Tuesday, March 22, 2005

American Idol Recap 03/22/05 - Jacket Required

Jacket Required

Tonight Seacrest greets us from a dramatically artsy “unlit” stage in a red t-shirt that says “I (heart) expensive t-shirts”. Clearly. Break to the intro credits and the girl in the elevator. Yep, she stops on the Fantasia floor again. Have you noticed all the swinging glass going on there? That is one seriously dangerous building. The liability insurance costs must eat them alive. Straight up!

Anxiously we await tonight’s theme (I didn’t look ahead online this time) and it is…a giant book for each contestant. Tonight the theme is books on tape! Now there is one genre of audio we don’t get enough of on reality TV. The kids look at their gift like they got underwear for Christmas. Seacrest carts out some stiff who turns out to be Fred Bronson. Fred Bronson if you didn’t know is like the Gawd of Billboard’s Chart Beat. He also wrote the animated Star Trek episode “the Counter-Clock Incident.” I know, I Googled him.

You see, there is a new book out by Fred that showcases 931 (a nice round-ish number) #1 songs from Billboard’s history of tracking songs. The kids give a puzzled “woooo” and we’re off!

First up is Anthony Federov singing “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.” Just to show that he cares about his appearance and to show Seacrest up, Anthony is sporting a fetching jacket with tee underneath. Tony gets caught up in his George Michael tribute that he go-go’s right off stage into the crowd. Wheee. Tony reminds me of a young Ann Robinson tonight, fetching! I think this is the first duet to be sung this season by one person. He sings both George and Aretha’s parts and does a pretty good job. Maybe just because it is the first song of the night and I’m pumped. I don’t know. Randy and Paula both say he did a good job. Tony feels the love and blows a kiss back to Paula. Of course this is edited so he could have been blowing it to Randy. Simon says it is just okay (so you know he is not blowing it to Simon). Simon says that it is strange to see him tonight, like he is trying to be sexy. The crowd cheers. Has Simon or the crowd ever seen someone sexy? An analogy is made to Randy being on Baywatch. Randy dawgs it up by telling Tony to take off his shirt. Maybe the kiss was edited on purpose.

If there’s one thing that you should know about me, it is that I LOOOOVES me the 80’s! Well, I’ve been asking for it and I GOT IT!!! Ladies and Gentleman, Carrie Underwood! Modest and understated in her promo video, she explains that she is singing “Alone” by Heart to break away from her country side. Didn’t Simon say that he liked her because she stayed so loyal to her true self? What we see on video McGuffins us into thinking it is the same Carrie we have fallen in love with. Behold the new Carrie Underwood sponsored by Aquanet! In a spectacular and rousing rendition that would make Ann and Nancy Wilson proud she belts her way through one of the best “oh, it’s that song, I didn’t recognize the title” type songs from the 80’s. Carrie gets points for actually looking like Ann and Nancy at the same time (minus a few pounds). She does do a little embarrassing duck walk towards the end that kind of taints the performance for me but overall very good. Carrie just can’t be stopped y’all. I am starting to notice a trend also. Carrie is wearing a very fetching jacket that just makes the 80’s look. Carrie is racking up the honorary awards. I seem to remember her looking very Solid Gold last week. If she keeps this up, she could sweep the award for theming. Crowd shot: Hey look!!!! It’s Donnie Osmond!!! There is a sign from some really nice guy that says “You + Me = Us.” It has a picture of her by the “You” and a picture of him by the “Me” and then by the “Us” it is a Photoshop picture of what their kid would look like. Okay, on second thought, that isn’t nice…that’s creepy!!! Randy likes it. Paula has to name drop and say that she worked with Ann and Nancy both. Big woo Paula. Simon says that she will not only win this competition but sell more albums than any other idol. Thanks Simon, thanks a lot! I was planning on actually watching the rest of the season!

Before we break to commercial there are signs in the crowd that say “Scott is Hot” (ohmigod) and for the obvious-impaired, “Bo Rocks.”

We’re back from commercial and we have to interview Donnie Osmond. “Donnie, will you be a Guest judge?” Donnie apparently is about to release his 54th album. 54th!!!
There is a sign in the crowd that says “Mikalah is Faaaaaabulous”

Don’t you just love Pig Boy Scott Savol? I know you do. And he knows it to. He is introduced by Seacrest as Scotty the Body Savol. Sweet. He is singing “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins. Scott dramatically raises his arm skyward invoking the power of Saint Little Debbie. This song is for you my little bow tie, pie hat wearing goddess of rolled cakes. Scott is wearing more bling this week. It is all about the jackets this evening. Suddenly the Kangol pig boy was wearing is gone. Man, you can’t turn away from the TV one second! Next come the glasses…gone! He is really into the song. Is his shirt un-tucked in the back? The jacket is still intact though. Big finish. Pig Boy gets a standing ovation. I thought it was okay but then I think he could pretty much pull anything off. I didn’t feel it had a lot of spice to it this week. Randy says it was on and poppin’. Paula says he’s getting better every week. Simon glosses over the performance and is worried that if the song was longer than one minute that we would have seen a full strip tease. Scott goes over to the toilet stools to give the digits. The shirt is fully un-tucked by now. Seacrest has found the glasses and explains that they are greasy. Nice.

Next up in BoBice!Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce. A slower side of Bo than we have seen before. Bo starts out sitting underneath the video belt buckle surrounded in darkness. Slowly he gets up and walks down stage where we find….a guitarist?! Bo leans down and looks tenderly towards the guitarist. Bo, you really don’t need to act out the song dude. Either Bo blanks out or the lyrics really go “La la la la.” Bo is wearing a black shirt that resembles a vest, which is close to a jacket. The jacket still reigns! Randy notices the nice duds and tells him he has a fly outfit. Randy still believes in Bo. Paula thinks Bo is a gift to everyone watching the show. A big hairy gift. Simon says it is like watching someone who has already made it. Good stuff for Bo all around. In the Crowd, “New Hope Church Supports Bo!” Go Bo!

There is a commercial for Blockbuster (ne’ video) trying to jump on the Netflicks bandwagon. Great timing Blockbuster, that train done left about 3 years ago!

We come back and are presented with Nikko Smith singing “Incomplete” by Sisqo. Nikko is influenced by the sound of Dru Hill, Sisqo’s old group. Now it all makes sense! Nikko is wearing a jacket! Actually it is a trench coat. In a move that is so 10 minutes ago, the jacket comes off. Damn you Pig Boy! Nikko works the stage and gives us the “G” note that everyone in the group has been trying all season to find the right time to throw in. Nikko thinks this is his moment. The crowd seems to like it, I’m indifferent. In the crowd, shots of his family. Where’s Ozzie? Randy says that America is finally seeing the real Nikko Smith. Paula says to keep picking these songs. Paula, I don’t think Sisqo had more than two songs and you don’t want to hear the “Thong Song” okaaaay. Simon says that it is by far his best performance and with that, Paula checks Simon’s tonsils.

Vonzell Solomon is next with “Best of My Love” by the Eagles. She is wearing a feather boa in the intro video. This must have been shot after an all nighter at the parking garage rave. Vonzell starts off by coming down off the stage. Paula is ever the cheerleader mom waving her arms like one of those inflatable car lot balloon people. Vonzell is sporting some spiffy Capri’s with a fetching pink blouse. This girl knows how to think pink! The song finishes before she makes it back on stage. She planned it that way okay? Vonzell breaks our streak of jacket wearing so for that I deduct points. Randy says she sounds great. Paula says her personality comes out with this song. Simon ups the praise (I think) by saying that this is the first time that America will be able to remember her. Still hasn’t worked for me with Jessica Sierra. In the crowd, a sign that says “Vote Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon.” I have no clue what it means but it is being held by two really old white people.

Commercial break. Through the power of suggestion, I go have a Little Debbie Star Crunch.

When we come back, Seacrest has somehow gotten himself up in the sound booth. He’s all scrunched up next to the mixing board which no doubt will get a workout with Constantine Maroulissss. We are about to go retro with Constantine’s rendition of “I think I love you.” So I was just kidding last week when I said that he reminded me of David Cassidy. Fulfilling the David Cassidy fantasy Constantine is all seeth and teeth. This man is dangerous with a mic stand. This version of the song sounds punk, and I use this term ever so lightly. It reminds me of that updated Davy Jones song from the Brady Bunch Movie. Constantine is wearing a jacket!!! Yeah! Randy says that it is alright. Paula says he has great showmanship because he used to be on stage all the time. Simon wrecks the Partridge van by saying that his performance is like ordering a guard dog for your house and getting a poodle dressed in leather. Speaking on behalf of all the people who own leather clad poodles, I’m offended. In the crowd, shots of Constantine’s family…ooops, next row camera dude. Simon does interject and say that Constantine has an amazing girl fan base. Can I please take a poll on how many girls like Constantine? Yeah, maybe in a smoke behind the high school kind of way but c’mon. This week you can easily like Bo over Constantine.

I have seen the glory and it is Nadia Turner. Nadia speaks to us in the promo video with her hair pulled back the way I don’t like it. She truly is a different person with her hair pulled back. She is going to sing “Time After Time.” I am about to have an 80’s “moment” y’all, I can just feel it. Nadia appears out of nowhere on the catwalk to start her performance…with a MOHAWK!!!! He is wearing an off the shoulder white 80’s-style ripped blouse, jeans and scrunch boots. Okay, they may not have been scrunch boots but let me have my fantasy. Her performance is electric as she skips across stage, flashes over the shoulder glances at the camera and belts out the song with a hefty dose of 80’s nostalgia and just a pinch of today’s neu New Wave. Kill me!!! She has just cemented herself as my new favorite with a risk like that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay off for the judges. Randy gives the most love by saying that she is a star every time. Paula says she rocked it although it is not her favorite song. What would that be Paula, “Vibeology”? Simon opens his book of tried and true comparatives and compares it to being on a really bad cruise ship and watching a cabaret performance. There must be a world out there of very bad hotels, restaurants, bars and (now) Cruise ships that Simon has personally visited. The crowd of course boos. Nadia heads to the toilet stools and fake grins through her digits. In the crowd, there is a sign that is overly complex comparing her to meat products (ala Simon’s comments last week).

Hopefully Mikalah Gordon can save the day. Seacrest warns us though because he tells us to “brace ourselves.” Mikalah greets us from the video and tells us that she didn’t like it in the bottom two last week so that is why she is singing “Love Will Lead You Back” by Taylor Dane. So that’s why! No mention of the Animated Corpse of Julia D’amato masquerading as Lindsey Cardinale, who was sacrificed during the bottom two debacle last week. I can’t really say anything about the performance because I was staring at what appeared to be a giant dead bird hanging around her chest. This was accompanied by lots of beads. She was also dripping with little silver chains. Black is definitely her color though. Not totally Fran and not totally Barbara this week. She actually tried to pull something more mature and not too stylized out of the bag. Randy misses the fun Mikalah and Paula is concerned that she is getting caught up in not having a unique sound. Simon pretends that Paula is a puppet and says that she meant it was a mess. Paula regrets checking Simon’s tonsils at this point. Mikalah takes the dead bird and lumbers over to the toilet stools and the awaiting Seacrest. I am so thankful she is wearing pants tonight by the way she is sitting. Just not a good night for Miks at all.

Only two to go! Up next is delicious Anwar Robinson singing “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan. Ain’t no better song like one with improper English…and one from a movie called “Breakin’” to boot! This is just my night!!! JACKET!!!! I think Anwar is wearing the same necklace that Paula is wearing. Maybe Simon was right and they are together. Nudge, nudge, know what I mean? Are they going to have kids? I think you know the answer to that! Because he was born with the skillz, Anwar rocks the catwalk like so many this night. I have always loved this song but it just doesn’t have the pizzazz that it should, not to mention the level of performance that Anwar has shown in the past. It gets a little better towards the end. I notice his eyes are everywhere! Not literally, but he is looking left, then right, then all over. Whatcha lookin’ at Anwar. He seems really nervous. Just before the song ends, he does a miss thing hand gesture and screams “Oooooh!” Luckily it is also a lyric in the song. Cabaret might be okay to mention here Simon. Anwar finishes on stage, unlike someone I won’t mention. Vonzell. Randy says something. Paula says it is bold of him to do a female song (someone stop me). Simon echoes that by saying it is difficult to climb out from under a song like that unless you really “make it better” (which is also one of the lyrics..cool huh?) and that it was quite lazy at the beginning. Overall, I feel we will be seeing more of Anwar.

Finally! We have what’s her name. Jessica Sierra (the other blond) doing Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” You knew someone would sing it this season, might as well get it out of the way. I actually like the song folks. And Jessica sings it not half bad. Continuing the theme, Jessica has her jacked tied around her waist – no wait…sorry. She is wearing a not very flattering blouse with a strange hideous orange bow glued on the front. Smoky vocals to her aid, she might actually not get kicked off tomorrow. Randy says it was a brilliant performance, welcome back. Cheerleader Mom Paula says that she is proud of her. Simon says that she and Carrie (the other other blond) outsang the rest of the group. In the crowd, a banner that reads something that I can’t quite make out except for Plant City, Florida in big letters. Plant City represent!!!

With that, another week under our collective video screen belt buckles. Luckily the Producers forgot that they threatened us with the promise of a scary relief song contest this week. Maybe we’ll squeak by tomorrow with the same luck!

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