Friday, 9 March 2012

Jeremy Jimmy And The Mary J Undertones.

This was the Top 12 Results show that you didn't really need to watch as you probably had a good idea of who would be going. In fact it was very much the Jimmy Iovine Show and none the worse for that either. Jimmy gets my admiration, not just because he dated one of my all-time favourite artists, Stevie Nicks, or even for being the key person in Lady Gaga's early years, but because he hasn't failed to talk a huge amount of sense when reviewing performances and capabilities of American Idol contestants. I agree with everything he says and, in Simon Cowell's absence, such reasoned and calm comments are all the more welcome to counter the often extraordinary and OTT remarks from the judges who I often think must be listening to a cleaned-up and tuned-up backing track rather than what is emerging from my speakers.

Jimmy said that Jeremy would be going tonight and that's exactly what happened.

After the compulsory Let's All Dance And Sing Something Bland performance that I dread every week's results shows now opening with and wondering who on earth thought that Phillip should be dressed in drab blue  sweater and brown trousers, Ryan quickly sent Jessica and Hollie to the safe seats. After their amazingly good performances the night before my guess is that they could have had 80% of the votes between them. Three girls and three boys were held back from the safety of the stools: Jermaine, Jeremy and the third J, Joshua, joining Erica, Elise and Shannon. So that gives up quite a good initial clue as to the way things could work out. The bottom two were Jeremy and Elise, Shannon being so fortunate to scrape through.

Had Shannon been standing next to Jeremy then she may well have been the one sent home as Jeremy, we feel, does have something different and possibly even modern to offer once he gets some decent tracks to work on. Shannon will be an anthem singer for the next week or two and may only really finish up being retained in order to balance the giant Jermaine, who must be causing the choreographers and stool manufacturers serious stress-related problems at the moment.

I can see now the tweets of someone announcing week after ruddy week that Shannon is singing the National Anthem at some game or another that Pia Toscano had turned down. Unfortunately, Jeremy will not be getting those gigs but no doubt he'll make enough from retainer fees for the next few weeks and, of course, the Idol tour that they'll be on during the summer.

There were two acts with high billing tonight to take our minds off the lack of suspense in all the voting: Lauren Alaina, last Season's runner-up, and Mary J Blige who had been acting as an excellent mentor with Jimmy.

Lauren has learned how to interact with the guys now and delivered a reasonable country - pop -rock number that will not exactly cause Shania Twain to lose much sleep about her UK sales. Lauren was just OK and rather instantly forgettable.

The big surprise was Mary J Blige and not for reasons she'll thank me for writing either. This usually marvellous and very experienced singer sounded dreadfully off key with her new single Why. That was actually painful to listen to. I can't see anyone over this side of the pond buying that either unless the recorded version is a lot better. Perhaps it sounded different in the judges' quarters. They did the decent thing and stood up to applaud but the audience didn't sound that impressed to me.