Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Phinal Curtain

At long last, we have an Idol show that felt well-timed and without all the fluffy nonsense. Of course, we'll get plenty of that tonight on the Results Circus.

The venue has changed to the more raucous Nokia Theater and the production is all dolled up like senior prom. Everything is fancy-pants and froufrou. Everything except Phillip Phillips. Because P2 doesn't need it, he and his gray garb, and his 5 o'clock shadow. Phil's entrance on the show last night was beautiful. Tommy Hillclimber had to be one tortured soul last night when he saw Phil. And Phil's answer to Seachicken about how does it feel to be on the big stage for the finale was awesome--I call it profound gibberish. I can't type what Phil said--there is no spelling or pronunciation for that. I would actually like to download that sound as my ringtone...

In any event, on with the show... Three songs for each. First round is Simon Fuller's choice, Second round is singer's favorite past song, and Third round is what their first single would be. Here's how it played out:

Jessica Sandcastle - I Have Nothing (Simon Fuller's choice): Very wise and appropriate song choice. Degree of difficulty substantial, and the execution was close to flawless. However, it was predictable and somewhat boring. Jessica doing a "diva" ballad--yes, yes... what else is new? Okay fair enough--she gets an A on this one.

Phillip "Can I get a kidney transplant" Phillips - Stand by Me (Simon Fuller's choice): Mr. Fuller did Mr. Phillips no favors on this flaccid song choice. This was unchallenging and uninspiring. Even Phil couldn't Phillipify this weaksauce number. I am hoping that Phil makes a much better choice for himself in round two. A solid B, but not his fault.

I have to agree with the judges that Jessica won round one. Again, this was taken out of the performer's control, and they both did the best they could with the material. Jessica certainly had the advantage there.

Now... let's get into the highly inappropriate, offensive and vulgar act called "Perpetually grabbing my crotch" by Jason Duh-rulo. In all my years of watching live performances, I have never seen someone grab themselves so blatantly and frequently--are you freakin' kidding me? I would say he pawed himself a good 15-20 times, right in the faces of the mostly younger crowd. I am no fuddy duddy, but C'MON MAN! I used to play baseball, and have witnessed plenty of self-imposed groin grope on the field, but cup adjusting is a necessity (sometimes, but not all the time--some guys just like to do it...). That pales in comparison to this cluckknuckle. I think Seakrust alluded to the "interesting" dance moves--we all knew what he meant. I wonder how many parents will be writing letters to the show in protest. Dear Idol, thanks a lot for the visual feast of crotch-grabbery, asshats.

Now back to the real show.

Jessica #2 - The Prayer (her fave song): Another ballad, ho-hum... It was decent, but bordered on the theatrical and broadwayish. A bit too melodramatic for me. Again, technically, it was formidable and she certainly has the chops to pull it off, but been there, done that. The pattern is set in place, big ballads all night long. I guess ya dance with date you showed up with, eh? B+

Phil #2 - Movin' Out (his fave song): Great choice although I was guessing he would have done the Jonny Lang song. Both winners, regardless. This time, he brought more to the table. It was Phil doing Phil, but showing more pizzazz, especially the very strong ending. Excellent choice, great performance. Definitely an A.

Jessica #3 - Change Nothing (poorly conceived single written by Keebler elves): Agree with the judges on this. This is not in her cupboard of competency. I am not sure who writes these "first single" songs, but they should be slapped in the grill. They are almost never hits, they don't usually match up to the performer's personality, and they are hard to stomach. This was screechy and annoying. C+

Phil #3 - Home (cleverly conceived single written by Smurfs and Hobbits): And on the other hand... haha! A song written correctly and FOR the person performing it. What a novel idea! Or perhaps, Phil changed it up? Regardless, it was a great song, phantastic performance, just all-around goodness. Steven said what I was thinking... it reminded me of Simon and Garfunkel. What a way to finish the night. If it wasn't for the excessive humming at the end, I'd give it an A+, but an A will have to do.

Ironically, the performers peaked at opposite times last night, probably much to the thrill of Phil and his constituents. Starting slow and finishing strong will more often than not improve one's chances. With that said, I am going to have to go with Phil winning this thing.

Overall, the night was pretty even, but with the performers crossing paths in the middle. Kinda like the elevator (Phil) that starts in the basement and goes up, while the elevator (Jessica) that starts on the 10th floor goes down.

Rankings for the Final:


So that is it, folks... Another season in the books. The last several Results Finale shows have been very entertaining and well done with lots of surprises, so make sure you check it out. I will probably have one more postmortem article to reflect on Season 11. Thank you for your support and unbridled enthusiasm.

I look forward to seeing Heehaw Hand on the stand-up circuit and Colton and Elise having more commercial success than anyone else from this season. Also it wouldn't surprise me if Hollie Cabinslaw did well with the right songwriters and producers.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

One Man Stands

And his name is not Joshy. Last night's two hour show finally felt like a show worthy of 120 minutes. Nine songs, plus lengthy hometown visits filled the time slot like a perfectly poured beer. We also got to encounter Heehaw Hand in the crowd with the rest of the Top 10 performers. Good old HeeHaw, always out to obtain squealing laughter from his contemporaries. Seeing Elise and Colton sitting there had me contemplating an alternate universe in which those two would be in the Final with P2.

In any event, on with the show... the themes for last night fall in line with seasons past. Judges pick, Performer pick and Producer (Jimmy the Hat) pick...

Our first performer of the night is...

The Reverend Joshy: Judges pick - I'd Rather Go Blind: I actually thought this was pretty good, in other words, I didn't completely hate it. Of course the judges gave it a standing O (what else is new?). It wasn't that great you chuckleheads. Still, it was better than I expected. A-

Joshy's pick - Imagine: Lamo-rama! In easily the worst round (for all three) of the night, Josh picks this tepid song because it "means something to him." What it meant for me was that he's gonna get knocked down a notch. Even the butt-scotch-aroo kissing judges weren't all that jazzed. They tried feebly to compliment this performance, but they weren't fooling anyone. C

Jimmy's pick - No More Drama: Not as good as song 1, but miles better than song 2. However, it is just more of the same gospelly rigmarole that we are accustomed to. We even get the stripper routine with the jacket being tossed--that is HOT! NOT. B+

Memorable Hometown moment: Joshy is definitely comfortable on stage in front of thousands... he just ate that right up in his home coliseum. I believe Josh will be creating a new genre of music called "Joshpel".

Next up is Jessica Sandwedge... Judges Pick - My All: the softer side of Jessica comes out in a very high degree of difficulty song. She surprisingly shows some restraint and blew it away. This was a very good performance and raised the already high bar even higher. She also didn't look like a child prostitute for once, which is a good thing. A

Jessica's Choice (and a bad one) - Don't Want to Miss a Thing: Another one of those used up, already done eleventy jillion times songs... this song needs to be retired! It's like listening to a thousand cats jumping off the Sears Tower. I would call this very average at best, and in fact, she had pitch problems towards the end. The last note was painful and warbled. In sum, it was just ghastly, and probably my least favorite song of the night. C

Jimmy's Choice - I'll Be There: It started out pretty good, and she even sounded like Whacko there for a while. Then ghetto Jess came out and she started doing that growling thing again. Growling like a bobcat aint gonna get the job done here, not on this song. I think she
may have hurt her chances of landing in the finale. B-

Memorable Hometown moment: Didn't know Jess was home-schooled and had a very sheltered social life. No wonder she can sing so well if that is all she had time for! (she probably hated her parents up until now). Performing on an aircraft carrier would have been highly exquisite, and the helicopter ride along the coast would be a ton of fun.

And phinally, Philly Cheesedip... Judge pick - Beggin: I beggin' your pardon? Never heard of this song, but man, was it a great choice by Steven for Phil? Hellz ya it was! I had thought that both Josh and Jessica's performances would be tough to beat, but Phil pulled out all the stops on this one. He nailed the melody part as well as kept the "phil"elements alive. This is definitely the kind of song Phil needs to be writing and performing. A

Phil's Choice - Disease: Phortunately for Phil, everyone else sucked in this round as well. How ironic that when they're picking their own songs, they flubbed the dub. This was not bad by any means, it was just too easy. One of the judges said he could do this song in his sleep, and I tend to agree. B-

Jimmy's Choice - We've Got Tonight: wow, just wow... I was not expecting that kind of subdued performance from Phil. I thought Jimmy the hat was out to get him and that he was going to fall on his face, head, neck, chest, breast and chin area. On the contrary, my friends. Phil just cemented himself in to the finale with that absolutely brilliant and eclectic performance. This was hands down, the best performance of the night. For the judges to give "under construction" Phil a standing O, that is really saying something. A+

Memorable Hometown moment: I think this was Phil's clip, but there was a shot of a really pissed off and mean looking security guard pushing people away from Phil. It only lasted a second, but it was AWESOME! Guess he was not enamored by the whole screaming crowd thing. Also very touching was to see Phil get emotional at the parade. I think that is the first time I've ever seen him crack. Awwwww...

All in all, a pretty decent night for all. You take away the middle round, and we got a topnotch production. But because of the 2nd round, I'm going to give the night to Philly, without a sliver of doubt. His 1st and 3rd performances were stellar and were two of his best, if not his best performances of the whole season.

I am going to give the runner up award to Jessica by a very slim margin over Josh, but only because her first round song was scintillating.

Josh, sorry man, but it's so hard to look forward to your stuff. The first song was good, then it just went downhill. Even though his 3rd song was favorable, I was, at that point, not interested.

With that said, I was actually motivated to throw some votes Phil's way. I dialed 20 times and got through twice, so hopefully that's a good sign.

And even though Jessica edged Josh slightly, I think Ms Sanchez will be headin' for home this week. The first guy/guy finale since Dave Cook vs Bearhair Archuleta.

I just hope that Phil can carry this exceptionally timed momentum swing for one more week.

Stay thirsty my friends...


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Silly Sing & Swing

Last evening's two hour extravaganza marathon Idol event was pretty entertaining and certainly had its share of stupendous performances. However, these two hour monsters are becoming more about the show, rather than the singing.

Let's cut some fat, shall we... Thankfully, the Tommy Hillswinger experiment disappeared into the night with nary a whisper. His impact was certainly realized by Phil Phillips, with a big goose egg. So that segment is gonzo... How about we cut the Coke guy out - you know, the dude with the bling-bling neck brace... Do we need that distraction? Personally, I could care less, and will fast forward his azz off my TV during the finale. Although I like the "behind the scenes" bits, we have had them several weeks in a row, it seems. It has reached a level of superfluous-ness and will render future shows less impactful. Unrelated filler like the Rock of Ages piece should be played on Thursday nights, not Wednesdays. That just turned out to be a huge marketing gimmick for the movie, simple as that. It is my opinion that they ran a rehearsal and still came up with extra time, and therefore threw in the GROUP song with all four singers. Save it for Thursday nights. Bring the show back to an hour, please. And thank you for your time.

Now onto the show... The themes were 1. Random? and 2. "Songs I wish Judas Priest would perform on the show." Oops, wrong crowd... I meant, "Songs they wish they would have written."

Bring it on!

Philip Squared or P2 - Have You Ever Seen the Rain: Phil defies the laws of pitch. It don't matter what he sings, it's like he's immune to pitch issues because he's just so damn unique. In any event, the unkempt and unshaven Phil chose wisely and performed brilliantly. A- Volcano: One of Phil's best performances to date, definitely the right kind of song to showcase his quirky, indie sensibilities. He's BAAAACK! A

Holly Cabinboy - Faithfully: Hot steak Hollie continues on the path of redemption by doing this Journey remake. And she has some mighty Swiss miss marshmallow balls to be taking on a song that the DAWG performed a zillion times. Nearly flawless and good for her for making this a competition. A I Can't Make You Love Me - Oh Hollie, wrong song for you, girl! You were pretending to feel this, but you are too inexperienced to connect... Although it wasn't as bad as the judges said it was, it was not up to par with everyone else's 2nd efforts. B

Josh The Messiah Leadhead - You Raise Me Up: Meh... Nothing to see or hear folks. Same old, same old. Boring song, typical Josh performance. Not to say it's awful, but it is mundane and routine. Of course, the judges ate it up, and Josh just stands there smiling that smug smile. B- It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World: Better than his first performance, this song at least had a pulse higher than that of a zombie. Did it deserve a standing O? Of course not, but did you expect anything less? Same answer. A-

Jessica Saladshooter - Let's Steal Away: What was up with all the suitcases on stage? Is this a singing competition or the train station to Hogwarts? This was just ok for me. Not her best, but not utter crap like last week's Proud Mary. She's got the growl down for sure. B+ And I’m Tellin’ You: As Jimmy the Hat mentioned, you back Jessica in a corner and she fights back like a pissed off honey badger. This was, for me, her best performance to date. I am not a big fan of Jessica, but she hit this one out of the park, and onto Waveland Ave. (that’s for you, Cub fan). Range, tone, pitch, dramatic ending... All near perfect. A

Duet 1 - Philly/Joshy - This Love: 100 times better than last week's sack of sadness, You've Killed That Loving Feeling. Best duet ever, Steven? No, but it probably seemed like it, comparatively speaking. Phil stood out over Josh, hands down. A

Duet 2 - Hollie/Jessie - Eternal Flame: How about internal bleeding. Nice swing set on stage. This was goofy and awkward from the get go. Only when the two doofuses came out and played on the swing, did it get entertaining. Boys get an A, Girls C+

Quartet Combo - Waiting for a Girl/Guy Like You: Gratuitous time killer. At this point in the show, I am ready to drink paint. Please stop the madness of trying to cram in all this filler garbage. Group numbers, as I had mentioned, are for Thursday frickin' night. That said, the only part of the song that was interesting was when they cross harmonized on the chorus. Otherwise, blahhhh... B

Ryan Seakrust - Julianne Hough interchange: Just stop it. Please. F

So here are the rankings for the night--very close:


Good to see 'ol grayshirt back on top. May his good fortune continue for three more weeks. Had Hollie picked a better second song, she would be giving Phil a run. Jessica put herself back in contention with a solid night. Josh, it would seem, is cooler than Obama, the Pope and Brad Pitt combined. He is good, but not near as good as the three Kool-Aid drinking judges make him out to be.

I see both Josh and Hollie in the bottom two. Will we have a shocker outing with Josh going home, or has Hollie finally relinquished her ninth life? Goodbye Swiss Miss--you made me a fan, which all but guarantees you will be voted out, and for that, I'm sorry.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's Raining Royals

Due to BUSY time, I'll be keeping this short folks... Last night was British and 60's themes. Elise missed her boat on this one! She had all that classic British rock at her fingertips. Speaking of poor Elise, I told a few of you after the fact, that I wasn't surprised she was gone, for the following reasons:

a. Idiots and tweens are voting for the wrong people
b. Song Choice, song choice, song choice
c. Not the right demographic for typical voters (again, those teenage rodents making their impact felt throughout history).

That said, and with Hollie coming on strong, I guess it is easy to see any of them leaving the show at this point.

Very cool to see Silvio from the Sopranos as the guest mentor. His rapport with Jimmy "the hat" Bovine was pretty entertaining! I felt as though someone was gonna get whacked.

Let's get it on, cmon!

1. Holy Caymanislands - River Deep Mountain High: I believe this got the only Standing O of the night by the cheese-filled judging panel. Great song choice, great advice from Silvio and great performance by Swiss Miss. Solid A; 2nd Song - Bleeding Love: Hollie's voice is like buttah! It's so smooth and tasty! Seriously, AWESOME job and thanks again go to Silvio for his advice to her to just sing to "one" person, not a huge crowd. It was a little sappy for me, but perfectly executed. A-

2. Philly Cheese - The Letter: Mr. "No Melody" picks a good song and "phil-asized" it completely to his "wheelhouse". Still, it just comes across as typical Phil-andering and Phil-osophy... Been there done that, Capt Drab. Because I still like Phil and he's fun, B; 2nd Song - Time of the Season: It's time in the season to probably vote Phil out, unfortunately. This was Phil's worst performance EVER. I think he's performed better in his sleep, with a mouthful of chiclets. Although he shot for melody, he came up with travesty, and the falsettos and high parts ate him alive. I actually cringed like hearing nails on a chalkboard when the chorus came up... Oh my that was like watching your best friend jump down a elevator shaft. C-

3. Skillet Laine - Fortunate Son: Skylar brings her usual peppy and enthusiastic self to the party as usual, but for some reason, this didn't affect me at all. It was a bit milquetoast for my taste. The song has been done a zillion times before, this one added twang and sickening steel guitars. Hello Phil, new chalkboard is in town! Anyway, not my fave for Skylar... B; 2nd Song - You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: Sung much better and intimately than her first one. However, what the hell was this getup with people sitting on a park bench. How distracting is that. And is Skylar singing to them or about them? I'd be choking them for stealing my scenery--those chuckleheads. A-

Duet #1 - Philly and Josh-duh: Honestly, how could you take this seriously? It was sung either poorly, or over the top, or both. I did like Phil's fearless banter with Joshy before and after the performance, but seemed like Joshy was taking offense to the flirtatious overtones of one Philip the Prince of priceless facial tics Phillips. Geez, Josh, a bit homophobic, or maybe just don’t like other dudes getting in his personal space... hmmmm Sorry guys, this was C (which stands for comedy, calamity, catastrophe)

Jesska Spamcheese - Proud Mary: Started in typical Jessica balladic style, which was boring, then got fist pumping good. Jessica was up to task on the "rock" sensibilities of the song, which she bombed miserably on last week. Overall, nicely done and with a solid money note at the end. A-; 2nd Song - You are So Beautiful: This kind of song is perfect for Jessica's syrup-like delivery--she knows how her bread is buttered. The sitting on the floor with candles was interesting---thank goodness her dress didn't catch! Grade: A

Josh "the anointed one" Ludevisk - Aint Too Proud to Beg: or too proud to pick something out of your comfort zone. This was like having Skylar sing Chattahoochie Koochy, or some silly country song that a 4 year old could sing. No challenge whatsoever, but the judges continue to salivate and ooze green slime over this guy. Yes, he's very good, but he is not the best Idol ever, or whatever pompous thing Steven said. Therefore, Josh gets the annual title of "the anointed one." Song only gets a B; 2nd song - To Love Somebody: Better than his first song, but at that point I was too distracted by Josh's greatness that all I could see were sparkles in his teeth and eyes as the sound of Heaven was emanating from this man. According to the bum-licking judges, Josh will save the planet with his music like Bill and Ted did in "Excellent Adventure. Unfortunately, it feels more like a bogus journey. Song=A Judge Buttwiping=D-

Triplet #2 - Jessica, Hollie and Reba - Your Love is Lifting me Higher: the two divas and the ghost of Reba take on this song and despite the weird arrangement, I thought it was fun and showcased all three pretty equally. I would probably give Hollie the nod for the best of the three. It's just her night! A-

Rankings for the night:

Phil :(

Sorry Philly, you were simply outclassed for the first time all season by all your competition. Damn those kidney stones. I do like watching his demonic possession faces he makes as he sings--very beguiling.

Bottom three is anyone's guess, but I am going with Hollie, Jessica and Phil. I think Phil has been bailing water out of a sinking boat for quite some time, and he is finally resigned to letting the old rust bucket go under. Good to know ye!

I wish him well--he was a good sport. Stay tuned next week for 3 Divas and a Judge's Pet.

I can't wait for Hollie to win this whole thing--man, I love comebacks!!!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Mercury Rising

First of all, I apologize for not having an Idol update last week, as I was in Maryland on business... In fact, I didn't even get to watch it. I was very DISAPPOINTED to hear, however, that Colton was given his walking papers. Once again, America is a bunch of doofuses, and Idol should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the voting structure to wallow in the muck of absurdity.

Back to last night's show... GREAT theme night with Queen, and seeing Brian May and Roger Taylor still alive and kicking is pretty awesome. The medley at the front end of the show was miles better than the usual tripe they do on Thursday nights. Watching some of the footage of classic Queen with Flamboyant Freddy Mercury was priceless. The other part of the night was Performer Choice, but I was very perplexed by some of the song selections.

So how do the performers fare--did they rock us, or did they cave in to being under pressure?

Jessica Saycheese - Bohemian Rhapsody: Sorry little Jessi... not your forte. Although she sung the slow parts good, she blew chunks on the rock sections. This song should have went to someone else. C+ Jessi's 2nd song was "Luke, I am Your Father" by Darth Vader. Actually, this was quite impressive. She made up for her earlier gaffe with this number. Although not a fan, I gotta give her props for hitting this out of the park. A

SkyMall Lane - The Show Must Go On: Skyler is becoming a star right before our eyes. Her stage presence is better than anyone else on the show and she can belt. I hate to say it, I am now a fan. HAHA!!! Mark, what the hell are you smoking? Her and Josh are now in the driver's seat for the finale. She is consistent and has not had a bad performance yet. A- SkyMall's 2nd song was "Tatoos on this Town"... Ok, never heard of it, but sounds like twangy country again. It just doesn’t matter. This "thick boned" girl (as Hollie called her) is dialed in. I think she would have given Scotty a run for his money last season, moreso than Lauren Alaina... B+

Joshy Leadfoot - Crazy Little Thing Called Love: Cmon judges, REALLY??? A standing O?? I beg to differentiate--it was good, but not THAT good. I will say that Josh has stepped up his game and is clearly a frontrunner now, but the judges are being a little too charitable on the schmoozing and pimping. Enough already... Still, that was pretty damn good... A Josh's 2nd song was "Ready for Love"... Not familiar with this song at all, but it was pretty intense and grabbed your attention like a python grabs a rat. However, once again, it did NOT deserve a standing O! Are the judges being paid off by the Reverend Leadfoot??? Lordy Lordy!! A-

Elysium Toastwand - I Want it All: This was good, but somewhat underwhelming... She should have been the one to sing Bohemian Rhapsody, not Jessica. It had some good rocker qualities, but just felt a little undercooked. B+ Elise's 2nd song was "Bold As Love"... Have to agree with the judges here--she could have picked ANY song she wanted and she went obscure with this--what the hell are you thinking, Elise? Elise may be going home due to song choice, not lack of talent. This happens all the time, and yet, people don't learn. B-

Philip Flipodelphia - Fat Bottomed Girls: That's what makes Philip go round! This is the Grayman we wanted to see the last couple weeks! Nicely played. How funny were the snippets of his roommates making fun of his stage mannerisms and creepy psycho possessed faces he makes when he sings? It's true! Great song Phlippy! A Phil's 2nd song was The Stone. Ok, are he and Elise studying how not to win Idol together? Another obscure and very "arthouse" song for Phil... As opposed to "wheelhouse", right DAWG?? Love the guy, but he and Elise are no longer front-runners. Personally, I kinda dug the vibe of the song, but America won't... B-

Hally Cabinslaw - Save Me: Hollie is coming on strong as of late, and has screwed up all the voting and plans for everyone. She is the proverbial wrench in the gears! The last couple weeks have seen her go from zero to hero. It used to be a given that little Swiss Miss was a shoo-in to go home... Not anymore. B+ Hollie's 2nd song was
a Miley Cyrus song (ugh, did I really type that name?)... However, Hollie demonstrated how a real singer would sing it, which is why she got so many glowing reviews of her performance. She really did blow the doors off this and I thought I was going to absolutely hate it. She changed my opinion--what can I say? A

Rankings for the night:


So who is going be singing "we are the champions" and who is going to "bite the dust"?

Bottom 3 could be anyone... I don't trust America to vote with their heads. I fear that Elise is probably going home. She did not win any new fans and for fans like me, she didn't inspire us to vote. This is unfortunate. Jessica would have been much higher, but her Queen rendition was sung more like a Jester.

Also, I just want to say, I am not a proponent of these two hour shows. My wheelhouse is stuck on Idle.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

80's - Stuck in Idol

Last night, it was 80's Night on Idol, so naturally being an 80's kid, I was excited by the prospect of actually having a good show, maybe even better than last week's. Well I have been wrong on a few occasions, and my expectations got their @ss kicked last night.

There is a lot of great material in the 80's from a musical standpoint, and I felt that a ton of it got left on the table. I'm sure part of the reason is the age of the performers--they don't really know the 80's that well, and therefore can't connect to the music. This was clearly the case, as this show was a buzzkill and slapped the fun right off my face...

Once again, we have a two hour show for eight performers, which means duets. The duets were probably the highlight of the evening. The show begins with a dramatic scene of Heehaw getting the heave-ho, complete with musical dirge reeking of melodrama.

Then the judges come out, and I must say Randy is dressed even more clown-like than normal.

Gwen Stefani and her bass player were the chaperones for the 80's, which is weird because I don't think she or her band were around in the 80's... Oh well, were any of us around (mentally) in the 80's?

Let's get to it--leading us off last night was...

Deanjaya Packnship - I like it: I didn't really like it. However, it was definitely his best performance of the season. I didn't hate it as much as usual, because he used his regular voice and not just the falsetto that has been defiling our ears. We will probably have to endure his ramen noodle covered head for a while longer... B-

Elise Testarossa - I Want to Know What Love is: Ohhh Elise, why the hell didn't you sing Hallelujah??? You would have brought the house down! Instead, you give us a sloppy ballad in which you got pitch-slapped, and you didn’t look comfortable at all. I don’t know whether to blame the Mentors or Elise herself, but this was a stale performance. After the last two weeks of kicking butt, she will be at risk of going home again. C

Duet #1 (Colton and Skylar - Islands in the Stream): At first, I was like, what the he11 is this? Colton singing country? However, it was done very well, and he pulled it off. Skylar was right in her element. A

Philly Phillipian - That's All: That is what I was asking myself after that performance... What is going on here? The best of the competition, IMHO, Elise and Phil are actually looking very uncomfortable and not sure of themselves for the first time. I think he was nervous that his bro-in-law was up there. AND, speaking of that, the bro played some real questionable off-notes towards the end of the song... I was not a fan of this one, but he will redeem himself. B-

Duet #2 (Hollie and Deanjaya - I'm So Excited): Meh... this wasn't anywhere near as good as the first duet, and was high school play-ish... Very vanilla, very gray, like Phil's shirts. C Actually, Phil's shirts have more personality than these two.

Jorsh LaBeck - If You Don't Know Me By Now: Another powerful vocal, another weird sportcoat with strange patterns on it. Where does he get this stuff? In any event, Josh did his thing, which is to slightly lose control and go into a mini-conniption. This behavior seems to be rewarded by the judges. However, if he does it next week, what will they then say? Dawg, you gonna havta stop using the over-da-top singing and just be real, dawg. B

Yessica Manwich - How Will I Know?: So we now know that Jessica's alter ego is "Baby Cheese"... Not sure what that means, but okay... The Diva in Waiting picks another Diva song, this one by Whitney Houston. She is very good, but not great on this rendition. It was just aight. However, the Dawg says that Jessica "gotta have it!" And I thought that Cold Stone doesn't sound very good right now. B+

Duet #3 (Elise and Phil - Stop Dragging my Heart Around): What I thought were the two contenders to win the show are singing together. I think both Philly and Elise showed considerable improvement here from their solo performances. A-

Holy Cabinfever - What a Feeling: What a feeling it is to be at the bottom of the votes, eh? That is where Hollie will be tonight with that really awful performance. Poor, poor little Swiss Miss girl... She has no idea who she is or what to do with her voice. She is such a nice gal, but her nerves, over-thinking and lack of confidence has taken its toll. It was the first time the mentors gave good advice, and she didn't take to it. D+

Duet #4 (Josh and Jessica - I Knew You Were Waiting for Me): Actually, this was very good, and I would put it up there with Duet #1 as overall best of the night. I didn't know Jessica could growl like that and just go off, like Josh usually does. She matched him growl for growl... it was like they were in a duel, rather than duet, but it was really fun to witness. A

Cotton Blitzen - Time After Time: I was impressed that Colton admitted to ripping off the band that re-made this Cyndi Lauper tune. We all knew it would be some goth/rock version, but you still have to perform and have conviction. In both cases, Colton succeeded. I really liked the version he did, even though he still wears skinny jeans. And yah the drummer was freaking awesome! Band = A+ Colton = B+

Skylark Lemon - Wind Beneath My Wings: She was given the money slot and delivered the goods last night. As much as I am Phil and Elise fans, Skylar blew away the competition. This is no huge feat mind you, since the night was disappointing overall, but by the end of that song, she was owning that stage. I honestly didn't know this gun-toting cowgirl had those big notes in her. And, they actually gave her something flattering for her to wear for once. No more bottom 3 for Skylar (until next week)... A

What to do, what to do... hard to rank last night, as the worst went to first, and the favorites floundered. However, one can see that I am hardly biased based on the grades. I'm objective, dammit! Haha... :)



Disappointing night for me as my two heroes took a slight tumble. Phil will survive this, but Elise has a razor thin margin of error to deal with. She will be in danger of bottom 3 again. Deanjaya had a great night (for him), but it was just ok. Lucky for him that everyone else was mediocre and that the judges seem to be pimping him. It's actually irresponsible that they are going all out to make him sound better than he does.

I think the bottom 3 will be Deanjaya, Elise and Hollie. Swiss Miss should get the axe, as she is trending towards mediocrity and Deanjaya's stock is rising, much to all of our chagrin. I'm ok with either one of them leaving. Let's hope that Elise gets enough votes from rockers that remember her last two weeks performances were topnotch and she deserves to stay.

And finally, I can't believe no one did a Duran Duran or Flock of Seagulls song!!! It's the 80s, ya noobs!!!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sing Me a Song Piano Punk

Last night, we were presented with the Billy Joel songbook, which contains a vast collection of rock, pop and bubblegum ballads. Most of the performers last night probably have never heard of Billy Joel or maybe they think he's some redneck named "Billy Joe".

In any event, you could definitely tell that some of the singers appreciated the artistry that is Billy Joel, and some didn't connect or even take the material seriously.

We were also subjected to the fashion expertise of the one and only Tommy Hilfiger, who coincidentily was in the news lately for running sweat shops in Bangladesh. Although, he has agreed to "upgrade" the facilities, it appears to only be in retrospect of being busted. Shame, shame, Mr. Hilfiger...

In addition, we have the musings and mastery of one "Diddy". I remember when his name was Puff Daddy. I wonder what happened to the Puff part. I'm thinking it's still there, just well hidden by his PR team.

So we are down to our Top Ten finalists. Funny how the best performers last night were the ones that stuck to their guns regarding fashion, hair and appearance. Bravo to you stubborn cats!

Without further ado, let's get to it...

Dirtlaundry Brackencrap: Only the Good Die Young - Let your hair flow, Rapunzel... this was the only good advice he got all night. Even so, the song was just "meh". His voice is grating on the ears and on the nerves. He was pitchy and forgettable. This song deserves better... D+

Erika Van PattyMelt: New York State Of Mind - Erika gets a total makeover in the hair and apparel categories and damn it worked. She killed this song in a good way. This is the song that propelled Kim Locke in season 2 to a top 3 finish and Erika matched her note for note. I think the new image will work for her, but let's hope America throws some much-deserved votes her ways... A

Josh Leadfoot: She’s Got A Way - Josh was clearly either unfocused or uninspired by the "Billy Joe" book of songs. He wasn't his usual soulful self. Probably his weakest performance to date. Still, he's miles ahead of Sanjaya I and II. However, Josh gave a flaccid performance and therefore gets a flaccid... C

Skylark Lemon: Shameless - Let's get one thing straight... Skyler did NOT do a Billy Joel song, she did a Garth Brooks song. Although, I applaud her craftiness to fit a Billy Joel song into her "wheelhouse" (as this seems to be the trendy word of the year), I am disappointed that it was such a copycat rendition of the Garth version. Like Josh, this was uninspiring and feeble. C+

Elise Testpilot: Vienna - Performance of the night and even
better than Erika. Not only did Elise choose to do her own song, but chose to also dress in a style of her own. Again, it worked brilliantly, as she portrtayed class and grace while belting out this original Billy Joel tune like nobody's business. She got a well-earned standing O by the judges and like Erika, she needs all the help she can get. America just can't get it right quite yet and keep sending Elise to the bottom... Get a clue, you fools! A+

Philly Cheese Phillips: Movin' Out - Great song choice and way to stick to the drab gray garb, man! The older performers are definitely confident in their own images and fashion choices, as true artists should be. Although appearance makes a difference in the business world, it doesn't make you a better singer. Philly was on fire last night with this tune and showed his true potential. He was embedded into this song and made it his own, like he wrote it himself... A

Holy Cavanaugh: Honesty - The good news... she looked awesome. That's it for the good news. Now the reality... This was Holly's worst performance of the season. She did not connect to the song at all, and oversung it, like she is in some unspoken, secret competition with Jessica to see who can out-diva the other. It didn't help that they put her on some big, weird pedestal, ottoman, hassock, whatever the hell you want to call it. The production was pompous and the vocal was superfluous. C

Heehaw Hand: My Life - Heehaw is becoming the Sanjaya of the show. He cannot be taken seriously as a singer. He is a performer, but more atune to stand up comedy or some goofy variety show where kids can dump goo and slime on his head. I believe that is where Heehaw is headed. Although the early changeup of the song was cute and cuddly, the performance was horrific and a travesty of epic proportions. His vocals have eroded to joke level, and the sad part is that he will continue to flourish on the merits of his goofiness. I will give him props for his
conversation with Hilfiger--that was funny. D

Jessica Sandwich: Everybody Has a Dream - Make no mistake, this was very good, but then again, she set her bar up pretty high a few weeks ago. I would agree with the judges for the most part that it was excellent, but it also reeked of over-indulgence. I believe this to be another example of not connecting with the song, and just diva-worship at a high level. She has the talent and chops to win this whole thing, but she needs to believe in the material. B+

Colt45 Dixon: Piano Man - Nothing like being in the money slot at the end of the show, especially if you can slay the song. Colton did just that and more. Again, he went his own direction, did his thing and blew the stinkin' doors off this song. Although Elise probably takes the night for best of, this was my favorite performance of the night. He connected to the song, made it unique and sung it like he felt something. And even if that hair cut is PUNKY, it works for him... A

Well there ya have it peeps... I dont' think I've ever given four "A" grades before, but we have ourselves a competition. It's too bad we can't eliminate Heyjune tonight, but yet have him stay
on the show for comedy purposes. That would be great--a win/win forsure.

Rankings for the night:









Dandruff (Sanjaya II)

Heehaw (Sanjaya I)

If everyone is on their game, this should be the best top 8 ever, from top to bottom. The remainder of the season will be interesting as contestants struggle with song choices and their own self-images. America needs to step up and keep the talent in the pool.

Bottom 3 should be Heehaw, Dandruff and Josh... However, I will bet that somehow, and injustly so, Erika or Elise will be there as well. Josh is going nowhere. I think Sanjaya II may be the one to go. If it is either of the E girls, the judges will use their save...

Until next week, rock on ya rubes!