THE CHAIR! My Main Man Blake Lewis, Second In Command Chris Sligh, and The Other One, Rudy Cardenas, from last night's supergroup get through, but Thomas Lowe does not. Does that seem right to you? What if I said that Philip Stacy and Nick Pedro, the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that not even the show can tell apart, got through? Would you ask who they were? Thank God we saw all those retards and crazy people for weeks and weeks, though. Think how thrilling it will be to watch Semifinals with people we've never seen before. Girlwise, things are a little bit better: This year's Stevie Scott and Sarah Mather, Alaina "Cry Me A River" Alexander and Gina "Fists Of Fury" Glocksen get through, as well as International Crazy Person and Early Jacob Favorite Leslie Hunt and cutie pie Amy Krebs. Mom Lakisha Jones is one of the older contestants, but she can blow, while the babiest one of all is Sanjaya Malakar, who is actually scheduled to be born at the conclusion of Semifinals, so get ready for that event three weeks from now. He's supposedly singing "Take A Letter Maria" for his debut. (From the womb!) Chris Richardson and Paul Kim both look like the really friendly, needy kind of drug dealers ("One more round of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out before you go home! Please?"), while Melinda Doolittle's gigantic awesome face is going to be staring back at you for a good long while -- as well as that of her fellow backup singer Brandon Rogers. Jordin Sparks should go pretty far, with that voice in addition to the 17 years of hair; well-dressed and disaffected Stephanie Edwards pretty much knew she had it in the bag from go. Sadly, gigantic Anna Kearns, Princess Johnson, Bernard Williams, Buckstein, and Joelle "Scary Carrie" James are all cut. Making it through, though, are cheesy Jared Cotter, someone named A. J. Tabaldo, the lost Gyllenhaal Nicole Tranquillo, exotic Sabrina Sloan, and a girl they call Haley Scarnato. The final face-off for the boys is Stupid-Ass Sundance versus the delightful Tommy Daniels, so of course Tommy goes home; for the girls it's Marisa "lonelygirl15 On The Edge Of A Mental Breakdown" Rhodes vs. Team BFF's Antonella "Slightly Less Objectionable Of The Two" Barba, who of course goes through. Have fun plotzing the first week of Semis. Which are going to be AWESOME. Remember: Men on Tuesday, Women on Wednesday, Results Thursday, for three weeks, losing four people a week. Next week Joe R gets the Boys, and gets Results -- but I got alllll the Ladies.
Today we will break the group down from 40 to 24, but not by doing anything we didn't already do, as far as I can tell ... they make them sit in the Chair and tell them their decision, but I am unsure why, since the last time they sang, I thought, was when they were cut from 56 to 40. Lots of names and faces go whizzing by, and Ryan Seacrest looks particularly appealing right now, and all season, and I'm glad. Whatever lack of sleep he was getting last year, I'm glad he fixed it.
Doom piano attends the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, but there it is not all bad, because for every plink of the doom piano, there's at least five seconds of the camera staring at Blake Lewis for the same reason that that room off the stage at the old set was shaped like Coca-Cola: the more you see it, the more you want it, and this episode pushes the Blake Lewis brand pretty much non-stop, to give him and a few others the edge over their competition, and just like every year, it's totally going to work. But this year, um, he actually is the best, so we're not going to have a Judd Harris situation, but PS, I still miss Judd Harris. There's a girl with shaky hands and a nervous stomach, and one of those two guys who are Nick and Phil, and then the other one, and they all get to do that stuff where they go up the elevator and walk across the very long room and sit in the Chair and fooferaw to no great effect. For some reason this is less dramatic than in past seasons, maybe because the editing is so much more obvious, and has been throughout.
Sanjaya Malakar works that runway like the fiercest diva ever to sell it, catwalking directly for them, and we get to see a bit of his solo from yesterday, which was amazing. He's got a little Jeff Buckley in there, for a sec. Was not expecting that. Nice. He interviews prior to the reveal that the process has been easier for him, because of the mutual support with Shyamali, so it's kind of sad that she didn't make it or something, but now he's freakin'. Flashback to him crying into her hair. He admits that making it into the Top 24 would obviously make him ecstatic, but there's a whole ickiness now that she's gone that kind of makes it weird. In the Chair, Paula and Simon are by turns creepy and sweet, and Paula finally puts him through. He's adorable; shivers and gets shy and bashful and generally loses track of all his stuff. Paula tells him to go tell everybody, and downstairs, he hugs everyone in California.