American Idol Review, Superficial Edition

I love the weeks when the contestants sing songs that are older than they are. I personally think the older songs are better, and that everybody sounds good singing them (with some notable exceptions, SANJAYA).

So I don't really have a bone to pick with the singing this week. Instead, I will talk about appearances.

You'd think I wouldn't be so concerned with how people look, given that this is supposed to be a singing competition. However, since it's been proven time and again that this show is NOT about singing as much as it is about individual popularity (SANJAYA), I feel that I'm well within my rights to discuss outward appearances. Plus, I am mean.

Item 1: If you are going to wear a tux, go all the way, Phil Stacey. I do not approve of this thing where people attempt to look cool, or whatever, by wearing a tuxedo jacket with jeans, or opening their shirts down to their you-knows, or putting on a pair of Converse instead of dress shoes. When you're singing a timeless song, go with a timeless look, and do it right.

Item 2: Chris Robinson, you are not Justin Timberlake. Do not dress like Justin Timberlake.

Item 3: Haley Scarnato, quit it with the T&A, I mean it. Your short skirt barely covered your business, and therefore did nothing to disguise the fact that you are not a great singer. Flashing lots of skin does not distract me from criticizing how people sing (or "sing," in some cases), so buy yourself a pair of pants and a turtleneck, for pete's sake. I have your fiance's approval on this.

Item 4: Melinda Doolittle, get yourself a real stylist. Your "Gayles" are not helping you, if they're the ones picking your clothes. Also, STAND UP STRAIGHT, for crying out loud, it'll help me not to focus on your short neck. Plus, you can be confident now and stop hunching over when you receive a compliment. Hint: THEY ARE NOT GOING TO SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT YOU. (Though I will: Stop picking songs from movies. You thought I didn't notice? Yeah, meet the musical QUEEN. I will give you one hundred dollars if you sing Talk Dirty to Me during Bon Jovi Week. ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS.)

Item 5: Jordin Sparks, you used to be a plus-sized model. Cropped sweaters and pleated skirts are not your forte. Also, you are cute, but you are no longer five-year-old cute; show some maturity, please (you can still make fun of Ryan Seacrest's height though).

Item 6: Gina Glocksen, you can be a rocker chick without making your hair look like that. Also, I know you are not actually a rocker chick but are trying to fit into a mold the judges have made for you. Still ... that hair does you no favors. P.S. I am highly opposed to the unnecessary destruction of innocent pantyhose, so let's not let that happen again, 'kay?

Item 7: Blake Lewis, your sense of fashion fits who you are and I admire that. Thank you for not beatboxing to Tony Bennett.

Item 8: SANJAYA! I ... words ... nooo ... gasp ... [gargle] ... thunk

[Thanks, you killed me dead, I hope you're happy.]

Item 9: Having nothing whatsoever to do with the way she dresses, I will instead discuss amongst myselves how much Lakisha is getting on my nerves, ON MY NERVES. Yes, she is a great singer and yes, her wardrobe has improved and yes, her voice is incredible, but SHE DOES NOT FOLLOW DIRECTION.

Exhibit A - Diana Ross tells her to sing with a mic stand; Lakisha does not (or vice versa; the point is she did not listen).
Exhibit B - Lulu tells her to sing the NotJamesBondSong; Lakisha sings the JamesBongSong.
Exhibit C - Tony Bennett tells her not to tag the song with "Ain't no sunshine;" Lakisha does indeed throw that tag on.


I realize that this reaction comes from my being a teacher more from my being an appreciator of fine (read: 80s) music, and I do not apologize for that. When someone with experience and who is trying to HELP YOU gives you actual constructive advice, it generally helps if you follow that advice instead of throwing it off like it doesn't matter. Because let me throw out this scenario: Between you and Tony Bennett, who has been SUCCESSFULLY working in the music industry for like, 50 years, and who has been a bank teller? Huh? HUH? That's what I thought. Furthermore, when you DO disregard that advice, please do not get that spiteful look, like "Ooh, Tony Bennett, look what I'm doing," because that is also annoying.

Item 10: Though I, of all people, appreciate a nice bright toothy smile, I think the contestants are starting to go overboard with their Crest WhiteStrips, because some of them are sporting smiles that are scarily white, like the kind of white that is visible from space. Pretty soon their enamel will wear off and they will be left with little tooth-stubs, and their teeth will fall out on the stage during the live broadcast, and I will have yet another thing to talk to my psychiatrist about. So let's try to avoid that, shall we?

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