Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AMERICAN IDOL -- Country Week: 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?


Anonymous said...

Sarver also performed in the dreaded first position, which guarantees that forgettable performances become twice as forgettable by evening's end.

I didn't start watching AI until Season 4, but I must say this is shaping up to be perhaps the strongest group of finalists yet (the producers say that every year of course, but it may actually be true this time). There'll undoubtedly be plenty of floundering in the weeks to come, even among the frontrunners, but there really don't seem to be any Sanjayas this year.

Anonymous said...

Maybe no Sanjayas, but when did hair that looks like it's been slept on three times and not washed for a month become "cool?"

Anonymous said...

Since they started selling "Bedhead" brand hair products

Chip said...

My new rules for contestants to qualify for Idol:

1. If you've worked in the industry (signed by a label, in a Broadway musical, previously flopped as an artist), you're disqualified. (Wedding band isn't "in the industry".)

2. If you're being ninja'd in by a label in order to promote their new undiscovered "star", you're disqualified.

3. If you've ever sold, say, more than 10,000 (5,000?) copies of your album (to strangers), you're disqualified.

4. Finally, y'know ... If I just arbitrarily decide that you were planted by the producers, you're disqualified.

5. Finally finally, if Idol jumps the shark in season 4, you're all disqualified ad infinitum.

I have spoken.

Anonymous said...

This is the funniest column about American Idol and so totally true! I love it. My favorites this season are Anoop, Lil and Allison - I don't know why.

Anonymous said...

I kind of like Adam's "Liza Minelli/Freddy Mercury" thing he has going on and I don't mind it when these guys try to do something different to a song but what Adam did last night was just not right!

And Danny should NOT have sung about Jesus and/or a woman on the way to being dead! Danny should have done a Garth song.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean "just not right"?

"Ring of Fire" was the most original thing done on that show since its inception and Johnny Cash would have LOVED it!

I never vote, but I picked up the phone and dialed non-stop for Adam.

Of course, he'll be judged as roo original and way too gay and kicked off by America, but I bet he'll have a bigger career in the end than whoever wins this increasingly vapid show.

Ken, your song titles reflect what a great comedy writer you are and this site is my daily guilty pleasure. Keep blogging, my friend!

Anonymous said...

What I meant was that I didn't like the sound of it. It was original. I give him loads of credit for that. I simply thought it sounded like shit.

The Milner Coupe said...

I agree with the previous poster, that kid's take on Ring of Fire was by far the best performance last night. On a show where the advice from the judges is at best confusing and at worst schizophrenic, he knows exactly what he's doing and may be the most original contestant they've ever had.
Simon is usually close to right on his critiques, but his remarks to this kid were stupid. It's always been the "What was that!" acts that succeeded the most.
I just hope he keeps the poof on the down low. When I told my wife he was gay, she said "the tall, good looking sexy one? Now that's a shame". Too many might agree.

Unknown said...

I loved Adam as well. Maybe not at first but it is now my favorite of the night. On a night when everyone played it safe and did county (or at least tried to), he remained true to himself and stunned everyone. Those notes that he hit were amazing!

My MIL also thinks it's a shame that Adam's gay. I had to remind her that she's over 80 and, given the slim chance that she would meet Adam in real life, she would never sleep with him.

Anonymous said...

The blind guy did a song about a girl being too homely for him to take home? (Like Simon, I listened to the lyrics last night as little as humanly possible.) The whole point of blind guys is so ugly girls have someone to have sex with. The old threat Jose Feliciano's managers used to use to keep Mrs. Feliciano out of their hair was: "One more word, and we'll tell Jose what you look like."

Michael Sarver, whose mediocre performance should get him sent home tonight, said that "Country music is all about having fun."

Then we had an evening of songs about broken hearts, threatening lovers if they leave them, misery, murder, and that incredibly atrocious number Gokey did about the woman about to die (with her kids if I remember right. I hit "Mute" midway through it. If I want to be proseltyzed for Jesus, I'll go to church. Hold your breath, Gokey, until I show up in a church.) deciding to let a man who has been dead for 2000 years take over driving at the exact moment she most needs to conrol her car herself. A revolting song about a deeply, dangerously delusional loon. He should be sent home for song choice alone, but sadly, this religious lox is consdered a front runner.

Adam Lambert was, without question, the highlight of the evening, the one country song that didn't sound country. A vacation for my beleagured ears.

Plus, I BELIEVED Adam's performance. When he said he'd "gone down, down, down into a burning ring of fire," I 100% believed he has. (And Adam, they have a cream now which will stop the burning.)

Anonymous said...

My wife watches this show. I'm usually in the room reading so I hear some of it. I say SOME of it because I usually am forced to put on headphones and listen to RichBro just to wash the banal chatter and the yodelling voices out of my head.

But there's one thing I have never understood. They make such a big deal about the viewers voting. But when the viewers state who they like the least by "voting them off" they always make them sing again after they are eliminated. If America voted that they were the worst of the remaining contestants, why would the producers believe that America would want to hear them again?

Anonymous said...

Cary: This may be semantics, but America isn't voting against anyone. They vote for their favorites, and those with the most fanatical support are safe.

I assume the eliminated ones get to sing again simply as a farewell gesture. And it has to be the most recent song they did, because that's the one the band has rehearsed.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad there are people that are entertained by AI.It confirms my belief that there needs to be programming for all levels.

Anonymous said...

Bilge: Ever heard of a guilty pleasure? People at "all levels" have them.