American Idol: Top Two and Drool

May 26, 2010

In an incredibly predictable finale like this one – viewer’s main suspense lies in what complete disaster of a song will the ‘triumphant’ winner have to sing for their coronation tune. There wasn’t much of a question of the ‘who part’ for the finale, that was pretty much a given after the top ten was decided. I’m thinking that the judge panel need more lessons in acting to pull off a more realistically none manipulated program.

It was apparent to me since almost the beginning that Crystal Bowersox was the obvious choice for winner. Problem started a few weeks back when it became day-glo neon brightly obvious that Lee Dewyze the ‘new’ favorite of Simon Cowell. That and with the American target audience of this show largely of the feminine persuasion, it’s damn hard for one of their own to pull it off anymore.

The Last Two Standing Idols get a sort of WWE entrances with Lee dashing through the crowd hand spanking the audience. Crystal has an unfortunate moment with her entrance but manages to muddle through. That made Point One for Lee on Good Entrance, Crystal, Fail.

We have to endure Lee’s odd parents deliver a glowing biographical moment discussing his childhood aspirations to be a pro baseball player, shortstop in fact. He then mumbled something about somehow ‘knowing’ even back then he was really meant to be a singer.

Crystal’s bio moment had her flashing back to finding, back in her Daddy’s closet, likely behind the latest stash of Sensimilla Red Roze, an old guitar. She was on the prowl for Christmas presents and figured that must be one of them. So began her ‘career’ in music and her singing at Malls. (Oh look, just like Taylor Hicks did in the Phillipines only then he was like, what, thirty?)

I give Crystal the win over Lee in the bio moment because she started in music doing what Taylor got to do after winning Idol and I dug her hippie Dad.

Lee performs the “The Boxer” obviously thinking he was previously quite brilliant at it. It goes much like the first time I heard it, rather mumbling, raspy but infused with spit. Camera shots were very unflattering for him, each pan at his face showed gobs of thick stringy spittle lacing the inside of his mouth like some sort of gooey spider webb. Made me quite nauseous. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything quite like that, in fact. I know I never want to again.

The past couple of weeks Crystal seemed somewhat complacent and not highly motivated to win this show. That or Dad was smuggling her in some of that Red Roze wonder herb before show time. She brought back the Janis Joplin and does “Me and Bobby Magee” in fine form.

First song goes to Crystal Bowersox leaving now with her 2 points and Lee 1, “ding”.

I can’t help wonder why Randy apparently dressed himself in a dark closet for the show. He’s wore a coral colored tuxedo type jacket paired with some sort of paisley fluffy silk shirt. It’s a mad, mad combination that truly needed a red rubber nose attachment. The red clown nose would have at least made his rambling, nonsensical commentary more interesting.

Next spittle face (Lee) tried to kill my ears warbling out his imitation of REM with “Everybody Hurts.” Completely clueless as to what the tune and melody should be, he was quite terrible. Forget any emotion, forget any fucking direction for the song, REM likely laughing their asses off if they heard him. It was a big groaning moment but I was spared having to look at tons of string spit – one good thing about the song. The judges say things, I don’t take notes.

Crystal sang “Black Velvet”, but wore a mistake of a black gown completely wrong for her full figure. The dress was so tight around her thighs she appeared to waddle down those stage stairs, it also made her ass look three feet wide. Her delivery of the song was near to perfect and unlike Lee, she never has copious amounts of spittle in her mouth as she sings. Therefore, score another in the “V” column for Crystal. The guitarist does a fine job, I must add.

Expecting some sort of drivel-riddled song about going so far or unicorns and rainbows, instead Lee is allowed to sing U2’s “Beautiful Day”. You know, the one that our current President used ad nauseum in his campaign for the position he’s failing miserably at in the Oval office.

Someplace out there Bono must have been cringing at the not even good enough for a karaoke performance Lee brought the song. It’s boring and lacking in any emotion. You know, the way Lee usually sings songs…

Kara, the hopefully in her last season as judge, loves it and comments on his ‘commercial voice’. I’m thinking commercial as in an example of how “how not to sing” U2. Forget the other judges, I made no notes here either.

Crystal performs “Up To The Mountain”, a blues-gospel type dirge but better than any of the other season’s pathetic coronation songs anyone has had to sing. (“Do I Make You Proud” comes to mind.) Sadly this tune is more in-step with past coronation songs complete with mountains, valleys and glory notes. That said, Crystal still wins this round.

We get entreatied at this point with some bloke from the U.K., Will Young, whom I guess won that country’s karaoke show with season nine flash backs of contestants I’ve already forgotten. Is that the song we’ve heard all season?

I thought more attention might be provided Cowell, being his last time to judge but I guess tomorrow night’s megathon of suck will have him sharing the limelight with the hapless Idol ‘winner’. He did at least show up wearing a jacket. Still no word on his replacement but I am crossing my fingers for Harry Connick, Jr.

So, as far as I’m thinking, it’s Lee one, Crystal four. American tweens and housewife fans will have the final say so we’ll just have to stay tuned. Dial Idol has Lee handily winning this thing and with the VFTW cotillion promising to cast their votes, it’s a matter of hours until we find out. See you tonight, bring wine and Jack Daniels if you have it.

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American Idol Top Three: Hallelujah It’s Almost Over

May 19, 2010

I think I lost 37,000,000 brain cells last night watching that now oh-so-obviously scripted piece of karaoke television called American Idol.

Last weekend was the top three Idols’ homecomings and our local FOX news, even through what seemed to be a monsoon rain, covered Casey James as heavily as the rain pouring down. (that was too easy) Interestingly and tellingly, outside of the obligatory AT&T store front sponsorship, the show ran no footage of the homecoming festivities. You know, it might have swayed the at-home viewers into voting differently from the direction the show wanted to steer the herd. Captain Obvious, Lee Dewyze, did get marginally more air-time, let’s sit and speculate why…OK that was long enough. More air-time and more of everything else.

Casey James selected a song, that if anyone paid attention, an obvious head nod that it was his last night. Song choice, “OK It’s All Right With Me” by Eric Hutchinson. Kara Dioguardi called it an ‘unknown’ song showing what an idiot to the ninth degree she really is.

Sure, cowboy Casey could have selected a number of other songs that may have been a bit better but then he couldn’t blatantly have let on to the folks at home he realizes his time on the show is over.
Casey James “OK It’s All Right With Me”

Randy and Ellen agreed the song was ‘just all right’ for them. Simon baited Kara (it’s just too easy) into a ridiculously overly serious discussion of song climaxing. But then climaxing and Kara go hand in hand.

Kara and RandytheBoBo picked “Daughters” for Casey, a really terrible song selection, it’s a treacly ballad, one of John Mayer’s most lackluster efforts, but with the masses inability to tell good from bad music, made him a lot of money. Casey gives it the lackluster treatment it deserves. I must add, his voice sounds very good on the song; James can actually carry a tune.

Casey James “Daughters”

Kara and Randy attempted to make their song choice out to be stellar – Simon didn’t agree but he does say, rather quietly at the end of the critique that Casey’s vocals sounded quite good.

Crystal Bowersox selected “Come To My Window” by Melissa Etheridge and Ellen Degeneres picked “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney for her. She hauled along her harmonica rig and sporadically played it going for the ‘folk’ singer vibe. I have to hand it to her at least she did not alter the lyrics and kept true to the “Maybe I’m Amazed” song. That said it was not her best night.

I had to take into consideration after watching the theatrics provided Lee, how sparse the settings for Casey and Crystal and cut them a lot of slack. Lee was treated like the second coming of some higher being – goal to inspire the lemmings and peasants to follow the show’s lead and go ga-ga over his out of tune performances. Having the choir come in along with the string section and basically drown him out on “Hallelujah” was a brilliant move. He was out of tune and vocally inept and weak in comparison to anyone else on the history of this show who have sung that song. (Nod to Timmeh.)
Regarding Idol, Jason Castro’s version better than Lee’s.

To go home tonight, after the Idol bus ran over him, Casey James.


Casey James Does CowTown & Richardson

May 15, 2010

Casey James was all over the FOX 4 News yesterday morning and had an entire hour devoted to him. (Of course.) Initially he seemed overwhelmed by the attention, possessing a deer in the headlights look, but as the day progressed he loosened up considerably. His Texas drawl, by the evening was back in full force. I think getting out of the Idol ‘prison’ and back into Texas, even though we were in the midst of a heavy duty monsoon rain, he started to feel more himself. Inclement weather all day yesterday made for indoor activities only. Well, except for the “concert” he put on last night at the Richardson Wildflower Festival. (If you can call three songs a concert.)
Casey James performs at Richardson’s Wildflower Festival

Casey James at Wildflower Festival

Thanks for all the intrepid and stealthy videographers. I never get away with secret filming.


American Idol Top 4: Duets and Mrs. Robinson

May 12, 2010

Movie theme night, yet another theme guaranteed to be quite terrible. From what I understand the hapless contestants had only ten tunes to pick from so we shouldn’t be too very hard on them. I do enjoy the top four spot in which the contestants get to duet with one another. My query is why doesn’t the show do more of that during the season, would be so much more interesting than some of those gawdawful group numbers.

Jamie Foxx once again on the show as a guest mentor and once again I can only ask “why him”? I mean the guy’s last season performance with full on autotune was quite horrible and confirmed he should stick to acting and ‘scripted’ singing… ala his Oscar winning turn as Ray Charles. He came up with at least an original idea with presenting the contestants with tacky t-shirts labeled ‘Contestant’ or ‘Artist’ to ‘grade’ them on their practice session with him.

He does do some decent mentoring but he pales (excuse my terminology) in comparison to Harry Connick, Jr. (Radio rumors this morning have Mr. Connick hot in the running for the Simon Cowell position *crosses fingers*.) I did get the feel that possibly Mr. Foxx was giving it a run toward possibly positioning himself as a contender for that position as well. Seems an easy gig with incredible benefits and great pay, certainly he would make more at that than his record sales.

Lee oddly selects “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal, a tune apparently from “Batman Forever” and immediately wins the “Contestant” shirt or just a plain black tee that reads “I Suck”. His vocals consist of incoherent mumbles (per usual) and he bottoms out the low notes while evading the true melody behind the tune. Way back when I liked that song but since I’ve heard it way too often in the Idol format I’ve grown to truely hate it.

I thought Jamie Foxx’s approach of getting in Lee’s face ala Hokey Gokey last season was, well, so last season.

Harkening back to the greatness that was Harry Connick last week, Kara calls Lee out for his “out of tune” delivery Let’s hope that “pitchy” is dead to us all from this time forward in this show.

Simon relies on the tried and true and muchly used ‘karaoke’ label that has been in full form this season and of course, he’s right. I know it’s an impossibility but Lee should go home, but I’ll try to stick to reality and understand that’s not happening. In this universe at least.

Michael Lynche hilariously chose a song from “Free Willy”, I don’t know about you but the mental image of him standing starkers with his ‘willy’ dangling ‘free’ made me giggle. Lynche pointed out how it’s a Michael Jackson song referring to Egypt or something, not at all to do with his identifying with being a whale…. (I know, I’m on a roll…)

Large Lynche attempts the gospel route, which was also quite odd considering the entire “Willy” thing. Anyway I hope Lynche’s willy is indeed set free tonight but after his pathetic plea that ‘he had a dream from last year to finish top three’ he may stay. Those people in Florida having not to deal with ‘hanging chads’ or such will likely be punching the phone lines. (I can’t help myself.)

First duet of the night had Lee and Crystal singing “Falling Slowly” from Once. They actually sound pretty good, Crystal carrying Lee who actually tries to develop a personality in a few parts of the song. I recall from last year when wee Kris Allen sang it no one even seemed to know what it was and now it’s everyone’s ‘favorite’. bah.

Golden haired boy, Casey James ingeniously (perhaps he does actually have a bright mind) picks “Mrs. Robinson” – that tune from The Graduate by Simon and Garfunkel. I did not buy for one moment Casey was innocent in heading in THAT direction. The song choice might save him. I question his selecting a mandolin for the tune, but at least he did not go with a ukulele although that would have been funnier. Jamie Foxx in his time with Casey was strange, what was that about ‘seducing’ him?

Speaking of seducing, Kara donned her lady suit for the night. I was thinking it perhaps an attempt to at least look more intelligent. Sadly, as soon as she opened her mouth that ploy failed when she turned the attention for Casey’s song choice into being all about her. As usual.
Casey James “Mrs. Robinson”

MommaSox picked Kenny Loggins, “I’m All Right” as in “Caddyshack”, you know that movie about the gopher/rodent running amuck all over the golf course… or something. Of course she was the best of the night but she did pull a hint of Siobhan out of her throat toward the end of the song… Her boyfriend, significant other or whatnot was front and center waving the flag for her, in form of pajama pants. I mean, really it’s just Idol why dress?

Second duet of the night, Fat Mike and Casey James do Brian Adams’ “Have You Ever Loved A Woman”, which to Casey’s credit he played quite well on. I do have a prejudice against Brian Adams, I will admit. Another thing I noticed, Fat Mike WEARS his guitar. The guy occasionally strums a note here and there but I really hate posers who don a guitar like you’d wear any sort of accessory. They weren’t too bad though, overall.

I hold out hope that Big Mike will end his Idol journey tonight, that Casey progresses into Top Three. (Mike will likely pull a Jason Castro and get his homecoming anyway, don’t ‘boo’ me here, people.) It would make it all worthwhile to see somehow, someway Casey knocks that blubbery smile off Lee’s mug and beats him into the Top Two. We already know who’s winning this thing. Holding on to the thought that we’re almost done for the year.

Oh, by the way, ‘sources’ say that the successor to Cowell will be announced very soon. (Chant to yourselves, “Harry Connick” “Harry Connick”, make it a mantra.)


American Idol Top Five: Goat for the Worst

May 7, 2010

I’ve been so wrapped up in Life-Outside-the-Internet I forgot to hit “publish” over ‘here’ yesterday. THAT’s just how excited I am this year over American Idol.

One bright beam of celebrity light on Idol – Harry Connick, Jr. . Who knew Harry possessed such a fantastic, snarky sense of humor and that he very likely reads our very own, Vote for the Worst site? Exactly, a complete surprise to me but a quite cool one, cool at least compared to the past weeks of Shania Train/Twain and other ‘mentors’ who did not even spend much time with the struggling cast of Karaoke Hell. (Exclude Miley Cyrus, I must admit she wasn’t bad and did bring out some VFTW quality performances.)

Now that I’ve admitted Harry Connick is a new “hero” of mine; he bravely defined what many people have thought about the overused word, “pitchy” that has become a standard faux paux on the show by explaining it’s not really a musical definition. (It’s more correct to say someone is ‘out of tune’.) I am a sucker for a humourous guy and Harry was funny as well as entertaining.

Possible evidence he’s read the VFTW reviews, Mr. Connick Jr., in his sexy New Orleans drawl said my darling Casey sang like a goat, told wee Aaron, “Let’s get serious, wipe that stupid smirk off your face.” Of course, while smiling because you know you can say anthing to someone if you do it with a smile… I just wish he’d called Michael Lynche ‘Fat Mike’ but I can’t have everything.

For some odd reason, I began to wonder if Harry was perhaps considering taking on the Simon Cowell role – and what a spectacularly fantastic thing that would be. I could listen to his sugar sweet drawl and look at his lovely face, weekly during the season! Importantly, he’s damn straight not going to select any of the potential contestants for any sort of political or casting set up. He’d go for the actual talent, if there is any really out there, to put out on our televison screens.

Harry Connick, Jr. gave me some needed juice to continue to watch the show. I started out channel flipping but once I realized how interesting he was making it, I stayed tuned.

I must say I’m very pleased VFTW is backing Casey James and here’s to hoping he can outlast that rotund gob of cheese that is Michael Lynche and – if there is a miracle out there, kick The Chosen One – Lee DeBoringWyze out of the running. Crystal can stay, what the Hell, I rather like her Janis Joplin impressions.
“Blue Skies” Casey James

…nothing but blue skaaaaaaas from now on……..baaaa. Oh and remember, from now on it’s Goat For The Worst.


Nick Mitchell aka Norman Gentle Reviews Top Six

April 30, 2010

Norman Gentle sings his tribute to the beauty of Siobhan Magnus and reviews the Top Six week of American Idol. Got to LOVE him.


American Idol Top 6: How We Missed Tim Urban

April 28, 2010

The show began with my darling daughter lamenting, “It’s not going to be the same without Timmeh…”. She was right it wasn’t the same but then again it wasn’t any different except Tim Urban is now ‘come back home’ to Texas.

Pulling up caboose role last night, in the Shania Twain (Train) (play on words) night that Ellen Degeneres thought so funny was Lee Dewyze. The guy sang a completely toneless, tuneless and gravelly version of this Shania song; I could not even figure out what the Hell it was until looked it up. Google is my friend. I guess that’s called ‘making it your own’ and his own is NOT the One.
Lee Dewyze sings “You’re the One”

Michael Lynche picked “It Only Hurts when I’m Breathing” and it only hurt when I sat and watched him sing this. Lynche gave an effeminate, greasy-cheese performance complete with stupid facial contortions and over the top melisma served with a side of terrible. Ellen said he was like Luther Van Dross. That must be one of her funnier lines this season. He too makes this song ‘his own’; an unrecognizable, girly wailing fashitto waste of stage.

Casey James sang, “Don’t”, in his words to “show the side of me I haven’t really showed.” He looked gorgeous, but I was hoping for his showing how to sing Shania without a shirt, but THAT wasn’t the side of him he was talking about. We’re getting the entire Casey/Shania performance moment because well, it is my blog.

Now that is a beautiful man. TheDman keeps saying this guy will win it all, but I think (since he doesn’t really watch this show much) he’s pacifying me for bonus points because I think the guy’s a yummy mess.
The judges loved him, dubbed it The Best Casey James Performance Evah! Simon told him he must kiss Shania and I called it shenanigans. Why did Simon wear his Venom (Spiderman reference) shirt last night?
Crystal Bowersox delivered an authentically country sounding, “No One Needs to Know”, and the judge panel decides, you know, to mix it up, to toss her under the bus. Oh the suspense… will she still be safe (big undertone of sarcasm)? She continues that “Magic Carpet Ride” theme with a new rug and gives a drinking-a- cold-Lone-Star moment.
Crystal Bowersox, “No One Needs to Know”

Aaron Kelly gives the show what he does every week, every thing he does sounds the same. “You’ve Got a Way” though finally made me recall who he reminds me of… a young K D Lange. Why haven’t I noticed this before?
Aaron Kelly “You’ve Got a Way”

Siobhan Magnus was The Scream Train that drove the show last night with her dancing, prancey version of “Any Man of Mine”. Simon Cowell was so knocked out he deemed it sounded like she was ‘giving birth’ on stage. Birth to a new VFTW campaign. Siobhan did not disappoint last night.
Siobhan Magnus “Any Man of Mine”

Yee Haw.

Dial Idol has Michael Lynche and Lee in the bottom two, but then again wee Aaron is at number one. I am pulling for either of them to go home. Or Aaron.