Tuesday. Melodramatic Announcer melodramatically recaps last week's events. It's the brief clip of Christina in a stretcher being loaded into an ambulance that gives it all that special "you are watching FOX" touch of class. Everybody cried. Christina was voted off. Melodramatic Announcer melodramatically concludes, "Who will join her this week?" In the hospital? Possibly Paula, if she doesn't get her meds under control, or Brian, if I ever get my hands on him.
Credits. Ryan "Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed?" Seacrest and Brian "Underneath The Overpass" Dunkleman enter the theater from the back of the cheap seats this time around. I assume it's so we can get a better view of the cheering crowd, but they should have perhaps considered the lighting before pulling this trick. As they're walking down the steps through the seats, the camera is positioned so that all I can actually see are the spotlights searing holes directly into my retinas. Better or worse than looking at Black and Decker? Not sure. The folks in the audience cheer. The quality of the signs has improved drastically.
Black and Decker walk up toward the stage to introduce themselves. Ryan stops to greet a little baby. Ryan would never have (or adopt, rather) a baby of his own; he doesn't need somebody else competing for the attention that should always be lavished upon him. Anyway, Black and Decker remind us that they're live, and incite more crowd cheering. There's a dumb joke about Ryan not being very smart. Nobody laughs. They probably don't realize it's a joke.
Then they introduce us to Christina, who is back and seated in the front row. She tells the crowd that she's feeling better and that she's glad to be there. She gets the chance to give the goodbye "thank you" message that she was denied when she was brought to the hospital for a dehydrated, hypoglycemic asthmatic attack, or whatever they've finally settled on. These folks should watch more cop shows, where they teach you how to get your stories straight. Her message is bland and unremarkable. She loved the experience, appreciates the support, et cetera.
Black and Decker tell us that tonight's theme is "Love Songs," and ask for the house lights to be dimmed. Thanks, but I think I've already got permanent nerve damage by now. They blather on about lighting candles and such, making me wonder if they had decorated the set for romantic performances. But no, it's just talk: When they introduce the finalists up on the stage, it looks the same as it always does, like the kids are coming out to present awards, not to sing. Would some red curtains have broken the bank? Tamyra has relaxed her hair and now bears a striking resemblance to Christina from a distance. You know, I had no idea what "relaxer" was until I started recapping this show. Hey, Wayne Brady is in the audience. Go push R.J. off the stage (again) and sing in his place, Wayne. Please? How about a song about iron miners done in the style of Prince?
Now it's time to introduce the judges. Ryan calls Randy "Something Big" Jackson his friend and "lover." Shout-out? Or are they coming out? He even gives Randy a hug. Brian introduces Paula "In The Land Of Make-Believe" Abdul as his lover. Ew. Paula isn't aware enough to be skeeved out by Brian. Then Brian introduces Simon "The Hangman" Cowell as "nobody's lover." Projecting, are we, Brian?