|by Darla Kitt
Okay, I’m officially taking back what I said last week about “not being happy to see any of the top 24 leave.” After this week’s AI elimination round, I’m damn happy. Extremely f***ing happy even, because now I will never have to suffer through another performance by Brenna ever again.
That’s right, folks. Brenna was sent packing. What did I tell ya in last week’s column? “It won’t be long.” I must say that I’m a bit surprised that the kick-off came so soon, though. Usually there are enough people out there who really love the annoying/crazy/asshole contestants to keep ‘em around at least a little while longer. Hell, last year Mikayla made it all the way to the top 12. But, in any case, I am very happy about it. I actually jumped off the couch when Ryan announced that not only was she leaving, but she had the lowest number of votes! Once again, way to go America! I don’t know how Brenna thought that she could pull off a Donna Summer song anyway, and her outfit made her look like she belonged on that early ‘80’s show “Dance Fever.”
Heather was the next to go, no surprise there. She said she wanted to do “Hero” by Mariah Carey because it was never done on AI before. Um, yeah, there’s probably a reason why no other contestant did that song, ever. Like they weren’t stupid and knew that it would be hopeless to even attempt it. Simon was right on the money with the beauty pageant comparison, as her performance made me feel like I was watching Miss Teen USA. I must say, however, that I will miss the opportunity to further make fun of her name. No more porn jokes for me, I guess.
Then went David, the cute crooner-robot. He has a good face, but he looks so weird when he sings, I just couldn’t get into him. And yeah, I know he digs the Sinatra thing, but why the hell did he pick “The Way You Look Tonight?” Old Blue Eyes has a catalog of songs a mile long, and David sure as hell could have picked a better one. Not that the right Sinatra song would have saved him for long, but it could have bought him a little more time. Too late now.
I always got an odd vibe off of Sway, like he’s a bit of a cocky asshole, and I was crossing my fingers like crazy when it was down to him and my beloved Dilbert kid, Kevin. Again, I rejoiced when Sway got the axe. I was not overjoyed with his version of “Overjoyed” to say the least. He really wrecked it, and paid the price.
So now we have our top 16. The girls’ group tanked pretty hard as a whole on Tuesday night, with the exception of Mandisa, who brought the f***ing house down with her powerful rendition of “Cry” by Faith Hill. She looked absolutely regal and sang with so much emotion that by the end of the song I was yelling, “Damn right, you f***ing asshole! Cry a little bit for the woman!” Paris was also great, although not in a “knock your socks off” kinda way. She was more subtle, showing off the dramatic deep tones of her voice, and once again fabulous hair. I’m a little partial to the song she did, “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler, because number 1: I love, love, love Bette, and number 2: that song was played at my grandfather’s funeral so it always gets me right in the gut. The big test was if her version could choke me up, because it’s pretty easy to keep the tears at bay when you hear someone f***ing it up. Of course, Paris is terrific and I was a little teary-eyed by the time she was finished, so she passed with flying colors.
Okay, so some of the other chicks were o-kay. Like Lisa and her Jackson 5 number. She can sing, yeah, but it wasn’t great. I also hate that “wearing a tube dress over jeans” look, that only accentuated her 10-year-old boy, hipless shape. Melissa was also pretty good, with her smoky voice, kinda like Lindsey from season 4.
From my “what the hell were they thinking when they picked that song” file is Kinnik and that god-awful country song, although she looked adorable in the corset top and cropped camo pants. Also here is Katherine, because her voice is way too good to be wasting it on that boring-ass yawner she sang. She’s also gotta watch her outfits, because as wonderfully curvy as she is, those ultra-tight capri’s with the filmy top made her look kinda pregnant. Which is fine if she really is expecting, but no one wants to look like that if they’re not.
I thought Kellie did a horrible job with Bonnie Raitt’s “Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About.” Yeah, she’s cute and likable in that “so rednecky it’s cute” kinda way, but I do think the producers are exploiting that and making her seem even dumber than she is. They expect me to believe she’s in awe of dogs wearing clothes? Is that really that new? Like no one in North Carolina owns a Pug or a Chihuahua? Oh, wait, I guess we’re supposed to think they all have scruffy huntin’ dogs down there. Anyway, I think she butchered the song. Plus, after she shook her head all around, all I could focus on was that bit o’ hair stuck to her lip gloss and how annoying that feels.
Finally, I have to say that as well-rehearsed and commercially perfect as Ayla’s Celine Dion song was, I still can’t stand her. And gosh, it was so interesting to hear all about how she’s discovering makeup and hairstyles now that she’s in Hollywood. I mean, she has so many different tank tops, now! Yippee. What a f***ing idiot.
Pound for pound, the boys outshone the girls by a long shot. With the exception of Sway and David of course, and Will. Will makes me uncomfortable. He’s like a show pony or something. Looks pretty cute, but his eyes are totally empty of any personality, and he doesn’t move very much. Like, he doesn’t really do anything. And “Lady” by Kenny Rogers? Kenny f***ing Rogers? Come on, now. Who picked that?
As for Kevin, I’ll admit that his Marvin Gaye tune did suck for the most part. But like the rest of the ladies, I love him. I can’t help it, he’s adorable. However, he probably shouldn’t try to dance anymore, as he looks like one of those mechanical dancing hamsters you see at novelty shops. Check Kevin, er, I mean the hamsters, out on the web here:
Bucky was, um, better this week. Honestly, he sounded better, actually singing more of the song instead of rasping it, and he even looked a little better. The ponytail thing works. I can’t help but feel that the producers are also exploiting his “country bumpkin-ness,” highlighting his difficulty understanding menus. He should probably just ask someone what’s on the goddamn chicken. Basically, it’s like they’re promoting Bucky and Kellie as the same person, just male/female, yin/yang versions of the same backwoods stupid redneck, and I’d be quite offended if I were them.
And, oh my god, I still can’t understand what Randy, Paula and Simon love so much about Elliott! I thought he sucked! He’s a cheeseball. When he sang a line about “seeing” he pointed to his EYE! And he was wearing a sweater vest, which is one of my boy-fashion pet peeves. I can’t rail on him too hard this week, though. Because of his sad, sick mommy story. I do feel bad for him about that. But Christ almighty, why the hell do those judges come all over the place every time he opens his f***ing mouth?
The four guy standouts this week were by far Taylor, Ace, Gedeon and Chris. I know, I know, many of you are wondering why I chose Taylor as a “standout,” because the song he chose wasn’t the greatest. But he was seriously groovin’ up there! He gave us a little of the sultry eyes, the sly smile, aw yeah, he was doing his thang, all slickster-ed out in his pinstriped suit. Sh*t, I’d love him if he sang a mayonnaise commercial. Ace, also, didn’t choose the best song, and when he did the falsetto parts he made a very ugly face like he was gonna puke all over the stage, but he is still the prettiest in the pack and that counts for a lot.
Gedeon, I really fell in love with this week. Anyone who can carry a Sam Cooke tune like that and look that natural doing it is cool with me. You could tell he was really into it too; I could feel the emotion pouring out of him all over the crowd. It was a helluva soulful performance. I was impressed. However, I still would like him to button-up the shirt a little bit. Too much man-chest is kinda gross.
The showstopper award has to go to Chris this week. As much as I hate Fuel, and ridiculous “alternative rock” songs in general, Chris pulled it off with gusto. He ripped that song a new asshole, and I found myself really liking it, which I never did when it was on the radio. Plus, he’s never over-stylized or overly “done-up,” like he spent hours choosing his outfit. He’s just real natural and like a normal guy, but with exceptionally nice arms. It’s sad, but I’m a sucker for tight biceps.
Well, with most of the real stinkers gone, next week will be tense. I think we all know who’s definitely gonna make it, but the handful of contestants scuttling around the bottom of the barrel should be sh*tting their pants.
Questions, comments, rants or kudos can be sent to Darla at DarlaKitt@realityshack.com.