February 26, 2009

Oh American Idol.

As we were introduced to the judges last night, I was thrilled to see they’ve gone back to the proper seating order. Randy – boasting new, weirdly square, glasses – on the left, because he goes first. Except, no! This show they’re trying something new out – a different judge goes first after each performance. Interesting. I love Simon going first. None of this hemming and hawing and asking them how they thought they did. Just: “Well. That was terrible.” My favorite Paula-ism for the night: “You bring what you brought.”

I had been digging the 4-person panel so far this season, but new judge Kara really rubbed me the wrong way last night. In early rounds when the judging was more like a conversation, it seemed like she had something to contribute. Now, with each judge having 30 seconds to talk, it feels incredibly unnecessary. Especially when they all just echo one another. With that in mind, an open letter:
Dear Judges & Producers,

Here’s a suggestion, from all of us sick of hearing the constant chorus of “That wasn’t the right song for you” (Randy variation: “I don’t know, dawg, that song. For you, for me, that just wasn’t it. I don’t know.”):


Then maybe you can spend some time actually critiquing performances, instead of something that was a moot point days ago when they chose the song.

Oh, this show isn’t all about the judges? Okay, let’s get into the “performances.” Last night, the second group of 12 took the stage, battling it out for three tickets into the Top 12. And, by and large, they sucked.

Jasmine Murray, the promising 16 year-old with a million shrieking sisters, took her song too low, but she had to go first and I’ll cut her some slack. Plus, I loved her earrings. (Should I share taste with a 16 year-old?)

Matt Giraud, the dueling piano singer, kind of looks like Joey McIntyre. IE: The best member of NKOTB.

Jeanine Vailes: Like Ricky Braddy last week, this was the first of your screentime. And likely your last.

Norman Gentle. I refuse to talk about you.

Allison Iraheta. Your performance was great. Your interview was painful. You’re just so…16. And, man oh man, will you ever regret that hair in 10 years (Trust me).

Kris Allen. The girls should love you if they’re not bored by you. Solid performance, personable interview. I liked you even more when you were the only one doing the Supportive Dancing during Welder Matt’s karaoke performance.

Megan Joy Corkrey. Why on earth were you wearing white tights with that dress? You certainly need to work on your stage presence, but you’re through to the next round for sure. You remind me of Reese Witherspoon. Ditch the attitude and borrow some of her bubbliness, and people will love you long time.

I have very little memory of the next three performances – Matt, Jesse and Kai. In fact, I just had to think long and hard about whether Jesse was a boy or a girl. She was a girl. She barely made it to the live shows, and she’s gone now. Bla. Unfortunately, that’s how I also felt about both Welder Matt and Takes-Care-of-his-Mom-Kai. I’m in Simon’s boat for this one – like them both, but I don’t want to listen to them anymore. And, sorry guys. Roughneck Michael got the Tough Economy vote last week (Bye Matt) and, well, Kai, your mom is just sick; Danny Gokey’s wife died. (Wow. Most tasteless thing I’ve ever said. What has ‘American Idol’ done to me?)

Mishavonna went next and did a helluva lot better than the judges would have you think, even though she weirdly reminds me of Keroppi?

She’s my dark horse prediction.

Did anyone else notice that Mishavonna & Megan Joy wore the same dress in their hometown auditions?

And, rounding out the evening was this round’s Producer’s Pet, Adam Lambert.

Listen, I already went on the record that, based on what we saw before live performances, Adam Lambert was my favorite in the Top 36. But, if they keep pushing him on me, I’m going to jump quickly to the Anti side. And, dude. You need to decide who you’re going to be. Because your hair says tough rocker guy, and your song choice from last night (The Rolling Stones ‘Satisfaction’) backed you up, but the performance didn’t. Chris Daughtry (or David Cook for that matter) never would have smile-winked at the camera in the opening verse. You can sing anything, and you have 15 years of experience doing theater, so find your AI persona, and stick with it.

I have little hope that I can achieve the same kind of accuracy/luck as I had last week with my predictions, but I expect Adam & Megan (am I supposed to call her Megan or Megan Joy? Why include the Joy if you’re not supposed to use it?) are through easily. I’d throw Kris in there, but I’m hesitant to go with another 2 guys-1 girl night, but I also think that Allison is too similar to last week’s through-girl, Alexis Grace. So, I’ll go with my dark horse, Mishavonna. Allison will definitely get a wild card performance, and I bet Kris will too if the voters don’t back him up. If Mishavonna isn’t through on call in votes, she’s done.