After the break, it's apparently play time up in the balcony, as Ryan is walking past the lined-up guys towards Chris and each guy does some lame shit like make bunny ears behind Ryan's head. This is what happens when half your cast is still in high school. Bunny ears. Ryan super-fakely turns around to catch them all in the act. Well-played and hilarious, gentlemen! See, this is why I don't think all this Pickler stuff is 100\% fake. Because what we just saw is what happens when this show goes for fake. The body language between Ryan and Chris is so weird. Ryan puts a hand on Chris's shoulder, and at first it looks like Chris flinches, but on second look, he's really just fidgeting his arm, unsure whether he should put a hand of his own on Ryan's shoulder, or, like, slap him on the back really hard, or chug a beer and forget this whole shoulder thing ever happened or what. I think this is why Chris always slaps Ryan's hand so hard on the stage. It allows him to set the personal-space ground rules. Chris's big video-clip secret is that a mere couple years ago, he was "stylin' [his] hair just like Ryan Seacrest." We see some photos from back in the day, and he's not wrong. He looks way better bald, I have to say. He says he started to go bald and he'd always promised himself that if that was the case, he'd shave it all off and not look back. That's my kind of vanity, dude. Like I said: way better bald anyway. Chris is singing "Broken" by Seether. My sister insisted that I knew this song, but I didn't recognize it until it got to the part where Amy Lee is supposed to kick in. If Chris's Fuel performance was a 9, this one is an 8 -- it's the exact same kind of proficient, it just doesn't have as much of an impact. But, as with Mandisa, it's just so enjoyable to listen to, and I can't really say that about anyone else. He's fantastic with the stage presence, without having to do a whole lot of self-conscious shit. He just stomps around and pounds his fist and grabs the mic with both hands, and he's perfect. How cool would it be if Chris and Katharine did this song, with Kat on the Amy Lee parts? That's what I want for the finale, show. Make it happen. Randy says Chris is one of the few who knows who they are, and says he's ready. Chris's friends in the audience, as always, are way old. Paula says she can already hear him on the radio. Can Paula hear this radio right now? Actually, I can believe that. I think Paula's invisible radio is right in front of invisible Mariah. Simon, however, wasn't so impressed. He thought it was "a bit indulgent," and that the song was tucked away too safely in Chris's comfort zone. And you know I love Chris, but I can't really disagree with that. It was definitely the safe song to sing. That being said, how many more times is Chris going to be able to sing a song that fits his style once the theme nights start? He'd be stupid not to load up on three performances that really show him at his best, in his given genre, while he still has a free hand to choose. I think Simon had to throw some cold water onto Chris at this point, for a number of reasons, including warding off voter complacency, and not making Chris seem too good, so when Ace ultimately beats him, it won't seem like total bullshit. Chris takes the criticism well, though he still defends the song choice to Ryan. He also declares himself to be done with customer service. From the world's saddest Wal-Mart, Ryan Starr laughs a bitter laugh. Ryan Seacrest reads Chris's numbers, then calls him "baldie" (hey, at least he's above the belt now), and Chris manages to bruise Ryan as much as possible in the handshake/hug-out scenario.
Episode Report CardJoe R: B- | 546 USERS: C+
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