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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Idol's Eleven

dhernandez2.jpgAmidst multiple Jim Carrey sightings, a Ford music video, some crazy calls from fans, a jazzy little Katharine McPhee performance and a whole lot of filler, "American Idol" still managed to send someone home tonight. And I bet you thought you knew who it would be.

Before we get to tonight's wild elimination, let me first take a moment to ponder the crazy lengths Fox and the producers have gone to fill as much cross-promotional advertising into a single episode. First, the audience was treated to a customized "Horton Hears a Who!" movie snippet, complete with Ryan Seacrest. Then, low and behold, Mr. Jim Carrey shows up in the audience wearing his finest elephant costume (once again to promote "Horton Hears a Who!"). Finally, in rapid succession, I learned how much cooler I'd be if I logged onto iTunes after driving in my new Ford to attend the red-carpet premiere of "Horton Hears a Who!" That's a little too much "Who" for my addled brain to handle, thank you very much. Now excuse me for a minute while I drink my Coca-Cola (darn you "American Idol!").

Now, where was I? Oh, that's right, someone got the boot tonight. But it was a long time coming. Per the "Idol" guidelines, first we were required to watch the finalists sing and dance to this week's Lennon-McCartney theme. Here are some thoughts I wrote down on my pad as I watched: "little David redeems himself," "that David Cook guy is awesome," "did someone forget to turn Michael's mike on?" and "wow, people are screaming for Chikezie now!"

Once the fun and games were over, Seacrest began the elimination round. First, he brought Carly, Michael, Jason and Syesha to their feet. In quick order, he spared the Irish girl, the Aussie guy and Mr. Dreads. We'll see you all in the Top 11! Unfortunately, it meant that Syesha would be the first to sit uncomfortably in the Bottom 3 until the end of the show. Her second performance of her song from last night was just as listless and dull as before, but really, who feels like singing under all that stress?

Then after watching the contestants pretend to be Presidential hopefuls as they sang Cake's "The Distance" in the Ford music video (which I liked and appreciated for its cheesiness), it was time for Round #2. Next on their feet were Chikezie, Amanda, David Cook and Kristy Lee. Kristy seemed to know what was coming as the first three were declared safe, and soon she was singing her dreadful ho-down for the audience again. To her credit, though, if you somehow managed to ignore the band, her vocals were pretty good. Please take Uncomfortable Seat Number 2.

Next was the newest feature to the show, call-ins from curious fans. And while it was pretty amusing to hear Simon tell an aspiring singer who's auditioned six times to "get another job," or hear Mr. Cowell declare that the British make better judges, I wanted the results. Before that could happen David Foster and Katharine McPhee took the stage and performed a really cool Lennon-McCartney number.

Finally, "Idol" ran out of filler and revealed the final member of the Bottom 3. Ryan called the remaining four finalists down to center stage, which included the obviously worried David Archuleta (who forgot most of his song last night), Brooke (who never had anything to worry about), David Hernandez (who was marginal last night, but still remains one of the top contestants) and Ramiele (who bored Simon to tears). And you know they saved Little David for the final group to amp up the tension! In the end, though, it was David Hernandez who joined Syesha and Kristy.

In the last moments of dragging the drama out, Ryan pardoned Syesha and sent her back to the Couch of Safety. That meant it was down to Hernandez and Kristy. I wasn't surprised that Kristy was there, figuring she was a goner after that Square-Dance to Oblivion she performed the night before. But, in a bit of a shocker, it was David H. that received his pink slip from America. Judging by his face, he still didn't believe it. For a moment I thought he was going to scold America for judging him on his strange stripper past, but instead he put us on notice that he would soon be "big." Isn't it a little early in the competition for this type of surprise? Doesn't this usually happen sometime near the end? (See: Season 6's Melinda Doolittle, Season 2's Kimberley Locke, or Season 1's Tamyra Gray)

What did you think of David Hernandez signing off so early in the finals? Do you think America disapproved more of his singing or the news that he used to be a stripper? How did you take the news that next week's theme will be MORE Lennon-McCartney songs (ugh)? Finally, am I the only one who thought he saw Sanjaya sneak back into the "Idol" auditorium in tonight's episode? (Don't they make traps to keep pests away?) Anyway, post below and meet me right back here next Tuesday for more "Idol" craziness. –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on March 13, 2008 12:21 AM
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First of all, regarding that Kat McPhee crapfest: are you KIDDING me?! She was absolutely awful and it wasn't cool at exposed how limited and vacant she is vocally. She was really straining to hit 90% of the notes--and it showed, big time. It wasn't quite a butchering, but it was definitely forgettable--more so than Syesha even.

Secondly...yes. That was Sanjaya. With his sister, whatever her name is. And the traps faulted as they caught Denise Richards in a second attempt to gain screentime.

And third, is David REALLY a shock? Kristy's got some country votes, although that won't last for very long...David, meanwhile, never really had a fanbase. And he was terrible, as you noted last night. He was never anything special...just a karaoke performer with a mediocre voice that hit occasional high notes, albeit awkwardly. There's NO WAY you can compare him to the supremity and magnificence of Melinda (or Kimberley/Tamyra, for that matter). His elimination is more akin to that of Mandisa Hundley's in Season 5 or Gina Glocksen's in Season 6.

Oh, and I totally think that those fan calls are producers' or people hired to ask polite-but-"fun", PC questions in an effort from the producers to appear hip.

-- 1. Posted by: James at March 13, 2008 2:22 AM

Well the bottom 3 was definitely correct but Kristy Lee Cook deserved to go home before Hernandez. Her performance (both times) was excruciating and unforgivable. Not that Hernandez was going to win the competition anyway.

-- 2. Posted by: mediaboy at March 13, 2008 11:18 AM

why dont you let the singers sing the songs they want to sing it would be a better competition. the way you do it doesnt give them a chance. try letting paula get up there and sing kiss. every artist has there own style i dont hear george jones singing any billy ocean or kiss songs I think you should let the contestants sing there style but not the same song

-- 3. Posted by: Anonymous at March 19, 2008 10:27 PM

I have to say I agree that apparently American Idol is a popularity not a talent contest. Amanda went home instead of Kristy Cook. I think that the contestants should sing their style. Everyone can't sing Beatles or Aretha Franklin. All you hear from Simon is they need to change up. They are talented and they sing what they sing. It would be a boring world if everyone was the same.

-- 4. Posted by: paula whisnant at March 19, 2008 10:35 PM

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