A mostly boring but extremely accessible evening with the King. The Idols head to Graceland, where they meet the dead thing masquerading as Priscilla Presley and the nasty beast called Tommy Mottola.
Taylor sings "Jailhouse Rock" as a weak and needy pastiche, including a whirlwinding move we'll call the "Row The Boat" with the mic stand. However, his suit is excellent and the color of an eggplant. His "In The Ghetto" sounds great, especially for being such an inherently offensive song. Sometimes being disingenuously "wacky" and oblivious all the time has its upside. Example: Chris goes on at length about how freaking boring he is, and then brings up his boxer briefs to scare the gayness out of Ryan Seacrest for good. It does not work. He sings "Suspicious Minds" well, and in the usual way, then "A Little Less Conversation" so low that nobody can hear anything, but all over Hollywood car alarms go off. Who knew that song could actually get more obnoxious? Thanks, Chris. You're a boringness astronaut.
Elliott "Misery" Yamin's continuing emotional breakdown causes him to almost hit his head on a piano in front of Tommy, then he goats his way through much of "If I Could Dream." He gets back to baseline Elliott by the end, but the only way you'd care is if you've heard the song before, and chances are you have not. The faces he makes while singing are particularly gross this week. Later, Elliott sings "Trouble," which like all songs in the key of "Mannish Boy" is not so much a song as the musical equivalent of playing with Lego. So he does as well as possible there. And Katharine...sucks. It's weird. The overlookables are not overlookable, and she doesn't stand out in any way at all except for the awful singing. A medley of "Hound Dog" and "All Shook Up" amounts to a bunch of screaming, and there are more notes off in "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" than notes that hit.
Best of the night: Taylor.
Should go home: Kat.
Will go home: Elliott, with Kat on the Seal.
A surprisingly touching results show, featuring the longest and best group sing in recent memory, features: Taylor's talent, Katharine's humanity, Elliott looking kind of hot, and Chris's "Kryptonite." The presumptive Chosen One is forced to sing his "Interstate Love Song" as he's sent off into the future to be Creed or Fuel's new front man. Baby, it's time to come home. Home to Hot Topic and an extensive collection of leather wristbands and stupid sideburns and zero thoughts or personality. After an attempt at "Selling The Drama" in Graceland, and a stupid pimpomercial that gets it "All Over You," Taylor and Elliott are named the Top Two for the week, flipping the script on Kat and Chris from weeks past and proving it's a "Mad Season" after all.
Door Number One: Elliott, proving he can goat-sing his way into your heart. Door Number Two: Taylor proving that karaoke is just "Throwing Copper" to the masses. Door Number Three: Katharine has boobies. But "3 Doors Down" from there finds Chris "Unwell." As Chris and Kat stand on the naked stage, "Lightning Crashes" in Kat's tummy, while Chris prepares to be the fly in her "Vaseline," but nobody is more shocked -- or seemingly "Bent" out of shape -- than Katharine, when she's told she's safe. Paula loses her mind thinking about Chris leaving, but the most shocking thing about this shocking elimination is the way it happens: suddenly, without pretext or prelude, with a boot to the stomach no matter whose side you're on.
Your Top Three: Elliott, Taylor, and Katharine. Remember, America will always get the Pickler it deserves, even if the Pickler it deserves is a gray-haired drunken lawyer, in this case.
Ryan in a lovely slate-gray three-piece lets us know that in two weeks, two "ordinary" people will sing for 50 million Americans, the show will be broadcast in thirty-four countries, and the winner will be a "superstar." I can't argue the numbers, but the rest of that is lies. Everybody boos Simon again; Randy is an idiot for involving himself in those stupid cartoony games. We'll be singing two Elvis songs tonight; I'm guessing a fast one and a slow one. Here's the thing: I love Elvis. His music, I mean. But "fast," with Elvis, can often go to the "For The Love Of Money" place that I hate so much. And that this show likes to visit as often as possible. So I'm a little scared, because I want to enjoy myself moderately much, and I can't do that if we're going to get Taylor singing crap like, I don't know. "Jailhouse Rock" or "Heartbreak Hotel." I don't like listening to them as songs personally, but I don't have a problem acknowledging their purpose in this world. But that doesn't mean it's all that cool to sing them on this show, where the whole point is that we see you singing songs. If you sing an obscure song, you run the risk of getting us lost in it and trying to figure out its shape, but if you sing a played-out song, you're going to be overwhelmed by it, like a paper-plate mask of Elvis's face in front of your real face. That's like the Mariah Carey Corollary.
The Idols flew to Graceland after Paris's cute little ouster, and Chris acted like a prat on the plane, all, "Graceland, Baby!" And whatever, when you put a person with this little reality or personality under any kind of stress, they're going to react by digging deeper into whatever fake persona they've cooked up. They arrive -- in a very glamorous minivan -- and give autographs to some people, and Taylor says in a robotic artistic voice as they're driving up, "The birthplace of rock and roll." I don't even know what he fucking means by that. I do know that Priscilla Presley is so fucking scary, I can't even believe it. She creeps around the house like a cat burglar, with the hunched back and the dangling Nosferatu hands, and her hair is the color of blood, and her eyes have no irises, and she's terrifying with a scary grin, and she's all points and spikes and creepiness. But that's just the visual: she's totally sweet and down to earth and kind of hippie-ish about how she watches the show so she's "kind of" been on their "journey." She laughs kind of desperately and takes them in to meet Tommy Mottola. Who is now John Waters. The two of them being all, "Come into our parlor!" is so scary to me. Priscilla tells them Elvis would love American Idol. I agree. Kat hides behind Taylor so Tommy Mottola won't marry her. The only people he didn't marry were Hall & Oates, and I can't even confirm that for sure. Be smart, Kat. Marry Tommy Mottola, end up in your underwear on TRL. I learned that the hard way.