Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Hollie-Day!

Ryan does it every year when it's time to whittle the contestants down from seven to six. Three on one side of the stage, three on the other, and a safe #7 left to decide which group is which. Jason Castro sat down on the floor between the two, starting the trend of refusing to choose, and last night Skylar did the same. Even though it was a no-brainer, with Hollie, Phillip Phillips and Colton--Hollie a veteran of the stools of doom--on one side and class pets Jessica, Joshua and Elise on the other. And then--shock of all shocks--the pets are in danger.

The Idol universe is a cruel one, not for the faint-hearted, and while all they hype left the judges in shock (or, more likely, mock-shock), me, not so much. Some question the voting practices, thinking there must be a fix or manipulation, but I don't think so. I could be wrong, but I'm going to continue on as if I'm not.

Let's face it, the producers tried everything they could to shut down Holliebot Wednesday night. Suggesting the self-reflective "Perfect" song in which the lyrics beg our girls to love themselves the way they are. Who could miss the irony of our Hollie turning those very lyrics on herself, and not believing one of them. Don't get me wrong, she's a beautiful girl and a GREAT singer. I listened and relistened to her performance. No, not perfect, but far from awful. But watching her sing--it's like watching math happen. And not cool, sexy math like Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.  And, oh, that critique, with JLo offering the Judas Kiss of "You look beautiful tonight," and culminating in, "We'll see what happens." All while the audience sat in absolute silence, like Jimmy Iovine had paid assassins set to silence the first "Boo." And if that's not enough, adding her to the trio with J and J, like she's the kid who was absent on lab-partner-picking day and the teacher had to go from duo to duo saying, "Is it OK if Holliebot sings with you?" Luckily Elise and Phillip Phillips were out sneaking a smoke at the time.

So--when Ryan first pulled these two girls, Holliebot on one side of the stage, B.B. Chezon the other, I knew Holliebot was safe. One, because Ryan's not exactly subtle when it comes to trying to build suspense, and Two, because you'd have to be pretty heartless not to throw Hollie some love during voting. On top of that, this is America, gol'darnit! We do not like being told what to do. Little Hollie is the Ron Paul of American Idol; Jessica Sanchez is Obamacare. Sure, she'll probably win, but not without a kerfluffle of a fight.

So, after sweeping Jessica free from the jaws of going home, there are no more saves. Now it's just a bunch of vocal gladiators battling it out. Contrary to what Randy would have us believe, none of these kids deserve to win. It's a sport, a game. They're hand-picked and equally matched. And, besides, dude, she's right there. Behind you. And we all know you're basically saying Hollie should be going home. Not cool.

I'm pretty sure Randy will never read this, but don't tell us we're wrong. We have power. We got Diana DeGarmo all the way to #2 and gave the whole shebang to Lee DeWyze. Ever hear of Taylor Hicks? Be very careful, or your bosses will be investing a lot of money in a future Disney animated princess voice.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Grab your Swatch and Cut Your Mullet!

Here I am in the 80's.
 It's not in the frame, but trust me,
there's a Red Solo Cup
in my hand...
I am a child of the 80's. Well, a teenager, Middle School, High School, and College student of the 80's. I lived in that magical time between LPs and cassette tapes--back when, if you wanted a mix tape, you held your tape recorder up to the radio during Saturday's broadcast of American Top 40.
And so, I always approach Idol 80's night with a bittersweetness. As much as I love the decade, it's hard to say it was the king of the music decade--even if it gave us a revitalized Queen of Soul and a freshly crowned King of Pop. So, how did these young upstarts do with my decade? 'Meh? The best they could, I guess. A far more interesting concept, though, is the revelation of BiBi Chez--Jessica Sanchez's altar ego. (and, btw, totally guessing on the spelling of BiBi Chez, but I'm assuming she adopted the spelling of the Israeli Prime Minister, no?)

Now, if you're anything like me, you're thinking--who do you think you are, Jessica Sanchez? Don't you need to establish one ego before creating an alternate? But then, if the indulgent home movies are any indication, BiBi's initial ego has had years to grow and blume into the pubescent masterpiece that has tapped its way into your heart like so many fingers on a microphone. And so, I shall from this point forward refer to ALL contestants by their alter-ego name of my choosing.

Deandrebarge. Sure, it's long and complicated--not unlike his hair.  I'm not a huge fan of Deandrebarge himself, given that I have stretchmarks and a healthy IRA, but I totally get his appeal. As long as he stays far, far away from Kenny Rogers songs, he'll be fine, although at this moment I'm hearing an imaginary "Ruby" in a fine, fine falsetto. (and later, I'll be equally glad to have been spared another Dolly tune)

Elincense. Because doesn't she look like she'd smell spicy? Like that girl in high school who carried a leather fringed bag and smelled like patchouli?  Actually, I must cry "foul" on Jimmy Iovine. When, ever, has anyone benefitted from singing a Foreigner song? But, oh, my-my-my...that duet with Phillip Phillips was burning hot! I predicted in an earlier post that we'd be seeing the benefit of additional group numbers in the vetting process.

DUET break! Ah, Colton and Skyler--it's like watching the musical equivalent of Nancy Grace on roller blades. Don't try to understand, just go with it...

PP--because, really, doesn't he always look kinda like he needs to go? Apparently I am the only one not blown away by PP tonight--including the judges, and my esteemed facebook friends. It's just a shame. That's all. Until that hot, hot, hot duet with Elincense.

DUET BREAK!! If, indeed, Hollie was excited, she hid it quite well. I can't see her pleasing or squeezing anything. Even the little shot of fireworks at the end seemed sad. Really, watch it again. I didn't know pyrotechnics could look so sad.

thus far, the Nike commercial has been the most entertaining number of the night...

Joshuaretha. All in soul-filled love. His voice is amazing even if his jacket needed to be thrown into the legion of ominous red candles marching behind him.

Holliebot. Poor girl, you can see in her eyes how she's already thinking of exactly how she's not going to think so much. I'll bet she's made a list on color-coordinated sticky notes: Yellow for high notes; green for low notes; blue for dance moves; pink for blinking. Not a good sign when the audience is dead silent during a pretty disheartening critique. At least she didn't have to follow...

BiBi Chez. All I gotta say is BiBi gettin' yahoo! Randy was exactly right to compare her to Whitney. Effortless. A pure, perfect voice. Can you imagine the Disney movie she and Holliebot could make?

Colthawk. Because that's the best explanation for his hair. Here's hoping he'll break the Idol curse of "Time After Time." In season 4 Nadia Turner (another outspoken Christian singer) donned a faux-hawk, sang the song, and got voted off. (can't find a clip, but trust me!) But...good for him to give props to the arrangement and the drummer! And for trying not to look totally awkward when paired with...

Red Skylar Cup. Tonight, I became a fan. Really--that was a beautiful choice, though I'm pretty sure somewhere Holliebot was carefully stamping a foot, saying, "I wanted to sing that song!"

No-brainer prediction tonight: We'll be pulling the plug on Holliebot tonight, because they'll save anybody else.