Wednesday, January 21, 2009

American Inaugural Idol Balls

Switching back and forth between the inaugural balls and AMERICAN IDOL’S open auditions it was really hard to keep the two straight. I mean, the level of talent was sooo similar.

AMERICAN IDOL (which hailed from San Francisco and assembled its multitude of hopefuls in the aptly named Cow Palace), kicked off Tuesday night’s edition with a Puerto Rican floozy in a prom dress best described as “attack victim” shrieking Aretha Franklin and boasting that no one’s a better singer.

Beyonce sang “At Last” as the new president and his wife danced. No one, not even Etta James, ever sang it better.

The judges were split on prom girl. Her voice wasn’t terrible but she had this laugh that was so bone-chilling annoying you could understand why anyone, even Gandhi, would want to beat her. Could become the most insufferable IDOL candidate ever.

Next was a goofball in a multi-checkered coat, the kind Lindsey Nelson used to wear. The official name for that style is “Who shot the couch?” He massacred Simply Red.

Stevie Wonder performed at the Neighborhood Ball. He was better dressed and can't see.

A deer-in-the-headlights kid who can do Rubik’s Cubes was so sharp and piercing that electric garage doors in San Francisco all opened automatically.

Shakira brought down the house.

A zoftig gospel singer showed up toting a sheaf of notes, lyrics, and throat diagrams. She pointed out where the “larnix” is. Later, in her audition when her song selection was questioned she said, “I know. I gave you the wrong rectum”. She blamed her failure on nerves. Her words: “I shouldn’t let Paula and Randy irractitate me.” And I thought we were through with George Bush.

Mariah Carey, stuffed into her gown like sausage casing, electrified the inaugural partygoers.

In the most shameless A.I. audition to date, a father brought his two young children into the room. It worked. He was sent to Hollywood. Watch. Next season every idiot will have kids, puppies, wounded birds, disabled veterans, Katrina survivors, or Gary Coleman.

Sting had a little help too. He worked with that blind guy. Stevie Wonder did an amazing duet with him.

A willowy blonde mutilated Gershwin’s “Summertime” believing that wrong notes constituted a jazz interpretation.

Another willowy blonde, Faith Hill, hit all the right notes.

The obligatory pretty boy made his appearance. Paula sent him through before he even opened his mouth. Her eyes bugged out like that wolf in Looney Tunes.

Alicia Keyes was wonderful. Her stirring performance at the Writers Guild strike rally was not a fluke.

The best IDOL audition was from a kid named something like High Colonic. He was so good he didn’t need the mother who had seizures. But you can’t leave anything to chance. Not with cute kids in the building.

In watching both the balls and IDOL again, I think on second viewing Beyonce, Stevie, Mariah, Alicia, Faith, Sting, and Shakira might just be safe. The IDOL auditioners seemed a little, I dunno… irractitate.


Monsterbeard said...

"Stuffed into her gown like sausage casing"

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Mary Stella said...

I think Mariah Carey sang Hero but I can't remember for sure. I was positive her wardrobe was going to malfunction and she'd flash bountiful boobage at the ball.

I never thought I'd prefer Ryan Seacrest to anyone, but I was so tired of the Neighborhood Ball emcee urging us to "make some noise for . . ." or "give it up for . . ." or "put your hands together for . . ." He needed new material. (I'm sure this paints me as tragically unhip, but I have no idea who actually emceed. I knew the rest of the performers, however.)

Anonymous said...

I couldn't be more pleased that Obama is president, but even I was put off by that gaudy spectacle last night. Not sure it was a good idea during this recession.

Anonymous said...

Ken, as a member of the sportscasting fraternity, you really should apologize. I mean, Lindsey Nelson had better taste in jackets than THAT. At least his were interestingly weird.

VP81955 said...

Perhaps the guy in the Lindsey Nelson sportcoat should have used the magic phrase "deep punt formation." Then everything would have been all right.

P.S. Witl all these "Idol" singers ODing on the melisma, do you wonder if Aretha Franklin sometimes ever says to herself, "Gee, maybe I should have continued at Columbia." (Then she examines her bank account.)

WV: "susterg" -- an iceberg with real staying power. (OK, it's weak.)

Anonymous said...

That is an absolutely beautiful photo of your President and First Lady. The way they're looking at each other is so sweet.

Yes, I'm a romantic sap - but look, isn't it nice to associate romance in marriage with one of your Presidents for a change? :)

WV: sessessi - dunno, but it's Latin.

Anonymous said...

Melisma should have its own telethon. "Each year, promising vocalists see their career dreams go up in smoke due to this insidious disease. Won't you help?"

I think Star Search's Sam Harris was Patient Zero. And we've already had at least one Idol wannabe trot out a similarly tortured rendition of "Over the Rainbow." Made me think of another definition of "rendition," but he got through to Hollywood anyway. Actually, he had chops - but that's what's so sad about melismatic excess. It can all but ruin a perfectly good voice. So go to your phone and pledge now.

Unknown said...

Too bad Ryan couldn't have the night off from American Idol. I wanted him to be hosting the ball and offering Stevie Wonder a high-five.

Anonymous said...

"Beyonce sang “At Last” as the new president and his wife danced. No one, not even Etta James, ever sang it better."

I beg to differ. Beyonce is no Etta. Etta could have snored it better in her sleep.

Rob said...

Tonight's my hometown for American Idol, and as expected, they picked the dumbest people to represent Kentucky.

Did anyone see Beyonce was not wearing a Bey-ra and her Sasha and Fiere were poking out for everyone to see.

And I agree that Beyonce's "At Last" was not great.

VW -- Apinsc -- How much tobacco you put between your cheek and gums.

Anonymous said...

Next season every idiot will have kids, puppies, wounded birds, disabled veterans, Katrina survivors, or Gary Coleman.

You had me at 'wounded birds'.

Anonymous said...

Even those who were underwhelmed by Beyonce's "At Last" shouldn't let it prevent them from seeing her in Cadillac Records. Excellent movie, and she's actually superb in it (and, no, I haven't been impressed by her previous acting attempts).

Rob said...

Ken! Where is your comment on last night's idol? I was waiting for your take on Louisville.

If you saw it, I'm wondering what you thought of the redneck country guy who said, "Be careful."

Is everyone in California that paranoid that they think a simple country boy saying "be careful" constitutes a threat?

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Mae West, it's not what he said, it's the way that he said it. They took it as a menacing remark from a departing rejectionee.

More sinister to me was the way that screechy girl's mother at the top of the show actually couldn't hear how horrible her daughter's singing was. We saw her holdng her daughter's hand, and swaying with a beatific look on her face while her girl let fly with sounds that could shatter windows a block away.

But would YOU be watching AMERICAN IDOL while vacationing in Hawaii?

VP81955 said...

I just talked with my 88-year-old mother on the phone, and since she knows I have some knowledge of American pop standards (what she calls the "oldies," though I never use that term to describe anything of the pre-rock era), she was asking me who originally did "At Last." (She knew it went back a ways, though she had never heard the Etta James version -- or even knew who Etta James was.) She believes it was Glenn Miller or one of the Dorseys; I wasn't entirely sure, so I'm going to do some research.

It's interesting to think that there are those who identify "At Last" with a version before Etta's. Mom was also surprised when I told her that today, most people associate the song "Prisoner Of Love" not with Russ Columbo, who popularized it, or with Perry Como -- who made it his biggest 1940s hit when he was Frank Sinatra's prime rival -- but James Brown. (You don't think of JB as a ballad singer, but he does a wonderful job with it, although from the orchestral backing and chorus, it sounds as if he wandered into a Jackie Wilson session by mistake.)

WV: "norwriph" -- a town in upstate New York, Connecticut or Vermont (where it could also refer to a college) said by someone who's just been to the dentist.

VP81955 said...

Okay, here's the info..."At Last" was written by Harry Warren (music) and Mack Gordon (lyrics). It was written for Glenn Miller's orchestra for the 1941 film "Sun Valley Serenade," and several recordings of it were made by a few big bands, but the song ultimately was cut from the final print and redone a year later in "Orchestra Wives."

wv: "sordston" -- a fictional name of an upscale department store used by screenwriters when they want to avoid lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

"All the oppostion could muster to lob at him was that he lied about getting a blow job, as have most men, and which was irrelevant to his governance anyway."

It wasn't the blowjob - it was the lie. He could have come clean and admitted the impropriety, but he didn't have the balls. (too bad we consider that Presidential material.)

Mc Ewan,

You just summed up why we have such cheap heros. If being a coward is an acceptable trait for our Commander and Chief, then we deserve the crap we get for leaders and you should actually be proud of Bush - he was even less of a man than scumbag Clinton.

If they want to be King, they should be held to even a higher standard than the rest of us.

WV: thing: a bitch making something out of that.

Anonymous said...

"David O'Hara said...
Mc Ewan,
You just summed up why we have such cheap heros. If being a coward is an acceptable trait for our Commander and Chief, then we deserve the crap we get for leaders and you should actually be proud of Bush"

I don't know how this ended up in this thread, but with someone as mixed up as you are, I suppose we have to expect you to end up in the wrong thread as well as the wrong ideas.

I should be proud of Bush? He's your idea of a hero? The man who used daddy's connections to stay out of Vietnam, and never really showed up for his National Guard service anyway. For craven cowardice, Bush is tops.

When it comes to lies, Bush's lies that took us into a war under false pretenses, wich has cost thousands of American lives, really tops "I did not have sex with that woman," which is trivial and unimportant.

Next time, pull your head out of your ass and look at which thread you're posting in, you bozo.

Anonymous said...


I thought you might be able to follow this from an earlier blog. My mistake.

Where did I condone Bush's or any other president's lies?

You can't follow the points in a single comment string. Guess it follows you can't handle one from one day to another.

It was prefaced with your quote to avoid confusion. It maybe possible that confusion is unavoidable with any correspondence involving you.

Who's head is up their ass????

Rob said...

--But would YOU be watching AMERICAN IDOL while vacationing in Hawaii?--

Good point. And yet, Ken's still blogging. Unless he's simply phoning it in.

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