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Oh that American Idol. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, some elimination comes along and knocks you cold. You try to act cool. You try to act like you don’t really care that much about the show, but inevitably, every season, you find yourself staring at the screen, mouth agape, saying “NO WAY! HOW???” And tonight, my friends, was one of those nights. Why, cruel Idol gods, must you do this to us?
I never thought this results show would be a shocker. Everything seemed to be going along normally as always. There was Ryan, his latest attempt at masculinity failing in the form of a painted-on beard. And there was the lame, over-the-hill musical act trying to connect with a youthful audience. And there were the judges, happily sitting at their panel, enjoying the show. Who knew what drama would later unfold?The show starts with Ryan still sporting his extra-symbolic and extra-silly beard. It looks just as dumb as last night, except now, it’s a shade longer. After the opening credits, he then tells us we’ll be seeing highlights from Country Night. I’m confused. There were highlights?
After the montage, Kenny Rogers ambles out — a vision of Botox and plastic surgery. He’s still got his wannabe hip wardrobe going on, which goes quite nicely with Ryan’s wannabe hetero facial hair. Our newly hirsute host then asks Kenny if he can make Simon like country music, and when Mr. Rogers asks Simon if he really doesn’t like country, Simon says, “I like your songs.” Right. I believe that as much as I believe Taylor Hicks isn’t collecting AARP insurance.
Anyway, Kenny Rogers sings, and good God, he’s been in the business long enough — you’d think he’d know how to sing into a microphone properly. He holds the thing down by his chest, causing the sound guy to have to crank up the audio just so we can pick up his voice. Unfortunately, at random intervals, he raises the mic up, causing his voice to suddenly blare over the speakers. Oh Kenny Rogers. Too much time was the Roasters.
As expected, Kenny’s song is a boring pastiche of adult contemporary and country clichés. It’s pretty much terrible. Hey Mr. Gambler — isn’t there such a thing as staying at the table too long? Maybe it’s time to pack this little career up and ride into the sunset.
After the performance, we cut to Travis Tritt in the crowd. Wonderful. Meanwhile, up on the stage, the kids all gather ’round Kenny and hug him goodbye. Did Kenny Rogers just get voted off? I didn’t even know he was in contention.
We then cut to commercial, and when we return, it’s time for this week’s ridiculous Ford commercial/video. We see the gang working in a greasy, hardcore motor shop — doing the whole Pimp My Ride thing to some old car. Elliot’s dressed in grunge, Ace is wielding a sledgehammer (don’t believe it for a second), and everyone else looks like they’ve pretty much stepped out of a 1999 music video. At the end of the commercial, the old jalopy is put in a room, a switch is pulled, there’s a poof of smoke, and voila! The kids have made a Ford. Fantastic!
Upon return to the live show, Seacrest then says, “I have a feeling Kellie thinks that’s how cars are really made.” Ouch! Random Kellie zing! I guess after Simon schooled him last night with the Desperate Housewives dis, Ryan had to build up his confidence by attacking sweet, naive Kellie. Kind of mean, don’t you think. Besides, when it comes to poking fun at the Pickler, we all know that’s our job, not yours, SEACREST.
After we cut to Kellie smiling vacantly at the camera (she was probably thinking about balloons or Tic-Tacs or something), Ryan then informs us that next week’s theme will be Queen. And no, he’s not talking about his wardrobe. He’s talking about the band, which has me worried that one Constantine Maroulis will be making a god-awful cameo again. We then sit through a dumb video of the kids practicing with the band, but since there’s not any audio besides the song “We Will Rock You,” there’s really no reason to watch this boring piece of filler. Fast forward strikes again!
Okay, now the good stuff. Time to narrow this group down. Changing things up a little bit this week, Ryan sorts the singers into three groups of three, one of which will be the bottom trio. Taylor starts one group and then Mandisa anchors another. Elliot is then told to join Mandisa. He walks across the stage, taps Taylor on the arm, and then bizarrely caresses Mandisa’s sleeve as if he were about to seduce her up in his hotel suite. It’s odd and awkward and gives me strange flashbacks to that episode of Alf when Alf dates the blind woman and she feels his fur. (Shivers).
Anyway, Paris fills out the Mandisa group, and Kellie and Chris join Taylor. That leaves Bucky, Ace, and Katharine in the third posse. Ryan then lists who’s in each group, constantly pausing to ask, “Is THIS your bottom three?” Stop asking us. We don’t know. That’s why we’re watching the show. YOU’RE THE ONE WITH THE ANSWERS, JERK!
Well, it’s obvious that any group with Chris in it will be safe, and sure enough, he and Kellie and Taylor all get to sit down. After some more stalling, Ryan then drops the bombshell. The bottom three this week are Mandisa, Elliot, and Paris. Wha-wha-whaaa? Three of the best vocalists are in the bottom while Bucky and Ace are safely seated on the couch? This isn’t right! This isn’t right at all!!
At this point, I decide that Elliot’s going home. He has the least charisma of the group. Mandisa’s a shoe-in for top two or three, and Paris, well, she’s still got a few shows left in her, regrettably. Well, panic mode sets in about three seconds later when Ryan tells Paris to sit down. Oh god. This is getting too close for comfort. Mandisa is my woman. She’s my rock. She’s my double-wide dose of gospel goodness! If she leaves, I will shit a brick. Simon then says that she’ll probably go home, but what does he know. Boo! It can’t happen. It won’t happen. It…. HAPPENED.
MANDISA VOTED OFF!!!
I know there have been big upsets in Idol history, but this has to be one of the biggest (no pun intended). I mean, week four of the top twelve??? I’m writing my local Senator and demanding something. A recourse! I’m in total shock, and I’m also completely annoyed that Mandisa then sings her country song about ten times better tonight than on Tuesday. Alas, I can take solace in knowing she’ll have a great career and will probably flourish in the gospel circuit. And hey, at least she beat Kevin Covais.
What did you think? I was going to title this post “It Ain’t Over ‘Till The Fat Lady Sings,” but I didn’t want to be too obvious.