Ask not what Rock Week can do for you but what you can do for Rock Week. Right? While Adam's answer to that call was a whole lotta radiant love, Gokey polluted the planet with a whole lot of eardrum-splitting inhumane howling that has already gone down as the worst auditory crime in AI history and will live forever as a tragic Youtube video. It's difficult to overstate just how brilliant Rock Week was one the one hand and how tortuously painful on the other. Who will pay the price of Gokey's folly tonight? Read on.
Seacrest, the numbers man, announces that 64 million votes came in Tuesday night. Yes, that's about as many votes as President Obama got. I gave Obama my one and only vote but I gave Adam about ten. Yes, this awful cynic who considers voting to be far beneath her as a painful waste of time and dignity, broke down Tuesday night and did the unthinkable... ten entire times. Obviously, I've reached the apogee of what I consider my AI fandom. Perhaps Gokey's scream scrambled some of my brain cells until I was rendered a helpless, quivering Adambot or perhaps I'm just fishing for an excuse. I expect this strange high to last another two weeks after which I'll be back to my former obnoxious vote-disdaining moral superiority. For now, I'm still content to wallow in the filthy voting mosh pit and being elbowed by the great unwashed AI multitudes.
Before we can find out which three of the final four can have a cheesy, embarrassing hometown parade, such luminaries as No Doubt and Daughtry are in the house. Paula Abdul is also on hand to prove once and for all that she can lipsynch as well as any plastic pop princess out there.
Ford Slash school
Even the above mentioned filler must be padded with more fat, however, and Ford was busy again this week churning out another pointless commercial that nobody cares about. This one features a gleaming red Ford Fusion and the idols as paper cutouts among other things. I think the commercial is working 'cause it sure makes me want to buy another Toyota...
The equally pointless group sing is next. This one is an homage to Rock Week and from all appearances it's supposed to be right up my alley what with Slash on guitar, the idols belting out School's out and a full rock band behind them. It's not bad precisely but not a standout either. Slash mumbles a few words from beneath his unruly locks and signature leather top hat about his upcoming project that will feature lots of rock singers. My interest is duly piqued. Moving on.
Delusion, thy name be praised
Ten minutes into the show and Seacrest finally turns to the final four to hear their feelings about elimination night. I'd normally cut out the chit chat but I feel generous today. Chalk it up to my temporary insanity. Gokey says Wednesday nights put him to sleep and resident good boy Kris just feels grateful to have made it this far. Simon chimes in that “[they] don't want humble anymore”. Well, there goes Kris' whole angle. Adam loved his outfit and loved doing the first ever Led Zeppelin song on AI.
Next, Seacrest gives Gokey a chance to reflect on his infamous death scream of the previous night. He offers a heartfelt mea culpa for his auditory rape of millions of AI fans as big crocodile tears stream down his cheeks. He also offers to pay for our collective pain and suffering by devoting his remaining days to the noble cause of fighting concert-induced ear damage by promising to never ever hold a concert himself. No, not really. He says he watched the whole mess on tape and simply laughed. Gokey thought his horrifying scream was.... funny. Funny! Yeah, and we were laughing too. Only we were laughing at you, Gokey! Next.
Music: Tragically poisoned and stabbed to death in one night after a long fruitful life.
A lavish video package of Paula's greatest achievements rolls as Seacrest introduces her very first performance on the AI stage. Her song is called I'm just here for the music which could be an apropos to her role on AI, or a profound commentary on her life, or both. Lights are dimmed and there she is at the top of the stairs wearing a super short black lace corset dress and high heels being hunted by a bouquet of male dancers with cameras. Ah, an ever deeper commentary on a celebrity's sad lot in life as a victim of paparazzi greed! She descends the stairs and that's where all philosophy ends and ridiculousness begins. I don't know which is worse the lipsynching, the standard issue lab created dance track, the fog machine, the Madonna circa Material Girl vibe, Paula mouthing into a standing mic while already wearing a mic on her head or the sheer grandiosity and pathetic affectation of it all. In the end, Paula throws out a sexy glance and walks off purring that “[she]'s just here for the music”, or I guess what she thinks might be music, which could explain a lot. More so than my previous guess of vodka in her Coke cup.
One cringe-worthy moment down with another lined up. Sadly, this next unholy disaster comes courtesy of the newly reunited No Doubt. My excitement at seeing Gwen rocking it with her old peeps, and without her Harajuku crowd, is severely dampened the minute she opens her mouth to sing. The No Doubt anthem, I'm just a girl, is reduced to a breathy, harried, amateurish mess than only a tone-deaf Gwenbot could love. I'm not sure whether she was trying to prove that one can still punk ska convincingly postpartum or whether she was actually brilliantly mitigating No Doubt's AI sell-out coefficient with the worst possible performance but I just wish I didn't have to see it. Or hear it. I'll spare you detailed descriptions of the insanity. You don't want to read about Gwen doing push-up behind the judges' table anyway, trust me. Consider this my semi-annual gift to you.
Thirty three minutes of showtime have been efficiently killed so far. By now, the entire AI live audience ,and I suspect a great deal of people watching at home, are numb after such painful preliminaries. Perhaps it's a new AI strategy: put your audience in a coma and perhaps the results won't send them out into the streets with pitchforks and baseball bats. If that was the goal, it succeeded remarkably well.
We first get a video of past idols triumphantly returning to their hometowns to take part in a uniquely American form of celebrity worship: the homecoming parade. Whereas overseas you get a parade when your coffin is being marched down to the local cemetery, in America you get a parade if you can sing your way to the top three group on American Idol. Weeping relatives are replaced by weeping preteen fans, bouncing cheerleaders and a motorcade of limos, solemn respect by effusive displays of inexplicable mass hysteria.
Seacrest says that the finalists will be announced in random order and the idols are herded center stage for the verdict. After repeating the judges' critiques, Seacrest immediately declares humble puppy, Kris, safe. He is clearly shocked by his good fortune. And a good fortune it is to be safe after his mealy mouthed rendition of Come together and Gokey's best attempts to shove him in front of an eighteen-wheeler during their duet.
But before anyone can digest this somewhat startling result, an old face is back on the AI stage. Daughtry, living testament of the power of a surprise AI elimination, is here to debut his/their new single No surprise. No surprise here, I like it. Daughtry, the band, is lyrically straightforward, musically between a Nickelback-ish rock and a hard, uniquely melodic place but far enough removed from both, so that I don't feel the need no hide my iPod playlist from anybody. I can just leave it at home when I go to a legit rock concert, but I digress. They certainly more than make up for those two horrendous earlier performances.
Finally, we're back to real results. Adam is sent to safety next which means that the candles, the chanting, the meditation and my 10 glorious votes worked. Amazing. Unfortunately this means that Allison is now facing Gokey in what I hope was the actual bottom two of the night, even if AI is too chicken to acknowledge it. Not surprisingly preacher Gokey is safe and Allison is going home. Her video tribute chronicles her time on the show and how her hair went from brassy red, cheap single process color to sophisticated deep red with purple and black lowlights. A transformation that could be a metaphor for her growth on the show as well.
Allison's goodbye performance of Joplin's Cry baby has everything that it lacked Tuesday night in the emotional connection department. Perhaps the pain of elimination and the sudden relief of pressure combined to infuse a deeper sincerity where previously she couldn't mimic Joplin's drug tinged brilliance. Definitely a case of too little too late and not enough motivated fans to overcome Gokey's crusading army of voters.
Next week, it's a two song per head week, one the judges' choice and one the contestants' personal choice. Be here because MotherSister and I are dedicated to the cause and we're ready to march on straight to the big finale for your recap-reading pleasure.