7:16: Good evening! I’ll be back in 45 minutes with the inaugural Idol live blog. We’re experiencing internet connectivity issues here at Casa b-roll this evening, so if I go quiet for a while, well, I’m either furiously logging online via BlackBerry or sobbing uncontrollably at the shattered remnants of the Rolling Stones’ songbook. So let’s pray to the wireless gods, and hope that tonight’s singers aren’t overly pitchy. Back at 8pm!
8:01: We’re here! Got the internet fixed with two minutes to spare. Just enough time to tune in and see Ryan strut down his staircase, Busby Berkeley-style. How long before he tumbles ass over teakettle down that thing? This year? Next? Let’s place bets!
8:03: Ah, a Stones montage. This might be the evening’s high point. Stay tuned.
8:05: Starting with Big Mike! Here’s the obligatory childhood montage. Whoa, this took a tragic turn. And here’s the obligatory shot of his outrageously adorable baby.
8:06: So Big Mike really loves the falsetto, huh? My eardrums do not. Although credit for being able to sing at dog-whistle-pitch in key and everything. That is impressive.
8:07: This was well sung. But slightly boring, no? And here comes Randy with the hyperbole…
8:09: Why did Kara speak of the Stones as if they were past-tense? Very much alive, Kara. Although possibly not at the end of this evening.
8:10: Ryan invades Simon’s personal space, to Simon’s abject horror. That was both bizarre and uncomfortable and delightful. Still trying to figure out which.
8:12: First commercial break! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my roommate Jen for the use of her laptop, which is infinitely faster than mine. Official b-roll shout-out.
816: Didi’s mom gets too nervous to watch her perform live? That is not shocking, considering that Didi is a human faucet and sobs at will.
8:21: I love this slightly less than the judges, because she had some very off-key moments. But that was a very cool arrangement.
8:22: Casey! I’m still undecided if I prefer hair up or down with him. I know that has nothing to do with music. I’m just saying.
8:24: This bluesy-country-rock arrangement is right in his wheelhouse. And he looks like he’s having fun, unlike the contestants who just look like they’re trying not to wet themselves. So I’m a fan, gotta say.
8:26: Did Randy just coin the phrase “bluesykindastonesyrocky”? Wait, what?
8:28: I disagree with Simon. Shockingly.
8:29: Oh sweet Lord, a commercial for a Miley Cyrus film. God save us.
8:30: I’d like to take this commercial break to ask a question: How much does Coke pay for sponsorship in the form of the cups on the judges table? Because I can’t imagine that Randy sipping out of a Coke cup makes anyone say “the hell with Pepsi then!” And I’m willing to sip out of a Coke cup while live-blogging for significantly less money. Think about it, Coke people.
8:34: Lacey gets extra points for singing a Brandi Carlile song last week. But I’m still not a fan. She always seems to be walking a tightrope between lilting and out of tune. This isn’t atrocious, though (at least 30 seconds in; God knows how it’ll end).
8:36: How do you sing a Mick Jagger song while sitting placidly on steps? Aren’t you legally obligated to strut? And oof, was that last note painful.
8:37: Ellen: “It was a little bit sleepy but I’m a fan of yours.” I’m more a fan of sleep. And did Kara just say, “There were some issues when you didn’t hit the notes right”? This is a SINGING. COMPETITION. You need to hit the notes right. It’s kind of a requirement.
8:39: Ryan shows Lacey how to walk. That was helpful.
8:40: Upside of commercial breaks: I have time to collect and record my thoughts. Downside: I have to listen to freaking commercials.
8:43: And we’re back with the judges giggling happily. Ten dollars says that they were either bickering or counting money before coming back from the break.
8:44: Up next: Andrew. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a mellow accoustic arrangement is probably on tap.
8:46: Nope, I’m wrong – not a guitar in sight! Gotta say – that was only aight for me.
8:47: Kara wanted to feel the connection to the lyrics about war. Uh, okay, hun. Thanks for the backup, Simon.
8:49: After the commercial break: Katie Stevens. Yup, best to get that out of the way early.
8:51: I’m sorry – did I just see an ad for the Census that featured a rap song? That was freaking surreal.
8:53: I found out the twist ending for the movie Remember Me and now refuse to see it. Just FYI.
8:54: What is the print of Katie’s dress? It’s sort of Tinkerbell meets leopard.
8:55: Will Katie sing the Susan Boyle version of this song? Because I’m not okay with that.
8:57: Wow, Katie was even pitchy as a small child. Is that mean to say? It is? Whatever.
8:58: Yup, it’s the SuBo arrangement. Simon will be thrilled; the rest of the world, not so much. She is really not capable of staying on-pitch in her lower register.
8:59: Really, judges? Overwhelming praise? REALLY?
9:00: “Tim Urban fans, you get your fix!” Okay, all six of you! Get ready!
9:03: I would like to propose a theory: Let’s remove cellular phones from the possession of anyone below the age of 18 on Tuesday nights. They are clearly not emotionally prepared to participate in a process as important as choosing our next American Idol. I just had to listen to Katie Stevens; I am about to listen to Tim Urban; and it is ALL THEIR FAULT. What would Lilly have sung this week? The world will never know. Everyone in favor of this plan, please vote yea.
9:05: “If you want to download any of these songs, go to iTunes!” Nope, I’m good. I’ll just stick to the, you know, classic arrangements. Thanks though, Ry.
9:06: This is like a reggae lullaby; I may have just nodded off. I know, I’m really hard on this kid. I’ll stop.
9:09: Hey, what is Kara wearing around her neck? Is it part of her shirt? A necklace? an armored breastplate? I’m confused.
9:11: I like Siobhan’s voice; I do not enjoy tonight’s hairstyle. It’s sorta birds-nest-chic.
9:13: I’m a little sad to see Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince doing television commercials. RIP, adolescence.
9:15: Apparently Ryan’s staircase has turned red and now leads directly to Hell. Good to know. That actually makes a lot of sense.
9:17: I’m not sure she should’ve tried for the glory note again; that was one too many times to that well. This was good, but I don’t think it was as sensational as they do.
9:20: Good Lord, another Luke Wilson for AT&T ad? How long is that contract? Seriously.
9:22: The commercial for the Twilight: New Moon DVD release reminds me that I am a 28 year old who saw that film on its opening weekend. Granted, it wasn’t my idea – I would like that clearly and definitively stated. But still, I can feel the shame bubbling within.
9:26: How cute are Lee Dewyze’s parents? Downright adorable. I think it’s at least 15% because of their Midwestern accents.
9:27: Dear Lee: I love your voice. Please keep it on pitch. Love, Betsy.
9:29: I liked that quite a bit. He was on pitch, he sang a great song well. I’m a fan.
9:30: Simon: “What’s always held you back is your personality.” Wow, that’s not insulting or anything.
9:32: Look at Ryan, being all Simon-whisperer to Lee.
9:38: Hey, Paige! Nice work at this not being all heinous and stuff. Not loving the jumpsuit though.
9:41: Okay, I will give her props for singing with laryngitis. I can’t imagine that’s easy.
9:42: “Let’s keep it rock n’ rollin’ with Aaron Kelly right now!” That’s gotta be the first time those words were ever spoken, right?
9:44: Calling this “pitchy” would be the most polite possible way to describe it. Also, not so much with the pronunciation; I can neither confirm nor deny that my roommate thought he was saying “NJ” and not “Angie,” and wondered aloud why he was singing to the state of New Jersey. Raucous laughter ensued.
9:46: This must not have sounded as off-key live as it does at home. Yes, it was the right song choice. No, it was not sung terribly well. And can someone please check on Justin Timberlake? He’s probably hyperventilating thanks to Randy’s ludicrous comparison.
9:50: Up next – Crystal! Please don’t suck, sweetie. I’ve got all my hopes riding on you this season.
9:52: “Let’s venture to Ohio!” Oh, let’s not.
9:53: Anyone else think that Crystal singing this song is so absolutely perfect? And I love the way she’s changing it up. Okay, sign me up for her fan club. I may run for president.
9:57: Okay, someone check the judges’ Coke cups. Because sorry, I loved it. I’d buy Crystal’s song tonight; not so much Siobhan’s, though it was fine.
9:58: So as we revisit the evening’s performances…I’m not seeing anything that changes my mind. Methinks that Tim Urban or Lacey need to go home. No freaking way Siobhan outsang Crystal; of that I am sure. And I totally cracked up at the snippet of Aaron singing “Ennn-jaaay…“. That, in fact, will be my lasting impression of tonight’s show.
On that note, while we check and see if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are still with us, I wish you all a good night!