Tuesday, December 1, 2015

'American Idol': Judge Not

It was "songs of the cinema" night on "American Idol". Which means anything goes. Even the demented behavior of the judges.

'American Idol’: Judge Not

James Durbin brings the nasty on Idol´s movie music night
James Durbin brings the nasty on Idol's movie music night

Quick question before we get started: Why does Jennifer Lopez – my bad. I meant “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” – go into that full body spasm when it is her turn to comment on the singers? She starts rocking in her seat like a little kid with a full bladder.

Or is hubby Marc Anthony, who always sits right behind her, hitting her with a mild taser to keep her lips moving? I suggest that possibility only because Lopez’s incessant, braying laugh sounds like someone being jolted.

Notice, by the way, I said “comment”. I’ve never been a judge (although I’ve been a defendant more than a few times) but it seems to me what is going on this season on American Idol does not qualify as judging. Not when Randy Jackson burbles to Scotty, “I’m a huge, ginormous fan!” We get that, Randy. What about Goober’s singing?

Down to business. It wasn’t long ago that a night of movie music would have meant the eight contestants fighting over who gets “Moon River” and who gets “To Sir, With Love”.

Now movie theme night means absolutely nothing. Every song ever recorded has been co-opted at this point by some obscure film.

The selections last night came from such Hollywood classics as Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang (don’t remember that one? Me neither) and The Pursuit of Happyness (which I’m willing to wager was Will Smith’s least seen movie since Six Degrees of Separation).

Given the almost unlimited scope of songs the kids could choose from, the choices were odd, from beginning (Lauren singing Miley Cyrus) to end (James covering Sammy Hagar).

You knew it was going to be one of those Idol nights as soon as Randy called Miley’s “The Climb” “a great, great song”. Way to exercise those discerning critical faculties, big fella.

RaJa was just warming up. After Stefano belted out Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road”, Randy shouted, “Yo, yo, Stefano. Listen, dude, I’m telling you, I’m sure my boy Wayna [Morris] is going to text me in a minute from Boyz II Men, one of the greatest known singers in the known world.”

The implication I take from that “known world” phrasing is that Randy is letting us know that there are entire continents out there we haven’t even discovered yet and that the singers there are better than any we have heard.

Next season: Idol Atlantis.

Bad night for Steven Tyler. First he made that lewd, inappropriate comment to a mini-skirted Haley, “Here’s to looking up your old address.”

Then he praised Jacob’s “crescendos and innuendos.” Is that advanced music theory, Bucky?

My predictions for the bottom three?

Definitely Casey. On stage, he’s beginning to remind me of Norman Gentile, the headband-wearing nut from two seasons ago. More precisely, he’s a smug version of Stormin’ Norman.

“It’s so hard to find a song that defines me as an artist,” he mewled.

Jimmy Iovine washed his hands of Casey last night. Now it’s our turn.

Joining him on the sad stools will be Jacob and Stefano (even though they both peaked last night). Shocker, right? An all-male reject pile.

That’s never happened in the known world.


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Inquirer TV Critic
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About this blog

A true child of TV, David Hiltbrand has worked as a critic at People and as a columnist and editor at TV Guide.

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
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