Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Let's Go to the Movies . . .

There is so much movie music that it's hard to fathom any contestant making a poor song choice, but alas, every year most of the contestants choose songs that are just (to borrow another judge-ism) "aight" for me. I thought the night went pretty well, and overall everyone did as expected. Admittedly, I was less than enthused about Quentin Tarantino and what he would bring to the table (do his beady eyes remind anyone else of Conan O'Brian?). He was a guest judge back in Season 3, and I was as unclear then as I am now as to why he needs to be involved. I was pleasantly surprised tonight as he seemed to have some decent suggestions and didn't venture too far into areas of music that he doesn't understand. And he kept it pretty positive and relevant (at least on the clips we saw) so all in all it was good enough.

So, why do they feel the need to cut back on judges comments rather than ridiculous, corny, make way for the yellow Steve Urkel (Carl!) sweater Randy's sporting and Simon King of All banter? If this show is really about the singing, why is the majority of the wasted time dedicated to the "look at me, I'm on TV!" nonsense Ryan indulges in with the judges? Yes. I said "indulge." With that said, every year they struggle with time when they hit the one-hour shows so it is no surprise to me that with 4 judges this year they couldn't figure out a way to fit it in. And, in case you were unaware, all of these songs are available for download on iTunes.

Allison: I can't help but think of the Big Mac song when I hear about "special sauce." I thought it was gutsy to pick the song she did since it's been done a lot on Idol in years past, including David Cook last season. It was definitely keyed too low this week and she was shakier on it than I would have expected, but overall she did a great job. She's got the vocal talent to be a legit contender for sure.

Anoop: Awesome! Unfortunately I think he's been treading water for so long that it won't be long before he gets pulled under for good. He had one of the best performances of the night and I'm glad he didn't start barking and peeing on a fire hydrant like Quentin seemed to want him to do. Anoop brought his own R&B flair to a classic song. Nice.

Adam: This guy can sing, and he's got incredible talent. I hate this song, though, so no matter what version he came up with or how great a singer he is I was destined to have a sort of "so what" kind of reaction to it. What I'd really like to do is find the path of greatness and dance a bit down it. I think Simon is right tonight when it comes to Adam: either you love it or despise it. His phone line was the only one with a busy signal tonight so I'm guessing most of America, or at least the voting segment, loved it.

Matt: This guy is destined to be the yo-yo performer of the season. They had the wrong judges critiquing him on this one because I've heard him twice now tonight and it was nowhere near as bad as they made it out to be. He did a great job of spinning the song in the right direction for his natural voice and talent, and overall he gave a solid performance. I'm scared for this guy, though, since he can't seem to get the judges behind him consistently enough.

Danny: Sort of vanilla this week for me. Vanilla is classic. Most people like vanilla to some extent. You can dress up vanilla to suit any occasion, but you usually need to add a little something to enjoy it regularly. If only Danny had added even a few vanilla bean flecks or something. Maybe singing with his hands in his pockets would have added something. Coming out on stage with a harp is the same as adding a little sugar free scoop to your vanilla. Danny is headed for a solid career as an inspirational, adult contemporary kind of performer--probably where he thought he'd be in the first place. (Here are two performances of this song that are better than plain vanilla: Rickey Smith and a surprising duet. Maybe telling us the song was from "Happy Gilmore" would have dressed it up a bit more.)

Kris: This was one of those brave song choices that I think paid off. It was not perfect, and there were a few pitch problems, but not many. I think Kara heard the real performance and Randy was daydreaming about playing with Journey or something since he hasn't had many chances this year to name drop. Kris picked an obscure song, but one not too obscure since it was an Academy Award winner. Anyway, it was one of those songs that haunts you. I've never seen the movie "Once," but I can picture the scene for this song. On a night of predictable song choices, Kris really stood out . . . in a good way.

Lil: I feared this would happen. Lil didn't deserve to make it this far, but now she gives a performance just strong enough to buy one more week. She made a crappy song choice, did something fairly original and appropriate by showing her gospel soul side, and then finished with shaky notes and average vocals. I can't blame her for being frustrated--it's obvious she really tried to do what the judges have been telling her to do, and even seemed to get it a little, and she still got ripped for being boring. See, if we'd gotten rid of her earlier we could have spared her all of this ill will. C'mon people! Let's get it right this week!

OK, just to be clear, these are my predictions, not my personal preferences.

BOTTOM THREE: Matt, Lil, Quentin


Boquinha said...

Harp = sugar free scoop. Bwahahahaha! And I love your bottom 3. Well one of them anyway. No wait, two! Oh please let it be Lil. I'm nervous for the boys . . .

J Fo said...

Great stuff! I had never seen the movie "Once" either. Is it a new one or an old one? Either way, I'm sold; I'll buy; I might be in love!