There, I admitted it.
Don’t worry, Jen, it’s not all Idol – skim on down a ways…
Since she first showed up on American Idol I have reacted to this Queen – no, Empress of Drama with nothing short of horror. She was one of a handful of people who inspired instant loathing, and one of the smaller few within that handful who made such a production of being Wonderful that I (and everyone I’ve spoken to) was really disappointed that she actually could sing. (“Bikini Girl” being a notable neighbor in that group.) It would have been so much simpler to be able to pigeonhole her in the “crazy and deluded” class of auditioners who talk themselves up and end up sounding like sixteen kinds of horrible. Sadly for simplicity, the girl proved she could sing, and I couldn’t entirely fault the panel for putting her through to the top 36. (Though I maintain that one of the reasons they did so was that paramedics would have had to be called in if they had cut her.)
I knew from the beginning tonight that they would save Danny Gokey and Tatiana for last. It’s the way they operate – it’s (say it like Seacrest now) Uhmmmerican Idol. And about halfway through I bet Mom $5 they’d put Danny up last. (ding!) I would have also bet that he would give me chills and that Tatiana would make me hit the mute button.
Nope to both.
On the whole, the show was disappointing; there was so much talk from the 12 of them about “I wanted to show America what I will be like as an artist”, and very little actual showing.
Jackie Tohn (“A Little Less Conversation”) I remember liking in a sort of confused way; tonight the
paint job pants would have set me against her. I get the song choice; I hated the song choice (someday I need to check out the lyrics and see if they’re as misogynistic as they seem at first blush); I love Simon.
Ricky Braddy (“A Song for You”), whom we never saw before; didn’t care for the song, liked him a lot, thought it was a little low on emotion, won’t mind at all if he gets through except that he’d keep people I really want out.
Seriously, only three out of twelve get through? Harsh! And it’s ridiculous that the votes go along gender lines again – “your favorite girl, your favorite guy, and a wild card”. It just so happens that tonight I liked and want to keep at least three guys and maybe one girl, not counting Stevie. Stupid rules.
Alexis Grace (love that name) (“Never Loved a Man”) is, to be honest, one of the ones I kinda wanted to hate. 20-year-old single mother … we’ve been there with this show, done that, didn’t buy the album, and yes the baby’s cute but I don’t want to hear about her(?) for months. And you have no business leaving her for months. But … she’s good, very good. Again, didn’t much care for the song, but – good voice. And I’m sorely tempted to do some kind of color like that in my hair, but I’m prob’ly a little old for that kind of thing…
Brent Keith (“Hicktown”) – Beautiful hands. Great single dimple. Singing? Meh. Mom liked him. I voted a couple of times for him on her behalf.
Stevie Wright (“You Belong With Me”) … aw, Stevie. I loved her in auditions. But then, I’m a sucker for “At Last”. Tonight was a classic case of “I have no idea what the judges are talking about but I’ll try to blindly follow their direction”… Whoof. That was terrible, poor thing – she was obviously petrified. I want her to stay around – but … see above, under Ricky.
Anoop Desai (“Angel of Mine”)… the Anti-Sanjaya. Didn’t like song, loved him. Come on, he has to get through. And, Randy, you moron? It’s “Noop Dog”, not “Anoop Dog”. *shakes head*
Casey Carlson (“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”) … about whom the less said the better. Poor thing. Wait – she did give that big wink, didn’t she? That canceled out any pity. Bye.
Michael Sarver (“I Don’t Want To Be”) (another song I’ll look up the lyrics to someday to figure out what in the name of all that’s holy is being sung)… Aw, big guy, love ya, and I kind of hope you get through, but darlin’ – please don’t make me watch you dance anymore.
Anne Marie Boskovich (“Natural Woman”) … Sang it too high, and voice too thin. And the makeup crew didn’t do her any favors. It was good to hear Simon dissing the arrangements – now he needs to say something about the band. They always talk about the superfantabulous band and backup singers, but more often than not I find them horribly distracting. The backup singers almost drowned this poor girl out.
Stephen Fowler (“Rock with You”) … Can I just say here and now I hate Michael Jackson? Wackoness aside, Issues aside, nose aside, the fact that my niece had nightmares about him and was literally afraid of him for years aside … I hate his music. Yes, even “Thriller”. Sorry. But this guy almost made me like this song. Great voice. Nice performance. I thought – and imagine my surprise when they tore him up. Dang. Oh, and a moment during the performance – Mom: “He has really nice teeth.” Me: “And we just saw all of them.”
Why, though, oh why do they say things like they did about a song belonging to one person and it’s the kiss of death for you poor children to try to sing it? Mom summed it up: Every song belongs to someone. Even the standards were made famous by someone. And every song is going to have its champions and its detractors. I just read an article somewhere online about attacks increasing at karaoke clubs, usually because one drunk mangles some other drunk’s most favoritest song in the world. I have a passing understanding with such attacks after what Archuleta did to “And So It Goes” last year – but that doesn’t mean no one can sing that song but Billy Joel. Someone sang it in auditions this year (Gokey?) and even though they gave it a little Archie treatment it didn’t give me hives. To me this is the same basic thing as “Dude, wrong song for you!” set against “You just go to show that some people can sing anything!” – Some gots it, some don’t.
Skipping to Danny Gokey (“Hero”). Obviously, unless there’s a Daughtry-esque early upset, he could easily walk away with this whole thing. Even if he does get cut untimely, he’ll have a record deal inside of six months. The reviewer on TWOP took against him; I don’t get why. It isn’t his fault the producers did obscene things with the poor boy’s story about his dead wife and generally pimped him mercilessly. He was yet another one I didn’t want to like – come ON with the struggling-through-heartbreak stuff! (It was Sob Story of the Night throughout the initial auditions – I sent my sister a line out of a TWOP recap: “Next week: A boy with no skin, who tragically fell in love with a girl made entirely of bees and Velcro.”) But I like him. Moreover, I like his voice, a lot. He can win; I won’t mind.
OK, I put it off long enough: Tatiana Del Toro (“Saving All My Love”). She scared me. She wasn’t giddy before, Seacrest, she was manic – and heeere’s depression! The first thing I thought was that they had her severely sedated… but it seemed like more than that. The girl is deeply, deeply unhappy… I can only think she’s been watching the torture device that is American Idol these past weeks and saw things that will leave deep, ugly scars. She was self-focused enough during Hollywood week that she might not have realized how utterly mad she seemed … and now she’s had the eavesdropper’s experience of hearing nothing good about herself. At all. Compounded by seeing the results of a week’s worth of film condensed into – what, four hours minus about an hour of commercials – by producers and editors who have already been proven to be sadistic and who decided she and her histrionics would make for good television, or at least popular tv. I never thought I would feel sorry for Tatiana. And I really, really do. Even if she really is exactly as she was portrayed during Hollywood Week – and from what she said about her friends’ reactions she’s not, and shame on me for buying into it – she doesn’t deserve the ridicule I’m sure she’s gotten all over the media (yes, I’m talking about you again, TWOP). She came off tonight as fairly intelligent, aware, and very, very wounded. Tomorrow night could be ugly. And very sad.
I lied, Jen – it was all about Idol. But it’s pushing one and it’s a “school night”, so the other things I wanted to say will be relegated to:
1) Liev Schrieber is going to play a superhero in the new X-Men movie?! !!! (Fact check: good lord. He is. Well, a supervillain: Sabretooth. Who’d’a thunk it.)
2) There’s a new X-Men movie coming?!!! And – – it’s Wolverine’s origin story?! O frabjous day! My heart be still.
3) Is that Drew Barrymore in Watchmen or am I losing my mind? (Fact check: I seem to be losing my mind. So, is that Carla Gugino in the commercial?)(Oh, her!)
4) On a more serious note, a two-parter: why in God’s name would you want to have a chimpanzee – a creature far too close to human to be comfortable, I would think, and in this case far too big – as a pet, and why is it legal? And – how and when the hell did it become acceptable for 911 tapes to play on the news? I know the “journalists” on the local news are completely incapable of proper spelling and grammar, and of course none of them can say the word “is” or the words “going to” (“Front gonna bring in some snow tomorrow”), but are they so completely inept that they can’t manage to actually write and broadcast a news story without having to sensationalize someone’s worst moments by playing their call to 911? The fact that a great many of the operators on these calls sound inhumanly insensitive and not only disinterested but uninterested can hopefully be chalked up to training, but then again customer service reps in bigger companies are usually trained to at least fake compassion… I would think the same would hold true with this rather more vital job.
“At the time of the 2003 incident, police said the Herolds told them the chimpanzee was toilet trained, dressed himself, took his own bath, ate at the table and drank wine from a stemmed glass. He also brushed his teeth using a Water Pik, logged onto the computer to look at pictures, and watched television using the remote control, police said.”
My God. That’s not a pet, people. That’s … very very wrong.
And along with the economy that (and the story that soon followed it on Fox News about the man who hit his girlfriend with a kitchen chair) is why a) I turned the channel quickly, b) I haven’t listened to NPR much since the inauguration, and c) I read fiction.