American Idol: Slash and Burn

The herd of thirty-six has been thinned to four. Last week, someone poor sucker went home. Their sorry delusion of defeating Adam Lambert, shattered into bits. Was it Matt? I don’t even remember. A year from now, I doubt I could tell you who was in the final four, except maybe for Kris Allen–and that’s because he’ll be sitting on my couch, feeding me Hershey’s Kisses, and I can just ask him. This is American Idol. My friends, I give you snow. I give you ice. I give you power. I give you the key to a new world. I give you diamond dust!

It’ll be fast and furious tonight, peeps. I have a head cold. Or swine flu. If I grow a curly tail and build a house of brick, we’ll know, won’t we? I also have to go on the internet to complain about how they ruined How I Met Your Mother. Because if The Mother is who it seems to be…well, let’s just say it’s akin to Shelley Hack joining the cast of Charlie’s Angels. Simply yuck.

First thing Ryan does is tell us about an “accident” on set earlier in the day. It seems the set got as disgusted by Danny Gokey as I am and decided to fall apart in protest. A big piece of logo-thing fell over and partially collapsed, forcing the Idols to skip their dress rehearsals. The big piece of logo-thing is still towering over them, half-collapsed. Everyone tries to act like it’s not there, waiting to kill them, and we, as loyal viewers, can only hope it gives over.

Tonight’s theme is, generally, “Rock.” No “hard.” No “and roll.” Just one word, flying solo. The cheese standing alone. The musical mentor is Slash from Guns N’ Roses, a band that once was popular and had some entertainment value in the days when Kevin Seal was an MTV VJ. Now, like MTV, they’re just a sad relic. As for Slash, he was the lead guitarist for G N’ R and now does the same for Velvet Revolver. I realize tonight that I’ve never heard Slash speak. I always thought he’d sound like Boomhauer. He actually sounds pretty normal, but that doesn’t make him any less boring or stop him from looking like the long-lost son of Sgt. Floyd Pepper from The Electric Mayhem. And I’m not sure, but I think Slash’s advice was even less useful than Jamie Foxx’s. Slash’s mentor sessions seem to consist of the Idols reacting to how cool he is. Because a 43-year-old man who wears sunglasses indoors and has hair that would put Winger to shame is clearly the benchmark for all things cool.

Also tonight? These bitches are singing duets.

Adam Lambert. Singing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Dressed like Storm from that time she got the mohawk and make Kitty Pryde cry. We haven’t had such a real biker chick on this show since Amanda Overmyer. (Hey, I remembered one!) It’s nice to see that faction represented here tonight. Adam is one tough lady. This is really a copycat take on Robert Plant’s original vocals, only much more shrill. Ewww, Adam. Don’t tell me about every inch of your love. Especially if you’re gonna be strapping it on. Objectively, it’s a good performance, but piercing to my sickly ears. The judges shower Adam with love–but his makeup doesn’t run. He wears Covergirl.

Allison Iraheta. Singing “Cry Baby” by Janis Joplin. Allison went to Adam’s hairdresser this week (really) so her hair looks less janky than usual. And she’s not wearing one of those dumb skirts of hers, with pants underneath or whatever. She’s doing more of a “Joan Jett Barbie” sorta thing. Vocally, she’s same as same as. Deep-voiced when appropriate, belting when necessary. Talented, but I wouldn’t miss her if she left. Randy didn’t love it because it was all chorus with Allison at the top of her range, and Kara wanted a different Janis song. Paula thinks “if they ever make a movie,” Allison should play the part of Joplin. Sorry, but Jenna Maroney’s got that gig. Did you know that Janis Joplin speed-walked everywhere and was afraid of toilets? Simon all around liked it, but didn’t see much originality. It was a sound-alike, he says. And Adam’s performance was…what, exactly? Allison gets lippy about not wanting to play it safe and how she really felt this song. Wow, put a girl in leather pants and out comes the attitude. Simon, literally, goes, “Allison, at this point, just beg. Beg.” Meaning for votes. Heh. But then he ends up winking at her and they share a laugh. ‘E’s jus’ takin’ the piss, guv’nor. Wot?

Duet the First. Kris Allen and Danny Gokey. Singing “Renegade” by Styx. Kris looking relaxed. Danny looking weirdly uncomfortable. Harmonizing at the harmony parts. Kris getting pitchy at the loud bits. Danny looking more uncertain and mildly annoyed. Does he not like sharing the stage with Kris? Is he just mad because he missed dress rehearsal? Has he maybe realized what a douche he is? Danny doing better with his solo than Kris. Harmonies again. Warbling from both at the end. Like chocolate and orange juice, these are two things that don’t mix. Randy liked the harmonies. Kara appears to be wearing condoms for earrings. Paula found it “compelling.” And Simon agrees with me that Danny was better than Chris. Then Danny complains to Seacrest about the acoustics or the band or whatever. Be quiet, you fool. You’ll be in the finals, regardless.

Kris Allen. Singing “Come Together” by the Beatles. Not my favorite Beatles song, but I’ll deal. It’s gotta be better than the Joe Cocker version in Across the Universe. (Despite that, see it!) And, well…it’s different. I like Kris, that’s no secret. But he’s way too mellow for this sort of thing. He’s trying. Playing his little guitar and all. But vocally, he’s too soft to sing this song, which needs some edge, some toughness. I’d better be nice or I can forget about those Hershey’s Kisses. Randy wasn’t blown away, but loved the instrument. Kara no likey. Paula says words that come from her mouth. Something about a compelling imprint. Simon says, “It was rather like eating ice for lunch,” calling it a boring, safe, jam. Hrrm…

Danny Gokey. Singing Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” Wearing a purple shirt and a silk vest. Singing his face into the camera. Still coming off as disconnected from the happenings on stage. Is he sick? Is rock music a sin? What’s up with him tonight? So lackluster. He sleepwalks through the ballad part, holds the long note monotonously, then belts until the screaming part. And if you think he thinks he can out-scream Adam, you’re right. He actually fucking tries it. And he fails miserably. It’s a hoarse, howling wail of pain. Like a big piece of logo-thing fell on his foot. Hee! Randy gives him a A+ for effort, but concedes this sort of song is not what Danny does. So why didn’t Kris get a pass? Kara thinks Danny took it too far. But she “likes to see growth.” Honey, don’t we all? Paula is a fan. But she hopes to be an air conditioner. (Thanks, folks, I’ll be here all week.) Simon says the scream was like something from a Friday the 13th movie. Danny is like, “I don’t think I sucked that much, but I’ll watch the tape later, but you’re probably wrong, but whatever, I’m Gokey the Small and Mighty, so I ain’t even trying to hear your comments.”

Duet the Second. Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta. Singing Foghat’s “Slow Ride.” Okay, I’m not crazy about either of these dopes, but people? They perform the absolute shit out of this song. They react to each other. They interact with each other. They bring it. I won’t even remark on Adam’s screeching or the fact that he’s wearing pants like the Trickster. Or that Allison looks like Rock of Love: 90210. Except for how I just said those things. This is good. It’s quality. They get the rocker lights and they hug at the end because they fucking know. The judges praise the pair like they wuz Jesus. And Simon points out that Adam might have boosted Allison’s survival factor tomorrow night. For serious.

About tomorrow? No Doubt will perform. Chris Daughtry will return. And somebody…Kris, maybe? Somebody goes home. Unless the set eats them first.


Back to the season guide.


    1. This week was the week: Gokey is officially a douche. His smarmy face when the judges only mildly critiqued him. I’m also getting the feeling that none of the other contestants particularly like him. The comparison in the duets was clear in that regard…. Adam/Allison had amazing chemistry and worked off each other, while Danny/Kris seemed to be singing as far away from each other as possible.

      The show’s shilling for Gokey also hit an all-time low. Kris gets thrown under a bus, but Danny gets a “pass” because it’s “not his thing”? Meanwhile, Kris could have sung a very “safe” selection like “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” or “More Than Words” or a host of low-tempo Bon Jovi songs Instead, he did something creative, if not vocally power-housed. And he gets slammed.

      I haven’t been this angry at the show since the days of Taylor Hicks.

    2. Was I just imagining that after Gokey’s performance, that Kara chick said she would have preferred to hear him sing some “early Aerosmith”? “Dream On” is on their first fucking album. Good thing that rock expert is on hand to dish out the advice. Also, fuck Gokey.

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