American Idol: All-Male Revue

“They have become heroes in their hometowns.” Because next to war veterans, firefighters, and astronauts, amateur singers in a reality show competition are true, heroic pioneers. There’s Danny Gokey, smiling like a cock until he realizes he’s on camera, then he’s straight-faced; Kris Allen, looking like he just wants to fucking sing already; Adam Lambert, who should not be seen in close-up under any circumstance. Boundaries, people. Boundaries. And for what it’s worth, tonight is the 300th episode. This is American Idol. Come back with your shield, or on it.

After last week’s show, the Idols went to their hometowns, where a bunch of idiots with fuck-all else to do rushed into the streets to scream at them like banshees. Really, don’t these people have jobs? Because unless the Beatles, including the dead ones, are parading down my street, I’ve got better shit to do with my time. We’ll get some footage of those visits tomorrow night. Time to kill and all. The only significant thing worth mentioning is that each of the contestants received a phone call or text from a judge, telling them which of two songs they’d sing tonight.

Yes, they’re singing two songs. One is chosen by a judge, the other is chosen by themselves. Both are new performances. It’s not “Idol‘s Greatest Hits,” although I think we’ve had those in year’s past.

Danny Gokey. First song: “Dance Little Sister” by Terence Trent D’Arby. Chosen by Paula, because D’Arby became “iconic overnight” and she thinks Danny has the same magical quality. Everything regarding that choice is highly subjective, if not flat-out incorrect. Danny starts by telling us to “come on,” which you know I love almost as much as brain tumors and leprosy. He’s doing his Michael McDonald thing, loudly. Why is this bitch yelling at me? The chorus is ass. That’s partially Danny’s fault, but also due to the fact that the backup singers are in another key altogether. A fat sax player shows up on stage. Bamf! Danny stands before him and scats. As in “shits from the mouth.” Then he bops over to the judges’ table and assaults them with his creepy doll-eyes and his big face and his dancing and his pointing. I hate Danny Gokey. Randy loved the hoarse tone in his voice, Kara didn’t like the dancing, which was “too gyrating.” No lie. Paula thought it was really good, and Simon points out that this isn’t “that funny little dancing show down the hall,” which is Idol‘s loss. He didn’t care for the song choice. I just didn’t care.

Kris Allen. First song: “Apologize” by One Republic. Chosen by Randy and Kara, not because is sucks, which it does, but because it’s a big song, with a dark, melodic line. Mehhh. But it’s Kris, so I must endure. Kris is at the Matt Giraud Memorial Piano, doing the Allison Iraheta Memorial Mushmouth. At least at first. He gets better at the chorus, but overall, this performance is a little middle-of-the-road. Kris is good, but I really think this song is a rotten ham laying on the pavement in the middle of a hot July afternoon. (It stinks.) Randy says this song shows us who Kris can be in the future of the music business. Specifically, he can be a singer of a bad song from two years in the past. Kara calls it competent, but wanted a guitar instead of a piano. She’s a moron. Paula makes many sounds that are somewhat complementary. Simon practically calls Kara an asshole. “You can’t choose a song for him and then blame him for doing the song.” Kara tries to get ghetto on Simon’s ass, but Kara can talk to the hand. Or just the middle finger.

Adam Lambert. First song: “One” by U2. Chosen by Simon, because who the hell knows, it’s another song on my list of Songs I Could Live and Die Without Hearing Again. Simon just plain likes it, and he asked Fucking Bono, all special, if Adam could sing it. Fucking Bono, taking a break from trying to Single White Female the Pope, has given his blessing. Adam starts all super-slow and gentle ballad-y. New topic: Adam looks like a gay Eddie Munster. Discuss! He starts shrieking, like the “one love” in the song is “one big rat” scurrying across the kitchen floor and Adam is atop the kitchen table waiting for his husband to come kill it. He also sings the lyric “carry each other” with his tongue hanging completely out of his mouth, so it sounds like “caiiii eaa oerrr, caiii eaa oerrr.” Maybe I don’t hate Adam like I used to, but I’m confounded by the idea of anyone actually buying a CD of this noise for any reason other than to use it as porch music on Halloween night. Randy says Adam went off the melody a bit, but it was good. Kara said he changed the song up and made it unbelievable. Wow. She really is supremely retarded. Paula says “one” a lot (“one brilliant artist,” etc.) I think she stays up at night, writing these remarks and rehearsing them on her dogs. Or maybe the dogs do the writing. Simon thought it was brilliant.

In lieu of an actual Idol Gives Back show, they shipped Carrie Underwood off to Africa for a day. Why not send Taylor Hicks? If he doesn’t come back, no loss. Anyway, Carrie met the poor and handed out malaria nets and looked at some sick people being poor and having malaria because they couldn’t figure out how their nets work. It’s a fucking net. Can you at least try to read the diagram, Malaria People? Carrie remains blonde and pretty and healthy throughout, and then returns to her mansion in America, where the poor and sick are kept at a safe distance–on the streets, where they belong. American homeless are so passé.

Danny Gokey. Second song: “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. Another favorite of mine, in that I can’t stand it. Danny performs this with faux-sincerity. Unless, of course, it’s an ode to his dead wife, in which case it’s straight from the heart and not at all manipulative. Shenanigans are always afoot in Gokeyville. Then he makes up lyrics. “Your love turned this boy into a man.” This show turned a man into a douche. He gradually works himself up into the belting zone, then tries to hold a long note which falls short of actually being long. Because he is not that good. Wake up, America. Randy says Danny can really, really, really sing. Really. Kara spits out the word “stunning,” while Paula is breathless. Loosen the girdle, honey. Simon calls it a “vocal masterclass.” Master ass, more like.

Kris Allen. Second song: “Heartless” by Kanye West. Kris is on stage, playing his guitar, with a bit of echo-enhancement added to his voice. Based on the iTunes sample, I’m pretty sure the original doesn’t sound like this. And by “this,” I mean frickin’ fantastic. It has absolutely been Mrazified for the better. It’s jazzy and acoustic and catchy and fresh. Earlier tonight, a friend of mine described Kris as “bland.” (He’s an Adam fan.) And to me, with all due respect to my friend (and Adam), that’s exactly what’s wrong with this season of Idol. People are falling over their faces praising Adam because they’re confusing “theater” with “skill.” Adam is talented, sure, but he’s some other indefinable thing, which, as I said earlier, might not be something one would want blasting from their iPod. Kris is a pro. A humble, understated, underestimated pro. He has a lot to offer. And that’s with his clothes on. Whatever. It’s his best performance to date, and I’ll be downloading it this week, making it my third Kris Allen download so far. Randy liked it better than the original and better than the Fray’s cover. Kara calls it brave and bold. Like Batman. Simon says he was uncertain about Kris’s future in the competition, but it’s all changed after that performance. Around here, you’re only as good as the last song you sing.

Adam Lambert. Second song: “Crying” by Aerosmith. Considering how the last Aerosmith song played out on this show, with Danny’s scream that shocked a nation, we should all be very afraid. Adam starts off not too far removed from the original version. Okey-dokey. Then, as usual, he starts shrieking and howling at inappropriate moments. Come on, can we be done with this now? How is this good? Can somebody who finds this pleasurable please contact me and explain, precisely, how this is tasty to the ears? Because it’s like a fucking air-horn up in here. Now Adam is literally singing in tongues. What the hell…? Is he possessed or having a stroke? One step forward, two steps back, with this guy. The judges turn themselves inside out praising him. I can’t even begin to understand. Can somebody, for once, tell him he should have dialed it down? This performance made me cranky. Well, crankier than usual.

Tomorrow night, we should lose Gokey. We’ll probably lose Kris. Katy Perry will appear with her trademark brand of precocious nonsense about how she touched a vagina that one time, and Jordin Sparks will perform, if she can remember how. More importantly, Top Model wraps for the season and the Lost finale is on, so you know where my priorities lie.


Back to the season guide.


    1. “It’s a fucking net. Can you at least try to read the diagram, Malaria People?”
      Oh, Frank. So evil. And I laughed for 3 days.

      Right on about Adam, Kris and Danny on all counts.

      THANK YOU for bringing back some of your snark towards Adam. I was getting worried. Imagine a 13-track album with one screeching song after another? I’m flummoxed by his popularity.

      Kris, on the other hand, as I’ve said 100 times over…. he’s a contemporary interesting musician. “Kris is a pro. A humble, understated, underestimated pro. He has a lot to offer.” you say. I couldn’t agree more.

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