Part IV: A New Hope. Long, long ago (January) in a
studio far, far away (Hollywood), the evil empire American Idol
fought back against the bounds of gender equality. But then, with the entire universe facing the perilous possibility of going six straight seasons without a female winner, five brave lady Jedi Knightesses (Yes, I make up words) stepped forward to save the Republic and restore order to the planet.
Last week was part III of the "Which guy is going home?" trilogy, and this week will surely continue the saga (thus the tetralogy). And for all you nerds out there, I fully expect this series to become a pentalogy. Then, sadly, it must end, because there just aren't going to be any guys left.
While I apologize for that brief distraction, it's American Idol
's fourth results show, when 7 becomes 6 and another guy is sent packing. I initially thought that this week was Lazaro Arbos or bust, but after the muddled performances Wednesday, Burnell Taylor might be America's unlucky pick.
Lazaro was primed for elimination after a first appearance in the bottom three last week, but then he went out and looked like an actual contestant. He actually gave me chills with his rendition of Queen's "We are the Champions." Goose bumps! From Lazaro!
He still totally deserves to go home, but I think he bought himself a one-week reprieve, while Burnell didn't do himself any favors. He also got screwed a bit by the show producers, who picked a theme he couldn't handle AND made him go first. I really can't see who, outside of his die hard fans, would've voted for him after the show was over. No objective voter was going to be swayed by the Bon Jovi karaoke or when Candice Glover blew him out of the water in their duet while simultaneously making him look like a hobbit.
It's the hard truth, but either way, Burnell is not going to win this competition. So if he gets voted out, I can't imagine the judges would bother to save him. If Lazaro is gone, then Burnell leaves next week anyway. Nothing is going to get really interesting until there's only five girls left, because you can't pick a clear-cut favorite from the group. It's anyone's game.
Results and Filler
There's been three different formats for the three results shows, so it's anyone's guess how things will go tonight. Last week, we didn't get ANY results until the last 10 minutes, while we've also had rankings, a top three and a bottom three. Maybe this week, they'll just send one of the guys home in the first five minutes and then let Carrie Underwood perform for the next 55 minutes. Any takers?
The blog is live, so watch along with me and keep the comments coming! I know a lot of you disagreed with my rankings (at the bottom), but basically so did I. The top six (yes, including Lazaro) could be ranked in almost any order, because no one stood out. The only thing that's pretty unanimous is that Burnell was at the bottom. And my prediction as to who will be joining the guys in the bottom 3 is a very safe Amber Holcomb. But could we be in store for any surprises? Let's find out!
Before we get into any show action, did anyone else notice the girl with the crayon drawing of Nicki Minaj in the audience? It looks like something a second-grader would draw. But she's just holding it up and waving it around like she gets extra credit for her macaroni art.
A Group Number to Forget
The top 7 are singing "Somebody to Love," by Queen (because Queen just doesn't get enough love on Idol), and they open standing on risers underlit like they're telling scary stories with flashlights around a campfire. It's actually very "Bohemian Rhapsody." Other than Angie Miller's first notes, the whole thing is a train wreck. No one harmonizes, and a couple of them forget the words. Or more likely, never learned them. Group numbers sure aren't a strong point of the season 12 finalists. At least Candice ends it with a blast of a note.
The Ford Fiesta Mission: Who is YOUR Idol?
Angie and Candice go on a road trip in a Ford Fiesta, which I once rented and drove on Trail Ridge Road (the highest elevated continuous road in the United States) in a torrential downpour at 12,000 feet on a two-lane road with no guardrails. I have a soft spot for Ford Fiestas.
They meet up with the crew, go shopping and talk about their musical influences. They are as follows: Burnell = Pharrell Williams, Janelle Arthur = Dolly Parton, Lazaro = Josh Grobin, Candice = Mary J., Amber = Whitney, Kree Harrison = Patsy Cline and Angie = Jessie J. No shockers there. Then they take pictures. I'm not entirely sure who to or what they "gave back" in this fan mission.
Jimmy Iovine's Insane Rantings
Looks like they let Jimmy back after he was absent Wednesday, and he is baffled by the results of rock week. Everyone picked the wrong song. Burnell got it all wrong, giving ROCK a a bad name. He didn't study and was totally off the rhythm. Lazaro and Angie were cabaret and made Jimmy feel like he was at a bad wedding.
Kree picked the right song and sang with dignity, despite her pinched nerve. Candice overshadowed Burnell in their duet, causing Burnell to fall through an imaginary trap door (better than being murdered, I guess). Janelle was "competent" and came in fourth, Lazaro wasn't as good as the judges made him out to be (Disagree!), and the trio of Amber, Kree and Candice fooled Randy into thinking it was good. He agrees with me that Amber's jeans were the only good thing about the performance.
Candice sang a song that didn't have the melody she needs to shine. Still, she's safe. Amber is improving every week and is on her way to having the whole package, and Angie's (totally un-classic rock) song choice was spot on, beautiful and confident. But he thought the wind machine was on too high a setting. Amber, Angie and Kree are his top 3, and if America gets it right, Lazaro is going home.
Whew! Jimmy's rants took up an entire third of the show! That's filler if I've ever seen it!
Casey James Reminds the Contestants What COULD Be
The shirtless wonder who combined country, classic rock and blues in season 9 is back to serve as Carrie Underwood's foil. It's like, hey, you're in the finals of American Idol. YOU could be the next Carrie Underwood. Or ... you could be the next Casey James. So don't get complacent, y'all!
Casey is singing his new original song, "The Good Life," and he's looking a bit more effeminate that I remember him. Dude needs some country scruff on his chin.. With that tight shirt and the long curly hair, he needs some dirt. That patch under his lip just won't cut it. It's not horrible or anything, but there's a reason he's performing BEFORE Carrie Underwood. She will destroy him. If it were a game of Guitar Hero, she's be shooting lightning bolts at him the entire time. Funny that as soon as I mention that, Casey rips off a wicked guitar solo.
Casey brought some gifts for the contestants, and he hands Ryan Seacrest his guitar while he gives them out. Poor Ryan looks like a 5-year-old trying to be a grown up.
The Judges' Top 3
As if they couldn't waste our time any more, now we'll find out who the judges think should be in the top 3.
Keith Urban: Kree, Angie and Amber
Nicki Minaj (who didn't know these picks were going to be revealed): Angie, Amber and Kree
"Randolph" Jackson: Amber, Kree and Angie
Mariah Carey: Kree, Amber and Candice.
Aren't we all better off for knowing that?
But who is America's top 3? Oooohhhhh RESULTS! And only a half hour in! In no particular order:
Kree Harrison is in the top 3
Angie Miller is in the top 3
Lazaro Arbos is in the top 3
Suck on that, readers! I thought he'd be in the bottom 3, but I put him number 2 in the performance rankings. Sympathy vote + Vote for the Worst + an actually good performance = Top 3 for Lazaro. Now, it's either Burnell or no one.
Carrie Underwood Raises the Bar
Miss American Idol 2005 is next on stage, singing her new single "See You Again," and she sets an example for what all these boys and girls should strive to become. Outside of Bon Jovi, every results show performance has come from a previous finalist (or a judge). And unless Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson or Daughtry come back, this is the best they're going to get. Watch and learn, kids. Back to back performances from Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood will teach you how to be a professional.
The Rapid-Fire Conclusion
This is the trend this season, apparently. At least we're only cramming four results and a song into the final 10 minutes, which is nearly the bottom 3 technique we've seen in previous years. So who else is sticking around?
Candice Glover is safe.
Amber Holcomb is safe.
No bottom 3 this week, just Janelle Arthur and Burnell Taylor squaring off. Still a chance for all our predictions to be right, and I'm not even considering the possibility that Janelle got the fewest votes. This is what we all expected before an indignant Lazaro finally landed in the bottom 3, so this still isn't a surprise.
Burnell Taylor is singing for his Idol life.
He goes back to India Aria's "Ready for Love," and his nerves and emotions are evident in a choppy performance. All the judges are crying, and we know what the verdict is going to be. They just can't save him, especially because Lazaro is still around and could knock out one of the ladies next week. Mariah listens with her eyes shut, like she knows this is Burnell's last hurrah.
The judges decide NOT to use the save.
Burnell Taylor is eliminated
I know Burnell lost a lot of weight, but for some reason I thought he was bigger when he auditioned. I'm just happy to hear "Gone, Gone, Gone" again. I should just download it. Sorry to the lovers, but this was an inevitability. It had to happen sooner or later, and it's time to move to the acceptance stage.
Were you surprised by the results? Or was this almost exactly what you expected? Will Lazaro be able to ride his newfound momentum to another strong performance? Or will he revert back to his usual subpar self? The save is going to be used on anyone not named Lazaro, so next week really IS Lazaro or bust! Who knows what the theme will be and which ladies will find a way to screw it up, but make sure you watch along with BuddyTV! See you then!
You can watch American Idol every Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm on FOX.
(Images courtesy of FOX)