Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol - Recap & Review - Michael Jackson Week

American Idol
Michael Jackson Week

Original Air Date: March 10, 2009

Patricia Morris Buckley — Associate Staff Writer

Last night, American Idol threw me a surprise party. OK, it wasn’t actually a party or specifically for me — but I was surprised. Every single singer stepped up their game and there were no out-and-out crash and burns.

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[photo: FOX]

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  1. American Idol
    Michael Jackson Week

    Original Air Date: March 10, 2009

    Patricia Morris Buckley — Associate Staff Writer

    Last night, American Idol threw me a surprise party. OK, it wasn’t actually a party or specifically for me — but I was surprised. Every single singer stepped up their game and there were no out-and-out crash and burns.

    I am a little worried about Alexis Grace and my DVR. The idol producers seem bent on the shows going over an hour and my DVR refuses to telepathically connect with the producer’s impromptu decisions and extend its’ programming parameters. As a result, the taping cut out just before they gave Alexis’ phone number — which was not the normal number plus 13 as that would connect callers to a porno line. What if DVRs all over the country did the same thing?

    But then, I didn’t vote for Alexis so I guess that’s not a problem. It’s just that I’d hate to see her sent home so early in the competition because of technical difficulties.

    Who did I vote for? The contestant I like the most who is in most danger of getting kicked off due to poor song choice. But we’ll get to that later. The evening started off with Lil Rounds and the music of Michael Jackson.

    LIL ROUNDS: The Way You Make Me Feel
    Who dressed this lady? The white pants are seriously unflattering and the ruffled one-shoulder pink top looks like a Kmart special. She sounds good, but doesn’t do much with the song. Randy thinks it’s a great way to kick off Season 8 and she made it her own. Kara thinks it will make everyone else step up their game and the end note was “sick.” (In a good way.) Paula liked her softened look and called her a force to be reckoned with while Simon thought it was a lazy song choice, and although it was good, he hated her outfit.

    SCOTT MACINTYRE: Keep the Faith
    It’s good that he’s back on the piano and he’s more in pitch than he has been for a long time. But Scott has very little stage presence and doesn’t sell the song. Kara, who points out that the composer of the song is in the audience, says he’s true to himself. Paula calls his work at the piano magical and Simon hated the song and thinks it didn’t so him any favors. Randy liked the song but felt the performance was safe and wants to see his “spark.”

    The stage seems too big for him and he doesn’t know where to move. But he rocks this up tempo song. Paula says he’s on the way to the finals, while Simon thinks he’s a great singer and Danny reminds him of Michael McDonald — a white guy with soul. Randy is eager to hear what he does each week. Kara thanks his parents for making Danny sing his homework.

    MICHAEL SARVER: You Are Not Alone
    I’m surprised at how nice his tone is. While he mangles the word “you,” he certainly hits the money note. He may be a better singer than I previously gave him credit for.
    Simon says he’s not the best singer in the competition, but he gave it 110 percent. Randy likes that he returned to R & B, while Kara says he brings his game and hits the notes. Paula calls him a regular guy who is extra talented and he “sounded really lovely.”

    She’s a little stiff and the song is very serious, the opposite of what the judges told her they wanted her to be.
    Randy liked how she mixed the Michael Jackson version with the Moriah Carey version (which Randy worked on), but adds that it’s not bad. Kara says she hits most of the notes and has great stage presence. Paula praises her composure and says it had some bright moments. Simon thinks she made a good attempt, but she was a little robotic and she should act her age.

    KRIS ALLEN: Remember the Time
    He’s back to his guitar and it seems to make him more comfortable on stage. Again, a better singer than I remembered.
    Kara notes that girls like Kris and thinks he should always play the guitar when singing. Paula thinks he did a great job and tells everyone that he helped many other contestants because he’s so familiar with Jackson’s songs. Simon didn’t think the song suited the guitar and thought it was too early to sully his “sexy” image by showing off his wife. Randy liked the song with the guitar and thought he did a good job.

    Her new feathered haircut looks great and once again she shows how suited her powerhouse voice is for rock. No one sounds less like Michael Jackson!
    Paula thinks she’s mind-boggling and thinks she’s already a rock star. Simon says she knows who she is while Randy says she’s “got it” and she’s the one to watch. Kara tells her to keep being the rocker girl and she did a great job.

    ANOOP DESAI: Beat It
    This song has little range and is more about the beat than the vocals. I like his new haircut, but am disappointed with his performance. Paula says he picked an untouchable song and it didn’t show the world what he’s got. Simon thought it was horrible with no aggression, so it’s lightweight. Randy says it’s the wrong song choice and Kara thinks it’s the first time she’s felt disconnected with his performance and his connection to the audience is his strength.

    JORGE NUNEZ: I Never Can Say Goodbye
    It’s. Just. So. Boring. Randy tells him it’s the wrong song because it’s too old fashioned and he had pitch issues. Kara didn’t feel emotionally connected and Paula says he wasn’t himself. Simon thinks he’s out of his depth and couldn’t wait for the song to end.

    MEGAN CORKREY: Rockin’ Robbin
    After a tear-jerking intro (clever move), this upbeat number seems right for her. No long notes to hold, although she still goes a little flat at times and continues to be physically weird onstage. Kara says she has a way of putting a signature on everything she does but it’s not an overwhelming vocal performance. Paula thinks she’s quirky and has a unique tone. Simon thought it was a stupid song choice and her vocals weren’t that good. Kara said the song didn’t allow Megan to be Megan.

    ADAM LAMBERT: Black & White
    I loved Adam in the beginning and he’s still technically the best singer of the group. But I can’t get into this hard rock edge and strident singing.
    Paula has never seen anyone so comfortable on the stage and says he innately knows who he is. Simon thinks he’s in a totally different league to everyone else and Randy says he’ll be at the top of the charts. Kara says he hit notes she never knew existed.

    MATT GIRAUD: Human Nature
    Back to playing the piano, Matt does a nice job technically, but there’s no heart.
    Randy says he’s pitchy in parts and Kara adds that he’s talented, so she hopes to see him for many more weeks. Paula says he’s talented and sexy – she’s blown away. Simon says he’s a meat and potatoes guy. They seem to be running out of time, so the judges comments are really short.

    ALEXIS GRACE: Dirty Diana
    Whoa, she’s really trying to be the sex kitten of the bunch. She’s barely wearing that skirt and she sings in a provocative growl. But she can sing well. Kara is happy to see her back and says she’s a naughty girl. Paula tells her to watch the over singing. Simon thought it was over the top and not as good as she thought it was. Randy liked it and her attitude.

    So my strategy this week was to prevent my favorites from going home. While Danny Gokey still seems superior to me (and I did vote for him a few times), Anoop worried me enough to vote for him until the lines closed. I guess we’ll see the results tonight.

    Oh, and the producers are promising a new twist to the rules tonight, a la the French version of the show, that gives the judges more power. I’m guessing that judges will now override any vote if they want.

    So who do you want to see go on? Who do you want to go home tonight? What do you think the new rule will be? The suspense is killing me…


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