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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tapestry or Travesty

For women of a certain age (mine), Carole King is a goddess. She was a pioneer in the pop music industry with the added bonus that her songs told stories that all women knew. Tapestry was the largest selling album for years until Thriller took its place. So...I was looking forward to tonight with some trepidation. Would they choose the right song? Would they do the songs justice? I think they hit it at about 50% travesty and 50% tapestry.

Ryan starts with a montage of Carole King, telling us about her 118 songs on the Billboard 100 and all the artists who she wrote hits for and then says she is arguably the best female songwriter of her generation. Well, I don't think there is any arguably about it. There may be one or two songs written by a female that are arguably better than any she wrote (Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now comes to mind), but no one can match Carole in terms of the number of hits...and I would take the female out of it and say she is arguably the best songwriter of her generation and counting, period. Rumor has it that when the Beatles first came to America, they wanted to meet her and Gerry Goffin because the Beatles considered them *royalty*...and she was just getting started then.

Sadly, if you aren't familiar with her songs, you probably are wondering what all the fuss is about because a good half of the songs sung tonight were those which surely were on the B side of the 45. In the olden days, you bought these things called records which revolved on your record player at various speeds...the most common of which were 33 rpm (an album) which had like 12 songs or 45 rpm (a *45*) which had an *A* side (which was the hit) and a *B* side which was the filler. (I also remember 78 rpms and wonder where mom's and dad's went). So, for example, the 45 of the Beatles first US hit *I Want to Hold Your Hand* had on the B side a song called *Roll Over Beethoven* or maybe it was *Kansas City*.

I will start with the Tapestry.

The only two who chose the perfect songs for them and nailed the performances were James and Scotty, with James just narrowly edging out Scotty for best of the night. First of all, those two read the AI forum boards and listen to their fans because the overall consensus was that Scotty should sing *You've Got a Friend* and that James should sing *Will You Love Me Tomorrow* (a counterintuitive but very popular choice of the Durbinators).

I did NOT want Scotty to sing You've Got a Friend but everyone else did. It has been sung by so many drunks in so many bars (including me in my wild youth) and for me, the magic was gone from that song. And I wanted to marry James Taylor. I could not see how Scotty could do anything with that song that had not been done before. With excellent mentoring, he did. And a big raspberry to Randy criticizin g him for not sustaining the high notes...and least his voice didn't crack and he hit them. He toned down his eyebrow moves and his sideways smile and actually, I thought he was singing to someone in particular. Yes, he still had some country flavor to it, but it wasn't dominant and I think his fellow Carolinian, James Taylor, would not have disapproved (nor would Carole King).

Well, you cannot mess up starting acapella unless you don't hit the notes and James hit his notes. Steven wasn't a fan of the faster part but I thought that James hit the right combination. He gave it a bit of the late 50's early 60's rock feel staying true to the melody before he went into his James high notes. I am going back and forth on whether I liked him or Scotty better tonight.

I have been waiting all season for a *moment* and for me, Scotty and James gave me two *moments* in a row.

My third favorite performance was Haley's. I am faulting her on song choice and not execution. Her voice was made to sing Carole King and she chose a song that is not all that well known even if it was on the Tapestry album. I'm not sure she *got* the *get* as much as she should have but for once she *got* some mentoring. Evidently the new guy didn't know that Haley is the pariah and actually thought she has some talent and wanted to help her so Iovine had to go along with it. St. Pia's fans will never vote for her, but I think there might be some others who are starting to see her talent. Randy the Haley hater had to be critical. I'm beginning to think she spurned his advances or something as much as he has it in for her. DAWG...get over it...Pia is GONE!

I am probably alone in just being sick of Casey. I know he loves Haley, I know he has some sort of bowel disease, I really like jazz and I know he is considered a genius but for heaven's sake...just SING ! Stupid song choice....*Hi De Ho*....I don't even know what the real song title is. Stupid facial expressions. Constant growling. Great comradarie with the musicians on stage who I'm sure were impressed with the 5 notes he played on the piano. Maybe Carole's *Jazzman* was too obvious but he could have done about 105 of her other songs.

Did you notice that Lauren was wearing a tiara in her joint interview with Scotty? You all scoffed at me when I said she was better suited for the Toddlers and Tiara circuit than American Idol. Evidently, she has not recovered after the mild criticism she got in week 3 and has to be propped up, like a toddler. Last week, Iovine brings in Miley Cyrus's managers to give her a boost. That didn't work so well. So, this week he brings in Miley herself! Lauren's song choice was not bad but not inspired. She did start shaking her little booty around some and tried to hit some high notes (evidently she feels bad because she cannot hit high notes and this has sapped her confidence). What the heck was that thing with the audience guy? At first I thought it might be her cousin or brother but apparently she just randomly brought some guy up on the stage to play cutesie with. The fact that she missed a big high note was deemed good by the judges. (I'm sure Scotty is thinking WTF?) Talk about low expectations. Lets just give her the Little Miss Congeniality crown and let her go home.

Jacob chooses a song that no one knows...I'm pretty sure Carole forgot she wrote that song as she has written 5000 or so of them. Utter disaster. If I had paid for a cruise and he was the lounge act, I would have moved on to the casino.

I like the duet concept but they need to shake it up some and sing with different partners. I think they all got hit with this at pretty much the last minute. Strangely, the one I liked most was James and Jacob but maybe it was because I like James and could ignore Jacob. I will give the other two credit for choosing very good songs but I liked *Moanin'* better for Casey and Haley and *I Told You So* better for Lauren and Scotty.

Bottom 3 should be: Jacob(going home), Lauren, and Casey

Bottom 3 will be: Jacob(going home), Haley, and Casey.

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