We here at Gawker.TV have been pretty rough on the most recent batch of American Idol hopefuls. Whether or not Casey Abrams and Paul McDonald are deserving targets of our misdirected anger (my mother wouldn't let me audition for the show after my father was tragically suffocated to death by one of Simon Cowell's t-shirts) is debatable, but you can't say that these crazy singin' kids don't make it easy for us.
Last night, with the contestants singing Elton John songs, was no exception. Some did pretty well, most were boring (GO HOME, STEFANO), but one performer exposed Idol as the crazy clown debacle that we all know it to be. Naturally, I'm talking about James Durbin's performance of "Saturday Night's Alright" (though I could just as well be referring to Naima's reggae rendition of "I'm Still Standing").
Oh, James. Jamie, Jamie, Jamie. He thinks he's quite the rock star with his neckerchiefs and flaming pianos, doesn't he? He weaves through the audience and wails with an unsettling confidence, clearly born from shouting affirmations to himself in the mirror every morning. "Remember Adam Lambert?" he asks, jabbing his finger at his reflection. "You can be the straight dad version of him. You will be the straight dad version of him!" (As someone with a profound, documented and inexplicable love of Adam Lambert, I feel qualified to inform James that Lambert is untouchable). Apparently, his affirmations work. The judges love him! America loves him! Personal friends have defended his performance style to me, saying that he at least has fun with it. Fine. He has fun with it. Great. But why does his fun (which, by the way, involves writhing on the floor, high-fiving the audience and singing the word "beer" like he's never had a drink before) leave me feeling like a squirrel has clawed its way into my body where it now alternates between gnawing on my brain and heart? You know that feeling, right? (Of course you do.)
It's not all negative here at Gawker TV (negativity only makes the squirrel fatter). Our hypothetical high school friend Casey Abrams did a very sweet and simple version of "Your Song" that hopefully helped to silence those critical of his save from elimination last week (I was one of those critics, btdubs) and protect him from the double elimination tonight. Best of luck to him!
Maybe you love James Durbin. Maybe you think I should have spent more time talking about Haley's version of "Benny and the Jets." Maybe you want to talk more about brain squirrels. Express yourself in the comments!