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A Funereal Elimination Night on Idol


Guest blogger Tamara Jones fills in this week for Washington Post television columnist Lisa de Moraes.

They're promising us "an epic night" on American Idol, but we've taken enough running kicks at that invisible football to know better by now, thank you very much. We won't get fooled again.

Oh, right. This week was a tribute to the Grand Ole Opry, not The Who. Big diff, it's all one big happy tuneless jumble as far as most of the 11 remaining Idolettes are concerned. "I had fun," and "I learned a lot" are the two most common refrains as the show's most uniformly forgettable finalists are picked off one by one.


Contestant Alexis Grace is eliminated. (Ray Mickshaw -- Fox)

You could send them home in groups of four, and we probably wouldn't notice.

And we're not the only ones in such a gloomy state. Rehearsal footage shows most of the Idolettes wearing surgical masks to avoid contamination from Megan Joy Corkrey, who brought Influenza B to set this week (but decided to leave her last name behind, apparently).

Judge Paula Abdul has dressed for the reaper, too, ironing her fake hair Morticia-straight and affixing twin black tulle roadkill ravens to either shoulder. Apparently, contestant Adam Lambert's signature Hot Topic style is as contagious as Megan Joy's flu.

The Idolettes perform a Kidz Bop version of Travis Tritt's "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," and the song title pretty much sums up the performance, too. If only the rest of the show were that expedient.

Host Ryan Seacrest makes presumably doomed oil-rigger Michael Sarver tearfully recount a conversation with his 3-year-old daughter, who asked, "Why don't you wanna be with me anymore?" This immediately relieves the collective conscience of the millions who likely voted to send Michael home. Ryan offers to let the distraught daddy send a special hello out to his baby, but the cameras that expertly zoomed in on Sarver's face when he was crying suddenly can't seem to find him at all, and Ryan has to direct the shot, which gives him a chance to use important-sounding TV jargon. Is this the epic part?

Turning to the huddled Idolettes, Ryan swiftly declares Danny "Dorkey" Gokey safe, along with an incredulous Lil Rounds and a vindicated Anoop Desai, who seems to have stopped by between rounds of a Junior PGA tournament. Safe, too, and therefore consigned to the Idol Top Ten tour, are the sort of interchangeable Kris Allen and Matt Giraud, token pretty-quirky-blonde-with-impressive-shoes Megan Joy, and always-benign Scott MacIntyre, who is forever being either patronized or insulted by Seacrest and the judges, who have never before encountered a real live person with a visual impairment.

Allison "Cherry Bomb" Iraheta, the teen with the cartoony red hair and half of Bonnie Raitt's voice, is not so lucky. She and Sarver face exile over in the Stemware of Shame section, where three martini-butt stools await the lowest vote-getters.

"Who do you think is in the Bottom Three?" Seacrest asks Paula.

"None of them, I can't believe this," sputters Paula, suddenly coherent enough for the first time in eight seasons to realize that not everyone wins!

"No matter who goes home, you're never going home," Paula and the twin ravens assure the Idolettes. "Home is a whole difference place for you now." A Fox dungeon would certainly explain why so many Idol finalists are never seen, or, mercifully, heard again.

Ryan dispatches Cherry Bomb to the Stemware of Shame. Sarver offers some paternal words of comfort in her ear before sitting back down in the safe seats.

Whoa, not so fast, big boy. Ryan orders him to stand back up and, in one of the coldest fake-outs ever, announces that Michael isn't safe, either. OK, that was epic (OK, maybe we're lowering our standards of epicocity here, but we plead Stockholm Syndrome).

Brad Paisley appears to sing "Then," and we're starting to see a pattern here with hidden messages in song titles.

Now it's down to Adam Lambert and Alexis Grace. Lambert's sitar-infused "Ring of Fire" made us want to jump in one to escape, while Grace's thin "Jolene" had all the edge and weight of a ping-pong ball. Grace gets kicked to the Stemware to join Cherry Bomb and oil-rig guy.

Former Idol winner Carrie Underwood comes onstage, and we can't help but notice there are stiff black flowers in her stiff blonde bouffant. Fox stylists have clearly been shopping the funeral aisle at Michael's. This week's country mentor, Randy Travis, joins Underwood for a duet of "I Told You So." Carrie's a bit shrill at times, but maybe that's just in juxtaposition to Travis's beautiful river-runs-through-it timbre. He reminds us that Idol is to country what Velveeta is to cheese.

As it turns out, the 'told you so' is directed at Alexis Grace, who got the least votes among over 31 million cast this week. She looks pretty miffed about it, too, standing there with her hands on her little hips. The judges dangle a carrot: Maybe they'll spend their new 'save' card on her. Alexis must sing "Jolene" again. She does so smack in their faces, planting herself in front of their table and holding her hands out in supplication as she sings, "My happiness depends on you, whatever you decide to do..."

Simon delivers the verdict in Paulaspeak: "It was kind of unanimous." Then, to clarify: "It was good, but not good enough."

Quoth the ravens, "Nevermore."


By Libby Copeland  |  March 19, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Next: A Little Slow, A Lot of Weird in Idol's Motown

Comments

The Group Sing song must be recorded at the same time as the Ford commercial song. Allison and Allison (oh, Alexis, my bad) apparently didn't attend lipsync class because they were completely lost. This group must be so bad together live that they have no choice but to prerecord the music. They may have been doing this for years, but it is so blatantly obvious this season.

Good job, Alexis, you tried too hard to make "Jolene" better that you pushed your voice too hard and cracked. Chances are the judges were deciding where they were going to dinner afterward rather than talk about Alexis. Really, if you need to talk about it then, you wouldn't be listening to her anyway. I was hoping she'd find a way to dirty it up, but she's not good enough to pull that off.

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | March 19, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm so glad I'm not watching this season. Spending a few minutes reading Tamara's column is so-o-o much more entertaining than sitting and squirming through an hour of this nonsense on TV.

I'll be searching the net looking for a picture of the ravens Paula had on her shoulders. Edgar Allen Poe had it right as far as watching Idol this year... Nevermore.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | March 19, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Tamara wrote: “Judge Paula Abdul has dressed for the reaper, too, ironing her fake hair Morticia-straight and affixing twin black tulle roadkill ravens to either shoulder.” ROTFLMAO!!

Hello, Carrie Underwood? Barbara Mandrell called. She’s wants her 1984 hairdo back.

Poor Alexis. You tried so hard Jolene don’t want your man no more.

Posted by: jpstang | March 19, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Alexis was a sacrificial lamb.

After all the reports of "AI is fixed, there is a final 4, etc..." they had to do something quick to squash that. They would have used that save on her if it weren't for the whole "the final 4 is pre-determined" thing.

They had to rig it to prove it wasn't rigged. Interesting. Oh well, too bad, Alexis was probably the only singer this season who interested me in the slightest. I'll definitely continue to read the blogs (epic again today, Tamara), and If I choose to watch the shows, it's only going to be for the snark.

And Seriously, Carrie Underwood, WTF? Seriously? The Hair? What were you thinking? The dress didn't do much for you, either. Seriously, Carrie? We know you're not that great of a singer. You have one job: to be hot. If you can't even get that right, we're going to have some issues.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 19, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Someone tell Randy that "my bad" is so over and out. Don't know what happened to Alexis and her singing ability, but she just didn't sound good either time she sang Jolene. That being said, there were at least 2 others that should have gone before her. As far as Carrie and the mean comments in this forum, her voice is perfectly lovely, though I thought she was a bit nervous last night.

Posted by: MILW | March 19, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"As far as Carrie and the mean comments in this forum, her voice is perfectly lovely,"

Saying that her voice is not that great isn't "mean," it's true. It's not a slight on her at all. Like I said, her job is not to be a great singer. She's a Pop Country Star. Her job is to be really, really hot and sing "fine."

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 19, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I guess I'm in the minority because I thought Carrie Underwood's performance was fantastic. She probably should have looked at Randy Travis a bit more (it was a duet) but I'd be nervous around him, too. I mean, he was country before country was cool. Since her millinery reminded me of Minnie Pearl and it WAS Grand Ole Opry night, I thought her attire was completely appropriate.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | March 19, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Favorite part of last night was when Ryan was sitting on the stemware of shame with AllisonIMeanAlexis and Thickneck talking about how hugely successful Carrie Underwood has been and then kind of looked at them as if to say: "...the way you two will never be."

I didn't like Alexis' performance of Jolene either time, but I was wishing they'd use their save on her so they can't use it on Adam.

Posted by: pinkstate | March 19, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't believe they eliminated Alexis over the blind kid or the oil rigger. I thought Carrie Underwood's performance with Randy Travis was great!
I predict Michael Sarver will go home next week, whatever they sing.

Posted by: earlysun | March 19, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Apologies to Tamara re the "Nevermore" remark. My reading comprehension doesn't fully kick in until the second cup of coffee. I wasn't really plagiarizing. Honest.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | March 19, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I managed to watch an abbreviated DVR'd version of AI last night. And I have to admit that I kind of liked Adam's version of Ring of Fire. I know that I'm in the minority, especially in my house where my wife ridiculed me for what seemed like minutes, but I feel that it was a unique and completely different arrangement of the song. It was expertly sung, hitting the high notes without his usual "trademark" screeches. Despite the song going through the musical theater machine, I can still see that song getting radio play.

Posted by: fnht451 | March 19, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Alexis should be the Esurance girl, if she ever"Gets Unanimated".

I love Simon but he needs a reality check himself. Hey Simon take a look in the LL Bean catalog- They have some nice colored T shirts in there for reasonable prices. I would not wear the threadbare TShirt he had on last night to mow the lawn. It 's a matter of hygeine already!

Posted by: cdydo | March 19, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit I was surprised Sarver didn't go home. I kinda like the goofy guy for some reason, but Country should have been his week and he wasn't outstanding. I can't see him lasting too long.

I'm also in the minority that liked Adam's "Fire". Then again, I see more Broadway shows than most New Yorkers so I'm not enjoying the snark about musical theater...

My biggest surprise last night was Kris Allen. I had NO idea who he was. Hadn't noticed him all season.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | March 19, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Then again, I see more Broadway shows than most New Yorkers so I'm not enjoying the snark about musical theater..."

Speaking as an Adam-Hater, all I ask is that you not confuse my comments with Snark about Musical Theatre. My only points re: Adam are this...

1) He's taking every song and turning it into a musical theatre/drag number. This is a "Pop Star" competition, not a musical theatre competition. If it were, he would win, as he should, because he's been on broadway since he was 12 years old.

2) For me, personally, what he does isn't particularly new or inventive. As a verteran of musicals, ALL MT Divas (male & female) do exactly what he is doing to every song: Essentally turning it into a "Rent" number. I've seen it a million times, it's so old hat for me.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 19, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Seacrest: last night's episode was epic ... epically NASTY! Firstly, the mob has whacked informants with more finesse than Seacrest's "not so fast" moment with Oil Rigger guy. Next, Randy calls Alexis the wrong name. Then, the judges give Alexis hope by alluding that they will use their "save" before ruthlessly watching her sing her heart out only to give her the old heave-ho. OUCH!

I liked Alexis. I thought she was pretty talented. Oh well.

Posted by: AmuseMe | March 19, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"I guess I'm in the minority because I thought Carrie Underwood's performance was fantastic. She probably should have looked at Randy Travis a bit more (it was a duet) but I'd be nervous around him, too. I mean, he was country before country was cool"

hang on their one darn-tootin' minute. Country is cool? Did I miss the cow-tippin', cousin-marrying, tabacky-chewin' convention where this was decided?

you do realize that the mountain men in Deliverance were NOT to be admired, right?

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | March 19, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Man, I thought DeMoraes hated the show, but you just take the cake, Tamara. I'm done with this blog -- too much snark -- no, it's not snark, it's pure unadulterated derision for a show that I happen to enjoy a great deal. Have fun bashing!

Posted by: Duodenum | March 19, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

make that, "hang on THERE". spend one night watching country music and your grammatical skills go flying out the window.

shazam!

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | March 19, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I just haven't seen the same problems many seem to have with Adam. With the exception of Sanjaya, the Top 6 are usually the Idolettes whose names I remember first. Kris Allen is in danger using that logic. I think Adam has a great voice so the coming weeks will either show us some versatility or doom him.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | March 19, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Great job in summing up, Tamara -- funereal is right. And Carrie's wig (it was so obviously a wig) looked like it had been packed away in the early 60s, when women went to the "beauty parlor" once a week to have their hair put up in rollers and sprayed to the consistency of a helmet. She's a pretty young woman -- whose idea was that?

Only thing I'd add was how uncomfortable it was to watch Alexis's obvious distress as she sang. My husband and I agreed that either she or Oil Rigger Guy deserved to be voted off, but felt disturbed watching her being tormented for our entertainment. I think the whole "save" concept is a dumb idea, and don't believe for a second the judges don't start the show with a short list of people who they're prepared to save. So if they have to inject some suspense, wait till after the commercial break, but please don't make these kids sing again. Honestly, I'll turn off the set -- I never want to see that again.

Posted by: owingsmills | March 19, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Man, I thought DeMoraes hated the show, but you just take the cake, Tamara. I'm done with this blog -- too much snark -- no, it's not snark, it's pure unadulterated derision for a show that I happen to enjoy a great deal. Have fun bashing!"

You say this every week. Yet, every week you come back to tell us that you're never comming back. You've been doing this over multiple seasons now, go already.

I can't speak for everyone but this is the show I love to hate, and this blog is a great reflection of my feelings. If you want kool-aid, I'm sure they have forums on Fox's AI Website.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 19, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I think Carrie's hair was pinned up in the back (not cut)but it was bad!! Tremendous talent, though. Did Randy Travis every play the guitar he was holding for their duet? I don't think so. Felt bad for Alexis trying hard to get a save from the judges - very emotional five minutes and hard to take. Still love Adam - when he gets a different hairdo and clothes (one of these weeks)everyone will fall in love with him. Dump Ryan Seacrest please -something's wrong with the dude! He's either being outright mean or slipping in double entendres that are not funny - just embarrassing. And drop Randy, too - he says the same things in the same way every week. Keep Kara, Paula and Simon - each of them is honest and unpredictable. Thanks, Idol, for giving us lots of talent from this show over the years - LOVE IT!!

Posted by: ryjus | March 19, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else get the feeling that Alexis didn't really want to be there anymore?
Listening to her last night & the night before was like listening to a different person - she sounded so ... different from a few weeks ago when she sang "Never Loved a Man." I was really surprised - she seemed to go downhill pretty quickly.
I can't stand Adam. He's so over the top, he screeches, he looked like he was trying to do something obscene with the microphone, and that had absolutely nothing to do with anything "country." He's incredibly self-centered. And I thought he was 15 for the longest time - and then he's what, 27??? Wow.
I can't stand how the camera focuses on Kris Allen's mom and ignores his wife. She matters, too! I wonder if she knows she looks like some fan rather than someone important.

Posted by: L223 | March 19, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

they don't want to focus on the wife because they want the little girls to vote for him...and if he's married, they're less likely to vote.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | March 19, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, the AI producers have really done themselves proud this time. By instructing their judge mouthpieces to unfairly rip Alexis to shreds on Tuesday night, they produced the exit of the most intriguing and promising female singer left (and the only one with the ghost of a chance to win). She sang better than at least 5 others who were at least somewhat praised, but no matter. Her voice was bluesy and interesting, with real potential for development and she was an excellent performer on stage. Now they're left with a tour of 7 men (including 2 certifiable clods--Scott and Oil Rigger who can't dance, move or sing very well) and only 3 women. Alexis does not even make the tour!!

So what are we left with in the rubble of this disaster? Megan: quirky wash cycle semi-talent with no chance to win. Lil: good but not great designated 3rd to 4th round eliminee in the Vonzell-LaToya- Melinda-Syesha line. Alison: interesting but in the inherently weak (in AI voting) rocker chick genre who will be out by round 6 at the latest.

So in the last 6 rounds, we'll have to suffer through Danny Dorky, Drag Queen Adam, etc. Anoop will the only interesting one left.

A caucasian woman has not made the final 4 since Season 5 (Katherine). Alexis' elimination ensures that it will happen again this year. Do the Idol people have any idea what this does to their ratings? And the only 2 Superstar winners the show has ever produced have been white women (Kelly and Carrie). Now they've rigged it so this year's winner will be a mediocre male, and the second straight all-male final. This is pathetic and hardly worth watching.

Poor Alexis, you deserved much better.

Posted by: Brookelover | March 19, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"I can't stand how the camera focuses on Kris Allen's mom and ignores his wife."

Having a wife doesn't help sell records to tween girls who are totally crushing.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 19, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Tamara, my dear--why don't you have a regular "Idol" column too? Didn't have time to reply to your recap yesterday but I read it and was stifling giggles throughout the entire thing (stifling because, of course, I'm at the office and being bad ^^; ). As much as I appreciate Lisa's brilliance in past season reviews, I haven't had a laugh like that yet this season. Here's hoping you can do the "dueling reviews" thing that another reviewer suggested yesterday, or at least guest-write more often. ;-)

As for "Idol"... I was totally rooting for the kindly redneck to go home (sorry, but a guy like that on tour? What ARE they thinking?), but am not too broken up over Alexis since it truly was an awful, watered down delivery of "Jolene" she gave us the other night. Would've been nice to have had her on tour, though, 'cuz she looks great and doesn't seem to mind playing guidedog for Scott (did you notice she even did so in the Ford music vid last night? (at the end)--what a sweetheart!). I wonder who's gonna guide Scott around now (since they got rid of Jorge, who did it briefly in the Top 13 group number, and now have gotten rid of Alexis). Hmm, odd coincidence that both his guides have gotten the axe, huh? I wonder if America is subconsciously channeling VFTW's wicked wish to see poor Scott stumble on stage... @_@;;

Posted by: Kureno | March 19, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you people take this so seriously!

Anyway, agree about Carrie's hair. I too thought that perhaps part of being inducted into the Grand Ol' Opry was that you had to take stock in Aquanet (or is it WhiteRain that the Southern Ladies favor) and use one of Minnie Pearl's old hair thingys. I thought Carrie sang very well too. I am not as cynical as some who believe she is where she is because she's hot. Her voice is lightyears ahead of anyone in this competition today and she deserves every bit of the success she has enjoyed on the merits of her singing and not her looks. It just so happens it hasn't hurt her that she's hot. I'll give you that.

When Ryan introduced Paula as "Paula, of the straight hair" and then Simon as "Simon, of the losing his hair", I immediatly thought, "there it is, on Paula's shoulders!"

Posted by: hodie | March 19, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Is country cool? I'm not sure if "cool" is the right word, but it's certainly "profitable." And frequently listened to by microbrew-sipping, metrosexual, pseudo-intellectuals who actually think that Starbucks has good coffee. So go figure.

I was surprised that Alexis went home last night instead of Michael, and I agree that watching her last performance was excruciating. I don't know if part of the problem was that the outfit she was wearing seemed to drain all of the color out of her face, but she looked awful, like she was getting ready to burst into tears, vomit or take a swing at Ryan (which would have been fabulous, actually!).

She had an interesting voice, but she suffered from a lack of self-confidence. The judges gave her awful advice from the beginning ("dirty it up," which is just not who she was), and she should have ignored them and followed her heart. Her version of "Jolene" was pretty blah, though--she should have gone either for something more upbeat that would show off her voice better or full-on ballad that would tear the roof off.

I still think Adam sucked. He has a good voice and can do a few vocal tricks (clearly learned from musical theater), but he needs to dial it back down and prove that he can sing something other than Rent! or Wicked. He is suffering from a little TOO MUCH self-confidence: He should pay attention to the fact that he has been in Hollywood for, what, 10 years? and still hasn't got a contract. There's a reason for that. He should shut up and try to learn something.

Posted by: inkydog | March 19, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"she deserves every bit of the success she has enjoyed on the merits of her singing and not her looks."

Un-huh...

If she weren't ridiculously hot, she'd be in exactly the same position she is now...

Like all those other ugly women country singers with great voices...

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 19, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree 100% with WorkingMomX.

Jeez, how nasty are we when we can't even praise a good performance. The trick here, guys, is to be honest and say what you like and not try to always be the snarkiest comment.

Carrie's voice was soaring. She didn't oversing. She looked the part of a star. Think Randy T. was ever-so grateful that Carrie -- and not one of the current AI's -- was singing his song? He gave her an admiring eye the whole time because he was in awe of her performance. She is way beyond seasoned now.

Chances of using the save ON ANYONE OTHER THAN the new Holy Trinity of Allison, Adam, & Danny:

Top 10 -- 5% (still too soon; save it for HT-3)
Top 9 -- 50% (Maybe Lil. Others? No)
Top 8 -- 75% (MUST save for HT-3 only)
Top 7 -- 90% (if only not to make it mandatory next time)
Top 6 -- 100% ('use it or lose it' time)

Posted by: redrocket | March 19, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"Jeez, how nasty are we when we can't even praise a good performance. The trick here, guys, is to be honest and say what you like and not try to always be the snarkiest comment."

What if we honestly don't think it's a good performance? It was a "fine" performance, but it was Standard Carrie Underwood. She's a "fine" singer.

Her job is to be really, really, hot and sing "fine." She normally does that job really well. Last night she sang "fine" as always, but looked really, really weird.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 19, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Things were strange on yesterday's show. The weirdest thing was definitely Carrie's and the country guy's outfit. His jacket with these stitch-things all over, that was really really bad. They looked like actors in a play or maybe people who got dressed funny for carnival. Definitely too much for me.

I agree that the "Judges save" is worthless, they pretend discussing the contestant's fate while he/she is singing which is so ridiculous. I also agree the oil dude should have left before Alexis.

Posted by: anjacarolin | March 19, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Poor Alexis-Pinky-Dolly-Parton, who sang her heart out and Randy couldn't even remember her name. I was so sure it was going to be Oil Rigger going home. I guess when you are the only one in your "category" you don't have to worry about votes being split. The best thing that happened in this competition for Lil Rounds, for example, was Jasmine being voted off. (And who knew so many blind people "watch" Idol??) Oil Rigger is getting ALL the Joe-the-Plumber votes in America. So for last night: there were just one too many mediocre white girls with blonde or pink hair.

Let's call this season AI-Uncomfortable. Everything about this week made me squirm -- in a good way. And seriously, is Randy Travis married to a transvestite? I swear I saw an Adam's apple!!

Posted by: a68comeback | March 19, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Un-huh...

If she weren't ridiculously hot, she'd be in exactly the same position she is now...

Like all those other ugly women country singers with great voices...

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 19, 2009 3:04 PM

wrong, VT, look back at the footage when she won idol. She was not smokin hot then, she was "girl next door" cute. She was a college student, so who is to say she wouldn't have made it by now? Are you saying that people can't have talent/brains and looks too? A strange bias.

Posted by: hodie | March 19, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Re: the discussion of looks. If the judges had wild-carded Kristin (fashion-challenged karaoke hostess) instead of Megan or Jasmine, we'd have someone who was an attractive woman if not as photogenic as they are, but could really sing. The stylists could have helped her with the outfits, and I bet she would have done better at Opry Week than a lot of these others. But as someone else observed a couple of weeks ago, there seems to be more weight given to the male's voices than their looks, and vice versa where it comes to the females.

Posted by: owingsmills | March 19, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Are you saying that people can't have talent/brains and looks too?"

Where did you get that? Why did you feel the need to put "brains" anywhere in the disucssion. Of course people can have talent and looks.

I'm saying let's not confuse Carrie Underwood with Ella Fitzgerald here. She's a fine singer, she sings fine. But she is where she is because of her looks. If she sang exactly the way she does but was ugly, no one would have ever heard of her.

I'm not saying it's right, but it's just the world we live in and the industry that she's in. Compare record sales of someone like Brittany Spears (who can't even sing "fine" without an auto-tune) vs. someone like Adele (who is actually pretty, just fat). It's just the way it is.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 20, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

There was also that controversy (many years ago) regarding Martha Wash, who sang vocals for C+C Music Factory as well as for Black Box, but without credit. They both even went so far as to hire someone else to appear in the music videos.

More recently, there was that non-telegenic Chinese kid who got subbed by another girl at last summer's Olympic opening ceremony. They used non-telegenic girl's vocals, but the prettier kid's face. Just the way it is...the world over.

Posted by: SheldonAlexandria | March 20, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"There was also that controversy (many years ago) regarding Martha Wash, who sang vocals for C+C Music Factory as well as for Black Box, but without credit. They both even went so far as to hire someone else to appear in the music videos.

More recently, there was that non-telegenic Chinese kid who got subbed by another girl at last summer's Olympic opening ceremony. They used non-telegenic girl's vocals, but the prettier kid's face. Just the way it is...the world over."

Also let's not forget when they had someone else sing the vocals for the "Smelly Cat" Music video while using Phoebe in the actualy video.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 20, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I think recaps are more fun, even when very snarky, when you get the sense the author enjoys the show. I don't get that sense here. To any who feel the same way, I suggest TWOP instead.

Posted by: walkeraza | March 20, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I have been wondering what happened to Randy Travis. He hasn't made an album in years. Although he never had much personality, he used to have a great voice. But the other night on AI he sounded horrible, and when he wasn't playing the guitar his hand seemed to be shaking. Anyone know what the problem is?

Posted by: AlbanyNY | March 20, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I have been wondering what happened to Randy Travis. He hasn't made an album in years.

Posted by: AlbanyNY | March 20, 2009 2:09 PM

=====

Wikipedia doesn't agree with you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Travis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Travis_discography

According to Wikipedia, he's been quite busy. It lists two compilation albums in 2009 "Three Wooden Crosses: The Inspirational Hits of Randy Travis" and "I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis". In 2008, a studio album "Around the Bend". In 2007, a holiday album "Songs of the Season". He had a music video in 2008 of "Faith in You" and was in a movie, THE WAGER, in 2007. There's a ton more info on the site above, but the man's been keeping busy.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | March 20, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Hear what you're saying VT,re: Adam, and it may be true, but I think he has the best voice and most unique talent yet on AI. I think Simon is afraid of his particular strength and talent and it makes Simon look like an old fart. Perhaps it isn't fair that someone with Adam's experience is on AI...they must have truly wanted him if they allowed it. And there is good reason for it. He's good, he's smart, edgy, he's DIFFERENT, AND, unlike most of the others, he's NOT BORING!! Loved Ring of Fire and the high notes did make my jaw drop with surprise, but like Kara, I felt well, happy! And I love the way he responds to Simons' criticism with good humor and maturity. I wouldn't even bother watching if he weren't on the show...very reliable voice. The only other dependable voice is Lil Rounds'.

Posted by: tscoll | March 22, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman, I enjoy your comments - you should think about starting your own blog, if you haven't already. You have too large an opinion to fit within this discussion. However, if you don't plan on starting your own column, you might want to limit your comments on this one. It looks like not everyone is enjoying you as much as I am. :)

Posted by: raquel2 | March 23, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm enjoying Tamara too. Both Lisa and Tamara are delicious reads. Just wish one of you would take on DWTS - it is in dire need of snark analysis.

I like Carrie. I agree she's not great, but she is good enough for me. But when she walked on stage in that 50's get-up, it was a stereotype that I couldn't get past. Why couldn't she be styled in her usual more hip way? I agree she sounded strained - she usually sounds better. I think she was nervous about the duet, though she shouldn't have been because Travis was clearly supportive.

I was shocked Alexis went home. I get that Sarver has the country niche (although he was the worst country performer - even Adam was better due to quality of his voice and his risk-taking, though I hated it, I had to admire his chutzpah) I get that Megan has the shoe lovers locked up. She is beautiful, but ruined her career as a model with that horrific sleeve tatoo. That's just messed up. I get that Scott has the feel good vote and ADA voters. Anoop, who actually sang well has the Indian (Sanjaya) vote. But who the hell are the fan base for Kris and Matt. Danny's persona could get old, but he has pipes. My husband, teen son, and I all went huh? at the accolades from the judges for first Kris and then Matt. WTF?

Every season has the rock chick who dies somewhere between rounds 7 and 5. Enter Allison.

There needs some truth in advertising. These contestants are given a limited songbook to choose from, and then draw from a hat. Did you get Scott's comment when chastised about song choice? He agreed and said, well it was the second week in a row that he drew from bottom of hat. The producers are picking songs that they want sung. "Jolene" could have been sung by any of women, but I suspect poor Alexis got stuck with it, and was last of women to draw. Probably her other choices were worse.

Keep in mind that the orchestra has one week to arrange and practice. They probably came to season with a preset repertoire of about 2 dozen songs per week. Someone should investigate this now.

The whole song choice criticism is completely unfair. But then, I am also tired of the whole genre set too. It generally penalizes a few singers in a given week.

And the sing for your supper, I mean "save", is torture. Seriously, I'd hand the mike to Ryan and ask for a replay of previous night. They should refuse to re-sing a song that was probably wrong for them in first place. They should at least have option to re-sing a more successful performance.

But I agree with others, that the save vote is rigged for a small group for weeks 8-6.

Paula was impaired on results nice. She wasn't merely at a loss of words. She was high on something: meds, alcohol, whatever. That was not a sober person. Sorry, as Simon would say.

Posted by: MarriedMom | March 23, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

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