So here we are. Almost to the end of our “journey.” I feel like I’m losing a friend. A three headed friend that combs their hair differently every week and smiles WAY too much.
Must. Keep. Smiling. For. Ever.
If we’re being honest with ourselves however, this week had about as much suspense as an episode of “The Cosby Show.” We all know the Cos will come out wearing some fruity, colorful sweater that only rich people in the ’80’s wore and dispense some useful fatherly advice to Theo. Or troubled Denise. Or that annoying white kid they introduced around the sixth season to make the show more interesting. And Mrs. Cosby and Vanessa will always be super annoying. Every single week. I think it would surprise no one with a pulse and television set that we’ve been gearing up for a head to head David-fest these past few weeks, especially when the producers and Randy Jackson are picking “songs” for our dear, doomed Syesha. Like Al Gore at a NASCAR race, she didn’t have a chance.
Yeah. This week is kind of like that.
So in case you missed the very special format presented to our top three kids, they will be singing, appropriately enough, three songs. One of their own selection, one from the judges, and one from the crappy producers that will suck and immediately usher one of the kids out the door to a life of relative obscurity. (Hello, Syesha! Good to have you here.)
Little David started us off this week and it was notable because this was the first week that he didn’t have his horrible stage dad that is living vicariously through his young son guardian with him to assist him in the arrangements of the song during the week. Apparently last week he got into a little bit of trouble when he forced young David to insert a line from Shawn Kingston’s ‘Beautiful Girl’ into his rendition of “Stand by Me”. Apparently this is a big deal as all songs that appear on the show have to be cleared and have royalties paid to the artists and publisher. Obviously singing three bars from an uncleared song could end up costing Idol some serious scratch. And after seeing their ratings, man, they are hurting for cash. They might need to put FOUR Coca-Cola cups on that desk instead of three just to make up for it. And good call on the producers here in “banning” his Dad, because I’m sure back in David’s little Idol hut, where he friggin’ LIVES with his father, they probably spend no time at all talking about the songs he’s going to perform, or the arrangements he should do or how his Dad and his jaunty cap are slowly sucking the life out of his teenage son day by miserable day. I’m sure they spend their days mostly playing catch and maybe braiding each other’s hair. I trust there’s absolutely no talk about song choice or arrangement until Davie hits the rehearsal space. Nice job, Idol!
So Paula’s intern Paula selected some Billy Joel drivel “And So It Goes” for his first song. He actually did a nice job with it, and remained his same boring self. David is quickly becoming the straight Clay Aiken of this season. He enjoys a nice ballad, makes sure he has hair covering his ears, says “Gosh” an AWFUL lot and he will probably come in second in this competition. And I have to admit when Paula called him a “storyteller” I got all goose bumpey. I just love stories! Especially when they’re told with enough Stevie Wonder runs to power a small country.
The “storyteller” in action. Paula is like a rare, priceless jewel. That you wouldn’t mind losing.
Trying to show that he’s actually a seventeen year old boy and not just a singing robot that his father manufactured in the garage, David then tries a Chris Brown “joint.” (If dorky Randy can say it, so can I.) Interesting side note, David and Chris Brown are close to the same age, but Chris Brown certainly seems like he could eat little Mr. Archuleta for breakfast. With a side of Frosted Flakes. And he dates Rihanna, a self-proclaimed maneater! I can’t imagine our little David even mustering up the courage to ask a girl on a date unless it’s through song. Without clearing it through his Dad first. When all was said and done though, I thought that he actually did a good job with this one, even though singing it goes against all of the cultural training that he’s had his entire life as a white Mormon kid from Utah. Not only did he have to refer to his “boo” twice, (and he probably had to look that one up on urbandictionary.com too) but he also had to move around awkwardly while trying really hard not to lick his lips while squinting seductively at the same time. There was a lot going on here in David’s little master class! It was much like a 13-year old me at a church dance. All limbs, no rhythm, weird hair and sheer awkwardness, but still the young ladies are drawn like a magnet to a bag of hammers. It’s hard being Davie.
Hip T-shirt? Check. Finger pointing to the crowd? Check. Obvious awkardness? Double check.
For his last song, the producers decided that he was about 43 years old and needed to sing Bread’s “Longer Than.” This song will certainly demonstrate how Davie can be a successful, current recording artist. In 1932 maybe, when every house had a phonograph and men wore derbies. Appropriately enough, he ditched his regular ensemble of t-shirt under a tiny, Members Only jacket and instead wore a nice button down shirt for this “more adult” selection. He even sang the whole thing while sitting down. Which we’ve all learned from watching this show means that you’re really trying to invade my personal space with eyeballs. Sit on a stool and you can pierce the audience’s heart. Just ask Kristy Lee “I Own All of the Stools On This Show” Cook. In other words Davie didn’t show me anything different, but when you eat a bologna sandwich you’re not expecting a Philly Cheesesteak. David is probably that one brand of bologna at the store that has the weird red seal around the edges. And maybe a pimento inside for good measure.
Next up was our dark horse, Syesha. She’s really going for it this week as not only did she keep the same wig from last week (successful) but she also made sure her dresses were even shorter than anything found in Haley Scarnato’s closet! (Which we all can agree, features hemlines shorter than our boy Seacrest. Now that’s short.) Randy selected “If I Ain’t Got You” from Alicia Keys, which is interesting because he consistently slams her for going for the big songs by established artists. Way to be hypocritical, Randy! But I suppose it’s understandable. With all of your years in the music biz, you only seem to be able to namecheck those stars that are heavily featured in the BMG Music Club Catalog, (of which I still need to purchase two full length albums to complete my agreement, thank you very much) like the Mariahs, Whitneys and Journeys of the music world. You still have everything on cassette, don’t you Randy?
Her next selection is one of her own choosing, “Fever.” Which is an interesting choice as the song is older than even Simon and is predominantly featured in high school talent shows. It did feature a chair however, that our girl Eesh was excited to “work” whatever that means. But after watching, I’ve determined that “working” a chair involves making me concerned the entire performance that I’m going to see a little bit more of Syesha than I bargained for as her dress is shorter than a Gary Coleman one act play. Syesha pulls out all of her dramatic-y, Broadway-ishy performance stylings and looks like she’s trying out for “Flashdance” and “The Color Purple” at the same time. If that’s even possible. And I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to see that. At all.
Working that poor, defenseless chair
Her last song was her death knell, her proverbial swan song. I can just imagine when she found out that she was singing a tuneless, little known song from a movie about PENGUINS that she was absolutely ecstatic. I can see her thoughts now: “Oh goodie. Of all the good songs out there that I could sing, they’re saddling me with a song that only a four year old would recognize.” I imagine that approaching the stage for what would obviously be her final song she probably felt like she was getting ready to sit herself down on the electric chair, or jump out of a plane with Randy Jackson on her back as the producers had screwed her just about that much.
Visiting her happy place. Where there are no songs about penguins.
And then finally our American Idol took the stage. Or so says Paula and her Vicodin addiction. David Cook was given some interesting songs and I have to say, I really liked the first choice. At least Simon is demonstrating that he has a grasp of semi-popular music, picking a song that would benefit the Cook’s voice. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack features both a really long title and a chanteuse who’s name sounds like a disease. (“Yeah, I got the robertaflack over in Tibet. I never thought it would burn this much!) I thought that Cook did a great job and he was able to prove that even though he’s “Rocker David” he can still sing a ballad that makes his Mom stand up the entire performance. I’m sure the rows behind you thank you, Mom.
Next he showed his sensitive side by strapping a flower (so sensitive!) onto his guitar neck as he played Switchfoot’s “Dare You to Move.” This would have been an interesting performance if he had more than 86 seconds to “tell his story.” These slow builders are always difficult on American Idol, especially when we’re trying to cram so much into an hour! I mean, Ryan only had time to pause for one second instead of his standard three awkward seconds after “This… (interminable pause) is American Idol!” (Smug look and roll the weird opening credits with robot people.)
Just about ready to close his eyes and grip the microphone. As he does every song.
Lastly, the producers selected, “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” which in case you didn’t know is one of the best written songs in the American songbook. It’s totally an American classic. Especially when it was in that crappy movie with Ben Affleck and the scene with the animal crackers. A classic. And Simon saying that has nothing to do with the fact that Diane Warren who wrote it, is sitting right behind him. Oh no. It’s totally one of the best songs ever. Right behind the theme to “Chariots of Fire” and anything that angels sing from the heavens. Seriously, I wish I would have known this in 1998 when the song came out, so I could have appreciated it more. Or if the movie attached to the song hadn’t of been so suckworthy, maybe I could have spent more time cherishing it. As it stands, David did a good take on this “classic” song and had a nice arrangement behind him with violins and horns and I think even a couple of poor dudes on a tambourine and a plunger respectively. They really pulled out all of the stops. I can only imagine if David had been given “Hit ’em Up” from some ridiculous penguin movie, he very well might have commissioned a lawyer right then and there. So of course the Cook won the night, and Simon ends up looking like a genius. A hairy chested genius. You finally got the matchup you wanted, bro. I hope your little 17-year old delivers.
A few additional takeaways from the results show I observed in between mouthfuls of Cheeto:
- I’m convinced that Fantasia is a space creature just renting a body until she is allowed to head back to her planet. Hot pink hair? A velveteen jumpsuit that would have been flattering on exactly NOBODY. Dancing around and screeching some strange song that probably only made sense to dolphins and bats? The fact that she is still wearing braces exactly four years after wearing them on American Idol. Who is your orthodontist? Are your teeth THAT jacked up? The look on Simon’s face was pricesless afterwards and only rivaled mine for pure disbelief at the absolute carnage I had just witnessed.
Please, strange planet. Call her home already.
- Apparently anyone can be a mayor in this great country of ours, and the bigger freak you are, the better chance you have of being elected. Mayor Snarr from Utah? Yeah, thanks buddy. You’ve done your part to set back the perception of Utah another fifty years. It’s bad enough that everyone thinks those unfortunate FLDS polygs in Day-Glo gunny sack dresses are from Utah, but now they also think we have saloons, shoot ’em ups and handle bar mustaches that you have to effing WAX! I’m surprised I leave the house anymore without my six shooter. Yeehaw! And then to top it off, the mayor of whatever burg Syesha comes from. (I can’t remember the name of her hometown because her turnout did not rival that of the David’s. By a long shot. e.g. “Oh. Here comes my song choice from Randy. I’m in a limo. Alone. Don’t worry that the other Davids discovered their songs in front of screaming, teeming masses. I’m alone in my limo. It’s quiet here. Peaceful. I imagine that solitary confinement is like this. Or the womb. Man, I really have no fans.”) Not only does this mayor lady get away with wearing a bright yellow top with purple pants (!) (before Labor Day, no less) but she busts out a handstand too. Right there in front of everyone, proudly showing off her Spanx! And she’s like 64! On a good day! I need to go into politics. In Florida.
- Did ya know that David Cook wasn’t even going to try out? Instead his significantly more nerdy (if that’s even possible) brother was the one trying out instead, and the Cook just came along to “keep him company.” If you believe that story. I think this is David trying to hold on to whatever cred he thinks he still has from being a bartender in Oklahoma. Which is slightly akin to being a shepherd on Mars, or a mayor in Florida, or Murray. He probably never even watched American Idol before this season and didn’t own an iPod before now because everything sounds better on vinyl. Our little Cook is such a pompous, smug rocker.
So shocker of shockers, Ms. Mercado was sent home. She had a good run, discovered some new hairstyles besides her normal Sideshow Bob and I’m sure learned a lot about herself. Like limousines are always more fun with a fan or two inside them. Instead of just yourself and a camera crew.
Hugging one of her eleven fans. Welcome home!
Next week is the David Thunderdome, and then you are all free to go about your lives. If I had one, I would as well.