The big news surrounding Idol this week is the talk that Simon will leave the show after next season (Season 9) when his contract expires. He’s currently also a judge on Britain’s “X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent”, and traveling back and forth to the states on a weekly basis is apparently getting old. Uh huh. Suck it up. Simon, Fox pays you a BASE salary of $36 million a year to do “Idol” and you speak maybe a total of what, two or three minutes a show? And lets face it, it’s not like the guy is flying coach back and forth from Europe every week. He’s not sitting in the middle seat between two obese people and getting offered a plastic cup of water and peanuts for an over 10 hour flight. C’mon, Simon. You really think people want to watch “Idol” and her critiques from Randy, Paula, and Kara. That’s the weird thing. Maybe he’s just being humble, which would be a first, but Simon somehow thinks the show could survive without him. Please. I guarantee that show loses a TON of viewers if he’s not a judge. Lets hope it doesn’t happen.
Immediately when I saw Jamie Foxx was going to be the guest mentor this week, I cringed. Regardless of what performances he’s put on in “Ray” and “Dreamgirls”, since I’m an “In Living Color” fanatic from back in the day, I always see Jamie as Wanda saying, “I gotch you, and I’m red to go.” Sorry. Just can’t get that image out of my head. He was great doing background vocals on Kanye’s “Golddigger”, but I just can’t shake the image that he got his start on “In Living Color”. Like Carrie Ann from “DWTS”. And Jim Carrey. However with that said, I can honestly say he was the first mentor this season that I think actually made a difference. I was thoroughly impressed with how involved he was with each singers performance and how it seemed like he cared. He gave criticism, he gave praise, he helped them through all parts of their songs. He was much more involved and seemed to care a hell of a lot more than I thought he would. So Jamie, I apologize for pigeonholing you. On to the performances.
Kris Allen, “The Way You Look Tonight”: The John Mayer of the group gave yet another breathy performance. I like what Chris has done with past songs so he wins points for originality, but there’s something about him and “breathy” voice week in and week out that makes me think he’s a one trick pony. Yes, he changes up the arrangements on songs, but he still sounds exactly the same every week. True, you can say so does Danny Gokey, and you’d be right. I just happen to like Danny’s voice better than Kris’ actually. I give the guy major credit for being creative with songs I never thought he could, but to quote Randy, “I’m just not feelin it. Dawg.” I feel like even though he makes songs original, that he himself isn’t original enough for me. I know pretty much what I’m getting every week and his voice has never blown me away, only his originality has.
Allison Iraheta, “Someone to Watch Over Me”: The first thing I automatically think of when I think of the Rat Pack is Allison Iraheta. Just not a good week to be her. I understand that none of these contestants were around in the time of the Rat Pack era, but all four remaining guys at least could pull off the type of music that they could. I just felt Allison was singing any other song. Apparently Kara didn’t though. Kara: “If this doesn’t land you in the finals, I don’t know what will.” Whoa. Did she really say that? Allison is gonna be in the finals? On what show? Certainly not this one. Yes, Allison is a good singer and has her fan base, but Kara is smoking some of the sticky icky if she thinks Allison is making the finals this season. Not a chance. Maybe since Kara loves her so much, she can encourage her to try out for “America’s Got Talent”. I’m sure she can make the finals of that show going up against guys bouncing on trampolines and 6 year old vocalists.
Matt Giraud, “My Funny Valentine”: I wouldn’t call it his best performance like Simon did, and I certainly didn’t love it, but I also didn’t think it was as pitchy as Randy thought. I just thought it was a little too slow and boring. At this point in the competition, every performance you give needs to be pretty memorable, and that one wasn’t. It was good, it was solid, but not memorable. I don’t want to see him go home yet, I hope he doesn’t go home, but I think there’s a chance he will.
Danny Gokey, “Come Rain or Come Shine”: One of his best performances. Really good and I couldn’t agree more with Simon about the confidence thing. Kris and Allison, and even Matt to a certain extent, you know these kids read the internet and the magazines. You know that they know everyone’s been talking about a Danny/Adam final for weeks now. And I think the three of them seem fine with that. They’ve gotten this far, they’ll probably all snag a record deal out of it, and they’re just happy they get to go on tour, hang out with their friends, and perform in front of millions of teenage girls across all of the US. I just think Danny and Adam are a little hungrier to actually win this thing and they carry themselves in that way. I mean, you heard Allison’s answer when Simon asked her if she thought she could win, right? That didn’t exude the least bit of confidence. I know she’s 16, and she’s probably been taught to be humble, but her body language and subsequent answer made it known to everyone she’s just happy to be there.
Adam Lambert, “Feeling Good”: I know I wasn’t alive during the Rat Pack era, but I think I’m familiar enough with a lot of the songs. I’d heard of the four previous to this one, but I was not familiar with what Adam was singing. Was I supposed to be? Whatever the case, the single reason Adam sang this song, and his whole performance was solely based on his ability to belt out that 10 second Axl scream. That was the climax of the song and pretty much made you forget everything that came before it. Contestants have done that in the past, and while it was impressive for him to carry that note as long as he did, I think it was done to overshadow the first part of the song which wasn’t that memorable. But anytime someone can end on a high note, they know that’s what people will remember the most, so he did it. The song did nothing for me, but I was impressed he screamed for a good 10 seconds straight. I timed it.
Reality Steve’s Top 2 Performances:
1. Danny Gokey
2. Matt Giraud
Reality Steve’s Bottom 2 Performances:
1. Allison Iraheta
2. Kris Allen
No Bottom 3 Prediction since with only five left, I don’t even think they do a bottom three anymore. I could be wrong though. They change it up year after year.
Reality Steve’s Prediction of Who Will Get Eliminated: Unfortunately, I think Matt is headed home. I don’t think Simon’s comments are good enough to save him at this point. Oh well. Thanks for trying. Beats the hell out of going back and performing at piano bars, whose act is pretty much the same wherever you go and whatever city you’re in. I think there must be a school you go to if you want to perform at a piano bar since none of them are original, they all sing the same songs, and they all do parodies of the same songs. Ok, we get it. Drunk girl having her bachelorette party is gonna get brought up on stage and you’re gonna make a bunch of sexual innuendos towards her. Hilarious. Really. I’ll hear the same song and jokes at the dueling piano bar at the Irvine Spectrum (is that still there?) than I will here at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar in Addison, Texas. No thanks.
Back Friday again with another “Reality Roundup.” Still working on some stuff regarding the “Bachelor/Bachelorette” reunion this past weekend in Vegas that I did not end up attending, plus, my first thoughts on the latest “Jon and Kate Plus 8” news. Love it. 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.