Sunday, April 10, 2011

Idol Thoughts

 I spent a lot of time in the restroom today as the result of a fairly wild weekend, which we’ll discuss soonishly.  That’s how I came to give American Idol this much thought; I’ve discussed in an earlier post how I’ve come to watch the show past the train-wreck auditions for the first time ever this year, but honestly I’ve never given it much thought while it wasn’t directly on my TV screen.  So I’ve given the Idol finalists as they stand on publication date more attention than they probably deserve today, but I’ve also learned a valuable lesson: the next time I try food I don’t normally eat, I will remember to leave a book in the good ol’ water closet.

Last Thursday, Pia Toscano was eliminated, which surprised me: for my money, she was the female contestant most likely to be there at the end of the road.  It’s weird that she got voted off last week specifically: “River Deep, Mountain High” is a bitch of a song to sing, and I thought she handled it with poise and confidence.  Ah well, c’est la vie.  Let’s check out who’s left one by one, in the order they appear on the Wikipedia page for Season Ten.

Jacob Lusk has a nice enough voice, but no chance at all to win the grand prize.  He’s simply not a compelling enough performer, visually speaking.  Can he have a career as a recording artist?  Sure, but he’s not enough of a total package to win this particular talent show.

Haley Reinhart rarely stands out for me, but she did pretty well with “Piece of My Heart” last week.  She’ll make it another round or two, but she’ll bow out well before the big finale.

Casey Abrams doesn’t make any sense to me at all.  Rhea thinks he’s great, and the judges agree, but I just find him annoying as hell.  He seems more like a band camp reject trying to play cool than a natural, “this is who I am” presence to me, and I just can’t take him seriously.  Really, I’m supposed to be impressed that he plays bass?  So does one person in nearly every crappy college band in America, and if you ask me, a crappy college band is exactly where this tool belongs.  Rendering a rock song as urgent and powerful as “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” as though it were Jack Johnson-style elevator music is nothing short of a fucking sin.

Lauren Alaina is probably a bit too green to take it all, but I like her.  There’s nothing wrong with being a bit green when you’re sixteen years old, by the way; I don’t mean it at all as an insult.  Once she’s better able to inhabit her material by having lived more of it, I think the girl will prove a threat.  With Pia gone, though, she’s my bet for last female standing.

James Durbin is a clown shoe, and I don’t quite understand how he’s made it this far, except to assume that he’s probably the favorite of the Twilight crowd.  Idol always needs its “rocker” character in the top ten or so, I guess.  It was absolutely hilarious to watch Iggy Pop, who turns sixty-four years old later this month, show this dopey twenty-two year old how rock is actually performed last week, no faux-hawk or dopey tail required.

Scotty McCreery is going to win the whole damn thing, mark my words.  The America between the coasts – you know, the folks who actually vote for American Idols – loves their country boys, and the kid’s got the talent and charisma.  Seriously: I hate the type of basso-profundo country balladeering McCreery aspires to, but I do know talent when I hear it.  I hope he goes on to sell millions after his Idol win, and that I never have to hear him again after that time.  The only small doubt I had about McCreery was whether or not he could handle up-tempo material, and his performance last week answered that resoundingly.

Stefano Langone will have a nice long career bringing his lounge-lizard act, provisionally entitled “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Buble”, to state fairs across our fine country.  The fact that I always want to shower the slime off after watching him will work in his favor in that endeavor, but it won’t win him Idol; his range is too narrow to take the big prize.

Paul McDonald is the most naturally talented performer in the running.  In a way, he’s already won Idol, or at least gotten what he needs from it.  He’s a gifted performer with a strong local following who needed to find a way to garner national attention; voila.  Every week he stays alive from here is just icing on the cake.  I doubt he’ll take it all, but he will be this year’s Chris Daughtry; that is, the guy who doesn’t win but ends up with a career that’s just as strong – or perhaps stronger – than that of the actual winner.  Unlike his manfully-emoting predecessor, McDonald is actually talented, which is a bonus.  Hell, I may even listen to that album of his that’s sitting in my iTunes folder sometime this week.

Overall prediction: McCreery takes it all, with either McDonald (on talent) or Durbin (on looks) as runner-up.  It’s just not the girls’ year, although Alaina will make it further than Reinhart.  Regardless of who actually places where, she, McCreery and McDonald are the ones whose names might actually be easily recalled two years from now.  As for Durbin, he’ll be the Trivial Pursuit answer that keeps you from getting the damned pie piece.

Last prediction: with less of a need to be in the restroom, tomorrow’s post topics will be 100% Idol free.  That’s a promise.

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