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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Fantastic Four

bwhite2.jpg Before we discuss how tonight's results show played out, I want to write a special note aimed squarely at the producers of "American Idol." Is it at all possible to take some of the time allotted for the results show and slap it on the previous night's episode? I mean, we went from a performance night so crammed pack that Paula's head was spinning to a results show padded with a plethora of useless extras (Did we need to know who won the Coca-Cola cup contest? Was a five minute preview of "So You Think You Can Dance" necessary, seeing as how Fox has been promoting the heck out of it anyway? I think not, on both counts.) So, let me close this little rant with a little test the producers can conduct to see if a results show is too long. It's simple, if you have enough time to answer calls from viewers, your show is too long!

Anyways, on with the review. The group performance left me almost as bewildered as little David Archuleta after Ryan delivered his fate (but more on that later). Here's some comments I jotted down as the Final Five crooned to the tunes of Neil Diamond: "Sounds like Jason is doing his best Neil Diamond impression," "David A. is having a hard time hitting those low notes," "When did Brooke and Syesha turn into go-go dancers" and "Brooke and Castro should never perform together again!"

Before Ryan started the eliminations, he felt it was important to address what happened with Paula last night. If you don't remember, it was during the first judges' critiques, which were uncomfortably sandwiched in between a rushed performance and a commercial. As Ryan asked Paula to quickly comment on the contestant's first performance, she stumbled through Jason Castro's review. But all was going pretty well until she started reviewing his second song!you know, the one he had yet to sing! As a result, the Internet was buzzing with theories about her sudden development of ESP. Some said she was reading from a script, others said she was spaced out (gee, that's a new one), but Ryan set the record straight and said none of the rumors were true.

After that was all cleared up, it was once again time to begin the dreaded eliminations. First out to the stage was Mr. Slacker, Jason Castro. With his trademark smirk and a "Am I on TV?" expression, Jason waited anxiously to hear his fate. I hoped this might be his week to go, so I was pretty shocked when Ryan said he was safe. That is one lucky dread-head.

Next was David Archuleta who looked so nervous, that I half expected him to curl up into the fetal position. How is it that everyone BUT David can see that he has nothing to worry about? So it was no surprise that Ryan declared him safe and sent him to the couches. But even that didn't sit well with little David, as he sat down looking more bewildered than ever. It's OK David, you made it through another elimination. And it gets better; just wait until Natasha Bedingfield finishes her song tonight!

The next contestant out to center stage was David Cook who also looked extremely jumpy. He started making me nervous, and then I started to wonder, what exactly would happen if America somehow sent him to the Bottom Two tonight? As my mind raced and Seacrest babbled on I became increasingly worried! But it was all for nothing, and Cook was secure in knowing he had at least made it to the Final Four. So you know what that means, Brooke White and Syesha Mercado had once again fallen into the bottom. Neither one seemed too surprised as they walked out on stage.

As usual, before Ryan sent someone packing, it was time to lighten the mood with the first performance of the night. This week we were treated to Natasha Bedingfield singing her new song "Pocketful of Sunshine." The performance was a lot of fun, and Bedingfield's voice is actually very nice. But it was her performance after the song that was the real highlight. After speaking with Ryan, she politely asked if she could approach the contestants. Before Ryan could say "sure, go ahead" the singer raced right over to David A., gave him a hug and then a peck on the cheek. See, I told you David, your night was definitely looking up! She even offered to go to his prom with him! Now that's a fan.

Then it was time for my favorite part of "Idol" (sarcasm alert!!!!), the viewer call-ins. The first few calls were, as usual, kind of lame, directing questions at Paula who never quite answers them. Example, Q: Will Paula and Randy make more music videos together? A: "We're going to keep dancing like there's no tomorrow." Gee, thanks. That cleared it all up. It wasn't until the last call that we finally came to the juicy stuff. On the line was a British woman in her 40s who had a question for Simon. She asked who was a better kisser, Paula or the girl he first kissed when he was nine years old. Turns out, she was that girl. Not only did Simon look surprised to be reunited with his first crush, but I think I saw him blush for the first time on network television. Nice work, Mystery British Lady!

In the final performance of the night before the elimination, Neil Diamond took to the stage to sing a new ditty off his new album. Unfortunately, it sounded a little too old for this crowd. And despite the cheers he got from the studio audience, I'm betting most of the viewing audience just shrugged their shoulders and switched the station for five minutes. I kept waiting for him to break out, but it just didn't happen.

With only minutes left to spare, Mr. Seacrest brought the two remaining women back to center stage to find out who was going home. I thought maybe Syesha would be cut tonight, but alas, it was poor Brooke's turn. At the mere mention of her name, she broke down in tears. And since she usually starts crying on a good night, you can imagine how tonight's elimination was affecting her. She gallantly tried to pull it together for her final song, but couldn't hold back the tears and had to walk away. So as Brooke goes looking for another box of tissues, let's salute her, the Happy Nanny with a fondness for smiling, crying and restarting her performances.

What did you think of this week's elimination? Should Brooke have lasted until the Final Three? Was it time for Syesha to sign off? And are we headed for the first ever all male Final Three? Post your comments below and remember to tune in for next week's rock themed episode of "American Idol!" –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on May 1, 2008 1:13 AM
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Nice rundown. most of the others I have read have their bias' on high elert. yours was very subtle. thought all the kids did a good job this week (even Jason) but I think it should have been Jason going home.

-- 1. Posted by: jim walker at May 1, 2008 2:42 AM

here is what I think about the four that are left.

David C
not at all the most original of the singers. just listen to the versions of the songs from the bands he has taken from. If anything he is the lsast original of the singers. but he has a very strong voice and presance and will be the easiest of the idols to market.

I think David is the nost original singer of the group with his musical phrasings being well beyond his years.
don't think that always helps as his safe song selections have sounded alot the same. Every once in awhile he picks the right song and all you can say is wow. can you imagine if he had waited a few years before coming to this compition. don't blame him for doing it while it is still the top rated show.

if i were in the other room and one of the idols started singing i could tell imediatly if it were either Archie or Jason. Jason has a pleasant voice and given the right songs will have fans that will buy his albums. but i think he has gone far beyond where he should have.

i have thought from the beginning she has had one of the better voices in the compition. her trouble is that her singing is so mainstream that you have heard it all before. nothing to set her apart from the group.

-- 2. Posted by: jim walker at May 1, 2008 3:13 AM

Jason (I just smoked a bowl) is still around because young girls must think he's cute. It certainly isn't because of his talent, since there doesn't seem to be an abundance of that with Jason. He and Brooke have been neck and neck for last place for the last 6 weeks. Based on singing ability, David A. and David C. should be the final two, with David C. winning. David C. won't want Idol to "own" him, so second place may not be the worst place to end up.

-- 3. Posted by: Harriet at May 1, 2008 8:40 AM

Not shocked, but still think it was Sayesha that should have gone. I will be shocked if she isn't sent packing next week.

David A will win over David C. I simply won't be convinced Idol will ever have a 'rocker' win until I see it with my own eyes.

I'll miss Brooke.

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