Tonight’s episode perfectly embodied what this whole Grease experience has been about. The final four Dannys and Sandys performed for AMERICA’s votes. They each sang half a song from Grease and half of two pop songs. We saw dancing in a group number and didn’t see any acting. We measured chemistry by looking at the Dannys and Sandys side by side. And now we have to judge who should go into Grease on Broadway. Is it any wonder this is going to be a train wreck when these few weeks of pop performances are what we have to judge these people hand-picked by the judges?
And you know what I heard last week? That the grand prize on this show is ONE WEEK on Broadway in Grease. Now, I’ve had no verification on the matter, which is where you come in. Heard anything to the contrary?
We begin tonight’s show in a soda shoppe, with our six (soon to be four) remaining Dannys and Sandys singing “Rock and Roll is Here to Stay.” Now you all know how I love Max, but he sounds kind of horrible on those opening chords. All of a sudden he’s nasal and wobbly, but he does manage to pull it together as he starts his solo.
There is so much spanky-pants flashing in this number. Sometimes I feel like the girls are intentionally pulling their skirts up. Just because you’re wearing shorts, doesn’t mean you have to show us!
More singing, more dancing. Everyone sounds good and moves well. It was pretty much at this moment that I realized I really don’t care which girl becomes Sandy. And I want Max to be Danny, but I don’t really care that much. Why don’t I care about any of these people?? I’ve been watching them for weeks – nay months! Give me somebody to dance for!
Oooh, I totally covet Cat Deeley’s dress this week. Also, guys, apparently we’re making showbiz history! First time ever AMERICA is voting for who they want to star in Grease on Broadway. Actually, I think we’ve been doing that for weeks now, but whatever! I’m part of showbiz HISTORY!
In just a few minutes we’ll learn who’s out – no sing off, remember – and then our final four will perform for our votes. Ryan Seacrest introduces the panel of judges, now rendered powerless by AMERICA and DEMOCRACY.
The judges are all pretty calm, because they’ve already weeded out all the unsuitable contestants. We are then treated to a video montage of all those funny contestants we forgot months ago. Remember the tone-deaf transvestite? Oh, those were the days. The days before we realized how truly boring this show could be.
The final six sang their hearts out last week. But was it enough? Ominous music plays as we return from commercials. Allie, Ashley, Laura, you want to be Sandy, but does AMERICA want you to be their Sandy? America wants Laura, she’s safe. She and her poodle skirt flounce off. So who’s going home, Ashley or Allie? Ha, totes obvi. “Ashely, this is the most stressful moment of your life… And it is not going to get any easier.” Says Ryan Seacrest. You can read every thought in Ashley’s head at that moment – she totally thinks she’s out. If I could get a screencap of that image, I would, but I think this picture of Meg Ryan will suffice:
There is no way I’m going home before Allie.
Ashley was in fact mistaken, and she will perform in the finale tonight. Aw, Allie, America hates you. Bye!
Allie says it’s a big letdown and tries not to FREAK out. Let’s watch a sad video of your journey. No, not sad enough. Let’s get a picture-in-picture box with you watching this sad video. Ah, there are the tears. Tears of crushed dreams. So sad. I kind of can’t believe she made it this far. I’m also kind of glad to see her go because now I don’t have to worry that she’s going to fall down the stairs and break her neck.
Now it’s the Dannys turn to sweat. Austin… is safe. NO WAY! Yes way! Austin scampers off to get ready for his next number. When I first watched this I seriously thought Max might be going home. But AMERICA didn’t disappoint me, and crackmaster Derek is finally gone!
That means Max is through to the finals. Huzzah! Before we go to more performances, let’s watch Derek’s goodbye video to kill some time. He wore basically the same shirt he’s wearing now at his initial audition. Weird. I think he was planted by the producers. But why would they plant such a crappy singer?
Kathleen Marshall promises they will work together. I bet a lot of these finalists will work with Kathleen Marshall in the future. Austin certainly will.
Next up, both girls will perform that Sandy classic, “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” I think my favorite parts of this entire episode were the surly pre-teens behind Cat Deeley during this introduction.
Laura starts the song, all decked out in her pretty yellow prom dress. Aw, a white day bed. This revival is going to be so bubble-gum! Ashley walks out in her green prom dress and flounces on her own day bed. Were day beds big in the ’50′s?
They’re both hopelessly devoted. Both of them sound great either one could do a really serviceable job as Sandy on Broadway. Because really, the show is not about Sandy, it’s about Rizzo. So whatevs, ladies, you are going to be upstaged by Jenny Powers.
Both girls sit down at a desk of her own, and each of them have a picture of a potential sweetheart – Laura has Max’s picture and Ashley has Austin. Aaaare we supposed to be judging chemistry or something with this? I feel like it’s the equivalent of bringing a towel to Home Depot so you can find a paint chip that’ll go with everything you already have in your bathroom. It works for bathrooms, but I don’t think this is a good casting strategy.
These girls have put their lives on hold to be here. Or maybe their lives have just begun! Well Laura was supposed to get married next weekend, but she put it on hold to be in LA. Aw, home video from her fiancÃ©e. He’s putting everything together for the wedding in her absence. Omg, I would never trust my fiancÃ©e with the wedding plans. That’s some trust. There’s a really cute shot where he shows her what the church looks at from the end of the aisle, with him waiting for her at the altar. Awwwwww, melts my cold, cold heart.
Seriously, is Ashley a giant? She looms over both Ryan Seacrest (not hard, I know) and Laura. Ashley’s video is made by her sister, Meghan, who apologizes for not coming to any of her shows, but she doesn’t have the money. Awkward. I’m sure Ashley’s thrilled that’s being splashed all over the TV. There seems to be some sibling rivalry, but Meghan wishes Ashley all the best. Um, touching?
Ryan Seacrest makes a point of bringing up the fact that Ashley’s sister couldn’t come out because she couldn’t afford a plane ticket. Well, SURPRISE! The Grease fans on the Internet got together and bought Meghan a plane ticket! Borderline creepy!
Ryan Seacrest asks the girls to look into the camera and beg for the part – I mean, tell America why we should vote for them. Blah blah blah… They want it, they work hard, vote for them. Moving speeches guys.
Now it’s time to watch the Dannys perform a number from Grease. Austin (who wouldda thunk he’d be here?) and Max don’t start the song in tune — eek guys. They each walk to their respective car/couches. Oh there are going to be SO MANY car/couches in this revival, I can just feel it. And I love Max and all, but Austin is a much stronger singer in this number. This time the girls are up on a balcony somewhere so we can match towels to paint chips, with the pairing reversed.
Before we move on, we get more video filler of the potential Dannys’ saddest story. Austin talks about his previous professional experience, and how he’s getting to that age where he either has to move out of the chorus or quit acting altogether. He’s doing this for the fat kid he once was. It’s Austin’s last shot. Intense!
But wait, Max’s video is EVEN SADDER. When he was in fifth grade Max had Bell’s Palsy, where half of his face was paralyzed. So coming here, where all the judges did was harp on his looks, was very difficult. Tears! How do you feel now David Ian? Picking on a sick kid! Shame! Max gets all his personality from his family and they taught him not to care what anyone else thinks. LOVE!
Also, debate between me and my friends: Is Max’s dad Asian or Jewish? Talk amongst yourselves.
Next up duets, but first, let’s chat with the judges, remember them? Cat asks Kathleen what she’s looking for. Kathleen explains, “Who do you believe? Who is true? Who is real? Who connects to the words and to each other?”
Ryan adds, “And maybe a little making out too,” as the final four will now demonstrate in this first set of duets. Austin begins singing to Ashley. Austin sounds fake, as he does when he sings boring romantic ballads to women. They kiss and I am skeeved out.
On the other winding staircase it’s Laura and Max. Oh what lovers frolic! So tender. Max is totally giving off a Josh Groban vibe, which bodes very well for Max. I think he’s vocally outshined by Laura, but they look cute together. Vote for Max and Laura!
When we come back from commercials it’s time for our second set of duets. Now, I thought they were going to sing “You’re the One that I Want” for the finale, but my friends reminded me that’ll totally be on next week’s show. Instead tonight the final duet is “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing. No joke. And they don’t even do the dance sequence from the movie, which is the only way this song would have been appropriate here. Instead they half dance and are vocally boring. I kind of feel like I’m on a cruise ship, or is that just because they use this song for cruise ship advertisements?
Alright judges, last chance to voice your favorites! Kathleen most believes Max and Laura. Jim hems and haws and blathers before picking Max and Laura as well. David Ian likes Max because he makes us laugh, and likes Laura by a hair for passion alone.
Sing goodbye to Derek and Allie. Bye-y-y-ye for the last time!
Who’s psyched for the finale? I am, if for no other reason than I don’t have to watch this crap anymore!