Thursday, May 19, 2011

American Idol Final Three

What Is And What Should Never Be: A Demonstration

The best thing about the American Idol Final Three is that we get to hear the contestants sing songs that they don’t choose. This is left to the professionals — who, if they are smart, toss in choices that are going to challenge the youngsters in ways they have not been so far.

This year, the pros were on their game.

Jimmy Iovine’s picks were designed to give us a taste of how these guys compare to current artists whose songs their fans know by heart.

Thompson Square are a husband / wife team whose song “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or What” is clearly the breakout wedding theme of the year. Having Scotty sing it gave him a chance to tickle the private parts of all of his girl fans by imagining he’s singing it to them.

The Inky Jukebox thought that Lauren actually did a good job with The Band Perry’s huge hit “If I Die Young,” so we could see how seamlessly her voice could be slipped into the lead singer’s, but we’re not sure about the song choice, or of the way in which it was justified; there is no “uplifting” angle to dying young if you’re as young as Lauren.

Does anyone else thing that Iovine’s choice of a Stevie Nicks song for Haley was creepy? (Look it up.) Either way, he shanked her with this one, and she did as bad a job with it as one could expect. Why? her singing style is not suited to it, she was clearly unfamiliar with the words, and Haley is too apt to copy what she knows of the performance to make it her own. Therefore, we are left comparing her to the original, which is incomparable.

The Inky Jukebox thinks that Jimmy Iovine is rooting for Scotty.

As for the judge’s picks, they were clearly going for genre stereotype to see how well the contestants live up to pigeonholing.

They gave Scotty a song he could not possibly have slayed because it was so far out of his range, but this was not a bad thing; it showed us what he was and wasn’t capable of. Kenny Rogers’ “She Believes In Me” was much too old a song (in terms of era and content) for 17 year-old Scotty, but he did his darndest with it. It made us pine for some old-time Kenny Rogers, back before he replaced most of his flesh with plastic.

Lauren got LeeAnn Womack’s “I Hope You Dance,” a hit well within her range and comfort zone, and one which she should already know by heart. Sure enough, she nailed it. What she did not nail was the frock: WTF!!! If the judges wanted to boost her with a softball choice, the wardrobe dept torpedoed it with that blue sparkly prom monstrosity. Also, what’s with the two-tone hair? Is that still popular where Lauren comes from?

Haley was awarded Alanis Morissette’s cracker “You Oughta Know” perhaps because it features angry-sounding shouty lyrics and they both have long hair that can be tossed about. Only, when Alanis sings it, she gives power and volume to the anger, while Haley just went with the shouting. How old was Haley when this song came out? Too young to have learned it’s nuance, we suspect. It would also have been good unpurged of the swearing and blowjob lyrics, but this is a kid's show, folks. 

Alanis doing it right with evil intent and Taylor Hawkins on drums

The Inky Jukebox thinks the judges are rooting for Lauren.

That being said, The Inky Jukebox also thinks that Haley is rooting for Haley with her “What Is And What Should Never Be” Zeppelin shocker. This was the best we’ve seen her and was memorable enough to keep her in the running.

Round One: Haley
Round Two: Scotty
Round Three: Lauren

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