Thursday, April 20, 2006

Forever Young No More

Unfortunately, the results show is only 30 minutes tonight. Sure its annoying when they bloat the show all the way up to a full hour, but really isn’t it better than anything else on TV at the same time (there is no LOST tonight). The results are in, and Ryan shaved for the results show again. For some reason his new patter is facial hair on Tuesday, clean-shaven on Wednesday. Maybe it’s a scientology thing. Why do they insist on putting Ryan at the back of the audience when he starts the show? The resulting people half turning in their chairs and looking over their shoulder is more awkward every time. Inevitably there is one person who refuses to look back at Ryan so instead you get the back of some guy’s head; please stop starting the show this way. I will no longer comment on Ryan looking like an adult, since that appears to be his new uniform. I bet Dick Clark is so proud of Ryan. Rod’s family is identified in the audience. What’s up with him trying to sell his family life, is he running for political office or something? First he brings his family to the rehearsal, now he brings them to the show and has the camera do a close-up. Who does this guy think he is, Tom Cruise? Speaking of that can we get predictions on how long it takes for Cruise’s kid to get their first arrest for drug possession? Did Barry Manilow bring his ‘life partner’ to the filming of the show? Come on, you know he is gay; the initial title to the classic song “Mandy” was after all “Randy.” Ryan tells us the entire country is buzzing about the show last night. He then introduces the judges telling us again last night was one of their strongest shows ever. Ok Ryan, we get the point, last night was good. When you repeat that fact every 10 seconds you sound like a little kid who just went potty for the first time and can’t stop telling every one the good news. During the video recap of Tuesdays, Rod calls the kids marvelous, Ryan tries his best to make puns on the song titles (much harder than during Queen week), and I realize that not even the Hubbell telescope could have zoomed in closer to Kat’s face. Ryan finally gets his first pun when he asks, “on the night of standards, who set the standards?” He says he’ll have the results and Rod will perform live after the break. Live? Really, you mean its not taped? Why does he always make such a big deal about the word live? They must have done focus groups on the word and found out people at home get pumped up when they hear the word. But really, its silly, if he doesn’t say Rod will be live would we assume they are going to play a clip of Rod singing a song from mid 1975 on the Dick Cavit show? Actually, I might prefer seeing that clip than hearing him live. The first commercials arrive, which means its time for another FORD commercial baby!

The commercial starts with Taylor on a poster saying “Taylor in Concert.” There is a car, I’m guessing a Ford of some kind driving down the street past various advertisements. The next one says “Elliot Live.” On all the posters once the car gets near the people in the posters start to dance! Wow Elliot might be half black after all, he busts a move on his poster. Kellie has a “Summer Tour” poster followed by Ace’s “Greatest Hits” poster. That’s it, our commercial hint of the night for who is going home. Work with me here. Often you release a greatest hits album, or go on tour with you greatest hits, when you are done with your original material; when you are on the down side of your career. Obviously Ace doesn’t have a greatest hits collection, that would require at least one hit, but it’s the best hint we get that he is done with new idol material by the end of the night. Kat has a poster saying “Katharines Classics” which is especially appropriate since she is such a classic singer and beauty. A “Chris in Concert” poster morphs into Chris slamming his guitar into the ground Peter Townsend style, followed by a “Songs from Paris” poster. You know, it just occurred to me, people haven’t been making Paris Hilton jokes about Paris. You would think that is mandatory when you have a young girl named Paris. Can you imagine the material available if Kellie, the good-looking young blonde, was named Paris instead of a young demur African American girl? The commercial ends with the car pulling up outside what appears to be a premier of some kind and all the contestants pile out of the car clown style. I bet this commercial was not nearly as much fun to film as some of the ones where they call get to dance around together, and the reaction of the Idol when we return live confirms my suspicions. Sure they were laughing at the commercial, but not nearly as much as some of the past weeks when you figure they had a ton of fun filming the commercial. Ryan AGAIN brags about the show last night and says the critics are hailing the show as the best American Idol ever. Notice Ryan only brings up the critics of the show when they think it was good. Why didn’t we hear any critic comments post country night? By invoking their approval some nights and ignoring them other nights he comes across a little silly. Hey I just realized he never said the vote total for tonight. Were the votes way down? Is it possible the best night in the history of television (hey he said it so many times now I believe him) had a surprisingly low vote turnout?

It’s time for some Rod; he walks out to greet Ryan as the band plays “Do You Think I’m Sexy.” Rod might be the most unattractive sex symbol of all time. With Don Knotts dead I think he officially holds the title. Rod sits down on the couch with Ryan and they talk about his 14 Grammy nominations and why he decided to make all these albums of American standards. Rod’s next project might be a redo of some of the great songs of 70s rock, so does that mean he is done writing his own new material? Of course he is in a no win situation: if he writes new material we’ll all say its not as good as his older stuff; if he sings standards and other songs we’ll say he is a sell out; and if he does nothing with his remaining talent and opens up a ranch where he can sexually molest little kids we’ll say he is Michael Jackson. When Ryan hears the 70s rock theme he suggest to the producer Nigel that it would be a great theme for next season. What? The show is back next season? Well that ruins the rest of this year for me; now that I know Ryan and the judges won’t be killed off in the last episode of the year it ruins the tension. Rod is wearing a very bright jacket that Ryan says matches Rod’s highlights. If anyone knows about highlights, it is Ryan. Rod saunters to center stage and begins “The Way You Look Tonight.” His voice isn’t as strong as it once was, but he still delivers a great performance. This is, with the exception of Shakira’s half naked shake fest, the best performance by a guest this season. If only Ace and Elliot can learn from Rod’s style. He owns the stage, interacts with the band, throws in some wacky dance moves, and looks so at ease we take his hand and journey into the past. In other words Ace and Elliot, stop trying so hard to sell the performance! If nothing else, Rod covered more ground on the stage than Kenny, Barry, and Stevie combined. Come on Stevie, I know you are blind, but would running around the stage a little kill you? Ok actually it might, forget that suggestion. Once Rod finishes, the contestants swarm him and he tells Kellie that she was great. That was pretty swell of him to make her feel better about the meat cutting performance last night.

Next Tuesday is Love Song night featuring Andrea Bocelli. Wow, his performance will surely bring the house down and show just how little some of the remaining contestants can sing. He will also be the second blind guest of the season. I know this is wrong to suggest, but how much would you pay to see Stevie Wonder play Andrea in a game of ping-pong? First person to score wins, it would be can’t miss television. There are seven people left tonight, which means Ryan should break the contestants into two groups and then ask the final person remaining on the couch, who is safe, to pick which group contains the bottom three. Ryan sends Elliot to the far side of the stage and Chris to the near side. Next is Princess P. (I used this as my stage name for a short time when I made 70’s porn films) and Pickler. Paris joins Chris and Kellie goes to Elliot. Since I’m confident Kellie will avoid the bottom three, which means Chris has fallen into the bottom three tonight. I bet he thinks the world ain’t so wonderful now! When Ryan sends Ace to join Chris and Paris you can almost see Chris think ‘oh crap’ I’m in the same group as Ace. Kat takes the remaining spot with Elliot and Kellie. Taylor, the only person left on the couch is not necessarily the highest vote getter (yes he is), but he is safe tonight! Taylor slumps on the couch a little when Ryan tells him he has to join the group he thinks is safe. Ryan gives Taylor and America the commercial break to think about which group is safe and when they return it’s time for Taylor’s choice. He should have walked down and sat next to the judges, since they are the perpetually safe three, but instead he walks over toe Chris and shakes his hand. Just as Ryan is saying, “I’m sorry” Taylor turns and walks away from Chris to stand next to Kat. Ryan pauses for a second, he is not sure what is going on, and then he realizes Taylor just punked him. Once Taylor stands still Ryan says Taylor picked the right group and Kat goes nuts hugging Taylor, as though it was because of him she is safe this week. I think Taylor is embarrassed about his little joke so he says he is sorry to Chris, Paris, and Ace as he walks back to the couch of safety. The crowd boos the bottom three, but Ryan makes it easy for one of the contestants really quickly; he sends Paris back to the couch. She doesn’t acknowledge her fellow mates as she walks back to safety.

Chris and Ace are apparently the Ben and Matt of American Idol, does that mean they both love the Red Soxs? Simon, who took credit for Chris singing a slow song last night (he didn’t really have a choice on standards night did he), refuses to take credit for Chris’s first trip to the bottom three. After all, Chris sang last night, not Simon. Ace and Chris picked their outfits from the same closet tonight. They are both wearing jeans and button down shirts, except Chris has his trusty chain of intensity by his side. Ryan says the person leaving IIIIIIIISSSSSSSSS Ace. They show us a close up of Ace’s brother, he is not too sad; he had to know this was coming. Chris’s family looks really sad for Ace, or really freaked out their boy fell into the bottom two. Poor Ace he has such a big smile on his face and the smile remains every when Ryan tells him his Idol run is over. All three judges give Ace a standing ovation and Ace says he can’t wait until the top 10 go on tour so he can meet his fans. Ace’s clip package starts with Ace saying, “I’m ready to entertain you.” He goes on to say last year you could have been working at a zoo and now you are on American idol. Huh? Did Ace used to work in a zoo? Why did he pick zookeeper as an example? Lets recap, when you need to make an example in England its gravediggers, but in America its people that work in zoos. The sayings of Ace continue when he say he just wants to be our escape; remove us from our 9-5. Shucks Ace, thanks a lot for helping me escape! Ace starts to sing the final time on Idol in his trademark baggy jeans; it only takes about 10 seconds until he wanders off pitch. I wonder what will happen when the contestants join Ace when he finishes…oh umm never mind about that, the show cut out about 24 seconds into Ace’s song. At least Ace can go back to his old job of ‘looking darn sexy’ now that he is leaving American Idol. Next week should be interesting. Paris, Kat, Taylor, and Elliot should be able to hit the love song theme out the park. Kellie has had a lot of pitch problems on the slower songs with long notes, which is normally what a love song is, so she could be in some trouble. Chris is much better on the rock styled songs, so unless he can find a love song that lets him scream and scare into the camera with his eyes of death, he might be back in the bottom three next week.


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