It was Disco night and it felt, well, if not precisely all right then at least it didn't frighten with cheesy fros, bell bottoms and rash inducing polyester costumes. Instead, the scariest parts came from some of the singing. AI is ditching two people tonight, which can only be a good thing. Right? Let's get to it.
Seacrest arrives in all his glory to announce that since it's Earth Day and all that, AI will be celebrating with “green power” on finale night courtesy of Nokia, some big Disco era names will be doing a medley tonight and Puppy Archuleta is here to croon, probably something terribly cutesy or inspirational or both. Oh, joy. Now I'll have no excuse not to do my laundry.
Dance and lipsynch
This week's unnecessary time-wasting diversion will feature a choreographed group number. Seacrest says this one is making history because, for the first time, Paula is choreographing the thing. Wow. Make sure the Smithsonian is notified. Our 7 finalists take to the dance studio with Paula to master some moves and even have time for a break so Matt could download a song with his amazing new – I'm assuming - Nokia phone. Why, that is such an amazing coincidence!
The number itself, set to the Jackson Five's Dance and Shout, has all the elements that Disco night lacked namely cheesy polyester 70s costumes, moves that haven't been seen since the heydays of Studio 54 and some expert lipsynching to go with it all. As weekly group numbers go this is no better or worse than the rest but it effectively kills at least 4 minutes of show time which is all that matters anyway. After some adoration for Paula which includes loud cheers from the audience, kisses from the contestants, a big hydrangea bouquet and a mini interview on-stage with Paula herself, it's finally time to move on to some commercials and the weekly Ford video.
This one has the contestants toiling away at such real world jobs as cooking, construction and pet grooming by day, and driving in their brand new Ford SUV over to some karaoke bar presumably for some evening time fun. Luckily, there're only seven of them so they all fit inside. Fascinating.
Not every woman
Soon everyone is back on stage, changed out of their hideous 70's duds and we're finally on to some results. The lights get dimmer and Lil is up first. After a reminder of the tough judging she received on show night, she is directed to stand at the far side of the stage where she is quickly given the bad news that she's out of the competition. Everyone gives her a standing ovation after which we're treated to an encore of Every woman. If I were a more conscientious recapper I guess I'd feel a moral obligation to listen to this awful karaoke mess one more time, but it turns out I am not. There are some things that simply bear no repeating. So I fast forward to the part where she screams one last time and Paula says that she sang at the top of her game. A few more platitudes from the judges, some hugs from her fellow contestants and off she goes.
Before anyone can be declared safe, AI must waste another 10 minutes so it's guest appearance time. A gaggle of Disco's biggest stars are here to prove they're still alive and do a medley for us. The first one marches in and it's Frieda Payne, whom I've never heard of before. She sparkles in a see through gold dress and looks quite well preserved if a bit heavily botoxed. Her weak, breathy voice is another matter. The whole thing is quite painful to listen to. Finally Frieda is done, just in time before she needs to be resuscitated, and introduces Thelma Houston who is wearing a fashionably yellow colored dress with an asymmetrical hem that was probably designed for a prom going 17 year old girl.
At least she's singing Don't leave me this way, which I recognize. At the end of her song, Thelma introduces the KC part of the old KC and the Sunshine Band who is a portly, balding dude in a red shirt backed by four buxom female background singer/dancers. Oh, so he's the one responsible for wedding reception staple Get down tonight! Who knew? I'm sure the dude was hot at one time but now... Sorry, had to speed him up a bit. Aging, forgotten Disco queens leave me cold.
Somebody always pays
After that sad segment, Ryan is ready to throw out some more results. The lights get dimmed, the dramatic music plays and Kris is called on to hear the good news that he is staying another week.
Adam is next and, shockingly, he is immediately eliminated and Ryan announces that AI decided to save electricity in honor of Earth Day by cutting off the last half hour of the show. Ok, just kidding. He's safe and we're on to Gokey. He's wearing contacts again and when asked whether he thought Simon saying he was clumsy was justified, Danny launches into a long rambling speech about meditation and how he figured out what Simon was saying even though he still has no clue what Simon meant. Even Paula looks a bit perplexed at that explanation and Simon, despite Ryan's call to explain himself, is unwilling to expand on his criticism telling Ryan to just go back to the results. Score one for the Simonator! As for Gokey, he's safe again. Another fake surprised smirk and he takes a seat. Ah, the drudgery of this weekly routine!
Anoop is next and he is in the bottom three which means that either Matt or Allison will be joining him at the losers' stools on the other side of the stage. As I stare fascinated at Matt's mole Ryan announces that Matt is safe, sending Allison to sit with Anoop. The mole lives on! Which one of them will be getting drunk with Lil tonight? Find out after the filler.
Cheese! Now with almost 10% of real milk per slice!
Perfectly housebroken AI puppy, David Archuleta, has not been seem for a while, which, all in all, was a good thing. However, he is here now and ready to belt out something that's not Imagine. This one's called Touch my hand and it's an inspirational ballad disguised by a mild standard Disney dance beat. You know, it's like the old trick of making the medicine go down better by pouring it over a spoonful of sugar. As part of the disguise, Archie is also wearing a checkered tie - wow, edgy! - and practicing his best Jonas Brothers moves as he squints into the camera and delivers such highbrow lyrics as "I never knew what this song meant, but now I do/ Reach out and touch my hand, reach out as far as you can/ Can't let the music stop until I touch your hand". Yeah, I'll be off to iTunes right after the show to download... something else. Something less cheesy and infinitely less embarrassing. Like a Polka tune or something.
Strangely there are a couple dozen young girls in the front row cheering and clapping for Archie. Lucky for them, they all have their backs turned to the cameras or they might never live this down for as long as they have a MySpace page. Finally, Archie is done, trying to catch his breath and giving a pep talk to the bottom two about endless opportunities after the show and working hard and living your dream and such. If you have nothing better to do, you can catch Archie 2.0 touring with Demi Lovato this summer.
Dim all the lights
There's nothing left now but to send somebody home and both Anoop and Allison look very nervous as they stand center stage. Ryan says that a record breaking – what else? - 45 million votes were cast and... Anoop is history. He doesn't look too surprised by this and has no trouble singing his song again which sounds as good or even better than it did on show night. In the end, Anoop says he's disappointed but he'll still be on the tour. After the usual goodbye video for Lil and Anoop, the show is finally over. The top five will be back next week to fight it out and the great MotherSister and I will be here to bitch about them all. Well, except for Adam's performances. He can do no wrong. Don't miss it.