First up was Burnell’s ouster. Idol’s history tells us that Burnell won’t ever be heard from again in the mainstream, and that’s probably 98% the expected result, but there is something special, and very pleasing, about being around this kid. Even if he doesn’t defy the odds, he should be able to carve out a nice living as a singer, and as a personality. I like him enough to keep tabs on him, and I generally only keep tabs on a couple of contestants from each year. If you like Burnell as much as I like Burnell, I’ll keep you posted. Lets get to the show.
The singers, the songs:
Quickly, the contestants and how they engage the audience:
- Angie- Selling Tupperware
- Amber- Winking at the cute boy across the room
- Lazaro- Hello. My name is Inyego Montoya. You killed me father. Prepare to die.
- Kree- Omg!! roflmao, it’s so good to see you :)
- Janelle- Kathy Lee Gifford with a head injury
- Candice- Sweetly skeptical, like David Cook was
I’m going to recap both of their performances together. It’s Friday and the internet has already weighed in, so I’ll mention that when it comes up.
Angie: Forget the first song, that wasn’t a good fit and she sang it ok. Her second song will land in the top ten of my end of the year songs. Cynics won’t like it, but cynics don’t like Idol in the first place. The cynics can eat me; Angie made herself a nice little memory.
Aside– Angie needs to stop looking directly into the camera all the time. Not to be gross, but nothing ruins a good porno like the girl looking into the camera. Fourth wall violations are fine for comedy, but not for art. Passion. Music is passionate, isn’t it? It is to me. I don’t want them constantly reminding me that they know I’m watching; I want them lost in the moment.
Amber: It’s a tribute to how good the others singers are that Amber isn’t dominating the competition; she is every bit as good as Crystal, or Jordin, or Carrie and Kelly were when they were on the show. She was second to last, which means fifth, this week. Why?
My best guess is that the judges overgushed a little, giving her fans a false sense of security and her rivals an extra push against her. I don’t believe she is the fifth most popular singer; I think she’s either fourth or third right now, well behind Kree and Candice, fighting with Angie and holding Janelle off. It’s a sick, talented group, isn’t it?
Lazaro: It all came crashing down on the kid tonight. He was shaky last week, and he crumbled this week. Siobhan, among others, used to talk at length about how rough it can be to read your reviews online. She stopped using the internet once she reached the semifinals, because (paraphrasing) for every good review there are two trolls who get off on telling you how much you suck; and it’s almost impossible to avoid the reviews if you are online. I think Laz got caught up in reading his reviews, and like that big black bowling ball thing the hobbits looked into (was it Merry or Pippin?), it sapped his confidence like he was a replacement referee in the NFL. Don’t cry for Laz Argentina, though. He’ll have a nice career, as sort of a Latino version of Bill Murray’s lounge singer. Vegas will love him (or Reno, lets be real).
Kree: It always feels so unfair when I compare her to Carrie Underwood, but listen back to her Bacharach performance and tell me that you could tell them apart with your eyes closed. In her defense, I don’t think Kree was consciously imitating Carrie tonight. I think she was just singing the song, and it sounded like that. The original singer, Jackie DeShannon, sounded like that when Carrie was in diapers. Had Carrie just kept waiting tables and never auditioned, Kree would probably have sung the song exactly the same way.
Backing that up with Sammy Smith’s version of “Help Me Make It through the Night” was a bit of overkill, but Kree was subtly just that much different from the original to make it her own version. She sang it beautifully, as we should expect her to.
Janelle: Janelle didn’t suck, she was fairly average – but average singing brings Lazaro back into play. Janelle should thank her maker every morning that she was born a white girl with a southern accent; that’s just about the only thing that gives her a voting base against Amber and Candice, who are far superior singers, and Angie, who is even whiter and bible belty than she is.
Aside: I left the country in August 1990, and I didn’t get back until the end of March, 1991. While I was away, some inbred goat roper named Garth Brooks had a couple of hits. I left knowing “Not Counting You” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes”, but that was pretty much it. I was in a band over on the coast, and we kept up with the new stuff pretty well. When I got back from overseas and rejoined the band, we played “Friends in Low Places” the first night. At the end of the song I told Denny “Hey, that’s a cool song! Who does it?” He looked at me funny, and started playing the opening chords to “The Dance”. He looked back at me and said, “Do you recognize this one?”
I didn’t. I had never heard of it.
Candice: The internet gadflies are asking whether Candice’s last song was the best Idol song ever. That’s an easy question; the answer is no. Adam Lambert, Carrie/Kelly/JHud/Haley, Fantasia, Clay, Siobhan’s Paint it Black…. I might see it as top 10-20 depending on criteria. Was it the best this year? I’ll say this; I can’t think of anything better, and the few that I could toss against it were mostly other performances by Candice. This probably means that she’s going to finish second; think about how many times the singer with the most strong performances has finished second: Clay, Bo maybe, Kat, Archie, Adam, Crystal, Jessica; roughly half the time the best singer will finish second.
Laz is gone; seeya (hear ya) in the Elevators, kid.
- 5: Amber- It’s a strong last place – she still has a puncher’s chance of winning
- 4: Janelle- She can still win if she doesn’t pick a horrible song at the wrong time
- 3: Angie- Look away from the camera – and she can get back in contention
- 2: Candice- Is she Jordin, or Crystal?
- 1: Kree- This year’s version of the WGWG, I personally think she’s much cuter than the last one