Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just Kids

With the departure of Haley Reinhart as my favorite #3 finisher, a category that includes Casey James and Melissa Doolittle, I have one less show to watch next week, as I'll be skipping the all-country, youngest ever (16 and 17) American Idol finals. I'll definitely watch the grand finale episode, not because I care who wins anymore, but to see some of the great diverse talent from this season, paired up with established stars, usually with at least one legend thrown in as the climax. Maybe Randy Travis with the country kids?

Nothing against Scotty McCreery or Lauren Alaina who seem like fine young people, both very talented, with Scotty poised to be the male Carrie Underwood when he wins and starts selling a kazillion records and downloads, but it's not my genre unless in the Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Allison Kraus, even Willie Nelson vein. And in its quest for audience, Idol has become a kids show. With alternatives like X Factor and The Voice, I wonder if the future Casey Abrams and Haley Reinharts will choose to take their quirky, professional, potentially brilliant career starts elsewhere.

The iTunes studio track of Haley's Led Zep cover from last night, "What Is and What Should Never Be," is awesome. It misses the smouldering blues lead guitar of her father's from the live show, but makes up for it in production value, listenability, and lack of tumble in the middle. So may of her tracks have been great, rotation ready -- "Benny and the Jets," "Rolling in the Deep," "You and I," "House of the Rising Sun," even "Blue" -- but this one may be the best. What a way to go out. I'm just bummed not to get those last three Haley Reinhart competition performances next week.

Here's her sing-out. "Benny" all the way, the song that first separated her, this awkward sexy yodeling girl who was supposed to be cannon fodder, from the rest of the pack:

Here's my favorite take on the above, from the blogpost comments:

I usually get a feeling after the show about how the contestants are reacting. Just from the way Haley was singing to the others in the audience who went before her, it truly seemed to me that she was hanging with the cool kids while the pristine prom king and queen were anchored to the stage having to hold court, unable to join the party. I’ll bet none of them are surprised who the two finalists turned out to be. Haley was the last of the artists, and she made it further than all the others in what has always been a predestined finale. The fact that she came so far from where she started takes some of the sting out.

Comment by agrimesy – May 19, 2011 09:11 PM PDT
Two kids trapped in the grown-up world of network television meets music business. No more adults left to watch on the show, they're on their own.

Gotta think the Idol factory might have preferred Scotty vs. Haley. Ratings will have to go down next week as large blue state percentages drop off. And with the top two headliners be in country on the tour, won't that be something of a deterrent to ticket sales?

I do blame the judges song choice for Haley -- the Alanis Morissette song was a bad choice eight ways to Sunday, including being past it's expiration date Crystal and Alanis duetted it on the final last year), requiring editing for TV and still containing "is she perverted like me" to turn off mothers, has a general bitchy feel that seems designed to confirm what the Haley haters fantasize about her personality, not a great "singing" song with a low verse that's not great for Haley, lots of words to learn quickly when you lose a couple days for homecoming week and have 3 rather than 1 or even 2 songs to do, and they put it at the end of the show rather than earlier, so Haley could have ended on the Led Zeppelin moment.

But I truly believe, in the grand post-Idol scheme:

Haley FTW.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Votes cast, 2010 U.S. midterm elections: 82.5 million.

Votes cast, American Idol 5/19/2010: 95 million.

I'm just sayin'...