Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Handicapping the Top 12 Boys of "American Idol"

If you’re going to toss off your sportscoat on stage, there are a few rules.

Rule #1: Pythons.

Rule #2: Make the audience wait for it. Ideally, you should start off with something slow. Writhe around in the sportscoat to hint that the damn thing is about to get thrown off. Let the anticipation build and taper off, but not too much. Right when they let their guard down, you explode the fuck out of the coat and start humping the air. I’ve never been to a Ginufine concert, but I’m pretty sure he uses this method. Like he starts his sportscoated shows with a cover of that untitled D’Angelo song. All the girls scream for the pythons and the abs, but Ginufine stays modest. As "Untitled" winds down, the DJ kicks up the “Bwaaaa… bwaaa. Bwaaaa… bwaaa, bwaaa, bwaaaa….” and the whole audience screams, “Oh faaaaaaaaaaahk, the sportscoat’s coming off for 'Pony'! It’s 'PONY!'” But the sportscoat stays on throughout all of "Pony." The next song is "So Anxious." As the song’s opening cell phone conversation plays softly over the PA, the girls in the audience start talking to one another about the value of patience. They say, “Man, I love this song, but it’s a slow jam. Gonna have to wait till 'In Those Jeans.' But you know, it’s always worth waiting on a good thing….“ THAT’S WHEN YOU BUST OUT OF THE SPORTSCOAT, JORDAN!

Rule #3: It has to actually matter that the coat is coming off. In the clip above, hear how passionately Ginufine sings, “NINE O’ CLOCK! HOME ALONE! PAGING YOU!” But then consider the context: he has just licked his lips LL-style, told his girl that he can’t make it cause he’s still in the studio. Later, he drives off in his Ferrari. His arms are swole as fuck. The anxiety, the desperation in his voice becomes even more evocative when it comes out of such a wealth of masculine symbology. It’s kind of like watching Denzel Washington cry in the whipping scene in Glory. You think: holy shit, if that guy is breaking down, it must be for real.

That’s when everyone knows that you’re not playing around anymore. That’s when the coat comes off.

Stop pointing at me, brah.

Some stats about the Philippines: 80% of Filipino males are named Jun. At any point during the day, 70% of the male population of Manila is wearing a basketball jersey or a Spongebob Squarepants t-shirt. Finally, and perhaps most relevant here, 99.9% of Filipinos love singing karaoke, especially Queen’s "Too Much Love Will Kill You," which, if you’ve spent any time in that country, makes such sweet, sad, ironic sense….

This Jun is fine, I guess. Two things will tank his chances: a) kicking the fat kid off the team and b) his eyes are too close together, a problem exacerbated by those weird glasses he wears.

Here’s the winner of "Pilipinas Got Talent," a 16-year-old steamed pork bun vendor named Jovit Baldivino. Guess what song he sings?

He’s like the sweaty version of the last fifteen minutes of Sunday School, when the youth counselors get on stage with their acoustic guitars and sing that Josh Groban song. They think about the defining-the-relationship conversation they had last night about what fingers in what holes constituted what number of sins. Awash in the glow that follows any good compromise between lovers, they open up their throats and make a Jovany Barreto sound unto the Lord.

He’s also got one of those mouths that looks like those sugared gummy fruit slices. Kind of like Steve Coogan, but with Joe Pesci’s chin.

If Carole King had a baby with a three-legged Irish setter with a family history of ear infections, it would look a bit like Brett Loewenstern. Everything is roughly in the Carole King ballpark (except what hides in those trousers), but it’s all very, very wrong. The wristbands are wrong. The necklaces are wrong. The vest is wrong. He minces where he should slink. He shivvies his hips, but there are no hips to shivvy. He shakes out his hair with great feeling, but his hair is red. He has an interesting face, I guess, but instead of being Carole King interesting, he kind of looks like Brian Krakow’s annoying little brother.

Still, the Mitzvah Tank will certainly stop by Brett’s house for wearing the sparkly Star of David necklace! And now the population of Boca Raton has something to argue about: Robbie Rosen or Brett Loewenstern?

In other news, I miss Simon.

A bit shaky on the Sarah Mac, but he should be one of the kids who gets better as the show progresses, especially once the Mitzvah Tank completes its pilgrimage from Boca Raton to Los Angeles and all the gray-hairs start chaining their granddaughters to the post outside of little Robbie Rosen’s hotel room.


This turns my stomach. The karaoke version of a Dave Eggers novel. Hipsters, enjoy the fruits of your warmed-over revolution. And Goat Boy, enjoy your future: singing for ribbon-cutting ceremonies for annoying condo developments.

A bona-fide awwwww-shucks white guy, who, buoyed on by racism and a supportive J. Lo, could find the confidence to complete the Prophecy of Threes, wherein three unassuming, everyday heroes win "American Idol" and releasing the Guarini demon unto the earth.

I don’t really feel like discussing the Rapture any further, as I am sitting in my underwear next to my space heater and every time I think about how Lee Dewyze beat out Bowersox and how Kris Allen beat out Adam Lambert, I touch my toe, with increasing pressure, against the hot metal piping.

That was the gayest sentence I’ve ever written. Moving on.

J. Lo’s insistence on using phrases like “organic” and “somewhere else” to stand-in for “magical Asperberger’s” would be more unsettling if a good portion of the country didn’t kind of feel that way.

The judges seem to think that screeching needlessly and maddogging the camera, Hans-and-Franz-style, counts as magical Aspberger’s (as opposed to bad Asperger’s). Hopefully, America will disagree and send him back to Santa Cruz, where he can share waves with Clay Marzo. (The linked video is awful for about 80 different reasons… catch them all!) Or maybe America will dust off their copies of Gödel, Escher, Bach and decide that this James Durbin sees some strange loops in the universe which he expresses through screaming and hopping across the stage like a twice-stuck pig.

Speaking of which, I know Joe Perry disowned Steven Tyler for going on "Idol," which is a bit absurd given that every "Idol" season involves at least three versions of that song from Armageddon and because there hasn’t been a good rocking Aerosmith song since "Janey’s Got a Gun," but the memory of Steven Tyler should disown Steven Tyler for being seduced by this dumpy banshee. There is a beautiful way to screech and the old Steven Tyler knew what that was.

Also, remember this? Even more creepy now.

He’s the first "Idol" contestant who can combine smoothness with some raw power. Smoothness has a complex, symbiotic relationship with raw rower. Technically, it is the vessel in which raw power exists, but it also is so inextricably tied to raw power that it is impossible to mark where one starts and the other ends. We all know snakes shed their skin periodically, but does that mean that a snake’s skin, because of its conditional nature, is never actually a part of the snake? Is the snake, then, just the collection of muscles underneath the skin? Are we the leaf, the blossom or the bole?

From 0:48-1:30, Luther frigging explodes, but you don’t even know it’s happening because he’s just that smooth. And yet, if you look behind your ass, you see the crater he just blew up out of the ground. The crater will be filled with panties. You’ll think, “Wow, how did that happen?” But all you know, really, is that you will never again wonder if a chair is a house, or if a house is still a home, when there’s no one there….

Jacob Lusk is like 20% of that. And there will be no panties in the divot he blows out of the grass. But I guess that’s not too bad for "American Idol."


I love everything about this kid. I love how he already has a sound. I love that his name is Scotty McCreery. I love how he makes funny faces when he sings and then immediately laughs at himself because he’s like, “What am I doing here?” I love how he started crying because he didn’t stand up for Augustus Gloop when Judas Junbug Gamboa kicked him out of their group. And, mostly, I love that he’s not some annoying singing prodigy with a stage mom who has been grooming him for "Idol" since the age of eight. Then again, these were all the things that endeared me to George W. Bush…. But hey, if Bush was never president and was just the funny owner of the Texas Rangers, I’d probably still like him too.


He doesn’t quite have Taylor Hicks’ schlubby charm, but he is actually… talented? This week's performance wasn’t his best and America might tire of hearing songs from a Jazz fakebook, but if he was playing at a bar and I was sitting there, I’d at least leave my phone in my pocket.

"Daryl Boston" is a pseudonym. He will take action on these bets (where eligible by law). If you’re interested, hit him up on Twitter.

6 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

Carole King's dick is bigger.

hockeymom (#143)

Like Casey a lot, but think maybe he substituted growling for actual singing because he forgot the lyrics.

Scotty is rocking a fairly big cross around his neck. Assume he will be the next candidate the moral majority will line up behind, now that Bristol is busy being an author.

Jacob Lusk does it for me (though, not fair with the Luther comparison). Can't see him winning, though.

Joey Camire (#6,325)

The Luther video is amazing, as is your commentary on it. I just love when it cuts to the ladies in the audience undulating in their seats, unable to control the vibrations of their body as if Luther Vandross's voice is hitting a resonant frequency.

Joey Camire (#6,325)

And by resonant frequency I mean in their vaginas.

stefano is adorable (even when he is singing to jesus!) and he is my pick to win. YOU HEARD IT HERE SECOND

Arn Cruz (#10,733)

Watch jovit and his friends sing when he was 13 yrs old. It is not karaoke though.

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