American Idol
Top Three Revealed

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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I Am #4

...And so then they were Four, and this was them.

A version of Carrie Underwood born in a parallel universe without prenatal vitamins. Just here to have fun. Just tryin' to do her best. Provides aid and succor to the survivors of tragedies through her gift of song, which teaches that it's okay to try to feel okay no matter how hard the situation. The human equivalent of a creamy potluck gelatin-mold with wrong things floating in it, like bananas and walnuts. Like bits of meat.

The Chace Crawford to Adam Lambert's Ian Somerhalder, the Ke$ha to his Gaga: A charming, muddled weirdness in the corner, doing its own little thing. If Adam and DAUGHTRY had a pair of twins, Durbin would be the one with markedly less potential, that everybody dotes on because the elephant must never be mentioned. He's here to do what he does, and he's the best at what he does, but only because nobody's ever sought to do it and nobody ever will again.

George Walker Bushbaby. Danny Gokey's "soul" in Alfred E. Neuman's body, as redesigned by the child-sexualizing people at Bratz. A mercenary made only more dangerous by the fact that he doesn't understand what he's doing is disgusting. Talks to God, loves Jesus. A simple singer of songs. An evanescent Max Headroom collection of American semiotics cooked up in the same lab of codged-together signifiers that brought us David Archuleta. There is no there, there: There is gone. There is only America.

And the girl who thought America, and Steven Tyler, knew what they were talking about. On the first night of Randy Jackson being right, she believed them when they said that he was wrong. The girl who was cruisin' for a bruisin', until Lady Gaga told her to do something right, and then she turned it all around.

Or did she?

JAMES DURBIN HAS DISCOVERED FEAR

It's unsettling. Lauren is standing there like the scary Phantom Zone chick, and Scotty knows he's going to win, and Haley is probably still angry for no reason. But James Durbin looks like he's going to cry. So often, these days, James Durbin is poised to cry.

The Judges are all wearing the same Chico's outfit, and Ryan is resplendent in pale blue. The signs in the audience follow the same trends as in the last big political dustup: Signs supporting Haley and Ryan Seacrest look professionally made and handed out, while the signs for Lauren and Scotty are misspelled, poorly kerned, and very upset about Obama's takeover of the Social Security system.

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American Idol

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