Tuesday, May 10, 2005

American Idol Recap 05/10/05 - The A.I. Judge Always Rings Twice...

The A.I. Judge Always Rings Twice...

Were down to the final Fantastic 4! It will be this summer’s blockbuster guaranteed. If you are not familiar with the story of this pop culture phenom, let me give you the Cliff’s Notes version. This team of super-talented individuals form when radiated stage lights give them each super powers: One is real pretty and blond and can turn invisible (or just really really white), one is gruff and monstrous looking, one can stretch their talents far beyond what they are in reality and one is a seething flame boy just waiting to explode! Together they create The Fantastic Final Idol 4! Sadly, the ending is not so happy…one must fall tomorrow night. Who will be in the bottom three? Everyone but the winner I would assume. Wouldn’t it be funny to think that whoever is safe tomorrow night is really the winner? It would make this series sooooo predictable. And there is no way that this show is predictable. By the way, Anthony Federov is totally off the show tomorrow night.

The pre-show opens (predictably) with an unlit view of the stage with The Head speaking to us in his doom voice. I just noticed how the stage lit this way looks like a Sith Lord’s bathroom. Very dark but sanitary. The show goes through its computer induced motions, the beat is thumpin’ tonight. I want to rave.

The Head does his ten second dash to the back of the video screen for his Gloria Swanson-ish entrance for America. He is wearing a nifty baby blue tee that says “King Scene” on it with a graphic of a crown. The letters are all so David Carson going this way and that…I kind of like it but have to imagine that the shop where he buys these is called “Why Didn’t I Think Of This!” Anyway, are we supposed to be impressed that his shirt describes his status in any certain “scene” that we might be interested in? I bet he is hot with the peroxide set…and grannies.

There is a sign in the House of Yes that says “My Idol can Ca rie a tune” Sorry to be harsh people but it helps to buy stronger glue if you are going to have your sign on National television. Then there is a close up shot of the glossy greasy Vote Vonzell Baby “V” signs. The Head asks us how our week was. Pause for audience reaction. Okay now there’s a big fat bloated white elephant in the room. See him over there? He’s sitting just behind Paula’s inflatable head. LOOK AT HIM!!! You must talk about him, they spent so much air time this week sorting through all of Paula’s unmentionables. Did you see the (ahem) ABC special…oh, you know you did! The most I got out of the coverage is that Paula sounds really creepy on your cell phone. Gaaah! Delete, Delete, Delete!!!! Man, she is so messed up when she is all polished and camera-ready…how on earth do you handle that mess in real life? The interviewed Pig Boy this week about the scandal (poor Pig Boy can’t even have his elimination to himself) and he pretended to have an opinion but said he couldn’t talk. I don’t think he knows anything and I seriously doubt he had any first hand experience, if you know what I mean. I of course am not under contract with 19 Entertainment and therefore can speak my mind. I totally think she has a thing for trash... white, trailer, euro and otherwise. The whole thing is surreal and weird and of course she is guilty as sin. I also think that is probably isn’t as detailed or sinister as we are being lead to believe. I mean, come on…the last time I saw a publicity stunt this elaborate, it was just to get out of a wedding. I’m embarrassed to say that I liked what I heard of the “Paula Broke My Heart” song. My one burning question though (besides the phone calls) is if Paula is innocent, how exactly did Corey get a medicine bottle prescribed in Paula’s name? I have to say that I feel bad for Paula, really I do. Just look at her, the world now knows that Corey Clark is her MC Scat Cat and she is forever his girl! I am guessing that relations aren’t all warm and fuzzy between those two right now. Awwwww. Sad. I could really not care much about the whole thing really. I mean, No matter which way you slice it, Ruben won and Clay would have kicked anyone’s respective butt that tried to get in his way regardless of anyone helping them. Who really thinks that Vanessa Oliverez would have actually won if not handicapped by Paula’s “coaching?” It’s all water under the bridge unless you suspect that the reason Pig Boy stayed in the competition so long is……shudder.

Back to the topic at hand. The Head makes us think that he is about to divulge information regarding the Paula scandal but instead uses it as a ploy to talk about Pig Boy being eliminated from the competition. We. Are. So. Sad. MORE PAULA GOSSIP!!!! NOW!!!!! Synergy at work: There is a sign in the House of Yes that says “We Love You Paula.” There is oddly enough a sign just behind that which says “We Miss You Constantine.” Oh, just give it up people. Wait a minute, why did Constantine get the boot reeeeally? Excuse me, I must make a phone call to Cingular. “Excuse me, I need to check some phone records for a Mr. Maroulissss.”

Wiping the sweat from our collective brows, we shoot right over to the video footage from fake last Wednesday night. I forgot that Seacrust wore his Colonel Sanders outfit last week. What a goob! Tonight he even has props to help him out. It’s a map of the United States of America minus Hawaii and Alaska! We are starting our musical journey this week in Philadelphia with the sounds of Gamble and Huff. It’s a musical gormandizer’s dream come true. For the rest of us, we hope it is all explained later. The next stop on tonight’s musical journey is Nashville, Countryland, U.S.A! So we sorta get our country night right here before the big finale. Carrie must be in heaven.

We will soon find out as Carrie Underwood is up first singing “Sin Wagon” by the Dixie Chicks. We get a special greeting from back home by Carrie’s sisters. They miss her an awful lot, so do the barnyard animals (they get special mention). Country singing is Carrie’s thing so this should be a breeze. I pictured Carrie as one of those “new country” type singers but this stuff is right out of a whisky bottle. No offense, but I spent four years wasting away in Branson, Countrybibleland, U.S.A. and I know die hard over-all wearing dirt farmers that would have thought this was an acquired taste. This song is as country as a rodeo clown though and boy howdy is this stuff warbly! OMG! She is starting to clog right on stage…pass the cornbread and succotash! I’m making way too big of a scene out of her performance but I pictured something a little more accessible for her one shot at country night. Plus, didn’t she already sing this in a previous night? I still like Carrie a lot and I don’t think this will set her back any. Her outfit I don’t get, it is very top heavy. She has washed out plain jane jeans on that she wears so high it makes it look like she has a two foot tall waist. Her top is black with gold Persian style embroidery on it. It would be a great look if she didn’t have giraffe pants on. Randy God Bless America’s it with a “you’re ready for the charts” and a “perfect song choice.” Paula Xereoxes Randy’s statement and passes it along. Simon says that she seemed to do this effortlessly. Hopefully the curse of going first will not haunt Carrie tomorrow night.

In the House of Yes: It’s Jasmine Trias, crooner Jon Stevens and the buttah-ry Mikalah Gordon!!!

Up next is BoBice! with a song by Travis Tritt. The Head gives us no title and I don’t have the stamina to listen closely to country music for an auspicious lyric. Bo’s Kenny Roger’s look-a-like dad and his 18 year old mom give shout outs to Bo. Bo’s mom can’t wait to “see what comes out of his mouth next.” I purposely leave joke out. Whatever the song is, Bo is singing it in the style of Bob Dylan as his first line is “Mmmmrrrrmphhh Mwaaaammmph.” He’s gone full on 70’s arm pit hair exposed rocker on us y’all, like he is all the Allman Brothers rolled into one. He is pure Wookie now. Did you see that hair? I bet he brushes it one more time than Marcia Brady does. It looks good and clean though. He really sounds good even in this genre. He sort of takes it and puts a Creed or Seven Mary Three spin on it. The outfit is sensible solid black. My only complaint though is that men shouldn’t wear chokers. Randy thought it was a great performance but didn’t like the song much. Figures. Paula all of a sudden is giving music advice without a stop at Fred Segal. She tells Bo that it is super important to pick the right songs at this stage of the contest. The irony of that comment does not escape me…or half of America. Simon said his performance was boring, uninspired and lacking of personal off-the-air hands-on coaching. It was like he was doing a jam in a local club. Boos from the House of Yes. Bo’s grandma doesn’t like it either. This lady is seriously disturbed as she mimics how she would gladly rip Bo’s mom’s leg off her body and use it as a club to bludgeon Simon to death. She also makes the best peach pie within three counties.

Look! Harry Hamlin is an American Idol fan. File under “discard this information so I can remember other things.”

Oooh, here comes Vonzell Solomon on country night! Glad I have my popcorn all ready to go, I want a front row seat on this flight! Just kidding, I only tease Vonzell because in the past she has her head wrapped around the theme nights so tightly, you know that country will set her in a tailspin. I mean, country is a genre but it’s more the way you sing it, otherwise they are just regular old songs like any other one. Let’s watch! Tonight Vonzell will be singing a Trisha Yearwood song. Again, that is all the information we are given. Her brothers greet us in the pre song video and surprisingly both of them are awake this time. Good show fellas. It starts out really shaky…whoa, clear a path, it’s going to be a crash landing! She stabilizes just in time and pulls out a Whitney on one part of the song. The Baby “V” militia starts to holla. Once she feels solid ground under her feet and realizes that it doesn’t have to sound country she gets a little more confidence. You can tell because she does this great dramatic drag queen hand gesture when the lyrics revolve around the blinding sun or some such nonsense; just to add flavor to the musical Kool-Aid she is serving on board. She manages to pull through the rest of the song without having to use any flotation devices although there is some definite turbulence along the way. Her dress is like strawberry tissue paper with flowers on it. Randy got motion sickness at the start, he thought it was shaky but by contract throws in the “you always pick the most difficult song” comment. Paula has felt emotional strain as of late so I imagine that is why (I can’t think of anything else to explain it) she turns into a psychologist and asks how Vonzell is feeling tonight. Paula’s way of not dishing out bad news on her performance. Apparently Vonzell has had a really bad day and we are supposed to #1) believe that Paula just intuitively thought to ask this question to Vonzell as if she had no previous knowledge of some tragedy in her life. #2) Believe that the reason she didn’t perform well was because she has some sort of emotional issue, especially on a night that definitely was not her cup of tea. #3) Actually think that bringing up the subject would not make people decide to vote one way or the other for Vonzell or feel sorry for her. FOUL!!!! I smell another scandal. Don’t worry though, she is all happy by the Philly Sound part of the show. Oh and Simon thought she was nervous and emotional and said he would just leave the comments at that. Sigh, I think the pity vote is just as tasteless as the peanuts on Vonz Air.

Our last country ditty comes from Anthony Federov who takes a stab at “Already There” by Lonestar. His mom tells him that he is her baby and she loves him. It is sweet but just the thing you don’t want to hear broadcast on National TV lest you take a liking to wedgies. He starts his set Boflexing on the edge of the stage dressed in a way out of date denim jacket with pockets…four of them! Wow, that could come in useful. His performance could take another dash of parmesian, it is so generic it still has the barcode on it. No matter how much dramatic walking to and fro that Anthony puts into his number, it still has little entertainment value. Not to say that his voice is bad or anything but it just confirms that A. Fed has a place among the ranks of such illustrious act like of Yanni or John Tesh! He does the “I got the cramps” dance. He really needs to practice in a mirror sometime. I get a little scared for A. Fed for numerous reasons but one mainly being the fact that he still hasn’t really found himself yet, lyrically or by appearance. In fact, tonight the way he is made up makes him look like a plush version of himself, as if his hair were made of yarn and sewn in…just really fluffy. I notice that the key around his neck is back. Amidst all this scandal I wonder if they finally started asking questions about it. Randy says it was good. Paula dishes out yet more sage song choice advise. “Choose a Journey song next time!” Simon said the entire thing felt a bit like the Miss Universe contest, very gooey. Gooey indeed. That’s A. Fed’s genre.

Part two of our evening will be spent in the world of Gamble & Huff. Who are Gamble & Huff you say? Every 14 minutes, it is said, a Gamble & Huff song is played somewhere in the world. You might know their work in such songs as “Express Way to Your Heart” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” as well as “Love Train.” Bet you feel foolish now huh!

We start where we began this evening with miss Carrie Underwood singing “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” It would be safe to assume that the tables are turned on Carrie this half of the show as country is certainly her element and the Philly sound, not so much. We get a shout out to Carrie’s sisters by Carrie herself. She misses them so much she begins to cry. No mention of the barnyard animals that missed her in the first half of the show. Where’s the barnyard animal love Carrie? She sings the song okay but I am not inspired. Carrie seems to have a really great potential inside of her that appears to be so reserved here, especially in a song like this. She is dressed very down for this number, she must not be going to the L.A. boutiques that the gang shopped at once before. This has Gap written all over it. What is she doing with the rest of the $415 left over from her shopping spree. We know that at least $60 of it goes for Aquanet. Speaking of hair, it is cute tonight. Kind of like pig tails but not if that makes sense. She hits a glory note at the end that makes up for the lack of sparkle during most of the song. Randy felt that the song just didn’t work for her. Paula hasn’t had an original thought all night and borrows Randy’s again. Simon actually blames the band for once and said that it was an appalling arrangement that just didn’t work in her favor. So basically all the judges agree. Ummm, that can’t be good for Carrie huh? There is a funny sign in the House of Yes that says “She’s a little bit country, he’s a little bit rock n’ roll. Country Rules.” Now just tell me who the “he” is in that sign. Me thinks that there is yet another little scandal going on back at the La Brea Towers over in Idolville. Wouldn’t it just be smashing if when Bo and Carrie are in the final two and they sing a duet of that exact song?! I get way too excited over stuff like that.

During the break I see a commercial for XL 106.7 where this lady mouths the words to songs like “Rich Girl” by Gwen Stefani. Very disturbing. I could go the rest of my life and not see that commercial again.

BoBice! greets us after the commercial break with “For the Love of Money” as his Gamble & Huff tune. Bo apologizes in his video for being a hobo up until this point. He starts his performance up by the band and…oh my Lord if he isn’t dressed like a pimp! The only thing missing is a hat and a cane. He has this black suit on with a diamond dollar sign belt buckle and FLIP FLOPS!!! You saw it here first America. Bo only breaks one pimp rule during his performance, and that is never let them see your eyes but he breaks this rule and gives us a quick shot towards the end of the song. Paula loves the pimp Bo and jumps with enthusiasm. Paula’s dress looks like a series of pull-down window blinds. Randy begins to comment but is confused by all the whooping going on in the audience. He loves it and hopes it is on his record when it comes out. Paula loves it, duh. Simon thinks it’s a terrible image but a fantastic performance. Vote for Pimp Daddy Jesus Hair!

Vonzell Solomon knows that Carrie is now a mere speed bump in her rear view mirror, this is her genre. Oh, and she is sad but not sad. She will be singing “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” In her pre song video Vonzell thanks her family for all their love and support and Kinko’s for all the great signs and everything. The song is oh so Vonzell, she is finally triumphant singing a song that doesn’t have barnyard stink all over it. Her outfit is very Solid Gold. I kind of like the way the gold Lame’ forms an outline from her neckline and ends in a large gold belt at her waste ala’ Wonder Woman. It is as if this is her costume for when she becomes “The Vonz!” I really can’t say much about her performance, she hits the required high note at the end like she knows how to do and stands in one spot the entire time like she knows how to do. It is very whatever. But of course Randy pops blood vessel screaming excellent as a light from heaven shines down onto Vonzell. Paula says that she is glad Vonzell takes risks. Whaaaa? First it is that she is having a bad day so we need to feel bad for her (notice how she is just fine now?). Now this is the most daring song to sing since Tammy Wynette sang “Stand By Your Man?” I just don’t get it. Simon just bemuses that this was better than the first song.

We break yet again and I see the same Cingular commercial from last week where The Head tries to cut in line at the Cingular store. Watching it this week I notice something interesting. He has on the same exact t-shirt in that commercial that he is wearing tonight! How embarrassing for Seacrest that wardrobe can’t get him something else to wear, certainly someone with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame can demand not to wear the same shirt twice!

The last but least performance of the night is Anthony Federov singing…the same exact song that Carrie just sang. This is interesting for several reasons. First of all, my very close relative was just saying not but a half hour ago if anyone sang the same song on an episode. How eerie is that?! Secondly, how will this affect the outcome for Carrie since she did not favor so well with the judges. Taking into consideration that A. Fed’s odd of staying in are very slim in general, this might actually give him the extra boost if he does better than Carrie. He thanks his parents for giving him the American dream. Yeah, looks like you’ve just taken that and run with it. It is so funny, A. Fed comes out from the side stage dressed just like Ryan Seacrest from last week! This is actually a nice look for A. Fed, he should do more of that, if he had time. It sounds good, better than Carrie’s version but only good in a “Barnes and Noble” kind of way, not Top 40 good. What he does do to impress though is act out all the parts of the song. He’s forlorn when it calls for it, desperate when he needs to be…this has all the makings of a great end of show playback. Something fun to watch tomorrow night when he says goodbye, eh? At the end of the song, he finally has his Clay moment and launches his vocal potential into the House of Yes. Will it be too late to discover a late bloomer? Randy says that this was a much better version of the song Carrie sang. Paula says that he nailed it. Tee hee. Simon apologizes (sort of) to the band and says that it is a much better arrangement but criticizes Anthony for being too white to sing a song like that.

Well kidlets, we made it through yet another week of nail biting excitement and drama on American Idol. We experience a deficiency in ham handed antics with the loss of Pig Boy and suffered through Paula’s messy emotional divorce from Corey Clark. Will the world of Idol survive all of its scars and war wounds? Who knows, America is fickle. But I do know that I will be waiting right here to find out…I hope you all will be along for the ride too! See you tomorrow!

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