Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Episode Brought To You By Itunes!

Somehow Matt ended up in the bottom three last week, maybe even the bottom two, which means everyone but Adam and Danny enters this week feeling a little bit scared. Some contestants like Megan and Scott should be more terrified than a skinhead walking through Harlem on Martin Luther King Jr. day. Tonight’s theme is all about making money for Fox – the entire night is one big commercial. Every time Ryan mentions Itunes you can almost hear the sound of a cash register opening and Fox executives taking out even more money. A theme of ‘songs downloaded off Itunes’ really? Why not just call the theme ‘every song ever made that is cheap enough for us to buy the rights so people can sing the songs.’ Because if they call the theme what it really is they don’t get truckloads of money from Itunes. What are they going to make the theme next week, ‘Songs people sing in their Ford vehicles while they drive around drinking Coca Cola products while they talk to people on their iphones?’ There is no mentor this week, which means Danny has to wait until next week to completely ignore a legend’s advice again. Apparently Danny’s grandfather passed away this week. Normally Ryan would mention sometimes so tragic, but after all the negative reaction Danny’s friend holding up a picture of his deceased wife caused, I wonder if Danny would prefer they don’t even mention his loss. Speaking of the dead wife, has anyone ever checked into this story and made sure he really had a wife that died? Wouldn’t it be great if he Johnny Fair Played Idol. That has to rank as the greatest non-reality moment in the history of reality television right? Or at least the equal of Joe Millionaire. What ever happened to that guy? Did he go back to working construction? Maybe he ended up in porn. How about that for a best selling porn film: Octomom and Joe Millionaire in the new hit film “Making Kid Number 15.” Tonight will be interesting and a little dangerous for the contestants. All too often when they get the chance to sing anything they want, they select a song THEY like instead of one we would like to hear them sing. Sometimes the two are mutually exclusive.

The Idols are all looking straightforward like zombies as Ryan walks by them on the stage introducing the show; they are obviously not supposed to acknowledge the camera with their eyes and instead just stare out into space. They all do a good job not following the camera as it pans across them except for Anoop. He can’t control his eyes and they follow the camera as it moves across the stage. This is the first time all season where Scott was the best prepared to follow instructions. I’m guessing we still get the horrible judge’s introduction from god again. And yup here it is. At least Paula isn’t dressed like she is on her way to prom tonight. Ryan saunters down the stairs. Just once I want him to fall. That will quickly become the most watched clip in the history of youtube. Especially if there is blood involved. I’m thinking Ryan crashes down to the bottom, suffers a head laceration and a minor concussion and spends the rest of the night looking for Brian Dunkelman. This is a live show, so does that mean they have a back up Ryan back stage just in case? Would Ricky Minor take over hosting duties from high atop the stage? What about one of the random celebrity guest in the audience. Imagine Gordon Ramsey hosting this show. He would be the first one to accidentally say the f word on the Idol stage. All we need is one fall for this miracle to happen, so keep going down those stairs faster and faster Ryan. They judges don’t just sit down; instead they are talking to everyone that sits behind them and shaking hands. Full of yourself much judges? Simon is the last judge to find his seat; Randy beats him by mere seconds. Ryan asks Randy how the Top 9 is shaping up and Randy says we’ll figure out tonight who really has it because things are getting tough. Kara says artistry is doing a song we’ve all heard a million times in a way that gives everyone goosebumps and makes us want to run out and buy the record. Paula is propless this week and Simon is looking forward to Ryan and the artists being amazing. The theme tonight is any song they want as long as it is a popular download on Itunes. How do they ever categorize popular? Is that more than 1,000 downloads? More than 1,000,000? Something on Simon’s ipod? I wish they would provide a little more guidance. Since there is no mentor this week, their big outing is to Ryan’s radio show. There are so many Idols in the studio they are forced to stand around Ryan’s desk. Adam has his emo hair back. Ryan shows the contestants all his sound drops at his disposal and wishes them good luck. So last week they got to meet the legend Smokey Robinson, and this week they get to hang out with a guy they’ve been hanging out with for months. Yeah this week is just awesome baby, awesome. Way to be cheap Idol. Mentors might even cost Idol money, but itunes makes them money. We might get an Itunes theme every week from now on.

Anoop – Caught Up

He is singing an Usher song to change up what he has been doing. He wants a lot of stage presence and energy. He thinks this compeition is all about people relating to him and so he is singing a song he can relate to if he was watching the show. He is going to have fun doing a high-energy song. Anoop, let’s recap. You cannot dance, at least we havent’ seen it yet, and this song is made for singing and dancing at the same time. Those spaces built in for dancing may get a little boring without you busting a move. He has four back up singers on stage in front of him, including a male back up singer. Anoop is dressed like Michael Jackson circa 1982 – a cross between waiter and third world dictator. He is also wearing dog tags. I wonder if Randy will notice the dog component to his jewelry selection. The back up singers make their way over to the side of the stage to give Anoop enough room to move around like an idiot. His idea of making the song ‘his own’ is adding a few awkward riffs and over singing several notes. This song works so much better when the singer is naturally flowing around the stage dancing with ease in between the verses. Anoop looks a little bit like a snake on a tile floor – he is trying really hard but he can’t get anywhere. His voice sounds pretty good on the sustained notes. He touches a few hands in the audience and makes his way down in front of the judges. I think Anoop is trying to seduce me with his expressions. It looks forced and unnatural. Like a drunk guy in a bar trying to pick up a girl by looking manly. This performance is a little boring. He is avoiding any of the falsetto notes. I think Anoop made the mistake of believing a high energy song equals a high energy performance. It’s how you sing it dog, not what you sing. And, from now on stay away from songs by Usher Anoop. Just because he has a cool sounding first name like you doesn’t mean you are destined to follow his footsteps in the R&B/pop world. Anoop seems satisfied with his work and a group of his college friends are cheering wildly in the audience. Why don’t you have any minority friends Anoop? Racist (this is how things get started). Randy asks Anoop to ‘check it out baby’ and says it’s interesting that he picked up his swagger. He thinks his vocals were really good even though it wasn’t the right song. He is torn because Anoop had the right vocals on the wrong song. Anoops frat boy friends cannot understand Randy’s comments; they look either confused or angry. Kara says when you sing Usher you have to do crazy stuff by going up in your range and adding riffs and instead she thinks Anoop copycatted the song. Anoop disagrees and interrupts her saying, “Not really.” Kara doesn’t argue the point, but suggests the performance felt like a bunch of frat guys dared him to get on stage and sing Usher. The frat boys are no longer confused; they are all upset. If they don’t get a keg soon they might explode. Paula wasn’t sure at first but loves the fact he went back to his playful side. She says his vocal sounded really good but thinks he should work on his stage presence and create some signature ‘hits or stabs’ with the band instead of just rocking back and forth. Remember boys and girls, this show is about dancing, not singing. Randy and Kare are sharing an inside joke while Paula is talking. Simon thought the whole thing was a complete utter mess. He didn’t like that Anoop came across as a wannabee. He didn’t see any originality and says it felt like a college boy trying to be a pop star. He claims the whole thing gave him a headache. This is an everyone but Paula beat down on Anoop. I think Anoop was just so focused on Danny’s dead grandfather he couldn’t concentrate while he rehearsed this week. The frat boys are no longer upset, now they look dejected. In the span of less than two minutes, they went from confused to angry to sad. Someone get these guys a jello shot and help them date rape a girl. Ryan asks Anoop to clarify what he meant when he talked to Kara and he chickens out and just says he disagrees. All he can say is ‘their opinions are their opinions.’ I hope this barbeque thesis shows a little more creative reasoning. Oh look, here is a selection from the first page: “I like barbeque. Barbeque is good when I eat it. I like to eat it with my hands. Sometimes my hands get dirty and then I need shirt to wipe them off on.” Ladies and gentleman Anoop’s thesis. Anoop says he is trying to define himself as an artist so he sang one of the songs off one of the most popular R&B albums of all time. Being in the first spot means you are automatically in danger. If you went out there and delivered the baby Jesus in the first slot you could end up in the bottom three. Unless everyone struggles with their songs tonight, I think Anoop just sealed his fate in the bottom three. The judges didn’t spent that much time with Anoop, but I bet as the show gets near the end the judges will speak faster and faster and provide less and less commentary. Live TV – you gotta love it.

Megan Joyless – Turn Your Lights Down Low

Megan is finally free from Motown and country week and has a chance to pick the perfect song for her voice. I don’t think Megan has a lot of experience pre Idol. If she did she might have a few ‘go to’ songs at the ready, if she doesn’t, then this week’s wide ranging theme doesn’t really help her cause. Ryan reminds us that every song we hear is available on itunes. Ok I know you have to do the in show commercial like always, but considering every song tonight is a popular song on Itunes, wouldn’t it be implicit that EVERYONE SONG IS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD ON ITUNES? I mean dude America is dumb, but not that dumb. Sadly there were probably thousands of people sitting at home thinking ‘wow I hope all these great songs that are popular on Itunes are available on itunes.’ Megan definitely thinks outside the box. I doubt anyone has thought ‘you know the only thing holding this girl back is the unavailability of any Bob Marley songs for her to sing, yet she is really excited to finally sing this song. She says last week the judges punched her in mouth, but she is sure the judges are going to feel her this time because she can finally sing this song. This might be her last time on the stage meaning it’s also the last chance for the judges to ‘feel’ her up. She is wearing pants and a simple top with more beads around her neck than the sluttiest girl at Mardi Gras. Mr. T is watching at home right now thinking, “Too much bling Megan.” Her voice sounds like it does every week, a little off the proper pitch yet interesting. Sadly, this song is devoid of energy and despite her best efforts, which include unnecessary riffs, she cannot add any of her normal spunk. The danger for Megan singing a slower song like this is it can devour her personality. If nothing else Megan normally brings her sunshine onto the stage, but tonight there is an eclipse. She avoids any major pitch issues (she always has some) but this is not the right vibe for the tattooed one. Kara says she really likes Megan (there is always a but coming after a start like that) but, she thinks she is in trouble. She says Bob Marley is not the right song choice. Someone from the audience yells out, “broken record,” and Kara makes the mistake of paying attention to the comment. Simon has learned over the years to ignore anything the audience says or does lest it affect his critique; Kara will learn. Kara wants Megan to sing like some of the recent British pop stars and goes so far as calling Megan’s lower register annoying. She wanted some falsetto in this performance. Kara, in response to more booing from the audience suggests they “get up here and do it then.” Be careful what you wish for Kara this show goes on just fine without you next season. Paula says, “Megan……..umm…then pauses for what seems like forever (this is about to be a total thrashing of Megan) and eventually says Megan needs to take the judges by surprise and take them to an area that might not be comfortable – that place where beauty happens. What? That sounds like something a Playboy photographer might say to the new young girl in town resisting taking her clothing off. Paula suggests Megan use a stool next week when she sings and Megan assures her she can in fact do that. Yes Paula, that’s what was missing tonight, not good vocals, but furniture. Maybe Megan can ride around the stage on that cool motor powered stool a drunk guy got arrested on the other day. Now that would be awesome. I’d even vote for Megan. Simon makes fun of Paula’s suggestion for a chair on stage. He says the problem was a boring song that became indulgent and monotonous. He thinks Megan has become indulgent and he agrees with Kara. The song was just so boring for him. Randy says the song was like watching paint drying. At least he didn’t use this example when Scott sings, because let’s face it, Scott has never experienced the magic that is watching paint dry. He says even thought you love a song it doesn’t mean you have to sing that song. The dog is right. All too often the contestants sing what they want to hear regardless if they can actually sing it well. Megan tells Ryan the audience is feeling her and she hopes her fans vote. Michael Johns never learned this lesson and exited the show several weeks too early. Although the judges seem harsh tonight, as the competition progresses their criticism should get tougher. What was good two weeks ago isn’t good enough in the Top 9. But will they be consistently cantankerous the rest of the night.

Danny – What Hurts The Most

Forget going last tonight, getting the slot behind Anoop and Megan is the real pimp spot. A small child going out there singing the alphabet song is going to get some good comments. Danny gets a sit down with Ryan and explains his song choice. He loves the artist and thinks they are an amazing group. He says last week’s song was the fifth on his list, but the others didn’t get approved so he wanted to really sell the song and he thinks he did it well, even if Simon thought it was clumsy. Danny picked this song because of the emotion inside of him he can pull out while he is singing. He wants to tone it down this week and sing his heart out. Danny gets his own violin player on the steps of the stage. As is becoming common, Danny does not sound great on the verses. If he ain’t shouting he ain’t singing. He has a hard time projecting his voice with power while he is singing softly. When he finally mercifully reaches the chorus he sounds much better. I think I will call him “Chorus Boy” because he only sounds good on the chorus. Yes, he is singing his heart out, but he is also straining on the higher notes. When he riffs he almost loses control of his voice. Maybe if he had a stool on stage I’d feel him emoting just a bit more. I can’t believe non of the judges have mention how similar Danny sounds to the hated Taylor Hicks. Upon the song’s completion Danny does look emotionally spent. This song is all about not saying what you wish you had said to the girl you loved. So are you saying that you never told your wife you loved her before she died Danny? Shame on you, but I guess that means I should vote for you over and over again. The crowd is thrilled someone finally sounded good and cheers loudly. Paula says Danny thrives from the first note and she would definitely listen to it again in her car. Simon says they didn’t agree last week, but he thinks this was Danny’s best performance this season. He says the first two contestants were like two snails in a competition with Danny the racehorse. Danny says nothing when Simon insults the first two singers. At least little David A. spoke up one week last year and said he liked someone that Simon hated. But I guess we can’t expect Danny to tell Simon how he feels since he couldn’t even tell his wife. Randy feels like the show just started and reminds everyone this is a singing competition. He reminds Danny he can move around the stage and “rock it” as opposed to just standing still. Simon tells Danny to ignore Randy’s advice. Kara says Danny moved everyone in the room emotionally because he gave so much of his heart and soul; she has goosebumps. I think Kara jumped the gun a little bit assuming Danny moved everyone. I’m pretty sure Megan is not moved right now. In fact I bet she is back stage saying the f word repeatedly. Danny tells Ryan when you can connect emotionally to people it raises the song to a whole other level. Yes Danny, and when you can hit the notes without straining and sing the verses without sounding horrible it also raises the song to another level, a level you’ve still not reached. The judges exhibited the very thing some hate about Idol. They lauded a decent performance as amazing in the hopes of creating a Danny ‘moment.’ I bet they were concerned how much publicity Adam earned last week and determined a one-man show isn’t exciting enough, so their goal tonight is create competition for Adam. Now we have a two-man race with Danny and Adam. It doesn’t always work however, they tried it with Matt last time and he almost went home.

Allison – Don’t Speak

She is so happy she has the freedom to pick one of her favorite songs and she is busting out the guitar for the first time. She is so excited to finally do this song. She is full on punked out tonight. She looks like a cross between a red headed Doc Brown and the bride of Frankenstein. Her rock tinged voice sounds good on this song and it’s cool seeing her with a guitar, even if she isn’t playing it all that much. You have to wonder what personal experience a 16-year-old draws on to connect with this song. Maybe the time in 3rd grade when that guy wanted to ask her out but couldn’t work up the nerves. So the last song was all about not saying what you wanted to say and this song is all about not having to say what you want to say – very confusing messages for the young kids and of course Paula. After strumming a few chords Allison puts the guitar on her back. Which begs the question, why even bring the guitar out if you aren’t really going to play anything? Allison has always been one of the most comfortable contestants on stage and moves around with ease while she sings. But tonight she is anchored by the guitar and her oversized dress. I think if she could move around a little she could add a little more of her rock voice into this performance. Her voice is perfect for this song, but she isn’t ‘making it her own’ like she has the last several weeks. She has the unfortunate luck of going after Danny. Nothing props up one contestant like tearing those around him or her down. The judges already did that with Megan and Anoop, but they probably have to complete the process and tear down Allison. It’s not about judging, it’s about engineering. But she sang it well, which limits the judges’ options. Randy asks her to check it out and says vocally she can sing and he liked the vocals. He thinks she was nervous causing her to get a little ahead of the band. I have no idea what Randy is talking about. I’ve heard this song a hundred times and she was not rushing the song in the slightest. He liked that she played the guitar, but he is confused with her wardrobe selection. He asks her several times “what is with the outfit man.” He just does not get it. Kara says the rock in Allison comes out of her no matter what she is wearing; she doesn’t need to put all those clothes on and force her image. She says she doesn’t have to try so hard because she is a good singer. Despite the distracting clothes she says although it’s not her best performance it was good. Ok let’s hold up a second here. When did this become America’s Next Top Model? The first two judges just wasted most of their time talking about how she looked, not how she sounded. Randy, isn’t this a singing competition dawg? I think next week Allison should come out wearing something even more over the top. Paula is glad she brought her ax out with her? Huh? Does that mean guitar? Is Allison hiding an ax somewhere? I’m so confused right now. She thinks Allison’s vocal prowess rivals singers twice her age and calls her intonation and delivery effortless and masterful. She believes Allison is serious about this competition and will skate right to the finish line. Simon says the judges cannot ignore the outfit because it looks like something out of the Adams Family. He says tonight’s theme must be Halloween. He is bothered because she looked like a precocious child trying to look and sound like a rock star. It was a bit dressy-uppy being a pop star and he thinks she shouted the song. Randy disagrees with Simon about the shouting. Maybe Adam paid her to go out there looking like this so he won’t be the only one hated by the red states anymore.

Scott – Just The Way You Are

Ryan is in the mosh pit and just like last week there is one random slightly effeminate looking male amongst all the girls; no, not Ryan, some other guy. Scott is going Billy Joel this week because he loves him and has learned so much from him as a songwriter and a performer. He is going to strip the music down tonight making it only him and the piano. He hopes he can turn things around this week. At least he knows he is in some serious trouble. Finally just him on the piano I’ve been waiting for this since his audition. His voice is still indistinctive. His first sustained note wavers dangerous close to the ‘flat zone’ but he avoids going off pitch. Scott could have a career as a back up singer if he wanted the gig. Maybe we can get him as one of the singers on Dancing with the Stars. His piano playing is excellent and he is hitting just about every note. His ‘big finish’ is totally out of place with this song, but I understand he needs to show the judges and the folks at home he can hit the big notes. Let’s face it, you don’t win American Idol without hitting lots of big notes. But you can come in second right Blake? Part of me thinks Scott has difficulty learning songs every week because of his limitations. I’m not sure what extra steps he must take to learn how to play the piano part and the words of a song he doesn’t already know. Since Billy is one of Scott’s idols, he probably already knows this song and has been playing it for years. Does he sound this good every time he has ample opportunity to practice the song? Well good might be a bit of an overstatement. I’m not sure he quite reached ‘good’ yet but he is so much better than the last few weeks it seems like he just climbed Mount Everest. It’s what it feels like when you get a cold after surviving cancer. Sure the cold isn’t any fun but good lord it’s so much better than cancer. Sorry Scott, I just compared you to cancer. Scott is rocking a new hairstyle this week. I wonder if any of the Idol make up and hair people ever thought about dying Scott’s hair pink. Is his brother living in the mansion with the other contestants? They should really tell us stuff like this. Why can’t they combine with the makers of Big Brother and keep the contestants in that house and let us watch them 24/7. We could have seen the extremely awkward Lil, Michael, and Scott sitting in the hot tub moments. Kara thinks Scott made a smart decision by picking this song and stripping it down and just singing to the audience. She calls the performance honest and moving and she loves his new hair. Paula says of all the contestants on the stage she is most proud of Scott. Not because he has a challenge, because he makes her forget he has a challenge. He is blind Paula, just say it, it’s really allowed. Paula thinks he took a risk performing without the band but thinks it paid off. Simon calls his performance the best by a country mile compared to his other ones. He says he has Ryan Seacrest hair. Randy says his performance is one of the best of the night several times. The other judges talked so long Randy has to rush through his evaluation. Ryan doesn’t talk to Scott and quickly recites his numbers. They really should have kept the show at two hours so the judges would have enough time to tell why Danny is such an amazingly great and awesome singer.

Matt – You Found Me

During a sit down interview Matt says he was a little surprised he ended up in the bottom three. Dude, a little? You were devastated. I bet Anoop had to remove all the sharp objects from your room that night. Matt tells Ryan he is trying to stay positive and this week he is picking a song for him instead of one that judges might like. This week he wants to put his passion into a song and make someone out there feel him. He thinks this song is powerful enough to be powerful. He is on a keyboard in the middle of the mosh pit. I wonder if he prefers a keyboard over to the baby grands they usually have on stage. This is a different side of Matt – the gruff side. His voice sounds different than usually, not necessarily better or worse, but certainly different. The audience members surrounding him are into the song, except for one random mean looking older guy standing directly behind Matt. He is the only one not clapping. Either he is Idol security tasked with making sure no one touches Matt or he is a very scary and creepy stalker dude. Hey you don’t have to win gold medals to get your own stalker these days. This song doesn’t really lend itself to ‘soul.’ Between his song choice and his gruff singing, this is a somewhat ‘soulless’ Matt. The judges usually do not enjoy when someone does something outside their predetermined box – Matt is a soul guy that sounds like Justin Timberlake and if he does anything different it just can’t be right. The judges tell the contestants they want originality and then usually excoriate them if they do something too different. I fear they will not like Matt’s new sound. They judges also hate it when someone makes them turn their heads. Randy is looking straight ahead not even bothering to look at Matt, Kara is drinking from her cup, Paula is looking around confused, and surprisingly only Simon seems truly focused on the performance. Finally near the end of the song he jumps into his usual falsetto that is unusually in tune. The falsetto is a particularly nice contrast to his new voice. Paula appreciates he went for a contemporary song, but thinks he aborted his riffs and falsetto, the things they love about him, and it became more of a sound alike. It reminded her of when he sang the Coldplay song. Matt disagrees saying he wasn’t that bad. Simon says he should be happy because the judges don’t like him this week. He says the gravel in his voice felt put on like he was trying to be someone else. He thinks Matt is becoming all these different people to stay in the competition and the result was uncomfortable. Randy says this was the wrong song for him because he has more chops than this rock song allows. Kara says he keeps going between the rock side of pop and the r&b side of pop and he has to commit to one so the judges can see what kind of record he will make. However, she says she doesn’t want him to go home. Simon has saved people in the past, maybe Kara’s plea will save Matt. I would like her to explain why Matt must pick one side or the other. Why can’t he be an artist that dabbles in both pop and r&b? Is there a rule somewhere that says you cannot do more than one style of music on an album. I know she is just thinking about how to sell albums, but shouldn’t this show strive for more than such an economically driven goal? What about artistry and finding the best undiscovered talent in America? The real goal of this show is to find the person capable of making the producers the most money. Kara, the rookie judge, forgot rule number one – never tell the truth. Matt tells Ryan he is just trying to show the judges that r&b is not the only thing he can do, and says he might try something else if he gets another chance.

Lil - I surrender

She says it took her longer to figure out her song this week because she has been getting nailed by the judges about her song choices. After careful consideration and thought she picked a Celine Dion song. Huh? Really? Why in the world would you pick this song Lil? First, never sing Celine. Second, if you excel on faster songs where you can add your own riffs then never ever ever ever ever do Celine. This girl knows nothing about her own strengths or what gets people voting. She is clearly one of the most talented Idols this season, but also (other than Megan) the least likely to pick the right song. Like every week, she has another new hair style. Why not do a Tina Tuner song tonight Lil, then you could show off your powerful voice and have a little fun. Instead she is standing still in her prom dress singing a dreary ballad. She sounds good on the first part of the song, but runs into a few breathing issues heading into the bridge. Unless she made a stylistic choice I think she did not have enough stamina to complete the phrase. Her voice is impressively strong on this song. In fact, this is probably her best display yet of her pure vocal strength. However, despite the great vocals, this is somewhat boring and the arrangement isn’t helping much. Like always, she adds almost no personality into her performance. There is nothing that makes this uniquely Lil. Her three children and her husband are in the audience cheering wildly. Randy asks her to check it out and says this would not have been his song choice because he wants to see her with more swagger. Although he thought this might be rough, he thinks she sang it really well and showed off her vocal skills. He wants her to ‘young it up a little bit.’ Kara, ever determined to put people in their little boxes, wanted Lil to sing a Mariah or Mary J song (hey Kara are you saying black people can only sing songs from other black people). She says Lil’s vocals were effortless and hit some impressive notes. She thinks Lil can wow the judges and wants to see more of that quality. Paula doesn’t want to see an adult contemporary Lil. She wants more joy in her performances. Simon says Lil was singing to stay in the competition with a safe song and he found it quite similar to a wedding performance. The song was too soft for him and too old fashioned; all of her personality was sucked out. Ryan goes over to Lil’s children and asks them what they thought about the judges. He asks Lil’s daughter if she wants to punch Randy for being kind of mean to her mommy and she says yes. Right now Alexis is watching at home thinking ‘why the **** didn’t I bring my kid on the show too.’ That’s right next season’s contestants. Plan ahead now. Get pregnant and then get the other parent out of the child’s life and you too can catch a ride on the sympathy train (all the better if you get married and then your spouse dies). Ryan hands the little girl off to Randy and the girl immediately embraces the big guy and just about falls asleep on his shoulder. Lil is crying on stage, no doubt thinking about all the extra votes her children are creating. So there isn’t enough time for all the judges to give their comments and Ryan has to rush through the numbers, but there is plenty of time for cute little kids. Adam is doing ‘Play that Funky Music?’ Ummmm, this will be interesting.

Adam Lambert – Play That Funky Music

Back from commercial Ryan takes the place of Lil’s little girl in Randy’s strong yet gentle arms. All of the songs are available on intunes. Geez? Really? Like omg. Since he did such a stripped down song last week Adam wants to do the exact opposite this week. He wants to change it up and make it fresh, original, and something that could exist in a current pop record. Adam has a similar hair style as last week (will the teenager girls like him as much without his dreamy emo hair) and is dressed relatively conservatively. He struts across the stage to a very funkified back beat. This is definitely not a copycat performance. The verses are slow and funky, until he hits the chorus. Then the bank picks up the pace and returns to the song’s normal faster tempo and Adam goes into scream mode for the first time. Adam has the ability to control his screams and stay in tune – very few overall, and no one in the history of Idol have possessed this skill. He is moving around the stage with comfort and ease. Anoop needs to watch videos of Adam performing and learn how to act naturally while singing. The finale is textbook Adam. It’s more an adventure than a note as he riffs his way through an extended falsetto note/scream. I cannot imaginei Simon liking this, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls out the self indulgent insult he enjoys so much. Adam had a lot of fun on stage. Paula, determined to use all the great quotes she has on her calendar at home, tells Adam true genius does not fulfill expectations it shatters it. She compares him to Mic Jager and Steve Tyler because of his unique and riveting performance. Simon says he was very brave and thanks him for getting rid of the karaoke performances they have endured all night. Randy was worried it could be corny, but Adam’s voice worked it out placing him in the star zone. Adam thanks Ricky Minor and the band saying this wouldn’t have worked if they hadn’t ‘worked it out.’ The band now officially loves Adam. Kara cannot wait every week to see what Adam is going to do next. She says it was like Studio 57 in the building tonight. Umm I admit I’m not an expert on disco era nightclubs, but I’m pretty sure it’s Studio 54. In fairness to Kara, most of the people there were probably high at the time so they don’t remember the name of the club either. Kara, this just isn’t your night. First someone from the audience personally heckles you and now you can’t get your pop culture references straight. Don’t worry though, after a few years of not making sense on this show you’ll finally figure it all out – just ask Paula.

Kris – Ain’t No Sunshine

Mandisa, who is looking pretty slim, is sitting in the audience next to Ryan when he introduces the hot blonde’s husband. Kris likes to make old songs current and hopes to do the same thing again this week. He usually plays the guitar but tonight he is pulling out the piano. He wants to have a memorable moment. He has a string section behind him on the stage. He gets bonus points for playing more than one instrument on the show. His piano playing isn’t exactly outstanding, but he sounds good and his voice fits well with the song. This is the most soul we’ve seen from Kris and a marked contrast to some of his earlier fun loving performances. Kara is standing up giving Kris the dawg pound hand gesture. Somewhere Arsenio is watching remembering what it was like to be famous and successful. This is a little like Kris doing his impersonation of Matt doing his impersonation of Justin Timberlake. Since this is a huge departure from his normal ‘box’ I wonder if the judges will criticize him saying they would have preferred the guitar to the piano. He is easily the second, and maybe even the best tonight. Randy says right now in this moment Kris has been slaying it dude. He says he was one of the best of the night. Kara has three words for Kris – that is artistry. Good job Kara, you figured out how to count your words properly since last week. Paula says he took a 30 year old song and made it new again. She says this is his best performance to date and his song could be the first cut off an album. Simon tells Kris he showed confidence and agrees this is his best performance to date. He liked him behind the keyboard and the arrangement. Ryan makes fun of Kara and her counting of the words saying he is always nervous when she starts counting. I don’t think Kara understands the joke, which makes it all the funnier. Ryan implores everyone to vote, vote, vote, vote, vote, vote!

Final Thoughts

Anoop is still Usher if Usher sucked. Megan is still in over her head. Danny is still not nearly as good as the judges claim. Allison is still letting her hair speak for her. Scott is still destined for elimination. Matt is still sounding good in his gruff voice. Lil is still not surrendering. Adam is still in a league of his own and maybe playing for the other team. Kris is still filled with soul. Scott is bouncing up and down on the stage behind Ryan. Megan seems truly excited when she hears Laday Gaga will be on tomorrow night. Adam and Danny have the immunity Idol these days and should for several weeks. Kris is doing his best to join them in the upper tier and might have succeeded with this performance. Lil is the only real r&b singer left, which should consolidate her votes nicely. Matt’s fans are terrified after last week and should vote vote vote for their favorite fellow. Scott finally sounded decent after weeks of dismal performances. Therefore, his fan base will also keep him safe. That leaves only three left – Anoop, Allison, and Megan. Allison doesn’t belong in the bottom three, but circumstances being what they are, she will make a brief visit into the danger zone before Ryan sends her back to the couch. Anoop was not good tonight, but he was better than Megan. Megan is this season’s Jason Castro. She could slide through the early rounds on her skill and looks, but now that the competition is getting harder and harder she is more and more overwhelmed. I think she knows it’s her time to go home. Her consolation prize is time with her son. A prize much better than a few additional weeks on Idol, even if that means she can’t live in a mansion anymore.


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