Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

American Idol: "Two Of 11 Voted Off"

Illustration for article titled American Idol: "Two Of 11 Voted Off"

Once again, I’m happy to say that Idol turned out a better-than-average results show, and this time they actually did it without surprise guest appearances, dramatic votes, or unexpected results. This week, the contestants didn’t do a cheesy group number; instead, they broke off into little clusters for mini-performances, each enjoyable in its own way. Moreover, it showed the faith the producers have in the contestants, letting them perform with their instruments and without big backing tracks. I’ve always wished the show would have the contestants perform in groups the way they do in Hollywood week, and I was happy with how it panned out.

First, Scotty and Lauren sang “I Told You So,” a sweet country duet. I think if the duet was a competition, Lauren would have lapped Scotty, but still it was very nice, and I enjoyed the harmony at the end. Both were safe from elimination.

We didn’t escape the Ford music video, though: We saw a video that I swore we’ve seen before, to the tune of “Kryptonite,” where some of the singers were superheroes who saved the others. Whatever, I’ve seen better, and I’ve seen worse.

Then, Naima and Jacob sang “Solid,” a song I can’t hear without thinking of Chris Farley and Tim Meadows as Eager and Jones if they were gay. I thought “I Told You So” was a better song for performing purposes, but Naima and Jacob looked cute dancing together and seemed like they were having fun. Jacob is so much more likeable when he’s smiling when he’s singing as opposed to acting like he’s saving the world with his songs. We learned that Naima was in the bottom three.

Fantasia Barrino sang “Collard Greens and Cornbread,” and even though he’s from the south, I don’t know if that phrase could sound any whiter than when Seacrest uttered it. Fantasia’s grown on me over the years, partially since she's matured, but also because she keeps it real in a way many that other singers like her wouldn’t, stretch marks, extra pounds, shitty tattoos, and all. She just seems like a genuine person who doesn’t have the time or the desire to fit herself into the mold of a perfect diva, and I like that about her. She said, “Steven, I love you,” at the end of the song, and it was a very cute moment. When Ryan asked her if she had any advice for the contestants, she told them to keep good people around who will be honest with them, which I think is pretty much the best advice anyone who is going to be famous could ever hear.

Haley, Thia, and Pia sang “Teenage Dream.” Haley undid the goodwill I felt towards her from last night by growling unnecessarily through it, and it seemed like Thia got the shaft when they were handing out solos. Still, it was a cute performance, and again, I liked the harmonies (harmony to me is demonstration that you actually sing in tune and can manage to share the spotlight for a second). We learned that Thia was in the bottom three.

Finally, Paul, James, Casey, and Stefano sang “Band on the Run,” the first two guys on guitar, Casey on violin-style bass, and Stefano on keyboards. I enjoyed seeing Stefano actually be one of the guys while performing and not do his neo-Frankie Valli thing (by which I mean sing high and sensitive and be Italian). I also sensed that Paul was actually singing out more when he was singing with the group—I wonder if he is really more of a band guy than a solo singer. They all looked like they were having fun, and I was happy that Idol actually let them goof around onstage like that. I don’t think they’re going to make Paul McCartney nervous, but it was fun. Ryan then delivered the results: He told Casey (who was ministered to by a doctor last week thanks to his guilt and anxiety) that he got an impressive number of votes. No surprise, Paul was in the bottom three.

Jamie Foxx and Will.I.Am sang an incredibly lame song to promote a cartoon about parrots, the lyrics largely consisting of the lines “I wanna party/I wanna samba/I wanna party/and fly.” If just the two of them sang with their dumbass Autotuner, the thing would be sad indeed, but thanks to some dancing parrot girls and a drumline, it was a little bit more of a colorful spectacle, but still pretty weak compared to the people who were actually singing tonight without the benefit of a hundred people behind them to distract us.


Finally we got the results: Naima and Thia headed home tonight, which seemed about right. Paul probably deserved go to as well, but he scootched through probably because I voted for him.  I'm still waiting for him to call and thank me.

Stray observations:

  • If you think that part of the reason I like Fantasia so much is because she was on RuPaul’s Drag Race, you’re correct.
  • Why am I not surprised that those stupid big Hollywood mansions can’t keep out the rain?
  • Fantasia had a cinnamon roll on her head, and Kris Allen had some weird hair going on tonight too. I think he is possibly doing hair replacement. In case you couldn’t tell, I have a thing against men and fake hair. Be bald and proud!