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The more I think about Thursday night’s Idol, the more I think that it was the best hour of television I’ve seen in a really long time. Stevie, Stevie, Hulk and Casey — Idol is stepping up their game! I wonder if it has anything to do with auditions for another show beginning in a couple of weeks.
How could someone with so much money have such a terrible haircut?
Tink kicks things off by telling us that there were 30 million votes on Wednesday night… and the outcome may shock us all. One day, I’d like for them to tell us how many people voted, rather than the actual number of votes. Like, it’d be critical to know if a million people each voted 30 times. That would really put the expectations of the winner into a different perspective.
So we noticed that the contestants were less “pitchy” than usual this week. Turns out we have Mr. Jennifer Lopez to thank for that. Apparently, when the kids were on stage, they were having trouble hearing themselves because they hadn’t been trained in the proper use of the “ears,” the in ear monitors that allow singers to hear themselves and a custom mix of the instruments. It cuts back on delays and ambient noise. So Marc “Bag o’ Bones” Anthony came in to give the kids a crash course on how to perform live with the ears. He says he wants no bullshit excuses. He watched from backstage on Wednesday night and he disagrees with JHo’s assessment of Pita Tostita. He does agree with JHo says it’s hard to leave her speechless. Oh, hahaha Skeletor. You’re right, Mr. JHo! Women be yappin’! You can’t stop a woman from talking. Lame wife comments aside, it seems like working with Skeletor really did help the contestants and I think it’s pretty awesome that they’re not only getting valuable feedback from the judges, but they’re getting real technical assistance, too.
The top 11 come onstage dressed in black and white to perform “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Lusky starts us off with some clapping and sounds decent. Naima and Paul are there to bring it down a notch. Thia brings in some jazzy zzzz…. oh sorry, I feel asleep for a sec there. I did wake up in time to see Casey growl and Haley fling her left arm around again. OK, James is screaming and Stefano has his eyes closed, and now it’s time for Lusky to shut it down again.
When the song ends, they’re not done. Stevie Wonder himself is literally hauled out on stage to do “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” The judges seem quite surprised to see him. It’s really cool to have him there, but it’s hard to hear him over the music. After the song is over, he starts calling out “Stevie.” At first I thought that he was congratulating himself over his performance. As it turns out, he was calling out Steven Tyler so that he could sing “Happy Birthday.” Steven comes onstage and there’s cake and Naima gives him a painting. Did she do the painting?
Happy 236th birthday, Steven!
OK, time to dim the lights. Lauren, Pia and Scotty are all called onstage… because they’re all safe. That means that Lauren can take her cleavage and cowboy boots on tour along with Pita and her stripper shoes.
Sugarland takes the stage to perform “Like Glue.” I like them. As usual, Jennifer Nettles sounds great but she needs to fire her stylists and hire a few of JHo’s away. Glitter eye shadow? Green jeggings? And the rapping, aye, the rapping. Let’s make it stop.
This is not a good look…
Did you know that James Durbin loves wrassling? All of the other contestants tease him about how fake it is. Except for Lusky who says he refuses to talke about wrestling. Diva. There’s a video that shows Naima refereeing a match in which Pia beats up Paul, James beats up Stefano, Paul beats up James, James beats up Paul. There’s a lot of hugging disguised as wrestling going on. So, James refuses to make out with anyone in the house, but he is willing to wrap his arms and legs around them and roll around on the floor.
James and Paul are called onto the stage and I’m sure that Paul probably had a mini-stroke. Tink says that neither one of them are safe. “I mean really not safe,” he says. Suddenly, “Eye of the Tiger” starts playing and Hulk Hogan walks out. He’s got good news and bad news, brother. The good news is that James and Paul are safe and going on tour. The bad news… Tink is not safe. Then he punches Tink in the face and Tink falls into the audience. And then Hulk rips his shirt in half, showing off his tough, tan, leathery chest. Wow. That was insanity.
“Not the face!”
OK. Lusky, Thia and Stefano are called to the stage. Lusky’s safe. Thia’s in the bottom three and so is Stefano.
Next, Naima, Haley and Casey are called to center stage. Naima is safe. She seems pretty surprised by that and boohoos her way back to the counches. Haley has been in the bottom three for two weeks, says Tink. Casey hasn’t been there, yet. But he is this week. Haley tries to look surprised, but mostly she and her side ponytail just look relieved as she hugs Casey and heads back to the safe sofas.
How much coke do you think Tink consumes to make it through these shows. And I don’t just mean Coca-Cola. Dude was really amped up on Thursday.
Oscar-winning former Idol Jennifer Hudson’s here to sing “Where You At?” A ballad about a drug dealing thug who promised to give up the hustle and become a dependable man. You should have known, better, Jenn. You can’t turn a thug into gentleman. JHud’s really putting her Oscar-winning acting skills to good use. She’s mad. Even the baby oil on stick-thin legs looks offended. Her ankles look a little shaky. Like she shouldn’t be in shoes that high. Or like she didn’t eat anything all day and is on the verge of collapsing. The shoes do make her about three feet taller than Tink, who’s there to wave at former contestant George Huff, who’s singing back up for her. Pay attention everyone on the safe sofa — you, too, could sing back up for an Oscar-winner.
OK, back to the bottom three of Thia, Stefano and Casey. Thia’s safe, Tink tells us. Whaaat??! Casey has the lowest number of votes for the night. Stefano grips Casey in a tight hug and is madly whispering to him for a long time. Everyone looks generally surprised.
Casey tells Tink he’s going to sing “I Don’t Need No Doctor” to try to get the save from the judges. The band gets him started and he’s singing raspily and then Randy’s waving his arms and they stop the music and Casey’s mom is crying. Steven says they’ve already make the decision to keep him on and Casey almost collapses. I’m concerned that he might be having a heart attack. He’s really pale and shaky. He goes to the judges table to confirm and shakes their hands. Then he collapses into Tink’s crotch and Tink looks pretty uncomfortable. Then Casey goes to hug his mom. And Naima is crying. And then Casey’s back on stage and says when they stopped the song, it scared the “stuff” out of him.
Casey picked an awkward place to land. I imagine it smelled like baby powder…
Steven says there’s a nice big wave of hard-earned fortune coming towards him. JHo says no more antics, just be the musician you are and let people feel your soul. Randy says no growling, just connect with the audience so they won’t try to vote your ass off the show again.
Tink says this means that two people will go home next week, but that all 11 of them will go out on summer tour.
So — how awesome was this show? There was some talk out there about Casey’s reaction being fake and I definitely don’t think it was. Why would he know in advance what was going to happen? And if that was him acting, he’s trying to break into the wrong industry. Everyone except Tink seemed genuinely surprised, and Tink’s the only on-camera person who knows who might be headed home. I don’t even think it really occured to Casey that he might be the one person who the judges save all season. Do you think he was the right person to save? Or do you wish they’d held on to that card? Were you surprised that Stefano was in the bottom three, as well?