Motown night boasted of few highlights and even less skillful instruction but it did make one thing crystal clear for me and that is that Motown night is boring. The songs are moldy and can't really be revitalized without major gutting and everybody sounds about 30 years older while singing them. The good news is that it's over and the other good news is that somebody will be going home to their Chevy kind of life tonight. Who ever it is, I doubt I'll miss them.
The studio audience is instructed to scream loudly while Lord Seacrest descends the glass staircase in majesty and approaches his eager supplicants to receive the adoration due to him. I almost feel the urge to genuflect and I might do so as soon as I stop snickering. Did you ever notice that it's not a terribly big audience? It seems there are more stage lights and props around than people. As Seacrest's fans squeal and scream on cue, surprise, surprise, another record had been broken on AI with 36 million votes, the highest ever for a top 10 show. Still none of them from me. I do apologize for that but I couldn't decide whether I like Adam's pancake makeup more of The Gawker's many hued plastic frames. I bet he wears contacts under them and the glass in those frames is just plain glass. Call me crazy.
Did you hear about that one time when President Obama wanted to have Simon over for dinner at the White House and Simon said thanks but no thanks? It turns out that it was just a joke. They actually bonded during Bingo night at the local Y instead. I hope that clears up all the confusion.
Guests - Now With Twice the High Fructose Corn Syrup!
Group sing time! Motown Medley – what else? - is the theme and it looks prerecorded to me. Not just that, but it's also being very obviously and very badly lipsynched. Why isn't Ashley Simpson on this show? She'd fit right in. The singing is average but the pimpage is first class. Lil, Gokey, Matt and Adam are mostly always nearest to the cameras.
In the weekly standard Ford video, the idols assemble a large picture of a road running through a meadow from pieces on the floor, then they drive Ford hybrids over the road in their dreams. Looks silly, but what I really want to know is how can Ford still afford to sponsor AI? Aren't they being bailed out by the government or something? Hmm. Back to the more important things now. Such as Ruben Studdard's guest appearance. The important thing about it being that a few yeah-yeah-yeahs and ooh, girl, ooh, baby, baby's in I decided to fast forward through it. It must have been hard work though because Ruben was sweating profusely there at the end. Why was he here exactly? Oh, yeah, it's this whole let's-bring-back-all-the-winners-even-the-ones-who-are-losers campaign AI's got going.
Incredibly it's time for the first elimination but not before we get another mention of the Idols flying off in a private jet to glamorous Detroit to visit the Motown studios. Yeah, we needed to hear that again. Right off the bat Adam is safe while Matt is in the bottom three and is sent to await his fate on the other side of the stage. Kris and Lil are safe but Sarver is off to join Matt in the bottom three. Wow, this is all moving quickly! Except you know AI does like to drag things out if they possibly can.
But wait! It's been a whole 10 minutes since AI's last filler performance so it's high time for another. Joss Stone, who has never seen a pair of shoes she'd want to own, is here to croon with Smokey Robinson, which is nice, but all I can think of is... Why? Of course they need to waste time somehow, but this pairing is odd and pretty useless. Joss Stone has a strong jazzy soul voice and I'm sure Smokey could sing back in the Stone Age, but right now he's embarrassingly bad. His voice is so weak and bland he can barely be heard so this performance actually consists of and over-Botoxed Smokey Robinson playing second fiddle to Joss Stone. In addition the lyrics are “you're the one for me, baby, ooh, everyone could see you're the one for me” accompanied by lots of creepy, suggestive smiling from Smokey. That's what I get for not fast forwarding through a special performance. I'll know better next time. The audience pretends to love it, Smokey beams and we finally get to move on.
Sing 'N Go – Fine Purveyors of Bargain Basement Performances Since 2009
There's one more spot in the bottom three, but Allison is safe. America loves Anoop so he's staying too, but next to be judged is frame-happy Gokey. When Seacrest recalls that Simon termed his performance of “Get ready” clumsy and amateurish the audience boos loudly for some reason and Gokey turns to Simon and snidely says “Thanks, Simon”. Gokey pretends to be stressed about his fate but it's all for show, and when, in a foregone conclusion, Seacrest pronounces him safe, he's ready with a condescending smirk that he directs straight at Simon as if saying “take that, bitch!” Every season there's one of these idiots who relatively early on develops a big ego and thinks that they take on Simon. Inevitably, they find out they can't. Can't wait. So the Gawker is safe and so is Megan but Scott is not. So Matt “Timberlake”, Michael “Gracin” and Scott “I-wanna-be-Elton-by-way-of-Michael-Buble” are in the bottom three and Seacrest says one of them is in danger of going home tonight. Just one of them? Bummer.
Randy says Matt should not be leaving. Seacrest immediately announces that Scott will be back to stink up the joint another night. Maybe they'll even give him a haircut now but I won't hold my breath. Soon they find out their fate and somebody will be singing for their life, because AI wants to kill some time together my already non-existent patience. However, we still have 16 minutes of show time left and that's plenty because this episode of AI can take another guest appearance. If they keep up this pace, by the end of the season AI could singlehandedly be employer to three or four hundred musicians. Now that's one way to fight the recession!
Stevie Wonder is here to pass the time singing a medley of Motown hits, most of them his own. Does this guy ever age? He looks the same as every other time I've seen him. The singing is the same kind of good too, so nothing earth shattering to report there. The good news is that due to Stevie only 5 minutes of show time are left. Matt is quickly saved and sent back to the chairs. He will be back to imitate Timberlake next week. Meanwhile, the circus continues as Sarver is forced to sing for his supper. In past seasons I've alternately complained about AI cutting off the losers' last song or the fact that they showed too much of it, depending on how bad the performance was. From where I'm sitting, and seeing as how there's no way the judges would save anybody but Adam or Gokey and maybe Lil, the final sing-and-go is just an elaborate ploy to make sure nobody switches the channel while the loser is sweating it for the last time.
Sarver ambles through his Motown pick pretending he doesn't know that this is it for him, the judges pretend to debate feverishly, I pretend to believe them and everyone is happy. Well except for Michael who is, of course, eliminated with a curt “It's a no” from Simon. And that's pretty much how it's going to go until it's time to save one of the judges' pets. Underwood screams her “Home sweet home” cover in the background as Michael's good-bye video plays.
Be back here next week as the fabulous MotherSister and I share with you the secrets of the AI universe and we try to figure out the fuzzy math behind those
bogus36 million votes.