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Let me first say that I. Love. B-Side. I MISS B-side. I would write something poetic here, but I am a very shallow person and real feelings are difficult for me to express. Before I nervously pick up where he left off, let’s just take a moment to drool over his handsome picture together and thank the Lord for the ‘gasm and our friend Ben. Amen. We miss you, tiger.
7:58 Here we are, after weeks of bloody, mind numbing auditions, at the Top 12. Bigger stage, bigger orchestra, bigger boos. So why am I feeling pissy? I think I’m still a little shell-shocked over last week’s shocker eliminations. Sabrina Sloane? GONE. Sunshine? GONE. I kinda hated him but at least he could sing. I forgot who the other guy was already, so I’m pretty sure I was ok with him going. Antonella? GONE! Wait, now I’m veering into Happy Land. Shoot, does this mean I won’t get to log on here every day to see pictures of her peeing anymore? Stay focused, Flipit! They’ll eat you alive!
Point is, some very good singers were sent packing before their time, and I am still rallying against the injustice of it all. But when eight o’clock comes ’round it’s time to put my feelings of disappointment in the same little box that houses my failed wooing of Eddie Cibrian and my dreams of making something of myself before my little sister did. I uncork a couple bottles of wine, call my friend Mary Jane, and throw a few King Size Milky Ways in the freezer. And…8:00.
Ladies and gentlemen, THIS. Is American Idol!I’m a fairly cynical person (shocked?) so I am a bit taken aback by the goose bumps on my arms when the show opens on the new ginormous soundstage and Tinkerbell flies in on cables to welcome us to the first night of the Big Leagues. I know a lot of you detest the ‘Crest, but Ryan’s so little and clueless, I have to love him. I forgot how he seems even smaller on the big stage, and it just makes him even more innocent and defenseless in my eyes. If you clap real hard, Ryan Seacrest will live a long, healthy, fairy life. Hey. Why aren’t you clapping?
Randy’s being positive about America’s choices for their top 12, but I can’t focus on what he’s saying because his shirt keeps yelling at me. Something about the boys needing to be in it to win it. Paula says she thinks the boys are behind, but she believes they’ll come into their own tonight. Can you really come more into your own than this?
Diana Ross is the Guest Mentor tonight, and she looks ten years younger than she did ten years ago. Something’s fishy here! Tink tells us Diana’s the most successful female recording artist of all time, which isn’t really true, but there’s no denying she’s a serious badass. Twelve Grammy noms, 18 number one hits…Beyonce played her in Dreamgirls, ok? Bow down. She starts off by telling the singers that she’s not there to judge them, she’s there to be their “trusting voice”. I don’t know what that means, and I like it. She says the contestants are like her kids, and she wants them to get the hell out of her house and stop taking money from her purse. She hugs each and every singer when she’s done with them, some a little too hard. Ok, we get it. Back off, Mother Earth.
First up is Brandon. He tells us he’s worked with a lot of celebrities, but Diana’s the oldest. She nods politely as he does a light version of “Can’t Hurry Love”. When he’s done she pats his hand and smiles. “That was good!” Brandon agrees. Awkward moment. “I can’t believe all the work you guys have to do!” She might has well have complimented his shoes. He says he was nervous and she advised him in a low, meaningful way. “Go to your center. Your heart place.” Uh…thanks.
I haven’t been too impressed with this guy since his initial audition, but the man has worked for some big people and I keep thinking any minute now he’s gonna break out and take a win from behind. Not tonight. He paces awkwardly through the song and cracks more than a couple of times. He looks uncomfortable and sounds scared. To compensate, he breaks into a butt swing dance that puts uncoordinated white boys everywhere to shame. And then he forgets his words. Ouch. You know what? Just stay in that position, because I have a feeling the only thing you’re gonna be taking from behind tonight is Mr. Simon Cowell. Brandon gave it his all for the last couple bars, but even they were shaky. Cut to his family, who is in complete darkness. Probably better that way. No one likes to see disappointment on a mother’s face.
Oooh, Dr. Bones and Angel are in the house. It is a big night!
Randy said Brandon reverted back into a boring backup singer except for the last two notes. Paula is understanding of his nerves, so she won’t waste time on what he did wrong (at the rate of her sentence formation, it would take til’ tomorrow), because he did so much right. Simon laid it out. No originality, no star quality. Brandon was like a backup singer for a backup singer. “Not good enough. Sorry.”
Brandon tells Tink he was nervous and feels bad for forgetting the words and…yawn. Please have him removed.
In the Coca Cola room, Ryan asks Melinda what the hardest part of the competition is. She says it’s the dresses and the shoes. Funny, cuz that’s the hardest part about watching her. Melinda is one of the most talented singers this show has ever had, but she needs to take a couple of shots and ho it up a little to go all the way. I don’t trust honest to God good people in Church clothes. They make me feel dirty. Ryan asks Simon if he has any high heel advice for Melinda and Simon retorts “You should know, Ryan!” Poor Tink just can’t get ahead, so he concedes. He says “Stay out of my closet!” and Simon snaps “Come out!” OUCH. Brandon’s not the only one takin’ it from behind tonight. Melinda covers her face. Tink stands right up, brushes himself off, and says “This is about the Top 12, alright? Not your wishes!” Even Simon has to LOL at that one. Oh, Tink. You silly fairy! The audience claps and he is good as new.
In her session with Miss Ross, Doolittle kicks her song’s ass. Damn you, goose bumps! Diana felt something, too. OMG we have so much in common, D! She praises Melinda, saying she can feel her feelings. Melinda responds with her “gee wiz, me?” face. That face is making me crazy. She has to stop with the face.
Doolittle has chosen to sing “Home” from The (gee) Wiz (,me?), which is one boring ass song. I have heard it millions of times before and just heard it twice in a row and still can’t remember how it goes. She sang the hell out of it, though, as usual. Nailed it. This girl has some serious pipes. I hope she doesn’t blow it by continuing to choose snory songs and being and honest to God good person.
The audience goes nuts and Melinda gets teary and doesn’t use the “gee wiz, me?” face, which wins her points with me. Randy didn’t think it was her best performance, but it was still very good. Paula sobs all over the place and says “I feel what you f…I….You…feel such…” Diana Ross said “You make me feel what you feel” so long ago that poor Paula can’t remember enough of the sentence to steal and use as her own opinion. “Look at you! This is it for you! This is it for you!” My first boss said those exact words when he fired me, but unless Melinda was eating off customers’ plates, I think she’s safe.
After he stops laughing at Paula, Simon asks Doolittle why she’s crying and she says she’s never had that kind of reaction from a crowd just for her. Aw. He compliments her on making a boring song incredible and compares her to Gladys Knight. Nuff’ said. Tink, obviously thinking Simon would blubber some more, left Doolittle onstage in silence. Get with it, fairy. We’re live! Melinda can’t explain how she feels because she can’t remember the song. Hey! That’s what I said! Tink, obviously trying to goad Paula into making an even bigger ass of herself, says “Paula! You’re an artist! How did she feel?” Paula said she felt like she was having an out of body experience and the blow hurt her nasal lining a bit but it was totally worth it…wait a second, Paula. Stick to Doolittle!
Miss Ross doesn’t know what to do with Chris. He’s immediately joking with her about their similar hairdos, which she takes as a sign of nervousness. Come on, Diana. Fat people don’t use humor to mask their insecurities and fears! He’s chosen “Endless Love”, and puts his own spin on it. Her advice is to find the heart of the song, or the melody, and stick to it. Stay with the hook. This is a nice way of saying “Don’t spin my song, bitch.”
Spin it, he did. He stuck to the melody, but she didn’t say anything about annihilating the beat. Did she let him go with alterna-bossa-rock on purpose? White boy fro sabotage? Since Chris decided not to wear his glasses this week we could see him counting in his head to stay in step. He’s got an excellent voice, but tonight he sounds a little shaky and looks a little skerd. Cool that he did something different with an old song, and when he belts he’s amazing, but…the audience is pretty subdued. Ruh-roh. This audience is never subdued. It wasn’t that bad, was it? Is everyone just shocked to see Chris’ entire face?
Randy said it was a mess, Paula said he’s trying too hard to sound modern, and Simon said he murdered the arrangement, turned a beautiful song into an endless drone, and PS, keep the glasses. Chris stays pretty even-keeled. He respects Diana Ross and the Judges, but he went with his gut on this one. I know you are expecting a fat joke here, but I understand the plight. I fold my gut into tummy lips and talk to it all the time. Right now it’s telling me to open the second Snickers Bar. No, gut! We’re not even half way through the show! OPEN IT! Fine! Damn you gut, you always win!
Gina’s turn. This girl bugs the hell out of me. She tries way too hard and she seems like the type to burp and fart out loud. I try not to hold it against her. Diana likes her voice but warns her against lazy enunciation. Gina pants like a puppy dog and kisses butt, telling Miss Ross that when she was four years old (ouch) she would dance around singing “Love Child” completely oblivious to the meaning of the lyrics. Diana hugs her and Gina farts.
Her performance is decent. She struts around the stage and tries to work the rock chick vibe, but she’s shiftless and nervous. Acid wash mom jeans and spiked heels don’t help her much. Don’t these kids have stylists?
Randy found her pitchy and boring, Paula stole pitchy and remembered a Ms. Ross word too: enunciation. Paula stuttered when she said this, which was perfect. My tummy lips smiled. Simon thought it was the right song for her and he likes that she kept the rocker style, but overall her performance was forgettable. Gina keeps it together nicely, which is the main problem for me. A real rocker chick would roll her eyes and flip the Judges off. Gina smiles and insists she’s “comfortable”. Rock chicks aren’t comfortable! They’re angry! They’re miserable! They’re one blackout away from choking on their own vomit! This girl’s a rock chick for the Gap Generation. Nice neckpiece, though.
Sanjaya’s up next. True to diva form, Miss Ross loves her gays. Even though he was off rhythm and stiff as a board, he had a (adorable, lovable, homosexual) spirit that transcended his flaws. Diana may not have a lot of confidence in his talent, but she definitely has some love for him as a person. She insists that it has nothing to do with his hair, even though he showed up in a brown nosey Miss Ross do. I don’t hear the beginning of the song because when I get a load of his perm I involuntarily shake my head and slur “girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrlllllll!” for a solid minute.
Ms. Ross is right about Sanjaya. I do want to like him. He’s obviously a genuine sweetheart and a choice bottom, but he’s way behind the beat, way off key, and seems to be (unsuccessfully) struggling get out more than a whisper. I hope he gets kicked off tomorrow night just so I’m not forced to pick on him anymore. You suck balls. Sorry. Now let’s spoon.
Randy takes a few moments to laugh his ass off. The audience laughs along with him, presumably thinking he loved it. When he’s done laughing, he drops the smile and says “Dude, it wasn’t very good.” The audience turns. Randy goes on to say thank God for the backup singers because it was almost unlistenable to him, but if there was a Hair Idol, the kid would win hands down. Sanjaya laughs and smiles big, still not sure whether or not they’re just messing with him. Paula says she agrees with Miss Ross, but she can’t quite remember what she said, so she throws out random “beautiful”s and “spirit”s before ending with “You gotta jump out reckless abandon and go!” Ah, the beat poetry of an addict. I’d like to think Maya Angelou sits in front of her TV every week and cries at Paula’s stanzas, but I’m a sap like that. Simon says “Look. When you hear a wail in Beverly Hills, you’ll know where Diana Ross is staying.” LOL. The audience doesn’t get it, because it sounds like he just called Diana Ross a whale. “She’s gonna freak when she hears this!” Yeah, but at who?
Ryan asks him how he feels and he says he appreciates what good things they had to offer, but he didn’t even understand what Simon was talking about. LOL. Simon puts his face in his hands. Dammit I love this show.
Haley, dressed like she’s about to give birth at a very fancy hospital, “like”s her way through her interview and like totally like acts like she’s like fourteen. Diana thinks she’s beautiful. Duh. How do you think she got knocked up? Diana says Haley has a studio voice and not a live performance voice. I can’t tell whether she thinks that’s a good thing or not. She recorded “I’ll Be Missing You” after the death of Marvin Gaye, and her feelings made it what it was. When asked what was going through her mind singing it, Haley says “I just wanna have fun out there!” Yay, dead Marvin Gaye!
She starts off the song in one of the space stools, which is a really bad idea in that dress. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for a cooter shot, which thankfully never came. She did crap all over the stage, though. She started off softly and beautifully, but the second she stood up it went straight to hell. She forgot the words and couldn’t find them for a verse. A backup singer tried to help, but it sounded like poor Haley wasn’t the only one giving birth in the fancy hospital that night. She did her best to save it by belting the life out of the last two notes, but unfortunately they were supposed to be soft and caressing, not desperate. I have suspected that Haley has been kept around because she has a sound for Christian radio, but after tonight’s slutty moo-moo and spiked heels number, I think she probably lost the Amy Grant vote.
Randy has some pity on the girl, saying she was capable of much better, but then Paula came in for the kill. “You look lovely tonight”. Ouch. Haley’s mom shouts from the audience “Take it!” LOL. Paula goes on to remind us that Brandon forgot his words too, but Haley’s pitch was…(blank, glazed eyes) “…you look adorable!” Ok enough of the abuse, Paula! Simon turns the tables by saying it wasn’t all that bad. She had some true moments of star presence and if she can just keep from losing her shit she might have a chance of doing much better than he originally thought. Woah. Did someone switch his Coca Cola mug out with Paula’s?
Haley has to have a seat before the baby plops right out onto the floor. She thanks Simon for being nice to her even though she’s a schmuck and Paula says half the time the audience can’t tell she messed up. “They don’t know anything, so just do what you do!” OK, belligerent.
Miss Ross doesn’t have anything good or bad to say about Phil, but she likes his song choice. He asks how to get in the right mindset before a show and she suggests looking at the audience. They’re real people, just like you! He took her advice a little too close to heart and stared at the audience (creepily). He also bounced up and down, made a bucktooth face, and turned in the whitest rendition of “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” I have ever heard in my life. The guy can sing, but wow. Yawn Shawn.
Randy says he was bored, but Phil had the best boy’s vocal of the night. Paula agrees, saying the vocals were good, but the Judges talked throughout his performance about the song needing more life. Simon was level-headed for the second time in a row. He says Phil has a tendency to over sing, but did a decent job. I think I expect more from Phil because he looks like Powder, who in addition to freakish looks, had extraordinary gifts. If only Jeff Goldblum were here to teach Phil how to use his powers! Alas, Goldblum is working on other projects now and I am stuck in bed with nap drool running down my chin.
One thing that impresses me about Miss Ross is that she is not at all bitchy. When LaKisha nails “God Bless the Child” after hearing it for the first time the night before, Diana doesn’t even try to critique her voice. Instead they talk about dresses and mic stands. She uses the same nickname for LaKisha that her mom does, and she’s excited to see what KiKi will do. Aaaaawwwwwwwwwww.
KiKi came out in a flowy white dress, her weave perfect and shiny, and knocked the song out of the ballpark. She is so far above everyone else (except MAYBE Doolittle) that it seems silly to spend two hours watching the show. Record her morning pee, I’ll buy copies for everyone I know. I stood up to cheer when she was done. That may not sound like much, but it was the first time I got out of bed in six hours. Randy calls her performance sensational, Paula dittos him, and Simon (who has a huge toothy grin any time KiKi’s in the room) says that she was controlled, fearless and flawless. He adds that the difference between she and Melinda and the rest of the singers is vast and that they are in a different league all together. I wholeheartedly agree. And PS, wow with the rack.
I’m really interested to see what Blake’s gonna do, because let’s face it. Beat-boxing can go from fresh and new to retarded and lame in the bat of an eye. He’s been pretty good at using it in moderation so far, but when he wiggy wiggy’s to a confused as hell Miss Ross, I crack up. He tries to lay down his organic beats to “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” with the pianist, who is either confused or ignoring his direction. Come on, old dog. Time to learn to roll your ass over. I have my finger’s crossed, because the boys so far tonight are once again proving to be a wash.
Uuuhhhhh….ok. He basically dragged the song out and added a rhythm underneath that sounds like it was made with Ross’ synthesizer on Friends. To make the whole thing weirder, Blake does some Michael Jackson moves in slow mo. I have to say, those moves are way less interesting slow. Oh yeah, and he doesn’t sing it too well. I don’t want to hate on the guy, because he’s talented and unique, but ew. I’m kinda grossed out right now. Thank God there’s half a bottle of wine left.
Randy likes that Blake shows some originality, but feels he’s overdoing it on the rearranging and not concentrating enough on the vocals. Paula points out that there’s a difference between what Blake did and what Chris did (yeah, synthesizer Ross helped. No fair!) and she thinks Blake could turn this version into a hit. Simon doesn’t get it. The rework didn’t work, and Paula jumps over the fence and says “Why mess with Motown?” Someone get her a cold compress.
Stephanie Edwards isn’t messing around this week. She chose “Love Hangover” and a good attitude, and Miss Ross loves her. Her only advice is not to be so damned sexy. Let it build, baby. When you got ‘em hooked, pounce like a Tigress. And pounce she does. She rocks “Love Hangover”. Randy calls her out on missing some lyrics and the uptempo part of the song, and Paula and Simon agree. He calls her a tease. You build and build and build and then don’t deliver. Be hard to get, but not that hard. Did she take Diana’s advice too literally? I don’t know, I liked her. Am I just drunk? I’m totally calling my ex right now to cry about my feeeeeeeeellliiinngggs.
Thank God for voicemail. Chris Richardson charms Diana with his goofy humble vibe, and it worked on me too. I don’t know if a “movement specialist” was brought in this week to try to pump some life into the boys, but most of them have done retarded dances. Chris R bounces all over the place and runs out of the breath so he can’t hit all his Justin Falsettos. He took Diana’s “dance and work the crowd” advice, but again, he exaggerated what she told him and jumped around like a maniac.
Randy says it was half good/half bad and definitely overcooked. Paula’s news was better. She feels out of everyone tonight he brought the perfect blend of contemporary and classic to the table. The little girls in the audience go crazy. Simon says minus Chris R and his personality and charm, he was only left with horrid vocals, and anyone listening on the radio would switch the channel the second they heard a note. He’s not wrong, but this kid can sing. He just needs to stop with the jumping. Stand still and let it flow, kid!
Miss Ross loves Jordin’s inner light and thinks she has star quality, but isn’t so sure she knows how to project her feelings through a song, which is kinda important. Jordan is cute as a bug. I mean, come on, she sang a song from The Land Before Time. I just cannot diss her. Sorry. Ok, so she missed a couple of notes, and kinda screeched through parts, and projected emotion by pointing at random audience members…she’s got a pretty voice most of the time and besides, she’s cuuuutte!
Randy is impressed that Jordin is so good at 17 and says she just turned this competition into a three way race. Paula agrees and… so does Simon! Wow! Other than being a bit gooey (a bit? Snot is still dripping out of my nose. Those adorable dinosaurs!), it was an excellent vocal and she has just proved she’s worthy of a spot in the finals. Atta girl, Jordin! And she’s anti-war!
And so ends our first night of the top 12. Who do you think’s gonna get the boot tonight? I say Brandon’s out, what’s your vote?