Sometimes the show is just better without a mentor. I mean, did Quentin Tarantino really add much to the show last week other than comedic value for his awful haircut? Didn’t think so. Let’s do mentors, like, every third or fourth week. Disco Week doesn’t need mentors anyway since I can’t remember the last time a disco song was ever written. I found it funny that on Disco Week, of the seven performances, four weren’t even up tempo disco beats. I understand the judges harp on the contestants for being original, but if you’re having a theme week like Disco, don’t you kinda need your contestants to sing the song as is. For one week, can’t they just throw the “originality” card out the window and just have fun? There was nothing “disco” about last nights show in the least bit. Kris, Adam, Allison, and Anoop all slowed things up. Just didn’t make much sense to me.
Good to see that the “only 2 judges speak at a time” experiment was sh**canned after one week. Nice try. That was never going to fly with the audience. This was the first “Idol” episode in recent memory where the contestants didn’t have a pre-packaged video shown before they performed. Unless I’m completely forgetting, I can’t remember the last time they did this. Yes, they finished on time, and yes all the judges got all their comments in, but it was really weird to see. Especially once they opened the show, all the contestants came out, Ryan scooted them all to the side except Lil’, who immediately started singing. The fact she had to go first, the fact that it felt rushed, and the fact that, well, it sucked, probably doesn’t help her chances tonight. On to the performances.
Lil’ Rounds, “I’m Every Woman”: Definitely started off on the wrong foot when she was into her first line and my seat wasn’t even warm yet. All started much too quickly for me. And hasn’t this song been sung at least once every season? I could’ve sworn I’ve heard that exact same performance 100 times before. Whether or not her voice was shot, I have no idea since I guess we’re supposed to believe Paula, but it didn’t seem like Lil’ sang too many lyrics to this song, did it? Seems like she was “oooh’ing” and “aaaahhh’ing” and repeating a lot of words and phrases over and over. Didn’t care for it at all. However, it was great to see her mother turn into the female David Alan Grier and start bitching out all the judges once she heard they all hated her little daughter again. Lil’s days are numbered on this show. The only way she stays is if her fan base flooded the phone lines last night because the judges were so harsh on her. We’ve seen it work that way before. Scott Savol. Enough said.
Kris Allen, “She Works Hard For the Money”: As I go into my inner Kara, here’s the thing with Kris: He’s usually pretty solid every week, almost always scores points for originality, but when has he ever blown you away with a performance or actually showed any vocal range? All his songs sound exactly the same. He’s very John Mayer-ish if you ask me. Likable guy, has a good voice, but his performances don’t seem to really challenge any sort of vocal range. I guarantee he’s going to put out an album of songs dedicated to chicks. You know, the title of the album will be “Lonely Hearts”, and he’ll have track titles like “If You Were Mine”, “These Days Without You”, “All is Lost”, “Can’t Breathe”, and “Angel of Mine”. You know it’s coming. I just see him being the unplugged guy who sits on his stool, plays his guitar, and tries his damndest to get every female in the audience to start crying or throwing their panties on stage.
Danny Gokey, “September”: Now here’s a song that’s definitely been performed every season. You pretty much know what you’re getting from Danny every week. Solid performance, good vocals, and avoiding the bottom three. When the judges touted him as the favorite at the beginning of the season, it doesn’t look like it became a curse, but, it almost seems like he knows he’ll be in the finals as long as he doesn’t crap himself on stage one week. He’s still better singing ballads than up tempo stuff, but last night didn’t seem as awkward as his past up tempo performances. The dancing was a little more controlled, and I think because of that, his vocals were better. On the downside, there really wasn’t anything original about it. Not like it matters when it comes to Danny since his fanbase is so big, they’re voting regardless. He’s safe, but I do think he might have to pick it up a bit down the homestretch just in case the complacency factor starts setting in.
Allison Iraheta, “Hot Stuff”: I know I’ve been harsh on Allison in the past few weeks. Well, basically since the top 13 started. I’ve just never really understood the push behind her. Here’s the positives about Allison: For 16 years old, she’s definitely not lacking confidence. She acts like she’s been on stage for years. Doesn’t come across as 16 years old when she performs at all. Negatives: Everything else. Ha ha. I’m kidding. She’s got a decent voice, but not an “everyday” voice. Meaning it’s so different that most people are probably split on her, either they can deal with her raspiness and hard rock feel she puts into every song, or they won’t. And I don’t know what it is, but there hasn’t really been one performance she’s ever given that was memorable to me. Only Adam, Danny, and Matt have given a memorable performance at least once this season for me.
Adam Lambert, “If I Can’t Have You”: Blew everyone else away. Great performance. Really isn’t much else to say. Every week you want to see what this guy is gonna do, and every week he delivers in some way, whether you like it or not. Once again, probably the most talented professional they’ve ever had on this show. I still think winning “Idol” won’t be the best thing for his career. He doesn’t fit what “Idol” tries to sell America. And you know what? I’m almost starting to look at Adam as bigger than this competition. Since he does have a professional background, and he has been a professionally trained theater actor, I just feel this show is a tad beneath him. I kinda see his career in the same light as Katharine McPhee’s. Not saying that Katherine McPhee was bigger than the show, because she wasn’t, but her career since “Idol” hasn’t really been about her music. She put out an album that didn’t do well, but she got to perform with Andrea Bocelli, she did an indie film, she did a mainstream film with “House Bunny”, and I’m guessing her acting career will end up betting better than anything she puts on an album. I think Adam’s career will be more in theater and show business than actually selling a million albums.
Matt Giraud, “Stayin’ Alive”: I said last week I thought this would be the song that would fit Adam well, but once I realized that over half the contestants this week wouldn’t even touch the disco genre, I figured that wasn’t going to happen. Kinda surprised Matt did it. It was better than last week and not nearly as bad as some of the judges thought, but it wasn’t too memorable. Pretty karaoke if you ask me. At least he showed confidence this week. That might be enough to carry him through to next week. It was almost like he realized he had a new lease on life so he wasn’t going to hold back and be timid any more. He’s still better behind a piano or keyboard than he is dancing with just a mike in his hand.
Anoop Desai, “Dim All the Lights”: I think this is the week that Simon gets overruled by the public. I tended to agree with Simon in that the performance wasn’t as good as the other judges thought, but I wouldn’t have gone as far as to say it was his worst performance yet. I just think three weeks in a row in the bottom three, he’ll get a reprieve this week and be saved. Enough judges liked him that maybe that’ll win over some of America’s vote. Hell, what do I know? My guess is as good as yours. I just didn’t think the performance was as awful as Simon made it to be. With only 7 people left, I’m only gonna give my top 2 best and worst performances every week from here on out.
Reality Steve’s Top 2 Performances:
1. Adam Lambert
2. Adam was so far ahead of everyone else, there isn’t a #2
Reality Steve’s Bottom 2 Performances:
1. Lil Rounds
2. Allison Iraheta
Reality Steve’s Bottom 3 Prediction:
1. Lil Rounds
2. Kris Allen
3. Allison Iraheta
Reality Steve’s Prediction of Who Will Get Eliminated: If Lil’ doesn’t go home, I’d be shocked. But in going with my “shocking” them this week, I’ll say Allison. And then in another bit of a surprise, I’ll say Kris. I just can’t see both females getting eliminated on the same night, and Lil was worse than Allison, although not by much. I’m only saying Kris because Adam and Danny definitely aren’t going home, and I think that people will rally around Matt at least for this week after what happened to him last week, which leaves Kris and Anoop. Something just tells me this show is due for a shocker, so I’ll go with Kris. Not that Kris can win, but enough people would be saying, “Oh my God” if Kris went home tonight.
Back on Friday with another “Reality Roundup.” I have a couple stories to tell along with a recap of my “celebrity” guest appearance last Friday night for the CAP Center (Child Abuse Prevention). Once again, any questions, comments, emails, praises, criticisms, questions/concerns/queries for the next mailbag, send them all to firstname.lastname@example.org. See you Friday.