American Idol
They're All Wasted!

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Don't Raise Your Eye

Randy says he loves how she "get[s] her hoop on," which is great if she's actually playing basketball and not if she's trying to be a singer at the moment. Belting out Celine Dion when trying to execute a pick-and-roll isn't advisable for similar reasons. He also says, getting to the point for the first time this evening, that it wasn't a good "singer's song," meaning it might be perfectly wonderful to listen to, but it doesn't do you any favors if you're trying to show off your range and ability. Paula returns to the "working hard" theme that's become Ayla's calling card. It's nice to say, and it's certainly applicable, but the end result is that you make Ayla's performances seem like she's punching a clock on her way to a steel plant. "Workmanlike" is maybe not the compliment Paula thinks it is. The best part is when Paula is blah-blah-ing about taking risks or whatever, and then she doesn't even skip a beat before transitioning into "How tall are you in those shoes?" Her synapses have actual bar sludge on them. As Ayla gets lost in how cool her new shoes are, Paula trails off about how many people in the studio Ayla could beat up. With your dulled reflexes, Paula? No, I don't think you could take her. Simon said the performance was "pretty good, actually," but he says he wishes he could see the youthful Ayla that's in her film clips on the stage more often. Eh. It certainly fits Simon's "Electric Youth" theme for the season, but for one thing, I didn't think Ayla seemed all that old-lady-ish tonight, and for another, I think Ayla is cool because she's able to hold it together better than most people her age. ["Word, but also, I think you just jinxed her all the way home, which sucks. This show hates people that actually know what they're doing." -- Jacob] And if she's that awkward moving around, why would you want to see more of it? Ryan jogs up to the stage and ribs Randy for hating on Natasha Bedingfield, and Randy says he saw her in the studio this week. Ryan: "Of course you did! He's working with her now!" That's hilarious, to think that this great career as a producer is perhaps all in Randy's head. Like "Mariah" is sitting next to him right now, only you can't see her.Mandisa's big secret is a for-real big secret: she sucked her thumb until she was twenty-four. Twenty-four? That's…well past the age when you should not be doing that. Thumb-sucking is an indie movie quirk when you're seventeen. Thumb-sucking at twenty-four is a guest appearance on a David E. Kelley lawyer show. "God is good, honey," says Mandisa, "and I am a walking miracle, because my teeth should literally be protruding out your television screen." Mandisa is a great storyteller. Your head knows it's scripted, but she makes it sound like she just thought of something funny to tell you. She's singing "I'm Every Woman," and she throws some rhyming couplets at the beginning in order to hype the crowd. "I'm Every Woman" is not a boring song in and of itself, it's only boring because we've all heard it a million times. But it's not boring now, because Mandisa is just excellent. The best thing is that you knew she had to play the Chaka Khan card eventually, and after singing a rock song and a country song and having the judges be like, "Awesome, but we still think you can do better," she just figured she'd whip this out and be perfect. Paula swings an imaginary lasso in the air, she's that pleased. Randy calls it "the best vocal by a female this season." Then he says she set the benchmark, though I was one of the many who had to double-take and make sure he didn't say "bitch mark." Randy and Paula can barely speak, they're so enthusiastic. They're like a pair of Katharine McPhees right now. Simon tries to sow the seeds of drama, as he tells Mandisa all the other girls are going to hate her, because she blew them all away. "It was in a completely and utterly different league." And it was. Mandisa is cute and tells Ryan that she's sung that song to herself in the shower a million times. Ryan tries to riff on the shower theme, fumbling around what he wants to say, which is: "Your shower doesn't have a live studio audience and three judges with varying levels of awfulness." But what he actually says is: "Lot going on in that shower." You know how when you bite the inside of your cheek it swells a bit, which means you keep on biting it for a week and you want to die? Well, Ryan is you, and "making inadvertently inappropriate statements to contestants" is the inside of your cheek. He just can't make it stop happening again and again. Ryan: "Better acoustics in the shower." And as he sends us to commercial, he starts trying to explain it to Mandisa again. Dirty old man.

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American Idol

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