American Idol: One of Five Voted Off
B

American Idol: One of Five Voted Off

B

American Idol

One of Five Voted Off

Season 8, Episode 34

 I silently mocked Jamie Foxx for calling the current Idol contestants "five that shocked the world" but I did realize tonight that this is probably the best top five Idol has seen in a long time, maybe ever.   I wasn't surprised by who went home tonight, but it seemed like in seasons past still when you are at the top five there's a very clear definition of who could win and who not. Not so much, now. Even Simon agreed with me (we've made up and we're back on track), saying that last night, "Everybody was good."

I was bummed when I heard who tonight's guests would be. I was actually more excited to see what Taylor Hicks was up to more than the other two singers (Natalie Cole and Jamie Foxx. And I'm not racist, my black friend will tell you that). And the Ford commercial was not so great either. The budget cuts in the videos compared to seasons past are previous seasons are pretty evident and depressing. The biggest special effects in tonight's video, set to "Energy," were slo-mo and changing from black and white to color. It was funny to see Danny try and sprint in a footrace though, for some reason.

For the group performance the contestants sang a medley of "It Don't Mean a Thing/I Got Rhythm." Allison finally got to benefit from being the only girl, walking down the stairs between the boys (although not nearly with as much charisma as Adam did last night). It seemed like the group was back to the live solos and Adam was the most restrained he's been in weeks. The whole thing was OK, not bad, but not necessary. I couldn't tell whether I was relieved or felt shortchanged that they weren't dressed in period clothes. Probably relieved, now that I think about it.

Since Danny and Allison both had a birthday this week, we were treated to some film of the contestants trying to bake a cake and then having a totally impromptu food fight omg so much fun!! I was annoyed by the waste of cake and icing. For his troubles, Danny was given a six thousand dollar cleaning bill for the fight, which I bet was pre-paid prior to the fight actually happened.

We got to the eliminations: I liked that Allison seemed annoyed when Ryan asked her what she did when Simon gave her some slightly negative feedback. "What can I do?" she asked. "I take it in." It's annoying this season that Ryan seems to try and provoke a lot of backtalk from the contestants toward Simon.

Matt and Kris were grouped together without explanation, then Allison and Danny. Adam, who seemed amused by Paula comparing him to Michael Phelps (that's like saying "You play football like Michael Vick!") was asked to pick which couple to join. "Based on last night? Probably that group," Adam said, choosing Danny and Allison, which is interesting: did he think that he made up the bottom three? Because he did! GASP! ...along with Kris and Matt! DOUBLE GASP!

Part of me doesn't believe that Allison received more votes than either Adam or Kris, but who cares?  It was an entertaining twist. I don't think it was hard to guess who out of those bottom three would be going home but the bottom three itself was still surprising, so yay for defeating predictability, at least a tiny bit.

Again, the judges praised the top five, none of them, especially Simon, saying that it was wrong for Danny and Allison to be safe while the others were not.

Natalie Cole performed next, looking gorgeous with short hair and in a striking gold dress. She doesn't do much for me and I don't think she'd be famous if she wasn't the daughter of you-know-who and did you-know-what with his disembodied singing image but whatever. For the most part her voice sounded good over the band, which was excellent but she really hit a few bad notes towards the end. Oh well. Rat Pack!

After that Taylor Hicks played his country-rock song "7 Mile Distance." I had forgotten what the whole "soul patrol" thing entailed, what with the smiling and dancing.  Taylor lacks any sort of attitude, which to some may be his charm but he was always kind of hokey to me. Taylor looked good, though, having lost a little bit of weight. I still can't really figure out who would make up his fan base. I think in some ways it would be easier to market him if he was 20 years older, since between the singing style and the vest I wasn't buying him for only 32 years old. Even though his song sounds like it belongs in a pickup truck commercial, Taylor seemed to be having fun and, I have to give it to him, he seems like a nice and classy guy.

Back to eliminations...the final twist of the evening was that Adam in fact made up the bottom two, so either he or Matt would be going home. Before we found out though Jamie Foxx performed "Blame It," a song largely composed of that old Rat Pack standby, the autotuner (thanks to my friend Nora for that observation). I think it's funny that a song with the line "Blame it on the alcohol" was performed on Idol. I'm familiar with this song already and I think it's lame but it's especially ridiculous to have such a non-singing song on the show. Yes, Kanye West used the autotuner when he was on but he's not praised for being much of a singer, unlike Foxx. I could barely hear him between the autotuner and the backup singers and the hype man. Then after Jamie sang he talked about his lady friends' reaction to the show. I feel like I've learned so much about black culture from Foxx these last two days. When my black friend and I hang out next, I'll be sure to say "Oh my god!" the way black girls do, and if she doesn't care for that I'll say, "What's wrong? Was that too 'gangsta'?"

Then Jamie shamelessly plugged his movie and I thought, now this is what Jamie Foxx does well. Ryan gave him ten for his efforts.

Before we found out the elimination, Ryan said what I thought last night: that oddly, Randy and Kara were the most on-point, to which Simon said "One week out of twelve isn't bad" which is true, only not. It is bad.

So finally, we bid adieu to Matt and the growth on his forehead, who we will surely miss in the comments section. I wonder where he'll (the growth) will go off to. I don't understand why we saw footage of Matt dressed like what appeared to be a show choir angel in his farewell package nor did I agree with Ryan saying that Matt had one of the most dramatic rides in history. I think even with the save Matt's presence on the show wasn't exactly electrifying or polarizing (yes, he's a good singer but not a very captivating persona).

"My Funny Valentine" was sort of a bummer of a song to go out on, unless you consider Matt to be your funny valentine (which I don't), in which case he will stay with you always. The judges bid farewell to Matt: Simon, who really seemed to be in an unusually cheery mood, advising him just to have fun and not listen to him.

Next week is rock n' roll week and Slash of all people will appear as the guest mentor. I can't wait to hear what he thinks of Adam. And why do I feel like he and Allison will be really fun to watch together?

 

Grade: B

 

Stray observations:

--Ryan revisited Kara's comment last night that her jaw drops whenever she watches Adam performed. Randy cleared his throat and then everyone laughed uncomfortably. So I guess Paula's the drunk one, and Kara's the blow-job queen. Way to go. Maybe that was why she appeared to have left the judges' table way before everyone else at the end of the show?

--Adam and Kris hugged each other when Kris was announced safe, so maybe that means they're not actually feuding, as reported.

--Yes, old picture, I know. I have no horizontal photos left to use that I haven't used already.