AI6 2/21 Recap: Golden Girls
(Registered members may comment here.)
Yeah, it’s no secret. The boys sucked out loud on Tuesday night. And coming after a month’s worth of gossip saying that this year’s lads were leagues above the lassies, you might expect that watching our 12 ladies’ debuts on the Idol stage would be an exercise in torture. But no. With a few necessary exceptions, these girls brought it to the table, cooked it, ate it up, and left the dishes for the men. This is a night where it’s too tough to call who shone brightest. But I can definitely tell you who sucked the most, and that’s more fun anyway, so let’s get started.
Ladies’ Night, and the Feeling’s Right
The girls file out in that proper single file, flickers of nervous energy and anxiety popping up everywhere. Then Ryan probably eases a bit of that tension by opening up the show with a reminder of just how sucktastic the fellas were last night. Even standouts Blake and Chris Sligh weren’t without their flaws. There’s nowhere to go but up, right?
Ryan asks Randy why the judges are always so full of crap. He says it much more politely than that, but that’s what he meant, and I’m all about the meaning. Randy replies that the judges tell people to take risks they know they can pull off. How is that taking a risk? I don’t know, and my brain is fried like an egg on drugs this week so I don’t feel like breaking down The Dawg’s logic. Let’s just go with it. No one should be singing a Chaka Khan song unless they are in fact Chaka Khan. Got it?
After sleeping on last night’s performances, Paula reiterates that the guys had a rough night, in case we didn’t get that from the 90 minutes of rehashing footage we just saw. She says their first tries should serve as lessons; they’re all learning when to pull back and when to push forward. Look for similar affirmations coming soon to a public restroom mirror near you. Simon’s just happy to be here, he says with a decidedly mischievous smirk on his face. Even if he is a bastard
sometimes all the time, he’s just darned endearing in all his sniping glory. Ryan grills him a bit about the previous evening’s tiff with Chris Sligh, and Simon silences all of the Sligh Soothsayers by saying that he likes it when contestants trade barbs with him. Provided they’re witty, of course, it “shows a bit of spirit.” But Ryan’s not letting it slide that easily; he asks if Chris’s Il Divo/Teletubbies comments made him angry, and Simon, just like management, avoids specifics. He says that the guys in general didn’t make him angry, but they let themselves down. Ryan, much like a dog with a bone (insert your own off-color gay joke here), tries again, remarking that Chris seemed to get under Simon’s skin, and he’s got a screencap to prove it up on the big screen. Simon shrugs his shoulders and calls Ryan obnoxious, and then we move on before anyone calls Simon obnoxious for calling Ryan obnoxious on live TV. Hey, that burned up 10 whole minutes! Boy, I bet these two hours are going to fly by. (<---- obnoxious sarcasm)
Setting the Tone
Oh, joy! It’s time for singing now. Stephanie Edwards, who you may not recall from her 30 seconds of airtime so far, is up first for the lay-dees. She sheds the first official tears for the season (they don’t count until it’s live) by detailing how much faith her family has in her. Aw. I like this girl, despite her silly haircut and flipped bangs. She sings Alicia Keys’s version of Prince’s “How Come You Don’t Call Me,” and is glorious. She strikes just the right sassy, brassy tone with her face and movements, and her voice is rich and throaty, and she handles the notes smoothly and confidently. I love her. The judges agree; Randy says he already sees a huge change for the better from last night. He loved her conviction, and her trilly little run at the end. Paula lauds her performance and calls her a star, and Simon says she was a million times better than anything they saw last night. Suck on that, Blake.
We return from break with some cozy couch time. Ryan asks Melinda what she thought of the guys, and Melinda proves herself a graduate of the School of Saying Something Nice by calling the guys’ performances amazing. But Amy Krebs, who I don’t recognize from the Hollywood round at all, is on next, and she admits to being a little nervous. She’s not quite ready to deal with the good, bad, and ugly of the judges’ comments. Valid anxieties, but Amy could save herself a lot of stress if she’d just sing well more often than not. She tries and fails with that old Idol chestnut, “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” wandering in and out of tune through the whole thing, and ending on a warble-riffic note. Randy gives her some bad by calling it safe, and saying Amy should stick with more bluesy things. Not even Paula can bring the good, agreeing with Randy’s comments. Simon of course is responsible for the ugly by saying he still can’t remember her, and it’s going to be a problem if she doesn’t do anything to make herself stand out. Like singing well. Amy agrees, and hopes she gets another chance to step up next week. Then, Ryan rubs in the ugly by bringing asking Simon to clarify, and Simon takes the opportunity to rag on Amy’s ratty hair and boring purple sundress, by way of saying Amy’s entire image is messed up. Remember when I called Simon endearing? Yeah, it’s a vacillating opinion. I’m with him on this one though, because I can’t even remember what Amy sang and I just wrote about it 5 minutes ago.
Hunt For Red October
That quirky redhead Leslie Hunt is going to sing for us now. I like this girl and her voice, but she is definitely giving off what I’m going to call a “kid sister in the room alone with all your older, cooler friends” vibe. Like she feels awkward, but she’s going to try and entertain and be liked anyway. I don’t know. Still, I like her. She chats about her excitement, and that’s all good. Then she sings “Natural Woman,” and I think it’s good, but I like her, so it was probably just okay. She’s cute as a kitten on stage, all smiles and jazzy, jerky movements, and her voice is good, even though some of her inflections take on a weird brogue about midway through. Randy says he was hoping for greatness, and then pulls out Pat Idol Response #4 and says the song was too big for her. Paula thinks she was great, but cautions her to choose songs better-suited to her style. Simon thinks she was good, not great. But he calls her on her awkwardness and says Leslie looked ungainly and embarrassed, as if she wasn’t comfortable on stage. Paula and Randy are shocked! Shocked I say! that Simon would say such things, but Ryan of all people defends his comments. Leslie doesn’t get to say anything at all, but the dawg pound barks for her anyway, and I know that makes everything better.
A Hot One, Dawg!
Sabrina Sloan is next, in a blouse I’m thinking she borrowed from a church usher. Also, her curls bother me, the way they start about a half inch after her hairline begins. Just had to get that out there. Sabrina won over everyone but Simon in her initial audition, and then conquered his cynicism in Hollywood. Now she’s all about picking the perfect song, so she comes tonight with “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You.” Sabrina’s voice isn’t nearly as rich as Aretha’s, so she’s screechy in a way Aretha avoids being, but Sabrina turns in a very solid performance nevertheless. The judges just eat her up like pie. Sabrina’s the first to drive Randy to his patented Randy-Drivel, as he calls her a hot one and says we finally have a competition. Paula gives her props for being a Valley Girl with all that soul. Simon says Sabrina shows the difference between “taking part” in a competition and coming out wanting to win. He said the same thing to Stephanie earlier, but maybe he means it this time.
It’s time for
Gina Gambaro Antonella Barba Gina Gambaro (from Point Pleasant, NJ, get it?) to have her go at trying to win. We go all over her trashy BFF who got cut in Hollywood for not being a good enough person, and Ant’s unwarranted victory over the emotional wreck that is Marisa Rhodes in the selection for the top 24. Then Antonella goes on and on about being excited for the opportunity, and blah, blah, I hate her, blah. She then goes on to make my night in her Joisey splendor -- red turtleneck with the cut-out shoulders, slicked back pony tail, and yooge gold hoops and caked on face -- by completely sucking on Aerosmith’s sappiest hit, “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing.” Antonella blows, and not in a good way. Her rendition is painfully scattered. After a rough start, she gets in a few true notes here and there, but on the whole? She blew. And Randy knows it. He asks Antonella what she thinks he’s going to say, and she says he’ll know she was nervous. Randy doesn’t take that bait for sympathy, and tells Antonella that her pitch was all over the place, and she was way bland. Of course, some of the blame for that blandness belongs to Diane Warren, but pffft. I don’t like Antonella so I’m certainly not going to do any sticking up for her. Paula slaps her with the well-worn “beautiful” half-compliment, and Simon lays down the real by saying that Antonella was nowhere near good enough, and she’s just seriously damaged her chances in this thing. Of course with that comment, Simon himself repaired her chances, curse him, by mobilizing all of Ant’s 14-year old glitter gloss and layered mini wearing fans are going to text-message their acrylic nails off because Antonella looks like Eva Mendes, and that’s what counts in this world. Gross.
She Gotta Fast Song…
…that’s supposed to be slow. Jordin Sparks, whose curls sit just right on her head by the way, is on now, babbling about being young and young. Ryan reminds her that Simon thinks she’s sugary sweet, and Jordin accepts that with a smile. She then goes on to be her sugary self singing Tracy Chapman’s mournful hit “Give Me One Reason” in a strange and out-of-whack bouncy, bubbly arrangement. I mean, I may not know exactly what Tracy’s talking about in this song, but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to be able to do the Cabbage Patch to it. Luckily, Jordin has an absolutely beautiful voice that keeps me from concentrating too much on the arrangement. I don’t think I heard one bum note in the whole, and aside from some silly gestures this performance is perfect. By contract I’m assuming Randy has to say something bad so people will start to talk about him more, so he says that Jordin is not challenging herself. She should go for bigger songs, because she can. So, an addendum to the earlier rule: No one should sing Chaka Khan songs except Chaka Khan, and Jordin. Got it?
Seriously. Chaka Khan. And Jordin. That’s All.
Nicole Tranquillo is up, and she’s thrilled that her hard work has taken her so far. But she obviously hasn’t been paying attention to anything that’s gone on while she was working so hard, because she comes out singing Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Stay.” And it is teh suck. Right off the bat Nicole struggles to find the pitch, and never quite makes it, although things get much better towards the end. Plus her voice is doing some weird deep, whiny thing as she forces some of her notes out. Not a fan. She’s definitely moving her all the boys, and her parents in the audience, but not me. I’m thinking about how Jordin is gonna tear this song up next week. Randy slams Nicole by telling her the vibe was off. All the way off. Paula says it was good, and she doesn’t know how many people can hit the notes Nicole just hit. I don’t know how many people would want to. Simon’s once again coming hard with the truthiness by saying the performance was unnatural and overperformed, and that Nicole looked fake on stage. Paula still insists that Nicole has great range and control, but Randy says it was “too urban” for her. That was a nice way of saying she don’t know nothing about no soul. His thoughts, not mine. Mine are a little less charitable.
Raw Emotion, Take Two
This season’s dependable fashion disaster, Haley Scarnato, is ready to get things back on track. She’s still a bit shocked by her surreal experience so far, and she says she’s not ready to go home. Yet her singing makes a big, fat liar out of her. Okay, she wasn’t that bad. More warbly and corny than bad, I guess, reprising “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” as if she were trying to win Miss America in her bunchy black bustier. The right hand of raw emotion is back up in the air, as if she’s really throwing down, but all I can bring myself to say is meh. The judges agree with me of course, because I’m always right. Randy says she sounds more suited for Broadway; I guess Haley didn’t get the memo about the Grease casting extravaganza. That could’ve gotten her on TV too, and with much nicer judges. Ah, well. We live, we learn. Simon says she sang like she was 40, and sounded like she was in a hotel supper show. I may be a fan of a good Sunday night supper show at the Howard Johnson’s, but I know that’s not a compliment. I think it’s pretty obvious that Haley’s just always had this dream of singing “It’s All Coming Back To Me” on a stage in front of a screaming crowd, and so she got that. Again, meh.
It’s Doolittle Time. Who can help loving her for her shy, humble attitude, her big smile and bigger face, and her powerhouse of a voice? I can’t help it, for sure. And why would I want to, when she turns in brilliant performances like this one? Melinda wins my heart forever and ever by singing Aretha’s “Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet, Sweet Baby), and completely rocking the house. It’s a jamming tune to begin with, but Melinda totally fills the air with her lovely, restrained voice and huge presence. She’s absolutely electric on stage – delighted to be there, and hugely talented. You have to root for her. Unless you have no soul, in which case, you can do what you please, Nosferatu. I don’t even have to say that the judges loved her. All praise from Randy and Paula, and a veritable tongue bath from Simon, who says that after two nights of people coming out with marginal talent and a lot of arrogance (I think he means you, Sligh, but it’s okay, I still love you), that Melinda has shown what this competition is all about. I concur.
Sorry, but I don’t know why Alaina Alexander is here. Her voice is bland and average, and she’s shown little to no control over it on stage. So, she’s young and pretty and vulnerable, but … oh, I get it. Well, Alainais here, so I’m required to tell you that she’s so excited and feels really good about living her dreams and things. Which is too bad, because her dreams may be coming to an end after this imminently unremarkable turn in of The Pretenders’ “Brass In Pocket,” a song that deserves a much better fate than this. There are flats galore, and many, many cracks, but it’s no use to dwell on them, because Alaina’s not here for her singing. Randy and Paula pull out Pat Response #1 and say she didn’t make it her own. Simon calls it like it is and says Alaina was blown off the stage by many, many people tonight, and if she makes it through the week, it’ll be because of her looks. If she makes it through the week, I’ll eat my winter hat. The one that’s made out of chocolate. There’s an awkward moment, as Ryan tries to defend Alaina and all of her passion, and Simon asks if Ryan’s trying to date Alaina. That’s off-base on a couple of levels, I think. Anyway, moment passes, Alaina still sucked, and we’re moving on.
That sassy Gina Glocksen is ready to get some return for her many years of auditioning for American Idol, and more power to her. She says it’s her time to shine, and picks … “All By Myself” to help her do so. So we’ve got Plain Alaina singing The Pretenders and Punk Gina doing Celine? What’s happening? Is the sky going to start raining meatballs and hot dogs like in that book I read in kindergarten? Because that would rule. What are we talking about here? Oh, Gina. She does a serviceable job with her song, glory-noting and emotion-kneeling her way through with what looks like effortless ease. But I hate the song, so I probably wasn’t moved as much I should’ve been. The judges all praise her powerful voice, and Simon says he didn’t expect to see this side of Gina. He doesn’t think it was quite the right thing for her to do, and says she didn’t hit the true Celine notes. Ryan asks Gina how confident she was before she sang, and Gina says she was at a 6, but now she’s at a 12, because before she wasn’t sure if she could hit those notes at all, but she did, so she’s proud. So is her mother, who’s totally crying in a genuine, endearing way, unlike a certain pappy from last year. I’m still on the fence about Gina on the whole, but if they keep showing her mom, I might just wind up on her side.
Just Plain Old Glory
Of course, I’m already on Lakisha’s side, 4 lyfe. Her awesomeness was well established in her stirring audition and vibrant Hollywood performances. She’s another who’s thankful for the opportunity and so on, and I believe her when she says it. She’s hoping for the best tonight, and she’s going to need it, because tonight she’s singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” the showstopper from the musical Dreamgirls immortalized by Jennifer Holliday, and brilliantly rejuvenated by Idol’s own Jennifer Hudson just this past December. No worries, Lakisha does an amazing job of the song, and there is no phony emoting anywhere around her. It’s all heart and soul, and while her performance isn’t as dynamic as Hudson’s or Holliday’s, it is wonderful. Her voice flits between the softer phrases and the out-and-out belting with grace, and though the song lost a bit of verve with the choppy arrangement, I’m a believer anyway. The judges of course give her all the props she deserves, because it was a seriously ballsy move to sing that song, on this show, at this time, and she pulled it off really well. Randy raves, Paula gushes, and Simon says he’s tempted to tell the other 23 to book their plane rides home. Whoa. That’s some praise for the first week of competition. Ryan chats up Lakisha about it beingher daughter’s birthday, and I still don’t mind all the daughter mentionitis because this girl just plain rules.
This was a fabulous way to close the show tonight. Ryan asks Randy how he’d fill the top 12 if it were up to him, and Randy says he’d probably have an 8-4 split of ladies and gentlemen. Mine would be more like 10-2. But it’s not up to me, so we’ll all find out together who stays and who goes in tonight’s results show.
So you've read this whole thing. Now honestly, do you remember what Amy Krebs sang? email@example.com om
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.