Tuesday, March 23, 2010
AI Season 9- Top 11 Performance
Apparently, the judges are going to enter from center stage for the duration. Kara has very pretty hair tonight, thigh high boots, and a weirdly constructed, royal blue sack-dress. Ellen is in an ice cream suit and scarf. Randy is in his usual sweater and beads. Simon is wearing a v-neck charcoal cardigan with the sleeves pushed up past his elbows.
The theme tonight is #1 Billboard Hits. Billboard has been tabulating this stuff since Medeival times, so just about any song is up for grabs. And it wasn't an early April Fool's joke- Miley Cyrus...terrible-posture Miley Cyrus... often dressed like a hooker Miley Cyrus... can't sing a single note without computer help Miley Cyrus... mouth-breather Miley Cyrus..."that" Miley Cyrus is "mentoring" people who are mostly older than her, and entirely more talented. Way to go, show.
First up is Lee, singing The Letter, a song I don't love. Miley thinks he needs more stage presence, and she may be right (dammit- I agree with her). He's wearing a dark suit, multiple necklaces, and some sort of breast pocket jewelry that involves chains and shiny enamel. Lee always has a little trouble, pitchwise, but outside of that, I like this arrangement, which is heavy on brass and jazz styling. Our friend Lorah thinks Lee's hair is thicker, darker, and curlier than before. I do believe that the stylists have had their way with him.
For once, Paige isn't wearing romper shorts. Instead, she's in a drapey white shirt, black leggings, and chunky, very high heels. Her speaking voice is a little squeaky, but last week she couldn't talk at all, and yet she sang just fine. She's going to do Phil Collins's Against All Odds, and wow... she starts out weak and wobbly, and goes downhill from there. This entire performance is purely terrible. I don't think a single note is in tune. Afterwards, Paige lies to the judges and says that she had fun. It sure wasn't fun to listen to.
And Tim, in a nice gray blazer over a black and white striped shirt, is singing Queen? We decide that this can't be a good idea. And we're right. The singing is bad enough, but Tim foolishly decides to run and slide across the stage. This is the definition of corny. Also pitchy.
Aaron has a crush on Miley, which is not exactly surprising (though she's about 20 years too old for him). He's wearing a black denim jacket over a black and white gingham shirt, and jeans with frayed knees. He's going to sing Aerosmith's Don't Wanna Miss a Thing, which promises to be another trainwreck. He's far too tentative at the beginning (he also has laryngitis), but otherwise, he actually sounds good. In fact, I think this is his best performance. Also, either they're doing his makeup better, or his skin is clearing up. Either way, he's a cute as a bug's ear.
Ah, now I see where Miley gets her scary eyes. Mom looks just like her.
Crystal sometimes looks a little... how should we say... homeless. But tonight, she's beautiful- all done up for the Earth Mother Prom in a long dress, and really pretty hair. And she's singing Me and Bobby McGee. Many on this show have attempted Janis. And until now, no one has done her justice, but Crystal's gospel/blues take on the song is perfect. Fantastic. Wonderful.
I wouldn't want to follow that performance, but Mike, in a black velvet jacket, is doing okay with When a Man Loves a Woman. He throws in too many riffs, and embroiders the song more than I like, but his voice is lovely, and this is a great song for him. Yes it's a safe, and maybe even an easy, choice. But it's also a pleasing performance.
Miley suggests that Andrew ditch the guitar for I Heard It Through The Grapevine. So he does, emphatically proclaiming in his safari jacket: I HEARD it through the GRAPEvine, JUST about to LOSE my mind. This is not so much a song, as it is a stump speech, and I don't think hanging on to the guitar would have helped. Simon is right- Andrew got in on the strength of one really great performance in Hollywood, which may well have been a fluke. He's done nothing even vaguely comparable since.
Katie reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode where the beautiful actress is really an ancient Egyptian Priestess who stays young by practicing black magic. She's the oldest teenager I've ever seen (easily older than Miley, who is 49 and twice divorced). At least tonight, she's dressed like a kid in a a black leather jacket, suede boots, a peace symbol t-shirt, and suspenders. Lorah thinks her hair is darker than last week, and I think Lorah is right. She's singing Big Girls Don't Cry (the Fergie version, not Franki Valli), and you know what? She sounds good. In fact, this is the best she has sounded, and she actually looks comfortable onstage.
Casey is wearing a blue Casey Shirt and loose hair. And he's singing Huey Lewis, which sounds like a disaster on paper, but is actually really good. Not that Casey is doing anything different, or particularly interesting, with The Power of Love, in fact, it could fairly be called karaoke. But it's good karaoke, and I am enjoying the hell out of it.
Didi is singing You're No Good, and I can hear from the first note in the Miley Mentor clip that this is going to be major league bad. She's wearing a black one-sleeved dress with an asymetrical hem and knee boots, and is desperately trying to vamp the band, the audience, and the camera. Oh my, this isn't even Lounge Lizard worthy. It's horrible, from beginning to end, and Didi knows it.
What in the hell did Siobhan do to her hair? It's teased and moussed (or whatever they use instead of mousse these days) into some sort of insane, pink-streaked mohawk. She's wearing a black, studded, t-back vest over a lace top, which is, in turn, over a t-shirt. We spend some time trying to figure out whose portrait is on the tee- but the best we can do is narrow the field to Dorothy Gale, Anne Frank, or Didi. She's singing Superstition, and this is another performance that should not work. But it does. In fact, it's fantastic!
Best tonight: Crystal, Casey, and Siobhan.
And the voters have a pretty good field to choose from for the worst- any one of Tim, Paige, Didi or Andrew could, and should, go home. If I was going to save any of those four, it would be Paige, who does have an amazing voice, when she remembers how to use it. The ten survivors all get to go on the tour, so this elimination is vitally important for all of them. I can't wait to find out who gets the boot.