Wednesday, April 1, 2009

American Idol Top 9

I swear I have no intentions for Beyond Mommy to become an American Idol blog. Since my husband recently started working a job with long hours rendering me a full-time working-at-home-mother with a business to run, I have been left with very few moments to spend blogging, and when the free time does manifest itself, my brain is so far from creative writing mode that I've been unable to focus any meaningful thought into comprehensible prose. So here we are again with my opinions on Fox Reality TV, since my OCD won't allow me to abandon this series of posts I began.

Predicting the bottom three after tonight's show should be easier than making a blonde laugh on Saturday.*

To my humble little ears, Megan Joy's voice sounds like nails on a blackboard, the agony only intensifying every week. The judges only prattled on about her disappointing song choice though, instead of cluing her in to the fact that she cannot sing! Why am I the only one who knows this?!?

Anoop sang a song by Usher that half of the audience has probably never heard and won't enjoy. I really like Anoop. On top of his singing talent, I am always left with a faint impression that he could have been Peter Gibbons' third cohort at Initech. His little hip-hop motif on stage tonight authenticated the Office Space persona for me, distinctly conjuring images of the three software programmers bashing the hell out of an old copy machine in a vacant lot to the tune of "Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta." Hilarious? Yes. Legitimate? No.

Matt Giraud got the next worst comments from the judges, once again focusing on his poor song choice. I agree that it was ludicrous to select a song by The Fray which was so reminiscent of his horrendous Cold Play rendition that cost him his first chance at getting voted through to the Top 12. But he sang tonight's song far better, and I wish the judges would let go of the song choice issue once in a while and give some feedback on what the singer did with the song he or she chose. It's true that this genre isn't Matt's best match, and the judges made no mistake in conveying that message, but if this is the kind of music he wants to sing, let America decide whether or not he should. Kara is right, however, in stating that Matt does not deserve to go home.

On that note, neither does Anoop, based on what we've seen him accomplish in the past. After Megan, my next choice to go home would be Lil Rounds. Last week I felt it was time to bid adieu to Scott MacIntyre, but this week he made all the right choices. Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" with nothing but Scott, a spotlight, and the shiny black Yamaha (which Ryan Seacrest has repeatedly referred to as the "baby grand" despite the fact that it is over 7 feet long) perfectly highlighted his vocals this week without the distractions that I believe have caused him to lose mental focus in the past, affecting the precision of his intonation and pitch. The judges were pleasantly surprised at Lil's Celine Dion copycat, but my assessment is far from glowing. She struggled to find the correct key a couple of times, and overused the screaming powerhouse voice without giving it proper dynamic balance.

My four favorites still won the competition tonight, but I can easily place two at the very top. The issue I'm having with Danny Gokey is that he is producing a nearly identical performance each week. It isn't getting any worse, it just isn't getting any more interesting. I also thought the range of the Rascal Flatts number was too wide, as the lower register was not well-supported (again), yet it would have been a strain to hit any higher than the top of that key.

Alison Iraheta killed it once again on "Don't Speak," and I appreciated a slightly more subdued choice without losing her rockstar edge. Usually Simon Cowell is the only judge bold enough to ridicule a contestant's choice of wardrobe (especially a girl's), but the meek and stuttering Randy Jackson started the panel on a tirade against her (admittedly horrific) ensemble. I hated the dress as much as any of them, but I was baffled that not one of them mentioned the absurdity of her guitar prop. When she came out with the axe around her neck, we were all surprised and excited to hear this punk jam on her electric guitar. She plucked a few soft chords for her intro, then violently swung it around her back , grabbed the mic, and allowed the band to accompany the rest of the song. I was left yearning for more, but believing that she must lack the skill to provide it, and thus should have simply left it out altogether. Because after the intro she looked rather silly with a guitar strapped to the back of her poofy dress. The whole thing was confusing, but thankfully she really did sing well, and this is a singing competition after all.

Which leads us to the highlights of the night: Adam Lambert and Kris Allen. It amazes me that Kris' entrance to the competition was kind of a shocker, yet he has not once failed to impress. I absolutely loved his "Ain't No Sunshine," and we got to see him behind a keyboard instead of guitar this week, which just adds another succulent layer to his tiramisu of talent. The reason I can see him rising above the entertaining Mr. Lambert is the fact that he has universal appeal. Right now we love anticipating what inimitable mark Adam will leave on the stage each week. But at the very end, when people start deciding which performances they would actually download to their iPod, I think Kris might beat Adam based on a wider circle of influence. On the other hand, it may be Kris' conventional talent that ultimately resigns him to being just another really good singer, giving Adam the edge as he has proven to be so much more.

At this point, I'm rooting for these two boys in the finale, but my verdicts are based on performances alone, so no alliances are promised. But if Megan continues to escape her deserved fate, I may have some harsh words for a little website called because they are seriously pissing me off (to the extent that one can take Reality TV seriously).

*Just tell her a joke on Saturday! Do people even tell blonde jokes anymore?


Annie said...

"tiramisu of talent"

brillant wording.

The Georges said...

I agree completely with your assessments.


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