May 19, 2011
Posted: 12:16 PM ET
AJ is a floor director for HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade". She has been obsessed with this season of Idol, and takes notes to share with the Morning Express writers and producers. The opinions below are AJ’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" or HLN. These are her impressions of last night:
Haley stumbles, Lauren fumbles, and dads galore! Wow, last night had it all, huh? Our final three amigos (lets see how many "three" phrases we can fit in here) served up a piping hot trilogy each (again!) of songs for our hungry hungry ears. And honestly? I was pretty satisfied.
SCOTTY: The young collard green has definitely proven himself as the most consistent singer. Even Beyonce seemed impressed, although I had to throw an eye roll at her when she politely said she loved Lonestar. Yeah, okay. Scotty’s cover of their cheese-tastic hit "Amazed" was surprisingly mature and unaffected, save his persistent habit of looking quizzically into the camera. There’s nothing in there, boy! Equally good was his Thompson Square number, answering for women folk everywhere the uncomfortable question, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" (a firm no, for legal purposes). However, when fettered by a guitar and a too-low mic stand, his usual stage maladies are concentrated in his jumping-bean eyebrows and twangy pronunciations (I like you ay-lott!). He closed out with Kenny Rogers' "She Believes in Me". You could bore a hole in that song and let the sap drip out. Ugh. It was an okay choice, but not as awesome as a reprise of Scotty’s now-signature audition song… sung by his dad. Loved it. Baby lock them doors!
LAUREN: Poor dear. With each passing week, Lauren seems to get more adorable and equally more unhinged. Kind of like her wardrobe, with gigantic flowers blooming from her ears and a Disney fantasy prom dress confection that seemed to really bother Randy. And her ripped pantyhose! What a trooper, that wardrobe woman deftly oiling up La Alaina's bare legs moments before showtime. Anyhoo, girlfriend definitely had her ups and downs. Her personal pick, Faith Hill's "Wild One" was rushed when it should have been energetic, and seemed a little sparse for her big, sweet voice. Jimmy Iovine, who has been hitting the country radio a little hard it seems, set her up with The Band Perry's hit "If I Die Young". I don’t think little glitter princess is gentle or nuanced enough to tackle the song. She blew a key change, and spent the rest of the number trying to atone by showing off. Aw. I kind of felt sorry for her, though I had to laugh when JLo called it a "moment of honesty", the most diplomatic term for mistake ever. She finally hit her stride with a decadent "I Hope You Dance", a perfect choice for her voice and her style.
HALEY: Tonight was her night. She set the bar high-and it remained unsurpassed-with an unexpectedly awesome cover of Zeppelin's "What Is and What Should Never Be". MVPs of this performance were definitely the stairs, which finally exacted their revenge by tripping her, if only for a moment, and her guitar-shredding dad. What a nice moment for her. The dad part, not the tripping. She continued the high with her Stevie Nicks impersonation, "Rhiannon", during which she had some intimate moments with a wind machine. She’s never looked better, and Randy must have been dozing off when he called the song "somber". Really? She never had any hope of pulling off Alanis' "You Oughta Know", though, and not only because of the naughty lyrics and basement-level verses that muted her voice. It comes down to this: when you think angry girl music, you definitely think Alanis. You never think Haley.
So there they were. Did you love it, Idol people? Do you wanna kiss Scotty or not? Is Lauren a wild one? Should you oughta know Haley? See what I did there? Help! The suspense, it's driving us crazy!
May 27, 2010
Posted: 03:52 AM ET
*Note: the "American Idol" recaps are a series of blog posts from "Morning Express with Robin Meade" Technical Director, Keri. Keri knows what every button on that giant panel (above) in the control room does, and she presses most of them while putting "Morning Express" on your TV every day. Keri is also a long-time Idol fan and provides the Morning Express writers and producers (who typically go to bed way too early to watch "Idol" live) with a recap. We get a kick out of Keri's "take" on the show, and thought you might as well. The opinions below are Keri's alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" or HLN. Here are her impressions of last night:
Season 9 of American Idol has come to a close. Simon makes his exit, Lee takes the title, with speed texing tweens at his side, and my DVR breathes a sigh of relief as it gets a reprieve from its arduous task of recording this show’s much too long season.
I know I’ve spent most of this season wishing to be sucked, warp speed, into an alternate universe where Simon, the Han Solo of AI, still had his heart in his clever derisive witticisms, Paula remained an adorably incoherent yet always entertaining fixture holding it all together, and Season 8 was on continuous repeat as if caught in a bizarre perpetual time loop. But alas, the paradoxes of time travel have kept me and my DVR firmly fixed in Season 9.
Having said that, Lee and Crystal somehow managed to make the final few weeks of the season somewhat compelling and engaging (though as I watch the parade of Idols take the stage while writing this, that feeling diminished slightly in the relativity). As the season closes, I’m not screaming at the top of my lungs, “Simon, take me with you!” Instead, maybe now I am just speaking it in a soft but firm tone of voice.
So how did it all go down last night? Let’s talk about Crystal and Lee, since they are what the finale should be all about (though you would have never known it last night). After that, your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to continue on to read about Simon’s send-off and all the star performances, if you are so inclined. There were some pretty fun moments (the reappearance of Paula, the Top 6 girls with Christina Aguilera who were all kinds of awesome, Bret Michaels took a break from hospital visits and his new apprenticeship to sing a duet with Casey, Janet Jackson showed some serious skin with some “Nasty Boys,” and there were more Idols together on stage than I have ever seen in my life to help send Simon off), but it wasn’t exactly last season’s finale or anything. Here’s how it all played out…
CRYSTAL & LEE:
CRYSTAL AND ALANIS MORISSETTE:
LEE AND CHICAGO:
CRYSTAL AND LEE DUET, JOINED BY JOE COCKER:
This would be the point I would usually head into a downward spiral of Idol withdrawal looking for distractions until January. Somehow, I don’t think that is going to be a problem this time around.
I might have joked all season that this would be my last as a viewer. But the truth is, like it or not, I am a creature of habit. If Idol is on my TV, I will watch. Well, at least I’ll give it a chance… maybe stick around to see who replaces Simon. See if maybe they can find an impressive crop of candidates and return to being the television ratings death star. It’s like a book that everyone tells you is wonderful but is really slow to get started. One that you are ready to put down, give up on, and forget all about, but you fear you might only be a few pages away from the best read of your life. Of course, that is why I have suffered through, in their entirety, some seriously mind-numbingly dull books.
So where is Idol headed? With Paula’s absence, Simon’s departure, Ryan’s wackiness, and after a seriously unexciting season… What does next season hold? And will you watch? Or will you free yourself from this television phenomenon? And did America get it right this season?
We now return you to your regularly scheduled Tuesdays and Wednesdays…
Keri's recap of Simon's Farewell (featuring the return of Paula Abdul) and the Guest performances (Brett Michaels? Wow.) is coming up on the next page... but first:
Hey there, it's Robin. I bet Keri is looking forward to a break from American Idol because she has rocked this blog all AI season! Seriously, great work Keri. Now, if you are watching our morning show going "where do I see Keri?", you don't. She is a loyal behind the scenes employee, very important to our show success everyday. But she doesn't have to write the AI blog, yet does so in a fabulous way every week! Thank you Keri!
And now... for the crazy mashup of singers and bands from Joe Cocker to the "Pants on the Ground" guy to Chicago to the Bee Gees... Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by: Morning Express Technical Director Keri
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