'American Idol' Recap: 50s Night In Vegas
‘American Idol’ went back in time last night with a trip to the 50s for Vegas Night.
It’s always such an odd choice to me when they do these sorts of nights. After all, we constantly hear the judges begging artists to be current. Continuously, we here that the show is desperate to create a star for right now. And, as the demographics for this show seem to slip older, we hear that ‘Idol’ itself is desperate to get young.
Why then did they decide to take it back to the fifties with first-season ‘American Bandstand’-style performances? It was a completely contradictory night. Seeing the hopefuls all dressed up like day players from ‘American Dreams’ and harmonizing in a way that almost summons up the smell of moth balls just doesn’t make any sense for a show looking for a pop star.
The performances themselves were almost identical for the most part. A lot of similar songs with similar harmonies. A lot of similar costumes and similar solo spots where really nobody stood out. A lot of it seemed over-polished too. Almost like it was lip-synched. I don’t want to pull out the full on LS accusations, but there were certainly spots that made me wonder. A lot of kids sounded so much better, so much cleaner than ever before. Maybe it was due to the mentoring of the Vocal Coach From Hell. But even she didn’t really live up to the hype.
That’s not to say the night was a total waste. There were a few standouts. One in particular was the dreaded Mr. Steal Your Girl, who doesn’t call himself that anymore, but I can’t get that little scamp’s arrogance out of my epithethery. He and his group sang ‘Rockin’ Robin’ and handled it as well as could be expected from teenagers, but his vocal really shone here. Why oh why must I like this kid?
Some other standouts included Cowboy Ricky doing some bass harmony that was shockingly good. Adam Brock tickled the ivories and seemed most at home in the genre of fifties music. Jen Hirsch felt right at home too with another sultry performance. And, of course, Heejun Han.
Oh, Heejun Han, how you’ve become my favorite this year. We got to see him open the show with the most cynical take on still being around ever into his contestant camera, and then got to see him tremble in fear at the sight of The Vocal Coach From Hell. Surpisingly, this led to a hug. I wonder if that’s the first time Heejun had ever been hugged? Maybe he’ll soften. I hope not. Luckily, he’s safe so we’ll get to find out later on.
Of course, nobody was really safe last night. The producers came up with the idea of parading the assumed safe out once more at the end for one last judgment, and pulled the rug out from many an ‘Idol’ hopeful, just as they thought they’d punched their ticket to the next phase.
Was this movie cruel? Of course it was. It was downright devilish. But it certainly made for some compelling drama in the final five minutes of an episode that just felt like 2 hours of an endless loop coming from a Studebaker’s radio.
Not exactly “current”.
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