Hi ‘Gasmi, Bedbug here!! I’m psyched that Flipit has asked me to recap tonight’s ep of AI. Although in the spirit of full disclosure, I gotta say that I’m blitzed on pain pills (courtesy of a root canal administered earlier today by my dentist, Dr. “Just a Little Pinch,” with all the compassion and tenderness of his colleague in Marathon Man. In other words, I’m legally buzzed, so suck it, DEA!) They’re only the 5-mg joints, but apparently you have to be dismembered before they cut loose with the 7.5s or 10s, so I’ll deal. Anyway, I’d like to thank Flipit (along with my pharmacist) for what should be a fun evening. So, let’s get started!!
Things begin well, with shots of an awesomely tacky stage that features whirling lights, towering video screens, and a shitload of lasers. In the opening shots, we see this lethal-looking chrome apparatus that glides up through the floor and then splits into jagged sections to reveal — what? Lex Luthor? The Antichrist? No, just some douche in a leather jacket. Is that supposed to be Ryan Shecrest? These pills are messing with my vision. It’s still cool, though, because there’s always the possibly that this thing could malfunction and impale somebody.
No such luck, though. Instead, we see a giant sliding door that opens up onto a flight of … stairs. I call bullshit — with the kind of technology and budget AI is working with, we should see Shecrest flying around like Peter Pan and the judges being dematerialized backstage, teleported and reassembled in front of us. Instead, we get to see Shecrest trudging down a flight of stairs like he’s headed for the subway. Strike one, FOX!
The crowd goes apeshit as the judges appear and start giving love to the first few rows, while Shecrest blahs about one of the Final 13 going home tonight. Let’s check out what the judges are wearing! J-Lo’s in a boring dress the color of scar tissue, while Steve sports a royal blue blazer and a shirt patterned after a used ashtray. As for Randy, he is either trying to channel a headmaster at a kinky boys’ prep school or a follower of Louis Farrakhan; take your pick.
To Sir, With Hate
Before I can recover from this — or pop another medicinal Vicodin– the entire Final 13 is running around the stage belting out lines from what Shecrest introduces as “the Stevie Wonder mega-hit ‘As.’” (Or, as I like to call it: “As If.” In: As If any of these chirpers are fit to carry Stevie’s dark glasses).
It’s vocal mayhem as they all try to milk their individual parts for all they’re worth. That pretty little cupcake, Deandre, lets loose with a girly scream that sends a bolt of pain through my tooth, and Jermaine, “The Gentle Giant,” does his wobbling, rumbling vocal thing while swaying back and forth like a skyscraper getting ready to topple. He always sounds like he’s gargling, but he’s starting to grow on me. I bet he could tear up Brooke Benton’s Rrrainy Night in Joh-jah. The redundantly-named Philip Phillips — what’s up with that? — wowed the judges last night with his don’t-give-a-shit authenticity, but tonight he doesn’t get anywhere near the right melody.
Hollie, that pert little munchkin, really kicks it out. To me, she’s a standout, but I hate the churchy red dress she’s wearing. And Vanessa, the brunette who slayed the judges with “I Will Always Love You,” lays on the vibrato, stylizing like she just invented the larynx. You can sing, girl; we get it. Now shut up.
Halfway through the song, the male contestants start skipping and sashaying back and forth en masse, and it’s pretty hilarious ‘coz they look like a school of waltzing orcas. I mean, some of these young ‘uns be FAT. Now I’m getting seasick watching them. Thanks, AI choreographers, for ruining my buzz.
In the aftermath of this mess, AI gives us a car commercial. A car commercial featuring gigantic, bloated contestants clambering through a cityscape. ‘Coz They’re So Much Larger Than Life, hehehe. OK, some of the kids are chunks, but there’s no reason to be THAT mean about it. Plus, that shit is gonna give me nightmares.
Speaking of nightmares, next we get a special message from “acclaimed song producer” and crusty reptile Jimmy Iovine. He’s here to share his heart-warming worldview with us: that God mass-produces billions of people every year and as far as he, Jimmy Iovine, is concerned, there are too damn many of them. LOLOLOL, and yikes. Spoken like a true sociopath and mass murderer. I love Jimmy Iovine so hard right now for having the balls to share his blighted feelings He goes on to say that while you and me are just living examples of shoddy workmanship — kind of like the crappy toys manufactured in China — the miracle known as Whitney Houston was crafted by God BY HAND. And THIS is why her songs are so hard to singI Got it? I think God made Jimmy I by hand, too, and modeled him after an iguana. I wanna take him home, put him in a terrarium and feed him mealworms. Next Jimmy says that Stevie Wonder is no slouch either, so if last night’s performances sucked, that’s why. I get it now — it’s an official disclaimer, wrapped in a mankind-hating manifesto. This has to be an American Idol first.
Leave me alone. I’ve got a genocide to plan.
FINALLY. We’re getting to the Results part of the show. Bring the pain! And bring on more Vikes. One for the pain, two for the brain.
The first group is Elise, Jessica and Hollie. Elise growled her way through “I’m Your Baby Tonight” like she had a personal vendetta against the melody, so it’s not looking good for her. Especially after Jimmy flickers his snake’s tongue and says he thinks she’s in trouble. Hollie, on the other hand, gets called “fantastic.” Then Jimmy throws himself into the Vanessa lovefest and says hers was the best performance ever seen on AI. I’ll have to take his word for it.
Next up: Heejun, Colton and Jermaine.
HeeJun’s John Mayer-ish voice was catnip to the judges last night, making them sprawl and purr. Jimmy, a tougher sell, says basically that Heejun got away with it but should stay far away from Stevie Wonder in the future. As far away as you should stay from the rest of humankind, ya misanthropic freak. Next is Colton. Even though he has a good voice, Colton creeped me out last night because he has the face of a career criminal and eyes the color of razor blades, and kept aiming this penetrating stare at the camera the whole time. And I mean penetrating — I felt like I was being visually molested. Is there a rape kit for eyeballs? Jimmy goes easy on Colton, though, and just grumbles that he hasn’t found his niche. He’s not so easy on Jermaine, and says he basically sucked when it came to both pitch and feeling.
No means no.
Jermaine, join Elise!
Next we get a performance from an AI alumnus. I didn’t catch her name and can’t bring myself to google it, because Jesus Christ, the less said the better. A zaftig blonde in an empowering red top, shimmying and wiggling and winking and rubbing up against the menfolk while singing a crappy country song about Georgia peaches — it’s like one big Jenny Craig commercial. There’s nothing sweeter than Georgia peaches? How ’bout Vicodin?
Skylar, Erika and Shannon are up next. Erika sang “I Believe in Miracles” last night and J-Lo said it gave her “goosies,” which made me want to kill her. Is she a toddler now? Someone smother her with her blankie. Jimmy likes Erika too, but things don’t go as well for Shannon, who sang such bad notes during “I Have Nothing” that she sounded like she was yodelling She won my undying love because she refused to throw the band under the bus. There’s Randy, quizzing her on how much of it was the band’s fault, and Shecrest breathlessly asking her “Was it the piano? The problem at the beginning?” and she just wasn’t having it. Anyway, the problem wasn’t at the BEGINNING of the song, asswipes. The problem was the second modulation, which she missed by a country mile. And the first modulation. And, well, most of the song. But in between the clinkers, somehow you could tell she has a great voice. Jimmy says nerves did Shannon in, but that she has a lot of talent. Amen to that. Then he gives a thumbs up to Skylar, saying he likes her nasality.
Patron Saint of Incompetent Musicians
Surprisingly, Erika goes to Loser’s Row, along with Shannon. Boo. Skylar, who warbled her Whitney song like Dolly Parton on crack, is safe. Figures. Everyone seems to like this feisty little firecracker, but she’s too cornpone for me.
Next up are Philip, Jeremy, Deandre and Joshua.
Jimmy sort of dismisses Joshua, saying you can get bored wirh his voice. Uh oh. I would sleep with one eye open, Joshua; Jimmy thinks you’re dispensable!
Deandre did “Master Blaster” and made Steve rave about his Jamaican pat-wah, whatever that is. Jimmy liked it too. He goes on to say that Philip is good, but that the girls have “vocal fireworks” — translate “tits” — that may eventually upstage him. Welcome to reality, Philip. Also, Jimmy really, really hates Jeremy. More than he hates the rest of humankind. In fact, he thinks Jeremy is going home. Cut to Randy and J-Lo whispering about what a dick Jimmy is. LOLOL.
Result: Philip and Deandre are safe, while Joshua and Jermaine are fodder for the Bottom Three. Except it seems to be the Bottom Six?! I don’t get it. Then, just like that, Joshua and Erika are saved!! Ryan Shecrest deliver the news with his condescending smile/sneer. One minute they’re in trouble, the next they’re safe; that’s the kind of unpredictable little hairpin Shecrest is. Yay for them. I guess. Neither of them suck enough to be sent home, is my opinion.
While the remaining residents of Loser Row simmer in their misery, Mary J. Blige performs. She has a silverware drawer full of cutlery in her ears — altho she’s wearing a killer suit — and sings “Why?” a song with no discernible melody and crappy, depressing lyrics. I was expecting more, because Mary J. Blige is a dope singer and gave great tips to the contestants in the tor-Mentoring section. But this song is bumming me out.
Mercifully, that’s over. Now it’s down to Elise, Jermaine, Jeremy and Shannon. As the judges deliberate, Shecrest skillfully plumbs the depths of Jeremy’s pain, asking him to report what it feels like to be in the bottom for the second time. “Stinks,” he says, beads of sweat visible on his forehead. The kid is a poet.
Now Ryan is torturing the Bottom Four by waggling the result cards teasingly under their noses. Oh, snap, Jermaine is… safe! Maybe I’ll get to hear Brooke Benton after all. It gets better: Shannon, my heroic Irish rose, is also safe!! I think I have a girl crush on her. Now, it’s down to Jeremy and Elise. I thought Jeremy killed “Ribbon in the Sky” while Elise struggled with “I’m Your Baby,” but what do I know? J-Lo, acting as if she’s being held at gunpoint, delivers the verdict: we’re gonna save Elise.
So Jeremy got the ax! Damn, Jimmy called it! Among his other dark powers, he possesses the gift of clairvoyance. Or else the whole thing is fixed from the beginning. Now we get a sappy montage of Jeremy being quirky and lovable, set to “Please Remember Me.” Oh please, it’s not as if he died. The big goof’ will go back to work at the infectious disease clinic, only now he has a fighting chance of getting laid. Only hopefully not by any of the patients.
Well, that’s it for this week’s show and recap. What do you think?
Who did the best job in the Final 13′s version of ‘As?’
Do you think the right person went home?
And — if you saw Wednesday night’s show — did the band screw up Shannon’s song, or did she trainwreck it all by her lonesome?