So, I know you know Group One of the supposedly stacked deck turned out to be more of a wobbly house of cards. On a waterbed. These kids sucked so hard I think some of them should now have permanently sculpted cheekbones. And here is where we reap the benefit of this wacky Top 36 scenario; since only 3 people are guaranteed to move forward after last night’s travesty, there’s only the slimmest chance of anyone truly heinous slipping into the real competition. Of course I truly can’t even think of three who deserve the honor of moving on after last night, but it doesn’t matter what I think since I am not America. I know that’s a shock, but try to process it quickly because we’re moving on to the show!
Lest Ye Be Judged
24 million votes cast; that’s up 10 million from this time last year when people were still pissed about Season 6. Ryan takes yet another stab at explaining this convoluted selection process: top boy and girl are automatically in, along with the next highest vote-getter of any gender. Then something about a wild card, but that’s too much to go into tonight so we’ll work on that another night after we do state capitals and figures of Greek mythology. Oh, and the judges are here. Woot.
Randy, Paula, and Kara say the same thing about how terribly disappointing everything was last night, but only Kara takes Ryan’s bait and names names: Casey, Stevie, Stephen, and Simon. Ahaha, because she said Simon that makes the rest of it not horribly cruel at all. Then innuendo, or an entendre or something. It went over my head. Ryan asks Simon to judge Kara’s first live judging experience. Because he hates Kara, I’m pretty sure. Simon takes the opportunity to smarm sarcastically about how much Kara’s judging skills make feel good about the world again. Now here’s a boring montage of all the stuff we’ve seen from the contestants already, and then the First Official Live Results Show Opening Ceremonies are done.
In This Together
OMG GROUP SING! I hadn’t realized how much I missed these things until I saw the wide shot of everybody on stage in staggered formation. They’re singing something called “I’m Yours,” a ska-ish number that’s completely foreign to me. Brent Keith and Sarver stand together and sing to remind you that they’re two different people while Anoop chills in the background; Gokey, Stephen, and the strange man who I think answers to the name of Ricky jump in next, while all the girls “ooh” prettily; then many girls sing real words, Tatiana steals camera wherever she goes, Danny Gokey will cause me an aneurysm. Sarver looks so happy to be there, which is cute. Stevie and Anne Marie try to redeem themselves from last night’s embarrassment, which is earnest. I have to say these people are blending together better than any group who has group sung before.
Performance recap: Ryan calls last night’s spectacle a very “raw” show, with a wink and a smile to let us know he knows it was a travesty too. Jackie flailed around like Kermit, Ricky did a good job and still he is an apparition, many, many people were awful, Tatiana sang well like we already knew she would because that’s life, but she did it without the BASE jumping that got her here and so the judges were perplexed. Alexis dyed her hair pink, and Danny Gokey saves the world every day when he opens his eyes.
No Time to Lose
Semifinal Top Whatever episodes always have plenty of room to breathe, so now we get contestant chatter. Ryan asks Jackie Tohn to rate her Tuesday performance and she says something Juno-y about Olympic scoring and report cards before giving herself a B+/A-. There has to be a curve in there I’m unaware of. Anoop is very put together which makes Ryan nervous so he strives to make Anoop nervous by reminding him that America holds his future in our collective hands, which does the trick. Tatiana says more about her dream and just will not give the producers what they want in terms of madness. Clearly one of two things has taken place between Hollywood and now; someone showed this girl a tape of herself on the show and so she had a stroke, or she’s a Svengali-like genius whose master plan has only just begun. Either way, I’d still like to see her publicly shamed. Perhaps stocks could be involved. Stevie Wright’s heart is breaking but she has the maturity to keep it together. All of a sudden, Ryan’s showing us the three coveted chairs, and it’s time for the results rigmarole!
Casey Carlson is up for reckoning first. Ryan reads back some of the judges’ comments and she trembles in her fluted skirt and heavy, heavy hair before saying that she ultimately had a grand old time out there on stage singing horribly and being reamed by the people hired to judge her. Randy likes that Casey knows she blew, and then we “find out” that Casey didn’t make the cut. No surprises re: Stephen Fowler either. Alexis Grace in a silly straw boater gets in though – hooray, no Tatiana for you! – and she cries, and her parents look straight out of a Todd Solondz film, and then she has to sing again. This is much better than having 9 losers do the sing-outs, huh? And, let me take this first chance to say that the new chrome microphones are absolutely ridiculous. Meanwhile, Alexis sings her same watered down Aretha deal in her raspy voice, and wherever Amanda Overmeyer is I’m sure she’s wishing she were better adjusted. One down.
Blue Collar Coup
Ricky Braddy and Jackie Tohn take center stage together because we’ve been done said goodbye to the halfway point and the show has to get on the road. Neither one of them set the world on fire with their performances. Ricky’s “A Song for You” was dull and Jackie’s “A Little Less Conversation” was laughable, although she insists contrary to Simon that she did a fun, upbeat job. We disagree there.
Noop Dog and Sarver troop out to hear their fates; Anoop’s “Angel of Mine” was a bit too smooth and not enough jazz. I don’t remember what the complaints were about Sarver’s “I Don’t Want to Be,” but I kind of dug it. There’s a pretty even chance for either of them tonight, and Randy and Kara both drone about something to that effect. I could really lose Kara at this point, for all she’s supposed to be adding to the show. Sarver says his “heart is pounding out of [his] chest,” but Anoop’s cool. Until Ryan announces that Sarver made it in and Anoop didn’t! Oh wait, no. That’s me that’s not cool. Anoop is still cucumber like; I’m the one yelling “WHAT?” at the TV. My mistake. See you in the Wild Card Singoff Showdown, boy! Michael reprises his song and weeps for joy at the prospect of escaping the Oil Rig for at least another three weeks. That’s another cool thing about this awful setup: since the groups are all spread out most everyone can get a nice vacation before the real show starts.
Ryan wants you to know that “only” 20,000 votes separated Anoop and Michael. You really let me down, Ithaca.
There is now a verified American Idol Land, somewhere in California. Follow the trail of pixie dust, Coke, old grey t-shirts, and dreams, and you’re sure to find it. Meanwhile, Michael Johns and Carly Smithson! find their way onstage because they sometimes work together, and I’m happy because they are two of the few alumni of this show I would rather see doing something than nothing. Ryan makes Carly tell how the airline lost her weave and she had to go to an “Asian” neighborhood to find new hair. I don’t know what’s up with that, but the hair looks fly. They deploy their warring Aussie and Irie accents on “The Letter” yet again, and the contestants try to clap like they’re thinking of things besides how they could get rid of Danny Gokey between now and the time Carly and Michael finish singing.
It’s a no go on the assassination, so results proceed as before, except we’re not dragging the kids back and forth anymore; Anne Marie, Brent, and Stevie just have to stand in place while Ryan crushes their dreams with his cue cards. I am loving Stevie for her stoic face though. I really think she’ll be okay. There’s college or something back there.
If you’re a savvy Idol watcher, you probably knew before we began that we’d end up with Tatiana and Danny standing side by side waiting to hear the final name called. I take it back; you don’t even have to be savvy to predict that. Just sentient. So, Tatiana and her horrible pink lipstick and aluminum foil dress and questionable mental state. Gokey and his glasses. That’s our kinder, gentler Idol there. Ryan tries to get Tatiana to put on a show for us but somewhere inside she’s discovered she is a person so all she can do is say “faith, love, dreams, please” and beg him to get on with things. Danny says he’s “overwhelmed by the unknown.” Yeah. Paula gets to say how it’s hard to say which one of them gets the spot. She says vote or die, and then she says Danny’s the winner. Tatiana is withering like a fish on a line; Danny’s looking at her like he can make her burst into flames. And then, after the break. You knew it was coming!
So, after the break: they’re both still on stage looking awkward. Oh, man. What if it’s Tatiana? What if, in actuality I know nothing about this world in which we live and have to pack my bags and rocket to the moon because I just don’t understand? It’s a suspenseful moment.
And then Danny goes through. Tatiana “cries” and trembles, and people go to hug her but hesitate and then do it anyway, and of course I feel sorry for her both because I’m a sucker, and also because it has to hurt to realize that not even your expertly honed double barrel assault of patented one-of-a-kind crazy can stop a one man schmaltz band. To wit, we cut away from her grief as soon as possible to see more of Danny closing the show, pointing at the camera and calling us all heroes just for being. Also here’s a picture of Danny and his dead wife for you to look at, just because you’re nice.
Group Two ahoy! Take note: They’ll be performing on Wednesday and booking group therapy on Thursday. Now dancing in the dorky dancing room are a bunch of people I don’t know: Megan Corkrey, Kris Allen, Mishavona Henson, Breitzke, Allison Something, Matt Giraud doing the Cabbage Patch, Jasmine Murray still with all the makeup, Kai Kalama looking like the old man in the club, Jesse Langseth, Dread Pirate Adam Lambert, Jeanine Vails who I would swear has never been seen on this show before, and #!@*T&*^ Normund Gentle.
This season is exhausting, am I right? Three more times to do these gigantic eliminations. Hopefully this tedious process will pay off in a really fantastic Top 12. I want to tell you though, if at the end of three weeks there’s not a wild card with Anoop’s name engraved on it, my wrath will rain down upon this world like a plague of frogs. That is to say I will make a whole lot of annoying noise until my ire is spent and the world has sufficiently learned its lesson.
I feel I’m going to need a Gokey drinking game to get through this season. I’m set for whenever he sports a new color of eyeglass frames. Any other sugestions?