Tuesday, March 17, 2009
American Idol, March 17, 2009: Well, It’s Better Than Anything to Do With Miley Cyrus Edition
Before we start in with the wannabe rock stars and pop stars of the world, I want to say that our former president, George Dubya, again acts with surprising grace for a guy who still says nookyoolar. Which I find strangely endearing.
Former President George W. Bush said he won’t criticize President Obama because Obama “deserves my silence,” and said he plans to write a book about the 12 toughest decisions he made in office.
Bush declined to critique the Obama administration Tuesday in his first speech since leaving office. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has said that Obama’s decisions are threatening America’s safety.
“I’m not going to spend my time criticizing him. There are plenty of critics in the arena,” Bush said. “He deserves my silence.”
There is and should be a brotherhood (someday, somehow, probably before I die, with added sisterhood) that says, “I know how tough this job is and I’m not going to add to the pressure.” In fact, I fully believe that the presidents should always and forever be ready and willing to support the current president to the best of their ability. In my view of the world, Carter wasn’t only a horrible president, but a phenomenally bad former president, Clinton gets mixed (but often positive) results, and, well, you get the idea. I doubt that Obama will ever ask Bush for his opinions or his ideas, but he may well ask for his face and his influence in something important some day--and I have no doubt that Bush will again do what he thinks is best for the country.
Instead of taking easy shots from the sidelines, Bush is taking the high road--and with the flak that continues to come from the left, it probably takes a bit of self control to stay on the polite side of the conversation.
No one is above criticism, but Bush is acting in an admirable way, and I hope the left takes a moment to appreciate it.
Randy Travis seems like an awfully nice guy and he has an absolutely wonderful voice. It’s nice to see him on the show coaching the kids.
Michael Sarver should be good on country week--and he is. Not great, but definitely a credible performance on a tough song (sorry, didn’t catch the name and I don’t know the tune). Randy didn’t like it so much (not showcasing the vocals enough), Kara had the same criticism, Paula offers empty words and love (which makes me worry a bit about my own performance), and Simon wasn’t so fond. He does bring up a good criticism (which Darling Girl agrees with): it was a little clumsy and he didn’t enunciate well.
Travis gives Allison Iraheta good advice about not playing too cutesy and let her strong voice carry the strong. And while the backup singers phone in their performance, Allison’s voice does shine. Incredibly well done--better, by far than I thought she could manage a country song, but very simply good. Kara loves, Paula goes on and on, Simon offers decent criticism, and Randy offers her drugs. For some reason.
Can Kris Allen manage to rise above the serious mediocrity that currently envelopes his entire being? Or am I being unkind? Well, he bravely sings without his guitar and makes Garth Brooks’ “To Make You Feel My Love” into a more contemporary pop ballad--which isn’t a stretch since Brooks always straddled the line a bit in his songwriting. Unfortunately, his voice really isn’t all that great, I found myself more bored than mesmerized, and I hope he goes home soon. Paula loves the world and isn’t afraid to talk about that love in completely incomprehensible ways for amazing lengths of time, Simon dug it big, and Randy offers Kris some tender moments. For some reason. Kara loved it, too.
Apparently my opinion was wrong: it was a good performance. Darling girl says so, too. Apparently, I just hate the guy.
Slightly Worried Aside: Is my penis devastating the environment? Good Lord, I hope not. In fact, I’ve always thought that my penis could save the world, if only we could tap its vast powers for good.
Lil Rounds might be a little out of her element on country night. Just sayin’. I don’t know Martina McBride’s “Independence Day”, which seemed an awfully good song for her. She might shoulda gone for “Little” Esther Phillips version of “Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave” (link opens in iTunes Music Store). Phillips bounced around both country and R&B her entire career, with most of her success coming on the R&B side, but with credible country roots."Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave” is something that might have come across too blues for the show, but given that the song was written by the great Charlie Rich, the country roots would have been easy to justify. This was a stretch for her--a tough night with a merely serviceable performance for the woman with one of the best voices on the show. Randy wasn’t impressed at all. Kara says something, but I don’t remember what it is. Paula blah. Simon has problems with her name and didn’t like the song so much.
The most professional of the group Adam Lambert (who likes to kiss boys--which might break a few pre-teen hearts in the audience) does strange, bad things to “Ring of Fire.” I mean, seriously, what the hell was that? I’ve been a booster ‘til now, but that was a hideous and self-indulgent misfire. Kara is confused. Paula makes random noises. Simon says, “What the hell was that?” and then calls it “indulgent rubish.” Randy says it was Nine Inch Nails doing a country song.
Art Garfunkel Scott Macintyre has to be better than the horrific abominations perpetrated by Lambert on the classic, “Ring of Fire.” And he is. If only by a little bit. Some song about domesticated angels, I think…
Anyway, he’s not to my taste, but I think he’ll be safe for some time to come--and then, when he’s gone, some Christian band will come along, scoop him up, and inspire the world. Paula blah blah blah piano crutch blah blah. Simon wonders what Paula expects and says she’s saying stupid things and he should stay behind the piano if he’s comfy there. Simon hates Paula. Maybe he’ll buy ihatepaula.com from me. Simon thinks he needs to choose better songs, though, and Randy wants his vocals to be better. Which is strange to me, because this guy has been singing this way the entire way through. This is precisely who he is--a decent singer, a good pianist, and a better story. Kara wants him to “up his game.”
Break out the hubba hubbas, it’s Alexis Grace, who remains the cutest presence in the show in years. “Jolene” is a brilliant song for her stylistically and vocally. Or, at least, it should have been. Whatever Randy Travis heard wasn’t what we heard--she really lost the tune a few times, the performance was a bit forced, and she went off pitch here and there. Randy (non-Travis) didn’t dig it. Kara didn’t dig it. Paula is mildly useless again. Simon didn’t dig it. She does try to buy votes with a last-ditch “I’ll dirty it up next week” promise.
I’m sold. Because I can be bought and the price is low.
Please, Danny Gokey, don’t let me down. This guy has a great voice and a wonderful presence--as Randy Travis said, he has a soulfulness that other singers only wish they had--and I continue to hope that he sticks through to the final three or four. Even if he is wearing that horrific jacket at some time again in the future. And he doesn’t let me down: there are some flat spots in his “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” but it’s an overall gorgeous performance and the audience absolutely loved it. Absolutely loved it. Good job, Danny.
Kara enjoyed at least half of the song. Paula says something that I agree with, although she says it poorly, and she loved the whole thing. Simon, too, although he notes the horrid jacket, too. Randy liked it quite a bit but thinks he needs to work on some pitchy bits.
It wasn’t perfect, but it was best of the night by a mile.
Anoop, who is lucky to be singing tonight, must have worked hard to fix things for this week. Smart guy. Choosing “You Were Always on My Mind” was a good start, singing it well without oversinging (much) or screwing up the arrangement (with the exception of that bit right before the ending) much. Huge improvement and most likely good enough to keep him in the game. Paula meanders through fields of nothingness. Simon thought it took the kid from “zero to hero” and that it was one of the best of the night. Randy enjoyed both singing and the arrangement. Kara digs it, too, calling it the best of the night (which I would disagree with--Danny was still best of the night).
Randy Travis didn’t like the idea of Megan Joy singing “Walking After Midnight” at first, but then praised the totally unexpected notes and the uniqueness of the performance. Which makes me giggle because she does have a habit of adding a few odd notes in here and there, doesn’t she? Looking utterly spectacular, I can’t say that she was the best vocal of the night. I can say that I enjoyed watching her, though. Quite a bit. The vocals were rough, though, with some seriously missed notes and rough spots and with her unique arrangement
Randy loved it, but he was probably blinded by her beauty. Kara loved it and called it the perfect song and perfect outfit--and makes sure we know that she was singing with the flu. Paula adds that she had been in the hospital and didn’t have a chance at the rehearsal. It makes those rough bits of the performance far more understandable. Simon dug it, too.
Matt Giraud remains one of my least favorite, although he’ll have to do the limbo to go under the low bar set by the misfire on “Ring of Fire” and “Jolene.” And, to his credit, he hardly even tries. In fact, while it was bland, it was mostly competent (minus some bad notes and a strangely truncated ending) and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Kara doesn’t have much to say, but she liked it. Paula doesn’t have much to say, but she says it poorly and for an impressively extended period. Simon thinks he was better than Danny. Randy thought it was one of the best of the night, too.
If I were a betting man, I would say that Alexis Grace will be going home this week. Which fills me with sadness.