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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Idol Critics, Top 7

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

From the Roller:
Sort of live-blogging (DVR style)
my initial impression of Allison's performance was that “if the judges praise the heck out of her, it’s a total scam.” This was not a good vocal. Listen to it. I beg of you… if you really thought this was solid, listen to it again. I am willing to stipulate that it possibly sounded better in the theater, but over the air… this was not good. It sounded like she had a sore throat, or she had a mouth full of something. Strange. Pitch problems… screwed up some of the words… just not good. Oh… and then the judges pimped the heck out of her, of course. Very annoying.

The comment Simon made about the girls was right. Allison is their only hope. But, based on her going first, along with what I thought was a very “blah” performance… I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in the bottom three (of course, I haven’t seen the others yet).

Anoop: pretty good. Had one phrase that was off pitch. Liked his mild rearranging of the song, and the bead of sweat on his upper lip. He was working it. Does Anoop remind you of an Indian Ray Romano? He totally does that for me. Simon was killing himself that he couldn’t trash the ‘noop-dogg.

Lambert: Tarantino wanted to make out with Adam, that much was clear. Adam’s outfit and his little jog was totally weird. He’s a real talent, though. Paula needs to sit down. Okay, the whole “never gonna die” was totally channeling Axl Rose. Why oh WHY will he not perform some of the classic late 80s/early 90s hair band stuff? He was ripped from this genre and planted here, 20 years later. [side note: Do you think he’s gay…and if that “comes out,” will it have an effect on his fan base of screaming ladies? Just a little discussion fodder]

Matt: Needs to wear a hat… I like him, but the head mole is a little bit distracting. Dude can seriously play piano, though. Wish he would have done without the background singers and the classical guitar. The middle portion of the song was a total mess. Again… Simon can hardly contain himself.

Commercial: I can’t wait to see “Glee,” and I suspect NPH feels this same way.

Danny: “Endless Love” is an interesting choice… with the harp even. Sure, this song is from Endless Love, but isn’t it from “Happy Gilmore,” too? Ice skating scene. He’s good. I had thought that his vocal style would have worn thin by now; but, in my mind, he’s still going strong. Sounds a lot like Eliot Yamin, and I can't decide if that's good or bad. Like Eliot, he’s a very good singer… but there really isn't (as Simon says) much exciting about Danny. But, I wouldn’t mind seeing what he could do as a church music director… that’s for sure.

Kris: (Simon not letting Randy back to his seat…I can’t stand when the judges just jerk around) LOVE the “Falling Slowly” choice! Love this song… love it. He’s putting a lot of confidence in the background singer… wow. This might be the best performance/song choice of the year. I’m serious. Not just his. THE best performance. This was incredible… smart… and done REALLY well.
OH MY GOSH – Randy, you are an IDIOT. I can’t believe he is hating on this… and I’m now hating the fact that we don’t get to hear from Simon so he could set everyone straight… and that they are cutting off critiques so soon. Kara sort of redeemed this, but focusing on Kris’ “obscure” choice of song (you know… he just picked an ACADEMY AWARD winning song on MOVIE night!) sort of overshadowed her point about this performance being excellent. This was a very unjust critique from Randy and I’m really hoping it doesn’t cost him. I haven’t exactly loved on Kris this season, but this was top notch. I think I’m actually going to rewind and watch again.

Lil: can’t say I love Tarantino for saying he’s a fan of Lil. Let’s be honest – she’s not as good as some similar artists Idol has had (Jennifer Hudson, Tamyra Gray, Melinda Doolittle, Mandisa) and would already be gone had any of those Idol contestants (all losers, eventually) been in this year’s competition. She’ll be bottom three for sure. I’m sure she could have a solid career as a backup singer. Paula is just showing off that she knows the author of the song. they are rushing the critiques again, and it’s annoying. As we’ve said… the talking back is never a good idea.

Recaps: Seriously, Allison was off pitch. Listen. Anoop was solid… Adam was creepy and weird, but good… Giraud was decent but bottom 3…. Danny was solid, if boring… Kris was awesome (but may go unappreciated)… Lil was blah (bottom 3).

Predict: Bottom 3 will be between Allison, Anoop, Giraud, and Lil. Hoping it’s Lil… but we might see Anoop or Matt exit.
Oh well.

From NPH: On this we agree: Kris Allen stole the show. Nothing else--not Lambert, not the two-by-two judging, not the tears of the Gokey--nothing else matters. He alone took a layered and nuanced song that required careful control and full-voiced expression and carried it. I actually got some chills, which probably have more to do with the immediate emotional associaton you make with the film (if you've seen it) when you hear that song; the characters and the narrative are deeply embedded in the chords and lyrics of those songs, and you recall all of their complexity and yearning after only a few notes. He channeled all that masterfully, and I applaud him.

This is exactly what Kris Allen needed to do: stand up there like a big boy and invite an audience into a moving rendition of a good song. No guitar, no grimaces and grins and vocal gimmicks. Just plant your feet and sing, son. Well done.

The idea of Kris sticking around for another week doesn't turn my stomach tonight.

I said that nothing else mattered, but I'll respond to your most ereudite commentary. Iraheta was bad. That much is undeniable. Why Paula and Simon raved about her I don't understand, although I don't suspect a Lambert-style conspiracy. The problem was that "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" totally handcuffed her and prevented her from playing to her strength in the field, which is her rough-around-the-edges style. It was far too staid.

Anoop has figured out that all he can do well are romantic ballads, and so that's what he's sticking with. Randy and Kara said as much. That said, he does it well.

Gokey is Gokey. I'm not a Gokey fan, largely because he sounds to me like Taylor Hicks. "Endless Love?" Really? With a harp? Really? Could his appeal to the over-40 female demographic be any more overt?

Let's see . . . who else? Giraud was solid, but you get the feeling that you've seen the best of what he can do. There's no more there there anymore. Same thing with Lil, although to a much greater degree. She seems to have completely lost herself amidst all the judge-speak about "artistry" and arrangements. She doesn't even sing well anymore, let alone choose strong songs.

Now for the line of the night: "You dare to dance in the path of greatness." Paula actually said that to Lambert. Yes, but has he ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight? Abdul actual stood and "Whooped" for him. It's embarrasing. He's crazy good; there's no mistaking that. But he's good at something that is not that appealing to a mass pop music audience, right? His heavy metal scream is something to behold, but I can't take it week after week. I can't imagine it as part of "This is The Time of My Life" or "This Is My Now" or "For A Moment Like This." In other words, I can't hear Lambert singing the Idol victory song, because they, like the competition itself, is about pop music, and he is, at best, a tourist in a genre too small for him.

And to your question, I thought these pictures outed him already. Bill O'Reilly took up the question as to whether or not it will have an effect. Enjoy.


From NPH: I read about the results before I watched, but I watched anyway. Briefly (because there is so much in the world that is more important than this), it's a neat moment. Giraud is saved, the other six contestants mob him on stage, Cowell gets caught on camera smiling, and Kalamazoo's favorite son sheds tears of joy. It's nice.

But it is so painfully obvious that this is what the producers of Idol are after that the moment is very difficult to take seriously. It could have been Matt or Anoop or anyone else; somebody needed to be saved to justify this "judge's save" innovation so that Seacrest could proclaim "Idol history has been made!" For the sake, it seems, of making Idol history. And what is history to an eight year-old pop singing competition?

I've complained about it before, so I won't prolong it here. Just one thing more: can't the judges wait until after the ousted contestant is finished "singing for his life" before they deliberate with one another? Their decision obviously has nothing to do with said life-or-death performance, since they're not even watching it.

The only way this move has any significance is if Giraud survives next week as well. Being that it's disco week, that could well happen. Break out your Barry Gibb, Matty, and work it!

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 9:29 PM

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