Tuesday, April 26, 2005

American Idol Recap 04/26/05 - In The Year 2000

In The Year 2000

The Place: Living room. Furnished with what can only be described as a cross between Fifties Modern and Hillbilly Kitsch. With a dash of red velvet Jesus.
The Mood: Dimly lit by a poorly chosen Viking ship-themed lamp. It was $10 bucks, I couldn’t help it.
The Time: 19:58 EST
The Condition: Constantine’s hair is blowing like Farrah Fawcett’s in the poster on my bedroom wall.
The Meaning: It’s Idol time!

Who will cave under pressure, who will gain stardom; the kind Ryan Seacrest paid good hard earned money for?! The Head reminds us why he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by flawlessly reading his prompter…adding suspense to an evening already tense with scary background music. Hey! In the House of Yes, right off the bat we see someone famous who waited hours in line to see American Idol. It’s TV’s Heather Locklear! Heather is completely surrounded by tiny little Britney Spears Federlines. They want to grow up and look just as young as mommy! T.J. Hooker does look good I must say. {Must make room on my bedroom wall for my T.J. poster.}

The Head reminds us that we cold heartedly sent Anwar Robinson back to the public school system. But not without first publicly admonishing Anwar’s use of high notes and impossibly tight pants. We thank you for your contributions to this year’s American Idol. But how did the kids act on fake Wednesday night? Let’s find out! It is neat to find the kids all perfectly spaced apart on the Coke upholstered couches. The Head took my note from last week and acts a tad more manly when he enters the room. Before the proceedings can begin, we have to point out that there are just two girls left…four boys but only two girls…twooooooo girls, The Head says like, three times for emphasis. Actually with Seacrest I count four and three, oh well. The Head turns to Anthony Federov and asks who he thinks will win American Idol; which in and of itself is question one in the "So You Wanna Be On American Idol Huh?" handbook. A. Fed says he doesn’t know…oh wait, I was supposed to say "me" right?! There’s confidence for all you A. Fed voters out there. Stop wasting your any time minutes. Hopefully A. Fed gets a Revlon deal out of this…or gets to be Aaron Carter’s stand in at least. Feeling the embarrassment but kicking it up one more notch, The Head asks A. Fed what he was doing during the millennium. It is hard to muster this memory after just pretending to have been taping an elimination show and what not but he thinks he remembers. Better play it safe though and pretend you’re a naughty boy by saying that "Whatever happens in Pennsylvania, stays in Pennsylvania." Mwaaa-ha-ha-ha. Oh, did I mention A. Fed said he was only twelve at this time? Penn.’s underage drinking violations must be huge man! Embarrassment and now depression set in for poor little A. Fed. Since we can’t have a simple introduction to tonight’s theme…ever! We turn to BoBice! who laments that he and his band were performing a gig in Nashville way back in 2000. Rockin’ to sold-out crowds in Nashville huh? What a way to spend the changing of a Century. Not you Bo, the people in the sports bar that found themselves listening to you. Yeah…brings back memories of what I was doing at the stroke of midnight 12/31/99. I was huddled under a giant Christmas Tree at an un-disclosed "themed" location trying to regain what hearing I had left from an unnecessarily loud performance from Youngstown (uh huh, remember them?) hoping that either the world wouldn’t end and my last moments wouldn’t be spent on tour with a pop group from Ohio or that this Y2K thing wouldn’t be real and eat all my downloaded MP3’s. Turns out that neither one were anything to worry about.
So I guess tonight’s theme is songs from 2000 to Current. (Editors Note: Google will get a work out tonight!)

Added spice tonight, we get to catch a glimpse into the pastoral settings of each of the kids home town and family! First up tonight is Carrie Underwood. Carrie grew up in Checotah, Oklahoma. Checotah is the World Steer Wrestling Capital! You can tell that they are all ready to add that third 2x4 to the bottom of the welcome sign and solder Carrie Underwood’s purty name onto it. I can honestly say that aside from the blond hair and attractive face and all that, I can relate to Carrie U. I grew up a savvy, independent, loving, creative youth on a farm. I did not however sing to my cattle. I can also tell you that I grew up five miles from the border of Oklahoma and it is a sad, dry, desolate place which only can hope to one day finally burn itself off the face of the Earth. But the people are real nice. I have no idea what Carrie is singing tonight as it is country. This should be a good thing since it is her forte, so why does it sound so horrible? I’m confused. Carrie looks the part in a black western shirt with piping and a "nice" pair of jeans. The hair thankfully is straight and in control tonight. There is a sign in the House of Yes that says "Go Oklahoma girl, we all love ‘ya." Ahhhh. There is an even better one that says "Carried Away." I am hoping that the song gets better but it doesn’t. Randy throws the first stone. He says that he is glad she went country but is basically as flabbergasted as I am. He says it sounded like she was just under the band the whole time. How he knows what being under a band sounds like I don’t know but he’s the expert. She was in plain view the whole time!!! Paula is dressed like a leopard that go a hold of some turquoise Flintstone’s jewelry. She feels bad for Carrie and tells here that she is glad that Carrie has so many fans because…she stunk! No, she didn’t say that but Paula does reach into her lemon basket in a rare moment and tells her that she needs to pick better songs basically. Hmmmm, shades of Nadia. Great performance but vocally couldn’t cut the mustard or lasso the cow or whatever country euphemism you want to throw in there. Paula gets boos from the House of Yes. They’re a fickle bunch that House of Yes. Simon you just know hated it but you also know he is deeply in love with Carrie so he softens the edges a little. He understands that you can have a bad night and still win because people just love Carrie and that is really what American Idol is all about…well, at this stage of the game anyway.

Ohmigod! It’s Clay Aiken in the H.O.Y.! Fresh from the hospital in his OR scrubs! Clay darling, who does your hair now? It is really surprising to see Clay here because from what I’ve heard, unless you are here to promote your appearance on "Life on a Stick", you just pretty much stay away from the scene of the crime. You know, people might start associating you with American Idol again, and you don’t want that! A very low key appearance from Clay but at least he said something instead of, you know, sweating in place like some former American Idol winners I know!

BoBice! is from Helena, Alabama. Another kid who is just got too big for his small town. Helena looks like something out of the Blair Witch Project, there is absolutely no one around and it’s real woodsy! We get to meet Bo’s Parents and…gasp! Bo’s girlfriend! Bo’s dad looks like Kenny Rogers, his mom is about thirty years old. Bo surprises us that he grew up liking Metallica and Anthrax. We also get to meet Bo’s band buddies and by the looks of it, I am assuming his band had fiddles. We go back to the show to find Bo dressed like Jim Jones in a psychedelic drug rug with Jesus hair and Bono glasses. The look isn’t working but it is a look. I mean, just when you think you’ve got the ladies won over with the "who’s the sexiest rocker" thing…well, I guess there’s nothing like adding a little challenge in there. Did you notice, Bo also has a beard now. I have to laugh. Yes about Bo, but also because there is a sign in the House of Yes that says "Vonzell is Swell." I tee hee a little bit over this person’s choosing to put the word "swell" on a sign. I immediately think of her head. I typically try to stay away from the word "swell" in print as it sometimes gets lost in translation like this. That and the word "moist." Bo sings some tune that I don’t recognize. I don’t even try to search the grunge database for it as I fear a virus. Whatever it is, he makes it sound listenable. I sort of like the back and forth staccato of the song and his voice makes you realize that you can hear something you are completely unfamiliar with and when sung by him, it all makes sense. I think he could actually sell albums with songs that have some substance to them. (Editors Note: This of course is not an official endorsement for Bo Bice). As far as performance on the stage goes, I have seen better. There is a lot of meandering and walking back and forth. So much so, I get nervous for him. Randy loves Bo’s honesty, stripped down to the core, Bo is a true rocker. Paula says something like Fa la la la whooooo leee tee dee. I don’t know it’s all the same. Simon feels that Bo’s confidence is back after two great performances, his strongest song so far. He takes a crack at Bo’s funky glasses. In defense, Bo explains that they look expensive but only cost six bucks. Bo gets mass appeal for his Wal-Mart fashion sense.

There is a precious sign that says "Mom’s for Rockers." What would a rock star be without his mom groupies? I tell ‘ya!

There is a commercial break and when we come back, The Head is sitting on some poor guy’s lap in the audience. This doesn’t surprise me any but I do feel bad for the guy as you know his Constantine-loving daughters drug him here. Someone is holding up a shirt that says 96.1 The Beat. I look it up and it is a shout out from a radio station in either: Charlotte, Colorado Springs, or a Spanish station from McAllen Texas. Just in case you find yourself in one of those markets and want to listen to "The Freak Show" or some guy named DJ Niz. Whoooo boy. I am hit with another piece of eye candy as there is my favorite Vonzell Solomon sign ever. It says simply "The Vonz." It reminds me of a slang word you could use for some part of the body. Like Fantasia says, "It’s Nasty!" In The Vonz’s pre song video package, we go to Ft. Myers, Florida wherever that is. I had Vonzell figured all wrong, she’s the normal one! Other than finding out stuff we already know, like the fact that Vonzell is a U.S. mail carrier and (oh my gosh, I’ve never heard this before!) she took karate, we get to meet her family. Her dad is this crazy karate guy who is part Mr. Miyagi and part Shaft. There is also her music teacher that Vonzell just gushes about…she taught her the love of classical music. You know, the music without words. But the best part is her two brothers Kendall and Gabriel. Kendall apparently is asleep in the video. Now unless he has a visual impairment, and I will soon get an E-Pass to hell for making fun of him, I am not really sure why they couldn’t use another five minutes of tape and do a shot where he didn’t look like something from Night of the Living Dead. Back to the CBS Studios, The Vonz is singing something slow and bluesy. I find out later that it is something from someone called Christina (I am assuming Aguillera) but a Google search on just "Christina" is way too daunting even for me. Her outfit is a cut-off sack complete with loose threads hanging down and a belt made from a curtain tie back and a nice sensible crème colored blouse. Vonzell always looks good and tonight is no exception. I wish I could say that I am a fan of the song or even the way she is singing it but I can’t. One of the problems that I have with Vonzell is that it seems she sings it just like you hear it from the original artist. I know that in the past when I am familiar with the song, that is how it is. I will criticize myself and say that sounding just like the artist isn’t a bad thing but with American Idol, you pray and hope for something a little more unique (Clay, Fantasia) than a sound-alike. Randy of course loves Vonzell and again praises her for picking the hardest song to sing aside from one that requires a protractor and graph paper. Oh, and he welcomes her to the Dawg Pound. Both girls are now securely in the Pound. Paula rattles her jewelry and flails a little bit and manages to say something like "Christina is Christina" and "you turn on the magic when you hit the bridge." I forgot my copy of The Gospel According to Paula, King James Version, so I’ll pass on interpretation. Simon tries to burst The Vonz swell head by saying that if you listen to it in playback (i.e. at home!) it won’t sound as good as everyone is saying it is. It was a little flat. Those karate fightin’ words!

We find out from The Head that you can’t talk to Vonzell at all on Tuesdays. Which begs the head scratcher, why are we listening to her right now, or does it only apply to before the show? I’m just kidding all you Vonzlets! She is just trying to save her voice before the show, sillys. Of course, I am sure that all the other kids find this a perfectly enjoyable practice. Seriously, just kidding!!! But seriously again…the girl can probably talk to herself and still be interested in the conversation. She fake blows kisses to her fans.
We are back to T.J. Hooker and her daughter Ava. Ava is forced to talk to The Head and when asked to say who her favorite Idol is, she squeals "Anthony Federov" although her mom whispered "Constantine" (I swear!). T.J. rolls her eyes at her daughter’s response. No soup for you! Mom’s for rockers!!!! Whoo Hooo!

You thought he was already kicked off but noooo. It’s Anthony Federov! Anthony tells us he if from Trevose, Pennsylvania, Ukraine! We are introduced to A. Fed’s family who are so very proud of their son and the obstacles that he has overcome. Very sweet family really. Dad even has a recording of A. Fed singing while he was still in the womb. All of A. Fed’s baby pictures have this feel to them like they were taken back in the Fifties. I am so glad that he has updated his wardrobe a smidge. I notice a news clipping on the wall written in Cyrillic and from studying Russian in college, I find out it says: Американское Idol Антоний Federov носит состав. Seriously! I wouldn’t lie to you. A. Fed starts his song by BoFlexing right on the corner of the steps leading to the audience. He is dressed in a nice pin striped suit, looking sharp, but still has that whole pasty pretty boy thing going that creeps me out. I think he is still rocking the eyeliner too. The song is "I Surrender" by Celine Dion (Editor’s Note: I want to state for the record that I did not know it was a Celine Dion song from memory, I had to look it up, thank you). Anthony has a nice voice and all but I am just put to sleep by this one. He does do this crescendo part that gets the crowd to cheer but it wasn’t noticeable enough to me that I would have gotten excited all on my own. I had to follow the audience’s lead on this one. A. Fed has total devotion to the camera tonight, he can’t take his eyes off of it. I try to look away but when I look back, there he is again! I pray for the song to be over…I surrender. T.J. Hooker’s kid is really getting into it to the mortification of her mother. Randy says that he starts rough but did well on the high notes. Paula’s hair is a rat’s nest tonight. Simon hated it because I really don’t think he likes A. Fed all that much, and also it wasn’t that good of a performance, which makes it all the more true. He says that all A. Fed is doing is choosing a song that appeals only to people who would buy that type of song (the cattle mentality basically). The Head reveals to us that A. Fed chose that song because he has been dying to sing it all season. Really? That’s sad. He says that it just does something to him, it touches him emotionally. More eyeliner please! Meanwhile, The Head checks out A. Fed’s guns and makes a comment about how he has been going to the gym.

Next up is Constantine Maroulissss. I am so glad that I’ve had my bath for the day because Con just makes me drrrty. I am sort of apprehensive about digging too much into the Con Man’s past as you never know what you will find, but I’m not in control of tonight’s programming and I’m also a glutton for punishment. So off we go to New York, New York where we meet Constantine’s mom "Constance" (hmm) and dad "Athan." Dad immediately ruins the whole rocker thing by saying that ‘tine a natural gift to pop music. That is like your dad accidentally bragging about your ability to crochet the best tea cozy’s to your high school buddies. It sort of takes the bite out of you. We also learn that there was a certain point in Constantine’s life when he was a wholesome choir boy. One David Lee Roth album later and he is the man we know today. Back at the auditorium, we find Constantine all decked out in his finest rocker black. For Constantine, I would say that this is the best look for him so far. He has finally given up the scarves, boas and pleather pants for something a little more sleek and tasteful. His song choice on the other hand is truly sucky. Nickelback’s "How You Remind Me." It is neither edgy (Nickelback!) or rock (Nickelback!) for that matter. As far as rock songs go, this one is so lame it’s probably on the President’s iPod! To add insult to injury, it sounds horrible. I’m not talking about my normal pseudo-criticism, this was truly sucktacular. I can already hear the judges comparisons to some karaoke joint or bad cover band. Constantine is doing his best rocker impersonation too as he is all over the stage, kicking at the cameras. I must have missed it but the only thing that didn’t make it into the routine was the tongue. He does something I’ve never seen before, he goes to the back of the stage and harasses the horrified back up singers. Just before I can reach the remote, the song ends. Randy is eager to give feedback. He is glad that the ladies like him (blanket statement for the ladies of the world I’m sure) because he is clearly fooling them. It is like any bar you go to where you don’t care who the singer is. He gives it a five out of ten vocal performance, because you always have to rate ‘tine on a sliding scale. Paula can’t even see through her unicorn and puppies goggles clearly enough to say it was good. Instead she says that American Idol sometimes isn’t about the best song, and singing and notes, etc….Simon and the Producers look horrified for sure. What have I been telling you all along…it’s about buying votes peeps! If you can win American Idol and have yellow teeth, you gotta be paying someone! Simon (surprise) feels that it was a bad imitation of a bad song. I threw an extra "bad" in there, see if you can find it. He says that it just didn’t feel real. Constantine’s dad may have been right. He may just be a natural gift to pop music after all. The rocker battle is lost my friends.

Last but certainly least is our pal from Shaker Heights, Ohio…white Velveeta himself…Pig Boy Scott Savol. You know you’ve been waiting to catch a glimpse inside this fun house! See the phone indentation on the wall! See the pantry full of Little Debbie snack cakes! Scott’s mom though is just a doll. A little round lady who is cookin’ up a Gi-normous pot of macaroni and cheese. "We’re gonna eat good today!" She says while stirring the large pot of boiling pasta. I’m not kidding! You were there! We also get to see Scott’s dad. This is the infamous dad who proclaimed that Scott wouldn’t amount to anything and would have laughed at Scott if he knew he was trying out for American Idol. All this emotional abuse from his dad and tormented phone-throwing anger in his house that we’ve heard so much about doesn’t, on the outset, seem to be the same picture I’m being painted here. Do you kind of wonder sometimes if maybe the drama isn’t really Scott’s surroundings but possibly just….Scott? I laugh when Scott’s mom describes him as "sensitive." They thought that Scott would be a preacher, whooopsie. We do get to meet Brandon, his adorable four year old child. This is the same one described in the police report, everything seems to be fine and dandy nowadays. Scott tells us that he "represents the people who get up in the morning and go to work eight hours a day." What about the people who work nine hours a day Scott! What about them!!! He also confirms my never wanting to go to Cleveland when he tells me that there are millions of him, or people like him walking the streets there. No thank you. Scott’s performance: I have a new theory, if you go last you will get booted off American Idol. How awful was that? I am sitting here writing this with his song being the last one in my head and I still can’t find anything positive or memorable to say about it. I do remember that he was trying to sign most of his performance. His little sausage fingers were working overtime going to and fro, back and forth from his chest out to us. Please receive the generous gifts of Pig Boy’s lyrical Shangri-La. The chin hair is growing in a little thicker now and the way it frames his head, it makes his face look like a mask. He kind of reminds me of Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I notice that pinstripes seem to be the theme tonight. I cannot really give him demerits for his look tonight although it still has feed sack overtones, the pinstripes are at least vertical. Randy is just over Pig Boy entirely and flat out says that it was the weakest performance of the night. Only about five people boo in the House of Yes. I would have to argue that Constantine was more over the top bad as opposed to Pig Boy’s inherently bad. Paula is coo coo for Cocoa Puffs. Simon’s limo and Jacuzzi are waiting for him out back so he can’t be bothered with actual critique. No need salvaging what is unsalvageable. He simply says "Pack you bags."

Seriously, do not go to Cleveland…millions of Pig Boy’s, everywhere!

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