Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Last Great Big American Idol Post

It's almost over, guys. I'm sure some of you are all 'Thank God! Now she can go back to obsessing about the Yankees 24-7.' And some of you are all 'Noooooooo! Don't leave me, Idol!' I'm probably a combination of the two after this long season.

So, on this, the penultimate day of American Idol 4, I give you my fave performances of the year. You'll notice I have a link so you can check out the song choices listed (as well as the song choices of others for that theme) in each breakdown. Check out watchidol.com for all the performances this season (and to note, if you have a PC and are checking out the downloads, left click the audio icon to play it right there or right click it to save to your computer. Mac people, I'm pretty sure it'll just play for you when you click.) I encourage those of you who are too cool for the Idol school to give some of these a listen, and those of you who are fans to hear these songs all over again and get nostalgic and stuff.


Moon River, Anwar, Guys Top 12: I already liked Anwar going in, but that he sang this and with an awesomely different arrangement on it made him one of my instant favorites.


There's a Power, Nadia, Girls Top 12: At this point, I was pretty much bored with every girl except Carrie, so when Nadia came out all confident and dancy with this, I was all 'Hmm. She could go pretty far.' She stayed full of moxie the rest of her stay, but I felt like she was kind of disdainful of pop music or something, judging by her song choices and some comments after that. To me, that spelled 'I'm too good for this' and while it's OK for me to think that about a contestant, it's not OK for a contestant to come across that way. Because if you think you are too good for this, why are you wasting my time? Anyway.


Could've Been, Carrie, Girls Top 12: I knew it was good because I had it (a song I hated as a kid), stuck in my head for days after. Plus, her voice sounded so pure on this, you could mistake it for Ivory soap.


I Got You, A-Fed, Guys Top 8: I almost missed this episode because I forgot it was on during Monday Night Dinner. Luckily, Dexter and Vicki made me come over to catch it off their TiVo and I'm glad I did. I was already on the A-Fed train, but the unabashed joy he exuded while singing this (and a lovely held note toward the end) made me chug the Kool-Aid right there.


Alone, Carrie, Top 11, Billboard No. 1s: I remember being like 'Damn! That was AWESOME!' when I first heard it, because that is a hella tough song to sing and it exhibited the power of her voice pretty darn well. After that? Carrie ceased to bowl me over in such a way again, which really, really disappointed me.


Remedy, Bo, Top 10, Songs of the1990s: I liked Bo from his first performances, but this was the first one that had me tapping my foot along with him and gave me an inkling of 'he could go far'...despite the cow-print hat.


One Hand, One Heart, Nikko, Top 9, Musicals: The only performance I enjoyed the night of the Great Broadway Disaster (seriously - EVERYONE sucked that night. Please, AI, never again with this theme) but he gets voted off the next night. Sigh.


I Surrender, A-Fed, Top 6, Songs of the New Millenium: When I heard he was tackling Celine Dion, it was like, yikes. On so many levels. Then, awesomely enough, the kid sang the song with so much gusto and conviction I was sure it had to be the top performance of the night. Then he's in the bottom 2 with Constantine the next night. Whatever.

Bridge Over Trouble Water, Group Sing,Top 5 Results Night: Probably the best one this season because for once during a group song, they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. And they all sounded pretty damn good, instead of the off-keyness the group sings tend to inspire.


If You Don't Know Me By Now, A-Fed, Top 4, Songs of Gamble & Huff: A-Fed's swan song, probably the best vocal of the night, one of his best of the season -- and he's voted out for it. Sigh.


Within a Dream, Bo, Top 3: Because it was insanely freaking awesome, that's why. And when the audio is available through the site, I'll post it here, though it's probably better if you see it in all its heavenly lit, stripped-down glory.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I will reveal to you my not-so psychic picks from March 10 of this year. Carolyn's office was doing an Idol pool, and since I'd been watching the show closer than she had, Car asked me to make her picks. She didn't end up entering, and it's probably a good thing. I didn't remember who I picked for her, so last week I had her re-send me my predictions. I was a little shocked because I really thought I'd had Carrie in the top 2, but I guess I didn't:

12 Jessica
11 Lindsey
10 Mikalah
9 Scott
8 Vonzell
7 Constantine
6 Mario
5 Anwar
4 Bo
3 Carrie
2 Nadia
1 Anthony

Well, at least I had three of the Top 4 correct and 12-10 went out that early, just in a different order.

I'm not even going to make a prediction for tomorrow night. It's not worth it because the voting patterns of this country are somewhat bizarre. If this season has taught me anything, it's that.


Kat said...

We have a huge white board here at work (6'x6') and we keep track of ever week's performances and eliminations. We call it the Idol White Board Roundup. It consists of 5 women and one guy. I work for a big blue (hint hint) computer company and its way unprofessional. But we don't care! Our manager and director are part of the dept's Idol white board roundup and they think its RAD YO!. Gotta have some fun at the work place!! Theme for tonight is (according to Yahoo) "Each of the two finalists will sing three songs: one is the single that the crowned "Idol" will record, the second is the song that has been chosen for the flipside and the third is their choice. Bo selected "Vehicle," and for Carrie, it's "Independence Day."

Should be interesting KB!. I think Bo will be our next American Idol. We'll see.

Karen said...

Man, it's either really smart or really dumb of Carrie to go with a country song -- especially one that's on the new Idol CD. She'll sound great, but it might alienate her because she CAN sing more than country, but for the most part never does.

And tomorrow night, Rascal Flatts will be joining her for a song, and Lynyrd Syknyrd will join Bo for one (I'm guessing Sweet Home Alabama -- it surprises me he hasn't sang it yet being he's a rocker and from there). That should be interesting.

Yankeebob said...

What is up with Carrie's hair in that second pic? Freaky. (I think that may have been one episode I actually saw.)

I'm always surprised when someone says they like the modern spin put onto old classics. (ie: Anwar & Moon River) I hate to hear that new style warbling sound butchering great music. But that's just me. It's one of the biggest reasons I can't listen to Jessica Simpson or Christina Aguilera sing. They both have great talent but that nasty way of stringing out notes and/or words, bleech! ;)

Karen said...

I think Carrie was channeling her inner Ann and Nancy Wilson with the hair! And I also think she was trying to show that night that she didn't have to be all country all the time, thus the very 80s garb.

Since Moon River is a song that has been done to death by crooners and modern-day people alike (and all of them sounding exactly the same), Anwar's version was refreshing to me. You could also tell that by the arrangement, he has a music background because had any other performer done it, it would've been the standard version.

But I can't deal with many remakes either. Unless the performer has a true appreciation for it (like Harry Connick Jr, or like A-Fed doing power ballads because, god bless him, he actually feels a "connection" to it) I can't stand it. Like Jessica Simpson's Take My Breath Away. Uh, why?

June said...

I hate bo - I want to attack his hair with a meat cleaver

Karen said...

Oooh, that could be the next Idol Spinoff: Bo's Hair Intervention....

Yankeebob said...

Jessica Simpson's Take My Breath Away is horrible. I can't believe that one was allowed onto the airwaves it sucks so bad.

I remember when Guns N Roses covered Live and Let Die and Knocking on Heavens Door I about went nuts. Those 2 covers were some of the worst in history.

June said...

jessica simpson singing ANYTHING is horrible. just horrible.

i think covers should never, ever be allowed PERIOD except of one's own songs (e.g., Layla... both fantastic, love them equally)

what about that UTTERLY USELESS cover of "boys of summer" that they keep using for mlb? drives me bonkers. it slavishly imitates the original, and yet doesn't even touch it; henley's yearning, nostalgic voice and delivery completely makes the song. and some female singer remade it recently too and it's AWFUL! AWFUL!!

Dex said...

Thought I'd join in. After watching last night's show, I 'm not sure I still want Bo to win. The two Idol songs were awful. Even worse than "A Moment Like This" and "When You Believe." WTF? I still like Bo and would hate to see him stuck with crap like that.

On another note ...

Here are some covers that IMHO best the originals:

Respect -- Aretha (original by Otis Redding)

Mack the Knife - Ella Fitzgerald (original by Bobby Darin)

All Along The Watchtower -- Hendrix (original by Bob Dylan)

I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself -- The White Stripes (original by Dusty Springfield)

Mad World -- Gary Jules (original by Tears for Fears)

Hallelujah -- Jeff Buckley (original by Leonard Cohen)

Karen said...

Dexter! Welcome to the party! And yeah, after last night, I'm afraid for Bo a bit. Apparently, both Bo AND Carrie will be signed by Clive, (which kind of makes the whole voting for a winner thing a moot point) and I'm clinging to the hope that if he should win and have to sing that yucky single, Clive will send Bo back to his rock roots and get him some good stuff to work with afterward. Clive's worked with some awesome "rockers" in the past and none of their integrity was ruined. I just hope the years haven't softened him and that he'll think it's OK for Bo to be singing about being in someone's "heaven" forever. Ewwww.

I think there's a big difference between a cover where the person who's rerecording it knows what they're doing and makes it their own (Jeff Buckley...and whoa, I just sounded like an Idol judge right there) and a record producer/band who's just like "well, the 80s are in again, let's show the kids what they missed" (The Atari's version of Boys of Summer -- which was just an amped up version of the sublty haunting original). It can either come out genius (Hendrix) or just look really lazy (Simpson).