American Idol: Songs of the 80s

When I read the theme of this week’s episode (songs of the 80s), I groaned inwardly. There’s so much that could happen. A lot of awesome possibilities. A lot of screaming hair band songs. So many possibilities for awfulness.

Plus, I was watching on DVR and knew from Twitter updates from friends that there was an “Islands in the Stream” duet coming up. I can’t wait to hear me some Dolly and Kenny duet goodness. (Or possibly awfulness. But it’s “Islands in the Stream” folks!)

But before we do anything, can we discuss J.Lo’s billowing gold lamé skirt? And Steven Tyler’s pants that he’s had since the 1980s?

Sorry, I was distracted by terrible fashion there for a minute. Anyway, we’re down to the top 8 and let’s get on with the show!

Deandre “I Like It” by Debarge
• I think there’s going to be falsetto all over the place. I might throw up.
• I just do not get why people like Deandre. His voice is weird. He does falsetto almost all the time. And if someone is saying “You send chills down my spine every time I look at you,” I don’t want him saying it in a voice higher than mine! Plus, he flops his curls more than Taylor Swift. And that’s saying something!
• Performance was OK, but nothing special. Vocals were Deandre all the way. But he still doesn’t do much for me.

Elise “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner
• Let me get on my soapbox for a moment: I love the song “Hallelujah” (the Jeff Buckley version), which Elise almost selected to sing this week. It’s a song that is known for it’s performance, for Buckley’s performance. And I’m not sure it’s the right song for Elise. Plus, this song has been sung (mostly badly) on Idol so many times, it should be removed from the song list. Picking Foreigner seems like a better idea.
• Beginning is rough and seems too low for her voice and like she doesn’t have control. She just wasn’t quite on pitch until the end.
• This arrangement just wasn’t right. Elise tries to make it more rock-y and gritty, but that’s hard to do over music that sounds like it involves synthesizers. Plus, what’s the point of the random useless choir?
• Elise suffered from bad song choice and a bad arrangement that did nothing to showcase the beautiful things her voice is capable of.

And now it’s time for “Islands in the Stream” by Colten and Skylar. Squeal!!!! This will be fun! Actually, I enjoyed this. Skylar’s nice when she’s not screaming and doing her best Reba impersonation.

Phillip “That’s All” by Genesis
• The rehearsal/mentoring session seemed scary. But he started off well. Phillip picks good songs for his voice. And I enjoyed his take on this song. He unprettified it a bit and put some grit into it.
• I sort of wish Phillip would perform without his guitar. He’s too stuck behind a mic stand.
• Liked the performance overall, but didn’t care for the way he ended the song. But it was definitely good, and he deserves to stick around here awhile. Good song choice. Good performance. But I’m still not completely sold on his voice. Yes, I still think he’s going to damage his vocal chords!

Then Hollie and Deandre sing “I’m So Excited.” Which makes me think of that episode of “Saved by the Bell.” And if you’re my age, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And then I decided to use the time to find the cord for my computer rather than watch or listen.

Joshua “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Simply Red
• Oh, I used to sing along to this song with so much feeling when I was a kid. I truly thought I knew all of what it was about. Oh, I love young Mandy. She makes me smile.
• Hey, the pointless choir is back! And Joshua came dressed in jacket that’s somehow a mixture between a Mr. Rogers cardigan and a smoking jacket. I don’t get it.
• OK. Joshua’s not my style. I think his performance is entertaining and even liked parts of it a lot. But mostly he screamed and disguised it as vocal runs. He’s definitely talented and deserves to stay on another week, but this did not move me as much as it did the judges.

Jessica “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston
• I think Jessica has talent, but I’ve been on the fence about her. This song choice was so good! You shouldn’t pick a Whitney song unless you can really sing it, and she can!
• I do think she could have changed it up a little more from the original, though. And there’s a place toward the end when she hit a low note and her vibrato was loud and proud—and ugly.
• Good performance. Nice vocals. Definitely shouldn’t get voted off this week.

And now Phillip and Elise do “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.” Somehow both of them are dressed in outfits that make them look bigger than they are. And their harmonies just aren’t there for large portions of their duet parts. Definitely not my favorite duet. It’s just two people screaming back and forth at each other. And fast forward.

Hollie “What a Feeling” from the movie Flashdance
• I wasn’t crazy about the beginning. Too much vibrato and she pushed/forced her voice too much. But she looks pretty. The beginning was in a weird place for her voice. Just kind of a grating place in her voice and she kept pushing out notes that hurt my ears a little.
• After she got to the chorus/end, she really sang it well, but it did take awhile to get there. I’m not convinced is was an absolutely wonderful song choice, but she’s good.

Oh dear. Another duet. Joshua and Jessica doing a soul song that I fast forwarded through. Sorry, it was a long day and I was tired.

Colton “Time After Time”
• Oh, Colton is wearing skinny jeans and an unnecessary scarf. Hee! (If you have no idea why that makes me laugh, please see this: http://www.jonacuff.com/stuffchristianslike/2011/09/sclq-christian-hipster-how-to/)
• Otherwise, I generally liked this performance. He knows how to play to a crowd and work the stage. And his vocals were pretty much spot on, except a few times when I felt like he was a bit flat on “time after time.” The ending got a little repetitive, then he threw some stuff in there—long notes, changing up the rhythm—it wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t bad either.
• Good performance, good vocals, good job.

Skylar “Wing Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
• Ah, dear. The cheesiest song of the 80s. That I LOVED in the 80s.
• Hate how they’ve styled Skylar tonight. She’s a teen; let’s let her look like one!
• Boring beginning with her just standing behind a mic, but at least she mostly just sang without putting on her Reba “country” voice.
• I say this every week, but it’s true: I want to like Skylar, but I don’t. This was just boring and a tiny bit shouty. She should definitely stay through this week, but my reaction overall is simply, meh.

In trouble this week:
I think Deandre and Elise and likely Elise will go home. Skylar will probably be in the bottom 3 also.

Safe:
Colton, Phillip, and Jessica

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3 thoughts on “American Idol: Songs of the 80s”

  1. Hey Mandy – brilliant Idol post. I wanted to say that I reckon Elise Testone is being sacrificed on the altar of “The Producers Have Other Favourites”: It’s clear that they’d rather have Jessica and Skylar get through to the finals above any of the other girls. And Elise is inconsistent, which means you never know whether it’s going to be a rockin’ performance or a complete mess.

    P.S. I co-write the Idols blog at Unreality TV – any chance of getting added to your blogroll here? I think you’d quite like our site 🙂

  2. Want to feel old along with me? Most, if not all, of these kids were not even born when these songs came out! Geesh!

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