The Very, Very Awesome: Phil's version of "Missing You," (John Waite! Or Tyler Hilton!) was pretty passionate, and strangely resonant. Especially if you didn't look into the depths of his creepiness while he was singing. I can definitely see why they keep putting him first or last: he's a very dramatic performer. He reminds me of the similarly bald man from Iceland (Finland?) on last season of that other show, where they sing songs you've ever heard before. Brandon sang "Time After Time" for his grandma, inducing Simon to his most cynical, wonderful behavior in recent memory: in the space a few seconds he dedicates things to Brandon's grandma, his own grandma, your grandma and puppies. After Phil's dedication of his own performance to the events of 9/11, it was kind of called for.
Bad Surprise 1: Unfortunately, Chris R managed to out-Blake Blake with a great rendition of "Geek In The Pink," by Jason Mraz, which is at least five things I once promised always to hate, starting with Chris R. Blake's "Virtual Insanity" was irritating, although it still involved Blake; he did more of that stuff he does. Also not great: how Sundance did a great job singing "Mustang Sally." This pissed me off for two main reasons: the first is that I miss Judd Harris, and the second is that -- during the performance -- I realized that Sundance combines everything I hate about Bo Bice and Taylor Hicks, which leads inexorably in a mathematical proof ( ([B+T(*r]/h - H, where B = Bo, T = Taylor, h = height, H = facial hair, and r = dumb as hell) to the fact that about four months from now, Sundance Head is going to be your American Idol, and until then he's going to be singing songs like this and "For The Love Of Money" and other non-songs of this nature.
A Nice Surprise & Other Things That Happened: I finally get AJ! His "Feelin' Good" (previously by lots of ladies including Michael BublÃ©) puts a whole new spin on his diva act. Jared sang "Let's Get It On," Nick sang "Fever," Chris S was nothing special singing a song called "Trouble" about his wildly hot girlfriend, and Sanjaya sang "Steppin' Out With My Baby." Only the last one was memorable, and not in a good way.
Every week the pressure increases, every vote is vital, this time it's personal. Does Ryan even know what he's saying? I think Paula got ahold of the teleprompter and just put in a bunch of nonsense. Then Ryan congratulates "our" Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar, and the judges somehow take credit for this Oscar. Then all the men walk onto the balcony past the camera, and Phil still looks like a dead thing, and Sundance still looks like an idiot. Out in Suffragette City, Leslie looks beautiful and doomed. Randy tells the boys that they need to be better than they were last week. Futile. Simon grins as Paula babbles about how they just need to have fun and believe that they are celebrities, even though they are not really, just as she's been doing for decades. Speaking of celebrities, Ryan says, Simon is "huge" and "worldwide," and Simon just giggles and says to leave it at that.
To whom will Phil dedicate his performance of John Waite's "Missing You"? The victims of 9/11, apparently. Also, he's in the military as a singer, which allows him to give what he has to give, for a great cause. Things are cynical and stupid for awhile, above and beyond how stupid this whole "dedication" thing is, with lots of pictures of military dudes and how great they are, and a whole lotta GED talk from Phil and his gross bald self. Luckily, he sings like a bastard, and it's even more fun if you're not looking. If you are looking, I suggest playing a game I call Ugly Phillip, where you replace parts of his face one after another with the powers of your mind until you can stand to look at him. A little hair on top, the semblance of chin, rounding off those V'ger-looking ears, etc. Use your mental agility to do the tricks for Phil that his face doesn't yet know how to do, because he deserves this at least for being so talented. I do love to hear him sing, and he has a lovely smile and a kickin' body, but the rest of it is a mindfuck.
Randy thanks him for putting it on blast; Paula thanks him for his tone and for sounding like the radio; Simon congratulates him on the horrible video and unoriginal voice, and also one really good part where he sang really loud. He's not unique, just very very good in a karaoke way. Ryan wonders about the effect of Phil's likeability, and Simon reassures them both that Phil will be back next week. Randy reminds him that he is "hot" and "in the mix." Phil's face does a whole lotta stuff while Ryan talks about telecom mergers that don't matter whatsoever. Jeff Foxworthy is like the Blake Lewis of this episode; he's over in the corner to celebrate white trash stupidity some more, and they keep cutting to him. You know what's hilarious, is the failure of our public school system and the brain-dead machine cogs it turns out, generation after generation! I love to laugh about how grown adults don't know what a "trapezoid" is, don't you? I wish I had my copy of The Bridges Of Madison County with me right now, so I could read it now that I'm done with The DaVinci Code. Let me tell you, that was some high-effort reading. I can't wait for the day I crack a book and realize I can no longer read at all! It's like they're sending you a message begging to you accept and revel in American mediocrity, in all areas of life! Wait, they are!