American Idol 3/16 to 3/17

Loved Casey’s parents.

Pia has a good voice, but I find her boring.

I LOVE Jacob. I love Naima, too, but she was awful tonight. And that Haley? I hope she has her bags packed.

Worst song selection of the night has to go to Thia, though. When she said “I’ll be singing ‘Colors of the Wind’”, my reaction was “Oh, of course you will, you fucking Pageant Bot.”

What’s up with Naima? She used to sing good - now she sings bad.

Paul didn’t sound good either - oh, man, Jennifer is making excuses for him sucking so much.

Thia’s dead eyes are still freaking me out. It’s good that she smiles so much while singing, because as soon as she stops smiling, her eyes go completely dead. “Pageant Bot” - that’s good.

Also, it’s a little weird realizing that Thia was actually born the year Pocohontas came out?! Sheesh.

I thought Stefano was the best. Scotty was actually surprisingly good as well. I really dislike Jacob but can’t begrudge that was a pretty good performance- although I have a big problem that he seems to artifically “feel” the songs but never really gets the meaning of each song individually. All on the same level.

Karen was pretty terrible, but it’s a Paul/Naima toss-up for who’s heading home I think. I think Naima only got out of the bottom three last week because she performed last- and since she performed first this time…could be bad news for her.

Tonight, Casey totally reminded me of Jack Black. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Also, I find it a little horrifying that my son only knows Nirvana from Guitar Hero. I’m going to have to work on his musical education.

Really? You guys hated Paul? I love his quirk so much. He is so unself-conscious when he dances and I really like his voice.

Ya know Jacob, naturally I hate you for your horrific, atonal screeching, but you had to top it all off by fucking up the “all song titles must be four or more words long” theme they had going tonight…

I’ve got a quirk myself - the first bar for singers for me is that they have to actually hit the notes. :slight_smile:

The performing and interpretation and stuff is all gravy after that.

Heh. I totally agree about the sound mix, and I’ve been bitching about it for years.

We watched ‘Glee’ last night - one of the things I love about that show is it sounds phenomenal. You’re always immersed in the music. Surround mixes done right, proper equalization between the singers and the instruments, the correct amount of reverb, etc.

Tonight we were watching some other HD content, and when I switched to American Idol it sounded so bad I actually thought something was wrong with my audio system. The mix was really low, the surround almost inaudible, and the stuff coming out of the front speakers sounded like a poor FM radio. But no, everything was correct, and it was in Dolby Digital, so it wasn’t the local station screwing up the sound. It was just the awful American Idol sound engineers.

For a show about music, they sure don’t know how to mix songs very well. I know it’s live so they’ve got to get it right on the fly, but still… A lot of the singers probably sounded as bad as they did because they got no support at all from the audio system. That, and because they sucked.

I’m not sure I agree about this year’s band. I’ve noticed an improvement since Ricky Minor was kicked upstairs to be boring with Jay Leno. I think the band is getting screwed by the sound guys as much as the singers are.

I totally agree with this - Smells Like Teen Spirit does NOT work unless you’ve got a grungy wailing band behind you to pound the attitude right into the face of the listener. Take away the band, thin out the mix with crappy sound production, and there was no way Casey was going to salvage that. I’m going to buy the iTunes download of the studio version - I’ll bet he does much better on it. But still… Bad song choice.

He didn’t do a good job of shortening the song, either - the key to that song’s impact is the fast transitions between the soft verses and the wailing angst of the chorus. He started quietly, then went into the chorus and just stayed there, repeating it over and over again. That took away a lot of the power of the song. He should have put one soft verse in the middle, then ripped the final chorus to shreds.

As for the rest of the performances… ugh. Durbin was okay, although I’m not a big Bon Jovi fan. At least he brought some emotion and attitude. So did Jacob, so props to him for that.

As for the rest of them…the girls all came across as if they were singing in the talent portion of a beauty pageant. Every performance just flopped on the stage and laid there. A total snoozefest.

Naima was the worst of the night. Jesus that was a trainwreck. It was halting, out of tune, and her volume modulation was all over the place. She needs to go home.

I’m officially off the Paul bandwagon. Not only did he pick one of Elton John’s worst, most saccharine hits, but he took Elton’s orignal lifeless performance and sucked the last bit of energy out of it. Hated it. And Diogenes is right - he’s just too precious on stage. I had big hopes for the guy because he brought a bit of indie cred to the stage, but it turns out he’s the anti-cred.

Overall, I thought Casey, James and Jacob were the best, because at least they brought some life along with them. Stefano gave it the college try, so I’ll give him some props even though I didn’t like his interpretation. Pia was a pro going through the motions. I’ll bet she can do that in her sleep. In fact, maybe she did. But it was still better than most. The rest of them all sucked, and any one of them can go home and I don’t care.

I had big hopes for this season, but so far the talent and energy is really lacking. In other years there’s always been a standout that was worth waiting for while the lesser performers blew chunks all over the stage. We had Melinda Doolittle, Adam Lambert, David Cook, Crystal Bowersox and others like them who could be guaranteed to bring something special week after week. So far, there’s no one on this year’s show rising even close to the level of those performers.

Pia nailed a 70’s Patsy Gallant disco feel, look, and sound. I hope that’s what she was going for.

They should get whoever was in charge of the sound for Rockstar. Whoever that was knew how to to mix a band for a live show without overwhelming the vocals but without just burying the goddamn guitars either. I’ve ofren seen the excuse that AI is mixed for the live audience rather than TV, and it sounds different in the studio there than it does on the broadcast, but I’m calling BS on that because we’ve seen live performances mixed well on television broadcats before (whoever David Letterman’s crew is does a pretty good job of it).

I agree. the strength of that song - the thing that kicked off the whole grunge movements - was the dynamics. The contrast of soft and heavy. I know his time was short, but the song needed one of those drops from the chorus back to the verse. It needed that contrast.

Of course the mixer was totally fucking him on the dynamics anyway.

It’s bland too. There aren’t really any “characters.” casey and Durbin are the closest, but not only is there no Lambert or Clay or anyone to really look forward to, there’s not even a Sanjaya or Pickler or anything. They’re all just bland, faceless, safe as mayonnaise, interchangable bots.

I wonder if VFTW has made them afraid to cast anybody even the least bit quirky or interesting.

Jacob sucked too. I hate the way he interprets a song, and I hate the way he performs, but he usually hits all the notes - he didn’t even hit all the notes tonight. He just over-emoted his ass off.

Naima’s switch from good singer during the Vegas rounds to bad singer now, reminds me of Lil from a couple of seasons ago. It’s not just that her/their singing is worse, it’s also a completely different style.

Thank goodness for fast foward. Bland, blonde, blande, blonde…

James, Casey, Jacob, and Lauren get points for bringing some energy to their performance. James should be careful about his “in the finals” comments, though.

Casey did fine, but I hope he can pull of some emotion other than goofy and angry.

Jabob does over-emote, but the mama bear in me wants him to do well.

Lauren is cute as a button. But she won’t make it to the finals.

Thea continues to disappoint. Glurgy, pointless, background music.

Pia’s jumpsuit was unfortunate. Her vocals were good, but she’s too polished for my taste. Give me a nervous Lauren anyday – at least she has personality.

Paul, Paul, Paul. He’s like Randy Newman. The first time you hear him, he’s interesting. After the 5th song, it’s the same old, same old. After the 15th song, you’re feeling kind of hostile towards him.

I feel like Naima is being thrust upon us because it’d make a really great rags-to-riches story. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the stuff to make it all the way.

Haley is boring. Stefano has a good voice, but is too earnest. It’s funny because he looks like Joey Tribiani from “Friends” AND brings the same odd combination of being good looking yet being completely un-hot.

Scotty has the voice to make it in country. I cannot believe how young he is. But he’s on the wrong show.

I had to scroll down and figure out who I’m missing: Karen. She is completely unmemorable. I believe she’ll go home tonight. I also believe we’ll have three more women in the bottom 3: Thia, Karen and Haley.

It’s weird to see that I’m alone in my opinions of last night’s show.

Well, not all since I agree that Naimah sucked! From the beginning to the end.

Thia was boring, but she’s 15 and they’ve been told to stay true to themselves and I imagine at 15, this might be the song I would choose. Her voice sounds good. I’d like to hear her sing “So Much Better” from Legally Blonde.

Paul wasn’t bad. He picks songs that are easily adaptable to his style but he wasn’t a standout. I would like to hear him sing What A Wonderful World, just standing still at the mic.

Casey did well. I really enjoyed his performance. His screaming was cool beans for me, and the emotion worked well.

Karen is so pretty and so boring - I’m ready for her to go. She and Naimah can hold hands and skip off into the distance. I loved Karen’s mom.

I thought that Stephano rocked his song and I’m a new fan.

Pia was amazing IMO. Love her.

I like James and I was pleased enough by his performance. I hope he stays. He needs to do some Queen.

Haley’s was one of the weakest performances to me, and she’s a good singer.

Jacob sang well - just the wrong material for him. I wish he and Haley had switched songs.

Scotty was one of the best last night. I want to hear him sing King of the Road. I fear for him on Mowtown night.

Casey: 2
Godawful stoopid dooshbag angry-leprechaun bullshit. That was just plain excruciating. Get your shit together Illinoisan. I like your parents.

Haley: 8
Technically pretty flawless. Tasteful modifications to the original recording – probably the producer’s doing. Crouches and grunts like she’s taking a really sexy dump. I enjoy her performances more than common sense would dictate. Before she took the stage I was mesmerized by the glamours of her mom’s mammoth dugs and her dad’s unflinching unironic mullet plumage. Chicago, represent!

Stephano: 7
Also technically strong. Likeable. Savvy song choice.

Lauren: 4
Likeable, but this peach ain’t ripe yet. Performance unmemorable - what the judges are waiting for probably won’t happen.

Durbin: 5
Hard to watch. With eyes closed, the vocal is acceptable. Bon Jovi? Uhhhnnggh. Detective, you’re officially on suspension until we get this mess sorted out. Leave your fauxhawk and silly scarftail on my desk on your way out.

Lusk: 5
Gospel good. Musical instincts good. Pitch bad. Sebaceous face bad. Keens like a sea lion.

Pia: 8
Bone boiler. Nice high notes. Overwhelmingly polished. Eyes too close together.

Scotty: 6
Competent vocal. Elvis fan channeling Randy Travis - how can I be down? Bring your guitar already – the scoliosis stance is offputting.

Karen, Thia, Naima: 3
Fodder.

Paul: 4
Although you would make good records, this ain’t the show for you.

Bravo! I liked this assessment better than the actual show.

Ditto, only what does “Bone Boiler” mean?

This leads me nicely to something I think about every time I watch the show, “knowing who you are as an artist”. Sometimes, I understand exactly what that means, other times I find it completely bewildering. For instance, last night they said it to Thia just as I was thinking she had picked the right song. She’s sixteen, so instead of picking a song about relationships, she sang a Disney song with a nice message about the environment (or something), and she even looks like the character who sang it in the movie. Not a good fit?

Last season there was a young girl on there who looked young and she kept trying to sing sexy songs. She didn’t “know who she was as an artist” and I could see that.

However, I don’t know how most of these people can even tell whether or not they know who they are as an artist (WTAAAA). They’re barely old enough to know who they are as a person, and they’re being asked to sing songs from various genres…how should they choose? Apparently just sounding good or liking the song isn’t enough.

Let’s take an artist with a well-defined persona such as Stevie Nicks. When she decides to record a song, does she say to herself, “Now, how does this reflect on me as a witch?” (Maybe she does most of the time, but I don’t think she did it before that duet with Kenny Loggins).

I need to know so I can be ready if they decide to let forty-year-olds audition. I can’t try until I figure this out!