American Idol
An American Idol Christmas

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The night, it wasn't so silent

Last Sunday, I wrote in a recap that I would say something nice about Clay Aiken if FOX would just cancel the horrible, unwatchable Tru Calling. Two days later, FOX announced they were picking up seven more episodes. I'd just like to express my fondest holiday wishes…for Clay Aiken to fall into an industrial meat grinder.

Take your cursor off the "send" button; I didn't mean it. At the most, I wish for Clay Aiken to entertainingly fall into an industrial vat of French dressing. That would be funny.

So the only change to the opening credits is the addition of "An" and "Christmas" in red neon to the logo. Couldn't they have taken some of that hookers and blow money and paid to have that transsexual terminator mascot turned into a snowman or something? Why, one might come away with the impression that this entire special is just a cheap way of cashing in on…oh, right. Never mind. Oh, there are some animated snow flakes. Ooh! Fancy!

Will wonders never cease? The Seal of Tsathoggua is still intact on the stage. ["THAT DOESN'T MEAN I'M STILL UNDER THERE. HUR! HUR! HUR!" -- Tsathoggua] There are Christmas trees everywhere, and those white fabric covers that you put over boxes that are supposed to make them look like lumps of snow, but never do. Overall, the stage looks like the spot at the mall where parents take their kids to torture Santa Claus.

Speaking of kids, five horrifying little urchins come running out onto the stage. These are the winners of American Juniors, and I don't know who any of them are, so I'll be calling them the Horrid Christmas Moppets. There are four girls and one boy, all dressed in tacky red clothing. Eventually five of the six real American Idol contestants we'll be seeing tonight join them -- the guys wearing black and the women wearing red -- to torment us with the first of seven hundred medleys. They sway awkwardly back and forth on stage as they sing "Sleigh Ride." The Horrid Christmas Moppets contribute by singing, "Ringa ringa linga ding dong ding" after each line. It's as awful as it sounds. After a transition consisting of one line of "Wonderful Christmas" (and how said is it to do a Google search to make sure you have the title right and see Hilary Duff's cover listed before Paul McCartney's version?), Christina "I'll Be Home For Christmas, Because Nobody Else Cares About Me" Christian gets her first solo. She sings "Winter Wonderland." I hope she isn't planning to go out in the meadows and build any snowmen, lest she ends up in the hospital for frost burn with that tiny red miniskirt and navel-revealing sweater she's wearing. Well, her hair looks nice, though, curly and pulled back. Her singing has improved, in the sense that she's lost her trademark vibrato, but without it, her voice is thin, unremarkable, and a bit sharp. After she's done, the Horrid Christmas Moppets come out and sing yet another verse of the song. Isn't it cute listening to pre-teens sing about getting laid during a snowstorm?

Another transition leads us to Kimberley "Deck The Halls -- And Simon Cowell, Too" Locke, singing "The Christmas Song." She's wearing a simple, elegant, sleeveless red dress that makes the most of her cleavage without looking ridiculous, and she still has the straightened hair. Her singing is simple and elegant as well, so I enjoy it. There's not too much manhandling of the notes -- she's there to sing a song, not trying to show off a vocal range or whatever. The Horrid Christmas Moppets sit on the stage and watch her perform. Kimberley kneels down and sings to the little kids, because she's a good person, whereas I would have kicked them into the audience. After she's done, the Horrid Christmas Moppets give us another insipid transition to a duet between Ruben "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Before Ye Have A Coronary" Studdard and Clay "O Come, All Ye Faithful. Wait, Not All At Once! Ack! Getting Trampled! Ack!" Aiken singing the afore-teased "Wonderful Christmas." The audience stands and shrieks as the two of them shuffle their way through a nice, but thoroughly uninteresting, song. Could there be a more boring, unmotivated song about the holiday season? Merry Christmas! Everything's fine! We're having a great time! It's like somebody took the conversation I have with my grandmother on the phone every Christmas and set it to music. Anyway, they sing boringly and there's boring shuffling and arm-waving choreography and the audience eats it up with a spoon while I stare at my fingernails. Everybody comes back out for a bland ending. Tamyra "Angels We Haven't Heard On High So Much These Days" Gray was part of the medley, but didn't get a solo.

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American Idol

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