Final 8 Girls - "You Sucked... The Life Out of the Room"
Posted by Professor Chan on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 2:59 AM EST
We have some classic Idol trademark sexually confused humor to start the show as Ellen sits in Simon's lap and pretends to be aroused. Yeah, we're back to the Bad Old Idol and it feels so familiar and cozy... like Kara's leathery hooha. Anything that mocks Kara in her face without her knowing it is pretty funny, like her credibility-killing bikini girl embarrassment moment from last season's finale.
Then the rest of the show happened. If you like boring mid-tempo ballads from the '60s and '70s, and '30s, then you were like a pig in mud tonight. If you enjoy contemporary artists doing something interesting and different, then you're S.O.L.
The judges continue spewing their contradictory advice, and Simon is in full-on pimp mode for his favorites, ignoring a pretty nice Siobhan performance to gush about Didi Plant-ami's tepid Fleetwood Mac re-hash.
Yeah, that's Idol this season. And I have no doubt tomorrow's boy's performances will be awful in new, horrifyingly dull ways.
--------Katie Stevens -- "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson - 2004.
Katie gets caught off guard as the show starts her song before she's ready. She can't really catch up after that and she sounds tentative and flat throughout the song.
Katie proves why the Idols shouldn't choose something contemporary. The judges savage everything from her earnestly cheesy stage presence, her goofy pants and her naive lack of self-awareness. Oh, wait, that was me. Katie completely misses the point that you can't start off an Idol episode with a dreary mid-tempo ballad without drawing the scorn and ridicule form the judges. It didn't help that the producers layered on the cheese with a 1970's telethon performance-style split-screen montage and treacly, thin backing music.
Ellen correctly suggests that the lyrics of these songs actually have some meaning and it might be a good idea to figure out what that meaning is before performing the song.
Kara bitches: "You don't know who you are yet..." Whereas I know I'm the resident bitter old cougar.
Simon quips "You sucked... The energy right out of the room." Sometimes Simon is doubly right.
D -- It was contemporary, and Katie goes down the list of ways she sucked up to the judges and took their bad advice. But she's still missing the point that it was still a dreary ballad, off-key ballad to start the show. And one thing that will draw the judge's wrath is to butcher Idol Patron Saint Clarkson's songs.
------Siobhan Magnus -- "House of the Rising Sun", credited to "The Animals"
from 1964... but the song is so old it's in the goddamn public domain.
Siobhan dedicates the song about becoming a hooker to her dad, who is trying hard to be Brian Johnson from AC/DC.
To be fair Siobhan sings the male version of the song, so she's a boy who hangs out in whorehouses, and not an actual hooker herself. I'm guessing Siobhan's dad either is a closet Worster or he wants Siobhan to go home.
Siobhan actually does a good job with the song, defying the odds. She can sing and has a pretty voice. But she also makes great
furious faces while singing.
Simon is baffled: "It's all a bit weird." So you haven't been watching your own damn show, Simon. As Siobhan is the wacky girl who wears Aladdin vests and doesn't know what a "dark horse" is.
A -- If Siobhan was a worse singer she'd be our Worst, easily.
-----Lacey Brown -- "The Story by Brandy Carlisle -- 2007
Lacey sings the OTHER contemporary song that gets savaged by the judges. She gets off to shaky start but picks it up and sings it quite nicely. She injects her odd personality into the song and basically does everything the judges tell her to do, and they hate it.
B -- If Lacey sticks around she might get a shot to be our Worst.
-----Katelyn Epperly -- "I Feel The Earth Move." By Carol King -- 1971
In a failed attempt at not being "cheesy" she naturally goes with a Carol King curly blonde fro and over-all skirt and plays a barely audible organ, in an extra cheesy of the almost 40 year old song.
The song was not badly sung, just over the top and old-fashioned.
D -- The sad thing is Katelyn would've been okay with any other Carol King song.
------Didi Plant-ami -- "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac -- 1975
The Idol producers go back to the 70's public television montage again. Didi does her very best to remind everyone of Brooke White, as she sings a song Brooke recorded. Didi does a decent job singing the song, but if you bore someone with a two minute version of a song, then you are a bad performer. It was Kara's favorite performance of the night (of course, because either A) She has no taste, or B) the Producers told her it was time to be a homer to the Plant to keep her around for the Finals.
GRADE: C+ == Didi cries some more, of course.
-----Paige Miles - "Smile" by Charlie Chaplin -- 1936.
Paige takes the bittersweet song that's already been over-played on Idol and turns it into a dreary ballad, full of bum notes and quivering vocals. She wears a skirt that doesn't fit her, and sounds like she's going to cry throughout the song. And then does some Mariah Carey vocal runs all over the poor, innocent song to kill it dead.
Then to explain why she nearly broke into a teary-eyed imitation of Didi Benami, she explains because Michael Jackson sang the song. What?
D -- Come on Paige, it's like you WANTED to go home. At least blame your dog dying or your mom getting terminal conjunctivitis for your weepy performance.
------Crystal Bowersox -- "Give Me One Reason" Tracy Chapman from 1989 or 1995.
So it's only 15 years old.
Looks like Crystal's back on the chaw as it looks like she's trying to reverse her teeth whitening. Good for her. I like a natural girl. She gives an album-ready performance of the song but didn't impress as much as last week. She's Simon and the Idol Producers' anointed Winner of Idol Season 9 and the judges gush over her, and she's given the runner-up pimp slot. So she must be doing something right.
B -- She showed more of her gap-toothed grin that makes me fall in love with her all over again.
-----Lilly Scott -- "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline
-- 1961, so the song is nearly 50 years old.
Lilly Scott is smart. She goes for the country vote, busting out the Patsy Cline and a ukulele (I know it's a mandolin but Uke's are funnier.)
Lilly's version is whimsier and spelled with a capital Q for "Quirky." She sounds exactly like Zooey Deschanel, so I'm guessing that's whose youtube videos she's watching. Her performance is decent, but lacking in displays of musicality and any reason to vote for her.
C+ -- Lilly sings the song fine, but we've come to expect a little extra oomph from the pimp slot. Not a quickly tossed off B-side piffle performance.
So that is that. We've anointed Paige the new VFTW Heir and I wholeheartedly endorse her as our candidate. Hopefully she's nervous and over-emotional next week in the Finals, and maybe sasses the judges a little. We love that.
I would be amused if Katelyn Epperly goes home, because I enjoy when talented singers are booted too soon.
So, what do you think? Is Idol back on the tracks or is this show irrevocably broken? And does the Producers blatant endorsement for Bowersox kind of end any shred of intrigue left in this season, like a baseball team being 20 games back before the All-Star break?