Weekly Watch: American Idol – Hiccups, Screeching, and a Débutante

Fellow Idol worshippers, they should make Idol watching an endurance event.  Three hours of howling and fawning gets pretty old, and it’s only the first week.  It took me three tries to get through the entire Boys’ episode, no lie.

These week’s count featured a lot of hiccuping (most of it courtesy of our favorite hiccuper, Hailey Reinhart) and not enough Randyisms.  Only 16 of the 24 contestants showed us that they know how to count (and a couple left their counting ability in question).  There was some growling, dreaming, and even some tears.  Bottoms up!

Here’s a quick take on each of this week’s performances.

Ashthon Jones – I have no idea what she sang and have no real opinion whether it was good or not.  I think one of the judges said it was a Monica song.  She wants us to think that she’s very saucy, and she makes a lot of faces.  Bonus points for not throwing up her fingers to match her Idol call number though.

Bret Loewenstern – First thing, LCT: there is no such word as theirselves.  Please don’t ever say it again.  I like his personality, but I agree with Randy – the song was just okay.  Luckily Idol is more than just a singing competition, despite what they keep trying to tell us.

Casey Abrams – Contestants who harp on how different they are earn my eternal hatred, especially ones who call to mind a previous Idol winner (Taylor Hicks).  I didn’t even bother counting his growling in The Count.  He showed two fingers for his #12 Idol call number, so the jury’s out on whether he can count or not.

Clint Jun Gamboa – Good Lord.  I could barely understand any of what he was singing.  He keeps referring to himself as an artist – is this the latest synonym for hipster?  His performance was more about strutting around the stage like a rooster and screeching than anything else.  So of course the judges ate it up.

Haley Reinhart – Haley didn’t disappoint with the hiccuping and growling this week, OH NO.  It’s really too bad, because she has the voice and skills, especially when you consider that Alicia Keys is not easy.  Calm down with the runs and the facial contortions and I’ll drop you down a couple levels on my Hate-O-Meter.

Jacob Lusk – I have absolutely no idea what he sang, but holy cow, do the judges love him or what?  He was our sole crier.  He really does have a wonderful voice, but I’m not totally loving him yet.  He’s got to tone down the screeching.

James Durbin – He sang Judas Priest (apparently).  I could barely understand what he said whether he was screeching or not, and he was screeching most of the time.  I don’t understand the judge for him too.  I think my eardrums are still ringing from his performance.

Jordan Dorsey – While it’s nice to hear people sing upbeat songs, Idol doesn’t usually trend towards Usher.  The audience seemed into him, and he’s got a nice range.  I thought the judges were a bit harsh on him.  You can’t claim to want the whole package and then dump on a guy for trying something a little different.

Jovany Barret – Who doesn’t love some Edwin McCain?  I thought it was okay, but nothing that really stood out for me.  I’d take him over some of the other squawkers though.

Julie Zorrilla – She knows she’s on Idol, right?  And not preparing for her mall Glamour Shot?  Because she keeps dressing like a debutante, with her tacky semi-formal dresses (I’m calling her Prom Date Barbie from now off).  And to top it off, I thought her rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway was bad, bad, bad.

Karen Rodriguez – She tackled Mariah Carey’s cheesiest song right out of the gate!  And she did a good job!  I actually didn’t care for her switching back and forth between English and Spanish, but her shout out to her mom at the end was cute.  Definitely liking her.

Kendra Chantelle – JLo mentioned that Kendra “fought” to get into the Top 24 – of course she did, because no one knows who she is.  It’s always risky to do Christina for your first performance, but I thought she was pretty good.

Lauren Alaina – This girl reminds me of Carrie Underwood, except that I never liked Carrie Underwood.  I have no idea what she sang (something about the radio), but I thought she had a strong performance, and the judges clearly love her.

Lauren Turner – I tuned out during her performance.  After so much belting and hollering, it’s easy to bypass someone when you don’t know the song they’re singing and they sound like all the other belters.  I have no idea if she did well or not because I don’t know the song and don’t care.

Naima Adedapo – It’s not surprising that they compared her to Fantasia, which is a bit unfair.  They sang it totally differently, and that doesn’t necessarily make one better than another.  I love her personality and want to see her go far.


Paul McDonald – Paul treated us to some good White Boy Dance Moves during his rendition of Maggie May.  It was okay, but was it good enough?  And was it good enough to overcome his obscurity?

Pia Toscano – I didn’t understand the judges’ praise for Rachel Bilson.  It was good, sure, but I don’t believe Randy that it was the first standing ovation EVER.  The people probably stood up because they were so glad the screeching, hiccuping, and yelling was over.

Rachel Zevita – I totally agree that Rachel is Broadway.  She is more focused on the performance than the singing, and she butchered a great song.

Robbie Rosen – He accounts for all of the hiccups during the Boys’ performance.  I liked his somewhat unconventional song choice, but it didn’t stand out for me.  During his critiques, it became clear that Randy is going to be the mean judge this season.

Scotty McCreery – He reminds me of Kenny Chesney, and I have no idea what song he sang.  I’m not crazy about the way he leans to the side, sings out of the side of his mouth, and the faces he makes.  But I still think he did a good job, vocally.

Stefano Langone – He sang Bruno Mars.  It was good.  There’s really not that much else to say.

Tatynisa Wilson – Apparently she is Ta-Tynisa now, in case you didn’t catch that.  She sang some Rihanna, with plenty of energy and she kept the wailing in check.  I could see her going home though from a lack of screen time and having a non-standout performance.

Thia Megia – I have no idea what she sang, but she’s clearly a judge favorite.  I don’t see what her age has to do with anything – no one exclaims over Lauren Alaina, who’s only a year older.  I figured out what I dislike about her – she reminds me of a (stoned) pageant queen with the way she smiles and graciously accepts praise.

Tim Halperin – Tim sang some Rob Thomas, and I thought it was just okay.  I’d pick him as one to go, but who knows – the teenage girls (if they still watch this show) may save him.

Of Note Last Week

  • The judges have made their favorites pretty clear.  Get ready for frustration as contestants they don’t favor take chances and are then criticized for messing up the song, while favorites who do the same are praised for “making it their own”.
  • Since we had to go back the horribly stupid 12 Boys/12 Girls model, I like that they’re at least switching it up and passing people through based on the top vote getters and then having the judges put Wild Cards through.  This just ensures that if the public has a hate-on for anyone the judges or producers love, they can be sure they go through.
Random Thoughts

  • JLo said that Spanish is a very romantic language, and even pointed out that it’s a Romance language.  Do you think she actually knows what that means?
  • If you could only listen to one for the rest of your life, would you rather listen to James Durbin’s over the top screeching or Haley Reinhart’s obnoxious hiccuping and growling?

Predictions
I shouldn’t make these, given how well the Oscar predictions turned out, but here’s my take on who will stay.

  • The 15-year-old Pageant Queen, Rachel Bilson, Karen, Lauren A., and Prom Date Barbie
  • James, Jacob, Bret, Scotty, and Our Resident Hipster Artist.  I think the boys are much more uncertain than the girls.

Scheduling Note
I was wrong about the scheduling, because Glee is back on Tuesday next week.  Idol put us out of the potential misery by moving to the Top 5 + Wild Card format as opposed to dragging it out for 3 weeks like they usually do.  That’s one thing they’re doing right.

American Idol will make you want to stab yourself with its long drawn out results show tonight, Thursday, 3/3 and will be back to harassing your eardrums next Wednesday, 3/9, both at 8/7C on Fox.

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