Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Best Of: 2008 -- AMERICAN IDOL reviews

Ten years of posting something new every day.  Here's day four of my "Best Of" leading to this blog's  official tenth anniversary on Thanksgiving Day.   I'm reprising one post from every year.

A popular feature I did for several years was review AMERICAN IDOL each week.  That's when it was a national sensation and people actually gave a shit.  Here is a typical review.  This ran originally on February 21, 2008.  

On an unrelated note:  My recap of my blog party will follow in a few hours.  Stay tuned or check back or whatever.
We got our first look at the girls Wednesday night (Thursday morning for me ‘cause I tivoed it). They’re cute, they belt, they have sob stories, and they’re all going to end up in the touring company of MAMA MIA. But for now their hopes and cheeks are high.

We were told over and over that some of them had the flu. But showing the same grit and fortitude they had when they attended their senior proms despite breaking a nail, they hung in there and gave courageous performances of 60s bubblegum hits.

First up was Kristy Lee Cook. She sold her horse to fly from Portland to Philadelphia to audition for the show. There were also auditions in San Diego, which is closer. She could have just sold her cat. Kristy was one of the flu victims. What will her excuse next week be for being boring?

Joanne Borgella was next. She’s the “plus size model” filling the LaKisha/Jennifer Hudson role this season. Simon said to take a risk and she did. She wore jeans.

Alaina Whittaker followed. She’s 16, blond, and has that Lauren Hutton space between her two front teeth that make her seem wise beyond her years. Alaina sang “More Today Than Yesterday” – the same song that Chipote (or whatever the hell his name is) sang the night before. There aren’t a gazillion songs in the 60s? They had to repeat the same four?

Finally! Something that Paula knows! The group that had the hit with “More Today Than Yesterday” (Spiral Starecase). Amazingly, Simon had never heard of that tune. Obviously he doesn’t listen to oldies radio. They play it eight times an hour. Along with…

“Happy Together”, which Brooke White sang (and David Cook mangled the night before). Brooke is a dead ringer for the young Susan Anspach (pictured below Brooke). She labels herself as “the good girl”. A couple of weeks in the bottom three and she’ll be wearing leather and going down on the mic.

Amanda Overmyer, the cool rocker chick who looks like an owl, scatted through “Baby Please Don’t Go”. Again, Simon had never heard of it. He can tell you every Lulu tune but is unfamiliar with Van Morrison? Amanda is a breath of fresh air. And even if she had the flu, who cares because she sounds like she has the flu anyway.

Amy Davis is gorgeous. I’d vote for her if she coughed up phlegm for three minutes. She sang one of Simon’s favorite kick ass songs from the 60s – “Where the Boys Are”.

Then it was Alexandrea Lushington (which would be the perfect name for Elaine Stritch). Randy and Paula loved her. Simon did not. I agree with Simon. Just another boring belter. Next!

Kady Malloy is this year’s Carrie Underwood wannabe. Big voice. Did a slow sexy rendition of “We’ve Got a Groovy Kind of Love”. Why? It’s an innocent teenybopper song. Why not just do a smoldering blues version of “My Boy Lollipop”?

Kady was followed by Asia’h Epperson. I’m still trying to tell all these people apart. I have in my notes for Asia’h: “dead dad girl”. Sang “Piece of My Heart”. Won’t make anyone forget Janis Joplin. Or even Amanda Overmyer.

One of my favorites was next. Ramiele Mulubay. Little girl. Big pipes. Irene Cara without all the lawsuits.

The goofy names continued with Syesha Mercado. (Notice all the cheerleader types are named Kristy and Amy and Brooke?) Will somebody tell her the Diana Ross look is not becoming? The only thing missing was plastic surgery and a cape. Another boring belter.

And finally, there was Carly Smithson – the girl with the sensational voice, scary tattoos, and Hannibal Lector smile. AMERICAN IDOL has taken a lot of heat lately for not disclosing that Carly is a professional singer who even signed a million dollar recording contract once. So to avoid looting in the streets and rioting, this “secret” was revealed on the program. Carly should be in the top two…if she wears long sleeves every week.

All in all, a good group. But certainly not a great group. Maybe the third touring company of MAMA MIA.


Matt said...

I understand why you stopped reviewing AI, but these were some of my favorite posts you ever had. Your snark is hilarious.

Toledo said...

For those of you who can't stand the suspense, Joanne Borgella and Amy Davis were eliminated after that show. Amanda Overmyer, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook, Ramiele Malubay, Brooke White and Syesha Mercado made it into the finals. Syesha Mercado finished third that year.

Bob M said...

FWIW, even though my regular interests are more in line with your TV writing and sports broadcasting, your AI reviews are what brought me to this blog. Most likely during this season.

Mighty Dyckerson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Where are they now?
I know Brooke White still tours (she was in the NYC area earlier this year)
and Carly Smithson used to be part of a band called WE ARE THE FALLEN, which actually had a lot of rock radio play 4 or 5 years ago.

Reba said...

That was the only episode of the show I've ever seen! I knew one of the girls back in the day so I tuned in. Sadly she was eliminated quickly and I never watched again. No regrets, watching once was enough for me.