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I realized just now, while I was complaining about something elsewhere on the Internet, that I have a lot of hatred inside me.  So, what better way to release that hatred than to complain about it on my blog, so I won’t irritate everyone on my Facebook (even though I know that I’ll continue to blah blah blah about my little peeves in every outlet I’m allowed, and that includes the FB)?  Yes, a blog entry.  Perhaps it will become a new feature here.  As long as it’s a day that ends in “y,” I’m probably going to find something new to hate.

1.  American Idol (or perhaps Americans who vote for American Idol)

Okay, just a few minutes ago it was announced that Lee DeWyze is the new American Idol.  Good job, America.  For the third time in a row, all those hormonal pre-teens who vote for American Idol have chosen a white, heterosexual, twentysomething male who plays guitar.  Of these three dudes, Lee is most certainly the dullest.  He seems to have little (or no?) personality, he’s terribly awkward on stage (especially without his guitar – he moves his hands around like a malfunctioning robot), and a person could go to any bar in America and hear at least two guys who sound just like Lee singing there every night.  I don’t understand what’s so special about him.  I think that Crystal would have been a much better choice, both musically and financially.  Right now, female solo artists are having a heyday.  Lillith Fair is back, Lady Gaga is huge, Christina Aguilera has a new album out soon, as does M.I.A., Taylor Swift swept the Grammys, and as I type this, Katy Perry has the #1 single on iTunes (La Roux, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus also appear in the top 10).  While Crystal is hardly a Lady Gaga or Ke$ha, it’s clear that the world is ready to welcome unique female artists with open arms right now.  Plus, she harkens back to the radio of the 90s – Alanis Morissette, Melissa Etheridge, Sarah MacLachlan, Sheryl Crow – and I think that’s a time that we’re all nostalgic for.  I’m probably looking too deep into this, but I really do think that she would’ve done well in the music industry right now.  Or at least she would be more interesting than Lee Tweedle Dee.

2.  Summer Movies

There are absolutely no good films out now, nor will there really be any at all this summer.  Too many sequels, adaptations, remakes, and 3D cheesefests.  Sure, I’ll give Toy Story 3 a pass because it’s Pixar and the first two films were great.  Inception might be good.  Get Him to the Greek has a good cast (minus Jonah Hill, who I also hate), as do Dinner for Schmucks and Scott Pilgrim.  But then we have Prince of Persia, a video game adaptation; The Last Airbender, an adaptation of a cartoon TV show; Marmaduke, an adaptation of an ancient comic strip (which also looks like it could be the worst film ever made); Sex and the City 2, a sequel AND a film based on a TV show.  There’s Iron Man 2, The Karate Kid, Twilight:  Eclipse, Cats and Dogs:  The Revenge of Kitty Galore (god help us all), etc. etc. etc.  Even the “original” films are bland, the typical mix of copycat rom-coms and copy and paste horror films.  The most disappointing aspect is that I’m sure there are at least a few legitimately good films coming out this summer (Jeunet’s Micmacs is one I’d love to see), but if you live in the middle of nowhere as I do, you won’t get to see those until they get a DVD release (and still, that’s if you’re lucky).  This points at a more consistent problem that Hollywood is having, though, and that is a loss of originality.  It’s no surprise that they’re obsessed with money, to the point where art is almost completely forgotten.  But never has it been as obvious or sickening as it is this summer.  AND I HATE IT.

3.  Arizona

Seriously, how are they still going through with this legislation?  How is it that supposedly around 68% of Americans agree with this whole idea?  I’m glad to see people and cities boycotting Arizona, because they deserve it, but what is the major disfunction with folks that they could think it’s a good idea?  Here’s the thing, people, let me explain it in easy terms:  The idea is that police officers have the right to pull over “suspicious” looking people to check and see whether or not they are “allowed” to be here.  Like a Nazi who spies a person with dark curly hair on the streets of Warsaw, they’re going to ask to see their papers.  And how are we to interpret “suspicious looking people?”  I’ll tell you how:  skin color.  If you aren’t as white as Dracula’s pasty thighs, you best watch out, and keep your papers on you at all times.  This legislation basically assumes that every brown person living in Arizona is a non-citizen, and as a result, they will be harassed as if they are.  News flash, folks:  there are people living in Arizona who aren’t white but are still – GASP! – citizens of the United States of America.  I know, I know.  That’s a crazy idea; dark skinned people can’t be from Amurrka!  So, do we see the issue?  About how if you’re not “white,” you’re going to have a hell of a time dealing with this insanity?  I personally would be incredibly angry if I were a darker complected U.S. citizen living in Arizona, and if I were constantly being pulled over, if I always had to have my “papers” on me, and if I were consistently treated like a fugitive by the countless white, entitled cops crawling all over my state.  I’d have to leave 15 minutes early for everything I did because I’d have to anticipate getting pulled over and put through the ringer.  I’d have to live in constant fear that I’d leave my ID and citizenship papers and whatnot at home.  What the Arizona government is doing is creating an environment of fear and inherent racism.  Which, in 2010, is completely hideous.  To the people who dare to say that we live in a post-racial America, and that racism is something we don’t have to worry about anymore, you should shut your mouths.

And if you still don’t get it, have this handy picture that explains it all (and with crayons, yay!).

idol-journey-opener_dl-1idol-journey-opener_dlUh, yeah.  I “stole” these pictures from EW.com.  But I gave them credit here, so we’re even…?

Well, it’s finally finale time (heh).  I’m still not completely sure who I want to win.  I think, when all is said and done, I like Adam more and am more likely to buy his CD.  However, I almost think he would benefit more from not being under the typical “American Idol” winner contract (which keeps them under 19 Entertainment’s thumb for five years, I believe).  He could display more artistic freedom at another label, and I think he’d need that artistic freedom.  But, I like both of the guys and will be fine with either of them winning.

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americanidoltop7_lWell, the pressure sure is on Matt Giraud this week, seeing as how he’s the first person ever, in all of “Idol” history (as they seem adamant in reminding us), to be saved.  Of course, it’s Disco Night, and I don’t believe that anyone will do too well.  I predict that Adam will again do amazing (even though I’m sure that he will once again toe the line between cheesy and mind-blowing) and Alison might shine as well (just because her voice makes everything sound original).  Anoop and Lil will go home.

Lil Rounds (“I’m Every Woman”) – I love this song, but what an unimaginative choice from Lil.  It’s all pretty much in the dive karaoke vein that all of her performances have been in.  Not digging that atrocious pantsuit, either.  At this point, Lil needed something mind-blowing and original to get the votes in.  Simon’s right:  she’s probably doomed.  And that little disagreement speech she gave at the end just sealed her fate.  Sometimes you should just listen to the judges, especially if they’re saying the same things over and over, as they are with Lil.

Kris Allen (“She Works Hard for the Money”) – Oh, Kris.  Your smile is beautiful.  It’s no coincidence that Entertainment Weekly dubbed him Kute Allen.  So true.  I love that Ryan called this a song about a woman with a great work ethic (it’s about prostitution, obvs).  I’m liking this arrangement.  It’s maintaining the very rhythmic roots of disco (that’s what disco’s all about, babe) while being completely different.  The singing, I think, took a backseat, but he always sounds great.  I’m a fan of impressive originality more so than outstanding vocals most of the time (case in point:  Lil).  Aww, he looks so happy that they like it.  Kris, you dark-horse you!  Paula’s shopping metaphor is baffling and impressive at the same time (much like Paula).

Danny Gokey (“September”) – I love this song, so Danny… don’t you mess it up!  It’s borderline karaoke, but still more impressive than Lil’s.  I do like Danny’s voice, and I think there’s a lot of originality in it, but like Lil, I just want to see him show some identity as an artist.  That little leg-lift thing he keeps doing is driving me crazy.  Is it just me, or did that end super abruptly?  I’d agree with Simon about the “no star power” thing going on.  I don’t know that we will see him in the finals, Paula.  He’s just not that impressive, and I can’t seem to get over the fact that it seems like Robert Downey Jr. is singing whenever it’s really Danny on stage.

Alison Iraheta (“Hot Stuff”) – Whoa, this is going to be amazing.  I’m already calling it.  Good song choice, and she’s fo sho making it her own hard-rocking version.  So not digging that outfit, though.  Not flattering, although it is in line with her previous cray fashion choices.  I would’ve liked to have seen a gradual growth in the song from the “soft singing on the stairs” to the “rockin’ it out” part, but she done brung it in both sections, so who really cares?

Adam Lambert (“If I Can’t Have You”) – This is one of those songs that I love, and that will get stuck in my head for weeks at a time.  An earworm, as Stephen King calls them.  Whoa… he slowed it down.  I kept waiting for it to speed up and for him to bust out some true disco, but NO!  Truly, the lyrics do suggest some deeper suffering that a slow song can better convey, so I like it.

Matt Giraud (“Stayin’ Alive”) – Awful, awful choice of song.  Rather ironic and I’m sure intentional song choice from the man who got saved by the judges last week (get it?  He’s “Stayin’ Alive” in the competition?  Shoot me).  I’m awfully sick of his Justin Timberlake schtick (I know I’ve said this before).  At least his true-to-the-genre take on disco is better than Lil’s (is that my fourth or fifth jab at Lil’s opening performance?).

Anoop Desai (“Dim All the Lights”) – Another low-key  performance from Anoop.  Definitely not going to keep him in the competition.  His voice is good, but this is rather cheese-tastic.  Like Danny’s song, I thought that ended really abruptly.  I agree with Kara that he found a nice place between ballad and an upbeat song, but I disagree that it could be on the radio.  It’s just a little too dated for that, and that’s something about the song that he couldn’t overcome.  I love that Paula called his facial hair “growth.”  Strange woman.

I was pleasantly surprised at how non-awful tonight’s performances were.  I still love love love Adam, Alison and Kris.  If it comes down to those three at the end – and I think it might – then I don’t know who I’d support!  Lil and Anoop will probably go home, although I don’t think that Matt is completely safe, either.

Bonus points to tonight’s episode for having lots of great “Glee” commercials sandwiched in there.  I honestly can’t wait for that show to come on, even though I’m sure it’s going to make me painfully nostalgic for high school.

idoltop7_lMovie song night!  Quentin Tarantino!!!!  This should be uh-mazing.  I’m hoping someone will sing Aimee Mann’s “Save Me,” from Magnolia, and that someone else will sing Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You),” from Reality Bites.

Oh, no.  I’m not digging this “only two judges will critique each performer.”  That’s some biased stuff there.

I think it’s so funny that Quentin Tarantino loves “Idol” so much.  It’s such a… well, I guess that the best phrase would be “culture shock.”

Alison Iraheta (“Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”) – I so hate this song.  Her voice makes it enjoyable enough, though, and that’s saying a lot considering how much I hate that song.  I do agree with Simon that she’s the last hope for a female Idol this year.

Anoop Desai (“Everything I Do”) – That was a really nice little performance of that song.  He made it seem really seamless and easy, even though it’s a big song. 

Adam Lambert (“Born to Be Wild”) – Adam’s really treading close to cheesy territory here.  He sure can work the stage, though.  I like the little bits where he makes it his own, but other times it gets a tad generic.  He was in full-on Axl Rose mode here.  Of course, anything that he did this week would have paled in comparison with last week’s performance, which will probably go down in “Idol” history.

Matt Giraud (“Have You Ever Loved a Woman?”) – Another Bryan Adams song?  Geez o’ Pete!  Stop it!  Out of all the songs from all kinds of movies, these dolts have to do TWO Bryan Friggin’ Adams songs?!  I am also seriously tiring of his Justin Timberlake schtick, too.  That falsetto kind of sucked, as well.  I definitely would’ve picked something else.  An arrangement of “Stay (I Missed You)” on the piano would’ve been pretty amazing.  I think he might be in trouble now.

Danny Gokey (“Endless Love”) – Gasp!  No glasses!  Is that Robert Downey, Jr.?  The rolled up sleeves on the blazer (worn over a t-shirt) makes him look a bit like a “Miami Vice” reject.  Whoa, it’s a harp.  Cheesetastic.  There’s really nothing too amazing here.  Simon, I too am “disappointed” about the harp.  DISAPPOINTED.

Kris Allen (“Falling Slowly”) – I’m calling this now:  it’s going to be amazing.  This is easily the best song choice of the night.  It’s actually modern and it fits Kris’s voice and style.  Other contestants need to take hints from Kris and Adam on how to pick a song, as they’ve both impressed me with their song-choosing skills.  Seeing the contestants singing at the piano for Quentin Tarantino makes me nostalgic for my voice lesson days.  I kind of do wish that Kris had brought out his guitar.  This songs makes me get the chills.  It’s so amazing, and I love him singing it.  Terrific performance.  I think that Randy has it out for Kris.  I honestly don’t think he’s ever given Kris a good critique.  It was NOT pitchy.  That’s just Randy’s catch-all critique.  He’s such a pointless judge, honestly.  I used to respect his opinion more, but since he’s latched on to that “pitchy” crap, I can’t stand him.

Lil Rounds (“The Rose”) – I have a special place in my heart for cheesy Bette Midler songs, so Lil better do a good job.  Wow, Lil is actually going to make a song her own.  I kind of like that gospel thing she’s doing.  However, as much as I just ranted against the word “pitchy,” Lil was a bit pitchy, especially there at the beginning.  Really underwhelming.  I suppose that Lil can’t make a song her own AND sing it well.

In the end, that was an extremely disappointing episode, mostly due to mediocre song choice.  I’d say that Lil and Matt are in trouble.  I think I’d like to see Danny make it into the bottom three this week, because he didn’t do too great, and I think that he’s got it in his head that he can coast through on voice alone, which is FALSE.  He’s got potential, but he might just need to be scared into trying harder.

idoltop8_lTonight’s theme is “Songs from the Year You Were Born.”  Could be interesting.  When’s Broadway night?  That’s my favorite (unless they do jazz/big band night or something, which I don’t think they’ve done for years), so they better do it soon.  Or at all.

Who is that creepy bald-headed man in the audience that they keep cutting to?  Looks like an emotionless Mr. Clean.  Ho ho!  Poop joke, Ryan?  Really?  Whoa, Paula’s “baby” picture was scary.  So, I guess she’s always been on drugs?  How is it that neither she nor Cowell have baby pictures?  Hateful parents, I suppose.

Danny Gokey (“Stand by Me”)- Does it get much cheesier than a large family get-together where the entire family sings “We Are Family?”  No, it does not.  Here at the soft, beginning part of the song, Danny’s voice is sounding a bit pinched and strained.  I think he needs to lose the highlights and glasses and then maybe he can convince people that he’s Robert Downey, Jr.  I’m surprised that this is a more upbeat version of “Stand by Me.”  It’s a little Michael McDonald-esque, but it suited Danny and I kind of enjoyed it.  Nice show opener.

Kris Allen (“All She Wants to Do Is Dance”) – Kris’s anecdote about the ferris wheel attendant telling him to say “hi” to Adam for him was pretty funny.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard this song, but it doesn’t sound like an 80s song (at least not this arrangement).  I’m kind of digging it, though I’ve decided I don’t like this trend of them performing in the audience.  I can’t hear his guitar and I’m kind of thinking that it’s just a distraction, but he does seem to feel more comfortable with it.  I honestly have no idea what Kara is talking about.  “Jazz funk homework” makes no sense to me.  Boy, does Simon like throwing that “indulgent” word around this season.  Most of the time it doesn’t even apply.  I don’t think that the song choice was stupid.

I get so sick of the mixed messages that they send.  “Make it your own, but don’t make it your own if it’s already good enough.”  What?!  WHAT?!  That is ridiculous.

Lil Rounds (“What’s Love Got to Do with It?”) – Oh my god.  This is going to sound like a carbon copy of the original.  I don’t know why the judges are so obsessed with Lil.  She’s got a passable voice, but that’s it.  There’s nothing truly interesting about her.  Paula was dead-on in her critique, and Simon backed it up.

Anoop “Dogg” Desai (“True Colors”) – Cyndi Lauper?  Interesting.  I like the stripped down thing they’ve got going on.  He’s making it his own, dawg.  Honestly, I never knew Cyndi Lauper sang this song.  Learn something new everyday.  The performance was a bit cheesy but overall, it was the best I’ve seen from Anoop in a while.  “Dude, you can actually sing!”  says Randy.  Umm… shouldn’t we have figured that out a long, loooong time ago?  This is the top 8!  It’s pretty sad when Randy is becoming more obsolete than Paula.

Scott MacIntyre (“The Search is Over”) – Okay, the world just imploded.  He doesn’t have a piano, which is strange on its own, but he’s replaced it with… a guitar?  An electric one, at that.  Whoa.  He is layin’ the cheese on thick.  I feel like I’m listening to something equally as cheesy as Michael Bolton, but sung by someone who’s not even as good as MB.  Actually, that’s exactly what this was.  How can anyone enjoy that?  

Alison Iraheta (“I Can’t Make You Love Me”) – Good song choice for her, great chance for her to really showcase her voice outside of the rock stuff.  Now the song is stuck in my head, but I don’t know if that’s because it was memorable or because that song is freakin’ catchy.  I disagree with Simon that her personality isn’t coming through.  She’s very likable to me, and she kind of reminds me of Kelly Clarkson (I was typing that at the exact moment that Randy said it, so let the record show that I thought it first).

Matt Giraud (“Part Time Lovers”) – I think he’s going to be amazing on this song.  Sometimes his Justin Timberlake-iness is a bit overwhelming.  Couldn’t he at least be a bit more subtle about it?  This is almost exactly as if JT were covering this song.  I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.  Whoa, scatting!  Dig that.  The judges definitely liked it, although I wish that they would’ve told him to stop aping Justin Timberlake.  Really, am I the only one who thought that was way too obvious?

Adam Lambert (“Mad World”) – I didn’t catch the song title, so I’m guessing here.  His dad seems a bit embarrassed of him and his hatred of sports.  Love the picture of him with the mustache and three piece suit, too funny.  He’s kind of sounding weird on the beginning of this song.  It’s sounding very musical theatre-ish.  I do love the restraint he’s exercising.  Makes me feel like he’s going to erupt at any moment.  There wasn’t a very concise ending to the song, but that’s different for Adam and probably a good thing.  Oh my goodness me oh my.  Simon just gave Adam a standing ovation.  I have NEVER seen such a thing.  This will go down in the Guinness Book of Records, am I right?  Holy moley.

I’m thinking that Scott is in trouble this week, and that’s a good thing.  It’s about time his butt was off the show.  I’m afraid it could be Lil though, and that’s not because I don’t want her to leave.  I’d be fine with her leaving.  However, I’m afraid that the judges would use up their “save” on her and then they’d be unable to use it if someone like Kris or Alison or Adam got the boot (can you guess who my favorite contestants are?).

idoltop9_dlPicture stolen from EW.com, by the way.

I hate the theme tonight.  “Top Downloads.”  Kill me.  I get to hear them butcher songs that I have to hear (and loathe) on the radio all the time.

Anoop “Dogg” Desai (Usher’s “Caught Up”) – An Usher song seems like an obvious choice for his smooth R&B type voice, and it’s nice to see him do something a little more upbeat.  Why he has the mic stand, I don’t know.  This song begs for him to work the stage.  Oh, there we go.  Good work Anoop.  Actually, this whole combination is weirding me out a bit.  He’s not doing awful, it’s just… kind of strange.  Not really a great “singing” song.  He pretty much riffed the whole time, and I hate that.

Woah.  Randy’s watch is as big as Kara’s head.  Jesus…

Megan Joy Corkrey (Bob Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low”) – Whoa.  Bob Marley.  This has the potential to be either awesome or atrocious.  I’m hoping for awesome.  If Lauren Hill pulled it off, then Megan probably can too.  She’s in desperate need of a good night.  I think an acoustic performance is way overdue.  The band sometimes overwhelms her.  At least she’s not pronouncing things oddly this evening.  During the lulls in the song, she should wander the stage or something a bit less awkward.  Not bad, overall, though.  I don’t see why that’s not a good song for her.  To Kara, who said that she should exercise her falsetto AND sing Adele’s “Chasing Pavements”… that song doesn’t go up in that range.  Way to send some mixed messages.

Well, Simon just insulted Bob Marley.  Monotonous.  Boring.  Who does he think he is?  I feel kind of irate that they’re suggesting to her that she sing Adele, Duffy, or Amy Winehouse.  She just seems a bit less mainstream than that, and more power to her for it.

Danny Gokey (Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most”) – No, Danny.  Not everyone likes Rascall Flatts.  In fact, I despise them.  I despise them so much I might turn the channel so I don’t have to hear you sing this.  But I’ll be nice and give you a chance.  It was fairly boring, to me, but I hate the song and the band, and Danny hasn’t impressed me much yet either.  He’s got a good voice and he’s likable, but not much else.

Alison Iraheta (No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”) – Oh my god, what a great song choice.  And neat to see a female contestant rocking out on the guitar.  Bet Simon knocks her hair and clothing.  I wish I could tell what she was saying, she might need enunciation lessons before I fully jump on her bandwagon.  Nevertheless, she’s pretty much giving the song a good whupping.  Oh, well Randy is the one to mention the clothing.  I knew someone would.  I think it’s kind of nutty, but it fits her, so there’s really no problem.  Simon really has never proven himself as someone who knows fashion, so he should NEVER be allowed to comment on those things.  Honestly, did the outfit take that much away from the performance?  No.

Scott MacIntyre (Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”) – Could there be a more obvious or generic song choice for Scott?  What’s that you say, Scott?  You love Billy Joel?  Oh my god, what a shocker!  I love how, in the video at the beginning, he acted like him just doing a stripped-down thing with the piano was a new tactic for him.  Yeah, that’s funny because he does that EVERY WEEK!  this is probably his best performance, but still, very adult contemporary, boring.  Unfortunately, this might keep him in the competition another week, when I was so sure this would be his last week.  Also, he looks like he has a mullet.  I feel kind of bad for him that he doesn’t know this.

Yes, Paula, you DID tell him to get rid of the piano.  If you laid off the prescription drugs, you would remember this.

Matt Giraud (The Fray’s “You Found Me”) – I really don’t care for this song, it’s boring.  However, it’s also insanely popular and he’s kind of cute so you can bet the votes are going to roll in for him.  I do like how he’s performing it in the audience.  Kind of.  I’m in the air about it.  He was pitchy in some parts, and his voice was rough a few times when it should’ve been smooth.  Basically, Matt just performed the song exactly like The Fray and it was slightly boring.

Lil Rounds (Celine Dion’s “I Surrender”) – I’m sure she can sing it, but that doesn’t really make this song choice interesting.  And what is with the weaves/wigs?  Altogether, this was a very forgettable performance.  I’d like to see Lil carve her own niche and put her own personal stamp on the songs she sings.  It’s not enough that she can sing.  She needs some individuality.

Adam Lambert (Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music”) – I do love this song.  Reminds me of the time my little cousin referred to it as “Funky White Boy.”  Maybe Adam will prove himself to be a funky white boy.  I do like that he’s taken to keeping his hair off his face by slicking it back.  Also, I like that he’s been showcasing his chest voice.  He’s been taking his time before going up in that falsetto of his.  I think Adam is on a roll.  He’s definitely the one to beat.

Kris Allen (“Ain’t No Sunshine”) – Good luck making this one your own, buddy.  So many people have done this song before.  I think his voice is well-suited to it, though, and it’s cool to see him play another instrument.  He is kind of putting his own stamp on this.  Big kudos, and a big surprise.  I liked it a lot.  He is most definitely the black horse in this competition.  I’d actually be interested to see what kind of songs he’d put out when left to his own devices.

Matt Giraud (“Let’s Get It On”) – Really really pitchy in parts, and a bit cheesy, but I loved the slowed down ending.  On the other hand, I really tire of his riffing.  Cut it back a bit there, Matt.

Kris Allen (“How Sweet It Is”) – Great song choice for him, and I love when he has his guitar.  He’s a very energetic guitar player, and he seems more comfortable with it.  Hitting almost all the notes, too, which is more than I could say for Matt.  He continues to surprise me, every week.  I agree with Simon, though.  Sometimes he seems more like a band member rather than a solo artist.

Scott MacIntyre (“You Can’t Hurry Love”) – This does not please me.  I love this song, but I can’t stand Scott’s voice.  Not a bad arrangement, if only someone else was singing it.  He sounds like a small-town dinner theatre star.  The three backup singers around the piano make him look like Ray Charles – and of course that’s not the only thing he had in common with old Ray.  They’re both African American.

Well, now we know what Paula does during commercial breaks:  she colors.  I refuse to accept that she had them hide that under the desk so that she could make a stupid joke on Simon.  No, I’m telling myself that the coloring book and crayons are under there all the time, and are put to frequent use.

Megan Joy Corkrey (“For Once in My Life”) – Yes, Megan, I think this is a good “Megan song.”  I like how she can transition from high voice to low very seamlessly.  Most female, belt-y type singers (a.k.a. the usual type on “Idol”) have problems with that.  I think this is the most Megan has connected with a song, and she really performed the hell out of it.  It was kind of obvious that she was doing some growling on notes where she wasn’t really hitting it 100%.  Her vocals weren’t spot-on, but it’s always fun to watch her (and even when she’s bad, she’s at least not boring like Scott).

Anoop “Dogg” Desai (“Ooh, Baby Baby”) – This is really sleepy.  He seems like he’s putting too much effort into hitting those high notes, and so it’s losing a lot of energy.  It’s not good that on “ooh, baby baby,” I can hear the back-up singers more.  There wasn’t much passion or personality in it, nor did it have anything new to say.

Michael Sarver (“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”) – Sarver, I’m pretty sure this will be the week we say goodbye to your goofy, undeserving butt.  Seriously, why are you still on here while Alexis is at home?  Ew, those high notes are painful.  We can toss those little riffs into the “painful” category, too.  Paula is spot-on, it was lounge actish.  Simon is also right:  I couldn’t wait for it to end.  Why is Michael still here?  I thought Alexis had a chance at the crown, but Michael never, ever did.

Lil Rounds (“Heat Wave”) – I love this song.  I don’t think she’ll have anything to add to it, but she’ll perform it until it ain’t got no life left.  Her hair is distracting me… sorry.  What’s up with THAT?!  Cool flapper dress, though.  This is the first time that Lil has sung that I found her to be shouty.  It’s definitely energetic, though, which we haven’t seen much of tonight.

Adam Lambert (“Tracks of My Tears”) – Interesting song choice.  Hopefully he’ll stay away from those belted high notes and show a new side of his singing.  Ooh, I like the shiny shoes he’s wearing at his practice with Smokey.  I really like this arrangement!  Part of what makes it awesome is the guitar, so props to the guitarist (who kind of looks like Rev. Jesse Jackson).  A nice stripped-down version, and a side of Adam that we haven’t seen before, but it’s very appealing.  It was about time that he showed us he could do softer stuff.  If he doesn’t win this show, I’m going to be surprised.  I think that song will be one of the highlights of the season, like David Cook’s versions of “Always Be My Baby” and “Billie Jean” last season.

Danny Gokey (“Get Ready”) – By the way, I’m not really sure if that’s the real title of this song, but oh well.  This is my favorite performance of Danny’s.  It’s his most energetic, and his least cheesy thus far.  I’m digging the goofy dancing with the back up dancers.  I’m not digging how sometimes he pronounces “ready” as “rea-tee.”  Weird stuff.  Plus, even though this was his best performance, I still don’t really like him.

Alison Iraheta (“Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”) – I love this song.  Apparently she needs to enunciate and learn the freakin’ lyrics, though.  I just realized that the background music to this song sounds like the “People’s Court” theme.  It might be.  This is a very soulful performance, I’m liking it.  She’s got quite the chops for her age, and not a small amount of confidence.  Paula should never grow a mustache.  Keep shaving, Paula.

Aw, geez.  Country night.  Shoot me.  Why is it necessary?  Well, now that I think about that, I guess I can answer this question myself:  it’s a challenge for the ones who don’t sing country, and a chance to shine for those who do.  Interestingly, none of these eleven contestants sing country as their forte, so this should be a challenge for all of them.  Here’s to hoping they’ll at least stick to older country and none of that new crap.  Last year they did Dolly Parton night, and I actually enjoyed that, so something in that vein would be okay by me.  Also, I think that my favorite female contestant, Megan, could find a great song to sing tonight.

I’ve always liked the way Randy Travis talks (even if I’m not a fan of his music).  It kind of reminds me of my Papaw.

Michael Sarver (“Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up”)- I hate that stupid clappy thing he does on the microphone, it’s so distracting.  I hate this song and he is doing a terrible job of enunciating.  It’s not really a great song to showcase one’s vocals, as a big portion of it is just talking really fast.  He’ll get a ton of votes from the country crowd, though, because as far as I can tell, it sounded exactly like the original.  That “country music’s ’bout havin’ some fun” comment he just made pretty much sealed his fate as that crowd’s A.I. darling.  Or darlin’, I mean.

Why do they boo Simon like that?  Do they have his credentials?  No.  The dude usually knows what he’s talking about.  I certainly agreed with him.  I guess every story needs its villain.

Alison Iraheta (“Blame it on Your Heart”) – Wow.  Randy Travis seems to really like her and her “great pipes.”  Good compliment.  She reminds me a whole bunch of Kelly Clarkson, she even looks like her a bit.  She’s doing a pretty good job of turning it more into a rock song, but I don’t think her voice sounds as good tonight as it usually does.  Of course, she still sounds awesome, so I’m cool with her performance.

Kris Allen (“To Make You Feel My Love”) – Despite Randy Travis saying that Kris made it his own, I’m skeptical.  I feel like I’ve heard this song done over and over again.  He could’ve gone for something a little more edgy or new.  At least he’s cute.  Overall, though, a fairly bland performance, although sung well.

Tender dawg, Randy?  Strange.

Lil Rounds (“Independence Day”) – God, I hate this song.  Lil, I thought I liked you!  Please, don’t sing this!  I know she can handle the belty parts, but I still hate it.  Bleh bleh bleh.  I do like that she can belt out these high parts without making it obvious that she’s belting (which can sometimes get shouty).  I’ve made up two adjectives in this post:  shouty and belty.  I’ll be waiting for you letter, Webster’s Dictionary.

Wow, Simon trying to say Lil’s name?  Too funny.  I always thought her name was short for something like Lilly, not slang for Little.

Adam Lambert (“Ring of Fire”) – Well, this should be a culture shock.  Adam found a different arrangement, so that shows some effort.  This is pretty hysterical with Randy.  The look on his face, and the nail polish comment.  I’m sure Adam, remaining true to his fairly polarizing self, will massively turn some people off with this song.  I’m kind of digging it, and he’s holding off on the shouting thing for a bit.  Whoa… this is actually pretty awesome.  I hope the judges like it.  He’s pretty good at those smoldering looks, which are definitely fitting for a song about a burning ring of fire.  I honestly didn’t find it as strange as Kara did.  Maybe I myself am strange.  Well, there’s really no maybe about that.  Good call on the “Kashmir” similarities there, Paula.  Maybe you laid off the Quaaludes tonight.

It’s interesting that we have, back-to-back, Lil Rounds and Adam tonight.  Lil tried to conform to the “country” theme and Adam stayed true to himself.  They always want these “package” artists, especially Simon, which is why I’m surprised that he didn’t like the new take on an old classic that Adam presented here.  Simon’s all about new new new and edgy, and yet he’s basically telling Adam it was indulgent to change the song up?  Mixed signals there, Simon.

Scott MacIntyre (“Wild Angels”) – God, Scott.  Play something that isn’t middling adult contemporary, tinkling piano crap.  You’re so, so boring.  Again, I don’t care if you’re freaking blind.  If I wanted to hear this kind of singing and music, I’d go to a contemporary church worship service on Sunday.  Holy Jesus, his vocals were even worse than usual tonight.  Not strong, and pitchy as all get out.  Scott, you have the musical taste of a 64 year-old woman.  Paula almost seems like she doesn’t want to say anything bad about him.  I’ll do it for you, Paula!  I’m not afeared.  I’m sure he doesn’t want special treatment.

What’s that, Scott?  No one’s going to expect you to sing a Martina McBride song?  Well, I did.  Because she’s cheesy and boring.  And do you know what you are?  Cheesy and boring.  I do agree with Kara, however, that he has class and poise.  I do respect him for what he does, don’t get me wrong.  He’s overcoming a great obstacle.  I just don’t think he needs to be coddled.  If I was blind, I wouldn’t want special treatment.  And he  honestly just isn’t the best performer on the show.

Alexis Grace (“Jolene”) – Alexis is quickly becoming one of my favorite performers, so I’m pretty excited about this.  Although I disagree with her claim that everyone from the South likes country music (I don’t!).  I do kind of like old country, though, like Dolly, which she is singing!  It’s starting out a little theatrical.  I think that, for all its theatricality, she seemed a bit emotionally disconnected.  It was a bit pitchy.  I think she kind of dropped the ball a bit, but it was more interesting than Scott and Lil’s performances.

Aw, there was something strangely adorable about her asking Simon what “sound-alike” meant.  Maybe it’s just because she’s tiny and Southern.  I’m not sure how I feel about the judges pushing her to be “dirty.”  She needs to be careful not to end up in that box.  We all know where that got Christina Aguilera.

Danny Gokey (“Jesus Take the Wheel”) – His messing up is cracking me up.  He’s so nervous!  I would be nervous too if I picked this piece o’ crap song.  I do think that he should be able to connect to this song emotionally, though, which might make it a bit better.  Honestly, though, I think a lot of contestants are missing an opportunity to really have fun and make a statement about their own style tonight.  If they dug well enough, they could find a song that, with a little tweaking, they could make all their own.  Danny certainly did not do that, but at least his vocals were solid.  Typically Simon is wrong with his fashion tips, but tonight, he’s right.  The outfit is pretty terrible.

Anoop “Dogg” Desai (“You Were Always on My Mind”) – Interesting song choice.  Anoop better bring it tonight, because he’s definitely toeing the precipice of getting kicked off.  The vocals are good, bordering on great, but I find myself pretty bored.  This isn’t Anoop’s fault, really, as it wasn’t a safe boring song choice.  I just really don’t have much of an interest in slower songs.  I think that Anoop deserves the praise he’s getting from the judges.

Megan Joy Corkrey (“I Go Walking After Midnight”) – Megan is another one who really needs to bring it, as she’s on the cusp of elimination as well.  Also, she’s one of my favorites, so I definitely want to see her do well.  I think this might be a good choice for her.  It’s kind of got jazzy undertones to begin with.  I think she’s more musically intelligent than she’s been given credit for, changing up these songs to fit her jazzy style.  I would like to see her give up the mic stand one night, but at least she’s lively with her arms and facial expressions and her little Megan dance.  Plus, the mic stand makes me feel like I’m watching her in an actual jazz club, as that’s most likely what the setup would be.  She got to showcase a couple powerful notes there at the end, too, which we haven’t really seen from her.  And to have delivered one of her best performances while being sick (and in the hospital!) is pretty freaking awesome.  Plus, she’s just so goofy and likable!

Matt Giraud (“So Small”) – Hmm.  I forgot all about him.  Probably not a good sign.  I like that he’s pretty much taking all of the country out of this song, breaking it down into chords and lyrics, basically.  It’s really the flourishes that make country equal country.  I just recognized this song as the one Carrie Underwood sings to that miniature horse in the Vitamin Water commercials (at least I think it’s Vitamin Water).  This was a pretty memorable and great performance, for him.  I think it’ll propel him more towards the forefront of the competition.  I agree with Simon’s observation that he’s similar to Danny.  It’s true, and I think Matt has more of a cohesive image and he’s better at picking songs.

Overall, a surprising night.  A lot of the underdogs turned in terrific performances, and no one failed too hard.  There’s no one performer who’s clearly in the bottom.  Also, I was thinking, if I was in the competition tonight, I’d sing “Crazy” by Patsi Cline.  I actually like that song.

I’m an “American Idol” fan, I admit it.  So, I’m going to occasionally blog my thoughts on the episodes as they’re airing.  

Lil Rounds – I like her voice.  It’s great to hear her not shouting to hit certain notes.  She has a great, powerful range and pretty good stage presence.

Scott MacIntyre – Ok, this is probably a terrible thing to say, but I can’t stand this guy.  He’s nice enough, and I know he’s blind, but I can’t stand his voice and the “type” of singer that he is.  No disability gives you an excuse to sing like Steven Curtis Chapman.  I just can’t the songs he chooses and the way he sings them.  Adult contemporary… bleh.  The unfortunate thing is, edgier (and better) singers will be booted off while he stays, and mostly because of his impairment.  Seeing the guy talk, I just don’t think he would be a big fan of getting sympathy votes.  He wants to be legit, and I think there’s a niche for him, but it’s not what “American Idol” is about, really.  When they do pick an adult contemporary artist, they end up being huge failures, i.e. Taylor Hicks.

Danny Gokey – This guy’s song choice has disappointed me in the past, but tonight he is singing one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs.  I am not liking the way this is starting out.  Oh, good.  That’s a little better.  He’s putting his own spin on it, which they love, but frankly, it’s super cheesy to me.  Why does Paula always stand up and dance for the attractive guys?  It’s so obvious what she’s doing.  She’s like the girl that dances on the table at a bar for guy’s attention.  Ooh, those “na na nas” were a bit rough, and his stage movements are a bit awkward.  I can totally feel him on the whole “I can dance and I can sing, but I can’t put them together” thing.  Bottom line:  not bad, a bit awkward, but good to hear him doing something upbeat.

Michael Sarver – Well, I can tell you right now I’m probably going to despise this performance.  I hated his performance of that Gavin DeGraw song.  Not too bad, though.  I kind of like his voice, actually.  His little girl is cute, too.  Hearing his voice, one would think he’d go country, but I’m so glad that he doesn’t.

Jasmine Murray – I kind of think she’s cheating singing a Jackson 5 song, but whatev, Jasmine!  I don’t find her voice too distinctive.  Girl’s got pipes, but unlike Lil, she shouts a bit too much.  Dynamics, girlfriend!  Dynamics!  Learn ’em.  Plus, it’s not like she’s adding anything to the song.  Then again, maybe she is and I’m just not aware of it, as her singing has busted my eardrums.  

Kris Allen – This guy is pretty good-looking, so I can’t complain.  Good voice, and the song was really peppy.  Whoa, his wife looks pretty irritated at Simon’s suggestion to not bring her out so early in the competition, to use her as a vote-getting strategy for later.  He’s probably right.

Allison Iraheta – I really loved her voice last time she performed.  I also had no idea she was Latina.  Cool.  Ten bucks says Simon will pick on her outfit.  She reminds me of Kelly Clarkson, which is a good thing.  Interesting song choice, I can’t even tell that this was ever a Michael Jackson song.  Whoa… she’s 16.  She’s officially accomplished more than I had when I was 16.

Anoop Dogg – Oh, “Beat It.”  How you remind me of my childhood.  Don’t ruin my childhood Anoop.  Nice haircut, though.  Kind of a surprising choice, as I don’t see “Beat It” as a particularly taxing song, vocal-wise.  He’s doing his best at adding some vocal gymnastics, though, and most of them are sure-footed.  What I like about Anoop is that I never find him amazing and I never find him terrible.  He’s consistently good.  However, I really think, in the end, he should’ve picked a different song.  Maybe that song from “Free Willy?”  Yeah, that one.  I think this song will work for and against him.  For him because everyone knows it (and most sane people love it), but against him because the judges hated it and it wasn’t too interesting.

Jorge Nunez – Jorge just cracks me up, and I don’t know why.  I love the song, okay on the performance.  He has a very rich voice.  Solid vocals.  I think I would’ve liked to have seen him sing a different song, just like the judges.  He says it’s not his usual style, so I think he should’ve tried to pick something he could have put his own twist on.  I’m going to steal EW.com’s idea and say that Jorge should’ve sung “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” because it would’ve been amazing.

Megan Corkrey – Well, it’s time to admit it.  I love Megan.  Though I will say this… Megan, your brother… woof.  Her son is uh-dor-able.  Interesting choice on song, but it totally fits her.  She’s pretty much the only one who picked a song directly in their style tonight.  I love her awkward dancing, it cracks me up.  She kind of reminds me of Duffy, but with a way less annoying voice.  This is most certainly her liveliest performance, and I hope the judges acknowledge that she’s doing awesome.  But I’m biased because she’s my favorite.  That cawing at the end of the song… absolutely hysterical.  “That’s so Megan.”  Ha!  Great catch phrase, Randy.  Judges… you full of bull!  I don’t think Simon likes her because he has this vision of the kind of artist that he wants to promote on “Idol,” and she just doesn’t fit into that box.

Adam Lambert – Adam, you better sing “Bad.”  That song was made for him to sing.  Well, it was made for MJ to sing, and for Adam to sing on “Idol.”  No!  Not “Bad?”  Adam, you better make it up to me.  I like Adam, but sometimes he shouts, and I dislike that.  He’s controlling it so far on this song.  His voice reminds me of someone, but I can’t put my finger on it.  Annoying.  He sure can work a stage, and I have to give props for him having a musical theatre background, which I definitely see tonight.  Okay, okay.  I consent.  This song was probably a better choice than “Bad.”  But, I still would like to hear his “Bad.”  Because I’m bad, I’m bad, shamon!  

Oh, Paula.  If you cry, I’m going to scream.  You are such a ridiculous druggie.  What is up with that ridiculous pendant bracelet she’s wearing?

Is it weird that I think Simon has a great smile?  It’s rare, but when it shows up, it just lights his face up.

Ho, geez!  Adam is taller than I thought.  He’s almost a head taller than Ryan.  Of course, Ryan is a midget, but I thought Adam seemed a bit petite too.  Wrong!

Matt Giraud – He comes off as a bit cocky, to me.  His persona makes me kind of hate him, and he’s yet to prove himself vocally.  He looks exactly like his dad, though.  Pretty cool to finally see him at the piano, giving Scott a run for his money.  I think he wants to be Justin Timberlake way, way too much (and so obviously, too).  It almost seems like he’s doing an impersonation of JT doing an impression of MJ.  WHY DO THEY ALWAYS CUT TO PAULA WHEN THE GUYS SING?!  We get it.  She’s an aging, horny drug addict who has the good fortune to watch hot young men perform for her.  Oh, see!  Randy caught the Justin Timberlake thing, too, so it must be obvious.  Paula just called him sexy, like we didn’t already know she thought that.  His falsetto is very solid.  Couldn’t someone cover up that blemish that’s smack-dab in the middle of his forehead, though?  Yick.

Alexis Grace – What a pleasant surprise!  I completely forgot she was even on the show, let alone performing.  I predict she will be a nice closing performance.  There are so many parents on this season!  It’s amazing.  She’s got a great star-quality name.  I like that her voice is edgy and jazzy at the same time, and can go to the extremes of either styles.  For someone who looks so tiny, she’s got quite the voice, and she’s got a great confidence on the stage.  Her daughter may be the cutest of all the “Idol” children this season.  I do think it was a bit over-the-top towards the end.  She should’ve started off a little softer and done a slow-burn, and ended up slightly less intense.

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