Tuesday, April 19, 2005

American Idol Recap 04/19/05 - That 70's Show

That 70's Show

It is with heavy heart that I write this, your Wednesday A.I. caffeine injection. I can’t quite get my head or heart around the glaring absence of my lovely Nadia Turner. From the moment Fox runs the station identification promo with all of the Idols minus Nadia (and curiously Carrie!) the heartache comes back. Our host The Head (read: Seacrest) doesn’t help much as he mentions with pseudo remorse that Nadia is gone. Oh, he also uses mother’s guilt on us by saying that it is our fault. Karma gets The Head back by having one of the stage lights engulf his entire…well, head. That will teach you to pay the cameraman next time, you Rent-A-Host! Oh, we’re also reminded that Bo sucked last week. But even if he didn’t, he did end up in the bottom three which more people see as a tragedy than my fair Nadia. People need to get a reality check, there can only be one true rocker so it’s going to happen sometime. Also, if you are searching for a true rocker, I’m thinking American Idol isn’t going to be the place to define the term, okay? That is why I feel that my Nads didn’t get a fair shake. I suddenly realize that I talk about Nads a little too much…and that it looks strange in print. Sorry folks.

Speaking of Nads, I wonder how the kids are holding up without her. Just fine thank you as we flash back to fake Wednesday and the theme reveal. The Head prances into the room like a Metrosexual Pee Wee Herman. It is so funny that I think I must be seeing things, so I watch again. I am not and it is funny. Unintentional or not, we’ll never know, but I am delighted that someone keeps throwing me a bone every once in a while. This place has been kind of sparse in the candid foolishness lately save for the rogue head eating stage light. The kidlets listen intently as The Head gives tonight’s clues as to the theme they will be terrified by for a whole week. The names Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Earth, Wind and Fire are mentioned. What could it be?! Aside from the Flower and Garden Festival my guess is Disco. Wrong!!! The Puppet Master has deemed the term Disco too secular. This week’s theme will be Seventies Dance Classics! Notice the difference and respect it! I have several different theories regarding the name change: A) It is just another way of saying that one of the kids didn’t want to do a Polyester national anthem associated with Disco and has chosen something off the beaten path. B) This description won’t offend those in the viewing audience who still suffer from roller skating ankle injuries. C) It is possible that the kids didn’t understand the term or, D) The Producers have over-thought the name change as much as I have. Either way, we can check that box in the "I was expecting this" column of American Idol. Like a fine Seventies hallucinogenic drug, Lady Idol does not disappoint. Pig Boy chuckles and dares the other kids to keep up with him this week. Oooooh, Scotty, is that a challenge? I can’t wait to see your best "It’s Raining Men." Anwar looks eager with anticipation…delicious!

Up first this week with The Bee Gees’ "Nights on Broadway" is Constantine Maroulisssss. ‘Tine is featured in his pre-song video package dancing like an idiot in a white jackets ala’ Tony Manero. He picks this song because you know he is from New York and stuff. Good enough. He takes the stage in a….white jacket ala’ Tony Manero!!! Now, I totally did not see that one coming ladies and gents. Phffft. Everything looks the part until you get to the long greasy hair. This dude would have been laughed off of any respectable dance floor back in the Seventies, but begs the question - if every greasy haired guy classed up his wardrobe a bit, would it be so bad? I get what he’s doing; with the black shirt open thusly so far and what not, but he comes off as this gangly disco bird. Not the typical polyester machismo anti-hero you think that maybe he was going for. And did you see the eye makeup this cat was wearing? Constantine honey, I think you have two completely different aspects of the Seventies represented here. One of which belongs on this stage and the other I don’t think they will ever get around to having a theme night for, good try though. The singing doesn’t really do much for me tonight. I don’t feel that it captures the energy of the music from this era, he certainly doesn’t make it any better. I try to understand Constantine and actually think he has produced some decent performances in the past. Also, I am not threatened by him like any self-respecting woman should be nor am I attracted to him; therefore I feel as though I can judge him unbiased. I really don’t have rocks placed in either "rocker" bucket at this time. The burning question to me though is: He went first tonight, what will the judges think? A double whammy of poor song choice/bad performance plus mixed or poor reviews from the judges has historically equaled Delta Airlines. Randy feels that it was a good song choice for this week. Of course it would be hard to describe a Bee Gee’s song that would not fit the Seventies. But Randy also feels that there wasn’t a lot of originality in his performance. There are shots of Constantine’s friends and family in the House of Yes. Oh my God! David Byrne is Constantine’s father?!!!! And Courtney Love is his mother?!!!! I swear, their doppelgangers are Constantine’s family! What happened to the lily white Christian family that was billed as his family last week? I am starting to wonder how you get to be the random family picked as a contestant’s family and friends. Paula says that everything about ‘tine is "Oh My God!" How Paula comes up with this stuff is beyond me. I bet she gave all kinds of nerds and losers in school false hope because she couldn’t give them the actual brush-off. Actually, I would love to have a little mini Paula to carry around with everywhere I go. That way, when I am feeling blue, she can say things like "You’re just so sparkly up there!" or "You’re more amazing every time I see you" or just a plain "See you at the Finals" will do. She could also give people the thumbs down indicator to boo anytime someone disses me. Paula would be my best little pocket friend. After Paula fans herself for a moment, Constantine flashes the accidental tongue again, it was so popular last week. Simon delivers the bad news comparing his performance to a singing waiter in a small restaurant somewhere in Span. Specifically Spain because Disco-themed eateries are all the rage over there with singing waiters. Pocket Paula saves the day by pointing out that Constantine has a lot of fans…they’ll help! I reserve judgment until tomorrow night but formula dictates that ‘tine will most assuredly be in the bottom three this week. He went first this week and got mixed (at best) reviews of his performance. It is really up to those jillions of fans that Paula pointed out to save him.

Going dangerously close to first (but actually second!) is the only other glimmer of hope in this competition, Carrie Underwood. Carrie has chosen "MacArthur Park" by Donna Summer for her pick. I am speculating and somewhat afraid that she and Nadia are sharing the same list of songs. I actually like this song as I had an earful of it while living in Branson, Missouri (performed countrified by Glenn Campbell), but I am not sure that this is a safe choice on an already iffy night. The stage is dark when Carrie starts and she is half hidden in shadows. It makes it look like she has on a denim skirt. The song starts just as the lighting very subdued and melancholy. Suddenly the tempo picks up as well as the lights, turning it into a fairly decent performance. I can’t help but notice that Carrie cannot dance. She comes off fairly stiff in the "performance" aspect of the song and sort of just duck walks across the stage. When stationary, all she can muster is one of those hand-on-the-hip poses as she bops her waist from side to side, kinda like a hot momma. Carrie of course can carry a tune like no one else and it is exemplified by the sustainment of the last note of this song. It is pretty amazing how she turned this one out. I have to detract from her performance though and give her demerits on wardrobe. If you watched tonight’s episode you know that Simon did the same thing but I promise you, I was waaay ahead of him on this one…I just can’t prove it, so eat it! Anyway, I am not sure if they don’t give the kids enough money each week or what but the $450 that Entertainment Weekly says the kids have to shop with must have all gone to Aquanet because the hair was flying but the clothes was dyin’! Carrie didn’t reach the heights with her hair that she achieved with her Heart performance weeks back, but it was billowy enough to cause my eyes to do loop-de-loops. The dress was another matter entirely. Not hideous but not something you’d wear during a Seventies dance classics performance either. Might I add it looked like it could possibly be worn to a cotillion in 1987. It was pink and fairly formal with little three dimensional roses adorning most of the dress. I didn’t have time to look at the shoes but I am sure that if they were six inch fire red stilettos, I wouldn’t be surprised. Poor Carrie, she is so pretty and talented but she just needs a little help backstage. Sigh, I miss Nadia. Did I already say that? There is a sign that says "We love you Carrie from New Hampshire to Malibu" Random. I suppose it means from East Coast to West Coast but it is strange they pick a state and a town. Like meaning to say "A to Z" but really saying "A to 5." I really shouldn’t analyze signs in the House of Yes, they are meant for eyes other than mine I am sure and no decoding is possible. Randy gives her the official welcome to the dawg pound, which is exactly what Carrie wants an invitation to I’m sure. Gracefully she accepts. Paula comments on the long last note and jeers that Simon turned 53 during the time it took. Ha! Simon, no stranger to fashion, comments on Carries wardrobe…as I have already mentioned. See, I said it before Simon!

Look, I won’t beat around the bush, I am anxious to see what oddity that Pig Boy Scott Savol has in store for us tonight. Not so much the song choice but the entire cohesive freak show that is about to be dropped center stage of CBS Television City Studios. Pig Boy is as trippy as hell in his pre-song video package. We all knew that he didn’t have much rhythm but that little?! Lots of in your face camera action and stumbling about but he is sporting a spiffy Kangol hat so that makes him cool. Pig Boy laughs at the Seventies and comments on their ridiculous clothes, but there is nothing wrong with his 8 Mile attire, right? Scott will be singing "Everlasting Love" by Carl Carlton. Pig Boy starts from the top of the orchestra stairs following the camera down to the floor, staring at it intently like it’s the last slice of ham at the Piccadilly. The thing that gets me about Scott is that it is so hard to hate him for being a talentless hack, because he’s not. I would almost say that he is hands down the best male vocalist in the group. Maybe not "technically" but still I’m as freaked to hear him sing now as I was the first time I saw him in auditions. With that being said, can I tell you that I am ready for this sack of taters to go home already? I point fingers at both he and Vonzell for having the prized fan base vs. actual talent that sent Nadia home last week. Part of me really wants him to miss a note or forget a lyric. But where he scores in voice, he lacks in appearance. Pig Boy is clearly shopping across the street from the other kid in the back of a comic book shop. I can’t even tell what material the pants are, I am assuming that they are baggy jeans. What does stick out like red hot pokers to my eyes is the untucked shirt. You are in front of Millions of people right now, and I know it comes in handy as a napkin at the In & Out, but tuck the freakin’ shirt in already! Pig Boy is also losing touch with the dirt patch under his chin and I can see the faint little John Waters mustache creeping its way back. Dancing during his performance was either forgotten for a lost battle during rehearsals, either of which probably saved us from dying a little more this time. He does keep pacing back and forth blessing us with his musical bounty by reaching from his chest and throwing his hand outward; as if we are to receive his R&B goodness. Thank you Pig Boy! Either realizing that he forgot to dance or even worse actually trying to, Pig Boy punctuates his performance with a little kick that reaches no higher than where his belt buckle would be…that is assuming he was wearing a belt. Randy thinks that he always picks the perfect song each time. It was hot. Paula rambles on about how much fun it looked like he was having (???) and how he was on pitch tonight. Simon is actually funny making us think that he has no clue it is his turn because Paula always keeps going on and on about nothing at all really. I love the "White Velvet" sign from last week that makes an appearance again tonight. Simon also thinks that Pig Boy is an ordinary guy who is doing well but also any ordinary guy can entertain people whilst singing karaoke. Yes, but can an ordinary guy do this…(imagine Pig Boy dance move here)…!

Just before commercial break we are told by The Head to wait and "behold the unholy site of Anthony Federov." That alone had me quivering with anticipation. Had something horrible happened to A. Fed during the week? Is he totally and utterly disfigured? Did he attempt to knock over a Sephora and get roughed up by the sales ladies? Was this a poorly timed religious reference in light of the fact that the Vatican just chose a new Pope? I couldn’t wait!!! Turns out it’s the same old A. Fed with no new exciting disfigurements or bells and whistles. Well, at least no new whistles anyway. Before A. Fed’s pre-song video package, we get to meet Alex Trebek. There with his Constantine adoring daughter or something-or other. There are signs behind The Head that read "Roger loves Constantine" and "Ryan Kiss me I’m Sweet 16." Both are most likely held by the same guy and I’m sure same said guy got a visit from The Head during the commercial break. But I digress. Tonight we will hear "Don’t Take Away The Music" by Tavares. As much as I’d like to have heard "Don’t Drive Past Me" by Deland, I can admit that I have never heard of this Tavares song. I won’t say too much but there is something about A. Fed and his dancing that makes me think he…does this…at certain….venues…..a lot. Particularly if you saw him during his pre song video package. His performance is a trifecta: The song is boring, his clothes are boring, his dancing is….questionable. The stage lights make A Fed’s hair look like he is a back up singer for Pink. Gone are the glasses, I miss the glasses. Without the glasses and with the very straight-forward wardrobe he has chosen, there really is nothing special about A. Fed this time around. I would like to focus on his singing but the rest of the picture waters it down a little bit. I used to really think that he would be a contender this season. There is just something not right about A. Fed that I can’t put my finger on. I just noticed that he has some random key around his neck on a chain. I wonder if it gets you into the Idolville Apartments over on La Brea? He does entertain me a little in my second DVR moment of the night. He does this little dance move that I call "drive the car." I would explain it to you but…well, I sort of just did. Anyway Randy wonders each week if this is the one where A. Fed falls down. What?! That is encouraging, thanks Randy. Paula thinks it is his best week ever. Of course coming from Paula it means about the same as "I’ll have fries with that." Simon says that it wasn’t his best week but also not his worst week. He also calls the performance "insipid." A. Fed doesn’t have a dictionary so he smiles and say’s "I’ll take it!" Well then, SOLD!!!!

Representing both the girls and the air heads is Vonzell Solomon who took less than three hours to pick "I’m Every Woman" by Chaka Khan. Vonzell is all excited about this week as it gives her another reason to shop for clothes, just like every week. She did not mention karate in her video intro this week, in case you were wondering. Tonight she has traded in her giant yellow Swatch watch from last week for another hideous belt made from shiny metal drink coasters or Diana DeGarmo CD’s. Oh, and she has on very tight Fantasia pants with knee high black suede boots. The top at least matches the Seventies motif and is very trippy. She sings the song with conviction, like she means it; she is every woman. I can’t help but think that the song is mostly chorus though and not a lot of talent has to go in to it. Shows you how much I know though as Randy considers it one of the hardest songs to sing. And because you just can not anger Baby "V’s" campaign manager, Big Daddy "V," Randy jumps on the PR train and praises Vonzell. The PR machine is working quite well as the usual signs have just been upgraded to include glossy print and photo! Vote Vonzell! It’s just like high school and she is getting her way this time too! Paula succumbs and jumps on the bandwagon by calling it the best performance of the night. Simon agrees that it is a difficult song to sing but her personality lets her get away with it. Meaning, she can mimic the actual CD.

Sassy Anwar Robinson is every woman too and wants a piece of the action! He will be singing "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire. In his pre song video, Anwar mentions that he loves the fashions of the Seventies, especially all the crochet that people were wearing. I threw that last thing in there about the crochet but you can tell he loves Seventies fashions as he hasn’t met a pair of bell bottoms he didn’t like. Anwar grooves us into the "The Me Decade" by asking us if we "Remember the 21st night in September" which really means the 22nd of September right? Which I think is cool because my birthday is on the 23rd! (mark your calendars if you know what is smart for you). He does a pretty good job with the song, and looks stylish too. Of all the unrealized Seventies fashions that could have been had here tonight, Anwar gets us the closest. He is wearing a nice black jacket with black bell bottom pants and a white shirt unbuttoned (either Seventies themed or because The Head complimented him on his chest last time). His hair is pulled back this time to reveal some good Muppet face although dancing gets in the way there is no time for close ups. The song picks up and Anwar is off! He glides and flits around the mic stand really showing A. Fed how it is done in the clubs. It is like watching a young Debbie Reynolds really. Not sure if the recipe calls for it but Anwar adds an extreme Madonna vogue pose at the end of the number. Not to say it looked out of place but Richard Simmons would even have probably thought twice about posing like that. Randy gives him props for another good Anwar performance. Good, not great. We don’t want to overshadow Baby "V’s" well manicured agenda. Paula, sensing that Anwar just realized he had been a little loose on stage, reassures him by saying that he was in the moment. Simon compares it to a Seventies music revue he once saw. Yeah Simon it was called the actual Seventies. There is a sign that says "Teach ‘em Anwar" which is funny because if he did he would probably teach them to use proper grammer (I know, those that live in glass houses…). There is also a sign that I at first think says "RU…Anwar?" which I construe to mean that they have probably read the little "advertisement" that Anwar has online but suddenly realize the guy holding the sign had his hand covering part of the sentence and it actually reads "RU 4 Anwar." Whew! Over at the stools it is revealed that Anwar had actually sang this song with his band, Perfect Combination prior to American Idol. What is it with everyone having a band all of a sudden? The Head steals one of my thoughts and asks Paula if she recognized that last dance move from Cold Hearted. The Head snickers at his cleverness, I seethe with both jealousy and respect.

Last but certainly the most pressured to prove himself is BoBice! who will test his mantle by singing "Vehicle" by The Ides of March. This is a Seventies dance classic? This song is already sounding heavy and non-Disco, which I guess is Bo’s point. He gives it his own flavor and it is the most original of the performances tonight. Lots of flashing lights and strobes and very heavy orchestration. Bo is wearing a (surprise) leather jacket and I’m not sure what else as it is just too predictable and boring to notice. Bo is just Bo, I have given up on trying to be impressed with the way he looks. Paula is up and out of her chair dancing giving the people in the back row more than they bargained for I’m sure. If Bo wanted to go out in a blaze of glory with a risky aggressive performance like this one or plain choose a song not typical of what the other kids are doing, he got both. Hopefully it is what it takes to keep him from the bottom three a second time around. Randy recognizes his hard efforts and exclaims that Bo is back. He says that he can sense what would make a good album, there is no "guessing work" in it (his words). Paula looks in her book of redundancy and says "The competition is back on!" This just in!!! Thanks Paula. Simon says that it was the only authentically good performance tonight. But will probably still wind up in the bottom three because people can’t get off the Vonzell brainwash train.

Your guess is as good as mine folksies. I’m guessing our bottom three will be Constantine (just to give one to theory), Pig Boy and A Fed. I think that Vonzell fans own more airtime minutes so that is an uphill battle only to be won during the final three….sigh.

See you after the results show tomorrow!

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