Wednesday, May 02, 2007

American Bon Idol

Has anyone even been kicked off Idol since I last posted? Not sure ...lemme check ...Bald Guy, Blake, Linebacker, Doolittle, Timberlake-guy, Lakisha and ...what?!?!?! Sanjaya is gone. Poor guy. And right on the eve of American Idol's tribute to Carnatic and Hindustani music. He would have cleaned up.

And so we bid farewell to a guy who'll be featured 20 years from now on VH1's "I Love the Aughties." We'll all laugh and remember we loved this show called American Idol and two guys named William Hung and Sanjaya Malakar became household names.

This week, we have a unique twist - two people will be kicked off based on the cumulative voting totals from the past two weeks. You see, there was such a positive vibe last week with the $70million dollars being raised for a good cause that the show's producers thought they would spare someone the merciless embarrassment that Paul F Tompkin of "Best Week Ever" would create reenacting the brutal moment.

Tonight we salute "rock" by way of Bon Jovi. I'll start by saying what I learned from tonight's show - Jon Bon Jovi is a much better lyricist than I had thought. Not just catchy tunes, I guess. His library will be loaded onto my iPod in short order.

BALD GUY: Your Mom will enjoy his performance tonight. Your Mom is not ready to accept Blake's hair, earrings, or beat boxing, but Bald Guy is just her style. Again ...he's like Michael Bolton, and we all know how Your Moms love Bolten. That said, Your Mom is only gonna vote once and Bald Guy is going home. I hate the walk-around-the-audience bit no matter who does it or what song they sing, but this song definitely did not lend itself to the walk-around. "Blaze of Glory" is more or less a ballad and should be sung under a single spot light in one spot. Some songs are like that. Imagine someone singing the Star Spangled Banner whilst walking through a stadium crowd and bumping fists with Randy Jackson? It would be awful, as was this performance.

LINEBACKER: Once again we have a victim of genre-handicap. This girl can't sing Bon Jovi - it just ain't in her. She got the double whammy actually, and you can blame her mother. I hate when the Idol finalist says things like "I grew up on so-and-so." Or in this case, "my Mom grew up on Bon Jovi." Really? Did your Mom *REALLY* grow up on Bon Jovi? Is that why she suggested you butcher *THIS* song? Momz steered her daughter way wrong. Linebacker sang a song she couldn't sing, she shared the stage with two men - both of whom she dwarfed, making her look even more the giantess. Plus two other performers managed to find some soul in other Bon Jovi jams. I'm still gonna stick by my prediction that she'll be "your next American Idol" but Linebacker'll need all the votes she got from last weeks' bring-the-house-down inspirational performance.

LAKISHA: Before she got on stage I said, "here we go again. She's gonna suck because..." Well, she said it herself. She'd heard of Bon Jovi, but she hadn't actually heard any of his songs. OK. Two things here. First, if you have any inkling that you might someday be in music, it wouldn't kill you to listen to more than one radio station. I'm whitey-McWhitey from suburbia, and I know about music other than Country, Classic Rock, and Pop. I'm just sayin' ...use those buttons on your car radio. Second thing - do your homework. And Lakisha did. Maybe by never having heard of Bon Jovi, she had a slight advantage. Personally, I couldn't browse his catalogue and find the gem she found because I'd gravitate to all the songs I knew (this is assuming I'm ever going to be in a singing competition). Lakisha was hearing all the songs for the first time. Now that I think about it ...what an incredible advantage. Lakisha found a song so perfect it may have kept her in for at least one more week.

BLAKE: Incredible. Creative. Original. Ballzy ("what's ballzy" -Kelly Pickler). Sometimes I think these guest artists are incredibly annoyed by these Idol punks who, after an 8 week musical career, try to take liberties with the songs. Undoubtedly the success Blake is having will give us train wreck renditions for many seasons as Idol hopefuls try to marry scat with Abba and Al Jarreau's style with a rock Anthem. On this night, Blake hit the ball out of the park. Of course Randy and Paula liked it, but when Simon gave him the nod of approval, you knew it was good. Each season has it's "performance to remember" which catapults a certain contestant into the final night. I believe, save for a monumental meltdown and misjudgement on when to beat box in the next 4 weeks, Blake will be performing on the final night with Linebacker.

TIMBERLAKE 2: Blake was a tough act to follow. "Dead or Alive" is a song that nobody should perform other than Bon Jovi. He's doomed. Bald Guy and Timberlake 2 are done. One may survive because of the demographical voting split, but neither is long for this competition. See you on tour, bud.

DOOLITTLE: Again, great. I'm happy that Simon has coached her out of her surprise-so-humble routine. Her growing confidence looks good on her. I always wonder about what happens during the week with all the contestants. If I remember, Doolittle has two friends - one a vocal coach and song advisor, the other a fashion advisor. Sure, she has the raw talent, but she's being well coached. I envision Doolittle on daily conference calls with these two advisors letting them know what Fox producers said, and they yell at her to tell the the producers to take that school-marmy dress and shove it and instead, her friend-handlers put her in a t-shirt from Ocean Pacific. Whichever way its happening, its working for her. Obviously Timberlake 2 and Linebacker don't get such a luxury.

PREDICTIONS: Bald Guy, Timberlake-Guy, Lakisha bottom three. Bald Guy and Timberlake-Guy going home.


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