The Husband:

I don’t really have a whole lot to say this week. The performances on Tuesday were a mixed bag, with selections ranging from smart and dead-on (Adam, Allison) to stupid and dumbshit esoteric (Scott and Kris), and things went pretty much as I expected. Scott, despite his big heart and his borderline transcendence of the competition when in front of a piano, picked a virtually unknown-to-my-generation song by Survivor (who are only known for “Eye of the Tiger” and nothing else) and was, as predicted by me in my head, the lowest vote getter. The other two members of the bottom three included one that absolutely deserved to be there (Lil, who finally got bitched out by the judges for the exact same reasons I’ve been writing on this hyah blog) and one who didn’t (Anoop, whose rendition of “True Colors” made him sound like Kenneth Brian “Babyface” Edmonds circa 1995, which is not a bad thing). Switch out Kris with Anoop and you have the perfect bottom three.

For the record, it really freaks me out that Allison was born in 1992.

For the record, it really freaks me out that Allison was born in 1992.

So what’s been going on with Lil? Well, she’s been suffering from what I call Ramiele Syndrome, where a female artist impresses like crazy during the semifinals and seems set for complete glory, but upon getting into the Top 12 gets so nervous about show themes and control that she loses all semblance of individuality and begins to make lazy song choices and poor singing decisions. I supposed you could also name this syndrome after Mandisa or Jessica Sierra (without mentioned her stint on Celebrity Rehab) or Camile Velasco (man, what a fall) – or after any person you subjectively feel failed to live up to their promise – but it’s gotten to the point where I just want her gone. She is the karaoke queen of the competition, a nice voice but nothing else.

And no, there is no controversy regarding Adam Lambert’s choice to do Gary Jules’ version of “Mad World” instead of the 1982 Tears For Fears version, because that’s entirely in the rules, and nobody gave him false praise for doing a “unique version.” Danny Gokey is on slightly rockier waters for choosing a song that had a cover released in his birth year, even though the song itself, “Stand By Me,” was released in 1961, but it’s still entirely within the rules of the competition.

And lo, it seems that is starting to have the opposite effect on the competition than expected. Their first choice for their members to vote for in order to cause pop culture anarchy, Megan Joy [Corkrey], only placed in ninth, and the moment they pick Scott as a follow-up, he’s gone too, in eighth place. This is further proof that their claim of pulling Sanjaya through the competition in s6 is complete bullshit, because they have no actual pull. It’s all talk, no walk, man. They can eat me.

And there’s the other important factor on American Idol Wednesdays – the Ford commercials. I appreciate the fact that it’s a way for the Idols to let off some steam for a day while messing around, but I don’t understand why they can’t be better. Wouldn’t it be best to make a commercial that could actually run on TV at times not associated with Idol. I guess not. In the eight years this show has been on, I can only recall one Ford commercial that I thought looked like a real commercial. It’s from s6, the Top 11.

Okay, there is one from s4 that does have a certain level of evocation. And, due to my love of both old school rap and the Muppets,  it’s evocative of my nightmares.

Could you honestly name any of the s4 contestants solely based off that video? Bo Bice and Niko Smith are the only two who look anything like their real-life counterparts.

The Wife:

First of all, I want to give props to Gokey and Anoop for having the balls to wear very bright colors, in celebration of their being born in the 1980s. Gokey looks good in hot pink and Anoop carried off that Kanye-ish green cardie like nobody’s business. But what I really need to talk about is Lil Rounds.

What's my leather got to do, got to do with it?

What's my leather got to do, got to do with it?

Lil, I’m sorry I thought your wig was on crooked last week. Apparently, it’s just that the person who gave you that weave didn’t bother to cut your bangs straight, and no one has bothered to fix them. As you fall further into your identity crisis, you performed your cheap Tina Turner song in cheap leather, and followed that up by performing the group sing last night in a tank top covered entirely in metal studs that were far too many and far too large. Girlfriend, Lady Gaga wear a zipper on her face and she wouldn’t even wear that shirt.

The problem, Lil, is that you have not only no idea what kind of artist you are, but you also have no idea what kind of person you are. I appreciate that you tried to look like you were performing a Tina song as Tina, but you didn’t do it right. It wasn’t like the Vampire Lamb Bear performing “Tracks of My Tears” as Frankie Valli, it was like poor Alexis Grace performing “Jolene” in her dowdy Dolly Parton outfit. If you are going to go costume, you have to do it right. And you don’t know how to do it right, so just don’t do it. Get a stylist who isn’t schizophrenic, understands body lines and get a hair artist who can cut straight and you’ll be well on your way to at least looking like you know what you’re doing.

Tim Gunn, can you please come and help Lil Rounds be fabulous? She needs you.

The Husband:

A couple weeks ago I asked if anybody thought Megan Joy [Corkrey] was taking the competition seriously. I’m disappointed to report that, after this week’s performance and overall demeanor, it’s a big fat “no.” Something really horrible happened inside the brain of this woman that I loved in auditions and semifinals that turned her into a goofy joke, going from sweet jazz crooner sweetness to ridiculous flat mess.

I can’t tell you how much this pisses me off. Yes, there are plenty of people out there who really hate this show, and that’s their right. The show doesn’t need their viewership to keep up in the ratings, so they can go and watch their Mentalist B.S. But it’s when somebody inside the competition tries to completely throw it for a loop that I get angry. I’m taking it seriously, girl, whether you are or not. Instead of trying to challenge the judges and their concerns, Megan (or, say, Scott Savol), maybe you could have listened to their VALID critiques and become a great performer who does great songs AND kept true to your spirit. Instead of joking around with the audience, Megan (or, say, Chris Sligh), maybe you can get recognized for being a true, unique TALENT and not make goofy faces when other contestants did BETTER than you and DESERVED their votes. Instead of trying to redefine the show with your antics and your constant inexplicable presence, Megan (or, say, Sanjaya Malakar), maybe…oy…I’m done.

I think you made an ass of yourself, and it insulted those of us who really take American Idol as more than just a FOX primetime singing competition. Whether you like it or not, this show changes the general American zeitgeist, and to get into the Top 12 (or 13) and not even seem to recognize the power one could have is just so utterly disappointing. Simon was absolutely right to not even give Megan a chance after her declaration of simply not giving a shit anymore, and for once a swan song was entirely preferable.

One day I'll fly away!

One day I'll fly away!

What would have happened if, instead of Megan, we had Kristen McNamara in the Top 13. Or Jesse Langseth. Or Jackie Tohn if she hadn’t embarrassed herself in semifinals. I’m starting to prefer all of them at this point. I am a fickle beast.

As for the other contestants, I’m generally kind of in the middle with this week’s theme. On the one hand, it really raised Scott McIntyre as an artist in my eyes, as well as finally showing me, for the first time ever, why Kris Allen has so many fans (I’ve been harping on the kid for weeks, but I thought he was stellar on Tuesday), but on the other hand…well…let me explain.

The idea this week was to keep the music selections completely wide open, allowing the artist to pick a song that truly represented them and who they wanted to become. But half of them simply chose songs they liked without any concern for performance. Look, we’re in the eighth season of this competition, so there is no excuse for not having studied the arcs or previous contestants and realizing what makes them last so long. You need to connect with your audience on an honest level while at the same time being original while at the same time picking a well-known enough song to spark that nostalgia and faith in your voters while at the same time picking something that will show off your chops. Once again, Lil Rounds and Danny Gokey take the cake for being true karaoke performers with nary a change to their original song – my wife and I are so disappointed in Lil’s song choices so far that she has kind of been dubbed Lakisha v. 2.0 – and boring the hell out of me. (Okay, Danny was pretty good this week as far as karaoke style is concerned, because he seemed to finally open up…to a point.)

Why didn't anybody tell me this wig was on crooked??

Why didn't anybody tell me this wig was on crooked??

Balls. Just…balls. Even Lambert picked the completely wrong song, but he did it well enough (to a point) that it didn’t entirely matter. Still, we need some mega-Lambert brilliance in the next two weeks or he may just end up confusing people more than inspiring them. He needs a perfect combination of his brilliant performance pieces with a true earthshaking ballad, and he’s got this in the bag. It seems that not even his utter flamboyance is turning anybody off anymore.

The Wife:

Look, I wanted to love Megan, too, but after last night, I’m glad she’s done. The minute she said she was singing Bob Marley, I waved my hand at the television and uttered, “Have fun going home!” And lo, my command has come to pass. I really think that she got on the computer and looked up what bloggers have been saying about her and just switched off the part of her brain with any semblance of logic and decided to become the thing everyone thought she was. When she cawed her way to the Space Stools of Doom last night, I knew the Internet had destroyed her, and I’m glad she’s gone.

You know who shouldn’t have been on the Space Stools of Doom last night? Allison Iraheta. You want to know why she was there? That. Fucking. Outfit. Now, some of you may consider it odd that I spend my part of this post writing about how the Idols dress themselves, but for all that Kara says about package artists, I believe there is some truth to the fact that it matters how you look — especially when you’re in the public eye. At this stage in the competition, I think a good performance paired with a tragic outfit can send you to your doom, and this is exactly what happened to Miss Iraheta this week.

The minute she stepped onto that stage, I knew I wasn’t going to like writing this post. I try not to be excessively mean to these people, even if I don’t like them. And I do genuinely like Allison, so if she comes across this on the Interwebs, I don’t want this to destroy her brain and wind up cawing her way to the Space Stools like Megan Joy. Allison, what I am about to say, I say in your best interests. You have to lose the spiky hair and you have to stop pulling out Hot Topic prom dresses. Those two things in combination make you look like a troll doll. Here’s a visual comparison for you:

One of these things is EXACTLY LIKE THE OTHER.

One of these things is EXACTLY LIKE THE OTHER.

Please don’t ever do this again, Allison. I am counting on you to be the one solid female singer in this year’s sausage fest of a show. Go back to the Kelly Clarkson-cum-Fergie vibe you had during Motown week. That made you like like the star you are, and that’s how I want to see you.

The Husband:

Michael Sarver

Finally, Michael Sarver is gone. It had to happen sooner rather than later to keep my sanity, and I’m glad this is as far as it could have gone. I didn’t like a single one of his performances when the actual competition started, from his lame butchering of Gavin DeGraw and his completely unnecessary version of “You Are Not Alone” to, finally, being taken down this week by picking a song that, original aside, I can’t help but compare to Ruben Studdard and George Huff’s versions. (And, well, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Jeff Goldblum et al dancing to it in The Big Chill.) Point is, it’s a loaded song.

So, let me ask you something. Is there anybody out there who would have preferred to see Michael Sarver over Alexis Grace on the Idol tour? Raise your hand. [pause] Well, you’re stupid. You would honestly rather see a linebacker-type boy bleat on the stage for 2+ hours than see somebody with performance chops, spunk and true stage presence, just because she had one bad week? Blech. I think Kara DioGuardi put it best during Fox Reality Channel’s weekly special American Idol Extra that Michael didn’t understand the difference between being a singer and being an artist, and his days were numbered.

Speaking Of American Idol Extra

This is a really cool show, and if you have cable, I’d suggest watching/TiVoing it. It gives us a nice bit of extra time with the contestants and gives us answers we normally wouldn’t expect.

Some of the nice little tidbits from this week:

  • Adam likes Gossip Girl
  • Anoop is really into crossword puzzles
  • Allison likes ABBA
  • Kris owns up to owning a CD by Kris Kross
  • Matt Giraud is really into Disney movies

Also, interesting development, Michael isn’t really that into country music. He fesses up to having a “country heart,” but having grown up in a big town in Louisiana before moving to Texas, it wasn’t necessarily his music of choice. Well, you fooled us, Michael, and I would have loved to seen, maybe, a more rocker edge instead of the namby-pamby sweet country boy nonsense that became your persona and your voting base.

Also, while I miss Gina Glockson, Ace Young is a surprisingly good co-host. And his new Kenickie hair (he, along with fellow s5 Idol contestant Taylor Hicks, did Grease on Broadway) is a vast improvement over his wavy Tarzan bullshit when he was on the show, and even when he made a cameo on Rock Of Love Charm School. Dude, what if there’s a Kenickie curse, and Ace Young, 30 years down the line, ends up like Jeff Conaway? Man, VH1 destroys my concepts of celebrity.

Adam Lambert

The Vampire Lambert: Slicked and Smooth for Motown Week.

The Vampire Lambert: Slicked and Smooth for Motown Week.

I was kind of hoping to prove a point, that starting with Ace Young in s5, there would be what I call an Ace Young Curse. This is when somebody with trademark hair slicks it all back to fit into a certain theme week on Idol and somehow loses their fan base. It happened with Ace during Big Band Week, which got him voted off the show. And if Adam Lambert, who turned his crazy spikes into a Muddy Waters coif, would have dropped considerably in votes (believe me, I don’t want him off by any means), I would have had an official curse to trademark. But, according to DialIdol, he was the top vote-getter this week. Well, whatever. He did an incredible job this week, so I’m willing to give up a trademark for that.

Lil & Danny

It seems that each week I can lump my critiques of Lil and Danny into one. This week, both bored the shit out of me by simply singing a song’s melody with nary a personality- and vote-increasing variation. Do both feel so confident and safe that they can’t be bothered to have any fun with their choices? I don’t like any contestant to feel safe. While I still like Danny (hard to tell, I know), I simply won’t vote for him until he gets tossed into a bottom three or even a bottom two, which I think will put a fire under his ass and teach him to make every moment he’s onstage count.

The Final Song

A lot of people seem to really hate the final sing-for-your-life performance, calling it desperate and sad. Me, I think it’s a major improvement over the send-off performance of seasons past. I always felt that to be sad, underperformed and simply a producer’s way to end a show on a high note. But it always seemed like wasted time. Now, we get somebody putting energy and fight into their performance, not feeling safe, and doing what they should have done in the first place, which is to inspire. I just think that Simon could perhaps be a tad nicer about rejecting them at the end. Or maybe he could hand the task over to the other judges. (Not Paula. When asked to give the final verdict last night, she almost melted into a puddle of sad.)

The Children Of Saint Clare Kibosh

This is going to be a regular thing, the COSC Kibosh, wherein I scream to the Idol gods to ban certain songs from ever getting performed again. This week, I have two songs to destroy.

#1. “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave.” If it can nearly destroy Jennifer Hudson (who I remember Simon describing as “mad” when she sang the song), it would have no chance with Lil. It’s gone, buds.

#2. “For Once In My Life.” You’re not gonna do it as well as Stevie Wonder, and it might end up terribly embarrassing you. I think I’m done with Megan Joy after this week. That was just all kinds of wrong.

The Wife:

For this week’s Idol Fashion Review, let me start by praising Adam Lambert for doing something incredibly bold and unexpected by reminding me that he is, in fact, a working actor. And a good one. That shiny, shiny suit (like Barney Stinson’s suitjamas, actually) and the slicked back hair cemented something I noticed during his polarizing (but fucking awesome!) performance of “Ring of Fire” last week: the dude looks like Elvis. There was a shot of him on the big screen last week where he looked exactly like an early-Vegas-years Elvis, and this week, he inhabited the body and hair of the Elvis America fell in love with. He transformed himself, and, in doing so, made his performance as transcendent as is possible on Idol.

Adam Lambert is a fucking star. And if he doesn’t win, I think he will soon become the pinnacle of Idols on Broadway. Previously, I thought he’d only be good in shows with bombast like Wicked, or rocker shows like Rent or Spring Awakening (as Mortiz, not Melchior), but now I am convinced that he can do anything. He has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to Broadway casting directors with this performance, and I would definitely see Jersey Boys again if he were playing that falsetto-loving Frankie Valli.

I feel like she bought this at a cheap boutique on Melrose, but it's still pretty cute.

I feel like she bought this at a cheap boutique on Melrose, but it's still pretty cute.

The ladies all looked great this week. Lil Rounds made an excellent decision to wear that retro wig and don a flapper outfit, which is possibly the first thing I think she’s looked good in since that yellow-and-black number from the Top 36 episodes. Megan belongs in cute, short colorful things that are kind of weird but kind of cute, and she was back in a bright blue bubble hemmed dress this week, complete with 70s Hawaiian hotel singer hair and a little flower. On anyone else, this look would have bombed, but it worked on her. Kudos. As for tiny dynamo Allison Iraheta, I am so glad that she took on a more Kelly Clarkson-meets-Fergie type look this week, with the cool turqouise tunic and chains and the strange leggings. She looked young, she looked hip and she looked like a fucking star, as well as imminently more approachable than when she was dressing like she smoked ciggies behind the dumpster at her school a few weeks back. The girl is a rocker in her soul, and she knows how to embody that, both in her style of dress and with every performance she gives on this show.

Three of the boys need some attention here: Anoop, Kris and Scott. I loved Anoop’s 70s-style collegiate bowling jacket, because I think he’s best when he tries to nod to his academic career in his clothing. (But if he ever sports an honest-to-God letterman’s jacket, that will be one step too far.) Scott wore pink pants, and he knew he was wearing pink pants, and I am offended that someone in the wardrobe department thought those would be a good idea to put on a blind man — as though they wanted the bloggers to write jokes about it. I think they were trying to give him a sort of extra-on-Life on Mars vibe, but the pink pants with the pinstripe chocolate blazer and the pale paisley shirt just came off as . . . douchey. I’m extra confused by that ensemble because, last time I checked, it was Motown week, not BeeGees week. So . . . why didn’t he get a suit? Wouldn’t that have made more sense?

And then there’s Kris Allen’s shirt, which reminded me of what a guard would wear in a Nazi prison camp. There’s only a certain kind of man that shirt works on, and Kris Allen is not it. (But if Adam Lambert had worn it, I might have thought it was cool. Or even if Randy Jackson had worn it.) I kind of don’t like Kris because he is a dead ringer for a friend’s ex-husband, but I’m trying not to hold that against the guy. He is a good singer, but I want him to return to the boy-next-door vibe he’s been cultivating this season. I like him much better in plaid button downs, jeans and flip flops. It suits him.

Just . . . no.

Just . . . no.

But, overall, this week was pretty good for the Idols. I think they (and the wardrobe) department are kind of getting it. They’re packaging themselves better, and showing off their post-Idol potential.

The Husband:

Points of contention:

Alexis Grace Going Home

Alexis shouldn’t be going home. Not one lick. Not even if she had a bad week with a bad song.

Goodbye, tiny Kristen Bell look-alike!

Goodbye, tiny Kristen Bell look-alike!

(Man, what is it with “Jolene” as a song and being such bad luck on American Idol? It put Brooke White in the bottom three of Dolly Parton week last season, and it killed Alexis Grace. Let this be a lesson.)

I think that we can all agree that Michael Sarver, for many reasons, should have gone home, not least of which was the terribly depressing bit of info we found out last night regarding his three-year-old daughter and her feeling abandoned. True, he shouldn’t drop out of the competition just for her, but it just happened to coincide with him doing a poor version of a bad song. Alexis has been great the entire season up to this point, and I even felt her wildly over-the-top performance last week was a little bundle of dynamite, but Michael…well…he’s had an entire run of mediocre performances. His “You Are Not Alone” last week? Nope. He is alone.

I understand that the judges felt like they had to save their “Judges Save” for later in the competition just so it adds up to something more substantial, but I thought Alexis’ sing-for-your-life performance had all the energy and depression that the song called for (even if it was a lousy Jeff Buckley version) and that they probably should have used it, just to get all the controversy surrounding the “save” out of the way and we can move on with this competition.

But hey, I like unpredictability. I just wish it wasn’t what brought Alexis Grace down.

That Infamous “Top Four List”

A couple days ago, there was a story floating around on the interwebs regarding an anonymous American Idol staffer who claims that the top four have already been picked, and that we’re just wasting our time until that top four finally happens. Now, I’m not going to list who the people listed were, because, and I have to point this out every year, this is legally a competition, and if there was rigging of said competition everybody involved would be in jail. Another good reason not to list the four people is that, as of last night, the fucking list has already been disproved. Because I will say one person who was on that list: Alexis Grace. If there really was a conspiracy, would the judges have let Ms. Grace go on her merry way? Quit it, conspiracy theorists. Judges may skew toward their favorites, and the two-seasons-old iTunes download stuff is meant to let the producers know who is rising or falling in popularity, but this competition is still about your votes, and nobody else’s.

Kris Allen Singing “Make You Feel My Love”

a.) It’s a Bob Dylan song, not a Garth Brooks song.

b.) Garth Brooks has covered it, but so have many other people.

c.) Kris Allen’s version was the Adele arrangement.

Okay, we all know that contestants find versions other than the original to use for the show and arrange them thusly. The problem is when the contestant gets praise for the arrangement of the song and not the original artist. And there’s a difference here. David Cook last year, who was 100% forward that his version of “Billie Jean” was the one done by Chris Cornell. In s5, when Chris Daughtry did Live’s version of “Ring of Fire,” he did not mention it on Tuesday, but Seacrest was very clear about it during that week’s results show. And this week, Adam Lambert said up front that the “Ring of Fire” he was doing – does nobody do Cash’s version? – was one he had found.

But nope, there was no mention that Kris/Ricky Minor had arranged the song just like the most recent cover of the Bob Dylan song, not on Tuesday and not on Wednesday, and Kris got praise from nearly all of the judges for the version. Yes, he sang it well, and I was quite surprised at how much I liked it, but Kris needs to come forward, even just a small online release, that he’s not the one who should be praised.

And if he doesn’t…well…my wife and I saw Adele in concert back in January, and let me tell you, she could kick that little turd’s ass up and down the block.
Speaking Of Lambert…

Wow…that was some bizarre shit there, Lambert. I would tone done the eye-rape moves, some of the falsetto, and maybe dress more appropriately for the week’s theme. But I will say this: while the performance could be judged in many different ways (and the judges were waaaaay split), it was certainly one of the most unique Idol performances ever. And that’s never a bad thing.

But this was definitely the first week I actually laughed a bit during his performance. There’s Freddie Mercury-type performing, and then there’s evil Persian warlock hypnosis.



Is Megan Joy Taking the Competition Seriously?

Between last week and this week, I think Megan Joy is throwing way more humor into her performances than necessary. Or not. I don’t know. She’s a tough one to figure out, that Corkrey-less crooner. She’s from Sandy, Utah, where Big Love takes place, and yet she has major tattooage that would most certainly point to her not being a Mormon. She’s a mother but doesn’t act like one. And she’s a contestant on this show but I don’t know if she really wants to win. I know she had the flu this week, but her rigid, goofy performance this week was so strange. It wasn’t bad, but it was strange. Well, it got worse as it went along, so much so that near the end I thought to myself that she was starting to sound like Elaine Stritch.

Maybe she’s pulling a Chris Sligh and is aware that simply being on Idol is enough to boost her career, and once she gets a spot on the tour (which, as of last night, she received), the competition doesn’t really matter.

Paula Vs. Scott MacIntyre

Paula gave Scott guff for basically relying on his piano, but I think that’s fine. He can stick with it. He just needs to pick better songs, despite the fact that I’m liking him more and more each week. The piano is part of who he is, and I know he can work better on a connection with the audience and still have the ivories in front of him.

But I also think the other judges were a little quick to judge Paula’s judgment of Scott, because they brought up this argument: what if in the future they have Elton John week, or Billy Joel week, or Ray Charles week.

Here’s the problem. American Idol has already done all three.

  • Elton John Week: s3
  • Billy Joel Week: s2
  • Ray Charles Week: s5

Suck it, judges. Come up with choices you haven’t already done, fools.

Danny And Lil’s Song Choices

Some thoughts:

  • Both had awful first half-of-a-performance. This is a fact. What the hell was going on?
  • “Jesus Take The Wheel” is a lame song
  • Carrie Underwood did the ultimate Idol version of Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” in s4, and anyone who thinks they are worthy of surpassing her had better be spectacular, which Lil wasn’t.

Randy Travis On Willy Nelson

Apparently, Randy Travis can’t get willy out of his mind. Somebody should tell his wife.

The Hypnotic Power of Matt Giraud’s Mole

It exists. Hell, it got me to throw five votes his way by the end of his performance.

The Wife:

I realized this week that my jacket theory has been completely disproven by Danny Gokey’s extremely literal interpretation of snow-and-ice infused lyrics with that parka-like arctic white jacket he donned on Tuesday night. They do not always make any outfit instantly look more put together. Sometimes, they make you look like you’re trying really hard to be Kanye.

I also realized that Lil Rounds has no idea what the fuck she actually looks like and she needs Tim Gunn’s help and fast. Here’s the thing, Lil: you are pear-shaped. Nothing is ever going to work for you if you stuff yourself into it like some kind of hot sexy sausage. Tuesday’s pink sheath was a minor improvement over last week’s tragic white pants  . . . but only from the front. From the front, the chest ruffles balanced out her hips and drew my attention toward her face . . . but then the camera panned to the back, where that dress hugged her ass so tight I do not know how she’d have been able to sit down. Having a sexy booty is nice, but jamming it into a hot pink sausage casing actually makes it less sexy. Next week, she needs to switch to A-line sihlouettes; she will look much better. She provided further evidence that she has no idea what she looks like on Wednesday night when she threw on a pair of shorts and a long green top with lots of ruffles that pooled around her hips and butt, thus making her ass look that much bigger and completely confusing the hell out of me. Girl is a fine singer, but she needs some help in the wardrobe department.

I don't even understand what's happening with this outfit or what thought process lead to putting it on this girl.

I don't even understand what's happening with this outfit or what thought process lead to putting it on this girl.

Whoever styled Megan Joy this week also did some very strange things, taking a girl that I thought was kind of a quirky rockabilly goddess and tossing her into an Uli Herzner-style maxi dress to sing . . . an old Patsy Cline number? What? What the fuck happened to last week’s red macrame dress? Even Carrie Underwood was cribbing that look, that’s how good it was! Megan should have been wearing some kind of short, fitted shirtdress with a 40’s flare, which would fit the song and what I’ve seen of her personality so far. It would also have complimented her tattoos far better. No more of this 1970s disco makeup, either. None of this look made any sense . . . except for Megan’s boobs, which came out of fucking nowhere on Tuesday night and actually were very distracting because I noticed just how large her areolae were through the sheer fabric covering those crazy knockers. (They’re like dinner plates, by the way.)

But probably the worst look of the week went to doomed Alexis Grace, who apparently has been told she looks like Dolly Parton so many times that she decided to wear something covered in a Dolly-appropriate amount of sequins. Now, I’ve said that Alexis knows how to dress for a song, and she definitely does. Her problem this week was that she completely misunderstood the point of the song. That black spangled dress was the definition of matronly, and that feeling carried into her performance of the song — a song that Brooke White did a much better job with last season when she used a guitar-only arrangement and connected with the desperation of the song’s speaker, who will never love again if that sultry green-eyed beauty takes her man just because she can. Alexis didn’t get that at all, choosing instead to create a mother-of-the-bride helmet out of her blonde crop and sang the song without any emotion or luster. Now, I may not like or even understand country music, but I do love me some Dolly Parton. And I love “Jolene.” And you do not do that to Dolly. If you do Dolly with hairspray and spangles, they better be lime green spangles and have some very tall boots and very tall hair to accompany them. Alexis would have been better off wearing the cherry skirt and country picnic top she wore with her shit-kicking boots on Wednesday night; I think that much more countrified look would have suited the song better and given Alexis a chance.

Idol is quickly becoming a sausage fest this season, and that means I’ll only get to talk about Gokey’s eyeglass obsession, Matt Giraud’s collection of leather jackets and Adam Lambert’s insistance on eye-raping me. Please, girls. I need the rest of you to stick around because we all know that women’s fashion is much more interesting than menswear.

The Husband:

I told my wife to remember to copy-and-paste BestWeekEver.TV’s description of Adam Lambert’s performance, but I guess she forgot. It’s just too good to not put here, though:

Last night, Adam Lambert took the Johnny Cash song “Ring Of Fire,” impregnated it with a unicorn, sent it to India, gave it an STD test, and read the results of that test with a sitar strumming in the background on live television.

The Husband:

Well, that was a bizarre week. Both overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time — as Ten Things I Hate About You pointed out, you can’t merely be just “whelmed,” except in Europe — the week taught me, more than anything, that this is a strange show, and America is a fickle bitch.

Predictions I was wrong about:

Jorge + America = Success

Despite his protests in song, the sun did, in fact, go down on Jorge and he had to say goodbye.

Despite his protests in song, the sun did, in fact, go down on Jorge and he had to say goodbye.

I was really pulling for this guy to go far, where certain portions of the country would learn to better accept things they don’t always understand, things such as minorities, other languages and passion in performance. Hell, I actually liked Jorge’s performance quite a bit, and definitely rank it in the top 5 of the week. But he didn’t inspire anybody, and that was the problem. My plan to turn this season of American Idol into a Kumbaya circle of understanding and world harmony has fallen apart. Blimey. The first out of this week’s two contestants to go to the land of Vanessa Olivarez and David Hernandez.

A Danny Gokey Backlash

Now, there’s plenty of time for Mr. Gokey to become the enemy of America with his over-reliance on personality instead of just doing some good performing, but I didn’t necessarily expect that, according to, he’d be the top vote-earner of the night. I’m not jumping on the “I hate Danny Gokey” bandwagon, though. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Boy’s got some major chops. But do I feel his heart and soul with every note? With his story, I probably should, but I don’t. I need to get that he’s here in the competition to win based on him and not his story. But so far, I’m not throwing any votes his way.

America Will Hate Kris Allen And Realize Their Mistake

Look how cold he is without a jacket!

Look how cold he is without a jacket!

I don’t know why Kris Allen got into the Top 13, and I don’t know why people liked his performance of “Remember The Time” this week. People say he’s Jason Mraz-esque. No. Jason Mraz is brilliant. Kris is a cute guy who undersings everything and somehow convinced the country that his guitar bumbling was actually something to vote for and praise. Show me a star, goddamn it, because I’m not seeing it.

Anoop Desei Will Rock You All This Week

Man, his “Beat It” was fucking weird, wasn’t it? I think it got into his head that his Wild Card performance of “My Prerogative” was what got him pushed into the Top 13, and kept with the same fake badassery. No, sir. You got through from your earlier performances, soulful and unexpected. I like unexpected. But not this unexpected.

(A similar mistake happened in s3, when Jon Peter Lewis got into the Top 12 with his Wild Card performance of “A Little Less Conversation,” only to be voted off weeks later doing another Elvis song, “Jailhouse Rock.”)

America Will Hate Megan Joy [Corkrey] And Her Mere Existence

Wow, not even getting saddled with “Rockin’ Robin” could do this girl in. Has she gained some fan base that is currently completely quiet on the Internet? Did everybody come to the same realization that, with about 85% certainty, Megan probably did a coin toss with somebody else for another MJ song — “P.Y.T.” or more likely a more bluesy version of “I’ll Be There.”

Jasmine Would Suck

Actually, Jasmine did better than I expected with “I’ll Be There” — definitely one of the most gorgeous songs from an entirely pre-packaged kid group — but she suffered from Lisa Tucker disease (i.e. too young to perform like a professional) and was the other contestant of the two this week to be eliminated. Or, to be more esoteric, she was the Leah LaBelle Wild Card fail of season 8.

(Clearly, based on all my trivia, s3 was a very important season for me in becoming an Idol maniac.)

Extra Note: Oh, and I actually really love the new Judges Veto twist, but will probably have far better things to say about it when it is used or at least when there’s more dramatic tension on the show.

The Wife:

Because I write the modeling blogs around these parts, my contribution to American Idol is to critique/make fun of how these artists “package” themselves, to borrow Kara DioGuardi’s favorite phrase. So to the Idol glam squad I pose this question: What the fuck, ya’ll?

Can someone please hire him to be in the next Twilight movie? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase?Can someone please hire him to be in the next Twilight movie? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase?

They spent all their money buying Matt Giraud and Vampire Lamb Bear those fabulous leather jackets and kind of let the girls all destroy themselves. In fact, every dude but Kris Allen had the benefit of a cool jacket, although I know some are tired of the military-inspired outwear donned by Scott and Anoop this week. I maintain my long-stated position that a well-tailored jacket completes an outfit, so for Kris Allen to be the only jacketless guy only cemented my thoughts that he shouldn’t be here. I, too, am in the internet minority in hating his guitar rendition of “Remember the Time,” a song I admittedly do not know at all but hated on a folk guitar. Had he come out in a jacket and with an electric guitar, things might have been different. He is pretty adorable, I’ll give him that. But I have to believe in the power of the jacket to lock in a look. And from the jackets chosen, I know that Michael Sarver wants to be a cool but sensitive tough guy, Matt Giraud wants to be a soulful, blusey rocker (brushed leather, oooooh) and Vampire Lamb Bear wants to be Freddie Mercury. I mean, seriously, he had on steel blue leather with a mandarin collar. Where did the glam squad find that? That thing was the best piece in the whole show tonight.

And then there are the girls, two of whom worked in their style and while the other two came across as complete disasters. It’s evident to me that Alison Iraheta told the glam squad to go fuck themselves, because she came out looking like any kid who likes to go smoke cigarettes by the dumpsters at their high school: skinny jeans, ill-placed belt, lots of greys and blacks. I wouldn’t say this was a killer outfit, as I have a general disdain for anything that comes from Urban Outfitters, but at least it made sense with who she is. I want more Cyndi Lauper-esque stuff out of her, though. More like what she wore for her Top 36 performance.

I'm going to write to EW Style Hunter to find me this crazy-ass dress.

I'm going to write to EW Style Hunter to find me this crazy-ass dress.

The red dress with the macrame straps on Megan Joy was definitely her best outfit yet. She definitely stepped on the red hot mama train with this little number, which was cute, but also too quirky for most people to like. That dress is exactly like the person who wore it and its a perfect statement about who she is as an artist. Over at Best Week Ever, Michelle Collins wrote that she should be the lead singer of a band called “Quirky Quirk Quirk and the Twees.” I agree, and I totally want her to front some kind of swingin’ indie rockabilly band, and possibily have a threesome with Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard, for there can be no more twee a marriage than their marriage will be, unless they have regular sex with Megan Joy Corkrey. Also, I would totally wear that red dress. Just sayin’.

And then there was that strange pink creation that found its way on to poor Jasmine Murray. I can’t even adequately explain why I hate it. I just do. It did absolutely nothing for her, except maybe make her look like she was an extra on Swingtown. And even then, Lana Parilla wouldn’t go anywhere near that dress. Bringing up the rear, literally, was Lil Rounds, who doesn’t understand that when you’ve got a booty like that you cannot put it in tapered white pants! Why did the glam squad let her get away with this? Those pants were doing her no favors, nor was that top, which might have worked if someone had decided to cut off the ruffle sleeve. If Jasmine Murray was on her way to a 70s-themed party, then Lil Rounds was on her way to a high school dance in a John Hughes movie. I fail to understand how people who are paid to make other people look good let these disasters happen. Not to mention that neither of these outfits complemented the song choice or said anything about these ladies as artists.

Why, God, why????????

Why, God, why????????

The glam squad most succeeded with Alexis Grace, whose stirring performance of “Dirty Diana” is still earworming its way into my brain as I write this. Her black exposed-zipper onesie didn’t say much to me about who Alexis is, but it further proved to me that she’s the only person on this show who understands costuming herself for a performance. She sang her Aretha song weeks ago in a slip and trashy heels, like a hooker who’d been kicked to the curb, which fit the character of the song. When she had to do that Jason Mraz group number, she actually dressed up like a lady version of Mraz. And this week, given a song about a very naughty lady who works in the sex industry, she dressed like a dancer in a production of Cabaret. The girl is a performer. She gets it.

The Husband:

Wow. What a crazy-ass roller coaster week. America shows that maybe it can be trusted slightly more with their Top 12 picks (although they still have some ‘splainin’ to do), the Group 3 performances end up being startlingly good, and the judges, while making some strange picks as to who they wanted to see again for the Wild Card round, made some darn good decisions of their own.

But oh man, it’s going to be a heavily male-centric final group, and I can only attribute that, as I did last week, to the show’s main voting constituency — hormonal teenage girls. It’s a sausage fest. A non-threatening, asexual sausage fest.

But, as I was saying, this was the week where the contestants really stood out, and at least half of the 12 performances could actually be classified as “good” or above. Gee, what a concept.

In which case, I don’t really need to tell you who did poorly, since I think it’s quite obvious to everybody, and I need only to mention their names (Taylor Vaifanua, Aianna Afsar, Nathaniel Marshall) and get shudders from you readers.

Actually, I really have to call out Nathaniel Marshall for giving the semifinals one truly awful performance, where he took one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums (“I Would Do Anything For Love” from Meat Loaf’s classic 90s record Bat Out Of Hell 2: Back Into Hell) and turned it, as I wrote down but also said by TVSquad, into a Donna Summer song. What a trashy undoing of a powerful song. Nathaniel, without question, should be ashamed.

Idol's Group Three runs hot and cold.

Idol's Group Three runs hot and cold.

So who did a good job, and who did a great job?


Ju’not Joyner (“Hey There Delilah”): While I am never big on people reusing songs, it’s completely understandable if it’s their signature song from earlier rounds (much like Kimberley Locke’s version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” that got her into the Top 12 over Clay Aiken pre-Wild Card), and I thought for a moment that I’d really like Ju’not in the Top 12 just to shake things up. Alas, he did not get voted through, nor was he brought back for the Wild Card.

Felicia Barton (“No One”): An interesting selection from an interesting person who, unfortunately, just couldn’t get enough screentime thanks to her being a last-minute replacement in the Top 36. I hate it when contestants sing Alicia Keyes (they’re never going to measure up), and Felicia’s performance definitely got messier at it progressed, but I thought she was a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, she did not make it through and, also, was not brought back.

Scott MacIntyre (“Mandolin Rain”): So here’s the deal. I think that if he weren’t legally blind, that voice wouldn’t have been strong enough to really make much of an impression, but he has a story and a “handicap,” and his heart more than made up for some of his vocal shortcomings. He’s a darn good performer, and I appreciate that, and I appreciate that he “sailed on through” to the Top 12.

Lil Rounds (“Be Without You”): I’m kind of sick of this Idol type, even if I’m quite aware that Lil is trying to be her own person. I mean, she’s basically being touted as Tamyra and La Toya and Trenyce and Syesha, and maybe I’m just finally done with that spot that always seems to be open in the Top 12 for eight years now, but I can’t deny the fact that she has a pretty impeccable voice. But she’s not inspiring joy out of me. Just respect.

Kristen McNamara (“Give Me One Reason”): I don’t know why she chose to do such a sped-up version of the song, ended up with some majorly garbled words, but this NorCal resident gave a cool Kimberly Caldwell vibe that I wish had made more of an impression on America.


Jorge Nuñez “(Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”): I think we may be in for something very special with this bilingual singer. We got a small bit of comment huff a few weeks ago for defending Jorge’s accent on this blog, but like Simon we were aware then that it wouldn’t be a problem, and that with the right song and the right amount of heart it doesn’t matter if he says a word differently here or there. He will do wonders for the American Latino/Chicano community merely by his presence in the Top 12, but the best thing is that he’s a great singer to boot. He could demolish the rest of the competition, and I’m fine with that assessment.

So Jorge, Lil and Scott made it through, which unfortunately left some darn good people in the dust, a fact made worse by the fact that no remaining Group 3 contestants were brought back for the Wild Card round. Why? So the judges could put insane people like Tatiana or jokes like Von Smith in their spots. (Come on, we know that those spots could have gone to Kristen McNamara and Felicia Barton easily.)

But I’m more than okay with the judges’ final picks for Wild Card. While I think Jasmine Murray will end up being destroyed by her own nerves and lack of professional know-how in the next few weeks, I’m glad to have her youthful energy around and hope she can recapture some of the magic she had during the auditions. Megan Joy Corkrey and Matt Giraud were no-brainers to move through, honestly, giving the show a more bluesy and adult vibe amidst all the pop shenanigans, and I welcome the variety.

But the greatest part of the week was making the Top 12 into a Top 13 by also accepting Anoop Desai, one of this season’s best performers, into the final group. He needs to tone down some of the overwrought drama in his performances, but he’s now the show’s official underdog, dawg.

The “real” competition is just around the corner, so pick up your phone and start voting with the smart part of you instead of the horny part. Don’t forget, the progression of this show actually does affect mainstream pop culture whether you like it or not, and I don’t want another no-talent, pretty-but-bland personality singing to me on the radio. There’s already enough of that.

The Wife:

This was certainly a rollercoaster week on Idol, and I’m still mad about what Nathaniel did to Meat Loaf. Throughout the entire performance, I was hoping that Mr. Aday himself would burst through the back wall, Eddie in RHPS-style, roar in on a hog and kill Nathaniel with a pick axe as the band started playing “What Ever Happened to Saturday Night?” (Ideally, Meat Loaf would sing that song while murdering Nathaniel and then launch into a triumphant rendition of “I Would Do Anything For Love.”) I wish I could describe the look of abject horror on my face, but alas, it is indescribable.

Like my husband, I was sad to see that Kristen McNamara was passed over for a chance at the Wild Card. Instead, they gave her spot to Jesse Langseth, who has a lovely voice, but I cannot call myself a fan of because of her complete inability to produce consonant sounds. Seriously, she is rarely actually saying a word when she sings. I’d have liked to see McNamara go further in this competition. She’s cute like Anna Faris and has a great, powerful voice. And this week, her outfit wasn’t a problem at all, despite what the judges may have said about it. That dress was adorable, totally made by those little pink rosettes on the shoulders.

I still think a lot of the contestants need help styling themselves, Lil Rounds being a prime example. She went from super hot yellow and black cocktail number for performance night to a dowdy black and white dress that would work, maybe, on Alison Iraheta or some other young white kid who shops at vintage stores and Hot Topic. And I only want to see Anoop in the skinny-tie-and-Rufus Humphrey-cardi combo for the rest of his Idol days. So, so happy they put Anoop through. I think the judges made the right choices with the Wild Card contestants they sent through, thought I agree with my husband that they did make some really weird picks for the Wild Card round.

Competition next week! Let’s see if Megan Joy Corkrey learns to move to music!

The Husband:

I have been stuck in bed over the past few days due to an oddly long-lasting cold, so I apologize for the delay in certain stories. Now onto Idol.

I think it’s safe to say that this season hasn’t gone exactly the way we expected it to go.  With the new approach to semifinals, giving us 36 contestants instead of 24, we’re seeing the biggest turnaround in Idol history. It’s made for some interesting shows over the last couple weeks, and it has certainly upped the drama for semifinals, a segment of the show that is usually quite lacking in that department, but it’s also causing some problems in my opinion. With this new Keep-Three-Drop-Nine system, we’re seeing now, more than ever, that song choice is everything, and if a contestant makes one, just one, mistake, they are out. From seasons 4-7, they were usually allowed at least one mistake, because we liked the people enough to keep them in. Also, if the ads are correct, then we the people are not even selected our wild cards. In seasons 2-3, we chose one wild card contestant while the judges got one pick each. Now, there are only three spots left, and they presumably will be choosing those.

But the biggest problem isn’t that the “guy” with the highest number of votes and the “girl” with the highest number of votes gets through, but it’s that third spot each week. If the last two weeks are any indication, America cannot be trusted with that spot. The biggest voting block for the show is tween-to-teenage white girls, and that has left us, twice now, with bland but cute white boys in those spots instead of somebody with unique talent.

And now I simply hope that the wild card round will go in my favor and pick up the stray Anoop from week 1 and Megan Joy Corkrey from week 2. But I can’t ignore that both made some odd singing choices.

What was good last week?

The Good

  • Allison Iraheta (“Alone”): For the first time in the semi-finals, a performance gave me chills. Virtually coming out of nowhere, this odd-looking 16-year-old SoCal girl came onstage and, to borrow a Dawgism, blew it out the box. I maintain that, with very few exceptions, nobody under 21 should sing Heart’s gut-wrenching song of passion and longing, but she turned it into the season’s first 100% performance. Great stage presence, great vocal control, great emotion. Definitely the best “rocker” chick in a very long time. I hope she lasts longer than s7’s Amanda. Paula called her “seasoned,” and for once she’s right on the money.
  • Megan Joy Corkrey (“Put Your Records On”): Okay, it was a little too careful and a little too precise, but this is what I’m talking about. We already know how good she is, and aside from a few issues, she was damn good, and a helluva lot better than Kris Allen, who got through simply for choosing a MJ song and looking cute. Even Simon thinks that America should have voted for Megan (or is it Megan Joy now?), and I fear for the country’s short-term memory loss. She’s got a damn good voice, and that’s the best place to start. Because looks should at least come third in picking somebody.
  • Jesse Langseth (“Bette Davis Eyes”): Yes, I’m going to get some shit for this, because holy hell did Jesse forget to enunciate most of the words, but between a great song selection (no, the original hit doesn’t have a lot of range, but one could make it that way quite easily) and being incredibly unique (something this show needs right now), I liked her quite a bit. I’ve said before that female jazz singers don’t last, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see one last. Yes, Kara, it was risky, but it was also cool and different.
  • Adam Lambert (“Satisfaction”): It was wild and crazy, and it was over-the-top like what, but you have to admit that it was damned good. Pulling a Constantine Maroulis, Adam let loose and showed that a contestant’s best shot for votes as far as performance is concerned is to take a rather simple and very well-known song and make it theirs. This is what I’m talking about, how to take a normal song and give it range. It is, in short, Lamtastic. I’d be curious in the future to see how he takes on a quieter song, though.
I think every woman in America, plus some gay men and dudes with man crushes, would be happy to give Adam the satisfaction he so desires.

I think every woman in America, plus some gay men and dudes with man crushes, would be happy to give Adam the satisfaction he so desires.

The Good, But Not For This Show

  • Nick Mitchell (“And I Am Tellling You I’m Not Going”): I think I like Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle more than most people, because I know there’s actually a good voice underneath all the performing and characterization. I’m glad he got American Idol exposure, but it was the right time for him to go away. What do I think? I think that he should audition for Last Comic Standing next season. I laughed my ass off during his performance, and I think his pseudo-drag act would be great material for the NBC show. He clearly has a sense of humor about himself, so why not?

The Not So Good

  • Jasmine Murray (“Love Song”) and Jeanine Vailes (“This Love”): Good singers, but they screwed the pooch with their song selections, putting zero personality into songs that 100% call for it. I’m sad especially for the promising Jasmine.
  • Matt Breitzke (“If You Could Only See”): I didn’t like him to begin with, and I feel he was only selected to cater to a certain demographic, and thankfully that demographic didn’t vote him through. Snooze.

The rest were actually somewhere in the middle, doing better than last week’s worst but ending up below the overall quality of the first batch in week 1 of semifinals. They just forgot to stand out. Matt Giraud messed up by picking a song (“Vida La Vida”) that is known more for its bombastic instrumental side and its message than its notes, and Kai Kalama did what Simon hated and became pretty much a wedding singer.

So Allison, Kris and Adam are through. Now that I type through the contestants, I’m not as mad at the final selection than I was Thursday night, but I still think that both Kris Allen from this week and Michael Sarver from week 1 should not be in the Top 12.

Oh well.

The Wife:

I think it was obvious from the third bar of “Satisfaction” that Adam Lambert was going through. I made a cat sound at the TV and I think I head the sound of panties dropping all across the country. He raped me with his eyes, and I liked it. His was the only performance of the night that I thought was truly awesome. He’s a born showman. And yes, he can be bombastic and theatrical, but I think the judges (especially Simon) tend to forget that musical theatre songs are written in such a way as to make the audience emote when they’re sung well. My friend Charlie Michael Levy is such a talented showman that he can make me cry when he sings something so ridiculous as “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music. A great performer can do that. And Lambert is that kind of performer. I do appreciate, however, that he is working on toning it down to appeal to a broader non-musical theatre-understand audience. He’s smart. And he’s going to go far even if he doesn’t win.

Alison Iraheta is the only contestant so far to pass my styling test. The girl looks like she walked straight out of Hot Topic, but the look works for her and it matches her voice. This is more than I can say for Megan Joy Corkrey, whom I adore, but who really needs a stylist to keep her out of strange white lacey contraptions. In her official Idol photo, she’s wearing some kind of jumper with a white lace tee under it, and on Wednesday, she performed wearing a cute white dress paired with white tights. What? Megan, you are 23 and have the soulful voice of a woman much older. You chose the right song with “Put Your Records On” (which, for the record, I said she should sing next the first time I heard her open her mouth), but you need to stop dressing like a twelve year old girl playing in mommy’s closet. She’s pretty, yes, but her inability to dress herself detracts from her beauty. And detracting from your beauty detracts from your votes.

It's like she's trying to be Paula in the 80s.

It's like she's trying to be Paula in the 80s.

She also hurt herself by having absolutely none of the stage presence of Alison Iraheta or Adam Lambert. Iraheta knew what to do with her arms on stage, unlike Janine, who fluttered her arms around like an epileptic butterfly, and unlike Megan Joy, who basically just shimmied her shoulders whenever she thought she was being too still. A stylist and a performance coach will go a long way for Megan Joy. I hope she gets the chance. I hope the judges choose her as a Wildcard. Her and Anoop. I can’t go on without Anoop.