Theme: Nineties. Simon/Ryan threat matrix: slow boil with scattered slap and tickle. Most irritating six-months-behind audience sign: "Vote 4 Pedro."
Bo sings "Remedy" by my Black Crowes nemesis, giving it sixteen percent while dressed like a gay meth-head swamp dweller. He gives his wide-brimmed cow-print (!) hat to Paula, the better to wear as she slaps her own ass on the dance floor some night soon. Randy loves it, Paula thinks he was awesome, and Simon calls it extreme karaoke.
Jessica sings the boringest, slowest song I've ever heard, by LeAnn Rimes, called "On The Side Of Angels." I can't speak to the singing because it makes me start cleaning my house to stay awake, but she looks great. Randy and Paula hate the song choice, and Simon calls her "unlikable" and doesn't think she's trying hard enough.
Anwar, with R. Kelly's (say it with me) "I Believe I Can Fly." It's not great. What the fuck key is this? Randy hates his lower register, and the first half in particular, and points out how Anwar is all about the last note each week. Paula drunkenly gets hyperbolic, but calls it an original version. True that. Simon agrees with Randy, pointing out how uneven it was, and also how Paula only remembers the latter half of a given song because she's an airhead.
Nadia does Etheridge, meaning I already love it and haven't heard it yet. She looks fantastic, for starters, with the dancing, andâ¦you must be tired of me going on about Nadia, so cross-apply, because this is one of Those Nadia Moments. The only problem is the backup, which is true on every song tonight. Randy calls her a great performer and says she made something of it. Paula loves it "miles better from last week." Simon is nervous that the song might not be impressively melodic enough.
Constantine was totally into grunge once (so that's over, huh?), explaining his choice of Bonnie Raitt's ever so grungy "I Can't Make You Love Me," also the best song ever written. The intentional rock-slurring of sibilants and labials is there, horribly, and the congenital grossness is all over me, butâ¦note-wise, he's brilliant. Vibrato well-employed, pitch excellent, emotion and phrasing passable and smart. I hate him so much, but it's weird, because this isn't just the best thing he's done, it's also -- I hate myself, you guys -- one of the best of the night. Please don't think I like him, I hate him and want to bludgeon him, but if I can say when Ryan's hot, I can sure as hell say when Constantine's okay. Randy loved it because it wasn't all fake like before: "The real guy showed up." Paula calls it his best "male" performance, heh, and Simon says he did better than Bo. I'm not going to agree with him on record. God help me.
Nikko sings, badly to start, while well-dressed and dancing watchably, "Can We Talk?" by fondly-remembered T.E.V.I.N. (I assume written by Babyface), but gets there as usual. He looks so cute, if asexual as ever. Randy gives accolades up out the joint, and he and Paula are terribly proud of him. Me too. Simon calls it an imitation of the original, which honestly is a diss on the extremely dated accompaniment more than anything.
A-Fed sings "Something About The Way You Look Tonight," by Elton John, which is in large part about how the eponymous "something" takes his "breath away," which is just asking for it. Randy notes the sexy change in look and calls it "all right," Paula thinks he did a great job, Simon is frustrated because certain parts were "excruciating." Yes.
Carrie sings Martina McBride's "Independence Day," which is the usual Oprah-Book-Club subject matter, like, just how many times can people get raped, domestic violenced, or otherwise done wrong in a country song? Little fake Hallmark cards of adversity. Great vocal, though. Randy and Paula agree, while Simon just tells her how freaking wonderful and "It Factor" and superstariffic she is. Again.
Scott sings, wonderfully -- and looking more presentable, although still creepy as hell -- "One Last Cry" by Brian McKnight, and man. He does vocal tricks he simply should not be able to do. Vocally I think it might be the best of the night: the effortlessness is back this week, which it hasn't been the last few weeks. He's been awesome, but not this freak-show note-perfect no-alterations fantastic in a while, and it's lovely. It is what he needed to do. Randy's not into it, so much, and calls it pitchy, Paula is drunk and "vibing it," and Simon tells him some shit that isn't true.
Vonzell sings "I Have Nothing," looking fantastic and curvy in a dress that shouldn't work -- one of those gathered-at-the-knee mermaid prom deals -- and hitting every note. She's not Nikko, recreating it from scratch, so it's kind of karaoke, but it's good. Randy calls it a little sharp, okay given the difficulty of the song, and says the girls are on fire tonight. Paula notes she was singing higher than Whitney herself, and thinks it was a top performance of the night. Simon said he would have thought three weeks ago that attempting Whitney was dumb, but he loved it.
Review: Bo was bored and working it, Jessica bored the fuck out of me, Anwar may or may not have entertained dogs across the country, Nadia was subdued and wonderful to watch, Constantine had a new eyelid tic and still keeps trying to fuck me, Nikko was awesome, A-Fed was harsh to listen to, Carrie sang a Carrie song just like Carrie, Scott was more awesome than he has been in weeks, and Vonzell was unmemorably great. Final tableau: Nadia, of course, and Constantine. Ugh, too confusing. See you tonight.
Somebody screwed up, that's all I want to say. And I think it's Jessica. And I agree with that, even as I'm crying. Well, not crying. Making fists and yelling a whole lot. Anyway: Ryan starts with telling us how this is the most votes ever received for a non-finals show. Wow. He's also wearing a big-boy suit that makes his previous big-boy outfits look positively little-boy.
Carrie was awesome singing a country song about beatings, Bo was awesome singing a country song about drugs (one presumes), and Constantine sang a non-country song by quasi-country singer Bonnie Raitt, about how I will always, always hate him no matter how good he gets. Nadia sang woman-centric quasi-country with a fair amount of respeito, and was justly lauded although not so much voted for, Nikko went absolutely and adorably insane working a T.E.V.I.N. song, Anwar was looking for man-love of a personal type while singing like ass, and Scott was -- you guys were right, he was horrible, I don't know what I was thinking. Sometimes my crack is cut with some kind of industrial cleaner. Jessica bored the shit out of me for the first and last time, and little Anthony grew a whole lot up in a very short time.
Scott's vibrato, Vonzell's pitch, Nadia and Bo's respective registers, Nikko's relative volume, everybody's ability to sing in unison, Constantine's kicking, and Anwar's singing pretty all get out of control and suffer horribly in the last Tsunami Tsingle, "Everything Is Beautiful." And while the lyrics would have you think it's about how Scott's not vomitously unattractive, you know, he's not, really. Jessica is of course awesome, although not the kind of awesome we vote for, apparently, and Carrie is awesome and sounds great and like she has a soul, Anthony is great and doing all the Anthony stuff while wearing a great voice, not to mention maybe the best and most flattering outfit in the history of AI couture not worn by a host or judge.
There's an amazingly, unbearably, terrifically, monstrously, stupidly, awesomely awful pimpomercial where the Idols are played by human-sized muppets made up to look like them. It's like Power Rangers where the real people weren't available. I miss the tiny morning Idols of last week, that's how terrible it is. They're also singing the "Peace Like That" song I never liked. And they are muppets, did I mention that?
Nikko and Constantine are safe, and I can't blame anyone for that. Carrie gave the usual perfect wonderful unfaultable saleable marketable performance and is not only safe but the winner of the whole deal I guess. Bo phoned it in, but is still safe because he's better cold than most of them on their best days. Nadia was great to watch, but bottom three according to Simon and the voters, and the answer to "Is this because Etheridge is a lesbian?" is a resounding and troubling and hideous "Yes." Jessica is the second of the bottom three, because she sang the most boring song in the world. Scott sounded like crap, turns out, but is safe nonetheless because of all the hideous and poorly-mannered people voting for him in some state somewhere. Anwar sounded like shit, Vonzell was awesome and somehow managed to be just enough karaoke that it was pleasant, and A-Fed sounded itchy and crappy, but is all of a sudden a man so I gotta deal with that.
Anthony's safe, and Anwar justly ends up in the bottom three, so Vonzell's okay. So now we have the three best people, technically, less Bo, in the bottom three. They all had a bad night, y'all. Simon thinks that Scott should be there -- based on last night -- instead of Nadia. Jessica is shocked to be there. I'm shocked to see here there, but that's just because my memory is longer than Paula's. Nadia goes back to Suffragette City, leaving (I told you!) the hand-holding duo of Jessica and Anwar. You guys, she was boring, but good. He's always boring, and wasn't good. So if we're in this Bizarro world where these three should be in the bottom three while Constantine roams the streets, you might as well send Anwar home. Now that the gay personals ad thing has gone global, he's gone anyway. Because we live in the Middle Ages all of a sudden.
Randy's horrified and blames Simon obliquely, Paula agrees that the audience and Cowell have privileged this whole "likeability" thing over the actual singing, and exhorts people to call for their favorites. Then Jessica goes home and Anwar is safe.
Which is retarded. Fucking retarded. None of those people should be in the bottom three.
You vote the Idol you deserve, America. Suck on it. I can't believe this show has got me in its velvet clutches again, to where I actually care, but like Ryan's torn up about it, I'm disgusted, and the video journey is rough to watch; it's all happening. Luckily, we have the incredibly boring song of Jessica to lull us into a sleepy kind of calm.
I don't even know what to tell you. Sickening. But this is about votes, and about who America wants, and I think I came to terms with the fact that I am not really in line with that, like, somewhere around junior high, so whatever. Of course she's total class the whole time, and beautiful, and I can't wait to buy her album.
Thread title Runners-Up to be heavily featured in this week's recap, mixed in somewhere with the crotchety bitching and incomprehensible profanity.
Right. So I'm just watching Gilmore Girls, minding my own business, and I've seen the episode before and it's not my own personal favorite, but whatever. I'm doing dishes and laundry and the soothing dulcet tones of that show's word gun, pointed directly at my head and firing away, always chills me out, because it reminds me of home. Then the phone rings.
Anna: What the fuck is going on here?
Jacob: While I agree that the "Emily sees a dog in the yard" storyline is not the most heart-stopping, I certain don't think it's worthy of vulgarity. So you must be talking about Idol, right? And that means oh, crap. What's he singing?
Anna: Just...I can't I need a hug. Or some tortilla soup.
So began my experience of tonight's episode. I watched about five seconds, ordered my own hug and soup, and turned back to Gilmore, because I'm already going to have to watch this episode like a hundred times anyway, so why half-ass it? No reason to do so. But ever since then, I've been worried and waiting for it to come up and jump me in the ass, so I figure, let's face some fears, shall we?
Ryan's wearing a crazy shirt and jacket, and cute jeans, while Paula is dressed like the daughter-in-law on Mama's Family. But what is the theme? Let's travel in time together, shall we, to last Wednesday. If you get thirsty on the trip, don't worry, because they have a bunch of this certain cola there, on Wednesday. And Ryan is dicking them around with some self-styled "cryptic clues":
Ryan: In this decade, Donna Summer got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Carrie: Who's Donna Summer?
Anwar: Girl, please. [Smacks Carrie with puppy.]
Nadia: Give me something else. Ryan: Geri Halliwell quit the Spice Girls group also, in this decade.
Nadia: The nineties.
Constantine: It's gotta be the nineties.
Nadia: Bitch, I just said that. [Smacks Constantine with Nikko.]
Ryan: I was going to give you the one about O.J., but I figured that would be a dead giveaway.
All white contestants except Scott: [Laugh uproariously.]
God. Anyway, the theme is "The Nineties," so Bo's going to sing the goddamned Black Crowes, but I don't blame him; they're a total Bo Band. Bo, by the way, does not remember the nineties, because he was busy touring with his band. Because he's old. Old, y'all. Not to mention the fact that he was totally baked during most of that time. Now, you know I hate the Black Crowes, but I don't mind this song all that much. I wish he'd picked the theme song from Pete and Pete, though. That's Bo music too, right? The cute beard guy from last year -- Matt something? -- is sitting behind the judges, and he totally loves this, because in his head, he's Bo too. Meanwhile, Bo could not be more bored with all of this. He's wearing a drunk pledge's cow-print cowboy hat, with a super floppy brim so he looks even more like a swamp person, which he gives to Paula, who tonight and forever is that self-same drunk pledge, so she can wear it next time she's spanking her own ass on a dance floor somewhere.