Thursday, April 28, 2011

Idol High School vs. Voice Vocational

Remember when Tuesday nights belonged to Idol? Then, a little show named Glee came along, featuring young talent that deserved a clear 24-hour separation from the amateur hopefuls nervously grasping for glory in front of millions of judges plus three. This week, we had he premier of The Voice. Only those who watch absolutely NOTHING on NBC are ignorant of the show. Even if you didn't tune in on Tuesday, you've been inundated with advertisements, snippets and previews for months. I, of course, tuned in. I'll say this: I don't think anybody on the Idol stage would merit a chair spin. Oh, Blake Shelton might have fallen for the country tones of lil' Scotty, but only because those roots run deep. Everybody else-- my beloved James and Casey included--would spend three minutes looking at the back of those big, red chairs. But face it--Idol's never been about a Voice. No winner has ever come close to matching Kelly Clarkson vocally. (Notice I say no winner.) The only other winner to match (and exceed) Clarkson's success is Carrie Underwood, and her Cover Girl good looks might have a wee bit to do with that. Idol is all about presence and popularity--just look at all those cheeleader-worthy, swirly-letter signs in the audience. It's perpetual high school. Don't bother running for Student Body President if you don't already know a few hundred kids who will vote for you, no matter how strong your platform of healthy lunch options and SAT tutoring. You won't win.

Good grief. Scotty just might.

So, inspired by Guidance Counselor Randy's awesome cardigan sweater, along with hot Spanish teacher Senora Lopez and whacke-out English Lit hold-over Mr. Tyler (he insists the kids call him "Steve"), let's roam the halls and look at last night's show.

Jacob Lusk: (Glee Club, Men's Choir, Madrigal Singers, Show Choir, HOSA, FHA, Social Studies Club Historian) Sorry, I actually didn't hear a word he sang due to bow-tie distraction. Leave a comment if I missed something wonderful.

Lauren: Is there any doubt at all that this girl dots her i's with hearts? Seriously adorable, and I'm such a huge fan. Did anybody else want to smack Miley Cyrus? Like, would you let your teenage daughter take advice from Miley Cyrus? I'd ten times rather let the girl spend Seven Minutes in Heaven with the anonymous 19-year-old than Five Minutes of Straight Talk with Miley Cyrus.

Hottest couple: Casey and Haley.

Most awkward performance: Casey and Haley.

Scotty McCheesy: (FFA) Most likely to fund a great musical career after the blue-ribbon sale of his prize lamb. Now, while his performance wasn't unpleasant, there's something a little bit locker-stalker when he sang "winter, spring summer or fall...all you have to do is call...and I'll be there" that would make me want to change my Math class and go the other direction during passing period.

James: This is the guy who, when it's time for the mid-term recitation of a Shakespearean soliloquy, would show up wearing a cod piece, brandishing his own sword. It's also the only assignment he's ever completed. But, thanks to a great pep talk from Guidance Counselor Randy, he's turning his life around.

LUNCH--just a time to observe that "Steve" doesn't know what bowling is.

Cutest Couple: Lauren and Scotty. Yes, even this calous old heart melts a little when they sing together. Their voices blend beautifully, and I can just look at Lauren.

Casey: Wore that exact same outfit to prom. Hat and all.

Haley: Effort Exceeds Expectations

Now, was anybody else dreading the inevitable Jacob/James duet as much as I was (besides James, I mean...). Wow. It's like the moment when you realize you'll need to cast a girl to read Romeo because none of the boys will volunteer.

So, who's being expelled? I think Jacob, Haley and hm...maybe Casey will be lined up outside the principal's office, but it'll be Jacob calling his mom to pick him up.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Idol Post-Pia & Paul

Hey, y'all! Yes, I know, I haven't re-capped the past two weeks because I've been a traveling girl. Arlington, DisneyLand, New Mexico--planes, trains, automobiles...all that. So I've been living off re-caps myself, though I did manage to catch last week's results show that sent Paul packing. In fact, I watched at my sister's house, in the company of my adorable nephew Bryan who is a huge Scotty fan. Little Bryan so touched my heart, I vowed to myself that I would vote for Scotty this week even though he is is a disturbing mix of country corn-n-cheese. But, more about Scotty later.

Hey! It's the 21st century! How's that for a nice, narrow little category. And we'll start it off with a resounding group sing by all the ousted ladies. And Paul. You'll never convince me that the producers didn't fully expect Haley to be in her own little black dress wriggling through the Pink song. Paul joined the ladies with all the natural flow of a goat stomping through a flock of baby chicks. And, you know how in church, every now and then you have to listen to the children's choir sing? Not the adorable 4-and 5-year-olds, but the 4th and 5th graders, and you're listening, and all of a sudden there's this voice that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the song the other children are singing? And you're thinking--whose kid is that? And silently feeling a little sorry for the parents who have to claim such errant tones? Yeah, that was Paul. His is not a talent that can easily mesh with budding pop princesses. Poor boy looked so lost...

Now, back to Scotty and the promise I broke to an adorable 8-year-old boy. Because, honestly. You have any song from the 21st century--a time when Country music really took on so many new flavors and crossed into pop charts (not that it wasn't doing perfectly fine in its own charts...) and you pick "Swingin'" by--hold on, let me Google it--John Anderson? And then you hold your microphone all sideways and sing all smarmy like you know the song isn't really about swingin' but you're a teenager so that's creepy too... Even if you do a career-altering switch-up by ending the song sitting on the steps--sorry, McCheesy. You should never, ever, ever sing a song with the word "lover" in it. Cringe. Bad choices all around, and kudos to the judges for finally calling him out on some of this nonsense. So, sorry Bryan. I could not vote for Scotty, but you know legions of people will.

Then James, the over-achiever of the bunch, wearing his jodhpurs and brandishing the microphone stand like a rock-n-roll ringmaster. Who's the poor sap who has to follow that? Oh, yeah...Haley, looking cute in a red dress, but it seems like a spark is missing. She was so amazing in the duet with Casey last week, but she looked a little defeated as the judges drizzled out tepid praise.

Wow! What a shiny suit Lusker van Dross is wearing. Next...

Casey sang a Maroon 5 song. I have a Maroon 5 station on my Pandora, so I was equal parts thrilled and apprehensive. Apparently, so was Jennifer Lopez. And her handlers. But, really, I thought he did an awesome job and has learned the lessons that only a judges' save can teach you. And, it bothers me greatly that Jacob wouldn't wear the fake Casey beard during the "dish on your competition" segment.

Looks like Stefano has finally learned to keep those big brown eyes open, which is a good thing if you're going to run all over the stage like that, given the OSHA hazard of unleashed red suspenders. The man gave us a performance worthy of high school talent shows everywhere. And, you know all the girls were just-a-swoonin'. (take that, John Anderson)

Finally, my sweet song bird Lauren, who had my own high-school sons swooning. (rather the 21st century swoon which consists of saying "she is so hot" through a mouthful of hamburger and cheetohs) I love Lauren. The mother in me wanted to add about an inch to her skirt (my sons heartily disagreed), and I secretly love that they think she's cuter than Haley. But, it's time for her to believe in herself a little bit. To quote the much less talented Miley Cyrus: "If you believe in yourself, anything is possible." Wow, maybe that girl can't sing, but she is deeper than deep. Here are a few more gems.

Bottom 3? This stage of the game is tricky, but I'm thinking Haley, Stefano and...(hate to say it) Lauren. I dream of Jacob in a thin silver chair, but alas, 'twill be a dream deferred another week. Going home? Haley.