American Idol Recap: One-Night Standing
There are, of course, a few different ways to interpret J.Lo, Randy, and Steven’s inexplicable standing ovations for middling performances by Heejun Han and DeAndre Brackensick. Maybe they were operating under Uncle Nigel’s instructions to create a “night of redemption” theme involving last week’s surviving Bottom 3 contestants that Ryan Seacrest could tout midway through the telecast. Perhaps they wanted to give some extra encouragement to the two weakest links in the Season 11 chain. (Tangent: Oh how the combo of “chain” and “Stevie Nicks” makes me want to open my iTunes and play this on repeat.) Or maybe the Idol judges are simply predisposed to any contestant who possesses a ‘Y’ chromosome, seeing how they jumped to their feet for four of the five men left in the competition (and heaped lavish “contender for the title”/”threw down the gauntlet” praise on the fifth).
To paraphrase Elise Testone’s Vegas Week solo, Idol is a man’s man’s man’s world. It’s just a shame that the three people with the Coke cups and multi-million dollar contracts seem to have forgotten it would be nothing without the franchise’s most successful women and girls. Take J.Lo’s response to Elise’s riveting end-of-episode take on Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”: “I didn’t wanna get up, but you made me get up!” Hrmmm…where was that ambivalence about rewarding Elise’s male compatriots?
Okay , okay…enough griping from me. Like I said at the top of this recap, we’ve got an incredible multi-course meal to discuss, so let’s dig in!
Colton Dixon: Lifehouse’s “Everything”
Note to Colton: You can tell the judges and mentors that you’re singing your “favorite worship song of all time” till you’re blue in the face, but nothing — I repeat, nothing — will convince them you’re not singing a romantic ditty for the lay-dees. I mean, dude, learn to keep the focus on what’s important, for me for you. Naturally, even Ryan’s intro tried to play up Colton’s dreamboat status — “Girls, here we go, it’s Colton Dixon” — but Colton just kept on keepin’ on, delivering the hook-free Christian rock anthem with a dewy-eyed earnestness that found him dropping to his knees to end the performance. The end result was tender and heartfelt — even if it wasn’t particularly distinctive — but I have to admit I heard several bum notes when the verse forced Colton into the lower end of his register. Randy kept chanting throughout the night that Colton had “thrown down the gauntlet” for his competitors and was a real “contender for the title,” but I wish he’d just taken the direct route: Don’t forget to vote for Colton just because he went first!