If Ryan Seacrest keeps mentioning the American Idol songwriting competition, I’ll soon be tempted to submit my own entry. Who says I can’t write something uplifting and life-affirming? In fact, I already have some ideas floating around – here’s what I’ve got so far:
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity
There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman
OK, OK. So maybe I borrowed a little bit too liberally from the songbooks of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Helen Reddy. Still, I think it would make one hell of a group sing.
The no-hit wonders – yours for 99 cents each
Speaking of group sing! This is after all a results show, not a 60-minute excuse to sell products with a lower-case “i” in front of them, soft drinks, and cars, is it? Of course it isn’t. Our top ten - comprised of Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Micheal Johns, David Archuleta, David Cook, Syesha Mercado, Ramiele Malubay, Jason Castro, Chikeze, and Kristy Lee Cook - grin awkwardly and sing their way though an instantly forgettable “Right Back to Where We Started From”, which is supposed to have some vague relation to the theme of singing a song from their birth year.
Lest we clutter up a show about finding America’s next great singing talent with any more singing, it’s time to move on to the serious stuff. Products, people, products. Being middle-aged and un-hip, I don’t own an iPod, but for those of you who do, please proceed post-haste over to FOX’s AI website (after you finish reading this recap, of course) and start downloading the full-length versions of the Idols’ song choices. Do it before any of these Idols score their recording deals, because you wouldn’t want any royalties or whatnot go to them instead of the starving producers and execs from FOX or 19E.
Stools vs. sofas
After a brief highlight reel of last night, featuring an ecstatically happy Michael Johns and a befuddled David Archuleta – who doth protest a bit too much about his song choice being his song choice – Ryan promises to dole out the results, but just a wee bit at a time. Because like too many sweets, too many results at once leads to a sore tummy and an overwhelming desire to change the channel before the
infomercialshow is over.
Ryan’s latest strategy to prolong our agony is to call out the Idols, one by one, and advise them of their fate. For all the snarktacularly funny details and song choices of top ten performance night, be sure to check out MotherSister’s recap. Chikeze is the first to be called by Ryan, and though he left his orange leisure suit in the closet this week, he’s ushered over to the Stools of Shame as the first of tonight’s bottom 3. Brooke White is next, but fares better than Chikeze as she gets the first seat on the Sofas of Safety. Carly Smithson is up, and Ryan encourages her to clear up the pregnancy rumor, to which I say – what pregnancy rumor? Apparently she was looking a bit tubby the previous evening, which Carly attributes to ill-fitting Spanx, and not the impending arrival of a tiny tattooed Eirelander. With no need to book early maternity leave, Carly takes a seat next to Brooke on the sofas.
I Want You To Want A Ford
Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me” is one of my very favorite pop-rock songs of all time, so you’ll forgive me for sticking my fingers in my ears and singing “lalalalala” during the Idols’ Ford commercial this week. I watched it, though, and it was thirty seconds of cute special effects that had the Idols appearing “live” on t-shirts, CD covers, and posters. If you want to download the full-length version, then go google the website yourself. I won’t encourage such nonsense. Ryan, you have no shame.
Time to squeeze in a few more results, and The Chosen One, David Archuleta, is called up and after a half-hearted attempt at banter with Ryan, is sent to the sofas. Ryan then informs David Cook that Chris Cornell himself phoned Ryan and told him that he loved David’s “Billie Jean”. Whereas Michael Jackson just stayed curled up in a ball in the corner of a closet in Neverland, stroking his old red leather jacket and trying not to cry too much because moisture makes his face melt off. Anyway, the Other David is safe this week as well. Syesha Mercado teeters on sky-high stilettos and saran-wrap tight skinny jeans, but manages to remain upright and bravely smiling when she’s sent over to bottom 3 territory. Michael Johns is almost an afterthought, but his Aussie charm and a finally listenable performance the previous evening is good enough for a seat on the sofas.
In case you hadn’t heard, insipid has a new meaning – “viewer calls”. For this we need an hour? Brad Garrett, I apologize for all the mean stuff I said about your show last year. I would seriously kill to watch “’Til Death” instead of watching Ryan fumble with his laptop and field phone calls from snickering teens. The burning things you needed to know this week? Chikeze is single, David Archuleta really, really loves that lame song he sang on Tuesday, Brooke would love to duet with John Mayer, and Ryan & Simon just can’t keep their hands off each other. OK, I made that last part up, but I’m tired of their phony insults and oh-so-witty retorts. Maybe FOX can just give them a spinoff show when American Idol is put to rest. They can call it “The Ambiguously Gay Duo”. Or is that taken?
It’s now time to trot out another former Idol, and this week, it’s Kimberly Locke, who you may remember being overshadowed by Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken in season 2. Kim’s since opened a restaurant and dropped 40 pounds, which makes me think the food at her restaurant can’t be very good. Tonight, though, she’s packed herself into a tight gray satin gown and adorned herself with abundant metallic green eyeshadow, and sings something called “Fall” which may or may not refer to her CD sales.
Idol Gives Back(pats)
The self-congratulatory footage of how “Idol Gives Back” spent the 75 mill donated by AI viewers is enough to make Angelina Jolie weep with envy. There’s grateful, sobbing children in matching Boys & Girls Club t-shirts, lines of people snarfing up meals in soup kitchens, more kids waving around some donated books, and shots of wildfires and hurricanes without any clear indication of what IGB did for disaster relief. Anyway, it’s all very nice of them and you can donate the money you haven’t spend on iTunes downloading stuff, or whatever you have left from purchasing your new Explorer Hybrid.
There’s three Idols yet who are still wringing their hands anxiously in the wings, and Ryan lets Ramiele Malubay (who, for two consecutive nights, has appeared in my cast-off clothes from 1987) off the hook first and sends her to the sofas. Jason Castro and Kristy Lee Cook are called out together, and though Kristy Lee has spent enough time on the silver stools to have her name engraved on one, her fiendishly clever patriotic anthem-singing has saved her from the bottom 3. It’s a bit of a buzzkill for Jason, but he doesn’t spend enough time with fellow cellar-dwellers Syesha and Chikeze to have his mellow completely harshed, as Ryan almost immediately sends him back to the safety of the sofas. Simon sneers something about Chikeze’s main problem being that practically everyone else is better than him, and he & Randy argue a bit about whether or not Syesha was brilliant the previous night. It all hardly matters, as neither Syesha nor Chikeze had a snowball’s chance of making the final three, so it’s pretty anticlimactic when Ryan proclaims Syesha to be safe. Chikeze looks dejected, his family in the audience boos, and Ramiele cries. We’ve been here before, and we’ll be here again next Wednesday. Probably with Syesha, as I can’t see how she’s going to survive Dolly Parton week.
If you manage to reach Ryan during viewer calls, make sure to ask Paula what’s really in her cup. Then ask her to stand and touch her nose with her eyes closed.