Frank Micelotta/American Idol/Getty Images
Michael Slezak
April 29, 2009 AT 04:00 PM EDT

Hello, and welcome to your weekly American Idol support group! Please grab a seat and fill out the following survey questions:

1) In the last four months, have you had more than one dream involving an Idol contestant/hostbot/judge?

2) Do you lie to yourself every Tuesday night when, in the midst of maniacally speed-dialing (or speed-texting) on behalf of your favorite Idol contestant(s), you say, ”this one’s gonna be the last call I make tonight!”?

3) In casual conversation with family, friends, or coworkers, have you found yourself dissing Randy’s vocabulary or raging against The Kara or speculating whether Idol can survive without Simon?

4) Have you, in recent memory, used one or more of the following words or phrases: ”Glambert,” ”mjsbigblog,” ”for me for you,” ”artistry,” ”cruise ship,” ”dance like there’s no tomorrow,” or ”dance in the path of greatness”?

5) And, finally, have you listened to Jesse Langseth’s “Tell Me Something Good” — still available on iTunes for the low price of 99 cents, by the bye — exactly eighty-eight times since you downloaded it one week ago?

Okay, so maybe that last question was just for me. And maybe that Jesse Langseth play-count is exaggerated. (It’s not, actually.) But if you’ve answered ”yes” to one or more of the aforementioned questions — don’t fret…I answered ”yes” to all of the above — chances are you’re officially and firmly entrenched in Idol‘s strange and suddenly exciting eighth season.

But (Kara-ism in 5, 4, 3, 2…) here’s the thing: Heading into tonight’s performance show (one of only four left before Adam is buried under his own body weight in confetti at the Kodak Theater) I made a decision to attempt the impossible. My goal for Rat Pack Night was to view each and every performance — by the contestants and judges alike — as if I’d never laid eyes on them, as if I hadn’t spent 31 prior episodes dissecting their every note, every song choice, every word, and every facial tic.

Now mind you, I couldn’t undergo some Dollhouse-esque memory sweep — and so, in the back of my brain, I couldn’t entirely quell the chanting for an Adam-Allison-Kris final three — but that doesn’t mean I didn’t make a grand total of seven surprising (and sometimes painful) discoveries over the course of the not-quite-music-filled hour. Let’s count ’em down, shall we?

NEXT: Gokey hooks Slezak

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