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Not Prince Hamlet

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

IdolCritics, Top 8

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

*Newest content at the bottom

From The Producer: I want to apologize to the people reading this blog as I've been MIA the last few weeks and I should thank NPH for his post yesterday regarding my movie project CURVE which Simon Hunter is going to direct. If anyone has opinions on who should star in CURVE I'm open to hearing your thoughts, but will absolutely take the credit if it really happens or will make fun of you mercilessly if you post some really bizarre or weird thought on potential cast.

Is there any way to post this blog in braille because Scott Macintyre needs to hear the truth ... YOU ARE TERRIBLE AND CANNOT SING!!!!!!! You're awkward, boring, and not talented. No one will tell this guy the truth because he is blind so I will ... please stop singing, please go home, and perhaps when you move home you find a local bar that will put up with your horrible attempts at karaoke. Furthermore if for some reason you make it through this week because Lil Rounds or Kris Allen are voted off the show instead of you would you please buy a pair of sunglasses for next week so I don't have to endure 4 minutes of you singing while you never blink during your entire performance. It creeps me out.

This weeks bottom three has to be Lil Rounds, Kris Allen, and Scott Macintyre. America please vote off Scott Macintyre because he has very little talent. At least give Lil Rounds one more night to hang herself since she has no original bone in her body. She's a copy cat and a bad one at that ... I know this stings NPH because you love Lil Rounds, but she's not good. Kris Allen has to be in the bottom three since I was texting during his song hoping it would end since it was one note the whole time he was performing.

Holding strong at the top Adam Lambert, Matt Giurad, and Danny Gokey. Lambert is good NPH and that is why he's going to win, but you might be on to something because the judges praise gets more and more over the top every week. They must have pre-booked all the venues for Lambert to perform after he wins the show so FOX is doing it's part to force feed us Lambert. I think it would be funny to watch America vote him off the show two weeks in a row because you know that first week the judges are going to pull him right back.

BTW ... WTF was going on with the freaky guy from FRINGE tonight? That guys is creepy and I think he raped and killed four people in the audience.

NPH - I killed you in the March Madness Bracket so pay your respect to me in front of your blogging/twittering/tweeting/and whatever else the hell you do all day when you're not helping kids or making Kool-Aid ... Phillips got hammered by his wife in the Bracket which isn't surprising since he's completely lost all ability to be a man. Oh and last ... does "Roller" write science text books for a living because that guys writing is BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From NPH: Wow, Producer, the gloves are coming off. MacIntyre, Rounds, Roller: you're more merciless than Simon Cowell to these people. Beware, though: at least one of them gets a crack back at you on the blog.

I don't have much to add about tonight's performances. I'm really disappointed in most of it. There's a level of interest that's just not there, and I think that has as much to do with Fox and 19 Entertainment as it does with the contestants and their numbers. The ratings started to slip last year, so this year has a fourth judge and a new "save" option; the contestants aren't equally divided by gender. Whatever, it all reeks of over-effort. MSN had a solid article last week about the lies perpetuated by Idol, chief among them being the line that was repeated again tonight: "this is a singing competition." It's not. It's a television show. There are rules for singing competitions and rules for television shows, and they're not the same. Be that as it may, Idol used to be a pretty compelling television show. These last few weeks, though, I can't find much to get upset or excited about.

In the upset column, the absurd deference paid to Adam Lambert. I called this out four weeks ago, and it never really abated, but tonight it surged spectacularly. Cowell, looking like he was being poked in the back by a stick, ceremoniously gave Mr. Dress-Up's rendition of "Mad World" a standing ovation. It was good, but c'mon. That's just uncalled for. I smelled a rat before. Now I smell a possum.

If it were up to me, Gokey, Desai, Rounds, Allen, MacIntyre, and--yes--Giraud would all be sent packing, like, yesterday. They're all such a boring mish-mash of sameness. Giraud is the best of that bunch, but even he's a dressed-up hamster running in a wheel of blah. It's all so very boring.

Lambert is the truest performer left, and, like we've both pointed out, he seems to have his ticket for the finale already paid for. But the emerging gem for me is Iraheta. Kara (who's contributions to the show were wildly overestimated by yours truly) said tonight of Iraheta's ability, "Let's go make a record." Seriously. Her voice is powerful and genuine and unique. She doesn't throw away notes. She stands there and sings, and she's crazy good.

Pop music and pop culture are fun. Idol, at its best, is a guilty indulgence in that fun. This season is careening off course to an overly-serious bad ending. Give me Iraheta and Lambert. The rest of them just aren't any fun.

From the Roller:
Okay... thought I'd try to get a word in before the results show. Prediction, as referenced last week, is that Lil is in the bottom three. The only reason I think she won't be gone is that the brutality (accuracy) of the judges probably pushed some sympathy voting her way. I don't think, either, that racial issues won't be in play at some point this season. She is the only remaining African-American, and I don't know if there has ever been this early of an exit for the last contestant from that racial-ethic group. That could be interesting if she ends up going... OR if she ends up staying past her real shelf-life... which can't be more than a few episodes. She was bad last night... and it was probably one of the only times I've ever really understood what the judges always harp on about a 'karaoke' performance.

Producer - you are without feeling or tact, though not wholly devoid of insight. That works for you... fine. Truly, enjoy life as an ass.

As for Scott, it's time to go. There's a mediocre record selling 120,000 copies that is begging you to make it. Get to work on it.

Matt - better with the hat.

Lambert - good performance, but let's not lose that his 'brilliance' (Rocky) is heavily reliant on finding a song from 1982 that was remade into a #1 in the UK as recently as 2004 (Donnie Darko soundtrack), and appeared on the worldwide commercial for "Gears of War," one of the best-selling video games in recent years. He made a remake his "own." Way to go, David Cook... I mean, Chris Daughtry... I mean, Adam Lambert. Good company... good strategy... but, at this point, it's not genius. Reminds me that a few years ago, the runner-up Blake Lewis was actually remaking songs himself, which deserves some retroactive praise... and a frowny face that he has been a commercial failure. :( Oh well. Oh... and while I'm on Lambert, WHY in the heck does he get to go last in the 'money spot' so dang often. Totally unfair. To go right before voting opens has proven (historically) to be such a huge advantage. Do they really need to give this guy the Archuleta-esque favorable placements?

I wish the judges (especially Paula... she is a waste) would shut up enough so that the folks (like Matt last night) who did well toward the end of the show would get their due.

As for the rest. meh. nothing really of note, honestly. My wife has decided she "really likes" Iraheta... I can't say I'm sold yet. She a bit too affected for me in her style, but she is 16, and that's how musicians have been doing it in her lifetime.

I want some Sebastian Bach-Skid Row from Adam. On this, I demand satisfaction.

From NPH: Roller, stay off David Cook. Stay. Off. David. Cook.


The judges' demand for artistry with this bunch is a tactical mistake that's hurting the show. They're using the term as a sort of lipstick they want contestants to apply to pig-faced pop music. The better performances are coming, though, from contestants who tee up great songs as they were intended to be sung. Iraheta's "I Can't Make You Love Me" was tasty because it was simple. Kris Allen's "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" was goofy because that's a guitar song forced to do jazz band work. Why can't a good song done well be enough?

What Lambert is doing is not artistic; about that you are right. Like previous white male contestants who will go unnamed, he is making use of new versions of old songs to great effect. That works because a professional musician arranged it for a specific type of singer. And, to be fair, the Donnie Darko version of "Mad World" that Lambert reprised is no great vocal departure from the original, even if its instrumentation is gutted and tempo slowed. And he did that version the way that version is supposed to be done. And he crushed it.

I'm officially an Iraheta fan, though, and you're not talking me out of it.

My bottom three prediction tonight: Anoop, Scott, and Lil. Scott's going home, amid many tears and high fives.

From the Roller: David Cook is good... loved his remakes. For that matter, loved Daughtry's use of Live on Johnny Cash week, etc. They are among my all-time favorite contestants... partly because they're smart. But, the point was, it's not "artistry," it's a good strategy (one that's been used before). What they are actually talking about was what Blake Lewis was doing. That worked out well for him... um...

As for "Mad World," the Darko version is cool. And yes, not entirely a departure from the original (unlike Chris Cornell/David Cook's Billy Jean). But, getting rid of the synthesizer and the unmistakable 80s flavor is a good thing for AI contestants. As my wife said, "they should quit using keyboards and backup singers... they always sound cheesy and/or terrible."

Not opposed to Allison at all, just not a "favorite" of mine. yet.

No comment on the potential impact of race on voting, the impact, implications, or fallout? I agree with your prediction, btw.

Adam Lambert must sing "I Remember You" by Skid Row. On this I will not compromise.

From NPH: Keep holding out hope, my friend. It will soon be revealed that Adam Lambert is the love child of Sebastian Bach and Melissa Ethridge. It's poetry.

Just watched the results. My bottom three picks were spot-on, as was my prediction of Scott's ouster, complete with tears and high fives.

I'll comment quickly on the race thing. It's a non-issue. TV is TV, and the people who call in and vote do so because they love their Idol. You'd have to look at the numbers to actually make the case that race is having an effect: what's the race profile of the majority of Idol viewers? What about age? Maybe that's more decisive. Or geography? When Kristy Lee Cook sang "God Bless the USA" last year, it was a bald appeal to geography (granted, a racially homogeneous geography), and it worked like magic. Also, race could work in a contestant's favor if they're a minority. After all, all the cheery white contestants are splitting the votes of the cheery white viewers, whereas the African-American, Latin, and Indian contestants have entire demographics to themselves. Sort of how I beat out the two football players for Homecoming King in college: I carried the theater geeks while they split up the jocks. The geeks win again.

I'm ready to declare two things about Idol after tonight. First and most obviously, the show's highest utility is selling Fords, Coke, and iTunes. At its best, Idol makes you forget that. At its present worst, it's all too obvious, like when you have to watch not only another insufferable production of the contestants vamping for a car commercial but also a separate video about how they made the commercial they're about to make you watch. Gah! This is TV, and TV sells things, I know. But do they have to make it so obvious?

Secondly, the Judges Save is a total failure. Not only will it never be used, not only is it a novel gimmick aimed at injecting some drama into the Stax of Wax results shows, but it completely torpedoes what little shred of dignity the show used to possess. Used to be that the Idol who got voted off got to sing one last time as a sort of farewell, teary and embarrasing though it often was. Sometimes though, given that the performance didn't mean anything, it was better than the one that counted, and we all got to feel good about the accomplishment of an undiscovered talent.

Now the post-boot performance is supposed to mean something. Which means that as Scott MacIntyre sings what everyone knows is his swan song, the judges are acting like 6th graders, leaning over their desk to whisper to one another. And then they can't even get their act together enough to give a guy a decent send off. MacIntyre was nearly begging for his Idol life tonight while Simon, Kara, Paula, and Randy stared at each other and the audience heckled them. It's bad, bad television. It reduces a feel-good relationship into an akward let's-still-be-friends-but-occasionally-make-out talk. I am not a fan. It's shameful.


posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 9:28 PM


Since being personally invited by NPH last week to "get in on the blog" action, I have been wondering if I had anything to add...this week I will.

First NPH said it best: Stay off David Cook. No exception to that rule. This is why Lambert is such a problem. There gets to be one David Cook. Lambert isn't trying to be original. He is trying to be David Cook in order to win. To be honest, he can and will only be a cheap knock off of the real thing. Even down to his copied hair style. I think the guy may have some talent, but he just gets me angry when he performs because of this.

Second Allison can sing. She is different. Yes young, but good. I am a fan. Lil and Anoop have to go. Why there are still in this is beyond me.

Third NPH you are right again. The hour long commercial for iTunes, Coke, and Ford is a bit much. The hubby and I were talking about that this week. For some reason it was over the top this week to us and a bit played out. We all get it. Ford. Coke. iTunes. Done. Now lets get on with the show.

OK, finally I have to say it...Producer play nice. Scott can sing. Not the best, you are right, but he beats the heck out of many "artists" that are out there singing and selling records. Listen to what is on your radio. Most people out there can't actually sing. They are a pretty face or pretty body that can move in fancy ways with a good publicist and a lot of help from those around them. They are a package rather than any real singing talent. And leave the guys eyes alone. That is just low. It is embarrassing. We are adults and should know better.

OK, one last thing, I promise...NPH you didn't win homecoming king because of the geek thing. You won because you are a good guy. You are funny and smart. We wouldn't be your friend if we didn't think so. Yes, you are a geek, but an awesome one!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1:42 PM  

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