Constantine Maroulis, in a snappy jacket and stubble, has to be this week’s hot vote gainer. Singing a full-bodied version of the despair ballad, “I Can‘t Make You Love Me,” Constantine reminded me why last week I wrote an insightful analysis titled “Constantine and His Secret Life As . . . Clay Aiken?” DUDE. I’m good.
While Randy and Paula gushed over Constantine’s performance---with Paula declaring that she “loved every minute of it” (yeah, you and millions of other girls, Paula)---it was Simon who got to the meat of the matter.
After stating that Constantine had out-performed the exalted Bo, Simon announced that Constantine had come off as a “classic pop star” and that his fans were going to absolutely “love that.” I say again, dude: I’m good.
Okay, I’m kidding with the self-congratulations. But here’s the point: it sure took awhile for these music/industry geniuses to figure out that trying to keep Constantine in a box only made them look lazy, if not downright dumb and oinky-headed. They totally missed the obvious time-space-fan continuum in Constantine’s singing “I Think I Love You.” I mean, how much more in-their-face could the fact be that the judges were viewing Constantine through their own musical (and, it's not too strong to say, cultural) stereotypes, rather than in his natural context? Oh, I said that before, too (in "Kissyface Judges").
Other performances of note:
First, Carrie. Look, she’s already won. Her heart and her voice is in country music. No matter what happens on American Idol, she will get a recording contract. She will be successful in her genre and, most likely, as a cross-over artist. Josh Gracin, who never got nearly the wet kisses Carrie gets, came in fourth in AI2. His self-titled cd had the highest debut of a male country artist in a decade. His single, “Nothing to Lose,” topped the Billboard country chart and is still in the top 10. You don’t have to be good, dude, to see that and more in Carrie’s future. In the meantime, she’s an enjoyable part of the show.