February 22, 2007

Covering "American Idol" the lazy way again.

Here's Jacob of TWOP mini-recapping last night's show, which featured the "girls" and was much better the Tuesday's "boy" show. Notably, he does not think Lakisha was the best:
Lakisha Jones, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going": Yes, it was wonderful, yes I believe it, but Simon's tongue bath is doing her no favors.
And I'm sick of that song, which seems to have supernatural power to make people think the singer is brilliant. I've seen it done too many times lately. It's a huge cliché. Maybe once, back in the days of Frenchie Davis, it was surprising to hear the fat woman demand love so forthrightly. But now, I'm feeling pushed around. You don't like people telling you what to do? But here you are telling us what to do! Rather hypocritical, isn't it? I'll love who I damn well please... and it won't be based on histrionic songifying.

What Jacob likes:
Leslie Hunt's "Natural Woman" rocked out, like I was sure it would. She's so weird and neat, but I think she'll be okay.
Yeah, why didn't the judges like her more? I think it's something about the way she looks... like the sort of actress who'd be in a commercial for some mindnumbingly ordinary household product.
Jordin Sparks proved once again with "Give Me One Reason" that she's one to watch this year.
I like her too.
Stephanie Edwards started the night with "How Come You Don't Call Me?" and sang in a frenetic manner, like Fantasia without the scary aspects of Fantasia -- and I'm not just saying that because of the hair, she's an original.
She annoyed me. I guess I just can't stand that style of singing. I was sure they were going to say she was "all over the place." But they ended up saying somebody else was "all over the place." You know, on every show, somebody has to be the one who is "all over the place."
Melinda Doolittle sang Aretha's "Since You've Been Gone," and proved to be maybe the most likeable person ever to perform on this show.
Yeah, she was good. And likeable. You could get sick of that.

I think my favorite was Sabrina Sloan. Jacob put her in the middle group:
Sabrina Sloan still looks like a visiting cast member from Rome and sang a very determined "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You," which usually sounds the same all the time.
Hmmm.... maybe I mostly think she looks really cool.

As for the bad ones. You can go read Jacob for that. I'll just say that Antonella Barba really was disgusting, trying (and failing) to be so damned irresistible singing those horrible words:
Lying close to you feeling your heart beating
And I'm wondering what you're dreaming
Wondering if it's me you're seeing
Then I kiss your eyes
And thank God we're together
I just want to stay with you in this moment forever
Forever and ever
This song goes on and on about how the guy -- it's a guy's song -- is just going to stay up the whole damned night, because -- so he says -- he's just got to look at her as much as possible. It's like he's stalking a girl who's already sleeping with him. If he really likes her so much, he should get some sleep, because what kind of a companion is he going to be the next day, when she's actually conscious? I'm very suspicious of this character. I get the impression he doesn't like her all that much, since he's so deeply engrossed with her personality-less sleeping body. Stop the maudlin "eye" kissing -- it's really eyelids -- and get some sleep or you are going to be hell to live with.

ADDED: Princess Midwest is nicely bitchy about the show. (A taste: "Her and her buddy were such bitches during Hollywood Weak, I’m not sure what it’s gonna take for me to get behind her. And she kind of looks like Denise Richards, who is a heinous bitch. She’s also no Steven Tyler.")


Meade said...

"Stop the maudlin "eye" kissing -- it's really eyelids..."

This will help the big creep sleep -- Demodex

Andrew Foland said...

Doubtless it has been much commented upon, but the order in which the contestants go is pretty clearly chosen ahead of time to build to who's expected to be best. Of course the vagaries of each night's performances lead to imperfect ordering. But I've been impressed in the past by how accurate the ordering is.

Stephanie Edwards was clearly out of order. There is no way they thought she'd be one of the worst. They never miss by that much.

The guys were so terrible I wonder--did they change the order for fear that people would turn off the show for good at 8:15 if Idol led with a mediocre performance?

I would have said that the best of the guys came in rather above Antonella. I'm not even sure they came in above Alaina, and I'm pretty sure they all fell below Nicole (whose song was annoying and scary but I thought technically unimpeachable) and Leslie (who I found completely unwatchable but at least not unlistenable.)

And I thought Jordin Sparks made the best case for being the next Idol. I fear Lakisha is being used to whip the others into shape. Lakisha may have been the best, but if so, not by that much.

Anonymous said...

"It's a guy's song..."

Aerosmith's lead singer Stephen Tyler is a harpy, not "a guy."

Adam said...


Thank you for enlightening me about the arthropods living in my eyelashes. I had just come to peace with the fact that tens of thousands of mites live in my bed, pillow and carpets. Now that I know that they are endemically in my face I feel much better.

JohnK said...

My wife watches this garbage religously. From what I have seen of it the men just stink. None of them are any good. The clown that did Free Ride was so bad it was almost funny. The women at least seem to pass the giggle test. The nice woman from Savannah can actually sing. Why are so many of them just bad R&B wannabes? Didn't anyone with a gruffer voice try out? Nearly all of the last 24's idea of singing is to sound as constipated as possible. I guess that is what passes for soul now days.

hdhouse said...

I am assuming 3 reasons for all the recurrent posting on American Idol:

1. It brings in to this blog a number new people to the blogsite to grow your page views.
2. It searches well on google to increase visibility to your blog.
3. You like (!) american idol.

otherwise these topics make no sense whatsoever.

Meade said...

4. Althouse's wry takes on popular culture are often entertaining and humorous.

I'm assuming you know humor, hdhouse, don't you?

Laura Reynolds said...

HDH: If you had been here for any length of time, and had any interest other than being a trolling, single agenda critic, you'd know why.

Since you haven't and don't, lets not pretend you really care. Go back in the archives and do some research, we don't owe you an explanation.

PatCA said...

I felt sorry for Barba. It was like she was saying, I'm sorry I beat that other girl who can actually sing. Stephanie's style I also don't like. It's like reading a term paper about blues singing instead of hearing it in a club.

And hdhouse, you missed the real reason Ann posts about Idol: to attract more innocent minds to indoctrinate with her "conservative" views! One of us, one of us...

Susan said...

Jennifer Hudson was mentioned last night when Lakisha’s song was introduced as the song that brought her in contention for an Oscar Sunday night. But then Simon gave Jennifer a little dig when he said she would have to move over for Lakisha. I hope they have the good grace tonight to wish Jennifer luck. (Of course maybe they already did and I just missed it).

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Isn't it a tad bit racist to say that white girls can't sing Aretha (like Princess Stephanie does)? I thought last night's "that song was too urban for you" comment from Randy to Nicole Tranquillo crossed that line even as it seem to sum up the other judges' criticisms of her performance (which I found outstanding even as I didn't particularly care for the song).

Imagine it played the other way (and I'm not attempting to throw up the old reverse racism canard): what if one of the judges (or "blog critics") said that so-and-so was too black to sing that song. Wouldn't that be incredibly racist?

On a related note, really no one should try to sing Aretha or even sing a duet with Aretha. The only person that has been able to hold her own singing with Aretha was Annie Lennox (even Mariah Carey couldn't keep up with her). Am Idol contestants should stay away from Aretha like the men should stay away from Elvis. Elvis and Aretha own their songs in a way that will alway invite unfavorable comparisons because they trascend their music.

hdhouse said...


There is nothing funny about American Idol. There is nothing funny about the thread. Idol is a complete waste of the airwaves..just my opinion....

Why defend mediocrity?

XWL said...

I don't think the comments aimed at Nicole were racists, they were being specific to that person.

Some people can pull certain things off, some can't.

Did you ever see Aretha Franklin her own powerfully voiced self attempt Opera?

Disaster, utter disaster.

No matter how good the singer, some things just don't sound right for them to be singing.

I felt Nicole was pretty awful at singing that particular song, and by the way she did it, seems pretty clear that she can't pull of any song from that style.

I thought Melinda Doolittle was easily the best, but then I loathe the song Lakisha did, so I think she should lose votes just for choosing that song.

Also, when they get straight-jacketed into a particular style, I think Lakisha may have trouble as she seems too enamored of a 'gospel/broadway' singing style and may have trouble fitting a different style, whereas Melinda strikes me as being more flexible with how she can sing.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Laura Reynolds said...

HDH, if its such a waste of time go away, I'm not defending it and neither does Ann. But really man, you got to lighten up. Have some fun without being mean. Life's too short to always be so serious. When you life is over is any body going to say, "yeah old HD, he never was much fun to be around but man he was right about the Irag war" just my opinion

Lonesome Payne said...

Ryan Seacrest is the wry humorist who feeds the others and feeds off them, though Simon can be pretty funny too. It's hard to see that kind of thing about people when you loathe them and all they stand for, of course.

They're not always hitting on all cyclinders of course.

Given the breakout of Jennifer Hudson, sales and respect-wise, it must be hard to defend the idea that AI is a complete waste of time. Saying it is not hard, I gather. That's easy, even easier than believing it.

Kruglosutochnik said...

Hey! Jordin Sparks is bogus. As in, she is already a professional recording artist. I think I'm rooting for the bank teller LaKisha, but I hope Antonella stays around awhile longer for entirely aesthetic reasons--she also was nowhere near as bad as her lying tramp friend in Hwood. I think the Weird AL Jankovic guy and Sundance are the only guys with personality, and Sundance sings like a Bolivian constable.

Lonesome Payne said...

Am I aghast at the double "of courses?" Yes. Natch.

hdhouse said...

SteveR...very lightened up here. I work close in the medium and periodically there is a tipping point where it can do a great deal of good or provide wise and witty entertainment and other times when the medium turns just plain mean..this is one of them....it started with 5 nights of giving away a million, did the survivor bit, the scavenger hunts, etc., and its just so much pap and pablum.

I have to watch it so I know about it, to see what commercials are placed on it, etc., see the ratings and shares and how it effects the rest of the schedules...but it is torture.

Lonesome Payne said...

There's something about current leftishness and sweeping statements of condemnation. They go together. It's like the "it's all bullshit, man" stage of development was so invigorating, they zip back there as often as possible.

For other people, not necessarily people who worship the show (or whatever the topic) but just see how it's sort of okay and even cool at times, and is not destroying the culture (yet anyway) - the effect is exactly the same as with that 14 year old who keeps saying it's all bullshit man. Very, very impressed, in short, with the insight.

Laura Reynolds said...

HDH: Well if its work, than I understand. I try to really avoid getting caught in the manipulation of the show and any pretense of quality. Its mindless entertainment and something the whole family can talk about at that level. With five of us, talking is good.

Steven said...

"You don't like people telling you what to do? But here you are telling us what to do! Rather hypocritical, isn't it?"

Hypocritical songs, of course, have a long and storied history.

For example, "You Don't Own Me". It's a song where the girl gives the boy a whole bunch of commands, while telling him not to give her any.

Among the things she demands of him is "Don't try to change me in any way". Well, either he isn't the type of person who would make such attempts (in which case the song is purely unnecessary nag, nag, nag), or he is that type of person, and the song is an attempt to change him.

The song was of course featured prominently in "The First Wives' Club", emphasizing its core antifeminist message.