For the newbies, I'm Darci Monet and I make music and teach people to sing for a living. Check out my website to find out more. Especially cuz I could use some work right now.
I've been watching American Idol since season one and kvetching about it since season two. I do "drive-by reviews"...one watch, first impression critiques (cuz you don't get do-overs in concert). Thank you for reading, and please feel free to pipe in with your opinions, even if they disagree with mine -- just keep it on a grown up level. Thank you!
Okay, let's get this show on the road. It's two songs-a-night time! FUN! LET'S THROW IT DOWN!
Ok seriously. I am sooooooooooo tired of backup singers being dissed, particularly on this show. Sheryl's "humble beginnings" as a backup singer for Michael Jackson. That's a GOOD PAY DAY, campers, and a perfectly respectable living. And not every backup singer secretly wishes he/she could be famous. Some of us LOVE singing backup and find nothing to be ashamed of in doing it. Better than bagging groceries or selling car insurance, that's for damned sure. Stupid show.
Sorry, it's been hot here today. Makes a juicy girl a little testy.
James is up first and he's gonna do some song by 30 Seconds To Mars. I know OF this band but I don't know their material. Isn't the guy from "Requiem for a Dream" in this band? That's one wack movie, people (Ellen Burstyn was robbed!). Anyhoo...well...not my favorite of his performances from a technique or pitch standpoint (band was wussin' out, too) but he's getting so comfortable on stage and he really knows what works for him. I'm pretty sure I'll be buying his album. And I'm pretty sure he's gonna be huge. I just don't want him to get rid of his vibrato entirely like all these little snot-nosed "rockers" today. What I love about him is he really sings and I don't want him to lose that.
Did Ryan just say something about James going "full Monty"??? What'd I miss??? Dang it! Rewind!
So Jacob is going to do Jordin Sparks' & Girlfriend Beater's "No Air." Hmmmm...I dunno about this. What's wrong with the sound tonight? Everyone's out of tune, including the background singers. I didn't like this partially cuz the sound was so awful. Gotta say that kid can sing in the freakin' stratosphere, though. I actually think this probably would make a really great recording for him...just didn't work live and I'm not sure that's entirely his fault. GO JLo, telling Randy not to tell Jacob who he is! Now y'all shut up and let Steven talk. Btw, they kept calling Ruben Luther-esque too and when's the last time we heard him on the radio? Just sayin. Luther was then and Jacob has to be now and apparently he knows it.
Lauren is gonna cover Carrie Underwood. For a girl who is terrified of her own power, maybe she shouldn't be attempting songs by one of the biggest voices EVER...? I hope she blows it out of the park, though. And WOW, she sure did! Now THAT is the Lauren I was hoping she'd be this whole time! SANG, GURL! The sound still sucks but it goes to show when you choose the right song and leave your guts on the stage you can rise above that. FIERCE! I think Sheryl gave her some great advice in telling her not to worry so much about it being perfect, but to give it all up...it really worked for her.
Oh is Scotty still here? Servin' up a little Montgomery Gentry. And okay he reminded me WHY he's still here (once I got over those stupid Maxim models appearing again...seriously, I'm all in a good mood till they walk out and act like it's their show). That was a lot of fun and I thought he really took a bite out of those vocals and, like Lauren, threw caution to the wind. I always think Scotty does a great job connecting with his material but he has been choosing safe much of the time. This shook things up and I enjoyed it a lot. Nice job, kid!
Dang it. JLo's too cute whoopin' it up for these contestants...stop making me like you, you witchy little thing! Hmph.
Haley's doing an unreleased Gaga song??? Especially at the encouraging of Jimmy Iovine? I thought the contestants were required to choose their own songs. Hmmmmmmm. Now I know the producers force songs on the contestants - it's been going on for ten years. But no one's ever said it ON AIR. I expect a little backlash in tomorrow's entertainment news and I certainly hope it doesn't hurt Haley in the voting. Anyway...yeah, this is where she lives. It's all about the stuff that's steeped in the blues for her. I hope her album is full of songs like this, cuz it absolutely should be. I think she did a great job. And her eye makeup is STUNNING!
You're wrong, judges. I don't know half of these songs every week and it doesn't bother me when they do them well. I think they're full of crap. Except Steven, cuz he's with me on this.
Oh noooooooooooo James is doing Harry Nilsson!!! One of the all time greatest pop songs ever written. Oh I'm so excited...this could be so awesome and I sincerely hope it is. Aw jeez, he's crying. I can't take it. Haven't seen him lose his stuff since the auditions, it's heartbreaking! He stayed in pitch better while crying than he did on the first song! Clearly not a pristine vocal (and perhaps I'd have taken the key up a half step so his low notes could really simmer), but the heartwas there and at the end of the day that's what matters. He was the vessel, he served the song, done. And it was nice to hear a guy singing it for a change, too.
Okay so Jimmy's picking some songs tonight? Maybe I missed that in one of Ryan's speeches or something and there's NOT actually a scandal a-brewing. Regardless, Jacob is singing another great sad song from my uber-childhood, "Love Hurts" (coincidentally, Heart has recorded versions of both "Without You" and "Love Hurts"...you wanna experience vocal emotion, find and download forthwith). Ok loved loved loved the beginning, such a sweet touch with the harp...and I found myself getting into the end but HATED the horns, which immediately spread a thick layer of Velveeta over the whole thing. But Jacob put some stank on it and I only wish he'd have just said, "Oh shoot, WHATEVER" and used his body some, cuz you KNOW he wanted to. Wicked final lick at the end and super high "because I can" note to finish it off. Quite a mess. Quite a big ole hot mess but I enjoy that sort of thing...in the same way I enjoy Patti LaBelle.
Up next is Lauren with...oh dear God..."Unchained Melody." Nothing against it, I'm just sick to death of it...and still haven't heard anyone do it better than Clay on this show. Holy AMAZING DRESS, Batman! Here she goes...and Oh COME ON!!! What the hell happened? She was doing so great, building, building, stylizing it perfectly, not too much, not too little, flipping flawlessly through registers, building...and then she completely crapped out! I AM SOOOOOOOO MAD RIGHT NOW! This could have been absolutely a vocal stunner but no. What a disappointment. I don't know if it was the arrangement or if she just suddenly froze and quit. *sigh*
Seriously judges. Booooooooooooo. Chickens. CHICKENS!!! You can't let someone crap out on an iconically big song and get away with it, 15 years old or not!
Scotty is doing one of my all time favorite Elvis songs (of course written by the great Willie Nelson). I have no fear that he will settle me down from that last train wreck. And as expected, it was lovely and tender. I'd have brought it up a half step just so he could have locked in a little stronger on that bridge, but otherwise, he did it right. I forget he's so young. He's an old soul of a performer. There's no excuse for any other teenager on this show - or outside of this show - not to "get it."
Haley is singing "The House of the Rising Sun", which costs NOTHING to license because it's in public domain. No one knows who wrote it, but we know The Animals made it famous. Anyway...she sangin' her patootie off. I also think she's making up for Casey with all that growling. But I still love her and I want her to get all the way to the end. Again, this kinda song is HER house. Just about perfect. Great way to end the show.
And that's all she wrote. I think Jacob might be getting the ax tomorrow. But then again...this is American Idol, and you just never know...