Big ol’ thanks and sloppy wet kisses to the hilarious ApplePie and FlipIt for filling in for me last week. I do need to correct some falsehoods that FlipIt put out there. On the internet. Where they’ll never go away. I totally did NOT get herpes from a hot tub on “spring break.” If someone could check Wikipedia and find out if you can get it from body shots or foam parties, that would be helpful. I’m at work and I don’t want that search popping up in my browser history.
Let’s just assume this is me…
Sigh. I’m old. Spring break these days does nothing for me except make me hate young people. And club music. It’s a good thing that we had the soothing sounds of Carole King this week on Idol to soothe our sore, inflamed, itching and burning nerves. It’s like antibiotics for the ears.
JHo was very confused when she was working with her stylist on clothing for performance night. Am I warrior princess? she asked herself. A booger-sugar-addict disco queen? Or do I feel like going native tonight? She couldn’t decide and went with all three. Randy was confused, too. He had the costume people sew a big “R” on his varsity sweater. That way, when Tink called out a name, all he had to do was look down, see the reminder and choose one of his three phrases: “pitchy,” “hot,” “dawg.” Steven is in some sort of shiny snakeskin pants that cling to his tiny, stick-like frame. You get a really good idea of what his old man butt looks like, uncovered. Enjoy that image. Old man butt… bony legs… saggy skin. Enjoy.
Tink introduces a video that reminds us just how good Carole King is. For a girl. One of the most successful and revered “female” singer/songwriter, we’re reminded. She wrote her first hit song at 18. It was the Shirelle’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” I looove that song. It reminds me of Dirty Dancing. [pic from DD/ Swoon]“Can I believe the magic of your sigh?” So, Carole tons of hits, 25 solo records, and an extra vowel in her name. And that’s what the contestants will be tackling tonight.
The Lady Gaga of her time.
After the video package ends, JHo looks super excited! Steven is studying some yellow papers, and I am once again intrigued by how much he always seems to have going on in his area of the judges table. What is on those pages? This is not a particularly complicated job. Listen. Say something crazy. Sit back and smile with satisfaction.
Tink tells us that Jimmy Iovine brought Babyface in this week as a guest mentor. Babyface — a pioneer in creating an artist name that one will regret as one gets older. He was eventually joined by Kid Rock, Backstreet Boys and Lil’ Romeo.
Changing his name to Bloatedface.
Jacobe Lusk is up first. During rehearsals, Jimmy Iovine tells hime he’s got to go balls to the wall and riff the hell out of “Oh No, Not My Baby” so he won’t end up in the bottom three any more.
Jacobe immediately puts the Lusky Stank on the song by starting out at the piano with one leg cocked toward the other in a total diva (divo?) pose. I almost miss half the song because I’m so distracted by his loud-ass outfit, which was so bad I was nearly blinded and deafened. He looks like Willy Wonka.
His snozzberries don’t taste like snozzberries.
Also distracting — hearing Lusky talk about his girl while he rolls his neck like a divo. His style still hasn’t grown on me, but I can admit he has a great voice. He takes Jimmy’s advice and has a lot of riffing and scatting and brings tons of bouncy energy to his performance. He ends it with a self-satisfied look and the audience shows him much love.
Steven tells him it’s about time he shook his tailfeather. JHo says it’s a tricky song and there were a few spots where the vocals weren’t perfect, but he killed the performance. Randy said the scatting was incredible and that hopefully American enjoyed it. After the judges weigh in with what are essentially verbally crossed fingers, Tink comes back to adjust Lusky’s bowtie and subtly stroke his chest and tell him he looked like fun. Or like he had fun. Lusky laughs nervously and sounds like Eddie Murphy.
Laurene decided to sing “Where You Lead” and is freaked out by the high notes during rehearsals. Babyface asks her if she ever misses the high notes and she says no. Well. There you go.
Laurene should be terrified about the surprise guest who interrupts the rehearsal though. Miley Cyrus strolls in to check out the competition. She circles Lauren, sniffing and scratching and glaring at her. She tells Lauren how much being famous sucks. Except for all the wealth and privilege and adoration. Did you know that, when you’re famous, people say mean things about you?? OK, I kno it sucks when people say not-nice things. But you know what sucks harder? Poverty. AIDs. Co-workers who bike 30 miles to work because gas is so expensive, and then they don’t shower, they just throw on a dress shirt over their biking shirt, and then they sit in the cubicle next to you. Let’s keep things in perspective, ladies.
Anyway, Miley’s got a big ol’ bug up her ass because a few weeks ago Jimmy had said that Lauren was a better singer than Miley. Miley and her fans got upset and were on the verge of a good old fashioned street war when this little tete a tete was brokered. Otherwise, all hell would have broken loose on the streets of Beverly Hills.
Keepin’ it gangsta.
Beef squashed, Lauren’s ready to sing “Where You Lead.” It’s a pretty boring and semi-awkward performance until Lauren pulls some doofus out of the audience and onto the stage. Then it gets super awkward, which makes it so deliciously entertaining. These two are perfect for each other: both a little shy, a little dorky and firmly in possession of their V-cards.
“I’m totally gonna hold your hand so hard later.”
After singing to Doofus without actuallylooking at him, Lauren ends the song with a giggle, a nervous tic of hers. It was a cute, Bambi-like performance, but I don’t think she went for it enough. She’s still at that age where you’re so easily embarrassed, you’re paralyzed and don’t do anything but blush and mumble.
JHo is so proud of Lauren she wants to cry. But she won’t. 17 baby minks had to be plucked for those false eyelashes. But she does love that Lauren pushed so hard her voice cracked.
Randy says that Lauren came out with extra swagger, but the song was a little safe and boring for her. And they’re looking for someone who’s ready to go hard and win the competition. Something tells me that Lauren is not really familiar with going hard.
Steven says she shined when her voice broke and she manifested some light, whatever that means. He also encourages her not to be a dartboard for other peoples’ fears and insecurities. Other people like chipmunk-cheeked, salvia smoking, chiclet-toothed starlets.
After judging, Tink brings Doofus back on stage and we learn that he’s 19-years-old. Tink warns Lauren’s dad to keep an eye out. I’m pretty sure he has nothing to worry about from that kid. Now Scotty on the other hand….
Haley and Casey tackle the first duet of the night. There’s a pre-performance video interview where they act silly and talk about growling at one another — a sacred mating ritual in the jazz world. The Idol pimps are really trying hard to get us to believe that these two are together huh? Don’t fall for it, guys! I’ve already been burned by Justin and Kelly…
The benefit of hearing Haley and Casey growl at one another is that we don’t have to listen to them harmonize. Because they can’t. Their performance is fine — there’s some cute little choreography — but it’s not something you want to download and then play next time you’re wining and dining.
“Grrrr!” “Growl!” “Rawr!” “Mmmmph.”
Steven gets to judge this round and he asks “Weird Beard” how much in love with Haley he is. Also the performance was cool.
Tink introduces “Scottye the Body” next. Most inaccurate nickname evah. How about “Scotty the Scarecrow?” “Beanpole?” “Lazyface?” “Droopy?” The previous week, the judges had been expecting more from Scotty. For this performance, Jimmy Iovine wants Beanpole to start the song soft and without his usual deep yokel twang. He can’t get it at first and then Babyface shows him how it’s done.
Scarecrow’s covering “You Got a Friend” and starts off the song slow and soft. He opens up a few verses in and even though he’s in control of the song, he’s not holding back. He grew on me in this performance, in part because he managed to make it through a song without looking like he was about to give the mic head. Still… he insisted on ending the song by making sexy face at the camera.
Pure unadulterated sexy.
Randy thought that the beginning of the song was flawless and that Scotty had a “buttery tenor.” A delicious tenor that — were it not for his lapband — he would smother in drawn butter. Steven liked that Howdy Doody stepped away from country a bit. Well, he was still in “country,” but he wasn’t in Appalacia. More like the Kentucky Derby. Still a bunch of hicks watching animals slog through the mud, but they’ve got on fancy hats. And are wearing shoes, for the most part.
Tink comes back to note that Scotty looks into the camera like he’s singing to one person. Who? Who is that person you’re singing to, Tink asks hopefully. Scotty shrugs. He’s 17. He’s singing to anything that moves. And grandmas. Definitely grandmas.
Jamese twitchily explains to Tink that he’ll be doing “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” because someone requested it on AmericanIdol.com. Was that really important? Or just a plug for their annoyingly busy website that never has the videos up that I need?
Babyface and Jimmy think that James is amazing during rehearsal, with Jimmy going so far as to say that people like James are why he got into the music business — they’re intense and exciting.
James’s performance starts off a capella, stripped down, pure sounding, his foot-shaped earring dangling, trembling, shimmering as he begins. When the music kicks in, it takes a tiny bit away from the performance. Just a little, though.
He ends on a bit note with the camera really up in his grill, his tiny little teeth all crowding together, a united front against the attempted invasion of his adult teeth.
Steven says he was sold at the very beginning of the song. He didn’t like the rock part at first, but it grew on him. Wow. A coherent and useful commentary from Steven. And then he tells everyone that this was his first makeout song. It happened in a bowling alley. And he wants Randy to know that he didn’t strike out. Yes, yes. We’re all aware of your virility. Steven strikes me as the type who had his first kiss and lost his virginity on the same night. At a young age. With his mom’s good friend.
JHo thought it was magical and points out that James is always consistent. Randy says James is in it to win it — in fact, he might when the whole thing. The segment ends with Randy enthusiastically hugging James. A little too enthusiastically. Get your nose out of his ass, Randy. He hasn’t won yet.
Lauren and Scotty are paired up for their third duet together. Tink wants to know if there’s more than a musical connection. Scotty says they’re like brother and sister. There’s a dumb video of Lauren picking Scotty’s teeth and acting like an airhead. Then, Scotty teaches her to hold her mic like a “[skin]flute.”
I wrote a song about all of the allusions to fellatio there are on this show. It’s called “Blow Job City” and it’s sung to the tune of GNR’s “Paradise City.” Here’s how it goes:
Take me down to the blow job city,
Where the mouths are sweet & rim jobs are shittay,
Won’t you please, help me bone?
I’m still working on the rest. I’m sending it into the AI/Coca-Cola songwriting contest when it’s done. Anyway. Scotty and Lauren do a snoozy, cheesy version of “Up on the Roof.” They do a fine job harmonizing, but it’s a little too Donny-and-Marie for my taste.
Just as creepy as Donny and Marie, too.
JHo thought it was beautiful. Maybe when she was named “Most Beautiful Woman in the World,” it wasn’t because of her good looks. Maybe it was because she uses the word “beautiful” more than anyone else in the English-speaking world.
After a commerical break, Tink points out Carole King’s daughter in the audience. Steven Tyler has also acquired a blond child who is sitting in his lap shuffling his papers. Maybe it’s his accountant. Or maybe he’s had coloring books up there this whole time.
Caseye spent most of his rehearsal time jamming with Don Was and Babyface, so I don’t know how useful it was, but he had a blast, which seems to be his MO since getting over the shock of getting the judges’ save. Jimmy Iovine says that Casey is always pushing boundaries and when you do that, you can either fly high or fall on your ass. It’s fine to push boundaries, until you push them to the point of irritating people who actually want to hear enjoyable-sounding music.
Casey does “Hi-De-Ho.” He’s wearing a suit and a tiny fedora perched on top of his giant head. He looks weird and sounds weird and does a lot of growling. He also makes a supremely annoying “Mmmm” sound. Plus, he has about eleventy million musicians and backup singers on stage that he’s stompy through. And he violently throws off his fedora.
Randy says the performance took him back to his “home state” of New Orleans. Fact: New Orleans became a state after seceeding from Louisiana during the short but violent Battle of Bourbon Street. The street was strewn with beads, bras and bodies when it was all over.
Steven thought Casey worked the crowd well and the performance was so good it made his scalp itch. Also contributing to the rash spreading across his scalp: the animal bones and feathers he’s stuck in his hair.
JHo likes Casey’s musical abilities but wants him to physically loosen up. Loosen up your legs, she tells him, using the same line she uses on Marc Anthony when it’s time to have their annual contractually obligated sex.
After the commercial, Tink is standing near feminist filmmaker and toadwoman Penny Marshall. Tink asks her why she’s not at a Lakers game. I think he expected her to say something about how awesome AI is and how she’d rather be there than watching Kobe acting like a bitch, yet again. But she says the Lakes aren’t playing.
Stick to what you know Tink: fashion, useless Hollywood gossip, and gay “jokes.”
Haleye’s excited to sing “Beautiful” because it’s groovy and uplifting. Jimmy and Babyface work with her on putting more emotion into the song, telling her to sing the word “get” like she’s yelling at her boyfriend or husband. Uplifting, indeed.
After some technical difficulties that weren’t really a big deal b ut were compounded by Tink flying in front of the camera in his coke-induced frenzy, Haley hits the stage in a cute, sparkly dress. She sounds good bit is, for the most part, overshadowed by all the instruments and backup singers. Even when she sings “get” and pictures Casey lying on the couch in his underwear. She does hit some big notes at the end of the song, though.
Steven says he saw and heard god in Haley’s voice and that her arms are too short to box with god, to paraphrase an old musical. What happened to coherent Steven???
JHo thinks it was amazing and that Haley has one of the most BEAUTIFUL voices in the competition. The beginning wasn’t so good for Randy but he loved the end.
The final duet and performance of the night is Jacob and James who are doing “I’m Into Something Good.” Who picked this pairing? Even the two singers were surprised. They actually have a lot in common, though. Their voices seem difficult to duet with. They both open wide and scream a lot. They’re both really doughy looking. Despite their differences, they’re positive and James says he’s ready to take it to church.
Ebony and ivory/ Go together in perfect misery.
They start the song out sprawled on the Transformers Stairs of Death and they’re both dressed like school boys. Fat, slovenly school boys. They make their way to the judges’ table where they pull JHo’s chair out so they can sing to the Vaseline smeared all over her legs.
“Um, now that I’m down here what am I supposed to do with these?”
It’s definitely the worst performance of the night. It’s like they’re competing to see who can best define the word “caterwaul.” When it blessedly ends, Tink asks Steven to weigh in. He says it wasn’t an award-winning performance, but at least they had fun.
So, Randy never got to weigh in on a duet. Do you think he’s plotting the deaths of the other judges? Or softly chuckling to himself because he still makes bank and doesn’t have to do things like work or appear on magazine covers or be respected.