American Idol 2011 – Rock N Roll (Hall Of Fame) Week

Hey kids! Rock n Roll is great! (*avalanche of country, soul, and Michael Jackson follows*)

Jacob Lusk : I think Jacob must have missed Naima as much as I did, because he certainly decided to pilot his sassy little jet plane as hard as he could into the ground this week. Firstly, obviously, dangling the carrot of awesome that would be a Lusky Stank version of “Let’s Get It On” in all our faces, then snatching it away and calling us all filthy, in favour of doing gushy blandly finger-wagging “Man In The Mirror”, which already got owned on this show by Kris Allen (and just think how bland THAT makes it). Then adding a little capper on that moral lesson by telling America that if he wound up in the Bottom Three then it would be because America had failed itself as a nation. Then doing that little diva-flip, taking out its ear-monitor because it was giving him the vapors. Then, in the actual performance, such as it was, being dull, then out of tune with that poor backing-singer woman, whoever she was. I’m starting to think Jacob doesn’t really play well with others, vocally, given that hideous tornado of awfulness that was he and Naima (again, *sniff*) ruining Ashford & Simpson. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see him jog on this week given the grand…political statement of blandness and ugliness that was this week in Jacob Lusk. SCORE : 4/10

(Yeah, I think tomorrow’s results may indeed reveal that America failed itself as a nation. SCORE : 4/10)

Haley Reinhart : Oh Haley. The reason they keep saying that you’re like Janis Joplin isn’t because you are imbued with her inner spirit and must bring it out all over the stage, now that you know who she is after your boyfriend Casey told you. It’s because you are a GIRL WHO DOESN’T DIVA-BELT and this show has no other recourse for comparison. If Jessie J was on that stage whittering on about how she do it like a man dem sugar suagr brap brap memba I told you, they’d send her away with a suggestion to come back and do “Me & Bobby McGee”. Still, I guess it was Rock N Roll Week (ish) so if she had to bring out her best angsty middle-class college girl yoda-backpack white girl who just got broken up with then it was best she get it out of the way now when she had the chance. It was kind of embarrassing to see her randomly flapping around busting out that weirdo growl seemingly at random, but it wasn’t awful. But then, what was this week? SCORE : 4/10

(It was more Jackie Jormp-Jomp than Janis Joplin. SCORE : 5/10)

Casey Abrams : Another contestant, another VT dominated almost entirely by a song they ultimately wound up not performing. Maybe I was just distracted by the fact that that beard is slowly creeping out of his face again, looking for fresh victims (as were his dreadful ANGY FACES during the performance itself, sadly). Anyway, Casey’s distraction this week was “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”, which I guess is a step up on Jacob in that it would have been an immeasurably worse performance than the one he ended up producing, which was of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” (Answer : yes) by Creedance Clearwater Revival, by way of Counting Crows if Casey Abrams’ performance of it was anything to go by. It was perfectly fine, although he didn’t really feel like an American Idol so much that bassist/drummer who the band are letting sing lead for a song. Although hey, it worked for Dave Grohl. I felt this mostly because he was stood there like a bump on a log trying to craft an entire performance around a stand-up bass, but then Randy thought that was REVOLUTIONARY, so what do I know? Although to be fair, Randy probably thinks Coke Zero is REVOLUTIONARY. SCORE : 7/10

(Vocally there was nothing especially wrong with this, and yet…I hated it. One of these days someone’s going to shove that double bass up his ass, and it will have been a long time coming. SCORE : 3/10)

Lauren Alaina : If this evening had a secondary theme, it was “let’s see how much of a nonsensical twatface Will.I.Am can be in his capacity as an independent pop music consultant”. In Lauren’s case, the answer being quite a lot, as he babbled on about her being a controlled singer, only it’s spelt “countrol”, and no one knows or cares why, but just remember America: these are the assorted other opinions of a man who is telling you that you need Cheryl Cole in your life. Mull over that idea for a while. You may have noticed that I have been babbling on for several lines now without really addressing Lauren’s performance, which was pretty much the approach that Lauren herself took to it: she looked more bored than a hipster at a detached irony symposium. She might as well have been on RuPaul’s Drag Race and lip-synching for her life against Carmen Carrera. Still, it sounded nice enough, and prompted me to look up how many times ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ has been performed on this show before, and the answer is surprisingly low: three. SCORE: 6/10

(Lauren was so effing bored. I’m thinking the post-duet sex with Scotty was pretty rotten last week and its left her feeling like a sad panda. SCORE : 6/10)

James Durbin : There are times when I wonder if James is far, far too smart for this show. One of them was the moment where he explained to William and Fraggleface that he’s rocked out for several weeks now and wanted to totally throw the audience by doing something different, all the while with an eyebrow cocked so fiercely that it would have given Phil Keoghan a hernia. He totally knows how to work the show and the judges, and was clearly one-step ahead of any attempts to Pia Toscano him that they might have up their sleeves. He seemed to be channeling Adam Lambert in many ways for his performance of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, from the poise to the lighting to a questionably screamy last note, but he also gave a lovely crisp, clear vocal and one of the more convincing performances of the night. SCORE: 7/10

(I really, really hate this song, so this is a compliment. SCORE : 6/10)

Scotty McCreery : I feel like we already knew that Scotty was an Elvis fanboy before tonight, but I can’t for the life of me think where I would’ve heard such a thing. Still, he was determined to play that card for all it was worth tonight and gave us his very best Stars In Their Eyes version of a track I’ve never heard before. His backing singers were presumably as excited about the prospect of all of this as I was, because they looked absolutely bored off their collective gourd. I was tempted to dock him points for wearing double denim, because that shit is never acceptable, country or otherwise. It was nice to see him show a bit of a personality in his performance this week, it’s just a shame it was a bit of an obnoxious one. The highlight for me was Jennifer’s commentary afterwards, flailing wildly about how a white country boy could KNOW SOME FLAVA LIKE THAT, and the way the Idol sting was quickly played as the director was no doubt screaming “TURN HER FUCKING MIC OFF!” up in the booth. SCORE : 6/10

(Aimed at Elvis, landed on Mark Wahlberg, was alright if you weren’t looking directly at it. SCORE : 7/10)

Pia Toscano : Here it comes kids! After weeks of build up, Pia Toscano’s finally going to go up-tempo. Having gradually increased her profile through generally very good to superlative ballad belting, here comes her fun side! River Deep Mountain High! Rolling, crashing, peaking, out of control, joyous, lusty, soulful River Deep Mountain High! The crowning moment of Tina Turner’s entire career of glorious peaks (before that whole Mad Max thing happened)! The song that single handedly propelled ol’ ginger chops into Girls Aloud! The power! The glory! Bring it! Oh…wait. *clomp* *clomp* *clomp* Glory note *clomp* *clomp* *clomp* *clomp* “Glory” note *clomp* *clomp* *clomp* warbles like a goat in a fairground fun-shack *stomp* *stomp *stomp* glory note *stomp stomp stomp* SHOW YOUR TONSILS TO JAYSUS! Never mind eh? Back to the ballads… SCORE : 5/10

(I blame Gwen Stefani for the stomping – did you see those heels? No way could Pia have roamed around the stage the way this song demands with those fuckers on. SCORE: 8/10)

Stefano Langone : I can’t believe I’ve got this far without talking about how awful William (from William and his Black Eyed Peas) was as a mentor. (You’ll note I had no such reservations. – Steve) I’m kind of of the opinion that Stefano has out-stayed his welcome at this point, but even I felt sorry for him after this bamboozling. Firstly telling him to put a new spin on “When A Man Loves A Woman”. How on earth can you do that? It’s about what happens when a man loves a woman? How can you change that up, apart from via the whole gay thing that William spent a substantial part of the episode terrified of. Then…oh screw that, just do it like Percy Sledge did, which…seems to be a lot like William & The Black Eyed Peas do everything, which is to add a whole bunch of dumb needless pauses and to flail about wildly. I kind of felt like Stefano managed to hack and whack his way through all that nonsense to find himself utterly unprepared the second he hit the stage, and utterly lost. Poor lamb never had a chance. SCORE : 4/10

(It’s got to be him or Lusk going home this week, surely? SCORE: 4/10)

Paul McDonald : There ought to be laws preventing Paul McDonald from trying to ape Johnny Cash, because the very idea is offensive. There also ought to be laws against people telling Paul not to tone it down, like Fraggleface did. There ought to be laws against Paul, let’s be honest. He continues to begin every performance like he’s playing at the Peach Pit (“What’s up, y’all?” Oh, do be quiet.) This week he appears to have sought inspiration from the Carrie Underwood school of Grinning Nervously When You’re Singing About Bad Stuff Happening Because You Can’t Really Process the Reality Of It. So he gurned his way through all those lyrics about murder, but at least he was sort of in tune while he did it. Apparently with Paul, there’s a decision to be made about whether to sing in tune or whether to understand what he’s singing about, because he clearly cannot do both at once. SCORE: 4/10

(I’m with Fraggleface – if you’re going to do this song manic, you do it MANIC. Instead of dry-humping that other guitarist he should have headbutted him. SCORE : 5/10)


6 thoughts on “American Idol 2011 – Rock N Roll (Hall Of Fame) Week

  1. Ferny

    I haven’t watched this episode yet, but am surprised about you thinking Jacob should go home. Was he that bad?!

    1. monkseal Post author

      Overall I think there are people who deserve the boot more (Paul, Stefano, Haley Simlish), but he acted like such an enormous douche this week that I wouldn’t be sad to see him at least in the B3, put it that way. Ideally we’d still be in a Universe with the save in, he’d get booted, and then brought back with an instruction not to say things like “if I’m in the Bottom Three, America has lost its way”.

      (Ideally ideally obviously there’d be no Save at all and Jacob wouldn’t have acted like a nobber. Ideally ideally)

  2. Tim

    After that show, the question on everyone’s lips is surely “Is there ANYTHING that doesn’t count as rock & roll?!?”

    I thought the standard was pretty decent overall, with only Stefano and to a lesser extent Haley being poor. I have, of course, eradicated all traces of Scotty’s performance from my memory. Jacob started OK, but slipped back into bad habits so quickly. His days are surely numbered.

    Should I be feeling dirty for liking Paul’s performance, though?

  3. John

    I’ve been following your blog forever and I have finally decided to ask: why do you give each contestant two scores? I’ve wondered this for a long time.

    1. monkseal Post author

      We give one score each, to show if our opinions on a particular performance differ (/muddy the blog’s editorial voice unnecessarily).


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