AKA: A CHAIR IS STILL A CHAIR, EVEN WHEN SIMON'S NOT SITTING THERE
KRISTEN'S BAAAACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN!She has returned to the land of AI blogging after a much-needed incubation period! (Some use rehab. Some use the Sober Valley Lodge. Kristen prefers the more hard-boiled approach.)
First, Kristen has some news. She'll be blunt. Simon is no longer with us.
Fortunately, Kristen will always have this momento of her time with Simon. Until we meet again, you saucy Brit! (Or until XFactor starts in the fall.)
Never fear, though. All is not lost. Doing his civic duty and holding up the fort by returning to the show? Our hero.... the TRUE American Idol ...Ryan.
And this season's judges:
Randy (I played with Journey) Jackson!
Steven (Charlie Sheen was not available) Tyler
And Jennifer Lopez-Noa-Judd-Anthony!! aka JLoNoJAn! JLo for short. (BTW, Kristen From the Block thinks JLo's Louboutins are TO DIE for! She'd love to chew a pair or two.)
It's a busy night, so on with the festivities.
First up is super-villian, Morocco Mole - AKA Clint.
Kristen will NEVER forgive him for kicking the darling 15-year-old Jacee out of his Hollywood group. He made him CRY, America!
Is that who we want representing our nation? Kristen says no.
Unfortunately for all America, Clint is actually good. He comes out on the stage and blows up the joint with a solid performance of Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious." Not an easy job considering both the difficulty level of the song and the fact that the band seems intent on drowning out as many contestants as possible this season.Steven doesn't cuss, JLo twinkles, and Randy calls it NOT karaoke. For a solid performance that will get him absolutely nowhere, Kristen gives him 2 Benny Bully treats.
Onto The Italian Stallion - AKA Jovany.
Jovany performs Edward McCain's "I'll Be," and Kristen uses that opportunity to catch a nap. He has a voice worthy of The John Tesh Show. While the audience members make fools of themselves by swaying in time, JLo gazes with longing. (Hey, if you were married to the skeletal corpse of Marc Anthony, you'd be starving for a little beef, too.) Jovany can carry a tune, and he's a nice looking fellow. Nevertheless, Kristen and I agree he would be better suited as a studio musician or background singer with his pleasantly bland style. Steven bought it, JLo has hearts for eyes, and Randy calls it karaoke. Kristen gives him 2 sets of doggie dumb bells as he's going to need them to keep up his physique when he returns to the ship yards.
And here comes Kanye's Ego aka Jordan:
Jordan is best known for auditioning singers to perform in his group during Hollywood week. If they didn't bring the bling, they got a "No. Just no."
To showcase his own superior vocals, Jordan has chosen Usher's tuneless "OMG." Unfortunately, he can't even hit the pitch on the only three notes available. He bops all over the stage, at one point removing his jacket to try to save a bad performance with some sex appeal. Neither Kristen nor JLo is impressed. Nor is Steven who tells Jordan he has the moves, but the performance was not good. JLo reminds him that she loves him, but did not think the song worked for him. She wants him to be a modern-day Nat King Cole. (Note to Jordan: This doesn't mean you need to perform "The Christmas Song" next week.) Randy tells him it was pitchy, dawg. Jordan agrees, and explains he is not into jumping when he sings. How about being into singing when you sing, Jordan? That would work. Kristen gives him a 1 karma treat because Kristen and karma have a lot in common. They're both bitches. Beware, Jordan!
Hey! It's Season 4 contestant John Peter Lewis! Actually, it's Tim Halperin.
He has chosen "Come On Over" by Rob Thomas. (Kristen refuses to call it "Street Corner Symphony." Far too pretentious a name for a silly little pop ditty, Mr. Thomas.) Tim seems like a nice guy, but this is not going to cut it. He wasn't the worst performer so far, but he brought nothing new. Steven feels the song let him down. (HA! Take THAT, Rob Thomas!) JLo tells him he has one of the most beautiful voices, which is a blatant lie. Randy doesn't think he brought anything new to the song. Kristen, meanwhile, was so bored that she's took to playing Angry Birds on my Droid. Kristen gives him 2.5 texts from her i-Bone because she thinks he might be in trouble.
Up next: Olympic medalist and toker Sean White, aka Brett.
Brett, with his long, ginger hair, willowy figure, and reedy voice, has selected The Doors "Light My Fire." Kristen would let out a belly laugh if she weren't currently self-conscious about the size of said belly. Really, Brett? Jim Morrison? But, hey! It's not awful. In fact, it's an interesting interpretation. The 16-year-old has something going on, but Kristen and I aren't sure exactly what the might be. Brett could quickly become this season's Sanjaya, which is not something we'd like to see happen. Steven liked it. JLo's hair was a bit jealous of Brett's glorious mane. Randy thinks he's fun and bold. (Read: We need you for the entertainment factor this season.) Kristen gives him 2.5 sweet treats to take with him as he heads home.
Onto NO ADAM LAMBERT, aka James.
James informs us he is the first Idol to perform a Judas Priest song on stage. Kristen and I yawn. Taylor Hicks was the only Idol to perform a Bruce Springsteen song, and you saw what happened to HIM, James. At any rate, he struts out on the stage with his faux rocker scarf trailing behind. "You've Got Another Thing Coming!" he shouts at Kristen. James works the stage like a pro, and reigns in his rocker wail to give a more nuanced performance than we've seen from him so far. Kristen throws a few devil's horns of glee! Steven liked it so much, he gets bleeped. JLo calls his performance skills organic. Randy says the scream was tasty. Kristen gives him 3.5 squeaky guitars for finally showing the other contestants how it's done.
Awww! It's Droopy! Aka Robbie Rosen!
Robbie has chosen the dreary Sara McLaughlin tune, "Arms of The Angels" which instantly conjores up images for Kristen of sad puppies and kitties. She's all verklempt! Robbie, meanwhile, is an earnest enough teenager with a swell voice. But..... no. He's a bit nasally and is swallowed up by the big stage. Steven thinks he can sing a ballad like nobody's business and that it was a beautiful thing. JLo loved it better than Sara's version. (Um.....?) Again, Randy has no tolerance for the coddling Steven and JLo are giving the contestants. He tells him it was pitchy, and never quite connected. Kristen suddenly has the urge to lay at Randy's feet for the duration of the season. Kristen gives him 1.5 Star-Barks coffee toys in an attempt to liven him up a bit.
Here comes Howdy Doody, aka Scotty!
Scotty is singing a John Michael Montgomery joint called "Letters From Home." It's the kind of sappy country fare that Kristen and I have no use for. It's old-school, and the baritone seems strange coming out of the sweet-faced teen. But, Scotty can sing. He's pitch-perfect, and has the performance skills of a pro. The problem with Scotty is he could be a John Stevens... a one-note wonder. Whereas previous country singers on Idol have had the type of voice that could manage current pop, Scotty has yet to show us that side of him. It doesn't matter. The kid has a career ahead of him, win, place or show. Steven tells him it was so beautiful. JLo tells him he is made to sing country.
Inexplicably, Randy explains that he liked how he switched it up. Kristen gives him 4 USA collars because he is the pride of country! Good job, Scotty!
Up next is a Young Tony Danza, aka Stefano.
He has chosen the perfect song both for his voice and to show who he is as an artist, Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are." He does a note-for-note performance with just the proper number of puppy-dog eye looks to keep Kristen interested. Stefano is not the best vocalist or the most charismatic, but he is one to keep an eye on. He's current, adorable, and teen girls love him. So does Steven who says, "You are so good!" JLo calls him a beast (to her Beauty), and Randy tells him he could be on the radio right now. Kristen gives him 3.5 dog beers (That's 21 in dog years) for perfect song choice and nice delivery.
Here comes Porter Wagoner, aka Paul:
Warning: If you are a Paul fan (a McDonald's Farmgirl or a Golden Archette or a Pauly Pal or whatever the hell you're calling yourselves) you might want to skip over Paul's performance recap each week. Kristen and I are not fans. In fact, we currently have a heavy-duty case of the loathes going on for ole' Pearl Drop Teeth. He performs one of the biggest hits from the 70's, Maggie May. But, he's much more Kim Carnes than Rod Stewart. And the dancing? And the weird twirling of the hands? And the fake tan and blindingly white teeth? No. Also, Kristen wants to know why the guy insists on wearing flowers on all of his clothing. Won't that attract bees? I explain that it's probably to do with the fact that he was in a band called "The Grand Magnolias." Or, maybe it's a tribute to the late Gram Parsons. However, it only serves to make him look like a hybrid between Porter and Kenny Loggins. At any rate, the judges loved him, some of my friends love him, and some of Kristen's howl along with him. But, we'll hold our ground.. Kristen gives him 3 Funky Chickens for at least mastering that dance..
Here comes Season 3's George Huff! Wait, it's Jacob Lusk.
Warning: Kristen and I love Jacob. First of all, he has an incredibly lab-like personality. Second of all, the fellow can sing. Third of all, he has been endorsed via Twitter by one Adam Lambert. Jacob is all suited up to perform Burt Bacharach's, "House Is Not a Home." And perform it he does. He reigns in some of the over-the-top vocal theatrics to deliver an emotional performance designed to generate goosebumps in Hades. If we're being honest, Kristen and I would suggest he watch himself sing in the mirror to try to eliminate some of the facial expressions that detract from the vocals. He brought Steven to tears. JLo said she misses Luther Vandross, but now is happy because we have Jacob. (Hold it right there, missy. Randy is in charge of the hyperboles on this show. You're overstepping your bounds.) Randy shows her how it's done. "Luther would be so proud of you! I don't think there's anything you can't do!" (Except maybe get married to the love of his life in most states in the union. But, that's another topic for another day.) Kristen gives him 3.5 suave, swanky collars to go with his suave, swanky vocals!
And here comes Yukon Cornelius, aka Casey!
Oh my! He sings, the 1956 Screamin' Jay Hawkins joint, "I Put a Spell on You." And he does - put a spell on us, that is. Brilliant. Nothing else need be said. Steven references his own experience wtih drug use, "Casey you are in your mind and out of your mind!" JLo tells him he's sexy (Again, leave the hyperbole to Randy, girlfriend.) Randy wants more, more, more. Kristen gives him 4 cigars to congratulate him for giving birth to a long career on Idol this season.
And that, ladies and gents, is that.
Dream On: (Not a chance in Joe Perry)
Crazy (You blew it in Hollywood with your antics)
Back in the Saddle, Again (Won't make it through the voting, but possible wild-carders)
Sweet Emotions (The sure-things)
Next up - It's the top 12 girls!