AI Recapper's Retreat

The Retreat spawns from the Television Without Pity American Idol Forum. Primarily for your longer form recaps, a place outside of the flow of the crazy episode threads. This way we can enjoy/comment/encourage/rationalize these long posts more easily. We spend the time on them, here's another spot for them to have 'life'. Not a forum replacement but a sub-set: Post there, paste here! Or more? We'll see. Oh, and NO SPOILERS! Welcome back for a new year of soul crushing pimping of Chosen Ones. -WS

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Monday, March 07, 2005

Dancing is the new singing
by spacecitymarc

We start with Simon taking umbrage at the Melinda Lira/Joe Murena argument that less airtime puts contestants at a disadvantage: "The audience aren't stupid at home, they're voting people through on whether they can sing well or not." This suggests to me that he doesn't understand the complaint, which is that the contestants with no pre-semis airtime had to perform at a higher level than the others just to stay alive. Argue against that if you must, Simon, but understand the terms of the debate before you try to dismiss it.

Randy, for his nonsense-spewing, offers this: "All these people talking about song choice, just sing the song." Fair enough. Except for the fact that Randy and Paula, not the singers, are the ones who keep saying that. So basically Randy has decided to bitch at the contestants for something he himself said. Moron.

And then the show that thinks its audience isn't stupid bases its pre-song interviews around fucking astrology. Good lord. Then again, considering the psychic they sent the finalists to last year, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. In the meantime, I can't help but notice that four of the guys are Tauruses. And then I wonder if [product-placed car company] has something to do with this stupid little gimmick.

Scott Savol, "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)." Not fantastic, but good. Solid. Deserving of making the finals, certainly. And then, a weird exchange. Simon, who doesn't make one comment about Scott's singing during his entire critique: "The choreography at the beginning was awful." Paula: "You do it!" Simon, delivering the coup de grace: "I'm not a singer!" And there it is. To put this in perspective, consider the following, logically identical argument: "If you think that the woodwork is bad, why don't you do it?" "I'm not the cook!"

Bo Bice sings some Edwin McCain ballad that I don't know because I've tried my damnedest to avoid the guy ever since "Solitude" befouled my ears a decade ago. He's not mind-blowing like the past two weeks, and I'm an eensy bit worried about the Scott Stapp-ness of it, but he's really good and shows off some versatility that suggests that he won't be as adrift during some of the theme weeks as we may have feared.

Anthony Federov sings an upbeat song that I don't know, and it's a smart choice on his part, even though he's being drowned out by the backing singers. It might be his best performance so far, but I remain so utterly unmoved that erosion scientists should plant me on the edge of the Sahara and have Anthony sing to me to prevent more of arable Africa from being claimed by the desert. And then, for the second time this season, and ever, Ryan makes a joke that is actually funny when Anthony says that Travis kicks his butt at chess, and Ryan says, "Thank you for not saying 'ass.'" It ain't Black Adder, but I give him an honestly earned chuckle.

Nikko Smith sings "Georgia On My Mind" and confirms the suspicions that I started entertaining last week, which is the only reason for a contestant to start a song on a stool is so that they can stand up off of it in the middle. I implore Jacob to make that a "(Drink!)" from now on. Other pointless showman move: taking off his hat and placing it on the mic stand. Aw, the stand is cold! I wonder if it's bald. Oh, right, the song: it's a pretty decent version, if a little too low for Nikko's range.

Travis Tucker dances "Every Little Step" and in so doing, forgets to sing it. He's working his moves so hard that not only does he miss notes, he drops some of them entirely. I fear that the beatbox break guarantees himself a spot in the top 12 that could go to someone else.

Mario Vazquez does "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart," and it seems, honest to God, like the first time I've heard him actually sing rather than simply preen onstage. It's a good performance, not nearly as annoying as I usually find him, but he's got that boy-band tenor that I personally don't like. Simon has clearly taken some of Paula's Babble pills, with a double dose of Redundalin, as he tells Mario, "You have a charm about you, and that's part of your appeal." In other news, Lindsay is very pretty, which makes her attractive.

Constantine Maroulis, having previously more or less offered to whore himself out to any bullshit genre the show wants to throw at him as long as it means that they'll let him stay in the competition, sings "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." He's just bad. There's not a lot more I can say about it. It's like if you ask me to explain why I think that 2001: A Space Odyssey and Saving Private Ryan are two of the greatest movies ever made; I can make a few attempts at logical justification, but they ultimately just hit me so far down in my subconscious that I don't think I'll ever plumb the depths of it, I can only know that this is how I feel, and that arguments to the contrary will not sway me, as that would attack the very fundament of who Marc is and what is the essence of his Marcness. To explain it would be like me trying to explain what "bad" means. I just take it on faith, lest we find ourselves in a discussion on metaphysics.

Anwar Robinson closes with a fine version of "What A Wonderful World." Like most of the contestants of both genders, he has trouble in his lower range, but I really do think that this is the best we've heard from him so far.

Go home: Travis Tucker. Other than that, as long as Bo is safe, I kinda don't care.

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