American Idol 2013 – Music Of The American Idols

Or, “songs that we already got clearance for ages ago” week.

Curtis Finch Jr.: So the theme this week was “Songs That American Idol Winners Sung On The Show Or Released As Their First Single Or Had A Breakthrough With Or Done As A Single Once, I Dunno”. You might think that sucked as a theme, which I would suggests means that you’re not aware of one of the theme weeks from last year’s “So You Think You Can Dance?”. That being “Routines That Were Really Well Received On The Show Before, All In The Same Genre, ALL BY THE SAME CHOREOGRAPHER”. Oh Uncle Nigel. The most obvious victim of this week’s theme was our eliminee – Curtis Finch Jr, who somehow had to compete in the field of “Ridiculous Gospel Oversinging” with Series 3 champion FANT ASIA, on her Victory Song “I Believe”. He lost. And quite convincingly so. I guess this means that he’ll never live out his dream of being the “Modern Luther Vandross”. Well…the MORE modern Luther Vandross at any rate. In that some of his clothes looked a bit 90s. SCORE : 4/10

(The flashback to FANT ASIA’s performance didn’t really help his cause, because she was so passionate and emotional and Curtis was…also singing this song tonight : 2/10)

Arthur Janelle: When you notice just how fakey Arthur Janelle is, it’s kind of hard to stop noticing. And given that her VT opened this week with her yomping “IT WUZZ SO INCREDEEEEBULLL MEETIN JIMMY AHHHHHHHHHHHHHVEEEEEEEEN” we were off to the races from the off. When ol’ Jimmy IV-Unit asked her how she intended to distinguish herself from all the other attractive young blonde female country singers out there (which…surely the actual answer there’s looking you in the face isn’t it?) she replied that she intends to keep country pure, rather than cutting it with that pop shit they’ve been adding to it recently. Which…when Taylor Swift is introducing a dub-step breakdown into her records and Paul Jolley is leaping onto the trend like an oversexed labrador puppy humping her leg, you have to think she maybe has a point. There’s nothing wrong with a decent old-school country twang. Sadly Janelle Arthur’s attempt at performing “Gone” left me longing for the decent old-school country twang of Scotty McCreery. Which is never a comfortable place to be in. It turns out the REAL theme of the evening may as well have been “Act Like A Total Self-Parody” Week. SCORE : 2/10

(Leslie Grossman is going to win an Emmy for her performance as this Arthur Janelle character, I just know it : 4/10)

Devin Velez: Not that I’m suggesting that this year’s Top 10 guys contains so many flamers that they had to cancel the group outing to the fireworks factory, but it’s interesting that Devin was so excited to work with Jimmy Fraggleface because he’s worked with Madonna and Lady Gaga, isn’t it? Devin’s Idol Of The Week was gay marriage advocate (I know, I was surprised too, but then she did used to beard for hold hands with Chace Crawford) Carrie Underwear, specifically her hit single ‘Temporary Home’. This song has a special meaning to Devin, who’s from a single-parent family, so he wanted to sing this song for HIS SINGLE MOM WHO HE LOVES JUST THE WAY SHE IS, LYNDA BELLINGHAM! I can appreciate him not wanting to exclusively be known as “that guy who keeps singing in Spanish”, but I’m not necessarily sure that going pop-country was the solution, especially when Paul Jolley’s already trying to corner that market. The odds of one flamboyant gentleman winning over the red state voters were pretty slim in the first place, so I suspect that two of them competing for the same, non-existent demographic is a terrible idea. Despite his claims to really feel the song, it ended up being a fairly passionless delivery – the most interesting thing about the whole performance was the piano player accidentally FLUMPING several keys together in the middle of the song. SCORE: 4/10

(See, I thought what it had going for it was how oddly endearing it was. Still not much cop, mind. SCORE : 5/10)

Angie Miller: I’m loving American Idol’s embracing of statistics this year. Results Shows are always full of esoteric padding and filler, so I’m glad that they’re being more creative with it this year. I’m so glad that we foundout that Angie got 17% of the vote from Floridian voters, Arthur Janelle won Tennessee (OF COURSE) and that Paul Jolley needs to appeal more to the Mormon demographic in key swing states in order to potentially form a coalition Idol Government with Kree Harrison. Oh and the sing-off between the 11th and 12th place finishers to get a place on the tour. Because you KNOW America cares about that. Next Week : Elijah Liu and Adriana Latonio have a bake off. ANYWAY, back to the main show, and this was the week that Angie got pegged with the “pageanty” tab, presumably mostly because of her hair, which is amongst the most pageanty things I have ever seen in my life. And of course, running with the theme of “taking Jimmy Fraggleface’s critique and using it to worsen yourself”, she then turned out a incredibly pageanty performance of a CELINE DION SONG. Like why not throw in some baton-twirling and butt-tape in there to finish the whole package off. The whole performance was very prefab and artificial and frankly it made me uncomfortable. I think this was her showing off that she had Real Diva Pipes to go along with her Artistic Creativity (ie she done wrote a song once about lasagna or something I don’t remember ok) but I can’t imagine anyone really caring. Now SORT THAT HAIR OUR. CORTEZ SHAW GOT DENIED HIS IDOL MAKEOVER, DON’T WASTE YOUR SHOT AT YOURS! SCORE : 5/10

(She’s veering very close to “loud is the new good” territory, but she’s still on the right side. FOR NOW : 7/10)

Paul Jolley: Watching Paul Jolley continue to try to court the country vote as some sort of guaranteed path to victory and post-show success is so painful that I can barely bring myself to watch it, especially as everyone around him is more busy working out how to sell him as the Top 10′s only male sex symbol (in a figure skater sort of way) whilst making snorting gay jokes up their sleeves (I AM MOSTLY LOOKING AT YOU RANDY). This week Paul Jolley’s spinning of the Wheel O’Sort Of Country landed on “Amazed” by Lonestar, which was apparently a massive breakthrough performance for Scotty McCreary (no, me either). It was mostly performed like he was in a jukebox musical of 90s country crossover hits, with earnest smouldering faces and arbitrary twangs rammed up the odd syllable for effect. I can’t wait for the grand finale, where he does a medley of “Man I Feel Like A Woman/From This Moment On/You’re Still The One” dressed in a leopard print hoodie in the desert. HE’S THE MALE(R) SHANIA! SCORE : 2/10

(Does this mean he’s given up on being the male Keith Urban? : 5/10)

Candice Glover: So Candice decided to take on FLAWLESS GODDESS JORDIN SPARKS, THE ONE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS WINNER OF SEASON SIX, and do HER SIGNATURE SONG, THE ONE PERFORMANCE THAT BASICALLY SINGLE-HANDEDLY WON HER THE SEASON RIGHT THERE AND THEN, AND SOME PEOPLE STILL AREN’T OVER IT, BUT KEEP ON DRINKING YOUR HATERADE COS HATERZ GON’ HATE. (To summarise for anyone I lost with all those capitals: this week Candice Glover performed ‘I Who Have Nothing’.) It was interesting that she referred to it as a song about puppy love, which is not really a way that I’ve considered this song before, but I guess the terrifying intensity of the lyrics does lend itself well to teenage angst. As a result, Candice opted to perform the whole thing with a massive scowl on her face and doing stank side-eyes to some unfortunate in the audience, which…actually sort of worked. I thought her tone was a little bit shrill on occasion, but for sheer theatricality this was easily the performance of the night. SCORE: 8/10

(Cause when Jordin Sparks did it, it had such a MATURE ADULT SEXUALITY TO IT LOLZ. SCORE : 8/10)

Lazaro Arbos: So, this new way of announcing the results is interesting, in that we’re actually getting to see, in almost every case, how the contestants ranked with the voters – and judging on the first round of voting, Lazaro is the only guy with any decent shot at winning. Hardly surprising, since he is basically a stick of candy floss made flesh and is about as likely to be anatomically correct as Ryan Seacrest. Anyway, he decided to sing ‘Breakaway’ by Kelly Clarkson because it has a line in it about growing up in a small town, and hey! Lazaro Arbos grew up in a small town! I guess that’s as good a reason as any. As with most reality show performances of this song, it gets several marks purely for not being Emilie Fleming’s version from Over The Rainbow, but it doesn’t have many of its own merits. Although Nicki did speak to him in Spanish and tell him he looked like Ricky Ricardo, which sort of made the whole experience worth it. Just about. SCORE: 4/10

(If he’s peaking at 4th when the judges haven’t even really started sticking the boot in yet, I doubt he’s got any chance of winning. SCORE : 2/10)

Kree Harrison: Probably my favourite moment of this week in disastrous themes is when we were told that Kree Harrison was singing “Cryin” because Carrie Underwear sang it once, and the camera just focused on footage of her Series 4 performance for an uncomfortably long time, like it would kind of rather just watch that thanks, possily with a bit of dribble hanging out the corner of its mouth. Because really, who would have Kree Harrison when you could have Carrie Underwear? Really? Although to be fair, Kree did a pretty good, smooth, waffly, emotionally savvy job with a fairly dodgy arrangement (too fast, too chintzy) of “Crying” and managed to come across as the most likeable and relatable of our Big Three amongst the female performers. And I think “Crying” is up there in the pantheon of perfect pop songs, so you know I’m very sensitive to it being defiled. Still, it was no KD Lang was it? SCORE : 7/10

(I like Kree the most out of the top three as well – there’s something about her that reminds me of Kat McPhee back when she was on the show – but this was practically a note-for-note copy of Carrie’s rendition. A little too reverent for my tastes : 5/10)

Burnell Taylor: One of the (few) interesting things about this week was getting to see which winners are actually still relevant enough to be acknowledged by the show and its current contestants. I wasn’t particularly surprised that, just to pick a few names at random, Taylor Hicks, Kris Allen and Lee Dewyze didn’t make the cut, but it was sort of reassuring to learn that Ruben Studdard is still a name that means something to some people. Burnell, mostly, who performed Ruben’s coronation song ‘Flying Without Wings’, better known to the rest of the world as a Westlife song. His voice sounded very strange at certain parts of the performance, like a tape that was gradually unspooling, and the arrangement was rather underwhelming. His hand gestures as he performed were also rather annoying – it looked like he was performing an aura cleanse on the microphone stand. SCORE: 4/10

(Also : no David Cook. Although his arrangements were SO ORIGINAL AND UNIQUE AND CREATIVE, who else could touch them? Anyway, this got good towards the end. Ish. SCORE : 5/10)

Amber Holcomb: Ohhhhhhhh, here go Holcomb! As far as I can tell, Amber Holcomb’s main purpose in this show is to be that one contestant that Chris and I can never agree on. As destinies go it’s not all that thrilling, but at least she has a purpose, which is more than can be said for about half of this lot. Amber decided to go for the quintessential Idol coronation song, ‘A Moment Like This’, ooohhhhhh I caaaaan’t belieeeeeeve it’s haaaaaaaaaappening to meeeeeeee, etc. She also decided to basically ignore Jimmy Fraggleface’s advice as much as she can legitimately get away with, which I can only applaud. I liked her performance, but there was something a bit sluggish about it, like she spent the whole time in third gear thinking “yeah, I can crank it up into fifth and crush you bitches any time I like, but I’m saving my energy until the fodder’s gone”. Whether this proves to be a smart strategy remains to be seen. Still, this was the best use of lights and a wind machine since Queen Night in season five, so props for that. SCORE: 7/10

(Yeah, I thought this was crap. Girl was rushing it like she couldn’t wait for it to be over, and mostly neither could I. SCORE : 3/10)

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3 thoughts on “American Idol 2013 – Music Of The American Idols

  1. Kat

    Bless you. I watched it all and thought I was alone in my addiction to this programme, destined to laugh alone with no one to bitch with, but you made me cackle to my heart’s content all over again this morning x

    Reply
  2. Tim

    *Copies and pastes from previous comments* … The boys are really weak this year, aren’t they?

    Can’t say I’m sad to have seen Curtis “I sing with my entire face” Finch depart the competition, particularly with that rictus smile of his which unfortunately – or possibly accurately – gave the impression that he thought he was sailing through to the grand final.

    I have to say, I’m not sure why everyone’s bigging up Amber either, even to the extent of giving her the pimp slot this week. Don’t get me wrong, the girl can sing. But I found her delivery on ‘Moment’ to be surprisingly lifeless – not a patch on Queen Kelly I’m-not-related-to-Jeremy Clarkson, for sure – more John Lewis than Leona Lewis (or even Jon Peter Lewis).

    As for Lazaro: lovely kid, nice story (although obviously Gareth Gates Mark II), OK but not great voice, terrible performance. Is he really going to be this year’s Head Boy? If he breaks out a guitar at some point, we might have a problem …

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      To paraphrase what I said about Lazaro, if Amber’s 5th with the Pimp Slot and a Wind Machine and A Moment Like This, I think she’s gone sooner rather than later.

      Reply

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