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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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Wrapped Up With A Bo
by spacecitymarc

Ridicularity runs wild at the start, as Ryan gets the giggles when he introduces Simon, who, for his part, flat-out acknowledges that he's already picked a winner.

Mario Vasquez and another fucking hat do singing-like noisy sounds on a song that I don't know because it's not a real song. I know this because its ostensible title, "I Like Music," shows that it was initially intended for the America Sings segment of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. And suddenly I suspect that we've never seen him singing a real song, as he opts instead for half-assed vocal showcases. Mandatory deduction for opening with, "Come on, people, put your hands together!"

Anwar Robinson sings "What's Going On," which could very well be the most political song ever performed on this show, which, let's recall, rush-released "God Bless The U.S.A." as a single two seasons ago. He sounds lackluster to me. In an interesting trend which I wish he (and others) would notice, he sounds fine when singing words but not when doing vocal runs on "yeah" and the like. I was somewhat dismayed that he "Whoo!"ed his own damn performance, not the least reason for which was that he ended really sharp.

Joseph Murena adds extra "whoo!"s and "come on!"s to the most unctuous version I could possibly imagine of "Let's Stay Together," which, as a song of seduction, has its entire raison d'etre stomped on like grapes at a winery. I don't care if he can sing at this point: he doesn't understand his material, so it's time for him to leave.

David Brown is trying awfully hard to sing "All Is Fair In Love" and coming up short. When he says in his clip that his necklace helps him remember where he's from, spacecityroomate says, "A microphone on a chain? Where are you from?" And we both said "Radio Shack" at the exact same time, and it was awesome and you should've been here.

Constantine Maroulis starts off a ridiculous, horribly wretched performance of "Hard To Handle" by saying, "Let's rock this thing!" and being wildly off pitch on the very first note. He then proceeds to do nothing more than scream for the duration, learning the lesson from Mario that you don't have to sing anymore on this show, just do your schtick for as long as the music plays. Simon nails it by saying, "I could go to any bar in America and see any singer of the same caliber as you." Bang on, Simon. You're still a dick.

Rantermission! I'm sick of the eyefucking. Just sick of it. Even if it didn't reek of desperation the way it does for most of the contestants who do it (Constantine did nothing but try to figure out which camera was on him at any given moment), it's just a pointless way of splitting your focus. I've seen commercially available concert videos that are damned effective without the singer getting as far as eyefirstbase with me. Because -- gosh! -- they're paying more attention to their performance than they are to trying to figure out where they need to look. So there is a way in which trying to make it look like they're "singing to us" can work against them. I hope I hope I hope.

Scott Savol sings some Luther Vandross song I don't know, proving Melinda Lira's point from last week, as I'd think he sucked if this was the first time I'd heard him. I'd also think he was a Constantine-sized douchebag for wearing sunglasses, but they not only look good on him, they make him look less bad, if you get me. Ryan, meanwhile, suffers from a defective TelePrompter and stumbles. How many times has he said this crap over the course of four seasons? And he can't do it extemporaneously? Who is he, Ron Burgundy?

Travis Tucker speaks what sounds like utter gibberish in his intro clip and then puts more effort into dancing "All Night Long" than into singing it. And he's no Lionel Richie, who wasn't a vocal powerhouse or anything, just a guy who could, you know, sing. Not good, Travis.

A blessedly millinery-free Nikko Smith sings "Let's Get It On" and thus basically begs for sex on national television. He's not too bad, actually, but hasn't the song sort of reached a point where it's automatically a parody of itself?

Anthony Federov sings "I Wanna Know What Love Is," and manages to be very weak, even when he's loud. Not only that, the backup singers really underscore just how off-pitch he is during the chorus. And seriously? When Lou Gramm has more soul than you? You're in trouble.

And then, after bragging about being eligible for unemployment, Bo Bice comes out, sings "Whipping Post" like he was delivered from on high for no other purpose. spacecityroommate points out that if he was at an Allman Brothers concert and he heard this, he would be entirely satisfied at money well-spent. At this point, Bo is so clearly, patently, obviously miles ahead of his competition that it's just ridiculous. Suck on it, Constantine!

Go away: Joe, Travis. Constantine I want to squirm just a little longer.

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