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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Don’t Be Cruel

Before I get to tonight’s double-elimination “Idol” extravaganza, there’s something I need to address. In fact, it’s something that was so prominent during Tuesday’s episode, that many a blog have already devoted countless paragraphs to it. What am I talking about? I’m talking about host Ryan Seacrest’s walk on the crazy side Tuesday night.

Somehow I completely let Seacrest’s antics slip by me in my recap, so I figured we’d take a quick moment to examine what he did. Ryan was all over the place Tuesday night, from dancing with some random dude during Tim’s performance, to commenting on guest mentor Adam Lambert’s tongue (right in front of their moms!) to grabbing that “Glee” guy’s hat and wearing it to making that somewhat shocking and completely out-of-nowhere-eight-years-too-late diss at Brian Dunkleman. I think Ryan may have gone off the deep end. And if life were like a comic book, I’m sure the pop-up thought bubble around Simon’s head probably read: “Only two more months to go. Maybe Susan Boyle will fill in for me next week? I’ll have to give her a call….”

Looking at Ryan during the results show, everything seemed back to normal. So, either the producers had a nice little chat with him last night, or someone shot a blow dart full of tranquilizers at him. Either way, it was business as usual for double-elimination night. Well, everything except that double elimination. Because Michael “Big Mike” Lynche was spared elimination last week, that meant the “Idol” gods were unhappy and the scales needed to be adjusted before the show could continue. Thus, the double elimination was born. (And for all you people who say the double cut is cruel, it’s not like we made them fight Gladiator style. The two singers are still going on the road this summer! They are going to be OK, trust me.)

In Elvis speak, the opening segment of tonight’s episode can only be known as “The King of all that is Cheesy.” Yup, it was time once again for the group sing-along! Tonight it was a medley of Elvis numbers, sung by our lip-synching, but still solid, Top 9. Here’s some random thoughts I had as the singers bounced awkwardly about the stage: What’s up with Katie’s noodle legs?; Tim singing “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” = yikes!; since when does Lee sound like Michael Buble?; could Crystal be any more uncomfortable in the group numbers?; Simon doesn’t seem to dig Siobhan, though Randy seems to dig Casey; and does this corny medley remind anyone of a bad Vegas revue/$2 all-you-can-eat buffet show?

It seemed that time was of the essence tonight, since the producers decided to air the Ford music video immediately after the group number. Tonight’s video had the singers performing “Light and Day/Reach For the Sun,” as they avoided randomly sprouting Redwoods in the middle of the street. This was “Idol’s” take on “going green,” but it left me confused. Does this mean Ford cars are biodegradable and can be turned into mulch? If so, I am totally buying a Toyota. I don’t want my ride to melt in the rain.

After a quick commercial break, it was time for part one of the results. Who would be the first of two singers to get the boot tonight? Ryan immediately plucked Casey, Aaron and Andrew from the couches of safety and dragged them to the middle of the stage. And with the least amount of suspense ever given on an “Idol” stage, Ryan quickly announced Andrew was leaving the competition. Just like the rest of the audience, I think it took a few seconds to dawn on Andrew too. Ryan then told Casey and Aaron they were safe.

Up next were the night’s first musical guests, Season 7 finalist Brooke White and Justin Gaston. Now Brooke I knew, but Gaston, he was a mystery. So I typed his name into the interweb and found out who he is. Apparently, he’s one of several performers who will be documented on a web series called “If I Can Dream,” created by none other than Simon Fuller. What a coincidence! Other interesting facts about Mr. Gaston: He was a contestant on country-singing competition “Nashville Star’s” sixth season, he was an underwear model and he used to date Miley Cyrus.

At first I didn’t get this match-up, but then they sang the Elvis song “If I Can Dream.” And I still didn’t get it. While Brooke sounded as good as she always does (she’s like Carly Simon 2.0: The Next Generation), Gaston sounded like he’d just woken up, alternating from periods of screams to mumbles. (And what was up with that Antonio Banderas hairstyle? It was so distracting!) At the end of their odd performance, Ryan told the audience the pair had just met about a week ago. Well, it totally showed. Maybe Brooke needs to go back to singing solo. And Gaston needs to seriously rethink the hair.

Pretty soon we were back to results and Ryan was dragging the rest of the contestants on to the stage. First to be led back to safety was Crystal, followed quickly by Siobhan and Lee. That left Katie, Michael and Tim to duke it out for that final bottom spot.

But before we could find out who was making the long trip home, it was time for the last guest performer of the night, the King of Scream himself, Adam Lambert. Singing his new single “Whataya Want From Me,” Mr. Lambert started the song out slow, doing his best Bono impression while clouds of green mist and lasers danced around him. It took forever for the song to finally get going, and when I expected the lights to finally come up, we were still left trying to figure out where he was on stage. (Thank goodness he was wearing that glittery jacket or we would never have found him!) Apparently the crew was a little too heavy on the smoke machines, and it looked like a scene from “Phantom of the Opera.” This was all probably for the best, though, since it didn’t seem as if Glambert moved around the stage at all! Oh well, at least his voice was good.

Back to the eliminations, Ryan called the last three back on stage. Would it be Katie, Mike or Tim? He immediately granted amnesty to Tim, who has now surprisingly shot his way into the Top 7! Wow, I’d like to say I didn’t see that coming, but I’ve become jaded and I had a feeling a legion of tween speed-texters had probably saved the dude again. That left just Katie and Michael. How horrible would it have been if the audience sent Michael home anyway? Well, not to worry, because it was time for Katie to head home. And Ryan said Michael wasn’t even in the Bottom Three!

So here’s to you Andrew and Katie! Andrew, you never lived “Straight Up” down, though your cover of “Forever” was amazing. Here’s hoping you pick a better bunch of songs for your first album. And Katie, try to remember, you are only 17. Try to down your old soul and put that big voice to work on some current songs!

Were you shocked by tonight’s double elimination? Were you worried that Michael was about to go home, taking the only judges’ save with him? Did Andrew and Katie deserve to go home, or do you wish one of those spots was taken by Tim? And was I the only one who couldn’t see Glambert through all that haze? Post your Idol-tastic comments and remarks below and then set your DVRs because next week isn’t just about Inspirational Songs. Nope, next week marks the return of Idol Gives Back! See you then! –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on April 15, 2010 12:52 AM
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