Idol Thoughts — 01.13.10

“Pants on the ground. Pants on the ground. Looking like a fool with your pants on the ground.” Okay, so General Larry Platt is a few years over the cut-off age. Thirty-four, to be exact. But despite age, and dubious vocals skills, this guy was the big hit on American Idol last night.

The Atlanta auditions were more freak show than talent show.

And that’s not a diss. Some funny shiz went down. A few contenders were discovered. And guest judge Mary J Blige was excellent. Gotta love anyone that works the word “anointed” into her assessment, as Mary did when she weighed in on Jermaine Sullivan‘s re-working of Joan Osbourne‘s, “One Of Us.” Jermaine’s great vocal range and control earned him a Golden Ticket.

But about that freak show. First up on the show was Dewone Robinson. He claimed to come from a family of famous Motown musicians. If that’s the case, they’ve disowned him! Then there was Christy Marie Agronow, the host of something called 411 The Show, whose slogan is “keeping you in the know.” She got a big fat, “No!” And how ’bout Jesse Hamiliton, who says he’s almost died three times? Well, last night he almost died again. Minus the “almost.”

I’m not sure what to make of the train wreck that is, “Skiiboski.” And yes, the double-i after the k is the correct spelling, despite what it said in big yellow letters on his own damn red shirt! This dude was thrownin’ every thing at the wall hopin’ something would stick. American Idol logo fade haircut. Street hustla ‘tude, ala Snoop Dogg. The thing is, the dude turned in a solid, soulful “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” which was totally unexpected (and at odds with the rest of his persona). Simon Cowell dissented. But Skiiboski’s off to Hollywood. Probably going to be a quick trip to Cali. Gimmicks usually don’t play well during Hollywood Week.

Hmmm. Except last season’s annoying Norman Gentle. Skiiboski, you have shot!

Finally, there were a few last night that might survive Hollywood Week. Vanessa Wolfe (“Wagon Wheel”) is an unpolished small town girl from Tennessee with a quirky, authentic country sound. She’ll need a confidence upgrade and a bit of a makeover to make the “aero-plane” (her word) trip to Hollywood an extended stay. Holly Harden (guitar dress) is a doofus with a decent voice. Lose the gimmicks, Holly. Malorie Haley sang “Piece Of My Heart,” and got over-praised by the judges. I thought she was just OK–sounded a little pinched, her range seems limited and she needs to work on her technique.

Finally, we met this season’s Michael Sarver. A cop from Tennessee named Bryan Walker. Nice blue eyed soul version of “Superstar.”  Fans will love this guy. Who doesn’t want to root for a small town cop? Same appeal propelled Sarver into the Top 10.

Those are my thoughts. Chime in! Let me know what you think.

Greg Valentine
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