My chief question after watching two more hours of "American Idol" on Wednesday night: Was there some orange light hanging over the contestants as they sang? Something was casting a freakish glow on everybody's head, particularly that big, bald welder with the gritty bar-band voice. It made all of the auditioners, even the good ones, look strange and sallow and yellow-toothed, compared to the gleaming La-La-Land folks who sat at the table in judgment. (And we even got to see the judges getting makeup. The lipstick seemed especially purplish last night.)
That's what this stage of "Idol" does to me. The singers blend together in a mush of mild goodness and ear-injuring badness, and apart from the colors, I start to forget what I've seen. But I'll try to remember. I was glad they didn't save tonight's Heartwrenching Story of Perseverence to the very end. (I have no problem with inspiration. I just hate predictability.) As it was, the guy was really good, not to mention a ringer for Robert Downey Jr. I liked the last good singer, Lil, and I didn't mind Downey Jr.'s best friend, and I think the orange-headed welder could be a real crowd-pleaser. I suppose Jason Castro's kid brother has a decent voice, but does this competition really need another space-kadoodle? I wasn't so moved by the girl with glasses who lives with her 93-year-old grandmother; but maybe she'll give herself a makeover by the time Hollywood starts. And speaking of makeovers: Let's talk about Anoop Dogg, the folklore and mythology grad student with the surprisingly soulful voice. Give the "Idol" hair team and stylists a few weeks, and he'll be the hottest geek in the nation. Mark my words.
Otherwise? Strangely creeped-out by that backwards video of David Cook, though it proved the skill of the makeover team. Happy that there weren't so many children. Sad that the crazies keep on coming. When I look at Simon, he seems to agree. But I think he feels this way every year.
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsMatthew Gilbert is the Globe's TV critic.
Sarah Rodman is a staff TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.