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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chambers of Mediocrity

That Chamber is stupid.  (I tried to find a more adult word that would convey the same meaning but I am sticking with stupid).  Yes, producers, having the contestants stand in a gray box which makes them claustrophobic (and the viewer vicariously so) is the way to get the 18-35 age group to turn off Duck Dynasty and turn to Idol.  Hey have you heard?  Idol is really cool this year...they put the contestants in a CHAMBER...lets watch! Again, reverting to language which is on the same maturity level as the Chamber, I wonder what stupid head came up with the idea.

Well, this head sort of forgot to turn on Idol tonight until it was half way over.  Looking at other recaps of the show online, it appears the only memorable moment I missed was my man Harry chastising a contestant for disrespecting the process.  I ,gather that contestant would have scored high on the Z scale so I'm sorry I didn't see it.

So, I turned on the 2nd half and have to say that the only remotely interesting contestant to me was  David Lunig, the guy who sang the *dark* original song.  I have no idea how he will fare going forward but he was the only one to offer anything that wasn't what everyone else had to offer this week. 

The girls were particularly boring.  *My name is (Britney, Ashley, Tiffany, Briana, Selena) and I am  (16,17), I have long (blonde or brunette) hair, and I'm going to sing something you will not remember in 5 minutes*.  Perhaps there was a gem contestant or two in the quick montages they ran between the long-haired teens, but we caught only a glimpse of them.

I don't remember many of the other men.   We had the two weepers.  Emmanuel wept because he was chosen (he was nothing special) so I gave him an 8 on the Z scale just for the tears.  Then, Ronald James Reed came on screen advising the others in the holding room that he was going to bring world peace, end famine, and cure disease AFTER he won American Idol.  I smelled a big Z score coming on at that point.  I wasn't disappointed.  His breakdown was pretty revolting.  He hits the floor and moans and mourns and you and I both know he was paid to be a pompous ass brought to humility by the judges.  If his act wasn't so contrived, I would have given him a 9.5 on the Z scale but...he wasn't serious.  

And then of course, the man in white.  The sound therapist or guru or whatever he called himself.  First, he sings Hallelujah which should be banned forever and ever on this show.  Then he sings it badly...yelling out the Hallelujah part as if he is at some Oklahoma revival meeting watching the preacher play with snakes.  He is a fake as JLo noted and believe me, I don't think she is the most perceptive human alive.  I also don't think he will last long.  

Now...if you want, you can see who makes the top 13 by going to MJS Big Blog.  Just google it and you will find a link.  I read the list and no one popped out to me.  I'm hoping there is some interesting woman who is over 18 who has a distinct style who I can get behind.  If all we get are the little girls with hair extensions belting glory notes on the female side, I'm going to go for the cutest WGWG this season. 


Season XIII Begins and I'm Just Wild About Harry

Maybe Season 12 of Idol will go down in history with that one season of Dallas.  The one where Bobby Ewing was dead (because Patrick Duffy was in a contract dispute with the production).  Then, the next season, he's in the shower and we find out Pamela Ewing had a season long bad dream and nothing that happened that season really happened after all.  All of last season was a bad dream for me and anyone else I know who is an Idol fan.  I was ready to throw in the towel.  In fact, I don't know if any of the 4 or 5 people who read this blog will watch this season.  On the off chance that one or two will, I'm going to blog again and hope that my partner, KK, will have the desire to watch Idol and join in (in her blue typeface).

All is happy pappy with the judges this season.  I was not thrilled about J Lo's return.  She says she loved doing Idol and missed it last year.  She missed the money and the attention I think and you KNOW her agent was smart enough to put in her contract...no other women on the panel... because that woman will not be caught like poor Mariah in a dueling diva scenario.  So...she's in an enviable position between 2 really cute and nice men who will flatter her ego all season long and she can appear to be really sweet, modest and *just one of the guys*.   They do all seem to get along and handle their disagreements in a good-humored adult way so that is a nice start.

I wish Keith Urban were my little brother.  I wish Harry Connick, Jr. was my other little brother.  They will keep me and the other frauen (ladies of a certain age who love Idol) happy this season.  But I'm especially wild about Harry.  He is so smart and he agrees with me that all the vocal histrionics are not that impressive.  And he has an IQ of 143 (don't you love the way he shut down that Mensa braggart contestant?) and knows about the pentatonic scale (I didn't know about it so I googled it and here is what I found http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentatonic_scale.

Speaking of scales, I have my own for these auditions.  The Zoanetta scale.  You all remember Zoanetta don't you?  That absolutely atrocious contestant that Nicki Minaj championed into the top 20?  Our little lark?


Only 2 even approached the perfection that is Zoanetta tonight and the concept didn't occur to me until half way in,  but I think it will be a useful guide going forward. So 10 Zs is absolute Zoanetta perfection.

We start in Boston with Mariel singing Grenade.  I thought she was a little flat emotionally but her voice was nice enough.  So, she gets 6 Zs.  Next up is Trey who thinks he is a 100 on whatever scale he is working with.  He ruined the melody of Over the Rainbow and for that he gets 8 Zs.  

Sam from Florida was next.  He lives with his grandparents because his parents are out of the picture (sob story).  If he survives Hollywood, the young girls (assuming they are not watching Duck Dynasty) will love him and probably some frauen will too.  He did fine  but didn't blow me away so I'll give him4 Zs.

Three or 4 more contestants run by us in a fast montage. Some of them might be really good but not enough time to tell.  I'll reserve their grades on the Z scale if and when we ever see them again.  

Up next is Taylor *freakin* Hillback.  Right away I know if she goes to Hollywood I will develop an irrational hatred of her.  She is studying jazz singing at a community college and hopes to be accepted to a more prestigious music school once she gets her associates degree. (I believe she looked meaningfully at Harry at this point).  I don't think Harry is going to be recommending her to Julliard.  Instead of singing Jazz, she goes into a horrific rendition of Carrie Underwood's Before He Cheats. Jazz/Country whats the diff?  JLo said yes.  The men said no, despite her cuteness. I think they could tell she is used to getting by on her looks and ditziness and decided she was full of Z.  She gets 7 Zs.

At some point, the audience is asked to guess whether a boho looking girl singing House of The Rising Sun makes it to Hollywood.  We don't hear much but what I heard I found approaching 9Zs.  She made it to Hollywood.  I like to think Harry voted no. 

About this time, another theme surfaces.  The *I've worked so HAAARD* theme we hear from the contestants and their families.  Stephanie, who is 17 and a huge JLo fan has worked hard.  I found her and Morgan, another JLo fan pretty high up on the Z scale.  I give them both 6 Zs. Harry was freaked out by Morgan's song choice as she is only 16. I'm afraid Ooh la la might be the song of the season.   

Finally, we get to James Earl.  He is cool.  I like him right away.  And he is up to the Z scale!  He is only marginally less perfect than Zoanetta (and enunciates just as clearly as she did) so I give him 9.5 Zs.  Sadly, this is the last we will see of him.  

Oh no...a Bieber clone with a stage mother.  Austin with the mother who cries and has light bladder control issues.  I'm glad she is not going to Hollywood because I can imagine the havoc she would wreak on Group night (she might slap one of those snotty girls up the side of the head with her Poise Pad). I'll give him 5 Zs because he is just so middle of the road.  I'm not too fond of him really.  Maybe he will be my object of irrational hatred this year.

Catelyn is up next and is singing an original song.  A song she wrote about her grandfather who had a heart attack while she was singing at some state fair opening for some artists I have never heard of but by whom the panel was supposed to be impressed.  Grandpa survived for awhile but died the day after she wrote the song.  Harry said afterwards *she is smart*.  Yep, a smart move.  How are they going to turn her away  when her grandpa suffered his fatal mishap watching her sing?  This sob story was enough for the panel to overlook her glory notes which sounded awfully familiar to me as my cat just had blood taken at the vet's and emitted almost the same exact glory notes (my cat was quite a sensation at the vet's).  I give her 7 Zs. 

Keith London is up next and to me he was just blah.  I give him 5Zs.  And then there was the obvious joke plant contestant, Sam somebody.  At least there was only one tonight.  I'm not going to bother grading him.  The point of Z perfection is to be  in the Z zone giving what you believe to be a legitimate performance.  Sam knew he was joke. 

And so we go.  None of the rest of the group tonight was that especially good or bad with the exception of....Savion Wright who actually HAS been working so hard to get to this point.  First, his song was good and intelligent.  And he sang it well. I think he is one to watch out for.  If I can only resist calling him Sauvignon Blanc.  He gets 1 Z.  Maybe even a .5 Z. 

I really hate the auditions.  I'm not going to be so wordy for the rest of the audition blogs.  For that, I'm sure the one or two people who read this will give me 1 Z.

And, keep our fingers crossed.  Maybe this year like every year, it will be all about the judges but in a good way.