Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Top 13 or "wherein I rate using eggs"

And we're back.

We now no longer watch the auditions, because they're tedious. We start in Hollywood Weeks and are constantly amazed how much worthless filler they can find and use (a lot). Thank the gods for Tivo.

Tonight was Idol's 400th episode. That would be amazing if it weren't for the aforementioned tedious weeks of worthless filler.

SIX girls and SEVEN guys performed tonight under the advice of Jimmy Iovine and Mary J. Blige. The guys got to sing Stevie Wonder songs while the girls had to sing Whitney Houston songs.

Anyone else find the irony in American Idol making contestants sing a singer they constantly say not to touch? Yeah, me, too. Compound it by the iconic stature she has attained by having died young and recently? Now, that's just cruel.

Tomorrow the boy with the lowest votes and the girl with the lowest votes will be revealed and the judges will decide which one goes. I thought two people were getting booted (and maybe they still might), but I'm not clear how they're doing that exactly.

Why I'm rating with eggs, I don't know. It just popped in my head. I like eggs. A lot. I think it is a wondrous food. I've often (I kid you not) considered writing an entire blog post all about eggs. They are amazing. Chickens lay them, they're in a very fragile external casing, and inside lie so many possibilities -- omlettes, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, dippy eggs, ingredients for dutch babies, cookies, flan . . . endless possibilities! What other food source can tout that??

So, rating using eggs goes like this: 1 egg is lousy and 5 eggs is a masterpiece. I'll have additional comments as I see fit.

1. Joshua Ledet - "I Wish" --- 5 eggs (on an English muffin with Canadian bacon and Hollandaise Sauce)

That's right. Eggs Benedict. And yes, he was that good. Know what I like about him? That he's "Mantasia." He is SO reminiscent of Fantasia and I happen to like her stage presence VERY much. I love to see someone with passion, someone who FEELS their music from the top of their head to the tips of their toes, someone who can't contain what they feel so they jump around and riff and put their whole souls into every song. What a great way to start the evening. He really popped! I was pretty distracted during the judges comments. Flat Stanley was in the audience behind the judges, Steven Tyler had a highly decorated microphone, and Randy was wearing a Lego brooch of either Stevie Wonder or that Earth, Wind, and Fire guy. What?

2. Elise Testone - "You're My Baby Tonight" --- 2 eggs (just flat and stagnant in a bowl)

Yikes. What a wreck. Her performance was uncomfortable to watch. She was awkward on stage and it looked more like she was doing calisthenics than performing a musical number. She was going to do "Greatest Love of All" and Jimmy and Mary had her switch it to this number. Didn't much matter, I'm guessing, since it was just okay no matter what she did. It was good, but I'm not jumping out of my seat. And if you think she was uncomfortable while singing, check out how she looked when the judges gave her negative feedback.

3. Jermaine Jones - "Knocks Me Off My Feet" --- 3.5 eggs (we have a recipe that calls for 1/3 of an egg and we're never quite sure what to do with that -- what does that look like, how does one measure 1/3 of an egg? That's how I feel about Jermaine. Is he 3 eggs? Is he 4 eggs? I don't know. 3.5!)

So, I am trying to be fair in my judgment, but I must admit that I'm struggling with this one because of my own personal taste. Jermaine is really good, but I don't think I'd ever buy an album full of this kind of singing. We all love Barry White . . . but only for one song once in a while. No one, and I mean no one, listens to a full playlist of Barry White, you know?

4. Erika Van Pelt - "I Believe in You and Me" --- 5 eggs (in a luxurious omlette)

She looks and acts a lot like Kelly Clarkson to me. Almost distractingly so. I don't know why she had a string of ammo holding up her red evening gown, but it doesn't much matter. Once she started singing, I didn't notice. What a range! I got goosebumps and she made it look so easy. Speaking of goosebumps, is anyone else annoyed by J.Lo's constant use of the word "goosies?" I'm guessing she goes potty, too, rather than to the bathroom. I digress. Go Erika!

5. Colton Dixon - "Lately"--- 4 eggs (perfectly scrambled, not overdone and not underdone)

What an odd choice of song for the rocker dude, but I'll tell you what. He has a REALLY good voice. He hit some great notes and gave me goosebumps (take note, J.Lo). This genre is not his comfort zone, so the fact that he could do so well in it earns extra points in my book. A true talent. I'm not a fan of his skunk hairdo. He is a cute boy. He doesn't need all that on his head - it takes away from his beautiful eyes. But even all that can't detract too much from his talent. Wow.

6. Shannon Magrane - "I Have Nothing" --- 1 egg (with bits of shell in it)

Wow, poor Shannon wins the "worst of the night" award for that incredibly awkward, uncomfortable, and tentative performance. She was off-key most of the time and her microphone antics were distracting. She looked and sounded soooooo uncomfortable. I'm not sure if it was nerves or song choice or both, but none of it did her any favors.

7. Deandre Brackensick - "Master Blaster" --- 3-4 eggs (mixed in something yummy like hibachi rice)

He was totally into it and he gave us a great performance that had us tapping our feet or dancing in the aisles. He has a really great stage presence and this was a great, upbeat, mid-way(ish) song for all of us to watch. He is a good performer and I'm so glad his hair was up, because his constant touching/playing with it/whipping it around is very distracting. I liked the reggae feel to this arrangement. Nicely done.

8. Skylar "Reba" Laine - "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?" --- 3-4 eggs (sitting in a bowl, not sure where or how to be used)

Pay attention, J.Lo. Mary J. Blige said "goosebumps." And she's no grammar queen. Skylar, like Colton, was out of her element. I guess it was too on the nose to sing Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You?" She has a good voice. I just felt a bit yanked around as it joltingly alternated between sweet and powerful. It was a weird contrast and I didn't quite know what to make of it. She's good, don't get me wrong, but it seemed like they needed to countrify it (tell me you didn't hear an SNL George W. Bush impersonator's voice in your head just now). Steven Tyler said some form of the word "beautiful" for the 179th time tonight. And that's a beautiful thing.

9. Heejun Han - "All is Fair in Love" --- 3-4 eggs (whipped into a fluffy meringue)

Why whipped into a meringue? Because that's what comes to mind when I see the image of his face in a yellow sunset of swirling clouds over and over and over again. He was off in spots, but he really does have a gorgeous tone to his voice. He's a funny guy and that gives him an edge over others like him who are good, but who are also probably not going to win this competition based on their singing abilities.

10. Hollie Cavanagh - "All the Man that I Need" --- 4 eggs (to make adorable, delicious, petite, bite-sized cookies with big taste)

That is a BIG voice for that little body and, my, it's a really good one. And a great big "thank you" to Mark for answering my unvoiced question, "Who does she remind me of?" with the answer "Jodie Foster." (Now if someone could please tell me who Jenn Hirsch reminds me of, I'd be much appreciative).

11. Jeremy Rosado - "Ribbon in the Sky" --- 2 eggs (not well blended)

Sweet kid, but c'mon, he's here more because he's likeable than because he can sing. He's got a decent voice, but he was off and boring. His big heart is going to be broken tomorrow when he joins Shannon in the bottom 2.

12. Jessica Sanchez - "I Will Always Love You" --- 5 eggs (used in gorgeous, buttery Dutch Babies, the likes of which are worthy of the cover of a magazine)

PHENOMENAL tribute. Just wow. I don't know what else to add. She's incredible. I got goosebumps. Most people butcher that song. She honored it. Beautiful!

13. Phillip Phillips - "Superstition" --- 5 eggs (baked into one hell of a tasty quiche)

I love this guy and his Dave-Matthews-sound-meets-Paul-Rudd-look. But really, what can I add to what's already been said?

Jimmy Iovine said, "He comes batteries included."
Steven Tyler said, "You are."
J. Lo said, "You killed it."
Randy said, "You drive your own car in your own lane."

It was like attending a fantastic concert performance. Dude is talented. Bonus points go to his parents for having chutzpah when naming him as a baby.

Top Egg performances of the night - Joshua, Erika, Jessica, and Phillip
Rotten Egg performances of the night - Shannon and Elise

Cracking open and going home -- Shannon (and Jeremy, if there are 2 ousters tomorrow night)


Dr. Mark said...

Even my dislike for eggs can't take away from your creative rating system. Nice. And I am trying not to think too hard about what J.Lo says when using the facilities. Thank you for that visual.

Great post, especially since we have the same predictions!

jim said...

Great to have your reviews back. Now I don't feel bad about changing channels due to all the fill and your reviews are much more entertaining then the show.

This goes for Dr also.

Boquinha said...

Jim, I just LOVE hearing from you on here. So glad to get your comments. Thanks for the nice compliments. We're such nerds -- we really enjoy writing these, so I'm happy to know that people enjoy reading them, too!

Boquinha said...

And thanks, sweetie, for loving my reviews even when there are eggs in them. :P

Boquinha said...

Er, Sweetie (capitalized). I'm so tired . . .

Dave Johnson said...

Love the rating system. I once tried to judge a local band contest using eggs, but was shouted down. They're an excellent way to show how you feel about something - throw them or cook someone an omelet with them. They're very expressive when you think about it. I need to start watching American Idol so I'll understand these posts, though I get the feeling the posts are way more entertaining than the show. Plus there's JLo who gives me the flu.