7:50: Good evening, b-rollers! I’ve spent the past 45 minutes catching up on last week’s penultimate Project Runway episode (Seth Aaron FTW! God, I hope Emilio comes in dead freaking last…), and now I’m pumped to see what this evening’s performers are wearing. And singing, I guess. Though if anyone breaks out “I Believe I Can Fly” all bets are off. Back in 10 minutes!
8:00: We open with Ryan/Idol copywriters reveling in self-congratulations. “We’ll change lives this week!” And THIS is American Idol!
8:01: So is Ryan less caffeinated than last week? That was the excuse he gave for being absolutely bonkers during the last performance show, right?
8:02: “To mentor this week, we thought we’d ask a superstar who’s given so much back. Then Bono said no, so we asked Alicia Keys.” Just kidding, I like Alicia Keys. “No One” is in heavy rotation on the official b-roll iPod.
8:04: Casey shall sing “Don’t Stop.” Who else flashes back to the Clinton presidential campaigns of yore when they hear this song? Man, I feel old now.
8:05: I really like Casey, but I’m not feeling this. Then again, it’s not one of my favorite songs.
8:06: Okay, I’ll say it again: Casey is a (much) hotter version of Taylor Hicks. Consistent, has a blast onstage, decent performer, might be fun to see in concert, probably won’t buy the CD.
8:08: By the way, who else is stunned to see Simon in a cardigan? Is it cold in the Idoldome this evening? I really would’ve loved to see the look on the face of the wardrobe department when they found out he wanted to war something over the t-shirt.
8:09: Upon hearing that Lee was singing “The Boxer” next, I reflexively exclaimed, “I love ‘The Boxer’!” to… no one in particular. Casa b-roll is empty, except for me. Apparently I really like that song.
8:12: Kara and Randy are now telling me to recycle. Fitting, since they so frequently recycle critiques.
8:13: I really wish Lee would stop looking so dang pained all the time. I know he’s not laid-back in the vein of Casey or on-her-own-plane Siobhan, but still. Chill, dude.
8:14: Remember when Paul Simon sang this on SNL after 9/11, with all the firefighters and policemen behind him? Goosebump inducing. I’ll look for the YouTube clip. Stand by, b-rollers.
8:15: Okay, I’m seriously hearting this. Taking nice vocal liberties, and combined with the strings it’s just gorgeous. He’s killing it (in a good way).
8:17: This is the difference between Lee and Casey: song choice and emotional connection. I shall be downloading Lee’s version of “The Boxer” posthaste.
8:18: Is Simon in my head? Right on. Except for saying he’s not “a massive fan of that song” – seriously dude, what the hell is wrong with you?
8:19: R. Kelly? Yeah, nothing says inspirational like a repeat sex offender. Dear God.
8:21: Can’t find the Paul Simon clip. Sorry, b-rollers. I was hoping to give you something to watch instead of this anti-smoking commercial and why the hell is that guy in a bunny suit? I approve of the message; not so much the execution.
8:23: Wow, bringing Captain Sully to this week’s “inspiration” show? They’re really laying it on thick, aren’t they…
8:25: Kind of a two-steps-back week for Tim, no? Pitchy and kind of rough, dawg. The song choice should have worked, but that wasn’t well-sung.
8:28: OH NO YOU DIDN’T, AARON. Be gone, silly child. How is this song inspirational anymore, and not just overrated, overdone melodrama?
8:29: Wow, the Idol string section is getting quite a workout this week, no? But I guess that makes sense on a week when the goal is to make everyone sob and/or find inner peace.
8:30: Aaron believes he can fly; I believe I can find the mute button. Admittedly, this isn’t atrocious. And he hit the high note, so that’s something. But I freaking hate this song.
8:31: I don’t think Aaron totally got Ellen’s “in the ’70s” comment, even though he laughed. More of a “ha ha…wait, what?” kind of thing.
8:32: Siobhan’s singing Whitney AND Mariah? Like, in a medley? In case we were wondering, there is definitely a high screech note in our near future.
8:36: Kleenex hand towels: slaughtering the planet, one towel at a time! Seriously, when Fox is running “recycle, for God’s sake BE GREEN!” commercials, no one thought that was a bad product idea?
8:37: That was a rare cute, non-homophobic moment between Simon and Ryan. Sweet in a deranged kind of way.
8:39: This is a very good performance from Siobhan, though it keeps threatening to veer into pitchiness. Also, I feel like I’m back at Disney World.
8:40: I can’t disagree with any of these critiques (except Simon’s “they look like leaves,” which just seems unnecessary). The arrangement was old fashioned (and so, ahem, are Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, dawg). But she sang it well, so I wish Siobhan had gotten a little more credit for that.
8:44: This use of “Pure Imagination” from the original Willy Wonka is kinda creeping me out. As does the movie.
8:48: Cool song choice; not loving the song. Sorry, Big Mike. My favorite part so far is the string section looking bored at the beginning of the song, before they had anything to do.
8:50: I just realized that Randy and Simon kinda match with their cardigans tonight. Did they coordinate this?
8:51: Yes, Big Mike, this song actually was from the movie Spider Man. And it’s also about being a hero. It can be both.
8:52: So Crystal is sans instrument, but wearing a ball gown? This is an odd change. Curious to hear her song choice.
8:53: I’m wondering how Avatar will hold up on a small screen. It seems more like an epic experience than a movie I’d want to watch repeatedly on my laptop. Here are my Avatar thoughts from earlier.
8:56: Wow. Feeling confident, Alicia.
8:57: Crystal starts by pulling a Bo Bice. Nicely done. What the hell is on her microphone stand, though? Is this one of her redecorating spurts, like the rug?
8:58: That was seriously good. She even moved herself. How ’bout that?
8:59: How do you not vote for Crystal after her shout-out to her Dad? And her “Hollywood!” hankie reaction. I mean, c’mon. Your 2010 American Idol, everyone!
So, I’m off to watch Glee! DID YOU KNOW THAT IT’S THE MADONNA EPISODE?!?!?!?!?
If A Kelly married R Kelly, he’d be… wait, no. No no no. Seacrest and the congressman of my misfortune should meet, ideally at a bar with mirrors for all surfaces. Also I don’t want to hear about resource consumption issues from Kara, whose over-sparkly top itself had to waste energy…
I think the mere suggestion of “A Kelly plus R Kelly” is shudder-inducing, given R’s history. Best to leave that alone.