American Idol 4: Episode 18
Men's Round | Women's Round | Results
The Event Horizon is fast approaching Planet Suck, as Ryan Sleazebag reminds everyone that tonight is ladies night and asks everyone to wonder which of the eight will be heading towards the Top Twelve. Let's see, it's obvious that Mikalah, Cattle, Nadia, and Vonzell are going there even if they step out on stage and croak in Swahili, so the real question should be which remaining four will fill in the final two slot. And with that, credits.
Ryan "Someday" Sleazebag steps out wearing some rather body-hugging T-shirt with what seems like "Moron" emblazoned with the M over his right nipple, the N over his left nipple, and the letters in-between forming the bridge over troubled waters. I guess we can say that he's a moron from tit to tit. A rather charming moron, especially when he's getting wet with King Tut, but a moron nonetheless. Blah blah blah last chances for the girls blah blah blah, he goes, and then introduces the judges. Meet Randy "Somehow" Randy, Charmaine Miss "Somewhere" Paula, King "We'll Find A New Way Of Living" Tut.
Sleazie asks King Tut whether they have anything to say to the ladies. King Tut laughs, knowing full well that this "question" is just an opportunity for Sleazebag to flirt with him, and says that it's quite too late at this point of the show to offer advice. "Be good," he offers with a shrug. Sleazebag accuses him of offering some boring advice. For a guy who spends his life savings carving, repainting, and replacing his body parts with artificial replacements, Sleazebag is awfully lousy at flirting. I mean, seriously indeed, what does he expect King Tut to say at this point? "All you ladies go home and you too, every-freaking body, because me and Sleazie are gonna make wild love all over the stage and on every freaking seat in the mothership?" Both men start calling each other boring while grinning at each other so widely that it's a wonder that all those right-wing folks haven't stormed the show and arrested everybody for abetting immorality.
Amoonda opens the show. She reveals in her introductory clip that she is a Gemini, which makes her very versatile. (I have to sit on my hands to stop myself from typing the obvious joke here.) She can sing anything! (Again, I'm sitting on my hands.) But she doesn't know what to sing. (Sitting hard on my hands now.) Her song, which I only recognize when she moves into the chorus, is River Deep, Mountain High. I don't know what possesses her to sing a Tina Turner song when her voice is more like the mewling of a kitten, especially when she's following the standard Tina-Turnerish performance of the song. She looks great in that purple-black corset though. Is it one of her outfits in her Vegas show?
Randy Randy pretty much doesn't like it, finding it only "okay". Miss Paula however insists that Amoonda is good and adds that she thinks Amoonda has a good chance of being in the Top Twelve. I don't know why I even bother recapping what this woman says, truly. She has seven more people to listen to, so it's way too premature to declare that Amoonda is going to get through. Did she even listen to Amoonda? Stupid twit. King Tut says it perfectly, like he is wont to do no matter how obnoxious he can be in other respects - the only reason to sing a song like River Deep, Mountain High is when the performer can equal or beat the original artist in her game. Amoonda doesn't even come close to equaling Tina Turner, of course. King Tut concedes that Amoonda is a "good performer" though (again, I try not to make the obvious joke here). Randy Randy for some reason decides to believe that King Tut is saying exactly what he had said earlier and asks King Tut to confirm whether King Tut is agreeing with Randy Randy. King Tut sighs, no doubt thinking "Stupid twit" in his head, and tells Randy Randy that he agrees with that man. Sleazebag stands next to Amoonda and asks her how the dynamics between the ladies have changed now that the numbers have dwindled. Another dumb question from this flop of an interviewer, yay. Amoonda compares her experience on this show to being a soldier in a war (Josh Don't Tell: "And I'm proud to be an American...") and says that the ladies have become closer as a result. For some reason, since we're being so flippant about war, I find myself thinking of the gas chamber after this exchange between the two boobs.
Sitting the Red Room beside Nadia, planning to steal Amoonda's corset before she leaves the show for the day, Sleazebag tells everyone out there to make sure that their favorites don't leave the show. Because Uncle Nigel wants a new Rolls-Royce. Then he and Nadia commiserate about the departure of Celena, where Nadia obligingly sheds a fake tear or two before chirping that oh well, the show must go on. Her gameplan is simple - she'll be herself and God will be her backup. So listen up, heathens, if she leaves, God will personally turn all of you into pillars of salt. So Nadia has spoken, so there!
Hear the sound of a train fast approaching? That's Janay, telling people that she's a Libra, which means that she loves doing "romantic" and "girly things", including candlelight dinners, walks in the park, and "going to the movies with your boyfriend". Yes, she says "your boyfriend", heh heh heh. She takes on Selena's Dreaming Of You and let's just say that her horrifically out-of-tune performance is like another bullet into poor Selena. It's a good thing that she's already dead, really. Janay seems to have lost most of her case of nerves so she has no more excuses now, surely.
Randy Randy thinks that only five or six notes of the performance were in tune and calls the performance Janay's worst. Miss Paula wants to be honest so she calls the performance "pitchy". When she's honest, she's parroting Randy Randy. Oh, Paula, those drugs are really bad for you. King Tut, keeping to the astrology theme of the show, predicts for Janay a "packed suitcase" and "a plane travel" because he doesn't think that she will last for another day on this show. Janay puts on her bitch face as Miss Paula insists that Janay has "a lot of fans". Somehow by having many fans, it makes Janay a brilliant singer in Miss Paula's mind. Miss Paula asks for Janay's fans in the audience to clap. The audience sees the "Clap" sign flash above their heads and obligingly does so. Sleazebag assures Janay that she still has "it" and she shouldn't listen to what the mean judges told her.
Cattle, the simple farm girl, gives a stupid chat in her clip that I don't even have to make things up to demonstrate how slow she is upstairs. She announces that she's a Pisces, which is why she never catches fish with live bait and oh, she throws any fish she catches back into the river. She performs Because You Love Me (by Jo Dee Messina, not Celine Dion) and it sounds exactly like her last two performances. Can she do anything other than to stand there, give emotionless smiles at the camera, and sings like a Country Stepford Gal? If she can, I have yet to see it. A safe, dull performance, Cattle has yet to deliver what her hype promises.
Randy Randy insists that she's one of the best singers in the group but he doesn't find the performance her best. He blames it on her nerves. She has nerves? I'm starting to think of her as a singing android. Cattle insists, in her usual emotionless voice, that she is indeed very scared of being eliminated. Miss Paula agrees with Randy Randy and asks Cattle to resume being the fun and jolly farm gal she was. So much for taking risks, huh, people? King Tut thinks that Cattle is sounding too old for her age but says that it doesn't matter what he says or what she sings because she is going through to the final. Okay, who was it that was pooh-poohing the claims of airtime influencing the audience's vote patterns only recenty? And now he's saying that it doesn't matter what he says or does because the fans will mobilize for Cattle anyway? Which is which, King Tut, hmm? Cattle smirks smugly as Sleazebag comes to her side. Because she is the Annointed One, Sleazebag and her have an extra-long post-performance chat where she declares that she isn't fazed by the upcoming themes of the final rounds because she'll be herself. Translation: she'll just stand there and sing another country song week after week.
Sleazebag reminds people not to tune out from boredom because there are five more ladies yet to perform. He also asks people to check out the official website cattleforpresident.gov.org.
Vonzell is a Pisces so she daydreams in class about running away to Jamaica. Which is why she crashes her mail truck into Mrs Jonah's house and runs over the poor old lady's cat - she is busy daydreaming about R-E-S-P-E-C-T. She comes out in a cowboy hat and denim and asks people to clap their hands because they will all have fun tonight. And then she launches into that Aretha Franklin number. I like it, actually. She doesn't try to perform it like a typical scream-fest like Kelly Cluckson would do, instead infusing it with plenty of soul and infectious playfulness. Randy Randy thinks the fun Vonzell is back although he doesn't think that her performance is her best. Um, so which exactly is her best performance then? These judges confuse me sometimes. Miss Paula loves that Vonzell is taking risks (what risks?) and then backhands Vonzell by adding that it's okay, therefore, that Vonzell isn't the best singer in the group. King Tut has nothing to say other than Vonzell's outfit befuddles him because he keeps wondering where the cow in the lasso is. He says "lasso" as in "leh-zoo" and I wonder, for a while, why is a cow being kept in a zoo until Vonzell does the lasso motion in response to King Tut and I realize, "Oh, lasso." Vonzells tells King Tut that her father recently visited her and he bought her the hat and the cowboy top so she decided to wear it tonight. I have to admit, I like her outfit and I actually find it irreverant enough to be so appropriate for the playful performance she is putting on. Sleazebag stands beside Vonzell and makes fun of King Tut's pronounciation of "lasso". "Dude, what family are you from?" he asks King Tut. So says the man living in a country where it is "neighbors" and "colors" when the rest of the world spells them as "neighbours" and "colours".
Nadia is a Capricorn. She is eccentric, enthusiastic, ambitious, or so this self-proclaimed "go-getter" insists. Did someone say "eccentric"? That explains that horrible tutu she is wearing tonight that she pairs with a tank-top and accessorizes with plenty of baby fat that shows around her exposed belly. She is trying to look like a chubby five-year old color-blind ballerina while singing an Otis Redding song. Yes, that's eccentricity at its finest. Her Try A Little Tenderness starts out slow and soulful but soon morphs into a rockier stomp-out performance. She rocks the stage but I find myself wishing she's actually sung something other than repeating "try a little tenderness" again and again.
The judges love her unanimously and King Tut praises her for taking a risk while comparing her to a young Tina Turner. I won't go that far, honestly. Sleazebag and Nadia marvel at how she apparently picks and learns this song for the first time four days ago, a song that the judges insist is perfect for her. How nice for her.
In the Red Room, Sleazebag and the "relentless" Mikalah talk about how she is going to be "all about the music" this week. He pretends that she is nervous and offers to let her throw up on him and she pretends to do so. At least, that's what I hope she is doing when her head swoops down towards his crotch with velociraptor-like speed as the camera quickly cuts away from the scene.
Lindsey says that she is an Aquarius, so she's supposed to be detached and emotionless. I know, Lindsey, I can see that, heh. But she insists that she is not like that because she positively weeps buckets and buckets when people on this show leaves but you know what, that's okay because she insists that everyone is a winner at this point. Alrighty then, what is this emotional basketcase winner going to sing today then? Aerosmith's Don't Wanna Miss A Thing. Don't cringe, people, because it's surprisingly good. Seriously, it is, and I hate that song, which is how good I find the performance. The song is dull in its own right but Lindsey uses it to showcase her husky voice beautifully. She sounds like a credible Heart fan who would make Ann Wilson proud with her husky, impassioned pleas of not wanting to miss anything when, er, she and her boyfriend do their thing. The problem is, when I first saw this performance, I wrote down in my notepad: "Zzzzzz." It is only when I listen to it without the visual of her standing there like a beautiful lifeless animated Willow doll from Buffy the Vampire Slayer do I finally realize what a wonderful voice she has and how she uses it so well on this song.
Randy Randy likes her voice but he isn't sure about the song. Miss Paula agrees with him. I'd have expected her to appreciate, at least, that Lindsey is one of the few who took her idiotic advice last week about the contestants imitating artists of the opposite sex. King Tut compares Lindsey to the musical equivalent of Sleazebag - looks the part, acts the part (oh, the jokes write themselves), but something is missing. I agree with him, honestly, about the missing ingredient part. Lindsey needs to find a way to grab the audience's attention, something more than a good voice that can be drowned out by the band sometimes. Randy Randy asks Sleazebag whether Sleazie is going to stand there and take the insult. Sleazebag runs towards King Tut and pours King Tut's glass of whatever-it-is-he's-drinking onto his pants. King Tut laughs and tries to do the same to Sleazie, only he has run back to stand beside Lindsey by then. He tells Lindsey that King Tut acts as if that is the first time that King Tut's pants are wet. (Evil hubby asks, "Shouldn't that be as if that is the first time Sleazebag wets King Tut's pants?")
Mikalah is a Capricorn, which she says makes her unable to pay attention to anything for long. Surprise, surprise. She dresses up like the mole that ate Barbra Streisand for supper and proceeds to perform Somewhere from West Side Story. Judging from her song choices, I think Mikalah is seriously a gay icon in the making or she may actually be a gay man underneath the heavy make-up, Elvira hair, and overcollagenized lips. She has an interesting voice, I'd give her that, and I am actually starting to like this interesting, overactive young lady despite myself. But this performance is not good. The biggest problem is that the performance sees her repeating two verses in exactly the same pitch and key, a manner which sees her remaining in a low range that her voice cannot fully support. Only in the third verse does she move towards the belting range and this is where she sounds more comfortable with herself. Even then, she can't fully hit the glory notes, much less sustain them. Still, she is an interesting young lady. I can't make up my mind about her.
Randy Randy and Miss Paula generally agree that they aren't too keen on her performance but they admire her for taking a risk with a song that Barbra Streisand once performed. Miss Paula even asks Mikalah whether Mikalah "admires" Barbra. Mikalah answers simply that she likes all music and she "respects" Barbra, whatever that means. King Tut finds the "first part" of the performance "horrendous" but likes the "last part" of it. He wants her to become perky and crazy again because he thinks that she has gone through some "aging machine" since we last saw her in Vegas. He actually thinks that this performance is actually a safe choice for Mikalah, and in a way, I can see where he is coming from because Mikalah is deliberately toning herself down for the audience. But I also find myself wondering whether Mikalah may actually, genuinely likes songs from the 1960s and 1970s, as evidenced by her song choices. As I've said earlier, Mikalah intrigues me to no end in a way no other contestant in this season has done.
Jessica is a Scorpio so she's a passionate and determined person. She reveals that she didn't make the cut in a previous season but here she is, in the Top Sixteen, woo-hoo! Her song is The Boys Are Back In Town, previously performed by Thin Lizzy. She wears a tight top under the jacket that pushes her breasts closer and higher in a way that you cannot miss them. Since she is singing about wild boys on shore or military leave waiting to copulate indiscriminately with girls in bars to spread some venereal diseases the good old-fashioned way, she's dressed the part, I'd say. She's really good here, again confirming my belief that she could be the female equivalent of Bo as an invisible, unannointed one breaking the waves and making it further than one would expect her to. Rocky, sassy, even brassy in so many delightful ways, Jessica's performance nails everything down perfectly. Except for her stage presence, really, which she doesn't have in fluid abundance like Nadia or Vonzell, at least. She mostly stands there in a half-squat position to shake her upper body to the mic as she sings before walking a short distance along the stage to repeat her buffalo stance. (Respect to Neneh Cherry, simply the best.)
Randy Randy and Miss Paula - again - share the same opinion, which is to have lots of love for Jessica. King Tut just says that with an outfit like hers, the song title is perfect. What, nothing about her performance, King Tut? Sexual harrassment is family friendly fun now? Heh.
Sleazebag recaps the show, poses with the Eight Ladies, and then announces that he's ou... er, no, he wishes everyone good night and that's it.
I know this won't be a common opinion but I find that the ladies have kicked the guys' butts two weeks in a row now, although the best ladies are in no way comparable to the best guys. There are more ladies that I'd rather listen to (Jessica, Lindsey, Nadia, Vonzell) than the men (Bo, Anwar, and that's it). And of course, Mikalah is so fascinating. What I would really like to see is a Nadia and Bo Final Two where everything is a rock-and-roll fest. I won't be holding my breath waiting for that to happen, though!
Men's Round | Women's Round | Results
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