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American Idol: It’s Only Rock and Roll and I Wanted to Like It

April 7, 2011

The idol hopefuls tackle Rock and Roll and I love Rock and Roll so put another dime in the jukebox, baby!

Jacob Lusk: I guess there’s no better way to start off Rock and Roll night on American Idol than to have the person least likely to ever sing a Rock and Roll song in his life start off the night and get him out of the way. So Jacob doesn’t want to sing Marvin Gaye’s sexy, Let’s Get it On? That’s all right because I never considered Marvin Gaye a Rock and Roll singer anyway. So Jacob picks Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror which (let me get my tongue really deep in my mouth here) is probably one of the most famous and enduring Rock and Roll songs of all time. OK, so I accept that Jacob wants to do Michael and call it Rock and Roll but I don’t accept Jacob’s proclamation that if he fails doing Michael and calling it Rock and Roll it’s not his fault for picking a bad song, or his fault for singing that song poorly, but it’s our fault for being whatever or whomever. Yeah, right. Remember that Jacob Lusk love train I’ve been on since the beginning of the show? I just left that train. Jacob sang the song well, but who cares? Call me a racist, Jacob, or call me a homophobe, but I couldn’t care less at this point how well you do or how long you last on the show because I’m not going to kowtow to a prima donna who can’t accept his own shortcomings and take responsibility for his own mistakes.

Haley Reinhart: Wow, Haley, this was just about… hmmm, I don’t know, how should I put it? This was just about the worst performance I’ve ever heard on American Idol. Ever. All the hours I’ve spent listening to Janis Joplin over the years and I’d give them all back for the chance to not have to listen to this interpretation ever again and that includes the snippets we’ll get on the results show tonight. Whichever one of the three judges made the Janis comparison (Randy?) a few weeks ago didn’t do Haley any favors. This sounded less like a singing performance and more like the scene described by Darrell Brooks in seventh grade who claimed to have tied the tails of two cats together and tossed them over a clothesline in his backyard to watch them fight*. Anyway, Haley has a powerful voice, she just doesn’t have anything near Janis’ voice and it’s unfortunate that she tried.

*No animals were harmed in the telling of that story.

Casey Abrams: I like everything about Casey and I like when Casey plays the bass. I don’t like that Casey has revealed himself to be a one-dimensional singer. I still think Casey’s good, but I don’t see much of anything unique* or exciting about him anymore. Maybe he’s still freaked out about the elimination and subsequent save, but I want edgy Casey and not loungey Casey. He picked a great song for his voice and performed a very bland and very safe rendition of a very emotional and powerful song. So, c’mon, Casey, put a spell on me again.

* Q) How do you catch a unique rabbit? A) Unique up on it.

Lauren Alaina: I thought this was Rock and Roll night? I’m waiting for Rock and Roll and the only singer so far who’s done a Rock and Roll song belongs working in a meat plant for all the butchering she did to her song choice. This was another good performance from Lauren – best of the night so far – even if it was too grown up for her and way too bland. And her shorts looked too tight. Maybe it was the fabric? James is up next so we’ll finally get some Rock and Roll now, right?

James Durbin: Wrong! I respect James’ choice but I don’t agree with it. Regardless, James will have to go a long way to make me question his song choices or find fault with his performance and last night was, in my opinion, another flawless performance. Having said that, I could have done without the final scream. I posted an article on James on Facebook (I’m over there to the right and up a little bit. See?) and if you didn’t seen it there, here it is. It’s a good article and worth taking a look at.

Scotty McCreery: Finally someone got the memo that it was Rock and Roll night on American Idol! Leave it to the Country guy to get it right. I’m not going to sit here and try and think of adjectives to describe Scotty’s performance so I’ll just stop at brilliant. I thought this was every bit as good as, if not better, than Elvis’ original recording of the song.

Pia Toscano: I felt a little uncomfortable watching Pia because she was dressed sort of funny. This isn’t the first time she’s done that and I spend almost as much time trying to figure out what she’s wearing as I do listening to her sing. I guess Pia listened to the judges and went up-tempo and used the stage and she was good, but I really wasn’t sold on the performance. Everyone talks about Celine and Whitney and Mariah, but in my opinion, none of those three singers can hold a candle to Tina Turner and I think Pia, a relatively unemotional singer at this point in her career, doing this song and opening herself up to a comparison to a singer who not only sings a song, but becomes a song, was a mistake.

A shout out to Todd Rundgren? If there’s a singer/songwriter in the world I like less than Todd Rundgren it’s going to take me awhile to figure out who that person is.

Stefano Langone: I feel sorry for Stephano because he really tries hard each week and he really wants to do well and he’s really lost in this competition. I like this song a lot and I disliked this performance a whole bunch. Because I think Stefano’s a nice guy I won’t criticize his performance more than that. Plus, I have these bleeding ears to tend to.

Paul McDonald: Oh, man, it’s going to be difficult to defend Paul on this one! Uh, I liked it, is that good enough? No. Darn. Paul, this is a hard-ass song about a tortured and remorseful killer and when you sang it you were just so… so… happy. You’re a cold-blooded killer who killed a guy for fun and you’re sitting in prison and all you can think about is how messed up your life is and how much you want to be on that train to anywhere and there you are smiling and dancing and… happy. Don’t be happy when you sing this song, Paul! Be sad, be killer sad, but for crying out loud, don’t be happy! Being happy is the last thing you want to be when you sing this song or listen to this song. I hear that Paul train a comin’ and I feel that Paul train a crashin’ hard.

So ends Rock and Roll night on American Idol and I really hope I never have to visit this theme again! At least with this bunch. Final thoughts on the show: the American Idol singer’s idea of Rock and Roll and my idea of Rock and Roll are two very different things.

Bottom Three:

Going Home:

Take your pick between the three, I couldn’t care less. What’s that, I have to pick? OK, I’ll pick… Stephano. The producers aren’t going to let Jacob go this soon and I still have some hope for Paul.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    April 7, 2011 8:36 am

    I wanted James to sing something more rock but it was still good. Good review.


  2. CELT permalink
    April 7, 2011 12:03 pm

    OK, now while I agree with you on SOME of your points, I sure disagree with you on a LOT. Were we watching the same show last night?

    Jacob – OK I never was on the Jacob train so when it derails I’m in no danger. Dunno, there’s just something about his voice – too breathy/pitchy? – that annoys me and I am baffled as to what the judges see in him. Man in the Mirror, while a nice song is more pop than rock IMO.

    Haley – I enjoyed her performance and I agree with the judges that she is a torch singer. I remember Janis well and while her voice is rough and powerful and I enjoyed her stuff I was never as big a Janis fan as some people were. My favourite Janis song was Mercedes Benz – more of a fun little thing that all out rock.

    Casey – I think you may be right about the almost elimination scaring the crap out of Casey because I think he HAS lost his edge. I love it when he plays his big ol’ slap bass (but then I always was attracted to the bass line in any music – give me that bottom, yeah!). I still enjoy Casey though but I have one slightly negative comment – that I wish he’d cave and get his teeth whitened. I really think his yellow teeth are distracting and unnecessary in this day and age. Oh and Casey, you could lose the beard anytime IMO (Man I HATE beards!).

    Lauren – must have been an forgetable performance because I can’t remember for the life of me what she sang. She’s cute and she can sing but she needs to bring more to the table to stay in the competition.

    James – Still my favourite in the competition – like a less shock and more rock version of Adam Lambert from two seasons ago who is to date the ONLY AI success story to have induced me to buy a CD. Too bad that he felt it necessary to take things DOWN a notch last night for rock and roll night when no one could have blamed him for doing yet another high octane rock number. Instead he chose a great rock ballad by the Beatles’ George Harrison and did it justice IMO but he might have been the ONLY one in the competition to really do rock and roll as most picture it and there are millions of congs that would have been more theme friendly than the song he did choose. So what if he would have done another rock anthem – he was BORN to rock!

    Scotty – OK, now this was the FIRST Scotty song I have enjoyed, not being a country fan and the IRONIC thing is that it took a country boy to bring the only genuine, dyed-in-the-wool rock perforance to last night’s competition. He had fun with it, was playful, and Elvis would have approved!

    Pia – I always think what she wears is interesting and man she can sing. I like her and I see diva in her and so what if she doesn’t dance around the stage. I am happy just to listen to her (and I look forward to seeing what she’ll be wearing next).

    Todd Rundgren? Really? Yes! I loved his stuff back in the day.

    Stefano – Good singer but in this year’s competition he hasn’t got a chance.

    Paul – Still can’t appreciate his performances at all. All I can say is he has a nice smile. But his voice is too high, wavery, and I don’t know, not what I want to listen to. He seems to have a following and this puzzles me. Different strokes I guess. Oh and…on what planet is Folsum Prison a ROCK song. Johnny Cash on rock night? Might as well do Aerosmith on country night.

    My PERSONAL pick for bottom three: Jacob, Stefano and Paul and I could care less which one of them goes, just as long as all three eventually go before the end

    Who will probably BE in the bottom 3: Haley, Stefano and Paul

    Who will probably go: – Stefano because the writing’s on the wall – he’s been in the bottom a lot and if not for being a judges pick for top 13 the public had already let him go.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      April 11, 2011 5:52 am

      WordPress seems to shrink the responses as the thread grows so I’ll try and be concise!

      Jacob: I think he has a great voice for soul and I’ve agreed with the Luther Vandross comparisons and I liked Luther. I don’t know that Jacob can do much outside of the soul arena though.

      Haley: I loved Janis. The judges always talk about Whitney and Celine, etc. and I’ve never listened to those singers so I can’t really identify with what they’re saying. But when they make a Janis comparison I do know what they’re saying. Both Amanda Overmyer and Crystal Bowersox auditioned singing Janis songs and Crystal was good and Amanda blew it away. I like Haley and I think she’s a good singer, but I just don’t think she’s anything like Janis (or Crystal or Amanda). I’m not sure I can pick a favorite Janis song.

      Lauren: After Pia’s elimination, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s the next American Idol.

      Pia: Her elimination really makes me question the integrity and legitimacy of the AI voting.

      Todd Rundgren: Yeah, I never liked him at all. I did/do like I Saw the Light because I like Carole King.


  3. April 7, 2011 6:47 pm

    I taped last nights show and will give you my opinions afterwards. I’m watching it now, and must say that group number they did was HORRIBLE. The harmony was so bad I wanted to hit mute…but I didn’t.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      April 11, 2011 5:53 am

      Were you surprised with the who went home?


  4. Sherece permalink
    April 8, 2011 5:42 pm

    OMG – you said Pia’s song choice was a mistake and you were sooooooooooo right! I didn’t think it was bad enough to send her home, but wow! What do you think happened? Were voters complacent and did they think she was safe… they voted for others? Or did she just not connect with the audience enough? Maybe others were distracted by her clothing choices as you were. Hhhhmmmm… dunno. Sad she’s gone, though. Others should have gone first…. i.e. Jacob, Stefano and Haley for sure! I’m sure she’ll get a deal. Or at the very least a hair or makeup ad. She’s a pretty girl! I heard on the radio today that she needed a medic after the show. She had some sort of “episode.” Poor girl. :`( I hope they keep James around awhile! I better start voting!!!


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      April 11, 2011 6:10 am

      I think there are too many teenaged girls voting for Stefano and for the show to be anything more than an entertainment show, they need to give the judges a vote. If the judges had a vote, I don’t think Pia would have been eliminated. But it all worked out well for her anyway if the rumors are true that she was signed by Interscope to a record deal. Even if they’re not true and she just puts out a single, she’ll be doing alright.


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