Saturday, May 12, 2012

idolfornia dreamin'

I had every intention of watching American Idol on Wednesday night.  Seriously.  The Deucecast, which usually records on Wednesday nights, and my involvement in the excursion into podcasting excellence typically prevents me from watching the show on Wednesday when it airs... we try to get it viewed via DVR on Thursday evening, but sometimes it is Friday.  And even Sunday. 

This past Wednesday was free and clear, though.  The show's cohost, Mikey, had a sick offspring and felt the need to stay at home (pansy), which pushed the show to a rare Thursday night recording date... so after church activities, the plan was to get home and watch Idol with The Lovely Steph Leann.

However, Campbell needed formula.  Oh, and The Lovely Steph Leann needed floss.  And Degree Powder Fresh Deodorant.  And even though I had eaten at church, she had not.  Which meant a trip to Wal-Mart, which is always out of the deodorant she needed.  So that meant a trip to Publix.  Oh, and I'm also trying to find some of those Hyland's Colic Tablets, which Publix is out of, but I remember Wal-Greens having Hyland's Teething Tablets, which is similar. And that meant a trip to Wal-Greens.  And somewhere in there was a stop at Panera Bread for The Lovely Steph Leann's requested Fuji Apple Salad, no tomatoes, no onions.

By the time I got home, it was almost 930.  By the time I got changed and settled, it was almost 10.  And then we started watching Idol... we got through one single performance before I just spoke up and said, "I can't do it.  I'm dying."  This was after I had drifted a few times through Seacrusty's babble. 

But now, its Friday afternoon, and somehow, some way I have made it through a few days without finding out what happened on the show! 

So now...




We are shown a quick clip of last week's results show, in which Little Skylar Laine said goodbye... and this leaves the front runner guy, Phillip2... the main frontrunner, Jessica Sanchez... the dark horse (no pun intended.. or maybe...), Joshua Ledet... and the one who it can be argued is there about 3 weeks too long, Hollie Cavanagh.

Tonight is two themes... first, "California Dreamin'", which are songs about California, or songs written about California.  Or songs that have California in the title.  Or songs that feature John Phillips or any other members of the Mamas and the Papas, the artist of "California Dreamin'".  Or a song written by anyone who had been sexually abused by their father, like Kristy McNichol had written about, at the hands of John Phillips.  Or any song written by anyone who has ever heard of California.  And so on.

Secondly, its "Songs They Wished They Had Written", which means any song you want, or at least any song licensed by Idol... as in, "I like that song.  Um... I wish I had written it.  Yeah, thats' it.  So I'm singing that one!" 

Annie Barrett from EW commented that next week's theme will be "Songs". 


First up, its Phillip2... he's doing Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?", a great old 60s rock tune.  Sans guitar, P2 takes his growly voice to the mic, and sounds pretty good.

Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler said, "You are living proof that the road to success is always under construction!"  Wait... what?  J-Lo loved it, and Randy the Dawg said it started a bit rough, but found its way a little longer into it... and then he loved it. 

For Hollie Cav's first song, she's taking on Journey's "Faithfully", which I reckon is California Dreamin because... they are from California?  Because then-lead singer has heard of California?  Because they probably played at a few arenas there over the years?  Who knows.

Anyway, the song isn't bad.  She has that quivering lip thing going on during the last "I'm yo-o-o-o-orrrsss!!!" final line, which to my untrained musical eyes, looks like it means something good. 

Randy the Dawg loved it.  Creepy Uncle Steven and J-Lo both agreed.

Next up, here's Joshua Ledet... first, here's Jason Derulo, who's been involved in this songwriting contest with Idol, trying to declare how this is his Now, and is wearing a blinged out neckbrace.  Wicked odd.

Back to Joshua Ledet!  He'll be doing a cheesy song called "You Raise Me Up", this generation's "Wind Beneath My Wings".  I don't think there is an un-cheesy way of doing this song.  And though Joshua's voice is good, and the song sounds fine, to me its just a boring picture of a mountain and a river on an inspirational poster set to music. 


Of course, Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler, J-Lo and Randy the Dawg spend an hour and a half telling them how much they were raised up. 

So, for J-Sanch's California Dreamin' song, she's doing Etta James' "Steal Away"... and since J-Sanch is actually FROM California, really, any song she wants to do would be a California connection.

Once again, brilliant vocals.  Yet, plywood chemistry.  However, I think we need to start learning how to begin to learn how to start accepting that Jessica Sanchez will likely be The Next American Idol.  Just suck it in and breath out and take it. 


I am struck by how odd it is that Joshua Ledet and Phillip2 are singing "This Love".  That is a song by Maroon 5.  And while Maroon 5 hails from California, hence the "California Dreamin'" spot, its frontman, Adam Levine, is one of the four judges on NBC's "The Voice", which is probably American Idol's biggest singing competition reality show competition.  I would think that Idol wouldn't want to give Maroon 5 and Adam Levine any press... but perhaps they figure "Hey, we're Idol.  We squash The Voice."  So be it.

You know what?  This version of "This Love" isn't perfect... but darn it, they both look like they are having more fun with this than anyone has looked in weeks.  The piano player is on his feet jamming, as are the other musicians.  Love this.


And whether this wraps up the California Dreamin' or this begins the Songs I Wished I Had Written, all I can tell you is that Jessica Sanchez and Hollie Cav are swinging.  Like, they are both sitting on rope swings, doing a duet to "Eternal Flame" by The Bangles. 

"Eternal Flame", by the way, one of the first five Cassette Singles I ever bought.  I remember "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses was first, and soon after was "Shiny Happy People" by REM, "When I See You Smile" by Bad English and this Bangles classic, though I don't know in what order.  Just sayin'.

And as the judges give their two cents worth--they liked the guys a whole lot better, in the background, Phillip2 and Joshua Ledet are swinging on the rope swings.  Hilarious.

Oh, and Fast Forward through the unexpected Group Song


Phillip2 says he wished he had written Damien Rice's "Volcano".  And here comes Jimmy Iovine, who says this song helped Phillip2 to stop sounding like everyone else and start sounding like himself. 

Dude, I totally dig this song.  I'd never heard it previously, but Phillip2 sits on a stool, on a darkened stage, with an awesome cellist sitting and playing nearby.  Not just a good song, but a great performance.

Hollie Cav says she wished she had written Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me".  And here comes Jimmy Iovine, who says to not oversing this song. 

Standing behind a piano, from the waist up, she looks like she's wearing an elegant black dress, and she is all fine and such, but when she steps out you can see its a black pant suit, and that kinda kills the look.  She also says "don't pah-tronize" and not "don't pay-tronize".  That could cost her the show.  And she's got this Michael Stipey Losing My Religion arm swingy thing going on there.

The song was pretty good.  But not brilliant.  Creepy Uncle Steven says she should have shown more emotional.  J-Lo says the same thing.  Randy the Dawg said she needs a song that "gives her a moment" and this song had no moments.

Joshua Ledet says he wished he had written James Brown's "Its a Man's Man's Man's World".  And here comes Jimmy Iovine, who says that it was a thrill to see this song being done by Joshua.

I gotta tell ya, the guys are owning me tonight... between Phillip2's "Volcano", their "This Love" duet, and now this song from Joshua Ledet, Dude Power reigns. 

You knew Joshua would scream at some point, and he does, but this time its warranted, and his scream is kept in check.  That was a great, great performance all around, with the vocals and the backup singers and the music and such.

And rightfully so, the judges just totally geek out. 

Finally, Jessica Sanchez says she wished she had written Billie Holliday's "And I Am Telling you That I'm Not Going".  Here comes Jimmy Iovine, and he is raving about her version of this tune.

She channels her inner blackness in this song, and sounds awesome.  J-Sanch is blowin' it right on up, doing her thing, hitting all the notes, and all that... but I then turned to The Lovely Steph Leann and said, "Tell me, as a music aficionado, what you thought of that song." 

The Lovely Steph Leann thinks for a second, and says, "Well... I don't think you are familiar with this song (I'm not), but this song builds.  The thing about it is, she didn't have time to really build it.  She did fine, she sounded good and all, but she didn't get the chance to take that into the part where she just screams it and gets all emotional and such, because this is an emotional song."

Of course, the judges loved it.  Over and over.  Its Friday, and I think they are still talking about it.

The Lovely Steph Leann:  You didnt like it?
Me: I did.  Again, I think she's got an incredible talent, but she's a stick in the mud charisma wise.
The Lovely Steph Leann:  I thought she connected well, better than some of her other stuff

It is funny to me, though, that Hollie Cav was cautioned to not "oversing", so she chose something deep and personal and sang without oversinging... but Joshua Ledet oversang the crap out of that song, and it was awesome.  Jessica Sanchez oversang the crap out of her song, and it was much ballyhooed.  Hollie Cav should haven't thrown down on her tune. 

And I'm afraid dear, sweet Brit Hollie will pay the price. 

My Best to Worst for the Night:  Joshua Ledet's "Its a Man's Man's Man's World"... Joshua Ledet & Phillip2's "This Love"...  Phillip2's "Volcano"...  J-Sanch's "And I Am Telling You That I Am Not Going"... J-Sanch's "Steal Away"... Hollie Cav's "Faithfully"... Phillip2's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?"... Holly Cav's "I Can't Make You Love Me"... J-Sanch & Hollie Cav's "Eternal Flame"...  Joshua Ledet's "You Raise Me Up"

The Results are in the very next post!  Keep scrolling!

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