Speaking of Survivor, it has to suck to be Joe, who had to be evacuated to save his leg. Alas, his life is probably more important than a million dollars. More odd decisions after the jump.
Alright, results show: I haven't watched the episode yet; it just started and I have it on pause so I can make my predictions. I think the bottom three is going to be Anoop, Lil Rounds and Scott. Lil Rounds will go home. Anything else would officially shock me, but I love being shocked, so here's hoping.
We're still on the whole "year of their birth" thing, so Ryan makes a big deal about how old Simon is by showing a clip of Frankie Avalon singing in the year he was born. Then the stage opens, and Frankie Avalon himself comes out and sings. Simon looks completely surprised and amused. It's actually a really cute moment, and Frankie sounds great.
Enough of that, though; I want to find out who's going home! So let's get on with it. We've got 50 minutes of filler left before we get our answers.
It feels like forever since I've written about American Idol, so I'm more than ready to get back into the swing of things. I'm digging this week's theme: Songs from the year you were born. Even better are all of the baby pictures they're showing. The photos of Simon with his ray gun and Ryan with his buck teeth are absolutely precious.
I also appreciate the fact that they finally cleared up Lil Rounds' name. Her name actually is Lil, and it does not stand for "Little," as Simon asserted the other week.
Overall, it's a strong week for the contestants, with only a few notable exceptions. It's such a good week, in fact, that one of the contestants whom I've been very vocal about not liking in the least totally impressed me. The world has turned upside down.
Well, most of you correctly predicted who would go home on American Idol this week. A whopping 1183 votes for the predicted loser were logged in our poll!
But before we got to find out who it was for real, a whole bunch of other stuff happened, starting with Kara saying she appreciates the audience and their passion for the Idols. That was in reference to the heckling she got last night.
And Paula tried to redeem herself by saying that while she put the spotlight on Adam Lambert (you know, that Mick Jagger/Steven Tyler comment), she knows that all of the Idols have something special. Alrighty then.
Then Ryan descends from a big long stairway on the stage, like he's some old-time movie star or something. It's a little weird and cheesy, but also kind of fun. The theme this week is wide open, with the contestants choosing any song that's a popular download on iTunes. Let's get to it.
Anoop Desai started things off with Usher's "Caught Up." He cranked the pop factor up a few notches and showed that he's got the chops to switch it up a bit. Randy's a little torn and doesn't like the song choice. Kara thinks it's like a bunch of "frat guys dared you to get up and do Usher." Paula loves his more playful side, but says Anoop's stage presence needs a little work. Simon thinks it's "a complete and utter mess," saying, "It actually gave me a headache."
This being the results show of Motown Night, the Idols sang a montage of Motown hits against a backdrop of classic Motown stars. Very nice. I also liked the Ford commercial, with the contestants putting together giant puzzle pieces while singing "Take Me Away." They look like they're having a blast.
Then the Velvet Teddy Bear Ruben Studdard sang a tune, and Ryan mentions that he was recently married. Congrats to Ruben!
And then the countdown begins with Adam Lambert up first. I can't imagine that he'd be going home, and sure enough, he's safe. With his ability to show such vastly different sides of his artistic talent, Adam has launched himself straight to the top of my favorites list.
It's Motown week, and I'm scared. Motown has so many songs that these people should never touch, so it's really just setting them up for failure. For the most part, however, they do a pretty good job with it. But I wasn't wrong about things getting weird: Toward the end of the episode, Simon flat out takes a Sharpie and draws a mustache on Paula's face.
As another bonus for me, I'm watching this with a friend who hasn't seen a single episode this season, so I get to put my preconceived notions against her fresh eyes.
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that it's been a couple of years since I've seriously watched American Idol. I've caught episodes here and there, but haven't sat down with a full season in a while. I bring this up because I'm not sure if it's just that I've been away from it a while or if this year's group of finalists is especially good. We're still not even to the Top 10, and no one's performance was a complete disaster. Sure, I had my favorites, but nobody embarrassed themselves, which seems new to me.
What I love/hate about the results show is how, even if the contestants manage to get through the performance show embarrassment-free, that inevitably comes to an end the next night. Between the Ford commercial and the group sing, I have never watched a results show without spending a good portion cringing.
Speaking of cringing, tonight's result is kind of surprising, and I think it's going to polarize a lot of people. Someone who I thought would make it pretty far in the competition got the lowest number of votes. But does that mean he or she is going home?
Michael Sarver sang "Ain't Goin' Down Til the Sun Comes Up." He did a pretty good job with it, other than flubbing the lyrics a little in the middle. Randy Jackson liked the song, but wasn't sure about the vocals. Kara thought it was fun, but she missed the big notes. Paula thought the genre suited him, and Simon said it was clumsy and he couldn't understand the words. On a scale of 1 to 10, he'd give it 1.2. Really? It didn't seem that bad to me.
I'm pretty happy with the results tonight. I feel like America and the judges made the right call. And it isn't just up to America anymore. As Seacrest told us, there's a new American Idol rule. When someone is eliminated by America's vote, the judges have the ability to keep the person in the competition. It's designed to be used when America goes insane and votes people like LaToya London and Chris Daughtry off, people who deserve to stay in the competition. As I understand it, this option can only be used one time. Thankfully, the judges didn't use it tonight.
We also got to see the cool new digs where the Idols are staying. It's a ginormous mansion, complete with a swimming pool (or two), basketball court, bowling alley, hot tubs, the whole shebang. Looks like a very cool place to de-stress after being called to center stage to await your fate.
The audience is completely psyched, but Simon quickly brings everyone down in that special way of his by announcing that tomorrow's show is going to be double-elimination. This makes sense, since we have the same number of episodes to find this year's Idol, but we have one extra contestant.
My favorite thing about this episode is that the theme is the music of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson, as you may recall, is one of those artists that the judges have said should just never be touched. So despite the fact that they have told Kris Allen, among others, that they should not sing Michael Jackson songs, we have an entire night devoted to just that. Sounds like a good idea to me!
This episode went along pretty much as I expected, with most of the people I expected getting through to the top 12. Until the wild card round, that is, when the kids and I were screaming at the TV because of the judges' dismal ineptitude at picking people to come back! But first, let's see what happened up to that point. That's my version of "After the break..."
The show started with the group singing Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold," which was one of my favorite songs until I heard them sing it. But even with the awkward dance moves, they seemed to be having fun, especially Nate, so that's what matters, I guess.
I thought most of them did a good job last night, but I was really blown away by Lil Rounds. Really, just give her the Idol crown right now. I can't imagine that she won't go far in the competition, though she reminds me of LaToya London from a few seasons ago, and she didn't get as far as I had hoped. So we'll see what happens with Lil.
The whittling down to the top 12 is always the most tedious time in the competition, and with the performances of the past few weeks still fresh in everyone's mind, these poor contestants are facing an uphill battle. If I'm feeling this cranky about tonight's prospects, I can only imagine what Simon must be feeling right about now. I predict some harsh criticism in the Kodak theater tonight.
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