After his performance on the American Idol Top 10, Michael J Woodard should be the next Disney hero because he saved the night


Michael should spell his last name WoodWard because he earned another W Sunday.

Tonight’s American Idol drew the same reaction from me as telling a kid you’re going to Disneyland. No, not Disneyworld that all the cool people go go. Broke ass Disneyland, where your dreams come true but not as true as they would if your parents can afford the Orlando vacation.

It was the best show of the season, but that’s not saying much. There’s no need to take chances when you’re singing the most commercially viable songs ever made. Just get up, sing them and everyone smiles. And that’s what everyone did.

Except one.

Michael J. Woodard delivered again. Did he look outlandish in his winter white sweater with mirrors all over it? OF COURSE HE DID. Did he absolutely crush out the most memorable performance of the night? OF COURSE HE DID. I keep waiting for this kid to fail and he just won’t, except for the fact he only sang one fucking song tonight. Could have filled the entire two hours with Michael J. belting out Peabo Bryson, James Ingram and other Disney bangers and it wouldn’t have changed the results of the show.

You’re calling bullshit? Well, tonight’s performances meant absolutely nothing as far as the voting goes. It was supposed to provide drama, but the live voting helped American Idol complete its transformation from singing show to talent show to popularity contest.

How else do you explain Dennis Lorenzo, who wasn’t the best tonight but was far from the three worst, getting eliminated other than he a) isn’t as popular and b) got jammed in the final spot where anyone who heard him and thought they’d want to vote for him didn’t have the time to mass vote like they did for contestants who performed earlier in the show?

Tonight was supposed to be one of those “Holy Shit” nights where people hit monster notes or do original takes on songs that make us remember them. Idol hasn’t had a Disney night, but we’ve had “Movie Soundtracks” and holy fuck have those night delivered some huge performances. Tonight? I wouldn’t pay for a recording of any of those songs. And this is coming from a guy who bought Jermaine Jones “Somewhere Out There” after hearing like 30 seconds of it. MJW was good, but I’m not spending 99 cents to hear that song.

The production of the show was a mess. All the interaction with the characters was downright embarrassing. Seacrest should have worn a brown suit because he was UPS, mailing that shit right in. At least he kept the show moving.

So did America get it right? I don’t know. But they didn’t necessarily get it wrong. And that’s almost more important. Let’s get to the recaps, because the housecleaners are coming Monday and I’ve got to do the clean before the clean.

Maddie Poppe
“The Bear Necessities,” Jungle Book

This performance is why I miss Simon. Maddie was good, not great, and this song selection was safer than two rubbers. Bear Necessities has been done on American Idol before in the audition rounds and it plays well; it’s got that old-school hipster jazz thing going on and that’s Maddie in a nutshell. Her voice is good and leading off, I don’t hate safe, especially with three people going home. Normally, this might have gotten her kicked off the show, but leading off in this format it played perfect. Only thing that really ruined it was Katy Perry as Snow White. If you want us to take the show serious, maybe don’t give a critique dressed as a character from a now VERY #promlematic Disney film.

“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

Really proud Jurnee sang the actual words and didn’t just make them up like I do to annoy my kids. This song was about as close to a perfect choice, although the dancing moving around took away from the performance. This song is fucking deep and meaningful and powerful as fuck and I swear it’s never made me tear up and if you’re gonna sing it, stand there and sing it. That’s my lone criticism because Jurnee did a good job. Not great. Good. And tonight good was enough.

Cade Foehner
“Kiss the Girl,” The Little Mermaid

I was suspicious when I saw the set list, but was hopeful that maybe Cade could pull a Phillip Phillips when he sang “We’ve Got Tonight,” and just sit there and sing right into everyone’s heart. Instead he sounded like Scott Stapp taking a dump while drunkenly singing the Little Mermaid Soundtrack to a kindergarten class. This performance wasn’t good. It was bad. Cade went from potential blues rock to butt rock in one performance (and if you don’t know what butt rock is, google it). Normally, this should have been enough to get Cade eliminated from the show, but singing first three on a live voting show paid off. Being the lone heartthrob left on the show doesn’t hurt his chances but if he’s gonna keep ignoring the singing part of the singing show, it’s time to get him off the fucking stage and let him join a Nickleback cover band.

Ada Vox
“Circle of Life,” The Lion King

Ada might have been a victim of her – and I’m using her because Idina did (she also used he, whatever) – own success. This could have been a transcending performance, and I’m not using that word just for the pun. It started OK – and I don’t think the Simba wig was a coincidence – but it never took off. I was waiting to get chill bumps and they never came. Maybe it was the distracting AF stage lighting. Maybe it was because I set my Ada standard too high. Or maybe it was just because it wasn’t that great. Either way, I had Ada Vox out based on tonight’s performance and America agreed (which I’d say was based totally on performance if I hadn’t seen some downright hateful comments in reference to Miss Ada). Can’t wait for Ada/Adam to find a way to come back one more time.

PS The deep-throated “Thanks” was the second funniest moment of the season behind Catie Turner telling the camera she can’t win Idol. Fucking drew a hearty chuckle. Dad humor plays y’all.

Michelle Sussett
“Remember Me,” Coco

Michelle sang a song from Coco? NO FUCKING WAY. This was the most predictable performance of the night and when song choices get predictable they lose a lot of luster. You know what would have surprised everyone? Just about anything else. Also good singing. She wasn’t bad tonight, but you don’t get to get byes to the Top 24, the Top 14, The Top 10 despite everyone saying “your singing needs work BUT … “ and not expect to get booted once American gets its say.

Gabby Barrett
“Colors of the Wind,” Pocahontas

Ohhh, the blonde white country music wannabe sings a song from the most racist Disney movie? NO FUCKING WAY. Seriously though, my disdain for Gabby isn’t a secret but she was good. Just good. It was nice to see here not do a karaoke version of the song she was performing – 3-to-1 says she has no idea who sings that song. Would have been nice if she chose something from Frozen or Moana or basically any of the good Disney songs, but that performance worked. It was just the whitest thing I’ve ever seen.

Michael J. Woodard
“Beauty and the Beast,” Beauty and the Beast

This permormance made me angry because after it was over there were like nine other Disney songs I wanted to hear Michael sing and it was a kick in the dick knowing I’m not gonna get that chance. Michael J. Woodard is a fucking Diva and I love it. He comes out dressed in sweater designed by Bill Cosby but with Elton John’s flair. In the prepackage he says he’s a little hoarse, you can hear it when he starts, and then HITS THE BIGGEST FUCKING NOTE WITH EASE. If I wasn’t lulled to sleep by everyone before him I would have been standing up running around my living room. If Randy was still a judge he would have screamed “YOU ARE IN IT TO WIN IT” and we all would have nodded in approval. Performance of the night. Holy fuck yeah.

Caleb Lee Hutchinson
“You’ve Got a Friend In Me,” Toy Story

Probably the hokiest performance of the night, but it worked. CLH singing this was right behind Michelle singing Coco for most obvious choice of the night and he did a nice little country thing with it and by nice little country thing I mean he sounds like Randy fucking Travis when he sings songs. Go balls out kid. Turn that bitch into 100 percent country and live it. I want more from Caleb, but safe might take him to the final.

Catie Turner
“Once Upon a Dream,” Sleeping Beauty

I told y’all Catie was gonna get her Hollywood transformation and turn into a star. Tonight she was glammed up, makeup was fire, hair was up. All she needed to flick the glasses off mid-song and start spelling her name C8E and we would have been FULL HOLLYWOOD. Strong performance, except I thought it was Mary Poppins and was embarrassed when I was told otherwise. She’s definitely got good vocals. Can they be great? We’ll see. And here’s my guarantee for next week. Catie wears contact lenses. LOCK.

Dennis Lorenzo
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” Lion Kingg

Three things I’m mad about from this performance: 1, he didn’t do it with an acoustic guitar with no backing band or backup singers; 2, when that guitar hit I realized he could do Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” and it would probably make me cry; 3, As good as the performance was I knew my boy was in trouble. Dennis is a victim of the pimp spot turning into the death spot in a live vote show. He didn’t deserve to get booted because I’d say his performance was, at best, No. 2 on the night and at worst it was fourth. If voting was normal, he’d be coming back next week. Instead, we lose probably the most versatile performer the show had left, which means I’m sure the rest of the season is going to be filled with exciting song choices and amazing performances (just kidding, it’s gonna lead me to sleeping on my couch).

I’m losing my patience with this show. We’re at the point now where I can’t tell if the show stinks or if I just enjoyed it so much in the past because I was so hammered. See y’all next week.