Yeah, I know. I admitted that the mojito was a tough drink to mix correctly. And last night, David Hernandez poured way too much sugar into the mix and failed to properly shake it up, baby and turned the whole thing into a schmalty, sappy mess. I don't care, I still love him.
My poor Mojito, though. Already, he's the vest guy? This is the stylists' idea to get people to stop thinking pervy about him? I don't think it's gonna work, Dave. Don't try to sublimate it under a vest. Own it. That's your only hope now. He is, clearly, sweet natured, and his voice was still decent but he was so lost on that stage singing "I Saw Her Standing There." Admittedly, I'm not the biggest Beatles fan ever. I enjoy some songs, but the only time I ever really appreciate that one is when Dustin Hoffman finishes brushing his teeth and then quietly sings it to Charlie Babbitt. There will be no enumerated list about his job at the pizza shop and how the lyrics of this song are ironic to David's situation because it's just demoralizing.
But hey, on the upside, Kristy was a country trainwreck and David Archuleta closed it out with a hilarious choke job!
Oh yeah, there was bad last night, and there was plenty of boring, too. But let's start with those who were better. Even after the sylists had a go, David Cook decided to stick it out with the elfin combover, and, in related news, his acrimonious relationship with the camera continues. This week, it acted like he gave it a wedgie in gym class. But he sang "Eleanor Rigby" and had the massive flashing lights and loud band and he really did do pretty good with it. I like his singing out of the side of his mouth and his cocky insouciance toward that bitter camera and the judges just eat him alive.
Fangs O'Flanigan did "Come Together" and the judges salivated. Admittedly, I thought she sounded just fine and was among the best of the girls. But if the camera was petulant about David abusing it in gym class, it makes me think that ole Fangs must've taken the cruelty to even higher levels -- like she gave it a swirly. You know what she looks like to me? She looks like Cher and Bette Midler conspired to create an egg and had Bugs Bunny fertilize it.
One word: Butterface.
Brooke did "Let it Be" while barefoot at the piano and it was okay. Again, she knows what works for her, but in a few more weeks, I can easily see Simon finally getting bored. On the upside, Ryan fetched her shoes and was totally down with them. Also to be noted here, Paula's comment to Brooke was that she "feels her heart." Paula was like a goddamn cardio-thorasic surgeon last night she was feeling so many hearts. Jason Castro got the exact same comment. Not since Dr. Christina Yang have I seen someone so loopy about feeling hearts.
Amanda Overmyer let the stylists put a touch of poof in her hair and she mumbled her way through "You Can't Do That." I still don't think her voice is all that good, and I still don't think she's all that great, but she is different and I definitely want her to stick around for disco and standards night.
The best surprise of the night, though? Chikezie! He was so good Ryan couldn't stop himself from accosting him.
Chikezie did "She's a Woman" and he had the stage presence that my poor Mojito lacked. He just tore it up. Also because of Chikezie, we got another jumbled comment from Paula, who, at the start of the show, had so eloquently orated about taking risks and how the rewards can be great. But after Chikezie sang, she lost command of syntax and told him not once, but twice, that "the reward paid off."
Also of note is that Chikezie, Fangs, and Amanda were the chosen ones to sit down and have a chat with Ryan as extra-special pimpage even before their intro-films rolled.
And that brings us to the boring section of the Beatles tribute. So boring, I don't feel like commenting about most of them. Instead, just a list: Syesha, Remiele, Jason Castro, and Michael Johns. Syesha and Remiele did not take a sad song and make it better. Jason did give us the little tidbit in his interview that he failed music class. On him? Cute. He did "If I Fell" and he strained on some notes but it was overall acceptable and he's still got spark, unlike the two girls who have yet to do anything of note.
Michael Johns, meanwhile, sang "Across the Universe" and managed to, yet again, raise the bar for mediocrity. Fans had flocked to him during the audition rounds and I've a feeling they're ready to flock away from him. Lamentable that he doesn't even have the checkered past to rely on to give him some entertainment value. But like his compatriot Michael Hutchence, he is strangling his own life on this show.
And that brings us right back around to the bad. Kristy Lee Cook tried to do "Eight Days a Week" and I was highly entertained because it made Hernandez's performance seem like a polished and posh production in comparison. She knew she sucked, too. When you make faces like this while performing, it's not a secret to your subconscious that you're coming off so poorly that you won't even get the Edy's ice cream gig when you're mercifully finished.
But, this is Idol, where we save the best for last. Okay, so I was salivating for it. I even had this next picture waiting, fretting that I'd never get a chance to pull it out. But on the most-watched night after the biggest build-up and with the grand finale slot, it happened. David Archuleta choked. BIG!
What? I'm supposed to say that it humanized him? Fuck that noise! Believe me, there's a lot more I could say. I hold back typing plenty because he's only seventeen, y'all! But I'm at least going to call a choke when it happens. And this was. It was a bone in the throat, Chuck Palahniuk novel, Greg Norman in the Masters epic fucking choke!
The kid will be safe, there's no question about that. But still, the magnitude of his choke is undeniable. He benefits immensely from having the final spot, because they don't have time to edit in the live version for the recap portion. Instead, they use the tape from the dress rehearsal, where he came off much better.
But it still happened. Hold on to your garments, kids, because he kept fumbling on the words and going out of tune, and just when he seemed like he was starting to pull it back together, it'd unravel yet again. Randy and Pauler were gentle about it, but Simon prefaced his remarks saying something about in the interest of fairness or whatever, and I knew it was game on. And then, what I was waiting for even more than the tank performance happened -- Archuleta's reaction to anything less than slobbery praise. Certainly, I'll share the moment with you. But first, allow me the indulgence of setting it up.
Three guys took some heavy heat from Simon last night. And the three of them handled it completely differently.
First, my Mojito. He is sweet, but over the past week, I noticed that he's not sweet to the point of stupid. He handled all the media with grace by simply answering the questions about his past with a repeated non-answer of it's a singing competition and I'm here to focus on that. He didn't get snotty or lash out, and he kept his comportment like a pro every time. But in all the tapes -- and yes, I did watch them all because I have no life -- I did notice his tell. When the interviewers would ask the question, he'd grind his back teeth just slightly, but enough that it would register and show in his jawline. And last night, Hernandez had the same reaction not to the judges, but when Ryan said, "It's been a tough week for you." At that second, his jaw tensed as his teeth ground until Ryan moved it in another direction and followed up, saying something about song selection and David relaxed again. But he didn't even register that slight annoyance when Simon said he was "corny and verging on desperate." Here's how he took that comment:
Next was Michael Johns. When Simon told him it was all a bit "monotonous," here's how he reacted:
Understandable that he'd be a little annoyed. But that really was the extent of his reaction to the comment. It was twenty years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, and I have a feeling Michael was in that band and already a longtime performer. So with his advanced age, I assume he's heard worse and he can handle it.
And then there was Archuleta. I'm not fucking with you here. It was like the perfect confluence of stage lighting and candid reaction to culminate in this one, brief moment of bliss. While Simon started talking, the lights behind David A were a deep blue color. The kid's smile dropped as Simon said he was going to treat everyone fairly. Then, Simon said, "It was a mess." I shit you not, the screen behind David went from blue to black, and he looked like this.
It was split-second eerie, which is what made it hilarious!
And with that, I think I'll end now and, like John and Paul said, let it be.