Top 4 Results Show – Recap
Shocking! Shocking! Boot! For reals…
This week’s Ford commercial was lame. It made no sense, and then Kermit showed up. And anyway, I’m too confused by tonight’s Shocking! Shocking! boot that actually was pretty damb shocking to even bother describing it. On with the show.
The Kids Tour Graceland
Prior to the Shocking! Shocking! boot, we were treated to a little tour of Graceland that was actually pretty cool. Priscilla and Lisa Marie show up–and we get to see the Jungle Room. Yay. It was Elvis’s favorite room. And Elvis is buried in the backyard.
This was fun. Everyone got a solo, and of course, the Elvis songs rocked. Not quite as cheesy as I’d hoped, but that’s ok. The singing was mostly really good, with some stand-out solos, especially from Taylor. It was funny when they all gathered ’round Paula and sang “This time the girl is gonna stay.” And the four of them dancing on the little judges platform wasn’t exactly a Pointy Pose, but it was good enough. It was a million times better than last weeks piece o’ crap medley. How could it not be? It was Elvis.
After being lulled into a false sense of complacency, it was time for the Shocking! Shocking! Boot!
Back from commercial. Randy chats with Rebecca Romijn and her fiance Jerry O’Connell. She plugs some show she’s on. But then she continues to prattle on about freaking out, and OMG she’s so nervous for the idols, and OMG she loves them all!. Shut up Rebecca! It’s time to eliminate a contestant! Why are you still on my TV? Rebecca asks if she can make a request. She asks Taylor if he’ll reprise his performance of “Jailhouse Rock”.
Huh? Wha? B-list celebrities are asking contestants to perform sing-outs now? Is this a sing-out? Or is it a fake-out? Hmmm. Smells like a fake-out to me. Taylor doesn’t look surprised or upset. Unlike his soul-patrollers, who must be collectively peeing their pants at this point. He runs into the audience and picks up a mike. Then he grabs his Dad and gets him to dance. Oops, wrong season. Actually, he grabs Elliott’s mom and gets her to dance. Hee. This performance is a lot looser than the night before. There’s more audience participation, and it comes off very much like a singout…except…
It’s not a singout.
We’re now 23 minutes into the show. Ryan quickly divides the four–Taylor and Elliott on one side, Chris and Katharine on the other. But now it’s time for a break.
Back from break, and there’s only 5 minutes left. Ryan teases us by toolishly (who could be safe? who could be out?) walking back and forth between the two groups. He finally tells Taylor and Elliott to sit down, because they’re safe. Kat looks sick. The four hug each other. Taylor and Elliott sit down. Ryan asks Simon who he thinks will leave. Simon says, based on last night’s performance, Katharine should leave. The audience boos.
Chris Daughtry has a really really bad day…
Then Ryan says, “A lot of people predicted, both of you could be in our finale. A lot of people predicted that Chris, that you could be the next American Idol.” Chris is smiling. But then Ryan quickly adds, “Chris, you are going home tonight.” Chris’s face suddenly falls. He is truly shocked. Katharine is utterly shocked. Paula has her head in her hands. Simon looks pissed. Katharine makes her way to the couch and a look of relief washes over her face. Ryan asks Chris if he’s in shock, “uh, I’m a little bit in shock, ” he says. And he really is. After Chris’s bad day montage, he gets a half-assed sing out.
WTF !!!???!!! Part 2
So, what was up with having Taylor, who was Top 2 sing “Jailhouse Rock” again? Was that merely a fake-out? What it did was put Taylor on the spot and deprive Chris of a full, well-deserved singout. Nigel, in his interview this afternoon said about the Final 4 elimination, “We’ve got to be very careful how we handle it…I don’t want to make a mockery of the competition at this stage…the vote isn’t always what you want it to be…” Well, the elimination may not have been a mockery, but it could have been handled a lot more gracefully, if you ask me. In the same breath, Ryan tells Chris that he could-have-been-the-next-american-idol-but-sorry-you’re-going-home. Chris looked like he’d been sucker punched. But I guess it’s good TV?
And the whole Taylor fake singout was pointless, confusing, and just plain weird.
So if Chris Daughtry is Season Five’s Tamara Gray, is Katharine McPhee this season’s Scott Savol? Katharine has had two weeks in a row of sub-par performances, and she’s managed to survive. It will be interesting to see how the press and the message boards treat her this week. I suspect the fact that she’s a very pretty young girl will keep her from being vilified–in the press anyway. But how will the voters react next week?
Farewell to Chris
There were many signs pointing to Chris’s elimination tonight. The DialIdol results had Chris Daughtry in the bottom. But they’ve been wrong before. In his weekly interview with TVweek.com, Nigel Lythgoe barely gave Chris the time of day. When the interviewer asked him about “Suspicious Minds” Nigel didn’t even answer the question. Then he went on to say that he didn’t care for Chris’s performance of “A Little Less Conversation.” Nigel’s dismissive attitude led me to believe that Chris was Bottom 2, but denial kept me from believing that he could possibly be eliminated. I mean, there was just no way that Idol’s favorite son–the Pimped One, the Chosen One–would be eliminated in fourth place.
And besides, on poor performance alone, Katharine deserved to go home tonight.
But of course, at this stage of the competition, with the numbers whittled down to a few, everyone is vulnerable. Just ask Tarmara Gray S1 and LaToya London S3–both pimped and favored–both eliminated in 4th place.
I’m going to miss Chris. While sometimes predictable, his performances were mostly solid. And contrary to conventional wisdom, I thought Chris connected very well to the emotional core of a song. It just depended on what he sang. With the right song, he could be really entertaining–even mesmerising. He didn’t have the typical R&B-tinged pretty voice of the typical Idol singer–which made him unique. But it also put some viewers off. Sure he screamed some lyrics, but screaming is typical of the kind of alt/rock music Chris sang before Idol.
Maybe Chris’s early departure is more proof that rock music and American Idol really don’t mix. Let’s face it–if Chris had won, he wouldn’t have made a real rock record with the 19 folks. First of all, there isn’t a rock station anywhere that would have played it. Idol is anathema to the hipper-than-thou alt-rock crowd. So, Chris would have ended up making a pop record. More than likely a really really crappy pop record. It probably would have sold well with the Idol machine behind it, but I doubt it would have been better than Bo Bice’s record. And Bo Bice’s record is crap. Even Bo knows that. Bo will have wrest himself from Idol in order to make the kind of music he was playing–southern rock–before he tried out for Idol.
So, at the very least, Chris will have more control over the record he finally makes. But it’s that “finally” part that’s the draw back. The non-winners can’t sign a contract until 3 months after the AI tour ends. His fans will have to wait awhile for some music. But in the end, the music Chris produces won’t have to be watered down. If he eventually makes a good record, it will have been worth the wait.