Tuesday, February 28, 2012
AI Season 11- Top 24 Guys Performance, 02-28-12
For the first time this season, Ryan, dapper in a tweed suit, polka dot pocket square, and pompadour, runs the gauntlet. He starts with the girls, who are not performing tonight, and ends with Heejun, who either copies or mocks Ryan's trademarked This Is American Idol.
Steven is wearing a gray and black zebra striped jacket over a black satin shirt. JLo is in some sort of below-the-knee, slinky white, tight, two-piece outfit that looks like it's made from sparkly latex. And Randy... Randy is wearing the most infuriatingly stupid shirt that I've ever seen. The huge collar stands so high that it hits him at mid-ear, like he's the Mad Hatter or a younger Cratchit. Or a turtle. One point of the huge collar is red and white polka dot, the other point is white polka dot (evidently seamed in the back), the front button band is black polka dot, and the shirt itself is blue. There must be some sort of subliminal message woven into this shirt, because its very existence is pissing me off.
Ryan explains that on Thursday, 5 guys and 5 Gals will remain, oh but the Judges each get a Wild Card pick, so that 10 is really 13. And of course the Top 12 guys (from whom the Top 5 will be chosen) is really the Top 13 because a surprise guy will be added.
This show is so exhausting.
#1 Reed. All of the guys made new home movies, which we will see. Reed is from a small town in Wisconsin. Reed likes cheese curds (it's in the Wisconsin Charter, y'all). Reed has a couple of cute nieces. Tonight, he's wearing a gray shirt and skinny gray slacks. He's singing Moves Like Jagger, a song whose title I recognize, but whose melody I know not, so I have no idea if he's doing it justice. That said, he sounds fine, singing, moving, and playing the drums a bit. The judges all approve. Oh Reed, do not lick your nose. Please.
#2. Adam. Adam is from Pennsylvania. He has a baby, a wife, a dog, and a house. He is a Cordon Bleu chef. He says that there is a large black woman trapped inside of him. To prove the point, he's singing Think tonight, channeling the largest black woman I can name (in all senses). He's wearing a black leather jacket, a purple tee, and there's a Terrible Towel hanging from his back pocket. This performance is unremarkable, though the final note is good. The judges love it.
#3. Deandre. We see some old home movies, plus new footage of Deandre's adorable sister. Deandre and his curls are singing something by Earth Wind and Fire. He starts too high, which only emphasizes how weak his voice is. Yikes, this is awful. However, the judges once again love it. Steven loves it enough that he interrupts JLo's critique (which wasn't much of a critique anyway).
#4. Colton. If anything, Colton's hair is even more ridiculous than before. We catch a glimpse of Colton's upper middle class childhood home. He says that people ask him how he gets his hair to do that, and he seems to think that they're complimenting him rather than taking notes on what not to do with their own locks. I don't know the song he is singing, but I am so distracted by how much I hate his hair that I probably wouldn't have heard it anyway. I do notice that he dances around on top of the grand piano, and that JLo looks like she's in pain. Evidently, JLo's Pain Face means that she's pleased, because all three, once again, love the performance.
#5. Jeremy. Jeremy (who?) works in some kind of clinic, and he seems to have decorated his tee shirt with strips of electrical tape. He's a big guy with a soft speaking voice. He begins his song (the title of which I did not catch) on The Stairs of Seriousness. For such a large fellow, he has a very small, boy-band voice. I'll be dipped if I can hear what the Judges are hearing, because as far as I can tell, that was barely mediocre.
Oho- Steven blatantly references JLo's supposed Oscar Night nip slip. She acts amused, but if I was ol' Stevie, I'd watch out.
#6. Aaron. Aaron is a voice teacher and a dance student. He's singing Never Can Say Goodbye. I would like, just once, to get through a season without someone feeling the need to wear a fedora. I am totally over the fedora. Aaron subscribes to the Crouch School of Stage Presence. His voice sounds weak to me, but he gets a Standing O from the Trio of Deafness. I don't get it.
#7. Chase. Chase is a college student from West Virginia. He's a musical theater major, and he can whistle. He's singing a song called Storm Warning, which appears to be the country version of Rap. He strides. He struts. He squats. He makes creepy faces. What he doesn't do is sing. But the judges are happy. Again. Some more.
#8. Creighton. Ryan calls Creighton a *free spirit*, which is probably code for *flake*. How the hell did I not know that Creighton is from South Dakota? I know I missed most of the audition shows, but you'd think that our local news would have thought that one of our own on the nation's top rated show was worth a mention. Creighton says he's from Brandon, but his home footage was obviously shot in Sioux Falls. (Edited to add: maybe the home footage was shot in New York, and the fact that I can't tell the difference between NYC and Soo Foo is going to annoy them). He's singing Cyndi Lauper's True Colors. Seriously. And he's nailing it, in a fringed vest, no less. Go Creighton.
#9. Phil Phillips (or as he's known elsewhere on The Interwebz- P2). Phil works in a pawn shop, and he has very supportive sisters, and an excitable father. He's singing In the Air Tonight, and I'm not really getting the Phil Collins vibe from him (or from the hairy chest peeking out of the open collar). It does amuse me to hear him say "drownding" though. This is angsty and growly, and I am underwhelmed. One hour and fifteen minutes, and nine singers into the show, and Randy finally offers the first hint of constructive criticism- about song choice, though he dials it back severely when the audience boos.
#10 Eben. Eben is a nice young man, with a nice family. Eben is singing Adele in a higher key than Adele herself sings. His burgundy jacket seems ill fitting (with a too-fitted waist, as though it was made for a girl. There are some bad notes in there, and JLo is shaking her head, not in a good way either. Randy actually points out the bad notes, but JLo hastens to reassure Eben that wonky singing doesn't really matter in this here singing competition.
#11.Heejun. I don't know how much of Heejun is real, and how much is Performance Art, and I don't really care. He may be the most original contestant this show has ever had, and I'm going to enjoy him for as long as he lasts. He's singing Angel, but not the Sarah Maclachlan song. He starts out very quietly, but he warms into it. Heejun has a lovely tone, but his enunciation still needs work. Heejun gets more of an actual critique from the judges than anyone else has gotten tonight, but I don't think it matters. He's this year's Sanjaya, except that he has actual talent. I think he's a lock for Top 12.
#12. Joshua. Ryan says that Joshua is being called Mantasia, as though that's a good thing. I didn't like the original version, and I am sure to dislike this new iteration. He's singing one of Jennifer Hudson's songs, and I think he's oversinging every single note (just like Fantasia),which means that the judges are going to eat this up with a spoon. Yep- Standing O. I give up.
Okay, now we get the surprise guy. I'm not happy about this development- the judges were supposed to winnow the kids down to the best of the lot, and if they screwed up and didn't do their jobs, dock their pay. This revamping of the rules is annoying. The only way I will be able to accept this wrinkle is if Jermaine is the one brought back. And since I want Jermaine, I steel myself for David Leathers. Or worse yet, Richie Law.
Well, whaddaya know- it is Jermaine. My lordy, he's tall. The top of Ryan's pompadour barely reaches Jermaine's purple shirted shoulder.
Nooooooooooo! Not Dance With My Father! I hate this song. I hate it so much that I try just to listen to Jermaine's lovely baritone and tune out the insufferably manipulative lyrics. I'm not having much success in that. Afterwards, Ryan brings Jermaine's mama out. She looks younger than her son.
So, the phone lines are open now. I'm not voting, but I'm sure someone is.
My Best tonight: Reed and Jermaine
My Favorite: Heejun
My Worst tonight: Eben, Deandre, and Colton
Who's going home? Hell if I know. We'll find out Thursday.