Mimi’s Tears - Mariah Carey American Idol Week 2 recap
“Burnell, you made me cry!”
*Randy Jackson voice* Yo for me, dawg, for me, Burnell Taylor’s audition in Baton Rouge last night, THIS is the most interesting moment of Mimi on Idol so far!
Here’s the thing about Mariah on Idol - she can act so self-obsessed and deluded that it’s very easy to forget sometimes that she possesses, or at least once possessed, a truly rare and exquisite gift. I don’t really believe in God, but I also don’t really know how else to describe some of her early performances as anything other than divine, heaven-sent, IRL angel-voice, etc, etc, etc.
So on Idol, when she recognizes this in someone else, it’s beautiful. Like when Harry Potter got to meet other wizards for the first time, or when you see Meryl and Viola Davis laughing together on the Oscar red carpet – it’s Gifted bonding with Gifted.
Last night, this kid called Burnell Taylor (his name key said Burnell James?) sings I’m Here from The Colour Purple musical and kills it so thoroughly that Mimi ends up in tears. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and I wish this is what the entire show could be about (or that maybe she’d signed on to The Voice?)
Where Mariah continued to be less adept at her job last night were during auditions that were neither perfect nor terrible. She just can’t bring herself to gush over voices that she knows are just ok.
There’s this thing that Sasha and I talk about called Nerd Alert. Nerd Alert is a feeling left over from Jr. High. You know that thing where you’re at work or a party and someone perfectly nice but really dorky or awkward is around and your first instinct is to distance yourself from them as much as possible? To prevent them from joining the conversation? It’s immature and gross and in the end you squash that feeling because you’re no longer a superficial pimple-faced twat but it’s just an adolescent reaction you can’t quite shake, social PTSD from when you were 14?
THIS is what I see when I watch Mariah sit through a boring audition, like the girl last night who was supposed to be impressive because she sang with a broken leg, or the hunky firefighter who did a wack Garth Brooks impression. During these auditions, Mariah clenched her teeth and imagined how much more fun she would be having if she could just laugh at these mediocre hacks, like she would under normal circumstances. After a lifetime of being able to snob-out over her superior chops, it must be painful to sit through these performances. It’s Nerd Alert turned into Bad Voice Alert.
The other Must-See Mimi Moment was when she pretended to be autistic. A sweet 17 year old boy’s pre-audition vignette explained that he’s vaguely Asbergers-ish but music has helped him to communicate. After he sang Mariah tried to relate to him by explaining that she too had been set free through song. Not really sure WTF she’s getting at here. Maybe an obscure reference to her time with Tommy Mottola?
The Nicki and Mariah feud, of course, wages on. I still think it’s fake, watered down Simon vs. Paula, but I’m open to Lainey’s thoughts that it could be legit. I guess either way I hope they can come up with better insults instead of these weak-ass eye rolls!