American Idol 11: Fourth Final (Round of 9)

The story this week is simple: can Heejun Han continue to survive despite bad singing and corny humor?  Let’s find out…

THIS! … is American Idol!

Since Stevie Nicks is the mentor this week, of course the opening montage is set to “Landslide”… interestingly, part of the montage is clips of the eliminated contestants… and Jermaine Jones was left in.  Wonder if we’re going to hear more about him during the season…

The theme tonight is “Songs Of The Idol’s Idols” – which means, perhaps, we might hear something vaguely contemporary.

But first, more promotional time for Tommy Hilfiger, and damn, don’t the Idols look SO thrilled to be standing there listening to him prattle on about style, considering most of them ignored him last week…

And we get the announcement that in order to fill two hours showcase the Idols, they’ll be doing trio numbers in addition to their own solo songs.  This could be really, really… yeah.

Colton Dixon – “Everything” by Lifehouse
Colton’s pandering to the housewives with a “worship song”… yay, another slow ballad.  He does an OK job on a boring song – a little weak at the opening, but he gets through it.  I’m sure he’ll get votes, but this did absolutely nothing for me.  I wouldn’t be shocked if winds up the first of the Bottom Three to be “sent to safety” on the results show.  The judges, naturally, suck up to this… and Randy Jackson is at his incoherent best, babbling about how “Colton wants to win”… well, duh, dawg, they all want to win, otherwise they wouldn’t freaking BE HERE…

Break…

Skylar Laine – “Gunpowder and Lead” by Mrs. Blake Shelton… er… Miranda Lambert
Thank goodness one of the Idols wants to be entertaining rather than worshipful.  Skylar isn’t Miranda, and never will be, but she does a very credible and fun version of “Gunpowder”.  Watching her perform, you can see how comfortable she is on stage… I think I’m going to say this every week – she’s going to be eliminated too soon, but could wind up being the biggest star produced this season.  Too bad Miranda’s kind of attached to The Voice… otherwise this would be an obvious finale duet…

Break… with a warning that Heejun has “a new game plan”… oh boy…

Trios: Colton, Elise, Phillip – Stevie Nicks Medley (“Landslide”/”Edge of Seventeen”/”Don’t Stop”)
So are all three trios doing Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac medleys?  Good question.  We’ll see.  I really can’t say a lot about the trios (and future duos) performances, as I can’t imagine the voters really do much with them.  Basically, you can thank FOX’s horrible comedy development department for this.  The trio was OK, and they filled a couple of minutes, so it worked out, I guess.  Nice of Steven to namedrop Mick Fleetwood.

Heejun Han – “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway
There is no way in hell that Heejun even knows who Donny Hathaway was.  This is a put-up job by the producers, either trying to make him fail or trying to make him sympathetic.  Apparently, Heejun has decided to “start taking it seriously” now.  If he does, he WILL be eliminated quickly.  OK, so that probably is the producers’ plan.  You know what?  As a “serious” crooner, Heejun is dull.  Very, very dull.  Congratulations, Idol.  I wanted him gone, but geez, did you have to make it this obvious that you do, too?  There’s no way that even VFTW can save him now.  In the end, he doesn’t get to fail on his own terms…

Break… while we ponder how manipulative Idol’s producers are.

Oh no… another Coke “Perfect Harmony” competition, as Jimmy Iovine continues to try to shove Jason DeRulo down our throats… um… as Idol sponsors a competition for Idol fans to co-write a song with DeRulo.  At least it’s not an “Idol song” this year – but the song will be premiered on the Idol finale on May 22.

Hollie Cavanagh – “Jesus Take The Wheel” by Carrie Underwood
Great, more sucking up.  At least this wasn’t as boring as Colton’s… but it was close.  The girls can’t afford to be boring right now, they’ll be sitting ducks… and this song might not be enough for Hollie to avoid the Bottom Three.  It’s just not going to be memorable enough for the voters.  It was good.  That’s the best I can say for it.  For once, Steven is right – Hollie should’ve picked a different song.

Break… Deandre tries to recover from his first Bottom Three visit… next…

Deandre Brackensick – “Sometimes I Cry” by Eric Benet
Sometimes I cry (well, not really) when I see these kids convinced to sing sappy ballads instead of being themselves… another meh song choice, another good performance, and another one that will be forgotten 5 minutes after the show ends.  I guess I understand – they’re all trying to play it safe – but really, someone ought to try to stand out from the crowd a bit (thanks, Skylar).  He did get the Idol Glory Note at the end, so that might be enough to pull him through.

Break…

Jessica Sanchez – “Sweet Dreams” by Beyoncé
Oh, joy, another ballad… this show is becoming a beautiful nightmare of slow, painful, safe, painful, annoying, painful ballads.  Doesn’t anyone want to rock out anymore?  Of course, for the Pinoy Princess, it doesn’t matter.  She’s going to get votes if she reads lyrics from a cue sheet, so she’s very, very safe.  I just want someone – anyone – to take a chance and act like they’re having fun on stage instead of acting like they’re having a root canal (again, thanks, Skylar).

Break… poor Randy is going to new heights of inanity trying to hype up these miserably slow ballads… he’s got more energy than almost all of the songs combined…

Trios: Deandre, Heejun, Joshua – Michael Jackson Medley (“Lady In My Life”/”Rock With You”/”P.Y.T.”)
Wait… they were allowed to do an up-tempo segment (even if it’s only one song of the medley)?  Someone’s getting fired for this…

Phillip Phillips – “Still Rainin’” by Jonny Lang
Really, Stevie?  Lindsay Buckingham comparisons?  That’s nice of you, but… really?  Hold on… something’s different… THIS ISN’T A BALLAD!  I know I’ve gotten on him for being this season’s WGWG, but hey, if he wants to come in and save the show from an overdose of slow songs, I’m up for it… and I think it was his best performance of the season, and it was clearly one of the most fun and entertaining songs in the last few weeks.  I’m relieved to see someone just enjoying themselves onstage… good job.

Break… and Ryan says we’re back to the ballads… next…

We have a Dionne Warwick sighting… along with Jordin Sparks and Jason DeRulo.  We can only hope Dionne will show these kids how a real ballad works sometime soon…

Joshua Ledet – ‘’Without You” by Mariah Carey
I didn’t realize this was written by Badfinger until I searched for the song… I always associated it with Harry Nilsson… yes, it’s another ballad, but at least Joshua put some power behind it… he’s got a killer voice, and he’s going to go far… I can’t complain that he does ballads, as it’s his strength and he might as well play to it… nice.

Break… it’s Three Girls Three doing Madonna…

Trios: Hollie, Skylar, Jessica – MDNA… um… Madonna Medley (“Like A Prayer”/”Borderline”/”Express Yourself”)
I hope they’re smart enough to put these three together for a segment on the Idol Tour this summer… that was fun, and it was a pleasant surprise to see Jessica sing something even the slightest bit pop…

Break… Elise, who really needs it, gets the Pimp Spot… next…

Elise Testone – “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin
Wow.  Rock.  And it was fun to listen to… she’s not Robert Plant, but who is?  She did a really good job with it.  I’m worried that she still might not get through (because American Idol voters hate women) – if she gets voted off after this, there won’t be another rock song this season, as the other contestants will decide that safe, wimpy ballads are the way to win.  I think the Pimp Spot will save her…

Montage time… 

My bottom three: Heejun, Colton, Deandre
America’s likely Bottom Three: Hollie, Heejun, Deandre
I’d send home: Heejun
America’s sending home: Maybe Deandre, as America has been picking off the Wild Cards… but probably Heejun, despite Vote For The Worst’s best efforts.

Memo to the judges: stop encouraging them to do ballads.  I want to be entertained by Idol, not put to sleep.  I can understand a couple of ballads each show, but this was painful.

See you tomorrow morning for the results recap (Nicki Minaj and Scotty McCreery perform tonight).

Advertisements

Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s