Some good news first: Ratings for Idol are down 10% from last week. But, but... you say it's the “biggest show on the planet”!! Isn't that what Seacrest says every week? Oh, snap! This elimination episode, that Seacrust the Ringmaster says is the “most important episode of the season”, you know as opposed to those previous unimportant ones, starts off with a nauseatingly gratuitous montage of the stupidest judges in the history of all judges saying things like “IN IT TO WIN IT”, “you're amazing”, “you're on tonight” and other assorted glistening nuggets of criminal idiocy. It's the kind of three minute faux dramatic reality show vomit intro that the E! Channel would envy. They'd sell their elderly nursing home dwelling mothers for this stuff. And their pet parrots. It's kind of like a shortened version of American Idol as a whole. As I watch the faces in the Idol Hall of Fame flashing by – arguably the best part of this entire damn show every week – I remember to quickly fast forward through the grand entrance of the three most useless people in entertainment. Onward.
Just them facts m'am:
- - JLo is wearing a short skirt.
- - Ryan is wearing a dark suit.
- - Ryan claims that sixty million votes came in this week. That equals roughly 100K people with good AT&T messaging plans, give or take a few thousand old school voters with actual phones, who have nothing better to do than take part in a popularity contest. Exciting!
What, you thought this was a show about unknowns singing cheesy off-key covers? Sucker!:
- - Steven Tyler has written a book. Yes, he has. And whaddaya know, he's got a copy right here to show it off. I'm sure it's just a coincidence!
- - JLo will be lipsynching tonight, I mean, she will be performing her Lambada ripoff song called “On The Floor”. And because that's not really enough judge pimping for one freakin' episode, she will also debut a preview of her video for her new single. In addition, she will be cooking dinner for the entire studio audience, cleaning up the Idol stage with a Swiffer Wetjet and organizing Randy's notes which all say “IN IT TO WIN IT”.
- - Randy... Nothing for Randy. He's just a useless prop. Loser.
- - Landy Ante-That-Pesky-Civil-War, er, Lady Antebellum is here to croon a copycat follow-up to their biggest hit from last year. Yay.
- - The Idol Tour is on this summer again. Hopefully they won't have to cancel any dates like last year. I'll be there with my homemade glow-in-the-dark puffy paint T-shirt that says something abjectly moronic and deeply embarrassing like, oh, say, GIVE METAL A CHANCE... I kid, I kid! Wouldn't be caught dead at that, uhmm, “concert”. Shudder!
- - ”Happy Together” is tonight's group number. It's the absolute worst piece of crap I've ever heard performed on this show since Metal Tool Durbin murdered that cover from Jared Leto's vanity band the other night with a dull kitchen knife in front of 20 million people. He stabbed that beast in the ribs and left the bloody carcass on the floor to bleed to death then stomped on it with his custom studded boots, which was bad enough, but this number is worse than that. It's even more off key, even more completely out of tune and even more embarrassing. Should these people be allowed to sing group numbers? At this point I'm questioning whether some of them should be allowed to roam the planet without a muzzle on. In fact, I'm sure they shouldn't be.
After the commercial, Seacrest is seated with the five remaining Idol cupcakes, sandwiched between Haley and Durbin. This is not remarkable in and of itself but he is trying to earn his paycheck by reading the prompter about how you can audition for Season 11 of Idol if you have a wish to never make it in the music industry and... Holy Simon Cowell's ghost! Get this, Durbin is mouthing Seacrest's lines as he's saying them. Word. By. Word. Any second, I expect Ryan's right elbow to land hard in Tool Idol's teeth to shut him up but Ryan doesn't seem to notice till the end of his speech and then he's too much of a pro to kick the bastard like he deserves. Sigh. It would have been great television though!
The show goes to the usual crappy Ford Commercial segment next which is followed by a completely useless time filling segment involving “Hell's Kitchen” boss Gordon Ramsey and some inedible looking omelets cooked by the Idol tartlettes. Don't ask.
A cool 16 minutes of show time down. Yes, I'm keeping score.
As previously mentioned, Lady Antebellum are here to perform “Just A Kiss”, their new single. Because I would rather be chased by hungry hyenas than listen to country music I'm fast forwarding through this malarkey although I do notice that the chick looks nice even though all that black and gold chain bling she's sporting is so Fall 2010. They do have a full backing band, a baby grand upright and a four piece string ensemble but no smoke, lasers or flaming anything. On the other hand, they're live and, judging by the last 20 seconds I caught, perfectly on key. That's more than some people can say on this show.
Results. Sort of.
Warning: Jimmy Iovine is now the voice of after-the-fact judgishness. He will say the stuff that the judges should have said were they not contractually required to read off of Nigel's notes instead. All this, keeping in mind that the voting is now over so this Johnny-come-lately judging is pointless. But there's always next week! And that's the actual point of this.
After another commercial, we're now 24 minutes into the show but the filler is not over just yet. We get a Bing commercial segment in which the Idol cupcakes talk about song choice, you know, as if they all picked their songs all by themselves every week. It's a comedy segment, of course. Another 2 minutes down but we're finally getting to some results. Halleloo!
Seacrust says we might be surprised by who is going home which just makes me laugh. I think I predicted every elimination since Pia. Hell, my cat who cowers in the the furthest corner of the house during certain parts of the show could predict who is going home tonight, but I'll pretend it's a surprise.
James is called down to the stage first. The judges read their notes faithfully and kissed his ass saying things like “OhEmGee, you're the greatest thing since sliced bread and WOW you're just like the second coming of, well, not really Adam Lambert although you tried hard for that one, but maybe his tone deaf sideshow impersonator. Or maybe a David Cook impersonator. Eh, good enough for us and IN IT TO WIN IT!”. Jimmy says James bawled too much and lost his voice during his second song and sounded like cats being skinned alive while being burned at the stake during a tornado but, you know, who cares! Randy said he was “emotionally perfect”. I think I should win American Idol because I'm emotionally perfect every day of my life! Whatever the hell that means. James is sent to stand on the far side of the stage.
Next up is Lauren. The judges salivated over her two boring numbers but Jimmy straight up says she dropped the ball during the glory note in “Unchained Melody” because she got scared and, oopsie, she should be in the bottom two. Hey, with help like this, who needs enemies? Lauren is sent to stand on the near side of the stage. Dun, dun, dun.
Good news: A full 30 minutes of show time done! Bad news: 30 minutes left.
Commercials ate up another 4 minutes of show time and now we get round two of the Hell's Kitchen bit. I will not dignify this with a write-up and I'm just plain getting annoyed. Haven' fast forwarded this much since Gokey kept making heart hands at the audience and glancing heavenward like he was expecting his next dinner to drop down any minute.
On to more important things such as JLo and Pitbull's mega performance of “On The Floor”. Ok, so this thing is a hit proving that the same cheesy melody can be regurgitated and repackaged to wreak havoc on a new generation. In other words, “Lambada” is to JLo's “On The Floor” what Express Yourself is to Lady Gaga's “Born This Way”. The performance has everything from JLo cavorting amid Mayan pyramids, Pitbull earnestly rent-a-rapping it up – I wonder whether the grannies in Alabama know who he is – ripped male dancers, lasers, a glass lift and JLo in shiny drop-crotch harem pants. She is pretending to sing live and Idol is pretending that the performance is live but alas it's all just illusion. When the show gets back from commercials, Ryan announces that JLo is backstage changing – haha – so we get a teaser from her new video instead. We are now 45 minutes into the show and three people are sweating on the couches while Idol pretends that JLo just dropped a completely live performance.
The judges were hot 'n cold about Jacob's two performances. Did Randy say he was “IN IT TO WIN IT”? Can't remember but odds are he did. Jimmy says Jacob was off all night, lost his confidence and his goose is cooked. If I say he's made to stand with Lauren, would that be a surprise? Didn't think so.
Next up is Haley who gets the loudest cheers. The judges told her that singing an unknown song was a risk – say what?? - never mind that she did it perfectly, but she “redeemed” herself with the best performance of the night and got a standing ovation. Jimmy's take is that Haley needed to take a risk and killed it in the end and man, oh, man he's saying that if she can keep confident she's a lock for the finale. Did somebody spike his Kool Aid or is he finally seeing those dollar signs? Haley is sent to stand with James on the far side of the stage.
Scotty goes last. The judges loved him and Iovine thinks Scotty did what he always does and what he will do in the future. Take note country voters! Scotty is not going to pull a switcheroo and become a pop princess. Crown the boy already! Ryan declares him safe but then, horror of horrors pulls one of those cruel pick-a-side jokes on him that Idol has been playing for years now. Scotty, clearly in possession of more brains than Nigel Lithgoe, flatly refuses to pick a group and thus jeopardize his votes. Ryan directs him to the James-Haley group and they're all safe. Wow, didn't see that one coming from a mile away... James, always ready to hog the spotlight, drops down to his knees with his hands covering his mouth, looking at the camera to make sure it's on him and looks like HE'S BAWLING AGAIN. Is this dude for real? Why isn't anybody telling the special snowflake to shove it already?
I'm on the edge of my seat during commercials trying my best to imagine who might be going home. This is soooo suspenseful! With exactly 4 minutes left, Seacrust is back and Lauren is crying, being apparently the only person in the room and at home who had no idea that Jacob was toast and she was safe. Weird. Jacob, arrogant to the end, says America fell in love with him. Really, dude? His goodbye reel rolls after which he elects to sing “A House Is Not A Home” for his swan song.
That's it for this week, folks. Back next week with the final four with only three weeks left. Universe, I thank you!