Latin Night on American Idol is traditionally one of the biggest televised disasters of the year. Katrina beat it back in 2005, but just barely. Each Spring, a new batch of contestants smiles big, puts on their tightest, tackiest outfits and does their darndest, but they always overwhelmingly suck it when it’s time to spice it up. Latin Night is doomed to bomb. Oooh! Look! The cast of Drive! An omen? It stars the guy from Firefly. This is just getting uglier and uglier.
My instincts told me to sit this one out and avoid the headache, but my drunk inner bitch ass intervened and reminded me the path to the headache’s what I live for. Especially when the path is laden with mojitos and homegrown Spanish Fly. I’m not missing my chance to watch a bunch of gordas get ground into a bunch of gorditas! This ain’t Pace Picante Sauce! THIS. Is American Idol! Get a rope!Holy shit! J-LO! NO WAY. I thought she was under house arrest after following up Gigli with that telenovela Grammy duet she did with her gargoyle husband. Hey, I can’t blame the girl for hiding out. When all else fails, marry a rich ugly dude and retire. That’s my plan. Tink flies in wearing another dark, sad suit and shows us clips to remind us how gorgeous J-Lo is and how many eardrum pillaging songs she was responsible for not too long ago. “Waiting For Tonight” came on and jabbed my soul so hard I fell out of bed. When I come back to it, she’s singing gibberish. Wait! That’s Spanish! She hasn’t been missing, she’s been chillin’ on the Latin Billboard Charts! My bad. After flashes of photos that remind us why she’s a star…
…her new hit on the Latin Charts morphs into a live set in the practice studio, where J-Lo is making the most off key exercise video I’ve ever seen. Jennifer Lopez is beautiful, sexy, and not fat, but she’s always been there with some extra Jell-o to feed the people. She tells the contestants that she watches the show at home while not walking on the treadmill and wonders every time who’s gonna give her goose bumps. Not who’s the best singer, mind you, but the one who makes people feel good. Haley Ho takes off her shirt and bows down right there in the studio. She is facing her Idol, and she’s like a star-struck little girl. Except really slutty.
Jel-Lo’s advice to Doolittle is to be as sexy as possible. That’s what she did when she sang this song in Spanish. Man, I wish she’d sing along with Melinda just to see if she could make her head explode. Where’s Lulu when you need her? J-Lo is determined to bring out the slut in Melinda, who pulls her face cutely to the camera. “I’m so not sexy!” Aw. No, but you’re only a couple of shots and a line away from doable. Get crackin’. I’ll go first.
She’s chosen “Sway” which is way old school Latin music. Like 1954 old school. Cuz the fifties was such a sexy decade. Way to sizzle, Doolittle. I imagine her curled up fetal style in bed later, wondering where she went wrong with the “sex it up” advice. The Weezy Jefferson Graduates from Women’s College Look never got anyone laid, and it’s not gonna start to tonight. As usual, she’s got a voice, but the extra sizzle and passion Jel-Lo was trying to explain isn’t showing it’s face. She sticks strictly to the melody of the verse, which repeats about a thousand times, all the while struggling to move her hips a little without falling down. Poor thing. Good singer, but if she’s gonna take this thing, Doolittle’s gonna have to make us poo a little. She belts out her last note to the rafters as I wipe the drool from my chin. Totally not pooing.
Randy loved it. He says she reminded him of Celia Cruz a little, which sounds nice unless you know who Celia Cruz is.
In her time with Jel-Lo, Lakisha doesn’t waste any time asking her sister in booty for vocal advice (thank you). She wants to know how to pronounce “conga” and shake her ass. Yes, she’s singing “Conga”, the Gloria Estefan tongue twister that’s been a huge dud on this show in the past. Why in the world would she choose this song? Her moves looked good in practice, but the whole idea of a dancing LaKisha could go terribly wrong. I’m a big believer in signs, so when she comes out dressed like a storm warning, I worry for her safety. And ours.
No need to worry. She kicked the songs ass. Gloria Estefan wishes. She started with the speed walk around the Idol Lap Track through the audience and back, and as she pounded the stairs to the stage, the light reflecting off her jiggly arms temporarily blinded me. How the Hell is she supposed to get through a sentence with that dress wrapped so tightly? Her outfit looks like a torture device in Saw. Two more minutes of trying to figure out how to make it stop or that stage is gonna look like Oprah’s wagon rolled over a land mine. Will she make it? Breathe, KiKi! Lap one had her a little out of breath, but instead of missing beats she skipped words and sang like she was daring your prissy ass not to conga. I’ve never felt threatened by this tune before tonight. I think LaKisha just told me off.
Randy says she had what Doolittle missed. She made it her own and wowed him. Paula starts with “first of all, you look lovely”. Snap. She didn’t feel it as much as Randy. To her, this was a “safe LaKisha performance”. I’m sorry, but there was nothing safe in that two and a half minutes. For anyone within a mile radius. Simon asks Lakisha if she agrees with Paula’s evaluation and she says that she went outside her comfort zone by moving around instead of posing and making CFM faces at the cameras. Simon does agree with Paula, saying she didn’t pick a singer’s song. She looked like she was having fun, but he didn’t know if anyone at home was. Ouch. The audience boos him and he says it was too safe. Randy reminded him that she walked around and Simon says the dancing was no good. LaKisha squeals. LOL. “Thank you, Simon!” Tink tells Simon he’d pay a lot to see him bust out some of those moves. Simon replies “I’ll bet you would!” Wait a second, was that a gay joke? Oh, Simon. You’re a card. I’m sure Tink hangs out with lots of girls.
Chris runs through “Smooth” for Jel-Lo with a big long scarf around his neck. Keep those pipes warm, you artist, you. I’ll bet you five dollars he walks around with tea and honey in a water bottle at all times. He just seems like the type, doesn’t he? Jennifer suggests he take the song up a step and tells the pianist “even hearing him strain would be nice”. Wow. So she’s going for that sound. Who knew?
Timby’s joined by a guitarist and conga guy onstage and horns are blaring. I want to like this guy, mostly cuz I like Timberreal (so stone me), but all signs point to douche. He’s off key from the get go and obviously can’t hit the lower notes. No wonder she told him to take it up a step. He sounded like someone was playing a record backwards under water. Luckily for him, he’s wearing a hip chain. At least he looks cool. (Do people still wear those? I saw them in the dollar bin at Old Navy two years ago. Just sayin’.) Once the song gets higher in his register, he handles it pretty well. Paula’s dancing. Glad to see at least her hoo haw’s got some personality left. Eh. I press pause to look for papers. I’m not gonna make it through the rest of this song alone.
Randy said he was worried when he heard Chris was gonna do this song, but think he made it his own with runs at the end and did a good job. “Cool, cool!” Uh-oh, here come the cools. Paula restrains herself from another “hipandcool” binge and settles for “What can I say? You’re sexy!” Please, someone plow Paula’s garden. The neighbors are starting to complain. Simon won’t say it’s the best vocal he’s heard, but he liked it better than Doolittle and LaKisha’s songs because at least he’s contemporary sounding. Maybe cuz he’s a carbon copy of a contemporary singer. Doi. We’re three songs in and there haven’t been any solid successes, but no disasters either. I have to admit that I’m missing Glocksen and praying for Sanjaya to make me giggle right about now. I’m not proud of it.
Haley Ho’s up next, and she’s chosen “Turn the Beat Around”, another tongue twister that has a rocky Idol history. I can’t wait! Jel-Lo warns her that this song is difficult and it requires serious rhythmic abilities. She brings in Blake to beatbox, which is like lathering mayo on white bread and chasing it down with a glass of milk, and tells Haley Ho that she needs to hit every word like it’s rap if she wants to stay this week. Haley hears “vagina” and “pole” and dresses accordingly. She’s got the Ho look down, but it’s the kind of Ho who’s always running from her pimp. Seriously. Where are you running to? When she attacks the stairs for her loop around the Idol Lap Track, I applaud. She shakes her boobies, works the legs, and dismembers the song piece by piece. Is it a coincidence that the visual on the screen behind her looks like a sperm entering an egg? This poor girl is a mess. Nothing fits together. It’s like her Christian singer vibrato, her hotpants, and this song all met in a dark alley and fought a bloody epic war. No one won.
Randy calls it karaoke and Paula says that it was a fun song and she had fun up there. Wow. That’s even lower than “you look real pretty tonight”. Simon laughs and FINALLY calls her out, saying he approves of her “wear as little clothing as possible” tactic because there’s no other way she stands a chance. She smiles and nods, then lays down on the stage and shoots ping pongs at his face. When Tink asks her how she wants to respond, she stresses that she appreciates what ALL the Judges have to say. Too late for an ass kiss now, Ho. You blew it hard. Now take your money off the night stand and go.
Oh, Powder. I crack up the second he opens his mouth in the practice room with Jel-Lo. He’s rolling the “r”s of “Maria, Maria” like only a pasty ass cracker can while swaying back and forth to the rhythm of a much faster song. She stops him and tells him that she wants him to sing it again, and this time picture someone. Anyone but his wife. We all remember how that turned out last week.
Randy didn’t like it. His upper register is good but he was boring and cracked at the end. Paula said it was a “real good vocal” (shut up), and Simon said that even though Powder is a nice guy and chose a good song, it was lifeless and he couldn’t come up with anything positive to say. Powder gives it one last urban try and says “I appreciate your honesty, for real!” before dropping the act and pointing out that his little daughter got a stuffed cow toy and calls it Simon Cow. “Isn’t that cute?” No. It’s a transparent, gooey ploy to appeal to corn fed breeders. Gross. As Tink flashes his number, Powder mugs and gives a love sign to the camera while mouthing “I love you! Please vote for me!” Ugh. Get off my TV, and don’t come back til’ you’ve got a chin.
Tink asks Sparks what her theme night would be if she could choose, and she says she’s always loved 80′s music. He says “were you even born in the 80′s?” and she answers “at the very end! But I still like the music!” I press pause and cry for half an hour. Jel-Lo is impressed with her, comparing her to Michael Jackson. Jordin does her manic innocent giggle thing and asks how she should groove to the song. Jel-Lo says that since she can actually sing, she doesn’t have to move. At least she’s consistent.
Holy saddlebags, Batman! Sparks, meet Spanx. There’s no reason to worry about being a big girl, but spandex pants? How does this happen? I’m so concentrated on her panty line that I can barely hear the cracks and the pitch problems. This girl’s got talent, but it’s very shaky and inconsistent. And those are the only two words I would use to compare her to Michael Jackson. Unless she’s got a taped on nose or date raped some young cancer victims that we don’t know about. As if sensing she’s on shaky ground, she juts her head so hard that I worry for her eyes. Those earrings are coming very close to a retina massacre. She goes for two high belt notes and bones them both.
Randy says “I don’t care how old you are! You got it cuz you got it! That was the yo factor on blast!” Uh, I think that’s good. Paula says she loves that Spanx can come out not caring what she’s wearing and just be adorable. Simon says he feels the same way about her performance as he has every other. Bored. Amen, Cowell. Obviously she’s a good singer, but he hasn’t seen anything exciting or interesting, and notes that there’s been no progression. She shrugs him off and makes cutesy Shirley Temple faces at the camera and giggles crazily as I make tiny cuts in my arm with the plastic knife that came with my Chinese food.
Blake is tackling “I Need to Know”. I always thought this song could use a Lawrence Welk tribute. Jel-Lo gives Dead Eyes the same advice almost every other mentor has given him so far. Feel something. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have as good a voice as Marc Anthony (that’s putting it gently), she just wants to see him “pick up that girl”. He looks over his shoulder and searches for Timby. Where is he? He sings it exactly the same way he just did and she says that she felt something at the end there. Grateful?
Woah, Panama Jackie. When in doubt, stuff a sock down your pants and sing really, really slowly. I would add more, but all I got was big crotch and a hat that says “retired”. Glocksen, I’m sorry for making fun of you. Please come back in something hideous and pillage “Oye Como Va” before I slip into a coma. His friends cheer for him. Aw. It’s nice to see that they have ignored the urge to get cheesy t-shirts made and instead support him with poser ass hats.
Randy called it the smartest song choice of the night, and Paula told his sock that it was very smart. Simon agrees, saying it was the best performance of the night so far. I have obviously lost all grasp on reality at this point, so let’s just move on.
Sanjaya’s sister may have lost her chance to be up on that stage, but she gets an even bigger prize tonight. She gets hit on by Tyler and BJ from the Amazing Race! Now all we need is that girl who had her mouth wired shut on the second The Real World and we’ll have a real A-List crowd. Oy. If Susan the Truck Driver shows up I’m done with this show.
Our ever evolving little buttercup impressed Jel-Lo with his choice of “Besame Mucho”. She laughs, surprised that she likes him. I’m not surprised, and I’m not laughing. He does have an adorable perm, but with his newly grown facial hair, he looks like a tranny with a five o’clock shadow. He does his usual sweet, lifeless whisper singing, but it makes sense with a nice slow song where he can sit still and lifeless and sweetly whisper. He sounds pretty decent, even belts out a note! Woah. Growth! He plays the sweet and shy thing pretty well, but he eye banged that camera harder than BJ and Tyler are gonna bang his sister in the supply closet later. He didn’t suck half as bad as he could have, and frankly I find that problematic. He should have provided a campy giggle fest after tip toeing through last week, and instead he committed the worst crime of all. He blended in.
Randy hasn’t yet made it through a Sanjaya performance without laughing his ass off, and tonight is no exception. He calls the kid the smartest contestant he’s ever met and said his singing was “actually pretty good”. Guffaw and confused head shake. Paula agrees then calmly back hands him with a “that was very nice.” Simon says “I couldn’t understand a word of it, you sounded like a fourteen year old,” …Sanjaya looks like he’s gonna cry because tonight he actually put some effort into the vocals…”and it wasn’t horrible!” Aw!
Well, Latin night wasn’t the disaster it could have been. The foreboding storm clouds only brought a light, depressing drizzle. Boooo! This show had lard, cheese, and flat white bread. The only thing missing was the spice. That, my friends, is not a burrito. It’s a wrap.