Thursday, March 30, 2006

Where is Barry Manilow this week???

Time for another slimmed down 30 min fat free idol results show. We get a glimpse into the incredibly busy week of an Idol contestant. When they aren’t performing in front of 30 million people, they are busy rehearsing or attending Fox produced movies. Can we somehow arrange for the contestants to attend the premiere of the Da Vinci Code just so we can see Mandisa blow her top the first second Tom Hanks suggest the whole Jesus being the son of God thing might have less validity to it than the Jose Canseco book. Elliot has a hard time keeping track of the days of the week and Bucky is plastered with makeup. The movie they do attend is Ice Age II. Fox is brilliant the way they include corporate sponsorship throughout the show – take that Tivo users! Almost every show does that now, even 24; notice the way the camera zooms in on all the cool things he does with his phone. Mandisa likes the big characters in the movie representing for the big girls and says it was just nice to get out and see a good movie. Speaking of movies she should use Roger Ebert as a role model for losing a little excess weight. Of course if she has a skinny bald friend who also likes movies he might die of a brain tumor, but that’s worth the risk. Ryan says the Idol contestants are one big happy family, but there will be “an empty seat at the dinner table soon.”

The brilliance of Fox marketing continues as I wait for this weeks stupid yet enthralling Ford car commercial. Maybe next season we can get a condom company to replace Ford as an official sponsor. Imagine the commercials we could get from that one, they could even include some safe sex PSA scrolling across the bottom of the screen. The commercial begins and Elliot, Ace, and Lisa jumped out of the car; Elliot, not Ace is wearing a beanie cap. They dance over to a huge meter maid played by Mandisa. Actually I think she has lost some weight since the show…nope wait, that’s not her, just another not quite as big girl. Here comes Mandisa using her love of Jesus to overcome the law of physics and free herself from gravity’s oppressive grip as she bounces down the street. Chris and Paris join her in the revelry and link up with the original threesome. Lisa jumps on an ice cream cart and is wheeled off the screen; did the producers just foreshadow her impending departure. Halfway into the commercial Bucky, Kat, Kellie, and Taylor take center screen and the dance party reaches its climax. Fox produced another good commercial tonight, but not one of the all time best. Is it possible I missed Kevin in tonight’s commercial?

Shakira, tonight’s odd choice for a musical guest, is doing her latest hit with lots of skin on display! She certainly looks good and sounds pretty good as well, but it feels out of character for Idol. Kellie looks blown away during the performance, no doubt amazed she is standing on the same stage as Shakira. Chris however, looks like he is trying not to enjoy himself too much as he awkwardly claps his hands. Near the end of the song Wyclef runs behind the judges and sings to Randy and Paula as Simon contemplates how he can get IL Divo on the show. To his credit, Simon does give the guest perfumers a standing ovation. Did anyone else notice they ran a commercial for Verizon featuring Shakira right after she performed on Idol? How much did that have to upset Cingular, Idol’s bread and butter sponser.

In the recap of last night’s show the edits give Bucky more love than he really deserves. Uh oh I hope this doesn’t mean he will somehow escape the bottom three. Ryan starts with the bottom row and calls out the names of Mandisa, Chris, Kellie, Taylor, and Paris. Either the end of the world is here, or the entire row is safe; thankfully the world is safe for another week. Ryan tells us to tune in after the break to “see what we have done.” That has an ominous ring to it, much like my ringtone if I downloaded Kevin singing Part Time Lover. Elliot is first in the back row and covers his ears when Ryan starts to talk, so I assume he is feeling pretty safe after last night. Ryan tells Elliot he just danced with his mommy in the audience, inspiring Elliot to freestyle in his seat. Elliot is safe! Lisa, the perpetual bottom three dweller is next. Ryan scares me a little when he says she was in the bottom three the last two weeks. It sounds like he is setting her up to tell her she is safe, but nope, bottom three again. The crowd, fully expecting this, awws for little Lisa. With only Kat, Bucky and Ace left, its no surprise when Ace returns to the bottom three; the crowd gives a halfhearted chorus of boos. Bucky and Kat are the final two and neither smiles at Ryan while he slowly delivers their fate. Surprisingly Bucky has more earrings than Kat. Then it happens, one of those moments that only Idol can produce, a development more shocking than George Mason in the final four – KAT IS A CELLAR DWELLER. What the *&)*&? Sure she didn’t give the best vocals of all time last night, but her vocals were far superior than Bucky’s; this is a classic ‘things that make you go hmm’ moment. Everyone is shocked! The crowd voices an appropriate apoplectic response. Kellie looks like she might die from sadness. A shell shocked Bucky claps his hands when Kat stands up to begin her sojourn. I assume he is clapping to show support for Kat, but it kinda looks like he is the only clapping because he is safe!

There are four criteria used to evaluate Idol contestants: 1) how did the artist perform a song; 2) how has the artist performed so far this season; 3) do you like the artist’s style of music; 4) do you like the person despite a lack of talent. Starting with the first criteria, Kat easily wins. Over the course of the season Kat delivered some great performances; Bucky does not have a ‘wow’ performance yet. Therefore Kat wins number two as well. Lets jump to number four. Kat is bubbly and cute off stage and smolders on stage; Bucky is a nice good ol country boy off stage and keeps the same image while he sings; critera four is probably a tie. That leaves us with the third criteria, which I think explains why Bucky escaped the bottom three. People love them some country music, most of the time I don’t understand it, probably because I’ve been to college, but there is a large demand. Last night there were only two country numbers, Kellie and Bucky, and they were safe, so I think the country lovers got out their phones and hit redial to make sure their style of music stayed around. Remember Bucky was safe the first week, and only slipped into the bottom three once he had to do the 50’s stuff. Josh Gracin was the only country artist a couple seasons ago and far outstayed his welcome. Most people speculated it was because he was a marine, but I think his country roots earned him all the extra votes. More on this later, for now, back to the show.

Lisa, Kat, and Ace stand center stage with Ryan. Kat is finally smiling, but unlike the Lisa ‘wild dogs gnawing at my legs won’t stop this smile’ it’s a ‘oh my god this can’t end like this’ smile. Don’t worry Kat, Ryan will send you back to the couch any second now. Nope, crap! Ace is safe. Ace learned from his last time in the bottom three and this time gives a little love to both Kat and Lisa before he takes his seat. That means Kat, one of my favorites, could be going home. Kellie looks even sadder now. She has the “Dick you cannot go hunting for the next three years” look on her face. Ryan asks the judges why Kat is in the bottom three, but doesn’t ask about Lisa. Translation – Lisa you suck. Randy gives the same advice he gives every week, “gotta be great every single time, be smart about it, pick better songs.” This guy is like the Dali Lama, except with a stapled stomach. Kat says this is all part of God’s plan. You go girl milk the Christian vote! Lets see which contestant can say Jesus the most times next week. Good luck with that one Elliot. After scaring all those who appreciate good music, Ryan tells Lisa she is signed sealed delivered and gone. Whew. I hadn’t been that worried since the hooker said she didn’t take checks. Ok I made that part up. Lisa sings her last song of the season and is consistent; she is off pitch yet again. At least they let her finish the entire song this time!

Next week is country week, which is actually a good thing. Why you might ask? Because Bucky might be going home. Makes no sense right? Actually it does. With everyone, except maybe Chris, singing a country song, Bucky will not get the entirety of the country loving vote. He will be judged on his singing ability instead of what he is singing. Compared to the other contestants he cannot compete, with the exception of Ace. Ace is probably in the most trouble this week. He has a high-pitched nasal voice that might not go well in a lot of country songs; he needs to pick the exact right song. Kellie will be judged harshly because this is her strength, so she must step it up as well. Chris can pick any number of rock/country songs and do fine. Elliot might have a little trouble unfunking himself to sing a country song, but I think he’ll be ok too. The other contestants should all be able to sing country without too much trouble. There is very little ‘real country’ left these days. As long as they pick the rock/pop/ballad country everyone but Ace and Bucky will not have to worry.


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