We sing, we dance, we dwindle.

First it’s American Idol! Hello Ryan! Hello Mrs. Tom Hanks!

We’re down to our Top Five. And it’s Neil Diamond week. PLEASE tell me it’s going to be better than the last two weeks. I’d say it almost has to be, but I’m afraid I’ll jinx it.

Woo hoo – each contestant sings two songs tonight. And it’s only an hour show, so they’re gonna have to zoom. Bring it on, I say!

So, Neil is very fatherly and wise and has a great outlook on having his songs interpreted by other singers. Let’s hope he still feels that way when the hour is over.

A slighty different set up tonight. Each singer won’t be judged until after they’ve sung their second song. Which is the only way they’ll get this done, and I’m fine with that.

Castro is up first. He’s taking Forever In Blue Jeans (a perfect song for him) as is September Morn. Yay, popular music! Things I know! Things I love! Don’t screw it up! Blue Jeans is first. He’s playing guitar – yay! I love the key he’s singing in. Perfect for his voice. I’m really enjoying this from him. Yes, after the past few weeks, it probably wouldn’t have taken much, but,for me, it’s really great for him. I’m a happy viewer, woodland creature!

Second is Our Cook! Woot! And yeah….he chooses I Am Alive and All I Really Need Is You. Right now I am reminding myself that he also sang Hello, a song I loathe, and made me love. Make me love again, David! Make me love! Because, uphill climb at the moment, my friend. So, no one will have heard this, but you can tell it’s a Diamond song, even all Cooked up. Not my favorite, but at least it’s not a ballad. Nice to hear him rock after the past weeks. He does a good job.

Now we’re forced to listen to Brooke. Sorry, but she actually instills anti-anticipation in me. Near dread, would be a closer descriptor. And…it’s Kill Me Now time (shock!) – she’s taking I’m A Believer, and folksing it up with the guitar. Have mercy on me. SEND HER HOME AMERICA! Because? Smashmouth? Can do this song. Neil? Can do this song. The Monkees? Can even do this song. Brooke? Wrong on a galactic scale of No. Her second song? In case you haven’t gouged out your eyes and ears yet? I Am, I Said. On piano. I…might have to fast forward. A tiny bit. Okay, a lot. Because I don’t get paid for this. And I need paid….a lot of paid, to subject myself to this without being under threat of imminent death. I love these two songs. Why? Why her? I must have killed puppies in a former life. Lots of puppies… I made it through about 16 bars of Song 1. Weak, y’all. Does not inspire and it’s way too low a key for her. (The backup bass guitar? Him, I loved.) Last note was the best. Mostly because that meant it was mercifully over.

Did I mention I’m not a Brooke fan?

So….so far, Neil has been only kind and generous and loving. Because he wants to get into heaven. It’s the only thing I can figure. Well, that and his new album drops next Tuesday.

It’s Archie’s turn! I think he’ll do okay with this! I’m trying to be enthusiastic! Then I find out he’s doing Sweet Caroline and America! Shoot me now! Actually, he’ll sing them well. I think America will work for his Broadway-Give to the Needy Always, Even On Stage vibe. But Sweet Caroline? Why didn’t I think this through more? I mean, I guess Cook and Castro would have had to sing them all for me to be truly okay, but wow, I hate songs I love sung by people I don’t. So it seems. And then? And then? He switches up Sweet Caroline like he thinks he’s Cook or something and wow, it’s too chopped down to fit the two minute time frame to be pulled off like that. It’s waaaay too Up With America Sings Neil Diamond! for me. Not on today’s radio. Or tomorrow’s. And yet, the young girls squeal. Save your breath, he’ll never be going home with you. Just sayin.

So…better songs. But same performers.

I’m…..where is Chikezie!?! And Johns!?! Hell, Amanda Overmeyer for god’s sake, and I didn’t even like her. This is SO generic from everyone except Castro and Cook. They can all sing, but they don’t jump up and command your attention. I feel zero need to download when I listen to Brooke or Archie. Syesha allllmost had me with One Rock N Roll last week, but I didn’t cave to the studio version when it wasn’t any longer than the stage performance. And that’s as close as I’ve come to widening my download boundaries. And we’re down to five. FIVE.

Sigh.

Okay, so, yeah, Syesha pulls the pimp spot. Hell, I’m actually PRAYING for another One Rock N Roll week from her, just to restart the party. If she can’t? I say we open the show with Castro, end with Cook, every week until they’re the only ones left. She chose Hello, Again and Thank the Lord For the Nighttime. And hey, finally, good choices! (This is how desperate I am. I’m rooting for Syesha to entertain me.) She does a very Andy Williams Show version of Hello with the requisite screamy part in the middle. Seriously, she’ll have a great career on Broadway. AI? Top 40 radio? Not so much. Nice smile, though.

Mostly, I’m just thankful that NO ONE chose You Don’t Bring Me Flowers. (Though, you know? I’d have probably downloaded Cook’s version. Which is saying A LOT.)

Judges quick impressions on Round One? Randy – Jason, meh; Cook, strong; Brooke, Karaoke; Archie, da bomb; Syesha, strong. Paula – Jason, loved lower register….and then she critiques his second song? Um….what show is she on? Isn’t this live? What the… She’s all “he only sang once?” Simon leaps in to save her and asks her, several times, who her favorite is, desperately trying to get her on some semblance of not a train wreck (tooo late!) She tries to salvage, they kick to Simon. He says they’re lucky to have two songs. Rapidly, Jason – forgettable, Cook – just above average, Brooke – nightmare, Archie – amatuerish, Syesha – old fashioned. Generally agreed with Randy except for Archie, and Simon except for Jason. He’s not being overly harsh here, but he’s being very forecful, partly due to time constraints, but I still think he’s trying to move the bullseye to himself. (Who knew there was a heart of gold…plate, under there? Aww.)

You know what excites me? No, not that there are more commercials jam packed into this jam packed show than actual show, no, not that. But the commerical for So You Think You Can Dance excites me. Even a commercial filled with clips from last season are more entertaining than Top 5 Idol this year. Sad, really.

Okay, so you know how we all tease Paula for being loopy and generally under heavy pharmaceutical care? Well, tonight? WOW. Seriously. Watch her when they kick it back to RyRy after the commerciallllllllllllls and she’s all trying to just prop her elbow on the table. Reality programming at its finest right there, y’all. Scary and amusing, all at the same time.

Right, Round Two.

Jason with September Morn. Stool sitting, singing…and I like him this week. Call me nutty, but it works for me, folks. As does his lovely face and smile. At least he’s original sounding. Judges don’t appreciate his “sound” but it’s not traditional, have no idea where he’d land in today’s music scene and he’s not Broadway material, either, so I get the reaction. I just happen to really like him. SO there. Neener neener. Judges? Randy – just okay. Paula says he’s too safe. Simon says he doesn’t recognize him. I DO! I mean, I get that it’s not as original as Hallelujah and he can stretch more, but I like his “sound” anyway.

Cook with All I Need Is You. With folk guitar. For me, kind of boring. One unknown song is okay, but both? And when it’s kind of a rambler? I’m waiting for it to kick in, but it’s taking waay too long. And when it does, it’s kind of shouty, which, admittedly is very Diamond, but it’s not the good kind of Cook shouty that I otherwise like. Nice falsetto moment, though. He can sing, and he does a nice job, but I think it’s not the song choice for him. Just sayin. Judges – Randy says he rocked it. Paula is proud (and toasted.) Simon says first song okay, second song brilliant. Ooookay. He says David made the song feel contemporary, which is what he wants Jason to do. And…I actually get that. And agree. It was contemporary and he made it his own, it was just a kinda boring song for me. But props for not going the Top 40 Song Choice route. More or less.

Brooke hits us with I Am, I Said. On piano. And, I’ll give her props in that the gravelly kind of vibrato she starts with is distinct and works for this song. Otherwise, I’m still not a Brooke fan. Carole King -yes. Carly Simon – yes. But Brooke doesn’t have the richness of tone to make up for the thinness of voice. But still a vast improvement on song one. Judges – Randy says nice job. Paula strings words together. Simon Says this is the Brooke we like.

Archie does America. Archie rockin in out. In his striped Gilligan shirt and sneakers. I know. But he does a really great Star Search job with it. Impressive as all hell when you’re still ten years old. But now I don’t know what to do with that big voice singing halftime songs. Judges – Randy says he’s in the zone (there’s a shock) Paula thinks it was perfect song choice, Simon says it was a smart choice of song, check, check, check. Correctomundo there. Very Kristy Lee sings Patriotic.

Syesha gets on with her gospelly bad self on I Thank The Lord. Okay, I don’t know how down she got with it, but it was an upbeat way to end the show. And right now, that’s alright with me. F-U-N. We need more of that. Judges – Randy says she’s finding herself. Paula attempts coherence in a rather coherent way. Golf clap. Simon says it’s the strangest show ever. He thinks it’s all over the place. Simon says it was actressy-singery. Right enough, but he also says she’s in trouble tonight, and, honestly, I’d like that honor to go to Brooke at the moment. I think Syesha is at least distinct, if not memorable. Brooke is just someone I’d like the pleasure of being allowed to forget. Sor-ry! as Simon would say. But Sy would be next anyway, so 6-to-1.

Whaddya think? I enjoyed my little woodland creature and Cook did his thing. Brooke can go. Archie isn’t going anywhere, so I save my breath. And Syesha deserves one last week. What say the Blog Babes? Dish Time!

Next….Who goes home on Dancing? Well, first, let’s update on Christian’s injury. Yeah, he seemed in too much pain for me last night for it to be even a severe cramp. Cheryl said it looked dislocated to her, which would be in keeping with how kind of white-faced he was (for a really tan guy, but you know what I mean.) Nice to see the other dancer’s concern. He is on the floor tonight, but they’re dragging this out forever…and the emergency room prognosis was?

Yeah, hurry up and wait on that. So…Def Leppard on a ballroom show. Seeing them standing backstage. Surreal? Just me?

Encore goes to Jason/Edyta, thankfully for the quickstep and not the NFL…thing. Great dance, this one. Great choreo. Dirty Boogie indeed.

Len announces that they’re all done fighting it and wanting to begin the joining part, so, as of next week, the couples can incorporate an optional lift in each routine. Yay, progress!

Now, finally elimination, but no word on the elbow, although they just panned past Christian and Cheryl and he was gesturing with that arm, so maybe…..I dunno. It looked pretty bad last night, y’all.

Okay, who’s not going home? Kristi/Mark.

Dance Center, next! Still rockers in the back hall, but this time with leather clad pro dancers. My interest increases…. Hi Kenny! Hi Jerry! Hi Len! I love these segments!

Now Def begs us to Pour Some Sugar On Me, and I’m left realllllly wanting a Maks encore. And another cigarette. And? Still never smoked, so this is disturbing. Lots and lots of pyrotechnics, none of which keeps us from noticing they are totally lip synching to the original, which….odd. All original members, so yay! Still love the one armed drummer. And yet….. But hot dancers make me totally not care about why, why they’re on the show (because when I thinlk ballroom, I think 80’s hair band. Next week? Whitesnake reunion!) and I love them, love their music, just….odd. So I resume watching the leather clad, and care not. (Was it just me, or did the dancers look off their beat? Especially Anna. Since they lip synched to the original, it’s not like they switched up the speed or this. So..also odd.)

Next week is their 100th Episode Celebration! Woo hoo!! Everyone is going to be there…especially me!

Also moving on? Mario/Karina. Yay! Deserved.

Wow, Sam goes all rock fangirl Amanda Overmeyer in her intro to the second Def Leppard, who actually sing this time. And they still have the chops, so no excuse on the lip synching, dude! I already had Leppard in my iPod before tonight, but I like this tune. Wow, what is all kinds of wrong about the fact that I’m going to download more music from Dancing than Idol? Seriously. And I want to know their smooth skin secrets. All of them have skin like a baby’s bottom. (Stop with the drum cam – it looks bizarre!)

Then some sinewy latin lover dancer guy comes out and his partner, ouch, has had a really unfortunate run in with a rooster it appears. Can that be surgically removed? I think Christian is not the only one in need of medical intervention here. I can’t bear to watch! It’s inhuman. So, I type, and listen, and sigh in fond remembrance of Def, out door concerts, and heavy downpours. Meriwether Post. You had to experience it. Good times.

Song ends, crowd stands, crowd cheers. Not for the dancers, methinks. The lead singer seems confused. Clapping for us? The dancers? Should I be clapping? More good times.

Four couples left…who stays? Who goes? And why does Marissa suddenly look like someone’s Italian grandmother? We’ll find out..after commercial break. We’re back, and time for a one-on-one with Christian, whose arm is in a brace under his shirt, which explains why he could lift it around earlier. So, here’s the deal. He thought he couldn’t go on last night, then this morning he thought he could, then the results of his MRI came back right before result show time and yeah, eww, he ruptured a tendon in his bicep. Yowch. So he needs surgery to repair and I’m no expert, but I’m thinking that’s that. Which….no. NO? Seriously? He says the surgeon can delay the surgery, and if they are voted to stay on, he wants to continue. HOW?!? I don’t care what brace you’re wearing, you can’t bear weight, swing someone around, catch them, etc etc etc. I mean, that’s dangerous to him and Cheryl. I give total props for not wanting to quit, but that’s crazy talk right there. (As is his “deaf woman” comparitive comment. Yikes.)

But we continue on with the elimination… Aaaand? Christian/Cheryl are safe. She’s SO thrilled. Me? Scared to death if I’m her.

Bottom two? Marissa/Tony. Awwww! Boo hiss! Jason/Edyta safe, which clearly overjoys her. Which leaves Shannon/Derek as the other bottom two couple. Overall, not a surprise. I wish now it was Christian, only to save us all from watching Dancing With the Stars: Fear Factor. But, beyond them being there, it should be these two couples. I guess. Still, I’m hoping it’s Shannon. Sorry, Derek!

And yep, sans injury, America does get it right this week. Shannon is out. I am okay with this. You?

Dish time!

7 Responses to “We sing, we dance, we dwindle.”

  1. On Dancing, I was hoping to see Chrisian go… only because of his injury. Dancing wise, Shannon was the right one to get voted off.

    On American Idol, my bottom two are Brooke and (ducking my head here) Jason. I’ve never been a fan of either and last night they were the weakest to me. I’m seeing a David-David finale, which I’d be very happy with.

  2. I’m actually asking myself why I keep watching. I’m SO not entertained. Pasting my thoughts…….

    1 Jason “Forever in Blue Jeans” you rushed it at first but it smoothed out. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. I thought it was a good fit for you actually I just wish you’d put more into it.

    “September Morn” — I agree w/Paula loo lala (who gave us the biggest WTF moment of the night) you need to push yourself but I’m not sure you’re going to get the chance. This might be your week to go home.

    I think you’re ready too. I think you’re tired.

    2. David Cook “I’m Alive” and “All I Need Is You” –I thought both songs were good choices for you and sounded like something I could totally hear on the radio now. The judges agreed with me 🙂

    3. Brooke White “I’m a Believer” — WTF? HOLY HELL! What were you thinking? It’s not the Monkeys reunited, it’s American Idol. You SO blew it on that one. It’s not about you having a good time, or even YOU liking the song, it’s about performance and song choice–what songs are going to get folks to vote for you? Sorry. Bad arrangement, bad song choice.

    “I Am I Said” –You totally redeemed yourself with this one. I hope you go back and watch the tapes and see the difference.

    4. David A “Sweet Caroline” — This song is way too old for you. Poor arrangement, horrible song choice, and very dated. Randy declared it “THE BOMB” I think Randy was smoking crack during the commercial breaks.

    Simon said it was amateur and I agree.

    “America” I agree w/Simon on this one. Smart song choice. It’ll keep you in the running a second week but my thought was, “Whatever.” You’ve already lost me dude.

    5. Syesha “Hello Again” – Solid if not original. I don’t remember what the judges said.

    “Thank The Lord For The Nighttime” — Randy liked it….Simon said she was a good actress/singer reinforcing her place is probably on Broadway.

    Overall, I could care less. I’m seriously beginning to wonder why I watched. I think we need to declare David Cook the winner and call it a night/season.

  3. […] Donna Kauffman’s recap. Karin T’s Recap. And Shannon Stacey’s recap. […]

  4. I’m actually hoping Cook doesn’t win. I’d much rather see him make a Daughtry exit and just go on about recording his record (not, dear god, an AI record.)

    So, in keeping with that, I hope Archie wins. Because I don’t see winning Idol so much as the goal here, or even the priority. Cook has done what he needs to do.

    So give the glitter ball trophy to Archie. He’s perfect for the AI machine and I’d love to see them happily ever after – they deserve each other. And lord knows it’s obvious who they want to win anyway.

    Syesha can toddle off to Broadway. Brooke can just toddle off.

    And Jason can come live with me and sing for me whenever he’s moved to do so.

    Problems solved! Happiness and joy for all.

    Well, except for Pauler…..

  5. I was OK with Shannon leaving. I didn’t realize till recently she is 12 yrs older then Derek for some reason I thought she was younger.

    I was shocked Chrisian wanted to continue. I can hear Shannon whinning about it now. LOL

    I liked def Lep but it was hard to dance to. I bet Uncle Lenny was having a cow.

    I love love Sports Center. It was a riot. You could do it Donna you have said pretty much the same things Kenny said. LOL

  6. I was hoping Chrisian would be the one to leave after he announced he would put off the surgery to continue. He isn’t thinking about what is best for his future!

    Loved Cook! 🙂

  7. I think Christian should have opted out. He better be able to dance next week! I”ll miss Derek.

    I swear if Cook doesn’t win I’m not watching next year lol.

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