The theme this week is a song from the year you were born. So, basically, it’s ‘80s week again. That’s right folks, most of these kids were born in the 1980s. Wrap your brain around that one. Michael Johns and little David each just barely missed the decade, in opposite directions. Erin, I’ll be recapping the rest of the show from my rocking chair. Thank God the show is now only 90 minutes. That’s 30 minutes of my life I get back every week.
Nothing says “You’re closer to the shroud” like showing talented tykes born in a year you clearly remember. When David A. was born, I went to my first Spring Fling. Share the chair, Kath. I’m just a few months away from chasing kids off my lawn and earning the title of “Neighborhood Crazy Lady.”
A moment of silence for Amanda please… Oh, rocker nurse. I shall miss you and your one-trick pony ways. Good luck and God bless.
And back to the show…
On the vidclips, moms and dads hype up the fruit of their loins while “Idol” contestants chat about their signs and moments of the childhood. We’ll choose the best moment from each clip.
Ramiele (TV Guide power ranking #8)
Vidclip tidbit: She used to bite other kids. She could still bite people on the ankles.
Song: “Alone” (Heart, 1987)
Kathy: Finally, the little girl with the big voice chooses a song with some big notes. Perhaps next week she could try hitting some of those notes.
Erin: Her performance sets the tone of the night and the real theme of the show: Songs from the DMV Line. Boring, boring, boring.
Paula Abdul and her fingerless gloves: I give you a lot of brave
Jason Castro (TV Guide power ranking #5)
Vidclip tidbit: He can’t pronounce “Aries.”
Song: “Fragile” (Sting, 1987) — with guitar
Kathy: I hated this song when Sting sang it. I hate it even more now. Even Jason admits he could spend a little more time practicing.
Erin: The song fits his coffeehouse vibe. If I saw him play, I would totally throw a buck into his open guitar case. And then never think of him again. Simon was right on the money when he said that Jason was in his own world, which probably consists of a lot of Phish posters and black lights.
Syesha (TV Guide power ranking #9)
Vidclip tidbit: She cried a lot as a baby. And proves it with the crying baby imitation. Again.
Song: “If I Were Your Woman” (Gladys Knight, 1987)
Kathy: She hits all the notes but I am distracted by the way she sings “If I WAS Your Woman.” Bad grammar will win you no points with me, young lady.
Erin: First off, the baby crying thing she does in not endearing. It’s creepy and gross and it needs to stop. As for the song, technically speaking, she hits all the notes. That said, I just don’t care. I am sick of ballads. It’s only three songs in to the show and I’m ready to check out the skanks on “Rock of Love.”
Chikezie (TV Guide power ranking #10)
Vidclip tidbit: Used to sing to his mom but didn’t know the words
Song: “If Only for One Night” (Luther Vandross, 1985)
Kathy: Awful song, awful performance. Chikezie is boring beyond his years.
Erin: “It’s like Luther Vandross was the ‘Last King of Scotland.’” — roommate Paula.
I’m beaten. Really. “American Idol” crushed my spirit and won the war against my patience. The only reason I’m still watching it is because I hurt my neck at the gym and I can’t get up to turn the channel. Chikezie gives us another boring ballad of another song I would never listen to willingly.
Brooke White (TV Guide power ranking #3)
Vidclip tidbit: Plays piano by ear
Song: “Every Breath You Take” (Police, 1983) — with piano and straightened hair
Kathy: She messed up the very first note, stopped, and started over. If this had been a gymnastics meet, that would have been an automatic 1 point deduction. Instead the judges seem to find it admirable. She hit all the notes after that first bum one and it was, you know, fine. But the words were clipped with no feeling. I really missed that stalker vibe Sting brought to the song.
Erin: Brooke takes a perfectly good song about stalking and obsession and gives it a G-rated twist. Now it’s a song about a loved one, probably a family member like Grandma, looking over a young precious tyke with adoring eyes. “I’ll be watching you,” she whispers as her grandchild plays with other scamps in the schoolyard.
See that? I just made it creepier.
Now you can design the judges’ coke cups?! Please stop. Just stop.
Michael Johns (TV Guide power ranking #6)
Vidclip tidbit: Was a poor sport as a child
Song: “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions” (Queen, 1978)
Kathy: You know that thing I said about not singing Queen? You are exempt Michael. You rocked this stadium classic. This was your best performance since “Bohemian Rhapsody” in Hollywood. In fact, I think maybe you should only sing Queen songs.
Erin: FINALLY. Thank you, Australia, for lending us Michael. I will only talk fondly now of Koala Blue. Michael’s parents babble on about their darling boy. Something about a happy childhood with very few dingoes eating their babies. I’m only half listening to it, totally expecting another ballad. But than Michael surprises me with glorious Queen. He not only delivers a song that isn’t going to lull me to sleep, but a hell of a performance. During the perf, the boy had enough light on him to trick auds into thinking it was the Second Coming. And judging from the screaming girls, I think the ruse was successful.
Carly (TV Guide power ranking #4)
Vidclip tidbit: Had lots of curly blond hair as a child. And no tattoos.
Song: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (Bonnie Tyler, 1983)
Kathy: Here’s the thing. I looked away from the TV for a bit. OK, most of the episode. Give me a break, I was shopping on Ebay. There’s only so much of this crap I can take. Anywho, I paid very little attention when I heard her start this horrific song. Then I heard some really good vocals, only to look up and realize it was the backup singer. Next week can the theme be “Backup singers perform”? Carly, my dear, you could run away with this competition if only you stopped picking ghastly songs.
Erin: This is my song. I have been performing this song in karaoke for the past decade as my crowd pleaser. But when I do it, I flourish the act with hand gestures, crying jags and sweeping movements to symbolize my heartbreak. I could have given a few tips to Carly, who was robotic and stiff. On the bright side, it looks like Fox let her husband emerge from hiding for a little camera time.
Hey Kathy, what the hell was with the bathroom talk at the end? It was disturbing.
Kathy: I don’t know but…Oh. My. God. Also, I think I’d like this song better if I heard your version.
iTunes plug. Sigh.
Why didn’t they have iTunes downloads in seasons 1-4, when there were actually performances I might have wanted to see again? Seriously. There has not been one performance this entire season that moved me, save Asia’h’s initial audition song to her dad. Not one rendition of any song that made me feel like the person singing even understood what they were singing about. Not one to make me sit up and take notice or say “Wow.” I guess I’ll just have to satisfy myself with “American Idol Rewind’s” repeats of Kelly’s “Natural Woman” or Fantasia’s “Summertime.”
David A. (TV Guide power ranking #1)
Vidclip tidbit: He may miss the prom. And they show his girlfriend in the audience and little pre-pubescent hearts all across America break.
Song: Who knows or cares? (1990)
Kathy: Awful performance. He gets the trophy for most inconsistent contestant. Keep it up and you just might be back in Utah in time for the prom, David. I have never heard this hor
rific song and hope to never hear it again. Of course, it’s possible I was already in the early stages of Alzheimers by 1990 but I have a feeling I’m not alone here. Erin?
Erin: I am completely stumped on this one. I mean, I was 15 when this song supposedly came out, and I have a pretty good memory. I can remember all of the original castmembers of “Degrassi Jr. High,” the lyrics to the “ALF” cartoon and can recite the fictional family trees of V.C. Andrews’ clans, but I have no idea what this boy is singing. And neither do the judges. And because I don’t know it, I hate it. I know this is shallow and closed-minded, but I’m old and set in my ways. I don’t like new things. And you can’t make me.
Kristy (TV Guide power ranking #7)
Vidclip tidbit: No horse in this week’s preamble. Shocking!
Song: “God Bless the U.S.A.” (Lee Greenwood, 1984)
Kathy: Kristy you might curry favor in middle America with this redneck anthem but it won’t work on me. You need to go home. And soon.
Erin: DONE! I am friggin’ done with this chick. She should have never made it to the Top 12. And now that she’s made it this far, I’m doomed to watch her for the rest of my life in bizarre hosting gigs for the TV Guide channel. Her song choice was insipid. I don’t care if she did it well, I couldn’t listen to it for another second. It was grotesque and wrong.
David Cook (TV Guide power ranking #2)
Vidclip tidbit: As a baby, he looked like Kazoo from “The Flintstones.”
Song: “Billie Jean” (Michael Jackson, 1982)
Kathy: Randy loved it. Paula was so excited, she couldn’t sit down. Simon thought it was amazing. My friends were emailing me. I don’t get it. David and his massive ego did not put a twist on the song. Chris Cornell did, and David copied him. I don’t like this kid, which probably means he’ll win the whole thing.
Erin: David rocked the pimp spot. This was my favorite performance of the night. Just wow. Much like the way he tore up “Hello,” the rocker with a combover took hold of Jacko’s beloved favorite and made it amazingly cool. I actually think this was one of my favorite perfs of the season.
Honestly, I’m starting to love this kid. Now that Amanda is gone, I have picked him as my new BFF. I would love to go hat shopping with him.
Kathy: Michael and that’s it
Erin: David Cook, Michael Johns
Kathy: David A., Chikezie, Carly
Erin: Kristy, plus any two of the others
P.S. In “Idol” news, Josiah gets record deal.
Kathy: Say it ain’t so!
Erin: At least my driveway is safe now.