Disco Nights on American Idol: Not for the weak
By Noah Michelson
And, sadly, they let Lil hang herself on “I’m Every Woman.” Like to the point where I thought the show really had it in for her. And when your best judge comment comes from Paula and, translated into English, she tells you that you sound a lot better today than you did yesterday when you were on vocal rest and weren’t singing at all, you know you’re doomed. But Mrs. Rounds nailed her own coffin shut when, while talking to Seacrest, she referred to Chaka Khan in the past sorry-she’s-dead-now tense. Chaka will be surprised to hear about this development in her career.
Then Gokey. Here’s an idea for you, Danny Gokey. It’s not from me, though. It’s from Willy Wonka, the Candyman himself: “Open your mouth a little wider when you speak.” Because you weren’t shouting your way through Earth Wind & Fire’s “September” in quite a bellowy enough manner. And your precision beard trimmer seems to have you in some kind of hypnotized trance where it convinces you to add lyrics to a song that’s already got plenty and then tells you to change the other words around whenever you darn well feel like it. My man, you have a great voice. Stop acting like a tool.
And just when I figured I might pack it in and go watch Susan Boyle on YouTube again -- Seriously, isn’t that unibrowed, British-teeth-having, middle-aged virgin just the heartwarmingest? -- the kids themselves flipped the script on the night with non-disco arrangements of songs that used to sound a whole lot different. Kris did it first and I got a little cranky because, well, “She Works Hard For the Money” wasn’t technically a disco song and it just seemed like cheating. But I got over it when Adam and Allison did the same thing to their performances. Yvonne Elliman looked up to her TV from whatever pie she was baking at the time, saw Adam balladeer “If I Can’t Have You” and probably turned into the same “Pool of Abdul” Paula found herself in.
Meanwhile, I think Simon thinks Allison’s overtly sexy and slowed down “Hot Stuff” was some kind of reverse Kristy Lee Cook “God Bless The USA” last-ditch effort to save herself. He called her “brilliant” with a knowing smirk that only a lowest-common-denominator salesman would flash on national television. I think he’s wrong. I think she meant it to sound edgy, not whorey. In any case, she’s still my favorite but now that Lil and Anoop are gone (he ruined “Dim All The Lights” but he didn’t even do it in a great ball-of-flames-crash way so it’s not worth mentioning here) all that stands between Adam, Gokey and Kris’s final showdown is a flip of the coin to see whether it’ll be her or Matt (“Staying Alive,” ridiculously, just so you know) to go next.
Next week I think they should all have to sing “I Dreamed a Dream” and see if they can make people cry. If they can’t then they’re gone. This show would be over in minutes instead of five more dragged out weeks. Adam would win because he knows all those fakey Broadway emotional beats and then Idol would have to figure out how to keep him from brushing skin glitter on his torso everywhere he goes and from reaching down below the waist for that sack-grab. Entertainment for everyone!
-- DAVE WHITE
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