American Idol
Top 4: Performances

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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We Learn To Respect The Power Of Pandering
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Blake's mouth hangs open like a flytrap as Ryan pans across the kids: thirty million Americans deciding your fate, and it's three girls and one guy. Of sorts. I'd be jaw-dropped too. Ryan's wearing a black suit and blue tie, or a blue suit (Armani does not make a blue suit) but whatever it is, the combination, it's strange. Like, Wonder Woman and Clark Kent can't really have blue hair, but then how come -- that's the color of the suit and the tie. "I am Ryan Seacrest," he declares, "And the pressure is on, in America." You know what, if fucking George and Laura show up I'm outta here. Ryan's scruff is not great this week: he looks like G.I. Joe, or a Halloween hobo, or today's FTM. As he introduces the judges, the screaming is insane for Simon and not so much for the other two, and that makes me, Simon, and Ryan giggle madly. It's going to be a good week. Simon's wearing a white v-neck. With a capital V. Capital.

Did you know Barry Gibb is a music icon? He's been around just forever, five decades, starting out in Manchester with his Brothers Gibb. They show clips from the very excellent "Stayin' Alive" video, which is basically four to eight unattractive Mancunians standing around in unattractive locations, occasionally thrusting hips, singing in ghostly high voices. I recommend it strongly. (Remember Saturday Night Fever? You know, I was making out with the pilot of my private jet the other day and one or the other of us brought up that movie, and my, how we laughed. What a moment, culturally. Then we joined a cult, got really fat, and traded on our outdated celebrity cache for one million bloated years. Do you think Rita Wilson and Kelly Preston have a secret club where they get drunk and bemoan the fact that they will never, ever be famous? And then prank-call Patti Scialfa? That's what I would do. Hell, that's already what I do, I'm not gonna lie.) The Bee Gees had 30 albums and 19 of them were awesome in some way, they had five number ones in a row, there's gay name dropping extraordinaire: Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Barbra. In every picture, Barry's uncomfortably nuzzling the lady of the moment in the exact same not-so-present fashion. Seven Grammies, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, "How Deep Is Your Love," and through it all, they were not that great looking. Barry Gibb will always look weird, in a new way each century, and Barry Gibb will always sound weird, edging ever up on self-parody, and Barry Gibb will always write kick-ass songs, with so-so lyrics. He tells us how our Top Four have "grown immensely," and then points out for the first of several thousand times that he's made "a lot of records with ladies," and that's what he is doing here: working with lots of ladies, and Blake. He keeps saying this and we will never know why he feels it's important to stress this point. Also, he talks CRAZY.

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American Idol

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