Refresh my memory here people, American Idol is at least one of the following:
A. a TALENT competition
B. A competition open to BOTH genders (aka non-discriminatory)
C. A reality show (hence there should be some excitement)
D. NOT Oprah
As far as I can tell, this evening's edition of our once beloved AI, was none of the above. Was there talent tonight? Did the girls even bother to show up? I don't even know that I can think of exactly where to begin, so like Julie Andrews so eloquently sang once, let's start at the very beginning (seeing as its a very good place to start).
1. Jackie Tohn- I like this girl. Sure she's weird and quirky and borrowed David Lee Roth's 1985 spandex and Run DMC's kicks for tonight's performance, but when she actually wants to sing, she totally can. I would vote for her over most of the shlubs that appeared tonight, that's for sure. Overall, maybe not the perfect start to the evening, and maybe if it was any other season, she would have been one of the lower on the totum pole, but as it is, she's definitely in the top 6 of this rag-tag group.
2. Ricky Braddy- I can really only think of 2 things. a. Who the hell is this guy (gotta love the blink-or-you'll-miss-em contestants that the producers throw at you ) and b. David Archuletta called and wants his too-tight-purple-blazer back. This guy's actually kind of cute, too bad he decided to sing a song my grandma probably danced to at the USO.
3. Alexis Grace- she's been one of my favorites since her audition. I think she's the real deal. I think it's ridiculous that the judges told her to "dirty" things up. I like that her idea of dirty is pink hair streaks and bright red lipstick. I hope next week she decides that maybe she shouldn't look like she has a second job working for Richard Gere for $3,000 a weekend. But based on talent alone, she has my vote for sure, if I can ever beat those 13 year olds to an open phone line. Thanks Verizon!
4.Brent Keith- there's a reason you didn't win Nashville Star, and it wasn't your long hair. Your voice is good, but seriously there are plenty of bars in Tennessee filled with look-alikes and sound-alikes. It might have been a good idea to go back to the drawing board before settling on a song called "Hicktown". Yes, country fans might like you (and I personally like Jason Aldean's original version of the song), but guess what, if country fans watched American Idol, they wouldn't have felt the need to come up with a second-rate version of AI specifically for them.
5. Stevie Wright-I'll admit it, the cynical, mean-spirited part of me was waiting for this performance all night. I knew we were inching our way towards it, and then it happened before my eyes. As soon as I heard, "Taylor Swift" I thought, "UHHMM this is going to be ridiculous/horrifying/amazing" and I was right, it was all of those wrapped into one. I couldn't even tell if Little Miss Stevie hit any actual music notes and I'm pretty sure, she was flatter than the corn fields in Iowa.
6. Anoop Desai- I LOVE this kid. He sang a Bobby Brown song as the last audition in Hollywood week, and he did an AWESOME job. I'm pretty sure he could have even fooled Whitney, although that might not be saying a whole lot these days (Whitney I still love you and know all the words to "I Believe the Children are our Future). His choice of song was Monica's Angel of Mine, circa 1997 I believe, but I'm too lazy to google right now. Anyway, I love that song, and even if it wasn't the best choice, he still kicked it, in my opinion.
7. Casey Carlson-AKA Hidenburg of the Evening. If I thought Stevie was a mess, Casey was a disaster. I'll keep this short. She chose "Every Little Thing She does is Magic" by the Police. Why anyone would pick a Police song at this point in the competition is beyond me. There's only 1 idol that I think of who could have done something amazing with a Police song, and he won last year (David Cook, I miss you so!!!) and Casey, you're no David Cook. I don't even think you're a Danny Noriega. In the middle of the song I turned to my roommate and said "SSHHHH...do you hear that"? "Hear what?" he queried. "the sound of someone's dreams going down in flames....WWHHOOSSH". No lie.
8. Michael Sarver- I really like this guy as well. I'm a sucker for an underdog story, and I can't get enough of the real-life oil rigging clip that Fox has shown roughly 35 times for this guy. We get it, he's down-home blue-collar. Still i like his voice and to showcase it tonight he chose Gavin Degraw's "I don't want to be". I swear Degraw better be getting residuals from this show, he's probably bought Tahiti by now if he is. Every dude sings this song at least once, I think. Maybe it's about time to retire it from the catalog, but I do applaud Paula for remembering the names of the former contestants who've sung the song. At this point, I applaud Paula for remembering her own name. Anywho, I'm off-topic. Michael's version was fine, but the stamping, seizure-like movements were a little off-putting. I still wouldn't mind if he was a wildcard pick.
9. Ann Marie Boring, I mean Boskovich- I don't think the term "generic" could ever be over-used in application to this situation. I'm not really sure how she got to this point. I don't remember any of her auditions, in fact, I'm not ruling out the possibility that they just pulled her out of the audience for this taping. Her rendition of "Natural Woman" made Aretha reach for another doughut and Carol King probably just hung her head and let go of tears that she's been holding in since 1975. She's actually still crying and if you're very quiet and face east, you can probably catch a sob or two.
10. Stephen Fowler-First of all, if you're going to make a big deal out of showing Simon Cowell say "if you forget the lyrics, you're out!" (FOX!!) it's probably a good idea to not put someone through who forgot the lyrics to his last solo Hollywood audition and walked off-stage. In a season where the male talent is clearly stronger than the female talent, why is he taking up a space?! "Rock with You" by Michael Jackson is really what you want to sing Stephen?! Maybe if Tito had lead vocals on a song you could have covered that, but Michael's a BIT out of your range I think. Don't worry Stephen, the pain will soon be over, and by soon, I mean probably by tomorrow night.
11. Tatiana Del Toro- this chick is straight up out of her mind. I'm pondering the idea that she's either a cult leader or a cult follower. She's more drama than Sean Young could even hope to be, but god bless her for finding a way to a camera. My favorite part of the whole performance, which, sadly enough, was actually pretty decent, was when Ryan Seacrest said something to the effect of "if you liked Tatiana's performance her number is 866-idols-11." and she interrupts him and says "please America, this is my dream and you have to vote to keep it alive"...really Tatiana, this laid-back, beggar style doesn't work on you. It just makes you look like your next step is going to be boiling a, well I think we all know where this is headed. I can't wait to see Seacrest try to handle the fit that is going to be thrown!!
12. Danny Gokey- ok, I've liked this guy from the beginning too, but maybe it's only because Fox never lets me forget that he's going to be the next American Idol. I mean I'm sure they can't say that officially, but he's had serious screen time, and I'm pretty sure he's the only one who got lights and screen changes during his performance. He did a very good rendition of "Hero" by Mariah Carey, but seriously, I'm pretty sure Cara is preparing for the second-coming. He's good, and I'm calling definitely top 5 with him, probably top 2, but I'm beginning to feel a little bit manipulated. ( I know you don't even have to say it, I'm talking about American Idol!)
Overall this episode was about 6 singers too long. Although Simon had some great moments, the rest of the peanut gallery was predictable. If I hear the adjective "pitchy" one more time, I think I might create a drinking game around it. I miss last season's talent. Just to remind you guys, let's take a look back, shall we....
oh man, I can't wait to see him again