March 29, 2005

"American Idol" -- It Came From the Nineties.

The theme tonight is the nineties. I'm thinking of all the great Alternative Rock songs early in the decade, but no... that's not how it will be! Bo Bice sings some chaotic, unmusical Black Crowes song. He tries to make us like him by wearing a huge, floppy black-and-white cowhide-patterned hat and by dancing on the judges' table, something you know Simon will experience as appalling. Jessica Sierra does a Leann Rimes song, and it's completely dull. My mind wanders. Oh, it's over. Good. And Anwar sings "I Believe I Can Fly," making the beginning astoundingly singsong, then doing some Stevie Wonderish high notes to try to distract us from the mediocrity of it all. Paula lays it on thick -- so disgustingly that I'm writhing on the floor gagging. Anwar raises a fist in victory and it's all so terribly unreal that I'm hoping for Simon to slam Anwar, even though Anwar seems to be such a sweet guy that you don't normally want anything bad ever to happen to him. Simon agrees with Randy about the complete inadequacy of the low notes, reminding the voters not to fall for the glorious high notes but to penalize poor Anwar for the really bad half of the song.

Nadia's hair is back to full-on Nadiosity, and she sings "I'm the Only One." Didn't Nikki McKibbin sing that in Season 1? I'd say she's a lot worse than Nikki, as an exciting singer. But after what happened to Nadia last week, I bet the judges try to help her. Randy damns her with the faint praise she always gets: you're not the best singer in the competition, but... Simon likes her but is critical of the song: it's not melodic. Which has been my problem all night: unmelodic songs! Was that some 90s trend? Also, let me say something about the words:
Please baby can’t you see
My mind’s a burnin’ hell
I got razors a rippin’ and tearin’ and strippin’
My heart apart as well

Is this the way to convince your lover to come back? I'd say it's time to get a restraining order! That's just ugly!

Here's Constantine! I started liking him last week, you know. And in his interview, he's talking about Grunge. Finally, something that really says 90s! But what is this cheesy love song? It doesn't seem grungy at all! What kind of a bait-and-switch is this? "I Can't Make You Love Me." I don't get it. I was expecting Nirvana or at least Pearl Jam. But this is Bonnie Raitt! This isn't Grunge! Paula and Randy love it, but Simon likes him too! "Classic pop star." So much for Grunge!

Nikko... It's this song, which I've never heard before -- or never been conscious of hearing. Total nonsong. Randy raves. Paula raves. Simon thinks it was a good copy of the original. Eh...

Anthony Fedorov is driveling something about the way you look tonight, which focuses me on the horrible green shirt he's wearing tonight. Ooh, he's awful! "I want to be nice," Simon says, "because I like you"... but he isn't nice -- quite appropriately!

Carrie Underwood sings "Independence Day," and they all love her. Simon tells her she has "that It factor -- and that's what it's all about." Does nothing for me.

Scott Savol. Aaarrrggghhhh. Singsong beginning. Weird high-low stuff. What is this song? It's all over the place. It's this. "Ambitious song... all right" ... "I was swaying... vibing it... you got my heart" ... "Get real here. Whoever wins this competition has to enter the real world."

Vonzell goes last? She does an old "American Idol" favorite, "I Have Nothing." I never need to hear this song again. The judges like it!

So what do I think of tonight? I think they were in a completely different 90s from what I remember. There was some great music, but they didn't sing any of it. These bellow-y ballads? I hate them all! Who should go? They all should go! If I ever motivated myself to dial the telephone and try to save anyone -- which I don't -- who would I vote for? Oh, Vonzell, because I like her. And Constantine, because he's sweet and self-effacing. Who would I kick out? Carrie, because the Powers That Be like her too much. Anthony, because he hurt my ears. Anwar, because that singsonging thing was lame.

UPDATE: Adam at Throwing Things seems to share my basic take on the contestants. Plus he says a lot of funny things. I especially liked: "Nikko -- Welcome to Charles Grigsby/Rickey Smith World; Population: Three."

UPDATE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT: So Jessica's gone. That's what I predicted. Well, either her or Anwar. And Anwar came in next to the last. It's striking how well the voters get it. The show itself was boring tonight. There was another dreadful group sing.

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