Thursday, May 19, 2011

If you like it then you should have put a ring (tone) on it.

It's the final 3!

I learned a lot from watching tonight's episode of American Idol:

1) Jimmy Iovine is the smartest man in the room.
2) Priscilla Presley has had ONE too many facelifts - good god, did you see her in the audience?!
3) Beyonce is clearly going through a 'Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome' phase...what was up with that video?!
4) My mom's going to be disappointed, but I didn't pick up on any 'the-judges-are-out-to-get-Haley' conspiracies here.  As usual, the judges split all three rounds evenly, so if we didn't call for our favorite, we can't bitch about it. According to our "esteemed panel", Round 1 went to Haley, 2 went to Scotty, and 3 went to Lauren. I'm sure that was intentional.

We saw each contestant sing a song of their choice, a Jimmy Iovine choice, and a pick from the judges. Every year, the judges let us down with their picks (Kenny Rogers? Seriously?). Jimmy proved to know more about our contestants than those three glittery knuckleheads put together, so thank goodness for him. And above all else, Haley proved she is one. smart. chick.

Here we go!

We're proud of you, son
SCOTTY - Scotty, you're so money, you don't even know how money you are. You chose "Amazed" by Lonestar for your song, and I've got to give props to our sweet, innocent, baseball-playing, grocery-checking Southern boy.  You seem to inhabit every song you sing. Jimmy's pick, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" was perfection for you - youthful, soulful, relevant, relatable. One of my favorite performances of the night. And lastly, "She Believes in Me" by Kenny Rogers. Come ON, judges. Even though Kenny Rogers was my first childhood crush, this song came across as completely irrelevant, dated, and frankly, not the best range for our boy, Scotty. But you know what? I think you're going to cruise to the Final.  You've been sweet, charming, and talented through this entire competition. You'll be rewarded for that.

Barbie goes to the Prom. And it's 1983.

LAUREN - I can see why you chose Faith Hill's "Wild One" for your first song, since you are the "woman-child in a state of grace" of this competition. As usual, you clipped the big notes right off and lacked the emotional depth we get from Scotty and Haley, but you were adorable, right down to the big daisies hanging off your ears. Jimmy's choice of "If I Die Young" was, once again, a genius choice. The Band Perry is riding high on this song right now, and you capitalized on its popularity. This song was so perfectly suited to your voice, and Jimmy is no dummy. And the judges clearly wanted you to have your big moment with "I Hope You Dance" - and if you had a moment this season, I guess I'll have to give it to you with this one. Even if you looked Miss Tennessee competing in the Miss American pageant circa 1983. I fear I'm going to lose my girl Haley to you in the Finals, because those teenage girls out there love your insecurity and non-threatening nature.

Haley gets the Led out.
HALEY - Led Zeppelin's "What Is and What Should Never Be" was one of my favorite moments of the season. Girl, this was a smart choice and I give you full credit for this one. You had Daddy rockin' on the guitar, you belted out one of the most bad-ass songs ever by THE most bad-ass rock band ever. AND you landed on your ass. But it's all good. You are the complete package - hot vocals, charisma, pure talent. (Can I gush any more?!). I thought Jimmy's pick of "Rhiannon" for you was subdued, ethereal, and beautiful. I'm not sure if you needed the wind machine, but I'm sure Stevie Nicks thought that was pretty cool. Like Stevie says, you 'take to the sky like a bird in flight.' That's you, Haley, and I love it. The verses of the judges' pick, "You Oughta Know" were so fast, so silly, so beneath you...(I wish we could just ban all of Alanis Morrisette's songs from this show forever because they SUCK...but I digress). There was no way anyone was going to KILL this song, but you did crush the chorus, and that's all we can ask. I understand - the judges chose this song for you because of the choruses, they wanted to hear your angry, raspy growl at full throttle, but can't we find a better song to showcase that? Either way, you won Rounds 1 and 2 for me. And if you don't make it to the Final, I'm not sure I'll be all that interested to watch.

Who's going home: LAUREN (pleeeeeeeeease!!!!)
Who's in the Finals: Scotty and Haley (pleeeeeeeeease!!!!)

What did YOU hear last night?!


  1. Gillian, the thing I will miss most about IDOL this year is YOU! Your commentary has been absolutely brilliant. You're not only a great critic, spot on in all of your analysis, the Jimmy Iovine of the blogosphere, but you are a superb writer too. This blog is expert. In every way. Thoughts, words and layout. Bravo!

    And now that Haley has been sent home, I, just like you, Gilly, may not tune in next week. It will be hard to watch the two finalists compete when they should have been Haley and James.

    I like Scotty. I don't like Lauren. And I cringe at the fact that she outlasted James, Casey, and Pia, even Jacob, and now the extraordinary Haley, the contestant that Lauren thinks is the best singer in the competition Clearly the south must prevail.They can only vote for their own whether it's IDOL or presidential elections. Ugh! And their hometown close-mindedness has ensured that their two country crooners are in the finals. But here's why it drives me nuts...those two finalists sound like EVERY OTHER COUNTRY SINGER OUT THERE. Heaven forbid someone like Haley with a truly unique, jazzy voice should be a final Idol. Too much for the masses to understand? Or is it that they like people to be talented, just not too talented?

    Damn Randy Jackson and J-Lo for hounding Haley so much too while giving Lauren a pass on everything. They gave her an unforgivable pass on her utter cowardice when she wimped out even trying to hit the high notes in her version of "Unchained Melody." And just yesterday, they looked the other way when she unprofessionally forgot a key change. Haley falls on her ass and recovers in a split second. But Lauren just stands there, stiff, terrified, a little girl. Afraid to try. Afraid of the word 'evil.' Afraid to be even remotely sexy. Yuck. Welcome to the finals, wimp.

    If Simon was judging this season he would have ensure Lauren was sent her home after the "Unchained Melody" fiasco. But not our judges. Not America. The south shall rise again! Bring on the two crackers standing.

    I'm not a big IDOL fan. I've never watched a full season before. And now I remember why. They don't pick the best. Frankly, in all my years of being a pop culture fan, I have never heard a voice quite like Haley's. (Nor Paul's for that matter.) And both Casey and James have more talent in their guitar strumming pinky's than Lauren does in her whole body hidden under that awful Midwestern prom dress from the eighties last night!

    I only hope that Haley gets a brilliant recording contract pronto. (If they gave one to Pia right away, they probably will.) Adam Lambert said hers is the album he's looking forward to. So did a lot of critics who know best. And you and me too, I'll bet, eh Gillian? Haley was bold, edgy, and unpredictable. She made risky choices and made the songs her own. I think her versions of "The House of The Rising Sun" and "Benny and the Jets" may be the best covers of those songs ever recorded. And she has never, ever, ever been off pitch or failed to hit a high note, or refused to try to hit one. She really grew too which was important too. Unlike Scotty who didn't really stretch too much as he was fully formed at the audition stage. Lauren actually shrunk each week. Only James, Casey and Haley grew and got better and more interesting and more daring with each new week. But they're home now.


    I don't know if I'll watch next week. And if I do it will only to see Haley, James and Casey. And...and... be able to appreciate your final blog about Season 11. Congrats, Haley and your prettier lookalike and fan, the incomparable Gillian Trojanowski Carlin, queen of the blogs. I adore you both and thank you for making IDOL so exceptional this year.

  2. I loved Haley's reaction to being ousted: stunned, shocked and then she sang her pretty little ass off, and showed her sassy chicago self. I will watch the finale but FMR, what a crappy sing off. Two cheese balls.

  3. Jeff -

    Your comments inspired me to do some research, and there are two glaring stories here:

    1) 6 of the 9 Idol winners are guessed it...THE SOUTH. The ONLY winners not from the South are Jordin Sparks, David Cook, and Lee DeWyze. But Kelly, Ruben, Fantasia, Carrie, Taylor, and Kris Allen are all from the Southern states. Not only that, but most of the "notable" finalists who didn't win are ALSO from the South, including Kellie Pickler, Diana DeGarmo, Clay Aiken, and Daughtry. And I might add, Kellie, Fantasia, Daughtry, and Clay are all from NORTH CAROLINA. (Which bodes well for our boy, Scotty, doesn't it?)

    2) The real winners appear to be the contestants who DON'T win. (Have we heard a word from Lee DeWyze or Kris Allen since they won Idol?). The contestants who have made the biggest splash and gone on to greater things - whether it's album sales (Daughtry, Lambert) or freakin' OSCARS (J-Hudson), were the losers on the show. I'm hoping this trend holds true for this season's stand-outs - Pia, James, Haley, even Paul.

    The only bona fide star from Idol is Carrie Underwood. A country star. So I can see why Idol was hoping for a country-throwdown in the finale. And no, Scotty and Lauren are not re-inventing the wheel in country music, and in fact, Scotty has been praised this entire season for being a throwback - but that's the way country fans like it. Right or wrong, country music is about finding great new voices, and staying in touch with classic roots. Whether we like it or not. Think about it - every country singer's dream is to perform at The Grand Ole Opry. Quite the dated tradition, no?Ugh.

    Oh Haley, I will miss her dearly. I truly hope she gains a kick-ass career from her time on Idol. She's certainly got Jimmy Iovine on her side, and he's a good friend to have. And we need her to succeed - the last thing I want to see if Haley failing in the music biz and ending up in the pages of Playboy to pay the bills, like so many other almost-stars out there. Boo.

    As for James, I think he's going to do fine, too. I can't turn on the radio anymore without hearing 30 Second to Mars' "Closer to the Edge" - an ok song, but only hugely popular now because James performed it on Idol. I bet Jared Leto is jealous that James took his song to heights that he never could!

    Oh well, there's always next season. Or The Voice. But this has been fun! Jeff, thanks for your comments and attention, chatting back and forth with YOU has been a blast!


  4. Gillian, you again have said it all so well. Indeed the south ensures the winners. And God knows that laundry list of them is not encouraging for anyone trying out for IDOL from anywhere north of the Mason Dixon line.

    Interesting comments you had about country music too. It is all about respectin' your mama and pappie and tryin' to make it at the Gran' Ol' Opry. Ugh. I think Haley will have a career. Maybe Jimmy Iovine can produce! There's seems to be some outrage about Haley missing the final on the web this morning so that bodes very well for her. She looked stunned when she was booted last night. Probably because she thought America was smarter than that. They aren't. And Haley is too talented for those hicks in the sticks who want it all nice and safe and comforting like every other voice on the country stations. Yawn.

    But again, what a fantastic blog you've written. It brought me immense joy this season. You and Haley, two sassy, savvy, smart gals who kick ass and came from Chicago and made IDOL pretty damn good this season. Rock on!