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Thoughts On American Idol Top 4: Elimination

May 12, 2011

Oh no! J.Lo is wearing harem pants again! Your career is back on track. Don’t push your luck with ugly, ugly pants! Also, if Randy “Status Quo” Jackson says “In It To Win It” one more time, I’m gonna scream.

There are duet performances….

Scotty & James do some country song, (“Start A Band?”) I don’t know. James gets a kiss from some woman in the audience. I hope she’s his wife. I don’t know because WE NEVER SEE HIS WIFE! Apparently her nose hit his eye. The guys can both pull of the twangy thing, but they do not sound good together at all.

After the commercial Lauren and Haley come out to sing Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead.” Haley is all summery and revealing while Lauren is head to toe in black like a supervillain. It was too disparate. The costuming of the show has been absolute shit this season. Luckily they continue to harmonize well. It was actually a pretty good performance and another win for the women.

Afterward we get a videoconference montage and confirmation that the woman in the audience was indeed James’s wife and it kind of makes me happy.

Lady Gaga – “You and I”

Oh man, I thought we were gonna get a live performance! This is just a clip from Gaga’s HBO concert. The clip features her performing “You and I.” She was really going for the 70s singer-songwriter vibe here. Not really my cup of tea, but I’ll still probably buy Born This Way.

Enrique Iglesias – “Dirty Dancer / I Like It”

Well this is just some out and out rave music. Not dance pop, just dance! The beat is kind of hot, but I cannot hear him over the beats. There’s a recorded clip of Usher singing a verse and the whole thing probably sounds better recorded. Things pick up a little bit when he shifts to his comeback hit “I Like It.” He gets the crowd to sing along and he sounds kind of live, or just live enough for the whole thing to feel mediocre and sloppy. Oh well at least he hasn’t aged since 2002.

Ford Music Video – “Fireflies”

Instead of Harold and the Purple Crayon, we get Harold and the Purple Glowstick.

Jordin Sparks – “I Am Woman”

The last woman and person of color to win American Idol emerges from a slick theatrical intro to knock out a well-executed uptempo R&B number that sounds like something Beyonce took a pass on. Highlights of the performance include a group of male backup dancers dressed like Justin Bieber and a moment whereSparks tries to get her trenchcoat off but just can’t seem to shake it. Eventually she has to keep singing (or lip-syncing, as it may be) with the jacket still half on. She still sings really well, though she’s not the best. I appreciate that she did an uptempo number. I hope that she continues to do well.

Steven Tyler – “It Feels So Good”

Why does he have a sloth? Kathy wants a sloth. Also, this song would not be out of place in the early 2000s performed by Vertical Horizon, Nine Days, BBMak, and/or Evan and Jaron. Really Steven? You’re bringing that back? At least with Aerosmith there was a little blues rock soul in your music (and yes, I’m counting the power ballads in there). Also, Nicole Scherzinger, don’t you have more important things to be doing right now, such as prepping for your X-Factor gig?

Bottom 2 (Announced in 2 rounds)

  1. James Durbin
  2. Scotty McCreery

The ladies are in! James is out! Bye bye, Mr. Histrionic! In a way James was a victim of expectations. The show set him up to be a successor to Adam Lambert when he wasn’t nearly as skilled or fun. He had a tendency to wail and scream at the most inappropriate times in his songs and he relied on too many gimmicks (including a marching band and a burning piano). Plus there was that scarf tail thing. To his credit, James tried to do harder and more obscure songs (at least for Idol) and his “give metal a chance” mission was refreshing. I actually kind of wish he had brought some real hardcore metal to the squeaky-clean Idol stage. Go back to your family, dude (after you finish the seemingly neverending concert tour.) It appears as after a season of absence they are still there for you.

Next week it’s Haley vs. the teen assholes. We’re in for a wild ride.

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