“American Idol,” The Instant EP's: Rob Sheffield Rates Blake Lewis' and Jordin Sparks' AutoTuned Efforts - Rolling Stone
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“American Idol,” The Instant EP’s: Rob Sheffield Rates Blake Lewis’ and Jordin Sparks’ AutoTuned Efforts

What’s this? Blake and Jordin already have music for sale at the iTunes store? Gosh, this really is their now! It’s your now, it’s my now, it’s the whole world’s now! In all candor, neither EP is what you’d call a bargain, not with four bucks for five songs that everybody remotely interested already has in their TiVo. But with America still recovering from the trauma of hearing Ruben Studdard sing about tangerine trees and marmalade skies, not to mention the image of Taylor Hicks blowing his mind out in a car (why wasn’t that the Ford commercial?), I’m happier than the Hotness at a discount spray-tanner to report that Jordin and Blake sound like pros in a real recording studio, where they have the AutoTune angels to wave their magic wands at pitchiness problems. They can both use the help.

Blake’s EP features his cheddar-splendent beatbox version of “You Give Love a Bad Name,” and that nice Ryan Adams song about the stars going blue. But Keane’s “Somewhere We Both Know,” the only moment all season that made me vote for him. He also tries to hit the high notes in “Time of the Season,” but he still can’t hack it — on the words “time,” “season,” and “lovin'” he screeches like Paula’s chihuahua with a stiletto in its ear. Down, Tulip!

Jordin inspired Paula’s best line ever on Tuesday night: “You are in great, great vocal voice tonight.” You have to admit, the vocal voice is important, if you want to make sonic sound, and that’s why Jordin won, although having to sing “This Is My Now” every night isn’t much of a prize, now is it? Her EP has “I (Who Have Nothing),” which is the good news — but not Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker?” That performance was her star-maker! Her love-taker! She hit us with her best shot! Shameful, really. Oh, well — no harm done, to either career.

Both Jordin and Blake will sell millions of records, earn hundreds of dollars and end up with a lifetime supply of amusingly bitter anecdotes to share backstage on future Xanadu On Ice tours. But most importantly, they will have the honor of appearing on next year’s Idol finale, doing a salute to the fortieth anniversary of the White Album. Jordin can sing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” Blake can do “Revolution #9” (“Number nine! wikka-wikka-squrrrrp! n-n-n-number nine!”) and Sanjaya will bring down the house with “Wild Honey Pie.” Farewell, Idol. This was the worst season ever. Don’t fire Paula, okay? She was the only thing that kept us awake.


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