American Idol
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Eight Down, Four to Go

Monday

Seacrest looks fit, with some shirt I can't read that looks like the opening credits of At Home With The Braithwaites. "King of the Scene"? Oh, Ryan. Then there's a whole deal with how we're live for some reason, and how they all "felt it" up there when they kicked out the people, whom we see in stills of varying flattery. Anyway, with some not very interesting body language, the ladies are just "watchin' and hangin'," off to the side.

The crowd goes wild when Federov waves sweetly into the camera like a sweet little baby. I guess you work with what you've got. Then the crowd goes wild for the judges too, and dude, like, they just loooove the judges. I wonder if any of that has really all that much to do with what's actually happening. The cheering, I mean. I trust nothing. I'm so the truth is out there after last week. You can't be sure Ryan Seacrest really exists until the day you shake his hand. His tiny, tiny hand.

Randy tells Ryan that he expects "no nerves tonight," and that the men must "bring it on." Ryan calls Paula on how she adds nothing of worth to the competition, asking her if she'll be harping on song choice to the exclusion of anything else, or just gabble on randomly, or pick a new thing to go on about, or what. Her reply? "Well it's down to let's see showmanship you know I wanna see how they perform and see a individual unique performance." So what she'll be looking for this week is whether or not they, um, sing. She's a harsh taskmistress, but fair. I'll give her that.

Then: gay. "Cowell, at this stage…" Simon cuts him off: "It's Simon, actually." Then he buys Ryan a drink. "Whatever," Ryan says, in this pretty cute way that reminds me of ADAM PRATT. "You should be happy I'm giving you more camera time right now." Then the whole thing kind of breaks down and Ryan puts one hand on his little hip and they wink and giggle and blow kisses and pass notes that say Ryan I like you do you like me? Circle one Yes/No and You're funny and I like you but I don't like you like you but do you like me? and Paula is a stupidhead and Constantine smells like a dog's butt. And then Ryan climbs on the desk and there is tongue and they simply can't stop laughing. "Have you picked out the person you think will win this year?" Of course he has. Ryan wants to know if it's a guy or a girl that Simon likes, but Simon's not telling, because that would be the end of their relationship, and plus Simon doesn't like to draw those kinds of lines, because we just like who we like and there's no explaining it. Welcome to my entire stupid college experience.

Continuing on this "clearing up misconceptions" thing, Mario interviews to draw a strong line in the sand: he is not in fact bald and he hopes to show the top of his head at some point this season. What the fuck? Why would they…what is the point of…what internet site was so crazy about the fucking hat thing that…well, by tomorrow night we'll see what he keeps up there, and…please find some new hats instead of taking them off altogether. Then he sings some song I don't care about, same kind of thing like last week, all sing-talking and yelling and finally singing some parts, and those parts are good, of course. The backup track is so intense, like, acid reflux intense and loud, and that'll be true all tonight and all tomorrow night, but I'll keep bringing it up. He's working the camera in that oh-so-credible way of his, and dancing all crazy, and he seems generally more laid back. His jeans are not that flattering. Frankly, they make him look a little fat, which is weird, because he's totally miniscule in every direction. This song's all about how he loves music -- any old kind of music, and the point of it is to show Mario's range, which is too bad, because there's not really a lot. There are all these creepy girl voices in the back going "la la la la," and it's spooky, and they're way too loud. Then Mario begins to sing just awfully, and all the low notes are out of his range and all his high notes are out of his range and his hat looks like the liner on a dude's swimming suit.

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American Idol

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