by pat howard

IDOL VIRGIN | The top 10 leave a bad R&B taste in my mouth

In Idol Virgin on March 31, 2010 at 10:33 am

These two-hour shows just keep getting more bloated. Before tonight, I thought I liked R&B, but the contestants were out to prove me wrong. Worst of all, I am starting to respect Ryan Seacrest.

How did this season fall apart? Celebrity mentor Usher seemed to be on top of correcting whatever damage Miley Cyrus inflicted last week, but his wisdom fell on deaf ears. I guess I’m grading these people on a curve? I truly feel that we should return to double-elimination weeks, which I’m told will only happen at this point in the event that the judges use their “save.”

The problem with reality shows that seek the best basket weaver or, in this case, malleable pop star, is that the candidates they turn out are not the best in existence. They’re just the best available, the cream of the mediocre crop that agrees to submit to the format’s conditions in exchange for attention. So here we are, us with the bored and unimpressed expressions, and Ellen with her untied bowtie as a perfect metaphor for her contributions to the show.

  • Siobhan (“Through the Fire”) can hit the notes or dress herself, but apparently not both. At first I thought I wasn’t into the groove yet, but then the judges came on and tore her up. Validated! C+
  • Casey (“Hold On, I’m Coming”) wasn’t exciting. I fear he may be getting lost on the big stage, and he looks so small standing still behind that guitar. B
  • Mike (“Ready for Love”) made great decisions, from song choice to staging, and his performance was marred only by the swaying studio audience. A
  • Didi (“What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?”) looked great, and maybe figured she’d get by with a bland performance because of sparkly dress. C+
  • Tim (“Sweet Love”) gave the camera a scarily intense staredown, but picked an arrangement so lame that there was no risk of it being good or, more likely, terrible. C
  • Andrew (“Forever”) had his strongest night in recent memory, and for once deserves to stay in it this week. B
  • Katie‘s (“Chain of Fools”) song choice could’ve been the night’s theme. She at least moved around up there, but was sultry in no particular direction. B-
  • Lee (“Treat Her Like a Lady”) wowed me, despite his walking pneumonia. I’m pretty sure I’d like his voice if he were singing 800 numbers in commercials. Now he just needs to stop being terrified. A
  • Crystal (“Midnight Train to Georgia”) is a force, and elevates the whole lot of them. Good to see her on piano, but she didn’t rock it as hard as she does the guitar. A
  • Aaron (“Ain’t No Sunshine”) finished the show as Siobhan began it, disappointingly. B-

I cannot wait for this week to be over. Next week has got to be an improvement, right?

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