This is a long overdue post, but then, I've been very very naughty about posting lately. By naughty, I mean slow. Then why didn't I just say slow? ... I don't know either.
So, in case you were wondering, American Idol is back in all its hyped and bloated glory. Not only back, but down to the top 10. As I did last year, I'd like to post my favorites and feelings on the top 10, as well as my predictions. But first, my feelings on the season and show in general:
Is it just me or is Ryan Seacrest less annoying this year? It could be that I'm just finally getting used to him, the same way I've gotten used to the stabbing pain in my leg from having a metal rod jammed where a femur should be.
New judge Kara diGuardio. I don't know how to spell it, I don't know how to pronounce it. I personally really like her, she's managed to bring the judges closer together, and Paula and Randy seem to be paying attention this season. Paula's even offered some useful criticism. So it looks like I lost my best as hell hasn't frozen over yet, but Paula Abdul is able to judge coherently and soberly. Good for her. Kara manages (mostly) to hold her own against Simon, and during the auditions was probably my favorite judge, though she's gotten a bit stale since the semifinals started. Advice to her, start listening to what you're saying and what the contestants sound like. Build on that.
Randy continues to annoy me with his "black guy" persona, dog. Seriously the whitest black person I've ever seen. At least the producers have let him talk least among the judges.
I'm very impressed and surprised with Paula, hardly any drunken babble, and we still get to see the seal clap and drunk gramma dance anytime one of the cute guys sings a halfway toe-tapping song.
Simon is still Simon, though he seems slightly to only be in it this year to keep getting his fat Idol check and rub his man-nipples through his $400 t-shirts. Good for him.
I've enjoyed watching this season, it's the first one where I've watched it from the beginning, every episode, but I have to gripe a little about the top 36.
I've watched the show from start to present, and I feel like I hardly know who the contestants are and what they sound like, since they've had us listen to each one really perform once, and then voting 3 in at a time. I know them well enough-ish to have an opinion, but wish I'd been able to hear them better.
American Idol, Season 8, 2009, Austin's favorites, from least to best.
10. Scott MacIntyre- Maybe I'll get flack because I don't like the blind guy. Maybe I don't care. At first, I was hoping and wishing for him. "Go, Scott! Overcome adversity! You're the best!" I'd cheer with the rest of them. But after hearing him wheeze out a song, i realized his range is somewhat limited. From boring, to dull, to yawn-inducing, to wishing he would stop, he is my #10 pick. However, I said very early that he would win, because who is going to badmouth the blind guy? That's like punching the parapalegic in the kidneys, or chewing out the cancer-survivor because he doesn't like a blind guy. He'll win simply because our guilty consciences make us vote for him. If he wasn't blind, I don't think he'd have made it through Hollywood week, and I'm even a little doubtful that he'd have made it to Hollywood week.
9. Adam Lambert- I can not STAND Adam Lambert. And don't think it's a gay thing. I have no problem with the gay thing. It's the screech-like-a-monkey-boiling-in-hot-oil-and-be-praised-for-your-innovation that bothers me. Comparisons to Steven Tyler and Freddie Mercury make me laugh, and then cry. Ok, Steven Tyler screeches; but then so does a witch. When I heard he did "Wicked" on Broadway, my first reaction was "Oh, he must have played Elphaba." (The witch). And Freddie Mercury? Pah-leese. That's like comparing Paula Abdul to Sandra Day O'Connor. They're both women, they're both judges, it's like they're the same!
Something about Lambo just rubs me the wrong way, but hey, I felt similarly (but less loathingly) about David Cook last year, so that may bode well for Miss Lambert. All he needs is to keep the screeching to a maximum and stay stocked up on enough black eyeliner to produce a shortage.
And there's something about him that just makes me want to punch him. Probably the eyeliner.
8. Megan Corkrey-No. No. No. No. NO! It's not her singing that bothers me, it's her caw-cawing and shimmy shake dance moves that make me long for Taylor Hicks. Megan is the Sanjaya of the year, so we should therefore see her take seventh. Maybe all that ink stabbed into her arm has leaked into her brain or something. Pity it hasn't ruined her vocal chords. Oh! Too late! It's not that I don't like her, it's that she annoys me, and doesn't belong in this competition.
7. goofus oil driller (Michael Sarver)- I like Michael at first. Unlike anyone else in the competition, he's had a rough life, and is a normal working joe like the rest of us. But the longer he's sang, the more lackluster he's grown. At first I assumed he was just having a bad week. But then he had another. And another.
6. Lil Rounds- You have to hand it to someone named "Lil Rounds" when they're petite, cute, and have a Hugh Jass. I quite like Lil Rounds, and I'm grateful they don't do too many wide angle shots of her, as her posterior has a tendency to hypnotise. Not that I like it, but you gotta admit, that thing is out there! As for her singing, (she sings, too?) she's good, not as good as everyone thinks, but I hope we have her around simply to bring some needed color to the group. If it gets too white, we're in danger of the darkest thing on the show being Ryan Seacrest's spray on tan.
5. Kris Allen- I like Kris Allen a lot, I just like the other 4 people more. Kris Allen, besides having a cool name (Tracie's parents, Kris and Alan) deserves a lot more credit than he's been given. I was worried he'd be forgotten right out of the chute, since I hadn't heard of him until he made the top 13. Very likeable, cute, and his sound is extremely "in" right now. I hope we'll keep seeing Kris, and hearing him too.
4. Anoop Desai- Anyone else think he made it partially because everyone wants to keep saying "Anoop-Dog?" Me too! Very talented, not at all what you'd expect, and did a much better rendition of "Beat It" than he was given credit for. (I personally was livid when the judges criticised him for choosing that song, how it's untouchable and iconic, and then praised Adam for singing a just as iconic song during Jacko week. But, whatever. American Idol isn't known for being fair, just entertaining.) I like Anoop, but fear for his future.
3. Danny Goki- One of the best things Danny has going for him (besides more exposure than the weekly Ford commercial/sing alongs) is his voice, and the fact that they've finally stopped flashing images of him dancing it up with his deceased wife. That being said, Danny is talented, fun, but needs to step it up if he wants to win. He's in serious danger of peaking too early, and it may lead to a premature elimination.
2. Matt Giraud- Matt, Matt Matt. He's like a less goat-boy-looking Elliot Yamin. And I loved Elliot. Matt has more soul and more raw talent than I think anyone up there (besides my #1 pick). I look forward to hearing him sing every week, as he has wowed us and impressed us time after time. The best (possible only good) wild card pick.
1. Allison Iraheta- Despite the fact that she makes Jason Castro seem like the smoothest interviewee Idol has ever had, that girl can SING! She's what, 16? 17? She blows the audience away and knows how to rock it. If American Idol was not the popularity contest-hoopla that it is, Alison would win hands down. And Ryan Seacrest would finally be fired.
honorable mention: Alexis Grace
I was shocked when she left. She had style, skill and talent. Simon's response to her performance of "Dirty Diana" 2 weeks ago echos my feelings about most of the contestants. "Good, but not as good as you thought it was."
Lil, Danny, Scott, and especially Adam are good, but not God's gift to music that you judges keep trying to shove down our throat that they are. The producers invisible hand has been anything but this season, however, My biggest disappointment this year is there's no David Archuleta, no Chris Daughtry; no one who has really knocked my socks off yet. (Possibly Allison) But, they have 9 more weeks to do it, I and my socks are waiting.
Disagree with me? Agree with me? Who are YOUR favorites this year?