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Sexy Geek

Crash Course in American Idol

Posted on 2009.04.12 at 21:26
Current Location: home!
Current Mood: sillysilly
Current Music: Urinetown Soundtrack
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Tips to remember while watching American Idol (especially when you’re watching with me):
• There are four (4) judges this year. Paula’s the one who’s high and dances, Kara’s the one who tries to be a bitch, Randy’s the one who strings catch phrases together and hopes it sounds important, and Simon’s the mean Brit who is always right.
• You will do well to remember that Ryan Seacrest is the most adorkable god of TV hosting that has ever walked the earth. Cleanliness is next to godliness, after all, and Ryan is very, very clean.
• Embrace the utter chaos and WTFery of this show and you will truly see its beauty. The cheesy interviews, photo montages, opening numbers? All part of the most awesome clusterfuck in the history of the world. Dive in and savor every moment.
• Snark is highly encouraged. It’s the only way to sit through the show and keep your sanity. Just be aware of the House Favorite. Speaking ill of the Glitter God could earn you a face full of Cheese Puffcorn.
• Instant replay via the DVR is your best friend.

Now, before I get to my predictions, there’s one more thing to consider. If anyone has ever told you that this competition is about singing, they’re lying their ass off. This show is mostly about a combination of factors that comes down to a person’s “package.” (snicker) The package includes not just the voice, but a story and an image and a relatability factor. So… a person with a good sob story might last longer than someone with a spectacular voice. Keeping all of these things in mind, here are my thoughts on each of the contestants, in the order I think they will get booted off.


7. Lil –

Lil Rounds will go home either this week or next. The judges and most of America had big hopes for her, but here’s the truth: though her voice is decent, she doesn’t have anything beyond a normal vocal range (or at least, she hasn’t shown it), she cannot artistically interpret a song, and she’s about the most boring performer Idol has had on in a few seasons. She keeps promising to bring it and never does. America won’t put up with her lackluster performances and empty promises much longer. Bye, Lil…

6. Anoop –

Anoop would be so cute and amazing if he just smiled and sang soulful ballads and didn’t do much else. The problem is, he doesn’t. He acts cocky as hell, picks some piss poor songs that A) don’t suit his voice, and B) aren’t so much songs as chants, and you can tell he’s a bad sport about everything that goes on behind the scenes. What it boils down to is that Anoop is nothing more than an arrogant frat boy who hasn’t yet caught on to the fact that being in an oh-so-popular a cappella group in college doesn’t make you awesome. It just makes you *think* you’re awesome. And his attitude and bad choices get in the way of what really is a pretty sweet voice. If it’s not Lil leaving this week, it’ll be Anoop.

5. Matt –

Little secret about Matt… he’s probably the most talented musician on the stage. He’s got a great voice (atrocious Coldplay performance aside) which is really soulful. He can riff with the best of them. He’s a cross between Timberlake and Buble. And he’s a pianist at a piano bar, so you know this man can jam. It’s too bad we haven’t seen that level of musicianship from him onstage, because he should be a front-runner. I think more than anything, Matt lacks confidence. Because really, he’s got the total package, and he has a lot of appeal, and his performances aren’t boring. But he lacks the swagger of a star.

4. Allison –

I don’t get what’s not to love about Allison. She’s got a smoky voice that turns anything into rock, has a great sense of self, and seems totally at ease on the stage. Sure, there have been a few misses along the way, but when this girl is on, she’s really ON. It’s unfortunate that I have to put her in 4th place, but I am trying to be honest here. The following three men will probably edge her out.

3. Kris Allen –

Okay, I confess. Every time Kris flashes that smile, it nips at my heart like an excited puppy. I also totally dig the friendship he’s got going on with Allison and Adam (and omg, don’t even get me started on Kradam or I will be useless all day). Kris has a great personality, a quirky smile, and a humility about him that no one else has on this season. He’s the perfect Boy Next Door, almost too sweet to be believed.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the music.

Kris can SING. I get so distracted by the utter adorableness of him that I forget that fact, but he can really sing! He’s got a great, flexible tenor with a bit of an edge in it like Jason Mraz, and he seems to be decent at guitar. He may not wander far out of the comfort zone, but with a style like his, I don’t think he has to. What he has shown is that he can make excellent choices with his songs, he can play with them just enough to make them sound unique, and he’s a cucumber on that stage. He’s really grown on me these past few weeks, and I hope he’s not overlooked because of his docile manner and his boyish charm, because he’s a real contender here.

2. Danny Effing Gokey –

Let’s just get this out in the open air right now. I cannot STAND Danny Gokey. I think he’s a real ass clown. That doesn’t stop me from putting him in second place because…oy…Gokey is just about the savviest contestant I’ve seen on Idol, just shy of the #1 guy on my list. Gokey is playing the game. Well. And my reasons for not liking him don’t have anything to do with the music. So let’s talk about the voice and get that out of the way, before I air my grievances.

Danny’s voice is okay. It’s sort of a raspy Taylor Hicks type thing. When he’s not in his upper range, he uses it well. The thing is, when he does get up there, he pushes it, and it’s weird because he’s had a lot of vocal training. He should know better. And he should know how to control his register changes a bit more, but he just sort of yells instead and hopes his head voice will somehow manage to sound okay. *shrugs* He’s fun to watch, though, and I can understand how people without any vocal knowledge would think he’s pretty good. I can actually see the appeal in him too. Hell, who wouldn’t like a man who owns no less than 20 pairs of geek glasses?

Like I said, he is playing his cards right. MY particular problem with him is that I object so strongly to what those cards are that each and every performance of his is tainted with this icky, gross feeling about him.

The first card… Danny’s wife died. If you dare forget that for about 2 minutes, he will dutifully, sadly, pitifully remind you of it. He chooses songs that play it up, talks about it every chance he can get, and Middle America wants to comfort him in his time of need. I, for one, think it’s tacky and distasteful.

The second card… I know I’m not the only one who noticed this. The week that the pictures of Adam smooching another boy exploded all over the internet, Gokey said in an interview that he thinks of himself as a role model and therefore lives a clean life of Christian values. It’s not his words that bothered me; I’d be all about someone doing that sincerely. What bothered me was the manipulation in those words. It couldn’t have been any clearer that he was trying to be the anti-Adam. He took advantage of the ignorant fear that runs rampant in this country and perpetuates an attitude of self-righteousness, and honestly, it makes me ill. Everything about him is geared toward that image of a good little Christian boy, which makes me feel like he is anything but. Another thing that makes that image come apart for me? His downright mean-spirited impression of Matt Giraud on the show, for one. His it’s-all-about-me, camera hogging face for another. But, I suppose if people want a certain ideal so much, they can ignore the insincerity that radiates from this man.

There’s more than one way to sell a soul, Gokey.

But I have to hand it to him, he’s doing his job. Just because I don’t like the way he’s doing it doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly smart. Which is why he’s ranked #2 on my list.

1. Adam –

Adam Lambert is the Glitter God of Sex and Falsetto. His voice is the miraculous result of an unholy orgy between David Bowie, Axl Rose, and Freddie Mercury. To quote one of my favorite Idol bloggers, Adam has shown us through words and pictures (in no uncertain terms) that he is going to win this thing in seven weeks. Here’s why:

• He refuses to be anything but himself, and that honesty (both onstage and off) has paid off. He pays attention to what the public says and reacts to it, in his way, not by bending to them. He’s taken advantage of the attention he’s been receiving and has had the class to remain mum about his private life, and remain humble when continuous praise is heaped.
• Remember those cards I keep referring to? Yeah. Adam’s got an ace up his sleeve, a jack under his ass, a king in his pocket, and a queen stashed in his spiky hair. He has stacked this deck so well that not a one of the cards will land by chance anymore. The man not only is playing the Idol game, he’s gone all in on an unbeatable hand.
• I defy you to try to watch someone else during the group numbers. Some of the others may be comfortable on the stage, but none of them have actual stage presence except for Adam. He has *IT*, ladies and gentleman.
• Adam’s a chameleon, which counts for extra brownie points in the AI world. Audiences are fickle, so you have to keep them interested. One week he’s the edgy, wailing rocker with a cat o’ nine tails swinging from his hip, the next he’s Elvis Reincarnate, his voice so soft and gentle that you might just fall in love. The only thing predictable about him is that he is unpredictable. Oh, and that he will be awesome every time he opens his mouth. Some may argue that this ability to turn himself into whatever he wants makes him insincere…I think, like Bowie, that this ability IS truly Adam. He defines himself by not defining himself. Besides, even if something is an act, if you put that much passion in it, it’s coming from some part of you.
• Adam is the only one who is vocally consistent on this show. Not only does he know his voice well enough to choose the perfect song/arrangement each time, he knows his limits (if they exist) and his strengths. He’s not afraid to twist a song into something that will make him shine.
• That VOICE. Honestly, who the hell sings like that? I will admit right now that I am a sucker for a high tenor. Sucker. But then Adam goes beyond that. The range (someone actually figured it out…he’s shown over 4 octaves on the show so far) just won’t quit. Then once that chest voice runs out (and you will NEVER hear him make that switch unless he wants you to), the falsetto is just jaw-droppingly good. It’s strong, flexible, and can either have that Robert Plant awesome edge to it or the silkiness of the best 50’s teen idols. He has obviously worked hard on his voice, and it shows. His control and pitch-perfect delivery are outstanding and I tell you what, it annoys the bejeezes out of me when I hear people say he sings like a girl or that he screeches. People who say shit like that have obviously never sung a day in their lives and have never listened to rock music. They have no idea the skill it takes to sing like that. Still not convinced? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJYyqzUr6jU
• He’s polarizing. What? you say. How could that help him? There are two groups of people in the world, people that will like and ‘get’ Adam Lambert, and the people who don’t understand but still won’t be able to stop themselves from talking about him. The bottom line (there are those cards again!) is that Adam knows his audience and plays to them, and if you’re not included in that group, he’s still going to give you plenty to talk about.

So, yes, I’m clearly in love with Adam Lambert. That said, that doesn’t make any of these points any less true. The things that make people stars are all in Adam’s possession. I’ve seen these thoughts echoed enough in magazines, reviews, and even record exec’s blogs to know that I’m not alone in these feelings.
There you have it. My rundown. Use it wisely, grasshopper.

Comments:


mlwl
mlwl at 2009-04-13 01:47 (UTC) (Link)

BAH!

How DARE YOU!>!!?!?!?! Ryan Seacrest is most definitely NOT adorkable. He is skeevy and plastic and WRONG.
mlwl
mlwl at 2009-04-13 01:48 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

He's like a smiling Ken doll incarnate, but somehow more sexually contained. And Ken doesn't even have proper genitalia!!!
moosatcows
moosatcows at 2009-04-13 01:50 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

I don't think Ryan has proper genitalia either. Only Simon knows.

And of course he's like Ken! It's because he's soooo handsome!
moosatcows
moosatcows at 2009-04-13 01:49 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

LOL, you need to see the awkwardness of Ryan Seacrest before you judge. Plastic maybe, but this boy is all kinds of hilariously geeky.
(Anonymous) at 2009-04-13 02:59 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

I think he is only moderately geeky because his penis is kept in a jar!!!! Because he has NO PERSONALITY. I think that to be honest-to-goodness geeky, you've got to have oodles of personality... it's just the awkward kind. He doesn't. Not a drop. He's just.... plastic. Carbon copy of every other brainless little Hollywood boy.... he just isn't given an "acting" gig. He's only pretty.
(Anonymous) at 2009-04-13 03:00 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

that's mel, btw, but LJ signed me out and I'm lazy.
moosatcows
moosatcows at 2009-04-13 03:04 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

Awww, Ryan has a personality. He's definitely the kid in the back of the classroom that kept up a slightly inappropriate commentary the whole time the teacher talked. You know the one. Who would have been cool if he'd just stopped being so damned fidgety and kept secrets instead of blabbing them out at the worst times. Ha.
mlwl
mlwl at 2009-04-13 03:07 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

I disagree... I think he was much more the guy who was popular because he was hot, but had nothing else going for him. Think E.B., the first guy that we dated in common. Or maybe like Matt Barnes, if you knew him in college. Kind of a tool is his only personality. Not smart or interesting enough for the commentary.
moosatcows
moosatcows at 2009-04-13 03:11 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

HAHAHAHA. No. There is no way in hell that Ryan was popular. Much more likely that he was almost eaten alive by the jocks and too tone deaf to be in band. *snort*
mlwl
mlwl at 2009-04-13 04:59 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

Oh, I do agree with that.... but little giggling girlies were falling all over him. What does it matter if he didn't want THEM? Not like he had the kahonays to be out in high school. ;)
(why, yes, I did just make up spelling)
moosatcows
moosatcows at 2009-04-13 13:58 (UTC) (Link)

Re: BAH!

Cahones...kahonies... ah, fuggit.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see what you think of their vocals, since you might be able to just concentrate on that. I've lost that ability. Plus, you know, my slight bias...
(Anonymous) at 2009-04-13 02:32 (UTC) (Link)

Adam and Danny

So true, so true. You expressed it all.
loveisdance01
loveisdance01 at 2009-04-13 02:39 (UTC) (Link)
dude i completely couldn't agree more with absolutely everything you said in this. it's actually frightening how much you sort of took the words out of my mouth...:P


Ryan Seacrest is sooo adorkable i can't stand it. *coughs* he is totally fucking Simon*coughs*

i absolutely adore what you said about Adam. i could cry just thinking about how good and sweet he is. and i looove that you put up come to me, bend to me. He is absolutely flawless singing that. just brilliant. and dude that combo of Axel,Bowie,and Freddie Mercury couldn't be more accurate. It's freaky, he's got like a mixture of the three. Freddie is one of my favorite singers of all time and the moment i heard Adam, i knew he would be brilliant just like Freddie, they just sound similar in ways. they have the same stage present for sure. i cannot wait to see Adam doing his own show, that is going to be kickass.

well this post has officially made my night. lmao :D
moosatcows
moosatcows at 2009-04-13 03:00 (UTC) (Link)
Glad to hear it. And you're right. Adam's concerts will be amazing. He's got the kind of icon power we were used to seeing in the 70's and 80's. It'll be kickass.
aislinntlc
aislinntlc at 2009-04-13 03:24 (UTC) (Link)
Well said! I think there's a possibility for Anoop to go rather than Lil this week, depending on their respective performances and core fan base. I'm also hopeful that Kris will overtake Danny, as I just don't get Danny's appeal at.all, but I acknowledge that's personal preference.

The section on Adam is spot on - he's original, talented, and never boring. He surprises me with his song choices most weeks, but they are always performed brilliantly - he has that *thing* that drove women nuts when they went to see Elvis in concert, and had The Boss selling out every venue he's performed in. Can't wait to see what he does this week!
moosatcows
moosatcows at 2009-04-13 03:30 (UTC) (Link)
That "thing" that Elvis has, and Adam, and also your icon, my dear, is sex appeal. Hot, dripping sex. If we'd somehow manage to get all three of those men into the same room, the universe would implode.
mlwl
mlwl at 2009-04-13 03:28 (UTC) (Link)

And also....

I think you're wrong about the top several being boys... they seem a little OCD about the gender-balance. I wonder if they fudge numbers to keep one gender on longer (like the year Rubin one... blehhhh)
moosatcows
moosatcows at 2009-04-13 03:34 (UTC) (Link)

Re: And also....

Well, Lil's out soon. There's the Judges' Veto left, but I'm not sure they'll use it on her, she's been such a disappointment. Allison doesn't have the fan base of Gokey or Lambert, and she's already been in the B3 this season. I think they'd have to do some serious (read: obvious) tweaking for her to stay in. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see her go farther than what I think here...but I just don't see it happening.
SarahBeth
princessleia04 at 2009-04-13 13:56 (UTC) (Link)
I LOVED this entry. Very insightful and I agree with a lot of what you're saying. And seriously, snark is your friend. And instant replay on DVR when Adam sings makes Laura very very happy.

*snickers*
(Anonymous) at 2009-04-22 23:50 (UTC) (Link)
"Timberlake and Buble"

I've been saying this for weeks. And the Gokey analysis - what a jackhole. It's obvious we're friends, because we've both listed the same for the same reasons.

Makes me sad about Matt and Allison though.
moosatcows
moosatcows at 2009-04-23 00:33 (UTC) (Link)
We're friends? Who dis? LOL.
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