American Idling | 09.17

american-idol_sm.jpgYou gotta know when to fold ‘em; know when to hold ‘em…







With the strongest group of five to make it this far in American Idol, it would be not fair but sportsmanlike to even up the chips and reassess the players. As evident from Rat Pack Night, however, the House has pre-ordained its bet, weighted dice intact. Randy is the boob, Kara is the tool, Paula is ineffectual, Simon is the blaguard, and Ryan is the guy in the monkey suit. America is a bunch of senior citizens on a daytrip playing with quarters in a paper cup. Blast them all; I am the Rock, the Walrus, the Woman That Roars…if I was a woman…I can never be your woman…I am the Gambler.

Let’s step away from the table long enough to stare the odds in the eyes dead center. This whole contraption is rigged—I know it, you know it. What do you say we make this more interesting? You see, I’ve brought my own cards, American Idol, and the Ace…ain’t your King.

KRIS ALLEN. Like Ol’ Blue Eyes, he has the looks, the sophistication and the smooth-cocktail vocals. Last night’s performance was not his sharpest; however, barring the text-voters who prefer to robotically insert their coins until they hit the jackpot, or at least break even; he is safe from the Bottom Two. He is the martini of the bunch.

ALLISON IRAHETA. If she is unlikable, it is not of her own doing. She is readily more available than Adam, who depends on a series of stage persona to sell what he’s got. Simon, in particular, has attuned so much of the Zombie Nation’s attention on everything but her singing; Adam is equally if not more accessorized, and yet his singing has been the focal point. If Allison finds herself in the Bottom Two again, the culprit is the propaganda machine. Like Shirley MacLaine, she holds her own against the guys and drinks them shot for shot.  

ADAM LAMBERT. Like Shirley MacLaine, he’s got enough personalities to fill summer stock productions of Cabaret, Xanadu, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and in one single summer, to boot. He’d be cost-efficient that way — David Merrick, rest his soul, would love him. There is no doubt he can outperform his competitors; there is also no doubt he can throw them to the ground with his banshee-cry and stomp on them like a Riverdancer on crack. I don’t remember what he sang, but I do have to thank him for driving Satan from his hold on my mortal real estate.

DANNY GOKEY. Don’t get me wrong: I like this guy. He has that goofy Sunday beer bust quality I am drawn toward; and, to his credit, the attraction would be before I black out. To quote that broken-record Randy Jackson, "Dawg can definitely sing." I just cannot envision him as a solo act.

MATT GIRAUD. Simon confused me last night. Was he actually praising a performance that even I agreed with Randy as pitchy? It was at this moment where I surrendered the frail glimmer of hope that American Idol is worth the time spent ensuring that the DVR is set; that I don’t participate in any type of dinner plans; that I every odd week or so I find myself a perch in a Castro bar that, despite the confetti of wit and withering remarks, stinks of spilled drinks, day-old cologne and youth-long-gone; and that I have something to bring back to PLAYBACK:stl. When Simon announced Matt outshined Kris and Allison, a little voice reminded me that the parade that is my life is in the meantime passing me by. In short, the most centered aspect of Matt Giraud’s performance was the conjoined twin keeping his hat in place, and Simon needs to get his ear (if not his entire head) checked.

You gotta know when to fold ‘em; know when to hold ‘em, know when to walk away; know when to run… | Alan Quisimorio

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