7:50: Happy Tuesday, b-rollers! I’ve had a hellacious day at work and am looking forward to unwinding with…oh crap, it’s Shania Twain Week, isn’t it? Well, sure, that makes sense: Beatles. Stones. Elvis. Shania. I don’t mean to be a hater; Shania seems like a lovely person and all, and she’s certainly a charter member of the Sandra Bullock/Elin Nordegren Woods Memorial That Poor Woman, Men are Complete Scum Society, but couldn’t they have gone with a broader “country music” theme? Shania had a few good songs, but it’s not like they’ll be devoting a Glee episode anytime soon. There’s “Still the One” and “Man I Feel Like a Woman” (I’m rooting for Big Mike to sing that one) and…I’m out. Okay, end of rant. Back in 10, b-rollers.
8:00: Ooh, are we introducing people by their professions/easiest possible labels now? That seems overly simplistic. The blogger disapproves.
8:01: My b-roll roommie – the one who watches CMT every day, it should be noted – just heard the theme, made a face and said, “Oh.” Even country music fans are disapproving.
8:02: Kara is wearing a shiny necklace. Let’s make this a drinking game – every time we’re blinded by Kara’s garment or accessory, we drink. Everyone down?
8:03: I wouldn’t exactly call Shania a country pioneer. She’s not Hank Wiliams or Johnny Cash or anything. I mean, be serious.
8:05: Nope, scratch that. Shania is shinier than Kara. And she’s also wondering how in the hell anyone with a Y chromosome is supposed to sing her music. Join the club, Shania.
8:06: Lee is singing “Still the One.” I have now heard all of the Shania tunes that I know.
8:07: Let’s all welcome back Lee’s pitch problems. Just when we think he can possibly crash the Crystal Bowersox party, too. Yeesh.
8:08: Really, Randy? One of the greatest songs ever written? What in the hell is in that Coke cup?
8:09: Did the judges take a hit of nitrus oxide before the show tonight? FOR REAL? That entire song was out of tune! And I like Lee! No haters in Casa b-roll!
8:10: Et tu, Simon? I feel completely insane. What is going on?
8:12: Conversation happening in Casa b-roll: Which country musicians are worthy of having an Idol theme night? My list: Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton. Roommie Jen – a knowledgable country fan – suggests Reba McEntire, George Strait, Kenny Chesney (maybe), Patsy Cline. Suggestions, b-rollers?
8:15: Is it startling to anyone else to hear Shania’s Canadian accent? You don’t think of many Canadian country singers, no?
8:16: I’m impressed with Big Mike’s singing tonight – he’s making this song interesting and R&B. Shania is too; she’s swaying from side to side like a seal.
8:18: Can someone fix Kara’s necklace? It’s lopsided and distracting me. (Drink!)
8:19: Um, Simon? You can’t blame a guy for being too girly during Shania Twain Week. And “wet” is not an acceptable critique. Ever.
8:21: Jen just tried to posit Taylor Swift as a possible theme (for younger contestants only). She knew that I would object. Vociferously. Although I will admit to thinking she’s a better songwriter than a singer (then again, so are most wounded animals).
8:23: Another suggestion: Dixie Chicks. I’m down with that – “Long Way Home” is one of the few country albums I own in its entirety.
8:24: Addendum: I cannot believe that I’m having an argument about country music. Publicly.
8:26: The refrain tonight at Casa b-roll: “I don’t know this song.” It keeps echoing off the walls.
8:27: In case we weren’t clear, Casey should absolutely be a country/blues singer. This is his wheelhouse.
8:29: I agree with Randy – this was an awesome performance. His best pure vocal since “Jealous Guy.” And oh God – Randy just said “wheelhouse” two minutes after I typed it. I need to go find a super ugly cardigan to change into. Be right back.
8:31: Wait, Shania gets a hug from Casey? How do I get a hug from Casey? Without coming across as a crazy and inappropriate stalker?
8:32: We’re trying to guesstimate Casey’s height (our guesses: from 6’2 to 6’4, somewhere in there), since he makes Ryan look teensy in their post-performance convos, and Jen just said: “Let’s assume Ryan is about 5’8 in his shoes and heels.” Yes, let’s. I could not love that assumption more.
8:34: I’m about 65% excited about the SYTYCD shakeup (please Google if you’re not a fan and have no idea what I’m talking about). Pro: It brings Mark and Twitch back into our lives. Con: It’s a little too Dancing with the Stars for my taste.
8:35: I think the glowing aura might just be the ubersequined jacket, Crystal. But that was kind of you to say.
8:37: Whoa. No pressure, Crystal’s boyfriend. Not like 30 million people aren’t waiting on you now or anything.
8:38: Crystal sang this well – it’s impossible for her to be anything other than “really good,” methinks – but this was a little too “yee haw” for me.
8:40: And now Kara just said it was impossible for her not to be good mere seconds after I typed them. Oh. My. God.
8:41: Simon, you don’t have to hate just to hate. I mean, yeah, the song itself isn’t great, but it’s not like she stunk the place up. Unlike Lee, who totally did.
8:43: How fitting is it to have a Paula Deen do a commercial during Country Week? Just saying.
8:46: That is quite a fashion statement being made by the Idol pianist. Embroidered jacket AND a Jack Sparrow braided goatee. A lot going on there.
8:47: I’m dozing off a bit. Sorry. Back for the next performance.
8:48: Not quite hitting all the notes here. Roommie Monisha: “He just seems tired.” Agreed. Mentally and physically.
8:49: Ellen: “Tomorrow’s going to be tough.” Um, no. No it’s not. Crystal picked a dumb song but is on another plane. Casey was excellent. Lee kind of stunk but still deserves to rank third. Mike and Aaron were pretty good but don’t belong on the stage with the rest of them. Siobhan is TBD but should probably round out the bottom three (or maybe Lee should as a shot across the bow). Okay? Not tough at all. Pretty simple, actually.
8:51: Follow up note: When your high point comes during Shania Twain Week, but you struggled during Beatles/Rolling Stones/Elvis Week, what in the hell is your excuse? Because that’s unacceptable.
8:52: Another theme night nominee from Jen: Willie Nelson. Borderline, we all think. Thoughts?
8:54: Six minutes until Glee! This seems like an excellent time to mention that I watched the first episodes for four solid hours on the bus ride back from New York. Why? Why not, I say.
8:55: You can tell this song was before Shania’s crossover. It’s very denim-at-the-rodeo.
8:56: This is terribly karaoke. Shania looks underwhelmed (or like she’s trying to get into it, but compared to the tears and hugs earlier in the show, it’s entirely unconvincing).
8:57: Nope, the scream was not enough to save it. And lose the dress, Siobhan – no seriously, burn that godforsaken thing.
8:58: ARE YOU SERIOUS, JUDGES? STOP DRINKING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. That sucked. Big time. There are three people at Casa b-roll exchanging bewildered/outraged looks and screaming, “What?!” intermittently at the television.
8:59: Okay, the show ends with me wishing I could have some of the judges’ happy sauce. This was downright confounding.
9:00: Predictions, b-rollers? I’m going with Aaron, Mike and Siobhan in the bottom three as America has a collective “What the hell” moment and gets it right.
9:01: Ryan, tonight the “thanks to the judges” is unnecessary. Okay? Good.
Off to watch Glee, darling b-rollers. Adios!