Depending on what happens tomorrow night, this may be my last blog of the season...or the rest of time. So, I'm going to rant a bit. What? You thought I had been ranting all season? Wait for it.
First, I want to credit my favorite blogger, Michael Slezak, who blogs on Idol and other TV shows on a site called TV Line. I would link to it but I cannot make my copy and past function work which is not making me happy. Suffice it to say, I pretty much agree with this guy all the time and he is hilarious. He does a webcam chat with Melinda Doolittle every week which always makes me laugh out loud. I purposely don't read his blog before writing this because I will be tempted to steal from him. And in fact, I have stolen the next two thoughts from him but am doing so because I don't want you to have to read all of his blogs to find them and I'm nice that way!
He agrees with me that Jessica Meuse is being unfairly critiqued for her performances. It is not that he thinks she is flawless..he just believes she gets panned for things they ignore with the other contestants. And, that when they do praise her, they give themselves the credit. Last week he commented that Sam should be the next to go but then, in a tag line on the webcam, there was a comment: Who am I kidding...if they have to decapitate Grumpy Cat next week and say Jessica did it to get her off the air, they will (more on this in a moment).
His next thought, and I have subliminally noticed this but not focused on it until tonight, is that the producers spend more time putting the camera on JLo during the performances (or the crowd) than they do the performers. Tonight it was particularly bugging me. What good does it do to tell the audience that the performers are not *connecting* when the people watching the show see JLo bouncing her hair around, giving soulful looks and shaking her shoulders around to look with it for a good 50% of the performance? Every now and then they put the camera on Keith, but usually as part of the JLo cam. Melinda Doolittle believes that its in her contract to get so much camera time. If so, shame on the producers for agreeing to it and shame on her for demanding it along with the 18 million dollars or so she is getting paid for this.
Ok...now for the show. Viewer's choice. I think, for the most part the viewers did a good job of choosing songs for their favorites. I'm going to go worst to best.
Sam He performed after Jessica. To make sure that Jessica got no mileage from her performance, Ryan asks Sam an audience question. What is the hardest thing about the competition. Well this give Sam the opportunity to talk about his dog (and for us to see a picture of it). Ok, its not decapitating the cat but just in case Jessica might have swayed some voters with her performance, lets turn the sympathy votes on for Sweet Sam and his dog. His idol (Ariadne someone who is hot right now) also appears handing him the mic. And Sam sings a song that is supposed to be funky. I don't even remember the name of it or anything it was about. Suffice it to say, the only remotely funky thing about this performance was that Keith was desperately trying to make it seem funky by his shoulder swaying. Rather than tell him it was blah, the judges say it was a *hard song*. His next song, How To Save A Life, was marginally better. Except that showing emotion by closing your eyes all the time isn't that effective. Harry commented on the dynamics meaning variation in the volume. Sam stays on medium all the time. I'm over his cuteness. Its time for him to go home.
Jena I've been over her for awhile. She is so friggin smug. She thinks she is the best *performer* of the group and that it is going to take her far. My notes on the performance of the song *My Body* are very short. One word. Puke. She is so mannered and I'm not a fan of her little Jenaisms to the audience (*lets go*....so stupid...I always think it smacks of desperation when a performer has to gin up audience excitement with those catch phrases). Her next performance, of the song Valerie, was just kind of weird to me. The judges never talk about her connection or lack thereof with the audience. She never stands still long enough to connect and if she is connecting its with the camera showing her own reflection back at her on stage. And she has already come up with her stage name...one name..Jena. I hope the whole world calls her Jenna. Harry was just fueling the self-satisfied monster when he asked her about that.
Caleb Yes, I know he got the pimp spot. Yes, I know he had some good glory notes in his last performance. But his first performance of I Don't Want to Miss a Thing was a train wreck and the judges were just too kind about it. He starts off way off time and off key. He gets the pitch back. But this song became a dirge with him singing it. Yes, its oversung. Yes, we are tired of it. But yes, he sucked singing it. The last song I really didn't listen to much except to hear the glory notes and see way too much of JLo and Keith rocking and standing while the camera ignored Caleb. He pissed me off when he started holding the standing mic horizontally like some samurai sword before the first note was played. Ugg. He is also way too mannered in his performances. But...after seeing JLo perform *I luh ya Pappi* I guess I see why the judges don't notice it.
Alex IF I continue to watch after Jessica goes home, it will be to see Alex. He does irk me the way he grimaces. But his performance of Say Something (I call it The Sad Song) was exceptional. Cannot say anything more about it. His first song, Sweater Weather, was marginal. Yes, he remembered the words. Yes, it was hard to remember those words. Was it memorable beyond that? Not for me.
Jessica She KILLED Human. KILLED it. You could almost see the wheels turning in the judges head as they tried to come up with some way to downplay how good she was. JLo and Keith still want *more* from her. Harry complimented her on listening to them. Yes it was good but its because we made you this way. She had a MOMENT folks. I'm not a Lana Del Ray fan. I had not heard the song Summer Sadness. Having heard Lana Del Ray sing other songs, I have to think that Jessica outsang her. She got rid of the guitar, she emoted, she moved around the stage. Still not good enough though. What does she have to do? Fall to her knees in tears? Maybe she could have swayed her arm like she had a glow stick and yelled *lets go*? Hold the standing mic horizontally? Talk about dynamics. She had them in both of her performances.
I think tomorrow she will go home. Because the producers want her to. At least it will be on the heels of her best performances yet.
Now I have to go vote for her!