Rounding Out the Top Ten

Last night, I was one in a sea of screaming American Idol-izers.

I thought about prefacing that statement with a disclaimer about dignity and an apology to those of you who’ve been led to believe I have semi-refined tastes.

But then I thought, “What the hell. I actually enjoyed it.”

In full disclosure, I didn’t buy a ticket to the American Idol Live concert. I was given a ticket–not that Danny Gokey knew the difference when I was clapping like a star struck 13 year old.

I’m typically not a reality tv fan (although I do admit to enjoying the occasional Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon), but there is an unwritten rule in the South–and that is if a contestant from Alabama makes it to the finals, by God, it’s nothing short of your civic duty to cheer them on. Just ask Ruben Studdard and Bo Bice…

This go-round was a little different. There wasn’t an Alabama native in the top 10–but there was something just as appealing to this “bless your heart, have a glass of sweet tea” gal…and that was a heart wrenching love story. Yes Sir/Ma’am I was a fan of Danny Gokey from day one.
But that’s not really relevant here.

I didn’t know what to expect from an American Idol Live concert. Admittedly, I half feared a full-on Copacabana musical event with gaudy costumes and forced dance numbers. “Here at the Copa…” Thankfully, the producers are producers for a reason. At least I believed that until Megan Joy took the stage…

And then I found myself asking “What in the flying fig newtons was that?????????” I now know exactly how far “Pretty” will take you…and at exactly what point “Pretty” will cause your ears to bleed.
I mean no disrespect. My own singing career consists of I-95 karyoke and that one time at Top of the Hill…in both instances I’ve been encouraged to keep my day job.

As the evening progressed, I quickly came to a realization: It sucks to be in the bottom five. No. Really. It sucks. You’re actually lucky if they turn the coliseum lights down when you take the stage. And you’re even luckier if the production team takes a smoke break during your set. Head-Scratching arrangement? Check. Overpowering synthesizer? Check. Screechy backup vocals? Check. Dizzying display of women’s restroom symbols flashing across the screen behind your head? Check. Heaven forbid America second guess the top five!

Strangely enough, all the production guffaws in the world couldn’t keep one of the bottom five down. I’m about to say something I honestly never dreamt I would: Matt Giraud rocked the house. It was the last thing I expected to happen. I was never a Matt fan. He was just too ho-hum for me…and there was that thing growing out of his forehead–I just knew, if ever in a heated argument with him, the words “Rhino Man” would escape me. I’m not proud of that. But now I’d take it all back…and I’d pay money to see him. Which is more than I’d say for the rest of them…

Except maybe if I was out one Friday night with the girls and felt like dancing–then I might pay a cover charge to see Adam do the Y.M.C.A. in Dupont Circle–(He so wants to dress up like the Indian!) I haven’t seen jazz hands like that since my performance class in college. And that’s saying something.

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