Tuesday, May 08, 2007

AI: Final Four, 05/08/07

According to the band Heatwave, "Boogie Nights are always the best in town". I certainly hope that tonight's theme of Boogie music lives up to the hype, as our guest mentor is Barry Gibb, the high-voiced lead singer of the band synonymous with Boogie and Disco music, The BeeGees.

As a proud owner of both the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and the Greatest Hits of The Bee Gees, I was confused last Wednesday when Ryan announced that the Final Four theme would be Boogie music with Barry Gibb. I wondered to myself, "How is this different from the customary Disco night that we've had every season, with the exception of Season 5?", followed closely by "Why DIDN'T they have Disco night for Season 5? I mean, if Bo Bice could rock Earth, Wind, and Fire, certainly Chris Daughtry could have taken the stage with a touching rendition of The BeeGee's 'Emotions'. He certainly proved that during Group night in the Hollywood round." But, you know, that's just the way my mind wanders. Anyway, in my neverending quest for knowledge of all things musical, I consulted Wikipedia (dot com, of course!), to see what they had to say about the subject of Boogie vs. Disco, not why Season 5 didn't have a dance music theme. Boogie music, as defined by Wikipedia, "is swing blues rhythm or technique originally played on the piano in boogie-woogie music and adapted to guitar. As such it is often used in rock and roll and country music." Examples include Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode", Marvin Gaye's "Can I Get a Witness" and The Shadows's "Shadoogie", whereas the definition of Disco "is a genre of dance-oriented pop music that blends elements of funk and soul music that was first popularized in dance clubs (discothèques) in the mid-1970s." Noted Disco performers are Donna Summer, The Jackson 5, Barry White, The Bee Gees, and ABBA.

Let's take a look and see what the Final Four are singing:

First up is Melinda, singing the song I most associate with Latoya London in Season Three, “Love You Inside Out”. Well, that and “Don't Rain On My Parade”. But anyway. I love this song—it's fast and punchy, even though the lyrics bespeak of a relationship breaking up. I like her rendition of this song, making it sound like a mix between Aretha, Gladys Knight, and Tina Turner. I mean that in a good way. The judges aren't wowed, because it's hard to be wowed when every performance is perfect. Suddenly, the judges are bored with their star. Could it be because they don't see dollar signs they way they do with Blake or Jordin?

Blake chose the anthem “You Should Be Dancing”. This is another song I love—it makes me feel like jumping up and dancing, just like Barry told me to on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. And I believe that everyone should live by the lessons learned on the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, like having Night Fever and waiting for a moment to last, or Staying Alive, which is super important, or my personal favorite, needing to know How Deep is Your Love. I think “How Deep Is Your Love” would be a great duet, but I would totally choose it to be my BeeGees NOT Boogie music song. This is certainly right up his alley, dance music. It allows him an incredible amount of freedom, this song especially. I have to give him props-- this was certainly unique performance. I mean, it's not “You Give Love a Bad Name”, but it's not “Imagine”, either.

Speaking of listening to what Barry Gibbs says, our contestant most famous for ignoring the advice the mentors give, Lakisha Jones, says that she has chosen to sing “Stayin' Alive”. I guess the one thing we should be proud of Lakisha for is that she is not afraid to take risks. From former Idol songs back to back to the song that is most likely to be associated with a particular band. I keep thinking that the woman has a deathwish. But this time? She's done reasonably well, and it's paid off, even if she, once again, did not listen to Barry's advice and sing in a higher key. But to be fair, this is Barry Gibb and he can hit higher notes than me. I think he thinks everything sounds better higher.

Jordin chose “To Love Somebody”, which I have heard male and female artists, and Michael Bolton, sing. I wasn't so wild about the Michael Bolton version. I was completely in love with Jordin's look tonight until I saw her legs. Jeans, Jordin? Why? The dress is perfect. The hair is perfect. You were backlit for pete's sake! At least the performance was good—the best so far. I can already tell what song I'll be singing all day tomorrow. I'm apologizing in advance, Richie.

Wow. Ryan is completely orange tonight. Lay off the bronzer already.

We're back with Melinda, singing “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”. I like her dress, but she's gone back to her old bag of tricks, and this song doesn't sound like a BeeGees song at all—it sounds like something from the 1930s, a torch song. I think the point is to show what kind of album you'd make, and I guess we can expect a CD full of standards from Melinda. YAWN.

Blake sings a song no one has heard of, and Barry Gibbs admits was a flop for his group, “This is Where I Came In”. Aw, cripes. He's doing the Jamiroquai impersonation again. If he beatboxes again, I'm throwing my hands up and giving up on Blake completely. I have several problems with Blake in general, if not with this performance specifically. He has no emotion in his eyes, he doesn't feel what he's singing. Singing should be about passion.

Note to Paula: If you don't know the song, HOW do you know that it's on key? Sheesh. Have another Vicodin.

Lakisha is singing “Run To Me”, which I have never heard. This is a flattering dress on her, with the bright green stripe going down the center of the bodice. That's the kind of draping that elongates and slims, folks. Except—gosh, how do I say this delicately? Your trunk is a little lumpy, and you need Spanx. Seriously, they take off like 10 pounds and smooth out everything. The song? Oh, right, she sang. It was good. I don't know. It was boring, like I forgot she was singing.

Jordin sang a song made famous by Barbra Streisand, “Woman In Love”. Another ballad? Hmmm. OHMYGOD-- THATISTHEMOSTFABULOUSDRESSINTHEHISTORYOFAMERICANIDOL. OK. I need to breathe. She just totally made up for the jeans fiasco last song around by wearing this gorgeous garment. I am seriously lusting after this dress. Yes, there was a pitchy part while she was singing, but.. the dress!

Based on their song selections, this is neither Boogie music nor Disco music, but BeeGees music. It makes me wonder if Ryan made a booboo speaking last week.

All in all, another boring night in our Season Three rehash. Going home: Lakisha. Too bad, too, cause I was looking forward to a Diva-style sing off, with Lakisha getting dangerously close to hurting someone who gets in her way. Not that I can blame her. After all, she just left a bank job, and we all know what that kind of environment can do to a person.



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