Wednesday, April 22, 2009

American Idol: Thoughts on Disco Night?

Just back from new Yankee Stadium (and there seems to be enough interest that I'll do a brief blog post tomorrow on the experience), and have yet to watch any of tonight's TV (other than "My Boys," which I saw in advance and will write do a post on later). Fortunately, in the case of "American Idol," there are plenty of learned scholars who watched and discussed it in my absence. Feel free to read Vicki Hyman's pinch-hit take at NJ.com, Fienberg's review at HitFix.com and/or Adam and the other people at Throwing Things. I'll watch the performances tomorrow, and if I had a different thought than any of the preceding, I'll mention it in the comments.

29 comments:

LA said...

Tonight's performanced reinforced my conviction that they wasted that save on Matt last week. They should have held onto it just in case Allison or Kris needs it. I don't personally think either one is in trouble (okay, maybe Allison), but saving Matt for one week hardly seemed worth it. And Lil's curtains.

Loved Kris, loved Adam.

LA said...

p.s. I thought the show moved a lot better without wasting time with mentors and their babble. Stick to the no-frills formula: Performance, judging, repeat.

mrsb said...

I'm not a huge fan of Lil, but man, they really tore her up last night! I didn't think she was that bad.

On the other hand, I love Allison to death, and didn't think her performance was up to her usual level. Something just a little off from the music or something...not that she sang badly. But they praised her to the heavens.

I think the judges have reached a new level of trying to influence the audience to vote the way they want.

Also, I agree with LA - the no-frills formula worked well for me. When Ryan rushed the kids off the stage and announced Lil, I was almost taken aback. I couldn't believe they were starting so fast without so much BS! Love it.

amysusanne said...

Yeah, they were a bit too in love with Allison wrt that specific performance. She's good, but that wasn't her best week. Otoh, I thought Lil sucked. She *was* better than last week, but since she's gotten progressively worse every week, even if that was an upswing, I'm not interested in seeing her any longer. I'm puzzled by her placement on dialidol. Even though I suspect, based on how it goes down each week, that she's not big with the texters, that's still crazy high. I've never really thought that, where cute boys weren't involved (because cute boys always wow teenage girls) that race, gender, age and region weren't a huge deal as far as votes go. At least not since the first season or so when you had bars throwing voting parties and nonsense like that. But, I suppose Lil, being the last adult woman, black woman, southern woman, mother, etc. could be getting just enough from each small voting group that it could be pushing her through. Plus, I guess VFTW, with their tiny bit of influence, might be pushing her a bit further. I just don't get it, though. I was on board with her early on and cut her slack through a couple of bad weeks, but she's cracked up. And I don't think her Mom putting on the bitch face for the entire hour did a lot to help her out.

That aside, Kris was awesome tonight. I wish there was any chance that that kid could win, because I'm tired of Gokey and Lambert and even though I still love Anoop he stands no chance.

Chris the TV Sage said...

The commenter on Vicki's post that said Adam is "horrible" clearly has issues. He may not be your cup of tea, but I can't see how you could possibly call that performance "horrible" unless you have an ax to grind. I'd put that in the top 10 all-time for the show.

amysusanne said...

I was more puzzled by the first comment because I'm trying to figure out how Vicki managed to insult Adam when I'm pretty sure she led things off with praise for him. I don't think "torchy" means what they think it means. I'm tired of Adam, but Adam was just fine and will be just fine. Ditto on Kris (at least in the "was just fine" department, though I suspect he'll sail through as well).

jennilynn said...

it's said out there that Kris can't win, and maybe he can't, but he is the only one of them that I'd actually purchase his music!!! Danny, Allison, & those below - never, not to my taste. Adam, yes, very talented, but I've already lived thru the Cure years. If it's about viable recording artists, for me, Kris is the one.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Watched it on fast-forward this morning. I more or less agreed with Dan's take, as I usually do, though I liked Kris more than he did and Allison less.

And speaking of which, those two reside at the bottom of the DialIdol numbers. Now, DialIdol has almost never been accurate when it comes to Kris (he's been at the bottom many times and never even been part of "the bottom three"), so he may be getting tons of text votes that DialIdol can't measure. But if that somehow is the bottom two, it would serve the show right for using the Save on Matt; a week after they used it on a guy who Simon said couldn't win, he'd get to survive again while two people with a realistic chance of at least facing Adam in the finals go home.

Since every other change the show has made this year has backfired, why not this one? Schadenfreude, baby!

Lora said...

DialIdol is inconclusive this week; with margin of error factored in, there's no telling who is really in the bottom. If Kris is eliminated tonight, I may stop watching the rest of the season. No one else interests me.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice that during the recap of the performances they replaced the clip of Anoop's live performance with one they obviously must tape pre-show? Remember that Anoop's last note of his song was way off key--Randy commented on it--and then he makes a face acknowledging he butchered it. Well it the recap he sings the last note just fine and no face is made. His stance is completely different as well. I have DVR and rewound to double check. There they go again trying to manipulate things. Ridiculous.

Otherwise, Kris was my favorite. Agreed that he is the most marketable. Adam always does something different and he is the most talented but wasn't in love with this performance as much.

Ba-bye Lil and Matt

amysusanne said...

Manipulative maybe, but Idol's done that before and have copped to it with the reasoning that they edit the recap during the show. DWTS does it too. The performer with the pimp slot often gets their dress rehearsal cut in there. Showing the non-flubbed version of the note made it too obvious, though.

K J Gillenwater said...

I agree with a few on here, Kris is the one performer who's music I'd actually buy. (although I still love Danny...he's the 21st century version of Michael McDonald)

Not sure why the high praise for Adam. I didn't think it was badly sung, just boring. I lost interest after the first line. Also, I could barely even recognize the song he was singing...which tends to make the judges go nuts. This week, because it was Adam, it was fab. Whatever.

Kris is a musician. That is the difference. You can tell with the arrangements he uses and how he sets up his performances...even the songs he chooses. I respect him more than anyone else on the show right now.

mrsb said...

I just can't get past the fact that Kris looks like Bobcat Golthwait when he sings. Okay, a much cuter version, but still.

Adam said...

The only thing holding down folks' enthusiasm for Lambert is that they've seem him do this before. It doesn't make his talents any less extraordinary.

If Kris or Allison goes home before Matt/Anoop/Lil tonight, there will be hell to pay for the judges. That said, DialIdol doesn't count those texting tweens, and Kris' support been consistently underestimated.

maura said...

I think I say every week that Kris gets better and better with each performance, and he didn't let me down with last night's performance. I love this kid, because he is a true musician. He's the only one I'm not getting tired of. I would love to see him pull off a surprise win.

Adam would have been perfect if not for that overwrought "my God, stop it already" screeching towards the end. It's gotten to the point where I no longer look forward to what he's going to do. I dread it, because sometimes he's fantastic and sometimes I want to smack him.

I was completely unsettled listening to 16 year old Allison sing "Hot Stuff". I don't care if she looks 25. It was kind of creepy.

The commenter on Vicki's post that said Adam is "horrible" clearly has issues. He may not be your cup of tea, but I can't see how you could possibly call that performance "horrible" unless you have an ax to grind.Maybe Adam's falsetto caused an aneurysm.

Jenn. said...

Why do people seem to think that folks are obligated to think that Adam is great? I hate the screaming, and even though I can recognize that he has a very big range and is actually hitting notes in those screams, I still don't like it. Outside of screaming, his other default setting is falsetto, and with rare exception, I'm not crazy about songs that are largely done in falsetto. So, as is so often the case, I end up having to acknowledge that he is technically skilled but I don't really enjoy what he does.

Nicole said...

I have not been able to really get interested in AI this year because none of these contestants are that spectacular. Adam and Kris are better than the rest, but are still distilled versions of what we have seen in past years. I am bored with the show, and the producers need to do actual rejigging of the show to reignite my interest. It's too bad that Adam's attempts of singing the songs differently actually work against him in the minds of some people, because he's actually trying to do something different.

The themes so far have been pretty milquetoast, and I think they need to reintroduce harder themes, like Broadway and swing, and even jazz, so that the true singing talent can shine.

None of these contestants, except maybe Adam and Kris would be memorable if they competed in earlier years.

Linda said...

"The only thing holding down folks' enthusiasm for Lambert is that they've seem him do this before."

Two things.

1. Respectfully, you're mistaken.
2. Understand that all this attitude does is feed dislike of the contestant you're trying to promote.

Seriously, this happens every year with somebody: people who find the person not to their particular taste wind up being lectured about how IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to rationally have a different opinion.

Speaking solely for myself, all it does when this happens is stiffen my resolve.

Look, I think Lambert is a good singer. But that's it. Take out the screaming, take out the theatrics, take out the making of funny faces, and he's talented but, for a singer who's made it this far on this show, pretty ordinary. To me -- and I'm just saying TO ME -- the rest is the same P.T. Barnum hype that gets dumped on somebody every year.

My problem isn't that I've seen him do this before. My problem is that I've seen a lot of people do this before. He's not bad; he's good. He's just not what Paula Abdul is telling herself he is.

David said...

Is Lil the most stubborn contestant they've ever had? She just refuses to listen to the judges.

And every week she busts out the "I had fun" excuse. Like it makes some kind of difference.

I wish Simon would tell her its fine if she's having fun, but her job isn't to have fun - its to make THE AUDIENCE have fun.

That said, I thought it was a surprisingly enjoyable Disco night and I was really impressed by Kris.

LA said...

You know what I love most about these comments? No one gives a rat's posterior about Danny Gokey.

Awesome.

Hal Incandenza said...

Thought it was a surprisingly strong show last night (with Kris being my favorite by a wide margin). Agree completely with KJ, Danny--who I do like--reminds me more and more of Michael McDonald (I mentioned as much to wife last night, complete with reference to The 40 Year Old Virgin).

Question for everyone: how many of those songs would you really classify as "disco"? I'd say no more than three. Not really complaining, but why not just call it "seventies night" instead?

Hal Incandenza said...

correction: just youtubed 'em both and "Hot Stuff" and "Dim All the Lights" are far more disco than I recalled. Lesson: the guy born in 1979 should really just shut up about what is and isn't disco. My bad.

shara says said...

Every week I get more respect for Kris, and get more meh about the rest of the group. He chooses interesting songs and takes interesting approaches to them, and has shown versatility as well as talent. They should have freaking saved that save for Kris or Allison. Kris and Allison are the only two whose music I would listen to outside the show, so they're my top 2. I liked Allison last night a lot - but then halfway through her song I remembered that she is 16, and that kinda made things weird.

I like Adam fine. I'm not a screaming fangirl, I'm not a hater. He's interesting and talented as a singer and performer, and I always have a soft spot in my heart for a guy who can pull off drag, so he rounds out my top 3.

I thought that the judges were pretty unnecessarily harsh on Lil - they didn't have to break her heart like that. She is a really talented singer, I think she just doesn't quite 'get' what the judges keep telling her about originality - it seems like she thinks that slightly altering a few runs is the same thing as bringing her personality & originality to the song. This season it has seemed like the judges are way more transparent about trying to skew the vote than in past seasons.

I really don't care one way or another about Danny - I like him fine but can't ever remember anything he's ever performed within 10 minutes after its over. I'd like to see him tackle some really cool bluesy song like Crossroad Blues or Traveling Riverside Blues before writing him off completely - I think he has a good energy and voice for that rock-bluesy stuff a la Eric Clapton or Led Zeppelin, but should work more on bringing that part of his voice out and picking more memorable songs...

word verification: manksher

Forrester said...

@Anonymous 9:41AM

It's not just Anoop. ALL of the performances from the recap are from the rehearsal and NOT the live show. This is something I only noticed recently, but I proved it to myself by looking closely at the judges during the recap. The recap tends to avoid showing the judges but you can catch split-second glimpses of them or the backs of their heads. If you pay attention, you will see that those are not the real judges at all! They have four stand-ins sitting in the chairs. You can tell because the clothes and/or hair of those fake judges do not match what the real judges look like.

Try it! I won an argument on this issue and this was my evidence! :)

amysa said...

Stand ins are also there more often than not during the "live" performances the on the results show since a majority of those have been taped in advance this season.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Yes, the show has always used footage from the dress rehearsal for all of the performances in the end-of-show recap, claiming it's not possible for them to edit together all that footage in an hour's time. Every now and then, as with Anoop, there will be a noticeable difference, like when someone flubs a lyric in the live show but got it right in the clip they show in the recap.

Jenn. said...

Or vice versa, where they show a botched note that was not part of the live performance.

Jack said...

Respectfully disagreeing with many of you, but Ive been involved in aspects of the music business and local music communities for years and Adam Lambert is not just a "good singer" on AI, but he is a once in a generation talent. He could be winning Tony's on Broadway right now if he so chooses. He would be winning Grammy's right not with #1 records if he so chooses (soon enough). Bottom line - you may not like his "style" (to the woman who said she didnt like The Cure - I ask you to go back and not only look but re listen to them - Robert Smith was and will be a lucky hack - he just happened on a time when high schoolers liked eyeliner and Lambert is not of the same cloth) but if you sit in your chair and say "he's not good" then I invite you re-examine your music collection. My guess is you have a lot of Conway Twitty. At this point, it really doesnt matter if he wins or not - he's going tohave major vocal career in whatever field he chooses whether you believe it or not. As far as Kris, Gokey, and Allison, I like them all and actually thought Matt?/Mike?/Timberlake shouldve gone home over Anoop - Anoop has a better voice. But it's AI (best pop star) not best voice. Matt put on a better show than Anoop, and Lil was a half step flat for her entire song. Kris is fine, but he's like Jack Johnson - you know the tuna fish will always be on the menu but you never order it. Gokey's sympathy will run out and Michael McDonald will come calling for his schtick back. Allison has the fearlesness to get to the final two but her fans run hot and cold. Aside form a major meltdown or producer's interference I just don't see how Lambert walks away with this, polarizing antics/song choices aside....

Ron said...

Adam's version of that disco song was unlistenable IMHO, I never watch idol and someone sent me that 2 minute clip on youtube - execrable ... I assume he has done better, that is not impressive folks.