Wednesday, March 26, 2008

American Idol's on Acid!

The night started out normally enough, then just got wackier and wackier until I literally slapped myself to make sure I wasn't tripping. Craziest AI ever.

The show started with relative normality: Ramiele had been encouraged to kick it up a notch and show off that "big old voice" coming from that wee little package. So she did, taking on one of the biggest, Ann Wilson. And she did ok (even if the voice went "bye bye" during rehearsals), certainly better than other weeks. But cranky Randy was all over the pitchiness; he was the pitch-bitch the whole night. (My pitch-queen boyfriend had more problems with Syesha's pitch, but Randy let her off the hook, hmmm. Maybe he doesn't like tiny girls?) Then came Jason, who brought his usual laid-back stoner touch to Sting's "Fragile." (The stoner charm is wearing thin on everyone despite those special frosty eyes.) Even relatively tone-deaf me recognized some pitchiness with Syesha, but, like Mary J. Blige, who's not immune to the dreaded pitchiness problem, what she lacks in precision she can--when she's on--make up for in passion. Syesha was semi-on last night. Chikezie went old-school, skipping any hoedown and harmonica eccentricities after getting nailed for them last week. Then he got criticized for playing it safe and cheesy (according to Simon). Cheesy Chikezie; alas, he may be in trouble tonight. Brooke, thank god, ditched the sunshine outfit and dressed like she was going to a funeral. Funereal becomes her; somehow she still looks sunny even all in black and with flattened hair. Her beginning blunder was charming, and she held her own with "Every Breath You Take," though she didn't quite pull off the magic she's capable of.

Then the evening started to get good and weird. Michael amped up the energy and sex appeal (see below), and Carly took on Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." I have always adored this song beyond all reason and am convinced that anyone who says they don't like it is lying. One lonely 80s evening, I remember smoking a little something and watching the original door-bursting, wind-blowing, gown-flowing awesomely over-the-top video and being certain it was the best thing I'd ever witnessed in my whole life. (And when the smoke cleared, it still seemed pretty fabulous. You don't need to be high to appreciate spooky bright-eyed flying children.) But I digress: Carly. She tried, really hard, and she looked terrified. (What I would have given to hear Amanda do Bonnie Tyler!) Then pitch-bitch Randy rags on her and Simon rags on her and tells her to lighten up, and you can see the color draining from Carly's face. (Inside she's probably screaming: I was in the Bottom 3 last week, you arse! I am not going to lighten up! I want this more than life itself, and you're ruining it.) I honestly feared she might vomit on stage, and if she's in the Bottom 3 tonight (which she may well be), I think I'll have to cover my eyes.

Carly set the stage for the true weirdness ahead: David A. and Kristy Lee. David picked perhaps the worst song EVER in the history of the show. Watching him perform was one big WTF???? And somehow he looked even younger than ever, about 6. Truly excruciating. Then came the judging. "Strange song choice," said Randy, before adding that David could sing "whatever" and it would be fine. Ahhh, so with precious David, song choice is irrelevant. WTF???? Paula was equally mystified but said David could sing the phone book. You're judges, not babysitters; what's with the kid gloves? Only Simon hit the nail on the head: theme park, ghastly, etc. Then he made the most interesting comment of the night: "I don't think that is you at all, and I'd be amazed if you chose the song yourself." Ouch! David's Daddy must have felt that stab wound. Of course with the rumors of David's Dad being the stage-parent from hell flowing, Simon's dig was less than subtle. Watching the John Farnham original, it's hard to imagine a 17 year-old in his right mind picking this song. And seeing David performing it was like watching a cult member perform for his brainwasher. He looked like a scared puppy having an out-of-body experience. Simon's remark makes me wonder what's going down off-stage re: David and Daddy, but, unless David is a lot crazier (re: song choice) than he looks, Daddy needs to be booted asap or David will be. Intervention anyone?

Finally, the icing on the weirdness cake: Kristy Lee. After we got distracted by hunky, shirtless Daddy holding a baby Kristy Lee, the performance got underway. "God Bless the USA." No, no, no, she's not really going to sing this, is she? Yes, she is. Demented, and completely brilliant. After suffering week after week in the Bottom 3, Kristy took matters into her own hands and played the patriotism card! She gave it her pitchy, twangy all, and it was as cringingly horrible as one might expect. And--clever, clever Kristy Lee--the judges couldn't touch it: Great song choice, very nice. Very poignant and respectful song. Your best performance by a mile. (A little pitchy, but patriotism trumps pitch every time.) "The most clever song choice I have heard in years," Simon said, and on that score he was right. But instead of stopping there, Simon went on to say that Lee Greenwood was brilliant, the song was brilliant. That's when I was sure either they were on acid or I was. Simon, who called Chikezie cheesy earlier, finds a song that oozes cheesiness brilliant? (And he's not even American, for chrissake!) So, vote for Kristy Lee and love that song, because if you don't, you are not patriotic and the terrorists will win!

Because I can't resist, some of the original inspirations behind the acid-edition of AI (as if the Beatles could begin to compare):

No comments: