Before we talk about tonight's show, I want to take care of a rather hot topic. Naturally, it involves me since I'm the most fascinating subject this side of particle physics. Although, I must admit that Stanford eggheads don't get federal grants to study me. Just the guys from Los Angeles City College. Hey-o! We've got our first joke taken care of, and we're on our way!
So here it is. Last Wednesday's article. Apparently, as so many of you have pointed out, that bad boy was chockablock with tyeppos. You can point fingers at me all you want, but I'm just going to deflect them right over to my beanheaded assistant, Michael. Here's what happened. On Thursday, I had to rush out to someplace or another, so I put Michael in charge of the proofreading that day. Long story short, that's not ever happening again. From now on, this kid has two jobs: reading my e-mail and bringing me the wrong drink. Which is something else I need to talk to him about.
Okay, now that I've driven half of you away by talking about myself, let's get to the show! For the second time, I'm parked in the live studio audience of AMERICAN IDOL. Hey! There's Mario "Slater" Lopez! Times must be hard on ol' Mario, because it seems that he can't afford sleeves. Either that or his massive pipes simply can't be contained by any fabric known to mankind.
There's really a party atmosphere in the place tonight, and I'm thinking it's despite the fact that I'm there. We have VIPs, VVIPS, scenesters, average looking girls all glammed up and local TV news crews. You throw in $12 bananaberry martinis, and I start looking for Tobey Maguire.
Speaking of a local news crew, a woman from K-something-something-something is standing at the end of my row trying to do her intro. She only needs 89 takes. A real pro! "...3...2...1." "The talent show AMERICAN IDOL, blah blah blah yah." By the time she nails it, I've heard it enough times to do it myself. All we need is a crazy sparrow to swoop down and get lodged in her coiffure and we have a full-fledged blooper on our hands.
I also notice that the signs the audience folks are making are getting much more elaborate, but they still have that fifth grade art class quality to them. Obviously, lots of construction paper, safety scissors, Elmer's glue and glitter went into these mini-billboards. If this signage arms race continues, next week I'll be forced to bust out the Natural Light neon sign I had in college. The bad news is that a bright neon sign would certainly give me away. The good news is that it would also tip people off to all the delicious taste qualities of Natty Light. Ahhhh! Cheap! I'm so wasted, dude! Kappa!
My row begins to fill up, and now I'm sitting next to a dude with a tattoo on his neck. If this article doesn't have a finish, it's because I caught a shiv in the liver. The guy immediately starts yelling "witty" stuff at people. What is it with the back row and yelling? Do I have to be around these people? I'm pseudo-famous! Of course, if they jammed me in the front row, my gorgeous mug would dominate your flatscreen. So I guess I'm better off at the back.
By the way, it's really easy to make fun of a person when you're snug in your sweatpants, and the closest they come to you is through the electrowaves of your television. But when you make fun of somebody who's sitting next to you and reading over your shoulder, that's a real pair of gauchos! I'm so brave! Love me! Please! I'm begging you!
I'm finally done going on and on about my many interesting comings and goings, and it's time for our standard dramatic intro. We see Christina in a wheelchair. Oooooh! She was sick! I knew it! After they told me, of course.
The show starts and our hosts descend from high in the audience. I'm not sure if I have anything to say about this. Hmm...(waiting, waiting)...nope, I guess not. Seacrest is wearing all black. Just perfect for tonight's theme of love songs. By the way, somebody get that kid indoors before he turns into a junior George Hamilton.
The audience is going nuts, like the kids do these days, and Seacrest says, "I can't hear myself think." Dunk flatly says, "You won't miss much." I don't know who writes these bits for them, but they must hate the guy because they put zero effort into it. It's like they're intentionally sabotaging every joke so one day they can stage a writing palace coup. "Ah ha! Now we control the AI pen! More jokes about George Bush, says I!"
We see that somebody brought a baby to the show tonight. A baby. To a live TV show. In the front row. Here's an idea we need more of. The poor kid looks like it has absolutely no idea anything is happening beyond six inches in front of his face.
Our boys move through the crowd to Christina, and Christina is okay, everybody! Which I also knew after they told me. Christina, anything you want to say to the American people? Christina thanks everybody for everything. Well, you're welcome. I'm glad I could pitch and do whatever it was you just thanked me for.
So, as mentioned just mere words above, tonight's theme is love songs. Ooooooooh! Dim lights! Candles! I'm going to go unplug the phone and write this recap in the tub!
The kids come out, as they are prone to do at the beginning of the show, and then we meet the judges, which we are prone to do at the beginning of the show. Guest starring as a fourth judge tonight is Simon's chest hair. Hello, v-neck! How low can you go?
Hey! There's Wayne Brady! Maybe he can give our hosting heroes a few tips on improv. "See, pretend that you're in a box. And you want to get out of the box. That's what improv is all about."
Also guest starring tonight are the AMERICAN IDOL castoffs. Jim! Ryan! EJay! Christina! Jim is also wearing a sleeveless t-shirt. Maybe he and Mario Lopez can rub triceps later. And it seems like EJay recently had eye surgery, because he refuses to remove his dark shades, even indoors. Personally, I don't get this return of the kids thing. It seems vaguely like when some smug college freshman comes back to his old high school and gloats that he's in college and not high school. Nobody likes that move, especially A.J., who isn't in the house tonight. You're telling me they couldn't get a single Gil for the show? There's like twenty of them!
One thing these returnees definitely won't be doing is singing Burt Backarack songs tonight. Wait. Bacharach. That's better. Anyway, only the kids still in the game get to sing the collective works of Burt, who, as many audience members are surprised to find out, was actually around before Austin Powers.
Now it's time for our weekly group performance. This week, it's "That's What Friends Are For". Justin starts off the ditty playing the air harmonica. Clever! This guy thinks he's so funny and popular. Don't people like that just drive you nuts? If they do, I'm sorry. I just can't help it. During the song, the kids stand up and the audience matches them. Arms everywhere start swaying. Hip hop hooray! Hoooooo! Heyyyyyy! Aww, these precious kids! They're such good friends! And since they're best buddies, I'm sure the winner of this thing will hook up his or her chums with a sweet backup vocal gig on the first album. That's good money, you know!
Kelly has drawn the first straw, and we see her collaborating with big Burt on a song for the evening. You know, Burt takes himself very, very seriously for a guy that writes sappy adult contemporary dentist's office music. I guess millions and millions of dollars will do that to a guy. They'll also make you think that a mid-sleeved aqua sweater looks good. He needs cool shirts like I wear! Burt advised Kelly to sing a different song than "Walk on By". He also advised me to quit writing this inane column. Neither one of us listened. We're so bullheaded sometimes!
Here comes Kelly, and I must say, she's looking sexier than ever. It's possible that I'm suffering from Emptying Bar Syndrome right now. You know, with Christina and Ryan gone, I'm desperately casing the joint for the next best thing because it's now 1:38am and I'm feeling rather randy. But I don't think so. Kelly is simply looking damn fine right now. Hi, next crush! What took you so long to get here? Kelly gives a solid performance, as usual, but it's not up to the very high bar she's set for herself.
Randy isn't blown away by Kelly tonight. Not her best for him, he says. She says, "Okay, okay. I understand," over him. Being quarantined in the mansion, she may have caught Justinitis. The disease that forces you to start talking whenever people are criticizing you, so you can't hear what they have to say. But Simon likes her so much he can't even speak. I think the gist of what he was saying is, "I like Kelly. Thank God for Kelly." I dunno. It's tough to tell with the accent and the mumbling.
Next up is RJ. Apparently, he came straight from his job waiting tables at The Cheesecake Factory, because he's still wearing his uniform. When I realize that RJ's song tonight is "Arthur's Theme", all I can think is "Uh oh." I don't think this will turn out well for him. Naturally, Burt thinks it's a great choice. Then again, he wrote the damn thing. To be fair, I suppose if anybody asked me what line of mine they should quote, I'd say, "Hell, use any of 'em! They're all major winners!"
"When you get caught between the moooon and the RJ Shuffle, oh! You're in trouble! It sounds crazy, but it's true!" Watching the Shuffle right now, I think I've finally discovered the secret! You need a very wide stance. His shoes are at least two feet apart. I'm going to work on that later tonight after some proper stretching. Don't want to tear anything in the forbidden zone. RJ's doing okay, but I don't know. The girls certainly love him, as all the "whoooooos!" would indicate. "Yes, by all means, woo," says Dunk at one point. That's the funniest thing I've heard him say in weeks. One for Dunk! Moving on, the judges aren't all that impressed by RJ, either. Simon reiterates that three singers in this contest (gosh, which ones?) are much better than he is. RJ brushes off his comments. He has to rush back to the kitchen to pick up that meatloaf for table six.
By the way, thank you to Ryan's cleavage for making an appearance tonight, directly over Simon's shoulder. These things obviously missed being out of the spotlight, as Ryan has to continually clutch and maneuver them to keep them sheathed. If I weren't so clean-minded, I'd volunteer myself for that job.
Now we see the kids getting a makeover at some place in Beverly Hills. A fine place to go for a makeover, indeed. There, they meet their stylist for the day, Charlie. A woman named Charlie?! Wild! Only in L.A.! Seacrest's voiceover informs us that Nikki went to cosmetology school. For some reason, that doesn't surprise me. She doesn't really seem like the Vassar type.
Charlie handles the girls, then turns her focus to the fellas. She says guys should only worry about their skin, and proceeds to ask RJ if he uses moisturizer. They cut away before his answer, I presume to save him the embarrassment of people hearing him say, "Eight times a day".
Everybody hang on tight, because here comes Tamyra. Tamyra has straightened her hair tonight, and she looks damn hot. More evidence of EBS? So Tamyra starts singing, and holy look out! She is good tonight. I think she noticed the pro-Kelly forces rallying around the capital of Tamyra and decided to break out the heavy artillery. She almost made herself cry with that performance. That is some serious emotion. She did make Paula cry, which isn't nearly as difficult. I think Tamyra has wrestled back first place. At least for now. By the way, I've just moved into 89th in the columnist standings. Look out, Jeff Rodgers, Sacramento Bee! I'm gunning for you next!
During Tamyra's performance, Ryan Starr seemed to be a little miffed at something. I don't know what, but she was definitely getting her scowl on. God, that last line was hip. Does she hate Tamyra? Hate the fact that Regis, Katie and the other morning drones are done with her? Whatever it is, she ain't happy. Maybe she's upset about sitting next to a simp like Jimmy Verraros and his slight shirt. I'll get to the bottom of this! Ah, actually, I won't. Too much work. Let's just move along.
Randy says Tamyra seemed a little nervous at the start. At the end, I was a little nervous that I would cry like a wuss. But I toughed it out because I'm all beef! Paula just sobs. Simon says, and he doesn't use these words lightly, that may have been the best television performance in a while. Maybe ever. Additionally, he told me backstage that last week's column was the worst in a while. Maybe ever. Damn you, Michael!
Seacrest says it's getting hot up in hee-ah. You know, Seacrest is a decent guy, but he's just there. He's the male equivalent of an E! Channel hostess. Good looking, inoffensive, just reads the cards with cheesy abandon. No danger of him offending the elders and the kids like looking at him. I guess if that's the impact he's shooting for, he's nailed it. It's possible he's the first generation of futuristic hosting cyborgs, and they've set his dial to "Mild banter".
During the break, a phalanx of makeup people rush to Paula's side to put her back together again. See what you've done, Tamyra? I hope you're happy with yourself.
Up next is Justin. He's wearing an old hippie shirt, but no laces this time. That baby is wide open for maximum Justin! He comes out and starts singing that song for underwear or cotton or cotton underwear or whatever the hell it sells. Again, damn commercials! You've ruined "Look of Love"!
During tonight's performance, Justin seems to have toned down the hoke a bit. That may be the first time I've ever had any effect on anybody about anything. Although it's more likely somebody else talked to him about it. He still wore leather pants, though. And he made a really weird, strained face toward the end. But, he's coming back to normal.
Paula, adhering strictly to the Paula Principle that if you just try, you're a success, liked it. And Randy liked it, although Simon thinks J-Fro was blown away by Tamyra. Even Justin the Great can admit Tamyra was on tonight. On like you wouldn't believe.
We get another clip of our jetsetting kids, this time at The Teen Choice Awards. I wasn't nominated in any categories this year, if you're wondering. Note how I said, "this year," as if maybe next year it'll change. There's Kobe Bryant, wearing a Lakers jersey. Yeah, we know, guy. That'd be like me wearing a shirt that says "Writer", then carrying a notepad around. Oh wait. I did that tonight. I guess I'm a jerk too.
And now it's Nikki. Maybe for the last time. Just like I said last week. I'm starting to get the feeling that E!'s next reality show should be about Nikki's life in Texas. I think it would be fascinating, yet terrifying. I'm sure it wouldn't take more than three episodes until a gun accidentally went off, and the cops show up to arrest a mulleted chap in cutoff jean shorts and no shirt. "Aw, baby! I'm sorry! I just get so scared some times! I love you so much! I ain't going nowhere, Officer! I didn't touch her!" "Okay, buddy, why don't you sit in the back of our car and calm down. And maybe we'll take a drive down to the station."
Nikki comes out wearing her bearskin skirt again, and I believe she's also wearing shinguards. When meeting with big Burt, Nikki says she's determined to sing the Nikki way. I guess she's also determined to get cut, then. Nikki starts off her song doing a little dance I like to call "The White." You see it at weddings a lot. Always something there to remind me! La la la!
Randy likes Nikki's kid, but not Nikki. Even Paula doesn't like her. Simon barely even bothers to register a comment. Nikki's son starts crying. I hope it's because he's out of grape juice and not because his mom just got shredded on live TV. That could hurt your development.
So there you have it. Another one in the books. I think Nikki will be cut on Wednesday, but since the exact opposite of what I predict always happens, I'm doing things a little differently. I think Kelly will be cut tomorrow. Yeah, you heard me! Kelly! And I mean it, you cursed fates, so listen up! Kelly! She's gone!
There. That should protect her for a while.
One last piece of news before I go. Since you fine people have so many questions for me, and I obviously can't trust my assistant anything beyond simple breathing, I'm taking matters into my own hands. I'll be on my message board this Friday, starting at 10am PST. I'll have about an hour or so to answer your questions directly and look at pictures of you that you post. So have some good ones ready for me! Power to the people!