7:45: Howdy, fellow Idol faithful! I’ll be back in 15 minutes with tonight’s two hour performance/possible dismantling of the Lennon-McCartney songbook. I could not love this theme more, ladies and gentlemen; unfortunately, I cannot say the same for this evening’s singers, some of whom cause me physical pain. So I’m hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Back soon.
7:57: Two important notes: I am also monitoring the Sox-Yanks game, and should things take a bad turn, I may take it out on the Idol performers by unleashing a tidal wave of snark. Also, since my apartment managers decided not to turn on our air conditioning despite Mother Nature deciding to go directly from Winter to Summer without passing go, it’s approximately 107 degrees at casa b-roll right now. Just FYI for all of you fine people.
8:00: Why the sudden interest in showing us the guts of the Idol machinery? How much do they think we care? “THIS…is AMERICAN IDOL.”
8:02: Comment from b-roll roomie Jen: “I wonder if Ryan practices going down the stairs…” Fair question.
8:03: Just got a wide shot of Siobhan’s outfit. I’m doing the Tim Gunn Memorial “This is not how you make it work” Facial Expression.
8:04: Watching this montage, does anyone else feel like this is a huge apology for Miley Week?
8:05: Dear Ellen: Stop naming songs that’ve already been sung on Idol. There are 800 Beatles songs; the contestants can pick new ones, yes? And listing “Party in the USA” – even facetiously – is completely blasphemous. I must wash my ears.
8:08: I don’t really enjoy talking babies in commercials; this diaper ad with the baby talking via sock puppet is only slightly less creepy than babies with animated talking mouths. Just saying.
8:11: Contestants are having varying degrees of success with the Yoda voice. I’m curious if Crystal has seen a Star Wars film, as her only comment vaguely references “the Force.”
8:12: Perfect song choice, but this is ever-so-slightly wobbly. And the little rasp in the final note makes me think he’s still battling laryngitis.
8:14: Randy’s comment recommending that Aaron turn a classic Beatles’ song into a Rascal Flatts’ cover made me stare at the television in abject horror. Not cool, Dawg.
8:15: Is Aaron’s dad sitting directly to Simon’s left? Holy wow, that was a loud protestation.
8:18: Yeah, that was a lackluster opening. At least it wasn’t downright heinous. And on a positive note, Victor Martinez just homered to bring the Sox to a 3-1 lead. (I didn’t say it was a positive note for Idol, just, you know, in life. When the Yankees lose, we all win.)
8:20: This Verizon commercial in Disney World reminds me that I will be in Disney World (with my Verizon BlackBerry in tow) a week from Thursday. I’m available for commercial bookings, Verizon folks. Call me. You know the number.
8:22: Is Katie going to go to a country prom or an R&B/pop prom? Sorry, just resurrecting the constant “WHAT GENRE SHOULD KATIE SING?!?!” argument that the judges won’t let go of. At all. Ever.
8:23: “Let it Be” might be my favorite song ever (see: title of this blog post). If she massacres this, so help me…
8:25: I’m not hating this, gotta say. She’s taking some vocal liberties without trouncing on the beauty of the song. If not for that sharp note at the end, I would have given this an unequivocal thumbs up. As it is, very good performance. Randy’s right – Katie’s best by far.
8:27: Apparently Ellen and I are of one mind. I wrote that before she said it, I swear.
8:28: While the judges scream in protest, allow me to say that Simon’s kinda right. That had a bit of a (lovely) country twang to it.
8:29: As we head into the commercial break, here’s an iTunes download suggestion: Joe Cocker and Claudia Lennear’s rendition of “Let it Be.” My favorite version, non-Beatles edition. It’s a live, gospel-y, rockin’ cover. Love it.
8:34: Spent the commercial break nibbling the ears off of my dark chocolate Easter Bunny. It was for the best; he’s a Beatles purist.
8:35: The “PIC” comment reminds me of a story. At a former job, the term “HBIC” came up and no one knew what it meant except for me (it means “Head Bitch in Charge”, and I learned this from Flavor of Love. Don’t ask.) Needless to say, “HBIC” became my (unfortunate) nickname for the remainder of my tenure there. At least it was said facetiously. I think.
8:36: I kinda like this. It’s kicky. Andrew’s definitely recovered some of his mojo. Even if I”m not enjoying his pairing of a yellow polo shirt underneath a suit.
8:38: Kara, there’s not that much more there, honey. Andrew can do accoustic pop covers, and that’s pretty much it. Apparently I like this more than the judges did, because it actually featured drums and didn’t suck.
8:41: I can’t wait to see Date Night; I adore Steve Carell and Tina Fey. And I laugh every time he screams, “Kill shot! THAT’S THE KILL SHOT!!!”
8:44: Kara’s really embracing the sparkle this season, huh? Wow.
8:46: Wow, Big Mike REALLY loves the strings. Front and center!
8:47: There’s a nice R&B flavor to this arrangement. Like Katie, he’s doing his own version without rendering the original completely unrecognizable. Well done, Big Mike. Best performance of yours to date, methinks.
8:48: Did Randy just say that Mike was “feeling himself”? Hey, now. More careful with the wording, dude.
8:49: Okay, Kara, sorry to take you on again, but THE BEATLES WILL ALWAYS BE RELEVANT. No need to “make it contemporary.” It’s already there.
8:52: Somewhere, Fox executives are sobbing with delight at Randy’s unexpected Glee cross-promotion.
8:53: Important note from Suzanne: Kara’s shirt is blinding the audience. Duly noted. Sunglasses on, b-rollers.
8:55: I would totally sign up for that Glee contest if I was younger. And talented. Small roadblocks.
8:57: I am so, so happy to have Josh Lyman back in our lives. Netflix West Wing if you’ve never seen it. I DEMAND you do so.
8:59: What I’m taking out of Crystal’s video package: her son is freaking adorable.
9:01: My Crystal fandom is well-documented, so I’ll spare you the gushing. But I will say that every time she comes onstage, I stop typing and pay complete attention. That counts for something, right?
9:02: I think between Crystal’s mention of her cold and that tube instrument thingy, this performance was brought to us by Ricola. Right? Thoughts?
9:05: Could Simon say “didgeridoo” (possible misspelling) more often? That was delightful.
9:06: How cute is Ernie? Can he be a contestant? Even though a didgeridoo sounds kinda like indigestion?
9:07: b-roll roomie was going to go to bed, then saw Tim Urban coming up next and said “I have to hear his awfulness.” Tim Urban, folks!
9:08: The narrator for that Hanes commercial is the guy who does voiceover work for all of the TruTV forensic shows. No wonder the commercial was so suspenseful. I kinda expected one of the Hanes guys to be bludgeoned to death while the other paused to examine the blood spatter.
9:09: Do you know how many years I’ve seen these Nasonex commercials and said, “That can’t really be Antonio Banderas, he’d never agree to a series of commercials in which he’s an animated bee, right?” I’ve finally accepted that it’s him. At long last.
9:11: Crystal and Ernie: the only backstage candid camera segment that didn’t make me want to die.
9:13: This isn’t bad. I mean, it’s nowhere near most of the other contestants tonight, but it’s kinda sweet. Of course, I also love the song, so I’m biased.
9:15: “Is it a good Tim performance?” Well said if exceptionally condescending, Randy.
9:18: That was Simon’s equivalent of Ellen giving Tim a hug. Although is he trying to do a reverse-jinx? Tim’s smiling all the way home tomorrow, sans sympathy vote? Hmm…
9:19: How funny is that new Burger King ad? “It’s not that original but it’s only a buck!” That’s hilariously honest, guys.
9:21: Local news reports that some airlines are about to start charging for carry-on bags. Really, people? Seriously? Do you know how hard that makes us hate you? Are we supposed to renounce all worldly possessions to travel now? Sigh…
9:23: Baseball update: Sox-Yanks tied at 4, top of the 6th. In case you care.
9:25: Ooh, mixing it up with a more obscure tune. Gutsy move, Casey. The white jacket’s a nice nod to Lennon, although the hair’s a little too poodle-curly this evening.
9:27: This is a nice change-up (baseball reference!) from the higher-wattage performances this evening. His tone wasn’t always consistent, but it was pretty good.
9:29: Agreed, judges. That was more soulful, less karaoke than usual.
9:30: The word “ginormous” sounds much less quirky when said with a British accent, no?
9:31: I really, really loved Casey’s “ask a stupid question, Ryan…” expression there. Almost enough to pick up the phone and vote for him tonight.
9:35: GLEE IS BACK ONE WEEK FROM TONIGHT!!!! Catch the fever!
9:36: “Siobhan has her own sense of being.” Yup, that sounds about right.
9:38: This is a gorgeous rendition. Do not ruin it by trying to hit the screech note again.
9:41: Nicely done, Siobhan. Now burn that dress and I’ll board the bandwagon.
9:43: Okay, that guy is plenty old enough to know proper etiquette, ie, DON’T FREAKING SCREAM WHEN THE JUDGES ARE TALKING. He must have arrived straight from Happy Hour, yeah?
9:44: No, Ryan. YOU are Simon’s nemesis. And colorful garments.
9:49: Crystal’s insight of Andrew + Lee = Danny Gokey is BRILLIANT. So completely, wildly accurate.
9:51: This is a touch pitchy, but I like it. Of course, it’s also one of the greatest songs ever written, so that helps.
9:52: Whoa – a grand staircase entrance for a fully-outfitted bagpiper. That was…unexpected.
9:53: I’m not sure I got the purpose of the bagpiper. I think Lee had enough on his own. Also, shame on all the 15 year old Barbie dolls in the mosh pit who clearly had no freaking clue what this song was and couldn’t sing along. Kudos to the random older guy who was the lone voice of wisdom in joining the “na na na na” chorus.
9:54: Ellen’s line about the poor bagpiper who got separated from his parade was her funniest of the season.
9:55: The bagpiper isn’t as cuddly as Ernie the didgeridoo man. Sorry, Scottish dude (and Suzanne). Team Ernie!
10:00: Well, color me surprised! That was a quite excellent performance show tonight. I believe that it conclusively proves that you have to work really, really hard to screw up a Lennon-McCartney song, because they’re just so freaking timeless. Kudos to everyone involved! I’m off to go do a wiki-search of “didgeridoo” to find out what in the everloving hell that thing really was. See you back here tomorrow night, where I think we’ll be waving goodbye to Aaron or Andrew, or maybe Tim’s time has come. Either way, it’s time to send a guy home, right ladies of America? See you tomorrow.