Friday, February 25, 2011

American Idol: the Good, the Bad, and the WTF?

Hollywood Week has come and gone and at last, we're left with our Top 24-- 12 guys and 12 girls who will be at the mercy of the American voting public next week. On the whole, I think it's a pretty impressive crop of talent this year and thankfully devoid of the over-population of white guys with guitars that were forced on us last season (now we get white guys on piano and bass!). There's a guy with Tourettes AND Asperger's, two former maids, a lot of dudes who love to screech out high E's and a menagerie of sickly precocious 15-year olds. Here's a look at who I'll be watching...and muting... over the next few episodes:

The Good: Casey Abrams
I am loving this quirky little w00k who crawled out of the San Bernadino Mountains and thankfully found his way to Hollywood. He's a gifted musician, a creative arranger, soulful without being over-the-top, and despite the unfortunate Taylor Hicks comparisons, has a sound that I welcome on Idol. Here's his Hollywood Week solo-- "Georgia on My Mind," self-accompanied on stand-up bass.

The Good: Pia Toscano
This chick was entirely off my radar until the latter stages of Hollywood Week, but as Randy would say, she "blew it out the box" with this solo performance:

The Good: Tim Halperin
Ladies, can we say adorable? Love the soft, lilting timbre in his voice that is sure to make teenage hearts melt across America. Here's his piano-duet version of "Something in the Way She Moves" with Julie Zorilla.

The Bad: Jacob Lusk
Please pass me some of whatever Randy Jackson was smoking when he declared this the best performance in ten seasons of American Idol... and a little of what Lusk injested before this utterly spastic rendition of "God Bless the Child." This year's motto appears to be "scream your face off if you want any attention from the judges" and this "spa concierge" from Compton (huh?) takes it right to heart:

The Bad: Clint Jun Gamboa
Can he please crawl back into the Long Beach karaoke bar he came out of? The guy has a decent voice, but you can barely hear its tone over all the runs and falsetto screeching. No subtlety here, folks. AND he kicked Child Tony G (aka Jaycee Badeaux) out of his group during Hollywood Week for a finishing touch of cutthroat cattiness. Watch him mangle "Georgia on My Mind" if you dare, or are simply an aural masochist:

The WTF?: Thia Megia
I wanted to projectile vomit when rocker Jessica Cunningham was cut and this creature was let in. This disgustingly precocious 15-year old already stunk up the small screen last year on America's Got Talent and rather than allowing her teenybopper vocals to marinate and mature for another year, the judges let her in on her first try rather than giving the nod to Cunningham, who, after making the Top 40 for a second consecutive year, instead had J.Lo ruin her 25th birthday by sending her home. I hereby declare Thia Megia this year's Jasmine Trias. Which means she'll probably stick around a lot longer than we want her to. Her screamy, high school talent show treatment of "You Raise Me Up" starts at the 1:16 mark.


gr8fulmouse said...

Totally agree with all of your post... especially the outrage of ousting Jessica for the 15 year old brat... why not cut Thia and tell her to come back next year... I see more EV in keeping the hot rocker chick... maybe I'm biased...

PokerLawyer said...

Oooo, you hit the nail on the head with these. I've never been much of a watcher of Idol, but have gotten into it this year. Sad that Chris was booted, but looks like it'll be some fun. Certainly lots to root for. Digging on Abrams at the moment because boy can PLAY. That said, wonder what he'll look like once the season's said and done.

Mike said...

I would say Casey is the front runner right now. Funny, amazing voice, and he's unique. Taylor Hicks couldn't hold this dudes jockstrap.

mr4B said...

Ah ah totally love it! Quality! :-) thank you

gr8fulmouse said...

How is Scott McCreery the opening line favorite???