American Idol

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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"So That's A No?"

Over 103,000 people: now we're down to 72. Today we're getting solo performances with a band and singers, and an instrument if they like. And the judges don't say anything, just look at you, but deep inside you know. Then they put them all in those rooms and dick them around a bit, and then tomorrow comes the Chair to kick off the last 18 kids, I think, and that's Top 36. Then it's three weeks of Boy/Girl/Whatever You Got, and then three Wild Cards on the last Thursday; so this means that Top 12 actually starts March 10. Or something.

First up: Adam Lambert, whom Kara found to be too musical theatre still. Paula agreed, but then disagreed with herself. Simon didn't seem to like him that much, but he's clearly talented and can make money. Ryan blanches when he says he's chosen to sing "Believe" by Cher; he assures us it won't be horrible, and then it sort of is. Of course, it's horrible in the most fascinating way, like one of those sad slow piano covers everybody must do from time to time, and I can't say I didn't ask for these kinds of mash-up outside-the-box ideas. It's a little cooler in concept than it could ever be in execution, which seems to be Adam's specialty. Good thing his voice is Broadway-trained, even if it's a bit sharp throughout. Also, it is a good thing that he is a lady.

Do you believe in life after Adam Lambert? Matt Giraud, the Louisville dueling-pianist who reminded Simon of Elliott. He sings "Georgia On My Mind" on the piano, and rocks it out. Kara is amazed. Kara is also, I should point out, dressed like the witch girl from that comic book Runaways. It's wicked hot. Afterward, he almost cries. I get nothing from him. Were I a drug-sniffing dog, he would be the negative-space duffle bag that would make me cry and roll over and worry that my nose had gone blind. But who cares about any of this when Danny Gokey exists somewhere in the world? Let's find out.

Danny Gokey watched Jamar sing the worst song ever written, "Hey There Delilah," in a sort of irritating faux-cracked way with a horrible smile, dressed like the "Hey Ya" video. Maybe it's good; that song makes me want to vomit and I didn't, so that's a good sign. But who cares about Jamar? It's Danny's turn. He'll be singing his usual Archuleta-esque dead wife choice of "I Hope You Dance"; I checked out. He's real cute but he does have that mushmouth, and seems to think that he inspires us with everything he does to try harder, to believe more, and the like. In a child of Archuleta's age, it was marginally nauseating. For a forty-year-old man like Danny, it's straight-up gross. And I feel that we will never know a very important thing: how much of him is just naturally pander, and how much is the evil of this show? I could end up getting pretty mean until we figure it out for sure, but I'm pretty sure there's an It he could be Cutting Out.

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American Idol

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