Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mandisa goes all in...then goes home.

Wow Ryan still has the beard tonight. I’m surprised he wastes an hour every morning painting on a fake beard. Ok so its real, but the question is why. I’m guessing before Teri Hatcher will date him he has to prove he has in fact reached puberty. I wonder if its Ryan or the producers that decicded Idol can no longer be campy. Perhaps that’s why we are not seeing group numbers every week, and Ryan no longer says “Seacreast out!” Unlike last week, Ryan announces the vote total – just under 35 million. Since he made no such announcement last week it’s safe to assume there was a tremendously low vote turnout. What was last week, a mid term election? Ryan welcomes the contestants and the judges, saying the judges are back to see if we listened to their comments. Randy ditched the bright red santa vest and dresses like a black Jonny Cash. Ryan starts the recap of the performances. We see more of Kenny talking to the kids. He tells them that a country song is a ride; at the end of the journey when the song drops you off you should feel an emotion of some sort. Kenny is right; every time I listen to a country song I feel something. Like I just wasted four minutes of my life listening to a stupid song. That Kenny, he is a musical genius. It’s always interesting to try and read clues from his narration. Tonight’s narration has Ryan going through a series of increasingly corny card and gambling puns. Kenny sang a song called the Gambler – we get it already. He says the judges liked Bucky and Kellie in their comfort zone, enjoyed Ace and Chris trying something new, but generally were unimpressed with Mandisa, Elliot, and Taylor. The recap also shows the now famous scene of Paula being booed when she dared say something coherent. I don’t understand why she wasn’t booed a few weeks ago when she was lit up like a Christmas tree laughing hysterically when contestants were sent packing. Apparently that was find and dandy. He finishes the recap replaying his quip at Simon about love life, and says that’s not the question, rather, it’s our love life. We’ll find out whom we loved last night later tonight. The pun making mountain man…I kinda like this new version of Ryan.

67-year-old Kenny hits the stage, exactly the type of music star that appeals to the demographic of Idol’s voters comprised largely of 14-year-old girls. You think they could get some more current musical artists onto the show. Every time I see Kenny I get this sudden urge for the world’s greatest wood-fire roasted rotisserie chicken. I can’t imagine why. Simon and Kenny banter back and forth about Simon’s intense hatred for country music, until Simon declares his love for Kenny’s music; nice save Simon. As Ryan and Kenny talk about the contestants my mind wanders to the possibility of Prince being on Idol (if the rumors hold true). It could provide some of the most surreal moments in the history of broadcast television. Right up there with Michael Jackson going to court in his pajamas. Speaking of him, remember when Prince was the really weird one and Jackson was the boy next store America trusted. Whoops. Imagine the awkwardness if Ryan interviewed Prince. On the plus side for Ryan, he would look incredibly manly next to the diminutive Prince. Of course Prince, despite his small stature always gets the girl; he probably had the Lois and Clark Teri Hatcher. Anyway, back to the show. Just like Stevie and Barry, we wonder whether Kenny will sing a song we all wanna hear, or some piece of crap from his latest album. Doh! He sings the piece of crap. He sounds like Kenny Rogers, which is good, but his performance lacks any ‘wow’ factor. Come to think of it, probably all of Kenny’s performances lack any ‘wow’ factor. But who cares when you can produce so much good chicken.

FORD COMMERICAL TIME! Get them tivos running America. The commercial begins with Kellie, in full Paris Hilton attire, dropping off her battered car to Taylor the mechanic. Mandisa hands Taylor a crowbar and its time to destroy an old car! Next we see Bucky, Kat and Elliot singing, then Chris, Paris, and Ace. I wonder if this is bringing back flashbacks for Chris; didn’t he enter Idol so he could get out of a garage? Bucky accidently rips off a door to the car and Chris looks like he is going to kill him, when suddenly it switches to Chris and Ace pummeling the car with sledgehammers. If they were going to beat the car anyway, who cares if you knock off a door? Chris does, that’s who! When Kellie returns for her car; she is horrified by their alterations. It looks like something the A-Team would build when they needed a bulletproof car to rid some small country town of a corrupt Mayor. You know, if Ford doesn’t figure out how to make some money soon their new cars might actually end up looking this way. Kellie is calmed by the comforting embrace of Ace while the other contestants push the car into the magic Fusion machine. Mandisa flips the switch to activate the reaction, and POOF a brand new Ford emerges. Really if you are going to make a machine that can alter reality like that wouldn’t you ask for a Benz or something? Is this commercial foreshadowing the outcome tonight? Mandisa, who is hard to miss, had about 2 seconds of screen time during the commercial. I think it would be a great idea if Idol got Quentin Tarintino to direct one of the commercials. Sure it would be rated “R” and involve the senseless death of at least two idol contestants, but man I’d sure wanna buy a car after seeing the commercial. Kellie is so happy; the mechanics pimped her ride! Once the commercial ends Ryan immediately rips into Kellie intelligence, saying he has “a feeling Kellie thinks that’s how cars are actually made.” Kellie shows no reaction, she just continues her soulless stare into the camera. Either this girl is the second coming of Jodie Foster, or she really is this dumb. If Ripa ever leaves Regis we just found his new host.

The show is only halfway through, but Ryan is already teasing next week’s bigger challenge: the songs of Queen. Maybe that’s why every one was so lackluster this week. I’m sure its more fun practicing your Queen song than something country; maybe Taylor really did spend sparse time on his mile high song. The contestants visited the remaining members of Queen. 50 bucks says Kellie had no idea Freddie Mercury is dead. 25 says she had never heard of him prior to her visit with the band. At least Wayne’s World taught an entire generation Bohemian Rhapsody, and that if you have to spew, do so in a tiny cup. As they show them rehearsing with the band, I am trying to guess what songs they selected. The clip moves along so quickly its almost imposible to catch anything, but wait maybe I did! Ace is waving his hand over his head at one point. Could this possible be his choreography for the lyric in We Will Rock You that goes, “Buddy you’re a young man hard man, shoutin in the street gonna take on the world some day, you got blood on yo’ face, you big disgrace, wavin’ your banner all over the place.” If Ace is really singing that and he smears blood on his face and then kicks a can around the stage, he is so getting my vote. Even though this song on Ace would be a complete disaster.

Ryan tells the contestants to get to those Queen songs, they must first get through these results. Tonight will be a different format; the groups are back! Ryan starts by telling Taylor to start a group on stage. Does this remind anyone else of gym class when the PE teacher had to break up the class into teams? Mandisa and Ace go to their own groups. Ryan fills out Mandisa’s group with Elliot and Paris. Mandisa seems out of it tonight. She has this nonplussed look on her face. I think Jesus is busy right now trying to convert gays into heterosexuals, so she feels a little lonely. Kellie is next on the couch. Since she did really well last night and has a huge fan base, she will ensure the safety of Ace or Taylor. It’s Taylor, which means that group is safe. Ryan sends Chris to Taylor and Kellie, further cementing them as the safest group. In fact, when Ryan tell Chris to join Kellie, Bucky and Kat look at each other. They know with Chris in the safe group that means they are going to Ace’s group; a rather precarious situation. Bucky and Kat join Ace; the three groups are set. Kat needs a fashion intervention. Friends do not let friends dress the way she dresses. She is a very attractive girl with a really nice figure, yet most weeks it’s like she does everything she can to conceal that fact. Learn from Kellie and Kevin – sex it up!

The audience is getting smarter. In years past they clapped when Ryan told person to go to a group they thought was safe. Then, it turns out they were wrong; it was the bottom three. Remember the three-diva night when George Huff was told to go to the group he thought was safe, and he walked toward Jennifer, Latoya, and Fantasia, only to learn that was the bottom three! Therefore, no applause tonight until Ryan tells us what we already know; Taylor’s group is safe. Look at that, Chris is still wearing the wallet chain on his pants. What is so important in that wallet of his that he fears getting pick pocketed during the results show? I’m guessing the wallet contains a napkin autographed by Scott Stapp. The remaining groups flank Ryan and I notice just how much Mandisa looks like a fire engine tonight; she is wearing a sold red top. I’m thinking most people would guess that Mandisa’s group is safe, however, I’m confident that Kat will not be in the bottom three this week, that means her group is safe. I am right! Ryan says they are safe and the camera immediately cuts to Kellie’s beaming face. It’s like a rule or something now that whenever Kat escapes danger we need a quick close up of Kellie. Ryan scolds us about voting. Dude don’t brag about 35 million votes and then tell us we need to vote more, make up your mind. I wonder how many people will vote next week because Ryan put them on a guilt trip. Time for another break already? What was that two minutes in-between commercials? Back from the commercial Ryan says this is an all-new bottom three. Paris is sent back to the couch leaving Elliot and Mandisa as the contestants still facing elimination. A lot of bloggers are saying Elliot is Jewish, so I’ll assume its true. That means this is like rematch from 2000 years ago: Jews v Jesus. Simon guesses that Elliot will be safe; a prediction that elicits no cheers from the audience. Ouch, they really want Mandisa, and not Elliot to stay.

Mandisa has her head down and is lost inside her mind. I am pretty sure she is praying for another chance. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP – Hear that Mandisa? That’s a busy signal for Jesus, he ain’t answering the phone right now, which means you are going home! Mandisa is very calm, as if she expected this was her last opportunity to bash an entire segment of the population on national TV. The camera starts going crazy. The director is jumping all over the studio to capture all the reactions. Cut to: Taylor – he has his hands apart ready to clap in honor of Mandisa, but frozen in time since no one else is clapping and he is unsure what to do; Kat – she is in shock with her mouth agape; Chris – he places his head in between his hands; Elliot’s mom and friends – they are shellshocked, not sure what to do, so they finally stand up and clap (HELLO! Your kid just got another week on Idol show some excitement); Mandisa’s family – they also don’t know how to react, unable to do anything at first, they slowly stand up to honor their girl. Mandisa thanks all her fans and then she says “Bless you in the name of Jesus.” BAM a super quick camera cut away to Elliot’s face. If he really is Jewish, that’s some bad camera work Idol producers. I can’t wait to see the Mel Gibson movie detailing how Elliot brought about the death of Mandisa’s Idol career. There are rumors that Mandisa might get a plus size modeling offer. As long as they keep her out of those Dove commercials I have no complaints. The video montage at the end shows Mandisa best moment on the show – the dog jaw prank! More dog jawing and less preaching might have sustained Mandisa a few weeks longer. Ryan tells us that the show following Idol will feature one of the most shocking moments in the history of reality television, then remembers he is trying to be Dick Clark these days and not a corporate shill, and qualifies his statement with “at least that’s what they tell me.” Who is this ‘they’ her refers to? Illegal immigrants? Is that why we are trying to send them all back? While Mandisa sings Kellie is crying on the couch and Paula and Randy are dancing to the music. Simon seems amused by Paula’s dancing. Mandisa moves less on stage than Paula does on the judge’s platform. This is one of her problems, along with poor phrasing and a weak lower octave. She simply cannot move around the stage very much or she kills her breath support. She gets to finish the entire song, and from start to finish, she moved maybe 4 feet. Even Stevie Wonder moves around more than Mandias.

Mandisa is a talented singer, and it’s a shame to see her go tonight. In other seasons she would have lasted until the top 4 if not higher. There is no logical explanation for Ace and Bucky outlasting Mandisa, but her proselytization last week might have rubbed some voters the wrong way. The producers didn’t let her defend herself this week like they have with Chris stealing songs and Kellie being a fake. Of course, how would Ryan do that? “So Mandisa you like gay people right?” Yeah that’s not going to work out too well, especially since he might not wanna hear her answer. Queen week is next. Oh my. This could either be really good or really bad. Queen has a vast catalogue of songs to select, everything from girly ballads to hard rock. The contestants would be wise to select songs that are not extremely well known. If you sing “We Will Rock You’ or “We are the champions’ there is about a 100 percent chance of the judges not liking your performance. Also, Queen has some kinda weird stuff, stay away from those songs. Sing a song that is popular enough to be recognized, but not so popular it’s burned into the memory of every person on planet earth. If anyone performs Radio Ga Ga they should be sent home immediately. The only contestants with an excuse for struggling next week are Bucky and Kellie. Bucky should do Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and Kellie can hide within a ballad. I can’t wait!


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