It's Jacob's birthday week, which means it's Reese Witherspoon's birthday week, which means I need to plan a birthday lunch where I sit her down and make her explain her choices to me and how we're going to resolve to make better ones in the year ahead, but also it means I take Idol off of Jacob's hands for the week, as has become the custom. In this particular case, it means my awesome buzz off of seeing Billy Crudup and Raul Esparza live on stage is about to be murdered by this collection of dead-eyed screechers ruining the music of Motown.
Ryan starts us off in black-and-white because: old-timey, but much like everything else about Ryan Seacrest, it is fleeting and artificial. We are live and in living color. We are learning about the history of Motown. We are fast-forwarding past what the judges have to say at any and all times. Ryan points out Liv Tyler in the audience; then, in reference to her dad being an awful old perv, he suggests she "might need earmuffs for part of the show." And much like everything else about Ryan Seacrest, the awfulness of everything else around him has made him correct.
I want to pre-apologize for my crabbiness in this recap. I thought I'd dropped this show for good after Simon left. Then Jacob lured me back with stories of Colton Dixon and Dawn Weiner, but they were eliminated, like, the second I started watching. So now I'm stuck with THE MOST BORING PEOPLE ON THE PLANET, and if they're not boring then they're Paul McDonald or Scotty McCreery or Casey Abrams, each one of them driving me up a separate tree. All I've got to hold onto is Jacob Lusk and his groundbreaking genre of R&B(urlesque), and since your little sister doesn't want to go to prom with him, he's gonna be gone soon anyway. Man cannot live off Stefano's gorgeous smile alone, people. God damn it, this show.
Casey Abrams -- "Heard It Through the Grapevine"
Casey is up first and is still of the firm belief that he is much cooler than you. The producers all encourage him to quit screaming like a feral weirdo, but he's firmly of the "fuck that" persuasion when he's on the stage. He's dressed all dapper-like, with his hair slicked down about as far as it's going to allow. To Casey's credit (or the producers, whatever), this arrangement of the show sounds decidedly Casey and not like a pale Motown copycat, which is the eternal danger of these songs.