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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: 9 to 8

rmalubay.jpgIt was only a matter of time before we had our first real shocker of the season, and that surprise came when the final member of the Bottom Three was announced. But before I go and ruin the suspense, let's take a look at how the night progressed.

After watching the contestants sing a bevy of Dolly Parton classics last night, I thought to myself: "Self, why didn't anyone cover her hit single, "9 to 5?" But then I realized the producers must be saving that gem for the group song. As it turns out, I was right, and the Top 9 jumped onstage at the start of the program to sing one of Dolly's best-known songs. And as I often like to do when I review Results Night, here's what was going through my mind (and onto my notepad) as they bounced around the stage: "Wow, Kristy's solo was really good," "Michael Johns is back in this competition" and "Did Jason Castro just flail his arms like a marionette? That dude is weird."

One short commercial break later and Ryan dimmed the lights and turned up the ominous music, as is customary when "Idol" starts kicking people to the curb. First up to hear his fate was the increasingly good Michael Johns. I figured he could go either way, but Ryan sent him to the Couch of Safety. Next was everyone's favorite Arch Angel, David Archuleta. Was anyone even concerned he'd be going home this week? In the least suspenseful moment of the night, Little David took a seat next to Michael. Following David to the stage was Irish lass Carly Smithson. I wondered if the audience had connected to her song last night, even though I thought she did an amazing job. And since she's been in the Bottom Three before, I was a little worried for her. In what's quickly becoming a mean hobby for Ryan Seacrest, he played mind games with her again, making her think she was in the bottom. But, surprise, she was safe this week. See ya next week Carly! And keep smiling!

That was all the results for awhile, as we turned our attention to the viewer call-ins. Ah, the viewer call-ins. What a lovely way to say "time filler." The majority of questions are generally amusing, but tonight's were a snooze-fest. For example, David Cook answered a question about which talent he'd love to have by saying he'd like to be more organized. Fascinating! Then, in response to a question about which song he'd prefer to sing on the tour, Michael said he wasn't sure yet. This is hard hitting journalism, folks! But leave it to Simon to bring back the fun while answering a woman's query about why he insists on apologizing to everyone after he critiques them. His reply: "Mary, I like you!I'll never apologize to anyone again." Zing! From now on I suggest all questions be solely directed at the British judge.

Now the next part of the night was so cringe-worthy that I'm going to have to file it under "Performances So Bad They Make Me Want to Scoop Out the Part of my Brain That Remembers It." In case you missed it, I'm referring to The Clark Brothers. These guys apparently won that show no one watched last fall called "Next Great American Band." Which leads me to my first question, if these guys won, who lost? The entire performance was, in my honest opinion, a travesty. From the moment they took the "Idol" stage, their lead singer was screaming his lyrics. And don't get me started on his brothers/band/random guys with funky guitars. Their guitar solos were akin to Freddy Krueger's nails scraping against a chalkboard. Yikes! I almost wished someone would bring one of those big shepherd's crooks out on stage and scoop these guys off one by one.

Back to the eliminations, Ryan called David Cook front and center. Apparently, it seems Cook was rushed to the ER last night after his performance because he was having heart palpitations. He set everyone straight, though, and said he is all right and just has high blood pressure. To spare him more cardiac trauma, Ryan immediately declared him safe. Next to hear their fate was Ramiele Malubay, who may just be the shortest contestant ever on "Idol." Shortness aside, she soon became the first member of the dreaded Bottom Three. And right on cue, she brought back her soon-to-be-trademarked "sad face with scrunched nose and pouty lip." As she got comfortable, Ryan spoke with Kristy Lee Cook. It seems she's pretty pessimistic, and was carrying a sign that said "Kristy's Seat." It seems she felt she would need it for her stool in the Bottom Three. It looks like she is psychic, because she soon joined Ramiele on the Stools of Doom.

That's a lot of drama, though, and the producers like to calm things down before revealing everyone's fate. Instead of results, we were treated to video interviews with three former "Idol" contestants who have made a name for themselves. First up was Season 5's Bucky Covington, who has two singles on the country charts. I've heard them, and they're pretty good! Then we caught up with last season's Phil Stacey, who looks pretty happy about his wife, children and new album due out this April. Last, but not least, was Season 4's runner-up to Carrie Underwood, Mr. Bo Bice. This guy actually created his own recording studio and album, and seems to be doing well. Just goes to show you, contestants don't need to win "American Idol" to get a record contract.

Ryan started in on the eliminations again, calling Syesha Mercado to center stage. I was predicting she'd probably take a seat in the bottom, but surprisingly she was saved for the week. With Syesha off to the couches, that left Jason Castro and Brooke White as the last two called. I figured this was a no-brainer, with Jason's descent into Bottom Three territory last week. But here's the shocker I warned you about at the beginning of the column- it was Brooke's turn to join the Bottom Three! I can honestly say I didn't see that coming. She's been a great performer, and I liked her version of "Jolene." I guess she needs to connect with the audience more. What's more interesting about this turn of events, though, is the fact that each remaining female contestant has now been a member of the Bottom Three. On the contrary, the two Davids and Michael have never sat on a Stool of Doom. Ponder that one.

But before we could find out who was going home, it was Dolly Parton's turn to sing one of her songs. Performing "Jesus and Gravity" off her new album, Dolly proved why she's lasted so long in this business. With a gospel choir to her right, a giant backup band behind her and the craziest, sparkly getup I've ever seen, Ms. Parton demonstrated what a great entertainer she is. I can't say I'm a big fan of the song, but it doesn't matter. She won me over with the sheer fact that she's SO nice. It seemed like there wasn't a person left in the room that she didn't thank.

As nice as that was, it was finally time to see who was booted. Ryan first sent Brooke back to safety, leaving just Kristy and Ramiele on the stage. It almost didn't matter at this point, because it was time for them both to go. But the week belonged to Kristy once again, as Ramiele became "Idol"s newest victim. I give her credit, though, for wiping away her tears, pulling herself together and singing her song one more time. Plus, she sang it well! Unfortunately, your time is over now Ramiele, so cue that Ruben Studdard song, turn that frown upside down and return to a world where your suspender dress from last night makes sense.

What do you think of the Top 8? Were you more shocked that Ramiele was sent packing or that Brooke somehow entered the Bottom Three? Should Kristy win a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for sticking around for yet another week? Did the whole show make Brooke want to cry? And is there anyone that Simon didn't apologize to that he should have? Post below and be back here next Tuesday for more "Idol" fun! –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on April 3, 2008 12:57 AM
Permalink |

for our banished contestant, a parting haiku:

Farewell Remiele
Your run, like your stature, short
A Malubay breeze

-- 1. Posted by: mediaboy at April 3, 2008 9:55 AM

I predicted this on your column yesterday, so I'll not comment on Remiele. I will however say that yes, its amazing how often KLC has avoided the axe. She has been decent the last few weeks, but come on, its her time.
Sayesha and KLC better be the next two to go. Brooke was a shocker for me. I really don't think she'll win, but she should make the top 5.
Christy is a good singer, but I think she is starting to wear thin. Is it just me, or does she try to hog camera time? Watch the group hugs and such and she always seems to be in the middle. She sure knows where the camera is at all times. LOL, I guess thats a plus for someone trying to break through.
Could it be an all male Top 4? I could see it. But I think a Top 3 all male show is more likely.
And yes, please get rid of this stupid call in stuff.
I do have to disagree with you Chris on the special guests last night. Yes, the boy singer wasn't good at all, but I did like the guitars and the way they were played. It was fun. As for Dolly, that performance was wretched. I like her and all, but I kept thinking at least she would have looked more comfortable holding a microphone. :P

-- 2. Posted by: Andy at April 3, 2008 10:53 AM

I meant Carly above, not Christy. Shows you how memorable she is to me!

-- 3. Posted by: Andy at April 3, 2008 10:57 AM

It was time for Ramiele to go, Next up will be Kristy Lee Cook to make her well deserved exit.

I am glad Idol is showcasing some of the prior season contestants like Bucky and Bo Bice. Good to see what those fellows are up too.

-- 4. Posted by: Idol Fan at April 3, 2008 11:52 AM

Now that ramiele was voted off from AI, we don't like to watch the remaining AI season 7 anymore. this girl though an amateur compared to the other professional contestants, has talent, charisma and good attitude. she should have stayed a few more weeks.

-- 5. Posted by: marie at April 4, 2008 2:03 AM

Initially I thought Brooke might win the whole competition, but something went terribly wrong the night she wore that dreadful yellow dress and it has been a steady downhill slide for me with her ever since.
I could see why she was in the bottom three: her version of Jolene was rushed, mispronounced, and an ill-fit overall. (Like someone as good-looking as her would ever have to worry about losing her man to some chick named Jolene!)

David Cook, on the other hand, whom I was planning to ridicule on a regular basis for his bad hair, has been a revelation. Don't much give a rat's ass where his arrangements come from; I'm just monumentally impressed with his choices and the quality of his performance. This guy is in a league of his own.

-- 6. Posted by: PoGa at April 7, 2008 1:43 AM

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