Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps American Idol Season 18 Episode 2, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two)…
Well hello again, my little Idol Addicts, and welcome back for your weekly American Idol recap!
This week the auditions take us to Savannah where Alejandro references and palm tree jumpsuits are a’plenty and contrived attempts at drama are alive and well. Gas leaks and takin’ it to the streets, anyone? Don’t tie me to the whippin’ post yet, because at least ABC showed me some love in the form of one Adam Lambert cameo.
Oh, let’s just dish on the standout hopefuls, shall we? But first, can we just take a moment to admire the fact that ABC producers have somehow managed to land none other than Kanye West, Yeezy himself, to tickle the ivories?
Perhaps I’m just a little sleepy tonight, but this week’s contestants didn’t excite me as much as last week’s. I mean, sure, we had the inspiration stories, the obligatory goofy contestant, and the comeback kid, but I’m left feeling kind of … meh. Maybe this is why Katy Perry tried to spice things up by taking one audition to the streets.
Kay Gynese takes it to the streets where the crowd shows her Mercy
Kay Gynese auditions with Mercy, and we have our first “pitchy” of the season! It’s almost as if the ghost of Randy Jackson is back in the house. Kay definitely was pitchy, and the judges pretended they were torn on whether to give her a golden ticket. So Kay naturally told them she’d do a cartwheel for them to put her through. Katy had other plans and asked, “Will you sing for your life?” Great. Let’s go to the streets.
It’s like Katy was just picking her moment to pull this little card from her palm-inspired sleeve. It felt a little unwarranted to use on pitchy Kay but why not. Let’s take it to the streets, Katy and Kay.
They recruit a little street crowd, which would have been pre-ready had we been on The Bachelor. Kay sings Mercy again, and everyone was super enthusiastic to put her through, as you can see.
I think that girl on her phone was hoping she was going to see a Bachelor moment/Chase Rice concert in the streets. Wrong ABC show, sweetie.
Though Kay sounded slightly better on the streets, I’d be surprised if she survives Hollywood Week.
Kyle Tanguay flies on to Hollywood like the Eagle he is
Kyle Tanguay, the first male Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader, also sings Mercy but the Sean Mendes kind. Both his personality and voice are more likeable than Kay’s, but he’s still not super strong. Why I feel the need to compare these two, I’m not sure. But that’s what I’m going to do.
If Kyle makes it through Hollywood Week, it will be because of his personality, but if he doesn’t, something tells me Kyle is going to be alright.
Jovin Webb is no longer tied to the whipping post
One of our “sob stories” of the night, Jovin Webb, brings the tears (and talent) to auditions. With a soulful and smooth voice, he belted out some Tied to the Whipping Post, which made both me and Luke want to sit back with some bourbon and listen all day. Well, I’d trade out my bourbon for pinot, but you get the picture.
I loved Lionel’s critiques here. He tells Jovin he officially brought the BBQ sauce to Idol, and that Jovin’s voice is what BBQ sauce sounds like. Nicely done, Lionel. Oh, and Uncle Richie also dropped this little nugget on us: BB King said it’s hard to sing the blues in the back of a limousine. Heck yeah. Are you taking notes over there
Forest Gump Luke? Now those are some colorful words! Luke settles for “I saw your whole life in that performance,” which is decent for ol’ Luke. Meanwhile Katy is all “I have chills in my cheekbones and I’ve had a lot of botox!”
The three knuckleheads give Jovin a standing “O” which is all well and good, but, I ask, why didn’t they do this for my boy Arthur Dibesh last week?! I’m still sticking by him as my favorite male so far. (Sorry, Jovin.)
Margie Mays turns Katy cold
Like Nick Merico’s comeback last week, Margie Mays is our return contestant this week. Is this going to be, like, a thing now, ABC? In her plaid romper, white tennies, and boyfriend in tow, she sings I Found a Boy, but Katy is underwhelmed. I guess the bird mating call they do together didn’t quite stick for Katy.
I was actually kind of surprised by Katy’s “no” to Margie. While she doesn’t capture emotion, I’d much rather hear Margie’s soft buttery pockets and wide range compared to some of the pitchiness that has already been sent through this episode. After Katy’s extremely cold sendoff to Margie (I mean there was no goodbye — or words whatsoever for that matter), Margie’s purse holder, aka boyfriend, aka Johnny West auditions.
And hot dog! He is more fun to watch than Margie. Even throws in a little rap in the middle.
Luke said he was close to the Alejandro lane. Again with the premature outlandish statements, Luke. And again with the Alejandro references. (At least three of them tonight!) I wonder if Laine Hardy is at home thinking, can a winner get some love over here!? Well, I know that Alejandro apparently had a late night appearance, but what has Laine done lately? Hmmmmm….. I’ll wait. (Now now, I don’t blame Laine. I blame ill-fitted coronation songs and other factors that I’ll delve deeper into another time.) For now, let’s just discuss who might be the best of the night.
Julia Gargano – Favorite Girl So Far
I love it when a contestant auditions with an original song. To me, it shows 100 percent authenticity. These kind of contestants have music running through their veins, and Julia Gargano is no exception. Not only did she have my favorite voice of the night, but she also proved her skills as a songwriter and piano player. I hear she plays guitar too. It’s Katy this time who hands out a Top 5 slot of the night, and I must say, I somewhat agree. At least top 10. Real deal alert here.
And that’s about it for Episode 2. Of course, production tried to rev up the entertainment value of this episode with a gas leak that previewed Katy as passing out, but we all knew that was Katy just being Katy. I mean, I’m sure there was a real gas leak and all, it’s just that it was over as soon as it started and I smelled it for what it actually was: a lame attempt at drama. Just stick with the talent and humor for Idol, ABC, and save the drama for The Bachelor.
There was also Luke Bryan pretending to be Forest Gump in a segment that went on for what felt like, oh, I don’t know, forever. I was more entertained by him singing the Sardines song and making the sah-dines jokes. Sah-dine. Sah-dine. Now that was some good stuff. Til next week, my Idol Addicts!
American Idol airs Sunday, 8 pm EST, on ABC.