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 30, 2005

There's Something About The Way You Sang Tonight...
by Swoopin

Some day, those doors are going to malfunction and Ryan is going to be squashed in them, waving an arm with his mic attached, his face all squooshed up. And I will, I'm sorry to say, laugh my ass off.

Oh, the 90's? This was the best these people could come up with for music from the 90's?

Worse, I realize as the night goes on that 6 of these people have sung exactly what I expected them to sing, or at least the artist I expected.

And tonight's theme is: define karaoke.

We start with Bo singing The Black Crowes' "Remedy," and while I like the pants and the shirt, I am totally hating that hat, so Paula can have it, although I think the occasional hat in general looks kind of *cough* cute on him. But not faux bovine. "Moo-ved"--hee. Not his best performance, really--okay vocally, but he seemed not really into it all that much and wasn't selling it like he usually does. A step backward, but not awful.

Oh and Simon? I'm pretty sure most people don't want this song played at their wedding.

Jessica meets predictable by coming out country and singing the most boring Leann Rimes song ever, "On The Side of Angels." There is absolutely nothing wrong with her singing, but the song's so meh I really don't care. I had mentally assigned a different Leann Rimes song to her.

Anwar. I just knew the minute I heard 90's that he was going to sing this, and I thought, "well, good choice for him." Except oddly, it wasn't. He sang it exactly like I thought he would, starting low and slow and building it up to a big ass glory note. Yawn. The first part was weak--not pitchy, really, but the notes were undercooked. Randy and Simon were, for once, right on target. He needs to work on singing the whole song.

Then I said to Mr. Swoop for my 2nd song pick of the night, "And now Nadia is going to sing 'I'm the Only One' you know." And he said ten seconds later, "How do you do that?" After 4 years of this shit, you just know.

I really have nothing constructive or destructive to say about her performance, though. It just sat there, quivering like a blob of tapioca pudding--contained, safe, and bland as hell. And throwing the mic stand down? Af-fect-ed.

I cannot take any Kreskin-like credit for Constantsheen singing "I Can't Make You Love Me," though. Because never in a million years...okay, well, the last note was flat by a generous half step, I thought, and there is a nasally quality to his tone that I just find as icky as his constant eye-rapes and camera mugging. *shudders* I was highly entertained by Randy basically calling him a poser, though, and commenting on his musical theatre training. Ha. And Simon, after commenting on how he's played to his target audience and done the pop star thing, says he sang better than Bo tonight and officially declares the Rawker Rivalry deader than Ryan's overprocessed hair. Conman, who can't compete in that area, has been assigned a new box--the one recently inhabited by A-Fed. See below.

Nikko props his dad for the first time since the auditions in his intro, wears a jacket that gives me a serious headache, and sings a song I'm pretty sure I've never heard. I'm finding his voice annoying as hell tonight too, and there was definitely one series of notes in there that was not anywhere near good, but the breath control seems better and I still find him an engaging performer. Paula has a lucid moment and calls him "most improved." I agree.

Ah, A-Fed. I was sure he was going to sing something else, maybe "Living in America" (was that a 90's song?) so I was sorry I was wrong about the Elton John. I see he's finally ditched the glasses he never needed to begin with, and that acidy neon green shirt is all kinds of ugly. Eeww. I also thought the judges were way too harsh on this. His lower register was better, he didn't go flat, and I liked the rocked up arrangement of the song. I could tell he was really forcing the lower notes to come through, but it worked with the arrangement, and to be honest, even though I hate him, I thought this was one of the better jobs tonight, although he doesn't have much stage presence either. So naturally Simon and Randy crapped all over him, and I thought for a minute he was going to cry--he clearly has reached the point where he's trying too hard to please the judges and do what they want, so if he's reading here, some advice: do what you want. Fuck the judges. Just get into your song, dude. And leave the glasses home. Way better without them.

Speaking of Carrie-okie, which I will be shortly, I get song number 3 right! Go me! So Carrie's idea of "performing" apparently involves zombie walking from the back of the stage to the front while singing Martina and staring at everyone with her dead eyes. She has no charisma, no "It", and all the pimping on the planet is not going to give her any. And I'll admit I haven't heard "Independence Day" in a while, but that sounded like an exact replica of it, except for the flat last note and the bad ones in the middle. Like something you'd hear in a *cough* karaoke bar on Free Beer Until Someone Pees night.

But it's Scott (song prediction #4! Woo!) who gets the karaoke label hung around his neck. "One Last Cry" was what I would have picked for him too, though, but he's not doing well with it--the usual transitions into the really upper reaches of his register aren't as smooth as usual to start, and at least one falsetto note cracked like a rotten egg. This wasn't his best vocal, which is too bad. He should have killed on this song. And he has got to stop the cheesy gesturing.

And so Vonzell gets the Prime Pimp Real Estate of the night, and I realize that the Nadia love affair with the producers is officially over. I told Mr. Swoop "here comes the Whitney." He replied, "Jesus, she looks awesome. And I have to say, she looked awesome. I also thought this was the only really good performance of the night--pitch perfect, nicely delivered. In another era, Vonzell would have made an excellent torch singer. Oh, and Simon? This is what It looks like. It does not look like a dead-eyed copy cat country singer. It means the person can stand and sing and every eye is riveted on her, not wondering if they need to clear their earwax out.

In my perfect world, someone on AI will do "Lime in the Coconut" someday, and I'll dial my fingers raw for it.

The top three for me tonight is a stretch--Vonzell, and then I'd say A-Fed and either Carrie or Nikko. Put Bo in the top half, and Nadia.

But I think A-Fed is bottom 3 again, along with Scott and Jessica, who will get the boot for being the most unmemorable of them all and because Simon told everyone it was okay not to like her. Which a lot of people don't.

But the real bottom three should be Anwar, Scott, Jessica. And Scott, who delivered the worst performance of the night, should return to Cleveland.

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