Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Top 4 - A Whole Lotta Love / Slow Ride
I think Adam is going to kill this blog sometime soon, because my thesaurus has just shrugged its shoulders at me telling me there aren't enough superlatives in the dictionary to continue describing what he does. So please forgive me if I swap them for expletives instead.
Last night was all a bit unusual in that I had absolutely no idea what the songs were going to be. I was glad to have not stumbled across any spoilers along the way and I realised later that it was because of some accidents that happened on stage so there were no dress rehearsals. There were encouraging signs during the week from Slash's Tweets, to the way Adam completely outsmarted the paparazzo with his quick wit, to the confessional where I was reassured by how happy he was with his RoF performance. I'd had the feeling from some of his recent videos that he would be steering clear of that territory after getting singed but I got all excited again.
At the start of the show, my eyes were searching for Adam to see what he was wearing and whether it would give me any clues as to what he would sing. I had a feeling that he might be in the death spot because he'd managed to avoid it so far. The first thing I noticed was his hair, which looked very sharp. I think he added some extra extensions to lengthen it a bit. He seemed to be fairly at ease, then I saw he was wearing his RoF T-shirt that was slashed low down into the chest, beneath an edgy studded leather jacket. The look reminded me a lot of his RoF look but harder and with thicker eyeliner. The look was quite aggressive, but my gosh, he looked the part! He wore black frayed jeans that were tight fitting but flared out. I was overjoyed to see the return of this look and couldn't wait to see what he would do with it.
When Adam announced the song he was going to do, I felt a lurch of ecstasy and a shriek of 'YES!' escaped from me, then some nerves crept in because it's such a big song. I'd never been so fired up with anticipation that I had to protect my keyboard from a saliva drenching. I was so happy because he said that this was the song he'd love to do on AI. Led Zeppelin's known for fiercely guarding their songs against train wrecks so I didn't think it would get the go-ahead but was really glad it got cleared. I'm sure they must be on board the Glambert Express too! They must really rate Adam to allow him to use the song.
I love hearing the quality of Adam's voice during the mentor sessions. This one was done with a band in a club. I only heard one long note from Adam but Slash was pretty impressed. He wasn't so visibly gushing like everyone else who'd been bowled over by his greatness (perhaps it's the dark glasses) but he did compliment Adam's natural singing ability. It was unusual to see a mentor not completely dumbfounded after hearing Adam and in this case, Slash actually had some critique to give, which was to play a little less with his upper register. Adam seemed to be excited about singing his favourite theme and determined to kill it.
I hadn't given too much thought as to how far Adam would take the rock theme after last week, but after seeing him, I felt confident that he was going to come back with an almighty explosion. The song started off with that familiar guitar riff before Adam came in quite high, getting close to what some would call his screech. His voice sounded powerfully gritty and I absolutely loved the way he held some of those early notes before working in the vibrato. I thought he used the sound of his breathing to great effect, adding to the passion and sexuality of the song. I was thrilled to see the return of his smouldering and dramatic eyes which glared intensely and penetrated deeply. He snarled with attitude and gave us some of his head-snaps to the side, and stood fairly still with just the odd stomp in the centre of the stage - a contrasting red background with cool smoky lights. First impressions were that this was comparatively low key so far. No jumping around like BTBW, and he was holding the mic stand in a leaning position - something he'd had yet to do. That first 'Oh!' was fuck-I'm-on-fire thrilling and his expression was so sexual, I wonder if that's the face he makes when... I'll stop there before I get carried away. Shouldn't this be on after the watershed? Perhaps that's why the camera panned out so quickly. He prowled his way around the stage with the mic stand in a very controlled and not too flash a manner before his first high note. He then gave up the spotlight for the guitar solo where he rocked out with the guitarist. My respect for him shot up even more for showing us where credit should be due. I think he's the only contestant who would have done that. There was a pause where I prayed that it wasn't the end because there hadn't been a climax to the song yet. Some people in the audience were cheering like it was the end, but he came back a capella. The way he sang it was aggressive and domineering and his expression downright disdainful. Freaking hell that was amazing! When he sneeringly sang 'woman' he quivered his jaw in a very pronounced way which I hadn't seen him do yet on the show. You're fucking taking it whether you want it or not, and I'm gonna make you beg for more, woman! The last note was trademark Adam. It wasn't as high or as long as his usual end notes, but it felt spot on. Oh how he nailed those vocals with such control, and the character for the perfect performance! That performance kept me in a rush of frenzy throughout and I wanted to jump around and dance if not for the fact that I could't tear my eyes away. There was so much energy in it despite the fact that there was little in the way of theatrics. The camera shot to hysterical fans then came back to Adam who transformed back into his usual cute and charming self. He obviously really enjoyed himself and I was glad to see him beaming again.
I was a little surprised that Adam chose to do such a straight-up performance of such a classic song because the chances of sounding karaoke are incredibly high. One thing I believe more and more now is that the contestants have been tinkering with the song arrangements not only to show artistry, but to avoid sounding like an inferior wishy-washy version of the original. I think it's actually harder to do well by sticking with the original arrangement. If you're going to do a straight up version, and especially if it's a classic, you have to be able to blow it to smithereens. Adam knew he could do it, and he did it with flair. I'm so glad he fully succumbed his crazy side because I was afraid he would keep it under wraps in order to win. It took a hell of a lot of balls to tackle a song about fucking in that fashion, and he was more than convincing. That electric performance was astonishing. The performance also had such powerful sexual undercurrents even though Adam didn't actually move that much, nor did he do anything overtly sexual like he did with RoF. No touching himself, no flesh-flashing, no eye-fucking the camera, no lip-licking. It was a different kind of sexual energy. In RoF, it was more kooky, sordid and dangerous, whereas here it was more about aggression, passion and power. I think it must have come purely from his presence, his charisma, his demeanour, along with the might and inflections of his voice, which he used to fiercely stamp the message of the song home. He had me well and good. I'd never had such a dark desire to be dominated, slapped and bound up as his gimp so that he could give me every inch of his love, but he brought it all out. Unfuckingbelievable.
When it came to comments, his mum looked so proud it melted my heart and his dad obviously loved it. I was amused by the fact that Kara finally embraced her inner skank after trying so hard to suppress it for such a long time, and jumped headlong into my world. It was however still embarrassing to see her mimic Meg Ryan during her Adamgasm. I found Adam's expression before Simon's comments particularly funny because it was like he was bracing himself for a mauling. But it didn't come and Simon came as close to gushing as possible and Adam responded with his heart-swelling appreciative 'Aw!'. Just before the break, Adam got his rocker's devil horns and his tongue out. Great to see him let go and really enjoy himself.
Some other Adam related thoughts during the show:
Slash's comment about being tempted to become a mentor on the show by a couple of stand-out contestants. I assumed he was referring to Adam and Allison.
Allison mentioned that Adam introduced her to his hairdresser, which is sweet and kind of him, and she looked great.
Barely containable excitement on realising Adam and Allison were going to do a duet, contrary to rumours. I think they were the perfect pairing
Danny mimicking Adam. I'm not a Danny basher because I think he's got a good voice. But I think that might be changing. There's no doubt whose videos he's been studying. I'd noticed this in previous episodes where he was trying to copy Adam's final note runs but came off vastly inferior.
1) There was an exact pose/camera shot that came straight from RoF when the camera swirled round to the back of him. Whereas Adam did a bit of sinister eye-fucking, Danny just looked a bit vacant but paedophile-creepy. It didn't work.
2) Danny trying Adam's BTBW lunges and headbangs whilst dressed in a 'rocking' shirt and waistcoat. Again, it failed miserably and was cringe inducing.
3) Trying to banish it from my mind it's so horrible. First I thought there was a problem with the feed then a cat being drawn and quartered. That was godawful but I think he did Adam a favour by being so earsplittingly horrendous. It takes Adam to scream like that. Never try to out-Adam Adam. Adam's voice is a Stradivarius that makes Danny's sound like the bargain catalogue equivalent.
I wasn't familiar with Slow Ride so wasn't sure what to expect. Allison started, then Adam strutted out with curled lip in shockingly risqué stripy skintight-bordering-on-indecent trousers, fingerless leather gloves, a black jacket with upturned collars and a higher cut black T-shirt with lots of gold chains. It was very audacious Glambert - about time too, and I loved it. Seriously, is there anyone else who could get away with wearing those clothes with such panache, managing to make it look sexy rather than a parody? They both looked fantastic. Just after he came on stage, there was a lovely moment when Adam acknowledged Allison and got out of character for an instant to give her a warm smile before getting back into it. It felt as if Adam wasn't singing to compete, but because he loved it and wanted to have fun. It was a quite slow rock song which they strutted to but no high-adrenaline jumping around. Although Adam's hand did gravitate towards his crotch at one point, I felt that he toned down his movements and his belts a little so that he didn't show up Allison. As I'd suspected, Allison wasn't overshadowed but glowed in Adam's halo and they were well matched, complementing each other. Unlike the previous duet, there was plenty of chemistry and interaction between them which seemed very natural and the harmonies were great. It was very sweet when they enthusiastically hugged each other at the end of the performance and giggled. 'Good one baby!... I love her!' They obviously get on very well and were so giddy afterwards with Adam hoping for Allison to stay in the competition as his little sister.
What a great night (apart from the middle bit). Adam is going to be a rock legend if that's what he wants. I'm hoping America votes for the right people because I need more of this.