Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Clash of the Choirs, Night Deux

Since bridgett gave me a shout-out on her blog, I feel compelled to continue with the choir critique. (Ooooooh! Alliteration!) Although there is no way I can review this thing as well as bridgett does it in my comments, here goes.

Once again, the hostess was forced to wear an odd dress, this time involving a napkin ring. And did anyone catch the part where she was all, "and we're SO SORRY one of these fine choirs has to go home", and she actually started to laugh? You go, girl!

First up was team country-guy. Good soloists, but again, I WANT CHOIR! And they should've sped up the tempo. When Michael McDonald did this song (Takin' it to the Streets) on Austin City Limits, he did it about twice as fast, and it really rocked.

Next was team LaBelle. Again with an amazing soloist, but I'm starting to feel like I'm watching American Idol with back-up singers. The song (I'll Stand by You) was ok, and there were good choral vocals at the end. (By "good", I mean "some", at this point.)

Ooh! Commercial Break! "The Celebrity Apprentice". Um, no. Anything involving that gross guy from KISS, I am not watching. Ever.

Now it's the Lachey (sp?) group. "Friends in Low Places"? Really? As a choral arrangement? Bleccchhh. Just no. And the ass-wiggling is getting really tiresome. I think these guys might be the next to go.

Big announcement time! Sent packing is ........ Team Rowland! WTF? Looks like ol' Bolton gets to fight another day. I sure called that one wrong.

So! Here comes team Bolton! And they do this big dramatic segment about how the lead singer lost his voice. Drama! But, um, "lead singer"? IT'S A CHOIR CONTEST, DAMMIT! Oh, my. This is really starting to get on my nerves. But the performance, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", is pretty good.

Well, that about wraps it up. As I said about five million times in this post, I wish it was less about the soloists and more about the choirs. But then again, I'm picky.

I just hope that folks out there who may have been mulling over joining their local community choir don't think that they have to dress up in skin-tight miniskirts, shake their asses, and sing like Mariah Carey in order to do so. And I hope that all the lovely community choirs out there do not get any big ideas from watching this show.


bridgett said...

Yes, the odd dress show continues -- I thought it looked like a satin bath wrap. My kid thought it looked like she does when she makes up a "cape" out of yardgoods. Maria whatshername makes me long for the intellectual chops of Samantha Harris (she of the pregnancy-enhanced rack of Dancing with the Stars fame).

The Okifenokees were just ok. Somebody needs to smack Blake Shelton. The Doobie Brothers as R & B? I don't think so. And the "dumbass from OKC is dazzled by NYC" thing -- man, I hate that they manage to make anyone living west of the Hudson River look like a rube. However, a better song choice tonight. There were a lot of good rich chords in that song that a strong choir should have been able to eat up. The slower tempo was probably their attempt to showcase their harmonies...but it did drag.

LaBelle's team -- not as good as last night, but still the one to beat. I loved the song choice - difficult modulations that appeal to my technical side, lush middle that could really play to a mastery of dynamics. Unfortunately, their volume knob seems to be stuck on LOUD. (Maybe that's the problem of doing it on a soundstage without a shell? The sound engineering is continuing to bug me.) The choral presentation at the end was the best of the night -- she seems to be the only person with any understanding of how a choir actually works.

Cincin -- Awwwww, shoot. I had liked this choir last night and thought it might make a run for the top, but this was just bad. It was a bad song choice for a harmony choir. It's essentially a bar-band singalong with a tune that everyone can handle when drunk. The lead had a pretty nice voice, but the lack of anything for the choir to do led to some bad staging, including the pointless showcasing of the enthusiastic jiggly blonde in the grey sweater no vocal reasons (anyone notice a certain resemblence between her and a famous former wife of the director?) The bumping. The grinding. The jazz handing. Just. ick.

I was disappointed that Kelly's choir was axed. I really liked the guy who was singing lead and hoped I would get to see more from him. A lot of this boils down to fan-base. I don't think Kelly's fans are down for a big choir show.

Bolton -- better song this time, but still, they are suffering from solo-itis. They blew some of the "Bacharach chords" at the end (ok, it was written by Ashford and Simpson, but it has that jazz cluster stuff going on that all of Bacharach's work had). I have long thought that Michael Bolton really really wants to be Michael McDonald (who recently recorded this) -- so maybe this was his national TV tribute. All in all, a lot better than last night.

My prediction: Either Lachey or Shelton goes home.

Rockycat said...

Wow. bridgett, you obviously have much more choral knowledge than I do, and your comments are just amazing! I am awed. You rock.

bridgett said...

Yeah, I am a bigtime choir nerd. But what do I really know? Bolton was cut, so I have missed the call for who is going home two nights in a row...I guess whatever Shelton is doing is hitting home for somebody, though he is to choral singing what Billy Ray Cyrus was to ballroom dancing...