I’ll just get this bit out of the way for you right now, so you can have your moment and be done. Ryan opens the show with the standard line up and the yammering on about unicorns or whatever it is he talks about, and then. Oh, then. He stands next to Sanjaya and says, “Who is going home?” with a precious look on his face. Sanjaya does a little fist pump of celebration. You may or may not already know what that means.
Anyway. Last night Jennifer Lopez tried to help the kids bring some Latin flavor to the Idol stage, and sadly there was not a smidge “Vida Loca” or “Mambo No. 5” to be found. I may just have to look a bit harder around the dumpsters in back of Wal-Mart to ever get that part of my life back. But I’m not sure I want it back, so just never mind. If you read AJane’s brilliant recap of last night’s show, then you know the promised sizzle did not sizzle so much as fizzle. Tonight Jenny from the Block herself is performing, so I can only assume that tradition will continue. But anyway, we’re all here and the advertising is paid for, so on with the show! Olé! (<----) That’s about the extent of my Spanish language skills right there, so savor it!)
Filler Part 1: Cheese!
Our show is an hour tonight, which Ryan calls “action packed.” I don’t think action means what he thinks it means. He banters a bit with the judges, and trips up Paula by asking if she saw new sides to any of the contestants. She gives her best Pickler impersonation (and man should Kellie patent that act before Paula makes a killing with it in Vegas), and Simon smirks because yeah, he thinks Paula’s an idiot. Paula says she saw many sides to the contestants, and I’m not touching that one. Except to say, Shades Of Corey Clark would make the bestest name for a cheesy, sleazy tell-all. Blake.
Speaking of cheesy, it’s time for a Pointy Pose Extravaganza! We haven’t had a group-sing in a while, and I for one have missed them. Idol is somehow just not the same without that Newsies-style choreography. And plus, it’s the one time when pageant-smiles are appropriate, so Haley fans should be all joy. The song tonight is Enrique Iglesias’s “Bailamos.” Crich starts off with the horror, and Melinda brings the smoky goodness. Then Sanjaya and Haley have a bit of a duet and hey, maybe they also should be thinking about Vegas? Yeah? I mean, that Blue Man Group can only go so long. Phil looks horraciously uncomfortable with moving his hips and trying to seduce, Jordin tries a bit too hard, Blake and LaKiki are cute and platonic with the swaying and looking into each other‘s eyes. Finally there’s this slow breakdown and a ridiculous setup where the fellas are supposed to be sexy, but I think it might be mean to laugh at them, so I’ll just relate how Jordin sort of murdered the whole thing with her squealing at the end. Which I guess is also mean, but eh. Somehow I don’t care here. Hmm. Somebody call Tina Fey.
Filler II: Nougat’s Revenge
Ryan introduces the winners of last week’s Idol challenge, who happen to be a perfectly normal-looking couple for once, which just goes to show that even normal people can be swindled out of text messaging fees. Ryan hypes the chance at $10,000 or $100,000 and takes the opportunity to call Simon “Rich Boy,” assuming that the prizes would be nothing to him. Aw, Ryan. I’m sure he’s a very good sugar daddy, so you shouldn’t be so snide. It’s just unnecessary. There’s also the coronation songwriting thing going on, and apparently there have been over 5,000 entries so far. I didn’t even know there were that many ways to talk about soaring dreams.
Since there’s a good thirty minutes of show to fill up with nothing tonight, Ryan’s gone out and done some man on the street type thing to see what people who haven’t seen last night’s show thought about last night’s show. I don’t have the heart to make you sit through a write-up of that, so I’m going to skip it. Aren’t I the best?
Lots of info passed out tonight, so I hope you have your notepads out. The newest development: you can go to the Idol website and vote for your favorite artists on their hit list, and they‘ll come and perform. And because segues bring a twinkle to Ryan’s eye, number one artist Akon just so happens to be back tonight to perform. So, remember how when Gwen was there, Akon basically just stood on the stage and repeated two or three phrases and waved his arms and was there and stuff? Right, well it’s the same thing now, except this is his own hit song this time. Yeah, radio!
Old Dog, Old Tricks
Pimpmercial time. I hope a thousand of you good people out there are ready to buy Fords tonight, because otherwise this hour is sort of wasted, and nobody likes that. This week’s offering is to the tune of the Turtles’ “Happy Together” and it featured that
coolweird morphing stuff that was all cutting edge back when Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” was cutting edge. In 1992. That’s basically the whole thing, too, so I guess the producers were really banking on the yo factor of that particular technique. The one that’s 15 years old. Thanks for trying, y’all. I mean, really. This show’s an hour. They could’ve thrown us a bone.
Giving and Glad-Eyes
This is the year that AI cares about stuff, and stuff, and the money is rolling in from all sides. Newscorp even pledged a bunchload of money. To the show it owns. My head hurts trying to figure out how that works, but hey, 5 million dollars is 5 million dollars. That can buy a lot of stuff. Ryan intros a little video package of Simon showing some of that stuff -- particularly a schoolroom in a box. For just $183 dollars a day … no, I shouldn’t kid about this. It feels wrong. Although one awesome little girl in the clip does make me want to sponsor her or something when she draws a picture of Simon with full on moobs on display. She reminds me of myself, somehow.
Ryan ribs him a bit about it, and Simon blushes, but that’s too easy for me. Simon talks about getting a lot out of the trip and meeting lovely people. Ryan propositions him, but since this is live in the family hour he’s only talking about Simon singing if the Great Idol Charity Blowout raises $20 million. Simon refuses and says we can do better than 20 mil. Ryan tries to haggle, but Simon’s having none of it. On the air. They’ll continue this conversation later, says Ryan. I’m so sure.
Yeah, so Tony Bennett was all absent last week and it was suspicious, thus tonight we get a little vignette of Tony as an AI auditioner. The judges each berate him as he leaves his heart in San Francisco. I must say that Mr. Bennett is cute as a button with a puppy’s picture on it here, right up until the judges give him the “other door” treatment. Yet I fail to see what this has to do with anything remotely connected to this week’s results.
Luckily, once we’re back from break it is actually time to dig into the elimination game. Our crash course of last night’s performances includes Blake as the night’s highlight, Kiki having fun, Simon being rude to Haley, Melinda ‘snapping’ at Simon, and Sanjaya with a new haircut and a new tactic -- actually trying to sing. The jury’s still out on that one.
Ryan asks Melinda about her tiff with Simon and she Hollywoods that she enjoys his criticism. Whatevs, Mindy. Haley tries to earn more sympathy by reacting to Simon’s reacting to her never wearing any clothes and never singing all that well. She’s pretty covered tonight though. In full-length pants and long sleeves, even. Blake gets wild applause and has fake tattoos and gets nervous sometimes, aw. Phil says he feels blessed to even be there, and with that Ryan asks him to stand up and learn his fate. Nice. Of course Phil is in the bottom three, again, and I should really have some sort of clever nickname for him by this point, shouldn’t I? I’m sorry; I’ve been slacking. Ryan builds some tension as LaKiki stands, but even with less than stellar reviews, she is safe. Jordin too, which isn’t a tense moment at all. Ryan skips Sanjaya and will get back to him. Melinda’s fans have kept her safe again, but Haley’s gams couldn’t pull off the same feat. She joins Phil, and Blake’s going to win this thing, so of course he’s safe. We’re down to Crich and Sanjaya, and wouldn’t you know it (I mean I hope you would know it by now), Sanjaya is safe and Chris Richardson is the final member of the loser brigade. I can’t say I care. Chrich goes back to the couch o’ safety and I still don’t care. In fact this is where the “meh” sets in hardcore, and I’m actually wishing for an invitation to Blocko Land, or something that could at all make this exciting.
Filler The Third: Salsa Returns
Enter Jennifer Lopez, who doesn’t quite do the job. In her intro clip she’s all singing in Spanish and stuff, and I believe it way more than I’d believe Christina Aguilera, even though I am never interested in Jennifer Lopez for her singing. And all the kids love her and say nice things about her, and I believe it more than I’d believe them saying it about Gwen Stefani. And that’s all nice. Then she performs. Remember that one episode of Will and Grace where one of Jennifer Lopez’s backup dancers gets hurt and so Jack has to fill in at the last minute? You do? Well you should totally hunt that down and watch it instead of this. I’ll be here when you get back, talking about how Jenny’s new song’s got a plodding melody not made for the high energy dancing I really want to see from her. There’s not much energy to speak of, not even from any of the eleventy backup dancers she brought with her. Ah, well. She blows us all a kiss at the end, so I guess that makes it feel better. That's how that works, right?
Ryan compliments her on her handling the contestants, and she compliments them for doing so well on the show. She didn't agree with all the negative feedback from the judges yesterday, and says she's a student of the Paula school of criticism. What are those classes like, I wonder? I'm thinking they include some sort of ramble strength training. Ten minute free-writes around the word gorgeous; that's building those judging muscles the Paula Abdul way.
According to my DVR there are about two minutes of show left, so I'm guessing it's finally time to learn who gets the boot. A resigned Phil and a forlorn looking Haley cluster with Ryan on stage, and it's back to business. Lights are dimmed, hands are clasped, and tonight Ryan makes no bones about sending Haley home with a quickness. Even Phil can't believe that one; his change of expression from stoic grace to shock at his own safety kind of makes me like him a lot. I'm sure it'll be gone by next week though. Haley's doing her sing-out in long pants, and that just seems wrong to me. I don't want to rag on her final performance, so I'll just say nothing at all. It'll be like my parting gift.
Next week we're going country, and if you think I can help putting a bit of twang in my voice in celebration, you know me entirely too well. But for the theme's sake, I can't wait to see how Blake and Melinda
Haley's future: USO or Branson, MO? Send your predictions to me here.