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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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Guess What? AI Blah Cakes, of course!
by Phan

Another week, and another batch of overpraised performances to muck through. Twice even. AI, I am totally your bitch even though you have clear flaws.

Anthony decides to show us what would've happened had Clay Aiken refined the pelvic thrust for his performance of Grease during Season 2. Geez, I thought I was the only one who noticed this "dancing." Thank goodness for TWoP and their watchful eyes. While Anthony attempts to swat a fly with his crotch of injustice, he forgets to sing well.

After Anthony meh's it up with Crotchopalooza 2005, Carrie blows him completely out of the water with her rendition of Heart's "Alone." She finally proves she's a decent vocalist, but then Simon has to ruin a perfectly good performance by completely over praising her, making all of Season Two/Three's praise of any contestant seem completely mild in comparison. If the effing show/Simon would just relax and not do this shit, I bet she wouldn't cause a cloud of rage to swell up in people's eyes when she comes out to sing.

Scott sings "Against All Odds" and it's probably the best rendition of the song I've heard on any season, and for once I like Bobby Hill Sr.

However, Bo. Oh boy. Bo gives probably the most graceful, subdued, wonderful performance the American franchise of Idol will probably ever see. And I'm in awe, but then Randy ruins it the first night, whining that it didn't show "range" which on AI = Not loud and shiny. Gah. Randy backpedals the next night because he sees he came off as a (bigger than usual, and that has little to do with his old size) big ass.

Nikko, who I usually like, waltzes out to sing some god awful Sisqo song. I really don't like though he was probably good overall and he gets over praised not once, but twice in a row on both nights.

Vonzell, who I usually also like, I don't like tonight either. And apparently it was her best performance according to the judges. Okay. Sure. Whatever.

Constantine. Bloody Constantine. He's gotten better since we've started the finals, but I still LOATHE him completely. And then Paula makes me feels bad for him because he falls victim to her idiotic rambling during the second night. I just think he's the smarmiest fucker to ever grace AI. Sorry.

Nadia. Like many others, I've lost my Nadia love. I no longer care whats happens to her. And that's all I have to say.

Mikalah sucks "Love Will Lead You Back" so hard. Jesus/Noel Roman bad. Can she not hear herself, at all? But I wonder if it's because she knows she's more suited to a jazz style of singing, and these first two themes are just not allowing her to explore that, since her only good performance was "God Bless the Child."

Anwar pulls a Sarah Mahter and sucks the life out of "Ain't Nobody." I think "Ain't Nobody gonna vote for you either" but I was apparently very wrong. Then Anwar gets snippy with Randy Wednesday, which gives him more personality than he had, albeit a bitchy one.

Jessica Sierra rocks "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and she's the one who could give Carrie a run for her money in the competiton for best female vocalist, wih Vonzell up in that cat fight too. Nice, smooth, great lower register (which is pretty rare to hear on AI, when caterwauling is considered key important [tm Paula]). Second only to Bo really.

The Great: Jessica and Carrie
The Good: Scott.
The Meh: Constantine, Nadia, Vonzell, Nikko
The Bad: Anwar
The Crotch: Anthony
The ARGH!PAIN: Mikalah

Thursday, the group sing makes me sad, because they're singing one of my favorite songs, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother."

The Bottom 3 sees Anthony, Nadia, and Mikalah. Though Anthony's divining rod of a crotch leads him to the seal, it also saves him from castration, I mean elimination. Nadia pisses me off, and we break up. Mikalah gets booted. I predicted she'd be tenth, but eleventh is close enough I guess.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hello, My Name Is WS And I am An Idol Addict
by Wandering Snark

I’m sorry, but this right here? Is bullshit. At least they are still being voted for based on their performances last night, no redos.

I still think the ‘variation’ of the ‘error’ voting from last night will be a tiny percentage of what tonights’ variation will end up being voting from a different day and time from a show that a lot of people don’t both to tune in for. As I said, we all know the deal by now. Numbers=performance slot. AND so one number was wrong, it was the smaller of two numbers and the BIG one was right. I hope the result is still Mikalah the Gorgon going home, if it’s someone like Jessica of Scott for example 19 had better watch their collective asses because people will be pissed.

Past that though I’m pretending like I’m firing up my recording and ‘listening to the show back’, so:

Anthony STILLboresmypantsov -4! This was actually much worse than I even thought initially, it was awkward, thin, painful and floundering. Did I mention boring? Okay then, I really think it’s a strong contender for worst performance actually given that he has more 'raw material' to work from than... her.

Something About Carrie “Is that hair gel?” The hair was quite the creation and it was even more hilarious seeing Smutty Sandy back to her dowdy, straight haired, frilly baby doll wearin' self wehn coming back from her clip to ‘live’. That said though upon another look and listening especially for the effect of the backup singer I think the backup woman actually detracted from how well Carrie did actually. So I really do have to say this was just a shade under Bo for best performance. She really does have zero connection though and I can’t believe they haven’t called her on it... instead we need to tell everyone how she’s the best. evar.

She is stiffer than Diana ever was and more robotic, she’s like a beta version DiBot that was initially developed only to do cover versions. Carrie is the front of a cover band afterall and it really shows. +3 though, even though I thought hair aside it was pretty good yesterday and she didn't have much room to go up.

Scott: +2 The performance and vocals were both better than I remembered. He is firmly the middle of the pack.

Bo: I gave it a 20 out of 20 the first time so he couldn’t go up and he surely didn’t go down upon rewatch. I almost appreciate it more though on rewatch beccause it was so something nobody else could have pulled off. His voice went down like some fine fine whiskey.

Nikko +2 The vocal was a lot smoother and less strained than I originally thought. Like Scott, solidly middle of the road.

Vonzelle Still. So. Good. V is for victory baby!

ConstantShouting The mic-fellating was even more disturbing this time and yeah, he ‘sang’ maybe three words in a row, most was breathy shouting. People: when asked he said “I just wanted to rock it” first, after Paula tried to cover for his schtick. He didn’t exactly step up and show this “I’m just fucking with this competition” attitude did he? Only later when re-asked for about the third time and almost begged to recant by Seacrest did he quietly say “It was a little tongue in cheek”. He’s not in on the joke. He is the joke.

Nadia And Her Bow Wow Wow Thunderdome of Hair Second draft of my designation of her ‘look’ yesterday, and some new snark because her hopping around reminded me... she looked like a hobby horse. Does this look familiar to anyone? I think they call it The Nadia. The vocal isn’t as bad if you look away from the mind-scrambling frohawk. “The mohawk was for Mario.” What? Okay, it’s official, You’re Dead To Me.

Mikayla the Gorgon Painful as originally thought. She has an amazing skill in that she can sing while clipping off both the beginning and end of every word she sings. And I now offically want to take pleasure from slowly torturing her AND her mother (with duck tape over their big mouths of course). Her shirt says “My job is to ANNOY you” and folks she is tops in her chosen field. -10x256000000000

Anward and Downward I love his attitude in speaking about his performance, the performance itself though? Still not so good. You could clearly hear the background singer shouting him down throughout the song. It comes back to confidence and this performance shows that he's a teacher foremost and a performer second. +.01

Jessica The beginning was sooo good and really I’m leaning toward the repeat being a way to hold together the center of the chopped down version. I’m much more inclined to think it was pretty damn good. Give her a +6 and just a shade below Carrie on the overall (heh, farm pun unintended).

Everyone went up in my opinon 'cept for three of them, Bo who was at the ceiling already, BoredomBoy who was worse oh sooo much worse and Mikaylah who I now want dead but only after weeks, maybe months of slow physical and mental torture.

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Bwahs, Blahs, and a Few Moments That Give Pause...
by Swoopin

This was a very bwah-worthy night on AI, but not always for the right reasons. And I'm not sure about you, but I'm glad to know Ryan *hearts* expensive t-shirts. I think my life is now complete with that knowledge, which will no doubt turn up as a Jeopardy question in about 2 years.

Anyway, on to the Bwahs and the Blahs...

Bwah-worthy moment #1: Anphoney singing "I Knew You Were Waiting." I am now convinced that A-Fed has a secret stash of Clay performances downloaded on his computer, since Clay sang this (as a duet with a backup singer) on his tour this summer. He can run from the Clay comparisons if he wants, but he can't hide. Vocally, the weakest guy tonight--flat, weak lower register, and a nasty warbley note at the end. And about as compelling as watching a sloth hang in a tree.

Carrie is gonna change it up by twanging her way through Heart's "Alone" eh? First, I call Shout Out! I said last week I'd love to see her dressed like Slutty Sandy in Grease and she's totally rocking the Sandy hair. I wish Simon would STFU, seriously--my comment is the same as always--vocally fine (she sounded a little ooky on the slower high notes at the beginning and let the backing vocals carry the chorus) and about as compelling as watching a sloth take a nap. I don't get why Simon loves her so much, really. As a country singer, she doesn't stack up against some of the excellent women in that genre right now, and she has neither the personality or the stage presence to succeed as a pop princess. Good voice? Yes. Pretty? Close enough. Performing? Ugh.

Scott: Bwah Moment #2: Scott tossing first his hat, and then his glasses. I was waiting for him to sling off a shoe next. And either his shirt was only half tucked in or he's hiding a Quasimodo-sized hump under that jacket. That said, this is hands down the best version of "Against All Odds" ever on this show. Loved his eyeroll at Simon, like "whatEVER."

Bo: Jesus, I'm like dead . Randy now needs to STFU--this was vocally great, nicely nuanced, and I liked his interaction with the acoustic guy and the audience. But Randy, you know, it's just not poppin' if it isn't loud, belty, and glory-noted. He's like a magpie--only shiny, pretty songs need apply. Bo should sing "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" next week to complete his Croce oeuvre.

Ruben is in a sitcom about fast food? Bwah Moment #3. Really, Ruben's picture is next to "Life On A Stick" in the dictionary. I could go on here, but I'm sure you've thought up all the jokes yourself already.

Nikko: Sisqo's "Incomplete." He looked very good and he sold the song--he still misses a few notes and he needs to work on learning better breathing technique because he sometimes sounds like he's gasping to me. Overall, not too bad. Best thing he's done. Confession--I have nothing to compare this to since I'm pretty sure I've never heard the original.

Vonzell: Ooh, I remember really liking "Best of My Love" back in the day. I thought she had fun, but this didn't start well at all. She got better as she went on and was slamming it by the end, and I loved the little giggle when she finished.

ConmanCassidy: No votes from me--he didn't wear the pukka shell necklace. Confession again: "I Think I Love You" is one of my greatest guilty pleasures--I had a major fangirl thing for David Cassidy when I was 12. I really don't know what to say about this--I didn't mind the jacked up arrangement, and I thought he sounded fine, but it seemed boi. If he's going for crapping on the hand that's currently feeding him, I give him an A for the idea and a C on the execution.

Nadia: Looked like Grace Jones on a bad day with that FrauxHawk, and what the HELL did she do to "Time After Time"? That song is supposed to be urgent and wistful, and she made it hardassed and Mr. Swoop suggested a better choice would have been "Wild Thing" considering the hair. So he gets his very own Bwah Moment.

Mickles: Was, as usual, completely off key and out of tune for all but the last four notes and will she pretty please go the hell home this week? There ought to be a Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Music instituted in her honor. I think this is the song that was Carmen's swan song in Season Two-it should also be Mickles'.

Anwar: managed to somehow make "Ain't Nobody" completely lifeless. How do you suck the soul out of a Chakka Khan song? Oh wait, Donny Osmond liked it! Well that explains things. Seriously, he did not do that song justice at all, and you know, he has such a low watt variety of charisma that he looks lost on that big stage. He needs to go back to last week's fly outfit to give him back some stage presence. He looked like the very definition of uncomfortable and the moves were kind of clutzy. He's losing momentum at this rate and that's too bad. Still love his voice.

Jessica: "Total Eclipse of the Heart"--was good enough and the girls were back in town tonight. I like her better than Carrie, but is Simon going for the Jessica/Carrie showdown or what?

Best: Bo, Scott, Jessica, and (gah) Conman.
Bottom three: Mickles, A-Fed, and Nadia. Nadia back to the couch and please God, Mickles off my teevee now. Thanks!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Did You Just See What I Saw; Or Did Paula Slip Me Something?
by Wandering Snark

Maybe it’s just my personal inability to keep from my italian verbosity, but part of wht I liked about htis place is that we could post stuff like this, the before TWoP chop-down versions

A dressed down Ryan steps out through the middle of the uber-giganto plasmonstrosity that is the video backdrop and gives me Spinal Tap flashbacks for some reason, as if I expect it to close too fast on him and they’ll have to cut him out with an acetylene torch...

Anthony Boresmypantsov Comes out and does just that. The King of Lite Rock will be singing songs you hear at your next shitty telemarketing job.

Something About Carrie Underwood Yes, I burst into uncontrollable laughter when she stepped onto stage, especially after all of our Grease remake talk with her and Bo... there are no leather pants and she’s not smoking a cigarette but she still looks very much like leather makeover Sandy. The performance is actually damn good but I can’t stop laughing at the Grease flashback outfit/hair. Apparently the way that Simon keeps from laughing at her hair is giving her effusive over the top compliments. Check your messages Cowell, there’s one on there from Kelly Clarkson asking you to look at how her second record is performing. It ends with “so take that... Bitch!”

Scotty “the hotty?” Savol After the dubious into by Ryan we begin to see that Ryan was really just fucking with Scott after seeing him in rehearsal. I’d guess it was all he could do to keep from laughing, knowing Scott’s strip-version of Against the Odds was coming up. As for Scott’s vocals, a bit shallow and ‘tight’ sounding I think. It was just okay for me. I regret noticing but damn, Ryan’s arms are hot...

Where can I send money to stop Paula from molesting Simon when he says something she agrees with? Who replaced her oxycontin with Viagra?

Bo Bice dares step out of his box and everyone but Simon knocks him for it. Randy and Paula, the Box Guards give him with a “I’m sure your fans will forgive you/vote you through” bullshit proposition. Bo was still the best performance of the night, his voice is awesome and he gets giant points from me for liking Jim Croce sho I doubt any of these kids even know exists. More points because Jim Croce songs remind me of my dad who loved singing and music... he passed away pretty close to a year ago and it’s good to have a fun memory come to mind instead of the crappy ones I’m wading in currently. GO BO!!!

Nikko Smith Has his voice set to ‘shrill, loud and straining’. Also, there is apparently some rule about time you can wear your hat tonight as his lasts about 20 seconds... Meh.

Vonzelle First off if V keeps getting hotter every week she’ll either spontaneously combust Spinal Tap drummer style or she’ll have a lucrative second life as a Playboy Centerfold and/or we can actually properly affix the tag ‘Supermodel’ to her in the real sense. Damn.... the preformance and vocals were pretty hot too and I loved that she was obviously having a blast out there today, not afraid of the stage.

Looking back on it just after this performance the Plasmanstrositron should have shown a big flashing warning sign saying “Bumpy Road Ahead, All Downhill From Here”

Okay, ConstantScreaming white-boy raps/screams a fucking Partridge Family song, seriously people if he becomes much more of a self-parody I actually may start voting for the poor kid because this is really becoming entertaining. Paula says everything postive she can come up with but conveniently leaves out anything regarding his shouting err singing. She does kind of out him for the stage-rat theaterboy he is by saying his ‘performance’ is so good because he has so much experience ‘on the stage’, heh. Somewhere JPL is saying, wow that was schlock. And I mean in a ‘laugh-at’ not ‘laugh-along’ kind of way.

Tina Turner Beyond Bow-Wow-Wow Thunderdome Is 6’2, 10 feet 6 with the mohawk. In close-ups the front of her ‘hawk that comes down across her forehead makes her look like a deranged unicorn of some sort... it’s all so effing bizarre I can’t even wrap my head around it, err around her head. The song? Three times to fast. The mohawk? Three times too over the top. The hell was she thinking, besides ‘Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves Because I Want Candy’ of course?

Meekayla The Gorgon I’m a child of the eighties. I know Taylor Dayne. You, Meekaylah are no Taylor Dayne. That was weak with a capital eek. Yeah baby you better get used to waving goodbye... I don’t feel like trying to explain how bad this was, let’s just move on.

Anward and... Homeward shows why he’s yet to do anything uptempo, because he just can’t get his voice up to speed with the pacing. It’s a rubberband performance I’d say... every line he starts out behind and then gets kind of sprung into full voice 80% into each line but then she snaps back again. It leaves about 15% of the song actually sung to his voice’s potential. The only thing that sounds decent is when he breaks away from the actual set pacing of the song to throw out some showy notes so we remember he does have a great voice. This performance though? It’s a mess...

My poor Jessica Sierra... *sigh* I think she forgot a few words (depending on how they’d planned to chop it down for the time limit) and that threw her off. Everything that wasn’t intro or out-tro was too fast for her and/or she was trying to pull it togehter after fumbling the words and the pacing never gave her a chance. You could tell because she couldn’t get any of the real power that the song should have behind it. It’s a shame really, because this choice does match the hell out of her voice. I just think having it all chopped up ruined it and left her without the confidence needed to pull it off.

Again it’s (regrettably) the Carrie and Bo Variety Hour that makes up the only decent portion of tonight show.

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Blogger wasimmerdude sez:

I'm sorry about your father, but I'm glad that you found some comfort from tonight's show. :)

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