Quentin Tarantino knows more about popular music than any of the judges. More than Simon. More than Randy. More than Kara, and certainly more than Paula. Tarantino's films feature astonishingly great soundtracks. He's a master at digging up unknown classics and utilizing them to great effect. It's only frustrating that Tarantino won't be able to act as a judge on American Idol tonight, as he did during Idol's third season. Five judges would probably be too much. But, Tarantino will be the mentor tonight, and he will be good. This is no publicity stunt either - he is a fan of the show (though, he might have had a difficult time watching it this season with the work he's been doing on his new film Inglorious Basterds), and he won't be afraid to give the Top 7 blunt advice. Tonight should be a lot of fun.
The theme for tonight's show is "Songs from the Cinema." Yes, it is incredibly vague. But, it should allow each and every one of the Top 7 to pick exactly the kind of song they want. There's no excuse for failure on this night. So, come along with us at BuddyTV, and follow the Live Thoughts. There will be bad jokes, maybe a couple of misspelled words, dozens of sentences devoted to complaining about Paula Abdul and a fair amount of legitimate commentary on the performances. Onward ho! The promised land awaits!
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Hey, it's Quentin Tarantino. Seacrest, in a rare show of modesty, allows Quentin to utter the now famous phrase "This...is American Idol." The filmmaker looks like his typically disheveled self.
Danny Gokey is going without his glasses tonight. Bold choice, Gokey. The band is also on stage tonight. Which is...different, I guess. Randy Jackson is wearing a terrible sweater. Paula is adorned with a chest full of blood diamonds. It is quite ostentatious. Seacrest introduces the Crotchety Brit as "Sir Simon Cowell."
Simon apologizes to viewers for going overtime last week. As a result, each singer will be critiqued by only two judges. Really - that's the answer? How about just pacing the show better? Less filler? No video packages? A shorter intro?
Tarantino is introduced with a video package set to that awesome RZA song from Kill Bill. For clarity's sake, I love Quentin Tarantino. He uses music probably better than anyone else out there.
We see the Top 7 meet Tarantino in a music studio. Quentin really likes this Top 7, but says he will be as tough and critical as he has to be.
Allison Iraheta - “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith from Armageddon
It's already clear that Tarantino isn't your typical mentor. As for this song, I think I heard this enoguh in the mid-nineties for one life time. The arrangement is string-heavy. Allison's energy at the beginning is somewhat lacking. The chorus is fine, but what makes this song good in the first place is that fact Stephen Tyler is absolutely belting out these notes in the upper part of his register. For the first two-thirds of the song, it's all in the lower part of Allison's voice.
Nonetheless, she does fine. Not special, and it probably is lacking enough to place her in the bottom three. No crazy porcupine hair tonight. Steve Van Zandt gives it a Standing O from the crowd. “You possess the same special sauce as Adam does,” says Paula of Allison. Ooookay. Simon calls Allison the "girl's only hope left in the competition." Simon says it's a hard song to sing. Hmm, I don't think so. Not for a girl.
This two judge thing is actually refreshing. Paula is still a train wreck.
OK, so I just spied the song spoilers, and Simon's comment, coupled with Lil's position in the pimp spot tonight makes me think the Idol producers want tonight to be a Lil Resurrection. I hope I'm wrong.
Good god - we have to hear Bryan Adams tonight. Boo. Canadians are the worst.
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-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)