April 14, 2009

"This... is Quentin Tarantino." "And this... is 'American Idol.'"

I'm live-blogging this one, kids. Quentin Tarantino is guest-judging. I loved him in '04 — "JPL, you are the geekiest rock singer since Freddie and the Dreamers--all right?--but when you get into your geek mode--all right?--there's no one quite like you" — and I'm thrilled to see him back tonight.

7:01: Kara DioGuardi doesn't know what "provocative" means. And — wait — Tarantino isn't a guest judge. He's somehow "guiding" the contestants.

7:06: "The idea is to direct them."

7:07: Allison Iraheta is singing "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." (The theme is music from movies.) Q thinks she's gonna do a great job. She shrieks about watching "you" sleep. The judges talk about spicy sauce (because she's Hispanic?). Simon says she's the girls' only hope, disrespecting Lil.

7:15: Anoop Desai does "Everything I Do I Do For You," and I realize I've long thought of it as the same song as "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Just move the words around a little and get your instant movie generic love song. Q wants Anoop to growl out the words. Q punches the air to demonstrate and, with that big jaw of his, he looks like Popeye. Anoop has a nice tone to his voice and he's modestly soulful.

7:20: Q only "got a taste" of Adam Lambert, who's doing "Born to Be Wild," and he's excited about tasting the whole thing. Adam is going to take the world in a love embrace. I just love this guy. Very thrilling and cool performance. (Hey, did I ever tell you I saw Steppenwolf in concert in 1970?) Simon tries to criticize him by saying "It was a little like watching the 'Rocky Horror' musical in parts." And Adam's all "I love that musical!"

7:29: "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman." Incredible. I've also long thought of that as the same song as "Miss a Thing"/"Everything I Do." Is everything by Bryan Adams? Matt Giraud, the boring guy who's supposed to remind us of Justin Timberlake. Q tells him to enunciate. He's pretty bad.

7:39: Danny Gokey is doing "Endless Love" and Q's advice is to put his hands in his pockets. Which he isn't doing. Blah. I hate this. Maybe I just hate everything now that Adam is gone. Simon gives him a boost by alluding to Gokey's dead wife — the song must have been "hard" for him to sing.

7:49: Kris Allen is doing some song I've never heard of from a movie I didn't quite catch the name of. Something about a sinking boat. Q has nothing interesting to say to him. The judges are judging 2 at a time, which means we only get to hear from Simon with every other performer. I guess it would be too mean to just kick Kara off the show, but that would be a much better way to save time.

7:59: Lil Rounds — who I said they were overpromoting — is given the finale spot, and she's singing "The Rose" — which Trooper York said Allison should sing. Q tells her to commit to both parts of the song, not just the gospel half. Tedious. Simon tells her she's "getting this completely wrong." And he's been telling her that over and over and he's "getting frustrated." Lil talks back. "I put it in there" she raves as the TiVo times out. So that's the last thing a lot of people will hear. Maybe some will like the feistiness, but it's dangerous to sass the judges on this middle of the road show, even when what they're telling you is — as Simon said just now — that you're too middle of the road.

8:02: I'm predicting Matt is out.

61 comments:

Bob_R said...

Tarantino is a great choice for this. He made Uma dancing fully dressed to a Niel Diamond song one of the sexiest things on film. if he can do that for one of these guys the sky is the limit.

Saul said...

Kris sang a song from the movie Once. I think the song won an Oscar. I thought Kris had the best performance of the night.

phx said...

So was Steppenwolf like your first concert? Loved that Nick St. Nick. My first was a triple bill in 1972 I think: Jethro Tull, Canned Heat and Ike and Tina Turner. And not to be disrespectful, but Idol is a small thrill compared to the music of the seventies (and the seventies weren't all that great).

Ann Althouse said...

"So was Steppenwolf like your first concert?"

No, my first concert was The Byrds. In 1966.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Is this where Meade starts to have second thoughts?

phx said...

My wife doesn't let me watch Idol in any case. So I never really know what all the talk around the water cooler - or live blogging - is about. Maybe THAT'S why my career has faltered so. I never saw The Byrds but I saw Roger McGuinn when he came through with Rolling Thunder. At that point, The Byrds were a spent dream.

Trooper York said...

Anoop is a goner.

Trooper York said...

You see you have to have a natural rooting section and he has no one. He is just a nasty yuppie from Duke. I think 88 professors signed a petition to get him off Idol.

Trooper York said...

Allison should have sung the "Rose" she could have given it the full Janis Joplin vibe.

Trooper York said...

Lil has to knock it out of the park. I suggest "Sisters are doing it for Themselves" in the Annie Lennox version. That will be right up her alley.

John K. said...

I think Kara DioGuardi is doing a fine job as a judge. Seems like it wouldn't be too tough to put a clock on the two lady judges to keep them from yammering on and on.

Has there ever been an American Idol season where one of the contestants stood this far above the rest of the pack? I hope Lil goes next, though Matt hasn't been very impressive lately either. I predict Adam, Allison and Kris as the top three.

It's interesting that this week Adam sang the only rockin song, while all the other contestants sang boring and mellow crap. He thus distinguished himself from the borefest going on around him this week, and also distinguished himself from his own last two sweet but awesome performances. During the show I thought the same thing as Ann: now that Adam has performed, why am I even watching the rest of the show. If AI was smart, they'd have him perform last every show.

Trooper York said...

Matt should have went crooner. He could have done "High Hopes" or "Luck be a Lady Tonight" from Guys and Dolls. I mean just because it is movie music doesn't mean you can't do a song from a musical.

Trooper York said...

I mean I bet Adam would have done a bang up job on "Maria" from West Side Story.

Or he could dress up like a nun and do "Climb Every Mountain."

Trooper York said...

Now Danny should have done the theme from "Ben" because he is a rat faced mo-fro.

Trooper York said...

Now I would have paid cash money to see someone do the theme from "Shaft."

If Mort was awake he would say that Shaft was a bad mother...
(hush your mouth)...but he's talking about Shaft.

Trooper York said...

I do think that if Danny is going to win he needs to actually bring his wife's corpse out onto the stage.

Or maybe he can borrow Joan Rivers from the Celebrity Apprentice because she looks enough like a corpse to pass and she probably smells better. Well marginally better.

Trooper York said...

I have the perfect song for Lil. "Goldfinger." Man she could get all dressed up in gold like Beyonce did in that Austin Powers bullshit. She has the pipes to do a Shirley Bassey.

Or as an alternative "To Sir with Love."

Trooper York said...

I mean could have done "Lets here it for the Boy" from Footloose.

Trooper York said...

Wait a minute. I think I am channeling Lem or that dude from Blogging heads who post every other comment. I will shut up now.

Palladian said...

My first concert was Vladimir Horowitz in 1986... The repetoire was generally too heavy on the Romantics even for me at a young age, but it was still exciting. What are you guys talking about again?

Revenant said...

My first concert was Bruce Springsteen's "Darkness on the Edge of Town" tour.

The first concert I paid for myself as an adult was They Might Be Giants.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Whoever gets voted off, they should make a show of taking them out Tarantino style, with tons of stage blood.

Jason (the commenter) said...

The first concert I paid for myself as an adult was They Might Be Giants.I love They Might Be Giants. The first concerts I went to were for Phish, not for the music, but to watch all the people do drugs. People died!

Xmas said...

My first concert was Iron Maiden with Anthrax as the opening act.

I was a late bloomer...

(Run to the HILLLLSSSS. Run For Your LIEEFFFFFEEE)

MadisonMan said...

I'll have to watch AI at work tomorrow I guess, since I was running around tonight driving kids around.

I absolutely loathe and detest Endless Love. Endless Schlock is more like it. Put the Go in Gokey!

Peter V. Bella said...

My first concert was the TW4. They ater changed their name to Styx.

ondeafears.com said...

Trooper York was dead on that Allison should have done "The Rose." Live blogging at my place, I wrote the exact same thing when Lil was doing it.

What a stinky episode. Like Ms. Althouse, I remember how much fun the previous QT episode was. This one was just lame all the way around, except for Adam and maybe Kris.

I've been lurking around here for a long time. It takes an American Idol post to get me to finally leave a comment. I'm as lame as the show was tonight!

Meade said...

"Is this where Meade starts to have second thoughts?"

Jeff with one 'f': Our first date was where I had second thoughts. Our second date was where I had first thoughts.

Besides, my own first pop/rock concert was MC5 along with the Amboy Dukes. Second concert was Jefferson Airplane with BB King.

We're old.

dick said...

My first concert was The Step Brothers, Peter Nero and Judy Garland in 1966. Fabulous beyond words. Never saw a performer who could connect to an audience like Judy - ever!!

PJ said...

the Amboy Dukes


Okay, now I envy you.

Ann Althouse said...

"I remember how much fun the previous QT episode was."

Yeah, he was better as a judge, spontaneous and unedited.

Ron said...

I said to hell with my third thoughts, my brain is headin' home! Good thing that's not Clemente in right...

Horowitz in '86? Wasn't that just after he left one of those incarnations of Yes? Or was that BOC?

Beth said...

I rarely bother to say anything mean about a performer or song, not wanting to engage in a conversation where I end up hurting someone's feelings, someone who loves said things.

But now's the time.

I hate Bryan Adams. I hate his stupid songs. Althouse instinctively edits the title to "Everything I Do, I Do For You" but it's "Everything I Do, I Do It For You." Why is that damned IT there? Because it fits the measure. Write something better that ALSO fits. Stupid, and irritating. More so, because the song is insipid.

While I'm at it, I hate Phil Collins, too. For years, every Oscars included Phil Collins nasally simpering some god-awful crap nominated for Best Song. Garrhhhh. Then Sting took over that role, but at least he had an actual musical past. Collins ruined Genesis. Some history.

And just for good measure, they're all in the same league as whatever hack warbles "Lady in Red."

That sums up a whole lot of my musical irritation, right there. I'll even hum along with "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" before I'll willingly listen to any of the above. I hope I didn't pee in anyone's Wheaties, but something just went off, and here you have it.

PatCA said...

I was surprised that they did pick such overdone shlocky songs. Hate Endless Love. If I liked Adam, I would have liked his performance, but...

I love the movie Once and the song that Kris sang!
http://www.foxsearchlight.com/once/

Lem said...

My first was (9) Madonna at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ. 1987

It started raining in the middle of the concert but she still did all of the hit numbers up to that time.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is this where Meade starts to have second thoughts?"

What's that supposed to mean? That I'm old? My age has never been a secret. And how old do you imagine Meade to be? Clue: He's old too!

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Is this where Meade starts to have second thoughts?"

What's that supposed to mean? That I'm old? My age has never been a secret. And how old do you imagine Meade to be? Clue: He's old too!"

Ha, no, it was a joke about your enthusiastic liveblogging of Idol... it would never occur to me to make an age joke about your union.

Or any joke about it at all, come to think of it. I'm about to hit 40 and I met my 35-year old girlfriend online, so who am I to judge?

My first concert that I paid for was Billy Idol's Rebel Yell Tour when I was 13. Thursday night I will fulfill a lifelong dream and see Throbbing Gristle perform in Brooklyn!!!!

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

I predict no one gets eliminated this week. They have to use the judge's save this week, next week, or not at all. It would seem weird to not use the save at all after talking about it so much, and not using it also decreases the number of episodes, so it seems really unlikely that they won't use it. But if they use it next week--the last week they are allowed to use it--it'll seem more like they're just doing it because it's the last time they can. So, they probably feel like their only option is to use it this week. And of the seven people left, there probably isn't anyone in the group that they couldn't justify using it on.

Here's a quick rundown of what I thought about each performance:

Allison was probably the best of the night, and clearly she and Adam are the best two of the group.

Anoop was boring as always.

Adam did some of the most technically impressive and challenging vocals he's done so far. Musically, I didn't really care for the reworking of the chorus of that song (Born To Be Wild). I really don't like when people "update" songs by eliminating the dynamic changes in the music and making everything seem more generic and washed-out. It's probably supposed to be more club-friendly and more full-sounding, but that pretty much destroys what is interesting about the actual song.

Matt was ok. I don't really remember it that well.

Danny continues his heaven theme by having some woman play a HARP right next to him. I've realized he sings/interprets every song in the exact same way. And this time he didn't even pull it off very well. I think it's possible he could be in the bottom 3 this week.

Kris is also in danger. He, Danny, and Adam are the ones who've never been in the bottom. Kris was sort of my 3rd favorite for a while but I thought he sucked.

Lil is not even close to good enough. She should be great. She's the top black woman of the season on a show that usually has at least one great black female singer, AND she has a great name. But she really, really pales by comparison to nearly every black female singer who's been on the show before. She tried to do a gospel-infused thing this time. Watch her do it and imagine how it would sound if Jennifer Hudson were doing it. But Lil really tries to belt her head off. The judges tell her she's a great singer, but she isn't. She was born with a naturally large voice, but she has no idea what to do with it. There's a lot more to singing than just the natural size of the voice. I feel bad for her though, because I feel like she's belting as hard as she can and can't figure out why it isn't good enough.

The Crack Emcee said...

"I'm about to hit 40 and I met my 35-year old girlfriend online, so who am I to judge?"Hilarious: Here you all are, on a thread about a show where "judging" is the whole idea - and most of you are judging the show, the judges, the guest director and the performances - yet you guys, almost instinctively, keep assuming this (totally fake) non-judgmental pose, like it'll say anything about you but "I'm a hypocrite". I mean, you do make decisions, don't you?

"Thursday night I will fulfill a lifelong dream and see Throbbing Gristle perform in Brooklyn!!!!"Boy, you must have made a judgment they rock, huh? Good for you. I agree: They do. And, as the only person to mention a decent alternative band on this thread, I'm giving you a pass on the non-judgmental thing: Just don't do it again.

My first concert was KISS. My best friend and I won an art contest promoting their "KISS Meets The Phantom" TV special (I drew Gene Simmons and John painted Paul Stanley) and we got to go backstage and meet the band, take photos, eat their food, and everything. It was such a short chat with the band, though, I cussed out Gene Simmons for being a tool of his handlers and he got all sad behind his make-up and said, "Sorry, kid." before being hustled out the room. (To this day, John still looks at me in awe and says, "I can't believe you did that.") Hey - I say what has to be said:

Fuck the bullshit.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Here you all are, on a thread about a show where "judging" is the whole idea - and most of you are judging the show, the judges, the guest director and the performances - yet you guys, almost instinctively, keep assuming this (totally fake) non-judgmental pose"

Don't take this the wrong way, but you remind me of a pet poodle I used to have.

Look, I am going to be completely honest here. That was a dreadful attempt at a troll.

If you had lived 2,000 years ago and trolled like that, I think they would have stoned you. You have the personality of a handle. What do you think we are looking for – a two-year-old who can't zing?

You can go on any thread on any number of minor blogs and find dozens of people doing it just as well. That simply wasn't good enough for Althouse.

Sorry.

Ann Althouse said...

Chris, they're not going to use the save to save Matt. If it's someone who they know will be weeded out in the end, they'll have some drama over thinking about using the save, but then not use it.

Then, they've still got the tension for the next 2 weeks.

I think they will only use the save for Adam, Danny, or Allison, and I don't think any of them will be on the bottom today.

Xmas said...

dick,

Too bad Judy could never connect with her daughter. If there is a better example of a woman marrying badly because of mommy issues...

hdhouse said...

....my takeaway on all this is absolute surprise that someone/anyone/smartones/etc. watch this modern version of talent scouts from the 50s.

surely beavis and butthead is playing somewhere ....

Jennifer said...

Adam is still not my personal cup of tea, but I don't think there's ever been an idol contestant with as much stage presence as the dude has in the tip of one pinky finger.

I think Anoop is gone.

My first concert was Yellowman. No one has ever heard of the albino reggae guy, so this pronouncement is basically a non-statement.

The Crack Emcee said...

"You can go on any thread on any number of minor blogs and find dozens of people doing it just as well. That simply wasn't good enough for Althouse."Y'know, it's funny but what some call "trolling", others call independence of thought. I'm interested in music, but not the utter crap paraded on American Idol, and I'm not nearly as interested in that crap as I am the stupidity of contemporary human behavior, AKA NewAge thinking - with it's many useless defenses and defenders - of which you are now one. So I say may piece on what's of related interest - hardly a troll.

Your punk ass just don't like it.

HdHouse,

....my takeaway on all this is absolute surprise that someone/anyone/smartones/etc. watch this modern version of talent scouts from the 50s.

surely beavis and butthead is playing somewhere ....
Exactly. Though, now that I'm getting that Althouse is a liberal wanna be artist or something (photos? Ooh, tough calling) the apparent shallowness is starting to make more sense. I'd heard she was a conservative. I'd love to meet a popular conservative artist who wasn't a Ted Nugent (though I like TN). I guess I'll just have to keep looking.

Shit.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dear Ann,

I want to say this publicly, because I just had a moment and - as a fellow you artist, you know we come in all stripes - I'm sorry for publicly insulting you the way I do, but, yea, you strike me as a shallow one, and, while I'll still read you (you do pick up on things) I won't comment on you again. I promise.

It's just that I expected something more,...

-- CMC

SteveR said...

My first concert (1971) was Three Dog Night. I was 14 and it was also the first time I smoked pot.

As for last night, I liked Allison. If Adam would just sing I might be able to like him more but all that "entertaining" business isn't going to make me want to listen to him. None of the others interest me in the least.

MadisonMan said...

I think the last 3 standing will be Allison, Kris and Adam. Which probably means Kris will get voted off tonight. :)

Of the remaining, I think the judges will try to save Danny (retch) or Lil (sings flat) if they are voted off (I don't think Allison or Adam will be voted off, but if they are, they'll be saved also).

I think overall there is less talent this year than last. The singers are less interesting as well.

PJ said...

I think overall there is less talent this year than last. The singers are less interesting as well.I agree, but I would have said the opposite early in the season. I think there has been less improvement over the course of the season this year than in the past. Nobody's getting noticeably better, and a few are getting noticeably worse.

Meade said...

"...I'll still read you (you do pick up on things) I won't comment on you again. I promise."

First Titus and now Crack Emcee? Say it ain't so.

PatCA said...

Chris,
I would just disagree with you on Danny because of his version of Pretty Young Thing. I loved it!

And Adam's persona is that of an actor playing a rock star rather than just being a rock star, like, say, Allison. So that's what puts me off. He would be great in the theater.

aredhead said...

My first concert was the Rolling Stones in Chicago. I have not watched Idol at all this season.
Jennifer: I know Yellowman. They were on the soundtrack of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I tracked down their name and bought their album.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

It's a real shame that they didn't let Quentin Tarantino participate in the judging. They only had two go at a time, they couldn't have a third w/ Quentin? He looks like he has something he wants to say.

MadisonMan said...

I was just checking out dial idol -- Kris is at the bottom and according to them, only Gokey is safe!

But Kris was at the bottom last week, too, and he wasn't even bottom 3!

Gabriel said...

By the way, check out the difference between the number of posts and views for Adam Lambert on Television Without Pity versus the amount for everyone else.

I don't like to hear about Dial Idol until after the results show. First of all, it seems like a spoiler, but second, it's very often not accurate. We only know the bottom three, not how everyone else ranks, and they only measure busy signals. How do you know they don't have more lines open for the people who generally get more votes? Kris was at the bottom last week on Dial Idol but was safe. I suspect that they saw him as a frontrunner and gave him more lines than the others, and that he got fewer votes than the producers expected, but that that was still more than the people at the bottom. Adam Lambert might have been given a huge number of lines because they saw early on how big his voting group is.

MadisonMan said...

Sorry Gabriel, but in my defense, I was commenting on how unreliable Dial Idol has been of late!

Do people really get different numbers of lines? I never knew that.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Your punk ass just don't like it."

No, I am just being honest here. It was boring, it was amateurish, it was as coherent as Paula. Sorry, but it just wasn't good enough for this competition.

The Crack Emcee said...

Meade,

"First Titus and now Crack Emcee? Say it ain't so."Jesus, dude, I just said I wasn't going to insult Ann any longer: The second woman you're claiming to honor for life.

Leave it alone.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

I told you! They used the save even though it was Matt! Told you they would use it no matter who it was.

Now two people out next week. Lame and unfair to everyone else. Matt will get extra votes because of this, and it's likely two other people will get kicked off when it should've been him going before them. The judge's save is stupid. If you get more votes, you deserve the spot you earned in the top group. For instance, I really feel like Allison earned a spot in the Top 6, but now because of the save it's quite possible she'll go next week.

Ann Althouse said...

You were right, and it proved that it was all a bullshit ratings game.

Coffee Maker said...

i've been really impressed with Kris for the last few episodes; he has become a real contender as of late