American Idol Season 8 Finals Results Show, Wednesday May 20, 2009

I am trying to prepare to have Idol waste two hours of my life tonight.  I expect multiple sub-par musical acts, tiring retrospectives of the season, bad group songs, 15 minute commercial breaks, and badly scripted dialogue from Ryan that will go on and on.

Both contestants looked very odd dressed in white, and it was not a good look for either of them.  Can’t we get the microphones turned on by now?  It’s the last show in Season 8!

After watching the first song, I have an idea.  Record tonight’s performance, buy their album when it is released (if you want to).  Then, instead of pending your hard earned cash, and wasting your time going to see them in concert, you could just play the video from this performance while you listen to the album.  Since they will be lip-syncing, it will be the same vocal recording anyway.  Also, what the hell was Alison screaming at me during that song?

David Cook took the stage, and reminded us why he won last season.  See Jordan, that’s what a real American Idol sounds like when he puts out an album (also, Rueben, Taylor and Fantasia can take notes on this).  That was a great song.  I also liked the classy way he chose to pay tribute to his brother.

I was intrigued by the Golden Idol Awards.  This could actually be funny, and it was for a little while.  Then, they brought out Norman Gentle.  I quickly realized how little I had missed him since he left the show.

Lil Rounds came out and spared up Queen Latifa.  She sounded the best that she has all season.  She also looked better than she did all season.  Maybe she just looks better in black.  The song was better than a lot of stuff that they have had on the show this season.

The song with Alexis Grace, Anoop Dseai and Jason Mraz singing “I’m Yours” was just great.  That song is just cool.  Anoop was really good on it also.

Then we got the obligatory Kris Allen retrospective.

Kris Allen and Keith Urban then teamed up for a duet on “Kiss a Girl.”  It reminded me of a country version of a Bryan Adams song.  It was pretty good.  It seemed like an odd change for Kris who showed us he can sing Michael Jackson and Santana this season.

The girls from this season came out and did a song next.  I was reminded immediately why I hate that ice-pick of a voice that Megan Joy Corkery has.  Then I realized that she is Fergie Jr when Fergie the stage (I now know I hate her voice also).  For some reason someone thought it would be good add Black-Eyed Peas to this recipe.  It was horrendous, but still better than Lady Gaga or Jamie Foxx.  My favorite part of this was the technical difficulty.

Katrina Darrell the Bikini girl has definitely improved her talents during the time she was off the show.  Having Kara sing with her was pretty genius, but I don’t think Katrina really needed her to augment the performance.

Allison then greeted us with the worst version of “Time After Time” that I’ve ever heard.  It’s a pretty song.  All of that affectedness makes it sound awful.  Thank goodness Cyndi Lauper was there to bail it out.  That is, until it just got weird near the end.  Next time I would rather hear Cyndi by herself.

Danny then came out and sang “Hello.”  Lionel is better, but then he joined Danny on stage.  I wish he would record some more popular music again.  I really like Lionel’s voice.  It is holding up much better than a lot of the artists that they have on the show.  How about him as a mentor next season?

Then we got the Adam retrospective.

Adam was wearing the craziest, gayest outfit I have ever seen on the show.  He sort of reminded me of the Gimp from Pulp Fiction.  He was joined by Kiss.  There was something wrong and unstable about this pairing.  Kiss’s act wore out 30 years ago.

If this is what Clive intends to do with Adam, he will be the next Idol failure.  He could make a ton of money if they could figure out how to incorporate his voice into some pop music, but I’m afraid that he will be forced to go toward the metal stuff.  That would be a failed move.  That audience does not watch Idol, and the Idol audience does not listen to that stuff.

Santana took the stage after the break.  The guitar solo was cool, and the way they brought Matt out for Black Magic Woman was the best piece of production this season.  The group song was pretty good there also.

Megan Joy, Michael Sarver and Steve Martin.  What the hell?  Michael was good.  Megan destroyed bluegrass music.  It is now dead as an art form.  I liked the song (after I successfully blocked Megan out).  Who knew Steve Martin was a blue grass artist.

The guys’ song was a little uncomfortable, but it let us know that Rod Stuart and his Jacket were in the house.  I think the frog in his throat should have received a credit also.  The dancing was completely unnecessary, but the mandolin player was cool.  Did they really say he was going on tour?  Really?  Sure it has been cancelled after that.

I realize that the next bit was just to give Tatiana an excuse to sing, but she did not belong with those people.  However, the bit with her and Ryan was actually funny.

Adam was finally going to sing a Queen song, “We are the Champions”.  I’ve waited all season for that even if it is a duet with Kris.  It was great.  It was also good that some of the member of queen were there.

And the winner is…Kris Allen.

I hope they both do very well.

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American Idol Top 7 part 2 Results Show, Season 8, Wednesday April 22, 2009, Disco Night!

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Tonight we are going to get the results from last night’s Disco themed show, and I find myself filled with trepidation.  With seven remaining and two to go home, it seems to be the perfect set up for a shocking departure.

Paula taught the contestants to dance like it was 1989.  What was up with that?  You know I remember when I used to get Paula defenders every time I took a shot at her.  That doesn’t happen any more.  I read today that her contract is up at the end of the year.  Bye.  By the way, her choreography was silly and awful.  They need to take those Grammy’s back.  Was that just to distract us from the fact that the group song is no longer being sung live?

Ryan quickly dispatched Lil Rounds to no one’s surprise.  Good.  I did wonder what he meant when he said, “We need someone like you in this competition.”  What did he mean, Black?  I am so confused, and I will get a ton of hits on my American Idol Racist story again.  It always depresses me when it happens that way.

I did not care to get the names of the two old women guest singers who sang so terribly early in the show.  The phone rang and I missed their names, and I decided that I just could not rewind and relive that (live is not the right word).  Then we were forced to listen to a top five bad act ever on Idol, K.C. and the Sunshine Band.  Words fail me.  No, do not Google this and watch it.  Just let it go.  Do it for Earth Day (just kidding).

Kris was safe, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Adam was safe, and no one was surprised.  Danny was declared safe, and at that point, I did not really care what happened.  Anoop was to the bottom three (There were only two at this point, Ryan).

Ryan’s bit of always trying to cause tension is so clumsy it makes want to turn the show off.  SHUT UP AND READ THE CARD!  You are not smart enough to be clever!  Matt was safe, and Allison was included in the bottom three.  I wonder of the judges regretted wasting the save last week when they saw Anoop and Allison sitting their waiting their fate.

David Archuleta was the ex-Idol guest for the night. It was refreshing compared with the earlier acts, but pretty pitchy throughout, and the falsetto was not easy on the ears.  It was OK, but I definitely wouldn’t be buying his album after that performance.  Oh yeah, that’s why David Cook won.

Anoop was sent home, even though he did pretty well this week.  The truth is, we are at that point, and a good singer will be going home every week at this point until Adam wind in a few weeks.

Idol Season 7 Finale Results Show

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I winced when I looked at the schedule and saw that the show was two hours long.  Idol would use up ten minutes for a time check if it thought it could get away with it.

The first group song was terrible as usual.  The choreography was a mess (including the spastic dancers), and I swear the Idols were lip-syncing this one.  The Davids- I’m sure not having been able to practice with the others- looked completely lost.

The Guru tie-in was tiring, if at some times funny.  I just hope Fox never starts producing gay porn.  I’d hate to see that attempt at cross-promotion.

However, the ‘Hero” duet with the Davids was a high point as far as non-solo performances have gone this season.  David A. gave the audience a rare glimpse of some legitimate harmony, and it sounded very good.

The Seal/Seyesha duet was also very good.  I will attempt to climb Maslow’s Hierarchy a little way this evening by admitting that Seal is cooler that I’ll ever be, even with that thing on his face.

Both Davids got a car this evening, and that was nice.  However, the ensuing group song by the girls hit a new low.  The campy Choreography was cheesier than the Mickey Mouse club, and it was soon clear that Amanda has not had a chance to get that throat obstruction removed, because I still could not understand a word she said.  I wish I could not have heard her at all.  As much credit as the judges take for giving the audience the Davids, it is good to remember how they touted Amanda.  I wonder if they regret that now that they see what she is going to do to the Idol Tour?  Yuck.

Jimmy Kimmel was kind of funny.  The Simon montage was also pretty good.

The guys’ group song would have been much better than the girls’ song if the mix had been close to right.  The crazy camera work also made me dizzy.  It was nice to see Bryan Adams, and to note that he has not completely fallen apart yet.

I am from Texas, but I really didn’t get the idea of teaming David Cook up with ZZ Top, not that it sounded bad.  It just seems that teaming him with a group like 3 Doors Down would have seemed a better fit. The Brooke White/Graham Nash duet made much more sense.

The Gladys Knight and the Pips bit was pretty funny.  She sounded better and more relevant than Donna Summer did earlier in the show.  And, both Jordan Sparks and Carrie Underwood need to go on “What not to Wear.”  Jordan was wearing some small gold colored trash bag, and I do not even know how to describe what Carrie was wearing.  I assume it was just to distract the audience from the screechy song.  I used Tivo to eliminate the last group song, but I was surprised that they actually ended with a George Michael Tribute.  His voice still sounded good though.  I guess all that must be good for the throat (sorry).

 

[Of course David A. won the competition, but I predict that Cook will have the better career in the end.]  Shocking.  I actually pre-wrote this, but I was happily wrong.  And, the vote was not even close.  It was nice to see Simon try to still take some credit after trashing Cook last night.  Sorry, Simon, it was a little too late.  I think David A. has the opportunity and the talent to be a truly successful singer, even more successful than some Idol winners.  I truly hope he does not go the way of Taylor Hicks, but I think Cook is the real pop deal, and has more potential.

American Idol Season 7 Finale

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Finally, we have gotten down to the Davids, as if it could have been any other way.  The Michael Buffer intro was great.  Perhaps they could replace Ryan.  The question of the night was, “Can the musical talent of David Cook outdo the charm and vocal ability of David Archuleta?”  The judges obviously thought not.

I know they are judges, but could they not have been a little more impartial?  Why even have the vote?

 

David Cook:

Clive’s Choice: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’M Looking For”-

I liked it. He stretched the notes a little in the verses to give them a little Emo sound.  He softened his voice a little on the first chorus.  Overall, it was good, but the song choice did not give him the same opportunity to stand out that Simon’s choice from last week did.

Randy thought it was a great way to start the show.  He liked the ‘scoop’ at the end.

Simon thought it was phenomenal given the circumstances.

Songwriter’s choice: “Dream Big”-

I thought going into this round that Cook’s inventive style would give him an edge.  His diction on the verses was not too good because I did not understand a word.  The chorus, however, was good.  It sounded a little pitchy in some spots.

Randy thought it was OK, but he “sang his face off.”

Simon thought it was a ‘lightweight.’

Contestant’s choice: “The World I Know.”-

It certainly wasn’t a standard.  I give him extra points for actually having to learn a third new song this week, and the second half of the performance was great.

Randy thought it was nice look at his sensitive side.

Simon thought it was the wrong song choice for him for some reason.  Sometimes it seems like if you are not playing the game by Simon’s set of rules, then he is going to dump all over you even if it isn’t deserved.

 

David Archuleta:

Clive’s Choice: “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”-In the same way as Cook’s first song was, this song was right in Archuleta’s wheelhouse.  However, it also did not allow him to do anything special with it.  It was good, but the high note was a little rough.  I usually don’t like it when they compare the contestant to the original artist, but hearing David sing this song only underscored to me how truly great Elton John really is.  I think round one went to Cook.

Randy thought it was one of the best performances or the season.

Simon thought it was the best he has done so far.  Simon gave round one to Archuleta

Songwriter’s choice: “In This Moment”-

This was a much better tune than the first song.  I could hear this on the radio.  He made this song a David Archuleta hit.  I gave round two to David A.

Randy was not crazy about the song, but loved the vocal.

Simon thought he chose the better song.  He gave round two to David A.

Contestant’s choice: “Imagine”-

It was as good as it was last time which is saying something, but I have to take points away because he sang something he already sang before. 

Randy named him the best singer of this season.

Simon agreed.

American Idol Results Show, May 14

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Once again, the group song was a train wreck, but that has just been the norm this season.  Can’t they pick a song a little more relevant than, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now?”  At least the Ford commercial this week was a song that was recorded in the past 20 years.

When Fantasia came out, my first thought was, “What the hell is that?”  That was easily the most awful, irritating, and scary performance in the history of Idol.  To say it was a mess would be unfair to messes.  I would rather have a weekly song from Kenny Rogers than have to ever hear or see that again.  Simon, who usually is gracious to guests no matter how bad they are, appropriately looked completely dumbfounded.  It was one of the most classic looks in the history of Idol.  Apparently Fantasia has no idea who the people who voted for her are.  It’s easy to tell them, though.  They are the one’s who just left the building.

The contestant montages were well done, but did they have to have so many?  There is less justification for the full hour show each week.

No one was surprised at the outcome, but most Idol fans were relieved to see that we will get to see the Davids in the final.  Sayesha took it well.  It was nice that she did not break down.  

 

American Idol Top 3, May 13

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Once again this year as we get down to the top 3, they are performing three songs: one picked by the judges, one picked by the contestants and one picked by the producers.  I remember last year thinking that the producers in general picked a bad group of songs.  I remember thinking that they picked a particularly bad song for Melinda, and we all know how that turned out for her.  Since Idol is always looking to interject the audience into the show, would it not be better to somehow let the fans or a fan choose one round of the music for the contestants?  It could even be decided in the form of a poll chosen from a list of songs submitted by the producers.

David Archuleta:

Judge’s Pick– “And So it Goes”- The a capella portion of the song was genius.  He had good tone and inflection all the way through.  The only criticism I had was that it was a little safe, but that was not his fault.  He did not pick the song.  It was very good.

Randy loved it.

Simon thought it was very good but predictable.

Contestant’s Pick– “With You”- I hate it when he sings the happy, upbeat bubble gum song.  This was one of those.  It was not a standard (always pick something very well known), and though he sang it well, there was simply nothing special about it.  This is top 3.  I expect more.

Randy correctly questioned the song choice.

Simon thought that it did not fit him.

Producer’s Pick– “Longer”- Once again his inflection was perfect.  This was a great version of this song. 

Randy did not like the choice of song, but thought it was hot.

Simon hated the song choice, but also thought he sang it well.

Syesha Mercado:

Judge’s Pick– “If I Ain’t Got You”- She looked nice again.  The verses were a little monotonous, but since she did not pick the song, I can’t really criticize her for that.  For the first time in weeks, she sang a pop song (other than a show tune) that looked as if she connected with it.  It was a very good performance, and it was nice to see her just sing the song very well while avoiding the “super note” that she tends to hold too long at the end of her songs.

Randy liked it a lot.

Simon thought she sang it well, but criticized Randy for picking a song that she had to sing in a straight up fashion.

Contestant’s Pick– “Fever”- I honestly expected much more from this performance than I got.  I felt the disconnect that I often feel with her performances, and I was surprised because I thought this overly dramatic song would be right in her wheelhouse.  The end, however, was very nice.

Randy said she sang it very well.

Paula, oddly, did not like it.

Simon called it a ‘quite lame cabaret performance.”

Producer’s Pick– “Hit Me Up”- She looked much more believable on this song, and she sang it very well.  All three of her songs ended well this week.

Randy thought it was just alright.

Paula took out the knife and stabbed her right in the back.  I honestly don’t think Paula is smart enough to play this role, even if she is right.

Simon correctly said that it was much better than the second song, but it was a little forgettable.

David Cook:

Judge’s Pick– “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”- When I heard Simon’s choice, I paused the show.  First I thought, “What a strange choice?  Simon really messed him over.”  But as I thought further, I saw the genius of the choice.  David has a really nice voice, and a standard like this could be the blank canvas for him to work with.  Doing well on a song like this could really set him apart from the rest of the competitors in a way the songs chosen by the other judges could never do.  The beginning was just awesome.  I have stated a few times that some of his songs were radio quality.  This one was just awesome.  It was the best performance of the season by any contestant, and the end was incredible.

Randy was an ass and took an opportunity to get back at Simon rather than praise an amazing performance as it should have been.  Kudos go to Paula (yeah, I said it) for calling Randy out for making the show too much about himself.

Simon thought it was one of his best performances to date.

Contestant’s Pick– “Dare You to Move”- I did not know this song.  It was kind of boring and a little rough at the beginning, but once he hit the chorus, it got much better.  He was good as the rocker once again.

Randy liked the choice, but it was a little pitchy.

Simon thought it was not the best choice, and was a little predictable.

Producer’s Pick– “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”- I thought this was a good choice for him.  It seemed a little week until he got to the bridge.  Overall, it was good.

Randy loved the song choice, but it was just OK.

Simon though he won the night.

American Idol Results Show, May 7

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As a whole it seems like the group songs this year have been the weakest in the history of the show, and tonight’s song did nothing to help that perception.  I felt like an actual year passed by during their rendition of “Reeling in the Years.”  Since, I assume the Idol tour consists of a lot of this type of thing, I don’t know how well these weekly performances are drumming up business.

The crazy amounts of cross promotion on the show are now going too far.  Thanks for the five minute Beatle’s Love commercial.  How about instead of treating your audience like a bunch of idiots by dragging the contestants around to promote a different product under the guise of an actual segment each week, you allow them more song development and rehearsal time?  Perhaps if this happened, the quality of the music and the performances would get better.

In unrelated news, The Partnership for a Drug Free America has announced that they are replacing the image of a frying egg in their “this is your brain on drugs” commercials with Jason Castro shouting, “Bob Marley!”.  And, Syesha announced before the show that she will be petitioning the U.S. Congress for equal representation on MLK day due to the efforts and struggles she has experienced on the show this season.  Through this she hopes that all of America will be more able to identify with her plight.

It came as no surprise to anyone when Jason was shown the door.  I think he actually has less of a chance of becoming a successful recording artist than Brooke.  She may not have the backbone, but Jason has other problems.  His style is not mainstream, and he doesn’t have the talent, drive or discipline to make it in that industry.  He might make it as a restaurant singer if he is disciplined enough or cares enough to show up to work, and if they offer him free food, he will be able to cure the munchies.