This was Elvis week on American Idol. What I said on Facebook:
:: Adam Lambert is the celebrity mentor? OK…at least they’re not trying to stretch this crap out to two hours this week…. (I liked Adam last year, but it struck me as odd that last year’s runner-up would be a mentor this year.)
:: Elvis night. I like Elvis, but these contestants…ooooooh, this could be ugly….
:: Crystal: She’s really good. So the way this year is going, she’ll be voted off long before the finale. (I’m making it official right now: there’s no way Crystal wins, even though she is far and away the best performer and singer and instrumentalist and all-around musician this year. She is, quite simply, too good to win.)
:: Andrew: OK, I guess. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t terribly thrilling, either. A good, solid “Meh”. (The judges hated this. Go figure. I didn’t think it was as awful as they did. Andrew’s IDOL career is surely about to end, though; there’s no way he’s got more than another week or two in him, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go tomorrow night.)
:: Tim: He just doesn’t have the voice to do this. In the hands of a better singer, this would be really nice. But it’s not. He’s singing bad notes and his voice has zero heft to it. (And the judges loved this! How is that possible? Tim sang actual wrong notes, and his voice is thin and reedy. Tim’s got that lovable mop of hair and the most sincere eyes in human history. Seriously, if you could take the sincerity in Tim’s eyes and embody it in a pumpkin patch, you’d know for all time from where the Great Pumpkin was going to rise. Tim’s voice, though, is the chink in his armor, his Achilles heel, his Maginot line, his Spanish Armada, his land war in Asia, his…well, you know.)
:: Lee: This is better than last week (I thought his “Hey Jude” was a crime against humanity), but you know what? I don’t like this guy. I hate his “Young Joe Cocker” voice. I hate the way he bobs his head all over when he sings. I hate how he shouts as much as Siobhan screams. I just don’t like this guy. Which means he’s your next American Idol! (I thought this performance was awful.) (Something about Lee really turns me off in a big way. He just seems so inauthentic every week. Lee reminds me of the 22-year-old kid who thinks that becoming a shift manager at McDonalds is a major professional accomplishment. He’s the bank teller you see at the bar after work who gets a drink or two in him and takes a shot at the karaoke machine. And yet, somehow he has everyone convinced he’s all kinds of awesome. I do not get it.)
:: Aaron: Nothing makes me want to vomit more than a 17-year-old kid who weighs less than half of what I weigh trying to act sexy. Did not like this performance, either. It was enormously fake. (Remember Kevin Covais, the unimaginably annoying gangly kid with the awful voice from a few years back who nevertheless made it into the Top Ten? Aaron is this year’s Kevin Covais, except he has a slightly better voice. Or he’s David Archuleta with a slightly worse voice. Either way, I find watching him painful.)
:: Siobhan: Why oh why oh why WON’T YOU STOP SCREAMING !!! This was three-quarters of a really good performance marred by AWFUL SCREAMING. (And I hate her hair.) (I should like Siobhan. She’s pretty unique, she’s an apprentice glassblower in civilian life, et cetera…but she insists on screaming part of her song every week. I’ve yet to enjoy a performance of hers very much. Simon called her performance “screechy”, and she got this stunned expression on her face, as if Simon had just grabbed her pet kitten and pureed it in a blender. And her hair? Seriously, it was awful. All I could think of was the fluffed-out feathers on the heads of the chickens every year at the Erie County Fair. Think I’m kidding? Here’s a chicken I saw one year. That’s seriously what Siobhan’s hair looked like tonight.)
:: On IDOL in general: I’m really tired of choreographed performances like Siobhan’s (but they all do it sooner or later), where they start in one spot on the stage, sing, make certain facial expressions of hand gestures at specific points in the song, et cetera. If I want that, I’ll watch “Cats” or “Les Miz” on DVD. (Siobhan starts on the big staircase on stage, her back to the audience. She starts singing into the camera, which starts to sweep around after the first phrase is complete. She turns and starts descending the stairs, singing as she goes, carefully stepping in beat with the music, making hand gestures at specific beats, et cetera. It was SO inauthentic. She was a glaring example, but it happens constantly on IDOL.)
:: Michael: This was his best performance yet. Simple, elegant, and he really connected with the tune. I liked this a lot. Good for him! (He did an acoustic guitar version of “In the Ghetto”. He kept it fairly understated, and didn’t do much of the Luther Vandross vocal gyration stuff that he’s been doing a lot of. I liked this performance a great deal.)
:: Katie: Again, I’m creeped out by the teenager trying to act sexy. She’s got a terrific voice. Every year there’s a young kid with a big voice who just doesn’t seem to have the life experience to make the performances really convincing, and this year, Katie’s the one. She sang it well, though. (Great voice, but the memory of her performances starts to fade as soon as we’ve cut to commercial. In five years, she’ll be a MUCH better performer than she is now. She’s certainly got the instrument, though.)
:: Casey: Not bad, not great. His vibrato is kind of off-putting. This was OK. (I didn’t much like him at first, but he’s improved steadily until I like him quite a bit. This week he didn’t make any new ground. Didn’t lose any, either, but it wasn’t great.)
The judges didn’t annoy me too much this week, aside from their bizarre love of Tim’s performance this week and their continued fascination with Lee. Two contestants get the heave-ho this week. Bummer, but them’s the rules, eh?
Prophetic, if sadly so. I agree with you.