“American Idol” Sudden Death Recap: Turban Cowboy

I hate apologizing on behalf of American Idol. We should be enjoying this! This is our joy! My joy! My Seacrest-sponsored rapture. My karaoke vomitorium pandemonium extravaganza. But sigh. Every once in awhile Idol is a silly suckfest for losers, and tonight was one of those nights. Ten dudes entered, and I’m telling you that at least eight of them were lame enough to dismiss completely. Randy Jackson shrugs wildly and pouts, “What is going on here?!” Besides you and your patronizing chuckles, Randy, not much.

Before we begin, it’s time to note that Nicki Minaj’s “infuriated” reactions whenever Mariah Carey speaks are annoying. What is she reacting to? Anything? It makes me mad. And then, of course Mariah makes me mad with her simplistic, pandering critiques and nervous, non-committal energy. Ugh! Hop on your jetski and hit me with some of that “Honey” video swag, M.C.!

Now, onto catastrophe cavalcade.

10. Gurpreet Singh Sarin, James Morrison’s “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You”

What the hell was this? Gurpreet’s flat delivery was so steadily wrong that I was almost convinced the band was playing some other song. But of course, the tragic reality was that James Morrison’s “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You” WAS Gurpreet’s song, he WAS butchering it with an unthinkable smile on his face, and everything in our lives felt like broken glass. Glad the judges turbanated him, and I’m gladder that Randy socked him with the once-in-a-season “That was terrible” critique. Paige Miles, I remember you well. By the way: Who the hell is James Morrison? Verdict: Eliminated

9. Lazaro Arbos, Keith Urban’s “Tonight I Wanna Cry”

To reiterate an earlier sentiment: What the hell was this? Lazaro closed his eyes and threw his arms in the air, and I believe that’s the closest he came to hitting a single note in this rendition of “Tonight I Wanna Cry,” which put the song’s creator Keith Urban in the awkward position of having to feign flattery at the sound of ghastly croaking. Lazaro could not be cuter, and his fashions could not be more precious in a definitely-purchased-at-Express-for-Men way. But God: This is someone who is so, so apparently not good enough for Idol. Frankly, we already have enough not-good-enoughs in the competition. Hell, Zoanette is enough not-good-enough for three seasons. This is just a nice kid who needed to be eliminated, and because of his adorable soul or whatever, he remains a contender. Candice Glover, knock these wannabes over using pure talent, thanks. Verdict: Saved

8. Mathenee Treco, Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation”

I ain’t new: I still cherish Jackie Tohn‘s sneaker-wearing, rasp-heavy, stank-filled version of this jam from season eight. God, she was weird. Thank God we had her, even for four minutes. Mathenee, however, made the mistake of singing this jam at full speed, which caused him to struggle with lyrics, inject awkward attempts at vocal gymnastics, and even underwhelm with some soft tapping when he had the chance. It didn’t help that he was dressed in the definitive uniform of a “choreographer/entertainer” (his own self-description), the full Kevin Federline cap-to-baggy-slacks jive uniform. Unless you are a cast member in Magic Mike who’s about to hump a wall or two, please refrain from the “sk8rtainer” ensemble. Verdict: Eliminated

7. Josh Holiday, Josh Holiday’s “Better With You”

Here’s a rule of thumb I just came up with: Don’t write your own song and perform it on American Idol. God knows you haven’t workshopped it. You think you’re the sincerest little Jason Mraz disciple of all time, and maybe you are, but that’s a distinction best celebrated at home in shameful privacy, not in front of me and my absolute intolerance for songs with titles stolen from canceled ABC sitcoms. “Better With You” would’ve been better with a damn hook, but Josh Holiday here (who really reminds me of Ted from Hey Dude for some reason) just peddled out the earnestness before bothering with an awful falsetto that would’ve sent Maurice Gibb into a shrieking fugue state. A beautiful head-voice shrieking fugue state. I can appreciate the originality of a singer/songwriter in the competition, but this isn’t a latent Brill Building genius in the making. Verdict: Eliminated

6. Nick Boddington, James Morrison’s “Say Something Now”

Hey, remember when I asked that question, “Who the hell is James Morrison?” Well, another thing I was wondering is WHO THE HELL IS JAMES MORRISON? Back in season nine, there was also an episode featuring two James Morrison songs, and this leads me to believe “James Morrison” is an anagram of “Nigel Lythgoe Dance and Musical Schmaltz Academy,” because why else would two contestants pick songs from this guy? Weirds me out. Anyway: Nick is one of the guys you honestly pull for, but this didn’t deliver us much in the way of memorable emoting or zest. Those gigantic blue eyes are undeniable orbs of spiritual sex, though, and I can’t believe Nick stole them from Montgomery Clift‘s corpse. Verdict: Saved

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