Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Country music? More like country noise! At least it's only one week a season!

On the top 10 list of America Idol Themes, Dolly Parton night ranks right in front of mime night. I barely like country music, and the music I do like tends to be the new pop-like country, like Carrie Underwood and Faith Hill, not the old school stylings of Ms. Parton. Sure she is a legend, but so is John Adams, doesn’t mean I want to hear people sing either of their songs (assuming Mr. Adams ever expressed himself through song). Yet, I will go into the show tonight with an open mind hopeful someone surprises me with his or her ability to sing a country song. I am curious how many Idols sing a country version of their song and how many change the song to fit their genre. Yes David Cook I’m talking to you! I finally grew to like David C. last week, but if he rocks out a Dolly song hiding behind a guitar he will lose all his good will and become nothing more than the only guy named David on Idol that isn’t terrified of his father. Kristy, if anyone, has a built in advantage tonight, however, often times the person most likely to succeed does not give the best performance during a theme night. For example, two seasons ago during Stevie Wonder week, Elliot Yamin was the natural choice to ‘rock it dawg.’ Yet, Taylor living in the city Hicks stole the show. I worry Kristy will put too much pressure on herself and fall flat, opening the door for another Idol as the country champion. Who will that be? I don’t know, but I do know it will not be Ramiele. Time to find out.

Since it’s April Fool’s day Ryan plays one on America. He says that due industrial action form by the League of America Vocal Coaches tonight’s show has been preempted, replaced with a celebrity version of Moment of Truth staring their very own Simon Cowell. I really hope no one out there fell for this, if they did thought, I’m guessing there is a good chance they will be voting for Ramiele later tonight. Not too shabby Ryan. He got to have a little fun and also advertise the show Moment of Truth. No one can sell stuff like Ryan. He welcomes us to our Tuesday night fix of American Idol – yes Idol is really like a drug. Dolly has penned over 3,000 songs, which means nothing but Dolly songs the rest of Season 7! Dolly has no children so she considers her songs her offspring. Does that mean when she decides a song is not good enough to include on an album she considers its exclusion as an abortion? She breaks into song with the Idols (9-5) and they all seem to know the words. I’m guessing this foreshadows a group number of 9-5 tomorrow. Either that are or they are all just HUGE Dabney Coleman fans.

Brooke White - Jolene

Uh oh, fan favorite Brooke White gets the dreaded ‘spot of death’ tonight. I guess they cannot put Ramiele in the beginning every night, but if she survives this week look for her to return as the opening act. Brooke brings her guitar to the reherseal and Dolly seems to enjoy Brooke. Brooke, who made the brilliant ‘beatuy school drop out’ pun a few weeks ago does it again with an observation about Dolly’s career, saying, “she is huge.” That’s two pun of the week awards for Brooke, but this time I don’t think it was intentional. Dolly thinks Brooke was really good and had a sweet warm way about her. Dolly also likes Brooke’s honesty when she sings and likes her song choice. Brooke starts the song sitting down strumming her guitar with her hair pulled back. She is accompanied on stage with a fiddle, a back up singer, and a percussionist. When she said before she would not move and sing again she was serious. She sounds good, but can I really believe she is complaining about this Jolene girl. I bet Jolene watched R rated movies. She needs nary a bad note, but this is a pretty boring way to start off the show. As with every other song they will sing tonight, I am unfamiliar with the original, but this sounds like a 3 note song, which is perfect for Brooke’s limited voice. Even though I still find Brooke charming and enjoyable tonight I cannot justify giving this performance anything higher than an ‘ok.’ She high fives everyone on stage when she finishes the song. Randy asks her to check out the fact he doesn’t think the song was stellar, but it was alright despite some pitch problems. Paula says Brooke is consistent and she is what she is and has an emotional connection with each song she picks. Paula says, “You are Brooke White.” Wow Paula insightful commentary. Simon says he felt the song didn’t have any emotion and the ensemble on stage looked a little odd. Way to insult the band Simon, they are sooooo not playing your wedding anymore. Simon finishes by saying it was not one of her best performances.

David Cook – Little Sparrow

He gets the first sit down interview of the night. Ryan asks him about his song selection and how he selects his arrangements. David says he finds them online and figures out which ones work best for his voice. He also finally gives credit to Doxology for their arrangement he stole, I mean borrowed during the first Beatles week. Congrats Doxology, more people just heard your name than ever will again. I wonder if this will stop the forthcoming ‘give us credit’ lawsuit. But, all that copying is over, because David is doing his own arrangement tonight. You have to love how Idol handles a controversy. They do not address explain why they are talking about something; instead they simply address it and move along. The brilliance lies in the dual nature of the explanation. Idol is able to hopefully quell any discontent among loyal followers of the bands whose arrangements have been used, yet do so in a way that doesn’t let anyone who might not read internet blogs know that there is any controversy brewing. David picked one of Dolly’s favorite children. She says he seems secure and certain in himself. She loves his beautiful voice. David was thrilled to get a compliment from Dolly, but what he really wants is two free passes to Dollywood. David has an acoustic guitar and dear god, he is not ‘rocking out.’ I think he clashes a little bit with the back up singers in the middle of the song, but this is the most ‘singing’ he has done all season. His voice falls apart near the end when he tries to hit a higher note, but overall this is the most nuanced performance from David all season long. His decision to not add an electric guitar to the song is impressive and he is earning more respect each week. This is certainly not his best performance, but it is much better than I expected. Randy likes his arrangement and says it was another hot one. Paula likes his hair cut and has never heard a guy sing this song. She loves how well rounded David is as an artist. Simon says it wasn’t as good as last week, but congratulates him for making a song about Sparrows good.

Ramiele – Do I Ever Cross Your Mind

Dolly welcomes Ramiele, the only contestant that makes Dolly look tall. Dolly thinks Ramiele has the spunk to sing this song. At least Ramiele doesn’t look like a little doll this week. She is barely audible over the band, and the band ain’t exactly playing really loud right now. Her voice gets bigger as the song moves along, which gives us our first chance to hear Ramiele miss the right pitches. This is simply not good enough for American Idol. Heck this isn’t good enough for Cleveland Idol. Like any contestant in a high school talent show, she doesn’t sound horrible, she obviously has talent, but there is nothing about her that screams ‘I am the next American Idol.’ In fact there is nothing about her that whispers ‘I am the next American Idol.’ There isn’t even anything about her that signs ‘I am the next American Idol.’ If the judges like this I think I give up for this season having a happy outcome. Randy wasn’t jumping up and down but he wasn’t mad at Ramiele either. He gives it 6.5 out of 10. Paula is proud of her and thinks Ramiele had a great minute and 30 seconds and had fun. Simon says no one will remember this performance and it was reminiscent of something you would see and hear on a cruise ship. Ryan asks Ramiele how hard it was to sing in front of Dolly and she says she was freaking out a little bit. I would too if I had to sing in front of Dolly and I sounded like Ramiele.

Jason Castro – Traveling Through

Jason gets the second interview of the night and Ryan asks him about viewer fan mail. But he does not actually ask Jason any questions, which is good since he sounds like Rainman when he tries to speak during an interview. Ryan shows Jason all the mail he has been getting from one girl; congrats Jason you now have a stalker. What Ryan doesn’t tell Jason is the letters are all from Barbara Bush. Dolly takes the title of pun maker from Brooke when she tells Jason she would dread to have to do those locks. That’s some pretty good stuff Dolly. Jason is not intimidated by Dolly, probably because he never heard of her until right before she walked into the room. Dolly says Jason is funky, so this song should be a perfect choice. Jason has his guitar; unlike last week he looks like he actually practiced a little this week. He sounds ok, he did pick the right song for his voice, and he is hitting the right notes, yet I am completely bored with this performance. Jason is giving me no reason to stop and listen; I feel like I should be pressing a button with a floor number on it right now. The end of the song gives him a chance to display a little more range than he normally does and he sounds pretty good. The last part of the song salvaged this performance from the ‘just ok’ pile into the a little better than ok category. Randy thought the song started a little rough but thought it was eventually cool and had a singer songwriter vibe. For Paula, this is one of his best performances; she loved it. Simon says this is the point when he loses his season pass to Dollywood. He doesn’t think Jason sang the song well and doesn’t think the music fits him very well. If this was the first time he saw Jason perform Simon doesn’t think “he would get it.”

Carly – Here You Come Again

She picked out like the one song Dolly didn’t actually write herself. CARLY HAD 3,000 SONGS TO SELECT AND SHE COULDN’T FIND ONE DOLLY WROTE TO SING? SERIOUSLY? You have to figure Dolly was like ‘what the heck.’ Carly is thrilled she gets to sing the song to Dolly; a song Dolly thinks is a great choice. Carly is standing, but there is an acoustic guitar player sitting on the stage. She only gets on person on stage, but Brooke gets three! Big surprise, this is another boring song. Is Dolly night over yet? Carly has a really nice voice, even when she isn’t belting out a power ballad. Carly picks up some steam near the end of the song and hits her longest Idol note so far. On the parts I was not sleeping through, Carly sounds in control and the richness of her voice is evident. I think Carly is topped by maybe only David Cook so far tonight; she did a really good job picking her song. Randy believes that Carly gave one of the better performances of the night. Paula thinks Carly is glorious and looks great and then blurts out “oh my god.” Carly is so proud of herself for smiling. Paula tries to get Randy to admit he was wrong last week when he said Carly was off pitch, but he is sticking to his previous comments. Simon says she was good but not great and suggest she has a word with whoever is dressing her backstage. He wants her to look more like a star and hasn’t seen that progression so far. Ryan asks Simon why he is so grumpy tonight. Simon says he is only saying what the people at home are thinking and he doesn’t think Carly gave an amazing performance. He also claims he really likes country music. Right Simon, that’s why you are always miserable during country week every season.

David “Please save me from my Father” Archuletta – Smokey Mountain Memories

Ryan is in the audience again, this time selling itunes. I wonder if they have an emergency plan if someone next to Ryan hits him with a stun gun. I mean come one, that’s entertaining television. David says this song reminds him of his home and his family. So I guess this song is about a stage father that belittles his son to the point the son becomes terrified of being less than perfect and forgets his words during the first Beatles night. Dolly almost cries when David is singing. She believes he has the potential to become a great singer. He is a real man and is on the stage by himself. Hear that Brooke, he doesn’t need three people sharing the spotlight with him! This is a good song for David. It is slow and gives him several big note moments. His voice disappears just a little every time he goes low, but he sounds great on the higher soaring notes. He attempts to add a little something extra to his voice and really misses the mark. I do not think that is what he expected it to sound like. His last note is excellent and features at least four different notes before he settles on the final pitch. This is right up there with Carly and David for best of the night. However, David was a little more boring than either of them and this song sounds odd coming from a 12 year old. David’s abusive hat wearing dad is in the audience. Randy says David is back and had the best performance of the night. Paula says his voice is strong and he has a beautiful aura around him. Simon says this week the song choice was absolutely on the money. The ‘suck up to David A.’ show is back everyone! Did they forget he wasn’t supposed to be boring?

Kristy Lee – Coat of Many Colors

Dolly thinks Kristy can identify with the song and even made it her own; she thinks Kristy’s mom will be impressed. Kristy doesn’t care about her mom’s approval, she wants some Dolly love. Kristy is the first Idol tonight actually singing the song country. She is sitting on the stage with her hair up, which is good, since she cannot do the weird movement she usually does while she sings; the rocking back and forth thing. She sounds good singing her genre. Dare I say, at certain points she actually sounds like Carrie Underwood. These songs aren’t necessarily boring, but when the Idols sing them without the normal country flair, they just sit there rotting like a dead fish. Kristy brings that flair and style and I think gives the best vocals of the night by far. But, the judges usually hate this girl, so they are probably about to tell her everything she did wrong. Randy says country music is her wheel house and this is her week. Paula thinks Kristy looks stunning and gave a beautiful performance. Simon totally disagrees; he thinks last week was her best performance. He suggest this was pleasant but forgettable. Forgettable? I could not tell you what David A. sang if you gave me 10,000,000 dollars. So I guess that was memorable? No it was boring and forgettable, far more so than Kristy’s song. Once Simon decides someone should leave the show they can discover fire and he still will not give them the credit they deserve.

Syesha – The Worst Song Choice in the History of Idol

Ryan is walking around the audience and he walks by Vanna White, but where is Pat Sayjak? Dolly likes the simplicity of Syesha’s song choice; she isn’t doing the straight Whitney version, instead she is doing elements of both Whitney’s and Dolly’s versions. Syesha begins by sitting on the piano. Why do people always want to sit down when they start songs? Does this somehow make it more dramatic when the person stands up? Syesha sounds good and pleasantly reserved. She is not screaming out the big notes to start the song, but in an I cannot control myself diva moment she feels the need to morph herself into Whitney and power out the end of the song. Her voice sounds too small when she first gets going, but then she recovers and sounds pretty good on the last few notes. Of course, she does not sound as good as Mrs. Bobby Brown, so the judges, if they are consistent, will point out the fact you do not sing Whitney unless you are better than her or completely change the song. The good outweighs the bad and this is a pretty good performance. But, I would have enjoyed it more if she did the Dolly version and stayed away from the Whitney copying. Randy says she took on the biggest tiger of the night and did alright. Paula loves the color of Syesha’s dress and thinks Syesha has a great voice and is connecting with the audience more. Simon almost wishes she did not get this song. The first part was good, but, as he feared, the second part of the song paled in comparison to the Whitney version. It was a good, but not great version of the song he continues.

Michael Johns – It’s all Wrong, But It’s All Right

Ryan sells itunes for the second time tonight. Come on Ryan, just once, sell us itunes three times in one hour! Michael tells Dolly she was his first concert in 1986 and she mistakenly believes Michael was a baby – she doesn’t know is he was already married with 4 children back then. Dolly says she could tell Michael was really nervous and it was obvious he is a big fan. Dolly thinks he can make some good records with song she wrote! Michael has a pianist and Rickey Minor on the stage behind him. He sounds pretty good; this song’s melody is one of the better ones tonight. I love the scaled back arrangement. He sounds really great by midway through the song and you can really hear the texture of his voice; his voice is not vanilla like young David’s. He shows off his falsetto at the end and finishes with a great emotive note. This is BY FAR the best performance of the night. I actually have no complaints about anything he did. Randy says he keeps on bringing it up every week and calls him blazing hot. Paula, talking fast, says that the songs are amazing and Michael is a blues/rock star. Simon says tonight was interesting, and he thinks Michael was the best he has ever heard him sing tonight. They are running super late on time apparently. How much you wanna bet Michael is thinking “great the night I have my moment I can’t even hear the judges rave about me because there is no time but I bet the one night I really suck they will spent 5 minutes telling me how I am horrible and sounded like I just competed in a talent show while taking a journey on a cruise ship sponsored by a theme park that also has a lot of weddings onboard dawg.” Turns out Michael is more of a blues singer than a rocker. Ryan must have taken some crack cocaine to help himself power through Michael’s numbers so fast.

Final Thoughts

Brooke still hates this Jolene girl. David still sounds good. Ramiele still sounds bad. Jason still sounds pleasant but boring. Carly’s voice still sounds richer than any of the other girls. David is still frightened of his father. Kristy still sounds better than the judges said. Syesha is still not Whitney Houston. She also isn’t Whitney Dallas. Michael still sounds like a star. They are all leaning on the piano as Ryan throws us into Hell’s Kitchen. If someone had watched this show for the first time tonight, they would think Michael was the favorite to win it all; he was that much better than everyone else. After Michael I enjoyed Kristy and David Cook the most. Who ends up drowning next to the islands in the stream tomorrow? Ramiele has to be in the bottom three – right? If she isn’t I hope congress holds hearing and investigates the Idol vote counting. Joining her will be Syesha. If you sing Whitney, you deserve to go home. I mean how cliché can you be Syesha? Everyone knew you were going to sing that song the second we heard Dolly was coming on the show. Everyone! I will go out on a very flimsy bridge and suggest Kristy will be safe; the country folk have to stick together and should vote and vote for America’s favorite Boy named Tom. Jason’s fans were scared last week, so they should have voted early and often for their boy. Therefore, in a shocker, I’m predicting Brooke White ends up in the bottom three before Ryan saves her from the misery that is the bottom two. Ramiele should be the one going home. If it is anyone else besides her we lose next week, because it means we have to hear Ramiele try to sing again. Instead of Idol Gives Back, how about you just kick her off the show – that will do as much good.


Post a Comment

<< Home