American Idol
Baby, Baby, Don't Get Hooked On (Eeeeeee!)

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Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

Tuesday. Melodramatic Announcer: "The pressure percolates as the surviving seven sing again. Tonight, who will choose their [sic] song wisely? Who will watch their [sic] words? Who will play it safe, and who will take the big risk?" Who will resort to alliteration and repetition in an attempt to be even more melodramatic? Who needs a lesson in pronoun-number agreement? Clips of Ryan, Justin, R.J., and Nikki are shown in response to the four questions that Melodramatic Announcer melodramatically asks.

Credits. Ryan "Rhinestone Cowboy" Seacrest and Brian "Everybody Plays The Fool" Dunkleman head out to The Octagon in bad suits with ugly shirts. Ryan's shirt looks like it has tire-track patterns on it. Neither is wearing a tie. Black and Decker introduce themselves to the audience with a stupid joke about how giddy they are or aren't. Nobody laughs. They blather about some funny picture they "found" (read: "planted") on the show's official site. They ask for the picture to show up on the monitor, but nothing happens. Hee. Technical difficulties. Finally, it pops up. Somebody stuck Simon "Thin Line Between Love And Hate" Cowell's head on top of a picture of a bodybuilder's body. That's it. It's like one of those cheap novelty pictures you can get at the souvenir shops at any amusement park. I mean, the TWoP Pixel Challenges put that picture to shame. The audience cheers anyway, because they'll cheer for just about anything. Ryan "jokes" about how much he likes Simon's picture and wants copies. Nobody laughs, because they know he's not joking.

Black and Decker explain that this week's theme is "The '70s." Blah blah blah votecakes. Black and Decker make an unfunny joke about people at home eating pork rinds and watching in their underwear. Nobody laughs. They remind us that A.J. was sent home last week because he didn't get enough votes. But he got a job at the local blood bank, and everything turned out just fine.

Black and Decker introduce the seven remaining contestants, who file out on stage as they usually do. No real fashion surprises tonight. As they file back off to prepare for their performances, Black and Decker introduce the judges. They introduce Randy "You Don't Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show)" Jackson with a stupid joke about him having his original nose. Nobody laughs except for Randy. They introduce Paula "Everything Is Beautiful" Abdul by calling her "bold and always beautiful." They introduce Simon by calling him "the prince of darkness," but the audience cheers loudly in Simon's favor. I think they have to pipe in some booing from a recorded track.

But before we get to tonight's songs, we have to find out what the show is going to milk for pre-performance clips of each singer. Us Weekly arranged for a photo shoot featuring the seven remaining finalists. The kids get makeovers, which the show seems to think is fascinating, even though the kids are getting makeovers every single week. Celebrity photographer Andrew Southman tells us all he was "bowled over" by the kids' energy and enthusiasm. What do they expect this guy to say? He's a celebrity photographer. His job is to make us want to worship famous people. You think he's ever going to say anything bad about anybody on camera, ever? He would like to keep working. Clips from photo shoots. The kids all stand around in the pool. Posing. Posing. Some more posing. Christina says Andrew allows the kids to be themselves in the photo shoot. As opposed to ordering them to pretend that they're the offensive line for the Bengals? R.J. and Justin respectively think that it's "crazy" and "mind-blowing" that suddenly they're big enough for a national magazine spread. This was the point where I was hoping to point out that Us was a News Corporation (owners of FOX) publication, but it turns out that they're not. Damn them for denying me a corporate synergy joke. Andrew blathers some nonsense about taking the "definitive picture" of somebody just before they became truly famous. Nobody knows what he means. He doesn't even know what he means. The kids all jump in the pool fully clothed. Supposedly, Nikki broke her toe right there, but there's no mention of it on the show.

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American Idol

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