice. Of course, this might be one that I think is great and the judges... hm...

Dawg Randy says that Kris Allen is In Da Zone! Hotness Kara has three words. That. Is. Artistry. Wooo! (that's four, I guess). Flaky Paula loved it. Cranky Simon told him that the confidence was brought, and it was great tonight.

Tonight's show... Scott the Blind Guy, Kris Allen, The Widower Danny Gokey, Red Allison, Lil Rounds, Matty G, Anoop Dogg, MJ(c), the entire Vienna Boys Choir, The Ambigiously Gay Adam

Okay, so I've talked about this before, I'm sure, but I have to say this again... the scene in Notting Hill with "Ain't No Sunshine" is simply brilliant. (The whole soundtrack is really good, by the way). Absolutely astounding and outstanding. Actress Anna Scott has just left William's apartment, insulting him on the way out, making it clear that its pretty much over. He sits at the table with his roommate Spike, the self-delighting Welshman, and then goes for a walk, which is where the scene begins.

Bill Withers, famous for "Lean on Me" and part of "Just the Two of Us", has such a great voice, and just belts out the pain. William begins to walk through his village, and in the course of one minute and 42 seconds, we see him walk through an entire year of his life... you see the pregnant woman at the beginning, as well as his googly eyed sister with her new boyfriend, only to see the woman holding her newborn, while the googly eyed sister is dumped... spring, summer, winter spring. A-may-zing.

As the song was playing, we had this exchange:

Me: You know, if I had Bill Withers singing my life, the bad times might not be so bad.
The Lovely Steph Leann: Uh. Okay.


  1. A few points.
    Kara is not hot nor is she "the hotness" or "hawt" or any other such temperature-related adjective.

    Megan Joy should go home. She has no place being in the competition still.

    Goke made a great song choice for tonight, plus he tugged on the heart strings even more (as if he weren't already yanking on them with the widower angle). He wasn't as good as Simon thought (best performance of the season? don't think so). But absolutely better than the first two.

    Allison did a great job with No Doubt. I didn't get all the griping about the outfit.

    I'm so glad that Scott nailed Billy Joel (pun intended). I don't love the new hair. It looks a bit too 80s for me. Still, a great performance.

  2. I have really liked Matty G in weeks past, but this song was probably not the best for him. He sang it well, but it was a copycat performance. I didn't buy him being in the middle of the "swaybots".

    Not liking Lil Rounds as Celine tonight. Do love her look: the hair, the dress, the lipstick (I know), the understated jewelry!

  3. I'm sitting here (during commercial break) and reading ahead in Coffee. I thought that I was the only one who truly appreciated that scene in Notting Hill. The whole thing is pure genius. Or as you noted "A-may-zing". Still one of my fave scenes in all movies.

  4. It must be said Adam has some Axl Rose tendencies (like before the weird plastic surgery and braids Axl of late with the 10 year album project).

    I generally like this version as a foil to the Wild Cherry version. But didn't really love the screeching parts.

    I'm anxiously awaiting Kris Allen.

  5. Oh yeah - Kris Allen was awesome. Period.

  6. I just realized that Megan Joy has a hint of Fiona Apple to her. Not a lot, but a little.

  7. I think I actually like MJ(c)'s voice... but only on certain songs. Maybe one or two different ones, but thats it. I think she should find the perfect song, and do an entire album of that one single song... if she finds that right song, she'll be awesome.

  8. I just have to comment:
    1) I love Celine and all my other friends make fun of me...I'm really glad to know that I know someone else who loves her! My favourite song is "Because You Loved Me" *sniff* I cry everytime...and I happen to like that movie...I guess we cant agree on everything!
    2) I heart Notting Hill, it's soundtrack AND that particular scene too! :)

  9. I think you'll find there are quite a few people who like that scene in Notting Hill. Worked with a guy a few years ago who brought it up and went on and on about how amazing that entire scene was

  10. After finally getting to watch the show (and last week's too, actually), I could read your always-entertaining comments. i sit here going, "Uh huh. Yep. I thought that, too!"

    My thoughts:

    Megan's voice really is weird. It's not so much her voice as her strange almost over enunciation of words. I'm glad she's gone.

    Love me some Gokey. The raspiness of his voice just does it for me.

    Allison, eh. She's incredibly talented for 16, and I enjoyed her "Papa was a rolling stone" but not No Doubt so much.

    Blind Scott reminds so freakin' much of one of my dearest friends it's uncanny. I can't pay attention to his singing because I'm like,"Yeah, that was a Chris face."

    I really would have like to hear Matt do "Apologize." Like The Fray song, but not so much his take.

    Ok, I loathe Adam. Steph, seriously? He screams like a little girl! And wears way too much makeup!

    Kris Allen - liked it a lot. Not hard to look at either.

    Ok, now for my Celine rant. I love Celine Dion. I heart her forever. Getting to see her in Vegas was as exciting as the birth of my children. Ok, maybe not, but I was pregnant with them (just barely) when I saw her, and I hoped just a tiny bit of her amazingness would wander into my uterus and grace my children. And my favorite Celine song of all time is "I Surrender." So for 2 minutes or however long it is that they give the Idolites to sing, I was in agony. Lil Rounds butchered the song, and I knew it was going to happen and was powerless to prevent it. Just like Clarkson butchered it when she croaked it out in season one even though the judges slobbered rainbows all over her for it back then. No one else should sing that song ever. I think my Celine top 5 would be:
    5) All By Myself
    4) To Love You More (your comments made me go listen to it again. It's the sweeping violin action at the end that I adore)
    3) River Deep, Mountain High
    2) The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face tied with Seduces Me
    and, of course, 1)I Surrender

  11. Oh dear, I forgot about "If I Could". New top 5:

    5) All By Myself
    4) To Love You More
    3) River Deep, Mountain High triple tied with The First Time and Seduces Me
    2) If I Could
    1)I Surrender


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