Ahhhhh, another week, another set of recaps. How did I survive the off season?
Seriously, how did I manage to breathe without my weekly fix of "people who have no business being in the public eye"?
How did I find the strength to rise from my bed each morn without the promise of truly hideous performers who suck worse than an $800 Dyson?
And how did I drag myself from one day to the next without being able to pass judgment on them all? I swear I don't know how my brain didn't just curdle up and leak out my ears.
Oh wait, that's what happened tonight...
But I'm getting ahead of myself. I would first like to thank everyone who has made the blog their home for American Idol recaps and to savor the warped wonder that is my curdled brain.
This past week you Googled your little hearts out, winding up here through searches for everything from "Brenna Gethers Booty" (stop wasting your time Googling, she is sure to smack that trunk junk around for you on national TV each night she is on) to "Taylor Hicks Levon" (yes, apparently you youngsters have no idea what the lyrics are and have been trying to gain some insight - then again, many of you probably only know Elton John as the man who wrote Circle of Life on your Lion King video) to "Kellie Pickler Nude Pictures" (I'm going out on a limb and guessing that this girl who had never been on a plane before has not exactly "traveled" the Paris Hilton route either).
Then there were queries that were even more disturbing than those who desperately want to see Brenna in the all toGether - gag. Someone out there apparently "really has to pee" and someone also wanted to know the "nutritional value of earwax".
With that, let's move onto our recap, shall we?
I would like to start by thanking the producers for not padding the show to 2 hours. It shows real growth that they acknowledged the subtraction of two contestants by trimming our viewing down to 90 minutes.
First out of the gate tonight (and you know that going first is not a good thing on this show - first being synonymous with forgettable) was Katharine McPhee, singing Stevie Wonder's All In Love Is Fair. Snore. Sorry, but it was boring, and being boring when you're also going first is not the way to stick it out on Idol. Dressed in a black maternity top with centipedes on the breasts, she sang effortlessly, her hallmark in this competition, but that's about it. Oh, and her cheekbones were in fine form - seriously, that girl has the most perfect cheekbones on the planet. The judges all thought is was too safe, and Simon, whose chest looked like he either spent a little too much time in the tanning booth, or just had his chest hair waxed off, summed it up with, "America is going to forget that performance."
After the first of ten 3.6 million dollar breaks, Kinnik Sky was up with her favorite sing-into-the-hairbrush-at-home song, Gretchen Wilson's I'm Here For The Party. Taking a page from Vonzelle Solomon's fashion catalog, she worked her inner cowgirl, and it went over just as well as it did for Baby V - as in, it did not. From the brown boots, to the olive drab jacket and cammie capris to the hideous molded breast bustier, it was a distracting mishmash of clothing that did not work well with her constant bouncing back and forth across the stage. She sang fine, and I think that she does have a better voice than 1/3 of the girls, but like Randy, I think her "amazing range was not served by the song". Simon lauded her attempt to stand out, but then segued to a poor Magic Mountain metaphor. Even Kinnik was confused.
Oh look - another break. Yes, this is how they will make up for the missing 30 minutes tonight. They will suction the profits between each performance. Fine. Two can play at this game. This is when I hit the pause button on the TiVo, fed the dog, gave a spelling test to my daughter, checked my email, tied my shoes, ate a cookie, and returned a phone call.
Coming back to my chair, I was then able to fast forward through every commercial break the rest of the night.
Up next was my girl, Lisa Tucker. I like her smile. I like that she dresses her age. I like that she talked about performing in The Lion King for a year when she was ten, but then being scared to death during Hollywood week. She is talented, but knows how to mix it with a generous serving of humility. Choosing to sing Who's Loving You? by The Jackson 5, she looked pretty and comfortable with her hair pulled back and dressed in my own teenage daughter's favorite uniform of jeans, and two tank tops. She knows her range and sings with as much conviction as confidence - always enjoyable to watch, plus that smile just lights up the stage. It might not have "done it" for Randy, but Simon is on the money that, a helluva lot of people are going to vote for her. Including me.
AFTER. THE. BREAK. this season's Lindsay Cardinale, Melissa McGhee, was up. Lindsay who? Exactly. Every season has someone who is stricken with, Singsprettywellbuthasthecharismaofaficustreeosis. I predict it will prove fatal for her within two weeks, which is sad, because she really did try hard tonight, singing Reba McIntyre's Why Haven't I Heard From You? with sass and energy and a gravelly voice unique to the competition. Hell, she could give Chris Daughtry a run for the money when it comes to gargling pebbles while singing. She jazzed up her outfit tonight: Jeans (duh) and a sheer black top with shredded sleeves and a triangular cutout which reminded me of the UP button on an elevator. Paula and randy loved her performance, and while Simon "loved her voice", he also thought it was the wrong song choice.
It was while trying to complete his critique of Melissa that he finally had enough of constantly having to swat Paula away like the gnat she is, and compared her to a precocious child.
Then she hit him...
...like a precocious child.
She then switched chairs with Randy for the rest of the evening, a seating arrangement I imagine Simon would like to see be permanent.
Another break brought us back to Barbie Cox. I'm sorry, but Heather looks like something out of a pink package that comes with a matching brush and two tiny purses. I would have cringed when she said she was going to sing Hero by Mariah Carey, but I was momentarily paralyzed with fright by the tarantulashes she was wearing. Her video moment of wearing a snake on Hollywood Boulevard cemented for me that, like Barbie, the hair is nice, but there's nothing underneathe. The song was a disaster - and the judges are right - you cannot help but mentally compare when one of these contestants dares to take on a diva like Mariah or Whitney or Donna.
Which brings us to Brenna There, Done-a That Gethers, who sang Last Dance by said disco diva Donna Summer, dressed as a green, sequined sausage with hubcaps on her ears. Seriously, someone pimped that girl's head. The dress, easily three sizes too small, was as much a nightmare as the performance. The irony of her first line, "When I'm bad, I'm soooo bad" was not lost on America. You could almost hear a chorus of "No kidding, Brenna." rise up across the land. Paula said that she did not see Brenna's magic happening (Magic? COME ON - that girl was only put in the final 24 because she filled the requirement for Contestant We Will Love To Hate, not because there is an ounce of magical fairy dust in anything she sings). Brenna then argued, "I think America loved it and it will reflect in the votes." Yes Brenna, but only because you are the darling of VoteForTheWorst.com - the site that was responsible for getting Scott Savol to the final four.
Let's all just hope that this was truly her "last dance".
(Man, I just know I'm going to have nightmares of dancing, afro'ed, moldy sausages tonight...)
Another multimillion dollar commercial break and we came back to watch Smurfette, decked out in a rhinestone dog collar with matching bracelet, heart earrings (awwww), nasty updo, big starched shirt covered by a too tight bustier, an 80's belt with rhinestone diarrhea, and RED SHOES. There were so many pieces of clothing going on, she looked like a little girl playing dress up in her Mommy's closet. And then she sang Wind Beneathe My Wings which should only ever be sung by Bette Midler, who Paris actually started to dis after the judges critiqued her. Good thing for her, Ryan interrupted. I'm sorry, but again, if the child can open her vocal cords up and emit such a big singing voice, there is no reason she has to sound like she sucks on helium everytime she speaks.
Oh, and I laughed out loud when Paula said "I love your fashion style." Smurfette, before you say thank you, you may want to consider the source.
AFTER. THE. BREAK. Ayla Brown was up to sing I Want You To Need Me by Celine Dion. She looked great in a black cocktail dress with v-neck sequins, and it was actually fun to watch the college athlete's video clip extolling the virtues of not sweating and stinking all the time. That is nice, isn't it, Ayla? Like last week, I enjoyed her voice - there's no argument that the girl can sing, but she comes across as cold, methodical, detached. Paula thought it was a good song and then wanted to cut off Ayla's legs from the knees down and surgically attach them to her won (Ayla, like Paris, consider the source, and lock your door tonight...). Randy liked it and Simon pegged her perfectionist streak - that she is probably working harder than anyone on the show, but the problem is that she is mechanical. She may go home Thursday night, but then again, Carrie was repeatedly slammed for her Fembot qualities during Season 4 and look where she ended up.
Kellie Pickler, the reincarnation of Three's Company's Chrissy Snow, was up next. I have always acknowledged that she is easy on the eyes, and likable in the way golden retriever puppies are likable, but I have to be honest tonight, she is also dumber than a box of hair. Her video clip about Hollywood, the highlights of which have been "eatin' my first spinach salad..." (and you people are Googling naked pictures of her???) and "all the dogs with more clothes than I have!" have made it impossible for me to even entertain picking up the phone and giving her any votes. I'm sorry. I know you all like her, but the majority of you are male who are attracted to that ideal combo of stupid and pretty (or pretty stupid) in one package. Her song performance, Bonnie Raitt's Let's Give Them Something To Talk About was not much to talk about, especially when she did her "big move" - a violent shake of her head with a difficulty of 8.9. She was unable to stick the landing though, getting lost in her hair with much of it stuck to her lipgloss.
She can sing fine - I don't argue that, although her voice is nothing amazing. And she has a figure that all clothing looks good on - however, the corkboard wedges were big enough to use as bulletin boards - but I'm going to have to leave it to you people to vote for her. I'm not being snobby - I don't need my Idol to be a Mensa member, but I just can't get behind one who's a Densa member.
One more break and my girl, Mandisa, was up to close the show. I love her more each time I see her. She is beautiful, confident and down to earth. And she knows that black is her best friend - in the dim lights, it hides a multitude of sins. Tonight she was decked out in a flowy, sheer, black number with silver paillettes at the top - again, she knows how to keep your eyes UP where the action is, and the action is in that girl's throat. Singing Faith Hill's Cry, incidentally the 4th country western song of the night, her voice boomed - in a good way - and showed little girls like Smurfette the difference between "being" and "wannabeing". Heck, even Taylor Hicks spiked a bit of tourettes while she was singing - and anything that gets Taylor to rocking? It has to be good. Honestly, the only bad thing I can say is that she had "pasty tongue" - you know, that Elmer's Glue that covers a person's tongue when they are nervous and their mouth is dry. Simon was on the money with his assessment that when she's "on it", there's no better female in this competition.
And in a night that was like watered down salsa - MILD - Mandisa brought some much needed heat.
That's it for tonight - so America, do you have it in you to kick Brenna to the curb or will you incur my wrath yet again by keeping her around another week? Will Melissa's blandness trump Barbie's blondeness in the voting? And will Smurfette get a much needed reality check on the davenport of doom?
I'll catch you back here tomorrow night after the guys do their thang, but here's a random thought to ponder till then ...does anyone else think Elliott looks like an Amish buggie driver?