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, April 20, 2005


Singin' 'bout chest hair, singin' 'bout crazy cool medallions
by spacecitymarc


Ryan starts off the evening by telling me, "You have total control." Wait… really? Okay, then: Scott's out. My Jessiebear's back, and she sings, and she sings, and she sings, and she sings. 2Cats gets dipped in Neet and shivers like a wet dog so much that he can barely open his mouth, leaving him humiliated but not booted for another few weeks. Carrie and Cheeseheart make sweet love right there on stage, spawning a new race of Okla-Ukrainians. Bo upshifts back to primo ass-kickery and Anwar wins the whole thing, resulting in an album so boring that it undermines the entire AI franchise in one fell swoop. Awesome. Thanks for putting me in total control, 19E.

The theme is "'70s Dance Music," and, like last week's TAR and its "Go to Phil on the Mat" instead of "Go to the Pitstop," I find the fact that they didn't just say "disco" intriguing. Ryan asks Scott if he has "the fever," to which he replies, "Nobody's gonna be able to keep up with me next week, man" in the least energetic manner possible. So I'm looking forward to that. Was somebody saying "Good game, good game" as they applauded Ryan's exit from the room?

2Cats, "Nights On Broadway." Ah, that's the awful, disgusting 2Cats I remember, preening instead of singing. Anything he did well was solely in the performance, not the vocal. Dis-GUS-ting. Even my puke vomited. I mean, how much do you suck when Jimmy Fallon does a better cover of this in his Barry Gibb Talk Show sketch? I'm pleased that I thought back to Joe Murena's unctuous Portuguese nightclub perf of "Let's Stay Together" well before Simon said Spanish nightclub (hey, it's a bigger market, so, progress!). Paula sez, "Whatever happens, you're gonna be selling lots of records." And with that I cannot disagree: "Let's see, that's the White Stripes, Coldplay, Weezer… that'll be $47.22. Do you need a bag?"

Carrie Underwood, "MacArthur Park." Carrie doesn't know what the song is about, which, like, duh, it's Carrie, but I give her a pass on this one, because it's a horrible, wretched, nonsensical song that is quite famously one of the worst songs ever written. Why oh why do people keep coming back to this? The key is too low for her -- the last note of every line in the verse is getting completely lost -- but once she gets into her range, she's really good. One of her best non-country vocals. She looks… thicker than usual, I have to say, but that's just an observation, not a judgement, because she is really pretty tonight, despite another appearance by her fivehead.

Scott Savol, "Everlasting Love." Totally meh. He sang it, he didn't have a hell of a lot of energy and he duffed enough of the notes so that his detractors'll have enough ammo while his supporters will have enough to root for. And somebody needs to fucking strap Paula down into her chair, because Paula's One-Woman Dance Party is getting as old and annoying as Simon's arrogance and Randy's everything.

Alex Trebek! I wonder if he still doesn't like me.

Cheeseheart, "Don't Take Away The Music." That was possibly the blandest, most boring performance I've seen all season. When it was happening, it was just like I was watching something that was happening. Simon sez, "Pleasant, safe and a little insipid. So that's sort of a compliment." Which part, Simon? Ryan asks Cheeseheart, "Are you just happy to be back each and every week?," which is funny, since he may as well be asking, "Are you as surprised as we are?"

Vonzell Solomon, "I'm Every Woman." Excellent choice for her, but Anwar must've been pissed that she took his song. Too much heavy lifting by the backup singers here. Vonzell sounds just fine, but I've finally realized that the reason she does so well every week is that she has good control and tone but otherwise has a blank-slate voice so anonymous that she can blend into any style or singer without standing out overmuch. Which is probably exactly what 19E is looking for. Wait… did Randy just say that she had a few "sharp notes"? Not "pitchy"? Holy crap!

Anwar Robinson, "September." Wait a minute… this wasn't sung by a woman! Standard Anwar: rough start, strong end. Good, I guess. I kinda missed it after what I'm sure was a split second shot of my Jessiebear. Squee!

Bo Bice, "Vehicle." And we finally find out why the theme was not explicitly "disco." Great performance, but obviously the Bo Song. And as much as I'd like to bitch about Bo keeping himself in his box, you could say the same damn thing about Gregg Allman, Chris Martin, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, Aimee Mann and damn near every other name-above-the-title singer who ever made a living in music. The David Bowies of the world are the exception, not the rule. Bo does what Bo is good at. Might be fun to watch him stretch (a straightforward country night would be interesting), though.

Ryan sez, "My opinion: everybody did a great job." That's why we don't let you give your opinion, Sprinkles.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Dance, dance, dance, dance dancin' machine...
by Swoopin


God, I totally forgot to post here last week. Eek.

Anyway, about tonight:

And still no RY AN on the doors for poor Sprinkles.

Wow, the Bo pimping started early, didn't it? And a Scott pimp? My head hurts now.

"70's dance music" just cracks me up for some reason.

Onward:

THE CON: Travoltas in his intro--I thought he said in Hollywood that he couldn't dance? "Sings" the Bee Gees "Nights on Broadway" and lets the back up singers do the flasetto, the chickenshit. I was completely distracted by the Eyeliner! and the Highlights! and the White Jacket! and the Winking! Stop, stop, stop! Randy hauls out the Vegas line, and Simon says he's like a waiter in a Spanish nightclub, which is probably one step up from a Portugese nightclub. Overall, I thought he sucked. Hard. Hated it. Young Swoop gets the snark line of the night in our house with, "Eeww, even his chest fur is greasy!"

CARRIE: Sings the second stupidest song of all time, "MacArthur Park," and once again fucks up the words and this time no one calls her on it. She's wearing a butt ugly dress and her hair could be hiding an entire third world country in there. I thought she was vocally assy overall, behind the music, off the beat, and misplaced her lower register in her hair, and that was the most lifeless, emotionless, boring thing I've ever seen. And Paula, let me introduce you to Clay Aiken, who's burped longer glory notes than that one Carrie warbled through.

SCOTT: speaking of Voldemort, Scott takes on "Everlasting Love" and, while he's certainly no Clay, he does a credible job with it vocally. Simon calls it karaoke, but he obviously was picking his nose through Carrie's karaoke performance just before this one. I was completely surprised they didn't invoke Clay's name when he was done, until I remembered that Simon called Clay's version "broadway."

ANTHONY: Is going to shake his Ukrainian bootay to "Don't Take Away The Music." Mascara much, Aphid? I thought this was vocally inoffensive and that he moved fairly well. I was halfway entertained, at least. Word to Simon: "insipid" is hardly a compliment.

VONZELL: tackles the difficult Chaka song "I'm Every Woman," and makes a vocal mess out of the beginning of it. And the backup singers need to STFU because I can't hear her half the time. I love Vonzell and the energy she brings to the stage, but this didn't do it for me.

ANWAR: EWF's "September" is one of my all time favorite songs, so I go into this thinking he'd better not blow it. I thought he was eh. Once again, his lower register craps out and he's out of tune, and this song should have been a goldmine for him and it's not. It should have been much better. And he bailed on the falsetto too! Meanwhile, I'm dying because he is totally prancing around like a pony and it's the gayest thing I've ever seen on AI, but he has a nice mane to brush and braid. I knew Simon would haul out the Broadway Backhand, and I was not disappointed.

I then indulge myself in a moment of silence for Ricky Smith, who would so have kicked ass on that song--and Constantine's.

BO: in the pimp spot, with the pimp lighting and camera cuts. Totally dorky in his intro and I loved it. I also loved the leather jacket. And "Vehicle." I'm not sure how that qualifies as a "70's dance music" song, but since I melted on the first "Great God in heaven," I am beyond caring. I'm just glad he did well, was energetic, and wants me to know that he loves me. Me me me me me!

Bottom Three: Vocally, for me, it's Carrie, Con, and Vonzell. I don't see either Carrie or Con hitting the seal, though, so at a guess, I'd say it'll be Scott, Anwar, and Vonzell. Either Scott or Anwar goes. Probably Scott.

Oh, and the Family guy thing: "From Ruben to Clay"? Total shout out. Except the idea of Ruben running anywhere these days is laughable.

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