Saturday, March 23, 2019

Weekend Post

AMERICAN IDOL is back.  Yawn.  But 10 or 12 years ago it was HUGE.  For several seasons I would do my own snarky critiques and post them the next day.  This was back when everyone was actually talking about the show; when it was still a thing.  

I thought it would be fun to go back and re-post one of those weekly reviews.  This is from March 18, 2009.  And it was COUNTRY WESTERN night.  So enjoy... and watch where you step.

Now that the kids not attractive enough for FOX have been weeded out we can get down to business. This was Country Night and the guest mentor was Randy Travis (or, for you non Country fans: Thomas Hayden Church).

By and large all of the vocals were good. I must admit though that although I enjoy Country music I’m not an aficionado of it so I apologize if I don’t get all the titles exactly right.

Texas redneck Michael Sarver sang “Don’t get my girl confused with my horse”. Kara (as always) pushed for bigger notes. I bet if you looked at her iPod playlist you’d find thirty Celine Dion songs, twenty Shirley Bassey songs, and the complete works of Ethel Merman.

Adam Lambert is the illegitimate love child of Freddy Mercury and Liza Minelli. He sang “Ring of Fire” but in the more traditional pre-Hitler Berlin cabaret style.

Allison Iraheta (the Little Mermaid) did a great rendition of “Take my heart but leave the beer”. Randy Jackson liked it too and gave the ultimate compliment to a Country singer – “It was dope”.

Kris Allen, this season’s tween sensation sang the touching ballad, “If you leave me now I’ll kill your dog”. Randy Jackson was shocked. “Who knew you had tender moments?” he said to the boy who looks like a girl.

Randy was on fire last night. He amazingly surmised that classy R&B belter Lil Rounds wasn’t comfortable singing Hee Haw music. It’s like he’s…psychic! Personally, I thought she did a very nice job with “Harper Valley PMS”.

Scott McIntyre did a lovely interpretation of “There’s not enough whiskey in Kentucky to get me to take you home”. Paula thought he should stop accompanying himself on the piano. She said “Audiences need to see you as a showman”. Great advice to a blind man. Let’s see Scott juggle next week. Thank you, Simon for just calling her advice “stupid”.

The judges again scolded Alexis Grace for not looking and sounding like a whore. She sang, “Picking dingleberries”.

Widower/crooner Danny Gokey did not wow the judges this week with his version of the Carrie Underwood smash, “Jesus, check the oil”.

My favorite performance of the night was by Anoop Desai. He killed with “You were on my mind”. If there’s such a thing as Hindustani Soul, he’s got it.

Why did Megan Joy Corkrey drop her last name? Her graphic just read “Megan Joy”. I thought she looked gorgeous tonight; that gown really went well with her tattoos. And despite having the flu (which should be good for at least 10,000,000 votes right there) she nailed “After Midnight”.

And finally, Matt Giraud served notice to Danny Gokey that he’s not the only frontrunner. He brought down the house with “Give me back my spurs, the wedding is off”.

I think everyone is safe on Country Music night except Michael Sarver, the only actual country boy. It’s not fair. But isn’t that what the Coen Brothers were trying to tell us in “No Country for Old Men” after all?

28 comments :

Jeff Alexander said...

I have HATED American Idol from Day One -- or as I call it, "American Eye-Pull," meaning I'd rather pull my eyes out than watch that glorified karaoke "sing-off." (Amazing, isn't it, that the first two Idol "winners," Kelly and Justin bombed, and I do mean, BOMBED in their sole movie outing. Some "Idols.")
I never liked the idea of it being slammed at me that I should immediately embrace some mediocre talent as the next "American Idol." Let me judge for myself. I didn't -- and still don't -- believe for one second that the American public is actually voting for the "winner." I believe that it, like every reality show such as "Survivor" and others of its dreck, are as scripted and planned out as any sitcom or dramatic series. Rigged like a 1950s quiz show. From the get-go.
Once, I happened upon "American Idol" and paused for a moment to listen to the lyrics that this male "singer" was warbling in a funereal tempo. The lyrics were so familiar that it took me a minute almost to place the song -- suddenly, it hit me. Yvonne Elliman's snappy "If I Can't Have You," now being "sung" as if it were Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman."
Not that greatest of tunes, to be sure, but at least they could have had some respect for the original arrangement. It was a little bit like when Phil Collins took the Mindbender's "Groovy Kind of Love," cut the tempo in half and turned it into "Gruely Kind of Love." Bleh.

blinky said...

The only time I ever saw American Idol was when it ran over into LOST. I never bought into Reality TV, but apparently plenty of people did. And now we have Dumb Donald (The Apprentice) Trumo as out Reality TV president. My only questions why isn't Honey Boo Boo Secretary of State?

Paul Duca said...

Six words...Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Very entertaining review that captured a lot of what i think of the show.

MikeN said...

What if for that season:
The order of elimination was Alexis, Sarver, Joy, Mcintyre, Lil, Desai, Giraud, Ihareta, Gokey, Lambert, Allen(winner)

Girard was eliminated at #7, saved him, Lil and Desai were eliminated next week.

What if they hadn't saved Giraud?
Then Lil gets booted the next week, and maybe they bring her back.
Either way, Desai would have been left at 5 remaining (or 6 with 2 to kick).
That week, Adam Lambert was next to last beating out Matt Giraud(Allen was 3rd), as the audience had forgotten to vote for his typically good performance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjqmNOxsvCc
The category was Rat Pack, and just like the Willie Nelson Ken writes about, I think Desai would have done very well, and the result would have been Adam Lambert not making the final 4, a repeat of the Jennifer Hudson fiasco.


Frank Beans said...

Why did Megan Joy Corkrey drop her last name? Her graphic just read “Megan Joy”

I think people with goofy names shouldn't be allowed to speak in public.

-Frank Beans

Peter said...

Very prescient of you to compare Adam Lambert to Freddie Mercury, as he went on to tour with Brian May and Roger Taylor as Queen + Adam Lambert. John Deacon has been wise to stay out of the charade calling itself Queen.

On a different topic, Barbra Streisand seems eager to win an award for dumbest comment of the year. She said of the men sexually assaulted by Michael Jackson "You can say 'molested', but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them."

Shut up, Barbra.

Rockgolf said...

Well, you definitely nailed Adam Lambert's career path.

LAprGuy said...

That was the last good season, despite Kara being the 4th judge (she was fine, but unnecessary). Adam Lambert and Alison Iraheta were both fun to watch. Nice prediction in your review about Kris Allen, who “beat” Lambert thanks to the teens (or the God-fearing FOX execs).

Buttermilk Sky said...

I enjoyed your review more than I would have enjoyed the show. Especially the songs titles. Weird Al should record "Harper Valley PMS."

E. Yarber said...

And six years later my best friend took me to see Queen + Adam Lambert.

Peter said...

E. Yarber

Was it awful?

Queen was Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor. It is not Brian May and Roger Taylor with Adam Lambert or Paul Rodgers (yuck) doing karaoke.

E. Yarber said...

It's not like we became a piece of rock n'roll history that night, but it was fun for what it was. The seats were so high up I was sure I was going to do a header six levels down to the hockey arena if I slipped bringing the beers back.

I also managed to see Korla Pandit live at the House of Blues, if you want to talk about original artists.

Myles Warden said...

It wasn't about finding movie stars though. Kelly Clarkson has been one of the most successful artists of the last couple of decades. If you want to talk about acting careers Jennifer Hudson has been successful in both music and film. Katharine McPhee has headlined TV shows on major networks and she was just the runner up. Maybe you've heard of Carrie Underwood!? The show actually lived up to it's name creating many American Idols, which was no easy feat.

MikeKPa. said...

I read a story about how the BIG BANG THEORY writers' room collaborates on actual composing each week's script and not assign it to a specific writer and then work on revised drafts. In the show credits, normally there will be three teleplay credits and three story credits. Are there other sitcom writers' rooms that follow that practice?

Chris said...

I remember the first year American Idol aired, one of my (then coworkers) asked if I was watching the show. I said that I didn't have a TV, but even if I did I'd probably give it a hard pass. He was surprised.

"But you like music, Chris!"
Exactly.

Robert Forman said...

Based on today’s post I recalled William Hung, the Asian kid who they brought on to make a fool of him. When Simon said something snarky Hung said “I did my best and have no regrets” making him an instant sensation. He had a short career and disappeared except, looking him up, I see he works as a crime analyst for the LA County Sheriff. How about that’?

slgc said...

I'm glad that you're doing a weekend post. Sundays are strange enough without a post, but two consecutive days without one is disorienting.

slgc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janet Ybarra said...

Yeah, I think it's very interesting Ken got the Adam Lambert/Freddy Mercury connection years before Lambert joined the Queen lineup.

At this point, Freddy's been gone 30 years. Why can't they just add Adam Lambert to the band officially?

Janet Ybarra said...

I agree about AMERICAN IDOL, although I was never a big fan. But the fact that the show is tired, why would ABC want to pick it up?

Ed said...

Have you also signed the letter backing WGA and will you fire your agent too?

https://www.screendaily.com/news/edgar-wright-shonda-rhimes-among-nearly-800-writers-vowing-to-fire-agents-if-talks-fail/5137952.article



brian t said...

Here's a question: do you still hate Katherine Heigl? After a fairly successful season on Suits with another on the way, she's starring in a new comedy pilot called Our House. Heck, even 27 Dresses is getting a critical reappraisal. Do you think she's done her time?

Mike Doran said...

Full disclosure:
The one and only time I watched American Idol all the way through, it struck me as The Morris B. Sachs Amateur Hour on steroids (that's a callout for '50s-vintage Chicago kids like me) - a very old-style call-in "talent show" with modern tech piled on.
Being 2-3 generations removed from the music involved, I found it easy to ignore, and so I have.
That it - and so many of the other "reality" shows - persists into the present is one of those things I prefer to leave inexplicable.

*Sidebar: My theory has always been that Mr. Trump saw the proposal for That Show That He Did, misread reality as realty, and said "Hey, me wanna do dat!"
Coulda been … *

Jim said...

A new film to be released in the next few weeks theorizes what our culture would be like if The Beatonever existed (perish the thought). Another TV based blog I read asks this question but with a classic TV Show. My thoughts on this wouldn’t involve a show but a person...Johnny Carson. If Carson wouldn’t have taken over the Tonight Show, tv as we know it from a comedic, late night and talk show view point would be complete different. Leno or Letterman probably wouldn’t have had the success or the shows they hosted. Comedians such as Roseanne Barr, Drew Carey, Robin Williams, and Jerry Seinfeld would have been as huge as they are. SNL wouldn’t have made it to the air as we know it. What are your thoughts on this subject? Are there any shows or personalities you think have an impact that if they were never appeared would have an impact on us? Thanks, I’ll hang up and listen to your responses.

tavm said...

Here's a "What If?" I'd always wondered about: What if Al Franken hadn't done his "Limo for a Lamo" commentary about NBC boss Fred Silverman and his failure to keep the network from rising from third place with no Top 10 shows to show for it? What "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels have been about to get a deal to continue on the show as executive producer with Al and Tom Davis becoming the show producers? Would any of the cast members continued on like maybe Garrett Morris or Laraine Newman, neither of whom broke through during their previous five years? How about Harry Sherer who didn't get along with Lorne but still did some good work on the show? I'm pretty much sure the rest would have left especially Bill Murray who had a film career going (though he initially wanted to retire after making Ghostbusters) and Jane Curtin who was exhausted with the drugs and chaos going on around her? Would even Eddie Murphy have made an impact on the show liked he did when he was working for Jean Doumanian and perhaps the least charismatic cast ever, save for Joe Piscopo...

MikeN said...

I always wondered what Simon Cowell was thinking when they brought William Hung back for a season finale as a star.

Unknown said...

She bangs......