Tag Archives: JamesDurbin

American Idol 10: Top Four Performance

“You must vote!” extolled Ryan at the end of tonight’s broadcast. “Remember, this is the week Daughtry went home!”

Yeah, the show’s never really quite recovered from that, have they?

Tonight was a mishmash of two stitched together themes that didn’t go together. This feeling was compounded by the decision, for the first time, to have the top four swap order half way through the show, so that they could extra pimp James by having him both Open and Close the show. (It also helps confuse the phone numbers around so people might vote wrong. Already Slezak is pumping Haley as 02 and 06, when she’s 02 and 05.) Extra pimping on James is probably not a bad thing, since he is our last best hope for taking down Scotty’s douchbaggy Alfred E Newman face. But, like last week, James showed that he is neither Cook, nor Lambert. He’s not up to this task.

Everyone who hasn’t faced it, should turn around and face it now–Scotty will win in two weeks. Repeat after me: It will be good for the long-term health of the franchise. It will. Idol has The Voice’s flash’n’trash, nipping at its heels, waving the Frenchie flag. X-Factor started taping this past weekend. Simon and Paula are getting the band back together and coming to remind you that of the original Idol Judge Set, Randy was the one you always wanted gone anyway. Idol NEEDS the industry cred. The producers needs to be able to point to their winner (not their first runner up, not their fourth place finisher, but their WINNER) and say “PLATINUM selling artist.” Yes, Cook went Platinum after Season 7, but he didn’t have the string of singles the way Carrie did after Season 4, and his career, though moving along at a good pace, is taking the Kelly Clarkson slow build route. They can’t afford to wait for that.  They need the astronomical sales on the first album, the string of number one singles. They can do that in country radio, in a way they can’t in rock/pop anymore. They can do that with Scotty.

As for the three shaking themselves out for the runner-up positions: Continue reading

American Idol 10: Top 5 Performances


I am, of course, talking about the judging. Now, I’ve always hated Randy as a judge, because he is just such a damned bad producer’s mouthpiece. By the end of her run, Paula was worse, but she never quite topped Randy for the obsequious way he wormed about whichever contestant he was instructed to praise, and his mealy mouth bullshit when he was throwing someone under the idol bus.

I had real hope this season when they moved him to Simon’s chair. Perhaps he would finally be free of these constraints, and actually, you know, judge. I was wrong. They should have fired his ass this summer and kept Kara instead. Yeah, I said it. They should have fired his ass this summer and kept Kara. At least Kara told you what she thought of your singing, and didn’t just parrot whatever liner notes she was given. Kara had real sentences, and not idiot IN IT TO WIN IT style catchphrases that spit out like a string got pulled. Randy is completely useless, and if the producers have any sense of what’s needed after X-Factor debuts in the fall and we all get that Simon Cowell fix that this season is giving us serious cravings for, they’ll fire him and find someone who’s not a grade A useless twatwaddle.

*Phew.* I feel better, now that that’s out of my system.

To the contestants! Two songs each! Now and Then! Continue reading

American Idol 10: Top 6 Elimination


Ding Dong, Casey’s gone.  I said it yesterday, and my opinion did not change watching it back. Left to his own devices, and a few weeks of feeling safe, Casey forgot why he needed to be saved in the first place and reverted back to growling and playacting. Not only was what he did an insult to having been saved, but it was unmarketable. Huzzah for another week of Jacob!

I was only sorry that Lauren didn’t round out that bottom three* group left on stage (*sorry, did you notice, Ryan never actually called them the bottom three? These little details matter. Idol is not Project Runway where they lie to us with impunity, as if we don’t have the internet. If they don’t actually say it’s the bottom three during the broadcast, that’s probably because it wasn’t.) Instead we got the visual of Scotty not being so front runner after all. Was he really in the bottom? Or was that a ploy to gin his fan base?

It was good to see and hear Crystal again. I hope she gets more airplay.

The best news? The theme next week is “Now and Then” (Then being the 60s, natch.) Did you just do the math? Next week, we get TWO SONGS EACH by the contestants!!  I am OVER THE MOON.

American Idol 10: Top 6 Performances

American Idol finally got around to the Carole King songbook this evening. It was only about four or five seasons later than they should have, and on a season where they’ve been trumpeting how 21st century they’ve become. Well, the stripes, they don’t really change on the animal, no matter how hard it strains.

My first reaction was “6 contestants, 90 minutes?” Less Filler Tastes Great, too bad Idol thinks it’s Filler time. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to see said filler was actually taking a page from the last two season’s Top Four week, where rather than make the contestants do two songs a piece, they had them do one plus a duet in order to give the judges more time to blather and preen. Adding it to Top 6 instead week meant we got more music not less, of which I highly approved. Especially because it gave me hope: If they’re already getting the Idols to do one-and-a-half songs by Top 6, that might just mean we get our old two-songs-each starting on Top Five week like we used to. I continue to hope the producers learned their lesson, that the longer ramp up is really needed by contestants, after Lee’s crash and burn during last year’s finale. This is a sign that they did. I’m holding onto it with both hands, so don’t let me down guys.

Continue reading

American Idol 10: Top 7 Performances

I WAS PROMISED BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN.  Stupid Idol rumor mongers.


So tonight was Songs from the 21st Century. Noted that Ryan said the songs had to be *recorded* post millennium, not just released. Nice closing of that loophole, boys.

Also of note, this is the first time in the History of Idol we’ve had the cast offs come back before the finale and do a number. I actually didn’t pay that much attention–it was just a group of indistinguishable girls (and Paul and his suit!)  See Jimmy, I’ve forgotten them already. They went out in 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th place. They don’t get record deals on par with those who make the top 5. Stop trying to make the cast-offs happen. (Also, could we stop with the Junior Varsity Pyro? Thanks.)

As for the actual contestants still left in the competition…. Continue reading

American Idol 10: Top 8 Eliminiation

Thank god, a guy finally went home, so Nigel and co can’t spend another week fanning the flames of “American Idol Voter” controversy.  Talk about screwing your long term viability for a short term q-rating fix.

What a difference Paul’s elimination was compared to Pia’s.  This is the difference between someone doing it for the fame, and someone doing it for the love of music.  Paul didn’t break down into sobs like his life was over.  He knows perfectly well he’ll be on stage this time next week, albeit one that’s a little smaller, and maybe one with a crowd that was a little bigger than it was back in January.  He was never trying to make the top five, he was just trying to make some connections, and ensure that he never has to quit doing this and get a real job.

Mission accomplished.  Here’s to you and your ridiculous rose suits, Paul McDonald.  Here’s to you.

American Idol 10: Top 8 Performances

The theme this week was song from cinema.  Considering that this is the theme that usually brings with it “Against All Odds,” “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” and “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman,” I was expecting a completely miserable show.  Instead I got a show that was only half miserable!  There were actual risks taken.  There were interesting song choices made.  And then there were Paul and Lauren.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  The judging once again was terrible.  At least Randy made a move at one point to say something wasn’t the best thing heard on the idol stage, but it was too little too late.  By the time he finally got to a contestant he’d been told to pan, I’d stopped listening three contestants ago. J.Lo was worse than useless.  I wish I knew who told her to stop being real up there. They did her a real disservice. (Curiously, the change seems to have occurred the same time Will.i.am started showing up to work everyday. Coincidence?) The fact that all three judges blew sunshine up contestant after contestant’s ass was proof that the idol brass has not gotten the message that a Kinder Gentler Judging Panel is going over like a lead balloon.  The critiques from the judges were so bad, I not only found myself missing Simon, but silently rifling through my mental catalog of his Standard Issue Idol Takedowns to guess which chestnut he would’ve pulled out this week for each contestant.  I have included them below in my recaps. Continue reading

American Idol 10: Top 9 Elimination

Alternative title to this post: JESUS FUCKING CHRIST ALMIGHTY.  That’s FIVE women eliminated in a row, one guy saved.

Look, I will be the first to say that Pia had problems.  First, foremost, and probably most damningly, she was dull and predictable.  Her internal musical database really didn’t expand much past “The Celine Dion Catalog.”  She sang gorgeously, but as I stated before, that hasn’t won anyone Idol since its first incarnation (Seasons 1-3.)  Worse, she was robotic on stage, and she didn’t really show any growth.  She sang perfectly her first night out, in a way that she probably would never really top.  Lack of a growth arc on idol means that the voters don’t get invested in you.  I really never saw her as making it past the Top Five.

But this streak of male domination that’s been dogging idol for several seasons now is a HUGE problem. It was the main culprit behind season nine’s demise. Worse, it LOOKS BAD to us viewers at home.  Any successful Idol contestant knows they are only as good as their last performance.  The same goes for the show itself.  The more the show looks to be a bunch of hormonal 13 year olds voting their crushes, the less gravitas it’s going to have.  For a show that’s spent the last decade being a cultural force in the pop music industry to find itself descending into perceived irrelevance because it cannot find a way to keep gender parity is embarrassing to all involved.

I would not be surprised if next year there is a silent edict that whatever happens NOT to use the save on a male.  (Noted:  the save has only ever been used on guys on this show.)

(On a happy note: IGGY POP!!  ON IDOL!! SCARING THE TEENY BOPPERS!!  Oh, it was glorious.)