Nine Idolettes tackle Elvis tunes on 'American Idol'
Let's see how many ways this season's Idolettes can find to turn Elvis tunes into muzak, shall we?
The Idolettes are flown to Las Vegas so they can take in Cirque du Soleil's Viva Elvis show for inspiration.
"I love Elvis," says this week's mentor, Adam Lambert says, adding that it's such an honor to mentor the Idolettes because "I'm just beginning my career," adding that his mission is to be "completely honest, but constructive."
Cut to Seabiscuit who is rubbing his hands in some audience member's hair. Then he sits in the audience with Lambert who explains that the problem with this season's Idolettes is that that they need to "wake up a little bit - have a little coffee." How we miss you, Adam Lambert!
Seabiscuit huffily asks Lambert if he's suggesting this year's Idolettes are "lacking personalities."
Say 'yes', Adam Lambert! Please, say 'yes'!
No no, they all have great personalities, insists Lambert, disappointingly. "I just want them to wake up a bit... I want them to put on a show."
After noting his tongue is not nearly as talented as Adam's - you can hear what sounds like Simon's voice in the background saying "Ryan, Ryan!" - Seabiscuit throws to a video of Crystal Bowersox with Adam in Vegas. She's going to sing "Saved" which Lambert urges her to keep fresh - not that it really matters since no one remembers this Elvis tune. He also advises her to use an electric guitar - and shake her dreds. She uses an electric guitar, and ignores the rest. It's like every other Crystal Bowersox performance - very competent, utterly interchangeable. It's followed by the now-traditional invocation of Bonnie Raitt from the judges' stand - this time from Randy Jackson. Ellen The Generous, who's run out of ways to gush over Crystal, asks if anyone in the audience is having a birthday. Kara DioGuardi dusts off the word "solid," and Simon predicts we're going to hear a lot of Karaoke Elvis tonight.
"It was boring - I was bored," Lambert says of Andrew Garcia's rehearsal of "Hound Dog."
"He encouraged me to change it up," Andrew tells the camera, reporting that his response was, "Yeah, man - I'm up for it." So, Andrew puts his special touch of boring on a slowed-down version of the tune. After the first two bars, we've already heard it all, we think. But no! He's got a twist! He runs the Hail Mary Play of Idol 2010 - a dash to the runway thinggummy behind the judges - where he adds some bluesy variations on the Hound Dog theme. "I hate to say this, but Simon kind of predicted this," Randy says in re the whole karaoke thing. Ellen the Generous goes for some easy niceness-building points and congratulates him, but Kara nicks him for using the microphone as a crutch and Simon calls it "lazy and predictable."
Seabiscuit blathers with his mother, Connie, who is in the audience. Given that they have to slog through nine performances in an hour and 28 minutes tonight, because the judges decided to "save" Michael Lynche last week so there are still nine Idolettes when there should only be eight, we wonder how they have time to perpetrate Connie on us.
Tim Urban wants to sing "Can't Help Falling in Love." Lambert tells him to use a "pretty falsetto" at the end. Tim declines. Seabiscuit wants us to start calling Tim Urban "Turban." We decline. It's undeniably Tim's best performance to date, which yes, is setting the bar extremely low. With that hair, Tim's performance would probably win him Open Mike Night at a bar in a college town. But since the judges have acknowledged they're now judging Tim on a curve, he's tonight's big beneficiary of the Idol Theory of Relativity: "you have gone from zero to hero in two weeks," gushes Simon.
Lee Dewyze needs to "smile a little bit and be playful" when singing "Little Less Conversation," Lambert says, adding "here, there is nothing going on" while pointing at his face. Lee's not bad, but Randy thinks Lee is in "the zone" and Ellen The Generous thinks Lee made the tune "current." Kara has never seen Lee go for it vocally like he did with the Elvis number, only he needs to be more playful. "When you say 'playful' what do you want - kittens?" snarks Simon. Lee says talking to Adam helped him to realize that everyone who has been telling him he needs to smile more is actually telling him he needs to smile more.
Aaron Kelly has picked "Blue Suede Shoes" to sing because, he explains, it doesn't' fit him and is "probably wrong in every possible way." Lambert tells him to growl more and have swagger when performing it. This is like telling the Scarecrow to be smart, or the Cowardly Lion to be brave, before Dorothy clued them in to this Wizard thing. Randy and Ellen The Generous are lukewarm about his performance, but Kara said it made him seem younger and "more current." Simon, on the other hand, thought it was very old-fashioned and made him seem older. We think there are too many judges on this show.
Could Siobhan Magnus and Lambert be any more of a brother/sister act? He advises her to pick up the tempo on her Elvis tune, "Suspicious Minds." She takes his advice and, for good measure, throws in several other tempo changes, like she's running through the settings on a blender. Some of the speeds show off her rich voice - others, not so much.
This is, however, her most coherent outfit yet: Star Trek Summer Casual. The judges aren't happy. Kara is "confused", Simon calls Siobhan's performance"erratic" and says he feels "you've lost who you were two weeks ago." Siobhan comes back with the most devastating Idolette defense ever mounted, calling the judges on their genre narrow mindedness. "Even I can't pinpoint who or what I am and I've always taken pride in that...I don't think it's necessary to be labeled. I just love to sing." Simon looks genuinely abashed. Hooray for Siobhan!
Seabiscuit notes "Idol Gives Back" is next week, in which the show will be broadcast from two venues. He will host the show from the "Idol" studio and, he says, Brian Dunkelman - Seacrest's former "Idol" co-host who lost the gig after the first season -- will host the star-studded portion of that charity episode that will be broadcast from an auditorium in Pasadena, Calif.
"I'm kidding," Seacrest says, but only after his crack brought the uncomfortable audience - and the show - to a screeching halt. And what more appropriate time to make a cruel joke about someone's career-nuking job loss than when announcing details of a charity fundraiser!
Michael Lynche, who should be gone by now, decides to sing "In the Ghetto" after being introduced to the tune by Siobhan. Because it's about a newborn baby - like he, Michael Lynche, now has. Get it? The judges love it in quick time because, as Simon explains, the show is starting to run late - I TOLD you they didn't have time for Seabiscuit's mother - and, Simon might have added, they're not going to push out "Glee."
Lambert tells Katie Stevens that she's mad at the judges and their confusing, contradictory comments, and should let it show when she sings "Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do?" Sure enough, Katie enters the stage in leather pants and boots, looking like a former child beauty pageant winner who's pretty darned frustrated! Ellen The Generous chooses this moment for her second playing of the lesbian card of Idol 2010, calling Katie's performance "very horny" - then shouting about eight times that she was referring to the horn section of the band. Simon pronounces it "very loud...a bit annoying." Is he going to pout whenever Ellen upstages him? Have to watch this development carefully.
Casey James has decided to sing "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," only without trying to give his performance any story arc, or climax, as Lambert has advised. Casey still doesn't get it that he's a good looking guy and his first obstacle is to make us stop looking at him and start listening to him. This performance never gets us beyond "Gee, his teeth are so white, his hair is so blonde, his eyes are so blue!" The judges don't show him much love, though Kara seems to be panting as she delivers her critique.
His performance was preceded by the Seabiscuit Weird Moment of the Night (hey, Ford should start sponsoring these!) in which he worked the mosh pit, first pinning some shocked girl by the shoulders, then prancing around and squealing like Dana Carvey playing a pixie.
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April 14, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: "American Idol"
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