Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Trainwreck Idol - Top 12 Boys

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

I actually watched American Idol early enough to vote last night. Too bad I’ve never voted, and probably never will. Well I voted for Ross Perot in 1992, but that had nothing to do with American Idol, as far as I know.

They’re cutting 14 people (approximately) this week. The reason for that seemingly rude (approximately) in that last sentence is because there will be “wild cards.” So in essence, what we have to look forward to on Thursday (approximately) is five of the guys and five girls moving on to the Top 12 (I think) and then a couple of wild cards. The reason for that seemingly rude (approximately) in that last sentence is because if I don’t get called in to work, I’ll be at Nathan’s during eliminations, so I might watch it on Friday instead. It’s ok, because I will probably write about eliminations the following week as part of my thoughts about the new competition show. The reason for that seemingly rude (I think) three sentences ago is because I’ve been referring to the Top 12 all along, but who knows if it will really be 12. They did 13 once before, and the judges are so forgiving lately, they might “wild card” in all 14 people who are eliminated this week, and then 40 others from Hollywood Week. You just never know.

They actually made a point about the seven second delay with Steven Tyler by handing him a bleep screen to hold up to his mouth if he wanted to cuss. Funny. But enough of the show stuff, let’s deal with the performances.

Clint did Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious.” I love Stevie Wonder. Clint wasn’t really all that good to me, though the judges really seemed to think so. I immediately wondered if the judges would manage anything bad to say about anyone.

Jovanny performed Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.” I didn’t know who did that song. I was guessing The Goo Goo Dolls, and apparently, I’m not the only one to make that mistake. Since I’m setting myself straight here, I’d like to take this moment to set another misconception straight. Butthole Surfers did not do “Detachable Penis.” It was King Missile. Speaking of detachable penises, what happened to Jovanny’s strong voice? He sounded bored. Randy broke the negative seal after Steven and Jennifer acted like his performance was actually good beyond being in tune.

Jordan did “OMG” by Usher. I was at least entertained, except for near the end, where I thought he lost it a little bit. Judges were harsh on him. I guess the love fest was over early on. I think the problem is that Jordan can sing very well, and he only sang pretty good.

Tim performed a Rob Thomas song I’ve never heard before called “Come On Over.” I thought that it was the wrong song for him, which is an old Simon complaint that I didn’t always understand, but it was clear here. The screwed up part is that he did sound good, but I would have never voted for him based on that song. Steven and Jennifer said basically the same thing, minus the arbitrary reference to voting.

Brett sang “Light my Fire” by The Doors. Ugh. No. That’s my thought about it at least. The judges seemed to be all about it, and I sort of hated it. Maybe they’re flipping a coin when they decide who to praise.

James performed “You Got Another Thing Coming” by Judas Priest. It was actually good, which pisses me off. I don’t dislike this James kid, but he’s completely playing on the Adam Lambert vibe, and was completely overdoing it during Hollywood Week. He reeled it in a little though, and brought in a good performance. The judges were probably happy for a chance to get excited about something.

Robbie sang “Angel” by Sarah MacLachlin. I sat there wanting to like it more than I was actually liking it. One of the better singing performances but I was bored. Disappointing.

Scotty did a song called “Letters from Home,” which seems to be a John Michael Montgomery song. If I was a fan of that brand of country I would say that was very good. That’s the screwed up thing about him. He is one of the best singers that I’ve ever wanted to see go home. If he does manage to stick around, I hope he expands his range a little.

Stefano did a Bruno Mars song I’d not heard before called “Just the Way You Are.” I really thought it was good. Aside from Scotty and James, he seemed to be the only one who was completely comfortable with the song. That might sound weird, but given that it’s more or less a pop competition, and he was the first person to sing a pop song and sounded like he should be, I just have to wonder.

Paul I was curious to see because he’s hardly had any screen time. He sang Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” I hate that song. It’s a very widely like song, but to me it starts pretty good, and then goes on for about three minutes too long, never doing anything all that interesting. But this isn’t about what I think of the song. The song fit Paul’s voice, and he was really good. He had good stage presence, although a little awkward.

Jacob sang “A House is Not a Home” by Luther Vandross. Fantastic. All I have to say.

Casey did “I Put a Spell on You” which Randy said was originally Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. I’ve never heard the original. I’ve heard Credence Clearwater Revival do it. I’ve heard Marilyn Manson do it. I’ve heard the excerpt on the “Natural Born Killers Soundtrack” by Diamanda Galás. I’ve just never heard Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. As far as Casey, it almost was bordering on yelling at points, but it was quite good. Of course, maybe Screamin’ Jay lived up to his name, and everyone else was just being all subdued. I should go listen to his version now. Given the other performances, Casey is definitely in. I will be very surprised if he’s not. Ok, listening to Screamin’ Jay now, and I see what Casey was doing.

In watching the recaps, I’m wasn’t so sure about Robbie and I thought that maybe Clint was a bit better than I was thinking, but probably not good enough to be on my list. So I guess I need to make my “predictions,” a term which I will use loosely here, because I have no idea how it will play out with half of the guys going home. I just know what I would prefer to happen. In order of my favourite to least favourite for making Top 12, based on last night’s performances:

1. Jacob – That kid can sing better than probably anyone this year.
2. Casey – I’ve been saying it all along for him. He’s good and he is so comfortable on the stage that he probably belongs there.
3. Stefano – Like I said, he seemed to be the only one comfortable doing a pop song.
4. James – Maybe he’ll do “Youth Gone Wild” and “Detroit Rock City” if he sticks around.
5. King Missile – Oh wait, they didn’t perform. I just brought them up…
5. Paul – This is based on performance only. I’m not sure I’ll like him long term.
6. Scotty – Also based on performance. I do wish him well as a performer, but I probably won’t buy his albums.

All that said; those are the six performances I thought were best. What I would prefer is that Tim and Jordan come back rather than Paul and Scotty. Jordan has an arrogance about him that I hope got knocked out of him a little bit and that he’ll come back as a better singer. Tim just simply is a good singer and should get another chance.

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