The show starts early so I don't get to see Ryan's ramp-up to "This...is American Idol," but I'll assume that in the pan across the final six saw everybody shitting a brick except Castro and possibly David Cook. Cue the still-off-putting credits!
Ryan introduces the judges, giving Paula a kiss on the cheek as he passes. Then he gives Simon a peck on the top of the head, at which point Simon double-takes so hard he time-traveled all the way back to vaudeville. Ryan is actually the cooler of the two, basically telling Simon to relax and watch the Top 6 perform the ghastly "All I Ask Of You" with the ghastly Andrew Lloyd Webber. On a week when many, many dumb decisions were made -- starting with the fact that it's ALW week in the first place and not a broader, better musical theatre theme -- the decision to perform this song as the group number might be the dumbest. Every week we've seen the contestants try to forcibly mingle their voices around songs that were clearly not meant to be sung by large, unwieldy groups of people. Now what genre of music could possibly accommodate six people singing the same song? Hmmm. And yet! They picked a song from that genre that is so clearly meant for a duet, it practically says, "I am singing this song to you, one person, and only you." There's a song in Phantom (uh...sorry, Jacob) called "The Point of No Return" that's basically everybody taking turns being all intense and up in everybody else's face and pairing off and peering over candelabras and being that ALW brand over hyper-dramatic and it would have been eight kinds of fucked up and awesome to see here, but alas. Abigal Breslin seems to enjoy this performance well enough as it is.
After the break, Ryan kicks it to the recap of last night's largely underwhelming show. Syesha being less the stand-up diva than she always is. Randy said: "Best performance to date!" Randy did not say: "Michelle Pfeiffer done did that slinking-off-the-piano bit already, dude." David A. was successful in turning "Think Of Me" into a Brian McKnight song, but Simon was less than appreciative. Jason committed war crimes against Betty Buckley with his rendition of "Memory," though I couldn't see it as any better or worse than his other performances, and on a night like last night that meant he was in the top three at least. Simon said it made him think of yet another ghastly wedding, making me ask the question (and perhaps not for the first time): what the hell happened to Simon Cowell as a child at a wedding that's made him this way? Brooke infamously started and stopped (get ready to hear about this a billion more times tonight), and Paula made a big deal out of it, but Simon thought it was her only option, and all of it distracted from the fact that the rest of the song was boring/crappy. Carly gave her best performance of the season on "Jesus Christ Superstar," though Randy Jackson failed to apologize to her for leading her astray all season. And then there was David Cook, stinking up the joint doing a poor-man's Michael Crawford routine so bad I'm surprised I didn't have to recap it. I still love him, but holy shit did I not enjoy that one bit.