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As the show begins, I’m worried. Tink is so weighed down by an extra huge body mic and another drab grey suit he can barely fly straight. Why are you trying to keep the fairy down, Fox? It becomes a running theme in tonight’s show. Fairy foreshadowing. He asks the Judges what the singers could do to help remember their lyrics this week, and Paula advises them to think of Simon naked. If this image doesn’t traumatize at least one contestant, they’re all made of stone. It sends me into a depression binge. Ooooh, Haley’s dressed like a total ho tonight! Depression evaporated. Yet still I binge.
Marlboros? Check. RX MJ? Check. Enough food to feed a three block long line of homeless people (back off hobos, this is my Dominos!)? Check. All systems are a go. Ladies and gentlemen, THIS. Is American Idol!
Tonight’s theme is British Invasion, and the Guest Mentors are Herman from Herman’s Hermits and LuLu from Absolutely Fabulous! Love it. I hope Herman flirts with the boys and LuLu gets the girls stoned. She doesn’t pull out a j, but she does rock it out with the girls in their master session. The ladies of 60′s British rock lived it, breathed it, injected it. These chicks felt it, and you can hear every cigarette and hash ball LuLu’s ever smoked in her voice. Love her. Herman, on the other hand, refers to his old band as Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, so I assume he’s a tool, but I’ll cut him some slack because he seems nice. This show could use some sugar.
First up is Haley. LuLu gives the girl sweet words of encouragement, saying she has a place in this competition even though she doesn’t have the biggest voice. After nodding politely through her vanilla rendition of “Tell him”, LuLu advises Haley to not be so nasally and languid in her lyrics. Put a little staccato in your stride, girl! Haley misheard her and told her stylist LuLu wanted stilettos. This girl has watched this show and knows what she has to do. When in doubt, pull out the girls. She bounced and gyrated all over the stage in her CFM pumps and took extended speed walks into the audience. As she hiked back up the stairs, she ran out of breath and let the backup singers take over. Her voice sounded decent until she ran out of air, and I gotta give the her props for workin’ short shorts, stilettos, and out of control bouncing boobies, but she’s coming off pretty…desperate. When she walks into the audience AGAIN and does a white girl Beyonce body jiggle, I audibly moan. Poor girl!
She had it together by the end, but by then the song was repetitive and boring, so she finished by showing her back side and jiggling the girls at the camera. Those kids are in it to win it! Randy was swayed. He says that her song choice (booby jiggle) was perfect and it was her best (most nakedest) performance yet. “Haley’s (girls) are back in the competition, America!” Paula agrees with his “you brought the yos out all over the place, you know what I’m sayin?” and ups him a bland “adorable” and “good for you”. Ok, Annie Hall, what’s going on here? Sobriety isn’t good for ratings, Paula. You might wanna sneak out back during commercials. Simon calls Haley a “naughty little thing”. Oh Simon. You’re so predictable when it comes to the ho look. You know when good girls dress like this to get votes that they’ve sold their soul to the devil and their asses to you. Cheers, mate. He liked the new Haley for the most part, even though she was shrieky in the middle, but as usual he nails it on the head when he says people will be talking about a lot more than her voice in the morning. Haley looks like “ooh, I hope so!” Gross, Haley. Close your legs, it’s a singing competition.
Tink calls Simon out on glaring at Haley like a perv and asks her how the heck she managed to run up the stairs in those heels. “Prayer.” Girl, you better pray.
Look! It’s the main judge from So You Think You Can Dance?! A little girl cries with joy. The stars are shining in the crowd tonight, folks!
Chris Richardson is up next, and his goal is to finally nail a song. Good plan, dude. He wants to take it down a few notches with “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’” and feel it more instead of jumping all over the place. With ya so far. To me, he sounds good as he sings for Herman. The Mentor disagrees. He tells the camera he doesn’t hear much of Chris’ voice and then imitates it as a breathy mess. What a bitch. Love it. To Chris’ face, he says melody is key and please watch “that vibrato stuff. Sing it like it’s a beautiful song.” I was cracking up through this, and Herman’s face only made it sweeter.
Chris sits on a stool opposite a guitarist and turns in a nice performance. He’s on key, he’s not jumping, and he’s cute. Come on, I know I will take shit for that but he’s wearing a zip up sweater and a rubber band on his wrist! Awwwww! The song gets a bit boring, but he pulls out the runs and ends with a falsetto that makes little girls all across America scream. Big girls, too. I scared the dog. She hates when I scream like that.
Randy liked that Chris slowed down and showed that he could stay on pitch through an entire song. He calls it his best vocal so far. Paula says something but either the Tivo fritzes or I just can’t hear her when she’s sober. Simon agrees with Randy, calling this Chris’ best performance.
LuLu is impressed that Stephanie Edwards is grounded enough to stand there and sing “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” practically looking her in the eyes the whole way through and compares her to Beyonce. Stephanie takes this as a compliment, but it’s been the kiss of death for many before her. Hello, Aloha? That elimination still haunts me. Stephanie takes the stage and emotes the hell out of the song. She got shaky a couple of times and her last note was way flat, but it was pretty decent overall. Randy called her out first. She should stick to uptempo songs because she gets shaky when she has to hold a note out for too long. Paula moves her mouth and speaks coherently. Seriously, she has to stop. Simon calls it good cabaret, but is afraid she’s losing her soul. And since there was no booby jiggle or short shorts, he knows it’s not to him. Thumbs down.
Tink flitters around selling memorabilia and ring tones as we come back from break. I feel bad for the parents shelling out the cash for everything this show sells. They’ll be bidding on the losers soon. Sorry, honey. There won’t be college, but I brought home Ace for fifty bucks!
Herman was much more receptive to Blake than he was to Chris R. Old people are fascinated by beat boxing, and Herman is no exception. He told Chris that when he becomes famous he doesn’t want to sit in the front row because he’ll get Blake’s spit all over him. Then he popped a boner.
Blake does pull out the beat boxing on this one, and adds some cracker Jackson moves for good measure. I found his rendition of “It’s the Time for the Season” pretty painful. That song has soaring high notes in the chorus, and every time that note came around he boned it. The golf pants weren’t helping, and I find myself wondering if he’s really just doing one of his wacky improv characters again. Come on, now. He’s singing “who’s your daddy?” while wearing pink on pink on plaid. Not you, Caddyshack.
The Judges couldn’t disagree more. Randy calls the performance brilliant, but I suspect he just wanted to use the term “major yo factor” AGAIN. Paula was finally roused from her chair. She danced through his whole song and now has a huge smile on her face. Just cuz you can’t drink doesn’t mean your girl faucet stops workin’. She calls Blake the one to beat (off to). Simon agrees, saying it was a million times better than last week. He calls it the best performance so far, and he better mean of Blake’s and not of the night or of the competition. Gross. Simon’s agreeing with everyone but me tonight! Where have I gone wrong? Am I the only drunk one at this table? To get Paula even hotter (ew), Blake does a little extra dance after the critiques. She moans and giggles. Ryan joins in, proving those cracker moves can be even more awkward than we thought. This whole segment has made me uncomfortable.
LaKisha didn’t know much about the British Invasion, but she narrowed her confusion down to two songs. “You Are My World” and “Diamonds are Forever”. LuLu, campaigns for the former, even doing her own rendition of it for the cameras. Oh LuLu. You had your turn, and it was over before this girl was even born. LaKisha ignores her pleas and goes for “Diamonds”. I cross my fingers and hope it’s the Shirley Bassey Remix Album version. That version kicks ass.
She hit the stage wearing a pretty green jug harness and, according to Tink Bunyon, about a million dollars worth of diamonds. I will always love LaKisha because she went from being the shyest person in the world to the belting, cooing, big girl vixen she is today. No one works the camera like this girl. As it swoops around her and in her face, she looks like she’s about to eat it right up. And I don’t mean that in an uncalled for fat joke kind of a way. My allegiance pledged, I have to admit she didn’t bring anything new to this song. She did a great Shirley Bassey impression, but Shirley did it louder and held her big notes longer. Still one of the best contestants on the show, but yawn.
Randy agrees (finally!). He didn’t hear enough LaKisha. Paula disagrees very boringly. She liked the song and the diamonds, and offers to be her bodyguard. Oh, Paula. You’re such a sober, sober card. Simon says hearing that song in that outfit and hairstyle with those mannerisms was like seeing LaKisha in fifty years. She has an excellent voice, but he was bored. An he didn’t buy for a second that she had on a million dollars worth of bling. Ouch, but agreed. Either he’s getting drunk or I’m getting sober. One of us has to catch up, and I can only control myself. Cheers! Paula gets mad at him for trying to be a stylist as if she’s completely blacked out the past five and a half seasons of this show. Please, someone, hold her down and inject her with some grade A shit. I want substance abuser Paula back! WAAAAAHHHHHH!! LaKisha’s a big girl about it, saying she’d be proud to sing like that in forty five years and you gotta take the good with the bad and the ugly. Tink knows which is which! Cheeky fairy. He asks Simon what was wrong with the dress and Simon says “your subject!” Those two and their gay banter. It’s like being in a frat house. A really glittery frat house with muscle bottoms and webcams. Something else for Tink to plug!
Herman is a Powder fan. He can feel his strength unleashed in “Tobacco Road” and says it’s the best rendition he’s ever heard from a bald albino with superpowers. Phil has the same shocked look I do, but he’s smiling. He goes onstage with something spilled all over his shirt cuz he’s a rock guy this week and he doesn’t give a f! Kudo’s to changing it up, but I don’t buy it. He put in a pasty white run at the end and his movements were foreign and jerky. Powder came off like a young dad in a wedding band to me. A very special dad.
Paula is on her feet and ecstatic again. Horniness is the only thing firing her engines right now, but I’ll take what I can get. Every time a boy comes on, her juices flow and she’s interesting again. Randy can’t diss the performance, and he can’t use the word “cracker” on national TV, so he sticks with “it was ayight for me.” Paula, suddenly calm again, says the song choice was pretty good and she liked his emotion. Simon calls it third string bar band and didn’t buy the gruff act because Powder has no grit in his voice. He predicts trouble at vote counting time. He tries to bounce back from the harsh critique by getting all youth camp counselor on the audience. “Did you guys have fun? I had fun singin’ for ya!” Duh her duh her dee her. Gee golly, Powder, that was fun!
If Jordin Sparks could describe herself with one song, it would be “I’m So Excited!” by the Pointer Sisters. She’s always saying she’s excited. Ask her fellow contestants! Ok, we believe you. Giggly positive people who are aware of their own bubbliness and positivity generally bug the crap out of me, but when she performs, I can’t help but be a sucker for the girl. LuLu tries to teach her how to sing with her guts and her soul and her innards by, you guessed it, giving the camera a full on, heart felt example. She thinks Jordin is amazing and is gonna knock “I, Who Have Nothing” out of the ballpark. She’s so thrilled that she screeches like a cat being gang raped in an alley during Jordin’s entire last note. LuLu! Stop singing! You’re gonna hurt yourself, girl! Can LuLu guest mentor every week? I want to see what she’ll be like when she comes out of her shell. Jordin can’t explain how she feels about such praise. Oh, wait. There it is. She’s so excited! The song is so empowering, and she doesn’t even have a boyfriend! LuLu promises that she’ll have plenty of em now. You can make out with anyone if you’re on TV! Then she screeches and wails at the camera. On a side note: I like to sing “I, Who Have Nothing” as I drive around aimlessly in shame after bingeing on fast food, so it has a special place in my heart. Don’t bone it, Sparks!
Woah. This is the first song this ep I haven’t pressed pause to write something shitty about someone. I was a little worried on the first belt notes, but she kicked this song’s ass. She stood feet firmly planted and dropped the “excited!” routine and felt it. No one can disembowel themselves onstage like Shirley Bassey, but for 17 years old, this girl came pretty damn close. And she looked gorgeous. See? I can be nice.
Randy says it is one of the best of the night, Paula agrees, and Simon said she sang it beautifully but he wanted to jump off a bridge because it was so gloomy. That’s the highest compliment anyone can get after singing this song. Feeling horrible is the point. I know in my heart, Shirley is sitting at home in a ball gown watching this episode with both proud and jealous gobs of mascara tears running down her face, and I will sleep better tonight knowing that. Love you, Shirley.
Tink tells Simon the only way to understand the song is to love someone besides yourself. Harsh but true, fairy. Harsh but true. Jordin slips into cutie pie mode again and I press the fast forward button. Don’t ruin it, kid.
After break. Tink flies over to Herman in the audience and asks what he did with the boys. Herman licks his lips uncomfortably. To make them sing so much better, Herman! Oh, right. Well, he told them to stick to the melody and perform. It’s not a singing competition, it’s a voting competition. Get votes! Cut to Simon’s mug full of pure disdain. I sip from that mug and feel whole. Mmmm, disdain. The perfect apertif to Sunjaya.
Sunjaya shows us that he can’t even sing in private as he poops on “You Really Got Me Going” in his master session. Herman is confused. The kid’s cute and all, but he doesn’t have the experience to sell what he’s got, which is a nice way of saying learn to work a corner, bitch, the only thing I’m buyin’ from you is ass. Sunjaya admits that he’s not the best singer here, and it made it difficult to choose just one lame song, so he put “Something Good” in the running too. His plan is to course out two train wrecks and decide which track to roll down when he had figured out which was suckier. “You Really Got Me Going” won.
He pulls out a gravely poser rocker voice, which makes me wonder if he had lunch with Powder to come up with a game plan. The little girl who was crying at the beginning of the show is now full on sobbing. She’s either completely in awe and admiration of Sunjaya, or actually hearing him live has burst her eardrums. I’m hoping for the latter so I wouldn’t feel like the only one with horrible gauze bandages on my head. I look like a mummy.
What can you say about Sanjaya? He’s a tool. A very sweet tool. He came out tonight and gave it his screeching, flailing all. I like him a little bit more when we find out his mom is Sally Field. Her osteoporosis commercials move me. Randy, laughing, says he is shocked. “It was your best performance to date, dawg!” I’m annoyed at the praise, but he doesn’t stop laughing, which makes it kind of back handed. Paula nods and smiles and says “Great job!” Simon, never one to pass up embarrassing a child, says “I think the little girl’s face says it all!” Poor little thing looks like she doesn’t know how to take that, and I can’t stop laughing. I’m putting that cryie pants on a t-shirt and making a million dollars. Sanjaya hugs her. Aaawww. Her sister looks like she might have decided not to go back to Omish life when her freedom time is up.
Gina talks about the pressures of being a contestant on AI. They work their asses off and are dissed by bloggers and it sucks. Look, Gina. I’m sorry. Bloggers are sad insecure people who sit at home bingeing and making fun of our TVs. You happen to be on mine at the moment, but before I go on mocking you and Photoshopping pictures of you designed to look as unflattering as possible and calling you a poser rocker chick, let me just say that we mean no real personal harm and I, for one, thank you for putting yourself out there week after week to give me immature giggles. It all comes from a place of love. Not necessarily of you… but of the sport. You’re pretty and talented, ok? Can you just get off my BACK?
Glockson has chosen “Paint it Black” and LuLu says if she’s gonna tackle Mick Jagger, she’s gonna need a box of Seran-Wrap, anti-bacterial spray, and a hell of a lot of drama. Really, LuLu? How would you do it? Screeeeeeccchhh. Got it. I hope Gina does well tonight because I really don’t want to slam her now.
Maybe it’s the rocker chick costume from a kid’s dance recital catalogue or the off key screeching (damn you and your advice, LuLu!), but I just can’t get it. You don’t just wake up one day, put red streaks in your hair and poof, you’re a rocker chick. It’s about deep aches and severe pain, not finding a niche. The girl has some pipes, but she’s screaming for attention instead of working who she really is. I have no idea who the real Gina is, but when she softens up for a couple of bars toward the end, she sounds great. That was as fair and balanced as I get.
Randy says he could tell she was having a good time when she kicked over the mic stand. “I had to do somethin’!” Ugh. That’s the point. You don’t kick over a mic stand because you feel like you have to do something outrageous. You kick it over cuz you’re PISSED. Randy wasn’t impressed. Paula said it was better than last week and likes the rocker vibe. She also says “Paint it Black” is Simon’s favorite song, to which he rolls his eyes and “hahaha”s. Paula says “well it sure isn’t “Paint it Purple!” He doesn’t get it. She’s calling him a homophobe, but as usual, her witticism is lost on almost everyone. Simon keeps it real, telling Glockson that the vocals were horrific and she obviously chose style over substance. If she wants to stay, her vocals have to be a whole lot better than that. Gina looks sad, and I am feeling terrible. One thing I hate more than faux rockers are guilt trips. Down with Glockson!
The cast of “The Wedding Bells”! What’s that? So that’s where Sherri whatherbunz has been. Stop wasting your time and get back to The View, girl! Herman advises Chris Sligh to really take the song is and feel it. Chris takes that advice by starting the tune from the audience. Nothing makes you take it inward like standing in the middle of a crowd of tourists. All I can hear at first is paisley, but when he passes a guy with a “bringing chubby back” sign, I fall out of bed. And they say television comedy is dead.
Second week in a row that Sligh’s boned it. Making us stare at a bunch of busted ass tourists was a horrible way to start, and he is in constant movement through the whole song. By the end, he is clearly out of breath and can’t nail the high notes. I know this guy can wail, but he needs to do it on a more consistent basis. For chrissakes, just stand still. Who is telling these kids to run so much? Running is very, very bad for you, kids!
Randy thought Sligh had a rough start but worked it out by the end. Paula liked his outfit (ouch) but thought he should have been more free with the audience. Simon asks how much freer he could have been. Chris says he didn’t want to over do it cuz the song was about a girl who wasn’t there. Good point, dude. You should have followed that advice. Simon liked it, saying it was better than last week. Well it was definitely funnier.
You know Doolittle’s got the goods when LuLu doesn’t sing or screech once during her entire master session. She chose “As Long As He Needs” me, which is more Oliver than British Invasion, but Shirley Bassey sang it, so it’s in. If anyone can do Shirley proud, its “gee wiz, me?” After LuLu hears it, she has no advice. This chicken is ready for pluckin’.
No surprise here. Doolittle sang everyone under the table. You can call her no neck and make fun of her overly humble demeanor all you want, but when you have a voice like that, you can look like the “where’s the beef” lady and I’ll buy your music. She spits all over the place as she emotes, and that makes me like her even more. The little girl is sobbing again. Screw Courtney Love. If Paula stays sober and gets fired, I hope they sign this kid to her seat.
The Judges love her. Randy calls it the best vocal of the night, Paula says she’s in a league of her own, and Simon says even though it was a boring song choice, she nailed it in the second half. He also proclaims that he believes she’s as nice as she puts on, and I don’t know about that yet. But I don’t really care. She could eat off a baby’s head and spit it on the stage and she’d still win this thing.
What do you guys think? Is Doolittle really as good as she gets credit for being? Is Simon a homophobe? Will Glockson ever grow the balls to be a true rocker chick?
I say Powder or Haley gets the heave ho. What’s your vote?
EDITORS NOTE: BE SURE TO WATCH FLIPIT ON TVGUIDE CHANNELS ‘IDOL CHAT’ THIS FRIDAY NIGHT AT 8PM!