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'Idol' chat: Staying awake with the Bee Gees

The Inquirer's David Hiltbrand and Amy Rosenberg discuss the struggle to hit the high notes.

David Hiltbrand:

Welcome back my friends to the show that doesn't end until the announcer Ryan Seacrest declares himself "out." We're down to the final four but I'm not feeling the love in


l nation. The mood seems pretty dour today. I turn to our


correspondent Amy Rosenberg for analysis. What's up, Amy?

Amy Rosenberg: Hilty, I was not prepared for that at all - the complete and total takedown and evisceration of all the idolettes, the bracing realization, happens every year, that they all, like, are horrible. But then, in kooky counterpoint, Barry Gibb declaring Jordin the next great recording artist of the world...only to have Simon pull out the sharpest arrow in his quiver, calling her "pageanty." ... whew ... a debacle and a spectacle, wrapped into one, Hiltbrand.

David: You hit it on the head. You are Judge Judy like in your perspicacity.

Amy: and how about Judge Judy, stealing time from Simon and also from Simon's mother, was that Simon's mother in the audience?

David: It was. Flown over from Blighty.

Amy: I think she's on that My Generation video on You Tube ... It's too bad, really, i was pretty psyched for barry gibb night, having experienced firsthand some fine faux falsetto at the bee gees tribute show at harrah's last year, but as blake would say, eh. Or, as I wrote it down : eh eh eh eh eheheheheheheheheheh, didit, didit, do do dit, did it do dit do do dit.

Michael: Who had the worst number last night?

Amy: I hate to do it, but I'm going to have to say Blake. I really hit the Blake wall last night. As Barry Gibb sneered, "his extra little gifts" just didn't really work...

David: Personally, I thought they all sounded pretty good, even Blake. I was surprised at how harsh Randy and Simon were, especially of Jordin who I found (dare I say it?) almost thrilling.

Amy: Really? I thought none of them got it at all, no joy in Idol land last night ... though i found it amusing that Barry Gibb was skeptical about the full-voiced women being able to do justice to his falsetto ... can a woman sing like a man singing like a woman?

David: Apparently not. What I found lacking was not the upper pitch (although LaKisha ignored Barry's advice), but the Bee Gees' signature harmonies. They're not solo songs. The bad part was the song selection. There are conservatively 200 better prettier sweeter songs in the Bee Gees songbooks than the eight we heard last night. How do you get that so wrong? Especially Blake's second number.

Amy: Agreed. Why pick a song that was a dud the first time around, and nobody really knows? It's annoying. And how about Melinda refusing to sing the how can a loser ever win line because she doesn't want to sing about a loser? That's just lame. Go with the guts of the song or don't sing it all, Melinda. They seem tired of Melinda.

David: You're dragging me down into your negative vibe. The Idols soared last night under the guidance of Sean Connery. That was Sean wasn't it?

Amy: I thought it was the cowardly lion, hiltbrand. Nice mane on that guy.

David: But why was his mouth chalky and immobile?

Amy: Why does he so desperately want Jordin to be Barbra Streisand? A bit unseemly. But let's talk about LaKisha's last note, and I mean last.

David: OK, I liked her last night for the first time in two months. SDhe took chances and was inventive. But yeah, she had a bad dismount. I also agree with you about Melinda. She got some decidedly bland comments from the judges. Do you think that impacts the voting?

Amy: I was surprised at how the judges turned on Melinda. Paula called her a brilliant technician but it was meant to sting. I think they are trying to push her to a strong finish, or maybe make sure people are still voting for her. They definitely want no more of Blake...

David: What was with the little dictator act Ryan pulled last night? This was an odd time to assert his dubious authority over the show.

Amy: Yea, I liked how Simon was reduced to calling out "HAVEN'T FINISHED!" Ryan doesn't realize he's the least interesting thing about the show...

David: And the most annoying. When you say "they want no more of Blake" you're referring to the judges, not the voters, right?

Amy: Yea, the judges, but I do think there may be a Blake backlash from last night. I mean, Ryan did a pretty snarky parody of him right after Blake got done doing a pretty effective self-parody. that doesn't bode well...

David: I'm just not feeling it this year, Amy. Last year at this time I had McFever. This year, I'm ambivalent. Why?

Amy: This time last year, I was wondering why Kat was always rolling around on the floor. I think maybe the themed nights and the mentor thing has gotten out of hand, it's all so programmed and controlled ... let the idols let loose on their own terms, then you get things like Constantine singing Bohemian Rhapsody, classic stuff like that...alas, poor constantine..

David: I think Randy hired a writer. Did you hear his comment after Blake's first song: "I felt like I was at a strange discotheque in some foreign country." Note the "discotheque." That's why I think he was reading from cue cards.

Amy: I just think Simon threw him a few of his spare lines. That was a total simon line. but i thought what would be wrong with what you might hear in a strange disco in a foreign country, i think that's pretty much what blake is striving for ... what was up with the dressed in white thing for paula and simon, a sat nite fever thing? coke cups were black, tho...

David: I can't decide if the problem this season is that our expectations have gotten too exorbitant or if the show has gotten too big for its britches or if the talent pool was subpar. Maybe all three?

Amy: it's ryan.

David: The time has come, Amy, for your prediction. which as Simon said of LaKisha last night, have been "verging on scary." Who goes?

Amy: LaKisha. A shame, because I think she's got a great voice and a genuine personality, much more so than the fake-shy Melinda, but I don't think you recover from a last note like that. I think she's ready to be done with this. I think Blake still has some support. And obviously, Jordin and Melinda are going nowhere.

David: I hope it's Melinda. I've had a belly full of her. She sings like Gladyas Knight but moves on stage like the Michelin Tire Man.

Amy: Melinda's got the loyalty of all the aging Idol watchers who are finally learning how to text their votes.

kimfal: So, you think Cowell will make this the last season? Ryan Seacrest doesn't even let him speak any more. I'm sure he is over it.

Amy: the whole Ryan-Simon thing is kind of sputtering, sort of like Blake's beat boxing ... now they're just kind of annoyed with each other, too tired to even add the innuendo ... what do you think, Hiltbrand?

David: Ryan's s******ing comment about Simon dating Judge Judy was the final straw for me. Rent a room, boys. Thanks, as always for your insights, Amy. Not much of a beach day today, huh? Goodnight Mrs. Calabash and all you Idol fans.