Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
It's David Bowie night here in Top-10-Land, and Zack's in silver eyeliner... so you can guess how this is going to go. The set's been redesigned as well. Last season was so long ago I don't remember the old one enough to see any difference.
But the real questions are whether this Top 10 can possibly live up to its hype, and whether any Top 10 ever will surpass Season 2's as the best – or at least the most memorable – in Canadian Idol history.
In the dreaded opening spot, we have Drew, who will not only be singing but also playing the drums. Simultaneously. The really wild thing is that he seems to sing better when he's behind the drums, though he does get that semi-blank look in his eyes that most drummer-singers do and it's a dead giveaway that he has to separate his limbs from his brain in order to get this to work. The song he's doing is called "Five Years," which starts off a night of a whole lot of Bowie songs no one's ever heard. Regardless, it's a good song, and a good song for him, and if you don't think it's sexy for a guy to play drums and sing then I don't think we can be friends anymore. The judges like it, but not enough if you ask me.
Adam, hand to God, comes out on a motorcycle. To sing "Rebel Rebel." Oh, he is so tiresome. He wears an ugly denim jacket and points blankly to the audience while playing guitar and, oh hey, looking like he has to go to the bathroom again. Although he sings better than he has in the past and it's not that his voice is bad, it doesn't sound very good, because he never seems to find his key, as usual. The judges seem to like it based on who and what Adam is.
I don't know how I'm supposed to take Mark seriously when he insists on singing "Dancing in the Streets" (which apparently David Bowie covered at some point) while attempting to dress like a hipster and gyrating around the stage in what one presumes he thinks is a real dynamite performance. His vocals are great, if you're into the prepubescent sound, and since Newfoundland voted Craig Sharpe straight into the Final 2 just two short seasons ago, I think it's safe to say all the rest of us not voting for him isn't going to do a damn thing. The judges don't even know what to say to him except a whole lot about it being "campy." I do not disagree. The entire critiquing time for Mark is so awkward; no one knows how to put into words exactly what they're thinking, which is something along the lines of, "You are overweight and creepy and those two things especially do not mix." I would give at least five or ten dollars to have the kid back in suits singing power pop ballads.
Here to provide a stark contrast is Mookie. Mookie oozes cool and can pull off anything he wants to. Tonight, that's "The Man Who Sold the World" with acoustic guitar and a stripey grandpa sweater. I know it's cliché, but and Mookie just has IT. The natural ease, the star power, the music in his bones, the talent, whatever IT is. It's a typical Mookie performance – solid and entertaining – but more on the relaxed side of things. The judges are kind of wishy-washy on the song choice and vocal performance, and acknowledge that it was more laidback than most of his previous outings, but they love Mookie overall.
Amberly is doing Natalie Merchant's version of "Space Oddity," which means acoustic guitar and soft vocals. I kind of love it. I don't know what else Amberly could have done this week that she would have pulled off better, but the judges still aren't thrilled, despite her strong and accurate voice and the fact that she seemed to enjoy herself. They're throwing around "okay" and "other contestant from Season 2" and "uninspiring," with the exception of Zack, who loved it because it was very Amberly.
Sebastian sings "Let's Spend the Night Together," and his guitar is out of tune. But he sings it very well, especially when you consider that he's slammed week after week for not being that strong of a singer – which I still don't understand, incidentally. I mean, Adam is no better of a singer than Sebastian, but he doesn't get yelled at all the time for it. The performance was a typically sexy Sebastian thing and – oh hey, Oliver's in the audience! Anyway, the judges hated it. Like, hated. Sebastian, like me, is surprised by this. They did appreciate his intensity and performance, I suppose, but musically... not so much. Maybe I'm blinded by the sexy; I don't know. There is too much back and forth between Seb and the judges, too; he almost treats them like they're just his pals and they're having a conversation backstage afterward. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I suppose. Jake wants to know why he even bothered with the guitar, and I'm inclined to wonder as well.
Earl's is the only hometown visit footage I'm inspired to watch a second time, because he's so damn silly. Plus he stands in a big ol' canola field backed by thunderstorm clouds, so it makes me all twingey with homesickness. That aside, he's singing "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide": no guitar, no mic stand, just Earl in a floppy fedora and acid-wash jeans and neon sneakers. The performance is Earl through-and-through, and that's not something I can put into words in any other way, so go with it. If you love Earl (and who doesn't??), you love what Earl does, and this is no exception. You know who for sure love Earl? The judges. Zack likens him to a snowboarding, ganja-smoking Frank Sinatra or Leonard Cohen, and Earl's all like, Aw, no way man, I don't do that shiz. Riiiiiiight. And neither did they, I'm sure.
Katherine belts "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" and her voice is amazing in those moments where it needs to be. Unfortunately, whatever's in between those moments falls flat for me. On the other hand, she seems much more comfortable on stage, and she has awesome pink streaks in her hair, and she's wearing wicked pink heels to match, so... ten points for Katherine. The judges loved it.
Theo plays piano and sings "Silly Boy Blue," from David Bowie's first album. It's my favourite performance of Theo's so far, and I'm slowly realizing that I might actually want him to win the whole shebang. At any rate, the performance is sincere and touching and very solid musically. The judges love it too and are all "league of your own" blah blah blah, except for Zack, who was kind of bored by it but thinks Theo looks sexy with scruff. Me too, Zack. The kid behind Farley keeps crossing his eyes.
MITCH! Ok... truth be told, I'm rewatching his hometown visit too, mostly because I enjoy watching cute, slightly nerdy boys hammer nails into boards. It's hot. But yes, he is singing. And what he is singing is "Moonage Daydream." As he starts, there's some CRAZY person screaming without breathing in the audience, and frankly I am worried for their respiratory health after that. Not important! What is important is that suddenly Mitch is a total rock star. He's out there in a leather jacket with an electric guitar singing the hell out of this tune, and I'm a little floored, I have to say. I can see how if you're not into the indie boy vibe, Mitch might not be your thing, but it just so happens that I am, and that he is. This was my favourite of the night by far. And who else is into Mitch is the judges. They're not 100% sure on his vocals tonight, but they loved how hard he rocked it and of course his entire Mitch vibe. Some cute little kids in the audience have a sign that says "Vote for Mitch MacDonald. Mitch is cool. Mitch is nice. Mitch is good at singing." Indeed. The children of Canada have declared it so.
Recap: Drew drumming hotly, Adam motorcycling dorkily, Mark... Marking ("dancing"?), Mookie being supremely cool, Amberly singing very prettily, Sebastian singing better than the judges gave him credit for, Earl spinning and wandering and singing like a freaking MAN, Katherine rocking the house and pouting a lot, Theo playing piano and singing like a pro, and lastly, Mitch being irrepressibly adorable.
So who had your favourite performance tonight? Who's going home? What'd you all think of Jake's swank white suit?
Who else shrieked when they played a Keith & Renée song during the introduction of the top ten? Cause I sure did. I also got overly giddy during Earl's hometown visit and yelled "I've sat in those bleachers" despite the fact that there was no one to hear it. And even if there was? They probably wouldn't care at all.
Anyway. Thoughts. I loved Mookie more than anyone, but that's cause he chose my favorite Bowie tune and didn't butcher it. I also spent a lot of time voting for Earl, Mitch, Theo and Drew (of course). I thought Adam didn't do as terrible a job as I expected (I actually groaned when I heard what song he was doing because I expected him to ruin it for me forever). Other than that, no one really surprised me or blew me out of the water. I would approve if any of the boys I voted for won this thing, and I'm still crossing my fingers that Adam goes home tomorrow.
NL has a bad track record. Jenny Grear, Craig Sharpe, and Tara Orham. Mark needs to go home NOW.
I was kind of disappointed that Amberly did Space Oddity as I was hoping Mitch would do it (b/c he is like an east cost less punk version of Jacob). But I thought her performance was good.
I shake my head at Adam.
Also Jason Greeley! I need Mark to go away so bad. So, so bad.
I'm not sure I want Mitch to be seen as the east-coast, less-punk version of Jacob. Jacob is Jacob is Jacob and no one can compare, nor should they try. The judges would have been even harder on someone like Mitch in comparison with Jacob's performance than they were with Amberly, who took a completely different route with the song.
That is very true (about Mitch and the song choice). I just think that their voices are similar at times and I thought Mitch could have done something cool with the song. I don't want Mitch to be Jacob or anything.
I forgot about Jason (though I kind of thought he was cute so I didn't care he was around), but point taken. Bad bad track record.
Sorry forgot to comment!
I'm glad you gave the boy behind Farley his 2 seconds of fame he worked hard for it!
Earl is the MAN!! He reminds me of the boys I grew up with up there on stage with his dancing.