My American Idol Nightmare March 31, 2010Posted by Skippy in Popular Culture.
Tags: American Idol, blights upon humanity, R&B, trainwrecks
This idiot ought to be banned from ever singing again. EVER. Call your Senator.
Last night, the theme for American Idol was “Soul/R&B.” It was a disaster all around. However, there was one special little snowflake who merited my undying hatred. I’ll get to him in a minute.
Usher is the “mentor”—and Mike called him the “greatest performer of our generation” Hellfire and damnation—this show already sucks. And he’s talking about his new album “Raymond v. Raymond”—it’s about his divorce from his golddigging wife. Big frakkin’ deal. So it’s “personal.” Whoopteedoo. Are you as sick as I am with all these pop tarts putting out album after album and claiming that each twelve-track suckfest is their “most personal album”? WhatevAR. I don’t care about some idiot writing some half-assed song about your mother’s pet wombat in Minnesota—what I do care about is your ability to sing. Nay, I want you to be able to SANG. I want you to sing a song so well that I am in tears. Sing so well that I have to resist an urge to throw things. Can Usher “mentor” these younglings in such a way as they don’t completely screw up R&B songs beyond all recognition?
No, no he can’t. Aside from the horrors of people like Siobahn Magnus screeching through Chaka Khan’s “Through the Fire” and Katie Stevens’ wretched rendition of “Chain of Fools,” there was the idiocy of watching Usher try to “mentor” these wanna-be singers. His advice was vague and generally unhelpful. I was amused and then horrified when Big Mike characterized this peanut-headed crooner as the greatest singer of (his?) generation.
Ask your parents who was singing on the radio the night you were conceived, Mike. Chances are it’s this man.
But little did I know of the horror that was to come. When Ryan said, “Up next, Tim Urban singing Anita Baker,” I was immediately angry. See, Anita is my favorite singer, full stop. Tim Urban is my least favorite contestant on this show. He looks like a refugee from a Hollister store, and has about as much personality as the mannequins upon which he’s clearly based his “look.” Plus, the fool can’t sing. And him singing Anita—ANY Anita Baker song—is an abomination. However, there is one Anita Baker song that is my favorite above all and I knew that if he sang that song, I would hate this little no-talent pisher forever.
So when this little moron said he was going to sing “Sweet Love,” I went apoplectic.
You see, I first heard “Sweet Love” when I was 15—and 24 years later, I still play that song. Since then, I’ve bought every Anita Baker album—on tape and CD, have seen her in concert and, if one of her songs comes on the radio, I and everyone around me must be silent until the song is over—especially if it’s “Sweet Love.” What Tim didn’t get—and didn’t bother to put into the song—was the kind of emotional depth that made that song a signature song for what came to be known as “the Quiet Storm.” It is a four minute and twenty-six second paean to love—in my opinion, it is the quintessential love song. It is up there with Stevie Wonder’s “As” or Luther Vandross’ “Superstar/Until You Come Back To Me”—back in the day, we used to call it “babymaking music,” but I think it’s far deeper than just being the soundtrack to a spirited bout of missionary position sex. I’ll probably write about that later, but suffice it to say, I was not pleased when Tim said he was going to sing “Sweet Love.” I knew it would be a disaster.
And it was.
From the beginning, I knew it was going to be a suckfest. The song begins with a dramatic drum and piano introduction—not some schmaltzy, lounge lizard piano arrangement, which was what the viewers got. On top of that, Tim stared into the camera with this…this vacant expression. I think he was trying to “seduce” the camera with his eyes, but the effect he arrived at was “dumb deer in headlights.” His “singing,” if you could call it that, was so atrocious, I wanted him booted then and there. Uninspired, lackluster, boring, lounge-lizardy, and utterly irretrievably pathetic.
I hate Tim Urban. I also hate American Idol for foisting this blight upon music.