Wednesday, April 12

Who Can Come Behind Freddy Mercury?

And that, my friends, is a loaded question.
Last night, the boys and girls of American Idol performed Queen songs.  Now, when a rock group's de facto leader, front man and perceived main talent dies, I think the proper thing to do is to fold up the tent, say thanks for the moments in the sun, and move on to other projects.  It is my belief that a band should not call itself Queen any longer if Freddy Mercury is no longer in the band.  I don't care who wrote the songs, who was the brains behind the group.  To me, Queen should not possibly exist anymore.  Freddy Mercury was Queen.  Queen should have died when he died.  Understand?  It's like if Sketch22 tried to continue on without Matt Rainnie.  It just shouldn't be attempt - okay, bad analogy.
So, when the remaining members of what-I-will-call Queen After Freddy Mercury, or QAFM  (a great radio station, by the way) come on to American Idol, to me, it's like two whores meeting each other on the street corner.  One whore is old and ugly.  Tired and cranky, she still insists on making tricks, even though her vagina was removed years ago.  She hangs out for a little while with the fresh young popular, Incredibly Vacuous whore, who would do anything, Anything, to become more popular.
So, big effin deal, QAFM is on the show.  Yay for AI doing a Queen night, but Boo for making us look at those ugly old snatches.
Onto the AI Whore-prodigies:

Bucky - Damn you, America, for not voting Bucky out earlier in the series.  Now I find myself actually starting to take him seriously.  In the past couple of weeks, he's performed better, looked better and probably secured himself a spot in at least the Top 5.  It's interesting: the more "seasoned" Bucky becomes, the less I like his personality.  Back in the early weeks, when he was a bit more naive and innocent, he had a wonderful "aw-shucks" personality.  Now, as his confidence and fame grow, he's becoming more like Kid-Rock.  And you know that ain't good.  Bucky did a pretty good job, turning a Queen song into a country-rocker.  And while I don't particularly like country-rocker songs, I think he is more than safe this week.
Ace - Here, then, is the most ironic moment of the night, for me.  Ace wants to rearrange a Queen song and QAFM act all high-and-mighty and say (paraphrased) "no, we won't consider such a thing.  The song will not be ruined in that way."  Yet, here they are, QAFM (still in existence without Freddy Mercury, remember), allowing middling-talent performers to sing their songs, which are, by the way, re-arranged to fit into a 1:20 time-frame.  I mean, seriously, QAFM refuses Ace a military marching beat behind "We Will Rock You" (something I would have been interested to hear, by the way), yet sees no problem in playing a 1:20 second version of Bohemian Rhapsody?  Isn't that a bit hypocritical?  Whores, I say!!  The judges didn't like Ace, Simon complaining that he was too karaoke.  Okay, so answer me this:  How can the song not sound like a karaoke version when the band refuses any other different arrangement of it?  It sounded karaoke because QAFM practically demanded it.  I thought Ace did an okay job.  I was surprised to hear the judges rail on him, and put it down to The Politics of Judging Favourites.  I did laugh when Paula said, as if sympathising with them, she understood that QAFM didn't want their songs"bastardized", realizing of course, that the audition weeks of the show are nothing more than hours full of glorified bastardizations of all songs.
Kellie - Like everyone else in the free-thinking world, I expected Kellie to horribly bastardize Bohemian Rhapsody. Like Simon said: "On paper, it shouldn't work."  I was saddened that she didn't ruin the song.  I am in the unwinnable position of wanting Kellie to a) stick around week after week, because she's the shows only non-singing entertainment right now.  Her idiocy  ("On paper?  What?  Simon, the phrases you use sometimes are beyond me!") equals ratings, and b) bomb badly, like I know she's always on the verge of doing.  Sadly, her bombing is becoming less rare, yet her stupidity seems to know no limits.  I wasn't nearly as whelmed by her singing and the judges were.  I thought she sang it a bit automatony.  She faked her way through it, as far as "rocking it".  And her southern accent is amazingly strong, even when she sings.  Most people have the ability to lose, somewhat, their accent when they sing, but Pickler's remains strong.  And a strong southern accent does not suit this song at all.  I didn't like it much.
Chris - I think Simon is onto something, when he says that Chris picks indulgent songs.  Or, rather, sings them (arranges them?) in an indulgent way.  He changes them into a way that suits his comfort zone, which is "heavy, alternative rocker".  I'm not sure if this is a bad thing, though.  After all, Bucky does the same thing (he "countrifies" all songs) and gets applauded for it.  I think what Simon is getting at is that Chris is getting boring and if he doesn't change up his routine pretty soon, we are all going to get really tired of him, even if he does what he does really well (and he does).  I'm getting bored with him.  It's really a double-edged sword.  He's constantly being told "sing to your strengths" and "mix it up" at the same time.  All of them are constantly getting that mixed message of course, but it stands out with Chris because he is so very much of one style of singing.  (I don't think Bucky gets harped on for his "countryfying" of songs because it's believed that's all he can do.  Chris probably has the ability to successfully reach out beyond his comfort zone).  Good job, last night, by Chris, but it's getting to the point where it's "who cares?"
Katharine - Personally, I was disappointed that she changed her song from a bouncy upbeat number to a stand-there-and-sing ballad.  I like seeing her bounce.  I am having a hard time remembering her performance, but I seem to remember thinking that she did a good job with it.  That, actually, is my problem with Katharine.  She's forgettable to me.  Yeah, she's pretty, seems like a nice person, does a good job each week.  But in the end, she is yawn-inducing.  She lacks spark.  She'll go far.
Elliott - Elliott did a better job this week than he's done in weeks past.  But I still cannot get behind him.  He just doesn't have the composure to be "STAR!".  I hope he proves me wrong.
Taylor - I was worried when Taylor changed his song to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".  Scared when he wanted to highlight his dancing, which isn't strong.  In the past, when he's tried upbeat 50's-styled songs like this, he's pretty much failed.  I'm thinking of that Buddy Holly song he murdered a few weeks ago.  Good for him, then, for pretty much kicking the shit out of this song and owning it.  I thought he did a great job.  I still have a hard time buying his "antics", but I think he (and Paris) has a fantastic ability to own a song simply by singing the hell out of it.  Just don't like, so much, his wacky personality.
Paris - Despite a couple of pitch problems, I thought her performance was, by far, the best of the night.  She has incredible control of stage presence, and has the voice to back it up. 
Vocally speaking, I think the final two should be Taylor and Paris.  Final four should be those two, plus Katharine and Chris.
Bottom three tonight:  Kellie, Elliott, Ace
The One To Go:  Ace  (or Elliott)

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Muldoon said...

Of course, as I've indicated on previous occasions, there's no whore like an old whore.

alexander o'neill said...

Wow, I was disappointed when Queen went on tour with Paul Rodgers, this is so so much worse.

Jay said...

Well, it was a step up from last week. But not much. The rock opera nature of the Queen songs is a big part of their appeal. Sure their songs are overblown, but that's part of the fun. More than practically any rock group, the songs of Queen are taylor made (no pun intended, or is there?) for emotionally charged, theatrical performances. And if you can sing Freddie even half convincingly, you're doing alright. Okay, who got it?
Bucky - Agh! I hate to see another smug, country boy on my TV set telling me about the hardships with a knowing grin. But he continues to improve. He's got the southern vote and will make top 5. maybe 4.
Ace - Penetrating eyes is back! But I wasn't buying his vocal. My favourite part was when Brian told Ace no to his request for the marching beat. I think it was the first time in Ace's life that someone said no to him. His pentrating eyes may have went sad, but he still managed to keep smiling that dumb smile. Three cheers for his team of smile coaches. Those lessons really paid off.
Kellie - That tacky get-up was the icing on the cake. Another vote-worthy performance. Personally, I felt kind of embarrassed when she rocked out the middle part, gyrating and struggling to keep it in pitch. But she gave us the big show right? No. Rewind your tape and watch her slip in her country wink as the song ends. Ouch.
Chris - Rob and Simon may be right, but he did it again. Okay, the brooding thing's starting to wear thin, but I so don't want this contest to be won by a crowd-pleasing mime with a shit-eating grin. And pentrating eyes. Whose name is both the lowest and highest in a deck of cards.
Katherine - I thought she nailed it, but it was all pretty safe. She's in it for the long run.
Elliot - Great job on a tough song, but I'm afraid he's losing steam. The guy seems out of breath and appears nervous. Could be his week to go.
Taylor - Great vocal. Lose the moves.
Paris - Best vocalist left. But the outfit left me feeling icky.
So who goes?? If I had to bet, I'd say Elliot. But I hope it's Ace.
And Bucky pulls another one out of his hat.

Steverino said...

Seacrest. At least he doesn't say that stupid "Seacrest. Out!" garbage anymore. I wish to God he'd stop picking at Simon. It just comes off as juvenile and sad.
Bucky did the only Queen song I said he could, and Bucky was still sucky. Sucky Bucky. Him singing an extended "oh" sound at the start of each chorus instead of "ah" just grated on my ears in a bad way. That raspy hick. Even when he sings vowel sounds, he can't get it right, and there's a redneck twang. No sir, I didn't like it.
Ace is just BAD. Like fire. Fire bad, Ace bad. Frankenstein could write reviews about this preppy bastard. Those pants! My eyes! Then my ears! Aieee! Go, Ace. Go now!
I thought Kellie started very strongly for her. A different mood, look, production... not bad! When things picked up, though, she went down. Overall, still OK. Will she be #1? No, but she's fun to listen to when she talks. She's endearingly stunned.
Chris would have done WAY better with "We Are The Champions". This unkown (and not very good) song was "meh". Like, who cares? I didn't know it, nobody knew it, and the song isn't one that wows at first listen. Same old same old from Chris now. Simon's got his #. Something like "When I'm Down" by Chris Cornell (if they ever get a free choice) would be great to lift him up again.
Katharine did almost have her moment, but those big notes were seemingly all just half a note off, and she couldn't rope them back in. She's got the potential to do something nice, well, or almost awesomely, but she just can't put all the pieces together at once.
I thought Elliot did really well. I would've liked to see Taylor do this one, as a bit of a shift for him, but it suited E.T.'s good buddy last night, too. Not a show-stoppa, but top 3 of night I thought. America won't vote him into a winning position with his short-bus appearance, though (oh come on, you were thinking it).
I thought Taylor nailed it. I thought the moves were appropriate for him, too. They're honest. Best of the show.
Paris I thought was good, but not great. That wig and outfit were bad, though. It's probably the same two costume pieces worn by that kid from Family Matters who turned to porn.
Wonder what next week's theme is... whatever it is, Bucky will still be around, and he'll still suck. Damn Bible-belt hick voters... same friggers that got Dubya in.

alexander o'neill said...

Of the ones I saw I liked Taylor's teh best, Crazy Little Thing Called Love really does call for a lighthearted performance since it is itself Freddie trying to sing like Elvis.