Punishment Pool, week 1: Adam Dreams of Sweet Death
For the record, this is the first actual "competition" episode of "American Idol" I've ever seen. Before this I've only ever sat through audition shows, and those were bad enough. I would soon find out that the audition shows are freaking Shakespeare in comparison.
What follows is a stream-of-consciousness rambling from my viewing of last night's episode:
The theme for tonight's show is "Most Popular Downloads." The contestants get to pick any song they want, as long as it's on an iTunes chart. They're saying they've been looking forward to this week, because it gives them a chance to pick more modern songs. That doesn't bode well for me.
The first guy, Anoop, is singing an Usher song. I have no idea what this song is. I've never heard it before. That can only work in this guy's advantage, because I have nothing to compare his performance to. And actually, I don't think he's doing too bad. The judges are saying it wasn't the right song for him. I agree, but only because I don't care. Simon calls it "a complete and utter mess," and I agree. Again -- don't care. I'll be doing that alot tonight.
White chick trying to sound like Billie Holiday. Said her pick is "Bob Marley-slash-Lauryn Hill's 'Turn Your Lights Down Low.'" Listen, you stupid skank, Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill were never collaborators. It was all studio trickery, like when Natalie Cole sang with her dead dad. Bob Marley died in 1981, when Lauryn was 6. Maybe he could have worked with her on a finger painting at some point, but not a song. Just because Lauryn covered it, don't give her songwriting credit. The judges rightfully hated her performance. A deaf baboon would have hated that. Her voice was offensive to my cochlea. Don't they have a trap door on that stupid stage? Or at least one of those long hooks like they used back in vaudeville? She of course is brushing off the criticism, saying that her fans loved her performance. Well, sure, because they're fans. Your fans will love anything you do. Know who else had fans? Adolf Hitler. Yeah, they were called Nazis.
The weather is messing with my reception. The show is freezing and skipping and blacking out. It's like watching the show on a dirty CD. I think Mother Nature has just found a way to make this torture even worse.
Milwaukee native and douchebag Danny Gokey is singing a Rascal Flatts song. I have never heard a Rascal Flatts song, and I don't care that I've never heard a Rascal Flatts song. He's doing it OK though; again, benefiting from my lack of knowledge. The judges are all gargling with his flopsweat and saying he was great. Now he's talking to Seacrest: "It's such a heartfelt song really when you get the heart and you get emotion and you connect with people on that level, it's just a whole 'nother level of song." Shut up, Danny, I hate you and hope your larynx explodes.
Red haired Kelly Osbourne clone is singing No Doubt's "Don't Speak." God I hate this song. This is the song that they play on repeat in the elevators of hell. She brought out her guitar buttttt...nope, she's not playing it. If you were trying to impress us with an instrument but not play it, why not bring out a tuba? Or a xylophone. Or one of those crazy one-man-band things. Paula called the chubby punk's guitar an "ax." You shouldn't mention potential murder weapons when speaking, Paula, it gives me ideas.
Oh hey, that blind guy is still in the competition! I remember him from my first horrifying brush with "Idol" this season, one of the audition shows. He was the only guy I liked. He's singing "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel. This is a top download how? At least he's actually playing the piano himself. His haircut makes him look like Richard Marx. I'm guessing his first song choice, "Endless Summer Nights," wasn't a top download. I'm rooting for this guy though. I think his name is Scott, but I'm going to call him Blind Willie.
Next up, Matt Giraud is singing a song by The Fray, which is fitting given the state of my nerves at this point. He's out in the audience, surrounded by screaming fans. Who does he think he is, Bono? The judges are all saying it was the wrong song for him. I disagree. I think it was the wrong song for humanity. "I love The Fray and I love rock," he tells Seacrest. That's like saying "I love Domino's and I love pizza."
CELINE DION ALERT! Lil Rounds is dressed like a Supreme and singing "I Surrender" by the Canadian death harpy. She sounds pretty good. Not rescue-Adam-from-tightening-the-noose-around-his-neck good ... but good. Seacrest is out talking to her two little kids in the audience, asking if they want to punch Randy for being mean to mommy. One of them takes him up on it. She's waddling over to the judges' table and I'm praying for blood. Dammit, she's just hugging him. Way to cop out, little girl. Punch him in his fat throat! Gouge his stupid fat eyeballs out!
Now this Adam guy is doing "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry. How is this possible? This is a popular download? What's going on? Have I gone insane? This is the worst thing I've ever heard, and the audience is going crazy. I'd rather hear a box full of kittens getting run over by a steamroller. Paula is calling him genius and comparing him to Mick Jagger. Paula, if it's the last thing I do I will hunt you down, hogtie you with a straight jacket and chuck you into the nut house. You are a psychopath. My god, they're all complimenting this jackass. I hope they all die slowly and painfully as everyone they've ever hated stands around their deathbed laughing at them.
Please make this stop.
This Munchkin dude Kris is going to do "Ain't No Sunshine." I thought they were supposed to be doing contemporary, popular songs. Just because every hack director uses this song in every crap movie these days, doesn't make it contemporary. This guy's horrible. Bill Withers is rolling in his grave. Wait, is Bill Withers dead? I should look this up. Nope, he's still alive. Sorry, Bill. Hey, here's a joke. How do you make a duck sing soul music? Put it in the oven until its bill withers. The judges are all licking this guy's butt in gratitude for his performance. I want them all to do cannonballs into a vat of acid.
Whew, at least he was the last performance. Now they're just showing clips of all the performances for people to call in their votes. If I had any inclination to waste minutes on a vote, I'd have to vote for Blind Willie, because he's blind and has a Richard Marx haircut. You just feel bad for a guy like that. If I had to pick a favorite based on who I thought was going to actually win, I'd have to stick a crowbar through my left ear and dig around for a while until it came out the right. It would take a lot of brain matter with it in the process, thus giving my vote tooooooo....Danny Gokey. The judges all but laid him down and made gentle, passionate love to him, they think he's so brilliant. I think he's a douchebag. Difference of opinion.
Anyway it's over. I'm done writing about it. I hope Hollywood gets hit by a meteorite before next week so I don't have to do this again.
-- Adam Reinhard, firstname.lastname@example.org