Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Top 8 Perform: Movie Madness Week

Article first published as American Idol Movie Madness Week on Technorati.

Where to start?  After last week’s all-around stellar performances, I had high hopes for this week.  Our night starts off with Jennifer being honored as People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman award….She looks lovely as always tonight, except for the odd piece of garbage-shaped tulle affixed to the hem of her dress.  I don’t get it.  Sitting next to her, Steven Tyler looks like he is trying to give J. Lo a run for her money as the world’s most lovely lady.  What IS that he’s wearing?

Ok, onto the performances.  We open up with Paul doing “Old Time Rock ‘n Roll.”  I cannot hear that song without thinking of Tom Cruise sliding through the living room in his tidy-whities…Uh oh, I hope this doesn’t inspire Paul to jig incessantly all over the stage.  We quickly learn that it DOES inspire him to haul out yet another rose-embroidered suit.  Good Lord – how many does he have?   I really want to like him and the song,  for real.  Sadly, I do not. He just always sounds to me like he’s about to get laryngitis.  The judges disagree with me though and fawn all over him.  What do I know?

The second singer of the evening is Lauren, who chooses “The Climb”.  On the plus side, there’s a REALLY GOOD chance she sings this better than Miley Cyrus.  Jimmy and both are quick to point this out as well and coach her on using the song to steal Pia’s voting bloc.  This brings sweet Lauren to tears and quickly course corrects and sells it to her that she should “invite” Pia’s voters to follow her.  Jimmy, mumbles something about that being semantics, but I’m actually glad that is there to keep the cynicism in check. She gives the mentors their prediction and does sing it (marginally) better than Miley so naturally, the judges give her nothing but acclaim.  Actually, Tyler says something vaguely creepy, but it’s intended to be a compliment.

Next up is Stefano who dares to sing “End of the Road.”  He tells us that this week he’s going to be a great singer by becoming a real performer.  He does this by wearing a hipster hat in his video package.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to also keep his eyes open.   He does in fact incorporate a reasonable amount of emotion and his song is better than usual, but I’m still not a fan.  He’s a little flat, and it’s just not my style of music.  He really plays to the teenage girls in the audience, flexing his guns as much as physically possible while belting out Boyz 2 Men.  However, Randy says he slayed it and that it was his best vocal, and Steven and Jennifer seem to agree.

Scotty’s up next and he’s doing….wait for it…it’s a shocker…a country song (“I Cross My Heart”)!  Seriously? I like that he’s clear on who he is as an artist, but I wish he’d be more creative and take something else and turn it into a country song.  He actually teases us with this, doing “Everybody’s Talking” for Will and Jimmy, but then reverts to form.  Jimmy and I are both disappointed.  It’s a good enough performance but it’s totally safe and a bit ho-hum.   All the parents in the audience adore him, and so does Tyler. JLo. tries to be critical, but just don’t seem to have it in her.  Randy’s a fan.

Casey is really going old-school Hollywood and is bravely sporting an ascot.  Bold choice.  As for song choice, he first picks a Nat King Cole tune, which Jimmy warns him is way too small for the Idol Stage.  Casey then tries on “In the Air Tonight” on for size, and it sounds great.  Lo and behold though, he goes back to Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy” against the mentors sometimes-better judgment.  He brings back the big bass for good measure.  It sounds a bit like a serial killer, playing a great bass, singing Nat King Cole. My husband said “Wow” like 4 times, but then again, he likes Jazz, and for that matter, any music more than about 50 years old.  The judges ALL love it and give him a standing ovation, and then proceed to try and talk America into liking it.  I’m not sure.  I love Casey and it wasn’t my favorite.  Plus, I don’t think the little 15 year-old hipsters that actually pull out their iPhones and vote, will get it either.       

Our next victim is Haley, who tries on Blondie for size.  Specifically, she chooses “Call Me.”  I think it’s her weakest performance yet, but she’s wearing stripper boots, so naturally Tyler tries to stick up for her.  JLo agrees with Randy but resists saying anything too negative, because she’s all about the girl power.  I bet she’s in trouble.

Jacob comes out and is appropriately chastised by the judges for preaching to the audience last week – I love it.  Jimmy reminds him that he shouldn’t insult his audience, when he hasn’t even made a record yet.  He concedes and looks to take on “Dream the Impossible Dream.”  The mentors veto that choice and suggest “Bridge Over Troubled Water.  Ok, I’m no Jacob fan and that is one of my all time favorite songs so I’m cynical at best, but the dude pretty much rocks it!  Of course, there is the standard over-singing and vocal gymnastics, but that’s just his thing.  It seemed more approachable to me this week. All the judges dig him too.  I still think he could be in trouble.

James is last up with “Heavy Metal”, again against the mentor’s better judgment.  They strongly caution him against it, but James sticks to his guns and does squeal his way through the Sammy Hagar gig. It’s definitely not my cup of tea, and I’m not sure there are a ton of true metal-head Idol voters, but what do I know?  He is in tune though for the most part, and the studio crowd seems to dig him, as does Ms. Lopez.  Randy gives him mad props, and of course Tyler, this year’s Ellen, agrees, because he can ever apparently say anything mean.

So, how to predict the results this week?  It’s really tough.  Here’s how I see it going down…Lauren and Scotty are totally safe.  James is most likely safe as well.  I see Haley in big trouble and Stefano, Jacob, Paul, and Casey on the bubble.  If my life depended on picking the bottom 3, and again this is not my least favorite 3, but just who I think will get the least votes,  I’d say it will be Jacob, Haley and Casey.  I think Haley’s going to be voted off the island.  What do you think?  Tune in to FOX tonight to learn for sure!


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