”American Idol”: Double trouble on results night
LaKisha and Simon, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S…oh, hey, Idol fans. Blaker girl Karen here, busy gouging my eyes out following another cringe-inducing replay of last night’s pucker. Your usual Watcher, Michael Slezak, is on vacation for the conclusion of our very special Bon Jovi two-parter, but he will be back next week as we cruise toward yet another confetti-strewn finale.
Not an exceptional results show, but between Seacrest and Madonna and her Malawian orphans, plenty of good fodder. Let’s start with Ryan’s false promise of ”no filler,” followed by the most awkward brow raise ever. And, in the highlight reel from the previous night, Simon’s quotable quote concerning Jordin’s look: It was ”like something out of the Addams Family.” (Seriously, girlfriend, you’re a pear. Dress like a pear). He was also correct in saying her performance this week was ”shrieking,” but Jordin Sparks is not going to make a rock & roll album once signed with a label, so her abilities in this genre are irrelevant.
Every week, the banter between Simon and Paula and Simon and Ryan gets harder and harder to watch. Take, for instance, Ryan’s jab at Simon’s gal, TV journalist Terri Seymour. While the two men continued their power struggle over who seems more gay, Miss Abdul looked more out-of-it tonight than ever.
Meanwhile, I’m horrified to learn that Blake used a software program to help compose this week’s performance. You mean those utterly fake-sounding percussion noises weren’t the product of pure genius? My heart is breaking. Ryan reminded us that Jordin got knocked around in judging panel for the first time in a while, and I have to say I’m glad to see her get a bit ruffled. Jordin’s a perfectly good but not amazingly gifted singer — she’s Kellie, not Kelly — and while I was glad she didn’t get ripped from head to toe, I do feel she’s somewhat overhyped. (I’ll lob compliments at my girl Melinda once she loses those shower-curtain-hook earrings).
Remember how no one got the boot last time, during what Ryan described as charity week? (Very subtle, AI). Just in case you missed those shows, tonight provided a roundup whose music and hopeful images sort of reminded me of one of NBC’s Olympic fluff featurettes. (You know: ”She lost her entire family when their Fiat crashed in the hills of Romania, then subsisted on a diet of gruel and mice while working to pay for school and gymnastics training, but tonight she competes for the gold medal in floor exercise!”) In quick succession, we were treated to a skinnier Ruuuuben, in a hideous striped tee, asking for donations for poor kids; Underwood slumming it with poor kids; a bellowing Josh Groban chorusing with possibly poor kids; Madonna and the happiest-looking poor kids in Malawi; Kelly ”No More Idol” Clarkson; the most terrifying ”Stayin’ Alive” montage ever; and, weirdly, Celine Dion singing with Elvis (did Rene approve this?). At this point, the memory of Ryan’s opening statement about ”filler” made me want to sling the remote at the TV, right in the corner where his tiny head bobbed. Then the remaining season 6 contestants participated in the world’s strangest Ford commercial. And Robin Thicke gave a great audition for the movie American Castrato, which someone should totally write because this guy needs a star vehicle.
Finally, we made it to the evening’s raison d’être. But not before Seacrest actually blamed Idol fans for the contestants’ elimination. ”You did it!” he crowed. ”You voted!” Yes, Ryan, yes, we did. Because that is the point of the show. Phil was the first to go, and with all that hey, brother handshaking between him and Ryan, I’d have thought Ryan would have been a tad less abrupt in his buh-bye speech. Still, Phil’s ouster was totally fair. Why did we like Sanjaya? Because we could watch him on TV in our cold apartments and feel some sort of connection. I never got that feeling with Phil, nor did I ever feel he was one of this season’s strongest singers.
Then, after Bon Jovi performed a we’re-not-an-oldies-act song, it was time for the second elimination, which came down to Chris and Blake. In terms of vocal talent — and feel free to disagree with me, fellow fans — I think the two are fundamentally pretty evenly matched. But this week, Blake proved he has the ability to think outside the box and take major risks on stage. Chris joined Phil on the journey home, and though I was disappointed this week in Jordin and even LaKisha (too one-note — you’re rocking out, chick, have some fun with it), the correct two people were given the boot.
Carrying on a Slezak tradition, I give you my favorite message-board posts of the week:
1. Daisyj, on Jordin’s performance of ”Livin’ on a Prayer”: ”It is kind of hard to believe that the teenage daughter of a famous football player can really relate to a song about blue-collar struggles.”
2. LM poured a big bottle of Haterade on Miss Sparks after the results show aired: ”The good news is we didn’t have to listen to Jordin sing again tonight.”
3. And then there was Rhonda, who thinks like me: ”Bon Jovi is a hottie. I’m not into his music, but dude. He gives out backpacks to crack babies, and that, my friends, is pure sexy.” Amen.
So, Idol junkies, what’s your vote? Did the right contestants walk the plank? Is the banter between Ryan and the judges just downright painful? Was it good to see Jordin take a little flack? And why was that guy wearing red Crocs and black socks at the Farmers’ Market?
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