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Idol and standards weeks has previously delivered some great performances- Kelly Clarkson’s ” Stuff Like That There”, Fantasia’s ” Summertime” immediately come to mind.  But it’s a week that always worries me, because there might be a desire by the Idols in the effort for relevance to strip the melodies of classic, beautiful songs to sound newer.

The mentor tonight is Jamie Foxx, who can nail a standard like no one’s business ( I love his version of ” Georgia On My Mind”, while his R&B leaves me kinda cold despite his obvious musical gifts).

Kris begins the night with a lovely, tender version of ” The way You Look Tonight” ( one of my all time faves) that turned into a gentle swing at the end. I loved it, his voice was superb, and I felt it. The judges seemed pleasant but overall underwhelmed. Shove it up your asses.

Allison comes out with ” Someone To Watch Over Me”, which she kept simple. The attitude all came from her natural tone. It was amazing and worthy of high praise that she didn’t get. Bite me judges.

Matt did ” My Funny Valentine”, one of the hardest songs to sing of all time ( it’s another one of those songs that on the surface seems easy due to a simple sounding melody, but the song’s phrasing is incredibly difficult). It was fine, nothing spectacular, and I think he’s bottom two.

DWP- I just- I am pissed off about that. He sounded angry and snarling at points, and then he screamed the last quarter of the song, and he was praised to high heaven for it? Fuck them all. It was the worst performance of the night, not that ANYONE CARES!

Adam- I really like Adam personally. I do. I think he’s swell and there is an open invite to come party with me. But I didn’t like it. I’m sorry. I thought it was screamy at points,  a little wild vocally, although this was the first time in weeks he did an upbeat number that I watched without feeling completely overwhelmed by the sheer force of personality he brings. But I just didn’t like it.  I didn’t hate it, but I do not think that is was the best of the night ( that goes, once again, to Kris).

This is an interesting season for me. I’m learning something about my music tastes, and it turns out I like theatrical artistry when they know when to let go and when to reign it in. Freddie Mercury was a master at this  , and I’m sorry, Adam is no where near Freddie level in balancing the theatrical and the artistry, although he shows promise in learning. I enjoy Kris’ controlled, singer songwriter vibe, but I always dug the folkie thing. And Allison- well, I love authentic rockers, since most are fakers to begin with. That voice is genuine. DWP and Matty are interchangeable with dozens of other artists. If Adam, Kris, or Allison wins this year, I consider it a victory that America really wants interesting artists in their musical landscape instead of the crap labels keep trying to feed them. But I am not at David Cook level passionate level for any of those three, and Adam keeps aggravating me with the overblown theatrics ( I’m also not a fan of Allison’s clothes or Kris’s monkey face).

Bottom two- should be Danny and Matt, will be Allison and Matt and Matt’s probably going home.

Fave of the night- again, it’s Kris. I love that song and I loved the fact he kept it simple and sang it well. Allison’s my second.

Adam is where he usually is for me, in the middle, sitting beside me on the fence, asking me what he could do to win me over.

Be up against Danny in the finals is the easiest way. Harder will be to show me that he can rock without the insanity.

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Quentin Tarantino, all-round pop culture geek, is this week’s mentor. I know some people have issues with this development, but I don’t. QT was a guest judge in season three ( he was a Fantasia fan), and every single one of his critiques were more spot on than any of the judges. In retrospect, he’s even more sane now while the judges are even more ridiculous.

Simon apologizes for last weeks overrun, which pissed of Fringe fans extremely ( I don’t blame them- it’s a good show, even if I don’t watch it often). Simon, ever the class act, blames the girls.

Allison tackles the legendary ” I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”, and Quentin points out her performance flaws. DC did this memorably last season, so I’m nervous for her ( it has a gigantic chorus). But she sounds so fantastic in the verse I immediately relax. She runs into pronunciation issues in the chorus, and there are a couple of bum notes in the bridge, but super solid. I hope cursed at first doesn’t apply this week. Simon finally tosses my girl some love. Yay!

Anoop to do ” Everything I Do ( I Do It For You)” and Adam to do ” Born To Be Wild”, I gather from Ryan’s throw away.

Quentin recs to Anoop to rough it up a bit, which I whole heartedly agree with ( the song is pap, let’s face it). He sounds really good, a few bum notes, but surprisingly strong vocally. He messes up the melody just enough to make it more interesting. He really is a great balladeer. The girls screamed through out. That’s what it’s about.

Adam takes on the huge classic ” Born To Be Wild”, which has always been popular on Canadian Idol ( Steppenwolf being a Canuck band and all).  I don’t like this vocal as much as ” Mad World” last week, and the arrangement seemed messy to me. The boy can sing, we have established that, but I strongly dislike it when he doesn’t control his vocals and goes all over the place. He doesn’t service the song that way, he distracts from it. This song is legendary and doesn’t need the embellishment.

Matt’s doing ” Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman”. I hate that song. Matty, you are making it really tough for me to keep championing you. QT’s advice to enunciate is valid. Matt drops sounds when he sings, and gets a bit mushy mouthed. I still hate the song. But he did it just fine for what it is.But  the bridge fell apart, and was all over the place. Man, that bites.

RyRy didn’t give me a Danny clue. DWP is a mystery… I kinda want him to do something ridiculous, like ” The Trolley Song”, because, as we know, I HATE GOKEY. ” Endless Love”… ridiculous DWPing song, right? Gawd. I hate this song as well. I feel gross right now. Missing notes, DWP. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill. Me. Now. Please.

I need to go bathe in Lysol. Followed by bleach.

Kris does the unimaginable- he picks something NEW and INTERESTING and INDIE!!!!!!!! He goes with  the Oscar winning love song ” Falling Slowly”. He decides against the guitar, and the vocal is imperfect, but so beautiful at the same time. I’m aching at the moment. Gorgeous. Love the chorus… stunning and emotionally perfect. Welcome back, Kris.

Randy is the biggest motherfucking moron in the history of mankind.

Is Lil singing ” The Rose”, or a different song from The Rose? The problem with ” The Rose” is that it is deceptive to sing. It’s a very simple melody, but it needs to be infused with a certain emotion or it’s a massive fail. I’ve seen good singers brought down by this song, and Lil isn’t that good a singer.

There is a difference in making a song your own, people, and destroying gorgeous melodies.  The Rose, a sad love song, is NOT a gospel song. Not even close. And I think it’s not pleasant to listen to at all. And her vocal isn’t strong enough to make me feel it helps her at all. FAIL! Not good, girl. Not good at all.

It’s still running over. They do all these modifications, and they STILL go over.

Top three: Allison, Kris, Anoop.

Bottom three- Danny, Lil, Matt.

Adam- confusing the hell of me.

Shut up, Fringe is supposed to be on!!!!!

See you tomorrow tonight for the elimination, folks.

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Frankie Avalon? Really? Although he is the Teen Angel. And Allison’s hair looks as though it was done buy Frenchie. Beauty School Dropout indeed. ” Venus”, fine, whatever.

That is the worst group sing ever.  Oh. My. God. Just awful.

That was also a really bad Ford vid.

Adam, Kris, and Anoop stand up, and the judges are allowed to give their Adam critiques ( praise from all). Adam is safe.

Anoop and Kris stand there waiting, and DI had Kris at the very bottom, but he ekes it out as Anoop is in the bottom three ( to be fair to Dial Idol, Adam was the only green button, and everyone else was deemed capable of being bottom three).

If I seem a little scattered, I’m pulling a double posting duty tonight, as I am desperately trying to save Chuck from cancellation. Just so you know. Anyone want to help? Go to NBC.com and watch Chuck episodes, write to NBC, sign the petitions, and generally make a ruckus. Before we all decide to start sending pineapples. ( Chuck fans will know…)

Flo Rida comes out to “sing” ” Right Round”. This song annoys me. Loved ” Low” though.

DWP is safe. Ugh.

Matt.  Safe ( oh, thank God.)

Scott. Bottom three ( rightfully so.)

Allison and Lil.  Allison is safe, and Lil heads to the silver stools of doom.

Kellie and her little girl voice comes back to the stage and I still am not a huge fan of the girl.But her clear confusion after her song means she’s still Kellie.

Lil is safe. Mean trick on Anoop, RyRy. Fucker.

Anoop and Scott stand there, bottom two, and… Scott has the lowest number of votes. Anoop is safe ( what is up with that?)

Truthfully, it was slightly better than last night, but he still couldn’t hit that high note.

It’s a split panel, Simon tells us. They are actually discussing it. And Simon pulls his veto power out and send Scott packing. That was the right choice, he went as far as he could.

See you next week, everybody.

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An Idol favorite indeed, RyRy with the buck teeth.

Danny does a version of  “Stand By Me” which is cheesy and stupid, just like DWP himself. I’m sorry, I don’t get the appeal. Why is he number one every week. Gwenny says it’s a different version of pimping the DW type of song. He wasn’t in key for half of it. And it’s terrible. Ugh. Somebody shut him up, he pisses me off so much.

The judges are apparently still do not want their jobs back, as Randy, Kara, Paula and Simon praised that shit. Please, cursed at first, be in effect.

Kris is charming in his interviews. He tackles a good song with Don Henley’s ” All She wants To Do Is Dance”. I think it’s a bit of risk, and it doesn’t quite work for me. He’s never off key during the song, but he lacks the dramatic flair Henley himself brought to the song.  It’s to dance-rock for him, frankly, he’s much more of a singer-songwriter folkie. But I like it soooo much more than DWP.  Kara’s assessment is right in it’s jazz funk exercise vein. Kris, you may be in trouble, darlin’. Simon and Randy were unnecessarily mean to the guy. Kris at least took it well.

Lil goes with Tina ( correct on artist I am!!!!), but instead of the more aggressive ” Better be Good to Me”, she goes with the overdone ” What’s Love Got to Do With It”. There are massive pitch issues through out the song, but it’s her best performance in weeks.  The judges are mean to her, and I’m feeling very protective.

A couple of weeks ago, the judges sneered at artistry ( albeit bad artistry), but now they’re complaining the singers aren’t being artistic enough. The judges are idiots and will be fired for the rest season if they continue the damn hypocrisy.

Anoop is going with ” True Colors”? Nononononono… that song is sacred to me. Cyndi Lauper’s voice is one of those singular voices that owns the songs she sings. Don’t do that to me, Anoop.

Anoop admits he’s a jackass a bit, and he’s excited about the Tarheels win last night (Booo…).  He needs to learn to enunciate better as he sings, but he actually sings it well, if some what samey.

Scott’s version of “It’s Over ” was horribly pitchy through out. And he’s on guitar!!!!!!! ( that seems odd to me). Not even liking it at all.

Allison, I adore you. She tackles ” I Can’t Make You Love Me”, which I left off my list for two reasons- it’s been overdone, and I wasn’t sure she could pull of the maturity it requires. But her vocal was awesome, soooo much better than last week. I might buy this one on I Tunes ( for the record, this is one of my all time favorite songs).

Matt is next, and I’m worrying, as he is hit or miss.  He tackles Stevie Wonder’s ” Part Time Lover” ( shortlisted but discarded).  He’s all over the place vocally, and he’s crushing my soul.  ( For the record, this is one of my least favorite songs of all time). Not good, Matty, not good.

What were the judges listening to?

Adam is next. My friend Magicalbeck and I over on the BBAC boards have had long conversations about Adam. She’s a die hard fan who appreciates the flair of the dramatic he has, while I… don’t. I don’t mind drama, but he’s prone to overdoing it at times, and as someone who worships those who could barely eke out three chords on beat up Telecasters singing  about sniffing glue, I prefer my melodrama minimal. When Adam just sings, I love every minute of it ( ” Tracks Of My Tears” was so beautiful). I even liked ” Play that Funky Music” last week, even if it was more wacky, because wacky is fine as long as he maintains control over his voice and his stylistic choices. I must say, he has been learning quickly. Magicalbeck and I come at the Idol experience with loads of musical experience of our own  ( she in voice, me in classical piano and punk rock guitars). It makes for an interesting dialog about what constitutes good music and the subjectives of taste and style.

And Adam’s glorious version of  “Mad World” ( the Gary Jules version of the Tears For Fears Classic). I didn’t think he needed to go up in his register in the second verse like that, but it was up there with Allison for best of of night, even with the vocal shake on the last note ( truthfully, it was the first time I’ve heard him miss a note for weeks). He got a standing ovation from Simon on behalf of the judges.

Adam, Anoop, and Allison were the best of the night, everyone else was mediocre. I pick Scott, Kris, and  Danny as the worst, but I suspect Danny will be just hunky dory and poor Lil may work her way into the bottom three, with Scott heading home.

See ya tomorrow.

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Top Downloads turned out to encompass every Tunes list in the history of I Tunes. So… we got the music world on a string. What did our Idols come up with?

Anoop tackled Usher, and his ” Caught Up” was competent, but pitchy. He also lacked a certain swagger in the vocals. Simply too smooth for his own good. He is a masterful balladeer, for sure, but balladeers do not a career have anymore.

Megan, god bless her heart, tried to do Bob Marley’s ” Turn The Lights Down Low”. and failed. I really love Megan as a person, she looks like a blast. But that was horrible. Bob Marley verges on an untouchable artist ( not quite there). Very unhappy with that.

DWP came with Rascal Flatt’s ( I called the artist!!!!!). “What Hurts the Most” is a song about losing the love of your life. Yeah. Dead Wife PIMPER. And whatever the judges  are smoking needs to be banned of the planet. it may be good shit, but it’s causing them to lose their minds.

I felt gross after watching DWP sing, so I did a tequila shot in the thirty seconds Allison’s tape was rolling, and then stood stunned as she massacred ” Don’t Speak”. That was not pretty. I love her, but it really wasn’t that good. I hope the borderline positive  reviews the judges gave her singing will save her ass from the bottom. But after last week’s revelatory performance, such a let down.

Scott came out with a better haircut ( thank God), his piano, and some Billy Joel ( thank God). I knew he’d gravitate to Billy if he had the chance, and he would knock Billy out of the park. He sounded his best since the audition- confident, on key, and mellow. He knew this song backwards, and the piano was great.

Matt went with The Fray. I do not like the Fray. No. Matt needs to knock it out of the park, and he sounds off pitch immediately. On the electric piano this time, he got better vocally as the song continued, but  I’m disappointed. I really wanted him to take a real risk with Kings Of Leon or something bluesy soulful rocker style.

Lil had to go with Celine, didn’t she? Come on. That is the most ridiculous song choice ever. ” I Surrender”? It’s not even a decent Celine song “decent” and ” Celine” is an oxymoron). She has some pitchy moments. No, not feeling it. What the hell is wrong with Lil? She was awesome in her semi-final performance. This is getting to be a huge train wreck.

The judges crack pipes must have been in use during the commercial break.

Adam does Wild Cherry? He’s doing ” Play That Funky Music”? Are you KIDDING ME?????????? Adam, nonononono… I was just starting to like you. This is insane, dude. No. No. No.

But then the music starts. And it’s bass heavier, not so disco like, and a pretty interesting revision of a disco classic. He allows himself some shriely moments, but I kinda enjoyed it against my better, music cool judgement.  It’s at least new and interesting. Everyone else has been so safe.I guess I am coming around.

Did Kara just say Studio 57? Studio 54, you moron. 54.

Kris closes the night with ” Ain’t No Sunshine”. Perfect song choice for the folk dude.  He’s on piano, not breaking out the funky Bill Withers guitar licks. And I am really loving it. ” Ain’t No Sunshine” is one of my favorites songs of all time. He even does a bit of the funk on the break. Love it.

Top Three- Kris, Adam, and Scott.

Bottom three- Megan, Matt, and Danny, but I bet Danny’s safe and Anoop will be bottom three ( cursed at first).

Megan, I adore you, but it’s time to go home.

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After all, with B.C.’s status for weed capital on North America, it led to way too easy jokes by our host, funniest man alive Russell Peters.

Of course, Nickelback opening the show with a song about strippers having things in their mouths was also a silly plan, as ” Be Somebody” is a far superior song. This opinion from someone who dislikes the band a great deal.

Peters took advantage of the increased interest in Bollywood by having dancers with him at the beginning, but let’s face facts, Peters is not a Bollywood dude, he’s a hip hop head, and he brought that to the floor. He was hilarious tonight.  Be proud, he’s Brampton’s favorite son.

Winners of the evening:

Songwriter- Dallas Green ( City and Colour)

Group- Nickelback

Rap Album- Kardinal Officiall

New Artist- Lights

Canadian Music Hall Of Fame-  Loverboy

Fan Choice- Nickelback

Artist- Sam Roberts

Album- Dark Horse ( Nickelback)

As for the performances-

Sam Robert’s ” Them Kids” was awesome.

But the two best performances of the night were City and Colour featuring Gord Downie, doing an amazing version of C&C’s  ” Sleeping Sickness”, and Great Big Sea featuring Hawksley Workman doing an awesome cover of Zeppelin’s ” Gallows Pole”.

Considering the weakness of the past year in Canadian music, it was a pleasant evening.

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Paul Newman, 83, actor and philanthropist. 09/26

David Foster Wallace, 46, author ( Infinite Jest). 09/12

Isaac Hayes, 65, singer, songwriter, actor. 08/10

Jerry Wexler, 91, music producer. 08/15

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, 89, author and Soviet dissident. 08/04

George Carlin, 71, comedian and actor. 06/22

Cyd Charisse, 86,  dancer and actress. 06/17

Tim Russert, 58, anchor of ” Meet the Press”. 06/13

Bo Diddley, 79, guitarist, one of the godfathers of Rock and Roll. 06/02

Yves Saint Laurent, 71, famed fashion designer. 06/01

Dick Martin, 86, comedian and host of ” Laugh-In” with partner Dan Rowan. 05/24

Sydney Pollack, 73, Oscar winning director and actor. 05/26

Robert Rauschenberg, 82, artist. 05/12

Eddy Arnold, 89, musician. 05/08

Charlton Heston, 84, actor and Conservative activist, President of the National Rifle Association. 04/05

Richard Widmark, 93, actor. 03/24

Paul Scofield, 86, Oscar Winning actor. 03/19

Arthur C. Clarke, 90, author ( 2001: A Space Odyessy). 03/19

William F. Buckley, 82, famed Conservative pundit. 02/27

Roy Scheider, 75, actor. 02/10

Heath Ledger, 28, Oscar nominated actor. 01/22

Suzanne Pleshette, 70, actress. 01/19

Van Johnson, 92, actor. 12/12

Bobby Fischer, 64, chess prodigy turned eccentric. 1/17

Steve Fossett, 64, billionaire adventurer. Declared dead on 2/15, though missing since September 2, 2007, and his remains were found September 2008.

Will Elder, 87, artist and satirical cartoonist ( MAD, Playboy). 5/17

Mildred Loving, 68.

This fascinating woman was a pregnant eighteen year old when she married Richard Loving in Washington D.C. The year was 1958, and they would have been like any other normal Virginia couple if the police hadn’t arrested them under arcane miscegenation laws. This black woman married to a white man would in 1963 ask the ACLU to take her and her husband’s case to the Supreme Court, where the Warren Bench overturned their convictions. The woman at the heart of Loving v. Virginia would toward the end of her life never give interviews, but would later release a statement supporting gay marriage, as she, better than most, understood that marriage is not always about children and religion, but always, always about human rights and love. 5/2

Levi Stubbs, 72, singer ( The Four Tops). 10/17

Harold Pinter, 78, playwright. 12/25

Eartha Kitt, 81, singer and actress and Catwoman. 12/25

Mark Felt, 95, Deep Throat in the Watergate scandal. 12/18

Bettie Page, 85, legendary pin up girl. 12/12

Odetta, 77, folk singer. 12/2

Miriam Makeba, 76, singer and anti-apartheid activist. 11/9

Michael Crichton, 66, author and co-creator of the TV series ER. 11/4

Studs Terkel, 96, journalist, author, and radio host. 10/31

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