April 1, 2008

Dolly Parton mentors the "American Idol" crowd.

Are you watching? It's on now.

ADDED: Dolly is very sweet and incredibly likable, but don't be fooled. She's just walking through this. We see her listening to the contestant play a song once and doing nothing more than applauding and hugging afterwards. Then, in a separate clip she says a few — scripted, I think — words of gentle praise. That is, she never actually mentored the contestant. She never listened critically, never gave any real advice or worked with the singer at all. As an "AI" mentor — and I only mean as an "AI" mentor — Dolly comes nowhere near Barry Manilow. Here's what I wrote about Barry on "AI" in 2006:
I just want to say how much I like Barry Manilow. Not his music, which isn't to my taste, but him as a person. Unlike Stevie Wonder and various other guests, he did not do the show to get the kids to sing his songs, and he took his role as a music teacher seriously. He really analyzed each performance and came up with concrete help and never seemed to be at all about self-promotion. I know you could say that this nice-guy thing is just his gimmick, but if it is, it works well, and maybe more people ought to try it.
Lulu and Peter Noone followed the Manilow model last year, so it's disappointing to see Dolly Parton slough it off like this. That she's a bigger star than Manilow, Lulu, or Noone is no excuse. If she chooses to do the show to leverage her popularity, she should play the game.

AND: I'll put tonight's performances in this order: David Archuleta, Carly Smithson, Michael Johns, David Cook, Jason Castro, Kristy Lee Cook, Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado. Now, I think Ramiele will be the one going home, because she sang such a nondescript song, and Syesha got to do "I Will Always Love You," which everyone knows and which gives a singer a lot of opportunity to show off — even if there is also the problem that, note for note, we will compare her performance to the famously brilliant Whitney Houston recording and think over and over again that she's falling short — way short. Syesha will get a lot of votes for singing that song, much as I hated it. But I don't even like hearing Whitney do it. I find it annoying. It's even annoying when Dolly sings it.

OOPS: I left Brooke White out of my ranking! Put her between David Cook and Jason Castro. Oh, now I'm thinking I got the whole thing wrong. Whatever....

43 comments:

Trooper York said...

No, I am listening, and Brooke sounds best so far. But Simon has to realize that he hates country and should admit he doesn't know what he is talking about.

Trooper York said...

Hey the Irish cow sounds pretty good. For a change.

Trooper York said...

Oooh, wardrobe tips from the guy with the nipple hugging t-shirts. Snap, snap girlfriend.

Trooper York said...

Hey it's Damien Archuleta next. Wouldn't it be cool if Paula hangs herself from the balcony and shouts as she jumps:
"It's all for you Damien Archuleta, it's all for you."

Well that won't happen, but we can always hope can't we.

al said...

Hey it's Damien Archuleta next. Wouldn't it be cool if Paula hangs herself from the balcony and shouts as she jumps:

It would be better if someone tossed Damien off the balcony... I don't know what people see in him.

After Kristy - I think Mr. Cook has done the best so far.

Trooper York said...

The cowgirl is mumbling. It sounds like it's her Kotex of many colors. That's just gross.

al said...

That should be after Kristy has finished singing. Cook is my fav so far.

Trooper York said...

Ooooh will it be the Witney Houston or the Dolly Parton version. And will she have to smoke crack while singing the Witney version. That would be interesting.

Trooper York said...

Well she hit the note, now if you can only hit the note and Bobby Brown on the head with a frying pan all at the same time, well then we will have something.

Best tits in the show though,(except for Dolly of course).

Trooper York said...

By the way, I can't spell Whitney, so I am not smarter than a fifth grader, or a first grader for that matter. Sorry teacher.

al said...

Michael Johns and David Cook were the two best IMO. Jason Castro was better than last week. Ramiele was ok. Carly was pretty good. She needs to cover the arm. Syesha hit the notes.

Please send David A. home!

al said...

And for those not watching Dancing with the Stars - Steve Guttenburg is dancing the tango with his partners husband.

Priceless.

ricpic said...

Barry Manilow is all the borscht belt busboys
Whoever dreamed of making it big
Sneaking a cig between the first and second sittings
At Grossinger's on those hot bugswirling summer nights
In The Catskills --
And he did! the miracle happened, for him, if not for them
And that was enough, that was enough.
God Bless You, Barrilla.

titusmusicofthenight said...

The Birds are on TCM.

Run Tippi, Run Tippi.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Wheres' Cathy? Where's Cathy?

Yells Tippi Hendron.

Tour De Force by Tippi.

Some bitch in the coffee shop blames poor Tippi for bringing the birds to Bodega Bay. How mean.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Annie the teach saved poor little Cathy.

She pushed her inside the school and the birds killed Annie.

How tragic.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Jessica Tandy as the mother-pure Strasberg.

titusmusicofthenight said...

There is quite an age difference between little Cathy and Mitch.

Jessica Tandy must of still been horny to pop out little Cathy that late in life.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Little Cathy wants her lovebirds that Tippi gave her but the mother adamently says no-THEIR BIRDS!

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

You forgot Brooke White in your rankings!

Syesha was excellent in the first half (the "Dolly" half), not so excellent in the second. I'm biased, though, because I love the original version of that song and dislike the Whitney version. She should've just stuck with the Dolly version, which would've been more appropriate since it was Dolly night. Syesha's voice sounded very thin when she was trying to do Whitney, and she's not even as good as most of the Whitney-ites who've been on the show. I think they should've given that song to Jason Castro and let him do it the original way.

titusmusicofthenight said...

OH no! The birds are back. They are coming through the windows and pecking the front door.

Run Tippi, Run Tippi.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Why are they attacking? Why are they killing people?

Why? Why? Why?

titusmusicofthenight said...

Wait their gone....

titusmusicofthenight said...

No Tippi, don't go upstairs.

No Tippi, please, don't do it.

Lovebirds are still ok, phew.

Tippi, stop I am begging you!

titusmusicofthenight said...

Tippi, no, don't go in the bedroom.

Stop, stop, please stop Tippi.


Oh Shit-Tippi is being attacked in the bedroom.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Right now Tippi is getting the shit beat out of her by a bunch of gulls.

Her hair is a mess.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Tippi's fabulous green suit is in shatters.

Dumb bitch. Told you not to go upstairs.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Oh Tippi just woke while Mitch was taking care of her wounds and she still thought she was being attacked by the birds. Batting them away when they weren't even there.

Fabulous acting on Tippi's part there.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Dumb Cathy wants to bring the lovebirds into the car because they haven't harmed anyone-I completely agree. It wouldn't be fair to leave the lovebirds.

Ohhh, one last peck of a bird on Mitches ankles before they drive off.

Fantastic.

titusmusicofthenight said...

Next up Marnie, with Tippie Hendron.

How exciting, love Marnie.

rhhardin said...

Meantime I found another nice YouTube Tibetan song, and added it to the front of my growing collection.

It there's soap opera there, at least you can't understand it.

It's like choosing Spanish at the U-scan, so that you don't have to feel you're being talked down to. At worst you're being babbled at.

Operas would be better in Tibetan.

Ralph said...

Jessica Tandy must of still been horny to pop out little Cathy that late in life.
Isn't it obvious that Cathy is Mitch's love-child?

Nihimon said...

Again, I was incredibly impressed with David Cook's voice.

Michael Johns sounded better than I've heard him since he sang Bohemian Rapsody in the auditions.

Did anyone else think Kristy Lee looked like she took Dolly saying "You'll make your mother proud" as a back-handed compliment? Maybe she thought Dolly was saying "... and no one else.." too? At any rate, I enjoyed it. Not great, but ok.

I also very much enjoyed the first part of Syesha's performance, although I think Ramiele could have really made a statement if she'd tried to sing the Whitney version. Rami has a great voice, but she picks songs that don't do anything for it. Maybe she's stuck picking songs that she likes to *listen* to instead of songs she can sing well.

Brooke overshot, I think. She tried to do Dolly's biggest song, and the comparison was not remotely favorable. I also thought I detected in Dolly's reaction to her choice a bit of a challenge... kind of an "Oh, you think you can sing *that* song, do you?"

David Archuleta is a one-trick pony, and I've grown terribly bored with that trick.

I don't even remember whose performances I'm forgetting...

Spread Eagle ® said...

I liked Whitney as much as anyone, but to diss on Syesha or anyone else for not singing that song live onstage as well as Whitney's overproduced studio cut version is preposterous.

Modern Otter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Modern Otter said...

It's odd, but despite her stardom and writing productivity, I can't think of that many songs from Dolly's catalog that were grievously overlooked last night. I was kind of relieved not to hear "9 to 5." Did I detect a tinge of dismay from Dolly when somebody did "Here You Come Again" (a Mann/Weil song, not a Dolly original)?

Too bad the Idol format doesn't lend itself to recitations, like this classic one from Dolly's early years.

Trooper York said...

Hey David Cook had a heart attack last night and got rushed to the hospital.

If he needs a transplant, he should ask for Simon's heart, it got very low milage since it ain't been used much.

TMink said...

Dolly overbooks herself and has a tendency to walk through things without investing herself. She leans on being Dolly the celebrity rather than Dolly the songwriter and singer.

Shame really, she has a deep soul and out of this world talent, but many many people are willing to be satisfied with her just her presence instead of her talent and focus. It must be difficult for her in that way, her public is so easily satisfied because of their deep emotional attachment and resonance with her GOOD, deep work.

God bless you Dolly, but quite phoning it in!

Trey

SteveR said...

Businesswoman Dolly at work last night, she has an album to promote. So we got "mentor-lite". I can't fault Syesha for doing IWALY, its one of those songs that many people hate, no matter who sings it, and most people criticize whenever anyone does. But she buys herself another week, unlike Rameile, who is surely gone.

TMink said...

Quit, Quite, Quiet, I really do no the difference between these words. Honest. I just wish I posted like I knew. Sorry.

Trey

MadisonMan said...

The yellow dress looked better on Syesha than on Brooke.

MadisonMan said...

The yellow dress looked better on Syesha than on Brooke.

blake said...

Katey Sagal (deliberately) butchers "the greatest love song ever written" on an episode of "Futurama".

"The humans are attacking!"

Apart from that, and a few strains (heh) from the trailer to The Bodyguard, I've never heard it.