Wednesday, April 15, 2009

AMERICAN IDOL -- Movie night for the top (magnificent?) 7

Wait a minute? The judges had to double up because they were taking too long? We only get Simon’s critiques half the time? That’s like the producers of MORK & MINDY trimming an episode down to time by keeping Pam Dawber and cutting out Robin Williams. It’s insane! The show has never had to resort to this before. So let’s do the math: three judges, no problem. Four judges, IDOL & MINDY. What number can I call to vote Kara off? And if the issue is contractual, you don’t have to fire her. She can critique the contestants on the tour.

Another way to trim five minutes is to eliminate Ryan’s grand entrance down the stairs. This is a reality show, not LORETTA YOUNG THEATER.

I know I can be a little rough on Paula but I must say she looked stunning Tuesday with those bejeweled oxen reins around her neck.

This week’s theme was movie night – or more correctly – Bryan Adams movie night. With a billion titles to choose from most contestants selected dreary ballads. If only I had mentored them instead of Quentin Tarentino (who was great, by the way. Except he’s starting to look like Hitler.) I would have chosen much better movie tunes to perform.

ALLISON IRAHETA opened with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”. Yes, she’s only 16 but she sounds like she was breast fed on unfiltered Marlboro’s. Simon, Paula, and the leader of the Third Reich liked her but a better selection would have been: “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.

ANOOP DESAI did one of the Bryan Adams songs. He pleased the two judges that were allowed to speak but could have wowed them had he opted for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”or “Moon River”.

ADAM LAMBERT – Wasn’t sure this week if he was Boy Genius or Boy George. Did “Born to be Wild” but instead of the hard rock Steppenwolf rendition he went more for “Disco Tex & the Sexolettes”. Adam is always interesting although Simon was a little disappointed. I’m sure, like me, Simon would have preferred him to sing, “Where the Boys Are”.

MATT GIRAUD should be kicked off the show for reminding me there was once a movie starring Marlon Brando and Faye Dunaway as the romantic leads. And there was a sex scene. GAAAAAAAA! Matt lent his usual vocal gymnastics to another Bryan Adams song and left the judges cold. Personally, I think the falsetto and gravelly riffs would have been far more effective on “Bibbidy-Bobbidi-Boo” but I never ruled Germany so no one asked me.

DANNY GOKEY sans the glasses emoted his guts out on “Endless Love”. For his big finale he looked up to the heavens, which was very moving unless you thought he was going to the widower’s card again to enlist some sympathy votes. But that would make you very cynical. Just like thinking Danny didn’t wear glasses so he could get some of Kris Allen’s votes. You’d really have to be jaded to think that. Der Fuhrer gave Danny good advice – curtail the hand gestures and just sing the song, but he vood not listen! The result was a tad over-the-top. For that kind of raw, from-the-kishkes, heart wrenching tearjerker he should have done the “The Woody Woodpecker Song” from WET BLANKET POLICY.

KRIS ALLEN did a nice job with “Falling Slowly”. Mindy scolded him for choosing an “obscure” song even though it won an Oscar. Maybe if he sang a more recognizable movie classic like “Pass That Peace Pipe” from GOOD NEWS, “Zing a Little Zong” from JUST FOR YOU, or “Freddy’s Dead" from SUPERFLY she would have appreciated him more. We were denied Simon’s comments for that???

No matter what LIL ROUNDS sings Simon thinks it’s wrong. Still, it was fun to hear her stand up to him, even if he was right. I like Lil, just don’t love her. For weeks Simon has been trying to zero in on just what kind of singer she is. I can tell you that. Background. Lil over-sang and later under-sang “The Rose”. So the only tune I could think of for her was the “Theme from ROCKY”. Three minutes of instrumental then…

Trying hard now
It’s so hard now
Trying hard now
Getting strong now
Won’t be long now
Getting strong now
Gonna fly now
Flying high now
Gonna fly, fly, fly

Unfortunately, for dear Lil, I think she’s going to be singing…

Gotta pack now
I’ve been sacked now
Don’t look back now

It’s too bad because at this stage of the competition all of the contestants are good. Don’t you hate it when movies have sad endings?

The show still ran long.


jbryant said...

Freddy's Dead was a big hit.

I would've liked to see one of the contestants do "Daddy, Would You Like Some Sausage" from "Freddy Got Fingered."

The Milner Coupe said...

I thought it was funny how they wasted three minutes explaining the new changes. They're 5 or six minutes in before anyone sings at all.

I agree with you about the inane 1/2 judging. Are we to pretend all four's opinions are equal?

Kara's advice is consistently bad and dead wrong. She has to go.

Adam's in a wierd place. They're starting to judge him against himself. Even Simon couldn't keep a straight face trying to find fault with him. But you know they have to try to level the game or why watch the rest of the season? Maybe they should just let him sing everyone's songs. The others could be judged on what songs they pick for him?

Nathan said...

Every time they cut to a closeup on Adam's face, I think I'm looking at a porn star's ass before they learned how to do makeup for HD.

jackscribe said...

Love the "Loretta" entrance remark about "Seacrest out", and agree that it's odd to muzzle the uncredited star of the show - Simon. Like Nathan, emo/goth shtick aside, why does a 27 y.o. male wear sooooo much makeup? Perhaps the guy has an acne thing going? Yup, Lil Rounds is packing.

Aaron Barnhart said...

"Loretta Young"

... I feel like my namesake on BROADCAST NEWS: I say it here, it comes out there!

Noah said...

Well, in, say, 1967 a Dunaway/Brando scene wouldn't have been objectionable.

I only caught the final rehash with the phone numbers and found every performance clip pretty unlistenable, thought they were mostly songs I dislike to begin with. Actually, Lil Rounds was the only one I liked at all.

jbryant said...

Unless they use the "judges' save" tonight, I'm guessing that the "half-judging" will be gone next week, with only 7 performances to squeeze into the hour.

I love Danny Gokey's voice, but man I wish he had better taste in music. He's always taking a girlie ballad and adding a little soulful grit to it, which does make it more palatable, but it's getting old. By the way, every now and then someone complains about him "playing the dead wife card," and I just don't see it. The producers throw something in every once in a while, but Gokey himself never seems to mention it.

Mary Stella said...

Ken, I think it's funny that we both referenced Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo in our respective recaps. I, however, should have spell-checked mine before posting.

I thought Lil butchered the song worse than a blind guy with a dull cleaver but I bet she has enough fan base to stay on another week. (I'm in an AI pool, so I really am betting.)

They could have cut the Quentin video in half and had room for Simon to talk after each contestant. At least they didn't pair Kara and Paula or we'd still be waiting to hear the last performance of the night and my DVR would explode.

vicariousgirl said...

Hitler didn't pick the songs, did he? If he had, I think we might have had a chance to see Adam recreating Sammy Davis's fabulous rendition of Moritat from Die Dreigroschenoper.

Dave Mackey said...

You get style points, Ken, for not only invoking "The Woody Woodpecker Song" but knowing the name of the cartoon it was introduced in, way back in 1948!

WV is "waying". I am waying my options in defining this one.

BDUB said...

Ease up on Kara, she's not that bad. She gives the show a bit more legitimacy. I agree that it was an odd choice to cut back on Simon. He is the star of the show and the reason that many watch, while my wife watches for Kris.

BDUB said...

Oh yeah and I was hoping Adam was going to say Born to Be Wild from the great Dana Carvey vehicle Opportunity Knocks!

David O'Hara said...

They've never had anything as good as this on American Idol.

Do Brits have more talent or is it just our tastes are inferior?

WV: herit (tic) Guilty as charged.

Monsterbeard said...

I'm still trying to figure out if Quentin is rocking that haircut on purpose to promote his new movie. You put that little mustache on him, ain't nobody wondering if it might supposed to be Charlie Chaplin.

Alan Tomlinson said...

If you are going to make Nazi jokes, you need to spell "Fuehrer" or "F├╝hrer" correctly, otherwise you look like a nitwit.


Alan Tomlinson

bruce miller said...

hey...............let's show some respect. I was the arranger on DiscoTex and the Sex-o-lettes......and proud to be!

Tallulah Morehead said...

My suggestion, cut the singing altogether, and have nothing but judge's assessments and Ryan's creepy "You're gay!" "No, YOU'RE gay!" gags.

I want a more specific Movie Song Night, and do JUST James Bond movies title songs. Lil Rounds could make GOLDFINGER all Gospelly. Adam could shriek LIVE AND LET DIE. Kris could try to be sexy singing THUNDERBALL and fail. And then all the contestants could sing YOU'RE SO VAIN to Simon.

If Allison's voice gets any smokier, she could sing SHAFT. I hear Janis Joplin from beyond the grave, saying "Even I sounded less rough-lived than that at 16." And Amy Winehouse is calling from England, saying "Pace yourself, kid, or you'll never live to my age."

I love THE ROSE, and did not care for Lil's mangling of it. Adam convinced me he was BORN TO BE WILD, or, at least, Born To Be Flamboyant.

Never vote for anyone who sings a Bryan Adams song. It only encourages them to do it more.

Actually, the theme was "Songs You Missed as You Left the Theater During the Closing Credits."

growingupartists said...

If only you had mentored them, exactly my thought at the exact same time I was reading it. Weird! You and Earl lately, I surrender, I surrender!

Yes, what tunes should the idols sing, sir Levine? Please, do tell.

amy said...

All I could think when I saw the aging QT is . . . Garrison Keillor.

BW said...

That was the worst night of the season. Nobody was very good. And don't they have "producers" or "directors" to keep things on time?

jbryant said...

Tallulah: YOU'RE SO VAIN wasn't a Bond theme. You must be thinking of Carly's NOBODY DOES IT BETTER, which was the theme for The Spy Who Loved Me. Don't fret -- you have earned all your "senior moments."

jbryant said...

Bruce: Did you work on "Get Dancin'"? Kudos.

Speaking of, unless Simon was joshing last night, next week's Idol theme is disco.

Anonymous said...

Canadian Idol has always had a 4 judge format and doesn't have the problem with going over time. I don't get why it's so hard for the judges on AI to be succinct and actually SAY something once in awhile.

Apparently they're going back to the 4 judging next week - I think they realized no one cares if Simon isn't critiquing.

Kenji said...

On the Canadian version, the judges actually give some technical advice to the contestants, and they all seem to be coming from a more constructive place.

Of course, the show was postponed this year because it was too popular -- or something like that. Oy, Canada.

Tallulah Morehead said...


You're right. Of course, in an AI all-Bond songs night, they would have to sing EVERYONE DOES IT BETTER.


Carson Reeves said...

I think the four judges is because Paula's out next year and they wanted you to get used to Kara instead of thrusting her on you out of nowhere. Backfire move since she's so unlikable. The great thing about those 3 judges is that even thought they're clumsy and awkward, they're all genuine. They're being themselves. Kara looks like she's putting on an audition every time she critiques. Go MATT!

Anonymous said...

Stiowa said...
Can you advise me where to go to get a copy of one of the archived tapes of Sam Riddle's Ninth Street West Show? It'd be from 1964-65, when Long Beach Poly (Polytechnic HIgh School) was represented by student government to dance. My date and I were named Mr & Miss Happy Face, and my good friend got the dancing award. Can you please tell me who to contact about getting this?? I'd SO appreciate it, Sharon Hoke Thomas
ASAP, as this is for early May birthday surprises!! THANKS, Ken!