Idol Hands: Top 7 (again) ' Disco Week
The Web site for the award-winning alternative weekly, the Philadelphia City Paper.
Idol Hands: Top 7 (again) ' Disco Week
We like American Idol ' too much.
Molly Eichel: Disco week is consistently stellar because it a) weeds out the people who can't take the heat and b) allows those that can to really shine. Only problem here: There wasn't much disco on tap. "She Works Hard for the Money" is '83 and Earth, Wind and Fire ' kind of? The great Ann Powers proves all of my points in a more eloquent way I ever could so why dontcha just go over there and read her LA Times blog. Here's I'll give you an excerpt:
Ultimately, the problem wasn't with the singers tonight; it was a larger one, embedded in the "Idol" formula. Despite its Velveeta reputation, disco was actually a music that vastly expanded pop's parameters, uniting funk beats and rock guitars, synthesizer swirls and gospel vocals, the sexual fantasies of libertine Italian producers and the liberating wails of black American divas. Oh, and Abba!
The musical range "Idol" traverses is tiny by comparison. It's basically crossover pop played by a competent studio band steeped in the grand inflections of Celine Dion, Bryan Adams and other blockbuster stars. It's nearly impossible for an "Idol" competitor to transcend the limits of the show's formulas (though Lambert keeps pushing).
Lil Rounds - I'm Every' Woman by Chaka Khan
Tommy Button: Oh, Lil. Every week you keep breaking my heart. And like the fool I am for you, I keep running back hoping my box will get the fit shucked out of it. I'm really sorry, Lil, but I think we have to call things off. It's just not working out like I had hoped. We just want different things and that's ok, but I think it'd be better if we went our separate ways. You picked out a great song but you just didn't do it justice. Mandissa from a coupla seasons ago sang this song and pretty much wrote the Idol book on it so that made it unusually bad for me.
ME: Ugh, Lil. I am so sick of hearing, "You have a great voice but you're just not box blowing the way you should." And Lil proves why Idol is so much more than an empty competition: It's the people who can switch it up, do different arrangements and give more than staid karaoke performance that are owning this year. Lil, while talented is falling by the wayside. While Chaka was a good song choice, I still think she should have done Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way" or Candi Staton's "Young Hearts Run Free." I think she could have sung those songs better without messing with Chaka's iconography.
Lindsey Proulx: So disappointing! It was real nice knowing you Lil Rounds.
Kris Allen - Works Hard For The Money
TB: You can never, EVER go wrong with a song about a hooker. Ever since Pretty Woman American's have always had a soft spot in their heart for the plight of women of the oldest profession.
ME: This song isn't about a hooker. It's about a bathroom attendant. But I'm sure hookers work equally as hard as bathroom attendants.
TB: And no matter how much shit like this can annoy me, it was a pretty nice arrangement for a song I was pretty convinced he would butcher. Not to mention the end, was pretty kick ass with his little jam sesh. I hate it when contestants end a song by just holding some random note so this was a nice little refresher.' Kris Allen ' you're becoming more and more of a threat.
ME: Whoa, did Kris Allen just dark horse-ify himself? Each week, he takes more and more risks with his arrangements and his tunes and it's winning me over one white-boy-foot-shuffle as it is.
LP: And let's not forget, Kris is totally adorable.
Danny Gokey - Dancing in September by Earth, Wind and Fire
TB: Paula, somehow, in her drunken rambling, was able to piece together individual words to make a sentence I could both understand and agree with. Danny has got this monstrous sexy voice ' really, the manliest voice of any of the manly contestants. He took this song (a pretty good, but not amazing jam) and made it his bitch. He's singing from the gut like Van Morrison, or Levon Helm or any other tough son of a bitch. Danny Gokey is the antithesis to the Adams, Kris and Anoops. Despite his sometimes stupid attire, his voice defeats this namby-pamby-metrosexua-boyish-Fray-John Mayer bullshit that's been going around these days and really puts some gravitas back in the mix. The sad thing is, Danny is turning more and more into an underdog with Kris Allen wooing the ladies every night, with his smooth acoustic stylings. And Adam Lambert doing whatever he fucking calls that. But have fear of the underdog, Kris and Adam. Danny Gokey may just doom you both. Probably not, though and that'll suck. But he'll probably beat Kris.
LP: I like how he rocked both the beard and the glasses this week. Made him seem badass AND smart. And I think we can all agree that that's a winning combination. Kind of like Jess, from Gilmore Girls. Except Danny Gokey wouldn't bail town without telling his girlfriend.
ME:' The' judges are right. Comparatively, this is a pretty simple song. But Danny Gokey turned up the awesome-itude just a bit.
Allison - Hot Stuff by Donna Summer
TB: I think Allison was wearing some boob filler outer type thing in her dress. I dunno what you ladies call 'em but she was smuggling something. And I think I saw them. But I wasn't very interested. Does that make me a child predator?
ME: Yes. Yes, it does Tommy. But girly did look slamming in that pleather outfit.
TB: Maybe just a pervert. Whatever. Girl's got some chops! And her personality is getting better and better. Although, she's got an expiration date. She'll probably be the first of the Top 5 to go, but she also has complete coverage of the awkward 16 year old girl demographic. But with the troops thinning out, she's gunna have to take a bullet in the head sooner or later, I'm just saying sooner.
ME: She'll take down Kalamazo, no sweat. But she's gonna need to step it the fuck up if she wants to take on Kris. Even though she would have the 16-year-old girl demographic in any other competition, the one thing 16-year-old girls love more than a celeb they can identify with is, is one they can conceivably fuck. Or hold hands with. Puppy love, thy name is Kris Allen.
Adam Lambert - If I Can't Have You by the Bee Gees
TB: Fuck this. Watching Adam Lambert is like going to a Globetrotter's game. Most pointless shit ever. Everyone knows he's going to win and it ruins the whole thing. The only way this season will redeem itself is if there is a huge upset come finals. Or a monster truck rally.
ME: SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY BRING THE KIDS TO SEE LAMBERT-ASAURUS CRUSH SUVS, PICK UPS AND HONDA ACCORDS SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY.
TB: Sure, Adam did a fantastic job and taught an old dog a new trick with his rendition. And blah blah blah. He's still not infallible. All his performances give off a little self satisfying whiff. And he's totally able to get away with it because everyone loves him so he's got carte blanche when it comes to stroking it on stage. A coworker told me today I should just get on board and learn to love Adam so at least I'll enjoy the show. I would sit here for a million episodes in misery, all the while Adam Lambert winning the hearts of Americans as he climbs his way to the top than to watch two minutes of him and be genuinly happy. Besides, I don't think I can teach myself that type of thing.
LP: I don't have anything to say about his performance but I can say that my roommate and I both agree that we like Adam a lot more when his hair is slicked back out of his face. He just seems like so much less of a douchebag. When his hair is in his face and he's all rocking out, I just feel like it's too fake. Sort of like how I was when I was 15 and trying to be cool. But I wasn't. And that's how I feel about Adam. He's not cool, he's just really good at acting cool. Which also helps explain why Tommy and I hate him. Because we are obviously really cool, writing this American Idol blog and all.
ME: This was predicable in its unpredictability. Adam wasn't going to do something uptempo because that's what everyone else was going to do. Still, how much better would it have been if he stayed in line with everyone else and still ran circles around everyone else? He's got his haters, but I can't fight it anymore ' I get excited when Adam Lambert takes the stage. And that's the mark of a great performer.
Matt Giraud - Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees
TB: Someone had to sing this song. And it had to be Matt Giraud. A ballsy/stupid move, considering he could have easily been singing that song in the shower this week. But all he has to do is stay in Top 5 territory which I think he pulled off. The song choice wasn't the best, but his performance was way less hokey than i thought it was gunna be and lucky for him Anoop and Lil sucked so hard. I would fucking hate to follow Adam, though. And it super sucks when the bitchy new judge immediately compares you to him. It's alright, Matt, I would try to distance myself from that douche as much as possible. Besides, Kara's certainly no Paula anyway.
LP: I'm glad it was Matt that sang this song and not Adam. Adam would have been so good, but in a way that would have made me totally hate him. Matt was just okay, and that made me like him. I mean, he could have really sucked.
ME: This is my favorite performance from him in a while. I was totally feeling the bridge and he didn't look as stupid as he usually does when he plays Poor Man's Justin Timberlake.
Anoop Desai - Dim All The Lights
TB: Anoop looked like he was about to sing at Easter service. Ohhhhhh when they roooollled the stone away! But unlike Jesus, you will not be rising again once you and Lil are crucified before the masses. His voice was good, I guess, but it's kind of hard to notice when you're fighting the urge to punch your TV. Anoop, you're true colors came shinging through tonight. And that color was pink. Like a pussy. A big pussy. You just aren't cool enough to whip out these sexy, R&B songs. It's whiny and awkward and smacks of this quiet desparation to be loved. I just don't believe anything you sing. But I do believe Seacrest when he says you look like Groucho Marx
LP: I don't know, I kind of liked it. Although, the more I see of him, the less I would like to hang out with him. And that doesn't really help Anoop since the main reason why I liked him this whole time was because he was the one I'd want to hang out with. Just in general, I don't think guys should wear pink. Whether they are a real man, as Paula apparently thinks Anoop is, or not.
ME: I don't think Anoop wants to be the next American Idol. I think he's looking for a girlfriend. I could see him perform this song at a karaoke bar to close the deal on the slutty sorority chick whose had a few too many Malibu and Diets. Could this be the greatest Match.com profile ever?
ELIMANATED: Lil Rounds and Anoop Desai
Totally deserved, obviously the weakest of links.
- Arts Events
- First Person Fest
- Last Chance
- On the Fringe
- Philly Artists
- The Curator
- Visual Art
- Arts News
- Artist Profile
- Arts Preview
- Street Art
- Been There, Done That
- Big Ups
- LOL With It
- Critical Mass
- Friday Fill-in
- Ice Cubes
- In Memoriam
- Just Do It
- Just Opened
- Art Phag
- Film Fest
- Movie Review
- On set
- 10 Track Mind
- Album Review
- Concert Review
- Local Support
- Now Hear This
- One Track Mind
- Philly Bands
- Somebody Else Was There
- The Showdown
- concert photos
- DJ Nights Blogged
- Night Watch
- Now See This
- Poetic License
- Printed Matter
- What We Heart
- Idol Hands
- Mad Men
- True Blood
- Useless Lost Recaps
- Couch Potato
- Shore Trash
- Turned ONN
- Video Games
- Free Online Game
- PlayStation 2
- The 1-Upper
- Web Junk
- CAGE MATCH
- Free Online Toy
- Weekend Omnibus