Yes, I’ve finally gotten around to writing an American Idol recap. I’m pretty much doing this for three people, but I hope some of you RPad.tv regulars enjoy it too. Anyway, let’s get on with the false idolatry. Last night was supposed to be the top 10 girls performing, but Crystal Bowersox (and her smoker’s teeth) threw a wrench in those plans by ending up in the hospital. Instead, the guys went a day early. Some of them were good and some of them truly sucked. Either way, an extra day of practice wasn’t going to help any of them. Here’s how it went down.
Michael Lynche “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”: Big Mike took on a big song by James Brown. I didn’t think he could pull it off because he’s a lovable teddy bear and JB was a lovable bastard. Surprisingly, he started the show off with a strong performance and didn’t have to rely on the “I just had a baby” card. It was a good performance that will surely keep him around for another week. I’m pretty sure that the judges are soft on him because he’s frickin’ huge. Would you criticize a singing version of Michael Clarke Duncan?
John Park “Gravity”: The lone Asian-American male on the show looked extremely nervous or incredibly disinterested (or possibly high) during his pre-performance interview. Dude was totally staring into space instead of flirting with the camera (eye-f*cking the camera gets you at least 10 percent more votes). Park told Ryan Seacrest that he chose this John Mayer song because it’s relevant. Yeah, I’d say gravity is pretty relevant. I was really pulling for Park to succeed but he was completely boring last week and was only slightly better this week. He’ll probably stay around a bit longer, but I doubt he makes the overall top 10.
Casey James “I Don’t Want to Be”: Kara DioGuardi’s object of lust busted out some mean guitar licks on this Gavin DeGraw song. Unfortunately, American Idol is (allegedly) a singing competition and his vocals were flat. He sounded small and several Idol singers from several seasons did a much better job with this song. That said, it wasn’t a bad performance by any means. A decent performance and his looks will keep him on the show a bit longer. Confession: I really like this song and I have no idea why.
Alex Lambert “Everybody Knows”: Lambert revealed that he made up his own language in sixth grade. This kid keeps getting better all the time! His awkward dancing from last week, obvious stage fright, and incredible mullet has made him my favorite contestant so far. He actually has a really good and really unique voice too — as if Rod Stewart’s pipes were transplanted into a younger man. As for his performance…I loved it! I wasn’t expecting an “unplugged” version of John Legend from this kid, but he totally nailed it. I’m pretty confident that he’ll be around for several weeks, but I worry about nerd-hating teenagers overlooking him. He does bear a striking resemblance to Gollum, after all.
Todrick Hall “What’s Love Got to Do With It”: Major sucktitude two weeks in a row from this dancer-singer. Seriously, this kid needs to stick with musicals. He completely sucks as a soloist. He butchered this Tina Turner song with a funky (in a bad way) arrangement and weak vocals. Simon Cowell laid a pretty mean zinger on Todrick by telling him he should dance…and not sing.
Jermaine Sellers “What’s Going On”: The show went from suck to blow with this horrendous rendition of Marvin Gaye’s classic. Sellers should apologize to all of Gaye’s relatives, anyone associated with Motown, and…well, to his parents for embarrassing them. Just when I didn’t think I could dislike Sellers more, he told the judges that he’s safe because he knows God. While I don’t believe in God in the sense that Sellers does, I’m pretty sure He has better things to do than protect crappy American Idol contestants. This guy needs to go!
Andrew Garcia “You Give Me Something”: After wowing the judges during Hollywood Week with an acoustic version of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”, this son of an LA gang banger hasn’t impressed. He hasn’t done anything wrong, but he also hasn’t done anything as distinct, original, and good as his “Straight Up” performance. Perhaps he peaked too soon…or perhaps he’s just Danny Gokey Light (with Gokey’s homophobic Christianity replaced with gangta values!).
Aaron Kelly “My Girl”: The judges were right to praise Kelly for his vocals (probably the night’s best) and rail him for an old-fashioned arrangement. Last week they were on him about his confidence. This week they’re on him about not being a distinct artist. The kid is 16! He was disowned by his parents! You really think he’s going to have his sh*t together? I’m impressed that he can walk out on the stage and flash (what appears to be) a genuine smile! Like others have said, Kelly reminds me of David Archuleta. The only difference is that I wanted to beat the crap out of Archuleta whenever he appeared on my television screen. Kelly is way more vulnerable and I feel like I should protect him.
Tim Urban “Come On Get Higher”: This guy shouldn’t be on the show. He was axed once, but got a second chance due to a contestant having a recording contract. He was — by far — the worst performer last week. He’s totally skating by on his looks and I hate all the people that voted for him just because he’s handsome. While he wasn’t as wretched as last week, his performance was still lame. Thankfully (for him) Jermaine Sellers and Todrick Hall made him look better than he actually was. Ellen gave him an awesome backhanded compliment by saying that he should look into acting because he’d excel as a handsome actor that can also (kind of) sing. On a side note, Ellen wasn’t nearly as useless tonight. She actually gave a few pieces of meaningful advice (by Idol standard).
Lee Dewyze “Lips of an Angel”: Another good-but-not-great performance. This guy has a great voice, but his song selection is way off. As Simon likes to say, he was “forgettable”. He did well enough to stick around, but he should be doing better. [Side note for Christian: Doesn’t this guy remind you of Rocker?]
Last but not least is this one-sentence summary of last night’s Idol: The skinny black guys completely bombed.