American Idol 2012 – Californian Songs/Songs We Wish We Wrote

Dear Tupac: it would appear that you were incorrect. California does not, in fact, know how to party.

Phillip Phillips: I love that Phillip Phillips epic Idol journey, from low-key audition to being a near-immortal lock to win the show, has ended with the following piece of amazing piece of self-awareness from the good man himself : “I never thought I’d be able to learn two songs in one week”. SUCH AN ARTIST! I also loved the back-handed insult he landed on the judges when he talked about how his family would be honest with him when his performances sucked (*cough*UNLIKE J-LO*cough*). So what did Phillip Phillips haul out of his Bag Of Trick this week? First of all a version of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” that sounded uncannily like it was being performed by Ray “Everybody Loves Raymond” Romano. I’m not sure anybody ever needed to hear that. But then, amazingly, his first actual good performance since Usher, however long ago that was? And all it took was a great big Dramatic Cello, and a backing singer who was much better than he was. Still, when he’s not indulging his interest in tedious Classic Rock, Phillip Phillips is quite…competent? I’m surprised, although I’m not sure that’s enough to want him to become White Guy With Idol Trophy Number 6. Still, his “bromance” (ick) with Joshua is his greatest yet, the great big manwhore. Heejun, then Colton, then Joshua. Where will it END? Not with Seacrest, THAT’S FOR SURE. SCORES : Have You Ever Seen The Rain? 3/10 ; Volcano 8/10

(I was legit shocked to have actually enjoyed a Phillip Phillips performance as much as I did that second one. SCORES: Have You Ever Seen The Rain? 5/10; Volcano 8/10)

Hollie Cavanagh: And so it is that Hollie Cavanagh’s epic Idol journey comes to a close, just like Elise’s one off the all-time BOTTOM THREE GODDESS record. Although, with Bottom Twos no longer being a thing (HANDS UP IF YOU BUY PHILLIP WAS BOTTOM TWO? YEAH, ME NEITHER!) it was never going to happen. I’m not overly sad that Hollie’s gone, because I was never a huge fan and the “zomg I’m voting for her because the judges are throwing her under teh bus, she has the best voice of anyone left I just decided this minute to spite Jennifer Lopez” people were getting awful. She also sang “The Climb” three times over the length of her stay on the show, and that is at least two times too many. About the most noteworthy thing that happened to Hollie this entire episode was her paying tribute to “Tabitha & Napoleon” for helping her understand the lyrics to “Faithfully”. This, along with Adam Shankman’s pointless cameo, just confirms that American Idol is the place where all those rats fleeing the sinking ship of “So You Think You Can Dance?” are headed. SCORES : Faithfully 5/10 ; I Can’t Make You Not Vote Me Off 6/10

(‘The Climb’ is to Hollie as “baby close the doors and turn the lights down low” was to Scotty McDreary. SCORES: Faithfully 5/10; I Can’t Make You Love Me 7/10)

Joshua Ledet: It’s interesting how both Joshua and Hollie’s VTs featured them being rejected in a previous year and told to come back later, when they would almost certainly win. You’d think the two of them would’ve compared notes and agreed not to re-apply for the same season, since they clearly can’t both win. OR CAN THEY? No, they can’t. Anyway, in a move that was depressing in its inevitability, Joshua rattled out ‘You Raise Me Up’ for us this week, which is one of those songs that has been performed so many times on reality shows that there is literally nothing new you can do with it. Nothing. It goes from quiet to tremulous to big lights to key change to choir, every time, without fail. There was nothing wrong with Joshua’s rendition of it particularly, but I just couldn’t engage with it at all because there was nothing in it I hadn’t seen a gazillion times before. The same was true of his ‘It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s World’, although in this case it was more that there was nothing in it that we hadn’t already seen in countless Joshua Ledet performances – the same twitching, the mushymouthedness, the completely overwrought emotion. It’s a shame that both of his performances disappointed me this week, because the offstage, behind-the-scenes stuff – particularly his spot on impression of Phillip – was great. Actually, all juxtaposition with Phillip makes Joshua look better – their duet on ‘This Love’ was hilarious, as any time they were required to sing together Joshua drowned Phillip out without even trying. SCORES: You Raise Me Up 4/10, It’s A Man’s (x15) World 7/10

(HE SPOKE IN TONGUES! THAT WAS SOMETHING NEW! You Raise Me Up 6/10 ; It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Marge 9/10)

Jessica Sanchez: That VT of Jessica as a tiny little pageant bot growling out ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Oversinging’ was very illuminating, wasn’t it? Especially since she went on to perform that for her second song, and despite the age gap between the two performances, there wasn’t really a whole lot else to separate them. At least she managed to smooth out that really rough note from her younger days, and drag some of the held notes out to ridiculously extensive levels. Again, though, like with ‘You Raise Me Up’, this song has been done on reality shows that many times that it holds no excitement for me any more. And some of that squealing was so gravelly I worried she might actually be doing her voice some serious damage, but I guess that’s between her and her doctor. I was unfamiliar with her first song, ‘Steal Away’, but it just felt rather bland and by-numbers. I would pass comment on her duet with Hollie on ‘Eternal Flame’, but the only words I have to say in regard to that are OMGWTF SWINGS. SCORES: Steal Away 5/10; And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going 8/10

(She’s no Lakisha. Steal Away 7/10 ; And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going 8/10)

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10 thoughts on “American Idol 2012 – Californian Songs/Songs We Wish We Wrote

  1. Carl

    Jessica in that clip is like the worst of Camille Valasco and Jasmine Trias put together. I do like the grit of her voice. Otherwise don’t care. I had such a soft spot for Camille, messy as she was.

    You got my hopes up that this was the Robbie Dupree song, which I love. Apparently not. I was tricked into watching Idol again for nothing 😦

    Reply
      1. Carl

        Camille and Jasmine were in series 3 (the Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson year). Camille got in partially because of a bad group on that night of performances, and Jasmine was heavily hyped.

        Camille left after about 3-4 weeks in the finals, her last being a VERY rough version of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (although when she got kicked out she tailored the lyrics to Hawaii, since she was going back there – I did like that). Jasmine eventually became a huge source of controversy, as her voice cracked and she struggled, with the hate reaching a fever pitch at final 4, when she stayed over presumed winner (or runner up) LaToya London, and she was smiling and waving instead of tearing her hair and rending her garments.

        Jasmine went on to some success in the Philipines, and to Costco.

      2. monkseal Post author

        Now that version of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, I am familiar with.

        I’m guessing Jasmine was one of the beneficiaries of AMERICA’S AWFUL RACISM! ? (TM Elton John)

      3. Carl

        The idea at the time was the entire state of Hawaii was voting for Jasmine, with people regularly conjuring up images of literally the entire state on their phones (cue a million: “I’m in Hawaii and I hate her!!!”)

        I don’t know if they ever had another Hawaiian contestant make the voting rounds though.

      4. monkseal Post author

        Ah, the Scottish vote. Or given the population of Hawaii, the Welsh vote. The Isle Of Man vote?

  2. Ferny

    I actually really liked Philip, Jessica and Joshua’s second songs this week, and so I wasn’t surprised at all that Holly went.
    I liked that Philip acknowledged that the Time of the Season was bad last week when the judges all praised him ha

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      It was definitely Hollie’s time to go. She just had that air of futility about her presence.

      Reply

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