I’m genetically programmed to like things that are awesome, which thereby means I’m crazy about America Idol‘s husky-voiced season 8 competitor Allison ‘The Rocker’ Iraheta and her completely addictive debut single “Friday I’ll Be Over U.” But it also means I wish the folks at 19/Jive had spent a little more time and money putting together the corresponding video, which debuted late last night on YahooMusic.
Make no mistake: Allison is exuberant and lovely as always — the girl is a total rock star, and her youthful joy at making her video debut bursts (adorably) through the computer screen. But much like the dude in the A-Ha video that this clip attempts to pay homage to, Allison is trapped in a concept that’s flat and one-dimensional. The opening 20 seconds, with Allison and disembodied portions of her bandmates popping up on what looks like a crumpled piece of loose-leaf paper, is not the way to get the party started. Meanwhile, the clip’s director (I’ve got a call in to Allison’s publicist to find out who) uses an entire bag of ’80s tricks like a chef hurling a box of uncooked spaghetti at the wall and hoping it’ll stick: There are Allison’s eyes randomly appearing above a giant, lips-shaped couch! There’s primary Allison shot at peculiar angle while a second Allison does jump-cut dance moves by an amp stack in the background! Hey, let’s toss some random colors and sample lyrics in there, just for kicks! I half-expected to see Chaka Khan boogying next to a chain-link fence.
But let’s hit the mute button on my bitchery for a moment. Can you imagine if this video had gone further with its “Take On Me” moments, perhaps recreated that iconic clip and turned the storyline on its head? I’d have made Allison the coffee-shop patron of A-Ha’s video (embedded below), and had her get drawn into the comic-book world of her bouffant-haired suitor. But to keep with the got-done-wrong theme of “Friday,” I’d have had Allison discover her crudely sketched man was a cad, then return to the real-world dimension on her own, leaving the no-good dude trapped in Cartoonville. Cut to Allison crumpling up the final page of the comic book and tossing it into the trash, free to ride off into the sunset as a happy, single lady.
An opportunity lost? Perhaps. But on the bright side, there are things to love about this video, too. I j-apostrophe-adore that we get a clear shot of Allison’s braces — yet another signal we’re dealing with a living, breathing teenager and not a Disney-manufactured wind-up toy — and The Rocker is styled and accessorized in the most delightful way. The Frida Kahlo-y/sea anemone-esque heart necklace Allison is rocking while she sits on the lips couch is perhaps the best piece of oversized jewelry I’ve seen all year, and the fringed cuff she’s rocking in the scene ain’t too shabby either. Plus, the black-and-silver tutu dress is reminiscent of Allison’s “Rat-Pack Week” look — never a bad thing. Best of all, when the video does away with all the shananigans and lets Allison get the eff down along with her band in that all-white studio, the video comes roaring to life. As Allison might say in one of her legendary/crazy Tweets: cAAAn’t W8 to C those KKKRRRZZZYYY kidz perform dis SHIZZ liiiVVVee! Perhaps the lesson learned here is that in these early stages of Allison’s career, in the absence of elephant-sized budgets, it’d be best to do away with gimmicks and keep the focus on the real reason anybody would want to tune in to the clip: Ms. Iraheta hereself.
What do you think of the “Friday I’ll Be Over U” video? Did it change the way you feel about the song itself? (No, still awesome.) And will Allison fulfill her destiny as the next great female rock star? (Yes.) Sound off in the comments below, but before you do, a couple of housekeeping notes: To get instant notification of all my Idol coverage, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak. And if you dig all kinds of music (you do, don’t you?) then follow EW’s Music Mix blog @EWMusicMix! Holla! Hey-ey.