Tonight the Idol ladies tackled songs of the '80s, and once again they inexplicably shied away from the two musical genres that for many people define the entire decade: second-wave British Invasion (Duran Duran, the Cure, Depeche Mode) and poofball hair metal (Poison, Motley Crue, Def Leppard). Imagine how fun an hour of "Hungry Like The Wolf" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me" would have been! Instead, the girls mostly played it safe and sang MOR prom ballads.
How much you wanna bet that if there's a '90s Week, they'll all shun Nirvana and Soundgarden and pick Mariah and Celine songs instead? Lame!
Yes, overall it was a so-so show. If the people of the '80s could've hopped into Michael J. Fox's Delorean and quantum-leaped to the year 2008 and watched this particular episode, they would have then time-traveled back to the year 1985 and told all their friends: "Dude, the 2000s are really boring."
Tonight's pre-song interview theme, just as it was for the boys on Tuesday, was "most embarrassing moments." How fitting then that Asia'h Epperson, the girl who quite embarrassingly missed a major money-shot note midway through her "All By Myself" performance last week, was the first to sing. So, did she rebound tonight? Well, yes and no. She definitely had more confidence, and she hit all the right notes, but Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" was another over-ambitious and ill-advised song choice. Asia'h may be content being a "second-rate Whitney," as Simon labeled her, but America doesn't need or want a "second-rate" anything. We need a first-rate Idol. Asia'h is good, but I'm not sure if she is good enough.
Kady Malloy was next, also over-reaching by singing a Queen song. Clearly she doesn't read this blog, because after '70s Week I emphatically advised all contestants to stay the hell away from Queen. Let poor Freddie Mercury rest in peace, because no one can come close to his legacy. Don't even try, kids. And if you MUST sing a Queen song, um, how about a recognizable rocker like "Another One Bites The Dust" or "Under Pressure," not a lesser-known downer like "Who Wants To Live Forever" with lyrics that, intentionally or not, painfully remind us that its original singer is dead?
Oh, but I digress. Anyway, Kady's voice was all right, technically--but I agree with Simon. She was robotic. Maybe she should have done a more android-ish song like Lipps Incorporated's "Funky Town" or Gary Numan's "Cars" or that Max Headroom one-hit-wonder or something.
Back to the recurring "embarrassing moments" theme, Amanda Overmyer should have said: "Appearing on national TV last week in zebra-striped David Lee Roth chaps and a bouffant/eye makeup that even Amy Winehouse would find in poor taste, then inserting a fistful of rubber-cement-coated marbles in my mouth immediately before attempting to sing a Kansas song eight octaves out of my range." Or something like that. Maybe just saying, "Being chosen at Vote For The Worst's female pick" would suffice.
Anyway, Amanda was much better this week, both aurally and visually, belting out Joan Jett's attitudinal "I Hate Myself For Loving You." But I don't think she was nearly as great as Simon said (he thought she was fantastic? really??). And while I deeply believe that Joan Jett is one of the coolest women on the planet, Amanda is no Jettsetter. However, in light of this semi-comeback performance and V4TW's continued support, she's now likely to make it to the top 12, incredibly.
Carly "Dependable Dog" Hennesmithson, whose most embarrassing moment has to being selling only 370 records before getting dropped from MCA, was next, singing the Cyndi Lauper power ballad "I Drove All Night." Well, she definitely nailed all the right notes, proving she has one of the strongest voices of the girls, maybe even the strongest. But I still think she is the real Stepford Wife here. I don't think this competition is just about showing off what high notes a singer can reach. It's also about charisma, and I still feel Carly lacks that. She leaves me cold. (On a semi-related sidenote, though: Damn, Carly's mom is hot! How old was she when she had Carly? Like, 12?)
Next was Kristy Lee Cook, whose real most embarrassing moment has to be putting that Confederate flag in her old Arista Nashville music video (thus earning her the unfortunate nickname "KKKristy"). Anyway, her song choice, Journey's "Faithfully," was another ambitious venture. Steve Perry song's are almost as tough to pull off as Freddie Mercury ones. But she did all right and even turned it into a country ballad, which was smart of her. That one final sour note at the end might derail her on a journey straight out of Hollywood, but probably not. She's most likely safe. For now. Taking heed of Simon's prediction, I congratulate Kristy in advance for making it to 10th place!
The show ended strongly, with my three fave gals, Ramiele Malubay, Brooke White, and Syesha Mercado. Nope, no embarrassing moments here! Ramiele sang "Against All Odds," one of the two Phil Collins songs I actually like (no, the other isn't the song David Archuleta sang Tuesday, "Another Day In Paradise"; it's "In The Air Tonight," in case you care). Anyway, the odds are in Ramiele's favor that she'll be in the top 12. And probably the top five. She rocked it.
Then my girl Brooke unexpectedly took on Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield" (the song Carrie Underwood sang on season 4's '80s Night), and in her own way she did for this song what David Cook did for Lionel Richie's "Hello": She made it her own. She completely switched it up, turning it into an acoustic coffeehouse weeper, and she consequently stood out. I loved, loved, LOVED it, and I fully expect to see "Love Is A Battlefield" skyrocket on the iTunes chart tomorrow morning.
Syesha closed the show with a Whitney song, just as Asia'h opened it with one. And it was decent, but not Sy's finest performance. Still, hopefully the viewers will decide to keep her in--without assistance from the judges, since Syesha's critique was so rushed I actually wondered if there'd been a bomb threat and the ushers were trying to evacuate the place or something. More likely, the show was just running out of time. I still think Syesha's the bomb, though.
And now it's the fun (and tricky) part: prediction time. Last week I guestimated that Amanda would go, but I have a feeling she's going to stick around another week or two. Who'd a thunk? So I'll go with Kady and Kristy, the two interchangeable, personality-deficient blondes. Brooke's the only memorable blonde bombshell in this competition, let's face it.
So now, to sum things up, this season's top 12 will be (cue the drumroll):
Tune in Thursday to see if I'm right--and to see if maybe, just maybe, the finalists perform a PROPER '80s Duran Duran/Def Leppard medley in the opening minutes!