The theme is pretend. It was disco, and now to keep Carrie and/or Bo country rocking, it's "'70s Dance," which is not a thing.
First up: dude, I don't even know if Constantine was good. Between the backup singers, the zoomy camera work downplaying his face-making bullshit, and the overpowering voiceyness of the backup, I am not so sure that I actually heard him. He sang "Knights of Broadway," which is the JT/Jimmy Fallon intro song on the "crazy cool medallions" SNL Brothers Gibb sketch -- not funny! -- and Randy points out the same as usual -- very theatrical, had you heard? And did you know that sucks? -- and then Paula says he was awesome as a big old show, and Simon says the same thing but meanly. Chaka Khan!
Carrie sings a singularly uninspired rendition of "MacArthurs Parks [sic]," which is lyrically very cake-centric (apropos of my researches last week about 1978, this is not so much necessary), and, like, she's awesome, and holds a note with only one taking of breath through eleven boring measures (picture your humble recapper on his Eames-inspired couch counting "one-two-three-four" eleven times while she wails on and on, and then bitch), but dude: it's the Betty Crocker Lament. You know? All the judges' comments are appropriate and awesome (even Simon seems to criticize, but really just talks clothes), but the song is about how she'll never quite bake the same way. Even my Ryan mentions how the song is retarded, but she's very, very Carrie, and so very, very perfect. Whatever. The end. Chaka Khan!
Scott Savol tells us the "'70s ain't his thing" and "choreography" isn't his thing, and I am at a loss as to what his "thing" actually is, because it seems to be "faking America right the fuck out." He sings a perfunctory "Everlasting Love," one of my favorite songs of the era, and the awesomeness of the song totally overpowers the cruddy vocals, as it does every song tonight. There are some nice runs during the part at the end -- I cannot deny that he rules them -- but the first two-thirds really were just paychecking. Randy loves it, Paula gives him "props" and notes he's on pitch for once in a while, and then Simon (talking over some bullshit from Scott) decides that he's not so much special. Then Fake Jesus and Scott tell a really, really long, slow, stupid story about how his mom told him to sing it. Just like he did two weeks ago! Woo! Chaka Khan! Ha!
A-Fed sings, like, the worst song I've ever heard, "Don't Take Away The Music" (1976, The Tavares: who? Exactly!), weirdly considering how normally he sings my favorite songs in the whole world, but the eyelashes and the boringness of this songâ¦I don't know. He's all with some very active and confusing hips, and his voice sounds good, butâ¦even with the judges (except Simon) giving him the love, I keep thinking about Rob Thomas (the music one, not the awesome one): I never wanted to think about your crotch, I've spent my adult life not doing just that, and now you're pushing the issue. The judges pretend it's a huge comeback, except for Simon who calls it "insipid," and then Ryan tells him he's "Burning. It. Up." Chaka Khan!
Vonzell sings "I'm Every Woman," and she's adorable and again sings the most recognizable song of the night while being adorable, and again is praised for it, and for good reason: we're going for votes here. The judges unanimously adore her and call it her best performance ever, again; even Simon admits it's probably the most difficult song one might sing tonight. Every commercial bumper, I think, features her. Chaka Khan!
Anwar sings "September" (1978, Earth, Wind and Fire), after coming out during his pre-song package. You would recognize this song? But only if you heard it, and thus, he is going home this week. Honestly the background singers are not helping this week, because it's disco -- sorry, "'70s dance" -- and he does well; the judges like it, but not so much as to earn him votes, and then a million years of the whole Ryan/Anwar thing. Also, I would like to be the first to say goodbye, and congratulations, to Anwar. Chaka Khan!
Bo sings "Vehicle," by the Ides of March, after an interminable interview about just how much he can't dance, ugh, and then spends the time in the wrong key for his voice. But you know, it's great -- the hair is distractingly unhealthy, but fucking hygiene has never been rock and roll, I guess -- and again, the perfect song for him, which is nice to see. The cameras and lights are epileptically intense, cutting three thousand times more than any other singer, often to things that don't make sense: heads, the top of heads. Luckily he's hot this week, smiles not like an freak, and the judges flip out about the awesomeness. Even Simon calls this the only authentically good performance of the night. It was good, yes. Maybe a bit too authentic, but yeah. Whoa-oh-oh-ooooh, Chaka Khan!
Review: Constantine with the face/intense eye makeup/chin/general Robert Smith bullshit, Carrie's hips/virgin 90210 mermaid dress/singing a song about a cake, Scott phoning in my favorite song of the night poorly (Go Scott!), Anthony begging to be sent home before Anwar while singing the one song I like in a clear and pretty tone, Vonzell ha!-ing and adorable-ing a song everybody knows, Anwar moving around being weird, and Bo being the next American Idol Red Herring Superstar.
Even though we're live in April 2005, Ryan makes a "just not that into you" joke. How sad. DÃ©jÃ vu. (Also, Paula's not on drugs, you guys, she was in a plane crash and now has a complex and very rare disorder where she feels massive pain all the time, but her medication makes her act drunk, so she doesn't take the medicine, so she feels pain all the time, but there's this new medication that took away her pain, and it's this lack of pain that causes her to act insane all the time. And how can you be so mean and small-spirited as to judge for something like that? What are you, a monster?)
Bo lamely and fakely introduces a really long, boring segment about Ryan getting his Hollywood star. This is made up of 35% ugly Brit producers talking about how great he is, 60% little clips of him being funny and/or embarrassing, and 5% Ryan looking sad and betrayed as they show him practicing "laissez les bon temps roulez" and forgetting the name of Shirley Bassey as a boy. Ryan on a farm, Ryan in a compromising position with a flamingo, Ryan hanging from a giraffe, Ryan giggling. Ugh, how awful for him. And Bo. And me.
Ryan, roasted and owned and made very self-conscious, introduces a song written for them by John Farrar ("Magic"! "Suddenly"! "You're The One That I Want"! "Hopelessly Devoted To You"! Xanadu is the coolest!) where they all play instruments. There's a set of air quotes in there somewhere, but I'm not sure where, because Carrie's playing lots of chords and we already know that Anwar plays the piano and Bo's so legit it almost hurts to look at him. Scott and Anwar sound fucking awful together. I don't mind this song. If only I could buy this, I would totally be benefiting the American Red Cross right now. Too bad, suckers. Constantine sounds better than A-Fed, but Carrie wins because she doesn't just constantly track the camera like a whore. Anthony has no idea what the words to this song are, and it's awesome. Anwar sounds like he's being pinched. Constantine isâ¦ridiculous.
Now the pimpomercial, and they're singing "Rock This Town," which I hate, and OH GOD. OH GOD! What the hell is this? They're all Stray Cats-y and period and they all have DAs and they're stuck in a Steve Madden ad. Oh God, this is so horrible! Oh man. They look like Bratz! I don't want to talk about it. Awful. Constantine is gross.
I have never seen anything like that. My tummy hurts. Anyway, here's how it went down last night: Anwar threw caution to the wind, but not really, and so he will be going home. Carrie left a cake out in the costume party. Constantine looked like a pervert, Scott is just not bad enough yet, and Anthony was awesome and a little insipid. Vonzell was fabulous and rewrites the rules. And of course Bo was awesome. Another whole week of Scott! Yay!
Vonzell goes to the left side of the stage, because they're doing the George Huff thing from last year. So who's the special one who'll have to pick? Bo. I bet it's Bo. Anthony is on the right half of the stage. Anwar -- will be on the side with Anthony, of course. And Constantine with Vonzell and Carrie. This is retarded. We already know all this. This is like having a conversation with Scott Savol. We even have to take a commercial break, that's how long this crap is going to take. How will this fall out? I do hope Bo chooses correctlyâ¦or ooh, doesn't choose at all! How decent!
Carrie, you'll be in the final four in May. Scott, you're a hideous mess and will be in the bottom three until you go home. He prays during this part even though there's no reason. The crowd goes wild as they realize that just leaves Bo, and he's so frigging special and magical and we're so glad he's safe, and he will get Huffed. Someone in the crowd screams something very obscene. Ryan asks him to join the group he thinks is on top this week. Bo strides out without another thought and stands in the middle of the two groups. There are shots of the crowd going insane like they are at wrestling, so that we know this was not only a brave, brilliant, and good-hearted thing for him to do, but also aggressively American of him. Thirty-two million people on their couches turn to the person to their left and remark, "That Bo. He's a good guy." Just like they wanted us to. This is gross. Even Ryan's like, "Yeah, somehow I thought you might do that." Yes, Bo, you're above it. You're just too good for this show and its manipulations.
So why the fuck are you here? Why get it on you?
When a show goes meta like this, it doesn't bode well. It stinks of desperation. The Bo thing is less about being the next American Idol and more about the experience of being on American Idol. It's a particularly Hallmark kind of nasty and it bugs me, because as calculated as Bo is, he's still actually much better than this. I wonder if this happened to him all at once, or if it was just too many compromises one after the other?
Back from commercial, Constantine makes kissy faces and Ryan explains to us what we saw before the break: that Bo stood here in the middle and refused to take sides. In case you missed it or something. Now the bottom three: Scott, A-Fed, Anwar. Scott just wasn't bad enough to compete with Anwar's boringness this week, so he and Anthony are summarily sent back with the others because Anwar's going home, to utterly no one's surprise. There's Video Journey of Anwar being lovely and boring in a variety of outfits and talking endlessly of how he wants to bake us a cake full of rainbows and sunshine and then his sing-out gets cut, but at least this week it's not because of something as gross as Scott, just because Ryan had to hump a flamingo.
Oh, man. I meant to tell you this a couple of weeks ago, but The Princess Diaries II: A Royal Engagement is maybe the worst movie I've ever seen. EVER. I say this because they're replaying the Kelly SNL this weekend, and I know she's going to sing that song, and I think that song is lovely passable pop, and that, combined with the fact that The Princess Diaries is one of the coolest movies ever, lulled me into a false sense of safety that was rudely ripped away from me when I finally saw the sequel. Scared me so bad I can't see the Sandra Bullock sequel to which we lovingly and secretively refer as M.C. Deuce. Like, ever. On the other hand, The Amityville Horror is utterly frightening, and includes a disconcerting/distracting amount of half-naked Billy from Fifteen to really be what's properly called a "horror" movie, so it's unsettling on like every level, because of the complexity and contradictory input you get watching it. This whole mixed-up fight/flight/get phone number impulse, which pretty much covers the spectrum of that which we, as mammals, are capable, so it's overwhelming. Lauren Vaughn is, additionally, hot as hell, which is a total shocker, because I was pretty sure she needed to shut up.
Tuesday Afternoon Bonus Recap
Dr. Phil and his confusing son take on cyber-bullying, which is a new kind of bullying where you suck so bad that even if you don't leave the house, they still bully you by sending you mean emails, and this is the problem. Thanks, technology. The issue is not, apparently, that you let it get to you -- like a TWoP staffer would know anything about getting mean emails every day -- but that these people are sending you mean emails. That's it. I don't think this is a problem that can be so much solved, without letting Rumsfeld all up in my inbox, other than pointing out to the kids involved that it's dumb to care about some bullshit poorly-spelled illiterate email that arrives in dork-speak. (Ooh, ::ph34r::) Or a gaywad mean online journal that you go looking for so you can feel bad and victimized. Or, um, alternately, awesome about yourself, because those people are idiots. Because by the same token and to the same degree, all the spam emails that imply my genitalia are either wrongly-sized or inoperable are a hate crime. When in fact, they're just wrong: you're probably not completely sucky. Get a junk filter, because the problem isn't mean email, the problem is that you care, and that's something we can deal with.