Sunday, May 11, 2014

AMICI: Mother's day edition
This week dietro le quinte/behind the scenes, star professor Rudy Zerbi had fun with some bizarre exercises that were supposedly aimed at increasing young singer Alessio's concentration span. It seems that the months of seclusion in the Big Brother style Amici house along with Alessio's hormones and tendencies towards ADD have caused more than one casino/disaster on stage. We can only think that Rudy got off on this odd idea to bring young, scantily clad professional dancer onto Alessio's bed and force him to sing to her while Rudi made comments about how Alessio was turning red, sweating, and having difficulty maintaining eye contact. The scene was made more ridiculous by the fact that he had to sing Michael Jackson's Beat it in English and between his hot flashes and the pressure he was feeling it came out like "You brererr run, you brererr run while you can." Sad times. Perhaps Rudy had already forgotten his sweaty, red headed moment on stage just the other week.

The other big news of the week is that last year's winner, rapper Moreno, who now heads the white team came back to live in the Amici house for the whole week, leaving behind his fidanzata and family to give support to his last surviving team members singer Debora and latin dancer Vincenzo partnered by his real life girlfriend Giovanna, all three of whom are from the south. I may have been off in my analysis that there is some prejudice against them as southerners, as this can also serve as an advantage because as white team dancer Cristian complained, Vincenzo is so warm, colorful, and such a bel pezzo di figo. Despite the fact that Vincenzo is the only person on the show that comes with his own subtitles due to his frequent use of dialect, it is Debora that has had a hard time winning over the public due to her tendency towards being a perfectionist/precisiona with herself and others. This week we overheard a conversation between her and Moreno, completely staged, in which he held her hand while she tearfully explained that if she has less than an easy going personality it is because she has been working so hard to keep her family afloat in the face of her father's unemployment. She described how difficult it is for a young girl to work afterschool in a butcher's shop hacking meat when you would rather be hanging out with your friends.

The show starts out with a group song by the blue team doing a tribute to Elton John. Since the team of singers is now reduced to just Alessio, Nick and Giada, it is worth mentioning what happened behind the scenes. After Alessio's hormonal beat down, Alessio went on to lecture Nick about how flirty and affectionate he has been with Giada, despite the fact that he has a girlfriend back home. Jealous much, Alessio?

 Also, can we take a minute to comment on the fact that jury member Sabrina Ferilli is channeling Linda Carter this week?

 While Maria Di Filippi in her metallic leggings seems to be doing a kind of odd Michelle Pfieffer as catwoman tribute . . .

Also, a quick thanks to Moreno for shaving off his rat tail of a pubescent mustache.

Anyway, Moreno responds to the blue team's effort by putting himself on the stage with both Debora and Vincenzo. While this move had the slight odor of desperation, the combination of his witty rap stylings, with Debora's improviational scat and Vincenzo's dance moves was really adorable. Maybe Vincenzo's inviting Sabrina to dance with him was a little calculated?

And the point goes to . . . the scrappy white team.
I have to agree with Miguel that Giada's version of I'd Rather Be is better than the Jess Glynne one.

That's a big shower/doccia!
But then Vincenzo got wet and won the point. 

Enter the seventh judge, Raoul Bova, yet another "hot" man whose only claim to fame seems to have been this commercial for Max Factor where he kissed Madonna, and she made a total fool of herself. (Bonus!)

Cristian danced to Pink Floyd's hey you with the troupe. It was good, but not his best.

Moreno put up Vincenzo as a narrator speaking the parts of the song in Napolitan dialect that were not sung by Debora. Debora responded off camera to Gabry's critique from last week that she does not know how to interpret Italian songs by singing the absolute crap out of one while Carlo and Enzo watched her behind a two-way mirror. Vincenzo is probably as much of an actor as any fourth judge on the show in that he looked the part.

Even Miguel gave out some compliments.
Vincenzo danced a Broadway number. Check out the cool ballroom floor:
 Raoul would have given the point to Vincenzo, but his vote didn't count for this round and the point went to the blue team.
The lady in red is none other than the temptress who had to sit on Alessio's bed earlier in the week.
Of Alessio, jury member Gabry Ponte said his band "Dear Jack never disappoints . . "

Debora got to sing a duet with special guest Massimo Ranieri. You gotta love this man who allowed Moreno to add a rap section to his song and then concluded by falling at Debora's feet. Che mito!

Nick then got to sing My girl with Mario Biondi, but he came off seeming more like a back up singer than a duet partner, which is the kiss of death for an Amici contestant.

The contestant who must wait backstage for the rest of the show and is in jeopardy of leaving the program is Nick. P.S. Can the Americans reading this imagine if X Factor or American Idol had a three hour time slot on Saturday nights? Italy is crazy.

In fact, the color of Zerbi's head spoke volumes, as the blue team went out to get the results for the first half.

Nick flamencoed for his life, Ru Paul style. Nobody could believe it.
Not even Luca Argentero could believe it.
Christian had a kind of playful number Caro Mio that had to do with writing to your pen pal. All the dancers were writing letters on giant postcards. Take a look:

The point went, just barely, to Christian.

Moreno responded once again by proposing himself as the dish of the day. Miguel responded with a duet of Dear Jack and Giada. Giada messed up the first lyric, but they put their whole beings into the song Fix you by Coldplay and stole the point.

 Debora sang Set Fire to the Rain, beginning accapella and gaining even some compliments on the part of the difficult to please Gabry Ponte. Giada challenged her singing Il Cielo, which is a serious song that has to do with abortion. The outcome may say a lot about the finale of the program. In any event, Giada made a tear come to Raoul Bova's eyes. Gabry voted for Giada.

 Vincenzo did a rubacuore number for the enjoyment of the ladies and he was challenged by a love ballad sang by Alessio and his band Dear Jack, singing A chi mi dice, which gave me goosebumps and which got the point. Miguel despite his teams 3 to 0 lead in the second match, went on to criticize the choreography of the white team and told Vincenzo not to accept dances that don't allow him to demonstrate his strengths. Che faccia tosta, ragazzi!
The last challenge of the night is Debora singing Let it Be, by the Beatles. I know, I know . . . lasciamo stare. Alessio got the point anyway. Despite the fact that she volunteered herself, Moreno sent up Vincenzo rather than Debora against Nick. Vincenzo did his thing and Nick sang Hallelujeh and Niente Paura. During the closing comments from the jury, there was some bad blood communicated between Christian and Vincenzo. The professors upped the dose, by asking an extra dance from Vincenzo in his true style. It was Queens 1954 level of corny, but he won. Dio knows that it was a rough night for Sabrina who had to decide between her two Amici love interests.

Addio Nick.
At the end of the show, I finally found out what Gabry Ponte does for a living. He is an overly promoted DJ, from what I can tell. Who gets paid for spinning other people's bad dub step renditions of New Year's Eve worthy electronica while robots on stilts and fire eaters do all the real work for him. No wonder Debora always wonders why you are lecturing her about song interpretation.

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mona ali said...
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