Goodbye Phil Stacey and Chris Richardson
Declared safe: Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha Jones
Eliminated: Phil Stacey….
Declared safe: Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis
Eliminated: Chris Richardson
“Im not that shocked tonight, and I dont think our viewers will be shocked tonight.” Nigel Lythgoe tells Chuck Ross of TV Week Wednesday afternoon before the results show.
Well, I was a little shocked. Phil Stacey, left the competition this week after 3 very strong performances in a row. And despite TPTB’s attempts to throw him under the bus–hell because of their attempts, ’cause by now I figure America really isn’t listening to them anymore–he’d sail through to the next round. LaKisha Jones, on the other hand, made a comeback only this week after several lackluster performances in a row, and a drubbing by the judges last week.
After factoring in demographic vote splitting (assuming that she’s sharing the same fan base as Melinda) I was sure LaKisha was a goner.
Well, the little Q&A with Ryan before her performance, where she finally showed she had some humor and sass, and that kiss from Simon after her fabulous performance probably did not hurt. I think this week’s LaKisha pimping may have sealed Phil’s fate, but I think it bought her only one more week. I expect a Melinda-Blake-Jordin finale.
Good thing I’m not betting on any of these awesome predictions of mine. Heh.
Chris Richardson, on the other hand, seemed destined for the boot this week. And, he was not the least bit surprised when Ryan told him he was going home.
After the Idol credits roll, we see a shot of Antonella Barba standing alone and looking very lonely in the audience.
Ryan says, “We are dealing it out double tonight, double the nerves, double the tension, because in less than 1 hour we will be down to your final 4 on Idol.” That is, skipping the number 5.
“Once again we’ll be stretching the show into a full hour, and I promise, no filler, ” says Ryan as he rolls his eyes. Argh filler. Ryan promises that the 3 Idol winners who did not appear on Idol Gives Back last week would appear tonight. That would be, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and Taylor Hicks. YAY.
Ryan appears to insult Simon’s girlfriend and then gives Blake Lewis props for his outrageous performance that had peeps at office watercoolers everywhere buzzing the next morning. Mine sure was. I actually had somebody who NEVER gets excited about Idol stop by my desk and say excitedly, “BLAKE WAS AWESOME, I VOTED FOR HIM 4 TIMES!” Heh. Believe me, that’s a big deal. I also had another officemate stop me in my tracks on the way to a meeting to simply say, “Blake was the BOMB.” But I digress…
Ryan makes another trip to talk to ordinary people, like you and me, at the Farmer’s Market across from the CBS studios in Hollywood. YAWN.
Up next, a taped message from Ruben where he describes how much his life changed, just ’cause little old us thought to vote for him. And, if little old us would only donate to Idol Gives Back, we could change the lives of people in need. In need of something a wee bit more important than a break in show business. Ruben’s lost some weight, and he looks pretty good.
Highlights of the charity special are the next bit of time-wasting. At the end, we see a highly edited clip of Jordin Sparks finding out she was safe. Don’t let those tears fool you, peeps. Ryan tells us that they cut John Cleese’s taped bit from the broadcast last week. That’s just sad. Luckily we can see it at the americanidol.com site.
Ryan introduces Robin Thicke, who actually taped this segment a few weeks ago. Ryan pretends it’s live. Robin is pale and slight, with wisps of hair on his upper lip. His weird, whispery falsetto is supposed to be sexy, but the whole package just comes off icky. Ew. Get this guy off my Tee Vee, please. Thankfully, the whole performance is like one verse and the chorus. Yay. Bye.
Next, it’s Fantasia’s taped bit. She’s grateful that we all saved her from a lifetime of struggling as a poor, single baby momma, and won’t you believe in someone else like you believed in me?
This week’s Ford commercial is a cross between Bob Fosse and David Lynch. Interesting. Blake Lewis does a swell Joel Grey.
Ryan tells us about the songwriting contest. You can vote for the Top 20 songs at Americanidol.com. I can’t wait to hear them. Ha ha, I’m kidding. Maybe I’ll wait ’til the finale and not be surprised by the suckitude.
It’s time to eliminate the first contestant.
Ryan says, “Let me have Melinda…standup, Phil would you stand up, LaKisha stand up. And the three of you join me at the center of the stage please.”
“Let’s start with Melinda…there was a two week combined total of just over 135 million votes, America has spoken and said, that Melinda…you are safe…you may have a seat.”
Phil and Lakisha are center stage with their arms around each other, both look ready to go home tonight. Ryan says, “…after that huge vote…LaKisha, you are safe. Congratulations, you have a seat. Phil leaves us tonight on American Idol.” Phil is smiling. Instead of Daughtry’s “Home, ” Phil’s goodbye video has Carrie Underwood singing “I’ll Stand By You” in the background. Melinda is crying.
Phil performs his singout, and it could not have been choreographed better. “I’m going down in a blaze of glory…., ” he sings. Indeed. He hugs all the judges. Strolls out into the audience and hugs his friends. Says hi to Blake’s family. Kisses his wife. Jordin is crying. LaKisha is crying. Back to the stage to say goodbye to his fellow castmates, all the while not missing a beat. Great singout, great TV. Ryan says, “A man with a great heart, Phil Stacey ladies and gentlemen.”
Bye Phil. It took you a while to get going, but at least, by the time you left, we knew who you were, and that bodes very well for your career after Idol. Half the battle on Idol is creating a consistent image, and then delivering on that foundation once you’re out in the real world building a musical career. Nashville will be calling, I’m sure.
This week’s American Idol Challenge has Ryan telling the audience, “Pay attention to this very tough question (snark snark), “In tonight’s Ford video, where did the American Idols go for a visit? a. A laundromat, b. A car wash, c. The circus. Nice work throwing in another plug for the corporate sponsor!
It’s time for the second elimination.
Ryan says, “Let me turn to the back row now. Would you all please stand up–Jordin, Blake and Chris. Right away, Ryan says, “You know Jordin, I messed with you so much last week, sit down, you are safe…I’m not going there this week…I put you through enough last week.” Jordin sits down.
Ryan continues, “The two guys standing. Blake and Chris. One of them is going home tonight. And one of them is safe…this is not my fault, but I got to make you wait…take a seat, we’ll come back, results after the break.”
After the break, Bon Jovi performs their new single. I don’t have much to say about the Bon Jovi. Like I said–not a fan. And after this performance? Still not a fan.
Jon Bon Jovi, who appears to be a very amiable guy, says everybody did a fantastic job.
This year’s Idol, Taylor Hicks reminds us that two years ago he was playing small clubs in Alabama, and now he’s heard all over the country. So, please contribute to Idol Gives Back. You can make a difference, y’all. And that concludes the taped bits from Idol winners.
We come back from commercial, and Ryan gets down to business.
“Now on stage it is down to Blake and Chris….” Ha ha. A little back story for you casual viewers. These two are paired together, because they are known by fans to be very good friends. In fact, some fans imagine that Blake and Chris are VERY good friends.. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t want to know.
The fans who like them both, call themselves “Cake.” Hee. Someone more clever than I *db* says, “this CAKE is about to be sliced.” HA! Blake and Chris do their thing for the camera. They laugh, do the wiggle fingers handshake thingy, and generally ham it up. Ryan says, “the two of you are very very close, very good friends, is that right?” Best friends! We have sleep overs! We braid each others hair!111!!!!!11 OK, they really didn’t say that. But they sure were all BFF. Chris says he’d go home for Blake (good thing, that…) and that they won’t be apart for long cause they are going on tour together! OMG!!! EleventyON3333!!!! they both squeal.
OK, I’m sorry. I’m done making fun. Ryan says, “…Very very honest and genuine, in how they talk about their relationship…good people.”
As the lights dim, Blake and Chris are still laughing. Quickly, though, Ryan tells Chris that he’s going home and that Blake, “stays on Idol.” They hug. Awww. Chris is smiling and says, “Thank you to everybody for keeping me in this long.” He fights tears while he watches his goodbye video. This time, “Home, ” is playing in the background.
Ryan tells us that next week’s theme is “Boogie Sounds”–whatever the hell that is–with Barry Gibb. Somebody at work today told me they thought he was dead. Wrong Gibb, dude.
Chris performs his singout. His castmates join him on stage. There’s a big mushy group hug. Chris’s mic is left on, and you can hear the contestants consoling each other. The credits roll, and it’s over.
I’ll admit, that during his run, I was pretty tough on Chris’s singing. I have to say this–from all accounts, he seems like a really nice guy. In one of his blog posts, Chris Sligh says Richardson is a very good songwriter. Maybe out from under the Idol box, Chris will have more to reveal. It’s just hard to tell what, at this point. The tour will reveal more, as it always does, about his vocal and performing skills. See ya, Chris.