American Idol: Top 8 Men

So we start off with Blake Lewis, who sings that “All Mixed Up” song by 311. I recognize the song as being from an era when 1) I actually listened to pop music, but 2) when pop music was at least partially dominated by cool alternative rock and wasn’t all that bad. He’s in his lower range, which makes him sound less nasal and just generally a whole lot better. There’s a part where he appears to forget his words, or maybe that was just him covering up for some not-so-primetime-ready lyrics. Aside from some beatboxing around the word “ass” and in other parts here and there, the song is a little safe. I think he’s capable of more. Randy calls Blake the “first current artist” they’ve had on the show (throwin’ Daughtry under the bus already, huh?), and didn’t recognize the song. Whaa? Dude, even I recognize that song. Paula didn’t recognize it, either, but loved it anyway. And Simon didn’t understand a word Blake sang, but liked it anyway.

Okay, I have to say, I love that little anti-drug commercial where the cartoon pothead is too lazy to walk his cartoon dog, and the cartoon dog thinks “you disappoint me,” then leaves to raise his little cartoon dog flag. It’s freakin’ awesome. So shut up.

The stylists have worked a little hot-iron magic on Sanjaya Malakar. His secret talent is…doing the hula. Oh, dear. (“What you didn’t know about me” is theme this week, like it was at this time last year. Blake’s secret was his penchant for improv comedy.) Sanjaya is bringing us some “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer. You know, this song, while excellent, is also depressing as shit, and yet Sanjaya plods through it with a smile that is up to McPhee-like levels of inappropriateness. He attempts a huge run, and misses it horribly. Randy and Simon agree that while it wasn’t as bad as last week, Sanjaya’s lost his spark. Paula tells him to step up his game.

Sundance Head’s secret is that he’s secrety a skinny, sexy dude, and that he wears a fat suit to remain anonymous. Heh. People who hate him are going to jump on him for being arrogant for that remark; I think it was a cute way to acknowledge that he might not have any other interesting thing going on for him. He sings Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” while rocking a tiny fauxhawk (heh) and doing that gritty-growly thing. Only thing is, he doesn’t do gritty-growly as well as Taylor Hicks, or Bo Bice, or even Chris Daughtry. Okay, he’s better than last week, I think, but it’s not great, and his enunciation is very mumbly. Randy likes the Southern-rock spin, as does Paula, but Simon is less than impressed. I don’t think he totally hates it, but he thinks that Sunny shouted his way through the song. Well, yeah. It’s Pearl Jam.

Travis Tritt is in the audience. We care because Randy Jackson is producing it, apparently. Heh. Look what synergy can do for you! Chris Richardson used to play football in college and was chubby, but has since lost forty pounds. Chris continues his one-man crusade to channel Justin Timberlake via Elliott Yamin by perching on a stool and tackling a Keith Urban ballad that reveals just how truly thin and annoying his voice actually is. Proving once again that he is a friggin’ moron, Randy loves it. Paula is creaming over it. Can Simon be the voice of reason here? Not really. He thought it was good and “cutesy,” calls Chris out on his nasally tone (thank God), but says that in the end, Chris “sold it.” Ugh — I’m beginning to detect the first whiffs of the stench of TCO-dom hovering over Chris Richardson’s head. And I don’t like it.

Next we have Jared “It’s for the ladies” Cotter is just too fucking smooth for his own damn good, isn’t he? He played college basketball, but quit to do music. He sings Stevie’s “If You Really Love Me,” which is my all-time favorite Stevie song, and he ridiculously plays to the camera and hops and “woo!s” and I think it was pretty bland. Randy calls it “solid,” Paula didn’t really like it and says that he needs to work on coloring up the way he sings and using his vocal abilities to convey more emotion. Simon agrees, saying that the performance wasn’t very original and lacked the “wow factor.” I agree. Jared has some so-smooth-they’re-creepy moves, but when push comes to shove, he’s just boring.

Ryan chats up Brandon and Phil about the judges. Phil says that he hopes the judges remember how much he loves each of them dearly. Hee. I like Phil, even if his voice isn’t the most original.

Brandon Rogers’ secret is that he’s a classical pianist. He sings “I Just Wanna Celebrate” by Rare Earth. It’s a much better than last week, but I’m still not getting the star quality vibe from him, and his voice blends in with the background singers just too well. His voice cracks on the run at the end, and Randy picks up on something weird. He calls it “solid.” Paula calls it “phenomenal” and says Brandon is proving why he belongs on the stage. Simon says he doesn’t think Brandon is representing himself well, in that he’s one of the better singers. Simon says the song didn’t have enough of a hook and that he’s nervous for Brandon this week. Ryan asks Brandon if he’d do anything to win, Brandon answers in the affirmative, and many weird facial expressions ensue.

Phil Stacey rips off Chris Daughtry’s secret from last year and reveals that he once had hair. He’s singing — get this — “I Need You” by Leann Rimes. It starts off horribly, as Phil really has no lower range. And to be honest, I don’t think he ever hits his stride. He cracks on a high note, his vocals sound forced, and he looks into the camera at the end, knowing (or at least suspecting) that he’s blown it. Randy says it was “aight” overall, and that Phil reminds him of Steve Perry from Journey (Journey name-drop!), but to work on his lower range. Paula tells him to work on his lower range and that it wasn’t his best performance. Simon criticizes Phil’s “big eyes” and says that the entire package was very strange. Up the game, Simon commands. Yeah, guys. I kind of hope Phil doesn’t go, because he’s one of my favorite personalities, at least. He concedes that the song choice wasn’t great. Simon and Ryan do their weekly tap-dance of thinly-veiled homoeroticism.

Carrie Underwood will perform Thursday night. Hooray for bland and nondescript! That’s what this show specializes in.

Chris Sligh’s secret? No, it’s not Herbal Essence, though it is about his hair. It used to be short. Bah. Who gives a flying fuck? He sings DC Talk’s “We All Wanna Be Loved,” and…eh. I’ve never really been impressed with his voice (though he did sound nice on “Trouble” last week). I admit, I have a hard time getting past his prominent lisp. Oh yes, he has a very nice and well-controlled voice, but tonally I don’t find anything particularly interesting about it. I also think he’s more image over substance. Randy says it wasn’t his favorite song choice, but that it was the best vocal of the night. Paula didn’t really like it much, saying that the performance was “middle of the road” and that Chris needs to grow vocally. Chris asks if it was better than last week, and Paula says no. Simon kind of agrees, says that it wasn’t a hook song and that Chris shouted his way through. Chris apologizes for not “bringing it,” and the camera cuts to Simon with that “bitch please” expression on his face I love so much. Chris demands a hug from Ryan, which makes Simon’s eyes light up in devilish glee.

Wow. What a boring night. Can I even pick bests and worsts? Let me try.

Best of the night: Hmm. Tough pick. I’m gonna have to go with Blake Lewis. The performance was way safe, but it was the only one that interested me.
Worst of the night: Smarmy Chris Richardson and his smarmy, nasal voice and his smarmy smile. Look, I’m sure he’s a really nice guy, and he and Blake Lewis seem to be the new Laverne and Shirley and all that, but…meh. His voice is week and he sounds like a little girl, and I don’t know what the judges are smoking when they give him those freakin’ tongue baths.

End credits. The judges say that only four guys really deserve to be in the final 12. A drummer dances with a back-up dancer. And who is that plastic, shiny woman sitting next to Travis Tritt?


7 Responses to “American Idol: Top 8 Men”

  1. 1 blarz March 6, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    The 311 song is titled “All Mixed Up”, not What I Got.

  2. 2 Betty March 6, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Yeah, the 311 song is “All mixed up” and the lyrics you quote are from Sublime’s “What I got”. But he was covering up for a couple choice words.

  3. 3 idolicious March 7, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Thanks guys…knew I recognized the song, but I was off. Yeah, at the beginning, I was all “ooh, Sublime!” :-)

  4. 4 DR March 7, 2007 at 9:19 am

    And again your dislike of Chris Richardson shows…. Chris was never 40lbs overweight (Where do you get this shit from?) Let me guess Chris Sligh is the next American Idol right? Will you buy a ticket to this guy’s concert? neither would I, your an idiot.

  5. 5 idolicious March 7, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Nope, DR, the “share a secret” segment had Chris reveal that he was overweight and lost 40 lbs. by eating healthily. Said it right there on the show. He looks great. He sounds terrible.

  6. 6 OsirisShotDown March 7, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Oh, wow, Idolicious. The dumb-ass crazies are coming out to play. Better watch your idiotic back.

    Where in the world would you get something like Chris R having been 40 pounds overweight? I mean, I know he said it on the show and there were, like, even pictures of him as a chubtub, but it’s still, like, totally not true. He was always skinny, skeevy and scrawny! You just made your own “share a secret” clip to replace his “share a secret” clip, didn’t you? You totally photoshopped those pictures of his svelte, foot-balling self to add, oh, about 40 extra pounds, didn’t you? You’re totally evil. Chris R. is totally awesome and I love his off-key Timberfaking self. He’s going to totally be even bigger than DAUGHTRY!!!1!1 and Kat could ever even DREAM of being! You’re just jealous, aren’t you? You… you… IDIOT!

    Can you tell I’m bored? And avoiding work? Shhhhh… don’t tell anyone…

  1. 1 Chris Rock Comedy » chris rock March 6, 2007 10:26 pm Trackback on March 6, 2007 at 10:30 pm
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March 2007
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What the kids are sayin’

"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."

"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."

"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "

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