Idol: I wish I knew how to quit you

27 Mar
haleyidol.jpgTwo things I learned about Gwen Stefani on this week’s American Idol: (1) she’s incredibly soft-spoken and demure (or maybe she was just on Prozac – which would be completely understandable given the environment). (2) She’s ridiculously beautiful. Seriously, just flawless. She’s like a Precious Moments doll (that I totally want to do). She’d look perfectly at home on my Grandma’s mantle (or in my bed).

But I digress. On to the recap.

Lakisha
Keesh performs Donna Summer’s “Let’s Dance,” but doesn’t change the arrangement one iota. Result: it essentially sounds like a kick-ass karaoke performance. For what it’s worth (which is probably nothing), she looks about as good as possible, rocking the high boots and heaving cleavage that shows off boobs as large as grapefruits. LaKisha’s still a frontrunner, but I think the big gal’s got more in her.

Chris Sligh
What an underachiever, this guy. Chris has got a deep, strong voice, but each performance is just a little off. It’s either the timing, or his melody, or punching the wrong words, or just running out of breath…I don’t know, but I can see Chris going home pretty soon. (The judges deem his “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” a trainwreck. Paula is absolutely coherent and logical, which is so disappointing.)

Gina Glocksen
Gina’s “I’ll Stand By You” is definitely the best she’ll ever do, which is to say slightly above average considering the song is perfect for the Idol atmosphere. Itss enjoyable but not at all challenging, so I expect her to stick around a few more weeks until her range catches up with her. I won’t miss her. Will you?

Sanjaya
When Sanjaya first appeared on the show, he was a nervous teenager hoping to measure up to his big sister. He got invited to Hollywood, where he got knocked down and kicked around by the judges, somehow surviving through all the rounds of cuts and eventually sneaking into the Top 12. He continued getting bashed by Simon and Co., and all of a sudden last week he gets on stage and tears through “You Really Got Me” at a rabid pace, running around the stage and essentially acting like a screaming loony throughout the song, as if to say he knew he was playing with found money and realized he was lucky to still be in the competition, so why not just go all out and live it up. Fine, fine, enjoy the spotlight, all in good fun, ha, yes yes, good times…but then this week, Sanjaya shows up on stage with a haircut that can best be described at The Human Peacock (basically a girlie, undisciplined, foot-high mohawk). Which leads me to wonder: is Sanjaya having a nervous breakdown before our very eyes? Has Simon’s unending badgering driven him over the brink? And are we too busy laughing at him to notice? I don’t know the answers to any of these, and frankly, I don’t care. Sanjaya is making that clip of Anna Nicole wearing clown paint seem more normal by the day. Incredible.

Haley
I was recently scolded by my younger, far more mature sister a few days ago for focusing my critique of last week’s performance on Haley’s body rather than her voice, but I’m pretty sure even she’ll agree that Haley’s legs are by far the only thing worth noting this week. The song? Some dull, breathy “True Colors” rendition that bored me ASAP. Haley needs to work the sex appeal if she feels like sticking around much longer. Please?

Phil Stacey
Whaddaya know; a safe, predictable performance by Chemo Patient Phil. His “Every Breath You Take” is a yawner through and through; sure, he hits all the correct notes and remembers the words and keeps within the tempo, but it just isn’t intense enough. He doesn’t sell the “I’ll be watching you” line; it’s as if he’s casually singing to an old lady standing in front of him at the local Safeway. A little more Constantine-like stalker attitude could’ve helped. Which is actually the only situation that being more like Constantine can be considered a good thing.

Melinda
You know, Melinda can bring the goods every last week from here until the apocalypse, and I’ll still never root for her. Sorry. She’s too old and possesses a stage presence that ranges from awkward to forgettable. She’s a pro, but not a star. Hey, maybe she can start a business where she gets hired out by bachelorette parties for mid-30s women so she can plus up the requisite karaoke part of the evening. She’d be great at Ladies’ Night. But that’s about it.

(Sidebar: I’m already thinking ahead to next season, when every damn backup singer around the country decides to take Melinda’s lead and try out for Idol, and we’ll inevitably end up with 10 talented-but-old-and-unattractive-and-boring Melindas and I’ll give up and quit watching and actually do other things with my time. So maybe Melinda should win.)

Blake Lewis
Sings the horribly depressing “Lovesong” but tones down the instruments so it’s only the plodding pace and sad-bastard words out front and center. Blake puts the moves and beatboxing on hold for the evening, and what remains is, well, not a whole lot. Paula whips out the cougar claws and looks ready to pounce on Blake once they cut to commercial. Poor fella. He doesn’t stand a chance.

Jordin Sparks
Jordin rocks No Doubt’s “Hey Baby” in a quiet, harmless voice while wearing a picnic blanket for a shirt, which is an odd choice but I’m a dude so what do I know. Not an impressive song from the usually feisty teenager. In the “Simon Says it Belongs…” game: I predict high school talent show, Spoon guesses teenagers doing karaoke. Simon won’t appease us, but it’s a fun game anyway. You should try it sometime.

Chris Richardson
Chris tries to implement a little hip-hop funk to No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak,” which is not a good idea. Very amateurish. The original song had some heart, and Chris tries to replace it with soul…but he ends up with neither. Still dig Chris, but not this week.

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