By B-Side|Thursday, May 11, 2006 | 1:29 am | 210 Comments
This is gonna be the American Idol episode that everyone talks about. For anyone who hasn’t seen or heard the results, steer clear of all media. People will be talking. People will be arguing. People will be pontificating. Take your spot at the water cooler early because it’ll be the hottest spot this morning.
Okay, I need to simmer down. I’m acting like a publicist for Fox. Truth is, tonight’s episode was a classic Idol shocker. The kind that you hate to see, but you love to think back on. Even Paula was reduced to a sack of tears. Then again, Paula could see a tinfoil ball and turn into hysterical mess. Point is, it looks like Elvis may have left the building… and taken quite the casualty with him.Tonight’s show starts with Ryan dressed all in black — a bold shift from last night’s gray outfit. I guess he wanted to put all those gray rumors behind him. All that gray has gone right back into the closet! Before we can even buckle ourselves in for tonight’s super Elvis-y results show, our first celebrity sighting is shoved in our face. Why, it’s Rebecca Romijn — a.k.a. Pepper Dennis. SHE’S BIG NEWS. Sorry. Anyone who lives in the Los Angeles area has been inundated with dumb billboards and bus ads for that stupid show. Sitting alongside Ms. Romijn is perpetual goofball Jerry O’Connell. Unlike Pepper Dennis, he is not big news.
The fast forward button on my Tivo gets an early workout as Ryan recaps last night’s show. When we return to the live show, Ryan tells us that for four finalists, “it’s now or never.” Hey, sounds like somebody’s been reading TVgasm! Or, er, has a perfunctory knowledge of Elvis’s biggest hits. But I prefer the first theory. Makes me feel special. Hi Ryan!
We then cut to commercial, but not before gazing upon the awkward image of Simon holding Paula down on his lap against her will. Normally, I’m sure she’d thrash and kick and scream, but you can never underestimate the vegetative state the scientists keep her in. She’s like a Terry Schiavo who can walk (and clap her hands like a seal). Anyway, we leave for a break, and when we return, it’s Ford Fusion time! This week’s commercial is environmentally themed, and for once, no one’s chasing a small bulldog. It’s set to the old classic, “Wonderful World,” but incongruously, the action centers around Taylor, Chris, and Elliot cleaning out Katharine’s junk-filled garage so that she can park her car in it. Not only does the music barely match (the guys give her garage an eco-friendly theme. What a wonderful world, get it?), but the entire narrative is one of the weakest yet. I mean, it’s about PARKING A CAR IN THE GARAGE. Next week, the show will center around someone opening a refrigerator or changing a light bulb.
Anyway, I know I really shouldn’t question these little Ford Fusion commercials, but c’mon. They’re ridiculous! At one point, Taylor puts a macaw parrot in the garage. Why? Why? It’s an exotic bird! It’ll die!!! At another point, the guys line the garage floor with grass. It makes no sense! We don’t drive on grass normally! Why would we in a garage? And an eco-friendly car certainly shouldn’t be driving on grass. It’s like stomping on plants! Okay, okay. I’ll settle down. Can’t expect logic. Must lower standards — as is always the case with American Idol.
“(squawk) Get this gray-haired freak away from me! (squawk)”
Well, the commercial ends on an even more bizarre note. A Muppet note. No, Ryan Seacrest doesn’t show up. Instead, Kermit the Frog comes out of nowhere and suddenly appears in Katharine’s driver’s seat. The two pull into the garage, and then Katharine strokes his head, causing Kermy to giggle with glee. Looks like Kermit’s caught the McPheever! It’s amusing and everything, but I don’t know how I feel about her McPheeling up the world’s most beloved McFrog. I’d like to see what Miss Piggy has to say about all this.
Thank God we can’t see below Kermit’s waist.
We then return to the show and see more footage from the Graceland tour. Priscilla welcomes the idols into the house and shows them around the foyer, or as she pronounces it, “Foy-yay.” Yes, she’s one of those people. The group then wanders from room to room, each one seemingly adorned with gold and platinum records. “Don’t even ask me how many gold records there are,” Priscilla says, adding, “Seriously, don’t ask. I had a Botox injection in my brain. I can’t remember a thing now.”
Okay, she doesn’t say that, but she does proudly display all the great Elvis artifacts housed throughout the museum. “How could one man accomplish this in a lifetime?” Priscilla asks. Wait, is she talking about Elvis or her plastic surgeon?
The group then heads outside and tours the grounds, and with rain drizzling down, we discover that Taylor’s not only all about Soul Patrol, but Umbrella Patrol too. Yes, he’s the designated umbrella holder. It’s a weighty position. One drop of water, and Priscilla’s entire face could melt off.
The idols then meet up with Lisa Marie Presley, and suddenly, the gang is off riding on the famous “magical” golf cart ride that Taylor spoke so highly of yesterday. Let me tell you something. It IS magical. I mean, riding at breakneck speeds of 15 MPH is the epitome of breathtaking. Anyway, Lisa Marie drives the cart past some fans, and one little girl manages to hand off a camera to Katharine. Ha. You’re not getting that back. Go cry to mommy now.
The video finally ends, and then it’s time for a good old-fashioned medley. The final four take the stage and sing a pastiche of Elvis hits. Everyone sounds okay; although, McPhee still seems a bit “pitchy” when she attempts “Are You Lonesome.” The singers then head to the judges table and surround Paula, who seems positively delighted. We can almost hear the calliope music in her head. The big number ends with everyone gettin’ down on the small platform behind the judges. You know, just once, I’d like to see someone fall off that thing. It’ll happen. In time.
Yay! Paula’s in her happy place!
We then cut to commercial, and when we return, Ryan is with Rebecca Romijn. He asks her opinion on the show, and she says, “We are freaking out tonight!” Seriously, they’re freaking out tonight. They totally thought they were at a taping for Judge Judy. Ryan then asks Rebecca where her engagement ring is, and she says something about how she just got off work. Uh huh. Likely story. Smell ya later, O’Connell.
Ryan then asks Rebecca about X:3, and she gives a cursory plug, saying it’s opening in two weeks, but then two seconds later, she’s back to babbling about the finalists. The X:3 publicity department is probably pulling its hair out.
Rebecca then asks Taylor to sing “Jail House Rock” again, and in a totally, completely, utterly unplanned, spontaneous turn of events, Taylor gets up and sings it again. How amazing that the show happened to have two extra minutes to fill! Hey, was this favoritism? Anyway, Taylor does his whole song again and even dances with Elliot’s mom (eww), and when he”s finished, we see the other huge star of the evening: Melissa Rivers! Yes, the glitterati are out tonight!!!
Ryan then gathers the final four on stage, separating them into two groups: Taylor and Elliot; Chris and Katharine. We go away to commercial yet again, and when we return, we learn that Taylor and Elliot are safe. Of course. Whoever’s stuck with Katharine has got to be in the bottom two.
Well, McPhee looks devastated. She seems resigned to a certain fate. Looks like it’s curtains for her. And as usual, Paula looks like she’s about to lose it.
Ryan then asks Simon who he thinks will go tonight. Simon dodges the question by saying who he thinks should go: Katharine. Ouch! The McPheever in total remission! Ryan then tells the two that many people predicted that they’d be squaring off in the finals together (way to rub salt in the wounds). He then says that most people pegged Chris to be the next American Idol. The crowd cheers, and before anyone settles down, Ryan suddenly blurts out the results.
CHRIS GOES HOME.
One bottle of Vicodin, coming right up.
I agree completely.
Click to watch Chris’s final moment.
I must admit, I had a sneaking feeling all day that he’d somehow fall through the cracks, but seriously? Chris? He’s the only truly viable commercial talent that actually brings it every week. At his worst, he’s better than most of the pool. Katharine, on the other hand, has commercial potential, but she’s been shaky lately. No way that Chris should have gone home. Man! A shocker! Without Chris and Mandisa, what am I to do?
Well, Chris can’t believe it. Katharine is totally shocked. PAULA IS CRYING IN HER HANDS! Even Simon looks surprised. He knows that his next meal ticket just slipped through his fingers. As for Katharine’s family, they are wisely stoic. You can tell that they want to be happy, and one of them even does a little cheer, but they know they absolutely can’t gloat in the face of an angry nation. The crowd is so shocked that it takes a while for the boos and jeers to come down.
Next thing we know, Daniel Powter (back to acoustic again) is singing his stupid song, and in the lower left-hand corner, we see Chris with quite the serious, deflated look on his face. Most people at this point are tearing up or smiling, but not Chris. We can tell that he still doesn’t believe it.
I guess maybe Chris had been coasting the past few weeks, but I don’t know if I really buy that. He’s better off this way in all reality. Now he’s not beholden to any crappy “Flying Without Wings Inside Your Heaven” crap song, but man, who am I going to root for now? I can’t get behind Taylor. I’m sorry. Seems like a nice guy, and he certainly has passion, but I just don’t see him being a star. Then there’s Elliot. He’s got the best voice, but again, a star? Believe it or not, I may have to endorse McPhee. She’s the one I can definitely imagine on MTV and playing in the clubs and whatnot. But I tell you, she better get her act together. I don’t want to have to be that guy at the party that says, “Seriously, Katharine should win. Why are you looking at me like that. Hey, where are you going? Come back!”
So what do you think? Why did Chris lose? And who do you think will win? Are you happy that Chris lost? Sad? Are any of the remaining three true Idol material?