April 9, 2009
AMERICAN IDOL 8: TOP 8: SONGS FROM THE YEAR YOU WERE BORN: Tears At the Birthday Party
Kristen The Yellow Lab and I are wearing pointy hats, swinging at pinatas, and praying for a pony. After all, what better way to celebrate Birthday Week on American Idol? Happy the Clown bounds out to inform us that this week, the Idols will be singing songs that were hits during the year of their birth! Oh wait. That's just Ryan.
With the Idols lined up on the Stairway to Stardom, he points out to us that when each of these Idols was born, they came wrapped in a dream - the dream of super stardom. Now, the opportunity to gift these young things with said dream lies in our hands! For this is American Idol. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Kristen and I aren't interested. We just want to get to the frosting on the cake. (AKA: Adam.)
The judges bob in their seats like birthday balloons, snickering and nudging one another as we, the viewing audience, are forced to endure a slide show of their own baby pictures. Of note: Paula was apparently born at the age of 6, and Ryan was a buck-toothed carrot-top (so cute!)
First of the night is Danny Gokey, born April 24, 1980.
Because he is an earthy Taurus, Danny is not prone to risk-taking. He proves that by choosing Mickey Gilley's 1980 version of Leiber and Stroller's "Stand By Me." It's not an exciting choice, but he churches it up a bit with some runs and a mild gospel vibe. Nice performance, but very safe. Kristen's not going to play Pin The Tail On The Gokey, as Danny seems to be figuring out how to downplay some of the over-the-top antics that made him unwatchable in the early rounds. Randy tells him he's got talent. Kara says something or other (Kristen and I don't have the attention span to follow Kara's arm motions much less her verbalizations.) Paula calls him amazing. Simon gives him the Three Bears critique: the beginning was okay, the middle lazy, and the end great. Kristen and I give Danny 8 and half candles and a box of Cracker Jacks for a fairly predictible, but solid performance. 1980 crooner, Christopher Cross, weighs in:
Kristen's tail is in overdrive, which can only mean one thing. Kute Kris! We learn that he was born June 21, 1985, making him a Gemini.
Because of his dual nature, Kris can make a good choice one week and a bad one the next. This is the bad choice week as he has selected Don Henley's "All She Wants To Do Is Dance," which he opts to sing while standing in the middle of the sway-armed girls. The first bad choice was the song, which is lyric-driven. The second bad choice was the staging as he could have sold the song better if he were free to move around in front of the audience. Third, the strange, jazzy arrangement that involved blaring horns and an awkward beat that destroyed the integrity of the the lyric. Kristen worries that he might lose out in a game of musical chairs, tomorrow. Kara says it was like jazz funk homework. Paula calls him likeable. Simon says it was boring and indulgant. Kristen and I guess it's Randy's job to make sense, tonight, as he explains to Kris that he's the one in the competition, not the song. Yep.
Song choice is everything, but it's ultimately about being able to deliver it. Kristen and I give him 7 candles and a pack of Spongebob Squarepants stickers. 1985 icon, Madonna, gives her advise:
Here comes Lil! Kristen and I learn that she's a Scorpio, born November 14, 1984. As a fellow Scorp, it's true that we can be obsessive and obstinate. Lil displays these tendencies by picking yet another song that's too big for her performance skills: Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With it." She looks good, tonight, showing off her legs in a short skirt and heels. But, she moves around the stage like a third-rate Tina Turner impersonator.Vocally, she has good moments. But, the sloppy placement of her mouth highlights her accent which puts clumsy emphasis on the wrong syllables. She does bring it with the power notes. Kristen rudely notes that Lil could serve cake off of her ass. Paula tells her she needed to tell Rickey Minor to take the reigns for a song that is a classic. Simon says it was ghastly and fears they've lost her. Randy complains that she's not listening to them. Kara tells her she's struggling to make the leap from singer to artist. Lil looks distraught, but, once again, promises that if America puts her through, she'll bring it next week. Kristen and I believe in second chances, but not third, or fourth. We're only giving her 4 candles and a paper noisemaker for continuing to disappoint. Even Phil Collins can't think of anything kind to say:
Anoop tells us he was born December 20,1986, which is the same day as Season 7 winner David Cook. Which is the most irrelevant piece of information he's provided to date. This does mean, however, that Anoop is a Sagittarius.
Therefore, he is honest and straight forward, which explains why he feels the need to apologize to Kara for the way he responded to her criticism last week. Did you hear that sound, Anoop? It was America responding with a collective, "Huh?" Anoop! That was an entire week ago! Who can remember? Just go sing the lovely "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper. This week, Anoop slows down the pace, and it's a nice performance. Vocally, he's strong, but doesn't provide much color. Kristen thinks Anoop deserves an extra scoop of ice cream this week. Randy gives him props. Kara thought he controlled the song rather than letting the song control him. Paula feels his voice is like satin (probably like the sheets she'd love to roll in with him.) Simon tells him he took a girl's song and made it his own. Kristen and I give Anoop 8 candles and game of pin the tail on the donkey. Meanwhile, 1986 superstar, Prince, offers these words:
Kristen is having a difficult time choosing between which pair of shoes she'd like to devour during Scott's upcoming performance - my Italian leather driving shoes or my fuscia pumps.
I'm thinking of doing a suduko puzzle, myself. We've found that Scott, born June 22, 1985, and therefore a Cancer, is clingy and can't let go. He keeps lasting week after week after week. This week, he plans to stick around by performing Survivor's "The Search Is Over" while playing electric guitar. His performance is animatronic and awkward. It's not just the worst performance of the night, but probably of the entire season. Kristen is reminded of popping balloons and scary clowns. Kara says it wasn't his best. Paula thought he should have played accoustic guitar and says some of the high notes came off as screechy, yet she sums it all up with "but overall, bravo!" Simon says it was atrocious. Randy wants him to leap off the stage (vocally.) Kristen and I give him 1 and a half candles and a noisemaker. 1985 supergroup Wham! has this to say:
Kristen jumps up and bounds across the room! Here comes Allison! The adorable red-headed teenager was born April 27, 1992, making her a Taurus.
Taurus are persistent and determined. Therefore,even with two trips to the bottom 3 under her belt, Allison isn't ready to give up. She has chosen Bonnie Raitt's classic "I Can't Make You Love Me." It starts off beautifully, a very honest interpretation. She slips into rocker-chick mode half-way through, but that's all right. It's a great performance. Kristen gives her the door prize! Paula knows it's Allison from the first note. Simon thought it was great but is worried about her personality. Randy says it was dope. Kara wants to go make a record. Kristen and I give her 9 and a half candles and a bottle of bubbles! 1992 sultry singers, En Vogue, tell Allison:
It's Matt! Born May 11, 1985, he's the third Taurus of the night. Taurus can be very inflexible and resistent. But, tonight, Matt finally understands that his strong suit is R&B. He has chosen Stevie Wonder's Part Time Lover, to which Kristen and I say, "You've got to be kidding."
But, he changes it up, giving it a smooth, Timberlake-ish vibe. It's not his best vocal and his stage presence leaves something to be desired. But, it's a huge improvement from last week. Kristen thinks he deserves a corner piece of birthday cake plus one of the candy flowers. Randy calls it the best vocal of the night. (What??) Kara says it was unbelievable. (What???) Paula says, "Two words. Standing O!" (WHAT????) Simon says it was a huge improvement over last week and well-done. Kristen and I give him 8 candles and a plastic water pistol. Former member of The Eagles and 1985 solo artist Glenn Frey has this to say:
Kristen is licking the TV screen, which can only mean one thing. Adam! We learn he was born January 29, 1982, making him an Aquarius. This means he is original and inventive. This week, he has made a very original choice with Tears For Fears "Mad World." He opts for the Gary Jules/Michael Andrews version. The stage is bathed from underneath by a soft blue light, giving the illusion that Adam is floating. He sits alone on a white chair, very Edith Piaf. It's a stunning performance, ethereal and haunting with an emotional connect even beyond the level of Tracks of My Tears. What Adam does in one minute and a half is tell us his story. By the time he overshoots the last note, the audience is so emotionally invested
that it doesn't matter. Simon tells him, "The bad news is we've run out of time. The good news I'm the only one who is going to speak. I think this is all that needs to be said." He gives Adam a standing ovation. Kristen and I give Adam 10 candles and a pony ride! 1982 punk rocker, Billy Idol, has this to say:
The gifted: ADAM, Allison
Still the Tops: Matt, Danny
We'd cry if they left: Anoop, Kris
Noisemakers: Lil, SCOTT
Ryan jokes that Simon was born the same year Frankie Avalon recorded "Venus." We're treated to a clip of Frankie singing that very song when the stage doors slide open, and out strolls a well-preserved if slightly over-processed Frankie!
He's still in good form. So much so, even the swaying girls in the audience squeel when he shakes their hands.
This is followed by one of the worst group sings of the season, "Can't Get You Out of My Head." Of course, this does give Kristen and I the opportunity to observe our potential Final 2 in action.
Then there's this potential Final 2:
Next, we get to see how the kids make the infamous Ford Commercials. This week, the theme is Magic Show. Hmm. Final 2?
Time for results. Ryan reminds us that last night's show ran late. In fact, it ran
eight minutes over, meaning that people who DVRed the program completely missed Adam's performance. It also means people had begun voting by the time Adam took the stage. To compensate, Ryan reminds everyone that Simon gave Adam the first standng ovation he has ever given to a competitor. He also gives the other judges an opportunity to rain praise down on Adam. Nice gesture, but too little too late. Fortunately, Adam is safe. Kris? Also safe. Anoop? Stool-bound.
Next is a performance by Flo Rider of his #1 hit "Right Round." Hopefully, the kiddies were in bed for this. Nothing like having a song about a sex act performed on a PG rated family show. Oh, and Flo Rida needs to lay off the steroids.
Back to results. Danny and Matt are safe. Scott is escorted to the Stools of Doom. It's between Lil and Allison. Kristen and I are prepared to flounce out of the room, determined to never watch the show again if Allison is in the bottom 3. But, she's not!! Allison: Safe. Lil: See ya!
Now, Season 5 dimwit, Kellie Pickler, comes onstage to humiliate herself.
She sings her new single "Best Days," and does it very badly while saucily cozying up to Simon Cowell. Kristen and I don't approve.
Back to results. Lil is safe, meaning it's down to Scott and Anoop. Ryan tells us that it is Scott who will be leaving us if the judges don't use the save on him.
Scott begins to sing, and you can feel the pull of the studio audience through the TV screen.
Even the kids back at the Sofas of Safety seem to be on his side.
Kara and Paula are gesturing to Simon frantically. Simon tells Scott the decision was difficult. Two want to save him, two did not. Scott pipes up with, "I can please you in other weeks, Simon!" Oh, Scott. That ranks up there with Kristy Lee promising to blow Simon out of his socks. Simon tells him his journey is over. Paula makes a little speech, and we all watch Scotty's AI experience on screen to the tune of Carrie Underwood's "Home Sweet Home."
The kids say goodbye to Scott, who seems like such a nice guy, Kristen and I only wish he were a better singer so we could have rooted for him.
Next week, this crowd sings songs from movie soundtracks with special guest mentor Quentin Tarrantino. Let's hope no one loses an ear.
Once again, mad love to Murghi at boredmorons.com for the screen caps. Don't forget to check out the brilliant recaps of Shnuglet, Murghi, and AJ Violet. Special thanks to the ladies and gents at Adam's fansite, The Adam Lambert Connection for taking last week's poll. (Be sure to check out the site and visit the picture gallary which has some of the best screen captures around.) Poll results?
58% prefer Adam's get-up for Ring of Fire (LSD Elvis.)
23% loved the Pete Wentz emo rocker look for Satisfaction.
18% preferred his stripped down look for Tracks of My Tears:
And finally, 7% wouldn't mind if he returned to the Jonas Step-Brother effect of Black And White:
Take this week's poll to pick who you'd like to see in the finale with Adam.
See ya next Thursday! Oh, and don't forget to download a copy of Michael Johns' first single off of his new album. The single is called "Heart On My Sleeve" and is available April 14 on iTunes and Amazon.com. Luvs ya!
Posted by Zsus