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Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Idol" watch: It's official. This is a flop fest.

Because no one else wants to do it -- or in Punishment Pool fashion, has been forced to like some Guantanamo-style form of Channel Surfing torture, Press-Gazette graphics editor Eric Ebert is stepping in with a weekly "American Idol" recap. We don't know whether to applaud or mock him for this extra shot of CS content. On second thought, we choose to mock.

Blame it on the lack of a standout contestant like Adam Lambert.

Blame it on nine seasons of culling the American public for “idols.”

For all I care, you can blame it on the absence of cracked-out judge Paula Abdul, but Season 9 of “American Idol” has had everything but a star performance.

Earlier this week, the first live acts pitted the 12 male finalists against the 12 female finalists. And tonight — based on America’s voting — two men and two women will be sent home.

I say good riddance.

I watched with anticipation two nights of live performances, waiting to hear some quality vocal talent. Instead, I was treated to karaoke imitations that probably wouldn’t win local singing competitions.

Aside from several performances — namely, Lilly Scott’s rendition of the Beatles’ “Fixing a Hole” and Casey James’ surprising vocals on Bryan Adams’ “Heaven” — the "Idol" contestants fell flat.

In fact, Tim Urban’s version of “Apologize” by OneRepublic was downright painful to listen to. And Haley Vaughn’s overexcited smiling took “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles to a creepy — if not tone deaf — level.

Maybe it would be better stated that the contestants face-planted.

Monday and Tuesday’s performances leave a lot of room to question what judges Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson and Ellen DeGeneres were thinking during the Hollywood week auditions.

It’s sad to see a process that has cultivated chart-topping talent like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Chris Daughtry relegated to a sideshow of mullet-sporting, judge-flirting contestants lacking star qualities.

Then again, maybe this was just a bad week. But I won’t be shedding any tears for the four contestants headed home.

ERIC'S POWER RANKINGS

Men:

1. Andrew Garcia: Although the judges didn’t love his take on Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar We’re Going Down,” he is by far the most musically talented performer in this season.

2. Casey James: His heartfelt rendition of Bryan Adams’ “Heaven” had more than just Kara DioGuardi licking their chops.

3. Michael Lynche: The big man had a satisfactory performance with Maroon 5’s “This Love,” but his booming attitude and story should keep him in the running.

4. Lee Dewyze: His pitchy singing and lackluster performance on Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” was bottom-of-the-barrel in my book, but with Simon Cowell’s backing, he will probably succeed in the end.

5. Joe Munoz: My dark horse candidate at the moment, Munoz displayed better vocal talent than many of his competitors on Jason Mraz’s “You and I Both.” But can he dig deep and find some star power?

Women:

1. Lilly Scott: Clearly the best female contestant after the first week, her rendition of the Beatles’ “Fixing a Hole” was spot on.

2. Crystal Bowersox: The dreadlocked Bowersox eased through Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket” with guitar and harmonica in tow.

The rest: I’d clarify the rest of my top 5, but honestly, they were so forgettable I don’t remember them two days later.

Agree? Disagree? Add your own "Idol" comments below. Or just mock Eric for actually caring. It's what we're going to do.

— Eric Ebert, eebert@greenbaypressgazette.com

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1 Comments:

For some reason, I caught Haley Vaughn’s rendition of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" while flipping cannels. It was pretty dreadul, but I was glad the judges thought so, too. Also, she didn't know what being a "dark horse" meant. FAIL!

--Malavika

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At March 1, 2010 at 9:54 AM  

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