Friday, March 25, 2011

AI Results Show Recap: The F-Bombs Bursting in Air...

Every season, our own little huckster Ryan Seacrest promises a "shocker" of a results show. Favorites Justin Guarini, Ruben Studdard and Adam Lambert ending up in the bottom two once during their seasons (back then, these were shocking); season 3's bottom three of Fantasia, Latoya London and Jennifer Hudson; the shockingly premature ousters of too many talented people to name (cough, Daughtry, cough); even the judges' decision to use the save the first time to prevent Matt Giraud's elimination were among the surprises delivered during the "shocking" results shows.

Yet all of that frightening useless information aside, last night's results show was a mixed brew of melodrama, bleeped-out cursing, tremendously astute advice and pro wrestling. So dim the lights and let's get to your results show recap!

After a dramatic opening ("A new sound...they conquered the classics and captivated a nation...but no one is safe, based on your vote...the dream ends tonight for one person") the judges came out bedecked in their results show finery. Steven Tyler rocked another animal print shirt with a pink scarf in a different animal print, and from several different angles he's starting to resemble a thinner Steven Cojocaru.

In our weekly required J.Lo plug, we watched a segment with Marc Anthony ("as you know, he is the husband of our own Jennifer Lopez") teaching the contestants how to use their in-ear headphones to hear themselves over the music. We even got a completely spontaneous(!) clip of Marc disagreeing with J.Lo's criticism that Pia needs to connect more with her songs. (No one disagrees with J.Lo. Just ask Cris Judd.)

Guess who opened our Motown group number, Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Why yes, our very own "Baby Luther," Jacob. The number wasn't bad, although Jacob went into his wonky off-pitch caterwauling at the end, and for some reason, it appeared that Scotty and Stefano were muted through the performance. And then Stevie Wonder came rolling out, to give a fairly uninspired performance that culminated in everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to Sir Tyler.

Ford Music Video...does anyone care?

Then we started to get to the results. First up, Lauren, Pia and Scotty. And Ryan pulled one of his annoying trademark fakeouts: "I'm sorry to say, you'll all be packing your bags...for the summer tour in a few months!" This surprise announcement led to the first bleeped-out curses of the evening, and while I think they came from Scotty, wouldn't it be fun to think Pia dropped the f-bomb instead? (She's from Howard Beach, after all.)

Sugarland performed Stuck Like Glue. Cute. I love Jennifer Nettles.

Next came a taped segment about how James is obsessed with pro-wrestling, and showed how he and Paul "fight" all the time. It was actually a cute (though overlong) segment in which Pia showed personality tried to beat up the guys. It ended with James saying "I'm Crazy James and I'm awesome."

So, naturally, James and Paul were next to hear their results. Ryan told them, "You're both not safe. You're both really not safe." And then Hulk Hogan came onstage, to James' absolute shock and awe. (Seriously. The kid was knocked out.) Hulk told Paul and James they both were safe, and then he proceeded to fake-punch Ryan, which sent the little sprite ass-over-teakettle into the audience. (Ryan, ask your girlfriend Julianne to show you how to move convincingly, ok?) Hulk then tore off his shirt (I could have skipped that part) and we went to commercial.

(As an aside, in the summer of 1985, Hulk Hogan broke out color war at my camp. The Hulk Hogan we met and took pictures with then barely resembles the Hulk Hogan on stage last night.)

Next up, Jacob, Thia and Stefano. To no one's surprise, Jacob was safe, and then it was revealed that Thia and Stefano were in the bottom three. Off to the stools of shame.

Naima, Haley and Casey were the last three to find out their fate. Ryan revealed that Naima was safe first (she softly said "I can buy a house now." Love.) and then said that the final person in the bottom three was...Casey. Haley was so excited but couldn't really show it.

The triumphant return of seventh-place finisher Jennifer Hudson came next. (Ryan introduced her as "the only Idol winner to have an Academy Award.") In a tremendous twist of irony, George Huff, who beat Jennifer during her season, was one of her backup singers.

So, on to the shock and awe. Ryan sent Thia back to safety. And then it was Casey and Stefano. The person at risk of going home was...Casey.

Cue a tremendous stream of bleeping. You couldn't see either Casey or Stefano's mouths, so it was hard to determine who was doing the cursing.

At one point, the camera cut over to Jacob, who sat there in such shock, it reminded me once again of Kristi Glakas' reaction to being crowned Miss Virginia 2005. (And who says my knowledge of pageants isn't useful?)

A shaky Casey chose to sing I Don't Need No Doctor, and started out really well. Then all kinds of craziness broke loose. Steven and Randy stopped the song, and they told Casey that they thought the results were ridiculous and they were absolutely using the save on him.

Casey truly looked like he was going to pass out or have a heart attack. (Remember, this is a kid who has been in the hospital twice in the last four or so weeks.) A gigantic stream of censor-endorsed silence endured. He walked over to the judges and asked, "Why would you do that? It's Top 11." (He explained that since they were told only the Top 10 finalists would be going on tour, he didn't think the judges would be allowed to use their save.)

Finally, the judges gave Casey some constructive advice. "No more antics," J.Lo lectured. "Let people feel your soul." Randy contradicted his Wednesday night feedback and told Casey, "You don't need to growl. No more growling. Just sing."

At the show's close, Ryan shared the good and the bad news. The Top 11 would go on tour this year instead of the Top 10, but next week two contestants will be eliminated.

I wasn't utterly surprised by the bottom three, although I was disappointed to see Stefano there. I hope this gives Casey the kick in the pants he needs to drop the ego and go back to the excellent performances he gave during Hollywood week, before he started believing that snarling and mugging for the camera were the keys to success. And hopefully the wrong people won't go home next week.

Well, that took less time than the actual show, so enjoy!

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