Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ah, the nostalgia

I'm super excited tonight... It's 80s night on "American Idol" and for the first time this season, I expect to know at least 80% of the songs sung. I've made no secret of the fact that I am not a musical expert in any way - I'm just a regular "Idol" viewer like anyone else. So every week, there's a song I'm not familiar with or a song that was made famous by one person but originally sung by another and so on, so it's always a bit of work for me to look up the songs and pray that I get them right. But this week, I hope it will go smoother. Plus, it'll be great just to hear some of these songs again - they're not exactly on heavy rotation on the radio these days.

Anyway, in addition to singing great songs this week, we also get to hear about the contestants' most embarrassing moments.

First up is Luke Menard. He's at an obvious disadvantage and kind of fighting an uphill battle this week, I think. His first week out was not great, second week was better, but he sang a fairly obscure song. This week, he needs to knock it out of the park. His most embarrassing moment happened when he was 8 years old. He says his older sister always wanted to have a younger sister, so she dressed him up like a ballerina - put him in a tutu, put little barrettes in his hair and took pictures of it. He says we'll never see the photos, but of course, they flash one on the screen and it's actually really cute.

He sings Wham's "Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go" and it starts a little shaky, but quickly picks up. He actually sounds little bit like George Michael. I think it's a great song to start with - great beat, kind of makes you want to snap your fingers. I actually wish he had come out wearing those cute little shorts Wham wore in their video. Anyway, I think the performance is actually pretty good - way better than his previous performances, but I still wonder if it will be good enough to keep him around next week.

Randy tells him it started out a little rough, that he was off the notes a little bit and he was behind the music a little, but that he got it together in the end. He said it was a surprising song choice for him, a little corny, but that it was all right. Paula is off to a bad start herself, it takes a while just to get a sentence out, but she too, agrees that she was surprised by his song choice. Why are they surprised? It's 80s week and that's an 80s song, corny or not, and he sang it well. But whatever. She adds that she loved his interpretation of the song. Simon says he didn't like it, that it weak, a bit girly. He even tells him there is no chance he'll make it into the final 12, and while I hate to admit it, I think he's right. Luke was already at the bottom and I just don't think there's any hope of saving him.

David ARchuleta is up next and he says his most embarrassing moment happened years ago when he was invited to sing in Honduras for some fundraiser and they had made a big effort to get him to go down and he sang "Contigo en la Distancia," a Spanish song, and halfway through it, he lost his voice, so his mom had to run up on stage and finish the song for him.

He sings Phil Collins' "Another Day in Paradise." He starts the song playing the piano, and the first few notes are soft and really sweet, but not too far in, he's actually a little flat on a few notes. Nothing major and it certainly doesn't take away from his voice, but it's really the first time he's faltered. I have to say this - as much as I love this song, I'm not sure it's the best song for him. Mostly because it's another ballad, and I'm beginning to wonder if he can pull off a more up-tempo song. All the other contestants have at least made the attempt to switch it up. He seems to be playing it safe. The performance was great, but it lacked a certain something. I hope he's not going to be another Mandisa, who peaked with her first song and just went downhill after that. I hope he can pick it up next week.

Randy tells him it was good, that it was an interesting song choice because it didn't show off what he can do, but it was nice. He says there were a couple of little pitch problems, but that it was nice. Paula tells him she loves that there were a couple of notes that were off because it proved to her that he's not make-believe person. She said that even in the imperfection, he's still perfect. Imagine that... who knew we could find real perfection within imperfection? She's nuts. Simon tells him that it wasn't as good as last week and that he needs to be careful, that he's 17 years old, and he's getting a little bit gloomy, that all his song choice are sad songs. He tells him to lighten it up a little.

And then David says something that actually rubs me the wrong way - not enough to annoy me, but enough to kind of warn me that I may, sometime in the future, be annoyed by him. He says he chose the song because it talks about people who don't have homes and he thought what a great song because it brings attention those around the world that have nothing. Now, it's a nice thought, it really is. And I admire him for being so thoughtful, but he also gave a similar explanation last week when they asked him why he chose the third verse of "Imagine" instead of the first. He's getting a little "holier than thou" and I'm kind of hoping he drops it, because people will eventually stop believing that he's sincere, and will start believing that he's trying to put on some wholesome act.


Anonymous said...

David A. is a Mormon and it is part of his responsibility (some say he is brainwashed, but I won't go that far) to spread a certain message. Whether that responsibility affects his song choice is not clear. But I wasn't rubbed the wrong way by his comments. He is apparently a sweet, sensitive young man.

Anonymous said...

He sang an up tempo song the first week. It was Great. He then sings two Ballads in a row, both great performances. Imagine was the better of the last two. If it had been reversed you all would have said week 1 Great, week 2 better, week 3 better yet. But the better song came in the second week and instead of relizing it's just a better song, you have to find fault in the singer to justify it. weak by you, weak by the judges.