Tuesday, March 10, 2009

American Idol: Top 13 take on Michael Jackson

Hello Idol Fanatics! Here we are again. The big stage. Ryan making a grand entrance as prophesied by yours truly (although, I think him flying around the studio on a wire still would've been the way to go!). Oh and remember I talked about HDTVs showing up in the most random of places? How about the STAGE FLOOR?! Ahh good times. So, all of our questions about the top 13 answered very quickly by Simon. It will be a top 11 by the end of Wednesday night! Whew, I don't know if I could take an extra week of Idol this year! Ahhh but then the mysterious TWIST (another one???) was thrown in right at the end of the episode that will include the judges in some way. Guesses? Could this be yet another way for the Idol producers to control who wins the competition? It's getting out of hand isn't it?
Oh well, that's not what we're primarily here to do. We're here to figure out who is going home. It's Michael Jackson night. I've gone on and on about how no one should try to sing Michael Jackson on Idol. It's normally been a disaster. But overall, I was impressed tonight with the performances. It seems like every season, the first week of the Top 12 finals pulls out all of the stops. It always seems like everyone can win (well not EVERYone. There's always some stinkers!) However, once next week rolls around, I think we will all be singing a different tune with which contestants are the pretenders and which are the real deal! Let's figure out which 2 will be going home!
  1. Lil Rounds - "The Way You Make Me Feel" - I really need to come up with a good nickname for her. You'd think her name was a good enough nickname as it is. But the LIL just doesn't fit that posterior. I guess we'll call her Sir Mix-A-Lot's Poster Girl. Lady Mix-A-Lot? MISS MIX-A-LOT? Okay, I've probably lost half of my readers by now so let's move on! So we were given more of the sob story of how Lil got impregnated too many times to be able to provide for her family. And then she came out dressed in Memphis's finest and put on a little show for everyone! I don't recall Michael Jackson ever singing the lyric "ain't nobody biznuss" I think there was supposed to be an apostrophe and correct pronunciation in there somewhere...but nooooo LIL Rounds is the second coming of Fantasia folks! It's okay! The judges see no wrong in her! Well, save for Simon. Thankfully he basically called the outfit hideous and said it was a lazy song choice with the 2nd half being better than the 1st. I can agree with that. We all know I'm not a fan, so I'll take any judge's support I can get! That being said, she wasn't awful. It was a good way to start off the show, and she'll definitely be around for awhile. Hey, I hate her, but she CAN sing!
  2. Scott MacIntyre - "Keep the Faith" - Nope, not the Bon Jovi song. Nope not even Billy Joel's version with an "ING" at the end of "Keep." No folks, it's Norway's favorite song by Michael Jackson (as Paula let us know Simon stated once on scout's honor!). Yeah, it was a rough song. Scott is all about the inspirational music. And I know I hate the sappy crap. I gave Davey the Artichoke a lot of crap about it last year. But here's the thing. Scott CAN sing these songs. I mean, the guy is legally blind is a brilliant pianist and a decent singer. Let the man do whatever he wants! I'm not so sure he'll make it to the end, but I enjoy watching him do his thing. I can't imagine, he'll get sent packing just yet. He played the piano beautifully tonight. And yeah, Simon did state very bluntly this isn't the show to really show that off. Who cares? Like I said, let the man do his thing. We'll see what else he has. But yeah, after "Mandolin Rain" and "Keep the Faith" maybe something we all know next time?
  3. Danny Gokey -"P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" - Well kids, I don't care if he was over-hyped. I'm still a fan of Danny! Maybe I find it a little disturbing that he sang his homework and every other daily chore in the house. But, you know what? I can identify with that. I sang at the lunch table in grade school until my classmates would tell me to shut up (not because I was bad, because I rocked their socks. I just know it!)! So we were both weird! (well...okay, I still am!) Anyways, this is an instance where you can look at a performance from a previous contestant and show how much better Danny is than that guy. Yep, if you know your Idol History, I'm certainly talking about Sideshow Bob (Justin Guarini) and his striptease on the Season 1 stage. Danny's dancing wasn't nearly as bad as Justin's!

    And come on? Those vocals were "off da hoooook!!!!!" (sorry Randy, had to borrow that one.) Now, if we're going to go by Paula and you can do your math, she already has Danny and Adam duking it out in the finale. I wouldn't go that far just yet, but Danny still remains a front-runner at this point.
  4. Michael Sarver - "You Are Not Alone" - Okay okay, get those images of naked pasty Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley eating apples with little towels wrapped around their privates, out of your mind! (Man, remember that farce? The King of Pop marries the King of Rock's daughter? So bizarre) Instead think of "Free Willy!" Anyway, Mikey took on this ballad from the Pop Master with the fake nose. He was good. The judges pretty much nailed it. He's not the best singer in this competition but people love him and he's good enough to get through. (I think!) Although, some of his phrasings of certain words reminded me a little of Jewel. Like "HUGH ARE NOT ALOOOOOONE" (sing it out loud like that. you'll know what I mean). But I still like the guy. And how can you not feel bad for him that he wants to take care of his 1 daughter and not work on that dangerous oil rig? (yes that's right, he didn't breed a fleet knowing that he couldn't provide for them!!) He won't win, but it's good to have him around for now. Unfortunately, he is who I thought was on deck to go home this week as of last week. So now I need to rethink things!
  5. Jasmine Murray - "I'll Be There" - Right on cue Jasmine! Thanks for stepping up for me! Okay, at first listening to this performance, I thought it was kinda decent. Except for those woeful high notes. Ugh.... those were rough. But I also assumed she would be attempting the Mariah Carey version of the song. Which made me think...does she even know who Michael Jackson used to be before the freak show? Was this the only song she recognized because it was more recent? Eh, I guess even Mariah's version isn't THAT recent! Jasmine was probably a year old when it came out! What's my point? Well, it's 2 ballads in a row from her. The judges are calling her old fashioned. She doesn't have a chance to win the competition. And no one voted for her to be there. This may have been her final shot to impress. And on a poll on ew.com most people had her pegged as the first to leave us. I still have to do my math below, but she is a prime candidate for the Wednesday elimination!
  6. Kris Allen - "Remember the Time" - Ugh, why are all these people picking songs from the Dangerous album? Kris was another guy I had pegged to leave us quickly. But he does have that adoring female fan base, and he reintroduced us to his guitar this week. And even though you could barely hear it, it made him more comfortable on stage. I would agree with Simon though (even though he said he was joking), they shouldn't have done a story on his wife so early. The girls may start dialing for someone else now! Performance-wise, he did a decent job with it for what it was. I never liked the song. I mean, seriously, Eddie Murphy was in the video. What was that all about? Simon couldn't wait for it to end. He could be a candidate for a bottom 3 nod this week, but I'm not so sure he'll go home yet. I may change my mind by the end of the blog!
  7. Allison Iraheta - "Give In To Me" - This tune, I had never heard. Or maybe I just didn't recognize it. Allison, is clearly our resident female rocker this season. And for her age, she continues to impress. I wasn't as impressed as the judges were or even as impressed asI was with her rendition of Heart's "Alone" a couple of weeks ago. But clearly, she remains a force to be reckoned with. I also would like to see more video clips of her performing at that shopping center. That was hysterical!
  8. Anoop Desai - "Beat It" - Yikes Anoop. Dude, what are you doing? Okay, so there are unknown songs by Michael Jackson and then there are songs TOO WELL KNOWN by Michael Jackson. Agree totally with the judges. Came off as amateur Karaoke. There isn't even much of a melody to "Beat It" to impress in a singing competition. Simon regrets bringing him back for the 13th spot. This is 3 questionable performances in a row from Anoop. Maybe, he's not really the contestant we thought he was. I just can't see him going home yet either though. This is going to be a tough choice!
  9. Jorge Nuñez - "Never Can Say Goodbye" - Am I crazy or am I the only one that thought Jorge did a great job? Sure, it's not the best song. But after he started singing it, I didn't care. That voice is pretty darn good. After he was done performing, I was not prepared for the judges' comments. I guess maybe it was a little corny of a song. But whatever. It's Jorge. The biggest piece of ridiculousness was Paula first asking "what drew you to the song?" and then when Jorge didn't understand the question she decided to use the simpler phrase "what compelled you to make that song choice?" REALLY?!?!?!?!?! He doesn't know DREW but COMPELLED, that will work! So will voters remember Jorge tonight? Time will tell. Maybe someone will bail him out too.
  10. Megan Corkrey - "Rockin Robin" - Thanks Megan! Right on cue too! Way to step up with your ultimate cheesiness! I mean come oooonnn!! ROCKIN ROBIN? Of all songs? I mean I get it. Megan is the retro gal this season. She's supposed to take these old songs and use that crazy voice she has. But it just came off as a 60's infomercial or something (did they exist back then?) And was that a flute I kept hearing? Well if it wasn't, there was definitely Megan making bird sounds as her big finale to the song. This was absolutely ridiculous. And I don't care if Paula thinks she will be back (unless she knows something we don't). She shouldn't be.
  11. Adam Lambert - "Black and White" - Okay. Adam has an amazing vocal range - proven. Adam is a grand stage performer - proven. Did I miss something? What brought Paula to tears? What declared him the winner? (comparing it to Simon's declaration that Carrie would win the competition in season 4) Was it THAT good? Maybe I was too busy taking notes. Was he in a league of his own? Performance-wise? Sure. He knows how to work the stage. Me, personally? I want less screeching. It's already getting on my nerves. Don't get me wrong. I'll take him over LIL any day of the week. And yeah, Michael Jackson is/was an over the top performer. So Adam, did well to bring his performance to that level. He's no Michael Jackson in his prime up there though! I think I need to see more of Adam before I can get as enthused as our "paid by the producers of the show" judges are. I'm sure I will get there too. But people...patience!!
  12. Matt Giraud - "Human Nature" - Finally, Matty gets behind the keys and shows us what he is really about. I loved this performance. And I, in no way, thought that he paled in comparison to Adam as Simon stated. Maybe I just have a soft spot for piano players, considering I am one, but daaang (family blog)...he really brought it tonight. Maybe a little TOO much Timberlake expressions to his performance. But whatever. The question is...will his piano playing every week get old? Will he try to mix it up? For now, that's not a concern. He done good!
  13. Alexis Grace - "Dirty Diana" - Convenient song title considering the reason Idol had to go to great lengths to secure an available phone number for contestant #13. Since this is a family blog, I am not going to get into what the traditional number with a 13 at the end will dial! That being said, right off the bat, Alexis either has a big advantage or disadvantage for the night. First of all...the number wasn't shown until after 10:00pm Eastern time. So did DVR viewers miss it? 2nd of all, people not paying attention to Ryan may have just dialed 13 anyway. None of this even gets into the performance though. She was decent. With all of the comparisons to Kelly Clarkson the judges made though, I think I was expecting a lot more. I've always loved that song. Big fan of the BAD album as it was my first compact disc I believe! Simon didn't think it was as good as Alexis may have thought it was. Could be interesting to see what happens Wednesday night with the phone number scandal and the so so comments from the judges.

Yikes, so we need a bottom 3 (or will it be a bottom 4?) and then need to get rid of 2. Those new to the blog...this is how I do my process of elimination!

Who are untouchable based on tonight? Danny, Lil, Adam, Matt
Which Fan favorites should stick around? Scott, Allison, Alexis, Kris
Who essentially gave forgettable performances? Jasmine, Anoop
Who gave a memorably awful performance? Megan
Who is out there that I couldn't really categorize? Michael, Jorge

Bottom 3: Jasmine Murray, Megan Corkrey, Anoop Desai (If Bottom 4: Michael Sarver)

Elimination Picks: Jasmine Murray, Megan Corkrey - Jasmine, you've had too many chances to impress and you keep boring us to sleep! Megan, you miss your baby, maybe it's time to go home!

Ugh, this is a tough one. I really don't think 2 girls will be leaving when there are only 5 of 13 to start with. But I couldn't pick between the 2 as they both are out of their league! I think Megan does not belong in this competition, but because it was so memorably bad, she probably has the better chance of sticking around (sympathy vote). But, I really can't see Anoop leaving either. Tough call. And there's always Jorge that maybe others out there were bored with. Oh well, I made my picks, I'll stick with them!

Ahh, but do my picks even matter anymore? What is with this twist that we are going to find out about during the results show? Are the judges going to get to VETO an elimination? If they decide they don't like someone during the remaining 10 weeks, will they replace them with Tatiana? The possibilities are endless! Anyone ever watch that episode of Friends when Joey was going to host a Game Show called BAMBOOZLED?! The rules were incredibly hard to follow but absolutely hysterical. Yep, that's what is happening on Idol these days or they could be just taking tips from the Fonze. I'll reserve my judgement until we find out more!

Kelly Clarkson and Kanye Crappola will perform on the results show. Both probably worth watching, but the latter mainly for laughing! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and please discuss below your thoughts on the show, the pending twist and picks for the elimination. See you after the results!

This blog can also be read and discussed on Gather.com. Come check it out and throw some votes my way if you have spare time!


Anonymous said...

I think the twist is that the judges pick who goes home from among the bottom vote-getters. If so, I think it's complete BS and I won't cast any votes until they abandon it.

I actually thought Jorge did well too. I was surprised that the judges were so hard on him.

I don't care what anyone says, "Lady Mix-a-Lot" is a great nickname!

Unknown said...

If the judges pick, the point of the show is completely lost. I was also pleasantly surprised with most of the performances last night. I'm still not getting the fuss over Lil...I guess they think we need another failed ghetto experiment. HELLO! People tire of hearing all the sobbing about not being able to provide for your overgrown family. I'm sure she just needs a few more WIC vouchers and the kids will be fine. But for now, be gone Corkery!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on Adam. I do not get what all of the fuss is about. I hated his performance and couldn't believe how much the judges slobbered all over it.

Anonymous said...

I thought Jorge was pretty good too, Mike, so you are not alone!

Anonymous said...

Mike, you actually "hate" Lil? Pretty strong dude. I know she doesn't have your vote, but to "hate" her?? Man, that's taking it way to far IMHO.

Mike V. said...

Well, at least you are "HUMBLE" about your opinion! Settle down dude...it's a blog. Do you think I really carry a vendetta against anyone on a reality TV show? I was just expressing my DISLIKE for her as a contestant on the TV show. Maybe it was a strong word, but seriously dude...it's just a word! But as long as you feel better getting your humble opinion out in the world, I guess that's fine!

in the future i will say "CAN'T STAND HER" is that better?

btw...since you're going to nitpick my words....it's "TOO" not "TO" you were looking for there.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Mike...I wasn't nitpickin'--that part was obvious. My point--to be clear--is that I thought by expressing your hate for Lil, you stepped over the invisible line of ethical conduct. Yes, she's not typical of what a reasonable person would consider as responsible in bringing babies into the world but I'm not going to hold that against her. Definitely not in a popularity-based singing contest as A.I.

I certainly do understand that it's just a blog and that you're protected by your 1st right amendments, blah, blah, blah....but I am usually a huge fan of your writing and your style. This one just disappointed me.

For the most part, I love your Idol and Lost critiques. There's not a week go by that I miss them. However, if you're going to try to disparage my comment(s) by being offended and critiquing my obvious lack of journalism skills, then perhaps it'd be better for us that I never comment again.

For what it's worth, hate is NOT just a word; it's a feeling that expresses your apparent level of discontent with Lil and I do believe it will leave you with a jaundiced eye when you blog about her.

I am not a huge fan of hers; certainly I do not know her, nor any relatives/friends of her. But I think her style is probably relevant to those in the know in the music industry (of which I am not). I hope she does well.

Frankly, I was just taken aback by the intensity of your intolerance of her. Nothing more, nothing less.

Mike V. said...


I apologize for my outburst and the typo correction...I happened to catch your comment at a bad time. Rough day at work and that's the first thing I saw after a stressful meeting! lol I'm usually more professional and diplomatic with my responses, as I'm sure you're aware!

I really didn't (still don't) think I crossed the line with the use of hate there. I actually was giving her a compliment in the same sentence. The HATE was meant to come off more sarcastically. I'm sorry you didn't see that way. I do not have any ill-will towards Lil Rounds, but I have made it my personal goal to convince the world (as I did Archie last year) that she should not win. So far, Archuleta made it much easier for me!

As for the babies thing....well that's more my disgust at Idol for promoting these irresponsible storylines and inspiring kids to look up to these contestants. Of course, it's not like Idol really implied anything than a struggling family surviving after a tornado. But, it was once again, me trying to find humor in the situation! Sometimes it goes well, other times not! (I'm thinking Lady Mix-A-Lot may be a better direction to take this!)

Anyway, can't promise I won't slip up again when discussing Lil, but I will try to be more mindful in the future.

I do appreciate the kind words about the blogs and please do not hold back any comments in the future. I "hate" making enemies! It's not my thing! lol

Anonymous said...

Mike....Apology duly noted and accepted. It's unfortunate that the art of writing doesn't always reflect the tone in which it was written. Sarcasm, as you know, is usually easy to ascertain but not always. That probably was the case here.

I appreciate the sincerity of your comments and look forward to many more Idol and Lost hours to peruse, with your reflections leading the way.

So, what do you think of Lil now? : > )

Mike V. said...

I try my darndest to reflect that sarcasm all of the time....but sometimes, you're right, just doesn't work.

yikes...we just bury the hatchet and you have to go ahead and bring THAT up!? lol I'm going to call SARCASM on that and withold my comments until next Tuesday night when Lil attempts to take on hits from the stars of the Grand Ole Opry!! I'm getting flashbacks to Mandisa taking on Shania Twain and an early elimination. Ugh...but I already forgot about the Judges' Save Rule! I'm sure she'll do just fine anyway. There's enough "marginal" talent under her that need to go before she's on deck!

The more exciting part...Carrie, Randy Travis and Brad Paisley appear on Idol next Wednesday. It's gonna be a good time!