Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Weekly Idol: Top 5, Disco Week

I forget how much fun life was during the disco era. When I listen to those songs these days it feels like disco was around for the entire decade from 1973 through my senior year of high school in 1983. Whoa. That’s a long time. A lot happened during those formative years. I remember sitting in my bedroom with my girlfriends while we were in junior high, listening to K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Donna Summer, Elton John, and the Bee Gee’s while Casey Kasem counted down the American Top 40 every week. Every. Single. Week.

You have no idea the importance of the American Top 40 when I was a kid!

We used to record songs on cassette tapes by placing the cassette recorder thisclose to the radio speaker … thereby ensuring all those recordings included not only the disc jockey comments, but also any conversation that took place between us girls in the room.

So we’d have a tape of the latest must-have that included a discussion of the pros and cons of dating a certain boy, or which frozen pizza was best (Ellio’s, for those not in the know), or whether we really were going to have a quiz the next day in school, or the squeals and laughter when one of my older brothers barged in to harass us.

So disco week on AI is kind of cool for me and, for the most part, the gang delivered. This week, probably even more so than most others, is highly subjective because it harkens me back to those halcyon days, so here goes:

Matt Giroud (Stayin’ Alive) – 10 out of 10. You almost don’t even have to ask, do you? You know I love him! But it seemed as though all four of the judges failed to see the absolute perfection humor of this song choice, and how Matt gave it his all. And his moves onstage … yummy! To paraphrase from the words Matt sang so soulfully: that’s right, he’s going nowhere, he’s staying right here (on AI!). I like that Matt stayed true to the disco original while making it his own. I enjoyed this performance most of all tonight. Those growly vocals were perfect, and he really got the place moving. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Kris Allen (She Works Hard for the Money) – 9 out of 10. Way cool! Kris spun that puppy right up there into Soul Town by slowing it down and singing the hell out of it. Who’d have thought? What a spectacular job; this version could be played on the radio today and be wildly popular. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Danny Gokey (September) – 9 out of 10. Once again a performance where I had to force myself to sit and listen as opposed to sing and bounce around. Danny’s just terrific week in and week out … and he danced, too! Yummy vocals (as usual), terrific live performance of an extremely well known song. Just the way I’d want to see it performed in concert … Danny did a spot-on job of bringing this chestnut into the light of present-day music sensibilities. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Anoop Desai (Dim All the Lights) – 9 out of 10. First thought? What’s with the ‘stach, dude? But then his version just sucked me right in. Anoop Usherfied that thing like mad! This could be a hit today, too. Good, solid, job. I love that Anoop does this. He may not be as flashy as Adam, but he's got that same talent. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Adam Lambert (If I Can’t Have You) – 7 out of 10. First thought? He looks like a puppet! A puppet that makes me smile. I want to like everything Adam does these days, but part of the chorus to this was a screeching mess that really annoyed. I like that Adam tried to make it a pretty love song, but the performance just didn’t work for me. Maybe if it had been longer (it turns out I now like Adam’s version of “Ring of Fire”, which I *may have* vilified in my write-up), but I could not agree less with the judges gushing. I’ll most likely buy it off iTunes though, to see if I’m right and the longer version is better with his full arrangement.

Allison Iraheta (Hot Stuff) – 5 out of 10. Just a horrible mess from the outfit to the arrangement ... the only good thing was Allison’s voice, which was actually great and just plain kicks ass all the time. It’s weird to really like her vocals, but really dislike the performance.

Lil Rounds (I’m Every Woman) – 4 out of 10. I expected either a performance to bring down the house or a hot mess this week out of Lil, and she delivered. The latter. As far as I’m concerned Lil’s singing for her place on the program and has been for awhile now (and she never should have beaten Matt last week). So, as soon as I heard which song it was, I figured she was doomed. Not that I don’t think Lil has it in her … I just don’t think she has it in her right now (if that makes sense). I think maybe the pressure of the AI format is not conducive to Lil’s skills. Someone let this woman be a diva, please! She’s got it in her, it’s just that AI doesn’t allow enough of something (time, coaching, an agent, I don’t know) to properly showcase her particular talents. That said, I loved the outfit. That that said, the other six are so far out of Lil’s league in this venue it almost isn’t fair to her.

I hope Lil is voted off … not that I wish her any ill, I just feel the other six are far more deserving at this stage of the competition. They seem to be able to better understand the advice offered by the judges and incorporate it into their performances and song choices.

I also think it’s time for Allison to go. I know that will leave all men but, let’s face it, they’re all consistently better than Allison anyway.

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