And American Idol settles into the part of the competition I like to call: The talent compartmentalization. People are clearly divided into levels; The Strugglers – people who can’t seem to find their niche and flail week after week. The Genre Huggers – contestants who found a niche and perform consistently within it, but fail outside their genre. And The Upper Crust – those lucky singers who make everything looks effortless and kill it time and time again, making every genre somehow their own. Normally, once compartmentalized, contestants stay where they are and are eliminated thusly – occasionally people can ascend or descend and some times contestants can even teeter on the border for the whole thing (look at Diana DeGarmo – what was she??), but one things remains constant; lines have been drawn in the sand.
Imagine you’re drowning. Everyone around you seems to be able to swim – but you can’t you’re too heavy – and you just keep sinking while everyone else rises. That’s what life must be like for a struggler on idol, someone like Karen Rodriguez who no matter how hard she tries will never be Pia (whether they sang in a band together or not). Karen, who was from head to toe retarded last night, sang 1989’s Love WIll Lead You Back by Taylor Dane. She came out wearing some sort of futuristic-tron outfit that may or may not have been the outline of a giant vagina. And what happened to no Spanish? During her video, she said she didn’t want to be known as the girl who sings Spanish. Well she did, and it was dreadful. Oh and pitchy.
Jacob Lusk proved his exceptional semi final House is not a home was just that, an exception. He has no control whatsoever. I don’t know what was in the judge’s glasses last night, but I’m not drinking the same kool-aid. I love Heart’s Alone, it’s one of my favorite 80’s songs bar none. Carrie Underwood performed Alone in her season and destroyed it, it was a show stopper and once someone – ESPECIALLY CARRIE UNDERWOOD – owns a song on the idol stage it’s over. Don’t even try it. Especially if you’re gonna be pitchy, bro. Tickles McGiver (Thia Megia) sang Pocahontas’ Colors of the Wind and she sucked again. The judges made a REAL HUGE mistake by bringing her instead of the rocker chick. J Lo’s comment about her vibrato being odd was spot on, and so was Randy when he called it pageanty. And pitchy.
Haley Reinhart needed a serious win last night, and while it was better than she’s ever been, Lauren does what Haley does, and does it better. Haley needed to WOW in order to stay out of the bottom three and wow she didn’t. I liked the performance quite a bit, I love her tone and phrasing but Randy was right when he questioned her lack of flavor. The song was good though – a little pitchy though.
Naima Adedapo is teetering the line, she’s got the strongest change to ascend – but it looks grim, especially in light of last night’s dreadfully off-key What’s Love Got To Do With It. The best thing that came out of her performance was J Lo. admitting to giving her a pass. She is in serious trouble tonight. And she was pitchy.
The Genre Huggers:
Paul McDonald is also teetering the line, he’s got a genre but he’s still struggling. He was a lot better with Elton John, and needs the chance to do James Blunt before he’s eliminated. A little pitchy though.
Scotty McCreery might just be the most consistent contestant ever. Neither he or fellow genre hugger Stefano Lagone won or lost any fans with last night’s performances. Scotty tried singing some big notes and got some positive feedback, so expect him try more of that next week. I don’t understand the Lagone love at all. I just don’t. He’s at his best – he’s just okay- and at his worst – the Danny Gokey of the season. I guess I’m just a hater. His vocals were fine, he just rubs me the wrong way. Also both gents were a little pitchy.
The Upper Crust:
Wasn’t it nice to have Lauren Alaina back? She rebounded from a sucky performance last week by taking on Melissa Etheridge’s I’m the Only One from 1994. This is an example of a perfect song choice and she killed it. It was the same effortlessness she displayed in the semi finals with Turn on the Radio. Even before she uttered a word I knew she’d kill it, it’s the perfect harmonious mixture of singer and song that works. I also laughed out loud at seeing her mother’s outfit in the video, she was dressed like a completely out of touch teenager, or like a reporter undercover a la Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. Also perfect songed? Le Durbs. I’m not the biggest lover of Bon Jovi, and even less of a fan of I’ll Be There For You, but the Durbs made it work – made it his own and he looked like he had a lot of fun too. When the judges were talking I just kept thinking how pretty Jen’s hair is and how much I want to touch it. Just saying.
Yesterday I said Casey Abrams needed to wow after a rocky showing last week and wow he did. He took on Nirvana. It was ambitious, it was wild and while it wasn’t vocally strong – it was screechy and yes, pitchy – it was a magnetizing effort. Speaking of magnetizing, Pia Toscana took it upbeat covering Whitney Huston’s Where Do Broken Hearts Go. This girl is on another level. Damn. Last week Celine, this week Whitney, in two weeks she’s taken down two thirds of the Diva Trifecta, all she needs is to throw down with Mariah. Her outfit was wild to – but not in a weird way like Karen – I dug it – it was surreal and very white.
TVOCRATS Bottom Three, Week 2: Karen Rodriguez, Jacob Lusk & Thia Megia.
Bottom 3 Prediction: Karen Rodriguez, Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo, with Rodriguez going home. (Although part of me feels she’ll scrape by week after week until she’s completely out of her depth.)
Grades Week 2
- Lauren Alaina A (better song choice wins this week)
- Pia Toscano A
- James Durbin aka Le Durbs A –
- Casey Abrams B + (Mega points for ambition)
- Haley Reinhart B
- Scotty McCreery B
- Paul McDonald C+
- Stefano Lagone C
- Thia Megia C
- Naima Adedapo C – (It was that bad – I wish it wasn’t)
- Jacob Lusk D (It was a massacre)
- Karen Rodriguez D GO HOME