American Idol 2011 – Songs From The Movies Week

Once again, GI Joe: The Rise Of COBRA remains woefully unrepresented.

Paul McDonald : Now, I’ve been going through something of a sea-change in my opinion of Paul over the last few weeks. He’s stuck to decent, relatively still, relatively (…to Paul’s usual standard, not anybody else’s) well sung performances, of modest ambition, and not taken himself too seriously. And to be fair, he’s still setting himself a low bar, and still just having a blast out there rather than trying to win but…this was just an abomination. Wearing that hideous “Gram Parsons styled by Bob Mackie” jacket (A NEW ONE!) hitting one note in 5, stumbling around awkwardly shoving into people, stopping doing…anything so some woman could play saxophone forever. Even worse was the song choice. Someone singing this sort of “you know what’s really neglected by the popular culture of today? THE MUSIC OF DEAD WHITE DUDES!” on AMERICAN IDOL of all places. Really? Come on. I guess it’s a mercy that he didn’t bounce down those stairs wearing only Aviator shades, a white shirt and his pants, because you know those things have holes ALL OVER the gusset, and I’m not sure America is quite ready for Paul Jr. dancing around on the stage. On top of all THIS (not that this is his fault, but it was my first notice of the fact, so Paul’s going to suffer for it anyway…) William? AGAIN? A-FUCKING-GAIN? Like he didn’t mess up the show enough last week? ENOUGH AMERICAN IDOL! ENOUGH! Score : 0/10

(I just couldn’t get over how much I hated what Paul obviously thinks this song says about him. SCORE: 1/10)

Lauren Alaina :Speaking of William, and his new life partner Jimmy Fraggle-Face, just how weird were they being in this week’s VT? Firstly, I know it’s all about the Bieber these days (isn’t it? Kids? Tell me, I’m old! I know not your ways! I’m practically late 20s!) and also that it’s the unvarnished truth, but don’t announce on national tv that Miley Cyrus can’t sing. I mean, we all know that Joe MyOldDairy really set the bar for this song, but he’s currently shining Jedward’s shoes, so who cares about him? The Miley fans may be in retreat, but they’re still powerful. Then, to tell Lauren to go out there and try to steal Pia’s votes (all both of them), presumably because she’s a girl, and can belt? Just asking for backlash. Happily for Lauren, she then delivered on her mission to steal Pia’s giant fanbase of seven angry gays on twitter by stomping out and being really boring and approaching every glory note like it was something to be power-lifted. Good job girl! It’s like Pia never left! Just lost a bit of height and gained a bit of weight and got a bad dye-job. I get that she was going for child-like vulnerability in her performance, but she already did that admirably in Elton week. This was just kind of…both infantile and really really old-fashioned at the same time. She looked like a 12 year old and sounded like a 50 year old and none of it really gelled. Ah well…at least her family enjoyed it. Including her mum. Ah Lauren’s mum. I’m just going to leave her out as an image to breathe for a bit. SCORE : 5/10

(Yeah, I can’t imagine Fraggleface did her any favours, because last week demonstrated that Pia doesn’t have any fans worth picking up, and the Miley fans will now be flocking over to Haley’s side, if they weren’t there already. Unless they’re all out doing bong hits and flashing their underwear at photographers because Miley’s such a BAD INFLUENCE or whatevs. SCORE: 6/10)

Stefano Langone : Now, I’m as angry about this week as the next Pia Toscano fan, but I don’t think it’s entirely fair for Stefano to be the one who’s attracting the “HE SHOULD BE GONE INSTEAD OF PIA!!!!1111!!!” bile. It’s not like Stefano’s this conspicuously awful contestant amongst a batch of solid gems. Paul should’ve gone home last week. Paul should’ve gone home any week. Paul should go home EVERY WEEK. He could be this show’s answer to Matt from Survivor. Sadly, I feel the survivor’s guilt is getting to Stefano already, since he’s saying things like: “The fact that Jimmy Fraggleface and William are so tough on me makes me feel good.” Coming to NBC next fall – Law & Order: Stefano Victims Unit. The only other thing that I picked up from his intro VT is that he shouldn’t ever wear a white fedora, although I daresay that’s true of everyone. The nicest thing I can say about his performance is that he had a very nice t-shirt on. His face was losing kind of haggard, like if Joey Tribbiani was on meth, and the singing was pretty awful. He was behind the beat on a few occasions, and the chorus was also screechy. The performance seemed to go on forever – by the time it ended, I thought we were in season 11 already. Or at the very least that we’d somehow been here long enough for X Factor to have started and Cheryl Cole to have said “howay, that were reet up my street” and the entirety of America to reply “I BLAME YOU FOR THIS, WILLIAM.” SCORE: 2/10

(I quite liked this. *guilty face*. Having said that, the song choice is basically Idol-suicide. SCORE : 6/10)

Scotty McCreery : Ooooh, was this the week that Scotty McCreery’s Good Ol’ Boy charms cracked, and revealed the evil mastermind underneath? He called Jimmy FraggleFace DUDE. DUDE! Of all things! DUN DUN DURRRRRRRRRRRN. Except, no, obviously not. You’d have to try really really hard to actually care about that. Scotty calling ol FraggleFace “dude” is to him as Haley not rending her garments and screaming to the sky like Scarlett O’Hara in the burning remnants of Tara when Pia got eliminated is to her. Pointless dramarama. Although maybe Scotty needed it this week, as he was one of about 15 contestants to abandon something interesting in terms of song-choice in favour of something done and tedious. In this case “returning to his country roots”. What, was that one week outside your comfort zone too terrifying? Sigh. Perfectly fine Scotty performance that I don’t even remember now to be honest, let alone after the series has run its course. SCORE : 5/10

(Jeez, and people thought Pia was dull, predictable and one-note. SCORE: 4/10)

Casey Abrams : As a fan of The Amazing Race, I do appreciate a good bald snark when I see one. [Bald Snark : To choose one option between two, then to change one’s mind. Then do so again] And while I’m not a Casey fan, I admire him for sticking to his gut instinct and thereby indirectly telling Fraggleface that it’s absolutely fine to go small on Idol sometimes, and occasionally it can really work out well (cf. McPhee, Katharine: ‘Black Horse And The Cherry Tree’). Unfortunately for Casey, this wasn’t one of those occasions. His lazy phrasing was really distracting (when the most memorable part of a performance is how every single word ended with “-EHHH”, it’s generally not good), and the double bass is less impressive when it’s sounding as out of tune as Casey’s was tonight. I don’t miss Simon at all, and it’s not like he ever used this phrase correctly anyway, but it would be nice if there were a judge on the panel capable of tossing out the phrase “fucking self-indulgent bullshit” every so often, because if ever a performance merited such a remark, this would be it. SCORE: 1/10

(I liked the idea, but this was not well done at all. I will give him points over Paul though, for doing his solo on an instrument he was actually playing. And then some points off for making the Mr T Snickers advert “Get some nuts’ N’YARRRRRGH!” noise every 20 seconds. SCORE : 2/10)


So, with our acknowledgement of the greatest ever interpretation of this song out of the way, we turn to Haley. Haley, who continues to earn my love by prancing around wearing her sunglasses indoors, like the total drunkard we all suspect her to be. Now, if I were grading these performances entirely on the vocals (BEFORE THE ELIMINATION OF PIA MADE SUCH A MOVE TRANSPARENTLY POINTLESS, TYVM) this would be the worst of the night, because she started rough and somehow managed to spiral downwards for most of the song. There were parts of it I liked – the raspy, screamy way she approached certain lines would’ve been awesome if she pulled it off properly, but sadly there was something lacking in the execution. Specifically, the way it was kind of awful to listen to. Having said all of that, Haley’s one of only two contestants this evening who actually gave a performance worth watching, a performance that I found enjoyable because Haley was clearly finding it enjoyable, so I’m throwing caution to the wind and awarding points that reflect that. SCORE: 7/10

(I thought it was just…desperate. Like, it reached a kind of tragic car crash desperation that was fun to watch, in a Bridget Jones karaoke way but…just dreadful. And why was she dressed as a stained-glass window? SCORE : 3/10)

Jacob Lusk : You’d think that VT time would be precious for Jacob this week, because considering the almighty tit he made of himself last week, he needs all the opportunities for a redemption edit that he can get. Sadly, however, the powers that be decided that it would be far more beneficial for all concerned if an unjustifiably large amount of his intro could be devoted by William talking about different foods that are made with corn. Seriously, William, GO HOME. And Fergie’s asked if you can pick up some Tena Lady on the way home. (This joke was brought to you by the year 2005.) Anyway, Jimmy Fraggleface dismisses Jacob’s original song choice of ‘The Impossible Dream’ (AMAZE) as “corny” and instead tells him to sing ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, like, OKAY DERE FRAGGLEFACE. Had Jacob not had such a terrible week last week, I think he would’ve joined Scotty and James in the “telling Fraggleface where he can stick it” club, but Jacob seems pretty contrite this week, and I guess he wasn’t massively keen on alienating the public any more than he has done already, even though there cannot possibly be any negative backlash from someone pwning Fraggleface. Quite the opposite. Anyway, so Jacob sings this song that anyone who watched Popstars: The Kym Marsh Is Fat edition cannot hear without propelling their head into the nearest wall, and it’s kind of fine, and also kind of boring, and he still pulls those awful faces when he’s doing it, but he still has a lovely voice and it’s hard for me to stay mad at him for too long. SCORE: 7/10

(Monday Monday (BAH BAH DE FUCKING BAH BAH) is my personal “ruined by Popstars : The Myleene’s A Bitch edition. SCORE : 7/10)

James Durbin : Just to clarify, for any parties not aware, Heavy Metal is an animated Canadian (!) anthology (!!) of short stories, containing a lot of cartoon titties, taken from a fantasy comic (/magazine/graphic novelrama/manga/whatever, stop being so defensive). And it still grossed more at the American Box Office than the film Scotty cribbed his choice from. I don’t know if I prefer Movies Week when it’s a bunch of songs I’ve never heard of from films I’ve never heard of to when it’s overdone standards from 90s Box Office fodder. Actually I do – I prefer neither. They’re both pap. Anywho, James had a big fight with Jimmy FraggleFace and his boyfriend William blah blah lather rinse repeat, all ending with an impassioned plea to America to GIVE METAL A CHANCE. Which was kind of the tipping point in me realising that this series isn’t really a series of contestants so much as a face off between a set of different genres and their avatars in human form. Boy band soul? Old-school country? New-school country? Gospel? Metal? Jazz? The Genre That Is White Men In The 70s In Ugly Suits? Maybe it’s coming so close after last year’s Lillith Fair + Fodderama Genericus blur but these people are all so firmly in their boxes (apart from Haley, who is thoroughly out of hers, all over the stage, in her hair, in a wastepaper basket after the performance) that I might throw myself behind whoever can climb out first. Anyway, this was fine, metal, hoorah, James was having fun, and pissed off FraggleFace and William, which is as close to interesting as we’re going to get this week. SCORE : 7/10

(I enjoyed this performance, but let’s face it: the reason he’s getting such a high score is because he told Fraggleface and William to cram it with walnuts. ❤ SCORE: 8/10)


6 thoughts on “American Idol 2011 – Songs From The Movies Week

  1. Tim

    There is a bit of Joey in Stefano, but I think of him more as the love child of Tribianni, J and Hammond, R (aka The Hamster) of Top Gear and overly-coiffured hairstyle fame.

    In a similar vein, James is clearly related to Wayne Rooney. (For God’s sake, man, put those ears away!)

    And I know I’ve done the Scotty = Alfred E Neuman joke to death now, but hey, “What, me worry?”

    Anyhow, the only sane verdict on this week’s theme & performances is “meh”. Still, at least no one did Bryan Adams. Or anything from The Lion King.

    1. monkseal Post author

      My favourite Scotty Look-A-Like of the moment is Hank Venture.

      It does feel kind of like, with our Shock Boot!!! out of the way we’re now in the dull part of the series where we just trim the fodder until the obvious Top 3/4.

  2. Fern

    I REALLY hate bridge over troubled waters purely because of bloody Popstars. It actually makes my skin crawl.

    Anyhoo, I’m glad order has been restored with Paul hate and Jacob like/love.

  3. Miss Scarlet

    I’ve not watched any of this series, but flicking through the channels the other day I came across it and, having nothing better to do, thought I’d give it a go. I watched Paul McDonald’s truly execrable performance and waited eagerly for the slating to come, only to hear the all the judges say how good it was. At that point I decided I did have better things to do: anything frankly!

    So no more Idol for me this year.

    1. monkseal Post author

      The judges are just so much noise for me at this point. On the other hand they don’t actively aggrieve me like Simon/Kara used to…


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