Ryan Seacrest tells us that not only did Americans blister their dialing fingers in mind-boggling numbers this week – logging 51 million votes – the top three of the final four Idols were within one million votes of each other. Equally mind-boggling to me is how Syesha Mercado is that close to David Cook. I need to stop getting so wound up about it, though – and since I just say no to drugs, I’ll take the contact high I get from focusing on Jason Castro and his funkalicious dreads. Aaaahhhh. I feel better already. I’m even up for a group sing.
Archie reels in the votes
Before we get into that, however, we have to take some time to allow Ryan to scold Randy Jackson about being such a big meanie to Syesha the previous evening. Randy wasn’t feeling Syesha’s emotional meltdown moment during her rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”, which apparently had something to do with civil rights, Barack Obama, and girlhood dreams. Randy is standing his ground because he totally doesn’t buy that Syesha is capable of being that sincere. Okay, maybe I’m projecting my own thoughts here just a little, but dammit, I just can’t figure how someone can be in the bottom two or three nearly every week of the competition and STILL make the top four. It completely defies all odds, but it gives me hope that Erik can actually win Survivor: Micronesia. Ryan turns to Paula, who primly says that her life-affirming encouragement of the performance was meant to help give Syesha her “moment of recognition”. This makes Syesha go all snively again, but she’s not about to mess up her eye makeup two nights in a row and she recovers with beauty-pageant ease. Simon, who’s over the Syesha thing, professes to be surprised about the number of bad song choices last night.
Speaking of bad song choices! The chat about Syesha was pretty much of a buzzkill all on its own, but now we have what’s possibly The Worst Group Sing Number of all time – a piece of 1970’s AM radio dreck from Grammy darlings Steely Dan, “Reelin’ In The Years”. Not only are the lyrics bizarrely inappropriate for such a young group of singers, the Idols, not surprisingly, look like they’re being forced to perform at gunpoint. They sway unconvincingly and look terribly relieved when it’s finally over. Oh, Simon, you throw the word “abomination” around so casually, when it should really be saved up for something like this.
After Ryan plugs the upcoming AI tour, and a deadly dull rehash of the previous night’s performances – TIVO viewers, just fast forward through it all and instead go to MotherSister’s hall-of-fame worthy recap – it’s time to proclaim David Archuleta safe. It’s obvious that he’s going to coast to the finals, of course, but it’s Ryan’s job to pretend there may be a sliver of doubt. David A. is thus called up first, and does his usual nervous giggling and tremulously says something about connecting with the songs. Before he actually sinks into the stage floor, Ryan sends him scuttling off to the sofas of safety.
Running away to join the Cirque
Final four = results show filler time. Tonight’s time-wasting exercise is extensive footage of the Idols being whisked off to Las Vegas aboard a well-appointed 737, which even includes a bed for Jason Castro to relax in and dream his Bob Marley dreams in. The Idols land to hordes of screaming fans, and Jason is grabbed in a headlock by one adoring young lady. The Idols then spend some time frolicking with dolphins and getting makeovers, but the whole point of the trip is to see a Cirque du Soleil show that has something to do with the Beatles. We see clips of some fierce acrobatics performed by people with mop-top wigs set to Beatles hits, and it’s all so surreal that I really can’t blame Jason for forgetting the words to “Mr. Tambourine Man”. Who could remember song lyrics with this kind of distraction?
Reality (well, reality FOX-style) comes crashing back with more results and Ryan calls up the next obviously safe Idol, David Cook. David is greeted with ecstatic shrieks from the fangirls, who remain loyal even after the mediocrity of his performances last night. Randy weighs in with some life-affirming encouragement of his own for David, who mutters something about not being in his usual molten-blazing-hot zone last night. Of course it doesn’t matter a bit, as David C. joins David A.
as the final twoon the sofas. Perennial cellar-dwellers Syesha and Jason shuffle onstage together, but we’re only halfway through tonight, and you know what that means…viewer calls. Lots and lots of viewer calls.
Sir 007 and our next Bachelor, David Cook
First, though, there’s a Ford commercial, so odd and unappealing even among AI Ford spots that I’m thinking they’re losing interest as a sponsor. It’s set to “Ring of Fire” (by the way, that sound you just heard was indeed Johnny Cash turning over in his grave) and the final four are dressed as pastel-hued bullfighters. Yeah. Oh, and Marilyn Manson’s makeup artist had a go at Syesha. It’s getting very surreal again in here, so much that I’ve forgotten the lyrics to “Mr. Tambourine Man” now as well. Quick, middle America, bring me back with some inane questions for our Idols!
Emily from Pennsylvania asks David Cook for a date. A ballsy move, considering how many other fans have claimed David for their own, though of course it doesn’t hurt to ask. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. David, who must be spending many lonely nights in his hotel room strumming his guitar and watching “High School Musical 2” with David Archuleta, seems interested in Emily’s proposal and asks her what she’d like to do on the date. Emily starts describing a dream date in Pittsburgh *snort* and Ryan offers to put her on hold and get her number for David off-air. Dave, if I hear about you actually going out on a date with this Emily, I swear I’ll buy your CD.
Sarah, 14, from Indiana, wants to know what everyone’s biggest challenge has been thus far. Syesha says it’s
failing to convince us that she really is the next Whitneystage fright *snort snort*, David A. says an overbearing stage dad“dunno”, and Jason says it’s his inability to score good pothis brain being dead. Wait, that one I actually believe. David Cook doesn’t respond, but I expect his answer would have something to do with being the only sane one left in the bunch.
Alison in South Carolina wants to know why Simon hasn’t been knighted yet. Hey, Ryan could be his court jester! He would look awesome in one of those hats with the little bells on it, and he’s the right size too. Teresa from Detroit wants to know if any of the artists the Idols have covered have given them any feedback, and David C. mentions that Raine Maida called him and said some nice stuff. Marla, 45, suggests that Simon be considered as the next James Bond. Simon smirks and says he really likes the questions tonight. I really like them today too – much more entertaining than a performance from pop-rock drones Maroon 5, for instance.
Everybody must get stoned
Oops. Looks like Maroon 5 is actually in the house. They do something called “If I Never See Your Face Again”, and you can insert your own punch line here. I fast-forwarded through the whole thing because Adam Levine really, really bugs me. Better just to watch the next performance, from The Nicest Idol Runner-Up Ever, Bo Bice. Even though I’m not a particular fan of Bo’s, the guy is so darn likeable that I just can’t pan his performance, though I do wish he’d shave off that scruffy beard. Bo struts out with his electric guitar and sings a song called “Witness”, which is a little bit Skynyrd, a little bit ZZ Top, with a touch of Edgar Winters and a dash of Pat Travers thrown in. Bo sure reels in the years with his musical influences, doesn’t he? Still, it’s lots of fun and I feel like I should be in a barroom wearing my tightest jeans and drinking bottled beer. Twenty years ago. Bo plugs his new CD, graciously thanks the American Idol Powers That Be for the opportunity, and everyone cheers at his announcement that he’s about to become a daddy once again. Geez, he’s such a nice guy. The only thing that could harsh my newfound mellow now is hearing that Syesha is safe again.
Yeah, that. Jason and Syesha are called up front and center once again, and Jason hilariously comments that someone told him that he “shot the Tambourine Man” by forgetting the lyrics the previous night. As a parting line, it’s pretty good. And it’s indeed his parting line, as Syesha is proclaimed safe. After the usual video journey, Ryan laughingly tells Jason he looks relieved, and Jason agrees, saying that three songs next week was just too much for him to handle. It’s the best-humored exit in Idol history, and Jason chuckles his way through “I Shot The Sheriff” as he sings the show out. If only every elimination could be this fun. Well, I guess Syesha’s elimination next week will be fun of a different kind, at that.
Dazed and confused that Syesha still survives? Me too. PM me.