J Lo sings a cut from her new Spanish Language album….
And a whole bunch of lame filler stuff, as tonight’s show expands to 1 hour.
Ryan opens the show by taking a poke at the continued survival of the contestant-who-wouldn’t-die, Sanjaya Malakar, all but giving away the fact that Sanjaya is safe this week.
As Ryan walks down the line up of contestants, he says, “These contestants brought flair, passion and power to our Latin special but even with the guiding star of somebody like Jennifer Lopez, one of them is facing the fire…”
“Who is going home?” asks Ryan At which point, he turns to look at Sanjaya, waits a beat then turns to look at the audience. Sanjaya laughs and pretends to be all “Damn!” The audience laughs, we laugh. It’s not as if Ryan is giving away some big secret. Of course Sanjaya is safe!
In fact, as Ryan chooses the bottom 3, (after 40 minutes of some of the most boring filler evah. Gah, I already miss the 30 minute results show), he continues to toy with Sanjaya, asking him to stand back up and then sit back down again. Can you imagine this going on with any of the other kids? The poor contestant would be peeing their pants, not to mention the audience, who would be aghast at the meaness.
At this point, however, it’s a given that Sanjaya has some magical mojo power that’s gonna keep him safe. Particularly this week, after he turned in his first above-par vocal performance since his initial audition.
Yep. Season 6 is a very weird season.
Celebrity watch: Eva Longoria and Sharon Osbourne are in the audience.
The next 35 minutes or so are pretty much a complete waste of time. Ryan works hard drawing…out…all…his…bits…as…long…as…possible. His banter with the judges is even more ridiculous than usual. Paula does her part to waste time by taking up at least 10 seconds looking cluelessly into space, as only she can do.
One advantage of the hour show: The group sing is back. Unfortunately, it’s not all that entertaining, even in a cheesy way. Except when Haley and Sanjaya attempt to harmonize together. Badly. Good stuff. Otherwise, meh.
This week’s big question for giant cash! and prizes!–Which of these American Idol finalists
mocked in an interview. Uhm, I mean, performed with Meatloaf? a. Elliott Yamin b. Katharine McPhee or c. Taylor Hicks.
Update on the songwriting contest: Over 5, 000 entries have been submitted so far. Hurry up and send those submissions! Contest closes April 17.
Lamest time-waster of the night: Ryan does “peeps in the street” interviews at the Farmers Market, located conveniently across the street from the CBS studios where Idol is broadcast. No re-cap necessary. Pretty much the typical blah-blah what do you think of this and that blah blah. One funny bit: When Ryan asked some girls what they thought of Chris Richardson they were all like “WHO”? Kinda sums up this season nicely, doesn’t it?
Most pointless and inexplicable segment of the night: A pre-recorded tape of Akon singing his #1 hit, “Don’t Matter.” Not that it was mentioned, but his performance was taped a few weeks ago at the end of the Top 10 results show. What’s up with sticking a video of Akon into the show apropos of nothing? Without so much as a promo or explanation? What’s the point?
Ford Commercial: The Idols take a trip back to 1991, as the director, for some reason, thinks it would be a cool idea to rip off Michael Jackson’s “Black and White” video. The Idol’s heads morph into one another’s as they sing the Turtle’s “Happy Together.” Watch Phil Stacy grow hair! Oops–it’s Jordin Sparks. The special effect was pretty amazing 15 years ago, but today, not so much.
Relevant, but poorly executed time-waster: We see more clips of Simon frolicking with the poor chillrun in Africa. You know, the ones who are going to lead better lives after the Big Top 6 Charity Special. Simon does not seem very comfortable hanging around kids. And the joke at the end end, with one of the kids supposedly drawing a picture of Simon with manboobs, seems to trivialize the issue. The poor (literally) kid holding up the chalk drawing has this total “the man with the money told me to hold up this weird picture, so I am” look on her face. Simon getting red-faced afterward was pretty funny, though.
Slightly amusing time-waster: Footage of the judges reacting negatively to an auditioner spliced into reaction shots of Tony Bennett as if he were the auditioner. Ha. Or maybe half-a-ha.
Yipee. Celine Dion will appear at the giant Idol Gives Back special to instruct the kids in the fine art of oversinging a song. Nope, actually, she’ll just be performing…
Finally, time for the eliminations, but not before the obligatory recap of last night’s performances, which I always fast-forward through.
FINALLY, the kids have taken their places on the sofas. Ryan asks Melinda how she feels about Simon criticizing her performance this week. She LOVES his criticism and loves what he has to say. Particularly since 98% of the time he’s giving her a tongue-bath.
Next, Ryan asks Haley what SHE thinks about Simon calling her out on her less-is-more (clothes, that is) winning strategy. Haley insists that she would never wear anything on stage that was inappropriate. And the hot pants? Hey, “It was Latin week, ” Haley sez! Every week must be Latin week for Haley.
FINALLY time to pick the bottom 3.
Phil Stacey is asked to stand up first. Phil nods his head like he knows. He’s in the bottom 3. LaKisha Jones is next. She looks nervous. There was a ton of speculation that she would get the boot tonight. Ryan says, “After the nationwide vote…LaKisha…surprisingly (he actually says this, TPTB really do read the boards)…you’re SAFE. The offshore bettors are crying right about now. Jordin Sparks is next…and she is safe. Ryan asks Sanjaya Malakar to stand up, but then teases him and asks him to sit down again. Sanjaya smiles like the Cheshire cat.
Melinda Doolittle….is safe of course. Haley Scarnato stands up. Ryan says, “After the vote…you are in the bottom 3 this week…please join Phil at the center of the stage.” Back to Sanjaya. The joke continues. Ryan sez, stand up…no sit down…we aren’t ready for you yet. It’s Blake Lewis’s turn. Girls in the audience squee. Blake looks bemused. And he’s safe. Ryan asks Chris Richardson and Sanjaya to stand up. Poor Chris. Standing next to Sanjaya in a bottom 2 situation is not a good thing.
Ryan says, “…lets get into it now. One of you is safe, the other is in the bottom 3…Sanjaya, I’ve been asking you to sit all night long. Sit down again, you are safe. Chris you are in the bottom 3 tonight.” Chris takes center stage to a chorus of boos.
After the break, it’s time to send someone back to the sofas. Ryan says, “Phil…it’s not going to be you. Haley….I need you to stay here too. Chris, you are SAFE.
Phil says, “We are just blessed to be here.”
Now, it’s JLo time. After a montage of the kids exclaiming how much they love the JLo, and OMG she is soooo not a diva!–she sings some song in Spanish with smoke and dancers and stuff. Yeah. She’s not a great singer, but she’s a good dancer and has tons of charisma–no doubt about that.
After her big number, Jennifer tells Ryan that she is really impressed with the kids and stresses that what they are doing every week is a hard, hard thing. She insists that she’s from the Paula school of criticism. What, nonsensical, completely useless criticism? Naww, she just believes that, “concentrating on the rightness brings more rightness.” How sweet. Then she apologizes to Simon for inadvertently dissing him.
After the final break, Ryan cuts to the chase. He says, “After the highest vote of the season, over 35 million votes, Phil buddy, you are safe. Haley heads home tonight on American Idol.”
Haley cries a little as she watches her goodbye video. Interestingly, the judges are never asked what they think of this week’s elimination, even though it would have actually been an appropriate time-waster. Perhaps the producers decided not to add more insult to injury for the beleaguered Haley.
She manages to get through her singout–a little wobbly, but she keeps it together. Haley walks out into the audience. She sings to Phil’s wife. Blake, Chris and Phil join her on stage to dance. Much hugging, and Haley is out.
I figured Haley had at least one more week left based on the only-hot-girl-left-standing factor. When Haley made the Top 12, most folks predicted she’d be voted off first. Haley did what she had to do to make that tour. Can’t say that I blame her for the hoochie-coochie routine. Her hot-pants based strategy even got her a few extra weeks beyond the tour cut-off. Much better for her that she didn’t outlast LaKisha, however. The backlash would have been ugly for her. And annoying for us. All in all, Haley had a good run.