Tuesday, April 07, 2009

American Idol, April 7, 2009: The I Miss the Cute Singers Edition

American Idol is seriously short on eye candy at this point of the season--and I find that disturbing. Bad planning on someone’s part.

Danny Gokey was born in 1980. I used to be that young. Darnit. None of which changes the fact that singing Mickey Gilley’s version of “Stand by Me” seems both really a strange choice and a copout on from-the-year-you-were-born week. I mean, he couldn’t find a real 1980 song that was good and fit his vocal style? Whatever his reasoning, it was a bland as tofu way to start the night for the guy who is my current favorite.

Randy didn’t like the arrangement but loved the vocals. Which, yeah, he can sing, but still…

Kara is having an onscreen BIG O, if you know what I’m saying. And I think you do. Paula loves him with the love of a hundred drug and alcohol addicted b-listers. Simon thought it was great although I didn’t really follow his arithmetic.

“Sailing” by Christopher Cross might have worked for him because it would have given him a chance to change up an original in a unique way. “Cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ Top might have been interesting. AC/DC did “Shook Me All Night Long” that year. That would have been fun. And what about Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, which is freakin’ awesome? Hell, he could have done the theme song from Dukes of Hazzard if he was feeling hard up for something cool and I would have been happier.

Kris Allen has a cute picture and, apparently, wanted to be a cab driver when he was young. I wanted to be a bus driver at one point, which was fairly shocking to my parents. Don Henley’s “All She Wants to do is Dance” (1985) is jazzed up a bit to mixed results. It loses the catchiness, but it doesn’t sound like a cheesy remake, either, which is nice. Interesting, I suppose, but not my style by any stretch of the imagination.

Cool 1985 Songs Aside: Just from the top 100 pop songs of 1985, you could find some brilliant pop songs (although, admittedly, not all suited to the young gentleman).  “Don’t You Forget About Me” - Simple Minds. “Relax” - Frankie Goes to Hollywood. “Money for Nothing” - Dire Straits. “Take on Me” - a-ha. “And We Danced” - Hooters. “How Soon is Now” - The Smiths. Yeah, that was a good year.

Kara takes a golf club and hits him upside the head. Seriously, I think he’s bleeding. Paula pets him politely to ease the pain. Simon breaks off the head of the club and stabs at the poor kid wildly and knocks the song choice. Randy agrees. So there.

The mystery of Lil Rounds is solved. And I’m not listening. Even a little bit.

I like her doing Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It"--at least in theory. It’s so same-same, though, that I’d really rather just pop in an 80’s mix and turn up the volume. ‘Cause, let’s be honest, Tina has a monumentally better voice than Lil.

Paula uses her own golf club in cruel and unusual ways. She’s still blah blah blah in her critique, though, and can’t keep from talking talking talking talking. Shu’up. Simon summarizes and seconds my same-same complaint. Randy hates her, too. Kara gives her a no, too.

Early contender for going home this week? Indeed. Indeedaroony.

Anoop loves the Tar Heels. Which, given that I won a bit of money, me too. Then he apologizes to Kara in a roundabout way for being all defiant last week. Which I didn’t notice and doubt that I would imagine he should apologize for either way.  The cloyingly sweet “True Colors” isn’t as irritating in Anoop’s hands, although that is mostly due to the fact that his voice doesn’t have that same, grating quality that comes with listening to Cindy Lauper.

But I still hate the song and it would have been nice if he had bothered to do something with a little testosterone.

Randy liked the vocal a lot. Kara praises him for controlling the song. Although not in a particularly manly way. Paula says that he showed his true colors. Like a rainbow. Simon liked it, too, although he didn’t think it was fantastic and says that he shouldn’t have apologized. Amen, Simon.

Scott Macintyre. I’m tired of being mean to this guy, so I’m just going to keep my freakin’ mouth shut.

Kara was politely cruel. Paula takes no responsibility for forcing him from behind the piano although he looked a little unmoored tonight. And then she says nice things for no discernible reason whatsoever. Simon breaks out the cruelty. Randy agrees.

The fact that Allison Iraheta didn’t choose a Screaming Trees song bugs me--for once it would have been nice to hear someone do “Nearly Lost You” from their album, Sweet Oblivion. Instead we get another version of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which she sings well but which I am terribly tired of. Honestly, it was probably a really good song choice.

Paula loved it. Simon, too, although he wants her to be more likable (by which I think he means more charismatic). Randy thinks she can sing her face off--which sounds wrong on some level. Kara gives up the love, too.

Okay, with Matt Giraud’s cover of “Part Time Lover,” I am officially over this show filled with horrifyingly painful versions of songs I hated the first time around. Really, he sounded like hell.

Which is why Randy called it one of the best of the night, Kara agreed, Paula loved, and Simon called much better than last week.

Good God, what drugs are they on?

Adam Lambert goes for a song truly popularized years after its initial release. Tears for Fears “Mad World” is a gorgeous song that was remade by Gary Jules for the wonderful movie, Donnie Darko a few years back. Lambert, with the exception of a close that tipped right over the top, does the job really well. It’s about a perfect song choice for the guy who will have to work pretty hard to lose this contest. Unless all the little girls realize that he kisses boys and they have absolutely no chance of winning his love by voting anonymously for him and screaming his name out when they see him on the streets.

Just sayin’.

Simon loved it in a big way and no one else gets to talk. It was a mostly bad night filled with mostly bad music with just a few moments struggling to redeem all the rest.

Update: Here’s video of Gary Jules’ version of “Mad World.”


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