Friday, March 9, 2012

AI Recap: Nice Guys Do Finish Last...

Oh, Jere-Bear, say it ain't so! Sadly, the judges chose to jettison the show's "spirit stick," the resident cheerleader, after his Wednesday night performance landed him the least amount of votes among the guys, alongside Elise "Put on a Stank Face" Testone. And in the cruelest cut of all, J.Lo delivered the hard news. But more on that later.

Did you ever notice that Ryan seems to glow a little more on results nights? It's almost like his little internal engine is powered by faking out contestants and crushing dreams.

Luckily for us, last night marked the season's first group performance to what Ryan referred to as "Stevie Wonder's mega-hit As." (Mega-hit? I Just Called to Say I Love You, Sir Duke, You are the Sunshine of My Life, Signed Sealed Delivered, those are mega-hits.) It wasn't as hellacious as these numbers can be, although there was lots of oversinging going on, and randomly, Deandre would just throw in a falsetto note. Dude, just because you can doesn't mean you need to all the time.

The Ford Music Video (to Peter Gabriel's Big Time) made all of the contestants Shannon and Jermaine's actual size and they terrorized a city. (Sadly, they didn't eat Jimmy Iovine.)

And then it was time for Kieran to dim the lights so we could get some results. First up, the grouping of Elise, Jessica and Hollie. Jimmy made his random (and often mean) comments about the contestants as always, saying that his concern for Jessica, whom he believes gave "the best American Idol performance ever," might believe the applause too early and get over-confident. Maybe I'm no music industry expert, but telling a 16-year-old she gave the best performance in a show's 11-year-history might prompt more over-confidence than applause, no? To the surprise of no one, Elise was sent to the stools of solitude, and she did so with visible attitude.

Heejun, Jermaine and Colton were next. Jimmy didn't have anything nice to say about either Heejun or Jermaine's performances, and said he was concerned that Colton needed to be true to himself as an artist and "find his truth." (Coming to a Chinese buffet near you: Fortune cookies with the wisdom of Steven Tyler and Jimmy Iovine.) Ryan gave Colton the old fakeout for the second week in a row: "Colton, America didn't like what they heard last night...they LOVED it. You're safe!" Jermaine is proving to be the not-quite-gentle-giant, visibly reacting to Jimmy's criticism as well as what the judges had to say, and wasn't pleased to learn he was among the bottom three guys. (Jermaine seems to forget he only made the top 13 as a gimmick.)

The final grouping of ladies consisted of Erika, Shannon, and Skylar. Jimmy said that Erika needed to be "more direct" in her presentation of songs and in response to J.Lo's criticism that Skylar's performance Wednesday night started out "nasally," Jimmy crowed, "I like nasal!" Erika was sent to the stools first (and you heard her say to Elise, "It's the old ladies!") and then Shannon learned of her doom as well.

Lauren Alaina and her newly bleached-out hair returned to the big stage with a sassy performance. (Now there's the stage presence and confidence the judges were looking for last season!) I was glad that we didn't have to endure any conversation with her, though.

The final grouping of guys—Joshua, Jeremy, Phillip and Deandre— were ready to learn their fate. Ryan tried to garner Phillip some sympathy votes, asking him about the media story that he had been rushed to the hospital, but he was having none of it. He was safe anyway. After Jimmy eviscerated him ("I think he's going home"), Ryan sent Jeremy to the stools, as J.Lo looked concerned. And then, ridiculously, Joshua was named in the bottom three over Deandre. WTF, America? No one can tell me that Deandre and Heejun were better than Joshua. Sigh.

Mary J. Blige performed her new song and we congratulated J.Lo on the success of her other Fox series, Q'Viva. (Between commercials for that and her Kohl's ads, there's way too much J.Lo on television right now.)

Ryan told Erika and Joshua that they were safe, then asked Steven who out of the bottom four (Jeremy, Jermaine, Elise, and Shannon) deserved to go home. "Jeremy," he said. No small talk this time.

Jermaine's true colors (I miss Creighton) came out again when he did a little too much celebrating in front of Jeremy when Ryan told him he was safe. At least wait until you get to the couch, dude. Shannon was safe as well.

Which left Elise and Jere-Bear. Ryan asked Randy if America got it right with the bottom two, and he hemmed and hawed about different singers and different performances before saying, "Not exactly right but probably." (In other words, yes.) J.Lo was left to deliver the bad news, and she said, "Based on the performances we've been given, we've chosen to save...Elise."

I'll admit I was a little surprised with the end result, although I do think Jeremy was out of his element. But I don't think Elise is much longer for the competition, unless she surprises me.

So until next week, folks, I leave you with this question: Of the six girls on the show, four of them are 17 or 18. Considering the demographic of the show's audience, and the fact that the last four winners have fallen in the "cute boy with guitar" mold, is it still possible for someone like Erika to win the show? Just curious.

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