It’s the episode you’ve all been waiting for! Season 9′s Top 4 contestants sing some mostly terrible songs from movies mostly released before DVDs ever existed. American Idol is analog, baby! If your playlists mirror your favorite easy listening station and your movies look best on VHS, this is THE place to be for Songs of the Cinema!
Ryan Seacrest says only one of the four remaining contestants will realize their dream of becoming the American Idol. Is this so, Ryan? Can you not read the misery tattooed on all their faces? The only one who really WANTS to be an American Idol is Michael Lynche. Its why he waves with both hands when walking out onto the stage. Waving to a throng of strangers with two hands is international sign language for I want to be the American Idol.
Jamie Foxx is here but I don’t know how much of a mentor he’s going to be, mainly because Harry Connick, Jr. killed it last week and they showed a clip of Foxx mentoring last year’s contestants. (Miss you, last season. Miss you. I still can’t believe I just wrote that.) Foxx’s idea of mentoring involves distributing t-shirts reading either contestant or artist contingent upon the strength of their rehearsals.
Kiss From a Rose
While Lee DeWyze may win this entire thing, it does not discount the fact he should be taken outside and shot for choosing Seal’s Kiss from the Rose, once sang on the show by Greasy Constantine Maroulis. Seriously, dude. A tired love theme from 1995′s Batman Forever? Obviously Jamie Foxx just wants this season to be dead & buried, too, as he admittedly does a replay of his “yelling in his face” schtick originated for Danny Gokey all those moons ago. During DeWheezy’s rehearsal with Foxx, he is woefully out of tune.
And during his performance, he is unable to sing in tune. It’s just bad. Bad. And even though he has a guitar, he did not make it is own. It’s the same damn song. Once Lee gets into the bridge, he seems to jumping from key to key, but also at least a half-count ahead of the band.
You’re a rocker, chose some other kind of song. Choose Blaze of Glory by Bon Jovi.
Blaze of Glory. From 1991, was it? Oh Randy, just time to pack it in. But at least Randy and every other judge thinks he was complete shit. Ellen musters up some sort of complimentary phrase reassuring him just how great they [the judges] think he is. Shit-For-Brains’ mouth opens and words come out. Simon is the harshest, mainly because he he just really, really wants his time on the show to be a distant memory. He calls Lee karaoke and says he deserved the contestant t-shirt rather than the artist one bestowed upon the paint salesman.
Whoa. Hold up a minute. They still make an album of seasonal highlights from the Top 10. No way. Uh…why? I thought this was finally viewed as unnecessary, not only because they are never any good, but because of some multimillion dollar deal with iTunes?
Will You Be There
Big Mike is doing Michael Jackson, which might be a safe move, since people are still sad about Michael Jackson’s death. (Isn’t that what kept Paige Miles around at one point? How do I remember her name?) He’s singing a song about a whale. Big Mike prattles on and on to Ryan about how there’s so much pressure on him to make the Top 3, since he made that his goal last year and he wants to make his family and his city (St. Petersburg, FL) proud. Basically, Big Mike is gonna be ripshit if he doesn’t get a parade in his honor where he can wave at lots of people with both hands.
Jamie Foxx senses Big Mike needs to remember that he does, in fact, deserve to be there. Big Mike just needs to relax! Jamie suggest dancing and sparring. None of this works. Big Mike refuses to take the contestant t-shirt Jamie wishes to give him and says he will still kill it, despite the fact their run-through did not go very well. Jamie thinks Big Mike just needs to let go, which is the honest-to-goodness truth. But what are the chances Big Mike is actually gonna “let go” at this point in the game.
Big Mike appears on the stairs, trailed by a pack of backup singers-cum-wannabe-choir-singers. Naturally, he is wearing his wallet chain. It is as dull and lifeless and vocally perfunctory as everything else Big Mike has ever done. No matter how much he mugs for the camera or holds those runs, all of Big Mike’s performances are the same. Perfunctory.
Why can’t Kara DioGuardi get goosebumps while wearing long sleeves? The crowd barely illicits a response when she speaks. She tries so hard. Simon is clueless about the song and has no idea what Free Willy is. He says at least Big Mike’s heart was in it. Yeah, Simon, I don’t give a shit anymore either. I can’t even write anything halfway amusing tonight, the show is just that pathetic. I’m just wondering whether or not one would listen to I’ll Be There after Will You Be There, because it would sort of be like a Michael Jackson Q&A thingy, except he can’t be there anymore because he’s dead.
Lee DeWyze & Crystal Bowersox
Because no one is capable of being original this evening, Crystal and Lee have decided to make a duet out of the Oscar-winning Falling Slowly, which disappoints me because a) no one is capable of being original and / or was unable to get any decent song cleared and b) Kris Allen’s performance of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova’s insanely-beautiful love song is one of my all-time favorite Idol performances — and it is likely what catapulted him into the Top 2 over Danny Gokey. (Lest we also forget how I totally called it as the ideal song choice for Allen days before the show?)
Interestingly enough, Crystal’s presence keeps Lee a bit more on tune, but then he gets all shouty and Crystal’s lips are moving but I can barely hear her. Lee makes Crystal sound almost pedestrian on the few moments I can hear her, and the poor thing is trying to keep up during the crescendo, as Lee almost seems to shout louder and faster. All of it is quite disconcerting, but Crystal is quite nice on the chorus when her strong voice finally powers through. Lee has been described as having a “gravely” voice and at times it gives the hope of being somewhat interesting, yet it inevitably descends to that nameless bar’s backstage five minutes before the bartender turns up the lights for last call. He is not deft enough to capture the nuanced heartache so memorably conveyed by Hansard in the original, and comes nowhere near Allen’s moving rendition from last season. It’s difficult not to wonder what could have been if Bowersox had done it on her own.
Will the judges um, ever say HIS name? Not Randy. He creams himself over what could be a hit right now. (Scroll down to the end to see what Randy said about the same song last year.) Ellen calls them the new Captain and Tennille, because she is responsible for the quirky one-liners and quirky one-liners alone. Poor Ellen DeGeneres. She’s so much better than this crap. Shit-For-Brains says it was her favorite moment of the season and Simon calls it a great song. (BTW, no one mentions the guy who won last year, but did you really expect them to?)
My second-favorite goat is even wearing a turquoise-ish leather jacket! In what should be viewed as the most strategically-brilliant song choice of the night, Our Beloved Goat sings a classic song about banging older chicks. (Anyone else hoping the cougar vote gets fiercely behind Casey this evening, just to spite the seemingly unstoppable shouty out-of-tune Lee DeWyze?) Casey’s tiny guitar version has a country slant and is a bit sleepy (and kind of reminds me of Jason Castro), but at least he attempted something new with it, which is more than I can say for anyone else I’ve seen this evening. It’s also kind of likable. The song makes me feel as if I’m lying lazily upon my family’s old pontoon boat as it passes through a no-wake zone in the Lake of the Ozarks and I have a piece of straw in my mouth or something. Now I’m wondering where I came up with such post-modern Mark Twain shit.
Of course, Casey’s song choice gives ample opportunity to bust out more KARA IS A COUGAR jokes, which she obviously was encouraging with this evening’s subdued blazer-and-white-button-down look with the hair pulled back. Kara is clearly dressed as a stripper dressing like a teacher for their center stage show at the Golden Banana. She totally got the idea from watching Varsity Blues. Naturally, Randy brings this up and eventually gets around to saying it was cool but didn’t do much for him. Ellen makes a joke about him needing a bigger guitar. Kara tells him he’s fighting to stay in the competition and blah blah blah and oh yeah, Mrs. Robinson is about HER. Once she tells Simon what the song and movie (THE GRADUATE , SIMON? Is movie illiteracy in your script this evening?) is about (groan) and another willy joke is thrown in (shoot me now), Simon then proceeds to tell Casey it was lazy and he needed to do more on a night such as tonight, but he sure as hell doesn’t understand many of tonight’s song choices. Yes, yes. Let’s throw our Goat Man under the bus. How is what he did…I mean…have you HEARD everyone else…? At least it was different.
Definitely the most INTERESTING of tonight’s song selections, Crystal chooses the Caddyshack classic originally sung by the King of All Soundtracks Kenny Loggins. Crystal will obviously be the best this evening, as she is the strongest of anyone up there — and has been for weeks or months or something. But most of all, Crystal chose something FUN when everyone else has been beyond dull (Lee, Big Mike) or too subdued (Casey). She might not even need to bring a dancing gopher out on stage.
Crystal isn’t stupid, as she astutely notes Caddyshack is a really funny movie and no one is having fun tonight. I might have paraphrased, but that’s how it went down. As per usual, she’s gracious with this week’s mentor and they, in return adore her because she makes their job a bit easier.
Accompanied by a hand drummer, with two backup singers ALMOST ideally subdued far, far away (They got louder towards the end, damn them!) and her trusty bong mic stand, Crystal is like a perfect day on the country club golf course. But I hate golf so fuck it with the metaphor. Crystal’s arrangement is fun and a bit inventive, and its always refreshing to see her use an accompanying musician in a way that highlights their strengths rather than solely illuminating her vocal performance. She’s clearly a team player. The judges tell Crystal she’s a great artist, all that jazz. Yawn. Simon tells her she’s back in the game. Really, dude. When was she out of it?
I already have a photo of Crystal, so here is one of her men friends. Her boyfriend wears patriotic pants and dances like the Caddyshack gopher. This is good enough for me. And Crystal does a little gopher dance, too. This is also good enough for me.
(I hate Glee. I hate Glee and that beyond irritating Lea Michele idiot’s Restylyne lips. For chrissake, you’re playing a Tracy Flick wannabe high school student. Don’t jack up your lips with cosmetic injections. I hate Glee. Carry on.)
Casey James & Michael Lynche
Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?
This song sucked when Bryan Adams did it (in 1994…) and I still hated it when Matt Giraud performed it last season. Should a Bryan Adams song from a shit movie called Don Juan de Marco really even be considered in an (allegedly) illustrious Songs of the Cinema night anywhere? Ever? Me thinks not. But what are you gonna do? No one ever accused American Idol of having any taste.
Casey and Big Mike both have their guitars. Casey starts off with a big of goat vibrato and it almost seems a bit odd when Big Mike comes in, but he does a nice little job and I’m actually beginning to uh, dig their duet. I still don’t like the song, but Casey’s lead guitar work is solid. They even seem to be having a good time! I know Crystal now has some safe crush or something on Lee but whatever, this was pretty much a preferable duet for whatever reason. I have no clue. Maybe I’m just lulled into submission at this point of the show. Did you notice everyone had guitars tonight at one time or another? Or both? Or maybe I just feel like being nice because both of these dudes are being thrown from the bus and some audience member’s tard sign requesting a prom date is the funniest thing I’ve seen all night — until I see THE CREEPY MAN IN SUIT LICKING FINGERS.
Randy says he likes it, but basically says Casey’s guitar work is great and it was not good vocally until Big Mike came in all sexy.
As a matter of fact, yes I have loved a woman.
Ok, Ellen. That wasn’t judging. But that was funny. Everyone agrees with Simon in that the duets were better than the solo performances. Whatever. And Jamie Foxx, you were more fun last year, even if you amused me with your faux-enthusiasm with Seacrest announced Fantasia, Daughtry and Bon Jovi would be performing on tomorrow night’s results show.
Next time they ask you to mentor, Jamie Foxx, print up some t-shirts that read I suck. Because everything sucked. The end.
Just kidding. While I’m definitely no Kristard, I’m a fan of Kris Allen. And since everything tonight sucked, I felt the need to post something. (SUCK IT, RANDY JACKSON.)