I thought today was going to be a “Reality Roundup” but after spending almost two hours writing this recap, I think giving “Idol” its own column every Wednesday is the plan from here on out. So every Wednesday, expect an “American Idol” recap. Towards the end of the season, when we’re down to less than six contestants or so, I’ll probably just include the other reality shows afterwards. But until then, it’s “Idol” recap on Wednesdays, and your “Reality Roundup”, plus news and notes on Fridays. I think my “Idol” recap will be different and more opinionated than any other review you see on the Internet. I have no allegiances to networks and what not, so, I can pretty much say what I feel. If you sucked, you sucked. And I’ll say you did. I’ve just never seen a real good “Idol” recap anywhere on the internet, so I figured I’d do one. Most recaps just tell you what song people sang and what the judges said. This recap won’t really do that. Don’t have to agree with it, or you might agree with all of it. If anything, I would want you to come out of it thinking about some things that maybe you didn’t think of before.
Before we get into last nights performances, since I haven’t talked about “Idol” all season yet, lets go over a couple things beginning with the judges, in particular, the addition of Kara. Love it. In fact, I wish Kara would replace Paula. Hopefully, that’s the route “Idol” is headed since Paula’s contract expires at the end of this season. Paula adds nothing to this show whatsoever other than goofiness. Kara is much more accomplished in the music world, she’s much more relevant to today’s artists, and actually critiques the singers. Whereas Paula has none of that and half the time she’s loopy. Or riding an emotional roller coaster at 100mph. I’m hoping the reason they brought Kara in is because they think Paula will leave after this season and rather than start with someone fresh next season, the audience will have least warmed up to her. Lets face it, of the four judges and Seacrest, Paula is the most expendable person on that cast, no doubt about it. I seriously doubt this show loses viewers if Paula isn’t around next season. And oh yeah, Kara is hot.
I loved the whole “phone sex” scandal that “Idol” had before last nights show. They’ve always used 1-866-IDOLS 01 through 12 as their phone number for the contestants. Well, since they added the 13th contestant this season, you would assume that number would be 1-866-IDOLS 13. Uhhhh, nope. Couldn’t happen. Why? Because if you dial that number, it’s a phone sex line where you pay $1.99 to hear some overweight housewife breathe heavy into the phone so you can get off. Hence the reason they had to go with 1-866-IDOLS 36 for Alexis. That’s awesome. Probably want to do a little research next time before you start adding a bonus contestant to the finals, people. Can you imagine the uproar if no one would’ve caught that? Might’ve been the funniest thing to ever happen on a reality show. Well, other than Jason Mesnick trying to act like he’d never spoken to Molly in two months. Ohhhhhhhhh snap! Ha ha. Hey, I told you it’ll be a running joke til the end of time. And nice to see ABC have more fun at Jasons expense during “DWTS” on Monday night.
Every season it seems like there’s a theme amongst the judges that they’ll go with (mostly Simon). In the past it’s been stuff like “that was very Cabaret”, or they’ll harp on song selection (which they still do), Randy will go with his “pitchy” stuff, and Paula will talk about how well people dress if she doesn’t want to focus on their awful singing. Have you picked up on this years “go to” phrase yet? How about this one, “Who are you as an artist?” It’s driving me nuts. Yes, I feel it is relevant sometimes, but they are saying it way too much. Considering no one is allowed to sing an original song on this show until the final two (when a cheesy, motivational, religiously slanted ballad is written for them), let’s face it, the show is essentially for the best karaoke singer. It’s just some are better than others. Carrie Underwood you knew would be a star just by listening to her voice. But she still had to sing twelve weeks of cover songs. So the “Who are you as an artist?” bit gets a little old sometimes. Lets cut it out.
Here’s something I want to make perfectly clear when talking about “Idol” for the next couple months in this blog. There’s a reason why “Idol” has been the most watched show on television for the last few years. It’s because EVERYONE has an opinion on the contestants and the judges. You have to understand that someone you absolutely hate and would never consider listening to in a million years is also someone elses favorite singer. And vice versa. Yes, I have my favorites this season that I like, but that doesn’t mean the ones that aren’t my favorites can’t give good performances. When I judge a performance, it is strictly my opinion and my opinion only. You can agree or disagree. However, I would appreciate it that once people start commenting on the page about who they liked and didn’t like, that others are respectful enough to not start bad mouthing them for what they think. If you love Michael Sarver, and someone else thinks he’s a talentless redneck, so be it. What makes the show so popular is that two people can listen to the exact same performance from an individual and come out with two completely opposite opinions. Usually comes down to a matter of taste in music. Just please keep the sniping at each other to minimum.
For those of us that have watched “Idol” for a long time, as you now know, just because you’re the best singer doesn’t mean you’ll actually win. Taylor Hicks was the best “performer” of season 5, but Chris Daughtry was the best singer. And he finished 4th or 5th. So I always take that into consideration when making my predictions. Obviously, your backstory and your likability with Middle America plays just as big a role, if not bigger, than your singing ability sometimes. Taylor Hicks is a prime example of that. Clay Aiken was a better singer than Reuben, but Reuben was a big, cuddly teddy bear so people voted for him. I could go on and on with examples from past seasons, but you get the point. A lot of people tend to forget that America is the one voting for the winner, and for the most part, Americans aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. Just because so-and-so gets eliminated doesn’t mean they were a bad singer. Just means that more people flooded the phone lines for someone else they liked better. Your singing ability helps, but lets make no mistake about it, this is a popularity contest as well.
I’ll tell you right now, my favorite contestants this season right now are (in no particular order) Danny Gokey, Megan Corkery, Alexis Grace, Scott MacIntyre, and Michael Sarver. And that is pretty much based on if they were to put out an album, I’d want to listen to it. The ones I didn’t mention, not so much. But it doesn’t mean they’re not talented. If I liked their performance, I’ll tell you why I liked it. If I didn’t like it, I’ll tell you why I didn’t. Just because the other contestants aren’t in my “favorites” list, doesn’t mean I won’t compliment them and it doesn’t mean I hate them. Probably just means, for whatever reason, their overall persona just doesn’t appeal to me. In fact, you’ll see this week I think the best performance last night was from someone who isn’t one of my favorites. So see? I can be fair. I will always acknowledge talent and a good performance. And just because those are my favorite contestants right now, doesn’t mean they will be when the season ends. Some others might start to grow on me. I can already tell you one person right now that I completely have no idea how I feel about. I don’t know whether I truly dislike them, or want to see them do well. I’m starting to lean one way thought. It’s baffling really. Ok, onto last nights performances. For the record, a lot of you probably don’t know this, but I’m a HUGE Michael Jackson fan. Always have been, and always will be. So I was very much looking forward to last nights performances.
Lil’ Rounds, “The Way You Make Me Feel”: It was good. She’s a good singer. This performance didn’t knock me over though. I thought she was better last Tuesday actually. And boy, does she have a booty on her. Good lord. When are they having Sir Mix-a-Lot week so she can sing “Baby Got Back?” One thing that bugs about Kara: When she speaks to the black singers, she tends to go a little “sister” on us.
Scott MacIntyre, “Keep the Faith”: Didn’t really care much for the performance because I thought he’d pick a more popular song. Maybe something like, “Say, Say, Say”. I don’t think he has to worry about going home because of the likability factor, but he won’t win this thing. I’m curious to see if he’s on the piano every week. Although last week he sang that Bruce Hornsby song better, obviously being “visually impaired” (how did I know that would be the phrase they were gonna run with this season), he just doesn’t look comfortable without his piano. He has staying power, probably make it at least half way through the show. Impossible not to cheer for a guy like this. Even as an MJ fan, I wasn’t even too familiar with the song.
Danny Gokey, “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”: I’ll say this about Danny, and a lot of you know he is my favorite and I hope to see him win, the fact he’s gotten the “favorite” label from the judges could end up hurting him. Outside of Carrie Underwood, whoever they liked in the beginning has never really ended up winning. Good performance last night, and Simon was right about the dancing, it was awkward and corny. He’s not a dancer, he’s a singer. But at least he admits it. I liked it, he can “sing the phonebook” (as the judges like to tell us), but after hearing his version of “Hero” by Mariah Carey, he set the bar pretty high for himself. I thought that was one of the five best performances this show has ever had. In any season. Once again, just my opinion.
Michael Sarver, “You Are Not Alone”: One of my top three Michael Jackson songs of all-time. Love this song. And I was shocked that I liked the way Sarver sang it. Totally nothing like the original, but he had his own spin to it which I didn’t think was all that bad. I was more than surprised by this performance. He did it justice.
Jasmine Murray, “I’ll Be There”: Kinda bored by the performance. Did nothing for me. Got a good voice, but sometimes I feel like its not enough with her. I don’t know if she has the full package. I think she’ll be one of the first four or five to leave.
Kris Allen, “Remember the Time”: Thought Simon and Randy nailed it when they said it was the wrong song for his guitar. I mean, with the band playing so loudly in the background, you could barely hear any sound that his guitar was making. If he would’ve just sang the song without the guitar, it would’ve sounded exactly the same. The guitar added nothing. Very average performance, but chicks like him. Although, I’m sure they’re disappointed to see he has a wife. Probably will hurt him in the long run. There’s a reason Katharine McPhee never mentioned once during her season that she was doinking a guy 19 years older than her. Kinda takes away the appeal, you know?
Allison Iraheta, “Give In To Me”: Ok, I’ll admit it. I just don’t get it. I get that she’s sixteen, and I get that she has a good voice, but I’d take a seventeen year old Jordin Sparks over her any day of the week. I’m completely opposite of the judges on this girl. I think she’s kind of a screamer, trying to act way older than she is, and comes off a little arrogant. Probably wants to take back that comment last night about “cutting” too. Yikes. You could see some peoples faces behind the judges even grimace at that one. They can call her the underdog all they want, but she won’t win. I don’t even think she makes it halfway through.
Anoop Desai, “Beat It”: Terrible. Tried way too hard. And also, tried to look “hard” while singing the song. Like he was actually mad during his performance telling me to “Beat It.” That was straight out of a high school talent competition. Awful. Hated it. And you know what? He’ll be back another week. He ain’t goin’ home just yet.
Jorge Nunez, “Never Can Say Goodbye”: Bored by it. Not a recognizable song, didn’t do much with it, and pretty much a forgettable performance. He could be in trouble tonight.
Megan Corkrey, “Rockin Robin”: Love her but hated the song choice. Talk about a talent show performance. I’m not talking about the dancing, because that’s her quirkiness and she’s been doing that from the very beginning. I love her voice, her likability factor is through the roof, she’s the best looking female on the show this season, and, well, her mom is a MILF. But just to hear “Rockin Robin” on that stage last night reminded me of my 7th grade Lip Sync contest since someone performed that back in 1988. Just was too cutesy of a performance.
Adam Lambert, “Black or White”: This will be the most talked about contestant on the show this season, good or bad. You either love him or you hate him. There is no in between. Well, except with me right now. We’ve already seen pictures leaked on the internet with him dressed in drag and kissing other guys, so the song choice of “Black or White” didn’t surprise me in the least bit. Don’t think there wasn’t a subtle message he was trying to get across with that. To each their own. Whatever the case, it was the best performance of the night. Whether you think he’s too theatrical, over-the-top, or just flat out weird, he is the best “performer” the show has, and he’ll go far. This is the guy I’m completely torn on. He performed “Satisfaction” two weeks ago, and I still can’t decide if I hated it with a passion, or really liked it.
Yes, he has an entertainment background. He lives in Hollywood, was in “Wicked”, and obviously has been trained professionally before, so in that aspect, I wouldn’t mind seeing a guy like him succeed. This show has always been about giving someone a chance, and for a guy in his late 20’s who seemingly has paid his dues, it’s nice to see him perform. I know he’s a good singer, I know he’ll do well, but the “freak” factor will ultimately prevent him from winning the thing. Do I think he’ll get a record deal? Absolutely. But let’s remember who a majority of the people who vote on this show are: middle aged white people, probably leaning on the conservative side. As sad as it sounds, his look is basically what’ll cost him the title. If he wins, I’ll be the first to congratulate him. I wouldn’t have a problem with him winning whatsoever. I just don’t think he will. But I could see him in the final two or three. He is starting to grow on me.
Matt Giraud, “Human Nature”: Forgettable performance, and not in a bad way. He got screwed because he had to follow Adam. If this performance fell in between Anoop and Jorge’s, it would’ve gotten more praise than it did. He’s a really good singer, but the Justin Timberlake look is gonna get old for me, I already know it. Nothing wrong with trying to emulate the guy, but its almost too much. I like him though. Just kinda got lost in the shuffle last night.
Alexis Grace, “Dirty Diana”: She got screwed because her performance was up against the clock. The judges didn’t give her more than a sentence because they were running out of time. I thought it was good, not great. Solid performance. Definitely has no chance of getting eliminated tonight, but might want to pull back on the sexiness factor. Her likability is big right now because of the “cute kid” factor, but it’s almost like she’s trying too hard to shed the good girl image. I still don’t know which female I like better, her or Megan. It’s close. I’ll get back to you on this. I think Alexis has a better recording voice, but Megan might have more of the total package. Tough one.
So now it’s time for our first ever “Reality Steve Top and Bottom 3 Performances of the Night”. These are going to be my personal choices as to which ones I liked, and disliked, the most. Doesn’t mean it’s who I think will end up in the bottom three. You might even see a performance I have in my top three end up as one of the people I predict in the bottom three. This will be followed by my prediction of who I think WILL be in the bottom 3, and who will get eliminated. Complete guessing on my part.
Reality Steve’s Top 3 Performances:
1. Adam Lambert
2. Matt Giraud
3. Danny Gokey
Reality Steve’s Bottom 3 Performances:
1. Anoop Desai
2. Jorge Nunez
3. Megan Corkrey
They said at the beginning of the show that two people are getting eliminated tonight. Then mentioned at the end that there will be a twist that they’ve never done before. I don’t know what that is, sorry. So here’s who I think will be in the bottom 3.
Reality Steve’s Bottom 3 Prediction:
1. Jorge Nunez
2. Allison Iraheta
3. Jasmine Murray
Reality Steve’s Prediction of Who Will Get Eliminated: Jorge Nunez. If they eliminate two, then Jorge and Jasmine Murray are my two picks. Although, as much as I would hate to see it, Megan could easily be in the bottom three and replace Jasmine. There are enough people who might think the performance last night was too cheesy. I hope not.
That’s it. Back on Friday with your “Reality Roundup” covering all the other shows I’m watching including, “Dancing with the Stars”, “Survivor”, “Celebrity Apprentice”, “The City”, “Sober House”, and a few other tidbits. Any questions, comments, emails, praises, criticisms, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can join the “I Love Reality Steve” Facebook group, add me as a friend, or both, by clicking on the links down the right hand column. See you Friday.