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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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Last dance, last chance
by spacecitymarc

Ryan asks Simon, "What do you have to say to the girls as they get ready for probably the biggest night of their life ?" Simon responds, "Well, it's a bit late for advice. You know, we're like seconds before the show." Translation: that was a stupid question and you are a stupid moron. When Simon is done, Ryan says, "Great advice." Translation: you're an asshole for purposely not understanding the rhetorical nature of my question and the fact that it was more for the audience at home than for the contestants. The weird thing is, they're both totally right.

Amanda Avila, "River Deep, Mountain High." She interviews that "Geminis are also very indecisive and I'll never be able to pick which song." Replace that last word with "note" and we've got a deal. She's terrible. It's as though she knows all the things that she needs to do to be a good singer but is simply incapable of doing them very well at all. She also doesn't know how to handle a microphone, as the constant fluttering and switching hands generates a series of annoying pops throughout the entire song. Before giving her numbers, Ryan says, "It does come down to that song and of course those who have followed you along the way," which is exactly the point of the complaints about unequal exposure.

16-year-old Janay Castine enjoys walks in the park and candlelit dinners. Also, she gets together with her girlfriends to watch Sex and the City, drink margaritas and go on spa vacations. You're 16. We know that you're just parroting back stuff you've heard other people say, and we're not impressed. Oh, and she sings something I've never heard and is back to looking and sounding terrified. She's really bad and totally tanks the ending. Paula, however, says, "You have made a lot of fans out here, and it's gonna take your fans pulling you through tonight, because you've had some really good performances up to here." Which is exactly the point of the complaints about unequal exposure.

Carrie Underwood, "Because You Love Me." A bad, boring song, but a good performance. Not to sound too much like Randy and Paula, but I think she may have the best pure voice of the women. That does not, however, mean that she is the best or most interesting singer. Randy tries to invoke his stupid "dog pound" concept, and the guys just leave him fucking hanging until Paula demands that they bark for her lest her head explode from the cognitive dissonance of this thing! That once was! But isn't now! Simon says, "I don't think there's anything that we could say tonight that would change the audience's mind." Which is exactly the point... oh, forget it. This is how they win their arguments, by wearing you down until you give in just to shut them the fuck up. Ryan mentions that she'll have to work with the different theme nights and says, "It'll be hip-hop and country all in the same song. It's been done before, I'm sure." In fact, just this past year, you dink. "Over and Over" by Nelly & Tim McGraw? Kind of a big hit? #1, in fact? Which you should probably know AS THE HOST OF AMERICAN TOP 40?

Vonzell Solomon, "Respect." Starts with "Put your hands together, y'all come on, we're gonna have some fun tonight!" Total meh. Too much of a performance rather than a vocal. I think she became Mario for a song.

Nadia Turner, "Try A Little Tenderness." The transition between the slow and fast parts was incredibly clumsy (the musical director's fault), but she nailed both parts, and I'd love to hear her do the whole thing from start to finish. Simon kills Amanda dead when he tells Nadia that she reminded him of Tina Turner.

Interview break, as Ryan describes Mikalah as "relentless," which… yeah, that's exactly the word, isn't it? Mikalah says, "I think that America has really seen my personality." Honey, the astronauts on the international space station have seen your personality. It's hard to miss: you look down, and there it is.

Lindsay Cardinale, "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing." And once again, the only reason to sit in a stool is so that you can eventually stand up off of it. Drink! I hate the song, but she was great, easily her best vocal yet. I really do love her voice and hope that she makes it through. Paula, meanwhile, can't engage because she doesn't like the song, but as just mentioned, it wasn't a problem for me at all. Also not a problem for me? Words and standing. Then Simon insults her by insulting Ryan, and Ryan (who I think might actually be genuinely pissed, if only a little) retaliates by throwing Simon's water on him, and God help me, he's still a terrible host, but I'm really starting to like him AS A PERSON this year.

Mikalah Gordon, "Somewhere." Not good. Boring. Too low for her, and she has one of the lowest voices of this year's women. Just a mess. Randy says that she's fearless for tackling a song like this, but all it really means is that she tried out for her high school production of West Side Story.

Jessica Sierra comes out blasting! I love her before she even hits the song proper. I wasn't familiar with "The Boys Are Back In Town" before she performed it in the last round of the Hollywood auditions, but I totally see why she chose it both times. Carrie may have a purer voice, but Jessica, it's clear to me, is just a flat-out better singer, and not only has she not flubbed a song yet, she seems to be getting better and better. She's just awesome, and she overtakes Nadia as the woman to beat in this competition. She and Bo are the only two that I'm legitimately excited to hear what they're gonna do.

Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now: Amanda, Janay. (alternate: Mikalah)

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