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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

American Idol

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2008 at 2:45 PM

And then there were three ... and not much left to care about.

Last night each contestant did three songs -- one from the judges, one of their choice and one picked by the producers. Predictably, there were poor choices and OK-but-not-great reviews across the board. Alas, nothing either fantastic or disastrous that stood out. (We miss you Jordan, write when you get work.)

This dull season is headed for an even duller showdown. If, as most suspect, it's Little David vs. Big David, then that final interminable night will be like toggling between two boring radio stations -- one that plays goony lite-rock ballads for the secretaries at work, and the other, the mook-rock power ballads their vaguely disaffected teen-age sons listen to.

The fact that I was unfamiliar with a couple of last night's songs didn't help. I'm afraid to find out that Switchfoot is not only a real band, but a huge one.

First bit of dead television was having the contestants get "surprise" messages from the judges about what song to sing Little David got his bad news -- a Billy Joel song, how relevant -- from the mayor of Silly Moustache Town.

Ever since I read about David's control-freak stage-dad, now I just see love-me-daddy fear where the kid used to look winsomely puppyish. Maybe David is better off not winning (see also: the sad train wrecks that are other parent-pushed teen stars).

Only Simon got into the spirit of the challenge, giving David Cook a seemingly unlikely song -- Roberta Flacks' "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" -- to make over. I thought Cook did pretty well, and showed restraint not blowing it out into a power ballad. But speaking of makeovers, won't somebody step in and help this poor child! That mop, that weird not-quite-a-beard, the I'm-a-rocker clothes ...

At least Syesha looked good, and I guess she's a testament to never say die. For weeks I thought she had no chance, and she made the final three. Still, this was her last night, and I hated hated hated that high-school-musical mess around "Fever." Even Paula didn't like it though she used Paula-speak: "I'm not sure it shows me who Syesha is as an artist."

Little David's other two songs were sub-par for him. That teen-pop number just looked awkward, and the prodcuers proved definitively that their heads are waaaaay up their asses when they picked Dan Folgelberg's "Longer." How long is long anyhow when you're 17, and presumably, a pretty sheltered naïve 17 to boot?! Well, however long it is, that's how long David's been in love with you.

Big David churned us out with Aerosmith's power ballad "Don't Want to Miss a Thing," in my opinion, a cheesy song from a cheesy movie from a cheesy band. Oh, is Miz Warren in the house? OK, add cheesy songwriter.

The arrangement made it still cheesier, and what was up with placing Cook in a circle of seated violinists?

I strongly suspect I'll be fast-forwarding through next week's final shows -- the finale battle (I'm going out a limb and saying: David vs. David) and the 10-hour-long winner show. But just like TV does, I've been saving some hopefully more entertaining AI clip-reel filler for next week.

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