Dear Idol: You are sorely testing my vow not to talk about the VA Tech shootings, ever, because I will probably say callous things that will make people with normal human compassion (read: my flist) hate me. There, I mentioned the event, and now you know I have no plans to bring it up again. Television is much more entertaining.
Does anybody, anywhere, ever admit to liking country music? I don't like the real whiny stuff, with country twang that yodels on and on about Jesus and/or cheating spouses and/or drinking in a bar. But I think I kind of do like country music, at least the contemporary kind. While I wouldn't come near, say, Big & Rich or Gretchen Wilson, and Kenny Chesney annoys me like you wouldn't believe, I hold Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and the Dixie Chicks in high regard. For a brief time in fall 2005, I cried every time I listened to Jamie O'Neal's "Somebody's Hero," and I don't entirely dislike Garth Brooks or Tim McGraw, either. I think I'm out of names I know now.
But Martina McBride - that's your special country mentor? Blah. I have never heard her sing, except on the "Runaway Bride" soundtrack and even so I usually skip that song ("I Love You"). I don't know that I'd classify her a real "contemporary country singer" seeing as none of her music has ever been played on my contemporary radio station like all the other women I mentioned. And I'm not overly impressed with her advice to the contestants, either. Perhaps she was nervous by the way the expression on everyone's face was the same when they first met her: Do we really HAVE to sing country?!
Before I talk individual contestants, I want to take a moment to groan, bury my face in my hands, and admit that Simon and Ryan's banter is so unbelievably juvenile and silly and adorable that it's kind of my favorite non-Jordin portion of the show, and possibly the biggest reason I am enjoying this season. And just like the Simon/Paula antics amused me to the point where I was secretly kind of a Paula/Simon shipper, now I'm all...*squirms uncomfortably* a closet Simon/Ryan shipper. I have been influenced by people on LJ. BAD LJ PEOPLE. But every single time they volley back and forth, that's all I can think about. And whether Simon's smiling or grousing, it's always cute. *headdesk*
(Though I would like to clarify that my secret closet shipping does not extend to imagining what they do off-camera. It's a relationship I enjoy strictly in the context of this 2-nights-a-week show. For purposes of silly fangirling I'll pretend that the banter is flirting, because that makes it funnier, but that's it.)
Time for contestants.
Phil: Holy cow, Phil was...not horrible! Even without a hat! Although on that note, he would have looked great in a black cowboy hat. Anyway. Never heard the song ("Where the Blacktop Ends") but he made me like it. He was having FUN and I LIKED it so damn much that I had to vote for him 5 times, because I've decided it's my newfound mission to give Chris the boot. You see, the thing is, Chris is not cute, and I never enjoy his performances. Phil is creepy-looking as sin, but every few weeks he sings like a born performer, which makes him bearable. And he was fantastic tonight.
Jordin: Wheee! I hated what she was wearing - nice colors and decoration, but no shape; it billowed down like a tent and made her look bigger than she is. And I hated the slow start to the song, too; I was all set to snore. But once she rounded the halfway point it was much better, and when she neared the end, with those powerful vocals and that great big voice - which, by virtue of her youth, still manages to maintain a delicate and clear quality rather than overpowering like the women I hate - I was applauding. Good show, Jordin! 12 votes for you, because ever since we hit the top 10 it's been clear to me that you were made to be the next American Idol. Hm. I think I might need to download this song because she just makes it so pretty.
Sanjaya: Oh, dear God. Here's this week's digression.
I like the kid, okay? I think he's cute, I think he's sweet, I hate when people tear him apart. I don't think he's cocky, I think he's that unpopular kid in school who tries to believe that hype about how "people will like you if you like yourself first" -- not realizing that even though everyone's nice to his face, behind his back they're all snickering and going "OMG I can't believe he thinks we're his friends." So when he's up there with Ryan or interviewing with the camera, he goes about trying to imitate what so many celebrities do when being interviewed, which is joke around and make little teasing comments and try to sound light-hearted and cute. Unfortunately, this only works if you're actually popular. Since he's not, they just come off as pathetic, forced...or arrogant.
Now, since I like him, I tune in every week in vain hope that he'll have come to his senses and just tried to be himself, not this media spectacle. Not this week, unfortunately.
WHY, why, WHY would you sing that song?! ("Something To Talk About") Girl's song! It's a girl's song, STOP PICKING GIRLS' SONGS! Also, stay away from the backup singers. That one woman looked like she was using all her willpower not to run away from and/or slap you, and I couldn't blame her. We can do without the interactive feature; please just stay in the center of the stage. Also, LEAVE YOUR GOD-DAMNED HAIR ALONE. You know how it looked when you were rehearsing with Martina? It was very attractive. There was no need to come on stage looking like you'd stuck your finger in an electric socket and then tried to cover the poufy frizz with a bandanna. Also, a word of advice? Leave the earrings in your dressing room.
Lakisha: You know how I feel about the song "Jesus Take the Wheel." *stabs* That being said, I was captivated throughout the performance and applauded a little at the end. It's all gospel-y and soulful, which is just Lakisha's style. Mom thinks she sings it ten times better than Carrie Underwood ever could, because you don't believe those lyrics coming from sweet/young/innocent Carrie. From the world-weary looking Lakisha, you do. To cut to the chase, you know that I usually hate this woman's performances almost as much as I hate "Jesus Take the Wheel" -- but this week, I thought she was fantastic. Also, her dress was flattering and just all-around pretty and embued with sparklyness. I want it.
Chris: *sporks eyes and ears out* DREADFUL. He whined like the whiniest country singer ever, and then he tried to rescue himself with a playful sound bite about how he is *intentionally* nasally when he sings. It backfired as badly for him as it always does for Sanjaya, and didn't do much except make him sound stupid. Go home, Chris.
Melinda: Remember how Melinda didn't make a cute cowgirl in that one Ford music video? Yeah, she can't sing country any better. Crap song, and as usual, nothing special about her voice. Actually, the only time I listened to her was when they played the little recaplet montage at the end. In real time, the instant she appeared on screen I popped on my headphones and hummed in bliss to Shakira's "Eyes Like Yours," which was eleventy-billion-and-two times better than any sound Melinda could ever produce. I should have started breaking out my MP3 player during this show weeks ago.
Blake: BASTARD KILLED MY SONG. You may or may not be aware that I am in love with "When The Stars Go Blue," and while I prefer the Bono/The Corrs collaboration over the original, every cover version ever made was preferable to whatever the hell Blake was doing with it. He seemed disinterested, sort of whiny, like he was trying for a weird accent, and was inexplicably wearing sad puppy dog eyes the whole time with his lips in a perpetual pout...everything was just off-putting to me. Negative votes for you!
My final thought on this show (in general): why do the judges (okay, SIMON) whine about this batch of singers being "the worst they've ever had"? I'm not saying it's not true, although season 3 was pretty unwatchable. But, um, don't they have their pick of literally TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE? They comb through thousands of people; are the initial auditions so badly thrown to create TV entertainment that the judges literally cannot find twenty-four people whom they all agree are damn fantastic singers? If all the judges think Sanjaya is such a poor singer, why put him in the top 24 at all? Demographics, maybe, but come on - is he really the best teenage boy who auditioned in the whole country? I find that hard to believe.
It just irks me that the judges whine and complain about America getting it wrong when really, they have it solely in their power to select the voting pool, and if they don't believe that every one of the people they select could be the next winner, what's the point?
I don't have the energy to care about Chase/Cameron anymore. I did have a lot of fun over the House/Wilson bits, though, IN A TOTALLY NON-SLASHY WAY. *smacks head to clear the bad & irritating thoughts out* *mutters* Fie on the internet, FIE!
Loved Wilson's prim and unconcerned air as he eats his lunch and coolly informs House that he took Cuddy to the play with no ulterior motives in mind. "It is possible to have a friend of the opposite sex." Hee. And I was particularly pleased with Wilson FINALLY getting the upper hand and jerking House around for a while ("I slept with Cuddy." "Seriously?" "No." I love how long that went on, with House actually looking shocked, and falling for it repeatedly... "Yes you DID!" "*sigh* Yes." "Seriously?" "No." I've never seen him look quite so intense.) And the last scene, with Wilson practically tearing his hair out in frustration over House's weird fixation on Cuddy and potential Wilson/Cuddy....hahaha, brilliant.
All the same, it appears my glorious plans to be a Wilson/Cuddy shipper will never come to fruition. As much I think they are an awesome dual front against House when they work together to rein him in like the crazy uncle of PPTH he is, or when they play Mom and Dad to the ducklings, and despite the fact that they're my two favorite characters, the mental image my brain formed of Wilson striding into Cuddy's office and kissing her sent all systems on instant revolt. So, no. Sadly no romantic chemistry there.
Okay...I lied at the beginning of this review. I have plenty of energy to care about Chase/Cameron, by which I mean continue to hate it with a fiery burning passion (although I did giggle madly and applaud every time Foreman rolled his eyes and whined about it), all the moreso when my mom keeps insisting that she thinks they're a good couple and that they look cute together. Clearly she does not have enough shows on her plate, or she would be aware that are plenty of other, much cuter couples to ship on TV.
What I want to know is why we're still witnessing it when Cameron so clearly broke it off last episode. I could go into a great big ranty paragraph about Cameron's Emotional Complex, but I will try to be brief. Suffice to say it looks like Foreman and Cuddy were right all along. Cameron's putting on a spectacular front, but it's a front all the same. I don't know if she really has feelings for Chase, but I'm guessing that sleeping with him fulfilled her emotional need for closeness as well as the physical, and this arrangement meant she didn't have to admit to being emotionally involved, being vulnerable again. Cameron wants to be in control. And she's pissy because she was backed into a corner and had to end their little sleeping arrangement before she wanted to in order to maintain the illusion of control.
I maybe felt just a little bit sorry for Chase at the end again this week, and a teensy bit moved by his expression when she found the flowers. But only enough to feel bad, not enough to want to remedy it.
So...the 8 year old boy's crush on Cameron? I found it odd that nobody - not even Cameron - found an opportunity to bring up the 9-year-old girl who had a crush on Chase. Whom he actually kissed on the lips, in the name of harmlessness. I can't think of a good joke right now, but I'm sure there are dozens of retorts Cameron could have come up with. Besides, in any normal, non-Hell-House situation, it WOULD have been completely innocent and harmless.
None of the above, however, bothered me quite as much as some of the stuff that went on with the little girl over the course of her treatment.
- They find a bloody T-shirt stuffed in a vent - and their first thought is "ZOMG ABUSE, probably SEXUAL in nature!"? Oh good LORD our society is jumpy. Maybe she cut herself playing with a pocketknife she knew she wasn't supposed to touch, and didn't want to get in trouble so she hid the evidence. Maybe she gets a lot of nosebleeds and she uses the same shirt all the time to stop them every time but is too embarrassed to say anything. Personally, my first thought was that she'd found an injured animal somewhere, and either tried to carry it home in the folds of her shirt, or perhaps was a perverse little child and had stomped it to death.
- Okay, okay, I was reaching. But even so - this business about calling social services if you so much as suspect child abuse is a little crazy. Hospitals are full of people; patients rarely have their own rooms, and in this particular hospital, all the walls are glass. Gonna be a little hard for the suspected abusing parent to do anything abusive while they're there, and in the meantime, why don't you see if you can build a stronger case for why you think they're being abused. You know, for example, try talking to the child.
- Because if they're not? I'm pretty sure that performing a vaginal exam on a little girl is its own kind of abuse, which to ME would be reason enough for a parent to refuse consent for such a thing. You don't think it's just a weeee mite traumatic to have someone poking around there? The fact that you're a doctor in a lab coat and all your tools are sterilized doesn't negate the effect. That scene was extraordinarily off-putting and I don't see why we had to watch Cameron go through it instead of just hearing the results afterthe fact. We don't watch them go through every blood test they claim to perform, do we?
Last thing I can't figure out: As for the blood...what 6-year-old, upon finding that she is LEAKING BLOOD (since she wouldn't know what was going on), would quietly wait to discuss it with her friend instead of immediately freaking out and calling for help from her dad? Embarassing place, yeah, but at six years old (I feel it's important to emphasize her age as much as possible) I think my first thought would be that I might be DYING, which would outweigh the embarassment.
The saddest part is that I read full spoilers for this episode at YTDAW, but they all slipped my mind. As I was watching, I was like "Wait! I've seen this! Isn't it a rerun? No, I'm sure it's new...then why does the plot point of a woman running out to get her lip waxed during lunch seem so familiar?"...and yet I never made the connection. I didn't remember the cause until after they'd revealed it. "OH YEAH...now I remember the stuff about the cream..." I am silly.
The little House/Cuddy ending convo was cute, though. :)