Mariah “Rhymes with Pariah” Carey is the guest coach tonight, which brings forth the promise of lots of wobbly vibrato and the possibility that she will join Paula Abdul for a drunken crazy meltdown. She says she feels weird about judging people, probably because of Glitter. I’m going to have to hear a lot of bad, bad songs tonight. I wish there was the slightest chance that Mariah Carey could be the one booted off tomorrow night, but I guess a stabbing by a crazed fan isn’t entirely out of the question. And Paula is less drunk than usual, so she's neither bitchy nor incoherent. Clearly I'm not getting any enjoyment out of this episode.
Now, onto the contestants*:
DAVID “SISSY THROAT” ARCHULETA: Mariah’s advice to him is to sing falsetto – in other words, to sound even girlier than he usually does. Thankfully, he does not do this, which results in what is actually a pretty fine performance of this crap-ass song. He even refrains from the up-and-down-the-scale Whitney schtick except at the end, and when he does it, he drops it down into a low register, which works nicely. There’s really no denying how well he sings this song; I just wish I liked him more.
CARLY “FASHION BUG” SMITHSON: Ha ha! I kid because I love, Carly. You aren’t even dressed as poorly as you usually are! And I say that as someone who would enjoy having sexual relations with you! Anyway, I hate this song, although slightly less than I hate most of the songs I am likely to hear tonight. Carly pegs the notes early on, then seems to get lost a bit, but when she finds her way back, she kills it. Unfortunately, the judges (except, oddly, Paula) hammered on the flat bits.
SYESHA “WHITTY HUTTON” MERCADO As the most Mariah Careyish of the remaining contestants, Syesha pretty much has an episode tailor-made for her. Which is actually kinda unfair, but what are you gonna do. Mariah actually breaks Idol coach kayfabe by pointing out that Syesha can’t hit one of the notes, which is fun, but Syesha just sidesteps that in her performance by pushing through with Whitney Houston Shout Power. She does fine, but gaah, I hate that style.
BROOKE “HIPPY SHAKE” WHITE: Brooke’s appeal wore off for me a couple of weeks ago. Also, nice perm, there, Lisa Whelchel. Mariah’s advice: sing with the emotions of the moment, instead of throwing in a bunch of calculated affect at key moments like you usually do. Ha ha, no, she didn’t say that last part. She cracks a bit at the end, which I’m sad to say is the only genuinely interesting moment of her dull performance. She stands revealed at this point as the one-trickiest of Idol ponies.
KRISTY LEE “COUNTRY HONKY” COOK: I feel massive guilt over the persistence of this talentless hack, because I predicted big things for her early on. She gave Mariah Carey goose bumps! How bogusly adorable. What the fuck was she doing at the beginning of this song? She seemed totally at sea – she honestly can’t handle that style, and it sounded so off and bad. Once she got back into the Nash Vegas holler-it style, she sounded better, although ‘better is a relative term here. Bleah.
DAVID “PUDDIN’-HEAD WILSON PICKETT” COOK: Man, what is with the judges loving this performance so much? I honestly don’t understand it. This was a competent performance as far as it went, and his voice was in good form, but they were talking about him like he was baby goddamn Jesus. It was just as dull as always, and the judges went gaga. Could this be the second coming of Taylor Hicks? Christ I hope not. This was a promising crop this year, but it’s flattening like crazy.
JASON “PATCHOULI” CASTRO: I think I finally understand why I like Jason Castro even though he can’t really sing that well: he’s predictable, but not boring. Which is probably a distinction without a difference, but given the presence this late in the game of the Cooks, I’ll take whatever I can get. Jason actually stretches a little tiny bit, which is good to hear, and the judges go for it (well, except for Randy, who seems to have a mini-stroke whenever he encounters an unfamiliar arrangement). Jason’s gonna be in this thing to the end, I think.
PREDICTION: The bottom three next week will be Carly, Brooke, and David Cook, and as much as I hate to say it, I think my girl Carly gets the boot. It's unconscionable that she will be gone before Kristy Lee Cook, and yet here we are. My predictions this year have been more accurate than their usual "completely inaccurate", so I'm predicting Carly hits the sauce hard, dumps her loser tattoo-faced boyfriend, and hits the bathhouse circuit.
*: Note: I didn't keep track of the song titles this week because they're all Mariah Carey songs, and I hate them.