American Idol
A Call To Carms

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Please don't feed the goat

Previously: I warned that if anybody sang a Blondie song on the Seal of Tsathoggua, mankind is doomed. Oh, also, the votes from last week were allegedly held over to this week, even though nobody makes reference to it on the show at all.

Tuesday. Ryan "Bleach" Seacrest greets us from the Seal, along with the eight remaining finalists. He's forgotten the gel. His hair is so normal-looking tonight that it throws me off a bit. He tells us all that tonight the kids on the "number one show" tackle the "number ones from the Billboard chart."

Credits. Ryan greets the cheering, sign-toting crowd from the Seal. He's again dressed like a homeless man. If you see him on the street, don't give him any money; he'll just spend it on tanning cream and Botox. Give him food instead. That's what he needs. After blathering on for awhile about nothing, Ryan introduces the kids to the stage. Ruben is not wearing a 205 shirt. I repeat: Ruben is not wearing a 205 shirt. Ryan's hair is contained; Ruben is wearing something different -- for a while I thought I had slipped into an alternative universe. That is, until Carmen sang.

So, yeah, the theme tonight is "number one songs." Way to force those kids to stretch their talents, folks. Stay tuned for next week's theme, "songs that have ever been played on the radio." The theme after that will be "sounds that come out of your mouth." Oh, but there's a reason for this theme. It turns out my joke a few recaps ago about the theme coinciding with product placement was more of a prophecy. These aren't just "number one songs"; they're number one songs according to the Billboard charts. Ryan proceeds to pimp Billboard Magazine heavily to the audience. They can help make or break careers, he says. They document the success of songs. They don't actually make them successful. The guy who does your taxes isn't the same guy who writes you your paychecks. In a clip show, they send the kids to Billboard's offices. They look about as enthused as I would be if I had to spend the afternoon at the company that audits my newspaper's circulation. They blather on about how songs are ranked. It's actually a simply formula: single sales plus the number of "Woooooo!"s the song gets during Total Request Live times the dollar value of bribes paid to Clear Channel. They predict that the group song the kids will be releasing as a single will make it to number one, because, well, duh.

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American Idol

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