Friday, April 20, 2012

AI Recap: Psych!

Having watched American Idol since the middle of Season 1, I've always had a growing dissatisfaction with the weekly results show fiasco, especially since it started becoming less about the contestants and more about gimmickry and featuring other musical artists. But apart from the general poor group musical numbers, the inane Ford Music Videos, and the reinventing of history by the judges, what irritates me more than anything are Ryan's little fake-outs of the contestants.

Does anyone out there still enjoy it when Ryan teases an emotionally vulnerable contestant? At some point when Ryan says, "I'm sorry...but you didn't get enough wind up in the bottom three. You're safe!", I expect someone to punch him. Ryan was particularly manipulative in his little teasers this week, and if it's a sign of things to come, I may fast forward the show until I see who was eliminated.

Last night we had to say goodbye to "third horse" Colton. That's what I predicted as soon as I saw "Another shock rocks Idol" flash across my screen at the start of the show, although I (somewhat gleefully, I'm embarrassed to admit) wondered if Jessica might get voted off despite the judges' save last week. It's sad, because while I feel Colton definitely was the weakest overall Wednesday night, I enjoyed listening to him, and was surprised that he was abandoned so quickly by all of the fans that kept him out of the bottom three until now. (Where did all the 53 million votes go?)

But before we learned of his fate, we had the opportunity to endure a ludicrous group rendition of Martha and the Vandellas' Dancing in the Streets (which looked like a Skittles commercial when a raft of colorful balloons fell from the ceiling, basically burying the contestants). We also had the opportunity to see another classic Ford Music Video (this one to Switchfoot's Stars), wherein the contestants were envisioned as characters from the Zodiac, or at least the next installment of Clash of the Titans.

BFFs Hollie and Joshua were the first to learn their fates. Crabby Jimmy basically said Hollie has no chance of winning, that it would be "a long road to get Hollie to the finals," but said that Joshua has a terrific shot to win. After Kieran dimmed the lights, Ryan teased Joshua by saying, "Last week you were at risk of elimination, this week you didn't get the right number of put you in the bottom three. You're safe." He then sent Hollie to the silver stools of doom.

Why, it's Taylor Hicks! Although Ryan never came out and acknowledged he was the winner of Season 5, he did let a nearly orangey Taylor share that he would be performing in Vegas! Now there's a shock. Katharine McPhee is on Smash, Daughtry is, well, Daughtry, Elliot Yamin (who went unacknowledged in the audience) and Kellie Pickler are recording stars, and Taylor will be opening for Rita Rudner at Harrah's. (I kid. Or do I?)

Taylor introduced Season 8 winner Kris Allen, who performed his new song, The Vision of Love. Love him, love the song, although they had him playing on a spinning stone piano the first half of the song, so the camera kept losing sight of his face. (Remember, in addition to his talent, he's very easy on the eyes. I'm not interested in seeing the back of his head.)

Next up for the voters' decision were Skylar and Elise. Jimmy rambled about how great Skylar was and how Elise didn't sing Let's Get it On that well, and probably deserved to go home. Ryan sent Skylar to safety and then asked Elise if she felt like the judges and Jimmy were harder on her than other contestants. She said yes, probably because they thought she could take it better since she's older, but it was difficult to feel so discredited at times. (Time will tell if Elise falls into the same pattern as Kimberley Locke, Syesha Mercado, Casey James, and Haley Reinhart, three contestants who were ripped apart by the judges nearly every week, often wound up in the bottom three, but all finished in third place.) Ryan sent Elise back to her "vacation home in the bottom three."

Ryan did another Dick Clark tribute, which was fun, and then Ryan introduced LMFAO, who sang(?) Sorry for Party Rocking. The less said the better.

Last up were Jessica, Phillip, and Colton. Jimmy revealed his sudden aha moment, that Jessica is singing songs that are too old for her, and he APOLOGIZED(!) to her, saying that would change if she made it through to next week. (Umm, Jimmy, they sang classic soul songs. They're all too old for Jessica, no?) He also proclaimed that Phillip should be in the finale, and tore Colton's Bad Romance performance apart, calling his look "1985 Billy Idol on TRL meets Spider-Man on Broadway." (Jimmy, watch out for Julie Taymor. She's not one you want as an enemy.)

Ryan reminded Jessica that last week the judges saved her from elimination, but this week, "there's no saving you...from the stress of the competition. You're safe." (Jerk.) He then sent Colton to the stools.

Faced with the bottom three of Hollie, Elise, and Colton, the judges hemmed and hawed about what could happen and whether or not this was the right bottom three. Ryan then pulled Elise aside and said, "Elise, it was hard for you last night. It's going to be hard again tonight. I'd like to ask you to sit down...and watch another one of your friends go home. You're safe." Her reply? "Shut up!"

Interestingly enough, Jessica doesn't really interact with any of the other contestants unless they approach her. Hmm.

Ryan then announced that Colton had been eliminated. He was tremendously gracious, explaining that he wasn't himself on Wednesday night, and tried too hard to be something he wasn't. He promised that when he made a record (and a tearful J.Lo exclaimed, "You're going to make lots of records, baby!") he would listen to the judges' advice. He sang Everything for his farewell song, but made it clear that he was singing to God, not the audience.

Only two more guys left. Does that bode well for Jessica, especially since she'll be singing "younger songs" from now on? (Will next week's theme be Kidz Bop or songs from Nick Jr.?)

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