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American Idol: Come Fly With Me!

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In the midst of a pretty big news day—“Michael Jackson Decides No More Sleepovers!”—over here in my own little lane, I had a bunch of American Idol cross-overs into Real Life.


First, I’m sitting in the holding pen at the doctor’s office and pick up a business magazine. Then I proceed to start reading said business magazine.

Then, not only do I read the magazine, I start reading the ads in the business magazine.

Specifically: a NINE PAGE ad explaining the guts and glory of private air travel, including the Marquis Private Jet Card program.

Okay, if you’re here, I know that you know that I know that one of the things Carrie won when she took the AI title was a Marquis private jet card.

And, you know, we were all like, “Cool! A Marquis private jet card!”

Like we all know exactly what a Marquis private jet card is.

As in: [getting on cell phone in a public place] “Hi, honey! Yeah, just wanted to remind you to pick up the MARQUIS PRIVATE JET CARD before you drop the minivan off at Jiffy Lube!”


But, admit it, do you really know what a Marquis jet card is?

Well, I do. Now. NINE PAGES LATER.

(But then I have to give props to the guy who wrote that thing. If you can make a person—especially one who, you know, hasn’t had time yet to make room in the ol’ budget for your product—hang with you for NINE PAGES . . . way to go, dude! Seriously!

BTW, Marquis jet cards start at the low, low rate of $109,900—not, please note, $109,999, but only $109,900 for 25 hours flight time.)

Then I went to the local Hair-Whoopty-Doo place for a basic style. Somehow the person with the scissors got to droning on about . . . Jimmy Buffet.

Jimmy Buffet?

Where did THAT cosmic connection come from? The last time I thought about Jimmy Buffet, it was the 20th century!

Remind me next time I go there to wear my Justin Guarini t-shirt. Hey, lady, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Anyway—never mind that by this time I obviously was in sleep mode in the hair chair—the stylist was babbling on about cheeseburgers and paradise and parrothead traffic jams and stuff and then—whoa!—here comes Ms. Carrie Underwood over the airwaves, courtesy of our local Adult Contemporary format station.

Okay, I already told you I heard Carrie’s single, “Inside Your Heaven,” (the Promo Only MPE format) on the radio last weekend.

It didn’t wow me, but I was cool with it. And I stood—and hereby stand—by my prediction that Carrie will have a big hit with this song. All told, Carrie’s “Inside Your Heaven” has the all-around right cache and catchiness to take off with the collective radio audience.

That said, I loved the song on Carrie a little less this time. I don’t think this performance, or the recording, did justice to Carrie’s chops at all.

The file is a direct lift from the finale, including crowd noise that, to repeat myself, comes off as a bad laugh track from something like The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Or maybe I’d even go so far as to say it sounded like the chuckletrack on Leave It To Beaver. Okay, it sounded like the laffs on anything on tvland. You get my point.

[ETA: Now that we know Desmond Child is “driving the desk” for both Carrie’s and Bo’s debut discs, I think we can safely tuck away any notion that we will continue to hear sounds that remind one of tvland.]

Further, as I said in my show review that night, the finale was one of the few nights that Carrie launched herself into Vonzell-type all-body-parts-to-the-wall-all-the-time oversinging.

And I do mean over-singing. The strains of oversinging, plus—sorry, guys, to sound like a broken record (ha ha ha! good one, Sticker!)—I can’t refrain from once again commenting on the flood of not just possible mondegreens, but whole phrases, riffs, verses that sounded like a bad Singing Fish translation from the Klingon language.

I mean, I am running out of analogies here to describe the improvements Carrie needs in her singing diction.

And, yes, I know I was listening through the din of blowdryers and Jimmy Buffet commentary and all, but still. There was an awful lot of completely unintelligible “scoobydoobydooloomooo-oooh-poohs” slush in between the much-better enunciated renditions of the chorus, “inside your heaven.”

It just didn’t work for me as well as it should have. As well as it could have.

But never mind. Not understanding the words has never been that critical for some people. Look at how many people are freaks for opera. Komm gib mir deine Hand!

Bravo! Bravo!

Oh, wait—entschuldigung Sie bitte!–that was the Beatles, singing “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” In German. (Fact. Check it out.)

Plus, clearly, Carrie’s singing diction is something Music Professionals can help her with once she gets into their clutches. I have no doubt she’s going to grow into (or more into, depending on where you’re presently at on the Carrie-luv spectrum right now) a very compelling vocalist.

So I’m leaving the Hair-Whoopty-Doo place and, as fate would have it, I get behind a red Ford Mustang convertible—you know, sorta like the one Carrie is driving—only this one is driven by a really kewl guy.

I know this because his license plate really was KEWLGUY.

So it occurs to me that Carrie and KEWLGUY are driving a red Ford Mustang convertible and . . . I’m not. But, hey, as least I’m up to speed now on Marquis private jet cards. Just in case.

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  • Kate Wells

    Would you please send me a CD of your latest recordings?
    I am sure that you can do better than Carrie.

    Oh…you don’t sing. Then shut it. I’m tired of hearing others, and you, rip on this girl. It’s easy to sit, get your hair did, and talk smack. She obviously has more talent and potential than either of us every will. So why continue to bash her?

    It all sounds pretty pathetic to me.

  • Kate Wells-

    Sorry you took it as “bashing.” You yourself noted Carrie’s “potential”—and that’s no different than what I said. I said she has some things she needs to develop and improve upon. Hmm, that’s directly addressing her “potential.”

    The laugh track has nothing to do with Carrie. It’s the recording. And I said it didn’t do her justice.

    I think Carrie is great—I just want her to develop better diction. Sounds like constructive criticism to me.

  • Geez Kate, you are looking at a comment on a board called BlogCRITIC, shouldn’t that give you some clue that the comments may possibly have some criticism? Just because someone suggests that an artist could improve doesn’t always lead to the conclusion that it’s “bashing”. There isn’t a single person out there that can’t improve to some extent in some area. If Carrie puts herself forward as a performing artist, we the public that listens and watches her have the right to suggest that she could improve. I like Carrie but, my constructive criticism is that she will need to work on her stage performance, as she does come across wooden. That is not bashing, it’s criticism.

  • Jeff,

    What you said!

    I also agree with you on Carrie’s performance dynamics. But, as I’ve often said, there’s nothing she can’t develop with experience, coaching and training.

    She’s a diamond somewhat in the rough. But she’s still a diamond!

  • david

    I think her winning a Marquis Jet Card was amazing. Who cares about the car she won. The only thing I need in my life is a private jet for sure

  • Well, I wouldn’t turn down the Mustang, that’s for sure! But, between the two, I’d have to go with the jet card all the way!!