Some idiot in the booth screwed up the phone numbers for three singers in the bottom-third during review, so instead of results Wednesday, weâre getting rehashes of tonight, with âlive elements,â meaning Seacrest pantsing around, and the results show will be on Thursday. My O.C. night. I kind of hope that person is executed. To repeat: This shit doesnât matter because weâre going to see it all again tomorrow. But it was pretty interesting. The theme was Billboard #1 Hits, which means the kids only had 930 songs to choose from. Harsh!
A-Fed sings âI Knew You Were Waiting For Me,â because itâs about having faith in Cheeseheart whatever whatever Capri Sun bullshit. I would have said, âBecause if you put Aretha Franklin and George Michael in a blender and baked it at 350 to a golden bubbly, youâd have Ryan Seacrest.â Then he sings horribly with cruddy hair, although he otherwise looks cute. Randy loves it because he wrote, performed and produced the song and actually thereâs no such thing as Aretha or George Michael, just the effect of Randy Jackson on the music of the twentieth century and beyond. Paulaâs CRAZY DRUNK the whole time and keeps tackling Simon and trying to climb him. Simon disses the faux sexiness of the dancing but mostly, he sounded horrible, and the only thing heâs got tonight is being adorable, so why choose that to criticize?
Carrie âtakes a riskâ by singing the totally awesome song âAloneâ by Heart. Her hair is insane. INSANE. She looks electrocuted. She doesnât sound that bad, of course, but dude, the hair is really distracting. Sheâs at the seashore poking her face through a wooden standup of Olivia Newton-John at the end of Grease. Sideburns. Simon tells her sheâs going to win and also outsell all previous Idols. Even Carrie is dubious.
Scott really identifies with âAgainst All Odds.â Whatever. Iâll think about that tomorrow. Heâs wearing a velvet jacket and a -- no, there goes the hat. Heâs rocking back and forth all crazy as that beautiful voice comes out of him. Heâs also wearing last weekâs sun -- nope, there go the sunglasses. Pray itâs almost over because heâs not really rocking the layers. You know I love this song. Simon didnât think it was a fantastic vocal. It was, but not because he tried -- I donât think heâs well tonight -- just because heâs fantastic.
Bo Bice sings âTime In a Bottle.â He looks scary in the darkness and his balladeer voice is nice but boring. Thereâs a guitarist sitting onstage and the guy is getting as much camera time as Bo, who is kind of serenading him. Thereâs a terrible âla-la-laâ part in no key whatsoever, and Simon thinks he rocks, and then Paula kisses Simonâs cheek and sniffs his armpit and slaps him, all in quick succession. I want to be on what she is on.
âIncompleteâ was a #1 hit. By Sisqo. Who was in Dru Hill. Thatâs like six things I didnât know. Nikko is dressed asâ¦a burghermeister. He sounds thin but that control is there, and the Nikko Effect of sounding legit instead of originally sung by a miniature gay idiot. Hah! Thatâs how he got back in! Simon calls it his best performance and then Paula literally climbs onto his face and I donât know whoâs more disgusted, him or me.
Vonzell sings âBest of My Loveâ by the Emotions, remembering listening to it on the radio with her Dad, how theyâd dress up like cowboys. She dances out into the audience and is totally cute, and again, just put her be in Destinyâs Child. She deserves that money theyâre giving Michelle. Paula just kind of wanders around and Vonzell does a weird laugh into the camera that would be creepy if it were anybody else. Simon thinks itâs the first time people will remember her, and Paula jumps his bones. Again.
Constantine sings âI Think I Love Youâ by the Partridge Family because, he says, âItâs about time someone redid the song.â Dude, youâre on American Idol. This isnât for fucking posterity. Heâs wearingâ¦oh, he looks like hell. Heâs also singing in this certainâ¦this is hilarious. I know that much. But not in a way that makes me like him more. This is likeâ¦Iâm without words. Holy hell. Randyâs embarrassed for him and Paula doesnât know what the hell is going on, and Simon compares him to the experience of ordering âa guard dog for your home and getting delivered a poodle in a leather jacket.â âThatâs astute,â I say.
Nadia sings âTime After Timeâ and describes her personal preference as âarsy-fartsy,â which isâ¦DUDE! Forget Carrie. Nadiaâs got this totally bizarre mohawk happening. She looks like when Storm went through her Claremont shit and came back all punk and Kitty Pryde was all, âWhat are you, gay now?â and Storm was like, âFucking chill.â The arrangement is pretty cool, but this has nothing to do with Nadia at all . Thereâs so much going on with the hair and the time signatures and the crazy shirt and theâ¦Constantineâ¦Iâve kind of misplaced her entirely. Iâm sure it was nice but there was a lot going on? I agree with Simon that it was her weakest performance yet, and by a wide margin.
Mikalah sings Taylor Dayneâs âLove Will Lead You Back.â She looks incredibly beautiful and her totally weird affected voice is not so off-putting here; the song was a really good idea. Paula confuses Mikalah with the actual Taylor Dayne, and Simon calls her a complete and utter mess and then: some fake fighting and drunk Paula.
Anwar sings âAinât Nobodyâ by Chaka Khan. Well, thisâll be gay. He looks about as hot as heâs ever looked, but also totally uncomfortable, and sounds crappy. Heâs yelly and weird and dances exactly like Pink because theyâre both dudes the exact same amount. The judges all praise his last note, and Simon pretty much punches Paula in the face, because sheâs being so irritating tonight, but I donât think sheâll remember.
Then Jessica sings âTotal Eclipse of the Heartâ and itâs awesome. That song is so rad. The hair and makeup look gorgeous, and that achy quality in her voice I like so much, which is what this song is about, really, is all over it. Itâs that country thing: take the country thing and sing non-country with it, and I will love you forever. Unless you sing Heart, I guess. The judges all freak out and tell her how awesome she is. Then, the tainted phone numbers.
Tomorrow: WE DO ALL THIS SHIT AGAIN only Ryan might not be wearing such a flattering t-shirt. Happy birthday to me.
Big boy clothes and a refreshingly straightforward explanation from Ryan: all votes from last night have been voided, and [cell phone company] will not be charging for last night's text votes. Which is cool because sometimes synergy works, but also: like I'm sure that'll go off without a hitch.
A-Fed's in that tight black t-shirt again, and still with the funny, sad chin hairs. His performance in the recent past is not helped by his appearance in the awkward present. I've now heard this a hundred times, and there's just no subtle good to be uncovered. The moves are still hilarious and cheesy, the crotch is still crotching crazily, smirk smirking grossly. A-Fed's hair looks even worse; Simon and Ryan share a homophobic love bite.
Next is Carrie, whose hair is crazy, but not as much as we thought before Nadia's hair taught us just how fucked up hair could be. It's a pretty good performance but, like, there's no there there. Her eyes don't ping. Paula found Simon's assertion that she would win/outsell every Idol ever both premature and kind of rude. Carrie's wearing another Oleson dress, giving her the best of both worlds, spin-wise.
"Scotty Body" sings "Against All Odds" andâ¦I specialize in judging books by their covers, and it's really upsetting when people get savant, like where the affect doesn't betray any spirit, not a spark of intelligence shows in the eyes, and then they do something as deeply smart as singing the way he does, it's weird. Simon explains how without the whole history, you wouldn't really be that amazed. Somewhat valid.
"Nice" and "boring" are unworthy of Bo Bice. Even here, where he just goes around emoting and saving time in a bottle. He'sâ¦soothing and manly; he's the best camp counselor ever. Randy calls it "subdued" and "hot," and likes it more tonight. Bo loves Croce, won't cut his hair, and smiles a sec before remembering what we talked about.
Nikko comes on dressed like Jack the Ripper, then shrugs off his jacket and dances. There's a certain Urkeltude to Nikko that keeps me from seeing him as a man and more as a nice young guy who wears lots of different costumes. Tonight he's got crazy gold bling and looks like a kid in the park. Randy calls it the best performance of the night.
Vonzell is so approachable, you feel like you're singing backup for her. Paula points out how pretty she looks tonight, how great she sounds, how fun to watch. Randy calls her the most improved, and says each week she gets better and more confident. Simon calls her "infectious," and Ryan ribs her for praying to get around the set in new shoes.
Of all the indignities of this do-over show, the fact I have to watch this awful Constantine crap even once more makes me sickest. Simon "explains" the poodle thing: 2Cats being so hardcore, last night's song was like someone from Metallica singing something else, whatever, it's dumb lies and not holding my interest. Paula explains how this is all a huge joke and 2Cats admits AI's retarded and we get it.
I love Nadia's relationship with her body: she's such a dancer, the way she relates so naturally to the music. And confident! Enough so to make up her own lyrics: where a lesser performer might be "caught up in circles," e.g., Nadia find herself "always with splircles." Much more "artsy-fartsy" that way. Her pet gay boys cheer and she giggles and dedicates the mohawk to Mario V. Ryan mumbles, "Why'd he leave?" and they both giggle and have "no idea" why. SO AWESOME. Simon hates her even more tonight, at which Ryan and Nadia share a scoff.
Mikalah sings her song by the immensely weird and affected Taylor Dayne, and our familiarity with the song, and with Mikalah's weird voice, reduces it all down to one-fifth as warped-sounding, making this a good call. Mikalah looks cute (if wearing a "My Job Is To Annoy You" t-shirt: tragic), and Simon calls the song not so much the problem as what came out of her mouth. There are both cheers and boos here, hilariously. Then Mikalah attempts to lead some kind of Stonewallian fan coup or something.
Anwar sings Chaka Khan, going for a certain kind of sexy he will never, ever have. It is simply not in his armamentarium. Then he giggles, and Ryan again stares slack-jawed at Anwar, who refers to watching the video as "holistic," redeeming my use of the word "armamentarium" above. Anwar sasses Randy and gets a cheer even though he's wrong: it was neither unique nor passionate in the least.
What really comes through, with Jessica, is the beautiful vocal clarity, from note one, and perfect use of the smoky: it's a choice every time, and really neat to watch. The look she gives us at the end is incredibly confident. She's a cool musician. Paula agrees with Paula of the past, and Simon says she has one of the strongest voices in the competition.
Scott continues to flirt with Jessica, Ryan pinkie-swears the numbers are right this time, and then I like when Bo tells the chubby guitarist he'd like to spend some time in a bottle with him, it's sweet, and I like Mikalah's face, and Jessica giving me "fierce."
Featured singers tonight in the final tableau: Jessica, Mikalah, Constantine, and Bo. Guess that answers that.
Well, Ryan. It's time for a haircut, and we both know it. Black jacket, black jeans, black t-shirt? All different shades and fadednesses of black? Are we attending Jacob's 1992 meeting of the Neil Gaiman fan club? You still look fabulous, but apparently that's a thing you can do now, like some kind of superpower, and at the end of the day, you're still Ryan Seacrest. Point being, get a haircut. Basically. And looks-wise, Simon and Randy are status quo, but Paula seems to have borrowed Mikalah's dead-turkey dreamcatcher bling from Tuesday.
Let's remember things we've seen billions of times this week: Vonzell rocked and Paula recognized. Bo "went unplugged" and if you want, you can touch him. Nikko "seduced Paula with style" and gave her goosebumps, and caused her to attack Simon, although honestly who knows whom she thought she was sexually harassing, last night.
So: Constantine sucked bad, Mikalah was a mess, Anthony was the opposite of sexy, Nadia gave everyone a certain kind of anxiety, Carrie and her backup singers rocked the house, Jessica was amazing and awesome, and Scott sang one of my favorite songs, and really well. I was also quoted this week in one of Scott's local papers as a total hater, which is dumb, because I love him. It was that whole "Let's forget about Scott" thing that set them off. Then Anwar was scary and not playing to his strengths. Then we see how those wrong numbers were so wrong, on Tuesday, when they were wrong, wrong, wrong. I mean, I appreciate you admitting you fucked up, because I wouldn't put it past this show to pretend it was somehow the voters' fault, but the degree to which you're making sure we know you fucked up is, um, fucked up. And insulting. Got it, move on.
In general, the judges were nicer upon second review of the footage (i.e., what we see, instead of whatever goes on in front of them), and enjoyed their trip into our world. Then there were a "record-breaking" 31.5 million votes (what record? Measuring what? Who cares?), which actually counted. And everybody's text messages were uncharged.
Then they sing the second of the three possible charity singles, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," or as I like to call it, "A Bo Bice Song, Featuring Bo Bice." And yeah, again he starts it off, but mostly he's the only one that can start on the right note and not rely on relative pitch, which is what I thought I had and what the Encyclopedia thread tells me I have. So Constantine is not that bad, Carrie is serviceable, the crowd goes wild for her and Nadia, who works it, through to Nikko, who works it. And then goes flat, and the cheering stops.
Vonzell brings it back to melisma-rocking awesome, Anwar makes his scary blank face while hitting the notes and no more, no less. Jessica plays with it a bit and the crowd goes crazy, and all that's left is Scott and Mikalah, who are going to glory out as best as they can because one of them is going home. I don't care, but I hope it's him, because at least her body doesn't reject the stylist's attentions like an alien organ. Her face is sadder, though, so I say it's her. Then there's an embarrassing pimpomercial where they sing the annoying "Hey now, you're a rock star" song while pretending to be breakfast cereal.
So ready for the bottom three? Nikko was beloved, Constantine pretends to be worried while remaining in Suffragette City for reasons I don't comprehend, Carrie is bored until they tell her she will outsell all musicians in the new century, Carrie and Nadia watch Bo pretend to be worried and then relieved, and then Nadia is the first of the bottom three, because she looked bizarre and sang a Mario-esque song that had nothing to do with her killer voice, and everything to do with the performance, which was: weird.
Jessica's brilliant and ended the night on top and her scary family goes nuts when she's safe, Mikalah makes some (not unreciprocated) weird noises at Nadia when she goes up, Scott and his irritating buddy Fake Jesus are overwhelmingly relieved when he's safe, and then it's time to jerk the last three around before saying who is the last one on the block tonight: Anwar is safe and boring as ever, Vonzell is luminous and thanks us for "falling in love with her," and A-Fed is pleased and laughs about how deeply unsexy to the crazy extreme he is.
So it's Nadia and Mikalah, and then A-Fed is the last one in the bottom three. I'm not happy about this. I can't say who I would like to see gone, so I'm willing to advance you that I would be sad no matter what, but I kind ofâ¦Nadia rocks, okay, so never mind that, but I sort of adore Mikalah and A-Fed at this point. A-Fed has a great voice that he refuses to use, and Mikalah has a terrible voice with which she won't fucking stop. I don't know what to do. Neither does the crowd. Confusion reigns.
Randy, if he could, would save Nadia. Paula thinks Ryan should know better than to ask her, and Simon -- well, Ryan does know better than to ask him, and then A-Fed gives Mikalah a lower-back comfort stroke and goes back to Suffragette City. Then it's Nadia and Mikalah, and another stupid commercial just like five seconds ago.
Nadia's smiling because she's fine, duh, and Mikalah is adorable and sad. Nadia feels like she did a "little mohawk" and "just did her." Mikalah is adorable as she loses, smiling so beautifully at everyone, and Jessica cries a bomb, and it's both believable and ugly, while Carrie's crying? Not so believable, but twice as ugly. Then, Seacrest out, and hopefully a week will go by where they don't fuck up egregiously, right? See you Tuesday.
So last week was the Mario thing, and I honestly thought Friday -- when Vonzell was celebrating her birthday as only a cowgirl can -- while I was driving back from my rainy New Orleans vacation, that the storm of controversy would leave with him and everything was going to be okay. Blue skies. Not so. The taped broadcast this week aired at its usual time, Tuesday at 8 PM EST, and again three hours later, on the west coast, and the bottom-third graphic at the end gave the correct 866-IDOLS number, but the translation number beneath it -- I guess for those grandmas with rotary phones or people who dial TV shows so terribly often that the letters have worn off -- was incorrect for Anwar, Mikalah, and Jessica.
I don't blame them for not fixing the PST numbers, because they'd still have to scrap the results, but I do blame them for fucking it up at all, because the solution was two identical performance shows, Wednesday "including new live elements" and signs begging TPTB not to fire whoever screwed up the phone numbers. I lost an hour of my life, but I understand there wasn't really any other option. Anyway, they're jerks.
Simon tickles Paula as they're being introduced, and then she grabs him and laughs and Ryan fake-smiles at their antics. He very professionally does not vomit. We flash back to last week's post-elimination clubhouse hangout, again, and the kids are all opening their "gifts" and Anwar is unwrapping his carefully to preserve the paper -- which is totally a joke I would have made, had he not beaten me to the punch by actually acting out the joke I would have made, right before my eyes -- and it's the Billboard #1 Hits book. Then the author of this book appears out of nowhere, as if by magic, and tells them they get to pick this week's song from any of the 930 songs in the book. Man, that's way too narrow. How ever will they fit in their little boxes?
First up is Anthony singing "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me," because it's about "having faith in what you do, no matter how tough things get in life," and you and I both know what he's talking about: the doctors said there wasn't anybody waiting for him, but he knew you were waiting for him, and there you were waiting for him, and now here is, singing about it. Also, he's singing to superstardom, because he believes that "in the end, something special is waiting" for him. Does that make him Aretha? Or George Michael? Neither, I think, is really what he's going for.
Which seems to be Clay, this week. He dances around and makes some Clay faces. His jacket is kind of cool -- the lapels are frayed like Jessica's old hobo clothing. His pronunciation gets more Ukrainian each week, it's fascinating. He's kind of a Clay impersonator this week, only with really bad singing. This is terrible, Anthony! The strength and clarity of his voice, which normally I mention, are not an issue here. The issue, rather, is this incredibly fucked-up, affected performance: weird breathy emphases on weird places, and cheesy hands out to the crowd and creepy hip-dancing and fake smiles and it's all so "sassy" and painful. I think if this was the first thing I saw of little A-Fed I would hate him, instead of just feeling warm and protective toward him like everyone else he's ever met. This is just like a weird it's like MTV Europe. This is like MTV Europe when you go, "What the fuck goes on over there?"