The Singers, the Songs (and no judges, I skip the judging altogether):
Elijiah Liu, “Stay” (Rhianna)
He went sharp at the end of every phrase, but I doubt that the voters noticed. He has a commercial tone, but little else to recommend him.
Cortez Shaw, “Locked out of Heaven” (Bruno Mars)
He sounded great, picked a cool song…. and he’s probably dust, sayonara, gone anyway. His voice is really good, he’s a good looking guy, but everything about him is sort of generic. He would have a better chance if he was ugly or his voice was funny.
Charlie Askew, “Mama” (Genesis)
I’m not familiar with the song, not sure I’ve ever heard it before; I recognized the Phil Collins signature melodic moves before I knew it was an actual Phil Collins song. I was going to make a joke about Charlie’s performance reminding me of an eleven year old trying to do a Phil Collins imitation, but then I found out who originally did the song, so Charlie was…. well, an teenager who looks eleven, trying to do a Phil Collins imitation. I seem to be the only Idol watcher who finds Charlie’s faux geek act insufferably annoying, so he’s probably going to sail through this week. While I think he’s phony as hell, it’s not like he’s terrible. He can sing, with a nice, pure tenor voice, and if nothing else he’s always interesting.
Nick Boddington, “Iris” (Goo Goo Dolls)
I don’t know if it was the best idea to do a drippy pop version of an iconic rock anthem for the 18-34 demographic; it was a little like if Neil Sedaka had covered Stairway to Heaven in 1983, or Michael Bolton had covered Smells Like Teen Spirit in 1998. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t perfect either, so he could be up against it depending on what comes later. I thought he was 50-50, even odds before the show; I’d say he lost a bit of that, so maybe it’s 2-1 against him now. The fact that he thought covering the Goo Goo Dolls with his style was a good idea pretty much eliminates him as a contender to win the show.
Burnell Taylor, “I’m Here” (The Color Purple)
Seeya next week, Urks. He doesn’t have the best voice, but only that big ugly bastard Finch emotes like he does.
Paul Jolley, “Just a Fool” (Xtina)
Which one of the American Dad news anchors does he look like? I can’t remember which is which; one’s name is Terry so I remember that, but I can’t remember the other one’s name, or which one is the blonde and which one looks and talks exactly like Paul Jolley. Compared to Paul, Nick’s song choice was genius. Why don’t these guys pick songs that will make them interesting? Ballad, ballad, ballad… for chrissakes please stop it with the ballads. I’m dying here.
Lazaro Arbos, “Feeling Good” (Anthony Newley)
I imagine he’s sailing through… He sang fine tonight, but lets not kid ourselves; he ain’t exactly Adam Lambert. From this point on, he’s going to be the weakest singer left in the competition, which would give us a stronger sense of foreboding if Phil hadn’t won last year. He’ll last as long as he can avoid getting his Teflon shield of likability dented up.
Curtis Finch, “I Believe I Can Fly” (R. Kelly)
I’m sure he loves the song, but it’s not enough song for him. At this point I think he’s still toying with us a little, saving something for later. Since he’s the best singer left in the competition, it’s probably a smart idea. “Curtis” doesn’t suit him very well, does it? He looks more like a Grady or a Luther, some old school name like that. I think I’ll start calling him “Big Ugly Bastard” or BUB for short, since he’s going to be around for awhile. Unless he pisses off the voters, I think he’s going to make it to the finale….. where he’s gonna get smeared by Angela Miller.
Devin Velez, “It’s Impossible” (Perry Como)
Actually (I just found this out when I looked it up) the song’s original title is “Somos Novios”, and it was written by Armando Manzanero. Was Devin being a little too clever there, singing it in English then in its original Spanish? I dunno….. He sang fine, maybe he was a little ragged early in the song but even Simon wouldn’t have hammered him for a couple of tiny imperfections. Was he great? If you like Perry Como you probably need a tissue, and if you like Hispanic singers you love him anyway. Other than that, did the seventy eighth freaking ballad of the night even wake anyone up?
Vincent Powell, “End of the Road” (Boyz 2 Men)
Another ballad, good gawd…. Powell’s been a frontrunner all year so he might be safe anyway, but he missed a ton of notes tonight.
Safe to in Danger:
- Curtis Finch
- Lazaro Arbos
- Charlie Askew
- Burnell Taylor
All Probably Fighting For a Single Spot
- Vincent Powell
- Devin Velez
- Elijiah Liu
- Nick Boddington
- Cortez Shaw
- Paul Jolley
The show really sucked tonight, but when I tried to figure out who is getting dumped I realized that the singers themselves were all pretty good. It’s the ballad ballad ballad torture that made them all seem like they sucked. Seriously, Idol, how can you not have one stinking rock singer out of your last forty contestants? Nicki Minaj started out well, like she was going to be a good judge. At this point, in my opinion, she can’t get gone fast enough. After Thursday’s results show, I won’t be doing regular recaps. I already have to tune the judges out to keep from throwing a rock through my TV screen. I have no interest in hearing nine weeks of ballad after ballad. If I wanted to listen to all this whiney, draggy crap, I’d dig up Lawrence Welk.