Last year, when American Idol served us up Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, and Casey James, I complained about the boring state of affairs on the show, but little did I realize how much worse it could get. At least Lee, Crystal, and Casey all had strong talent to make up for their general lack of stage presence (Casey, however, did have his moments of raw power).
Fast forward one year, and we have three kids who miss notes, fall over on stage, and generally seem to be playing the part of a singer rather than actually being an performer. What’s even worse is that the judges LOVE them. I guess the panel has to praise them every week in an effort to convince us that they’ve done their job well. Truth be told though, the judges have failed enormously, and as a result, we were stuck with a two hour show that proved to be the most lackluster performance episode of all time. Yo yo, America, the judges are not IN IT TO WIN IT!!
First of all, let me register my complete disdain that Randy Jackson seems to now be making “IN IT TO WIN IT” his catchphrase. Does he not realize that it’s become the symbolic phrase to represent the lack of originality in his and the rest of the gang’s critiques? The mere fact that he’s embraced “IN IT TO WIN IT” underlines just how oblivious these judges are. I mean, if you tell every contestant that they are IN IT TO WIN IT (much as Randy did last night), does the compliment really hold any weight?
Let’s take a look at the semifinalists:
The love affair between Scotty and the judges continue. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what he sang. That may be partially because I’m not a country fan, but I think it has more to do with his stunning lack of charisma. I suppose Scotty’s second song was his best, what with its spirited chorus and demands to make out. His last song, however, featured him straining his voice with notes far too high for him while J-Lo sat on the sidelines and mouthed along as if it were her own damn moment in the spotlight. And guess what? Even though Scotty’s voice was shakier than a hula skirt, the judges praised him for singing big. J-Lo cited her ever present goose pimples, Steven used the word “beautiful” in ten different ways, and Randy noted once again that he felt like he was at a Scotty concert. Real insightful, guys.
Surprisingly, I thought Lauren had the strongest night of the group. She was pretty on point with her three country tunes, even if she did miss a key change during “If I Die Young.” It’s actually pretty tragic about that last tune because what should have been a great, climactic moment was instead overshadowed by the big flub. Nevertheless, Lauren recovered fine and finished strong. A solid night for her. The only problem with Lauren is that she just lacks any and all star power. It’s the David Archuletta effect. Last week, she was scared to call herself evil, and this week, she was embarrassed to be caught with a stylist shining up her legs. Voting for Lauren is like voting for a bashful eight year old hiding behind her mom’s legs.
Poor Haley. She’s the most talented vocally of the group, but this was not her night. She was great singing Led Zeppelin. Too bad she fell on her ass midway through the song. Later, her take on “Rhiannon” was warbly and awkward, and even though I’m a big Fleetwood Mac song, I did not think this would be one to earn Haley any fans. Mid-tempo stuff just doesn’t work on Idol. It’s gotta be big and climactic or quiet and emotional. Bonus points for the Stevie Nicks wind-in-the-hair effect.
Rounding out her trio of tunes was the judges’ choice of “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette, which is a great song, but again, not right for Haley. The girl could barely hit any of the notes and wound up screaming her way through the chorus. I thought for sure the judges would dock her major points, but instead they praised her up and down, brushing off her missed notes and extolling her ability to deliver the goods during the chorus (something she didn’t do, for the record).
What a total clusterfuck. Not even Beyoncé could save this episode.
What did you think about the show? Could you even get through it?