The way things are, singers who are given lots of face time in the audition and Hollywood rounds build up large followings early on and they are carried on, even at the expense of better singers. If Idol wants to change this, and really be a show that's about the best singer, not the most popular, there are three basic options:
- Vote people off
I've been wanting this one for years. Most of "America" recognises who is clearly the worst of a bunch. By voting off the person who is the worst singer, blocs of voters won't be able to keep their person around for weeks on end.
- The judges pick the bottom 3, "America" votes to save two
Shouldn't the judges have some influence over the show? Of course they should. To be fair, they pick the people who go to Hollywood and they pick the top 24. So why shouldn't they have some influence over the weekly results?
SYTYCD does something similar, and it works. The judges know who the best and the worst are. Steven and J-Lo obviously don't want to be the bad guys and Randy just doesn't have it in him. So let them nominate a bottom 3 and the voters get to save their favourite. When there are six singers left, everyone is voted through on their own merits.
- Have the judges score the singers
Having paddles would be a little too much like DWTS, but what if they gave the order (best to worst) of the night and that counted as half of the singers's scores?
On to the show . . .
The theme tonight is songs from the movie, and I miss Quentin Tarantino.
First up is Paul and his outfit is hideous. His vocals don't suit the song at all. His voice isn't deep or big enough do cover Bob Seger. The whole performance seems cheezy. The sax player is pretty hawt, though. Going in the Dead Man's spot certainly won't help him.
At least Pia gets to go on tour.
Next up is Lauren. My friend Jodi has a pavlovian response to this song that makes her want to punch someone in the face when she hears it. Jimmy gives her some good advice about scooping up Pia's voters, who are now looking for a fanbase to support. She starts out singing to the camera, not the audience, which is a good move for someone who is now pandering for fan votes. This is actually the perfect song for Lauren. It's a little country, and very contemporary, which is something that is generally missing from the show during the theme weeks. She has a couple of out of tune notes, but I think this both a good strategic move, as well as a solid vocal performance.
What the crap is will.i.am still doing on the show?
Stefano knows he's on borrowed time. He clearly should have been eliminated last week and everyone knows it. He's singing Boyz II Men, and part of what so great about this song is the Boyz's harmonies, which he cannot hope to match. His eyes are like Archuleta's and that is just one more thing to annoy me. I liked him better than Paul, but based on the sum of his performances this year, he needs to get sent packing.
Can someone please send R-Dawg a memo that the phrase "in it to win it" now requires people in my house to chug?
Predictably, Scotty 1) can't keep his head up straight, and 2) sings a country song. His voice reminds me a lot of George Strait, which I'm sure is intentional. I know that some people are tired of his schtick, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Especially when it gets a gazillion votes from both 13 year old girls and their mothers.
Last week, Casey whipped out the stand-up bass and goes for it again. Jimmy tells him to go a different direction, but Casey does his own thing. Was this really from a movie? Or was it just in a movie? (The answer is Moulin Rouge, but he would have been better served by dressing up and trying "Lady Marmalade") Simon would have called this selection "indulgent". I think he's making a strategic decision to try something other than a mainstream pop hit. It could backfire on him, but it could also pay off big. I hope Casey is as self-aware as Chris Sligh and realises what it takes to play the game.
Even though I detest Haley, Mrs. High Lord likes her. She starts out flat. She's 20, so my friend Mike isn't feeling dirty by looking at her, although his son is starting to get "that funny feeling" when she's on. Haley is very shouty, even for an IBG. I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. She may be sandbagging at this point; I think she's got enough voters to stick around for a few more weeks on her own, and she may not want to peak too early. I think she needed to do a little more to pick up some of Pia's voters, though.
Next up is the guy with GDM (that's Gay Dance Moves), Jacob. He's singing Clay's song. Luckily, it's been 9 years since Clay destroyed the rest of the competition with this tune, but unfortunately, he's can't find the right key and it goes all over the place. I think this is the first time I can remember Jacob not delivering a rock-solid vocal. It wasn't corny like Paul, but he just seemed off for the entire performance, which is a shame, since he did so well last week.
Drawing the Pimp Spot is T/AG. Like Casey, he goes his own way and ignores Jimmy's advice. I really hope he crashes and burns. I'll bet he screeches at the beginning, in the middle and again at the end. If I were picking a song from "Heavy Metal", it would have been "Open Arms". To use some political parlance, this plays to his base very well. Even if the vocals are a hot mess in spots. I didn't like that so much of the time was spent on a guitar solo that wasn't being played by the singer, and the frenetic camera action triggered one of Mrs. High Lord's seizures. I wonder what Jimmy had suggested for him. The fact that he got to sing last bodes well, even if the performance wasn't as good as the crowd and judges would have you believe.
Lauren, "The Climb"
Scotty, "I Cross My Heart"
James, "Heavy Metal"
Stefano, "The End of the Road"
Haley, "Call Me"
Casey, "Nature Boy"
Jacob, "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Paul, "Old Time Rock N'Roll"
As things stand, the remaining singers are solid singers, even though none of them are a head and shoulders better than anyone else.
Who should be in the bottom 3: Casey, Jacob, Paul
Who will be in the bottom 3: Haley, Paul, Stefano
Who should go home: Paul
Who will go home: Stefano
I would fear for the remaining girls, but I think Pia's voters will consolidate behind one of them (probably Lauren) and carry her on for a few more weeks. I was surprised at how good Lauren was tonight, and Scotty turned in another solid performance.
I'd look for Stefano to finally run out of steam tomorrow, but I could be wrong.
Now, it's time for that new Christian Slater show that Mrs. High Lord likes. Of course, that usually means that Fox will move it to Friday night and cancel it.
High Lord. Defender of the Ashen Wastes. Out.