Thursday, March 10, 2011
AI Season 10, 03-09-10, Top 13 Performance
The kids come out, and there is lots of sparkle and prom-ishness. The theme tonight is: A Song By Your Personal Idol. This should be interesting.
#1. Lauren's idol is Shania Twain, which surprises me. I was certain it would be Steven Tyler. Lauren has a personal style that is odd, but she generally pulls it off. Not tonight- she's wearing a floaty blue top made of some light fabric (possibly even chiffon), that has a belt and ruffles running up the sides, and large metallic things, and it's way too busy. She has paired it with black leggings and ballet flats. I complain about the girls wearing heels constantly, but this is one outfit that would have benefited from the height. It's extremely unflattering. Unfortunately, the performance is no better. This song does nothing for her voice, and there are pitchy moments throughout. They do it gently, but the judges are unanimous in criticizing her (for, I think, the first time). Lauren tries to be brave about it.
#2. Casey's idol is Joe Cocker. We see a photo of a young, and goofily adorable Casey. Casey is being mentored by Jimmy Iovine, and he's singing A Little Help From My Friends. He starts on the stairs of seriousness, and.... ooooohhhh yeahhhhhhhh..... Casey nails it- this is a wonderful, joyful performance. Steven ventures into Paula territory, saying that Casey has a Rainbow of Talent and a Plethora of Passion.
#3. Ashthon's idol is... wait for it... Diana Ross... of course. She's wearing a truly unfortunate silver satin, one shouldered, boob-squisher of a dress. I don't recognize the song, whether that means it's obscure, or that Ashthon is butchering it, I don't know. Whichever it is, this is awful. Her voice has no depth or beauty, and there are bad notes throughout (which are obvious even though I don't know the song). Randy layers on the faint praise, which is echoed by the other judges.
#4. Paul's idol is Ryan Adams. He's wearing a navy military-styled jacket with red piping, and sleeves that are too short. He's working with producer Don Was. Paul mystifies me- he has a small, thin, breathy, voice that I can barely hear. What I can hear, seems to be severely lacking in musicality. He performs this song by squatting and skipping and hopping all over the stage, while whispering the lyrics. Again: Mystified. As is Ryan, who does a spot-on imitation of Paul's gymnastics.
#5. Pia's idol is... sigh... Celine Dion. Confession time: Pia's Perfect Pageant Princess Persona annoys me well before she opens her mouth. She interviews with her hair slicked back, wearing black glasses. I like that look so much more than the short, golden, spangly thing she's wearing onstage (with one-shoulder... are there no two-shouldered dresses anywhere?). She seems to have borrowed James's largest scarf-tail, which trails to the floor behind her. This performance is everything I don't like about Celine, and the girls on AI who sing her. The judges love it though. JLo seems to be moved to tears, though she has a hard time meeting Pia's eyes.
#6. James's Idol is Paul McCartney, which surprises me. He's dressed in a James Costume, sans the tail (Pia had it, I guess). He's singing Maybe I'm Amazed. I had heretofore never noticed how often that particular string of syllables was repeated throughout this song. James sounded a bit weak and hesitant at first, but by the *ooooooooh* part, he was sailing, and he finished very strongly. It made JLo happy enough to giggle.
#7. Disposable Hayley's idol is Leann Rimes. Huh. Hayley has eschewed shoulders altogether, with a deep blue formal, whose bodice halves seem not only to be independent of each other, but free-standing. Hayley is not only not Patsy Cline, she's not the Patsy-Clone that Leann Rimes was at age 14. This is pretty terrible, and Randy tells her so. Hayley unwisely responds to the criticism.
#8. Jacob's idol is R. Kelly? Seriously? And as soon as he said that, I knew which song he'd be singing. Which he does, accompanied by a gospel choir. I do not dispute that Jacob deserves a spot in the Top 10 (or even the Top 5), but he exhausts me. He starts out at what passes for restrained in the Luskiverse, but I know that he's going to ramp it up. And yep- there he goes, right over the top. I get no pleasure from his performances, despite his talent. And, when he talks, he talks at lightning speed.
#9. Thia took Randy's ridiculous Michael Jackson comparison seriously. She's singing Smile, which she informs us, was written by Charlie Chapman. I don't know what the connection is between MJ and this song, but if she was dipping into the Jackson Oeuvre, she should have gone somewhere, anywhere, else. She's wearing an odd two-tone floaty gown (gray and white). Her performance is nice, but a total snooze. She's getting faint praise from the judges, none of whom mentioned the multiple messed lyrics. Thia is devastated by their lack of enthusiasm.
#10. I find it hard to believe that Stefano's idol is Stevie Wonder. Stefano is wearing a sleeveless, zipper-front leather vest with a popped collar over a shirt and tie. Wow, I'd never noticed the nasal quality of Stefano's voice before, but he's really nasal right up in his nasal, all over a truly uncontrolled vibrato. This is an awful song, and his performance skills consist of crouching and striding. I had been benignly in favor of Stefano, but he lost me on this one.
#11. I am not in the least surprised to find that Karen's idol is Selina. Karen has slicked back her hair and she's wearing at least 35 sparkly bangle bracelets on one wrist. She's wearing a sparkly black jumpsuit which she designed (the top looks like one of those commemorative ribbons). I like Karen, and this was okay, but that's about all it was.
#12. Scotty admires Garth Brooks. Shocker, I know. He's wearing an untucked blue shirt, and he is proving that he is not much of a talker. But he's certainly a singer, though I think there may be some sound problems because his usually powerful voice is fading in and out a bit. But Scotty gave another Scotty performance, full of Scotty side-mouth singing, and that lovely deep voice. He's not going anywhere.
#13. Naima's idol is Rhianna? Well, Rhianna certainly wears some whacked out clothes, and Naima is working overtime to follow suit. I'll try to describe the conglomeration: The top has a strapless leather empire bodice, and the skirt is an asymmetrical striped fabric thing that hangs in a tail along one leg. She has paired that with jeans bedazzled up the ying-yang, tucked into logging boots that have little tabs folded over the tops, sticking out all over. She has a feather thing in her hair, that trails onto her forehead, and long, S-shaped earrings that dangle to her shoulders (they reach her many necklaces, and toward the end of her performance, they become hopelessly entangled, pulling on her earlobe painfully). Oh yeah, and she's singing Umbrella. Of course. And she's doing it with a sort of Reggae flavor, which turns a horrible song even more horrible. The performance is the audio version of her outfit- a gawdawful mish-mosh, even without the thunderstorm at the end (I'm not kidding). Steven and JLo praise, but Randy tells the truth.
So, Thursday will bring us Diddy Whateverthehellhisnameisthisweek and Adam Lambert. I have no idea now many will go home, but I hope Lauren survives.