The theme this week is both "the music of Queen" and "I change my mind, I want to do this Queen song instead."
Bucky sings the frankly excellent "Fat Bottomed Girls" in his usual manner, which if you're me means wholly underwhelming vocally. It's a great song, though, so just by virtue of not fucking it up, Bucky's at least middle of the pack right out the gate. When Ace tries to Daughtry up "We Will Rock You," he gets utterly shot down by the surviving members of Queen, which is awesome. The performance is not awesome. The performance is HORRIFYING. At least, the parts of it I watched before I pulled a pillow up in front of my face in self-defense. Kellie is dressed up like Constantine dressed up as Kellie, which is appropriate considering she's singing "Bohemian Rhapsody." I think a goose walked over my grave right then. Then something very strange happens, where Kellie's performance goes through the several dozen filters in my eyes, ears, and brain, and the result is I think she rocked it. I think I want her to win? I think I want her to win! The judges acknowledge the utter stupidity of her choosing that song in the first place but are all amazed to say she was fantastic. Oh, and it might interest you to know that Kellie isn't so much interested in printable recaps from this site because she doesn't have the first clue what paper even is. Chris goes Ã¼ber-Nadia on the song choice, opting for the b-side rarity import vinyl single "Innuendo." It's actually pretty boring for a hard-ass rock song, but it's Chris, which means it's super-well-sung and wildly over-produced. The judges geek the heck out for him, though Simon seems to be slowly losing patience with his song selection.
Katharine wants to sing "Don't Stop Me Now" and the rehearsals look totally hot and she makes me happy to just look at her, but then she changes her mind because why waste the chance to totally steal Mandisa's song? Diabolical, girl, I love it. The performance? I can't even get into it right now except to say that it is what "very fucking hot" will look like in a thousand years when aliens land and show us how it's truly done. Seriously, that was like watching a science fiction film. And the authorities say Jacob named ME as the person who has to go through his apartment and hide the unmentionables before his parents show up, because he claims to have died. I should probably mention here that all episode Fantasia Barrino's head just hovers over Paula Abdul's shoulder, and I mean that literally, not as a commentary on Paula's mental state.
I can't deal with Elliott, and you all know that. He's great! What a voice! Don't care. Sorry. "Somebody to Love" is a great song, though, so it could have been much less interesting. I have no idea who is safe or not this week, by the way. I'm so fucked in the office pool. Taylor jettisons the gimmicky yet serene "We Are the Champions" for "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," which no one has been able to sing on this show without looking like a total asshole. Check it! The streak is alive! It's like there's a rhinoceros loose in the studio. Nobody is safe, not the judges, not the band, not the audience, and certainly not the mic stand, which takes a Jared-Leto-in-Fight Club beating. I don't even know if there was singing involved, because Taylor scares the hell out of me. Parisâ¦okay, apparently after Alias goes off the air Paris will be taking over for CIA super-spy Sydney Bristow, if tonight's outfit was any indication. There is no Huxtable in Brooklyn to compare to what our girl looks like tonight. She sings "The Show Must Go On," and while the song is probably too big for her vocally, she came to Work It Out again, and you know that's where I love for Paris to be. Bounce! Bounce! Seeeng! Be the Fantasia you see before you! She was super-cool. Simon doesn't get it, and I kind of didn't get it, but boy howdy Jacob got it, so I'll be going to him for help in the recap, that's for sure.
Dudes, Queen week was awesome! Tomorrow: results. If anyone but Ace goes home, it will suck and be grossly unfair.
Do you like filler and drawn-out messages from home? I sure hope you do, because this was a solid hour of it. The final group of eight sing a Queen medley that is shoved into the bottom left corner of your screen so you can once again watch highlights of the season so far. It's utterly pointless and frustrating, because the only fun to be had in the group sing is how they're all elbowing each other out of the frame and we can barely see that shit. Damn, show. I've had enough Rhonetta Johnson to last a lifetime. Also, my streak of getting all the worst pimp-mercials continues unbroken as this week's theme is both golf and Ace wearing some hideous pink sweater vest thing last seen on Carlton Banks. Ryan does manage to score some biting social commentary off the last one, though.
Thenâ¦the parents. Oy. Everybody's proud, and half the participants weep openly, to the point where a Kellie-appointed "snot rag" gets disgustingly passed around. Ryan, as you might expect, is offended to his metro core. Taylor gets a message from his band who, in their own words, don't know what the hell Taylor's ever talking about until months after the fact. Katharine's awful mother is nicely complemented by her pretty cool father, who sheds a few tears as he talks about how proud he is. Chris's family is about a bajillion times more Bucky than he is, making him the hot diamond in the family rough. Kellie's Grandpappy and little brother are effing adorable, and while I may or may not have been wiping away the tiniest tear (you'll NEVER KNOW), Kellie is positively reserved in comparison. Paris would have dehydrated herself on such an occasion, but we'll get to that. Elliott's family and friends give us the rundown of his Boy in the Plastic Bubble list of physical ailments. His mom is wicked cool. Elliott's in the bottom three, though, and they make him sing before they move on, because everyone involved with this show is a jerk.
If you thought Ace's Jared Leto brother was awful, rest easy in the knowledge that there's another, much worse Young brother. Ace is also in the bottom three, and is about three minutes away from going Falling Down on this whole show. He also has to sing and it's slightly better than you remembered it, but not much. Bucky's dad fills us in on the root of his son's Cali hatred, and I am not being a smart-mouthed Yankee elitist when I say that it is NASCAR. Paris's family of famous singers tell us that their girl not too long ago had dreams of performing your pap smear. It's not the most sentimental of video packages, but Paris is -- have you heard? -- a crier, so she weeps. Of the two of them, it's Bucky who is in the bottom three, meaning good things for your current recapper and bad things for my partner in crime. As Elliott and Bucky fight over who can comfort Ace's exposed biceps more, Ryan reads the results: bye, Bucky! Like I said yesterday, anyone but Ace is a bullshit result, but I won't insult you by saying I wasn't a little happy about Bucky being gone.
Next week: Rod Stewart, the Great American Songbook, and Jacob.
Didn't Ryan Seacrest used to wear t-shirts with funny sayings on them before? He's been so formally dressed this season. He's all put together like he's attending a wedding. So Fantasia is in the audience tonight, which isn't quite as fun as when she shows up and performs. Ryan promises "something for everyone" tonight, whether you prefer "the rock" or "the ballads." At this point in the season, I prefer anything other than "the suck" that's been the dominant trend these last several weeks. We're introduced to the judges, a what-upping Randy Jackson, a lobotomized Paula Abdul, and a turning-slowly-left Simon Cowell. Work it, girl. Ryan kicks us to a video package for Queen, the band whose songs will be under siege tonight. And right away we're presented with my initial problem with doing Queen songs. Over the repetitive percussion of "We Will Rock You," Ryan explains that if you've ever so much as stepped into a sports arena, you've heard the music of Queen. And...exactly. So many of Queen's songs have ceased to even be songs anymore. Is "We Will Rock You" any more of a song than "You Make Me Wanna Shout"? "We Are the Champions" is another sporting anthem. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a Wayne's World punch line. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was driven to parody by this very show. Add to that the fact that Freddie Mercury's voice is such a high hurdle, how are these eight kids supposed to find any way to impress us this week? The answer, it turns out, is to go utterly crazy. Hey, whatever works. Ryan's got the whole Biography voice-over happening on the History of Queen, which sickeningly includes clips from Constantine's "Bohemian Rhapsody" performance last year, as an example of the ways in which the band has managed to stay in the public eye. That's gross, and stop making me remember Constantine.
We see the Idols meet Queen during the band's rehearsal, in what is essentially a retread of last week's footage. Ace unveils his tactic of trying to blind us (or, I guess, "render us deaf" would be more appropriate) with his biceps. Um. I could think of worse strategies. Everybody is shown banging their heads, and Queen at least pretends to be happy to have them there. Back onstage, Ryan tells us that the "groundbreaking" video for "Bohemian Rhapsody" was directed by American Idol's own director Bruce Gowers. We cut to Bruce in the directing room, and it's like at the Emmys when the guy directing the Emmys has been nominated for directing the Emmys. A shot of you watching TV watching you watching TV watching you watching TV. It's weird and distracting and the director still has to direct, so he's shooting out all this gibberish that no one but Ryan understands, because English is his second language and he was raised to speak production booth. There's some weirdness where Ryan's snapping (girrrrrrl!) and the camera doesn't know where to cut to, because all of a sudden Ryan's the director and Gowers is onscreen. I guarantee you so many production workers went home with "You would not believe the day I had" stories to tell. Ryan sends us to Bucky's video package, where he deems the members of Queen worthy of hanging out with him at a bar back home. (The surviving members of Queen: "Uh...pass.") The Queen guys are awesome -- and it's here that I should mention that I only know the one guy with the curly hair, Brian May, by name, so when I say "the guys from Queen" it could mean any or all of them -- with the faintest of praise for Bucky. He's "all right" and started rocking "at the end there." May says Bucky's got a "good attitude." Great personality, too. Ouch. Bucky will be singing "Fat Bottomed Girls," which may be my favorite Queen song not prominently featuring David Bowie. I'm not being a jerk when I say that I am so very, very sad that Mandisa never got a chance to perform this song. Not because it would have been funny, but because I really feel that if she took hold of that song and shoved it right back in our faces and just worked it out, she'd have bought herself another three weeks just out of viewer shame. Hell, I certainly would have forgotten that she hates my faggotty ass.