So. The divine Miss Ross was on hand to lend her particular brand of inspiration to our top 12 kids this week. The results were, to be honest, kind of a letdown. I was expecting at least one slap-happy mentee, or some footage of inappropriate touching to come out of it, but nope. Diana just taught us all the importance of ‘pronounciating’ things properly. It was a mediocre night as far as vocals go too, and you know what that means … anybody could be going home. No one is safe, and you know what else? Simon can smell your fear. Yup. Do you feel the danger rising? Do you feel as though this season of Idol is going to be unpredictable in a scarily predictable kind of way? Good. Then you’re ready to hear all about this week’s results.
See It O-o-ver
All right; here’s Ryan! And the shadowy silhouettes of our top 12! The 12 best singers between the ages of 16 and 29 in the entire United States, or at least 8 slightly representative cities! The crowd is way fired up, and we even see some people holding a sign exhorting everyone to party like a Glockstar! Which I’m assuming involves lots of Red Bull and black eyeliner.
Ryan and his offensively purple tie reintroduce the judges, and takes care to point out that Simon has an alarming number of buttons undone, at which Simon smiles cheekily. The veneer’s wearing thin, boys. Let’s move to the retrospective of performance night -- Simon and Ryan flirting, Brandon hitting not one of the three notes his song required, everybody and their mama forgetting words, the judges being way too harsh on Stephanie, LaKisha making me beam with pride, Chris R. making my insides bleed with rage at his horrible, horrible performance of “The Boss.” Good times.
Tone Deaf Advisory
But, with hardly any warning at all, we’re all of a sudden in the group sing! Seriously, that just isn’t fair. Maybe we can get the National Weather Service to hook us up with an alert, like for tornadoes.
The boys begin terror with “Where Did Our Love Go?” Of course it sounds horrible, because that’s just what we expect, but what with Chris and Phil missing all kinds of steps, and Sanjaya and Blake doing their best but not succeeding to get the “doo wop” snaps down, tonight’s group sing is a failure of epic proportions. I think even Rhonetta is somewhere saying, “Well, I could’ve done that.” Except when she said it, it would be littered with high kicks, and bleeps, and dramatic spins. Anyway. The girls break through the tedium with “Baby Love,” and it’s also rough, because Haley starts it off, but it’s much less horrible. They all rejoin for some cute sparring on “Stop! In The Name Of Love,” and Sanjaya almost manages to convince me that he’s alive as LaKisha is singing to him. Neat.
Hey, wow! Michael Rapaport is actually on his feet applauding! Maybe I’ve been horribly wrong about this whole thing. I guess the kids were quite excellent, after all.
Pimping That Ride
We return from break with our first official Ford Pimpmercial of the season. Pardon me as I squee with delight. So, the song is “Float On,” by Modest Mouse, and it’s a series of clichéd fads that would normally clash, except the common bond here is everyone loving the wondrous wonder of fantastic Ford automobiles. Chris R, Sanjaya, and Haley are 60s hippies, Chris S. is a slickly fro’d 70s pimp, and LaKiKi and Melinda are his two lovely ladies, Brandon, Stephanie, and Blake are 80s b-boys and girl, and Blake even busts out a little Electric Boogaloo for good measure. Gina, Phil, and Jordin don’t get to do much; I guess they’re the disaffected youths of the 90s. (Hey, my ears are burning!) In the end, everyone drives off smiling in a Ford automobile because Ford makes you happy. I hope you heard that. Ford makes you happy, I said!
But happy time is over. Despite what the 28.5 minutes of chewy and delicious filler would have you believe, this show is here to serve a purpose! We’ve got to find our bottom three vote-getters. The lights are dimmed, and Ryan turns to those 12 uncomfortable chairs to fish out tonight’s at-risk singers. Wow, wouldn’t Idol make the best after-school special? Desperate For Fame …: Singers At Risk. Man. They should really bring those things back.
Sweet, sad LaKiKi is the first to learn her fate. She’s so obviously safe it isn’t even dramatic, so Ryan skims quickly through her, past Gina, and then we get to Brandon, who as I’ve mentioned made horrible work of the vocal cakewalk that is “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Ryan sends him to the bottom zone with little fanfare, and he looks like he expects to be there. Jordin’s safe, Chris R. is safe and it’s totally killing me inside, Melinda’s lovely and awesome, and also safe. Phil looks like he’s just come from dropping the kids off at a play date in his Saturday Errands windbreaker and polo collar. And perhaps it is this crime against fashion that lands him in the bottom three. Aww. Blazers, Phil. Think about it. Chris Sligh’s safe, and Ryan lingers a little too long on Stephanie, but it turns out she’s safe in spite of the judges’ smear campaign. Yay! Blake’s not going anywhere, and by now we can all see poor little kicked puppies Haley and Sanjaya at the ‘unequivocally lousy’ end of the row. Ryan toys with them about their status, and then cuts to commercial before telling us who the last loser is. Bastard!
Diana! But Does She Still Love Us All?
And the suspense shall last a bit longer, because when we get back from break, the original Pop Diva is in the building and on the stage, and before we even see her, the big screen is flashing a full-on ego stroke of Diana glamour shots. Excellent. Then the screen parts, and Dippy Di must have a Love Hangover, because she’s threatening to topple over during her 6,000 minute long diva bask-and-pose introduction. It’s truly a moment to remember. I mean, at this point, you expect Diana to bring the crazy, but tonight, in her miles long red feather boa and vamp dress, and her skyscraper high platforms, she has truly gone over and above the call of duty, and for that, I thank her.
Until she begins to sing. I really wish she would’ve just stood there posing while “You Keep Me Hanging On” played in a loop, instead of singing this new “More Today Than Yesterday,“ which aside from being eye-pokingly banal, was delivered pretty terribly. Even I would have to say it was pitchy. Okay, okay, I wouldn’t ever, but you know what I mean. The highlight of the performance for me turned out to be Diana toddling over to the contestant are, and singing with Melinda for a little while, offering Chris R. the mic, and then snatching it away as soon as he opened his mouth, all with that big, loopy, Diana grin going on. You can‘t script brilliance like that. Diana finishes to wild applause, and a standing ovation from all the judges. And you just know she thinks she did an excellent job. God love Diana Ross.
After she’s done with all that, Ryan conducts an awkward interview, trying to ask Diana questions while she nods and says “Yeah, that’s right” to everything. He ends up supplying all of her tour/website/CD information, which Diana don’t care about! She wants to talk some jive about how inspirational this show is. Nice. Ryan stupidly asks her who is going home, and she falters and splutters a bit before retorting, “Me!” It sure is you, Diana. It sure is. *nods with newfound appreciation and understanding*
He’s A Monster!
With about 45 seconds of airtime left, it’s finally time to get down to completing the bottom three. Sanjaya and Haley stand nervously together, perhaps sharing an unspoken bond of shame at even being there, on the show, in the first place, and Seacrest mercifully sends Haley back to Safety before she can do much more of that vote-snaring lip-quiver she’s got down to a science.
So it’s Phil. Brandon, and Sanjaya in the bottom three, and if you don’t know how this is going to end, then you have never seen this show before. Phil is sent back to Safety, and Brandon is quickly shunted. Sanjaya the Idol Killer claims another victim. It’s kind of painful to see the guilty look on Sanjaya’s face. Poor thing. Too bad he’s going to last until the very bitter end. His voters are freaking devoted; they’ll probably be up-stepping their game next week. And think about it; if they can keep him just one step ahead of all the other sucky people in this sucky bunch of sucks, well … American Idol 6 Tour, starring Sanjaya! here we come! Frightening thought, isn't it?
Next week’s the British Invasion, and I’m not talking Spice Girls. If you want to know who’s been going Downtown to the Bus Stop with Mrs. Brown’s Lovely Daughter, drop me a PM.