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March 18, 2010



Kristen The Yellow Lab and I know it's only rock and roll. But, we like it!  Yes we do! Still, will we like the youthful Idols taking on some of our favorite Jagger/Richards tunes?  We shall see.

 Will it be a bang or bust? 
At the very least, it'll be a gas! Check it out at the jump!

The show opens with the judges making their grand entrance, followed by Ryan strolling down the Adam Lambert Memorial Staircase. He informs us that the Idols are taking on one of the most iconic groups in the history of music - The Rolling Stones.  Because the kids are of  the age to the be old blokes' grandchildren, (or, in the case of the girls, Mick Jagger's brides) Kristen and I hope they treat the songs with proper respect! 

Up first?  Big Mike! He's opted to sing "Miss You." Two things we learn about Mike: His mother died when he was young, and he has an adorable baby.  (The dead parent and the baby card all in one week? Seems a little desperate, big guy.) Mike gives the funky Stones' tune a current, R&B vibe. His vocals are solid, but it's not a memorable performance. The arrangement is far too ambitious, and he removed the  pulsating bass line, which is the heart of the song.  Kristen and I think he was going for cool, but ended up with clumsy. Randy wasn't crazy about it. Ellen, who has wisely decided to accessorize with scarfs to cover her unfortunate neck wrinkles, wasn't disappointed. Kara spoke of swagger before we tuned her out. Simon found the dancing a bit corny.
Kristen and I had chosen "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and think that it would have worked better for Mike, particularly if he'd taken us to church with it.  Still,  Kristen gives him 4 out of 5 - 40 yellow lab licks for making it his own. 

Here comes Didi! She's selected "Playing With Fire." We learn that her mother is too nervous to come to the performances. Way to give your child confidence, mom!  At any rate, this is good performance from Didi.  When she tells Kristen and me that if we play with her, we're playing with fire, we have no reason to doubt her based on the bitch face she gives us.  (And Kristen knows from bitch faces.)  Randy said it was hot.  Ellen says she lost her way. Kara says she was pushing her vocals. Simon tells her that's what's nerves will do to you.

 Kristen and I chose "She's a Rainbow" for Didi. While we were aiming for a song that would fit in well with her Colbie Callaitt meets Jewel vibe, we think this was the better choice as it gave Didi an opportunity to show her versatility. We give her 3.5 dandelions for a strong showing!

Oh hi, Casey James!

 Casey has chosen "It's All Over Now." We learn that Casey almost died as a baby.

Casey uses his rugged, bluesy vocals to give the song a southern rock spin. Vocal-wise, it is  a solid performance. His biggest problem is he does not know how to present himself on stage. The camera almost exclusively gives us tight shots of his face (which, of course, is smart if they want to keep him in the competition.) However, the few times it pans back, we see Casey is basically rooted to his spot, clinging to his guitar.  Randy loved it.  Ellen made a lesbian joke disguised as a blond joke. Kara cooly informs him that he was a rock star on that stage, while Simon corrects her  by saying it was an audition performance, and he can't just be a guy standing in the middle of the stage with a guitar. Unless you're David Cook. Or Kris Allen.

 Kristen and I give him  3 out of 5 tumbling dice as we're betting on him to stay in the competition for a long while.

Lacy chose"Ruby Tuesday." We learn that Lacey is the daughter of not one, but two pastors.  Which explains why she didn't choose "Sympathy For the Devil." It does not, however, explain why she didn't pick our choice for her, "As Tears Go By." Kristen and I agree that would have better suited Lacey's slow, dirge-like delivery. Randy's not jumping up and down. Ellen found it all a bit sleepy. Kara is 50/50.In some ways, she agrees with "the guys" (referring to Randy and Ellen. Make of THAT what you will.) Simon accuses her of over-thinking, something of which Kristen and I suspect Lacey is NEVER guilty.

Kristen can barely awaken from her Lacey-induced coma to give her 2 "She's a Rainbow" t-shirts, giving her one extra point for having cool, colorful hair.
Next up is Danny Gokey. Oh, wait. That's Andrew!He has opted to perform "Gimme Shelter" sans his stand-by guitar.  We learn that  Andrew's father couldn't provide for his family the way he would have liked. (Which actually isn't any of our business. Sheesh. TMI, American Idol producers. TMI.). While Kristen and I actually liked Andrew for the first time and did think he felt the lyric, we agreed that it was a bad song choice. For one thing, the opening guitar riffs are as important to the mood of the song as the lyrics and melody. Because the contestants must cut each song down to 90 seconds, that was sacrificed. Not a wise move.  Secondly, the song is simply too iconic.  If you are going to sing this, you have to be on top of  your game. Andrew was not.  Randy says it was pitchy all over the place.  Ellen loved it.  Apparently, Kara wanted him to light himself on fire because she didn't feel enough outrage from him.  Simon is somewhere in the middle. But, he hopes Andrew sticks around.

Kristen and I had chosen "Waitin' On a Friend," and we humbly believe that our choice was the better one.  It's a better fit for Andrew's laid-back vibe. Still, we give him 3 Street Fighting Men for choosing a song that he believed in.

It's Katie Stevens dressed for her 6th grade graduation dance! Guess what song Kristen and I chose for her? "Wild Horses." Guess what song Katie is singing? "Wild Horses." Except it isn't working out as Kristen and I had planned.  To be honest, that hideous dress is the best thing about the performance.  And somewhere in Scotland a cat lady is crying. And she's crying so loudly, the judges couldn't hear the performance.  Randy thought it was great.  Ellen loved it. Kara points out that things are never "technically perfect" with Katie (in other words, the girl can't carry a tune in a Kate Spade bag.) Simon points out that he produced the monster hit album of SuBo's which contains that very song.  In other words, ignore Katie's disaster and rush out and buy yet another trazillion copies of Susan Boyle's record so Simon can get all that much richer.

Instead of grounding her for life, Kristen and I are going easy on her and giving Katie one Susan Boyle, because we dream a dream she'll be sent home. There are high school proms and text messaging she's missing out on.

Annnnd, it's Tim Urban.  Kristen and I learn he comes from a large litter. We also learned that his sisters used him as one of their dolls, dressing him and doing up his hair.  This explains Tim's choice of song, "She's Under My Thumb."  Kristen agrees the boy has latent anger issues with women. He attempts a reggae spin but it comes off as Jason Castro meets Paul Anka. That would be laughable if he weren't actually singing the lyrics: "The way she does what she's told to do" and "the way she talks when she's spoken to" not to mention "Under my thumb, her eyes are kept to herself, under my thumb, while I can still look at someone else."  Dude! Even Mick Jagger himself no longer performs the song in concert after getting so much grief for the sexist lyrics. (BTW, the song was written tongue-in-cheek about Jagger's then gal-pal, Chrissie Shrimpton.  However, taken outside that context, the lyrics are offensive.)  Tim tells Ryan he chose the song as he felt it was one he could have fun with.  I guess we're lucky he didn't choose "Brown Sugar."  Learn to think about the lyrics, kids. Anyway, Randy didn't get it.  Ellen felt as if she were listening to it at a resort. (What resort would that be, Ellen?  The one that hosts the "How To Make Your Woman Submit Unto You" convention?)  Kara applauds him for doing something different with the song.  Simon thinks Rolling Stones fans around the country are turning off their TV sets and tells him it was a crazy thing to do.

Kristen and I give you nothing, Timbo.  Although, Kristen would like you to talk to the tail.

And just in time for St. Patty's Day, it's Siobhan! We learn she's an odd duck who comes from the odd duck family.  Kristen fetches ducks!! (Well, she WOULD if she were a working yellow lab instead of a pampered, blogging one.) Siobhan has chosen "Paint It Black," a song Kristen and I specifically suggested she steer away from. We were wrong.  She starts out on the Adam Lambert Memorial Staircase, and begins the song slowly, dramatically.  She's slightly off the pitch, but her presentation is what sells the song. However, when she stands up, we expected her to raise the energy level. She didn't.  We love that Siobhan, like Adam before her, is a risk-taker with a great vocal range. She is also, like Adam, ready to step into the current music scene which blends pop with theatricality.  Here's our issue. She needs to be cautious about crossing the line from theatrical to weird. Adam learned very quickly after his "Ring of Fire" performance that the key to winning an audience is to know them.  All the judges loved this, as well they should have. However, Simon should have pointed out to her that it was indulgent, something she's going to need to watch out for in the future.

Nevertheless, Kristen and I give her 5 out of 5 High Wires for a bold and entertaining performance, and for having the vocal skills to back it up. Dare we dub her Lady Lambert?  We shall see.

It's Lee's turn! He's chosen "Beast of Burden," which is unfortunate. He kind of reminds Kristen and I of Eeyore.  This song sort of reinforces that feeling.  Lee has a great voice.  Otherwise:
Randy thought it was dope. Ellen was looking for a little more.  Kara feels he's grown as a performer. (?)  Simon wants him to shine. He wants a moment from him.  Okaaaaay.  Kristen and I don't think Lee has the personality to shine, but we're open to surprise.

Kristen and I give 3.5 out of 5 emotional rescues.  We're hoping he lightens up a tad. 

Onto Paige! She has chosen "Honky Tonk Woman."  We learn her father passed away when she was very young, so she was raised by her mother.  We think it's charming that these kids are clueless about the meaning of these songs. Apparently, Paige believes Mick and Keith wrote this about a randy lady in a music bar in the south. We'll let her think that.  This is a decent performance, but not believable.  Like a few others tonight, it was very "talent competition." But, she brought energy and solid vocals, so we give her props. She's also looks good on the stage, which is a plus.  Randy thought it decent.  Ellen was impressed because Paige has had laryngitis all week. Kara thought she brought it . Simon felt that, due to the laryngitis, she did well, but still feels she's generic and not living up to her potential.

Kristen and I give her 3 out of 5 Time Is On My Sides because we do think she'll be around for awhile.

Next up is Aaron. Dear God! He's chosen, "Angie!" NOOOOOOOOO! Kristen and I have both run behind the sofa to hide.  Except, what's this? Are our ears deceiving us?  He sounds good.   Hmm. He's no Mick Jagger, but this is very nice pop version.  And based on the ways the sway bots in the audience are screaming, this "teenagers in love" treatment could be a hit!  Randy thought it was hot.  Ellen felt it was a great song choice.  Kara thinks when he feels the lyric of a song, he stands out.  Simon said it was absolutely the best song choice for him, and it was very believable.  Kristen and I agreed until Randy compared him to Justin Timberlake. I mean, Aaron's a nice kid with a pleasant voice, but he ain't bringing sexy back anytime soon.

Kristen and I give Aaron 3 out of 5 Not Fade Aways, because we don't think he will. This performance not only saved him, but bought him a few weeks to grow and show what he can really do.  Aaron might be a dark horse to the final 4.

And, finally, Kristen and my beloved Crystal is up next! She will be performing "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which, we agree, is perfect for her.  We learn that she has a daddy who she wrote a song for when she was 13.  The memory of it makes him tear up.  Awww!  Basically, Crystal does her thing. Basically, she's record-label ready.  Vocally, she's sound.  But, her connection to the lyric and the way she modulates her tone to fit is what separates her from the pack.  UNFORTUNATELY, she might have the same problem as the equally talented Siobhan.  The Idol audience is like no other.  We want to be entertained not just by musicianship, but by story arcs and back stories and drama.   Crystal's quiet, solid talent, much like Melinda Doolittle's during her season, might send her home too soon.  Randy didn't think it was her best performance, but she didn't disappoint. (This is the part where they tell the A student she still got an A, but it was a lesser A.)  Ellen thinks she was born to perform on stage. Kara felt she loosened up tonight.  Simon's concerns are legitimate.  She's so comfortable and confident on stage, he worries people think she's taking it for granted.  He tells her she has to dig deep and kill it every week.  Yep.  Such is the curse of the front runner, Crystal.

Kristen and I wanted her to do "Heartbreaker," and we think it might have been a stronger choice for her.  But, we give her 5 out of 5 Like a Rolling Stones, because she truly is.







Should go home: Tim

Stay tuned tomorrow when we discuss the results show. No pointy-pose Rolling Stones medley by our Idols? 


  1. Go Zsus! Go Krist ... Oh wait! No! COME Kristen! COME! Sorry, Zsus ... I'll go get her. Where's the leash?

  2. Good girl Kristen, have a treat, have two, good girl