clearly all I do is watch TV
2007-04-04 @ 9:21 a.m.
It's really hard to talk about American Idol when you actually forget that it's even on until it's 3/4s over. Why did that happen? I do not know, but I was a little bit under the thrall of Jackie Warner, and watching the first episode of this season of Work Out, which I had only seen the end of.
In any case, I usually cringe all the way through the shows featuring standards because inevitably, the standards that are chosen are ones I really find trite, only made worse by none of the vocalists understanding how to emote and interpret these very straightforward songs. It drives me crazy that none of them pick songs that have much subtlety, and then they full on demolish the small bit of nuance and subtlety they do have.
Case in point would be Haley singing "Ain't Misbehavin'", which is actually a standard I am NOT sick of, and can be arranged in so many interesting tempos etc, that in the hands of someone who didn't wear a dress that made her appear to have gigantic saggy boobs, might have been more charming. Now, Mr. Bennet was dead on in schooling Haley that the song is about trampiness opposite, but I am positive that I would have liked it more if she had gone full-throttle Marilyn Monroe with it and sang it with a pure irony of "mind what I say, and not what I do" because that would have worked for me. I almost liked her arrangement, because it was almost burlesque with bringing the bridge uptempo like that, but then it utterly confused me by changing the tempo back in the middle of the bridge, making it all just a gross mess. But if I were a judge, I still would've said "well- it's interesting that you pick an old song and seem young, as opposed to last week when you sounded like Celine Dion singing Cyndi Lauper" But whatever. I just couldn't get over that dress and how it made her look bizarre and porno.
So then I saw Lakisha, and her face looked so very beautiful while she was singing that I might like her a little better than some of my other faves this week. I mean, I've never not liked her- but I really liked her, and that might have been because she was the good one of the two performances I saw.
In the blips I was delighted and shocked to hear Phil sound EXACTLY LIKE MEL TORME! Which just floats my boat. My dad said he didn't sound that much like Mel, but I heard the ghost of the velvet fog, I swear it. And to sound like Mel Torme while singing "Night and Day" might be the opposite of what you want on American Idol, but I don't care.
I was also sad that I missed Dolittle, who looked like she was working some fiestiness out in her face while singing "I've Got Rhythm" which is a song I only like when it's done at a crazy crazy fast tempo like Anita O'Day did. At the same time, I wish Dolittle would have been cool enough to pick "A Foggy Day" which she could have pulled off crazy cool, but she did bring personality from what I saw, so good for her.
Blake picked something so predictable, and there are better Bobby Darin songs to sing than "Mack the Knife". Although I bet his voice was really right for it.
I couldn't tell from the clip but it looked like Chris R. brought a little modern R&B to his number, and it keeps making me really like him. Was he good? Was Gina good? I like that she went straightforward and focused on lyrics, because she's actually capable of bringing emotion into what she sings.
Sangaya I wasn't sad I missed. He did a song that was all syncopation instead of something he could have really sang- and this week he could have reminded us he can sing. He is a cipher.
If I was picking a standard to sing I would pick "Get Out of Town" by Cole Porter, or "I Could Write A Book" by Rodgers & Hart. But there might be reasons the entire songbooks aren't available, who knows.
Oh but I love Work Out. There's something about Jackie Warner that's totally fascinating to me, I just buy into the idea that she's genuine. Also the Skylab part of the story arc where the trainers are working with people who need their health makes LA more human.