The Day American Idol Ruined Madonna

This is already untimely, so without further ado:

1. Heard it Through the Grapevine, Candice: Was too busy finding the WordPress app to pay attention but I imagine it was good.

2. Janelle and Kree are singing the Motown classic, Like a Prayer: It’s like every Saturday night I had in college, except Jodi Foster and Ricki Lake were on lead vocals. Instead of me.

3. For Once in My Life, Lazaro: What’s the over/under on how far into the performance before he face sweats? 7 seconds? Also… Hashtag Gold Lame.

4. Someone should probably tell Nicki Minaj that Smokey Robinson does not look that young naturally.

5. Zumba mention! Drink.

6. Is it just me, or does Ryan seem even more robotic than usual?

7. Keep Me Hanging On, Janelle: Remember those days when they didn’t have backup singers on AI? I sometimes miss those days. Also… She’s looking a little cross-eyed.

8. How many times has Keith been to Detroit outside of doing concerts? Exactly. #DetroitVsEverybody (if you want to look like Keith or say…show your love for the D)

9. Tracks of My Tears, Devin: Smokey’s reaction to Devin saying he was singing this song. “Ohhhhhh…..weeee! Oohhhhhh….wee! Ok….” (Just imagine a squealing, scared pig.). Also, clearly there’s a stylist on the AI payroll whose fashion icon is TinTin.

10. Candice, Squirrel Head and Amber are singing The Supremes. I may have to start calling Squirrel Head something else, now that she has a hairbrush … like Disney Era Miley.

11. So hashtag pow is now a thing. Or #pow

12. My Shari Amor, Brunell: So Rick James is now a flautist? I mean, aside from dead. He’s dead right? I mean, no one could still be alive after that much cocaine? Right?

13. Nicki thinks Brunell is dressed like a doctor. I think he’s dressed like Ashton Kutcher during his Kabbalah phase.

Shoulder pads and white running shoes needed ASAP
Shoulder pads and white running shoes needed ASAP

14. Shop Around, Disney Era Miley: no seriously, what is going on with her hair? Also, if she was wearing white running shoes, she’d be the perfect 1980s working woman in that dress.

15. Sometimes I can’t tell if Keith is more proud papa towards DEM… or creepy uncle.

16. Some Stevie Wonder song that i Should know the title of, but don’t, by Amber: Her mouth is just… Incredibly huge. However, best performance so far.

17. Tour de force=fucking amazing (?)

18. The three guys sing something. Let’s be real… They’re just going to get picked off one by one anyway.

19. Wow. There was some serious bus throwing.

20. Don’t Play That Song, Kree: I actually really like Kree and I don’t have much snark left in me at this point. And the fact she can walk in those shoes is admirable.

The Sessionista

PS:  No really….why was “Like a Prayer” on Motown night? Other than the fact that Madonna is from Michigan. Because you know… so is Ted Nugent.


American Idol: Hashtag Pow

It’s that time of year again where I get to stay up until midnight writing snark about people I don’t know! Yay! At this point in the competition, I don’t know anyone’s names, I just call them by nicknames like “that girl,” “that other girl,” “that guy that’s sort of bad” etc. Luckily in the opening sequence everyone is being introduced and telling us what they want to be and who they are (all I caught was Angie saying she was an Irish girl, in a Southern accent).

This woman has somehow earned the right to judge you.
This woman has somehow earned the right to judge you.

Out come the judges, which means we get to see Mariah walk without assistance, which I was beginning to think was physically impossible. There’s no Nicki Minaj which is unfortunate, because I have been DYING to see what she looks like from the waist down (well, if by “dying” I mean “interested, but not enough to do a Google Image search).  Apparently Nicki is stuck in traffic.

Out come the kids and everyone is wearing a slightly uglier version of what they would have chosen for themselves. Somebody must have stolen Lazaro’s pink shirt while he was sleeping because it is nowhere in sight. Sad face. The theme for the night is “Music of Past American Idols” which is appropriately vague.

Curtis: Curtis wants to be a modern day Luthor Vandross (can you be a modern day Luthor Vandross? I mean, he’s technically modern day already). Great! I can’t wait for his churchy ballad. He’s singing Fantasia “I Believe.” I’m going to be sad if there’s no church choir (although if there’s not, I’m mollified by his paisley smoking jacket. You know Randy is plotting how to rip it off of him). Yay! There’s that choir. No robes, but close enough, since they streamed out in a line in a dramatic reveal. Do you think any of these backup singers ever tried out for American Idol? $100 says yes. At least one of them, at one point in their life. Keith likes it. Randy calls his jacket “fly” (ha!). I give this a 7.  Maybe a 7.5 for the bold jacket choice.

Ryan just walks off stage left, while talking, as the show goes to commercial (finally, he’s cracking. It’s happening. IT’S HAPPENING.)

Janelle: Janelle is telling us about how she saw Steven Tyler at the Idol Mansion (not at all creepy) while almost flashing her cooch. I’m hoping they remind us that she’s a fitness instructor which is…not going to lie…kind of hard to believe. She’s singing some song that Scotty McCreery did on the show by Montgomery Gentry (I could have that wrong. Listening, watching and typing are two tasks more than I am capable of handling). So I guess by “Idol songs ” we mean “songs that at one time were sung on American Idol by a winner.” Her backup singers look like they’d rather be getting root canals. I actually like Janelle –  she seems really comfortable on stage. She had some bad notes and she has a habit of pulling the mic away while doing big notes (which is probably a good thing given some of those notes were off). Nicki is suddenly back. Wearing a hoodie and sunglasses (I actually thought it was a seat filler at first). Keith thinks it’s “great.” Nicki is not a huge fan of her song choice (but I’m not even sure Nicki was there for most of the performance, so it kind of doesn’t count). Randy concurs with Nicki. Mariah thinks she has a “star aura.” I give this an 8, in part for the shadowy stallion on her t-shirt.

America, Meet Paul and Devin.
America, Meet Paul and Devin.

Devin: The first of the Ambiguously Gay Duo is up! He’s singing a Carrie Underwood song, “Temporary Home” (we’re treated to a some good Carrie Underwood Before She Thinned Out and Got a Stylist footage). Devin has a nice voice but I am super bored. On the plus side, it’s giving me two minutes to eat Mr. Sesh’s ice cream (to be clear, that is not a euphemism). Keith thought it sucked (mmm… my words, technically), Nicki took her glasses off and thinks it was wonderful. It just occurred to me Nicki maybe didn’t have time to go to wardrobe and is literally wearing a sweatshirt and t-shirt. Randy thinks it was lame and Mariah expects more.  I give this a 5 for being snoozy.

Angie: Squirrel Head is up next (Mr. Sesh: “Who’s that chick with the big pouf on her head?” Me: “What?” Mr. Sesh: “The chick with the squirrel thing on her head.” Me: “Oh. Right. Angie.”) and Jimmy Iovine thinks she acts like a pageant girl (which… I do not see). She’s singing “I Surrender” by Celine Dion, because that’s not pagenty at all (apparently I missed the season that Celine Dion won American Idol). The squirrel on her head has been groomed so it looks more like regular hair, but the 50 Shades of Slutty Dominatrix dress doesn’t disappoint, nor does her epic, classic camera-following gaze. I thought this kind of sucked, and I think she’s normally pretty good. Maybe the song is just not my thing. Keith (who is quickly becoming the coherent Paula of the group) is a fan, Nicki is making some borderline creeper comments about Angie’s legs (and her ability to walk in heels, which, frankly, I’m jealous of ALL of these 18-year-old girls who can walk in heels). Randy kindly drops the “in it to win it” phrase and Mariah thinks it was “stellar” (then the audience sort of pauses and claps awkwardly. Mariah is great at making what are supposed to be grand, dramatic statements that completely fall flat).

Paul: The second half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo is up! Side note, how is this guy named Paul? He is not a Paul. Sorry. He’s just not. Someone (Jimmy Iovine) needs to tell him that. Also, Paul Jolley. Paul JOLLEY. I mean, there is no way this guy hasn’t performed on a cruise ship (although he did say he has never sang Broadway…so… maybe not). Another Scotty song! Well, “Amazed,” as done by Scotty. He’s trying really hard not to over sing/over perform it…it’s like you can see him trying to control his forehead and eyebrow expressions. Like a giant botox commercial. Also, there are falling rose petals on the video boards. Good to see they’re going to phone that part in again this year. Keith loves that song, Nicki’s sexual appetites are stimulated (which seems to make Mr. Jolley pretty uncomfortable). Randy thinks Paul’s been listening to Jimmy and “all of us” because god forbid he not get credit, and Mariah (who is mastering “exasperated”) says something that I completely failed to write down. For the second time tonight I have written ‘and Mariah’ and then nothing. I give this an 8.

Candice: Candice (who is wearing, to put it bluntly, a shit ton of makeup) is singing I (Who Have Nothing), which Jordin Sparks did back before she was collaborating with that douche bag Chris Brown (which, if we’re getting technical, was before we all KNEW that Chris Brown was, indeed, a douche bag, so I can’t be too hard on her). Candice has a pretty good voice. And Candice has a timpani player. Candice will win this all, and she better remember to thank her timpani player when the confetti is raining down. Randy thought it was “the greatest performance on this show of this Season 12 ever” (or similar). Mariah should lobby to go first sometimes, because we’ve all checked out by the time she begins to speak (well until she got in that comment about Ryan knowing how to work a skirt. zing!). I give her (Candice, not Ryan) a 9.

This pink shirt is more famous than I will ever be.
This pink shirt is more famous than I will ever be.

Lazaro: I’m still sad he’s not wearing his pink shirt (but he’s dressed like he’s doing the jive on Dancing With The Stars, so there’s still some blog fodder to be had).  Oh wait. Wait. There it is. The pink shirt. In the interview sequence. He’s singing “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson. Lazaro needs to take camera following lessons from Angie. The Richie Valens thing is kind of working for him from the neck up though. The Ronald McDonald shoes are not. We’ve gone from cracked desert to Windows 95 start-up screen (thanks mr. sesh) to generic pink clouds, which makes me think the guy operating the video board finally discovered what happens when he hits the “random” button. Keith asks Lazaro a question and then immediately regrets it. As does Lazaro. Randy starts with “For me” which is NEVER a good sign. Mariah talks about vulnerability and obstacles (“whatever they are” Read: I’m talking about your stutter, but I’m not going to say it). I give this a 7. I don’t like this song, but I do like Lazaro. And I want to see if the Pink Shirt makes it for 10 straight weeks of screen time).

Kree: Every time I see Kree I try to figure out who she looks like. Right now I’m thinking Demi Moore meets Liv Tyler When She Was Rounder meets the Biggest Kardashian Girl. She’s singing “Crying” by Roy Orbison/Carrie Underwood. I think Kree is one of the most commercially viable contestants they have. I don’t know if she has enough pizzazz (or teenage power voters) to win, but she could probably churn out a few country albums before fading into obscurity. Also, is her name really Kree? That seems contrived. Keith drops the annoying, overplayed “sing the phonebook” comment (which no one would want to listen to even if it was Whitney Houston at Her Peak Before Being Ravaged by Cocaine). Nicki tells us she eats waffles when she’s not working. I just realized Randy has a giant + Boy shirt on and a pin that says HI. Why have I not addressed Randy’s outfit? I’m slipping. I give this song a 7.5 because I was, well….bored. Again.  But her eye makeup was good. So… there’s that. Also, she goes in for the full frontal Ryan hug and then calls him Randy. I like her even more now.

Burnell, before discovering that magic that is the tapestry hat.
Burnell, before discovering that magic that is the tapestry hat.

Burnell: I still can not reconcile in my head that Burnell of the Tapestry Hats is the same guy that tried out looking like he just got off a shift at the local cannery. It’s like he tried out, then someone sent him through a Hipster Factory and now he wears dorky hats and glasses. The bad news for Burnell (who is singing Reuben Studdard [there’s a career to replicate…]) is that the stylists took all his signature looks away and now we’re all like “wait, who’s this dude in the leopard print shirt?” Also, side note, he’s wearing the same jacket at Paul Jolley. Times are apparently tough at American Idol. Keith thinks it’s great. Nicki admits she was obsessed with Reuben’s first album (he had an album?), I can’t score this because I wasn’t really listening. Sorry. My dog was doing something cute so I got distracted.

Amber:  Little Miss is predictably singing Kelly Clarkson “A Moment Like This”… Jimmy calls her pretty, which she immediately translates to “beautiful.” She does sort of look like a young Whitney (like, literally looks like her, not necessarily her voice). Hmm. Where do I begin with this? The song is way too fast so it loses all of its grandiosity because there’s no build up. Her outfit is all sorts of awful (get a glimpse of the mini boot/flats which she has paired with her flowing evening gown…)…and I think the fan guy forgot to start it going until about 30 seconds in. All the judges are DYING over this performance (apparently it was more exciting in person). Mariah says, I’m not even kidding “hashtag pow,” after previously mentioning twitter (Read: “I’m cool. I use Twitter. LOVE ME!!!!”)

Predicted Bottom 3: Devin, Curtis, Janelle (or maybe Amber. I know. Bold choice, esp given the pimp slot at the end).

Things I’m going to like about this season: Keith Urban’s accent, Nicki’s facial expressions (which have no filter), Keith Urban’s t-shirts, Nicki’s Hello Kitty mirror.

Things I’m going to hate about this season: Nicki’s fake British accent, Mariah’s worthless commentary, the fact that two hours of my life are sucked up by this shit.


The Sessionista