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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Beat It

 Jasmine-Ryan.jpg Cue the ominous music. Dim the lights. It's time for the secret surprise "Idol" has been teasing since yesterday. But what could it be? Will "Idol" do away with the traditional voting system and instead hold gladiator competitions where only the strongest survive? Will the contestants be forced to arm wrestle Randy for a spot in the Top 5? Or maybe they'll change the format completely, hold the show on an island and make Jeff Probst the fifth judge!

Nah. Actually, it's nothing nearly as dramatic. The secret surprise isn't exactly a game-changer, but more of a revision to the rules. Ryan Seacrest showed us several former contestants who left the competition too soon: Tamyra Gray, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry. All are singers whom the public would've loved to keep on the show, had it not been for some irregular voting. So to combat this problem, the show has now instituted 'Judges' Save'.

This new option allows the judges to save one contestant just one time, and it cannot be used again. The option is open until the reveal of the Top 5. If and when the judges do decide to exercise the new feature, no one goes home that week, but two go home the next week. Are you as confused as I am? Do you need them to explain that again? And shouldn't they have just instituted the tried and true method shown on other reality shows like "Hell's Kitchen" or "So You Think You Can Dance?" Wouldn't it have made more sense, and been less cruel, to take the bottom three, have them sing for their lives and then let the judges pick who stays? Instead we're left with a rule only my tax guy would understand (maybe).

After a quick video tour of the contestant's new mansion, complete with pools, giant hot tubs and indoor bowling alley, the Top 13 sang a medley of Jackson 5 songs. Usually I cringe when the singers go through the motions of yet another sing-along, but this time they were actually really good! The harmonies were pretty awesome and most everyone was surprisingly in tune, though Danny danced again and that was definitely NOT awesome. (Side note: We were also treated to the year's first Ford music video. And it was everything I expected and more: corny? Check! Hokey? Check! Lots of fun? Check!)

So let's get straight to the eliminations. First up were Michael Sarver and Allison Iraheta, who were both safe. Sit down kids, see you next week! Next up was Jasmine Murray who was sent to center stage for an elimination showdown. Both Matt Giraud and Kris Allen were given safe passage to next week, leaving Megan Corkrey to join Jasmine onstage. Soon it was revealed that Megan was safe and Jasmine was one of the lowest vote-getters. But because of the new twist, her final song could actually save her life if the judges chose to keep her around. Alas, they didn't and she went home anyway.

To lighten the mood in between eliminations, Kanye West showed up next for a not-so-thrilling performance of his new single "Heartless." It seemed a little lackluster, but the audience loved it.

Then it was time for more eliminations. Scott, Alexis and Danny were all proclaimed to be safe, but unfortunately Anoop wasn't as lucky and he was sent to center stage. Out of the remaining finalists, both Adam and Lil were safe, leaving Jorge to join Anoop on the Stage of Uncomfortableness. And as Ryan Seacrest is prone to do, he kept us waiting for the results until after the break....and after Kelly Clarkson sings. I bet that made Miss Kelly a little uncomfortable herself! Couldn't they have put the results after her performance, instead of putting her in the middle of a tension sandwich? (Side note: With just one performance of her new song "My Life Would Suck Without You," Kelly proved that she did indeed deserve the crown of first American Idol.)

Back on stage, Anoop and Jorge waited anxiously for the results. With very little fanfare, Ryan sent Anoop back to the Chairs of Safety and told Jorge to sing for his spot. Unfortunately the judges weren't going to waste a 'save' on Jorge and he was sent packin'.

That's all for this week. Were you surprised by tonight's eliminations? Who do you wish went home? Did Anoop deserve to keep his spot in the finals? Is the new rule on "Idol" too confusing? And what did you think of the early prediction that the final two could be Danny and Adam? Leave your comments below and make sure you come back for more "Idol" excitement next week! -Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on March 12, 2009 9:16 AM
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