Once upon a time, a bottle of Hard Candy Trailer Trash nail polish came to life and assumed an androgynous humanoid form, and then it walked among us and fed upon the flesh of the living. At least that's what I think this intro segment is trying to tell me. The title flashes across the American Idol logo to inform us that we are "Halfway Home." Meaning that it's time to put gas in the car, go to the bathroom, and try not to fall asleep at the wheel. If you fail in your endeavor to get home, of course, Fox will find you and beat the crap out of you, which will be no more hostile than what they did by making you watch Married By America. Wait, they didn't make you watch that? Hmm, I guess it was just me. Bastards.
Seacrest sproings onto the stage wearing black pants and a shirt that...well, let's see. The black half of his shirt is black. That's the easy part. The front of his shirt is red, and it has what I guess is a print of something that has a white block on each pec. (Or on the area where each pec would be, I should say.) And then there's some yellow writing, like a "1067," maybe, on his left breast. There's also a white "7" on the front. I should know what's going on with his shirt, I guess, but I'm just not hip to the young people anymore. To me, it sort of looks like this shirt has already been used as a rag as part of someone's mother's home improvement project. In the audience are signs, including, "WARREN HIGH, We're On TV!" (and going to detention), "Roo  Ben" (don't mind the fact that even Ruben thinks that's played), "In Josh We Trust" (all others pay cash), "Everybody Wants Clay" (as a hood ornament), and my personal favorite, "Simon, You Read My Mind." Heh. Seacrest The Muppet-Boy tells the audience they look wonderful, but he calls them "y'all." In order not to throw chaos into the lives of those who hail from Massachusetts or Detroit, he explains to anyone who's confused that they say "y'all" in Atlanta, where he's from. You certainly do learn something new every day, because I never heard of "y'all" before. I was sure he was talking about some kind of down-home southern vegetable, because you know how those people down there love their down-home vegetables. Yep. Gather 'round, everybody, because Grandma's makin' her famous Poached Y'all.
Muppet-Boy thanks us for tuning in, and tells anyone who is only watching because they were hoping to see Boston Public that they should watch anyway, because "what's the worst that could happen?" This is the cue, of course, for one of Muppet-Boy's patented extremely unfunny jokes that you know he's going to spin out endlessly like an entire sweater reduced to a single very long thread, and this time the joke is about Randy Jackson hula dancing naked. Oh-ho-ho, that Muppet-Boy is a funny one. I have to say that I find it entertaining that he so clearly thinks he's a hipster hottie when he's so obviously the Catskills' bitch. Not satisfied with the pain he has already wrought, Muppet-Boy makes some additional remarks along these lines, and then finally he gets to the point by informing us that it doesn't matter whether you want to see Randy naked or not, because the judges aren't even in the house this evening. The crowd whoops, recognizing the fact that the judges ruin everything, as you know, by pointing out when people perform badly. And where's the fun in that on a talent competition? Incredibly touched by the audience's great appreciation of the big fat nothing he just did, Muppet-Boy takes several deep bows. Wow, I don't know if I can take him for an entire hour. Shack must go through a lot of...well, whatever it is he uses to get through recapping Muppet-Boy and moderating the Clay thread.
Muppet-Boy tells us that tonight, they're interrupting the competition to give the contestants a chance to perform without judgment or pressure, because these crazy kids certainly shouldn't have to put up with the pressure of being judged when all they want is a career in which millions of Americans will be so obsessed with them that they'll demand to know what brand of toilet paper they use to clean out their ears. (Or, in Clay's case, what brand of soup ladle.) He says that the contestants will get a chance to "let it all hang out." I'll let you enjoy the rest of the episode and decide whether repeating a song you've already sung and answering a few prearranged questions constitutes "letting it all hang out." He blathers about how the contestants have worked so hard to get to the final six from the original 70,000 auditioners. God, do we have to watch audition tape again? Who cares about these people now that we know nothing happened to any of them? In recounting this footage, Muppet-Boy actually says, "Yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah." Wow, now he's even boring the crap out of himself. He tells us that Randy said "dawg" and "dude" a lot, Paula was nice, and Simon was an asshole. An asshole, that is, who was right about almost everything. Believe it or not, this segment includes a still photograph of nuns playing pool. No, I'm not explaining it. I had to watch the thing -- you should, too. Down with free riders.