American Idol has all of a sudden gone Dancing with the Stars, as evidenced by the way this week’s results show opens, with footage of the kids stalking around a dark, backlit warehouse attempting to have game faces on accompanied by meta-commentary from people tangentially involved in the show. Oh wait, I get it. Like a movie trailer. This … is American Idol Movie Week: First Blood Part II.
No judges’ strut tonight, but Ryan of course will not relinquish the crystal stair. He seems strangely subdued tonight, but that may just be in comparison to the mass of screaming mimis in the audience who go crazy, go wild when he announces that Teen Queen Music Dream
Possible RacistHannah Montana herself will be there, dressed as Miley Cyrus. Also, J-Hud. Hooray!
And now we kick it to the contestants. This week’s sweet Ford pimpage comes courtesy of a song called “Freeze Frame,” and a conceit wherein the remaining Idols’ faces all make the covers of various generic magazines. Kris is the feature for Record Rack, for instance, while Anoop is expected to sell the slightly more dated Tunes Today. Our sweet cherry red Ford sighting happens as Matt drives up to news stand in his sweet cherry red Ford of some sort and bops to the hep magazine tune. It’s hard to convey in words how much of a non-experience this video is, but I hope you got some idea.
Group sing! “Maniac,” thanks to this week’s theme. Kris and Allison start with a tag team again, and are awesome, although Allison’s vowels are getting muddier by the week. Keep it vertical, girl! They’re followed by Anoop and Matt’s segment, wherein they both sound better than they have recently. All four of them then link up like Power Rangers on the platform in front of Judges’ Row to try and harmonize together. Meanwhile, over on the balconies, Adam and Danny are skulking around and using their diaphragms to beat your ears into submission, and finally here comes Lil strutting out on the stage to bring everyone back together for a triumphant finish. Or, as triumphant as it can be without water and spandex.
Chat time. Nobody knows why Quentin Tarantino is qualified to mentor a music anything, and so Adam explains that Quentin really likes music. All clear? This year’s requisite movie premiere outing/cross-promotion thing happened, and they all went in a limo to see a movie which you can also currently see, right now. People took their pictures, and they all loved this particular film, so it was time well spent. Y’all know I didn’t watch that.
I was too busy wishing for the lights to be dimmed. And now here they go! I hardly know what to do with this wish fulfilled, so I better just settle in and watch the beginning of the results circus. Tonight we begin with Allison. Everyone loved her Aerosmith, and Kara said she had “special sauce.” Ryan asks Allison to try and speak coherently about the judges’ love fest and she can’t because she’s a geeky 16 year old, and then she’s safe. Adam is happy for her, probably more so because he’s also totally safe. Anoop: he’s still trying to get comfortable with the competition, even though as Ryan points out he’s always in the bottom three so what’s the use of getting comfortable at all. Anoop says he’s okay with that, and Ryan’s like, “Great,” because once again, little Noopy is headed for the loser stools.
Jennifer Hudson used to be an AI contestant, so they have lots of free footage of her singing and talking and stuff, so why not use it to build a lengthy retrospecticus of her Idol career. The one that in no way mirrors her post-Idol career of Oscar and Grammy winning fun times and superstardom. Then, we talk about Dreamgirls and “Spotlight” for a little bit and Jennifer talks about coming back to the show in victory like a girl who’s recovered her reputation. Then she sings. “If It Isn’t Love,” which as a song is pretty unremarkable, but which gets some heft from having a fantastic voice sing it. J-Hud looks just a bit uncomfortable on stage, almost like she’s regressed to contestant again, like she’s expecting to be judged on personality or what she’s wearing after she’s finished. What really happens though, is a kind of awkward interview with Ryan, where she’s caught off guard by the mention of her tour with Robin Thicke and can’t really think of anything to say to market her album. I think she really just likes singing. I think she’s awesome. Also, she’s engaged, but it’s a secret when she’ll be married.
Meanwhile. Anoop is still lonely over in loserdom, so we must remedy that. After we talk about how much Anoop didn’t expect to be there, nor did Paula expect it of him. Next we have Kris Allen vs. Lil Rounds. This should be a no-brainer, as Kris continues to have soulful eyes and stuff, and Lil continues to be trounced by the judges no matter what she does. Ryan asks her how it feels to be so trounced all the time, and she says some more of the stuff she said before. We never find out why it’s okay for Anoop to sass back, but not Lil, and then Lil gets sent to the bottom three, wig and all. She and Anoop share a terrorist fist bump and are adorable, if beleaguered. Matt vs. Gokey now; Matt tried to un-lameify “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” or whatever that song is called, and nobody liked it. Matt says he’d take a do-over if he could. Gokey shall not fail, even though Simon said he was bored with his version of “Endless Love.” Danny reasserts his faith in his rendition, so suck it, Simon. Matt trudges over to the other losers and no one is shocked not even one bit. Kara attempts sincerity and fails as she says she loves them all but this is indeed the proper bottom three. Then Anoop gets to go back to the couches yet again and breathe easy until this same time next week.
This … Is American Idol’s Latest Stab at Becoming Event TV Again
Briefly imagine Miley Cyrus singing a song. Now, let’s go back to the results! Ryan asks Simon if either of the bottom two would be worth saving, and he again tries to be cryptic about which one it would be. After the break, we find out that – shock of all shocks to my system – it is indeed Matt who is this week’s Ultimate Loser. Lil is also shocked, and maybe a little sorry as she hugs Matt, who now has to “sing for his life,” while the judges “deliberate.” The deliberation gestures are getting stupider and more ostentatious week to week; I think next time Randy might actually smack somebody in the face with his flailing meat hook. Matt looks tense but the crowd is going bananas for him and demanding the Simon save him. I think they will riot. Especially after Simon says Matt was worse than last night and has no chance to win. But then … he gets saved anyway, because this show loves this show. And now I know they will riot, because in Ryan’s words, “history has been made,” and they were all a part of it. All the other contestants bumrush the stage to share in Matt’s joy, and in all the joy sharing and whatnot, everyone is allowed to forget that next week is Disco Week, until Simon brings us crashing back to Earth.
And we bid movie songs adieu. Tune in next week to see Matt and Lil hit the road, plus everyone else trying to embarrass themselves as little as humanly possible while singing disco tunes. One man is happy about this theme, and one man only: Lambert.