The reality karaoke fest opened last night with a new look and sound. Instead of the judging panel being intro'ed from the comfort of their stage front and center seating, they had a walk-on moment. Idol must have grabbed some guy who normally announces baseball games or game shows from the sound of him. Naturally Simon thought up this whole new look, he was sporting an annoyingly face splitting grin.
It was Michael Jackson night but Jacko was not there to guest mentor, rather the contestants had to pick some of his past hits selected by the show for our listening pleasure. Introducing this theme night, Jacko wasn't portrayed as we normally see him now in the media, all covered up with a huge bodyguard shielding him from the light, because we all know he's no longer human, he's a vampyre. A pedo vampyre maybe but just the same, you know what sunlight does to them... Alluding to Jacko now being a creature of the night, the show preferred to depict "Thriller" Michael Jackson, from back in the days when he was still a human.
Seriously, some plastic surgeons should be shot.
Naturally, all the judges, before this song fest could get underway had to add their sound bites of blathering self-grandiose advice. My favorite "don't let the stage swallow you up". Nice mental image of a secret pit operated by a hidden switch, once flipped, contestant drops out of sight. That would really give the show a new twist, like that old "Gong Show" sans hook.
Lil Rounds drew the shortest straw apparently, she sang first. Of course her bio-moment of her cute three kids and the Hurricane taking all their belongings leaving them in the long-term stay hotel should save her. I do really like her husband's very non-plussed attitude each time he's interviewed. Idol he's not going be your fool. Rounds selected, "Way You Make Me Feel", delivered a solid vocal performance but nothing completely mind boggling.
My kid said, "I'm not a big fan of her pants", while wrinkling her nose. (She takes after me in so many ways, poor kid.) Randy blabbed something about 'way to kick it off', Kara said something while wearing some sort of hideous swatch of clothing wrapped multiple times around her neck. I couldn't figure out what the hell it was. Darling Daughter said, "I think it's an upside down skirt". Paula, looking ever the not fashion expert with what appeared to be a smashed dove on her shoulder, raved about the show's glam squad. By the looks of Paula's face that glam squad was giving loads of free botox backstage as well. She looked fit to stand up at Madame Toussard's.
Scott MacIntyre brought out the piano performing a religious themed song I'd never heard of, "Keep the Faith". Being the heathen I am, not into religious songs, per se. I thought his vocals were reminiscent of Neil Sedaka but still just not a fan of the guy. Yes, I KNOW, he's blind. Kara had to stress to anyone who cared that Scott had "just learned that!" to show his genius. Paula waved her arms about and rambled about his being magical. Simon had the best line, 'dont' be artistic, not on this show". No shit Sherlock.
Time to do the Hokey-Gokey. Danny got his Taylor Hicks on tonight performing "PYT". Hokey left out mentioning his dead wife this week, likely been reading the boards. He did think it cute to talk about his folks having him sing his homework. That was suppose to instill the fact the guy's been singing all his damn life so he so deserves to win this. Vocally he's not too bad, nice Taylor Hicks soulman type attire and somehow he found a pair of those goggles he prefers to wear that match his shirt. For some reason the crowd gives him a standing O and the judges join them. Paula babbles, by now she's obviously feeling the drugs, she's flushed and panting all over the table about Danny, giving him the show right then and there. Simon tries to reel her back in with, "we're only three contestants in and you're giving him the win!" Since Hokey was doing the Taylor Hicks dance Simon had to insult his stage moves and Gokey squints up and says he's working on it. Randy babbles about passion, caught up in man-love for Hokey; thankfully Simon again tries to make something real happen in the judging camp. I have no idea what Kara said, caught the words, "joy" and "parents".
Michael Sarver was next - I take it back his being the first to go home. He did a stand up guy performance of "You're Not Alone" showing his roots really belong more in the country genre. Liked it. The judges liked him and gave him props for bringing a good effort. His little girl is really cute. Liked his bio-moment with the Texas oil rig guys cheering him on. You know those guys were gonna get their phone-on after he sings.
Jasmine Murray warbled out "I'll Be There" and I have no idea why this gal was selected over Jessie, she should not be there. Bratz doll girl got props from the girl-judge tagteam about "poise" and "confidence". I think Pauler just liked her ample amount of eyeshadow, looking at Pauler last night with all that gold glitter on her lids, you know she's into the heavy eyeshadow bling. I did not care for Jasmine's performance. My daughter asked me why they (the show) had her come out in her nightie.
Kris Allen came up with "Remember the Time". Brought out his guitar, wore a plaid shirt (again) and reminded me somehow of Jason Castro without dreads. Thing is, this boy has a better voice than Castro. I was pleasantly surprised with Kris last night; enjoyed what he did and strangely, I agreed with Randy the BoBo, Kris has a Jason Mraz-y thing going on. Simon again had the best line, telling Kris, something to the extent of 'you really should have kept your wife a secret a few more weeks'. Wife did not like that much. Maybe they'll stage a fake separation.
Allison Iraheta remembers her past childhood singing in Hispanic markets (shout out to that market in San Antonio!) where it's not uncommon on weekends to see performers up on the little stages playing and singing while you shop. Folks wander about drinking beer, shopping, others singing - good times. Anyway, Alli-girl can sing. She brings the rock and she's only 16 (!!eleventyone11!!), as Pauler points out. Idol, for some reason thought it necessary to subtitle Allison's family's commentary. Alli sang, "Give Into Me" - the judges gave her good marks, well except Simon who thought the whole act a bit 'dark'. Alli retorted with something about not cutting herself to bring levity. In a dark way.
Anoop, the lucky thirteenth had an unlucky night erroneously and hideously selecting "Beat It". If there was indeed that new fangled trap door on the stage, I'd flipped the switch and dropped him through it. Performing with The Matrix lighting and his outfit looking like he's trying out for the Broadway performance of The Matrix does Jacko he awkwardly made faces and stomped around in an attempt to look grim. Anoop who did his college thesis on BBQ does not do 'grim' convincingly. I felt for him, I like Anoop, really think he has a shot to go far in this show but man, Noop-Dawg never ever "Beat It" again. I don't think he'll go home unless Simon has his way. Noop has a big on-line fanpatrol going on that will likely save him. Simon on the other hand expressed regret after seeing "that" to having made a special thirteen this year. Harshing on the Noop-Dawg, Simon.
Puerto Rican, Jorge Nunez is up with a disjointed bio-story from his home. First the family is close. We see about a hundred folks from the looks of it crammed into this little house. Sitting on top of each other, smashed against the walls, well maybe I exaggerate. Next we're told the family drifted apart after Grandpa died, but Idol may save the Nunez family because they're all smashing together again this time to watch Jorge sing. I have no idea what they did when Grandpa was alive that made it special, Jorge doesn't share that information. Maybe Papi made some killer barbacoa or Bar-B-Que, the kind Anoop wrote his thesis about.
Judges slaughter the poor guy and Darling Man, who had just come home asked me, "Why didn't he just come out and sing in Spanish? Hell with the gringo crowd!". DM ranted something in Spanish and left the room. Good point, I thought, likely the panel might have tread more carefully. After all the show was using subtitles for anyone with a slight accent except Simon, they could have just subtitled him. You know that would have certainly changed the format up a bit. Better idea than that game show announcer intro at the beginning of the show. Ah well.
Meghan Joy (dropped the Corkery) gave her baby some face time in her bio. She cried on camera as well about how he's (certainly a cute little tot) the love of her life. Her MILF Mom spoke out too, explaining how Meghan was such a great Mom. Tragically the song choice was "Rocking Robin". You know, 'tweedlely deet, deet'. Meghan gave it some extra twist, twist doing her Sallie Josephine dance (last week's wrap up) with added sound effects. Well, maybe not the correct sound effects - she was singing about a little Robin but made 'caw, caw' sounds.
Darling Daughter was fascinated, she kept hollering, "I know that song! I know that song! We sang that song in like Kindergarten or First Grade!" She was so pumped that someone on Idol was singing a song she bopped around to in school. That's not saying anything complimentary about Meghan Joy but got her the win for the Vote for the Worst pick.
Then came Adam. In his bio immediately the stripe in his hair matching his shirt caught my eye and I actually let out a Squee. Why? I have no idea. My kid and Darling Man, who had returned to the room just looked at me and sighed. Coordinating hair color with clothing, much better than matching eyewear to clothing. It's like some kind of rock, paper scissors thing.
Lambert selected "Black and White"; no better fit out of the entire Jacko collection for him to perform.
Adam Lambert, "Black and White"
Paula lost her mind, sobbed out her undying love and adoration for Adam who likewise sprouted tears, naturally moved by her sodden ravings. I think one squeeked out of my eye, but then I've been emotional today. Randy reiterated Adam's "currentness", Kara and Simon bowed before the awesomeness that is Adam. I had to watch it multiple times. I don't even hate him for wearing Chris Daughtry's wallet chain.
Breaking out of my Adam reverie, I noticed that Matt Giraud was at the piano, doing the Justin Timberlake while he performed, "Human Nature". Judges loved him for what words did they use? Oh yeah: sexy, talented, justin timberlake - wait that's a name, something from Simon about what? meat and potatoes. That about summed up Matt: Justin Timberlake in a bowl of meat and potatoes, but in a slightly sexy let's make love with food kind of way. Which made me think of Mickey Rourke before those butchers of plastic surgery got hold of him. Not that Matt is Mickey Rourke but...the seed was planted.
Pimp spot goes to little Alexis Grace whom I rather liked when I saw her last. Likely it was the four glasses of wine (last night I had none) that first time out and her being somewhat different from the usual female Idol performer (Jasmine Murray). Unfortunately I wasn't loving Alexis so much last night. Perhaps it was because I was getting the vibe she was pigeon-holing herself as the 'dirty little minx' type this season. Perhaps I'm just a fickle beast. Alexis came out 'dirtied up' for "Dirty Diana". I do hope she pulls something else next week because once I found her charming, this time not so much. Of course, like I said it could have been the wine. Pimp spot should save her this week.
I've read conflicting stories about the eliminations for tonight. First I heard that two will go home tonight but now I'm hearing only one will actually leave. Simon promises something special and I certainly hope he wasn't talking just the guests tonight because I'm no fan of Kanye's. If I were to pick who I thought was out likely Jorge Nunez. Dude should have just belted out the song in Spanish.