Last week, I pleaded with the singers of American Idol to please, please stop singing Stevie Wonder songs (and Alicia Keys too). So what did I get in return? A full damn week of Stevie Wonder. No disrespect to Mr. Wonder. He’s a living legend. The problem is that these twelve are not living legends, and after four and a half seasons, I’m honestly getting tired of all the boring and atonal takes on his tricky music.
Still, there was a cruel part of me that did enjoy the on-screen disaster that was Kevin Covais singing “Part Time Lover.” And even I was curious to see just how bizarre the Bucky Covington/Steve Wonder pairing would be. However, those joys hardly make up for such rampant overuse of a singer’s catalogue. Let’s just hope this was the triumphant swan song of all things Wonder-ful on Idol.
Here’s a shocker. When Stevie Wonder shows up at rehearsals, everyone busts into tears, especially Elliot. Also crying is Kellie Pickler which is odd since she later admits that she really doesn’t know any of his music. Then again, maybe the tears are just an allergic reaction to her new food of the week: something crazy called “tuna.”
“Whoa. If you put your two fingers together, it kind of looks like you have one BIG finger!”
Ace wins this week’s Gigantic Bullshitter Award by a mile. First he forces some lame crocodile tears, and then he makes the stunning observation that Stevie Wonder not only has to battle blindness, but life too. Thought-provoking — the kind of high-level thinking I expect from someone with a lucky beanie.
Ace actually is the first performer of the night, and he continues his downward trend into mediocre-ville. The judges give him a middling “It was just okay, dude. Just okay,” and Ace retreats like a sad puppy. Just confirms what I’ve felt for some time: Ace is totally overrated.
He’s followed by Kellie Pickler who manages to put half the country in a catatonic state with her song. She’s amazingly boring, and the judges think so too. But in the end, she shows off that Pickler charm by yapping about her fake eyelashes, which she likens to tarantulas on her eyes. I’d like to see Kellie go on a date with Mose from Amish in the City. They’d be blown away by so many things.
I expected a lot out of Elliot this week, mostly because he seems to always sing Stevie Wonder. And, let’s face it, after those tears, you’d think he’d be especially inspired. Well, Elliot’s all perspiration, no inspiration. He plods through his song decently enough. Not great. Not terrible. Sort of like Alf.
Mandisa comes out on stage complaining of severe foot pain, and ever the gallant chiropodist, Ryan happily volunteers to remove her binding shoes. The scene plays out in an oddly kinky way. I personally wouldn’t want to handle Mandisa’s sweaty soles, but Ryan seems to have no problems. Unfortunately, Mandisa’s so amused by this little episode that she seems completely off her normal game. Sweating and uneven, she struggles through the first part of the song. I know — I was shocked too. But as always, she gets it together and nails the rest of it. But still, it’s not a wonderful performance, and the judges tell her so. Four songs in and the curse of Stevie Wonder lingers heavy in the air. Now do you people see why I’m so anti-Stevie?
Mandisa’s followed by Bucky Covington who does his weird smokey/country take on “Superstition.” I wanted to love the novelty of it, but seriously, Bucky’s way out of his league. His nasal high notes sounded like a mule getting flogged.
Ayla Brown has to be so pissed right now. First Melissa McGhee stole her spot in the top twelve, and then the bitch goes and forgets her lyrics. Truth is that I’ve sort of been pulling for Melissa in an odd way. I liked her take on Heart last week and that Reba song the week before that. But honestly, I never wanted to see her giant, circular head again after her warbly, flat performance Tuesday night. When she’s not slurring her way through lyrics she can’t remember, Melissa’s making me reach for the Tivo remote — which is what I did. Fast forward. Oddly enough, Simon says it was her best performance, which I think is just him being passive-aggressive. I did go back and watch the last part of her song (where Randy said she really proved to have pipes), but I still could barely stomach her. Adios.
By the way, somewhere in the middle here, Lisa Tucker sings “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” in her typically aggressive but boring way. She’s certainly more lively than everyone else so far, but totally forgettable. So forgettable that I had to insert this paragraph here after I’d already completed this post.
Awww… Isn’t this so cute? And by cute, I mean AWFUL.
I love how the little girl brushes aside Ryan to get to Kevin. GIMME MY KOVAIS!
Yes, it does get this bad.
Kevin Covais takes the stage and performs a laughably horrible version of “Part Time Lover.” His signature dance move is doing a bouncy walk from one end of the stage to another, all the while doing the wax on/wax off gesture with his right hand. It’s a singularly embarrassing moment for mankind, and while Randy and Paula laugh at how damn charming everything is, Simon keeps it real by saying how ridiculous the performance was. “I didn’t expect much from you anyway,” Kevin responds. I’m pretty sure he meant it in a non-aggressive way, but the audience immediately turns into Showtime at the Apollo and cheers Chicken Little on. Realizing that he’s just stood up to the monster and survived, Kevin’s face then displays a look of sudden confidence, adrenaline, pride, and excitement. Great. Does this mean on top of everything else, Kevin’s gonna start acting like a badass? Vote this kid off, America.
Maternity dresses are the new black.
After and hour an twenty minutes of dreary performances (I won’t say “I told you so,” but I’ll firmly imply it), Katharine McPhee takes the stage and totally rocks the house. I gotta say, I’ve never been totally caught with the McPheever, but she was totally awesome on Tuesday. Plus, you gotta respect a girl who week after week is never afraid to wear a frumpy dress in front of 35 million people.
Taylor too brings down the house with his ever spastic performance. Even though his constant windshield-wiper dancing drives me nuts, I have to concede that he’s added some much needed energy to the night. I’m also very happy that he didn’t resurrect his bunny suit again.
Worst duet ever?
Continuing the hot streak that began with Katharine, Paris is undeniably amazing with her performance. She’s so good that even I start to think, “Hey, you know, she’s pretty annoying, but I might start to like her again after this song.” But after the judges uniformly praise her, Ryan begins asking her question, which she responds to IN SONG. MULTIPLE TIMES. Oh, how I wish a lighting rig had fallen on her right then and there. Paris returns to her spot atop my “I hate you” list.
Luckily, all fears of bile winding up in my mouth are assuaged when Chris Daughtry takes the stage and completely obliterates the competition like usual. He sings “Higher Ground” and says he really tried to make it his own style. Well, actually, he just ripped off the Chili Peppers’ version, but that’s okay. We like Chris, even if he does sometimes sound like he’s passing a kidney stone.
The next night on the results show, we sit through a long recap of Tuesday’s show, followed by the obligatory Stevie Wonder performance. Then at the commercial break, this dumb idiot (above) tells Los Angeles that someone’s going home, and “it’s not who you think!” Sure enough, the bottom three is a mild shocker: Ace, Melissa, and Lisa.
I personally am hoping that Ace gets the heave-ho, and after what that reporter says, I actually have false hope. But let’s be honest. There’s no way that Lisa or Ace will go before Melissa, and sure enough, the ol’ McGhee-ster gets the ax. Hey, Fox 11 news, how was that a surprise? That was exactly who we thought would be going home this week.
What did you think about this week? Was Melissa the right person to go home?