Thursday, March 11, 2010

Top 8 Boys--I Rant and Complain

Here is the phrase for the night: "Are you kidding me?!" As in, "Todrick, dude. That was the best performance of the whole show." To which I respond, "Are you kidding me?!" I've blocked out most of the other times I had to ask the question, but to the judges in general I say, "Are you kidding me?" My biggest problem with the judges is that they are judging each of the contestants out of context. When Aaron Kelly gets up and sings poorly, but better than last week when he was really awful, there are two options:

1. Compare him to himself and say, "Aaron, that was great." Or,
2. Compare him to the rest of the field and say, "That was better than last week, but nowhere near as good as anything else we'll hear tonight."

Only the second option gives a fair assessment of what's really going on. It's the Rubben Studdard dilemma. He sounded so awesome from the start after a while the judges started wondering how they could critique him, and he got flak for reaching a plateau, even though his plateau was so much better than everyone else's improvements. Right now I make a lot of sense to myself, but I'm probably rambling as far as anyone else is concerned. Suffice it to say, the judges are on my list right now.

Lee Dewyze: I like this guy in a "you can't really sing on tune but your style is awesome" Counting Crows kind of way. He's as good and relevant as a lot of current recording stars and I'd be happy to see him continue on.

Alex Lambert: He has more confidence than the judges want to give him credit for. I thought tonight was one of his better offerings and he needs to be in the Top 12.

Tim Urban: This was his best performance by far, and it was actually a pretty good song for him. It's hard to compare with Jason Castro's version, but Tim did alright.

Andrew Garcia: This guy can't catch a break. Give the man credit for coming up with a really unique arrangement and pulling it off. I wish the judges would stop looking for the second (third?) coming of "Straight Up" because that moment has passed and it's time to look at the present in a vacuum. Was Andrew's performance tonight solid? Yes. Was it as good as "Straight Up?" I, like Rhett Butler, don't give a damn. Keep him around, America!

Casey James: I like Casey a lot and I wish he hadn't been victimized by that whole shirtless audition/Kara as Cougar nonsense. He deserves to be evaluated based on his musical abilities alone, and those should keep him around.

Aaron Kelly: I think I've alreaady covered him enough. I felt like I was sucking a lemon during the whole minute thirty that I thought would never end. I had that "cat with a hairball that won't come up and so now I'm going to sneeze and shake" kind of feeling the whole time. It's time to go home, Aaron. We don't need another Kevin Covais. You can sing pretty well, but you don't belong in this group right now, improvement or not. When not a single note is in tune, I'd classify that as a poor performance, but without my own record label my opinion may not be worth a whole lot.

Todrick Hall: Simon nailed it on the head--Broadway it is. There is nothing wrong with that. That's who he is. If he gets through to the Top 12 he's going to have a very difficult time keeping up with the group. He has to work too hard at the vocals to last.

Michael Lynche: I love his classic R&B, Luther Vandross/Keith Sweat kind of vibe. Takes me back to my high school years. I had forgotten that his wife would be there this week, but that explains a lot about his inspired performance. I don't know that he's "the one to beat" necessarily, but he's definitely going to be a tough contestant to top if keeps this up. He's like Rubben Studdard with moves. (A Side Note: Was Kara sincere or was she trying to be Paula. American Idol Rewind just had the Top 6 where Elliott Yamin "moves" Paula with his performance of Donnie Hathaway's "Song for You." Did Kara see that and take notes? You can decide.)

The predictions are tough this week. If people listen to the judges it could be an interesting elimination, but I actually think people ignore the judges most of the time. How else can you explain phenomena like the aforementioned Kevin Covais, Kim Caldwell, the Tamyra Gray elimination in Season 1, Camile Velasco, etc.

If I had my way, good-bye to Aaron Kelly and Todrick Hall. I really hope I get my way this week.


Jimmy said...

Oh man, I'm going to embarrass myself, but here goes--

Do they not realize that MJ at age 8 was belting out "Who's Loving You?" with more emotion and soul in his voice than the great Smokey Robinson? (Smokey even said so.)

I just don't get that "age appropriate" criticque. If you're good and you can sing it like you mean it, who cares about the context of the song?

But Aaron is no MJ.

Jimmy said...

Sorry I butchered the word "critique."

Boquinha said...

As for the age appropriate critiques, what bugs me most is that the judges are inconsistent about it. Oh, they drive me crazy.

And as for Big Mike being the one to beat? Agreed. He's not. The judges are SO DRAMATIC. Blech.

Oh and Mark? "Was Andrew's performance tonight solid? Yes. Was it as good as "Straight Up?" I, like Rhett Butler, don't give a damn." Love it.

J Fo said...

I agree with you and Rhett. I think that Simon is starting to realize that they are all contradicting themselves and not giving very helpful feedback. Age smage; it's a matter of SINGING well. That's it. I agree with your choices for who should go home!

terahreu said...

Please tell me they are both gone. Tarick (or however the hell you spell his name) stays another week I might just have to gag some Phantom phelgm (no it doesn't make much sense, but neither does keeping him on for another week). I felt like Garcia was awesome. He must be good if they keep critiquing him against himself.

LOVE the recap!