Wednesday, May 12, 2010

AMERICAN IDOL goes to the (bad) movies

It was movie night for the Top Four on AMERICAN IDOL. Okay, I didn’t expect them to sing the theme from HIGH NOON or GONE WITH THE WIND but FREE WILLY and CADDYSHACK?? Now I’m hurt they didn’t sing “Nothing’s Going to Stop Us Now”, the theme from MANNEQUIN 2.

One of the big problems with IDOL this year (one of many) is that they have begun to take themselves waaaaaaay too seriously. When you have a night saluting great music from 100 years of cinema how do you treat the theme from CADDYSHACK as anything other than a joke? And how many times last night was the word “artist” uttered? That’s next week’s drinking game, gang. You should be smashed by the first plug for the Idol tour or the compilation CD (so ten minutes in).

Jamie Fox was a fabulous mentor and the word is he’s auditioning for Simon’s spot. Same with last week’s mentor, Harry Connick Jr. (who, by the way, was funnier in one night than Ellen’s been all year).

And speaking of last week -- The judges of course complained that some of the contestants didn’t make their songs sound contemporary. The theme was Sinatra for Crissakes! And for the record, the worst Sinatra ever sounded was when he tried to sound contemporary. Check out his version of “Mrs. Robinson”. These are the actual lyrics he sang. I’m not making them up.

And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
JILLY loves you more than you will know
Whoa, whoa, whoa

The PTA, Mrs. Robinson
Won't OK the way you do your thing
Ding, ding, ding

And you'll get yours, Mrs. Robinson
Foolin' with that young stuff like you do
Boo, hoo, hoo; woo, woo, woo

So how's your bird, Mrs. Robinson
"Dandy", Mrs. Robinson you'd say
Hey, hey, hey

But at least Sinatra knew what the song was about. Casey James performed it last night and might as well have been phonetically singing " “Al otro lado del río". When Randy and the judges equated Mrs. Robinson to Kara, Casey had no idea what they were talking about. Not only has he never seen THE GRADUATE; I bet he’s never even heard of it.

I so wish Katie Stevens was still in the competition so she could have sung the Oscar winner, “It's Hard out Here for a Pimp"

Big Mike sang some song I never heard of from FREE WILLY. But it was spiritual and he had a big chorus behind him so I’m guessing it’s the song they played when the little boy took the killer whale to church.

Lee DeWyze did the Seal tune, “Kissed by a Rose”. He’s not going to win Heidi Klum with that version. Hell, he’s not going to win Granny Klump with that version.

And Crystal Bowersox found all the colors and shadings in the theme from CADDYSHACK. She sang “I’m All Right”, which if you recall the movie, was sung by the gopher.

To fill out the rest of the hour, the contestants were paired off for two duets. These were better than the solo songs but that’s like saying Spam is better than chopped pork shoulder, sodium nitrite, gelatinous glaze, or any of its other individual ingredients.

Casey and Big Mike (who will reunite tonight as the bottom two) did “Have You Ever Loved a Woman?” and were complimented for their guitar work. And the best number of the night was Crystal and Lee doing “Falling Slowly” from ONCE. The only problem was that Crystal clearly wiped the floor with Lee. It was like Meryl Streep doing a scene with Keanu Reeves.

Fashion note to Crystal: Backless gowns were made for girls who have giant tattoos on their back. Why just see parts of it sticking out in six places?

Anyway, that’s what this blogger… I mean “internet artist” thinks. What about you?

23 comments:

Rock Golf said...

On the Lee/Crystal duet, Crystal did everything she could to make Lee sound good. And Lee did everything he could to make Lee sound good too. Unfortunately, most listeners will leave with the impression "Wow, Lee sounds so good!"

Next weeks theme should even thing out: They have to sing songs with their name in the title. Bowersox, your choices are "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James & the Shondells or "Crystal Ship" by The Doors. Oh? Couldn't clear the Doors song? Too bad!

Mike Bell said...

You mean nobody took a shot at "Blazing Saddles"?!?

Mike in SLO said...

How old are the producers on that show, anyway? Didn't anyone realize Casey was a lock for Tiny Tim in that number? Add that small guitar and all I could hear was "Tip Toe Through the Tulips". I half expected Nixon to come on and say "Sock it to me"...

Megalion said...

"Big Mike sang some song I never heard of from FREE WILLY. But it was spiritual and he had a big chorus behind him so I’m guessing it’s the song they played when the little boy took the killer whale to church."

Sounds like he sang Michael Jackson's hit song "Will You Be There"... it's my favorite MJ song and some versions have a huge chorus part to it.

tony libido said...

EW had the full list of songs they had to pick from for movie week, and my gosh, a weaker, more random bunch of songs you cannot imagine. It included Kenny Loggins' "DANGER ZONE" -- we got off easy, but man did it make me ache for those 4 suckers.

Michael Zand said...

I don't know, Ken. In order to be called an "artist" you need to find your own voice make this blog more of your own. For me, for you, for me, for you, for me, this wasn't your best post. It started off weak but it got better toward the end. But I still love you, man and I think you'll be back tomorrow for sure.

benson said...

I don't know, Ken. In order to be called an "artist" you need to find your own voice make this blog more of your own. For me, for you, for me, for you, for me, this wasn't your best post. It started off weak but it got better toward the end. But I still love you, man and I think you'll be back tomorrow for sure.
...Dog!

Ellen said...

Mike in SLO ... Tiny Tim is what I was thinking, too!

Erin said...

I think it was definitely the theme that was weak and not the vocals. After 9 seasons maybe Idol needs to drastically change their format to keep ppl interested.

Ellen DeGeneres said...

I don't know, Ken. In order to be called an "artist" you need to find your own voice make this blog more of your own. For me, for you, for me, for you, for me, this wasn't your best post. It started off weak but it got better toward the end. But I still love you, man and I think you'll be back tomorrow for sure.
...Dog!

I just just I really just .. liked it. You are you. I agree with everything Randy said. Just . . . you are you. And when you're up there blogging, I can really see that.
--Ellen

Jaquandor said...

OK, yeah. The problem I'm having is, there's nothing here that I wouldn't read in a blog post in a bar somewhere. It's all very old-fashioned blogging, it's...LET ME FINISH, LET ME FINISH!...very safe, it's not edgy at all. I think you could be in trouble this week.

-Simon

Michael Zand said...

The last two posts-- THAT'S synergy. That's the kind of fun you have in a good writing room.

Thanks guys. That was great.

gottacook said...

I don't watch IDOL, but "I'm All Right" is a perfectly OK Kenny Loggins song - I never saw Caddyshack (except a few minutes here and there on TV) but would recognize the song anyway; that is, it had an independent life.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Jamie Foxx studied piano as a kid, and took cello lessons to prepare for that movie where he played a homeless schizophrenic. He is way over-qualified for American Idol.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

There's a great song 'Nothing's Gonna Sto[ Us Now' in the movie Cat's Don't Dance as well. Check it out (and all those great unjustly forgotten Randy Newman Songs for this movie) on youtube.

Anonymous said...

The "Free Willy" song is a Michael Jackson song. Here's the offical music video for it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvYygjcMDdQ

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to the Free Willy version of the music video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x3PQ5QhMJs

D. McEwan said...

The Sinatra "Mrs. Robinson" lyrics are hysterical.

rms said...

"The Sinatra "Mrs. Robinson" lyrics are hysterical."

I agree. Simon and Garfunkel should reunite just to record that version!

Anonymous said...

Caddyshack: Great comedy (despite Chevy Chase), Awful theme song (by Kenny Loggins, so that goes without saying)...

-bee said...

I thought the Lee/Crystal duet was superb and they were both great. I actually think his voice is more interesting than hers (cause to me she sounds SO much like Bonny Raitt) - but he has issues with being comfortable in his own skin.

I read the contestants only had a list of 50 songs to pick from - making the complaint by the judges that they had 'thousands' of songs to choose suspect (apparently they can REQUEST songs outside of the list but these are not sure things because the producers might not be able to clear the rights).

Anonymous said...

Being currently embroiled in trying to nail down all the licensing rights for just 12 songs for my singer wife's first independent CD, I can sympathize with the producers for not wanting anyone to go off the list. Our CD is now three months behind schedule for release, just because of trying to nail down the rights to one song. Several others also posed problems, but this one has been an absolute nightmare of going from one publisher to another, and wasting weeks of waiting, only to finally be told that "Oops, we were wrong! You need permission from someone else in Chicago/New York/L.A./Paris/Australia/Mars." Grrrrrrr!!!!

Dhppy said...

Crystal was definitely better than Lee. I don't know about Meryl Streep, but I'll give your Glenn Close opposite Mel Gibson in Hamlet.