Friday, April 24, 2009

A Night of Great Disco Ballads (Idol 8 round of 6+1)

Carrie Prejean was recently spotted out with Ryan Seacrest

I’m still trying to figure out why Adam Lambert dressed up as K.D. Lang the other night. While Randy Jackson kept assuring America how great this year’s singers are because they hit all those notes, I kept wondering why they had a Disco night and the only person dancing seemed to be Paula Abdul and her inner-goddess. Just a reminder, in pop music it’s not the notes, it’s the beat especially in Disco. Let me translate, “This is our most talented group ever” really means “America’s not talking about you guys at all and they consider about five of you interchangeable.”

Are there really record executives dreaming of the day they find the next Donna Summer? Apparently, a bunch of these Idol finalists think that. How about that Anoop dressed up as a lounge lizard complete with mustache? You know what? The whole night sucked. Think about this, the apparent highlight was Kris Allen doing “Hard for the Money” unplugged. Did he persuade you that there were layers either to the lyric or the melody that benefited from it? Did you pick up any new resonances in the meaning. I have to say, I liked it better when it just seemed to be a song about prostitution, either literal or figurative. Either that or it’s something you play during lunch hour aerobics class. This is what I think, the guy was mostly just trying to get out of having to do disco. According to the judges, Kris is now a contender for the finals. What other story have they got? The whole Allison thing is not happening. If you have more bottom three appearances than actual memorable performances, you’re just not going to win.

That wasn’t the case with Adam Lambert. I’d say when Ryan starts asking, “Say Adam, how are you going to surprise us this week?” It’s time to just throw the fast ball knee high on the outside corner. I know Adam Lambert has both the voice and the stage presence to do that, but now I keep sitting on the curve ball. Let’s see him perform in a clown outfit. Maybe they’ll do Broadway night and he’ll go Freddie Mercury. Maybe he’ll shop in the women’s section like Kris and Paula, but maybe for different reasons. The way the judges have gone lately, Adam’s chances of winning are better than even against the field. This is Secretariat, the Chuck Noll era Steelers, like betting on Clay Aiken coming out some day.

Okay, that one didn’t fit, but the only real drama (not to say the show won’t manufacture some) about the next 4 episodes of American Guydol (Jordin Sparks was the last female finalist and Katharine Mcphee was the last one over 18) has to do with the coming reality show collision between the Miss USA Contest and American Idol 8. If you wonder how they might have made Miss USA more with it, instead of asking Carrie Prejean (this year’s Miss California, well except for parts of San Francisco) about gay marriage they could have said “Do you think American Idol is ready for an openly gay winner?”

If you haven’t been following the news, Carrie Prejean may have lost the Miss USA title because she told the judges she felt gay marriage was wrong and stuck by her answer. Given that half the male audience and a similar percentage of the men working behind the scenes at your average Pageant are gay men, some people didn’t like her answer. It also seemed mildly odd for a woman to parade around in a skimpy bikini, high heels, and makeup then start talking about the Bible being her guide in life. I just didn’t know that Ephesians came with a centerfold. Nonetheless, much of America is giving her credit for not playing the politician and sticking up for what she believes. Would they be saying the same thing if Carrie Prejean had suggested that we burn gay couples at the stake or mentioned that the Jews killed Jesus? Who knows? It’s all a matter of degree I guess.

In the meantime, they’re saying that she went on a date with Michael Phelps. Maybe if they’d asked her about legalizing marijuana, she’d go on a date with Rosie O’donnell? I do think they’re making too big a deal of it. When’s the last time you ever heard of a former beauty pageant winner getting into politics? You betcha, it’s not like Carrie Prejean is going to run for vice-president of the US or something. This is just Miss USA. Can you imagine the other four finalists that night though? How many do you think agreed with Carrie Prejean and America just didn’t get to find out.

Enough with the Adam and Steve business, I assume you want me to talk about Adam and Ryan. Here in California, we recently had Proposition 8 where the Mormon Church spent millions to make sure that we were all clear on the concept of traditional marriage being between a man and one or more women. You wanna talk about Big Love, what bigger love is there in protecting us from the horrors of gay people being in committed relationships. Proposition 8 split California voters right down the middle with slightly more of them siding with Miss USA.

Idol 8 is in this fascinating position of healing the cultural divide. According to most, the likely final is the openly gay guy who really can sing against the widower who works as a church music director. If it weren’t in such bad taste, I’d say it. This isn’t American Idol, it’s like a special episode of Wife Swap. I can see a final where Adam and Danny duet to Ebony and Ivory except with pink keys marking the sharps and flats. For a couple weeks, we may get to watch the finalists engage in all this camaraderie and exchange various tokens of mutual respect.

Adam can sing Bobby Goldsboro's 'Honey' in memory of Danny’s wife. In the middle when gets to 'I long to be with you", the camera cuts to Danny who has to take off his glasses to wipe away tears. The judges tell Adam how he can sing anything and Paula compares Adam to Bob Dylan and Tim Buckley. Danny then sing “It’s Raining Men” and blame it on Jasmine Trias. Just before the final chorus, he points to Adam then Ryan and winks. Paula tells Danny how on key he always is no matter what he sings. Simon thanks Danny for dedicating a song to him. Kara says something about how David Hernandez is probably dancing around right now if he's watching. Carrie Prejean comes out to hug both contenders and to tell America who she loves the sinner and not the sin. Adam gives her an odd look.

American picks a winner based on talent not sexual preference and our country will be whole again, though still 80 trillion dollars in debt. We’re probably not far from a time when instead of a recording contract, the winner of the show just gets a job.

If you ask me, I’d just like to see one season of the show where the winner at the end is pop music itself. Just don’t think that’s going to be this year.
Other Chancelucky Idol Reviews

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At 4/26/2009 07:39:00 PM, Blogger benny06 said...

I agree about the bigger horror of keeping loving relationships from having the legal privilege of marriage.

Interesting propositions otherwise. I'm hoping Adam wins with substance as well as style. I think he has it. The other presence is Allison, but I'm not certain why her fan base is failing other than someone is looking for "change".

At 4/26/2009 08:02:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

nice to hear from you. I agree about Adam. He appears to be at a different level from the other contestants, even more so than Melinda Doolittle 2 years ago.

I really like Allison, but I don't think she's mastered the stage presence part of things yet and that may account for her always being in the bottom 3.

The rest just don't do it for me, so it's been a very hard season to write about.


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