American Idol 2011 – Now And Not Now Week

Ladies Night, in more ways than one.

James Durbin : Oh Durbin. This week was a calamitous combination of circumstances wasn’t it? First having yourself distracted by the lady-bumps of Sheryl Crow, when you’ve spent so long now away from your wife/girlfriend (I forget, because for once this show has not been pimping that stuff out). Then selecting a Thirty Seconds Of Mars song, the emo-powers of which have kept Jared Leto looking eternally 17 when he is in fact 54 years old. Then allowing wardrobe to perpetrate that horror on him, making him feel like every woman feels on American Idol every day, like some “This Woman’s Work” deal. Then finally the coup de grace. The capper to his American Idol Night of Shame. Putting himself through singing perennial suicide accompaniment “All By Myself” whilst thinking about, I don’t know, his child or the Royal Wedding or some kittens, or possibly the royal wedding of his child to a kitten. And so the floodgates opened, and the teeth reared up in terror, and he snotted all over the place whilst for some reason thinking this was him keeping it together. and it was all very awkward. Despite my best efforts, I’m not American, so I have no idea how this will have gone down over there but for some reason I liked the outpouring of VERY REAL JAMES DURBIN FEELINS more than I liked that attempt to convince us that he was “relevant” in today’s music industry that opened the show. Because he isn’t. Stop reminding me of it, because I kind of still want him to win anyway. (SCORES : 30 Seconds To Mars – 2/10, Eric Carmen – 4/10)

(Not a good night for Durbin. Damn, that second performance was a HOT ASS MESS. SCORES : 30 Seconds To Mars – 3/10, Eric Cartman – 1/10)

Jacob Lusk : Last week I said that I hoped that Jacob Lusk and Haley Reinhart, who are both on the very last pennies of their borrowed time (although I would have said that at Top 9 or so about Haley, so just ignore me), would take this week as an opportunity to go mental, either in a good way or a bad way. I commend them both for heeding my words, and doing so in such opposing directions as well. Jacob first, who set a high benchmark for lunacy right off the bat by coming out in a Yachting blazer to stomp around squealing like a neutered cat through No Air whilst grabbing his crotch and winding his booty around. This of course caused Randy to panic like maniac and start screaming “LUTHER VANDROSS, LUTHER VANDROSS!” like that was even possible for a “Now” theme unless Luther actually decided to channel through Jacob with improv live on the Idol stage. Which…I wouldn’t put it past Jacob to claim that was what happened. His follow-up performance was an honourable attempt to cap that craziness, by picking Nazareth (?) to cover, but in the end it was just another Jacob does lady-voice performance. I think that last glory note might have been an attempt to go out on a high (although who knows, he may survive again) to go out on a high, but really that was never going to happen now that they’ve successfully pulled him into the same trap they’ve been trying to get Scotty to stumble into. Shoulda stayed in your lane Lusk. (SCORES : Jordin Sparks – 1/10, Nazareth – 5/10)

(Oh Jacob. I fondly remember the days when you could pick songs that were in your register. SCORES: Jordin Sparks – 1/10, Nazareth – 4/10)

Lauren Alaina : There are moments when, God bless her, you can actually see some attempt by Lauren to take on board the things that people have been telling her for weeks on end. Jimmy Fraggleface pointed out that she’s been taking in the “constructive criticism” (quite where she found that on *this* show I have no fucking idea), though I suspect the problem more than anything is that Lauren has just been blanketly taking in the criticism, thinking about it too much, and sitting around chewing her bottom lip. So in an attempt to redress the “needs to show personality” critique this time around, she picked a Carrie Underwear song to cover and tried to channel Carrie Underwear channeling Ann Wilson, and the law of diminishing returns meant that we got about 1/4 of a person’s worth of sass. Which is still a dramatic improvement on her previous performances, but means she’s still got a long way to go. She seems to be having a problem with staying power too, because it seemed a bit like she panicked halfway through the song and forgot that she was supposed to be sassy, and suddenly put her “scared Lauren Alaina face” back on. Still, any progress is still progress, right? For her second song she opted for ‘Unchained Melody’, which was last on this show being butchered by Kellie Pickler the week she got eliminated, and even her arrangement of the song was better than Lauren’s. I’m really loathe to use the word “pageant” in my description because it gets flung around indiscriminately at any young woman with poise to such an extent that it’s lost all meaning, but considering the dress she was wearing and the utterly bovine look on her face, I don’t see what other choice I have. She sounded lovely, but she sounded DULL, and she could have been literally anyone. Except Scotty, obviously. (SCORES: Carrie Underwood – 6/10, The Righteous Brothers – 7/10)

(I liked her tonight – she seemed to kick out of whatever funk set in about a month ago. Carrie Underwood – 7/10, Righteous Brothers – 8/10)

Scotty McCreery : I’m not really sure who Sheryl Crow and the judges thought they were fooling by claiming that this would be the night that Scotty showed us he HAD THE RAAAAANGE, DARLING and proved his depth and adaptability as a performer. Because…he sang a country song and an Elvis song. In terms of his second time, I had to go and check the internet just to convince myself he hadn’t actually performed that exact same song already. It’s fine, really, because an adeptness at genre-hopping has never been the point of Scotty, either for Scotty himself or for his fans – he knows his box, he stays in his box and he does it all rather nicely. Both of his performances tonight were nicely sung, and in his first number in particular he did a pretty good job of working the stage, but let’s not kid ourselves that this was anything other than serious, serious coasting. Solid coasting, but coasting nonetheless. (Scores : Montgomery Gentry – 7/10, Elvis Presley – 5/10)

(Willie Nelson song thank you very much. SCORES : Montgomery Gentry (best name ever) – 7/10, Willie Nelson – 7/10)

Haley Reinhart : Haley, on the other giant sweaty hand to Jacob, decided to go mental in a good way. First of all picking a random Gaga cut that’s not even been released yet for your first number, which I whole-heartedly endorse, if only because I’m still coming to grips with Judas (and not trying to turn it into the This Morning theme tune) so I don’t need to hear someone else’s take on it. She did a creditable job, although she seemed to be trying to actually make her vocal cords flay her innards like a giant food processor for her organs at points. At any rate, it was good enough to shunt their planned-out “one night journey arc” for her off the tracks, as J-Lo sat there mumbling about song-choice rather than actually critiquing the performance. Then Haley delivered on the closing part of her “one night journey arc”, blowing “Night Of The Rising Sun” out of the water like Siobhan Magnus never happened. Plus some minor squinting and pointing issues, but we’ll glide over them. In this Haley might have successfully converted her “one night journey arc” into…well probably a two week journey arc at best, but seriously, it’s Haley Reinhart. She’s on the verge of being TOP FOUR. What the fun American Idol? (SCORES : Lady Gaga – 6/10, The Animals – 9/10)

(I’m still giggling at Haley’s decision not to gender-switch the lyrics potentially implying that she has been the ruin of many a poor boy. Tee hee hee. SCORES: Lady Gaga – 6/10, The Animals – 9/10)


5 thoughts on “American Idol 2011 – Now And Not Now Week

  1. Tim

    Oh, if only Jacob had been given no air before singing No Air. A nailed-on foregone conclusion that he’s heading home, with the only mild interest being who will join him in the bottom two. (Please let it be Scotty.)

    The cynic in me says that Haley’s choice of the Gaga song was at least influenced by Jimmy Fraggleface. Hmm, I wonder whose record label Gaga makes all that lovely moolah for? What a coincidence …

    1. monkseal Post author

      It’s a bit crazy that after the early vagina-carnage we’ve got the first evenly balanced T4 gender wise since Series 4.

      I have no idea why Jimmy gave her that song when the point was for her to trash it then set herself up for a comeback with her “moment” later (which she did). Poor Gaga.

  2. Phil

    Erm, am I going mad or wasn’t it in fact Without You, as opposed to All By Myself?

    They’re both over-used so much, it’s an understandable oversight.

    1. monkseal Post author

      It was. I should have known, because I snurfled about “No, I can’t forget the semen on your face as you were leaving” bit like I always do. Total brain-fart.


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