American Idol: how serious are you?

To the contestants on “American Idol,” if you’ve made it to this week’s Final Four, you’re either on the verge of winning it all, or of being a pretender and fading into the show’s collective oblivion soon. Mentor Jamie Foxx signified as much when he had t-shirts made up that said “contestant” and “artist,” and told each one of them that they had to earn their artist shirt this week to prove they are ready. Corny, yes, but effective and correct. The theme this week was songs from movies, which is about as vast a catalog as there is.

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American Idol: whatever, dudes

Thanks to Mr. Will Harris for filling in yesterday on the “American Idol” recap, and my apologies to you that you had to watch the likes of Lacey Brown and Paige Miles perform. You can thank the judges for letting them all through, because I still think they did a lousy job this time around, in many cases picking looks over talent. Then again, that’s how the music business operates these days…..sign someone with looks and auto-tune them into a star. But that’s a topic for another day, so I’ll step down off my soap box now.

On to the guys last night, and after looking back in my notes…there was not one great performance. There also wasn’t one awful performance. All of them were mediocre, some on the side of pretty good and some on the side of not so good. So we’ll do our best to rate them, trying to keep in mind that I totally did not agree with some of the judges’ comments.

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American Idol: can we just start over?

Okay, folks. After seeing the crop of 24 semi-finalists in Season 9 of “American Idol,” I’m convinced that the judges are high. They call this the best group of singers ever? Um, far from it…I think it may be the worst crop in years, possibly the worst since the first couple of seasons. Every single contestant this year has at least one flaw, and most of them have multiple flaws and glaring weaknesses. Anyway, the guys sang last night, and honestly, most of them were pretty awful. But the judges selected a few to prop up even if they were just okay…maybe it’s the way the field is, but this is not good. Here is the recap of last night’s dude-fest:

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American Idol: windy city produces very few hopefuls

You would think in pure numbers that a city like Chicago would produce the most Hollywood-bound contestants on “American Idol.” But no. Two days yielded thirteen of them, and some of those were even questionable, at least in my eyes (and ears). Guest judge Shania Twain offered some comic relief at times, and some of the singers were no doubt talented, but I know we all expected more from the windy city. Here are the highlights and lowlights….

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American Idol: Is this show about the judges?

Last night on “American Idol,” history was made, but it was self-serving, me me me history for the wrong reasons. The judges sometimes think that they control the outcome, and try to sway that outcome as much as possible. Sometimes, as they did last night, they cross the line in that regard and piss us off.

The episode began with a group performance of Michael Sembello’s “Maniac,” which wasn’t nearly as bad as previous group efforts, with nice harmonies and everything. My guess is, we’ve weeded out some of the really bad singers like Scott and Megan, so naturally the remaining talent makes everything sound better. Then there was a plug for the movie “17 Again” which comes out this Friday, as the Idol hopefuls got to watch the premiere on Tuesday after they performed.

Then, on to business. Allison Iraheta, who had the opening slot and didn’t deliver her best showing, safe. Adam Lambert, who screeched a few too many times through “Born To Be Wild,” also safe. Anoop Desai, who wasn’t awful Tuesday night but, well, sang the first of two sappy Bryan Adams songs. Bottom 3, my good man. Anoop seemed pissed off when Ryan Seacrest toyed with him, even saying, “Come on, Ryan!” So Seacrest promptly escorted him to the other side of the stage, probably enjoying it.

Then came the first performance, by Season 3 alum and now mega-star Jennifer Hudson. Hudson sang her new single, If This Isn’t Love,” and what it wasn’t was good. Her voice was as big and beautiful as ever, but the song….just blech.

Then more results. Kris Allen, who for whatever reason remains under everyone’s radar but delivers great performances every single week, was safe. Simon didn’t have the opportunity to judge Kris on Tuesday, so he offered this take last night: “Brilliant.” Damn, that was nice considering Randy hated Kris’ performance of “Falling Slowly.” Lil Rounds, bottom 3. Seacrest asked her about her banter with Simon and blah blah blah. Here’s the bottom line, Lil…you are not as good as most of the other remaining contestants.

Down to Matt Giraud and Danny Gokey. Danny, safe again. Matt, bottom 3, because he sang the second sappy Bryan Adams song of the night, and sang it pretty poorly. So your bottom 3, America…..Anoop, Lil and Matt.

Then Miley Cyrus sang her new single, “The Climb,” all decked out in a dress like she was going to a movie premiere, which maybe she was. Cyrus, who has grown up around country music, was almost forcing the twang in her vocal, but did a pretty nice job with a decent song. Mark that down, I just complimented two things I normally don’t–Miley and a country song.

Back to business. Anoop Desai, back to the couches, you are safe. That left Matt and Lil. Simon says the judges would consider saving one of them, and that the choice may surprise that person (ahem, Lil, right?). Well, it was Matt who had the lowest number of votes and Lil who would for sure stick around one more week. But would the judges use their next-to-last save opportunity on Matt? Seacrest handed him the microphone and told him to sing for his life, making us all endure that craptastic Bryan Adams ballad again.

The judges huddled, and it made me wonder this…..why the hell don’t they have a pre-show meeting about who they might save and who they might not, and know their decision going in?

Instead, Matt sang, and Kara and Paula danced like morons as they always do. Then, as Simon started saying, “I don’t think you have a chance to win, Matt…” Paula and Kara were screaming at him, and Simon announced that indeed, it was good news, they were saving Matt this week. That led to a group hug of contestants onstage and the judges all high-fiving each other, making this moment about them and how they controlled this thing, despite America telling everyone they didn’t really like Matt Giraud.

Simon told everyone to calm down, saying that next week they will have to eliminate two contestants, and that it’s disco week. Matt might actually make it through next week, but I’m guessing Anoop may not…and also Lil, who clearly has a short leash with the judges and producers right now.

So that’s it…..anti-climactic? Maybe, but next week we get to send two home and then it will be down to the final 5. See you all then, and get your afro wigs and bell bottoms ready!

  

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