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April 23, 2009



Kristen The Yellow Lab and I are swathed in Lurex as we hustle our way to the bus stop of dreams - the raised floor of the discotheque! We're gonna get down, get down, get down, get down tonight, baby! After all, what better way to celebrate Disco Week on American Idol?

Ryan reminds us that the infamous "save" was used on Matt G. last week, thus making this a double elimination round. Did you hear that sound? It's the Idols backstage giving Matt wedgies for making their job that much more stressful. Ryan informs us that the kids will be taking on the popular dance genre of the 70's - disco. Bring on the pornstaches, gold medallions, and polyester, because Kristen and I are ready for the night fever! As these kids would say, "Let's ance!"

The judges are already seated, which means we don't get to see if Kara's wearing spandex hot pants or if Paula's rockin' the platform shoes. We do observe the Coke cups, however, which is quite apropos to the theme.

Here come the solid gold Idols! We note Adam's wearing a suit and high hair, which signals a ballad. Matt's keeping the mole out of sight under a hat, Allison looks like the lead singer for Benny and the Jetts, and Kris, apparently, just came in from changing the oil in his pick-up. Danny's starring in Grease, Anoop is in layered knits, and someone with a great sense of humor stuffed poor Lil in a cat suit.

Speaking of Lil, guess who's up first? This week, she is taking on the Chaka Khan chestnut "I'm Every Woman." Last week, Kristen and I agreed that Lil was horrid. This week, she's improved. She's just bad. She gets points for energy, but it's almost manic. She works the crowd, but manages to scream half the notes and go flat on others. Randy doesn't know. Kara tells her that she's been every woman but herself. Paula rambles on about how Lil was on vocal rest. Simon cuts to the chase. "I absolutely believe this is your final shot." Ouch. That's a kinder, gentler version of "Pack your bags." Kristen and I give her 4 toot-toots and a half a beep-beep for giving it her best shot. Van McCoy offers a prediction:

Kristen's twirling to the syncopated rhythm in honor of her cute little Kris! He has selected Donna Summer's "She Works Hard For the Money." Say WHAT?? Kristen and I cling to one another in despair. We might have to rush to the ladies' room together to sob copiously into tissues if Kris doesn't pull this off. But, wait. What's this? A totally fresh arrangement, a very cool vibe? We like it! Kris plays the guitar as a couple of percussionists pound out a Latin-flavored beat. He has a little slip-up on the vocals, but otherwise, very nicely done. Kara babbles that it could go on his record. Paula says he shops in the women's department. Simon doesn't care what kind of underwear he wears, it was a great arrangement, not karaoke. Randy shouts that he knows what kind of artist he is. Kris beams. As he should. He is, week by week, securing his spot in the finale. Kristen and I give him 9.5 whistles and a bell! And Vicki Sue Robinson sings his praises, too!

Oh, it's Danny. He's going to sing Earth, Wind, and Fire's "September." He starts the song with a Taylor Hicks-like "Whooo!" Vocally, it's a solid performance. But, the dancing is more disco duck than macho man. The truth? Danny's version of this song wouldn't get clubbers out of their seats to dance. Randy says check it! Kara declares it another solid performance from Danny. Paula claims that women of all ages will agree he has the sexiest voice, ever! (Kristen and I must not be of all ages.) Simon didn't see star power (right on, Mr. C!) and thinks it was awkward and clumsy. Kristen and I can only give him 7.5 village people for an mid-level performance at the point when front-runners need to really up their game. The Bee Gees share their thoughts.

Here comes the red head! Kristen goes all Sister Sledge because Allison is in the house, so she's got all her sisters with her! Allison is singing Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff." Oh. choice? Kristen and I aren't sure how well a 16-year-old singing about "wanna share my love with a warm blooded lover, wanna bring a wild man back home" will go over in Middle US of A. She rocks the song up, per her usual. In one sense, that's staying true to herself. In another sense, every song she sings is beginning to sound exactly the same. Towards the end, either the arrangement falls apart, or Allison makes a crucial error. At any rate, it was good. Not great. Randy agrees with Kristen and I and doesn't like the arrangement, but also agrees she's one of the best singers in the competition. Kara gives her a 9 out of 10 for vocals. Paula declares that compromise is not in Allison's vocabulary. Simon says, "All things considered, it was brilliant." Kristen and I give her 8 and half strobe lights and a quick pass under the velvet ropes to the final 3. Donna Summer herself would like a word with the youngster.

Kristen's on her back, so that means Adam's in the spotlight. He has taken the Yvonne Ellman disco hit, "If I Can't Have You" and turned it into a slow, heart-wrencher of a ballad. Once again, the heart is on the sleeve, pulsing out blood red angst. It's a gorgeous interpretation, if maybe a bit too slow. Randy says he's got it majorly going on. Kara thinks it was like Saturday Night Live and Clark Kent. (You know about Saturday Night Live, right? It's filmed down the street from Studio 57.) Paula talks about visceral emotion and feeling his pain. Simon didn't feel his pain but felt it was unexpected, memorable with immaculate vocals. Kristen and I give him a solid 9.5 shiny disco balls for originality and vocal skill. We're taking off half a point for continued use of the overwrought facial expression to convey anguish, and for the high hair. (Do. Not. Like.) But, unless Adam comes out next week in drag, this kid is on his way to the Nokia in 4 weeks. Blondie has some pointers.

It's Matt! Saved by the judges last week, it's up to him to save himself this evening. He plans to try by performing The Bee Gees signature disco-era song "Stayin' Alive." (From that movie - you know the one. Saturday Night Live.)
He Justin Timberlake's it up, making it current and interesting. But, vocally, there are some problems. Matt needs to stay far away from the falsetto. Still, this performance should put him in the final 5. Randy says he can sing, dude. Kara complains that it's not crazy original like Adam's but she liked it. (Um? Why compare him to Adam? Not fair.) Paula uses a bowling analogy telling him that sometimes he throws gutter balls, sometimes he throws strikes. Tonight he saved himself. Simon, on the other hand, didn't like the performance. "Not a fan, sorry!" He sniffs. Kristen and I think Matt came out fighting, so we're going to give him 8 polyester shirts and white belt. Ami Stewart is hopeful!

Anoop has the pimp spot! Tonight, he'll use it to perform Donna Summer's "Dim All the Lights." Oh. Things aren't looking good for Anoop. Kristen and I already decided he needed to hit one out of the disco if he wanted to stay alive in the competition. He's not doing it with this loosey-goosey arrangement and weak vocal. Randy says nice baby, nice. Kara feels he's hitting his stride. Paula says he hit a magical zone in his voice. Simon brings everyone back to reality. "Mediocre, at best. A horrible version of that song." Simon declares it one of his worst performances. Well, it wasn't worse than Beat It, which is something, anyway. Kristen and I give Anoop 6.5 bumps and a spin for good luck. Thelma Houston is disappointed.

Our rankings:

Shining Stars headed to the finale:
KRIS, Adam

We still feel lots of love for:
Allison, Danny

Death by Disco:
Lil, Anoop, Matt


We get a disco dance choreographed by Paula! It's actually the best dance routine on 8 seasons of Idol. Oh, but - Dear Lil: Go-go boots are SO mid-60's. Dear Adam: Thank you for dressing appropriately, per your usual. Dear Allison: Hippies didn't disco. Dear others: Discos had dress codes. No jeans. Polyester ONLY, you fools!

And lunge...

And point....

And beg your baby to come home...

In this episode of Snow White and the Seven Giants, Paula receives a bouquet taller than she.

Results. Dim the lights. Lil, stand up. Lil, we need you in this competition. But, Lil? You're going home. BAM! That was brutal, Ryan.

Just for that, Lil needs some cute boy comfort food.

Kristen and I won't humiliate the geriatric disco performers of yesteryear who graced the stage for a disco medley this evening. Suffice it to say that Freda Payne probably should have been carrying a tank of oxygen with her when she did her wheezy performance of "Band of Gold," Thelma Houston might or might not have flashed the sway-arm girls when she sang "Don't Leave Me This Way," and KC of KC and the Sunshine Band looked as if he just stopped in to Idol on his way home from an AARP meeting.

More results. Dim the lights. In a shocking twist, Adam, Kris, and Danny are totally safe. *sarcasm alert*

In another shocking twist, Anoop is bottom 3. *sarcasm alert*

Thanks to the magic power in the hand of St. Adam, Matt is safe. Allison bottom 3.

David Archuletta returns to gasp his way through a really atrocious song.

It's between Anoop and Allison, and the magic hand of St. Adam saves... Allison!! Aw, goodbye Anoop! Allison has a sad! And so does Kristen who doesn't like seeing Allison so glum.

The Final Five watch their friends on the stage for the last time. (Allison!! Cheer up!)
The kids say their farewells...

Next week, the Final Five sing the songs of The Rat Pack.

Should be a swingin' time! See you there.

April 16, 2009

American Idol Season 8: Top 7: Songs of the Cinema: AKA Royale With Cheese

Kristen The Yellow Lab and I are Huckleberry friends! After all, what better way to celebrate "Songs of the Cinema" week on American Idol? We do note that the producers are Putting On the Ritz this season with a posh new title for a tired old theme. We're also fairly certain that the young viewers have no idea what a "cinema" is. They probably assume it's a hot new cleansing treatment favored by Paris Hilton that involves a spice usually associated with buns and a procedure that is, coincidentally, also associated with buns.

At any rate, Ryan informs us that, Tonight, the Top 7 will be mentored by none other than director Quentin Tarantino. Nobody Does It Better than QT when it comes to using violence to punctuate the non-linear presentation of the plot. But, what does he have to do with a singing competition? Actually, music is an integral part of any Tarantino film, driving the storyline and defining the characters. Kristen and I agree that if there's any type of guidance these kids can use at this point, it's a lesson in how to tell a story with the music that they sing. We only hope the stories they choose to tell us tonight don't involve severed ears, shots of adrenaline administered directly through the breast plate, or anyone shouting, "Bring out the gimp!"

Rather than marching out as if they are in an Easter Parade, the judges are already seated, sipping their jumbo Cokes, like eager teens at a drive-in "cinema." In fact, it looks as if Simon is already trying to get his hands up Paula's shirt - or, as they says in the "cinema," blouse. Simon informs us that, thanks to the program running almost 10 minutes over last week, each contestant will only hear from two judges. Alrighty, then. Shout out! Little Steven and his beauteous wife, Maureen, are in the house. Apparently, Katie Couric was as well, but she's not associated with Bruce Springsteen, so Kristen and I aren't interested.

Here come the kids! Kristen and I note that Adam has gotten a hair cut, and must have donated the clippings to Lil. Either that, or her hair has grown 6 inches in one week. Danny is without his trademark glasses, and Kris is wearing a jacket this evening! Not too shabby.

Kristen's bounds around the room in circles of joy because her little red-headed lab girl, Allison, is on the screen! Tonight, she will be performing the Diane Warren song, "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing," that was sung by Aerosmith for the movie Armageddon. Kristen and I must admit that we love the way Allison accessorizes to match her hair! Truth be told, we've learned to accessorize to match Kristen's hair as well. Beige is a very yellow lab-friendly color. Uh-oh. This is not good. Allison has pitch problems in her lower register, and seems to be going through the motions of singing the song. As Time Goes By, it gets better, particularly when she gets to the bridge. But, this is her worst performance to date. Paula says she has Adam's special sauce. (That sounds illegal in several states.) Simon says she is the women's last hope (Note: Lil has yet to sing) and thinks Allison can make it to the finale. (Not with any more performances like this one, she won't.) Kristen and I can only give her 5 buttered popcorns and a Rainbow Connection for her colorful 16-year-old self! And, now for a little Saturday Night Fever for inspiration!

Here comes Anoop dressed like a college boy out for a beer run. Kristen and I have grown weary of Anoop. We're sure he's a nice enough kid, and he has a decent voice, but every performance of his begs the question: What's he doing here? Oh yeah. The judges put him through for a Top 13 Wild Card pick. Tonight, he is singing "Everything I Do I Do For You" by Bryan Adams from the Robinhood soundtrack. He gives it a nice cabaret feel with a piano accompaniment. His vocals are definitely on, tonight. Way to Fight The Power, Anoop! He doesn't want to go home, even if he is dressed for his next frat party. Randy "dawgs" him, and said it was in tune and had emotion coming off. Kara must have thought the two-judge format meant she gets to talk even more, because she babbles about pop music and continuity. She says it was Anoop's best performance, meaning she's already forgotten "Always On My Mind." Which is the problem with Anoop. Even when he's very good, he's forgettable. Kristen and I give him 8 boxes of Milk Duds for fighting the good fight. And a little message from the ladies from Nine To Five:

Kristen's primping. That can only mean one thing. Adam! Tonight, he will be performing "Born To Be Wild" from the Hopper/Fonda flick Easy Rider. Adam bounds onto the stage and gives a head-banging, hip swiveling performance that has the crowd on its feet. Not only does this boy loves eating lightening, but he zaps it right back at us with gusto. As is to be expected whenever Adam doesn't do a dreamy ballad, some people weren't liking it. "Too screechy!" says they. To which Kristen and I reply, "Then turn down your hearing aid, granny or gramps." Because we were rocking right with it. OK. The orgasmic screaming at the end? A bit much. But, the rest was what it's all about. Though Adam has finished, Paula, apparently, has not. She squeals and hyperventilates until she finally catches her breath and proclaims Adam the bravest contestant on the show ever. He walks in greatness or something equally hyperbolic. Simon says, "Vocally incredible." But, compares the performance to something from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Fine with Adam. He loves that movie! Kristen and I have decided we can't judge Adam in comparison to the others because we think he's the best every week. So, judging him on his previous performances, with Mad World being a 10 1/2, we give him 9 extra large Slurpees and a message from Midnight Cowboy:

Here comes Matt! He still hasn't learned he needs to wear a hat on performance night, so Kristen finds herself oddly hypnotized by the mole in the center of his head. Matt has chosen another Bryan Adams' tune, "If You Ever Really Love a Woman" from, as Ryan pronounces it, "Don Huwaun Day Marrrrllllllco." Show off. Kristen and I will get right to the point. This is awful. Flat in places, sharp in others, way off the mark on the falsetto. But, there's something about Matt - an earnestness to him tonight - that's won us over. Currently, Kristen and I are praying to St. Adam that someone or other will be worse than Matt, tonight, and spare him. Randy tells him he fell down in that song more than he won him. Kara says if you're going to flip it, it has to be a masterpiece. Kristen and I give him 4 JuJu Bees and Wing and a Prayer that he sticks around. Also, a mention from Butch and Sundance:

Danny Gokey is up next to sing "Endless Love," a Diana Ross/Lionel Ritchie joint from the movie of the same name. *sigh* Kristen and I certainly do not expect Danny to be over the sudden, tragic loss of his young wife. But, at some point, we do expect him to quit singing about it. It's a solid vocal, as is typical for Danny. But, it's the same schmaltz week after week. There's nothing interesting to his vocal or style of performing. At the end, he looks up, misty-eyed, to the sky, and phone companies across the nation brace themselves for an overload as women across the nation dial for the youthful widower. Kristen and I give him 8 popcorns without butter for a dry, but sound performance. And here's a little message from a Working Girl:

Kristen is wagging her tail so hard, she's swept everything off our coffee table, including the dust. Good dog, Kristen! She's excited because her darling little Kris is up next. He's just the right size for Kristen to carry on her back, so she's always happy when he takes center stage. Tonight, he will sing the not only little-known but almost unknown "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hasard from the movie Once. Let me say right from the start that I did not like this. I thought it was a poor song choice (boring), off the note most of the time, and not dynamic enough a performance. But, Kristen, being a die-hard fan of her namesake, can't get past the fact that Kris is all alone and vulnerable at the microphone singing a song about falling in love. I, however, was disappointed as this could have been a moment. Kris has definitely let his A game slide, tonight. If you're going to sing an obscure song, you need to sell it. Kris isn't quite to the point where he can completely sell an unknown song. He can definitely sell a new arrangement of something popular, and that's the turf he should occupy for the rest of the competition. Randy tells him it was pitchy from note one, and gets booed for it. But he's right. Kara, though, says it was his best performance. Um. His best performance, TONIGHT, Kara? I'd only give him 4 caramel corns for this but Kristen is threatening to eat the toes out of my new boots, so I'll up it to 8 for her benefit. Bring it next week, Kris! Fortunately, that performance won't sink you like the Titanic!

Who's left? Oh yeah. Lil. She's doing a horrific job singing Bette Midler's "The Rose" from the movie of the same name. By far the worst performance of the night, and her worst of the season. Thank you, Lil, for possibly save Matt. Uh-oh. Paula doesn't even bother to tell her she looks lovely. She cuts right to the chase. "Lil, sometimes the road is long, but it's worthwhile to make it this far." Simon tells her she got it all wrong, too soft, too slow too middle of the road. Lil sasses back. She complains that they keep telling her to be an artist. She feels she achieved that goal. Kristen and I feel she didn't. Therefore, we're not giving her anything. In fact, we demand a refund on our cinema ticket for that mess. You just give us a big chill, Lil.

Our Rankings:

Superfly week after week:

Still our Fair Lady, even with her weakest performance to date:

Still able to give us that sweet Sound of Music:
Danny, Kris, Anoop

Should be Gone With the Wind very soon:
Lil, Matt


This is American Idol, so there is the obligatory Ford commercial. This one is performed to Freeze Frame by J. Geils Band with Matt as the featured vocalist. Next, the Top 7 perform Flash Dance, also featuring Matt. Kara and Paula have decided they want to be Idols as well, so sing and perform along.

Zac Efron is the audience. (Who? asks Kristen.) He's there to promote his new movie, 17 Again. The kids helped promote it as well by attending the premiere. They got to ride in limos! Adam says his favorite part of the movie was the cheerleaders, thus inciting Twilight loving teens everywhere to frantically text one another, "See? He's so not gay!! Eeeeee!" (Oh sweet innocent youth!)

Reults time! Dim the lights, peoples. Allison and Adam? You are safe! Anoop? Take a chair. (Yawn.)

Jennifer Hudson sings her new single "If This Isn't Love," and it's not the one from Finians Rainbow. She's lovely. The song, however, bores Kristen and I to tears. Girlfriend is pure class, though.

Lil sasses to the judges yet again, only to learn that Kris is safe and she is bottom 3. Danny safe. Matt bottom 3.

While sitting in the uncomfortable stools. the bottom 3 is forced to endure the atonal vocals of Miley Cyrus, a girl who probably has more money than Simon, yet wouldn't have made it to Hollywood on this very show.

Ryan sends one of the kids back to the Sofas of Safety, and that person is Anoop. (Yawn) Ryan announces the person potentially going home is Matt. Lil is safe. (Boo! Who voted for her? Oh, yeah. The people at VFTW. Hmmph.)

Now, it's up to Matt to prove to the judges that he deserves to stay. He isn't doing much better than he did last night, but the crowd is obviously behind him. They're on their feet, cheering him on, as are his fellow Idols. Except Lil who wants them to keep the save to use on her next week.

The judges debate, and the crowd begins to chant, "Save! Save! Save!" Simon calls for order. "You don't have a chance of winning this thing," he tells Matt.

"But the good news is, you'll be back next week." Pandamonium!! The Idols rush to grab their pal.

*In a recent interview, Simon said they decided to save Matt because next week is the last week to use the save. They all feel Anoop will be in the bottom next week, and they already decided they wouldn't use the save on him. Kristen and I call shenanigans. They've been shoving Matt down our throats since the beginning. He was not voted in, but placed in by the judges as a wild card. He has been in the bottom twice before this despite the judges insisting he is a front-runner and one of the best vocalists. They've had him sing last when he wasn't the best of the night and have kept him securely in the top half of the show almost every week. We weren't surprised they saved him. But, now he'll suffer the fate of being voted off twice after never actually being voted in. Also, Kristen and I think they do not want to be forced to use it on Lil, who has proven to be nothing but a disappointment.

But, we're happy it provided the kids this bonding moment. Hey! Paula wants in!

She's desperate. Won't someone hear her plea?

Two kind souls take pity on her.

Quick poll results! Thanks to the ladies at and for being heavy hitters!
The winner of who should be in the finale with Adam with 63% of the vote? Allison! An Alladam finale!

In second place with 29% of the vote is Kris, for a Kradam final two.

Next week, this group will get out their their their their boogie shoes for Disco!

See you all then! Thanks to the lovely Top Idol for use of her screen caps. Check out her blog this week! She's got an insider report from the results show. As always, don't forget to read Bored Morons, and check out this week's episode of The Bromance.