I am thiscolse to breaking up with AI for good, because last night was the worst exhibition of judging I've ever seen in my life.
It is completely clear that after the Adam bottom two scare and the iTunes "accidental" release of the top download information (Adam and Kris are BY FAR the top-downloaded Idols this season), the producers and judges are no longer even trying to disguise their quest to have their particular favorites (Adam and Danny) in the finale. I know they've always tried to influence the public but this was beyond ridiculous.
Ok, let's back up and start from the beginning.
First, Adam sang "Whole Lotta Love" at a pitch so high Tibby nearly had a seizure. He screeched and wailed while kitted out in too-long, flared, grey lady-jeans, a charcoal leather jacket and black SUPER low scoop-neck tee that was showing approximately two acres of chest on which he piled 87 enormous necklaces. He also wore all of the eye makeup in southern California. He was ok. He was serviceable if you like rock songs sung up as high as a human voice can go. I don't, so I didn't particularly enjoy it, but let us not mince words, his performance and costume were completely over-orchestrated like the final production number of a Broadway musical. Even his costumes play to the back of the house! Naturally the judges were tripping all over themselves to lavish praise and metaphorical blow jobs on Adam. Kara called him a Rock God more than once and that got my Irish up right out of the gate.
Allison went next singing "Cry Baby" which, again, was fine. She has the whiskey-and-cigarettes voice required to take on a Janis Joplin song and sing it straight. Unfortunately, she doesn't have quite the stage presence and swagger for same. Still, it was a good-not-great performance. The judges were lukewarm at best and once again, Kara and Randy played Monday Morning Quarterback and ran down a list of songs she SHOULD have chosen instead. Then Simon didn't want to feel left out so he told her she should have gone with her second choice song - Queen's "Somebody To Love" but her second choice song was Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love" so she let him have it. That devolved into a discussion about whether she talks enough (too much) or is likable (she isn't) neither of which have ANYTHING to do with her ability to SING. It went on 20 minutes too long and Ryan stopped even trying to control it and instead started yelling at Simon to put his lighter away. My patience was rice paper thin.
That brought us to Bad Idea Duets: Performance One wherein Kris and Gokey sang "Renegade" and this is where the show really fell of the rails and when I came within a hair's breadth of turning it off forever. The guys split the verses and did mostly harmonies on the choruses - Kris was almost good but lacked a bit of hard-edge believability while Gokey looked like he was about to piss his pants and EGREGIOUSLY messed up the lyrics at least three times. Including the final line of the song which he sang with Kris and even as Kris was singing the correct words, Danny was fucking his all the way up. Not one of the moronic judges knows enough about rock to have noticed the atrocity which I must repeat was so bad that they were singing different words at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME. Then Simon, who apparently didn't realize he'd be asked to judge the duets as well as the solos, said Danny sang better than Kris and my head exploded.
After scraping up bits of grey matter, bone and skin and piecing them back together as best I could into a usable cranium, I caught Kris's rendition of "Come Together" and really enjoyed it. He switched up the phrasing and added some dramatic pauses that I thought totally worked with the song. The judges, trying desperately to ensure that the final showdown be between Adam and Danny, had not a single kind word.
That's when Gokey came out to sing "Dream On." Many have attempted this song on AI and not a single one has been good. Truly, I don't understand why people keep trying. Danny's version started out all over the place while he stood on stage looking very much like he was going to soil himself, wearing a purple oxford, black vest and 1/2 of Adam's chains. Then when it kicked into the chorus it went so far off the rails that it was no longer singing and merely Danny Gokey's audition to be the next horror movie scream queen. The judges were mostly kind including Simon who said that he didn't love it but that he was sure Danny would be safe. Kara can not live without telling people what they should have done instead and this time she really put her foot in it by suggesting that she'd have preferred if he sang "early Aerosmith like 'Crazy' or 'Cryin''" because obviously the songs they made in the '90s are more representative of their "early" work than one they released in the '70s. Math is hard, isn't it Kara?
That brought us to the final Bad Idea Duet where Adam and Allison sang one of the top 10 most repetitive songs in history - "Slow Ride." They did a good job, they sounded good together and more than that they appeared to be genuinely having fun. They sang equally well but that didn't stop the judgery from proclaiming how FANTASTIC Adam is before Simon finally noted that Adam's awesomeoness pulled Allison's ass from the fire.
I deeply, deeply hate every last one of them and I hope they all quit next year.
Edited to add that Michael Slezak said all of this a lot better and a lot funnier than I did.