American Idol
When You Say "That's All" — Can I Get That In Writing?

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When You Say "That's All" -- Can I Get That In Writing?
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Tuesday

Ryan's out in the audience, saying hello to us, wearing that confusing tie with the diamond squares down the middle again, and all scrubbly still. A credits sequence later, he comes out of the FANT ASIA stage and...everybody screams. Even though he was just out there. Marilu Henner, looking like the Emperor of Ice Cream and refusing to let her kids have any dairy, is screaming. Why? Ryan reminds us about how Bucky left, and that's very sad, and if you don't vote, you can't "boo," and he looks down at the judges and laughs angrily to himself, because the judges have been chatting like a drunken, bored Sunday afternoon in the garden the entire time he's been talking. "Pass me that sangria," says one, and the other says, "We're running out of cigarettes." Ryan shakes them from their summery reverie and introduces them to us, and they nod sleepily, Paula in so much Fellini-esque makeup she looks like the brilliant Pamela Gordon in the late evening of her life. Ryan says something about how Simon's underdressed but everybody is going to class it up -- Simon asks Paula to clarify, just to show how drunk they all are -- even though Simon's wearing what he always wears and the kids are all going to end up looking like they're in Bugsy crossed with Godspell, as performed by Second City.

Ryan talks a blue streak about Rod Stewart's "tight pants," which he pronounces like "pianist," and we learn how Rod Stewart went from obnoxious "rock" songs like ZZ Top straight to obnoxious standards, like fucking everybody else. Is there a single pop star that doesn't eventually relocate to a mental Vegas hotel? And more importantly: what about the "broken arrow/bottle of rain" and "Forever Young" era? Back when Mike + The Mechanics and their ilk could make you feel better about being a mid-thirties white man than even watching The Big Chill sixteen times in a row? The best era not including "Maggie May"? He seemed like a nice man back then, and Rachel Hunter was so, so pretty. Now she's a dancing bag o' bones, and Rod Stewart looks like Jonathan Crane, MD, and he's been singing everybody else's songs as long as my youngest brother's been alive. He explains to us how there was blues, and then jazz, and then standards came from that, and also swing, and thence the apocalypse. He dances like you think maybe the Gentlemen would, but he looks okay in the right lighting. Every picture tells a different story about how old he is ["Don't it? …Sorry." --Joe R]!

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American Idol

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