American Idol Quick Wrap 3/20/12~ Paying Homage to the Piano Man

Wow, I don’t even know where to start tonight’s American Idol recap blog… Do I begin with the utterly horrifying experience that Heejun inflicted upon us? Do I bemoan the useless ridiculousness of Tommy Hilfiger? Do I toast to the brilliant performances of Jessica, Erika, and Elise? Do I yell at the judges for their inanity at times? Or do I just rank our contestants for their performances as the top ten took on the Songbook of Grammy winning Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame icon Billy Joel? … Ok, let’s just go with the last one.

American Idol Performance Rankings 3/20/12

~ the great

1. Jessica: now that’s how you tell off the judges! After an unnecessarily harsh critique last week, our front-runner came roaring back with a glorious and brilliant performance of Joel’s little known ballad from 1977 “Everybody Has a Dream” that netted her a much deserved standing ovation. She looked great, sounded incredible, and really communicated the message of the song in a beautiful way. Just tremendous.

2. Colton: giving his best performance in the competition to date our heartthrob rocker took on Joel’s classic song from 1974 “Piano Man,” (Can you believe it only hit # 25 on the charts, what?!!) and delivered a dynamic interpretation. It was simple lovely, aching and completely authentic. Well done Colton! Now, just shut up with all the god talk. Hello you want “god to use you as a channel” with your music on American Idol. Um, vomit…. Stick to singing really well and being pretty.

3. Erika: ok, yes Erika’s make-over was amazing (the only one that worked by the way). Her new short brunette hairdo was simply gorgeous, but let’s take a second and praise her fabulous singing. My second favorite singer in the race (after Jessica) gave an assured, simple and beautiful performance of Joel’s iconic song from 1975 “New York State of Mind”. She is so underrated and the judges need to stop denying her the props she deserves. She better be safe this week!

4. Elise: I was tempted to put Elise in third but Erika just moved me more, so our shy chanteuse comes up just a notch behind. It was close too because moments of her song choice, 1977’s “Vienna”, were astoundingly good. I loved the beginning and the final note was perfection. I think she just lost a little momentum in the middle. But that’s really just splitting hairs because it was a wonderful job

. ~ the pretty good

5. Hollie: while her look was a vast improvement over last week, her singing was not. Our little blonde wunderkind still gave a strong performance on Joel’s #24 hit from 1979 “Honesty”. It was understated (yes, even for her big voice) and lovely. I just wish she would infuse more of her fun personality from her interviews into her song selections.

6. Skylar: this country cutie is pretty darn consistent. Even with a few wonky notes in the beginning of her take on “Shameless” (done in the style of the 90’s country version by Garth Brooks), Skylar still sold the crap out of it at the end. She stays true to herself and always delivers… Now, um, her fashion makeover? Thaaat was a disaster!

~the okay

7. Phillip: sorry people I have to drop Dave Matthews 2.0 down the list for creeping me out again. His growly scary version of 1978’s # 17 hit “Movin’ Out” was accomplished in parts but also irritating and indulgent in others. You can’t deny his chops as a musician. He’s just not my cup of tea when he sings like he did tonight.

8. Joshua: falling precipitously far from last week’s lofty heights, our gospel boy struggled with a wholly unconvincing take on 1981’s # 23 hit “She’s Got a Way”. Sure, he sang it well, especially the latter half. However, he didn’t connect to the song at all and he looked awkward throughout the performance. You could tell he didn’t’ believe what it was singing and that defeated him in the end.

~ the bad

9. Deandre: darnit I really want this kid to be better than he is. He has a very interesting voice and a great look, but with another messy and pitchy performance like tonight’s take on 1978’s # 24 hit “Only the Good Die Young”, he is headed for trouble. He was all over the place tonight and also didn’t connect to the lyrics and emotional tone of the song. He just kind of had a good time singing it. I wish I had had a good time listening to it… but, um, no.

10. Heejun Hahn: OMG, THAT WAS JUST TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, DISRESPECTFUL and BAD. The formerly likable comedian with a decent voice went all kinds of crazy with his atrocious, laughable and rude performance of 1978’s # 3 hit “My Life”. He was mocking the show, Jimmy Iovine, the audience, his fellow contestants and has no business being on the show. There was no professionalism and if he was trying to be funny and/or entertaining, he failed miserably. He is the new Sanjaya and that’s a terrible thing to be. I’m officially disgusted and disappointed.

Whew, I could have kept going on lamenting about Heejun, but we don’t have all day… However, while I’m complaining, these contestants need to work on better song choices. Joel has such an incredible catalog and they didn’t even go near some of his biggest hits like “Just the Way You Are”, “Uptown Girl”, “Tell Her About It”, “Pressure” (it had Phillip’s name all over it), “It’s Only Rock n’ Roll”, “A Matter of Trust”, “An Innocent Man”, “She’s Always a Woman to Me”, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, “The River of Dreams” (would’ve been perfect for Joshua), or my personal favorite “And So It Goes” (which would’ve been perfect for Elise and Erika)…. But that’s neither here nor there… Because it’s time for my predictions of who is heading to the silver stools of doom tomorrow night.

My Predictions:

Bottom 3: Deandre, Heejun, and um??? Skylar or Erika (cuz she went so early in the show) or Elise (cuz she has been struggling so far) or Joshua or Hollie even? Gosh I don’t know.

Bottom 2: Deandre, Heejun

Buh Bye: Deandre (unfortunately, I think Deandre will succumb to the stupid idiots who like the Sanjaya-like shenanigans that Heejun displayed tonight)

And so it goes, one more recap comes to an end. The Idols sang Billy Joel tonight. Who went to extremes? Who was a big shot? Who will be singing for the longest, ahem, last time tomorrow? We’ll find out and in the meantime, check out all of Billy’s great catalog on iTunes and youtube and hopefully in your record collection and find out who gets the boot on Fox tomorrow night.


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