Quentin Tarantino Coaches "American Idol"
Movie-tune night on "American Idol," in which the Idolettes will sing flick songs under the watchful eye of a "legend," show host Ryan Seacrest says.
Of course, when you think movie legend, you think Quentin Tarantino, right?
Tarantino has lost some of his hair since he last guest-mentored on "Idol," way back in season 3, but what he's lost in hair he's gained in weight.
Tuesday night's show is "kind of an historic evening," Seacrest tells us. That's because, for the very first time ever on "American Idol," only half the judges are going to critique each performance. That's because last week's show ran a whopping 9 minutes long, which meant many of the nearly 3 million viewers who've been DVR'ing "Idol" this season and who had not set it to accommodate a 9-minute overrun did not get to see Idolette Adam Lambert's performance -- not a great idea in a competition show in which viewers do the deciding.
This means Simon Cowell -- the only judge worth listening to -- gets to comment on only half the Idolettes's performances, which means they've taken half the punch out of the show.
On the other hand, they've lined up the performances so Simon will weigh in on all the strongest competitors -- though you could argue that favors the Idolettes who don't draw the Simon card. Anyway, it's the dumbing down of "Idol," which doesn't have many IQ points to spare. And it is historic, like Seacrest says, in that it's the first time the producers have acknowledged that adding the fourth judge was a mistake.
With the clock ticking, and before any Idolettes can sing, we must first suffer through a big fat plug for Tarantino, and his new flick "Inglourious Basterds."
"In a world of motion pictures," we are told, "one man defied them all -- the renegade storyteller....[who] changed the course of cinema forever. He is Quentin Tarantino."
It's so over-the-top it sounds like an elaborate joke set up. Sadly, it's not.
Quentin Tarantino takes a break from filming his new flick -- with Brad Pitt -- to coach the Idolettes on a movie-scoring stage that was named after Alfred Newman, who, we are assured, was also legendary, but whose name means nothing to about 99 percent of those watching at home.
Finally, Allison Iraheta gets to sing, "I Don't Want to Miss A Thing" from the flick "Armageddon." At last Allison's hair makes sense -- it's Aerosmith hair. It's an uneven performance, but even on a bad day she's far better than the other chicks in this year's competition.
Judge Paula Abdul reads one of her prepared speeches, in which she explains that Allison possesses the same "special sauce" as Idolette Adam Lambert -- this year's "Idol" winner apparent. Simon mocks Paula's sauce reference and praises Allison.
Anoop Desai wears some sort of letter jacket to sing "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" from "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Tarantino has advised him to sing it with a guttural voice. Anoop ignores Tarantino's advice. Anoop is reviewed by judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi -- he's not a player.
Adam Lambert sings the Steppenwolf tune "Born to be Wild" from the "Easy Rider" soundtrack. Tarantino admits Adam did not actually perform the song for him during rehearsal, which begs the question, exactly what advice did he give Adam? Adam's hair has been cut, so he no longer looks like Tinkerbell, and, once again, he delivers the night's most memorable performance.
"My God!" Paula gasps; she is so overcome by his performance she struggles to remember her speech: "You dare to dance in the path of greatness...Fortune favors the brave." Wow -- her publicist actually checked out both "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" and "The Bhagavad Gita" from the library!
Simon pronounces Adam's performance "vocally incredible" but a little "Rocky Horror Show"-ish. But it wasn't camp at all. Now Simon's stuck that image in viewers' heads. Why? Because Lambert wears mascara? So does Prince, pookie.
Tarantino tells Matt Giraud to sing clearly the lyrics to "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman," which was used in the Johnny Depp flick "Don Juan DeMarco." Randy calls it pitchy. Kara slams him for genre crossing, a dreaded "Idol" flaw -- nearly as bad as "I don't know who you are."
Danny Gokey plays the dead-wife card again, singing "Endless Love" from the flick of same name because, he says, the song touched his heart. Tarantino tells Danny not to do his annoying hand gestures during his performance. That's because, Tarantino explains, while wildly waving his hands, hand gestures dissipate emotion and it's better to have the emotion go out through your eyes than through your fingers.
Gokey ignores Tarantino's advice and by the fourth word in the tune, is doing his annoying hand gestures, though he does seem really aware of it and nervous, like he's afraid Tarantino is going to leap up on stage and pin his arms back. In a concession to Tarantino, however, Gokey is not wearing glasses on stage for the first time ever, so that more emotion can come out of his eyes without interference from the lenses.
Paula's tells Gokey his magic is the timbre of his voice. Simon said Gokey's performance was boring but "I can see you were emotional, so I congratulate you for that." Once again -- the Gokey Pass.
Kris Allen decides to sing "Falling Slowly" from the movie "Once." During rehearsal, Tarantino comes up with the brilliant idea he should maybe play an instrument while he sings. Kris also ignores Tarantino's advice; he does not play an instrument.
Randy Jackson says it was pitchy from note one. Kara, on the other hand, thinks it was one of his best moments ever, while doing her Big Lean-Forward of Sincerity, which makes her look like someone applying for a mortgage loan. Seacrest cuts her off after that because it's 8:52 p.m.
And, finally, Lil Rounds sings "The Rose" after Tarantino advises her to commit as much to the portions of the tune she sings straight as she does to the portion she makes into a gospel tune. We wish he'd advised her to commit to singing the notes in tune.
Paula recites some quote about the road worth taking -- maybe Robert Frost, maybe Jack Kerouac -- it's unclear.
Simon says Lil has run out of excuses for her performances, adding she is not the artist they thought they'd met eight week ago. Lil shoots back that she's into R&B and she put it into the tune -- though, in truth, there was surprisingly little of that in the performance, given the buildup in the intro.
Simon points out that it was a Bette Midler number. Lil snaps back that she knows Midler is not an artist Simon sees her doing.
"Those who matter don't mind," Paula interjects.
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