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The Post-Game Show » simon cowell

Posts Tagged ‘simon cowell’

Idol: Crystal Tipped

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged Idol for the past couple of weeks. Partly that’s because I’ve been too busy, first prepping to go to Tokyo, and then actually being in Tokyo. But it’s also because, dear God, people, have you noticed how awful this season of Idol has been? One can only grit one’s teeth and trudge on through it for so long. Eventually, shitiocrity fatigue sets in.

Now we come to the final week, and the results are just a few hours away, so it’s safe to say that this was unquestionably the worst season of Idol. There can be no quibbling about that. Since Kelly Clarkson’s coronation and the Clay/Ruben battle, we’ve had the diva season (Fantasia, LaToya, Jennifer), the Southern season (Carrie and Bo), the fabulous wreck that was Taylor Hicks/Katherine McPhee, the epic sixth season (Melinda, Sanjaya, Blake, Jordan), the battle of the two Davids, and The Year of La Lambert. There were crap contestants and crap shows every year, but there was always a story, and there were always a few people to cheer for and a few people to boo, and it was always an entertaining diversion. This season was just limp.

Not that this season didn’t have a hero. Crystal Bowersox is clearly a very talented and atypically authentic Idol contestant, with a great voice and genuine musical ability. The problem is, there was no-one around to challenge her, and that made the whole season a tiresome drawn-out bore. She might as well have been given a free pass to the final two.

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There were people who could have put up a more interesting fight against her, but Lily Scott was voted out way too early, and Siobhan Magnus succumbed to bad advice, and towards the end we were left with the shockingly dull quartet of Aaron Kelly, Mike Lynche, Casey James and Lee DeWyze. You know those political polls were they put a known candidate up against ‘Generic Candidate’ to see how they might fare? Those four boys were all Generic Candidates, and none of them were fit to touch Dame Crystal’s hem.

For what it’s worth - and it’s not worth much - Lee DeWyze is the nominated generic candidate. Last week the judges made a considerable effort to persuade us that Lee was a contender, spouting the most egregious bullshit about his growth and talent (while unceremoniously kicking third-place contestant Casey James to the curb). They even got Lee to sing Hallelujah, which is the ultimate pimp song.

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Can Lee sing? Sure, OK, I suppose so. He doesn’t have great vocal control, but there’s something there. Can he perform? No. He’s a sleepy lump on the stage, wholly lacking in charisma. Silence is more engaging.

Can he win? Of course he can. He made it to the final two, and the final is always a toss-up. And never underestimate the appeal of someone safe, pedestrian and mid-Western to the safe, pedestrian mid-Western audience. He could be crowned champion tonight - but he’s no Idol.

Of course, the same could be said for Crystal. She’s probably not what the producers were looking for. She had never seen the show before she auditioned, and it was clear at the outset that she didn’t really understand what she was getting into. She seems to understand it now, but she still bristles at the idea of being a performing puppet and singing nothing but cover songs. Whoever wins this year’s Idol will not fit the mould, and will likely be a tough sell for marketing team.

The contestants each have different ‘winner’s songs’ this year, and those songs showed the size of the chasm between them, but also showed what odd ducks they both are. Lee’s song is U2’s Beautiful Day, which is reason enough to pray he doesn’t win. Astonishingly, he made the song even more mawkishly grating than it was before. When the performance was over, it seemed that the judges were embarrassed to have him up there at all.

Crystal’s song is Up to the Mountain, a little known folk song about Martin Luther King. She sang it beautifully, but it really doesn’t feel like the sort of song - or the sort of performance - that you expect five months of American Idol to lead up to.

Lee can win tonight; I’m fairly certain that he won’t, and I’ll be very happy if Crystal is the victor, as inevitable and plodding an event as that would seem. In a way, she’s as subversive an Idol finalist as Adam Lambert was, because she represents real musicianship peeking its green roots through the asphalt of modern manufactured pop. Whether she can go on to any kind of commercial success, even with Idol behind her (for as long as it stays behind her), is hard to guess, since her music would probably appeal most to the sort of people who hate Idol.

The worst ever season of Idol should yet come to a solid conclusion, and hopefully the show can recover next year. But, is it possible that Idol has run out of plausible contestants? Should they rest the show or a few years while America grows a new crop of TV-friendly talent? It now makes sense that Simon Cowell has decided to quit after this season, but I bet he’s wishing he’d made that decision a year earlier. How disappointing, to go out with a whimper.

Idol 2010: The King is Dead

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

“I just like how he touches kids all around this world.”

No, this is not a reference to Simon Cowell. This is one American Idol contestant’s verdict on singer and domestic abuser Chris Brown. Truly, he is the new king of pop.

But Cowell is the one who has truly touched kids all around the world, often in cruel and harrowing ways, and now he’s touching us all again with his announcement that he’s leaving American Idol to bring the X-Factor to America.

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Some pundits are saying that this surely makes this the last season of Idol, but it won’t be. Idol still brings in better audiences than… well, everything else on Fox. If Fox can make Idol and X-Factor work side-by-side, they’ll do it; you know they’re at least going to try.

And Idol will probably fail without Simon Cowell, because although he’s not the whole show, he is key to the formula. Strong personalities and strong performances can provide some entertainment value, but there’s never any guarantee that those things will turn up. Cowell provides quality control, context, and the approval that contestants crave. The winner gets a record contract, but a kind word from Simon Cowell is the crucial milestone on that journey.

So this won’t be the last season of American Idol, but it’s probably the second-to-last season of American Idol.

(American audiences may wonder what the differences are between Idol and X-Factor. First, anyone above the age limit can audition for X-Factor, and that includes groups. Second, performers are split into girls, boys, over 25s and groups. Third, the judges each mentor one of the categories. It may also involve live audience auditions, as the X-Factor now does.)

Cowell has said he hopes to use this new show to find an American Susan Boyle. It’s worth noting, however, that a weirdo like Susan Boyle probably wouldn’t have got through on the X-Factor; she was on Britain’s Got Talent, and America already has a version of that and hasn’t found an American Susan Boyle.

Simon is going. Paula is already gone. Paula wasn’t a good judge, but her addled loop-de-loo happy ragdoll act will be missed. Her replacement, Ellen, doesn’t start until the live shows, so in the meantime we get a conveyor belt of music industry legends with time on their hands, like Mary J Blige, Katy Perry, one of the Jonas brothers, and Dame Victoria Beckham, who has come dressed as Po from Kung Fu Panda. Seacrest scrapes around for a relevant job description to give to Beckham, but never quite comes up with a reason why she would be a judge on a singing competition.

Speaking of singing, how is this season looking, based on the Boston auditions? Did any of those strong personalities show up? Did they bring any strong performances with them?

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Justin Williams (above) must be an obvious early favourite, at least in my house; he’s glowingly healthy and handsome, he sings like he’s taking your knickers off, and he fought cancer and won, so he even has a story. We last saw him last year, where he was in the same Hollywood Week group as Kris Allen and Matt Giraud, but he wasn’t as good then, because he forgot to tell anyone about the cancer.

Other performers with potential include Maddy Curtis, the sunny, farm-built girl with a muscular voice and heartstring-plucking Downs syndrome brothers; Katie Stevens, who sings Etta James quaver-for-quaver and slightly over-chews it, but does it better for her grandmother with Alzheimer’s; and Tyler Grady, slick, confident, and stylish in his retro skinny jeans – but he only has two broken wrists, so he needs to up the life-is-hard ante if he wants votes.

Another of my favourites is Mike Davis, who says he’s an actor on a speedboat. That’s a job, apparently. Mike seems like a blue collar working class Boston boy, and is thus adorable, though ‘actor on a speedboat’ is not a blue collar working class job. He’s only an average singer, but he has lots of charm. I want to hear Mike say ‘retahded’. It’s a terrible word, but I love how Bostonians say it. (Simon inexplicably throws a strop when Kara flirts with him, and like a good lapdog, Randy follows him out of the room.)

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Finally – after much build-up – there’s Leah Laurenti (above), billed by Seacrest as, “Astonishing talent like we’ve never seen before”. The second coming of Christ would struggle to live up to the hype lumped on her shoulders, and the audition doesn’t quite electrify through the television screen, but one can guess at what the judges saw in her. Her voice must have filled the room they were sitting in; she has a big, powerful Broadway voice. She could be a young Barbra Streisand – she has the look, the speaking voice, the singing voice, and even the nose (though she appears to be Catholic). I’d vote for her just to increase the chances of hearing her do ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’.

Tonight’s show was just the first of seven audition shows (the second is tomorrow), and you can rest assured that I won’t be blogging every one of them. The Hollywood rounds start in early February; we won’t get to the real show until late February, when it’s back to 24 semi-finalists and no wild card, because everyone now knows that was a shambles. They’ll find new ways to be shambolic, though. They always do.

Idol: The Final

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

It’s the final. The day of reckoning. Well, the day before the day of reckoning, because we don’t get the result until tomorrow. But still, this is the showdown, and… and it almost doesn’t seem to matter.

I mean, it doesn’t matter, of course, because it’s only a reality TV show. But it does matter because Adam Lambert has totemic value as an acceptable face of gay in the American heartland. But it doesn’t matter because… well, Danny Gokey is gone.

For a long time, the safe money was on a Danny/Adam final. I wrote last week about the allegorical power of this confrontation - safe Christian values versus debauched Californian liberalism. And then a miracle happened. God himself flooded the Idol phone lines with votes for Adam and Kris, pushing Gokey into third place and out of the competition, as if to say, “You do not sing for me, widowmaker”. Poor God, he must be tired of people saying the devil has all the best tunes.

If Gokey had made the final, this would have been a tense end to the season. But with the smug one’s ouster, it’s tough to care, and for the best of all possible reasons; I like both of the finalists.

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Adam is the favourite, and he’s the most creative performer the show has ever seen, and the best singer this side of Melinda Doolittle, so if he does win it’ll be entirely right and proper. Kris need not worry; he’ll get a career out of this as well.

But if Kris wins… well, it wouldn’t really change anything. Adam would still be a superstar. The Adam haters would be gleeful, but I think most Adam fans would take it in good grace. Most of them like Kris, and it’s still a victory for the flamboyantly gay contestant to have got to the final at all. The voting between Kris and Adam last week was reportedly close, and most of Danny’s votes will go to Kris, so victory for Kris could easily be on the cards.

There were rumours of a Kris/Adam feud in the papers at one point, but it’s obvious from the way the two interact - hugging, joking, sitting together - that they’re very close. The fanfic has already been written. Sharp-eyed fans spotted last week that Kris had nail polish on one thumb, while Adam had nail polish on all but one thumb. This was apparently a deliberate gesture of solidarity between the two. We’re also told that when the results were announced, Kris’s mum ran up to Adam’s mum and they hugged. Whoever wins, I think the loser will be legitimately happy for him. The final result is largely irrelevant.

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Perhaps the clearest illustration of this odd win-win situation is the conundrum that anti-Idol site Vote for the Worst found itself in. VFTW tries to propel bad contestants to victory because… I don’t know, really. Boredom, I suppose. Regardless, the site has had a terrible season. In the prelims they backed Tatiana, Alex and Norman, none of whom went through. For the show itself, they backed Megan, Scott, Lil, Matt and Danny in quick succession. They had no noticeable impact. (If they’d picked Matt Giraud as the worst, like I did, they’d have looked like geniuses!)

The point being, they capped their terrible year with an impossible choice. VFTW is consensus-led, and therefore tends to be musically conservative, so their natural choice for ‘worst’ would be Adam (an early poll showed that VFTW wanted Adam as their pick), but you can’t try to sway the vote in favour of the popularly acclaimed front-runner; it’s meaningless

As it’s too late to back Adam, VFTW picked Kris as its ‘worst’, claiming that Adam had pussied out of being his full queeny self, and that Kris would be a disastrous winner for the producers. Neither of those claims stands up to a second’s scrutiny. Vote for the Worst couldn’t pick a plausible worst in the final two, because there is no worst. There’s no bad result here.

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On to tonight’s performances. Adam starts things off with a Mad World reprise, backlit and wearing a long school-massacring coat. He doesn’t sound as confident as he did last time he did this number, and he’s not offering anything new, but it is a typically well acted and emotional performance. A safe choice.

Kris revisits Ain’t No Sunshine - lovely and unchallenging, I wish he’d gone with Falling Slowly, which was much more original, but much less well known. Another safe choice.

Adam’s next song is A Change Is Gonna Come, the producer’s choice - and it’s a good contrast to what’s gone before. This is a musically challenging, dazzling song that allows Adam to show some shade. He starts out controlled, but intense, then unleashes a trademark wail that could knock a man down. It’s a home run for Adam’s constituency of tweens and grandmas.

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Kris follows that with What’s Going On. And I’m suddenly very aware of Kris’s weird pubescent moustache. Is that an Anoop tribute? Kris is adorable as ever, but he’s definitely milquetoast compared to the competition, and this little acoustic coffee bar set demonstrates that very clearly. Of course, his best chance of winning this really is to run as the anti-Lambert; an island of normal in a flood of glitter.

Finally, the winner’s song, No Boundaries, by Kara DioGuardi (among others). Yes, her; the shite judge. This is what she otherwise does for a living, you know. The song is predictably rotten stuff, and not even rotten in a dependably stirring way. It’s not a very Adam Lambert song, but he does infuse it with a texture that I suspect it’s otherwise lacking. Ultimately, though, it’s kind of sad that this is the last song he gets to sing in the contest. Kris fares a little better with the MOR-ness, but he struggles with the range, and, let’s be honest, the banality of the song is beneath him as well.

That’s the end. Tomorrow we’ll have a winner. Bookies favour Adam, but I think Kris has an excellent chance - he’ll get a lot of votes from supporters, but I’m sure he’ll also benefit from people voting against the gay guy, sadly. Still, this time tomorrow we’ll either have a queer Idol champion, or a queer Idol superstar. It’s a win-win.

How To Apologise

Friday, May 15th, 2009

On a recent edition of his radio show, beloved dandy Jonathan Ross said , “If your son asks for a Hannah Montana MP3 player, you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption before he brings his… erm… partner home”.

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It’s just a joke. I understand that. Jonathan Ross is a funny man and a great  TV and radio host, and occasionally his humour is a little risqué. But he’s not Jim Davidson. He’s not one of these repugnant old-guard comedians who like to make jokes about ‘pakis’ and beating women. A joke suggesting that parents should put gay children up for adoption belongs firmly on that side of the line. It’s not a joke at the expense of bigotry; it’s a joke for bigots. The joke is not, ‘people say dumb things about effeminate boys’. The joke is, ‘effeminate boys are bad children’.

Ross responded to the outcry about the joke on Twitter, saying, “Am mortified to hear some people thought I was being homophobic on Radio show. Nothing could be further from truth, as I am sure most know.”

I fully accept that Jonathan Ross is not homophobic. He has demonstrated this time and again. But what he said was homophobic. It was a lazy joke leaning on old prejudices, which perpetuated a message that isolates and alienates children struggling with their sexual identity. No kid wants to be told that his parents should give him away. What Ross seems to have missed is that you can be gay friendly in spirit, and still say obscenely homophobic things.

Ross’s twittered response to complaints was the classic, “I’m sorry people were offended”, but without the “I’m sorry”. His follow-up said; “Have gay/bi family members so never been an issue. But I guess soemtimes you need to be sensitive to avoid upsetting folk.”

Some of his best relatives are gay! And he’s not just sorry you were offended; he’s sorry that you’re so easy to offend! It’s wretched, craven, snivelling stuff.  Bernard Manning could not have put it better himself. The twittered defence actually offends me more than the initial joke.

Over on EW.com, Michael Slezak has called on Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell to stop exchanging homophobic barbs on American Idol. I actually think they have muted their homophobia this season, possibly because Adam Lambert is on that stage, but their enthusiasm for catty ‘U R gay’ exchanges has been very notable in the past, and it’s disturbing for a top-rated family show to revel in perpetuating the idea that gay=bad.

Slezak mentions the recent suicide of a boy bullied at school because classmates assumed he was gay. That’s the collateral damage here. Carl Walker was eleven years old, and he took his own life because we live in a world where TV and radio hosts think it’s fine to rely on lazy gay jokes just so long as they themselves can insist that they are not homophobic. It’s fine to make gay kids hate themselves, just so long as they know a gay person!

Ross has been crucified in the tabloids for saying stupid things before, and it was tedious and it was overblown. I’m not interested in repeating that misadventure. I’d just like an apology, and I’d like him and others like him to make the effort not to do it again. I’m not saying that all gay jokes are off limits. I’m saying, don’t go telling gay kids that they are worth less because they’re gay.

Idol: God, The Devil and Kris

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

American Idol is down to just three. Despite a performance so awful as to have already become notorious, Danny Gokey has survived, and poor Allison Iraheta has been given the boot. We now know that whatever Danny does, the judges will praise him and people will vote for him. As a consequence, we now have the first all-male top three in Idol history.

Last week’s final four saw two rock kids go up against two Christian music kids. It was a mini-referendum, and rock lost (and most of Allison’s votes should now go to Adam). If Kris goes home this week, as expected, we’ll have a final two of such blatant symbolism that the punditry will explode with glee.

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In the Red State corner: Danny Gokey. Church ‘worship director’. Tragic widower. Loves Jesus and talks a lot about heaven. His performances show a complete lack of imagination. He never does anything the least bit subversive or original.

In the Blue State corner: Adam Lambert. Musical theatre performer. Blatant homosexual. Loves eyeliner and lives in California. His performances showcase his tremendous range and presence. He is inventive, magnetic and shameless.

Stuck in the middle: Poor Kris Allen, a good-looking lad who has become the dark horse contender this year, but who realistically is expected to end his journey this week in the face of the warring fanbases digging trenches either side of him.

People hate Danny Gokey. They hate him because he’s dull. They hate him because he’s smug. They hate him because they’ve seen him dance, and, oh dear God, no-one should ever have to see him dance. They hate him because he auditioned with his friend Jamar, and Jamar was better but didn’t get through. They hate him because he gets praised by the judges every week despite being the musical equivalent of gruel.

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Mostly they hate him because, thirty days after his wife died unexpectedly from complications in surgery, he auditioned for this reality TV show. He also wept to the producers and sent them footage of his wedding day so they could tell his story. Then he gave a friend a photo of his wife to hold up during one of his performances. He has repeatedly made gestures of remembrance for his dead wife, or chosen manipulative songs like Hero, Jesus Take The Wheel, What Hurts the Most and Endless Love. He has exploited his wife’s death to win votes in a popularity contest, and that’s sickening.

And people love him, of course. He’s the only contestant this year never to have been in the bottom three, and, most times, that’s the contestant who wins. The judges love him; he’s the only contestant to get good comments every week without fail. Christian conservatives surely love him. He’s a good church-going boy, and he’s struggling on through the grief and hardship of his wife’s tragic death to become a success; an example of what a person can achieve with God on their side, no matter what life throws at them. And he dresses sensibly and talks politely and never tries to scare the horses. He’s intensely nonthreatening and middle-of-the-road. He’s Billy Joel.

People also hate Adam Lambert. They hate him because he shrieks and screeches. They hate him because he’s arrogant. They hate him because he’s over-the-top. They mostly hate him because he’s gay.

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That’s probably not fair to his critics. It is in theory possible to hate Adam Lambert for reasons other than his gayness, but in most cases I think what people object to is his… flamboyance. His theatricality. His loud, proud and unapologetic sense of self. His… how can I put this? His gayness. Even a lot of gay people hate his gayness, but it was ever thus. No queen likes to be out-queened, and Adam Lambert is the queen bitch in charge.

And people love Adam Lambert. Win or lose this competition, he’s a phenomenon like this show has never seen before; an Idol who already sells records, already sets the media afire, and already appears on magazine covers even before the contest has ended. But if he does win, then change has come to America.

Adam Lambert is secretly a handsome and wholesome pop star, but he’s also a subversive godless sinner. He sneers and writhes and glowers. He’s sleazy and sexual. It’s all in a safe, cartoon way, but still it’s all there. I’m sure there are people in the midwest who refuse to accept or even consider that he’s gay, but he remains a totem of gayness. It doesn’t matter if they don’t accept that Adam Lambert is gay; if America votes for Adam Lambert, they have already de facto embraced the gay.

Adam is the salvation! He is the promised gay messiah. Perhaps Adam is actually the new face of the divine, and menacing wife-slayer Danny is the devil preaching scripture?

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On to tonight’s performances:

Danny’s first song tonight, chosen by Paula Abdul, is Terence Trent D’Arby’s Dance Little Sister. If it has a melody, you wouldn’t know it. It sounds like a coffee grinder that’s been left to run with nothing in it.

Kris Allen’s song, picked by the count-as-one-choice budget judges Randy and Kara, is Apologise by OneRepublic; a popular contemporary ballad that fits well with the sort of soft radio hit you’d expect from Kris. Kris breaks out the grand piano in a bid to impress. It’s a fairly heartless performance, and Kris isn’t actually at his swoony best here - some of the low notes are too low, and he’s not entirely comfortable with the falsetto. But it’s better and more interesting than Gokey.

Adam Lambert is the chosen contestant, so of course Simon Cowell picks his song (and Simon has come right out and said he thinks Adam will win). The song is One by U2, which Simon tells us he personally got Bono’s permission for, because Simon is all-powerful. This is Adam’s ‘nude’ performance of the night - less make-up, no costume, lots of raw emotion. It’s an arrangement I’ve never heard before, and it’s impressive. The boy has an amazing voice.

Danny’s second song, chosen by himself, is You Are So Beautiful, by his soundalike Joe Cocker. No effort required there. He sings on a stool, with a string quartet. The song is actually a little quiet, a little delicate, for his voice, but when he gets into it it’s the same competent piano bar rendition we’ve come to expect. I simply can’t imagine anyone going out of their way to hear this man sing. Interestingly, Kara praises his second performance as if she had criticised his first performance. But she hadn’t!

Kris Allen comes back with Heartless by Kanye West. Two contemporary songs, Kris? This is unprecedented! And he’s singing with just a guitar! Which he’s playing! Playing two instruments in one night is also unprecedented. It’s a delightfully upbeat performance, great fun to listen to (and a bit incongruous given what the song is about), and probably the best he’s ever been. Great stuff.

Adam’s song choice is Aerosmith’s Crying. In two words; it rocks. It’s not actually as extravagant as I was expecting it to be. He must be saving something huge for next week.

So is Adam Lambert going to be in the final? It would be the biggest shock in the show’s eight seasons if he didn’t make it. Is Danny going to be there? Almost certainly. But I’ve been hoping to see him sent home for weeks now, and this week is no different. An Adam/Kris final would be a wonderful thing. But Jesus wants a Danny/Kris final, and you wouldn’t want to disappoint Jesus.

Idol: Stupid Stupid Rat Creatures

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

It’s suits night on American Idol, where all the men wear suits! Awe-inspiring. Officially, they’re calling it ‘Rat Pack’ night, because swing was very in years and years ago when they started doing this, and somehow the show never got over it. Once again, no modern, relevant music for these aspiring modern, relevant performers!

Before we get to the songs; iTunes accidentally revealed the sales figures for Idol downloads in their chart last week. Of the seven most popular Idol tracks, six were by Adam Lambert (which, at that time, was all the available songs by Adam Lambert). Kris Allen had three of the Idol top ten (including number two). That left Danny Gokey with one entry at number nine. Allison and Matt’s highest entries were outside the top ten and safely out of the Adam Lambert zone.

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So, if iTunes is a reliable yardstick, we’re probably looking at an Adam/Kris final, which would be a surprisingly good result for a top 12 that was bogged down with crap like Megan, Scott and, well, Matt Giraud. Last week they sent home Lil and Anoop. I’d be perfectly happy if they sent home everyone else this week and we just cut to the chase.

Just so we’re clear; Adam Lambert is now a bona fide cultural phenomenon. He doesn’t have to win this thing (though he almost certainly will); he’s already a star. How it happened, I don’t know, but there are widespread reports that he’s a favourite of the grandparent set, who regard him as something of a throwback to the golden age of rock ‘n roll, while he’s simultaneously winning big with Twilight kids, and he’s even the most popular contestant in places like Arkansas, Utah and Oklahoma, according to Google Trends - and they can’t all be hoping to hunt him down and burn him. (Even in their home states of Wisconsin and Arkansas, Danny and Kris are getting fewer searches than Adam. Only in his own home town is Kris more popular than Adam.)

As the theme is the Rat Pack, the mentor is… Jamie Foxx. The first person you’d think of. As Ryan Seacrest explains, “like the Rat Pack, Jamie Foxx has gone on to break the boundaries of the entertainment industry”. Thanks Ryan.

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Wearing a suit first tonight is Kris, whom Jamie identifies as his favourite. He’s my favourite too, Jamie! Apart from Adam, of course. The song is Someday, and it’s a little low for our perfect package pop-star, and there’s not much for him to do with it other than add some runs and hit the end-note. A workaday performance, but who cares? He’s adorable. (Randy calls it Kris’s best performance to date, but remember, Randy didn’t like Kris’s actual best performance to date, which was Falling Slowly.)

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Allison is not wearing a suit. She’s wearing a lampshade. Her song is the Gershwins’ Someone to Watch Over Me, and it’s a great choice, because all through the competition Allison has been showing how good she is at rock vocals, but she’s never shown her softer side. This is a tour de force performance that, for the first time, let’s us hear some softness and emotion in Allison’s voice. It would be a real shame if she went home after a performance like this one.

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Matt is wearing a suit and another from his collection of too-small hats! It now occurs to me that he’s been wearing hats all the time so we couldn’t see the witch’s nipple on his forehead. Matt says this week is his week. His My Funny Valentine gets off to such a flat, shaky, unconfident start that I’m not sure he believes that. It’s a horrible exercise in tortured vowel sounds. Simon is bizarrely nice about it, and I’ve no idea why. I don’t know why he gave Matt a wildcard slot, I don’t know why he gave him the judges’ save, and I don’t know why he’s being nice to him now. I can only theorise that Matt has some incriminating dirt on Simon that he’s holding over his head. Literally nothing else makes sense.

Danny is wearing a dark suit and dark-framed glasses. His song is Come Rain or Come Shine. He sings it the way you would expect him to sing it. I have completely run out of things to say about Danny Gokey. I don’t even have the will to insult him anymore, he bores me that much.

Finally, the man you all came to see; Adam Lambert. And of course - of course - he’s doing Feeling Good, and I don’t know if he’ll be doing it Muse or Nina. Oh, and he’s wearing a white suit. He wears shiny suits a lot already, so there’s no way he was going to just wear a suit today; it had to be a white suit. This may be his most dragalicious cabaret performance yet, but of course it’s a tremendous display, and the last notes are showstoppers. Simon actually mocks Randy for calling it theatrical - this is how Adam Lambert has changed the face of this world.

It’s obvious that Matt should go home this week, and I still think he actually will, but I’m entirely open to the possibility of an early exit for Danny Gokey. The world demands a Kris/Adam final!

Idol: Feed A Fever

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

It’s disco night. Must we?

Last week the public decided it was sick of Matt Giraud and said could we please not have him and his Davros mole and his sickly rictus on our screens anymore? After all, he was a wildcard contestant; the public didn’t want him there in the first place. And what happened? The judges saved him. They used their one and only veto on that.

Did Matt deserve a third chance? Of course not. He’s always been a terrible, mewling, miserable streak of piss. But the judges were running out of chances to use their special save, and if they didn’t use it at all, it would suggest that the idea was a bad one, and they couldn’t have that. So for the third time, Matt Giraud was forced on a public that didn’t want him. Thankfully, he’s about the least disco person imaginable, so he has little chance of surviving this week, where two acts will now be sent home.

The first to sing tonight - and very probably the other person going home - is Lil Rounds, busting out of a black catsuit and singing I’m Every Woman. Lil’s cavalcade of dead ferret wigs must finally be exhausted, which means her time is through. I was once sure Lil would make the final three, but she’s made bugger all effort to impress and given every impression that she thinks she should get through on brass balls alone.

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Kris Allen has picked She Works Hard For The Money, and a loose white t-shirt. Both odd choices. Wouldn’t a tight white t-shirt have made more sense, dinky little sex-smurf? He’s reimagined the song as a Santana number. (I’m very annoyed that Paula has said exactly the same thing, which makes me fear for my sanity, but she then went off on a rant about men in women’s clothing, so no-one will remember that.) I think we’re going to see a lot of un-disco tonight, which is just as well. I actually like disco. But I like it done well.

Danny Gokey is singing September, by Earth Wind and Fire. And isn’t he looking chunky? Every week, there’s a little bit more of him to be bored with. This is one of his least comfortable performances, but it doesn’t matter; there’s no accounting for the appeal of Danny Gokey. Maybe it’s because he’s a good church-going boy? Maybe it’s still sympathy votes for his dead wife? Or maybe people just like safe and dully consistent? If we get the expected Danny/Adam finalé, it’s going to be very interesting cultural schism; the dependable holy widower versus the flamboyant godless homosexual. Porridge versus popping candy. And then Danny will win, because America is a soulless place.

(You’ll note I’m finally calling him Danny, not Downey. I know the joke wore thin about two months ago, but I just genuinely have trouble remembering that his name isn’t Downey.)

Allison Iraheta’s hair this week is styled in the fashion of the Cowardly Lion, and she’s wearing a PVC and rhinestone emo bee costume. It’s all very bold. The song is Hot Stuff, with rocks on - Donna Summer is this week’s Bryan Adams. It’s not Allison at her finest, but I think she now has some momentum behind her.

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Adam. The pattern says that Adam should go for something stripped down this week, and that he’ll have his hair swept up away from his face, but can he do ’stripped down’ in disco week? He has got the hair back in the pompadour, so the signs are good. The song is If I Can’t Have You, and - shock - he is sticking to his pattern. He is not going for 12-cylinder disco. He’s singing a Bee Gees song as if it were an emotional ballad. Not as good as his Mad World or Tracks of my Tears, but he’s still outsinging the competition and cementing his place in the hearts of grandmothers everywhere.

Ryan Seacrest looks hilariously tiny next to Adam’s hair.

Matt Giraud is singing Stayin’ Alive, because you really want to be doing another Brothers Gibb number after Adam, oh yes. Bad falsetto, a hectoring pace, and appalling sub-Timberlake shuffling. Did we really deserve another week of this guy and his supermarket fish counter hats? Why? What did we do wrong?

The one good thing about saving Matt is that they can’t save Anoop, who is last up this evening. I’ve learned that Anoop’s fans love him because of the R&B timbre of his voice. And also because they want to hump his cartoon eyebrows. They don’t care about his limited range! They don’t care about his lack of vocal control! They don’t care that he’s been in this contest three months too long! They lurve him. The song is Dim All The Lights, by… Donna Summer! Simon gives it the worst comments of the night; he has decided that Anoop has got to go. I can’t disagree.

Two people go home this week, which changes the voting dynamic quite a bit. It ought to be two of Lil, Matt and Anoop, and any such result would make me perfectly happy, but after last week’s reprieve, I’m very keen to see Matt kicked out of here. Go home, Frankenstein!

Idol: Goes To The Movies, Talks All The Way Through, Spills Kia-Ora All Over The Seats, Probably

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

This week on Adam Lambert and friends; Quentin Tarantino and songs from the movies. But first; the reality show contestant people have been talking about this week is not La Lambert, but this lady, Ms Susan Boyle.


Susan Boyle Sings on Britain’s Got Talent 2009 Episode 1 @ Yahoo! Video

You’ve probably watched that clip at least a couple of times before, but you probably just clicked play again anyway, because it’s fully awesome.

Reality show audiences have been conditioned to expect terrible things from their freak-show contestants. These unglamorous, socially inept weirdoes are put on the stage because the show wants us to laugh at them, like the braying subhuman bastards that we are.

With her melting chins, her bushy brows, and her confession that she has ‘never been kissed’, Ms Boyle seems the definitive shat-upon auditions outcast; she’s putting her heart and hopes on the line for one last shot at public acceptance only to be turned into an object of national ridicule. We expect this woman to fail because we’ve been told that these people will fail. So it’s a moving moment when she transcends and ridicules our prejudices and breaks out a set of pipes that are very nearly ready for the stage. Life has handed Susan Boyle a shitty hand, yet suddenly she’s a star.

Of course, her success will empower even more freaks and weirdoes to take to the audition stage in the delusional belief that they too are Susan Boyle, and the intellectual cesspool of the audition rounds will have enough putrid meat to feed another season.

Enough of this jollitry! On with the motley, Madam Lambert! On with the show!

As mentioned above, the theme is movie songs, and the guest mentor is shambling palsied homeless guy Quentin Tarantino, the king of the mixtape! Amusingly, they show a filming clip from Inglourious Basterds, but Ryan Seacrest refuses to say the film’s name.

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Allison Iraheta is singing I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, because, being 16, she knows exactly what it’s like to be Liv Tyler’s decrepit drug-addled father. Allison is in constant danger on this show, having been at the bottom twice, so tonight’s woozy, flailing performance (complete with a ‘fighting my way out of this black plastic bag’ punching dance) could leave her in trouble.

Anoop Desai is singing Jai Ho from… oh, OK, no, he’s doing Everything I Do, the first of two Bryan Adams numbers tonight. Quentin has asked Anoop to rough it up with a big vocal, and since Anoop can’t do rough or big, it’s clear Quentin hates Anoop and wants him to fail. Hurray for Quentin Tarantino! But Anoop isn’t listening, and is doing the song so sedately that he’s managed to make the original sound jazzy and peppy. Big key change? Not for Anoop. Anoop has fewer keys than a jailer at an open prison.

Adam Lambert never saw a ridiculous song choice he didn’t like, so of course he’s doing Born To Be Wild, with leather jacket, chains, and all the guyliner you can eat. This is a song that allows Adam Lambert to be fully Adam Lambert, and it will change absolutely no-one’s minds about him, but this is the clever game Adam is playing; one week he’s celebrating being him. The next he tones it down and wins more converts to his cause. At this stage America is eating out of the palm of his bedazzled gay hand. Grandmothers, mothers and daughters all love this ‘mo, and mo’ power to him.

Miserable Matt Giraud is often compared to Justin Timberlake, seemingly for no other reason than he sometimes wears Justin Timberlake’s hats. His song is Bryan Adams’ When You Lurve A Wurman. Some people actually like Matt Giraud and his scowling arse of a face and his whiny, leg-shagging voice, which just goes to show, there’s no accounting for people being morons.

orm

Downey Gokey - formerly Orm of Orm and Cheep - gets some interesting advice from Quentin; keep your hands still so that the emotion comes through your eyes. It sounds like bullshit, but at least Quentin is giving this mentor thing a shot. The song is Endless Love. Downey hits some bum notes, and I’m damned if I can sense any emotion streaming out through his wife-murdering gimlet piss-holes, but it’s competent, in a samey, Downey Gokey way. (Note: He didn’t really kill his wife. He did kill JonBenet Ramsay, though.)

When I heard Kris Allen was doing Falling Slowly, the beautiful Oscar-winning song from Once, I thought his would be the breakout song of the night. Short of tripping over Ricky Miner and skewering himself on the band, Kris ought to be delivering a knicker-twisting rendition of this song. Unfortunately it starts too low for him, and it’s not a home run, but I don’t think it will matter; this is the song every Kris Allen fan wants to imagine Kris Allen singing to them. The votes should flow like adolescent liquids.

Finally, Lil Rounds, the girl no-one gives a damn about anymore, because she has staunchly refused to live up to her promise. Simon has written her off, and so have I. She needs a solid gold diva performance to turn things around. Her rendition of Bette Midler’s The Rose isn’t quite it, but when she goes gospel there is a spark of the Lil Rounds I used to get excited about. It’s Lil’s best performance in months, but it may be too late, and that last note wasn’t right.

As Kris failed to fully deliver, the night is sadly without a standout performance. It’s also without any standout disasters, but I’d like to think Anoop and Matt are in trouble, even if only on aggregate.

Idol: Jesus Write My Blog

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Before we get down to this week’s show, let’s talk about the Judges’ Save. Last week I posited that the change in the Idol rules would mean the introduction of the X-Factor method, wherein the judges choose which of the bottom two goes home. It’s an excellent method, as it allows for a little more nuance and intelligence than the brutal ‘boot the loser’ system. But it would not fly in America, where you can take people’s votes from them in a general election and they will demur, but if you even hint that the power of their vote could be diluted on a reality TV show, they will start painting signs and polishing their marching boots.

The Judges’s Save is not the X-Factor method; it’s the French Idol method. The judges have the option to save one contestant from elimination before the final five, if they are unanimous. One contestant. Once. This is in case of another Jennifer Hudson or Michael Johns; a contestant who either had one bad week but was otherwise awesome, or who seemed so guaranteed to go through that no-one bothered to vote for them, and deserves a safety net.

Is it a good move? No. It makes for a clumsy and uncomfortable end to every results show as the judges tell us they’re not saving this week’s loser. It drains the pathos from the leaving contestant’s song, and adds not a lot. But is it a terrible scandal? Is it an outrage? No! And yet Michael Slezak at EW.com said it would “nullify the public’s vote”, and James Poniewozik at Time.com called it “un-American”. Un-American! Time.com!

To be clear; people vote for the person they want to win, not the person they want to lose. There is nothing undemocratic about the Judges’ Save. By all means complain that it’s a bad idea, because it is, but it’s not robbing you of your basic rights as an American, you whining idiots!

Anyway, last week we lost Jorge Nunez and Jasmine Murray. Neither was a big surprise. This week…

This week is Grand Ol’ Opry week, which is a fancy way of saying ‘Country week’, with guest mentor Randy Travis, whom I have never heard of. As someone who loves Dolly and Glen and the Flying Burrito Brothers, I fear the sort of country they’ll be performing is not going to be the sort of country I like listening to. I predict a lot of Garth Brooks, a lot of Martina McBride, and probably some Carrie Underwood.

sarver-golem

Michael Sarver is first up, doing some kind of crazy scattershot number that sounds like the Saved By The Bell theme. “When I wake up in the morning / The alarm gives out a warning / I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time”. Fond as I am of Sarver, even I can’t take any joy out of thisweirdness. Paula’s comments, verbatim: “I, you know what, it’s a great Garth Brooks song, and I gotta tell you that, it, to me, allowed, to see you having fun, which made us have fun, and your artistic ability to take a harmonica player, it added charm, it boosted your confidence, and you’re fun. I thought that this is the genre that is, that suits you so well, and (drowned out by screaming crowd).” It’s going to be a good night for Paula tonight. Michael gives Simon some well-chosen sass, which may save him this week.

Allison Iraheta does a song about cheating hearts, but not the Hank Williams song. From rock to country is a shorter walk than many rock fans would like to admit (the difference is a fiddle), so Allison belts it out with practiced ease, and ought to sail through, but girl rockers have almost as much trouble on this show as ‘theatricals’. Ooh, maybe it’s a lesbian thing?

Kris Allen has a sideways Muppet mouth, like Peter Petrelli. This week he is singing, ‘I Am Very Handsome And I Love You; You Do Not Want To Send Me Home’. Unfortunately all the girlies at home will be too moist to want to get up and go to the phone. Oh, kids today all have mobile phones! He’ll be fine, in spite of his ill-fitting trousers, which seem to have given him man-cameltoe. Kris will sing this song every week, and will do very well. I for one am looking forward to his calendar.

Lil Rounds is singing Martina McBride’s Independence Day, which is a song I’ve actually heard of, but I’ve only heard of it because Carrie Underwood sang it on this show. Lil promises to respect the country and not do it R&B style. Lil has not listened to Tom Cruise’s advice in Magnolia: respect the rock; tame the country. Lil Rounds sings like we know she sings. Loudly, competently, and with very little nuance or emotion. Note to Simon and Randy: Lil is short for ‘Lillian’, not ‘Little’.

Adam Lambert is coming out, and we’d better get this party started! Tonight’s outfit; gold jacket, Native American necklace, fingerless gloves. Randy Travis does not understand homosexuals. He does not have the words to express his views on men wearing nail polish. Poor bemused Randy Travis. Adam does an Arabian sitar cover of Ring of Fire while writhing on the stage like a cobra. He does not respect the country. He respects the Bond song. I too respect the Bond song. We will call this Adam Lambert’s low-key, understated week. As Randy Travis has apparently made it charmingly old-fashioned to be skittish around ‘unconventional’ men, Simon takes this as his cue to be an asshole about Adam’s self-indulgence (which is a euphemism for ‘theatrical’).

Scott is blind. We judge him by no other standard than whether or not he’s blind in any given week. This week, he’s still blind.

I’m waiting for Simon to use one of his little predator lines on Alexis Grace. “You’re a minx”, or, “you’re a little devil”, or, “you’re a dirty goddamn whore”. Oh, he’s such a rogue! Alexis’ Jolene is shaky, and not up to her previous standards. It’s just a’ight, for me, for you. I slightly resent that she did Jolene at all, to be honest. You can’t cram Jolene into ninety seconds! It’s disrespectful!

downey-frank

Hurray, Downey Gokey is singing reckless country anthem Jesus Take The Wheel, from the hit album, Jesus Handle My Responsibilities. Other tracks include Jesus Feed My Cat, and Jesus Stop My Sperm From Impregnating This Girl. Downey is not very good tonight, which is a relief, because let’s face it, we’re all sick of Downey now. Loving his spies-on-safari Joe 90 action figure jacket, though! Is Scott picking the costumes this week?

Novelty singer Anoop Desai wants to sex you up, just as soon as he’s finished his calculus homework. His song is Always On My Mind, which is a great song, yet also incredibly easy to sing, as it only has about three notes going up and down a scale. Singing is slightly out of Anoop’s skill set, but he gives it his best I Am Not Very Handsome And I Want To Rub Up Against You; Please Do Not Send Me Home. The judges cream all over him for no reason I can discern. Please send him home.

Megan Joy Cockring does Walking After Midnight. Randy Travis is impressed that she found something new to do with the song. Specifically, she’s singing it like your ancient maiden aunt after too many sherries, trying to relive her music hall days. It is a truly bizarre and frequently tuneless performance, but after last week’s Rockin’ Robin, I’m not sure how bad this girl needs to be before America will send her home. PS, Megan has flu, and she makes sure she coughs enough to let us all know. She coughs so much, I think I now have Megan’s flu.

Matt Giraud finishes the show. When Matt isn’t singing, he’s sneering in a way that suggests he’s wondering why he hasn’t been declared the winner already. His mouth goes up where Kris Allen’s mouth goes down! Melt them down and stir them in a big pot, and this show would be two weeks shorter! Matt sings some song involving a piano, like last week. It is boring, like last week. I hate this piano bar. Let’s go somewhere else next week.

Allison, Adam and Kris were varying degrees of palatable this week. In a sane world, either Scott or Megan should go home, and neither would get the Judges’ Save, but this is not a sane world, and this was not a good night, so I don’t know what’ll happen. I’d only expect the Save to get used on Allison, Alexis or Adam. (Lil and Downey aren’t likely to end up at the bottom before the final five.)

Idol: Unlucky For Some, Possibly Us

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

The ‘final thirteen’ perform tonight, and the theme is Michael Jackson. Simon Cowell gets things off to a heartening start by announcing that two people will go home tomorrow, setting the show quickly back on track to the right number of contestants. This surprises me; I thought they’d delay the double dismissal for a while so they’d have a safety net against the discovery that any of the contestants were hookers or drug addicts or conservative talk show hosts.

Lil Rounds opens the night with The Way You Make Me Feel. She’s predictably strong, confident and bluesy, so it probably won’t matter that she’s in the graveyard opening slot. It’s the strongest opening the show has had this year. Lil’s outfit today has a Pretty in Pink Gladiatrix shoulder ruffle. She left her bedazzled net and trident backstage.

Ryan tells us there is a special number for the ‘extra’ thirteenth contestant. This is not because Ryan is superstitious, but because when Idol decided to have 13 contestants, they forgot to check if the ‘13′ version of their phone number was available. It isn’t. It’s a phone sex line number.

rowlf

Blind Scott is next, and I should stop being so cruel and drawing attention to his impairment. I should call him Talentless Scott instead. Scott’s song is Keep The Faith. It’s not Bon Jovi night, Scott! Anyway, Scott is terrible and shrill, but they’ve given him a piano to play with, and people get unreasonably excited about blind pianists, so he should be fine. I’ve never heard this Jacko Keep The Faith song before. Thirteen contestants, and they can’t find thirteen good Michael Jackson songs? Simon Cowell’s brilliant criticism of Scott: “It’s fine being artistic; just not on this show”. Quite right, Simon! No art here, please!

Downey Gokey tells us he comes from a precocious and irritating musical family where they all sung their homework. Ugh. No mention is made of the dead wife, which has started to irritate even usually biddably sentimental Americans. The thing is, as unctuous and annoying as Downey is, his rendition of PYT proves he’s a pretty good singer and not a bad performer (apart from his saddlesore John Wayne dance moves).

Chunky blue-collar man Michael Sarver is a very unlikely pop star; he keeps doing soul, but country is surely the only genre that would have him. He’s singing You Are Not Alone, which is so un-country it could have its own parking garage. Michael wisely dodges the high notes with a tactical rearrangement. His phrasing is chewy; his tone is appealing; his dress sense is a bit Rush Limbaugh. I like him.

Jasmine Murray. The Idol blogger at Entertainment Weekly really hates Jasmine, even though she’s sweet-voiced and seemingly completely inoffensive. I don’t get it. Jasmine sings I’ll Be There, and though she has a young voice (and goes flat in a couple of places) she has obvious talent. She also looks great in her shiny 60s mini-dress. She’s a mini Supreme! Shut your dirty bitch mouth, Entertainment Weekly blogger!

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Kris Allen got no exposure in the early shows, but he’s rilly rilly good-looking, so he got voted through in spite of this disadvantage and a lacklustre live performance. His video package introduces us to his wife, so this may be the last we see of Kris. Dressed in a lumberjack shirt, and mechanically strumming a guitar, he sings Remember The Time like it’s a Hootie & The Blowfish song (which it might as well be; it’s a terrible song). Kris is still an inferior singer, but he seems to be enjoying himself, and he is rilly rilly good-looking. Simon agrees that he shouldn’t have introduced America to his wife. His wife does not look happy about this comment.

Allison Iraheta is the smoky-voiced, carnelian-haired Dora the Rocker girl. I have no idea what MJ song she’s doing, but she must have dug deep into the back catalogue to find a song she could rock to. She’s very good, but lord knows how far she can go in this contest. Some rockers do well, but they all tend to be guy rockers.

Anoop Desai. I can’t help feeling his scream-inducing, message board-bothering audience popularity - out of all proportion to his talent - is based in a patronising post-Slumdog attempt to appropriate those adorable big-eyed, thick-haired, coffee-skinned Indian fellas as new mascots of American diversity. They might as well have voted for a Webkinz. No obscure highly personal ‘this is me’ number for Anoop; he’s all about the gimmicky karaoke stunt performances, so he grinds and whines his way through Beat It. Horrible. The judges hate it too, but Anoop’s die-hards have lost him once in the early rounds, and will be voting in droves to make sure they don’t lose him again. Based on Anoop’s performance, Simon says he wouldn’t have made this a top 13. Ouch.

Puerto Rico’s Jorge Nunez reminds me of Justin from Ugly Betty. Bless ‘im. The population of Puerto Rico is small, but I suspect they’re passionate about seeing themselves up there on TV, so Jorge definitely has a voting bloc behind him. His Never Can Say Goodbye gets off to a horrible start, recovers slightly, wavers, recovers, gets shrill, does not recover - it’s basically a wreck, and he’ll be needing those island votes. On the other hand, his ‘nuh! nuh! no!’s are adorable.

Perky, booby, strawberry-and-creamy Megan Joy is next, with her floppy dancing and all-devouring smile. In what may be the most bizarre song choice ever in the history of Idol, Megan sings Rockin’ Robin. Or I’ve sustained a head injury and am imagining this ridiculous children’s TV performance. She ends the number by screeching ‘caw caw’, which isn’t even a noise robins make! Lunatic! I suspect Tatiana Del Toro is using voodoo to work through her and destroy her, because Megan Joy took her spot. “You picked the right song”, said Paula. Oh dear, the loonies are sticking together. Then Simon consults Gordon Ramsay, and now I’m sure it was a head injury.

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Supah-gay Adam Lambert is here to save the day, hooray! I’m terrified that Adam will be sent home too soon because of the photos of him snogging boys on the internet. He’s such good fun! He’s so confident! The song is Black Or White, but you might not recognise it from the ridiculously huge drunken Axl Rose/Bonnie Tyler/Rocky Horror mash-up vocal he hurls at the audience. He gets a standing ovation from the entire cosmos, and he earned it. Brilliant showmanship. He should win this and RuPaul’s Drag Race!

Matt Giraud has not been punished enough for his rendition of Viva La Vida, and he needs to go home, the big stupid pianist. His video package tells us his parents love him. Good to know. The song is Human Nature, which he makes sound like Al Jarreau doing the Moonlighting theme. “Summm wak ba-hy naaaa-ha-a-ight, summm flah bah dayyyyyy…”

Finally, virgin/whore Alexis Grace - once wholesome and peppy, but since she arrived in Hollywood she’s put a coloured stripe in her hair! Jezebel! This is why she’s been given the phone sex line as her voting number. She sings Dirty Diana, which is wonderfully apt, because with her short blonde hair and slutty little black number she could actually pass for a dirty Diana. “There were three of us in this menage“. Alexis is pretty good, and in a contest with so few girls, she could do well.

Two people go home tomorrow. I predict it will be Megan and boring, boring Matt Giraud. We’re also promised a ‘twist’, which I suspect means they’re introducing the X-Factor element where the judges save someone from the bottom three, rather than just sending home the least popular contestant. How exciting! Clap clap clap!