Welcome to Rock Night. Slash is the guest mentor.
There are rumors that Idol will shake things up tonight, and have the Idolettes perform duets with each other. On the surface, this seems kind of interesting. How will they choose a song that complements both voices and styles? Who will be paired up? How will they flash the phone numbers? How will the judges evaluate the performances? However, as I think about it, it seems less like an “interesting idea,” and more like the producers just throwing up their arms and saying “fuck it. We can’t bring a show in on time anymore, so we’re going to short shrift the performers.” For example, last week, in the Top 5, we only had one performance each, when historically, the Top 5 has had a chance to do two songs each. Because of their gross incompetence, TPTB decided to cut that down to one song each, and inexplicably found a way to run over the allotted time. Now, with only 4 performers, they STILL can’t find a way to fit in 8 songs? SHAMEFUL. Can’t they make the judges be succinct? Or just eliminate anything Randy says? Cut Ryan’s preshow blabber? Nix the sitting on the chair pre-clip, pre-performance banter? This is the biggest show on television, and now it runs with the operational efficiency of a post office staffed by lethargic zombies? The blood boils.
I guess we'll see how it all works. On with the show.
Adam bats leadoff with "Whole Lotta Love". How did they clear that? What a great choice for him. What range. Few people can credibly pull off Robert Plant in full wailing, swaggering Rock God mode, and damned if he doesn’t do it. He fucking kills it. One of the few performances I’ve gone back and rewound a few times. Perfect. 10
Allison is up next with "Cry Baby". Another good choice, going with Janis. (I guess she doesn't have the same problems getting rights as Jenna Maroni). Allison is wonderful and this is right in her wheelhouse, but how can anything be something other than a tiny bit of a letdown after Adam? Still, this is very, very good, and limited only by the nature of the song. (And she gets a little adorably feisty with Simon too, bless her). Her other choice was "Somebody to Love". Simon was thinking of the Queen version, which would have been a good selection, but Allison was considering the Jefferson Airplane tune, which I wish she would have done, actually. 8.5
Here's our first duet with Kris and Danny doing "Renegade". Great songs tonight. Did they fuck up the lyrics? All in all, not a bad rendition, but neither one of these guys has a natural connection to swaggering 70s classic rock. Danny is a little better here, but in the big scheme of things, does it matter? No phone numbers are flashed, and this is just entertaining filler at this point. Speaking of which, if you want to see a good use of this song, check out this video, which is the last scene of the Supernatural episode “Nightshifters:”
Kris is up third with "Come Together". Good choice of band for Kris. But he's no Lennon or McCartney. He's just in that Jason Mraz/Jack Johnson coffeehouse niche and that's his thing. Plus, I still have fond memories of Carly Smithson doing a much better job with the same song last year. Not bad. 6
Danny does the last of the solos with "Dream On". Danny sounds on key and restrained during the opening, quiet parts of the song. Slash said it would come down to “the scream,” and he was right. Danny is no Steven Tyler. Or Adam Lambert. Or based on that scream, no bucketful of cutlery dropped into a blender. Ye gods, that was awful. And then, he has the fucking temerity to get a little haughty with the judges? Are you kidding me? I wasn’t crazy about Kris’s performance, but based on this, it is GO for Gokey time. 4
Second tangential video of the day, an ESPN piece they produced at the turn of the century set to the same song. If you’re a sports fan, and this doesn’t give you chillbumps, I don’t know what will.
Now for the duet I've been waiting for, Adam and Allison doing…..Foghat? Really? Not the most inspired choice of songs, but they absolutely kill it. They are so sweet together, and the chemistry and generosity between them stands in stark contrast to the Kris / Danny performance from earlier. Hopefully, when the voting opens, fans will remember Allison here, and realize she deserves to continue.
I enjoyed rock night, but fuck me with a chainsaw, they ran over time AGAIN. Not with 10 songs, or even 8 songs. With 6 fucking songs (and two that were "superfluous" to the voting), and I still managed to miss (for the time being – thanks FOX on demand!) a pivotal ending scene on Fringe. Take the producers out behind a shed, along with Danny, and shoot them.
The most obvious rankings EVER:
TNRLM Top 2: Adam, Allison
TNRLM Bottom 2: Danny, Kris