Theme? No. Stuff Gwen Stefani Likes And Does Not Like. Dressing Asian girls up like racist dollies, picking at random from the big bag o' music tics, having no identity or musical agenda of your own, boning entire rock bands...OMG, Gwen Stefani is American Idol! (Making Blake Return Of Saturn and Jordin the video for "Cool," the two most honestly wonderful things Gwen's ever made.) Things Gwen doesn't like: the majority of the Idols, their so-called music. LaKisha sings "Last Dance," by Donna Summer And Not Diana Ross, making Gwen Stefani "sweaty." No less LaKisha, inevitably. Sligh acts like a fuckwad some more -- Don't Speak, Sligh! -- and sings "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," freaking Gwen out with his inability to stay on the beat and then doing the same thing to us, as well as being out of breath, forgetting lyrics, and sweatin' it like Gwen Stefani. Gina's up on Gwen's jock like a Simple Kind Of Lesbian, and she finally rocks the Pretenders! (Yay!) "I'll Stand By You." (Boo!) Sanjaya...WHAT THE FUCK IS HE DOING? Why, forgetting my second fave No Doubt song, "Bathwater," in a Nadia mohawk with a banana clip in it. Okay? He doesn't want to be here. He is begging with his hair, he is starving himself on MySpace, for you to send his weird ass home.
Gwen also hates: Haley Scarnato's three-alarm boring "True Colors," performed in the flattering apparel of her own diaper-wearing prostitute niece. Phil's creepiness abounds, fittingly, in his "Every Breath You Take," blowing off Gwen's socks and mine. Melinda continues to blossom into perfection so awesome it's retarded, and yet again there's little to say about it: "Heaven Knows," Donna Summer. Blake and Gwen meet and yet do not explode from being in the same place at the same time; he sings "Lovesong" -- the 311 one, not the Cure -- yet my pants persist in falling off and running around the room going "hubba hubba" anyway. Troublingly enough. Jordin sings "Hey Baby" and Gwen says that Jordin is better than her in every way except for being less hot. The rendition is almost a Jordin amount of good, despite her dressing like a Hollaback Chola. Chris R. steals my very confused heart once again with a George Michael-ish "Don't Speak," and then Gwen runs home to roll around in a pile of money with her hot gay husband.
Should go home: Haley; will go home: Haley; should never ever go home ever: Sanjaya forever!
"And then there were ten," Ryan says, and explains how a superstar's supplying the song list, but it's us calling the shots. He sounds very spitty and weird tonight, but he's dressed like a supernova of hip, like the missing mascot or waterboy for Franz Ferdinand. Credits...(I finally watched America's Next Top Model, which I haven't done in like two "cycles" since I prefer to read the recaps, but I wanted to see the girls. Man, those new credits are weird.) Back onstage, Ryan's get a question for you: Any Gwen Stefani fans here? Ryan tells us we're doing No Doubt songs and songs from artists and bands that inspire her like the Police, Donna Summer, and even the Cure. Even though it's...not the Cure that Blake will sing, but once again 311, which is like the DAUGHTRY thing all over again, and is still fucking unnecessary. But since I love DAUGHTRY and everybody on earth just one infinitesimal fraction of a percentage of how much I love Blake, it's no consolation.
I'll paraphrase while Ryan tries to sell us on Gwen as, among other things, an "actress": After trying to make ska salable for twelve years -- through New Wave, through hair metal, through grunge, everything that is opposed to ska, which will always be marginal, even if hugely so -- No Doubt finally gave in and made Tragic Kingdom, a "third-wave ska" (which is like third wave feminism -- another of Stefani's hobbies -- except it's not even legit and doesn't sound anything like waves one or two) album containing the truly brilliant "Just a Girl," bizarre and catchy-to-a-fault "Spiderwebs," and unrelenting "Don't Speak." They then created a fucking amazing album that surpasses both lyrically and musically anything they have done before or since, Return Of Saturn, which like Tragic chronicled the almost unbelievably uninteresting relationship between Gwen and a band member. It was critically -- and personally by me -- beloved, lyrically and musically sophisticated, emotionally complex, leaving us with "Simple Kind Of Life," "Bathwater," and "Magic's In The Makeup," three of the best songs crafted in the last thirty years of pop...but didn't make the cash or splash of Tragic Kingdom, so the band stepped back from being smart and threw everything popular at the moment into a blender, producing Rock Steady, which was of course wildly successful: every song has five words, which are repeated ad nauseum over a driving, droning, fake-exciting beat stolen from fifty years of reggae. Thus relieved of any kind of personality or artistic voice, the band fell apart, into a pile of money as big as all the houses of all the white people in Kingston.