Saturday, March 24, 2012

Billy Joel is My American Idol

You have to know, I love me some Billy Joel.  I mean, straight up, the man is a genius, he's ubertalented, and much of his collection is filled with memorable tunes that I could just sing at any point and time... "Only the Good Die Young"... "Allentown"... "The River of Dreams"... "The Downeaster Alexa"... "Piano Man"... "New York State of Mind"... "The Longest Time"... "Just the Way You Are" (these latter two are hugely popular with The Lovely Steph Leann). 

Some of his lesser known tunes are also fantastic, which "Leave a Tender Moment Alone" comes to mind.  And, my favorite Billy tune, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant". 

Billy Joel rules!
Matter of fact, the short list of my ten favorite artists of ALL TIME are:  (1) Garth Brooks... (2) The Dixie Chicks... (3) Hootie & the Blowfish... (4) Michael Jackson... (5) Billy Joel... (6) Sheryl Crow... (7) Sarah McLachlin... (8) Martina McBride... (9) Whitney Houston... (10) Alison Krauss... if you wanted to include Christian artists in there, the list gets adjusted to: (1) Garth... (2) Dixie Chicks... (3) Hootie... (4) dcTalk... (5) Michael Jackson... (6) Jennifer Knapp... (7) Billy Joel... (8) Sheryl Crow... (9) Watermark... and (10) Sarah McLachlin. 

Note--this is an unscientific list, from the top of my head, as I feel that any list containing my favorite artists of all time would have to also include (in no particular order) Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Nichole Nordeman, Jars of Clay, The Monkees, ABBA, Caedmon's Call, Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, PM Dawn, Plumb, Jars of Clay, Prince, Toni Braxton, The Forester Sisters, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kathy Mattea, Weird Al, Michael Bolton and pre-skank Mariah.  (And Factor 7, natch) So if I do a post containing just such a topical list, don't come back to this and see it as gospel.  My point was to show how awesome Billy Joel is.   

All that being said, I always get a little antsy when I hear that Idolees are going to be "The Songs of (insert favorite artist here)", because while there is a good chance I'll hear a great version of a great song, there's a more than great chance I'll hear some novice goof up a great song.  Bear this in mind as you read along, knowing that I have no clue who is singing what on tonight's show.  I do know that D'Kenny G will probably screw it up, and stay anyway.  As a matter of fact, I like Kenny G, so "D'Kenny G" is too good of a name.  How about we call him... D Crappensuck?  I like it.





While "And So It Goes", a Billy Joel standard, plays in the background, we see clips of last week's departure with Shannon Magrane.  The other Idols look somber and tearful, though its probably a guilty somber and guilty tearful because its a "Sad to see you go, but I'm glad it ain't me" feeling.  But the 10 remaining.. they get the tour.  They get the Top Ten status.  And a few minutes later, minus Shannon, we see the giggles and laughter.  Because this is how it works when you are 19 years old.

The music swells and Ryan Seacrusty strides onto the stage, welcoming us, and telling us how intense the week has been, and then introducing us to the Top Ten.   Creepy Uncle Steven says, "If you can't sing Billy Joel, you can't sing... he's an American Icon."

Then Seacrusty says, "Helping Jimmy Iovine is R&B heavy hitter Diddy!", to which I just pause and then laugh.  That led to this exchange:

The Lovely Steph Leann:  Why would you have some R&B guy, and I say R&B loosely, helping out with music like Billy Joel's?
Me: Why the heck not just get Billy Joel to help with music like Billy Joel's?
The Lovely Steph Leann:  Simple.  He'd be too drunk.

Oh, and apparently, Tommy Hilfiger is the new "Style Advisor".  I just threw up in my mouth. 

And when D'Crappensuck comes out, I did it again.

Okay, Deandre--if you happen to Google yourself and read this, I'm not picking on you.  I'm sure you are a nice kid, and I'm sure you are pleasant to be around... but I'm just not a fan of your voice.  I think you try to hard.  I think your falsetto is crazy weird.  Its not for me.  If you could sing D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar" over and over, you'd win this thing. But you can't.  And the fact that you are singing "Only the Good Die Young", one of my Top Five Billy Joel Songs Ever, this makes me nervous.  Good luck when you get kicked off.  -d$

Says Diddy... "Billy is at his hottest in this song!  He's singing about being a repressed Catholic, and he's got Christie Brinkley on the side and... you don't even know who Christie Brinkley is, do you?"

I don't know who got kicked off this week, but I do know of one who did't get kicked off... that's D'Crappensuck.  I was flipping down Facebook and saw my friend Kelly Williams Fisher's post that said, "Who keeps voting for DeAndre!  Stop it!"  I completely agree.

And he just made a wonderful song into a heaping pile of crappy poop.  J-Lo thought it was a great way to start the show.  Creepy Uncle Steven made a joke and passed it on down.  Randy the Dawg liked it to start the show... and he's wearing another weird pin thing going on.

Now, its Erika Van Pelt, who will be doing "A New York State of Mind"... personally, she would have been great to sing "Only the Good Die Young", because despite what D'Crappensuck did, that song rocks out. 

On the suggestion of Tommy Hilfiger, EVP gets her hair did, and somehow, she's a short haired brunette.  I like it, but I liked her natural locks better.  And I can't complain about how good her performance is, as it sounds really good... the new do is just distracting. 

The judges loved her song and her look.  You know, I do too.

Joshua Ledet is taking on "She's Got a Way", which isn't one of my favorite ballads, but it is a good song nonetheless.  Personally, I like "Always a Woman" or "Just the Way You Are" better, but this should be good. 

This exchange:
Joshua: I'm singing "She's Got a Way"
The Lovely Steph Leann:  Mmm.  Great song.
Diddy: Have you ever heard this song?
Joshua: No, never, not until this week
The Lovely Steph Leann:  What?  d$!  Ohmygaawwwww....

Adding a little soul to the song, J-Led sits in a chair turned backward, and you can tell he's not familiar with the song... and its a testament to his talents that he's not letting that deter him.  He's even got a choir behind him.  As Billy Joel himself sang, "Its All About Soul".

J-Lo loved this performance.  Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler just said, "I don't know that song by Billy Joel", and The Lovely Steph Leann nearly passed out.  Randy the Dawg liked it, but didn't love it. 

Great, great album.  "Shameless" is one of many great tracks.
In one of the most appropriate song choices of the night, Little Skylar Laine has picked "Shameless", which is a somewhat more obscure Billy Joel tune from 1989's "Storm Front", made hugely popular by Garth Brooks on his "Ropin' the Wind" album.   I say appropriate, because this is definately one that can be country-fied effectively, as Garth has shown above.

She starts a little shaky, finally gets her groove when she hits the chorus, somewhat molests the back of the keyboard player on stage, and then his her stride... but to me, its still not her strongest song, and I expected more of her on this one. 

Randy the Dawg asks her what version she was coming from, and she admitted that it was Garth's.  J-Lo says, "You aren't shameless, you are fearless!"  I see what you did there, J-Lo.  Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler gives her some fluff and sunshine. 

And now, its Elise Testosterone, singing one that I like, but don't know all that well--"Vienna".  I'm still wondering how she keeps ending up in the Bottom Three, but perhaps its that America thinks shes too old?   Tommy Hilfiger says she's too layered up, and really just needs to... well, I'm guessing wear less clothing.

Here she comes, with a plunging neckline.  As I listen to "Vienna", I realize my feet are slightly tapping, and I find myself enjoying this version immensely.  She's not doing a cover, she's doing her version of this song, and that's wonderful. 

And she garners a standing O from all three judges, much deserved.  The Lovely Steph Leann then interjects, "This song was in '13 Going on 30'".  The judges loved E-Test.

We come back from Break, and its Phillip Phillips!  Tommy Hilfiger tells Phillip2 that he needs some fashion help, and Phillip2 simply says, "Eh, I keep it simple." 

The song he'll be doing is "Movin' Out (anthony's song)", another great tune that I know all the words too... my favorite line is "Sergeant O'Leary is walking the beat, at night he becomes the bartender... he works at Mr. Cacchatories' down on Sullivan Street, across from the medical center..."   Diddy and Jimmy Iovine tells him to put down the guitar as he sings.

So, Phillip2, wearing grey, is singing the song while holding his guitar.   He adds a rockabilly twist to the song, and I'm not sure I love it... I like it, I don't hate it... it was just... weird.  A good weird, but weird nonethless.

J-Lo loved it.  Creepy Uncle Steven tosses his own scarf to Phillip2.  Randy the Dawg mocks Jimmy Iovine and Diddy for suggesting that Phillip2 drop the guitar and drop the grey outfits.

Looking like a cross between one of the chicks from ABBA crossed with a disco ball, Hollie Cavanaugh is going to be performing "Honesty", probably one of my least favorite Billy Joel songs.  I like it, but don't love it.

Lots of Billy Joel Ballads tonight... I wonder if Idols feel those are easier?   Dear goodness, Hollie Cav's pants are like, 8 feet long.  High waisted pants, with a disco ball top?  No thank you.

Creepy Uncle Steven says she was a little pitchy.  J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg agreed with Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler.

Last season's My Next American Idol Haley Reinhart is in the audience!  Yay!

Coming in the 8th slot, its Hee Jun! (he'll take a sad song and make it better), and he'll being singing "My Life".  Interesting...

Diddy is trying to figure out Hee Jun! (he'll take a sad song and make it better), and questions if he's an actor... or a con man... or even Asian?  Tommy Hilfiger asks him who is fashion idols are, and he responds, "Jessica Sanchez... Michael Bolton..."  Tommy says, "I think Hee Jun! (he'll take a sad song and make it better) is testing me."

The song starts really slow, and he actually stops the piano player, saying, "This is much too slow... and I wanna dance!"  The music kicks in, he rips off his fancy schmancy shirt to reveal this goofy looking t-shirt.  The song itself sounds terrible.  But the whole thing is quite entertaining. 

I think Creepy Uncle Steven felt that Idol's credibility was taking a hit
Randy the Dawg and J-Lo are clapping, Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler is just staring, clearly not amused at all.  J-Lo says, "I don't think you hit the vocals exactly...", while Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler is, in a roundabout way telling him, "you need to take this more seriously, otherwise this business will beat the crap out of you."  Randy the Dawg enjoyed it.

And the Powers That Be that DO NOT want Hee Jun! (he'll take a sad song and make it better) to be the American Idol, are sweating hard right now... because though it sounded terrible, it was fun.  But I'm afraid his novelty is wearing thin, and honestly, besides Crappensuck, I think I'm ready for him to go home and not take up a spot that could be filled by Elise Testosterone or EVP.

What the crap is "Everybody Has a Dream"?  I've never heard this song in my whole life... anyway, its what J-Sanch is singing.   Well, for your info, its one of three songs that were NOT hits on "The Stranger" from 1977... the other six songs are immortal... "Movin' Out", "Scenes from" and "Only the Good Die Young" included. 

She just slayed that song, but I didn't like the song itself.  I mean, the judges are nuts about her, and they are right to be that way, but the song was kinda boring.

Last, but not least, its Colton Dixon.  Says The Lovely Steph Leann, "I hope he's doing 'Piano Man', because how can we have a Billy Joel night without 'Piano Man'?"  We wait for the song choice as Tommy Hilfiger goes on his fashion tangent.

The Lovely Steph Leann giggles in delight as Colton Dixon says, "I'm singing 'Piano Man'".  Plus, he's got the pimp spot, last for the night.  After hearing Colton do the song, Diddy says, "I wanted to buy this record from him."

Me: This... this sounds awesome.
The Lovely Steph Leann:  He's updated this song to make it modern.  This is awesome.  Campbell and I both vote yes.

J-Lo loved it.  Creepy Uncle Steven said it was stunning.  Randy the Dawg said it was sensitive and simple, but so good. 

Seacrusty asks him about the performance, and Colton just says, "I wanted God to use me."  Seacrusty then immediately goes to something else.  Oh, Seacrusty, you faker.

Best to worst:

Colton Dixon's "Piano Man"... Elise Testosterone's "Vienna"... EVP's "A New York State of Mind"... Joshua Ledet's "She's Got a Way"... Phillip2's "Movin' out (anthony's song)"... J-Sanch's "Everybody Has a Dream"... Skylar Laine's "Shameless"... Hollie Cav's "Honesty"... Hee Jun! (he'll take a sad song and make it better)'s "My Life"... That crap from D'Crappensuck

1 comment:

  1. We think the guy with the obnoxious hair looks like either Milli or Vanilli. He wears me out!


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