Ryan begins our evening of suspense with what he calls two very important questions: who is leaving, and how will Sanjaya be wearing his hair next. A top of the show mention separate from the rest of the gang? It’s official. The boy is the next big thing. Purely by the power of his transformative hair and Alfred E. Neuman-esque grin, he shall live forever and one day eat your brain -- the part of it that enjoys music anyway. No, Sanjaya’s not really in on the joke, but he’s so here to stay, so let’s you and me smile tolerantly at him while we see who is next to fall victim to his awesome survival power.
After the theme plays, we regroup on stage with Ryan wearing a pony hawk wig of his very own. Cultural phenomenon, people! Get yours together early so you can wear it before it becomes ridiculous. You’ve got about six seconds, so hurry.
In the rehash of last night’s show, we get to see Jordin and Crich wasting time with a couple of No Doubt songs, Mindy and LaKiki sort of being the same person, Chris and Phil sort of giving up on the whole thing by singing the Police, and Haley sort of really auditioning to perform at your very own tea party. Also, Gina was apparently the best thing smoking all evening, so yeah, it was just as mediocre a night as you remember, and rather a disappointment. Ms. Stefani might know about that high-energy ska girl wailing, but the singing coach she ain’t. I kind of feel that an actual theme around No Doubt or Gwen might’ve helped things along, but then again I’m not really trying to hear Haley chopping up “Just A Girl” or anything like that, so I’ll just count my blessings.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Idols. Seriously. They’ll end up looking foolish in pimpmercials and ten years from now you won’t even be able to get them to pick up the phone. Case in point, tonight’s offering which brings us Chris Richardson looking all Cisco Kid, except not as relevant, atop a horse. The music is “I Fought the Law and the Law Won,” and hilarity ensues as it is wont to do, as Crich tries to ride into town -- we’re left to assume he’s gonna cause a ruckus -- but Sheriff Jordin ain’t having it. Her posse, including a hayseed chewin’ Melinda, comes to her aid in a pack of shiny new Mustangs, and so then Crich rides off to go enroll in business school or something. It’s not clear. The lesson is, never try.
To keep us from being too offended by incessant marketing schemes, we’ve got some sort of results rigamarole to go through. I’m sure it serves some purpose, but I didn’t hear what exactly; I was too busy on the phone customizing my new Mustang to pay attention. (Cherry red, y’all! Just like a shiny new can of Coke!) But Seacrest leads us over to the shadowy area of fate-deciding, and quickly tells Blake and Kiki that they are safe. Duh. Call the police, cause Phil’s in the bottom three again! I just felt like maybe the police would like to know. Melinda’s safe, and again she does the whole cute excited thing with Crich because they’re so BFF and isn’t it cute? In the kind of way that makes you want to sigh? Also, Crich is safe.
We’re on to the second row now, and Sanjaya’s earned himself a spot at the near end so they’re no longer even pretending he’s in any danger. It’s all such a grand and wonderful farce now. I’m even working on a script. I call it Santastica! The Musical. I see it as sort of an off-off Broadway kind of thing, but there’s potential for mass appeal. Oh yeah, and Haley’s finally landed in the bottom three. No, I’m not smiling, that’s just Vaseline on my teeth.
Gwen. Angel. Music? No.
If we finished the bottom three now, you’d totally change the channel before finding out you’re obligated to watch ‘Til Death next or else it’s just stealing. And when we return from break, it’s time for Gwen Stefani to take the Idol stage and work some contemporary magic the likes of which you shall not see again until AI’s 34th season when by definition “Sweet Escape” will be a classic. So enjoy.
Gwen and her harem of cultural appropriation come out and do some sparkling, and she even tries to dance for us in 6-inch white stilettos. Thanks, Gwen! And, Akon’s there too. Not sure why. He is a pretty convincing hype man, though. Maybe he’s auditioning for his own Flava Flav type show. “My Akon Loins”? Who wouldn’t watch that?
Ryan chats Gwen up a bit and lets drop that she’s a part of the whole Idol Cares About The World And Do Other Stuff Good Too thing that they’re doing, and I can’t do much with that. Caring about the world and stuff is great. Charity rules.
Also great? Cutting to the chase. So we’re finally down to determining the final member of our bottom three tonight. Between Gina and Chris Sligh, this isn’t really fair. Oh, well. So Phil, Haley, and Chris are the bottom three. Ryan sends Phil back to Safety, and now it’s a showdown. Ryan asks who the judges think are going home, and Randy gibbers and Paula rambles because that's how they make the big bucks, so Ryan cuts them off and then asks Simon. He says without hesitation that Chris is out. Prescient, isn’t he? Ryan gives a rehashing of the judges’ comments last night, and even though Haley suffers majorly from Disney syndrome, Sligh is no competition for a pretty girl in this thing. The picture … goes to Haley, which means … Sligh … you are no longer in the running … toward becoming … America’s Next Top “Who?” Sorry guy, your personality was really starting to reek of effort (not to mention bad breath control and crazy un-rhythm), and you must know how that turns off the fans. But hey, at least you didn’t get far enough for them to cut your hair, right? Always a bright side, honey.
Mothers hide your daughters, ‘cause Tony Bennett’s coming to town next week and I bet he brings his heart with him. If we're lucky Sanjaya might rock some finger waves in tribute!
Haley. More Ariel or Belle? Send your votes to me here.