Wednesday, April 22, 2009

episode 8-32 (April 22): Top 7 redux results

As I'm watching the opening credits, I have a sneaking suspicion that a chicken is coming home to roost tonight. The judges saving Matt last week was an ultimately silly move, as he is not going to make it to the final four. And if he does, it's because Allison and Danny seriously shank at some point.

During the group number, the enormous screen looming over the stage urged us all to "DANCE! SHOUT!" In Comic Sans typeface. Classy.

Holy cow! This is a long group number! It's an obvious lip-sync operation, but man, this is admittedly very entertaining, probably because it was conceived as an actual production number. Samantha and I, while watching the making-of video, being to reflect on the amazing influence that Paula Abdul had on the music industry in the late '80s, not only obviously as a solo artist, but dramatically raising the bar for choreography in music videos (most famously Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation"). Just amazing stuff 20 years ago, and a great job this week too, given the "dancers" she has to work with.

Someone's got a sign that says "Vegans [heart] Simon". I'm confused as to the Simon-vegan connection; anyone?

"I'm Good I'm Gone" is one of the worst-written songs I've ever heard. If Ford is willing to pay extra cash for these God-awful videos, then the auto industry must in be in better shape than we thought.

Ryan makes short work of Lil, giving her the boot immediately. Suddenly she's a bundle of energy, absolutely ruling the stage on "I'm Every Woman" like this was the performance that matters. The contrast was stunning.

Freda Payne struggles her way through her 1970 hit "Band of Gold". This was one of those performances where we're supposed to forgive the performer because we accept that he or she is not at the top his his or her game, but this was just inexcusable. We had the wonderful guest spot from Frankie Avalon, as well as more formal performances by previous Idol champs and prominent performers, and this was so uncomfortably inferior.

Thelma Houston fares much, much, much better on "Don't Leave Me This Way", taking over the stage with her energy and absolutely killing the final passage. My Lord, she is good.

K.C. (of the Sunshine Band) whispers his way through his evergreen "Get Down Tonight". He was lifting and lowering his mike like he was trying to pump water out of the stage, usually resulting in being barely audible, which is odd because when wasn't pulling back (or ogling his backup dancers) he doesn't sound much thinner than on the famous recording. Surrounding a paunchy older man with four much younger and lither women was just unfair too.

Danny, thankfully, doesn't need to be saved tonight. But Allison might. That is... just... unconscionable. Allison is the most powerful singer of this season, and her being in the depths of the vote is ridiculous. The Judge's Save from last week is starting to look like a terrible mistake.

David Archuleta continues his streak of adolescent-crush songs with "Touch My Hand". (Wow, an untucked grey button-down shirt with a black-and-white tie. Never seen that before.) I loved his performances last year, and this... was the worst I've ever heard him. What is he doing sitting on all of these low notes? He's trying to feign power down there, and ends up bleating like a sheep instead of belting like the runner-up of season 7 of Idol. What an odd, odd performance.

I literally held my breath waiting for Ryan to reveal . Turns out Anoop, an early favorite of mine, was in the voting basement. During his farewell song, unlike Lil, Anoop wasn't much better than he was last night, and in fact had the same shakiness in the exact same spot at the end. A shame he had to end an amazing run on that note.

As the closing credits ran, Samantha and I reminisced about Alexis Grace, and how she probably would have held her own in the Top 13, had she not been eliminated too early to be strategically Saved by the judges. Meh.

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