Last Thursday, Idol's ratings dropped to an all time low. Why? Because Idol is sending all the guys home. It could not be more obvious that the powers that be want a girl to win this year. At least in past seasons, they would alternate who got kicked off (guy, girl, guy, girl, and so on until about the top 6 or 5). There are two guys left on the show, the rest are all girls.
So this week is Rock Week. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I love rock music (my iTunes is full of Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, Breaking Benjamin, Staind, Three Days Grace, Green Day, Black Veil Brides, Within Temptation, etc.), but usually when Idol does Rock Week, people don't do well (except the WGWG). They tend to sing a lot of classic stuff too, rather than something current. Like in season eight, there was Aerosmith, Janis Joplin, Styx, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Foghat.
I can understand why they never sing any current rock songs. Most good rock music today either a) is not that radio friendly or b) was not given permission by the band to be performed on the show (who can blame them?). I found the song spoilers before the show and saw it was mostly classic stuff, with one semi-current song.
But the best part is that there's a new rule this week: NO BALLADS ALLOWED. THANK YOU!
All righty then. I have a quesadilla and two fudgey brownies for my dinner. Let's get this over with.
(I noticed there was no cold open.)
Burnell Urkel - "You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi
This was a trainwreck waiting to happen. Right away he misses the first couple of lyrics and he's very breathy. The rockstar look is kind of thrown off with the red shirt buttoned all the way up underneath a studded leather jacket. His vocals as a whole were underwhelming. He got drowned out by the music a couple times. When Bon Jovi performed this, he sang the shit out of it. Burnell doesn't even get close.
Keith said he looked uncomfortable (true), but told him he should've made it his own (no, don't). Randy said he needed to ride the beat more, and that he needs to get used to singing uptempo songs.
Grade: D. When he found out about the rock theme, he picked this song because it was the only rock song he knew.
Lazaro the Stutterer & Angie Big Hair - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen
This was the producers' plan to sabotage Angie by pairing her up with Lazaro. Lazaro speaks through his lower register again. Then Lazaro forgets his words again and I can't help but laugh.
Nicki called them Ken and Barbie, then said the song was in a good key for Lazaro (um no). Apparently, Lazaro had never heard the song before.
Grade: FAIL for Lazaro and B for Angie because she basically carried the whole song.
Kree the Janitor - "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin
Janis is one of those one-of-a-kind singers that should never be attempted on this show. For some reason, Kree thinks she's a good enough vocalist to sing Janis (and Aretha last week). She's not. Her lower register was off-key in beginning of the first verse. Kree pulls a Candice and does a sassy version of the song, completely misinterpreting it and completely devoid of any believable emotion. The song goes "take another little piece of my heart, break another little bit of my heart." Despite the key, it's not a happy song. It's about your lover ripping your heart out and walking out on you. Her pained faces are from her oversinging. Her last run of notes was off-key.
Randy liked the bluesy side of her and called her interesting (I laughed). Keith noticed that she didn't move around much (Kree then mentions having a pinched nerve and milks it for a little bit).
Grade: D-. If these contestants don't understand the songs, THEY NEED TO HAVE THE MEANING OF THE SONGS EXPLAINED TO THEM.
Candice & Burnell Urkel - "The Letter" by Joe Cocker
This was actually a good song choice for Burnell and Candice. This has more of a bouncy beat, it's sassy, and it suits both of them. Then Candice starts oversinging and goes off-key because she's the token screechy diva. Then she shows how much Burnell's voice lacks power because she drowns him out completely when they attempt to "harmonize".
Mariah makes Randy's asinine "you can sing anything" comment.
Grade: C- for Burnell because he didn't oversing and D- for Candice because she did.
Bland Janelle - "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel - the country version
Janelle is still not versatile or interesting because she can only sing country versions of songs. Some of her high notes are whiny and off-key. After the first chorus, she misses about every tenth note. It is slightly funny watching her try to be all rock and roll because she's too vanilla and fails miserably at it. Her last note is off-key.
Keith comments on Janelle's sparkly cowboy boots (hey that's Seacreast's job).
Lazaro the Stutterer - "We Are the Champions" by Queen
HEY IDOL, I THOUGHT THERE WERE NO BALLADS TONIGHT. Ugh. His lower register is sung this time but is off-key a little. His middle register is much stronger. But he keeps mispronouncing "champions". He's trying to command the stage because this is a big, big song, but he doesn't quite succeed in doing so. When the shot cuts away to his family and friends, I look for a glimpse of his boyfriend I don't see him in the audience.
Nicki said he had some Ricky Martin sexiness and I laughed.
Grade: C. He needs to use his middle and upper register more.
Bland Janelle, Kree the Janitor, and Amber - "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" by Billy Joel
Amber starts and she's off-key right away. Then Janelle is off-key. They definitely sound better when they harmonize. Also what the fuck is Amber wearing? Her jeans look like they were shredded in a tractor. Then the girls went up and sang to the judges a little (cliche, imo). The girls lower notes towards the end were off and the ending was underwhelming. The whole performance was underwhelming.
Randy shoots a load in his pants over them and I tune out his voice. Nicki didn't like the song choice and didn't think any of them stood out (agreed).
Grade: D for Janelle and Amber and D+ for Kree.
Candice - "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones
I still hate Candice for "Come Together" (no I'm not over it). And this is one of my favorite Stones songs. She didn't move around much (because of a broken toe caused by a backfired April Fool's Day prank). Her furious face singing distracts me from most of the performance. The only thing that stands out more is the relentless oversinging. At least she didn't end with an unnecessary Idol-trademark glory note.
Nicki didn't like the song choice.
Grade: D+. Overall, unremarkable.
Amber - "What About Love" by Heart
And that's the second time Idol breaks their own "no ballads" rule. Her jacket is weird and she's wearing super short shorts (I don't know if they're made of leather or not). Parts of the chorus are off-key so are some of her big notes. She wanders aimlessly around the stage. When the key changes, she sounds very strained and flat in places.
The judges didn't say anything interesting.
Angie Big Hair - "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence
When I found out Angie was singing this, I literally shouted "NOOOOOOOOOO!" at my computer. I've been an Evanescence fan since I was thirteen and they hold a very special place in my heart. And while Angie does have a decent voice, this does not hold a candle to the original. Amy Lee is one of my favorite singers. She has such a beautiful, clear, powerful voice that cannot be duplicated. Evanescence is actually very hard to sing (give "Lithium", "Snow White Queen", "Together Again", or "Sweet Sacrifice" a try if you don't believe me). For me, this was a second-rate talent show rendition. Angie decided to plant herself on a podium thing and do the AI Poopy Dance for most of the song. Then she sings parts of the song WITH A FUCKING SMILE ON HER FACE ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW.
The judges creamed their pants over her and I had to turn the video off.
Grade: FAIL. YOU LEAVE MY EVANESCENCE ALONE. I don't care what other people think, Evanescence is awesome, and their music deserves much better than this fucking show.
In the results show, Bland Janelle and Burnell Urkel were the bottom two and Burnell was sent home. Will Lazaro survive to the finale? DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN.
Mmmmmkay, I'm gonna spend most of tomorrow and Saturday immersed in a Game of Thrones marathon (I'm really, really behind and I don't like it). See you next week.