Idol, Hawaiian Style

Tonight’s episode, which switched out the old Hollywood Green Room of Judgement for the Hawaiian Patio of Adjudication, was an object lesson in be careful what you wish for. In my case, I had been wanting more singing and less stories all season. Well tonight I got singing. Three. Hours. Of. Singing. Even for an Idoloony like me, that’s a lot of singing by a bunch of people not named Adam Lambert, Amy Lee or Adele. It also puts me in the position of writing a less than satisfying summary lest I be up even later than my usual late hours especially since there’s another two hour show tomorrow that will require musings.

I have to admit that I am warming up to the possibility that this might be the most talented assemblage of Idolists ever. It certainly is the most uniquely talented. It thrills me to see so many Idolists outside the somewhat cookie cutter mold of what we’ve seen the 16 prior seasons. But how many, if any, of them will America vote for now that the decisions are out of the judges’ control, as Judge Katy noted during the judgement of the sublime and insanely talented Alejandro? I feel my frustration rising already as the gap between could win and should win is likely to be greater than ever this year.

With that commentary behind me, here are my unsatisfactorily shortened judgements rendered from Ray’s Room of Rulings.

Could Win

IMG_1300Laci Kaye (Georgia on My Mind, Ray Charles) who has the Bobby Bones Seal of Approval[1].

Laine Hardy (Come Together, The Beatles) who may have the performance chops to match his looks which he made a point of showing off tonight.

Can’t Win and It’s a Cryin’ Shame

Alejandro[2] (Yellow, Coldplay) – I wrote in my notes, “He just hears music different than the rest of us.” I love that he dressed for Hawaii like one of the guys in a 90’s Seattle grunge band. He also has the Bobby Bones Seal of Approval. He’s like nothing we’ve ever heard or seen on Idol before.

Uche´(Play That Funky Music, Wild Cherry) – We’ve seen his kind of over-the-top dress before with Adam Lambert and Jax. We’ve also heard his kind of over-the-top vocals before with Adam who also sang this song in his season. No, he’s no Adam but his Uche´-ness is quite enough to be very entertaining.

Fitting the Mold and Could Contend

  • Madison Vandenburg (Who’s Loving You, Jackson Five) returned to her Kelly Clarkson-ish ways.
  • Ryan Hammond (A Song for You, Donny Hathaway) – I didn’t see that coming. Dude can sing.
  • Jeremiah (Landslide, Fleetwood Mac) – At first, I thought it would have been better if he’d been behind the piano like usual. And then I realized how vulnerable he was being standing in front of the stage holding the mic. His physical presence of aloneness made it impossible not to connect with his intended message in the song. Wow.
  • Logan Johnson (Sorry [partially sung in Spanish]), The Biebs) – He’s the kind of young, cute guy who does well on this show.
  • Riley Thompson (Mama’s Broken Heart, Miranda Lambert) She’s the kind of young, cute girl who does well on this show.

Surprise Eliminations

Johanna Jones who’s voice I proposed to last week; and Emma Kleinberg despite her sunny disposition, gritty voice and Bobby Bones Seal of Approval.

I have notes on other Idolists but this turned out to be longer than I planned which is ironic since I started by complaining that the show was longer than I planned, too. Whatever. More singing tomorrow and I am genuinely excited. I’m looking forward to seeing how this tension of could win vs. should-but-can’t win will be resolved each week leading to The Final Resolution.

Until tomorrow (I guess it’s actually today by now). There’s something involving duets I think but I lost focus when I saw Pat Benatar is involved because no number of decades will diminish that crush . . .


[1] Per his Twitter

[2] I’m so happy that they FINALLY played a snippet of Lady Gaga’s Alejandro during his segment.

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