Eight (+2) Things I Liked and Didn’t Like About Showstoppers, Pt. I

After taking a couple of years off, I forgot that sheer outrage and anger are part of the American Idol viewing experience. Let’s start with Beane whose choice and performance of Marvin Gaye’s protest classic What’s Going On was a travesty that rendered me speechless in seething anger. Less speechless was My Daughter Diandra (MDD) who said, “Call the NAACP! My civil rights are being violated.”

That the judges continue to advance him is a mystery.

And then there is the sad tale of Murphy aka blindboymusic. I’ll just quote long-time Idol watcher Michael Slezak[1] who tweeted: “Murphy, [you] are unique and beautiful, dark and inspiring, weird and relatable. You write songs that make our ears perk up, and you don’t remind us of anyone else. And that’s why there’s no place for you in the #Idol Top 24. Goodbye and good luck.” 🙄

This was after putting through Hannah Everheart who took a wrecking ball to Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball.

Alright, now that I have sort of gotten this bile out of my system, it’s time to share the things I liked and (other) things I didn’t like.

I Really Really Like Alanis Sophia who had hard core Alanis Morissette fans MDD and I gushing. Note to all the Idolists who are oblivious to the concept of putting feelings into songs about feelings: THIS is how you do it. Her Uninvited – a vocally challenging song – was easily the best and most pathos-filled performance of Sunday night. I want to hear more from her.

I Like Alyssa Wray. I agree with Katy that there’s some over-singing and control issues with Alyssa but there is so much talent there. I hope the voters will give her opportunities to grow into that talent.

I Like Caleb Kennedy whose songwriting belies that he’s only sixteen years old. Picking his own song was a bold and correct move. MDD says he needs to be signed by a Nashville publisher and has picked Brantley Gilbert as someone Caleb should be writing for.

I (still) Like Chayce Beckham even though he was underwhelming Sunday night on Chris Stapleton’s You Should Probably Leave. If he’s going to do Chris Stapleton type songs – and he should – he’ll need to add some dynamics to his singing or his marvelous vocal tone will sound boring. I’d love to hear him sing in falsetto if he can.

I (still) Like Cassandra Cunningham even though she was clearly nervous. Katy compared her to Florence Welch which means Katy must read my blog as I have already said exactly that. Luke commented how she doesn’t know how good she is yet which means Luke must read my blog as I have already said exactly that.

I Didn’t Like that the judges put through Wyatt Pike and Hannah Everheart who I already mentioned above. Especially over Murphy. And probably over somebody on Monday night that is better than those two.

I Really Really Didn’t Like the judges’ fake out speeches to the Idolists. I hate them. I’ve always hated them. Nobody asked for them. They are exploitive, emotionally manipulative and unnecessary. Cut the fake drama and give more time to performances.

I Didn’t Like Casey Bishop whose farcical performance of Black Crowes She Talks To Angels was hard to watch and, as MDD said, hard to listen to: “This is what the mute button is for.” She and Best In Show Alanis Sophia are the cliff upon which we were left hanging to lead into Monday night’s completion of the Showstoppers segment. The judges told her that she needed to step it up after a bad duet round but she actually stepped further down in my book.

Showstoppers round two will have 14 spots left to fill. By necessity, it will be an action-packed night. I’m already feeling the unease of the likelihood of more outrage and anger. Pray for me LOL.

[1] Who used to write on Idol for Entertainment Weekly and has long been one of my favorite commentators.

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