Welcome back Idol fans.. Last week, the voters got it right as far as the bottom of the singing barrel was concerned. Curtis Finch Jr was sent packing and the judges got it right too in not using the save. Bottom two were he and Devin, and the judges gasped when Curtis wound up there. Honestly, his performances weren’t very good and this is a singing competition. Not a popularity contest (though it may seem that way at times). This week, the top 9 perform for votes and I’ll go through them in order.
The judges are introduced, Ryan is introduced, followed by the contestants. Messed up order in my opinion. Ryan mentions that the finale is two months away and there will be a special performance in that jam packed star studded show. I didn’t catch her name as she walked around in her commercial with a coke bottle. I don’t care about her name, didn’t care yesterday before I saw her, and won’t care two months from now about her or her song. I’m sticking with the contestants this season and this is the last mention of whoever she is, you’ll get from me.
It’s Beatles week.. I want to see a Rolling Stones week. I was disappointed last season we didn’t get a Motown week. Either way, I don’t think this is going to bode well for the ballad singers or Mr R&B. Let’s see what happens.. Before that though, we get the results of last week’s sing off between Charlie and Aubrey.. Remember my choice was Charlie because I hate ballads and therefore, most of the contestants who sing them. Well, not really hate the people but definitely hate the songs. I should have kept my e-mouth shut though because it is Aubrey Cleeland who wins the 11th spot on the tour. Congrats to her I guess. Okay.. Now we can get on with the show.
First, Kree Harrison. RuhRoh. She has lost both of her parents. Dad when she was 12 and mom when she was 19.. She and her sisters immediately circled the wagons around each other says Grandma Kree (didn’t catch her real name). Her sisters think she’s amazing and encouraged her to audition for the show. I agree, and I’m glad she did. Her song, to her sisters, “I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends”. Jimmy says that essentially, all she has to do is sing the song. She has a scratchy throat during rehearsal but none of it is apparent when she actually does the song. The judges absolutely loved it. Mariah and Randy tried a fake out on her but… She said she didn’t think it was good. (pause) “It was Fan-Freaking-Tastic”. I don’t have any arguments with the judges at this point, for me, this was both a good choice and a very exceptional performance. Well done my lady, Kree. Yes, I’m slightly concerned about her performing first but there was absolutely nothing forgettable about it. Being first may cost her the top 3 spot but she’ll be there on the show next week based on what I heard.
Second, Burnell Taylor.. Mr R&B only. We meet his sister who he use to pay to record him. He says he paid her $50 overall, she says $10. The Idol camera crew stole her job from her so now she makes nothing (cute). His song, “Let It Be”. He’s at a disadvantage this week because he doesn’t know the song, at all. Maybe he doesn’t know it but the rest of the world does (I wonder about that.. I always claim it is the tweenies doing the voting at 10 times light speed, do They know the song? I know us old fogies do).. Jimmy tells him to listen listen listen and practice practice practice… Well, I thought he may totally blow it but he didn’t. It was actually enjoyable to me.. He sort of took it to church (but not Josh Ladet church) and put his own tone on it. Actually very well done and the judges agree. 2 for 2 so far..
Amber Holcomb is from Texas. Grew up on a farm. She has a gaggle of siblings and they’re all pulling for her. Dad, all he asks, is that she win. Not impossible but a tall order. Her song is “She’s Leaving Home”. I can’t say I’ve ever heard this song and I think it’s obscurity may hurt Amber. Maybe I’m wrong and this is a wildly popular song. Jimmy says she won’t be leaving the competition. She murders the song. I agree. She murdered it and not in a great way, to me. The judges are in love with her though. Apparently 2 days prior she hadn’t heard the song. Even Mariah didn’t know the song. Keith, this is his favorite Beatles song ever. Ummm, whatever Keith.. I didn’t care for it, they tried to love it. How about that?
Lazaro Arbos is up next. His family is from Cuba and they wanted to give the kids a better life. They are thrilled that he is on the show. His song, “My Life” (I think). To me, this is another obscure song though the melody is familiar. Maybe that’s because a lot of Beatles songs sound alike to me. He sings his song, makes it through without forgetting any words, I don’t think he hit a solid note, and the judges panned it. He says he just learned it so he may not have been comfortable with it. Even Nicki says she misses the old Lazaro and in fact, she told him to stop taking advice from Jimmy. Ever since he started working with Jimmy, it just isn’t right for him. They tried to be nice about it but I don’t think it’s looking very good for Lazaro. His cute is only going to carry him so far.
Candice Glover is next. She’s from St Helena Island and it’s very small. She’s the oldest of 7 and the whole town is behind her. Now, we all know that she can sing but there’s a theme developing here that bugs me (and I’ll get to it later). She is from a small town just like all the rest of them. Her song is “Come Together”. She doesn’t really understand the words to the song and Jimmy has to explain it to her. This is a very well known song and just about every rock band out there has covered it at one point or another (I’m thinking Aerosmith). She sang the song, did a good job with it, no denying that. Keith says he loves the rocker chick side of her. Nicki wants more face from Candice when she hits some of her notes. Randy loves it and loves the idea that she did an up tempo song. People like her with big voices typically stick to ballads. It gets boring (my words, not his). Mariah says that her range and style are miles ahead of anyone else on the show.
Paul Jolley.. Grew up in a trailer. His parents purchased a farm and he now lives in a house that was built from lumber milled from trees on the farm. Kind of cool.. His song, “Elenore Rigby”. Jimmy says he can kill the song if he brings everything together without being self conscious about it. After his performance, the judges absolutely hated it. Randy says it’s his worse Ever on the show. When Ryan asks, why that song, Paul says that he didn’t ‘listen’ to songs when choosing but read the words. Maybe the words spoke to him but his performance didn’t speak to the people listening. Nicki didn’t clap but liked his wardrobe. That is the kiss of death from her. Safe, Bland, Forgettable. The audience is booing the judges. He may make it past the voters but I think he’s in trouble.
Angie Miller. Voted the next American Idol in her high school yearbook. She was involved with the theater department always doing music, wasn’t hugely popular (I’m calling bullshit Idol trick 23 on that one).. She’s from Beverly, Mass about 30 min outside of Boston and lives with Mom, Dad, and brother. Her song is “Yesterday”. Jimmy says that she’s great but she should scale back the gymnastics some. I agree. Mariah, loved it. Randy loved it. Keith, this is his favorite Beatles song. He feels she was thinking too much about what others are saying but he still loved the song. Nicki, “Unbelievably amazing”. She says that Angie could definitely do soundtracks and such. Ryan says she’s met a new friend, the Flat iron.
Devin Vilez. He went to Military school and is still there in Chicago. His brother and sister are of course thrilled that he’s on the show. All kinds of support from friends and fans and all that kind of stuff. He says that while he believes he’s good he has to remain humble. The second a contestant begins believing they are Mariah Carrey, it all goes to hell because they are not. I agree. His song is ‘The Long And Winding Road”. Another song I don’t know. He’s altered the song which, according to Jimmy, is okay, when you get it right. He did the song. I’ll say it was a solid Devin-like performance and probably enough to carry him into next week. I’ll say this.. If he goes home instead of Lazaro or Paul, something is wrong in Idolville. The judges… Mariah agrees.. Keith, this is his favorite Beatles song (haha), he’s not connecting emotionally, Nicki tells Keith to go home, she doesn’t know what he’s been sipping on. She tells him that as long as he’s truthful, she has nothing to say about it. (she’s been testing Fox’s censors all night)..
Janelle Arthur is in the pimp spot tonight. She’s from Oliver Springs, Tennessee and there are signs everywhere reminding people to vote for her. She’s proud of the town, they are proud of her (Awe).. Her song, “I Will”. Jimmy says it’s a very subtle song. If she breathes correctly, she’ll be fine. If not, she’ll run out of breath too soon and trip it up. This is another song I don’t know (by now you’ve figured out I’m no Beatles expert). It’s a song she’s able to wrap her country voice around however. I don’t think she perfectly hit every note (as many of the others on this show) but I think she put in a very solid performance. The pimp spot may do her some justice with this song. The judges swooned. She’s Back! says Randy.
Here’s the theme I saw develop with some of these contestants. I can’t remember a season where there wasn’t either a Beatles week or a Michael Jackson week. How or Why, any of these people can even think of auditioning for this show without knowing at least one of each, is absolutely stunningly stupid to me. Some managed to pull it off in good form but others, not so much and they used lack of knowledge as an excuse, I felt. At this point in the American Idol game, unforgivable. That’s just me, I’m sure.
The show opens showing footage from the studio last Saturday as Janelle is in the booth and Jimmy can’t hear her on the sound system as the assistant is trying to fix whatever is wrong. In other words, the assistant isn’t prepared properly (the guy pushing the buttons on the sound board). Over godfather music, Jimmy tells him, that when he was a producer at the record company, 3 years, he fired 110 assistants. Why? Because he couldn’t hear the people in the booth. The assistant gets it right, he can hear Janelle, he looks at production and says ‘put that in your (bleeping) show’. 😆
Now the show really opens.. Ryan tells us that Jessica Sanchez is there with Neyo and Casey Abrams is also there. I won’t ask why, I don’t give a shit and this is the last I’ll mention of them (though I do like Casey and his upright bass). Jimmy gives his thoughts on the previous show. Some of them were good, some were not. I agree. He mentions that the judges were complimentary across the board with all of them (not Lazaro and Paul) but he’s saying they aren’t giving the singers good critique. For example, “you weren’t as good as last week but you were great”. WTF does that mean? 😆 I couldn’t agree more and I’ve been saying it all along. They are not being helpful to the contestants (bring back Simon). In my own words, can these people after the auditions. In fact, can them all together because I think it’s been outed that it is the producers and people like Jimmy who choose the contestants. I guess if we weren’t listening to the judges blowing wind, there would be no show. After all, it’s all about them, right? Jimmy goes on to critique the performances himself and I have to say, I agree 98% (but that’s just based on my favorites). A few: Lazaro was the worse of the night. Angie is like every kid who comes out of high school and into the studio thinking she has to over sing everything. He had told her and others, that true singing power is not just belting the big notes but knowing when to scale it back (I think Crystal Bowersox is a master at this and part of why I like her so much). Paul, he feels, is in trouble, definitely bottom three. Candice was the best of the night for him (that’s the 2 percent I don’t step in line with Jimmy).
He also notes that American Idol is a job like any other singing gig. To come unprepared is unforgivable (not knowing the likely song types). He further said that all of the contestants had the same number of days to learn the songs. Lazaro had said he learned the song last night. Bullshit. My further take… With at least the top 20 of each, men and women, the song books are available while we are being shown the auditions. At the very least, the genres of the show (which if they don’t know the likely ones before auditioning, they’ve been under a rock). Not knowing at least one song from some of these genres, cold, again, no excuses. Even if just on the show.. They all had 5 days to learn their songs.
Okay, Ryan stands Amber up and we get to see her rehearsal with the smoke machine crew screwing up and she had a hard time getting through the rehearsal. Funny moment but she doesn’t get any results. Break time and back. I had hopes, I really did but, they did one of those annoying shitty kid bop group songs. Rather, the guys did. Ryan excuses them except for Paul. His town has proclaimed last Saturday Paul Jolley day and Ryan presents him with the written proclamation (Last week, Kree got the key to her city from it’s mayor). Okay, if this is a new part of the show, a surprise for one of the remaining contestants, I’ll recap it. The bad news for Paul, he’s in the bottom 3. Next from the contestants, the girls do their group song. It was nice, they blended well together. I didn’t hate it but I still wish they would can this part of the show.
Next, more results. He stands up Devin and tells him he is in the bottom 3. At this point, I’m thinking that Ryan is filling out the bottom three because he calls up Lazaro. Safe 😯 . Kree is safe but not in the top 3. Candice Glover is safe (maybe there is no announcement of top three this week, these two plainly belong there). Next, Angie Miller. This rounds out last week’s top 3. Janelle Aurthur is also safe. Burnell Taylor is the last to get a ‘safe’ spot. Amber is in the bottom 3. Randy says that America did not get it right, He’s shocked that she is in the bottom 3. So am I. The lowest number of votes who is singing for their life, Paul Jolley. Amber and Devin are safe for now. The results were announced in no particular order says Ryan. Not like last week (I believe) where we knew the standings.
Paul sings for his life as the judges
pretend to deliberate. His song is “How Do I Get You Alone”. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either. Randy says, not unanimous, so sorry, nice to see you, good luck and good bye. Paul takes it in stride, I think he knew he was done. Here’s my own commentary on this particular bottom three. These three people being in the bottom and Lazaro NOT, means the voters thought that some how he was better than all of them and perhaps others as well. Remember we didn’t get actual standings here. America, Are You Freaking Kidding Me? Seriously? Really? I knew there were a lot of brain dead tweens out there but this really frosts the cake. I don’t think Lazaro is very good, I don’t even think he belongs on this show. Perhaps in his native language with songs from Latin genres or something like that, he’s great but for what is done on AI, no. He’s pulling idol tricks 503-827 here by squeezing out the tears at the right moment, claiming ignorance to the songs (more than once.. Listen to what Jimmy said, This is a Job, Be Prepared), and I’m sick of this guy, his hallmark story, and completely over him. I’ve said before, he’s on this show not because of his singing talent but because of his Hallmark storyline. That is the sole reason I HATE HATE HATE these Hallmark sob stories being shown or used on these shows. I know I won’t get an amen from many people about this but that’s the way I see it. I’ll stop my rant there before I really tear into this guy.
That’s it folks. I watched it here, you can too. See you next Friday.
Til then, Peace. MTH.