American Idol Top 12: Safety Dance

This sums up the night.

This sums up the night.

Well that was underwhelming.

There weren’t any winners tonight on Idol. We just had a bunch of contestants terrified to get eliminated and it made for some pretty terrible boring-ass TV. Looks like my last-minute decision to not give up drinking for Lent paid off huge Night One because if I wasn’t getting booze and caffeine pumped into my system (thank you Captain and Diet Coke!) I would have fallen asleep on my couch.

After last week it’s abundantly clear the contestants – minus Caleb Johnson, who’s just a rock god – realize the risk involved with doing a fast-paced song. OK, not all, because Emily Piriz’s attempt to suck up to J-Lo by covering her “Let’s Get Loud” should send her to the Bottom 3 and I imagine Geena Gina Jena Irene’s (we’re dropping the Asciutto, right?) will have her standing right beside her.

Picking slower songs and ballads is a pretty solid strategy, especially if you can tie the reason you picked the song into something super emotional. You all but guarantee the judges won’t say something bad because if you say you picked it because of your dead grandma, none of the three judges will risk the bad pub by saying you sucked.

However, these contestants picked like hemorrhoids.

If you’re going to do a ballad or slow jamz, pick a song normal-ass people know or pick a song that’s normally not slow paced and make it slow paced.

The only person who did that tonight was Alex Preston, who took Gavin DeGraw’s “All I Wanna Be” and put a bluesy, damn-near-reggae tone to it. It wasn’t out-of-this-world fantastic, but it was different and more noticeable than the rest of the crew that took safe over sorry.

Who else stood out? Not too many people. It’s so clear this group is more concerned about being artists than winning Idol, so here’s a piece of advice – worry about artistry after the finale. Sell the fuck out right now, do what you need to do every week, then worry about what you want to be when you’re laying on a bed of money like that fat dude on Breaking Bad or swimming in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck.

The night’s top performer was Caleb, who could clearly give two shits about the judges. I’m shocked he doesn’t show up hammered, rock the fuck out of a song, then pound Budweisers like Stone Cold while the judges talk about how he “needs to show a different side.” No Harry, he doesn’t. Caleb is a rock god and he doesn’t need to apologize for melting your face off.

I’m not a music expert, but I know what sounds cool (#oldguytryingtobeyoung). Jessica Meuse sounded cool tonight. There was something about the tone in her voice that made a shitty Dido song sound so real. If I had iTunes on my shitass computer, I’d be purchasing that tomorrow. It would have been the best performance of the night if Caleb didn’t make me throw my dining room chair through a window rocking the fuck out.

Other than those two?

Malaya Watson did a tremendous job of getting herself out of the bottom three, provided white people vote for a song they never heard of. Her performance of gospel star Tamela Mann’s “Take Me to the King” (thank you Wikipedia) was terrific and it might actually help her that it was the first time most of her audience had ever heard the song.

The only other performance worth mentioning was CJ Harris doing Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change.” It wasn’t breathtakingly brilliant or even different, but CJ proved one thing – he’s the only singer with honesty in his voice and performance. There’s no bullshitting with this guy. I don’t think he’s going to be popular enough to win or drop a platinum record, but he’s going to have a long, successful career. (If he’s smart, he’ll do this exact version of Jeffrey Gaines’ cover of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” and it might give him a shot).

The rest of them bored me with their safeness. Go slow and stay on the show. And they will.

Quick recap:

Dexter Roberts, Lucky Man: He’s lucky he’s country. Boring.

MK Nobilette, Drops of Jupiter: More like drops of Xanax. Boring.

Sam Woolf, Just One: Just one song nobody knows. Boring.

Ben Briley, Turning Home: And the channel. Boring.

Majesty Rose, Fix You: It fixed the perception of her, but still boring.

All safe choices and all these guys are safe.

My top three performances – not vote getters, because who the fuck knows how that will go. And why the hell was Idol showing that? Extremely unfair to the competitors. Give us results after the show, not during – were easy: Caleb, Jessica Meuse and a tie between AP and CJ. The bottom three were also pretty easy – Emily was bad, Jena was bad and MK was bad.

If I’m guessing on behalf of America, I’m thinking Jena and MK get in the bottom three. Emily should be bottom three and should go home, but I’ll bet she won’t be and it’ll be CJ, because America is stupid.

Dude

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