Film and TV

Idol Beat: I Do Not Like That

Only nine hopefuls remain in this, the 10th season of American Idol (AKA the Greatest Talent Competition Since the Battle of the Bands at San Dimas High School). It's time to separare the wheat from the chaff, the post-adolescents from the mere adolescents, those who are "in it to win it" from those who...are just lollygagging, I guess.

It's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Week, so we'll be hearing songs from all the greats of rock, provided your definition of greatness doesn't include Joe Cocker, Cheap Trick, the Guess Who, Kiss, the Replacements, T. Rex, SRV, Rush, or Heart, to name a few.

And let's all welcome back for his third(!) apperance as guest mentor. Having any member of the Black Eyed Peas offer advice during something called "Hall of Fame week" is like Mario Mendoza giving batting tips to Tony Gwynn.

After taking pause to lament the absence of Marc Anthony, things got underway. One thing you're always sure of when watching Jacob Lusk (he sang "Man in the Mirror") is...I'm not going to like it. Sorry, he's just never going to be my cup of tea. And even with that voice, I think we saw a few cracks in the performance, especially with regard to his *cough* dancing. Still, he's safe for now.

There's a snide comment to be made about the constant Janis Joplin comparisons made to Haley Reinhart, but I'm not the one to make it. I'll just say her rendition of "Piece of My Heart" really did Joplin proud. Yeah. Meanwhile, the judges were impressed, but what I said last week holds, Haley's not going to make all the way to the end simply because of her gender. She won't be in the bottom this week, though.

Steve went pretty heavy on the superlative juice tonight. Janis is "his favorite." "Man in the Middle" is "the finest song every written." "Love in an Elevator" is the "apex of human musical achievement." I may have made up one of those.

15,000 idiots contributed to that Taio Cruz/Coca-Cola lyrics contest? Hey guys, I here Huffington Post/Cinematical are also "hiring."

Casey Abrams initially considered doing "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," which - by the way - is NOT A STING SONG YOU BEWHISKERED CRETIN. But opts for CCR instead, and his Nick the Lounge Singer version of "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" is so much better. The judges love it when he trots that upright bass out, though. I'm reminded of Dennis Miller's comment (back before he went nuts) about how impressed we were to see Clinton playing a saxophone: we're just so impressed we have an Idol contestant who can do something. "If he can speak Spanish I'll shit myself!"

Country + soul = control. Thanks, Prof. Here's another equation for you: (Tonight's gonna be a good night) x 50 = the worst song in the universe.

I think Lauren Alaina should have taken a page from Haley's playbook and picked someone she could actually sing better than. Aretha ain't it, and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" is the weakest effort so far. Naturally, the judges don't agree with me. Still, bottom three.

Hey Christian Slater's there, that's weird. I wonder if he has a new show on Fox or something.

Not sure about James Durbin's decision to dial it back a notch with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." This is his power ballad, his "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," his "Nothing Else Matters," his..."South of Heaven."

Fine, I guess Slayer doesn't have a ballad. Regardless, Durbin is safe. And if he actually does sing a Slayer song at some point, I'll vote for him.

Fox hires bimbos to rush the stage, and J Lo tells us he has "flava" after Elvis' "That's All Right, Mama." So what am I missing about Scottie McCreery? After all, he's "in it to win it," according to Randy, is it the smirk? The bad posture? The utter lack of range? Someone enlighten me.

Oh never mind, Pia Toscano is "in it to win it" as well. I must admit, while she started off a bit shaky, she finished strong on Ike and Tina's "River Deep, Mountain High." She shouldn't be in any danger.

Can't say the same about Stefano Langone, however. J Lo has another case of the goosebumps, but Randy is unsure. I have a feeling this chronic skin condition of hers might not be enough to keep him out of the bottom.

Sorry, Paul've chicken walked across the stage for the last time. The judges loved it, probably because they're contractually obligated not to talk shit about the contestants after they get below 10.

Okay, bottom three predictions are: Paul, Lauren, and Stefano, with Mr. Bad Comb-Forward going home tonight.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar