Kristen the Yellow Lab and I are having a slumber party! After all, what better way to celebrate Songs From the Year of Your Birth week on American Idol? As we've already broken into the liquor cabinet, placed each other's bras in the freezer, and played a rowdy game of Truth or Dare (Kristen has a crush on the labradoodle down the street! HA!), we have decided we will spend the next few hours watching the Idol youngsters
Kristen and I fix ourselves another of our special sodas....
and a batch of popcorn, and settle in just as the cutest boy walks onto the stage! *squeal!!!* Oh, wait. It's just Ryan.
Ryan tells us this is American Idol and explains that the Top 12 each chose a popular song from the year in which they were born. Which means they will be singing some of the worst music known to man - songs from the 80's and 90's.)
We meet the Top 12, and are relieved that Casey, who was in the hospital last week being given blood transfusions yet again (the guy suffers from ulcerative colitis) is well enough to be on the Idol stage this week.
Ryan kicks off the show, and first up is Naima!
We meet her rhasta hippy parents and learn that Naima was born in 1984, the year of the yuppy. She has chosen Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It." Oh, now hey! If she rhasta's it up and adds some rap, this could be a cool choice! Ugh! She's off the pitch, yet again. Also, she isn't showing the energy or inguenuity she did last week. The song is fairly close to the original. Steven tells her she has a sorcerer's grasp of the melody. JLo, aka School Marm Lopez, tells her that she tolerated the pitch issues last week, but no more. For homework, Marm Lopez wants Naima to learn to sing the correct notes. Randy agrees, and decides to kick Naima while she is down by telling her she sucked last week, too. Well, Naima had fun. For that alone, plus her Kristen gives her 2 slumber-party manicures!!
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Kristen and I give him 1.5 Twister games in honor of his loose limbs .
Onto Thia who is looking quite lovely this evening. We learn that she was born in 1995. This means when Kristen and I first began watching Idol, Thia was losing her first baby tooth. She has chosen Vanessa Williams "Color of the Wind" from Pocohontas. Naturally, the vocals are pristine. The child CAN sing. Unfortunately, Kristen became so bored she devoured the plastic card holder for the Mystery Date game we were going to play later. Randy calls it pageant and tells her she needs to dig a little deeper. Steven is getting pissy, "Is that song who you think you are?" She tells Ryan she picked the song because it seems very relevant to what is going on in the world today. Hmm. Kristen and I aren't sure the folks in Japan can relate to lyrics like, "The rainstorm and the wind, they are my brother" at the moment. Kristen gives her 3 lovely pillows for having a solid vocal, yet sending us off to sleep.
Butt Kiss alert!!!
Oh, it's Haley. She was born in 1990, which means
Kristen is half her age in people years, but more than 3 times her age in dog years. Which makes me feel young. Haley has selected Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight." The thing about Haley is she has a unique quality to her voice that, if she can tap into it, she really could have a fabulous career. However, her age and inexperience shows when she randomly throws in growls and husky tones. Also, much like her namesake, Haley Scranato, she is determined to be the sex kitten of the season. Maybe it's working. JLo offers up some great advise. She tells Haley to loosen up, and only sing notes that feel right. (Take that interfering producers!) Randy wants to know who she is. Steven felt it was "sweet and tough." But, he's looking for a Janis Joplin bluesy style from her. Oh, Steven. A sweet, pretty 20 year old might be able to IMITATE Janis, but she's not going to come close to being able to give a song the emotion that Janis did. Kristen and I give her 2.5 lovely slumber party housecoats to keep her covered up.
It's Stefano! Kristen blushes and giggles and begins texting the maltese down the street. "He is so cuuuuute! OMG! OMG!" Stefano was born in 1989 and decided to overlook Funky Cold Medina in favor of Simply Red's cover of "If You Don't Know Me By Now." The boy nails it. Absolutley NAILS it. Kristen, now lying on her back with her tongue lolling out to the side of her mouth, wants me to write, "Kristen and Stefano 4 ever!" on her collar. I refuse. I'm still all about the rocker. Randy says it was the best performance of the night so far. He says Stefano chose a song with the highest degree of difficulty and slayed it. Steven says, "Great phrasing! Over the Top! Beautiful!" Finally! Drink!
JLo is one with Kristen, all googly eyes and blushing, "You could take this whole thing!" she tells Stefano. And indeed, he could. Kristen gives him 4 mystery date games for being a dream!.
Pia, born in 1988, enters the stage dressed in birthing hips. She is going to step away from her ballads by performing a Whitney Houston ballad called "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." This will prove that she is not just a ballad singer but is also a singer of ballads. The arrangement is a bit more disco than dreary (since disco was all the rage in 1988, you see.) But, it's still boring. Of course, it's note for note perfection, per Pia's usual. Steven says Pia is the reason it's called American Idol. (I thought it was because they'd get sued if they called it Pop Idol. No??) Jennifer was glad she went up-tempo. Randy says Pia is in it to win it! Kristen gives her 3.5 Pretty Princess Pajamas but would like to offer her a tip. Pia, dear? Celine Dion hasn't had a hit in the US in over a decade. Prove you can be current!
Born in 1995, Scotty has chosen Travis Tritt's "Can I Trust You With My Heart." Stellar performance. There's no doubt the folks in Nashville are rubbing their hands together with glee, just waiting for the chance to sign this kid. The only issue is that Kristen and I, not being country fans, are starting to think all of his song choices are blending together. "Turn down them lights and lock the long black train because my dog died and I'm walking the line." Time for Scotty, like Pia, to take a risk and choose a song out of his comfort zone. Jennifer likes that he pushed it a bit at the end, and that he keeps growing and learning. Randy wants him to push himself a bit more and sing bigger, higher notes. Steven wants him to just keep doing what he's doing. "You're going places," he tells Scotty. Indeed. Kristen gives 3.5 clean and pure cups of 7Up!
Sweet Karen, born in 1989, enters the stage dressed like a cross between Amy Winehouse and Nancy Sinatra. She has chosen Taylor Dane's "Love Will Lead You Back." She is note-for-note perfect, but, unfortunately, is note-for-note boring. Despite the fact that she insisted in the intro package that she does not want to be known as just the Latina singer, she sings the second verse in Spanish. Randy isn't jumping up and down. Steven likes her ethnic whatz it. Jennifer could tell she was a little scared, but liked how she attacked it. She advises that she not go for notes if she is not confident she can hit them. (School Marm JLo strikes again!) Kristen gives her 2.5 torturous hair rollers for bold hair yet a bland performance.
Here comes Casey! Kristen and I are stunned to learn he was born in 1991. We were thinking that might be the year he graduated from high school. He has chosen Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Pretty ambitious choice, but if anyone can bring something new to it, it is Casey Abrams. And he does! He brings grunts and growls and creepy faces. Thanks, Casey. Kristen will be up half the night with nightmares of a giant, angry, singing bear chasing her. Steven tells him he's crazy (we kind of got that) and that he has some kind of goop.
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Lauren Alaina was born in 1994, which means Casey is 3 years older than she and could have actually taken her to his senior prom. Which is Creepy Bear. She chose Melissa Ethridge's "I'm the Only One." She and Ryan are wearing flu masks, just in case we missed the part where Lauren tells us she had the flu all weekend. Lauren gives the song a country vibe, and it's actually not bad. In fact, her singing is quite good. Jennifer liked that she stayed true to the framework of the song, yet made it her own. Randy tells her to have a cold every week. Steven says she is a shining star. (What? No "beautiful, Steven? Kristen and I are dying of thirst here!) Kristen gives her 3.5 pillow fights being spunky despite her flu.
Closing the show is our favorite lab-like contestant, Jacob Lusk. He was born in 1987, so, naturally, he chose Heart's "Alone." Kristen and I are not being facetious. Have you seen the top songs from 1987? Let's just say Madonna's "Who's That Girl" was at the top of the pack. Nevertheless, with Jacob's incredible range and powerful vocals, Kristen and I are anticipating a great performance. So much for anticipation. It's awful. It's the worst Jacob has done, and definitely the worst performance of the night. He is sharp, shrieky, shrill. Randy tells him it was nice, and that he lost it at the modulation but found his way back. Found his way back to where, Randy? Ear-Splitters R Us? Steven says that even though Jacob's momma can't sing, she gave him moxie.
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Pretty Princess Prudent Performances
Where The Boys Are Good
The contestants tell us what they wanted to be when they grew up. Needless to say, most of the guys wanted to astronauts and firemen. The girls all wanted to be singers/performers.
Charity alert!! The judges and Ryan stand soberly to the side of the stage and tell us that if we purchase the itunes compilation of performance songs from this week, the money will go to Japan Relief.
Sorry. Kristen and I will donate directly to the Red Cross. We have no desire to turn our iPod into We Are The World Central.
Next up: Group sing!
Results! Dim the lights!
You three sit down! You're all safe!
Kristen and I are going to cut to the chase! The bottom 3: Karen, Naima, and Hot Pants Haley.
Lee Dewyze performs. He is brimming over with personality, per his usual.
Here come the Black Eyed Peas!!! Will.I.Am has his hair styled like a bicycle helmet. Wait a mo'. Where's our Fergie? Who is this over-botoxed, over-bazoomed chick squeaking out the song in a coy voice? Creepy! Did Fergie have an untimely death and this is some female version of Billie Shears here to take her place? Kristen and I do not know, nor do we like this new and "improved" Fergie.
Back to the results. Naima is sent back to safety, so it's between Kristen and my beloved Karen and the demonic Haley. The demonic Haley is safe (par for the course for a demon.) Karen sings for her survival, but the judges tell her adios.
So next week these kids:
Sing the songs of these kids:
See you there!