After my hissy fit of last week, which I think you will agree was justified by the horrendous performances by nearly all in *Rock Week*, I was almost afraid to watch the show this week. My friend kindly sent me the link to the performance of Slow Ride by Allison Irehata and Adam Lambert during their season's Rock Week, and if you search it on Youtube and compare it to what happened last week, you will perhaps be a little more forgiving of my tirade. But...its a new dawn...its a new day...and while I haven't lost 100 lbs like Jennifer Hudson and I wouldn't say I'm feeling good... I'm feeling better.
The show opens with a video recap of the emotional departure of poor Burnell. The judges didn't save him because they are saving a save for a girl and they have to use it this week so...this week is sort of a gimme for everyone but Lazaro...in the unlikely event that he gets the least votes. Since he made the top 3 last week, I doubt that will happen absent blatant vote rigging by the producers and I'm sure they are sorely tempted to perpetrate a fraud the magnitude of which would make the Quiz show scandals of the 50s look like a child's tea party and send him and his tight pants back to Florida. I couldn't help but notice that Lazaro was not featured in the tribute to Burnell...I'm not even sure the camera brushed by him. So...Burnell is gone and Lazaro is, like his patron saint Lazarus, refusing to die.
We have two themes this week. Someone on the production team must have been reading the National Inquirer about Dionne Warwick's bankruptcy and financial ruin and remembered that there was a songwriting team that made her famous (or that she made famous) back in the late 60s and 70s so we get Burt Bacharach and Hal David songs. Burt is also famous for once being married to Angie Dickenson who is famous for having a quickie with JFK at one of his inaugural balls but that is probably way too much 60's trivia for this blog. The other theme is *the song I wish I had written* which has a little bit more promise even though I am anticipating ballad overload.
Since they each sang two songs, I'm going to vary my approach and go from worst to best performances which means we start with:
The something we didn't know about Lazaro is that he likes to hunt which makes him, in his words, a Spanish redneck. Which is odd since he didn't seem to take to country folk too much last week since he doesn't think they have teeth. But this *one thing you don't know about me* segment is just hype anyway so who cares?
He is the Rasputin of the season...the judges pan him, the judges don't pan him, he forgets the words, he screws up the other contestants songs, he is not on key and he just will not die (metaphorically...no one wants him to literally die). Tonight he outdoes his usual mediocrity and goes into straight horrible on *Close To You*. The one thing about the Bacharach melodies is that they have key changes in every song and Lazaro doesn't remember to change from one off-key to another off-key. This was just excruciating to listen to. He follows up with *Angels* by Robbie Williams which is a song sung a lot on Idol and which I still don't understand as something that special because the lyrics make no sense to me and Lazaro does nothing to help me like this song any better. The judges are very critical of his performances (Nicki won't even comment on the last one) but love him as a person so that the audience won't hate them. But clearly, Lazaro is the proverbial turd in the punchbowl at this party and you know that the producers are cursing the day they allowed him into the top 20. They clearly underestimated America's affinity for the underdog and the power of the sympathy vote as well as the power of Lazaro's tight pants. Now...this is the first time I have mentioned that Lazaro appears not to wear any underpants because I had not noticed it (really!) until some other bloggers mentioned it. So I forced myself to look tonight and let us just say he would give those male ballerinas in tights a run for their money. Now that we are all grossed out, I will move on to
We learn that Angie and her girlfriend make stupid videos and post them on YouTube. This girl is nothing if not a self-promoter as her legion of fans will now be looking for them and she will be making some bucks because of it. Clearly she is destined for tele-evangelism shakedowns ala Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker.
I grew up in the Bacharach/David era and listened to the radio a lot then plus I watched all the variety shows and I have never heard the song she sang. I still don't know the name of it and cannot remember much about it except that she screeched some and did fake emotional faces. Keith is really calling her on that aspect of her recent performances, the other judges tend to agree with him and I am glad but I doubt it will make any difference to the Angie-bots voting for her. I thought she was pitchy but maybe I just don't like her voice. For her second song, she turns again to God and the piano. This song evidently got her through the horrible dark days of self-doubt she had after she graduated from highschool and was waiting to audition for Idol. If you believe that story you are a sucker. She inadvertently tells us the real reason she chose that song (besides it being one to which she can hit a few chords on her piano )...it will *get me into the top 5*. She does her *emotion* thing again with her screwed up faced and raising her shoulders and the judges eat it up like lobster in butter sauce because it reminds them of the ONE good performance she did weeks and weeks ago of her original song at the piano. She is going to be around much longer than I would like. Curses!
OK, maybe she wasn't much better than Angie but she is a nice person so she gets points for that. Her Bacharach/David song, *I'll Never Fall In Love Again* is a bit lightweight and I'm not a fan of her schmoozing the audience and Keith as she sings it. The judges don't love it but don't hate it. For her second song, she does The Dance, by Garth Brooks and it is a much more soulful performance than the first. But oops, neither she nor Mariah Carey know that the song was not written by Garth Brooks but by someone else whose name I thought I wrote down but did not...Toby somebody? Interesting that, I believe it was Nicki, said she didn't think she was up to the standards of Amber, Kree and Candice but did not say she wasn't as good as Angie. Hmmm.... She may be up for the save tomorrow night.
Great minds can reasonably differ as to whether Amber is in 2nd or 3rd place tonight. I'm going on song selection myself but have to say she knocked Say A Little Prayer out of the park tonight and looked beautiful doing it. I'm not such a fan of Beyonce (did she write that song?) so I wasn't that thrilled with her second song except to say that I'm glad it was upbeat and my gosh...the legs on that girl! I'm glad she followed Angie because she was so much better on both songs and I hope voters get it. I'm afraid, however, that her fan base isn't that big and she too might be up for the save tomorrow night. She is such a happy girl...I smile when I watch her and really would not be sad to see her win even if she is not my favorite.
She is still my favorite but that is purely a matter of personal taste. I loved her acapella beginning to What the World Needs Now and I loved that she went for some glory notes for a change. I confess I got some smiley tears in my eyes as the fireworks images were shown behind her and she belted out that old Jackie DeShannon classic (I have vivid memories of her performing that on various variety shows like Hootenanny and Hullabaloo.) Then, I love Kris Kristofferson. I just do and I don't care if he is old and much the worse for the drink now. He has written so many good songs and Help Me Make It Through the Night is only one of many. Kree is just a pleasure to listen to and watch.
I was just thinking and telling a friend today that there has not yet been a *moment* this season but that Candice has come pretty close. Well she had the moment of moments tonight. First, in *Don't Make Me Over* she could use her entire range in a way that she couldn't last week in *Satisfaction* so we were reminded of her huge talent. Then, the final song...*A Love Song*...was out of this world and I agree with Randy (who does have a lot of *greatest moments ever* comments) that this performance of a song I have never heard was perhaps the greatest Idol moment for me (although Crystal's People Get Ready was almost as good). I cannot believe they turned her away last year to have those teeny boppers compete for votes. I loved her speaking her *Geechie* language (also known as Gullah). It has been passed down from the slaves who were transported to that part of South Carolina and the Georgia Low Country as this link will explain and is fascinating. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullah
So...altogether...except for Lazaro and Angie...a much better show tonight than last week's show. Although I'm still cursing the powers that be who are keeping me off of Idol's forum board. You did note that Nicki used the word hell tonight and it wasn't even bleeped? I wonder how you say hell in Geechee?