I’ve kind of given up on “American Idol” at this point. The judges have clearly decided to serve up only bland platitudes, the remaining group of singers are an uninspired mish-mash of personalities whose quirky shticks feel stronger than their voices and the judges look like they’re watching the NBA playoffs under their console.
And Casey Abrams? Really? If his “Nature Boy” was as good as Jennifer Lopez claimed, I need to make a run for the urban oasis of noise that is Times Square.
Wednesday night’s show was the perfect example of what’s gone wrong, down to Lopez’s claim that you don’t have to be a pop star to win “Idol,” but that you can be a Norah Jones-like jazzbo and sell 17 million albums. Guess which jazzhead has sold 17 million albums since Jones? Right, none. Guess which winning guy has sold 17 million albums to date coming off “Idol”? None, not all put together, multiplied by 10,000 and supplemented by 15 million more.
That said, Casey doesn’t seem like the most likely man to finally break the season 10 drought of male eliminations. “Paul McDonald, your time has come for you to face the music,” said MTV News “Idol Party Live!” host Jim Cantiello. “Your ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’ was fun, but it was REALLY fun on mute. This is a break-up we’ve known was coming for awhile. We both know that this wasn’t a good fit.”
For Cantiello it just didn’t work. Neither did Abrams’ crazy-eyes, grunty “jazz 101″ move. “Bold, but ultimately too indulgent to connect with a wide enough audience,” Cantiello predicted. “The judges going on and on about how amazing it was made it even more awkward. I’m not sure voters hear the words: Esperanza Spalding, Norah Jones and Michael Buble and think, ‘I need to vote for THAT guy.'”
Cantiello boldly predicted it would be an all-male bottom three, with perpetual bottom feeder Stefano Langone hitting the skids once again.
“Idol” blogger MJ Santilli also said it might finally be time for America to send a guy home on Thursday (April 14) night. And she was pretty sure that man would be McDonald. “He performed in a dead spot in the beginning of the show and his manic, croaky performance of Bob Seeger’s ‘Old Time Rock n’ Roll’ was all over the place,” she said of McDonald’s take on the “Risky Business” tune on “Idol” movie night.
That said, Santilli lamented that the judges seemed incapable (or unwilling) to criticize any of the contestants this week. Even after Jennifer Lopez’s plea to support the girls after Pia Toscano’s shock elimination last week, they all kind of went in on Haley Reinhart. “Lauren’s take on ‘The Climb’ was tentative,” she said of teen Lauren Alaina. “And Haley is trying way too hard. I think Lauren’s got a fanbase, but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Haley hit the road tomorrow.”
Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston made it a clean sweep and also fingered McDonald as the likely bootee, especially since he got the dreaded first performance spot.
For me, Reinhart looked like a pop star in her multicolored minidress, but her take on Blondie’s “Call Me” was shouty, messy and so off that even the backup singers looked and sounded bored.
I’m gonna go bold and predict that Reinhart is going home, with McDonald and Langone rounding out the bottom three.
To recap, here’s our prediction for the bottom three. Agree with our picks? Let us know your list in the comments below.
» Maura Johnston/Jim Cantiello/MJ Santilli: Paul McDonald (out).
» Gil Kaufman: Haley Reinhart (out), McDonald, Langone.
Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.