Tonight's pre-credits sequence is cut together like a movie trailer for something called Idol's Eleven. Because the theme tonight is "Songs from the Cinema" and the editors have to push it as hard as they can, because God knows the contestants aren't going to give a crap about it.
After the credits, Ryan brings out the Top 11, who spread out across the stage like they're trying to surround the audience. Ryan reminds them (and us) of the stakes this week, which is a spot on the Top 10 tour. Out come the judges, Jennifer dressed from head to toe in a hot pink number that makes her body glow like a character in a Commodore 64 game. Ryan chats with them for a while, and Jennifer talks about the competitive drive the contestants all need. Then Harry brings everything to a halt, saying he thought of a catchphrase over the weekend and he'd like to try it out now: "You have to be in it to win it!" Well, at least if Randy is still going to be around, it'll help to have Harry mocking him.
Speaking of mocking, as Ryan introduces Sam he explains that the finalists all spent some time this week pretending to be each other, like they were auditioning to play each other. This is the point in the season when you find out which of the finalists is everyone's least favorite. For Sam, everyone basically just wears his dumb hat from last week and monotones a few first-person comments about being cute and living with their parents. The good news is that it looks like I won't need to spend much time on this gag. Anyway, Sam is singing "Come Together," because Across the Universe always saves movie night for at least one contestant by giving them carte blanche to access the entire Beatles catalogue. Unfortunately, he's doing it as an upbeat pop song, which, I suppose, compared to most of his performances it kind of is. The chicks obviously dig it, though, because they always do. Keith likes how he showed a different side and loosened up a little, and Jennifer says he needs a little more confidence to go from baby rock star to big rock star. Harry also thinks he's on the right track, but that Sam needed to make up for the nonsensical lyrics and undemanding melody with something else… like vibe. Yeah, not a whole lot of vibe there. Ryan sends him off to the lounge, while a splitscreen shows him doing a little Rear Window bit, looking out at his voting number through binoculars. I think the bits are probably going to go over better than the imitation bits, if this is any indication.