American Idol
The Wrongest Time

Episode Report Card
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Beautiful Disaster

We'll open the recap by having a moment of silence for my VCR, because it has taped its last episode of American Idol. It's TiVo all the way now, baby! Assuming I can convince it that I'm not interested in watching old episodes of Battlestar Galactica. Farewell, VCR. You served me well. Except for the time you taped over my episode of American Idol. And that time you taped over my episode of The Bachelor. And that time that you didn't tape The Bachelor at all. Okay, I won't miss you.

Tuesday. Ryan "Light As A Breeze" Seacrest greets us on the Seal of Tsathoggua with the seven remaining finalists. Strangely, Ryan is very blandly dressed, looking like a middle manager on casual Friday. And we'll find out why after the opening credits. He reminds us that there's singing and judging and an audience and stuff.

Credits. Ryan heads back out onto the Seal to greet the screaming and the signs and the shrieking and the waving. He introduces his mom and his sister out in the crowd. See, he had to de-gay himself for the family. It's like when Robin Williams and Nathan Lane took everything suspect out of their house when Dan Futterman brought home Calista Flockhart's conservative family in The Birdcage. After much blather, Ryan introduces the kids back out to the stage. Ruben has again resisted the call of the 205 for the Tuesday show. Then Ryan introduces the judges, Simon "I Go To Extremes" Cowell, Paula "All You Wanna Do Is Dance" Abdul, and Randy "Careless Talk" Jackson. Thanks to complaints by GLAAD, there aren't any more stupid jokes about Ryan and Simon being gay. Does that mean I have to stop hating them? Or that I have to stop making jokes about them being gay? Because I refuse to do either. Ryan then waves around an issue of US Weekly and blathers on about some poll that ranks Simon as slightly less sexy than Spongebob Squarepants. Why are these idiots waving that idiot magazine at me? ["THAT MAGAZINE SERVES TO DULL THE MINDS OF HUMANS IN PREPARATION FOR THE ELDER GODS' RETURN." -- Tsathoggua] There's a stuffed Spongebob tossed around. The point of this whole thing is that the show sucks.

Ryan tells us that tonight's theme is "American Singers and Songwriters." The theme is actually one American singer and songwriter, Billy Joel. The kids are all going to be singing Billy Joel songs. But due to some prior engagement -- a show, a court date, whatever -- Billy can't be make it out to be the guest judge. Instead, the guest judge is Smokey Robinson. Or rather, the wax dummy of Smokey Robinson that magically came to life and escaped from Madame Tussaud's museum. Smokey gets his clip show profile. He sang a lot of hit songs. Bob Dylan loved him. Et cetera. Smokey tells Ryan he's been watching the show and is prepared to judge the kids. He says nothing of interest, and like Clay and Ruben, his performance will be consistent in this area throughout the evening.

Billy Joel gets a clip show as well. He sang lots of hits. He's an icon. There's a Broadway play named Movin' Out based on his songs. Do I have to give my gay card back if I admit that I didn't know that this musical existed until this show? In an interview, he explains that his success is due to the fact that he's "competent" at everything involving music and knows how to do his job. He's deliberately not trying to brag about his career or anything, but of course, "competent" would be the highest of praise for most of our finalists. If you care at all how Billy looks, he has shaved his head and grown a salt-and-pepper goatee. I think Peter Gabriel has done the same thing. Billy Joel says he can't wish each of the contestants good luck because each of them can't win (whatever), but says he hopes the "best musician" will win. Who would that be -- Schroeder?

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American Idol




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