I watch American Idol. So what? Who cares? I don't really watch it for the music, but like any television show, there is some drama to watching a complete season. There are characters, heroes (Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynch) and villains (Tim Urban, Ellen DeGeneres).
Once in a while you hear a decent performance, and it certainly resurrects the original versions of songs that some viewers would not have otherwise been exposed to (I am sure American Idol contestants botching Hallelujah has lead to discoveries of Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen).
Okay, so the point. This morning my mom sent me an email with her recap of last night's American Idol. And well, it turned into a brief back and forth. My mother and I rarely get to discuss things like artistic merit, music, fashion and competition: Spartan's fun zone. Here are some (mostly unedited) highlights.
And for those that argue American Idol is a dumbing down of society, a future blog that will attempt to justify it. For those that argue this entry dumbs down Spartan, a reminder of this.
Dave's Mom: Crystal - good job; liked it a bunch
Dave: Agreed. She's solid and doesn't need the show anymore.
DM: Right - I don't think she will win because the audience tends to choose less out there singers.
D: Maybe. I just think there are 4 rockers this year and it's rarely an all rock final. So something has to give. I don't really think it's going to hurt her career to be booted early. It might even help.
DM: Andrew - Karaoke a bit; a bit boring or unexciting
D: Brutal. Worst of the night and surely he'll go home. Song choice has destroyed him. He always picks something lame and light instead of going for gravitas (Can't Buy Me Love and Hound Dog?! Are you kidding me? Your dad was in a gang! Where's your depth and pain?)
DM: Agree 100% with your comments
D: Thank you. And to add: I mean, you have a neck tattoo! Where's your edge?!
DM: Tim - the Karaoke continues; give this boy a telethon to buy a personality (don't understand why the judges liked it. Perhaps he is wearing them down and they have to start saying something nice about him)
D: I didn't hate this. It was pretty good. Even pretty. I still don't like him and think he's soulless.
DM: Pretty indeed. I do agree that he is soulless.
D: He'll go into cruise control now and only do those songs. He reminds me a bit of Jason Castro now. Empty masquerading as deep and cute masquerading as important.
DM: Lee - I really like his voice and enjoyed this one possibly better
D: Lee was amazing. I like him better than David Cook, who I guess is the most obvious comparison.
DM: He reminds me a bit of Dave Matthews. By the way I LOVED David Cook.
D: Good comparison to Dave Matthews. Look at you! The song Dave Matthews played at the Grammy's was amazing and I can see Lee going that way. I didn't love David Cook. His originality was someone else's originality (doing a version of a song the exact same way as someone else's version is not creative e.g. when he did Billie Jean he was ripping off someone else's version of Billie Jean; sort of how it bugs me when people sing Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah...it's amazing, but it's not amazing to do HIS version...it's Leonard Cohen's song. Do YOUR version Tim Urban!)
DM: Aaron - Ouch! Started really poorly and went downhill from there. (He will get pre-pubescent votes and remain in the competition however.)
D: I think the pubescent votes got to Tim. Strong finish, great voice, but this guy is in trouble, though in 5 years, you and Dad will buy his album.
(Editor's Note: a brief conversation about Pamela Anderson ensued. Most of that has been redacted. But here's how it ended:)
D: I don't watch Dancing with the Stars. I don't think she's slutty per se. Besides, it seems to keep her rich. She's got maybe 5 more years of people thinking she doesn't look creepy.
DM: Siobhan - Not my favourite of hers until she got funky toward the end. I don't like her lower register because it sounds like she is trying to be some sex kitten.
D: She's sounding very 70s right now. Which might not be a bad thing. I actually think she's peaked and can't really do anything to surprise. I originally thought she'd be in the top 2, but not anymore. Her song choices haven't helped. If they do a Dusty Springfield week, she'll be fine. They won't.
DM: Too bad because I really like her voice, her look and her attitude. Again, the voters won't keep her around to the final 2.
D: Agreed. Though most people think she sings from her nose. I did like her defence last night.
DM: Michael - I liked it but think the judges should have let him go last
week. Really nice, pure tones to his voice.
DM: This was amazing. Second or third best of the night and I completely agree with the judges keeping him (especially when Tim is still around). Totally deserves to be in still, and should be top 3.
D: I just think they may need the save for
DM: They could use it after the top 5 and she'll surely make it that far. I think voters are smart enough to keep someone like her around. I give the AI audience some credit. Very little though until they turf Katie or Tim.
D: Katie - Most upbeat, most personality but time for her to say goodbye in my humble opinion - I personally am tired of her.
DM: Dislike her completely. She's got a poor sense of who she can be as a singer. I've agreed with Simon's comments. She's not Mary J Blige. At most, she's Taylor Swift. She was great last week, but I think she should be bottom 3 with the other two young ones.
DM: Total agreement!
DM: Casey - I like Casey but this was not his best for me. Too many other really good Elvis songs he could have chosen.
D: I agree with you. He's pretty awesome, and while I'm glad he chose something cool (Hound Dog and Blue Suede shoes are just lame choices from two this week), I think something like You'll Never Walk Alone or something more epic from Elvis would've been good (even Guitar Man, which is a great Elvis song made famous by Jerry Reed!)
DM: Needs a stylist to dress him as well. I know it is tough for the men to look good but Casey looks like he got dressed in the barn before going out to milk the cows. And yet he has that rocker vibe when he sings. Perhaps he could watch some Bon Jovi videos to see how Jon dresses and presents himself on the stage.
D: I disagree with you on every single point there. Are you suggesting Casey should wear leather pants? Casey wears fantastic shirts. I am inspired by how they keep his sleeves rolled up without rolling? I asked