Wednesday, March 13, 2013

AI Season 12- Top 10 Performance

We open with quick interviews of all ten kids, and clips of  previous AI Winners. Well, most of them. I'm used to the non-existence of Taylor Hicks, but the omission of Fantasia from this grouping is interesting.

Ryan Voice Over: The. Competition. Starts. Now.
Me: About. Damn. Time.

The stage opens and three of the judges walk out. Mariah is wearing a cream colored sparkly beige top and a short straight skirt, right out of Mad Men. Her hair has been messily back-combed. Randy is in a black windbreaker over a tee. Keith is wearing a black blazer over a print tee. Ryan, in a gray suit and a shorter pompadour than in previous weeks, says that Nicki is stuck in traffic and on her way. Methinks Nicki should head out to work a bit earlier from now on. You can be late to concerts when you're a headliner. But as one of four judges on a Live TV Show whose ratings are slipping? Not so much.

The Top 10 enter, lined up Boy/Girl/Boy/Girl down the row. Tonight they can sing music performed by any Idol on (or perhaps also off) the show, which leaves a pretty large list to choose from.

#1. Curtis wants to be Luther Vandross. Jimmy Iovine (from now on: JI) cautions that there is a difference between classic and retro. Curtis is wearing a blazer made from a red brocade hanky, and he's singing Fantasia's I Believe. Of course he is. Never one to sing one note when he can squeeze twelve into the same measure, this marriage of singer and song is entirely predictable.
K: talks more about how Curtis looks than how Curtis sounds
R: likes the clothes but wants to hear something different
M: likes the gospel-sound

#2. Janelle has much better makeup tonight- her face tends to disappear under the strong lights without it. She's wearing a sleeveless denim vest over a tank printed with a rearing horse, a very busy sparkly skirt, a big turquoise necklace, and boots. JI says that there are a lot of cute blonde country singers, so Janelle must be careful about song selection. She's singing Gone (which she pronounces *Gown*). There's a whole lot of head shakin' and foot stompin' and the audience stands up for her.
K- not one of the better performances, dings song choice
Nicki snuck in, wearing a long blonde wig with very blunt bangs, a black hoodie with the hood up, and very weird huge black sunglasses with built in hard plastic awnings: liked last week's song better
R: maybe not the right song
M: would have liked a ballad

#3. Devin is still sporting Tintin hair. He's wearing a blue brocade blazer with a blue plastic boutonniere. JI says that Devin can sing contemporary music, and advises him to do so. Devin is singing Temporary Home (Homebreaker? Homewrecker?). He starts out sitting on the Steps of Seriousness and then moves downstage (upstage? closer to the judges anyway). Devin has a nice voice but this is not at all exciting and I think he's missing some of the notes. He sang the entire song in English this time.
K: not one of his better performances, bad song choice
N (with the glasses off this time- sporting pale blue shiny eye shadow): disagrees with Keith
R: too safe
M: babble babble, enthusiastic babble

#4. Angie is in a black leather dress with cap sleeves. Her necklace is a heavyish chain that connects in the center front and then separates and drapes around both of her hips. Her hair, as always, is huge. JI trots out the P word, and Angie doesn't know what that means. She's singing I Surrender. She sounds good, but this entire performance is the definition of Pageanty. Angie's eyes constantly follow the camera and she never once connects to the song.
K: surrenders, and loves Angie's great range
N: compliments Angie's ability to walk well in heels (Me: a skill many do not possess)
R: Yo, Angie, An-gie... doubles up on cliches saying both that the competition starts now, and that Angie is in it to win it
M: stellar

#5. Paul Jolley is in a gray tweed blazer with black leather sleeves and lots of bronzer. JI mentions Paul Jolley's tendency to oversing. Paul Jolley is confused. He's singing Amazed, also sitting on the steps. I think Paul Jolley thinks that not oversinging means turning the volume down. This is just a quieter version of the disconnected, wide-eyed performance he always gives.
K: thinks Paul listened to Jimmy
N: felt Paul sexually for the first time
R: cannot stop giggling because Nicki said the word sexual
M: glad Paul listened to Jimmy, but cautions not to hold back.

#6. Candice is wearing an unfortunate black top with large keyhole sleeves, a low v-neck and silver sparkly trim, with tight black pants. Her hair and makeup are great though. JI says Candice's voice is fabulous. She's singing I Who Have Nothing, and it's dramatic, and perfect and effortless. Candice is the only one of these kids who can actually perform a song. She gets a Standing O from Keith, Nicki, and Randy.
K: love love love
N: it's in everyone's best interest for no one to sing that song again ever because it now belongs to Candice
R: greatest performance of the season
M: apologizes for not standing- her skirt is too tight, but was mesmerized and transfixed

#7. Lazaro is in a royal blue blazer, a narrow black tie, a white shirt with a small collar, shoes with built-in spats, and a very tall pompadour. JI is generally encouraging, which still somehow undercuts Lazaro's confidence. Lazaro is singing Breakaway, which is probably not a good idea. And nope, it's not great. Lazaro has moments, but his voice is just not that strong. I suspect he's made it this far because he's undeniably cute, seems like a nice kid, and let's face it, everyone loves an overcome-adversity story. I do think his voice would be fine in the studio, but live-performing is not his strong-suit.
K: asks Lazaro why he chose that song (Me: Keith Code for: why in the hell did you choose that song?). Lazaro struggles to answer
N: speaks more conversational Spanish, and says Lazaro looks like Ricky Ricardo (Me: he does),and cautions not to let anyone undermine his confidence
R: pitchy and the song was too big for Lazaro
M: says that people are in love with Lazaro's courage, which is not the same as saying people are in love with his voice

#8. Kree looks gorgeous tonight, with shiny hair and perfect makeup. She's wearing a really cute jacket with a white front and black back, and black pants and top. JI says Kree has a fabulous voice and range and tone, but cautions against oversinging. Kree is singing Crying, and since Iovine told her not to oversing, I think she's holding back. It's a very simple arrangement, but I don't love this performance, which makes me sad because I love Kree.
K: Kree can sing the phone book and does not need Idol
N: talks about breakfast waffles
R: makes him feel tingly all over
M: compliments Kree's obvious talent

#9. Burnell took the glasses off, and looks like a grownup again, rather than an 80's sitcom teenager. He's wearing a black windbreaker over a leopard print shirt, and a teeny mustache. JI says to mix it up a bit, and not sing ballads all the time. Burnell ignores that advice and chooses Ruben Studdard's Flying Without Wings. If Burnell was going to choose one of Ruben's songs, I wish he'd picked A Whole New World, which is one of my favorite AI performances ever. But no, he's doing this droning ballad, standing stock still at the microphone, with his hands in constant motion, just like always. Oh, there's lots of pink smoke on the stage, but otherwise, it's same old same old. Burnell does, however, have the best voice of all of the guys. He's just so darn boring.
K: loves the timbre of Burnell's voice
N: loved the song and the Burnell twist (Me: whatever that was, I missed it)
R: great song
M: teary again. some more. still

#10. Amber, once again in bright red lipstick, is wearing a studded black leather vest over a long floaty dress. A long, brown, print, floaty dress. It's a pretty weird combo. JI says that Amber is beautiful and talented and all but begs her to sing something uptempo. Amber chooses A Moment Like This, which is pretty much the opposite of what Iovine advised. Amber is surrounded by spotlights , and she gets the Wind Machine Treatment, and she consistently pronounces *this* as *these*. Amber has an amazing voice, and I like her, but this is Pageant through and through. But she gets a 3-Judge Standing O, and Mariah swivels her chair in appreciation.
K: loved it
N: best of the night, and would pay Amber to wear some pink lipstick
R: favorite Idol song
M: (direct quote) hashtag POW

The Best of everyone tonight: Candice (by a long way), Kree, Amber
The Best guy: Burnell
The Worst girl: Janelle
The Worst of everyone tonight: Curtis, Lazaro, Paul

I would love it if Curtis went home, but I don't think that'll happen. I think it'll be Paul. If we lose a girl, it'll be Janelle.

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