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American Idol Murders the Rolling Stones

I spent two hours torturing myself tonight watching American Idol slaughter the Rolling Stones. I know I could have turned the channel or done anything else, but damn it, I was curious to see which songs they'd choose. I had to KNOW. Over all, the performances were awful at best and excruciating at its worst.The weirdest thing? It was as if the Stones stopped recording in 1978 with the album Some Girls.

Here's my breakdown:

First Performer (Let's just say I don't really know their names) "Miss You"

This was torture to watch. It was so all over the place and a mess. The pitch was off, he didn't connect with the song, and it just made me cringe. He's not a horrible singer, but this is NOT his genre or his band. I was just happy to have it end, actually. He tried to use the energy from the song in ways that just didn't work. I had to laugh when Simon criticise his dancing. Mick's known for his dancing, but sometimes I find it down right comical. And that's coming from one of their biggest fans. Otherwise, it was pretty forgettable and I won't "miss it."

Second Performer "Play With Fire"

This song wasn't so bad, actually. I couldn't help but compare this girl to Marianne Faithful, prior to her years of smoking and heroin. She had a similar style in singing it. It's a simple song, really. What didn't work for me was the fact that it was too light of a presentation. This is a dark song. As simple as it is in melody and such, the meaning is dark and menacing. She didn't have an edge, which makes her differ from Faithful. I was just thankful that she kept to the melody and didn't butcher it too much.

Third Performer "It's All Over Now"

This song choice came out of left field. It's not even a Jagger/Richards composition. It's an old Womack song they covered back in their very early days. I'm not sure most people beyond the fanatics like me even know of its existence. The guy tried to do too much with this song, tried to turn it into a rock song when it's not really. It's blues. He didn't do anything with that element. It felt flat. I felt that if he wanted to really do a rock song, he could have chosen something like "Sympathy for the Devil" or "Street Fighting Man." This song just wasn't right.

Fourth Performer "Ruby Tuesday"

Where do I start? I hated it. HATED IT. She sang the whole song in this horrible nasal tone all on one note. It was a mess. It was painful. My ears wanted to swell shut and never hear again. The WORST performance of the night. Excruciating. Painful. Horrible. Awful. I don't have enough adjectives to describe just WHY this was the worst performance of the night. I wanted to cry. This is one of the classic songs of the catalogue and she murdered it on national television. GAH. Purge it from my memory bank. It is the WORST cover of a Rolling Stones song EVER. EVER. She didn't connect with the song. She didn't have any energy, and it just fell flat on the stage in a million pieces around her as it was slaughtered. Why oh god why didn't anyone tell her how bad it was in rehearsal? WHY?

Fifth Performer "Wild Horses"

I actually liked this. It was very beautifully sung. She had such a quality to her voice, and for the first time I felt as if someone GOT the song they chose, rather than just picking it out of a hat. She actually gave me some hope that this could get better throughout the night. This is a simple song in a lot of ways with a very complex underbelly. She managed it, I thought, and delivered a solid performance. For someone at sixteen, it was impressive.

Sixth Performer "Under My Thumb"

If the performance of "Ruby Tuesday" made my ears bleed, the cover of "Under My Thumb" simply creeped me out. It was done in a reggae style, which is unsuitable for the song. Seriously. It made the song sound "happy" which this song is NOT. It's all about a man dominating and controlling a woman. It's not an upbeat song. Don't force it into such a frame. Please. For my sanity, don't. I didn't get what this kid was trying to do with it at ALL. It was just weird and all over the place.

Seventh Performance "Gimme Shelter"

Dude, did this guy even LISTEN to this song before he took it on? There was NO drama, no connection. He was just singing this song straight. It was off key a lot. I didn't like it. This is a powerful song about war, Vietnam in particular. I get that a lot of these contestants are young and don't really know who the fuck the Stones are and all that, but damn it, I'm only 27. At least look into the song if you're going to choose it or choose a less loaded song. Go into the early 60's catalogue. Please.

Eight Performance "Beast of Burden"

This song came out of left field for me. It's a track from the album "Some Girls" and quite frankly is the oft forgotten B-side to "Miss You." I have a fondness for this song. Truly. It's such a charming song. Until this guy gets a hold of it, that is. It was flat. Boring. All over the place. I hated it. He just sang the song straight, again, without any connection to the meaning. The Stones are like a loaded gun, yet these people all made them seem like duds. Blah. That sums up this forgettable, sloppy performance.

Ninth Performance "Honky Tonk Woman"

Listen, chick. I get why they changed the gender for you to fit the song. Next time, pick a different song. Please. I beg you. WHY did you have them change the lyrics of the song ala Britney Spears? Instead of singing something like "Honky tonk men give me the blues" she sang "I'm a honky tonk woman and give me a honky tonk man." It threw me off the whole song. I kept waiting for the word "blues" and it never CAME. So, just please. Don't ever do that again. EVER. Sing anything else in the catalogue that isn't so gender orientated. Please.

Tenth Peformance "Paint It Black"

This was okay. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I was going along with it until she threw in this ridiculous scream thing that just melted into a hot mess. The judges thought it reminded them of Adam Lambert, but no. She doesn't have those kind of chops. She just doesn't. So please, don't do that again. My other problem was the fact that she wanted to have this "edge" since it's an edgy song. It wasn't there. She tried to force it and it failed.

Eleventh Performance "Angie"

I had hoped we could have skipped this song, but with David Archeltta 2.0 it just wasn't meant to be. Considering the kid doesn't even KNOW who the lead singer of the Rolling STones IS, I'm not surprised he'd pick this song. I'm a hardcore Stones fan. It's in my blood. It runs through me like nothing else. Here's a secret. I HATE THIS SONG. I hate the original. I hate it. I hate it so much I skip it on "Goats Head Soup." Seriously. It's whiny, annoying, and repetitive. This kid didn't make me feel any different about it. In fact, he made me hate it more. It was flat, nasal, and whinier than the original. There's so many other slow songs, like "As Tears Go By" that he could have picked. But no. We just ahd to have the obligitory cover of "Angie."  Blah.

Twelfth Performance "You Can't Always Get What You Want" 

This was the best performance of the night. She sang it incredibly well, honored the Stones tradition by taking it the bluesy route, and brought it down. It was nice to see that someone in the whole mess of a night could actually do a Stones song some justice. It wasn't as good as the real thing, no, but it wasn't painful to sit through. I rather was impressed. I'd have to say that this is the girl to beat, and I'd be astounded if she didn't win the whole thing. What I didn't get was Simon's comment about it not being a "dramatic" enough song. It's pretty dramatic when you consider the french horn and the choir and the lenght and all of it together. What Simon was talking about this time, I don't know. It's not as if the censors would have let her sing the most dramatic Stones song ever: "Sister Morphine."

All in all, this was a horrible performance show. How any of these people with the exceptions of the girl singing "Wild Horses" and the girl singing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" got this far is beyond me. This was the best of the best they could find? Shudders. I suggest, American Idol, next year you stay the fuck away from the Rolling Stones. They're too dangerous and edgy for the majority of your audience, anyways. Stick to the Beatles. I will, however, thank you for not touching songs like "Rocks Off," "Sister Morphine," "Dead Flowers," or any song sung solo by Keith Richards. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I didn't wany ANY of those songs ruined. But please, don't do this to the Stones ever again. That is all.

Until next time,

Far Away Eyes (which IS a Stones song, after all)