You know, I was having a good day. I wrote a five-page research paper in three hours, I had some devilishly good fried chicken, they had Nerds rope at the market place at school, I made some major progress in my Hunger Games fanfiction, I rediscovered how awesome CSI was, and in general I was just excited to go home for spring break.
Then, I had to watch this.
For some reason that escapes me, the producers thought it was a good idea to do Beatles week. Again. Why? It's not like the other Beatles weeks on Idol were any good. They did it twice in season seven (the first day was sucktacular, the second day was just fucking boring) and they did it again in season nine (which I didn't watch). So I knew this was gonna be bad. And there was not a single good performance tonight. The Beatles, for the most part, are best sung with tongue planted firmly in cheek (how can you be serious singing about wanting to be under the sea in an octopus' garden or living in a yellow submarine?) and everyone was overly serious.
How many people believe that the majority of the contestants (mostly the young ones) actually like the Beatles? Especially today when people like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and One Direction are the tweetards' music of choice?
But first, Seacrest announces that the fans voted bland, boring Aubrey to go on tour with the Idol finalists this summer. *yawn*
Kree the Janitor - "With a Little Help From My Friends" from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Jimmy Iovine said: This song was made for her. (okayyyyy)
Musical Crime Committed: Singing a song that gives the judges ammunition ("What would you do if I sang out of tune?", "I'll try not to sing out of key.")
Kree whores out her dead parents for sympathy votes. Tonight she's looking a little less janitor-ish without her baggy shirt but she wanders around aimlessly onstage while she's singing. She's doing a slowed-down (nooooooo!) gospel-y version of the song (at least the background singers sound awesome). And despite singing that she wouldn't sing out of tune, she does anyway. A couple of those big belted runs were pretty painful. So is her Idol-trademark glory note.
I'm boycotting Keith unless he says something funny. Nicki said the song didn't sound like the original (there's a reason for that).
Grade: FAIL for boring me. Right before the show cuts away to Burnell, Seacrest amuses me by saying he likes Kree's heels.
Burnell Urkel - "Let It Be" from Let It Be (1970)
Jimmy Iovine said: He doesn't know the song, so he has to practice.
Musical Crime Committed: Singing one of the two most overdone Beatles songs on this show.
Burnell does not know the song at all, which makes me laugh. His rendition sounds half like "I Believe I Can Fly". Then he goes off-key. He also does a gospel version of the song. The performance as a whole was unremarkable.
I didn't pay attention to the judge's critiques as soon as Nicki started pimping Burnell to the moon.
Grade: FAIL for dragging this song out until it feels like it's two hours long.
Amber - "She's Leaving Home" from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Jimmy Iovine said: She murders this song (apparently this is a compliment), but she has to watch her pitch on the last note.
Musical Crime Committed: Doing the Whitney-overemoting version, despite lacking the talent to do so.
Amber can't seem to stay on key. It's a shame because she does have a nice voice, she just doesn't know how to use it. She's trying to be the token screechy diva but she doesn't have the voice to accomplish that. She overemotes a lot and I'm starting to get bored. Her Idol-trademark glory note was off-key in parts.
Apparently, Amber has never heard this song before either.
Grade: FAIL for boring me.
Lazaro the Stutterer - "In My Life" from Rubber Soul (1965)
Jimmy Iovine said: If you're gonna do a romantic version, you have to make it seem natural. And you need to watch the rhythm.
Musical Crime Committed: Ruining a particularly special song for me (my cousin sang it at my grandma's memorial service).
Why does he wear such bright colors? Already, he's off-key. His lower register still sucks. He can't seem to find the right key that fits his voice. He's hitting about 10% of the notes in the song. At least the performance is mercifully short.
Mariah wished it had been simpler and that the key of the song should've been a half step higher (agreed). Nicki says they need to stop putting him in a room with Jimmy. Randy hated it and thought it was really out of tune (Randy's first smart critique ever).
Grade: FAIL for a horrible, out of tune performance. Lazaro tells Ryan he'd picked a different song but was told to change it.
Then we get to my least favorite performance of the night...
Candice - "Come Together" from Abbey Road (1969)
Jimmy Iovine said: She needs to watch her pitch and she doesn't understand the lyrics.
Musical Crime Committed: Simultaneously singing the other of the two most overdone Beatles songs on this show and ruining one of my favorite Beatles songs.
Both this and "Let It Be" need to be banned from the show. This is one of the worst songs to sing on Idol if you don't know what it's about.
Back in 1969, a rumor had spread that Paul McCartney died in a car accident. The Beatles were jokesters, so while they didn't really go along with it, the fans noticed little things here and there that they tied to the hoax. Like the album cover for Abbey Road shows that iconic picture of them walking, but seems to symbolize a funeral procession. John Lennon is dressed in white, symbolizing the preacher or heavenly figure. Ringo Starr is dressed in black, symbolizing the undertaker or mourner. George Harrison is in a denim shirt and jeans, symbolizing the gravedigger. And McCartney, barefoot and out of step with other members of the band, symbolizes the corpse. Also, the last line in "Strawberry Fields Forever" sung by Lennon is said to be "I buried Paul" (McCartney later clarified that the line was "cranberry sauce"). But I feel "Come Together" poked fun at the hoax the most.
- The words whispered at the beginning of the song are "shoot me".
- "He say one and one and one is three/ got to be good looking cause he's so hard to see" (Paul was considered the "good-looking one" of the band).
- "Come together, right now over me" (This is interpreted to mean everyone came together over Paul's rumored death).
So what does the token screechy diva do? Instead of doing the song tongue-in-cheek style (as it should be done), she does a sassy, semi-serious version and oversings it to all hell. Her phrasing is weird, too. She ends with this weird run of notes that doesn't fit in with the song.
Nicki wanted more attitude. Randy liked that she sang uptempo (I would've liked it better if she'd sung a different uptempo song). Mariah thought she murdered the song (again, this is a compliment).
Grade: FAIL for complete lack of comprehension of the song. I literally had to stop watching for a little bit because I'd lost the ability to can. My roommate is a huge Beatles fan and she hated it, too.
Flamin' Paul - "Eleanor Rigby" from Revolver (1966)
Jimmy Iovine said: He needs to sound more natural.
Musical Crime Committed: Ruining my other favorite Beatles song.
He starts right away with a slightly off-key falsetto. He keeps missing every 10th or 11th note. I can see his inner sassy gay struggling to come out, which is slightly amusing. Then he starts unnecessarily screaming. His last falsetto note is off-key towards the end.
Nicki didn't like it (thank you, Nicki). Randy thought he was disconnected from the song. Mariah said he needs to produce emotion evenly throughout the song (her first good critique of the season). The judges basically tear him down because he's a WGWG.
Grade: FAIL for the screaming.
Angie Big Hair - "Yesterday" from Help! (1965)
Jimmy Iovine said: Don't oversing.
Musical Crime Committed: Singing one of the most predictable, cliche Beatles songs, and boring me to tears.
Since Burnell took "Let It Be", Angie had to take another cliche Beatles ballad. SERIOUSLY THEY NEED TO DO A "NO BALLADS" THEME WEEK. She did listen to Jimmy at first and held back a little, but she went off-key twice in the first couple of measures. Then she apparently decided "fuck it, I'll do what I want," and started oversinging with the long, sustained glory notes. She hit one particularly painful note towards the end.
The judges loved her and I stopped caring.
Grade: FAIL for being too predictable.
After Angie, I gave myself a break to go to class.
Tintin - "The Long and Winding Road" from Let It Be (1970)
Jimmy Iovine said: Find inspiration in another artist.
Musical Crime Committed: Trying to be the next David Archuleta (all he does is freaking ballads).
Honestly, Archuleta's version from season seven is miles better. Tintin channels his inner Brian McKnight in this song but he doesn't have the voice to carry it and keep me interested. He oversings a lot, too (like Archuleta used to on Idol) which annoys me. There was nothing wrong with the way the song was recorded in the first place, why oversing it?
Mariah says he's sung all different kinds of music (HE'S ONLY DONE BALLADS). Randy makes his asinine "you can sing anything" comment.
Grade: FAIL for the diva melisma.
Bland Janelle - "I Will" from The White Album (1968)
Jimmy Iovine said: The song is very subtle, so she has to work on her breath control.
Musical Crime Committed: Doing the bland, breathy, second-rate, country pageant version.
Janelle doesn't listen to Jimmy and is gasping for air after the first line. Then she goes off-key. Her high notes are particularly painful and kind of sounds like a cat being dangled over a bathtub full of water. I'm glad she's the last singer because I couldn't handle another performance after hers.
Nicki just about creamed her pants over Janelle. *yawn*
Grade: FAIL due to blandness.
Well, that left a rancid taste in my mouth. It reminded me of the karaoke portion of my mom's 50th birthday, only ten times worse (my uncle's version of "Happy Birthday" is still the awesome-est thing ever).
In the finale show that I didn't watch, Amber, Tintin, and Flamin' Paul were the bottom three, and Flamin' Paul was sent home. And now the WGWG streak is over.
Next week is Motown week. Am I allowed to hope that Motown = uptempo?