American Idol 2011 – Carole King Week

Tapestry Revisited Revisited.

Jacob Lusk : Before we even approach the subject of Jacob’s singing performances (and frankly, in light of the serious phoning in he was doing on both occasions, I’m happy to put that off for as long as possible), I think we really need to discuss that hot mess of a Charlie Chalk outfit he was wearing at the top of the show and for his first number. What the hell was that about? Did he accidentally walk through Screech’s wardrobe for the Saved By The Bell reunion special on his way to the stage? Did someone challenge him in a game of truth or dare to turn up for the show wearing something more ridiculous than James Durbin’s pocket tails? Did he misunderstand Jimmy Fraggleface’s command to “check yourself”? I fear we may never know. As far as ‘Oh No Not My Baby’ went, it was nice to see him doing something uptempo, but the performance as a whole wasn’t really convincing – between the song, his outfit and the performance as a whole, it all just felt rather dated. Also, he was seriously flat going into the chorus. Things didn’t go much better with his duet with James either, which is frankly better forgotten. SCORE: 5/10

(I can’t believe Jacob Lusk did Cher and it was this bad. SCORE : 3/10)

Lauren Alaina : Quite frankly it was like Ryan Seacrest’s “Make A Date” on this show this week wasn’t it? I mean the obvious Haley & Casey UST which is now so obvious that even he noticed, but also the weird little love triangle he was trying to set up between McCreery and Lauren and that poor 19 year old in the audience. Or, let’s face it, the love square he was trying to set up between McCreery, Lauren, that poor 19 year old in the audience and Seacrest. I’ll leave you to work out the combination. Anyway, outside of ACHING SEXUAL TENSION, this week was a week of great personal growth for Lauren, as she managed to shift her range up a whole octave for her performance of “Where You Lead”. Well, she did in rehearsal anyway. She kind of crapped out on doing on stage, but she TRIED and that’s the main thing, especially as they were very obviously trying to set up a contrast with how Scotty can’t move out of his range even a little bit ever, which we’ll get to. Oh, and also Miley Cyrus paid a visit, to tell Lauren not to listen to mean things that people say about her on the Internet (people are still on at her? From what I can see Jacob is the target of the moment) and also possibly to give Jimmy FraggleFace a titty-twister for saying that she can’t sing. Lauren’s performance? AGAIN was perfectly fine but once again a bit dead behind the eyes. And the novelty of the duets between her and Scotty is starting to wear a bit thin through the obviousness of doing it over and over again. And her song choice in both instances was a bit dull. This is about the fifth week in a row that she’s getting SCORE : 5/10 Treading water Lauren, MAJORLY treading water. When you start crying at things Steven Tyler says like they make ANY SENSE, it’s probably time to see a shrink or hang it up.

(I lost interest when Miley left. SCORE: 5/10)

Scotty McCreery : Poor McCreepy. They pulled him this far with a complete lack of vocal range (remember? remember how he only sang one song for, like, a month?) and suddenly at top 6 it’s an issue and they want to shame him for it? Or at least, Jimmy Fraggleface did, and called Scotty out for laughs in front of his new boyfriend Babyface (poor William) (oh, and speaking of which, describing Babyface repeatedly as an indisputable icon but Carole King as only “arguably one of the most revered female songwriters”? WRONG). The judges didn’t seem to mind, but then, when was the last time they minded anything? I mean this week Scotty sailed directly into the most obvious song-choice and did a very safe Scotty thing with it, and they all acted like he reinvented the wheel. To be honest, I actually liked it a lot, and not even in a mildly bemused “McCreepy on his porch-swing staring at teen-girls” giggling way. He picked up some really nice energy about two thirds of the way through and really seemed to connect with the music. Admittedly he then dropped it again for twangs and repeats and missed notes and flute fingers and squinting, but I think for the first time I really enjoyed Scotty outside of enjoying country from a distance. He’s still creepy though, and they need to stop trying to affect like there’s any chemistry between him and Lauren beyond the “Donny & Marie” type. SCORE : 8/10

(I don’t deny it was well song, but the whole performance felt a bit uninspired and obvious to me, and that rather hampered my enjoyment of it. SCORE: 6/10)

James Durbin : If anyone cares, ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ is one of my favourite songs ever, so I was having a fairly serious RuPaul-style “good luck, and don’t fuck it up” moment when I discovered James would be performing that tonight. He certainly made an impression on the stage – I’m beginning to suspect that there’s a button on the lighting desk marked “DAVID COOK” that they press whenever a contestant wants to look all brooding and backlit at the mic stand, and it was certainly getting used tonight. I liked that he seemed faintly apologetic for the marching band last week, because it was a bit overkill and more like self-parody than I personally was comfortable with, so tonight’s approach is far more what I think he should be doing. Having said that, I enjoyed the acapella opening to the performance far more than I liked the part of the song where the band kicked in – it wasn’t that it was bad, it was just that the opening was kind of cool and resonant and very James, and the rest was less impressive. Also, that last note was seriously off. He was the better part of his duet with Jacob, but that’s really not saying much. I’m going to gloss over the part where I COULD SEE THE OUTLINE OF HIS PENIS BECAUSE HIS PANTS WERE TOO TIGHT. SCORE: 8/10

(Can I clarify that this score is strictly for his solo performance, not for the duet? They were all horrific, I’m not marking them. SCORE : 9/10)

Casey Abrams : I love it when anybody says anything reminiscent of “this is a song that needs a lot of personality” on shows of this ilk. It basically means “Pierce Brosnan in his very best Mamma Mia form could sing this lying on his back with a cinderblock on his chest and it’d sound fine”. I mean, do we really need to see more of Casey’s personality on stage at this point? I feel I’ve seen pretty much everything he can do emotion wise, and most of it seems to revolve around pulling faces from the last quarter of a particularly lame campfire ghost story. Yes, yes Casey Abrams, the crazy axe-murderer WAS YOU, now can you get to something that doesn’t sound like it was rejected for a montage scene from Bugsy Malone? I kind of hope (retrospectively by the time you read this) that he’s ended up in the bottom 3 with his lady-love, because the drama of that little arrangement is all I’m getting from him at this point. And Stefano leaving sucked 50% of the dramatic tension out of it already. SCORE : 2/10

(My notes just say “God, this was fucking awful.” I have nothing more to add. SCORE: 1/10)

Haley Reinhart : In keeping with my preference tonight to explain the fashion faux pas on offer tonight, can we make any sense of that thing that was on Haley’s head in her intro VT? As far as I could tell, it was apparently constructed out of dolly mixtures, Werther’s Originals and possibly a few stuffed olives. Maybe she was a bit worried that she’d get hungry in rehearsals, and we all know that Jimmy Fraggleface won’t feed her, because she’s a GURL and therefore neither welcome nor relevant. I guess she had to make a choice between being practical and being fashionable, and made the decision that would allow her to secrete Haribo about her person, like any sensible person would. I’m not really sure what to make of the fact that the start of her performance was interrupted by a malfunctioning earpiece and Seacrest not being terribly interested in covering smoothly, but I thought she made an excellent recovery from that setback – she’d chosen a great song that really worked for her smoky voice, and she pulled some interesting tricks with it. There were some issues with the performance – not all of the facial expressions really matched what she was singing, and she had some iffy notes, but I think this might have been her best performance so far. I also thought she gave the best performance of anyone in the duets, even if that sounds like hollow praise. She didn’t really have a lot to do in ‘I Feel The Earth Move’, but she worked what she had, and managed to stay on-key for the most part when Casey kept slipping off his harmonies, so credit to her for that. SCORE: 8/10

(Seacrest was on stage for a good 30 seconds of that performance. He REALLY doesn’t give a shit any more does he? SCORE : 7/10)

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4 thoughts on “American Idol 2011 – Carole King Week

  1. Victoria

    In our house, Ryan Seacrest is known as Dog Biscuit. Seacrest -> Seabiscuit -> Dog Biscuit. I think it suits him.

    Reply
  2. Tim

    And so the conspiracy begins. The producers start to build the narrative which knocks Scotty down to give him a redemptive journey back to approval to embark upon. And then we are led to believe he may be in danger in the results show, just to ensure his fan base is fully mobilised and does not become complacent. Cynical, moi?

    Overall, I thought this was a meh kind of week. The top three are the top three, and I think everyone knows. I kind of wish we’d cut straight to the chase, boot out Jacob and Haley, and have a proper three-way, knock-down battle between the others to decide the winner.

    Somewhat belatedly, here are my thoughts:
    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2011/04/29/american-idol-season-10-top-6-performances/

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I do hope that one of Jacob/Haley goes a bit mental next week because they must know by now they’re in their last two weeks (Syesha madness not pending). They’re on modern songs again next week, so there’s always a chance…

      Reply

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