Friday, April 20, 2012

Idols Then & Now

So, The Lovely Steph Leann has cataracts.  Have I told you this?  No, probably not.  Anyway, ever since Campbell popped out into the world, she noticed her vision was a little jacked up... a visit to the optometrist revealed that even in her relatively young age, both eyes have astigmatism and cataracts. 

And today was eye surgery numbero uno... her right eye was taken care of, leaving her with a funky clear shield over that eye, and a few bottles of drops to use all day long.  Don't worry, though, fellow Coffee Drinkers and TLSL fans (and I know she has fans, I hear from you asking about her), she is just fine.

I only mention all of this to note that it might come up again in our viewing of...




Tonight is Thursday... and for the first time in three weeks, I'm going to be able to watch and blog the performances, AND THEN blog the results show... without knowing who gets the boot!  And this will get posted hopefully by Friday afternoon, in a timely fashion from the shows!  Progress, baby!

We are first given a video recap of last week's "dramatic results show", where J-Sanch was voted off, and then subsequently voted back on by the judges... J-Lo racing to the stage, essentially telling her to not bother singing, because they have already decided they are "Saving" her.  My thoughts are that they had a list of just a couple they would save, and more they would not--and she was at the top.

And Ryan Seacrest gives us a nod to the passing of Dick Clark, who died yesterday at the ripe ol' age of 82.  Good job, Seacrest.  That's a great mention.

On with the show!!

Tonight, each of our Idols will take on two songs... the first will be a number one song from 2000 to now... the second, a Motown classic.

Holly Cav is up first, and she's taking on our modern day Whitney/Mariah/Celine, at least when it comes to this show... no, I am not talking about Ke$ha... I mean Adele. 

She starts the first few notes by singing acapella... and then launches into what is now an contender for the best song of the night, even though its first.  Hollie Cavanaugh at last has a brilliant Idol moment.

Creepy Uncle Steven loved it. J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg said "pitchy"... but liked it.  Oh, that Randy the Dawg.

Next up, the ladies lurve them some Colton Dixon.  I mean, all up and down Facebook, its a Colton Love Fest from the stay at home moms and older chicks... he's like a Rocker version of the The Widower Danny Gokey. 

And what is he singing?  Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance".  And I'm not sure this is the best song for him... its a risky choice, its a brave choice, but honestly, I'm not a fan of this performance.  Love the original song, but not the cover by Colton. 

Randy the Dawg calls its a "Colton Dixon concert!"  J-Lo loved it.  Creepy Uncle Steven kinda blubbers a little bit, a la Paula Abdul, only without passing the room key over. 

Okay, let's get it out there.  Its time to declare MY Next American Idol.  Sometimes I can do it early, sometimes late (there were only four Idols when I declared Haley Reinhart as Last Season's My Next American Idol Haley Reinhart), and sometimes early... and so here is my choice...

My Next American Idol Elise Testosterone is coming up next... and she's singing "No One" by Alicia Keys.  Not bad, not great, but I did like it. 

J-Lo says she got her first Goosies of the night.  I'm sure there is medication for that.  Creepy Uncle Steven says it was great and she sang her tushy off. Randy the Dawg was happy with it too.

And if you think that I'm a little weirded out by having My Next American Idol be someone with the last name "Testosterone", you might be right. 

And now we're up to Phillip Phillips, who is doing Usher's "U Got It Bad", which is stripped down with a sax, a bongo, an upright bass and a guitar or two.  Looks like a garage band, and it sounds great. 

The judges think so, giving him the first Standing O of the evening.  Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler says something about "no chump love, sucka", though I don't know what that means. J-Lo uses the word sexy no less than four times.   Randy the Dawg smiles big. 

Once again, we see J-Sanch become The Saved Jessica Sanchez from last week in the "dramatic results show results"... she takes on the second Alicia Keys song of the night, "Fallin'", an Idol standard that is hard to mess with.

And here we are again... she is a good great singer with a good great fantastic voice.  But no matter how Idol tries to sell her to us, she's just boooooring. 

The judges just gush.  As they always do, doing their best to convince us that we need to vote for this chick. 

Out of every artist that has hit the number one spot in the 12 years since the year 2000, not only do we have two Alicia Keys songs, but we've also got two Lady Gaga song... and Little Skylar Laine is taking on the country version of Gaga's "Born this Way".

Trim the 'stache, give him a fiddle, suddenly
this is the guy staring at Little Skylar Laine
By the way, the fiddler behind Little Skylar Laine is freaking me out.  He kind of resembles Michael Biehn's nutso character in "The Abyss", my 10th favorite film of all time. 

I'm not sure that I was a big fan of Little Skylar Laine's style or look at the beginning of the year... and she's really grown on me, like kudzu. 

The judges gush.  J-Lo says about 3000 words in 7 seconds, while Creepy Uncle Steven tells us that people will drawls will love her.  Randy the Dawg tells her she's beyond ready and amazing. 

And ending the first round of songs is Joshua Ledet, who claims his idol is Fantasia.  And he's singing his idol's song, "I Believe".  Really?  Not sure that I could get behind anyone who has Fantasia as his idol. 

I'm not sure I've ever heard this exact song, but I know I've heard about fifty songs just like it.  "If You Believe" from that gawd-awful "Prince of Egypt" movie is like this... seriously, how can you screw up a song that has both pre-skank Mariah and pre-crack Whitney on it?  And yet, its a terrible song.  And a terrible movie.  Let's move on.

Joshua Ledet?  Eh.

Randy the Dawg calls him totally gifted.  J-Lo tells us what he gives America every week.  And Creepy Uncle Steven pulls out the "you can sing the phone book" line.   Eh.

And now, we start Round Two, with Hollie Cav getting a video message from The Liverpool Football Club (re: commie soccer), and her giggling.

Despite the fact I rarely watched the show, I do remember Soul Train
as having one of the coolest, most hip openings of any TV show in its day
First, though, we get a clip of Soul Train, which is what we'll be doing songs from... "The Spirit of Soooooooooooooullllll Traaaaaaaaain..."

Hollie Cav is doing Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man"... and however she made it happen, Hollie Cav is lookin' good tonight.  No joke.  Like the song too.

Randy the Dawg said, "Dude, you worked it out!"  J-Lo liked this even better than the first song.  Creepy Uncle Steven says can be even better. 

I truly dig me some Earth, Wind & Fire, and so I'm looking forward to hearing Colton Dixon doing my favorite of theirs, "September".  Its a different take, not quite the soul version I'm used to, but really good nonetheless. 

I remember having this as my ringtone two phones ago, and even being in New York City on missions in 2005, and using this as my alarm.  Nothing better than waking up in a hot hostel in Manhattan during an August heat wave at 615am to the sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire.

Creepy Uncle Steven thinks Colton's voice could have had a better song.  J-Lo agreed.  Randy the Dawg also agreed.  I disagree completely... this was much better than his Gaga.

Seacrusty says, "Get in the mood with this piece from d$'s Next American Idol Elise!"  He is just a rhymer, that Seacrusty.

She's doing Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On", and I have to be upfront here.  I love My Next American Idols Elise Testosterone's voice.  I love the raspy and the snarl and the growl.  Its awesome.  She, however, is not someone I want to "lets get it on" with.  Plus, I've never been a huge fan of this song anyway.

Do I regret anointing the My Next American Idol nickname?  No. Not yet. 

Having said all that, the judges are idiots.  J-Lo is telling her how My Next American Idol Elise Testosterone doesn't show enough emotion.  Wait... what?  Seriously?  Jennifer Lopez, have you been watching the show this season?   Creepy Uncle Steven and Randy the Dawg both babble incoherently, even confusing Al Green and Marvin Gaye, while J-Lo mixes up Led Zeppelin and Queen.  Just stop talking.

The Lovely Steph Leann:  You know... I kinda miss when they let the Idols do longer songs, as the group begins to dwindle down
Me:  Perhaps that's so they can continue to do a two hour show.
The Lovely Steph Leann:  Perhaps. But a few years ago, Your Next American Idol Elise Testosterone would have been able to do a 3 or 4 minute version of that song, instead of 90 seconds. 

For his next tune, Phillip2 is busting up on some Wilson Pickett with "In the Midnight Hour", and this turns out to be a little screechy for my taste.  Just a bit, really.  I mean, its not bad... but I liked his Usher song better.

Randy the Dawg loves that Phillip2 is who Phillip2 is.  J-Lo uses the term "mmm!"  I think I'm going to start a rumor... J-Lo dumped Marc Anthony so she could mack openly on Phillip Phillips.  I know a guy who knows someone who saw someone who knows a guy who works on Idol's set and saw J-Lo and Phillip2 looking tenderly at each other. 

The Saved Jessica Sanchez is up next, doing Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness".  Not a single note escaped The Saved Jessica Sanchez's lips before The Lovely Steph Leann shouts, "What the crap is she wearing?!" 

Creepy Uncle Steven loved the song.  J-Lo says this was a great connection with the audience.  Randy the Dawg thought it was awesome. 

Honestly?  To my untrained ear, I thought that was terrible. 

For her second song, Little Skylar Laine is doing "Heard it Through the Grapevine", and as she descends the steps from a maddening wash of digital telephone poles on the video screen, she is stalked followed by Crazy Michael Biehn the Fiddler, who is rocking the Skinny Jeans.

This song was decent, a country version of a song that really doesn't warrant a country version.  Randy the Dawg makes a great point, though... she and Phillip2 really know how to connect to the audience in a way that The Saved Jessica Sanchez just cant make happen.  Creepy Uncle Steven calls her a "wild horse who cannot be tamed".  J-Lo gushed.

Let's finish this sum-gun up tonight with a Civil Rights Anthem.. maybe THE Civil Rights Anthem... Sam Cooke's classic "A Change is Gonna Come".  I love the opening to this song, both the original and Joshua Ledet's version...

"I waaaaaas booooorn... on the rivah"...

This is one of those majestic songs that gives you lots and lots of room to screw up, but if you can get it right, if you can nail it, its a beautiful thing... and Joshua Ledet nails it.  My favorite song of the entire night.

The judges deservedly gushed over this completely. 

The Lovely Steph Leann:  I thought it was "A Change Gonna Come"... is there an "is"?
Me:  Is "A Change IS Gonna Come"
The Lovely Steph Leann:  But he just sang "A change gonna come...", with no "is"
Me:  But its called "A Change IS Gonna Come"
The Lovely Steph Leann:  Uh... okay.

My best to worst:  Joshua Ledet's "A Change is Gonna Come"... Hollie Cav's "Rolling in the Deep"... Colton Dixon's "September"... Phillip2's "U Got It Bad"... Hollie Cav's "Son of a Preacher Man"... My Next American Idol Elise Testosterone's "No One"... The Saved Jessica Sanchez's "Fallin'"...  Little Skylar Laine's "Born This Way"...  Colton Dixon's "Bad Romance"... Phillip2's "In the Midnight Hour"... My Next America Idol Elise Testosterone's "Let's Get It On"... Little Skylar Laine's "Heard It Through the Grapevine"... Joshua Ledet's "I Believe"... The Saved Jessica Sanchez's "Try a Little Tenderness."

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