Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Grease - YTOTIW: Don't Know Much About Chemistry

Tonight is duets night on Grease: You’re the One that I Want, which unfortunately means no more Broadway songs (even fake jukebox musical ones). Bah. The "special" guest judge is Jon Secada, which is a bit of a plunge from Andrew Lloyd Webber. From the opening interview montage, it looks like Kate “The Voice” Rockwell and Derek “Stamos-Lite” Keeling are being painted as the favorites. And rightfully so, I’d say, although I still have high hopes for Ashley.

The producers have wisely move the contest-fixing sing-off bullshit to the top of the show where it belongs. Jason, Juliana, Kevin, and Kathleen will be singing “Those Magic Changes,” which has always seemed like the title of a Sex-Ed video to me. America picked Jason and Juliana as the worst, and the judges agree after the sing-off. Jason tells us that he’d love to go to David Ian’s house and “do it” for him. Yeah.

First up with the duets are Allie and Chad, singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” I think they do a good job, although the orchestra is so loud during their harmonizing that it could be covering up any number of off-notes. And I think Allie and Chad are confusing “chemistry” with “cheesy dance moves and a semi-porny ending.” The judges are practically peeing their pants over how “hot” it was, though, so what the hell do I know?

Billy Bush reminds us that the duets could be “a match made in heaven…OR IN HELL.” Ah, Billy Bush. He has that special Ron Burgundy cluelessness where I feel like you could feed him any line through the teleprompter and he’d read it.

Moving on, Austin and Laura sing “Don’t Know Much.” And instead of it being that catchy “Don’t Know Much About History” song, it’s that cheesy “I don’t know much…but I know I love you” song. Bah. However, they really picked one that could show their acting abilities, and they actually do a really great job. It even seems like it could almost be a Broadway ballad with the way it’s staged and acted. And I say that still thinking that Austin is totally creepy and their song is totally cheesy. So that should tell you just how good a job they did. You guys, I think Laura might be the dark horse candidate for Sandy.

Max and Ashley sing “It Takes Two.” Ashley does a good job, but Max misses “passionate” and lands on “kind of angry at Ashley, in a creepy kidnapper sort of way.” The judges again fail to read the subtext, and love Max like crazy while giving Ashley backhanded compliments like, “This is the first time you’ve seemed really spontaneous on stage.” WTF, judges?

Superpair Derek and Kate sing “From This Moment On,” and Derek’s voice is unfortunately not at its best. The performance isn’t really dynamic, either (boring song, no chemistry), but it’s solid, and Kate sings the hell out of it. It’s weird that such a great pairing would fall so short, though.

So I’m assuming the bottom four all learned the same song, so that the remaining two could pair up to sing it this week. Either that, or the sing-off was bullshit and the decision already made and announced to the bottom four. But that’s just crazy talk for a show with so little behind-the-scenes manipulation, right?

Kevin and Kathleen (vowing grossly to “perform [her] butt off and sing [her] brains out”) sing “Something to Talk About.” I love that song! What’s with the weird costumes, though? He’s in a black long-sleeve shirt, jeans, and a green quilted outdoor vest. She’s in a pink satin zebra-striped mini-dress. Yeah. They overcome the costumes to do a pretty solid job, although it’s a pretty easy song, so I’m not going to give them too much credit.
Austin, Chad, Ashley, and Allie are the judges’ favorites tonight. And, for the record, Juliana totally rocks the sing-out.