Wednesday, March 11, 2009

episode 8-20 (March 11): Top 13 results

A twist? Ah, a Judge's Save! Fantastic idea... or is it?

[Fox TV's video recap here.]

While Ryan is explaining the Judge's Save, the Top 13 are holding those impossibly shiny microphones. I momentarily forgot about the mandatory group number coming up and just thought it looked ridiculous.

Something about the mix of men's and women's voices sounds inherently Disney to me. When they go into harmony for the first time, I was immediately reminded of a recording that a chorus teacher in high school played for a class; it was the cassette (hey, it was 1990) that came with a choral arrangement of "Stairway to Paradise". The professional singers on that recording were like nothing I'd ever heard before-- so clean and precise, yet they sounded so goddam happy.

While appreciate the work that obviously went into putting this number together, it's much ado about nothing. It's not much better than overblown nonsense like this. Thanks, rural high-school music teachers! (That's right. I went there.)

Oo, it's the first Ford video, and it's-- Aggghhhh!!!! Attack of the 40-foot CGI Projections!!!! That was... pointless. Except for paying Idol's advertising income, of course.

Jasmine is given the first boot, and now the Judge's Save becomes terribly awkward. Jasmine has to literally sing for the judge's pleasure, and has to flagrantly play up the qualities that the judges said she lacked last night... and the judges have the uncomfortable duty to reject her a second time. Wow, this is painful. The other odd thing is that the judges are asked to consider the bootees one at a time, so if there are two bootees, a judge may not want to "waste" his/her Save on whoever happens to be the first to get booted that night, in the event that suspect another better singer might also be at the bottom. Kind of makes the judges have to play some gamesmanship, negating the positives of the Judge's Save, no?

Kanye West, who is arguably the greatest recording artist of the decade ("Champion", for one, is an absolutely brilliant adaptation of an already brilliant song), performs an OK if repetitive song with far more pitch-correction than necessary-- a painful amount, in fact. I'd much rather hear a great entertainer singing mediocrely for real, rather than something so unncessarily artificial.

Kelly Clarkson continues to validate her first-season victory with her killer pipes. "My Life Would Suck Without You" kinda sounds like its own dance remix.

Jorge gets the second boot, alas. Ryan says "Jorge will sing while the judges are deliberating." And... Paula gets up and cheers him on, and Kara claps along, while Randy and Simon chat. As I really liked Jorge last night, I was rooting for a Save, but that was unlikely this early, and admittedly Jorge (and Jasmine for that matter) weren't going to win this competition anyway.

Next week: Top 11. Gokey in '09!

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