Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Final 5 Performances

I hold one solemn fist in the air, as a show of solidarity to Haley motherf**king Reinhart.

I may have strayed far off the Idol path since Pia's ouster, but like I said, all it takes is one gripping performance to bring me back. And just when I thought none of this year's Top 5 could accomplish such a feat, they all proved me wrong (well, all right, maybe not Stank face).

Clearly someone paid attention to my rants about Idol "Moments," because this episode was jam-packed with many earnest attempts (and a couple actual successes). The judges are still ABSOLUTELY useless (my bones vibrated with rage after their so-obviously pre-scripted bash of Haley's first, rousing performance) and I've simply taken to fast-forwarding through their nonsense, even the bitch-please standing ovation (how pre-planned did that feel)?

But still, despite the Judges' tomfoolery and Jimmy's meddling, James and Haley managed to manufacture very real Idol moments--and perhaps might have even risen as genuine contenders (at least for show--the voting trends clearly discount Haley from the crown). But hey, James may just have a shot to win this thing, with Haley nabbing 4th or 3rd... here's hoping, America.

The Hot
Haley Reinhart: "You and I" & "House of the Rising Sun." There are no words, except these: I will buy every one of your albums if they sound like the songs you sang tonight, Lady Reinhart. Screw those judges and screw American tweendom, you're my American Idol!

James Durbin: "Closer to the Edge" & "Without You." While the first performance was mere cannon fodder, I am obsessed with James' emotional rendition of Without You, if only because it represents the kind of unproduced, spontaneous, raw Moment that American Idol was built upon. Sure the vocal wasn't perfect, but that only added to the power of James' delivery. This one will rank in my Best Idol Performances playlist, right along with Haley's showing (if only Cowell were still around to validate my assertions with a well-delayed quip).

The Warm
Lauren Alaina: "Flat On The Floor" & "Unchained Melody." I'm so tired of saying "almost" with Lauren-- it's just crystal clear she needs a few years to train and harness that massively amazing voice of hers. She's neither polished (like J.Sparks) nor raw (like A.Iraheta), rather falling into a nebulously mediocre middle-ground (much like most of her mid-tempo song choices). Here's hoping she gets cut soon sans record deal, takes a few years to practice her craft and makes a stunning comeback by winning The X-Voice, 2015.

Scotty McCreery: "Gone" & "Always On My Mind." Note to everyone speaking on Idol tonight: stretching oneself artistically doesn't mean compromising who you are as a singer, but rather challenging yourself to make bold choices within the confines of your genre. No one is asking Scotty to stop singing country-- we're just asking him to do something we haven't seen/heard/expected from him for a change. For example, if he had transformed N'Sync or Kelly Clarkson's same-titled "Gone" tracks into a country song, he'd have been stretching himself. It's really not rocket science, as dozens of successful Idol contestants have shown throughout 10 seasons... (then again, Randy Jackson still hasn't figured out to be of any remote use ten seasons later, so perhaps I'm expecting too much).

The Cold

Jacob Lusk: "No Air" & "Love Hurts." At last, America can see tangibly what I've been saying for weeks: Jacob's groin-grinding, stank-faced scream-singing has no relevant place in today's musical landscape. It's really a shame-- like Lauren, Jacob has an astronomical voice, but possesses no perspective on how to weild it. If Jacob doesn't get the axe tonight (despite Randy & Jennifer saying he's "one of the best/highest ever singers on that Idol stage." No. NO!), I'm going to storm the Idol production offices and demand a recount.

Predictions: With Haley rocking out the pimp slot hard, the only thing that can save Jacob from an inevitable 5th place finish at this point is a surprise Lauren/Scotty ouster (though usually those are reserved for the Final 4). Considering both country teens seem to have rock-solid voting bases and Jacob was a hot mess tonight, I'd say Jacob will FINALLY bite the dust. Can I get an Amen?

And with my fist still in the air, I bid you adieu, kiddies.

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