Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back To The Sky...

You guys, I knew this was going to happen at some point, but...

I don't know if I was ready for it.

I also don't know if Tyler was ever going to recover from the effect those first two disastrous weeks had on his chances, but after last weeks episode, I was feeling pretty optimistic that, yes, there was still a solid chance that he could get a little bit farther in this competition, despite the fact  that he was going through so much change in his life that it was hard to keep up.

But honestly:

When even Ryan Murphy is at a loss for something to say because there just really is no way to critique someone, maybe that person just isn't really ready to be critiqued yet.

The thing about it is, Tyler, as he's said a million times before, is just not comfortable with himself yet, and as RuPaul always says "If you don't love yourself, how in the HELL you gonna love somebody else?"  In this context, that means that instead looking down at Ali with passion and lust, we get the impression, as the viewer, that Tyler is looking down at his leg getting amputated sans anesthetic.

As much as I'd like to refute them as usual, the mentors were really quite on in their critique that Tyler kept disappearing in the video, and on top of that he seemed kind of dazed, not paying attention during filming.

I also get that Tyler kept saying that he had to feel an internal connection to get sexual, but there are two different kinds of sexuality: sexual and slutty.  One look around the room (and at the lyrics sheet) should have given Tyler a hint of how to go about performing.

This is not where said hint should have led him.

It's also a bit upsetting that Tyler had to go out on his strongest vocal performance yet, but I can see why it didn't save him.  I think Tyler's biggest weakness is that, first and foremost, he is strictly a singer.  What I mean by this--and if you go back and watch his last chance performance you'll understand it better--is that Tyler spends more time thinking about vocal inflection and note transition than the other contenders do.  There was such a sophisticated array of technique on display during this performance, but it's a subtle kind of performance, which is exactly the opposite of how you save your ass in a Last Chance Performance situation.

Tyler needed to act this song out to show that he was capable of staying, and had he, he may have gone through--his was probably the strongest vocal of the night, save those select few high notes.

I think that Tyler's greatest strength is his relatability, despite how different he is on the surface.  He gained a lot of fans within the house and crew it seems, and that's not something you can get by trying hard to get it--it's something you earn just by being pretty fucking awesome.

So yeah, I may have been wrong about him being the top seed for this competition, but I'm happy to have been completely right about my other assertion: Tyler really does have something uniquely wonderful and special about him.

Episode Three Rankings

So as there is no episode this upcoming week, I decided I would take a brief vacation (i.e. focus more on my paying job) from The Gleek Project.  I needed to take half a second to breathe, honestly.

But now my bitch-o-meter is overflowing, and these kids are just what the doctor order.  Meat? Get ready to get GRILLED.

11) Arnauz/Mario

You know what's worse than performing really terribly?  Asserting you did perfectly when pretty much everyone in charge of your fate is suggesting otherwise.  Should have gone home on attitude alone--somewhere, Ellis is throwing a well-deserved bitch fit.

10) Lily Mae

What's bothering me about Lily, is that she seems inhibited by what should be making her one of the strongest players in the game: her attitude and her training.  Somehow, her confidence is making her debilitatingly self-conscious, and her training is weakening her ability to sing the songs she's given in the correct manner.  Duffy is not a Broadway belter, sweetie--you gotta insert some soul into your singing stylings.

9) Ali

As much as I personally enjoyed Ali's bubble-gum-sunshine versionof vulnerability this week, there's no side stepping the fact that she just didn't know how to drop that wall preventing her from getting truly raw and emotional.  Sure, the acting was very good, but it was also very noticeably acting.

8) Blake

Yeah, you guys, no.  I have no idea what brand of crack the mentors had dripping out their nasal cavities, but Blake just honestly wasn't that good in this episode, especially coming off last week's amazing performance.  He's a sweet kid, and he's got the goods to make it in the acting world, but this wasn't his finest effort.

7) Charlie

So now that's I've officially drunk the Charlie kool aid (this season is all about kool aid for me) I'm able to see him in a much more fair, objective light.  Also, he said that he and I should have a Kiki, which automatically gives pretty much anyone the keys to my heart.

That said, there were a few times this episode I just wanted to be like 'no, sweetie, noooooooo' when he certain things.  Thankfully, one of those things was seriously nail that 'Fix You' performance, so we get to bathe in his goofy LesbiFinn glory for just that much longer.

6) Abraham

Here's the deal, boo: you need to stop diva-ing out in your homework assignments, because they pretty my disable me from taking you at all seriously for the rest of the episode, which is truly tragic when you end up being top three on my list in the video shoot.

5) Tyler

Tyler really should have been able to top my list this episode, I think, given just how naturally vulnerable he was in the homework and in the video.  I think Tyler's issue may be that he doesn't know how to push things the right way.  A little more 'hurt' and 'soft' in both his video and homework performance, and he would have put the rest of these kids to complete and utter shame.

4) Aylin

I think the reason I respond so well to how Aylin described her vulnerabilities is just how unfair they are.  Sure, all bullying is completely unfair, but there is some severely 'McCarthy Trials' shit going on in this country right now surrounding the concept of Islam, and it's just absolutely revolting.  I'd personally like to see Aylin win this competition, because I think she would be an excellent addition to such a mainstream American show.  It doesn't hurt that she also consistently kicks major ass--some of the best acting in the video this week.

3) Michael
The thing I like about Michael is that he embodies what show business should be, to me: hardworking on screen, interesting, yet low key off screen.  There's some big build up towards Blake being the leading male cast member among the mentors, but I think Michael has definitely shown that he's the dark horse of this competition.  I'm expecting big things out of this kid.

2) Shanna

Shanna may not be the best actress, but HOT DAMN if she can't refocus an entire video in her direction. That girl is like a avalanche of singing prowess--she and Nellie are seriously in quite the power struggle, vocally...

1) Nellie

But the edge that Nellie has is that, while Shanna is all about belting power, Nellie's voice has the kind of emotional depth that comes from within.  I don't doubt that the other contenders express themselves, emotionally, through song, but the way Nellie does it, you can really feel what she's feeling, and somehow also bring it back to yourself.  That's quite an amazing talent to have, and I'm thankful she's being recognized for it.  Keep kicking ass, barista babe.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Solidly Sublime

It's weird, I kept these three for last because they were the least drama-rific of the whole episode, and yet:

That's my bad, because these three gave this most touching, subtle performances out of the whole video--sublime kicking seriously ass.

Unfortunately, we're tight on time, so let's get kicking.

I guess Aylin does have a little drama going on with Lily.  Maybe it's the hair color.  Only one ginger biscuit can remain.

They make up later. 

Not that there's nothing to compete about--Aylin and Lily are both pretty stellar singers.  All the girls this season have been pretty amazing, actually.  Not a single weak one in the bunch.

The reveal about being taunted for being Muslim was the one vulnerability that really got to me.  Aylin is totally such a sweet, fun, talented, All-American girl, who's also Muslim.  How on earth that could possibly make her a terrorist is beyond me.

Except for the fact that she is probably terrorizing her competition.  If I had to pick, I'd say Nellie took the homework assignment, but Aylin definitely took the video.

Tyler had a pretty amazing episode too, especially after the past two disastrous weeks--I think he may even be in my top half.  This homework performance was great--he's really getting the hang of his voice fast.

"Tyler, what were you bullied for?"

 "You''re serious? For real?"

It really is upsetting, just how misunderstood transgenderism is, especially since it makes it all that more confusing to actually BE transgender, if you yourself don't know what you're going through.  Tyler, thank god, seems to have adjusted beautifully.

I mean, as long as he's not dancing, he's one of the stronger video contenders, I'd say.  Speaking of which, why the hell was Zack on set this week?

So, props for improving--here's to hoping he keeps it up.

You guys are WELCOME.

Oh who are we kidding--this is my desktop background right now.  I'd also like to note that Michael and I have the same taste in clothing.  JUST SAYING.

"I'm not that experienced with being vulnerable, since I'm so young."

Yeah Weisman, the same way kittens and ducklings aren't experienced with being vulnerable.

I have no idea what this kid's preoccupation with his age is, but I mean...

There is definitely something going on there.  I don't know what it is yet--though I have my suspicions--but Michael looked positively TERRIFIED during the session with Eric.  Whatever is going on there, it's definitely coming out sometime this season.

As is typical with Michael, he faired well in both the homework and in the video, but the latter completely eclipsed the former.  And for all the talk about Blake being the best actor, I definitely have to say that Michael was much more nuanced in this video.

Oh, and before I forget...


And on that note, enjoy "Sexuality" RIGHT NOW you guys!!

In Which the Mentors Overreact

To begin our discussion on overreacting mentors...

Let's talk about how big this reaction was to them basically being told that their deepest, darkest, most painful secrets were going to be spewed all over national television, to millions of homes across the country.

Actors, man, they are tripped up people.

So, uh, Blake is ridiculously adorable and all...but literally gives me nothing to work with, in terms of sound bites or storyline.

Which is why I must yet again make up my own.



...moving on...

Blake reveals in his mini confessional that before he was adorable, he was adorkable.  Oh, the agony.  All people in the immediate vicinity get turned on at the site of a hot guy getting emotional.

That's more like it!  The sexual tension between the two of these boys is literally going to start melting peoples clothes off; let's hope it's theirs.

All right, all right, I'll talk about him for realsies.  I don't quite get why the mentors had such a hard on for Blake this episode.  I mean, sure, he's probably the best male actor they have, but this performance wasn't exactly the kind of 'Marissa with her anorexia sign' intensity that they seemed to think it was.  Good, definitely within the top half of video performances, but not exactly phenomenal.

Conversely, they got all up in Lil's grill this episode...for essentially giving a pretty equal performance.  Although, it doesn't help that Lily is getting a major crazy bitch edit, while golden boy is getting...well, the golden boy edit.

"My competitive side is definitely kicking in--I felt all stabby holding my toothbrush next to Aylin this morning."

Although...she might want to stop acting like a crazy bitch at some point, and then they wouldn't have three episodes worth of quotes that sound like they came from American Psycho: Mean Girls Edition.

Also, I'm not going to get into but...Mean Girls gave you a revelation?  Girl please.  I've had more revelatory grilled cheese sandwiches.

Apparently I could have just called this post "the ones who sucked in the homework" and it would know, I might actually have to change it to that.  But then this line wouldn't make sense, so I probably won't. Yeah.

See how I avoided talking about Lily's godawful, Dreamgirls erotica style vulnerability homework performance?

Oh, oops.

So yeah, Lily was pretty good in the video, save the lipsynch, which exactly nobody got (includes Shanna, Tyler, Aylin....EVERYONE) but she decided to be a little whiny during filming...

And lands herself in the bottom three again for her attitude issues, the same attitude issues that rip the hell out of that Duffy song.  Save the awkward, incongruous falsetto notes that really should have just been belted (girl's got quite the belt in her) this was epically fierce.

"I don't think you're an underdog."

"And I don't think you're fit to dress yourself, let alone run one of the biggest current television
 franchises.  Where's Brennan? I demand a recount"