Monday, February 26, 2007

Grease - YTOTIW: It Obviously Doesn't Take Much to be Better Viewing than the Oscars

Yes, I missed the beginning of the (as it turns out incredibly, painfully, horrifyingly boring) Oscars so that I could watch Grease: You’re the One That I Want. And I did it for you, readers! I did it for you. So here we go…

Last night on Grease: You’re the One That I Want, they changed the rules. Again. Presumably in response to the outcry from when they changed the rules the last time. Now, apparently, the judges can only save contestants until the semi-finals, at which point presumably the remaining contestants are so good that America can’t fuck it up no matter how hard it tries.

This week is Sandy week, and the songs will show both the sweet and sassy sides of Sandy. Also, the contestants paired up and worked on acting scenes with Kathleen Marshall last week, so it appears that we’ll finally be able to judge based on something more than just vocals. Only…not so much. We just get brief clips of the contestants awkwardly kissing each other in the scene, plus a quick opinion from Marshall on how they did. Real helpful, producers.

Before we get going with the performances, some perplexing news: in the bottom four this week are forgettable Kevin and old-looking Kathleen (predictable), plus Chad, who had one of the best performances last week, and Kate, who has the best female voice in the competition. Intriguing choices, America.

Ashley kicks off the night first with a brief clip of her acting scene with Kevin, and then with an average performance of “These Boots Were Made for Walking,” which is mostly memorable for the hysterical backup dancing provided by the male contestants. Vocally, she doesn’t knock my socks off. Reach your potential, Ashley!

Allie and Max were scene partners, because according to Allie, “In real life, Max is my Danny.” Riiiight. Apparently their chemistry doesn’t translate onstage due to her poor acting abilities. She sings “It’s Oh So Quiet,” by Björk (awesome!), and this may be the first time I’ve really been impressed by her voice…probably because the song’s not too low for her range, like most of her previous songs. Still, the highlight (aside from seeing Björk sung on national television) is probably her (bra-clad) boobs popping out of her top.

Laura did her scene with Derek (good choice), and from the five-second recap it appears she may have been too sweet, or something. However, she quickly blows “sweet” out of the water with “Fever,” by Peggy Lee. It’s hot. Laura is now officially my new favorite. Brunette Power!

And now, it’s sing-off time. Or shattered dreams time, if you listen to Billy Bush. America, apparently, chose to boot off Kevin and Kate. Kate? Really? The best female singer in the competition? For the millionth time ever, what the hell, America?

During the sing-off (“Blue Moon”), it quickly becomes apparent that Kevin has a better voice than Chad. And yet I almost forget about him while he’s doing his solo. Yeah, that boring. And he pays the price when the panel wisely kicks him out.

Kathleen’s voice seems a bit tight, and she’s looking weirdly like a slightly bigger Amy Poehler to me tonight. Just thought I’d share that. The panel isn’t unanimous, and rightfully so, because they save Kathleen and boot Kate out. What the hell, two-thirds of the panel? Kathleen had better be a freaking awesome actress, given that she’s not as good a singer and looks like she’s thirty. And also wasn’t as good in the obviously inconsequential sing-off. Goddammit.

Kathleen sings “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” and has, like, eight out of tune notes in the first line alone. The judges are probably all, “Oh, shit,” right about now. She’s flat and out of breath for pretty much the whole song, and it’s distracting enough that I don’t notice if she’s managing to be sweet and vivacious, or whatever the judges said they're looking for.

Special guest not-judge Frankie Avalon is here to perform “Beauty School Dropout” with the Sandy’s. Presumably he’s not coherent enough to be a guest judge (like you have to be coherent to be a judge), although his voice is still surprisingly good.

I’m guessing Ashley and Kathleen will be in the bottom next week, and the judges agree with my new choice of favorite and pick Laura as the best Sandy. Right on! Finally, for the record, Kevin and Kate rock the sing-off. They really are both great singers. Ah, well. I guess this just means it’s finally more than just a singing competition.