Another week, another elimination on American Idol. Tonight’s results show offered little by way of surprise. Everything happened as expected. Just about the only unpredictable moment was when the audience didn’t fall into a coma after Rod Stewart’s prosaic and boring performance. Say what you will about the man, but he does not have a voice for the classics (yes, yes, yes. I know. He’s sold a ga-jillion albums. But just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s good.) Anyway, the results show was back to its more palatable thirty-minute state, and even that was a bit too long. There weren’t even any good celebs in the audience (Rod’s fiancé Penny doesn’t count, thank you very much.)
But enough griping. A full rundown after the jump…The show begins with the usual babbling from Ryan, whose stubble hasn’t grown much since last night. It probably takes him a good six weeks to get any facial hair growing; so I really shouldn’t expect much. After Ryan introduces the judges (and yes, his microphone inexplicably went dead again when introducing Paula. Second time in a row), we then take a look back at last night’s performances. During Katharine’s song, we see a closeup of her dad crying. Call me crazy, but I don’t remember seeing that shot of him during the song. Then again, maybe I looked away when I feared the camera might go beyond “Extreme Close Up” and move into “Pore Vision.”
We then have our first break, and when we return, it’s time for the ridiculous Ford commercial of the week. It looks a bit rushed this time around. All the singers appear in billboards along the highway and sing to the camera. This was clearly shot on a green screen over the course of thirty minutes. Far less impressive than the Camp Fire extravaganza a few weeks ago. And definitely nothing compared to the Pimp My Ride spot. Color me disappointed, Ford.
Then it’s back to the live show, and HELLO. Somebody’s been inspired by Paula’s ample décolletage. Katharine seems on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction. Perhaps another attempt to spread the McPheever. Don’t worry, Katharine. It’s been caught. Now, if you could only catch the “Katherine is spelled with an ‘e’ not an ‘a’” fever, that would be awesome.
Speaking of sexy, Ryan then introduces tonight’s special guest: Rod Stewart. The band plays the opening chords to “If You Think I’m Sexy,” and I’m immediately excited that we won’t be hearing his take on the American Songbook, as expected. Silly me. This is only a teaser tune. Rod sits down on the couch with the kids and submits himself to a banal interview by Seacrest. I’m somewhat distracted by his blazer, which appears to be made from a recycled Tin Man costume. Nevertheless, Ryan mentions that Rod’s been nominated for fourteen Grammys over the course of his career, and he’s only won once. Look, if you can’t win more than one Grammy these days, you might as well just give up. Kelly Clarkson already has twice as many as Rod Stewart. I don’t know what’s sadder: the state of the Grammys or the state of Rod Stewart.
Rod then stands up and heads to center stage. Just before he starts his song, Ryan tells us, “This is going to be a real treat!” Uh no. No, it won’t be. Sure enough, it’s terrible. I fast forward through the song. I guess now would be a good time to tell a funny Rod Stewart story though. Be warned — it’s very name droppy. I apologize ahead of time. One time, J-Unit and I and a few of our cronies headed to The Palms in Vegas. We ventured up to the Ghost Bar, and after waiting in line for like three hours (no joke), we finally gained admittance. Okay, before you say anything, we were waiting in line that long because they served us drinks while we were standing around. So hey, it was just like being in a bar anyway. Well, we got up there, and eventually we made our way out to the bar’s famed rooftop deck which features a nifty plexi-window in the floor — you know, so you can look down fifty stories and ponder what would happen if by some freak accident, the glass would break at that very moment. Anyway, one of the rules of the Ghost Bar is no jumping on the window. I don’t know why anyone would jump on it, but apparently, people like to test if the structural integrity of the glass. To me, that’s kind of like testing a gun by staring down the barrel and pulling the trigger. Nevertheless, at one point in the night, former Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler walked into the bar, and since he’s a fellow Dartmouth alum and since I was a little drunk, I felt it was my obligation to track him down and say “Hey, I went to Dartmouth too!” Unfortunately, while I engaged in this awkward encounter, apparently I missed out on a Rod Stewart sighting. According to J-Unit and my friends, Rod and his posse all marched out to the window, and then all of them said “1… 2… 3… GO!” And with that, they all jumped up and landed as hard as they could on the glass. For being that stupid, they deserved to have the window shatter under their feet, but alas, no such luck. Suddenly, the security guards came out of nowhere and tried to tackle them all, but slippery Rod ran away, never to be seen in that bar the rest of the night. So I guess the point of the story is that Rod Stewart is a huge idiot. And I should spend less time harassing mediocre QBs — otherwise I might miss out on better, campier celebrity sightings.
Okay, is Rod done singing yet? Yes. Good. It seems like we’re finally ready for the results, but wait! Ryan has to tell us about next week’s show. Blind phenom Andrea Bocelli will be the guest judge, which means his brand of schlocky pop-opera will certainly be forced on us. I instantly fear the worst: the kids will have to try their hands at opera. Might this be a disaster of Josh Groban proportions? Probably not. Turns out the theme is merely “Love Songs.” I let out a sigh of relief. I love Chris Daughtry, but imagining him tackling an aria is just more than the imagination can handle. It would probably sound like one long, painful bowel movement.
Anyway, Ryan then informs us that Andrea Bocelli will be performing live, and as he says this, we see the unlikely image of a diver diving into a pool. Does this mean Andrea Bocelli will be diving into a pool also? No. It’s just random Olympics footage or something. Too bad. I really would like to see some blind platform diving.
This should somehow be incorporated into the show.
Finally, it’s time for the results. This week, Ryan has everyone split into two groups. He sends Elliot to the far side of the stage and keeps Chris and Paris on the near side. Kellie is up next, and it’s a no-brainer here. She’s joining Elliot. Okay, now it’s Ace’s turn. He’s clearly heading to Kellie and Elliot’s group, but no! He’s stuck in Chris and Paris’s section. What the… something doesn’t feel right. Katharine soon joins Kellie and Elliot. I can’t believe that she could be bottom three. But then again, I can’t believe that Paris and Chris could be bottom three either. Oh American Idol — how you torture us so!
For those of you keeping count, you may notice that one person still hasn’t been assigned a group. Yes, Taylor Hicks is still on the couch, twitching and clapping all by his lonesome. Ryan tells him that he’s safe but then drops the bomb that Taylor now has to choose which group he thinks will be safe. There’s no point in this exercise except to brew up possible animosity between Taylor and the others. Leave it to the most family friendly reality show to pull the dick move.
Well, Taylor may have been put on the spot, but he exacts his revenge by tricking Ryan. The silver-haired singer walks over to Chris and shakes his hand, and thinking that Taylor has made a choice, Ryan says, “I’m sorry but–”
But before Ryan can finish, Taylor has already walked away and across the stage. It was a fakeout! And YOU fell for it, RYAN! Some host you are. Bring back Dunkelman!
Anyway, Taylor winds up with Elliot & Co., and as Ryan has already accidentally revealed, they are all safe. The bottom three is Chris, Paris, and Ace. I don’t know how Kellie scored more votes than Chris, but I imagine it has something to do with America’s ongoing curiosity to see just how dumb she can be. Just when we think she’s hit a new low point, she always takes her sweet idiocy to new levels. How could anyone not want to see that?
Ryan then whittles the bottom three down to just two as Paris is allowed to take a seat. This leaves Chris and Ace to duke it out. It’s painfully obvious that Ace and his ratty brother will be goners, but you never know. Could be Chris. Might I remind everyone of the late, great Mandisa? Before we hear the results, Ryan then polls the judges — well, Simon only — about what will happen. “Ace, I think you’re going to end up going home tonight,” Simon says dispassionately. No one is particularly shocked by this prediction (we’re all thinking it), but about five seconds later, the audience realizes that they probably should boo anyway. You know, to make Ace feel like at least some people like him (which they don’t).
Why does Ace’s brother look kind of like a sock puppet?
Sure enough, Ace is sent packing. This means we no longer have to see him and his lucky beanie and stupid hair on a regular basis. Not having to hear that falsetto ain’t such a bad thing either. We then sit through the obligatory Daniel Powter montage as we stroll down memory lane. Ah yes. The laughter, the joy, the… pit stains? Afterwards, the crowd gives him a rousing ovation, led by Ace’s aforementioned ratty brother. I imagine that given the opportunity, Ace’s brother would do the old sports movie slow-clap-to-thunderous-applause thing. And he’d probably do it over mundane things — like having his number called in the deli line.
Ace’s family communicates through a system of tribal shrieks.
Well, Ace then takes the stage one last time to sing his song. As he emits those first uneven notes, I do what all good Americans do: I turn off the TV. Good luck, Ace. Enjoy the stardom. With any luck, you might do almost as well as Justin Guarini. Almost.
What did you think? Happy with the results?