Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Mandi here again, filling in for Ariana while she's on vacation.
It's Canadian rock week for our Top 6, and who better to represent "unbridled Canadian rock" than Simple Plan? *cough*
Regardless, they are the special guests, and they will be performing their new single at the John Bassett Theatre tomorrow night. But tonight, they're mentoring the remaining Idol hopefuls.
First up is Amberly, performing "1234" by Feist. This song is the epitome of all that Amberly seems to be: unassuming and grounded but fun. It seems like an obvious choice for her, but I think that's more due to Canada being inundated with this song in all its incarnations for the past year rather than Amberly being predictable. Amberly's makeup is exceptionally dark tonight, and it looks cool, but the performance itself is mildly yawn-inducing. She hasn't done anything with the song to make it her own, and her singing feels rushed. The judges agree, but also make sure to tell her that her vocals are still spot-on.
The second performance of the night comes courtesy of Theo, who has chosen yet another "girl song": Sarah Slean's "Sweet Ones". He's back at the piano, too, which everyone seems to appreciate. The guys in Simple Plan tell Theo to be passionate about everything he chooses to perform, and he takes their advice and runs with it, giving a strong, energetic performance. Like always with Theo, the judges only have good things to say about it, though Zack expresses some concern that Canada may not be ready to embrace everything that Theo represents (eclecticism, Rufus Wainwright vibe, uniqueness). The crowd cheers – I think they're trying to tell Zack that Canada is, in fact, ready to accept that.
Mitch is singing Joel Plaskett's "I Love This Town," a song that no one but Mitch, it seems, has ever heard before. The Simple Plan boys think Mitch looks honest, like he believes what he's singing. I think Mitch looks adorable. He's wearing a suit tonight, and it's just him, his guitar, and a heartfelt performance. I approve. As do the judges, who compare him to Paul Simon and shower him with various other compliments.
After Earl finishes his performance for Simple Plan to get their feedback, they start applauding. Is there anyone this guy can't win over? He's singing "Little Bones" by The Tragically Hip. He's offstage when the band starts, and screams "How's everyone doing tonight?" and then comes out and rips right into the song. In typical Earl fashion, he cannot stop moving throughout his performance, but in typical Earl fashion, he makes it work. I love it. Zack loves it too, but says it probably scared the hell out of his grandma. Earl responds adorably with "I hope not. I like grandmas." I think my heart melted a teeny bit. Sass calls it the best rock performance she's ever seen on the Idol stage and says she's ready to buy a ticket to Planet Earl. Aren't we all?
Okay. Drew is performing "That Song" by Big Wreck, and I am FREAKING OUT. There may have been mild hyperventilation, but I'm okay now. Seriously though, words cannot express how much I adore this song. Simple Plan tells Drew that he needs more passion in his performance; more dirt. And when he starts singing, I can't help but agree with them. I don't consider myself an authority when it comes to music, but I know this song, and Drew's performance is definitely lacking. For the most part, anyway. I agree with Sass that the soft, slow parts are decent.
Mookie closes tonight's show with a stellar performance of Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride". And there's a DJ spinning turntables onstage with him. He's sporting some really terrible pants and a pair of huge bug-eye sunglasses, which he whips into the crowd a few lines into the song (the glasses, not the pants). He totally reinvents the song – Mookifies it, if I am able to make a Sass Jordan-inspired comment. There's really no other way to explain what the boy does. He's definitely in a league of his own. The judges, as usual, absolutely loved it, and if we're going by the screaming masses behind them, I think it's safe to say that Canada did, too.
Who'll be sent home? As much as it pains me to say it, my money is on Drew this week.
At least Drew did a song with some actual guitar RIFFS in it (instead of just some chords) and pulled it off while singing. Can't say that's the norm on Canadian Idol. Still, yeah, the weakest performance of the night (though unfortunately I'd say Amberly was probably close behind).
Loved that there was a Sarah Slean song on Idol. Even though she's Juno-nominated and has some mild radio hits, not enough people know who she is -- I hope she gets a few new fans because of Theo's great performance.
And I can't believe people don't know that Joel Plaskett song. I'm not a particularly big fan of Plaskett, and couldn't even come up with a title to one of his songs off the top of my head, but even I recognized that tune. Mitch did it very well!
Oh, and go Mookie! I'd seriously spend $50 tomorrow on a Mookie Morris concert ticket. And the last couple times I spent that much on a concert were Iron Maiden and Wynton Marsalis, so the strange demo lines that he happens to cross should say something about his mad skillz.
I still haven't watched... but FINALLY read your recap. Thanks for filling in again!