Wednesday, April 11, 2012

AI Season 11- Top 7 Performance, 04-11-12

We'll here's a new wrinkle in the opener- last week they placed cameras in the kids' hometowns to tape the shock and horror when their Idol is eliminated. Deandre's people were obligingly unhappy for our entertainment.

The rest of the contestants were sad when Deandre got the boot too- perhaps they have forgotten that the purpose of this show is to eliminate them one by one. Well no- the purpose of the show is to generate ratings which generates lots of money for a couple of people, but you know what I mean.

JLo is wearing a sheath dress constructed from gauze and electrical tape. Her hair is pulled back in a tight pony tail, and she has very long extensions. Once again, she's going with weirdly neutral lipstick. I wish she'd add just a bit of color.

Randy is in a blue jacket with red/white/blue piping over a white v-neck tee, and beads someone strung together in Kindergarten.

Steven is in a lizard print jacket and a black satin shirt. Given what he usually wears, this is nearly sedate.

Ryan is wearing a tan tweed suit with a red-brown tie.

Tommy Hilfiger gets a segment tonight, during which he, once again, stresses image. Some more. Still.

Ryan says that tonight's music can be any tune from any genre, as long as it came out between 2010 and now. This should satisfy those who whine that the music on this show is never relevant. It also means that I am not going to know a single song. Ryan also says that Akon (of that whee-hoo song) is guest mentoring tonight. And each hometown will have clips. Unless there's something particularly noteworthy in these clips, I'm not going to recap identically screaming crowds. You can just assume that each town loves its own kid.

#1. Skylar gets a greeting from her Favorite Grandpaw. Jimmy (hereafter: I) and Akon (A) approve of her choice, to the point of profanity in A's case. Skylar, singing some song I don't know, is wearing a dress with a black bustier top and a black and white print mullet skirt. She's holding her guitar, and once in awhile she strums it, but mostly she's singing while holding a guitar. Her high notes sound thin, but otherwise this is fine. The judges all love it.

#2. Colton plans to sing Love the Way You Love (Love the Way You Are?- the problem with two hours of music that I don't know is that I also don't know the song titles, and am therefore forced to guess, based on the kids' mumbling).

Dear Show: Please start putting the  song titles on a banner at the bottom of the screen,
Old and Going Deaf

Anyway, I&A suggest specific changes for Colton, which he readily accepts. Onstage, he's sitting at a white grand piano in the swirling fog. He's wearing a red and black hoodie over a sloppy looking tee shirt. And from now on, unless I say otherwise, you can assume that Colton's stupid hair annoys me. Colton is going to his Deandre Place with this song- there's lots of *one high note immediately followed by one low note* (a little more inflection, and it would qualify as a yodel). That said, he sounds fine. The judges once again love it.

Before the show started, I wondered how they were going to fill two full hours with only seven singers, but only two have sung so far, and we've eaten up a half hour. I should have known better than to worry.

So, we're doing duets tonight. But since we have an odd number of contestants, at least one auxiliary performance will have to be a trio.

First Duet: Elise/Phil. They do some goofy pre-interview stuff, where Elise bosses Phil around, and throws stuff at him. They're singing Somebody That I used to Know, a song that I am actually familiar with. Elise is wearing a black dress with a sparkly skirt, and strappy sandals with fringed ankle warmers. Phil is in a gray shirt. I think they're doing an excellent job with this song, and The Hub, who is more familiar with it, says it's perfect for them. Elise and Phil get universal love (from the judges,  from the audience, from The Taylors).

#3. Jessica has a large family. I&A are not familiar with the song she proposes to sing (Southern? Summering? Stutteirng?), but they love everything about her. On stage, she's wearing either a very short dress (over black leggings) or a very long shirt. Either way, it's a stiff and bulky looking concoction with Flash Gordon shoulders and sparkly stripes going every which way. She starts out sitting on the piano, and you  know what? I think this song is called Stuttering (which makes me vaguely uncomfortable). She gets universal praise from the judges, though JLo expresses a desire to hear *more* from Jessica.

Before the commercial, the camera pans down on Joshua surrounded by a group of girls. He looks up, tilts his head and crosses his eyes. Seriously.

#4. Joshua is singing Bruno Mars. I&A tell him to drop the band somewhere in the song, and sing by himself. On stage, he's wearing yet another too-small jacket. This one is white with black piping. He's also wearing a very pink shirt, very pink socks, and sparkly shoes. Season 3 winner Fantasia wishes him luck (calling Joshua Mantasia... urk). I have not the slightest notion of what the title of this song really is, but I'm pretty sure it's not Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers, which is what I could swear Joshua said. (Side note: whenever I try to say that, it always comes out: Rugger Bagie Guggie Bunkers). Anyway, Joshua has a color coordinated backup Tina Turner, and there are lots and lots and lots of words in this song, which tumble out faster than I can understand. Luckily, that pace leaves Joshua absolutely no time for his usual embroidery, therefore I actually like this performance more than anything else I've ever heard from him. He gets a Standing Judge O.

Ryan is doing his damndest to ship Colton and Skylar (Colar? Skyton?), but they deny it vehemently. I might think they're protesting too much, but no potential couple has ever had less chemistry. I would be very very (very) surprised if there was anything going on between them. They're singing Do You Want to Sing (Stay?). Skylar is wearing a red mullet dress.

Dear Skylar: Would it kill you, just once, to wear something with a straight hem?
Sincerely, Wishful Thinking

Colton is either wearing a short black shirt with 3/4 sleeves over a longer white shirt with buttoned cuffs and a long hem, or they're sewn together (which is actually what it looks like). Of course, I do not know this song, but it's not doing anything for me one way or the other. They do harmonize well, though. Steven and JLo love it. Randy is not so sure.

#5. Hollie's accent is front and center tonight, and she gets letters from friends and family in England. I&A like Hollie's last note, but think she needs more experience. Onstage, Hollie is wearing a short, white lace dress with a wide band of floofy feathers plastered around her hips. Her hair is gorgeous, and she's wearing pale pink, patent leather heels with big roses on the instep. She's singing Perfect, and she sounds better than she has for a couple of weeks. Iovine was right about that big last note. JLo begins her critique with a compliment on how pretty Hollie looks, which is not a good sign. JLo doesn't actually criticize, but she doesn't praise very convincingly either. Yikes, Steven starts out with compliments on the appearance too. Randy thinks it was better than last week, but it's obvious that none of them loved it.

Before the commercial, the camera pans in on Phil, who tilts his head and crosses his eyes. He and Joshua must have a pact.

#6. Phil's intro comes with the Sanford and Son theme song (you know, because Phil's dad runs a Pawn Shop. What's that you say? Sanford and Son ran a junkyard, so the song makes no sense? Yepper). He's going to sing some Maroon 5 song (I'm sort of surprised he was allowed to, given that Adam Levine is a judge on The Voice)(and aren't you surprised that I knew who he was without having to Google it?). I&A are not sure about this choice, but they're hopeful. Phil is calmly uninterested in competition jitters- he wants to win, but isn't threatened by Colton (and will, I think, be genuinely happy for any of the others if they win). Onstage, Phil looks a bit spiffier than usual, in a black jacket over a black tee. Of course, he has his guitar, but this song is a little different from his usual performance. It's jazzy and cool, and he has a sax player onstage with him. I like this. So does Steven. JLo liked it but was slightly underwhelmed. Randy says we've heard it before.

Hollie (pink leggings, fitted filmy white shirt with a peplum over a darker bra), Jessica (in one of the ugliest tops I've ever seen- it's long, with huge cutout shoulders, a sort of empire waist, long pointy tails, cutouts under the arms, and studs around the cutouts, it's all white, as are her pants), and Joshua (looking very much like a flight attendant in his black vest and blue shirt) goof around in their pre-interview. Joshua and Hollie are besties with wrestling and tickling and lots of body contact, which could make me wonder, except that I really don't think Joshua is into dating girls. They're singing Kelly Clarkson's Stronger, and Joshua opens (dancing in a very non-dating-girls way), then the girls join him on either side. I don't know if it's the song, or these three together, but this isn't very good at all. I think they all sound sharp, but the judges love it.

#7. I&A both think that Elise can kill this song, as long as she doesn't choke like she did last week. They wisely put the kibosh on Elise opening on the drums. Jason Segal awkwardly Skypes encouragement and one of Elise's friends made a funny How To Vote video. Omigod omigod omigod- Elise is wearing another WTF? dress. What is the matter with this girl? No one, and I mean no one, should wear a short, tight dark skirt under a long transparent overskirt with shiny stripes, and a huge pot scrubber on one hip.

Girl: you have Hilfiger at your command. Use him! 
Signed, We need to stage a Fashion Intervention

I didn't catch the title of this song, but she starts at the piano, soft and subdued, and then she builds to her usual growl and power. Her dress has rendered my brain almost completely non-functional, but I am pretty sure that she's doing really really well with this. Randy declares that Elise is BACK!

Dear Randy: Shut up. Please.

On review, no one did terribly tonight, though I think that Hollie might be in real danger. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

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