Thursday, December 20, 2007

Clash of the Choirs, Continued

OK, I have to confess, I missed big chunks of last night's show, due to getting all caught up in a vengeance craft project. And basically the only rule in my house is, when doing any craft projects involving glue/mod podge/paint - Kitchen Only!! No messy craft crap in the living room! Because something WILL end up getting tipped over, involving much carpet cleaning solution and swearing.

SO! As far as the hostess's dress is concerned, all I can say is, Domo Origato, Mr. Roboto! Too bad she couldn't lift her arms. Or walk. I'm beginning to think Bai Ling may have had a hand in this.

First up was Team Rowland, singing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". They seemed to be having a little trouble dancing and singing at the same time, although they soldiered on admirably. I got to wondering how much rehearsal time they actually had, which was answered later in the show, when someone mentioned something about "five weeks". I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I mean, are they really good for only working on this stuff for five weeks, or should they be a whole lot better after FIVE WEEKS of practice?

Which leads me to a later performance, Team Shelton doing "Home". Singing, dancing, and ..... stomping? What's next, patting their tummies and rubbing their heads? But you had to love Lurch in the striped shirt. He was working so hard, you could just tell he was thinking, "onetwothreeSTOMPonetwothreeSTOMPdon'tfuckitupdon'tfuckitup......."

Oh, and this show was just filled with DRAMA! People whipping out their Cancer Cards left and right, which annoys the shit out of me. I wonder if they had to show their Cancer Cards to get into the auditions.

Team LaBelle did "Jesus Take the Wheel". That song just cracks me right up. Yep, that's what they teach you in Driver's Ed - If you spin out, just throw your arms up in the air and wait for God to take over. (Oops, sorry, it was Cancer Girl #1 singing that one. Uh-oh, then she started crying. Then sobbing. Folks, it's only a matter of time before A Very Special Performance of "Amazing Grace".)

I just caught a little bit of the end of "Flight of the Bumblebee" - Now that's what I'm talking about! Finally! Good stuff! Too bad I missed most of it (sniff).

Oops, team Bolton got sent packing. Once again I call it wrong.

Did Patti LaBelle say she was 63?!!? Paging Dorian Gray! Holy shit, she looks great!

Oh, and at some point country-music guy made some vaguely homoerotic comment about Nick Lachey - WTF?

Team Shelton decided to mash the carol "Joy to the World" with that "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog" song - I can see what they were going for, but, yuck, no. And all of the teams were just flinging the melismas around like loose change. Don't hurt yourself here, gals.

Patti LaBelle soloed on "Over the Rainbow" - Beautiful.

Was it my imagination, or at the end of Nick Lachey's solo, was the hostess interviewing The Lollipop Guild?

OK, so I know this veered wildly from choir critique to song selection critique to choice-of-striped-shirt critique, etc. Like I said, I only caught parts of the show, due to a reluctance to cover my living room carpet with glue/mod podge/paint. Oh, and while I was working in the kitchen, NPR had on a choir concert with a real choir! How refreshing.

bridgett, I'm exhausted. Feel free to jump on in here.


bridgett said...

Well, I got home late from the Kid's endless damn dance practice (3 hours? The week before Christmas? Jeeez!) and so I missed Team Rowland's hoo-hah altogether. I think I'm wearing out on the whole choral concept, frankly, as it seems like the show is just going to bring more of the sameyness.

Team Shelton is an enduring wtf? for me. They all seem individually talented enough but collectively, they just dump a big turd every time they open their mouths. I didn't mind the stomping so much; it was the mushy diction that got me. I wasn't familiar with the song and I didn't catch enough of the words to even be able to Google it. That's a problem.

The Flight of the Bumblebee was cool in a competent high school show choir way, though I think they wound up going about a half-step flat. (That's the booger part about doing a cappella. You really need people with perfect pitch to keep you on track.) I was thinking "this is something that Nick did in high school" and then, sure enough, he said "this is something I did in high school..." I hope his choral director gets a free trip to NY or a fruit basket or something. It was good because it showed off their attacks and their ability to do parts, so when thrown in with everything else, it helped them demonstrate what they got. I'm not convinced that anyone calling in knows fershit about choirs, because if you did, you'd be dialing it up for LaBelle and that would be a very short contest.

"Jesus! Turn the Dial!" (as the song is known in my car)...anything Carrie Underwood can sing, a good singer should be able to tear up. A bit too much Jee-beez-sus-ing as a whole (perhaps forgiveable considering everyone appears to have been dealt a handful of Cancer Cards), but a nice arrangement. I think it's not a big surprise that LaBelle makes a point of thanking her musical director/arranger. The guy can make 20 voices sound like 50.

I didn't really like Team Lachey's version of "All I Want for Christmas" because he made a bad casting decision on the first lead -- cute blonde woman with decent voice was totally blown away by subsequent Af-Am singers who had awesome chops and should have gotten to sing the whole thing. Too much solo, not enough bass womp on those jazzy minor chords (need a strong bottom or they sound out of tune -- I'm beginning to think that maybe there's something wrong with my TV...the sound on this show can't possibly be this bad three nights in a row without someone fixing it, right?) However, whatever I thought of the performance, I note that I've been belting out "All I Want for Christmas" all morning long. So that's something.

Hated the "Joy to the Bullfrogs" thing. I think I was just sick of the whole Mariah Carey tribute by that point. I would have given a buck to have them sing Karen Carpenter's "Merry Christmas Darling" -- now that's a song that was made for a choir.

The real starpower came out during LaBelle's version of "Over the Rainbow." It's an easy song to screw up by over-embellishment and because it starts with that octave leap, it's easy to go slightly flat. Damn, though. She can sing. The choir was lovely, but that was beside the point. My husband toyed with whether whispering "thank you Monster" (for the Flying Spaghetti Monster) would have the same impact as the soulful "thank you Jesus" and decided probably not.

Blake Shelton's song had cute lyrics, but it wasn't a choir song -- it was a "driving down a curvy Kentucky two-lane on the way to a bar across the county line because you don't live in a wet county" song. And Nick's "hit" was laaaaaaaame. He can sing and I wish he'd hire some songwriters to actually write him something good. (Well...duh. I just Googled him and it appears that his new single was written by Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren. I could totally manage this guy's career!) The girl interviewed at the end of the Lachey number basically wanted to say something on national TV, like any other 18-year-old.

My Prediction: LaBelle's going to win it all and it won't really matter because NBC is going to find sponsors to give all participating choirs a $1/4 million to take home in the spirit of holiday giving. Like we couldn't see that coming.

Rockycat said...

"Jesus! Turn the Dial!" -- hahahahaha!! Thanks for the insights, bridgett - you're much better at this than I am!