American Idol 2013 – Top 10 Guys

Yes, they are having male contestants this year. No, I’m not sure why they’re bothering either.

Elijah Liu : Look, I’m not an idiot. I know that people might sign up for this show for reasons that extend beyond “a desire to perform” and “artistic integrity” into, if you’ll forgive my bluntness, “wanting to get some pussy”. But I’m not sure that justifies making quite such a big deal out of “connecting with the ladies” in your intro VT as Elijah did. Especially if you’re going to use the word “connect”, which implies sexual relations of the strictly perfunctory kind. Still, at least he gave a great performance, right? Oh. He performed ‘Stay’, a lesser known Rihanna song, and somehow managed to be even more lifeless and unengaged in his delivery of it than Riri herself, which is quite an achievement. Still, I’m impressed with his commitment to dressing appropriately for the song, as he got himself a nice army jacket to accessorise those militaristic beats. SCORE: 3/10

(Rihanna : the low hanging fruit that reality show contestants fail to reach Every. Single. Time. SCORE : 3/10)

Cortez Shaw : Is there any tragedy greater in American Idol than when a contestant JUST misses out on getting access to a professional stylist and make-up team? Such is the tragedy of Cortez Shaw. Clearly he was just ITCHING for it. Sadly, the semi-finalists have to “style themselves”, whatever that means. Either they have to bring their own clothes (and make-up, SO MUCH MAKE-UP!) from home, or they’re just let loose backstage in the wardrobe department, which means there’s a whole room labelled “Carly Smithson” somewhere which nobody else has ever revisited. So many cobwebs. Although if Cortez Shaw HAD made the live finals, then I doubt he would have done particularly well anyway, given that his strategy for the semi-finals was “somebody else did this song really well and memorably already this series so…I thought I’d do a less good version, yes that should work out fine”. I mean…I don’t remember WHO it was who did “Left Out Of Heaven” but… I’m sure it was better than this. Kudos to Mariah for calling this song out as a BLATANT Police rip-off though. That almost made it worth it. SCORE : 3/10

(I’ve forgotten him already : 4/10)

Charlie Askew : Oh, Charlie Askew. I feel for you, man, I really do. We live in an age where people are really trying to convince us that being awkward and nerdy is really cool, because lots of people are watching The Big Bang Theory and occasionally devastatingly handsome Hollywood stars wear black-rimmed glasses. So you can imagine how Charlie Askew might have thought his time had come, to the extent that he really made a virtue of his awkwardness in his VT, right up to the part where he’s apparently spent the best part of the year growing a pubestache. So where did it all go wrong? Well, pretty much as soon as he took to the stage to perform ‘Mama’ by Genesis, complete with skeevy faces, incestual undertones, a vest that highlighted every bit of his general weediness, and some high notes that might as well have been performed by a parakeet. It was indeed very awkward, but not in a cool or a good way, just in a very awkward way. And then he realised it had all gone very wrong and practically had a nervous breakdown right there on the stage, and yeah. Askew by name, askew by nature. SCORE: 1/10

(I don’t think he realised HE got it wrong, I think he thought EVERYONE ELSE got it wrong and didn’t understand or some such crap which… dude, you sounded like you were singing about wanting to fuck (and then kill) your mum. There’s teenage awkwardness, and then there’s JEFFREY DAHMER’S teenage awkwardness. SCORE : 1/10)

Nick Boddington : WOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, BODDINGTON! CREEPY HATS FOR YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU! Or something like that. Anyway, if Nick Boddington had been out of sorts this week, you couldn’t really blame him. Because it turned out that Nick Boddington was mourning the departure of Gurpreet Singh Sarin, because they go WAY BACK man. ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE NEW YORK AUDITIONS OF AMERICAN IDOL 2013! I mean…that’s practically ‘Nam. And given the history of New York Auditions on this show, probably with an even worse rate of survival. It’s no surprise that Nick just went auto-rock, singing “Iris” (*roll eyes*) at his piano in a really weedy and insincere and fluting voice. Not to big up Mariah for her judging too many times in one recap, but I did very much enjoy her telling contestants that shit the bed in their performances (metaphorically…except possibly in the case of Charlie Askew) that she hoped the public would “consider their past performances when voting”. You know…all the memorable performances that Nick Boddington did before now. SCORE : 4/10

(This song has been done to death on reality TV, so you really need to do something different with it if you’re going to do it at all, and he really didn’t. SCORE : 3/10)

Burnell Taylor : So the first man to advance from the semis, destined to fall into the vaginal threshing machine that will be the live finals, was Burnell Taylor, propelled by a decent sob-story (I was in Hurricane Katrina and my family’s lives, possessions and collective sanity were all torn asunder…but more importantly I used to be a bit of a chub-monster) and a performance of a song by FANT ASIA from the soundtrack to the broadway musical The Color Purple. Which Burnell also did for his original audition. Which I think should merit an immediate disqualification. The performance itself was alright, although his voice generally is pretty pedestrian gospel. And I’m not too keen on people doing songs from musicals unless they absolutely have to because this is, still, notionally, a competition for pop singers. Especially when other contestants (*eyes down*) get called out on being “too theatrical”. SCORE : 5/10

(I was distracted by the fact that he appears to be styling himself exactly like Coco Montrese from RuPaul’s Drag Race. SCORE : 6/10)

Paul Jolley : Jolley by name, FLAMING by nature. I mean, I appreciate it must be difficult to be a guy in this year’s contest given the show’s blatant determination to have a female winner, but I’m just not entirely sure that having purses fall out of your mouth every time you speak is the best way to subvert that. Anyway, I could talk about Paul Jolley’s performance of ‘Just A Fool’ by Xtina, which was earnest and functional, but the best thing by far was his post-song chat with Keith Urban, who appears to be not terribly keen on our Mister Jolley, having basically said “stop being so gay, you big gay” last week. Asking Paul to categorise which JAHNRE he felt he belonged in, Paul explained that he really felt at home with pop-country, because that’s dead commercial right now, and he wants to be the guy version of that whole Carrie Underwood/Taylor Swift/Keith Urban wave. GURRRRRL, THE SHADE, THE SHADE OF IT ALL. SCORE: 5/10

(I’m glad that Keith Urban is comfortable enough with the rampant gay rumours that he’s not afraid to come across like a ragingly bitter closet-case. That’s something for him, I guess. SCORE : 4/10)

Lazaro Arbos : Remember, way back, through the mists of time, all the way back to where this all began. Pop Idol, and Gareth Gates. The very first Reality TV “emotional back story”. The very first Reality TV Chosen One. And the obvious comparison point for Lazaro Arbos, who is appearing at the very end of the Reality Singing Show’s current phase of supremacy. What I remember is mostly that it took Gareth Gates a lot longer to start queening out, doing things like sighing “oh my God FINALLY!” when the judges give him positive critique, hectoring the band about doing the arrangement he wants live on television in front of America, and telling all the bullied and outcast children of America that they should try to grow up to be just like – bedecked in pink, singing done-to-death standards indifferently, whilst making life hell for everyone else backstage, I’ll bet. SCORE : 3/10

(Did he have to wear his work uniform to the studio? He could’ve dressed up a bit more. SCORE : 4/10)

Curtis Finch Jr : So, the first thing we learned about Curtis Finch Jr in his VT this week is that he likes it when Ryan Seacrest says his name. We’ve all been there, haven’t we boys? I’m having a strange reaction to Curtis, actually, in that he’s basically the anti-Angie Miller. In other words, I really like him as a person, which is making me view his performances in a lot more of a positive light than I might otherwise do. Take this week: he sang ‘I Believe I Can Fly’, not especially well, and his voice got super-scratchy at the end, but I still enjoyed it because he just looked like he was having so much fun. Oh dear. I need to have a serious word with myself. SCORE: 6/10

(It just felt really tight. Open your LUNGS Curtis. SCORE : 4/10)

Devin Valez : Speaking of immediate disqualification, as we were a little earlier, can I add “wearing a bow tie” to that list as well, please? Because that shit is just not acceptable in any circumstances. His song was some supremely pappy dreck, which he chose to liven up by switching to Spanish halfway through, possibly to give us all a glimpse at what Simon Cowell thought Ruth Lorenzo’s USP was going to be way back in 2008. Except where Ruth Lorenzo had an awesome throaty rock voice, Devin Valez just has bow ties and cheap sentiment, so I don’t see myself shedding any tears over his eventual elimination, whenever that may come. SCORE: 4/10

(But he’ll pick up the Latin Vote for an EASY WIN, just like they claim someone will do every year. Including noted winners Karen Rodriguez and Stefano Langone. SCORE : 6/10)

Vincent Powell : My favourite thing about Vincent Powell’s performance was him giggling about how he got all the women in their 40s and 50s sending him sexually explicit fan-mail and flinging their panties at him in public, and then the camera cut to Zoanette with a giant red love-heart super-imposed around her head. Zoanette Johnson who claims to be 20. Now there’s comedy. The performance itself however, was just plum bad. Watching someone whiff such an easy song (at least so far as American Idol goes) is never a good way to close out the semi-finals of an American Idol series. Ah well, at least not even the Pimp Slot was enough to usher this in to the finals. SCORE : 2/10

(Yeah, I didn’t hate this as much as you did, but equally I’m not at all surprised it wasn’t a vote-winner : 5/10)


2 thoughts on “American Idol 2013 – Top 10 Guys

  1. Tim

    It’s a pretty grim selection from the XY-chromosome club this year, isn’t it? None of the boys seem to be any more than merely ‘okay’. And is it just me, or does Curtis Finch Jr have that same rather irksome habit of performance-singing with his face as much as with his voice that ultimately had me wanting to throw something heavy at the TV every time Jacob Lusk came on?

    It’s almost enough to make me wish they’d sent JDA (or whatever his name was) through. Almost.

    1. monkseal Post author

      JDA would have been noticably less queeny than some of these finalists.

      Somebody pointed out to me the similarity between Curtis and Lucifer from Cinderella, and I can’t unsee it.


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