Hey y’all! I assume you’re here because you forgot that Rock Star, and America’s Got Talent, and the Antiques Roadshow were on, so you ended up watching The One. You have my deepest sympathies. We’re in for another two-hour extravaganza, and I’m anxious to see if the producers took any clues from last week’s abysmal ratings and the vicious mockery of the online press *takes bow,* so since we’re all here let’s dive in.
We open with a pointless recap of last week’s rollercoaster of events, which is completely pointless because no one watched last week and even fewer people are watching now. But you gotta give up to ABC for even bothering to pretend that people care. George Jones reintroduces us to the contestants and the judges, and each seems to have undergone a personality transplant. Well, all except Andre, who’s too cool for that character crap. Kara’s got the big hair and hot leather jacket of a rocker, and Mark for some reason is sporting a military-inspired get up because he thinks “there’s going to be a battle tonight.” Unless the scuffle is over who gets to quit the show first, I am beyond uninterested.
There’s no cheesy group-sing for the opening this week, and for this blessing I send up an earnest prayer of thanks. We do however get a long montage of sad, sad sorrow for Jadyn’s departure. Everyone’s upset except Nick, who simply says, “One down, nine to go.” I don’t think he understands that the fewer people left in this thing, the more his overall crappiness is going to stand out. I volunteer to be the one to explain this to him.
GJ deftly segues from inane behind-the-scenes time to soul-deadening performance time, and informs us that Austin’s up first. During his rehearsal he says he feels like every song is his last. Kara says if that’s true, he should come over her place every night and sing for her. (Pauler?) Austin sings a watered down version of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” and any favorable impression I had of him last week is thrown out of the window. Stay away from the soul, Austin. The funk is not your friend. Andre tells him he didn’t dig deep enough; Kara blathers on about Austin needing to find his greatness, and says Austin is a true artist. (One!)
Someone in the editing suite has an awesome sense of humor, because we are next treated to a short clip of Kara chewing out the contestants for their lackluster showings last week. She says they all “looked like buffoons.” I was thinking they looked like howling hyenas, but she’s close enough. And to be fair, it wasn’t just the talentless posers that made the show look silly. The cheesy Elvis in Vegas set, the poor audio quality, and the audience’s general expectation of competence all contributed in some small way to turning this show into a joke.
Little Syesha wants to change that view, and since the judges criticized her theatrics last week, she wants to be her earthy, organic self off this go-round. In her rehearsal, Andre counsels her and tells her not to worry about her persona, but just to sing to the children. This inexplicably turns Sy into a bawling ball of tears. I’m guessing she really likes kids. Or hates them? It’s hard to tell. Syesha comes out as herself, singing “If I Ain’t Got You,” Alicia Keys’ passionate tribute to the worth of love, which Syesha turns into a bland exercise in melisma. I’m nonplussed. But I hope the children liked it. Speaking of the judges (Ha ha! See what I did there?) Andre says she did just what he told her to. And Kara says they’re starting to see the real artist within. (Two! I’m thinking “artist” was the entry on Kara’s Word of the Day calendar. That or she just really likes throwing around empty compliments.)
Thank Heaven For Bad Weather
Rawkin’ Aubrey is up next, and she’s upset that she came across as a cheating trollop on last week’s show. She wants everyone to know that she dumped her boyfriend before she hopped into Nick’s arms. And America yawned. Well, no, America was watching Rock Star and Antiques Roadshow, so they didn’t hear her. But I yawned. And I continued to do so as Aubrey crooned some bastardized version of Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door.” She strums her guitar in a futile attempt to prove that she does indeed rock, but her giggly smile and vapid eyes keep contradicting her, darn them! Kara says she didn’t connect with the song or the audience. Mark thinks she did, but says they need to work on striking a balance between rocking and showing her softer side. I bet Nick’s seen her softer side, wink-wink. Yeah, baby! Oh, just kill me now.
Once again Nick follows Aubrey in the performance order, and I can visualize the producers backstage screaming “Hey! They’re a COUPLE! The fascinating drama writes itself! Pleeease watch and be entertained!” They probably didn’t see me yawning a few minutes ago. Nick chooses to warble out an ear-slaughtering rendition of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.” It is truly a monument to awfulness – his voice never finds the proper key, his rhythm is way off, and even his guitar is out of tune. He. Sucks. But gets wild applause from the audience. Well, they suck too then, if they liked that. However, I am pleasantly contented hearing the judges ream him. Kara says Nick is much too cocky to be turning in dreadful performances like that. But Nick just smiles his smarmy Eddie Haskell-like smile that must be a hit with all the lay-dees and struts off the stage. If I say it’s my birthday, do you think the producers will bump him off before next week? Because I am clinging like crazy to this dream.
Adam is up next, and he’s still whining about not wanting to be pigeonholed. He says, get this, that his range is so much bigger than what the judges want him to be. How I long to strap Adam to a chair Clockwork Orange style and force him to listen to last week’s performance over and over again. I seriously do not get his beef. It’s not as if anyone’s going to respect his music no matter what he sings, because he can’t sing. So he should probably just suck it up and do what he’s asked. This week, Adam considers himself a rebel because he refused to sing “Cats In The Cradle,” (for which decision I thank him from the bottom of my jaded heart) and instead sings Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” because that’s so much more him. If Cyndi’s watching, I don’t think she’s thanking him; Adam hits so many bum notes within the first few bars that I’m almost positive he’s suddenly going to hop up and say we’ve all been Punk’d. This doesn’t happen, but I get a reprieve in another form when a severe weather alert pops up on my screen and the piercing beeps block out a great chunk of the horror of this performance. Sadly though my audio comes back just in time to hear Adam’s hideously off-key ending. Pity me. He’s another one the judges rip apart, each choosing vague ways to tell the boy he couldn’t carry a tune if it were light as a feather and he had three hands.
The Magic’s In the Fiddle
This week Caitlin has decided to perform sans fiddle, and my heart breaks just a tiny bit. Caitlin thinks she needs to stop hiding behind her instrument and wants to be more confident on her own voice. She sings Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” and I think she needs to find her fiddle again. Without it we can hear how weak her voice really is, and how tough it is for her to hit those power notes. Andre criticizes her for not connecting with the song; Kara says she didn’t nail the high notes, but she was working the song. Mark does some ridiculous impression of the Cowardly Lion and says that’s Caitlin. Caitlin tries to pretend she gets it. And I grow ever more certain that Mark’s a really weird guy. By weird I do mean lame.
It’s time for more delicious behind-the-scenes footage. Apparently the group’s trainer has been giving Scott and Austin a hard time. ‘Cause they’re fat, you see. Scotty resents this, saying, through a mouthful of food I kid you not, that he doesn’t need to be fine for America to enjoy his music. Right on. Austin says he isn’t ready for America to see his fat white stomach, and a single tear of disappointed hope rolls slowly down my cheek. GJ tries to stir up some witty banter about the clip, but it doesn’t work in part because the audio on the set sucks, but mainly because none of these kids have any semblance of a personality.
Scott’s up, singing Stevie Wonder’s “Lately.” I heart Stevie very seriously, and I do not appreciate Scotty’s weak, whispery, throaty rendition at all. Not even his jauntily angled hat can make up for this horrible sham of a performance. Mark says he thought Scotty was so good, he’d buy him a bucket of chicken. Andre says it was a 5 out of 10. Kara says Scott had problems, but the way he ended the song was pure artistry. (Three!)
Now get ready for Jackie Mendez. She’s babbling on and on about why she made the bottom three last week. She cites her inexperience dancing and singing at the same time, the crappy sound mixing, and being the first to perform on the first show. She conveniently forgets to list her horrible singing. But Jackie’s determined to bring something special this week. She sings the Bee Gee’s “Emotions,” drawing out each note and making eyes at the camera. I believe she thinks this is emoting. She is mistaken. Andre says she needs to work on making her voice stronger, and Kara says she sensed Jackie’s fear. I get tickled by imagining Kara as a Rottweiler in a former life.
Imagine They're Talented
Jeremiah’s back, bringing the indie-rock flava for all the boys and girls. He says this competition is forcing him to reconcile Rocker Jeremiah with Folk Jeremiah. I’m wondering when it is that we saw Rocker Jeremiah. Maybe he’s under the hat. This week he’s singing the John Lennon classic “Imagine,” and I am already cringing, because that’s a tall order that I don’t think any of these
hackskids can handle. Mark urges Jeremiah to really get into the emotion of the song because the music demands it. And sure enough, Jeremiah concentrates more on the feeling than the singing. But he’s got such a hang-dog look on his face, and he’s singing such a beautiful song that it’s hard to tear his amateurish performance apart. Kara agrees with me, telling Jeremiah he had some rough moments, but he sold the song because he believed in it, and that’s what being an artist (Four!) is all about. (If you’re playing the obvious drinking game, you must be high as a kite right now, yes?)
One more act to go, but alas! poor Michael Cole is depressed. His head is bare, so I think he must be missing his ties, but no. He just didn’t like being in the bottom three last week. Kara and Mark try to cheer him up by singing a little song about him, and six more of my brain cells commit suicide. I’m going to miss them. Mike tries to make up for his poor showing last week by singing Grand Funk Railroad’s “Some Kind of Wonderful” and taking a low-key approach. But something must’ve given him a hint and a half that a bare arrangement requires a good singing voice, because soon enough Michael is back to his old hollering ways, flailing around and hopping on top of the piano. He sure can put on a show. Can’t sing though. He does earn an ovation from Kara, and while I resist the temptation to make an “ovulation” pun, Andre tells Michael he went from zero to hero. I’m thinking it was more like zero to 0.04, but I’ll leave it alone. I’m in the mood to be charitable since Michael was the last performer of the night.
GJ says it’s time to vote. And just who is out there following his instructions? Call me. We need to have a talk about how you spend your time. Before I can finish my happy-this-crap-is-over jig, GJ introduces a closing group-sing. Curses! Each of the kids take turns making my ears angry, trading solos on the seventies classic “Free Ride.” Standouts In Suckage: Nick and Adam. If neither of them hit the bottom three Wednesday night … well, I don’t know. It’s not like I could think any worse of this show, so I guess the “bottom three” doesn’t really matter. Now, if somehow all 10 kids ended up at the bottom, that’d be worth watching. Hey, let’s all hope for that!
I’ve got July 29th, 4PM PST in the Cancellation Pool. What’s your bet? MotherSister@fansofrealitytv.c om