Hi there, Idol-watchers! Sure, a lot of people are feeling emotional over the imminent final episode of Lost, but I'm sure we all have just as much at stake in this season of American Idol, right? As it nears the end, we savor every little bit of Simon's contemptuous attitude. We watch as he mentally counts every dollar of his vast fortune while these go-nowhere 'singers' are performing their little hearts out, and we wait patiently for the final episode, where he will hit Ryan Toothpaste in the gonads with a flagpole. And, as we narrow down the finalists to the two people who will vie for the title of American Idol 2010, we stop to remember all the great singers who didn't make it this far, like, uh…well, there was that one soul-singer guy, right? And the other guy, and also there was a black lady, wasn't there? Oh, memories.
Yes, this season of Idol has been a bit of a disappointment as the talent pool washed up the weakest crop of singers of the series to date. I'm as big a fan of Crystal Bowersox as anyone, but even I have to admit she doesn't have the kind of pipes that marked the greatest winners of previous seasons like Kelly, Ruben and Fantasia. At least part of her success can be attributed to the same factor (that is, giggly submerged libido) as the inexplicable survival of Casey James. And the whole contest is in dire danger of being won by Chicagoland dudermeister Lee DeWyze, who may very well prove to be the second coming of Taylor Hicks.
But this is the time at which the show is the most exciting, where we get into drama, however artificial, of nearing the end. Like 'em or not, we've been following this doofuses all year, and a big payoff — minus the whopping cut taken by Idol's Svengalis — is near for one of them. I always enjoy tuning in at this stage, even though 90% of the show is padding, so thanks to Claire for going out and being a literary superstar so I can recap tonight's epi. And apologies for the lateness of the post; I'm currently in Seattle, which means I found out who got voted off a couple of hours before the show even aired here.
Anyway, after about 200 minutes of footage from last night's show, we finally get into it. Ryan wants to get inside the contestants' heads, which is a pretty dangerous place to be; he asks Casey James "Is it surreal?", after which question I black out for a few seconds. Casey has his hair back; Crystal is wearing boots made from a dragon; and Lee is a human soul patch. Then we head over to the judges; Randy left all the color in his shirt at home but still takes credit for the contestants' success. Ellen is dressed like she just got off the last day at her prep school. This part of the show is not interesting to me, but not as not interesting as it is about to become.
Yes, it's time for the Ford music video! And it's a three-person cover of "The Wild One (Real Wild Child)", as made famous in this country by Iggy Pop. It lacks a certain, well, let's call it energy, probably because all the contestants have a thousand-yard stare by now. They sing it with the same gusto as Iggy in one of his heroin fogs. Then, Casey James heads back to DFW to sing for throngs of adoring beef-fed Texan gals and give his doctors an autographed guitar. Frankly, I have no interest in anything but the long-forgotten contents of his Box of Mystery. If we don't get to see that, I hope he gets voted off, and also mugged.
Hey, it's Perez Hilton! He's pimping, er, sponsoring, someone named Travis Garland. Which, who cares. But while he enacts some insane dance-based dramatic performance on stage, we get to see Perez and Ryan Toothpaste shooting some glances at each other that portent fluids to come. I don't have any idea who Travis Garland is, or what he's doing, or why he's dancing in front of a giant radioactive kidney, or where he got his leather jacket with the cutoff sleeves, but at least he's not Justin Bieber.
Now it's back home to Toledo with Crystal! Northwest Ohio doesn't seem to have much to do, so the entire quarter of the state takes the day off to watch her pop in and out of a limousine. We also get to see her dad and all his biker friends bring out the meth dealer contingent to vote for her little girl. It is a tad bizarre to see so many people turn out to see somebody they'd never heard of six months ago. When we head off to Chicago with Lee DeWyze, I'm slightly gratified that the city itself largely doesn't give a shit, although Mount Prospect, naturally, spills paint all over itself at his return. Lee also turns out to be incredibly weepy during this whole segment. Man the fuck up, Lee.
Here comes Justin Bieber! I thought he only existed on Twitter, and yet there he is on the Nokia Center stage, scoping out which of the girls in the audience will get to give hickeys to his pre-adolescent wiener. His songs both seem to be about 30 seconds long and consist entirely of the words "smile", "baby", and "ooooh". He even steps behind the drums and blows out an if-Keith-Moon-was-a-teenage-spastic solo. Claire was wondering what I thought of this kid, and here's what I think: the Mickey Mouse Club is doing a great job of keeping with the times.
Finally, it's time to send someone home. So as not to string things along as much as Ryan Toothpaste, I'll get right to it: Casey James, who should have been gone weeks ago, is headed back to Texas, where all my female friends will go see him at Floore's Country Store and scream like little girls when he opens his shirt. We're down to Lee and Crystal, and we'll find out soon enough if they pick the one who's been dominant all season or the one you can buy for ten cents a dozen at suburban bars all over the country. See you then, folks!
- Uh…who was that kid Casey was singing to at the end of the show? She looked like she wandered off the set of Toddlers And Tiaras.