You think the last six Tuesdays have been big? No! This Tuesday is big. Huge big. Real big. Extra...special...big. We only have four kids left and they haven't changed the rules lately, so one of them is definitely going home. Did somebody just shout out Nikki? Keep it down back there! She's made it this far, and not by accident. I think. Regardless, she's here and tonight's show is very big. (see above)
Time for the...dramatic intro! Bum-bah! Do you think my intro to the dramatic intro was dramatic enough? Just a little something I'm working on. Anyway, our baritoned friend tells us that last week you made RJ cry. Nikki too. You jerks! I hope you're happy with yourselves.
Seacrest comes bursting out to start the show, and apparently he spent the entire day in one of those dimly-lit coffee bars that pretty people in SUVs love so much, because he is absolutely wired. He comes running out across the stage and doesn't stop at the edge. He just jumps down and flies around in the crowd. He's like a European game show host. So zany!
Dunkleman comes casually strolling out at a normal, human pace. By the time he reaches center stage, Seacrest has completed two full laps around the studio and ran back onstage to join his friend. And he's not even out of breath. Seacrest says, "I thought you were gonna run with me." Dunk's look says, "No, of course not. Halfwit."
It seems like Ryan was too jacked up for tonight's show to even dress himself properly. His monstrous collar is all over the place, and his shirt cuffs stick out a good six inches from his too-short jacket sleeves. Maybe this is a new trend and nobody called me about it. Also, he has two pockets on the right side of his coat.
Let's meet the judges! Our very own crop circle, Randy Jackson. I've thought about that line for a while now, and I just don't get it. Randy's kinda big. Crop circles are big. That's where the similarities end. Tonight, Randy is wearing a shirt with "EU" on it in massive letters. I think it's really nice that he's showing some support for the European Union during this horrible flooding.
Paula is wearing a hat she stole from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character. I can't remember which one. Sillycat? Wackydog? One of the Josie and the Pussycats? Somebody like that.
And now, the president of the Simon Cowell fan club, Simon Cowell. I think the president of my fan club might be IloveJJ. Or perhaps JJisGod. The early balloting is pretty tight right now. And no, I am neither of those people. Dunk notices Simon's new haircut and tells him to sue his barber. And the quest for the ultimate AMERICAN IDOL catchphrase, the line to put on coffee mugs and glittery bumper stickers, continues.
Now let's give the kids some training on how to deal with media crews and the press. How do we do that, you ask? Why, send them to a media outlet, of course. The kids pop by the sunny and fun offices of YM Magazine for pointers on how to deal with YM Magazine. The basic lesson? Stand still for pictures. Smile. Be nice. Valuable lessons, all.
During the clip of Tamyra with the staff at YM, we find out that she wants to do some skydiving or whitewater rafting for her photo shoot. She must've knocked off a liter of Mountain Dew before this meeting. Xtreme!
Tamyra comes out, and her first song tonight (They'll be singing two tonight. I don't know why I didn't mention that earlier. Too busy being hilarious, I suppose.) is "New Attitude". She has new hair too. Tamyra seems more interested in getting the audience to dance than actually singing. She's performing too much to even get the mic to her mouth. But her voice is so weak during this number that she needs the mic just about inside her mouth. She certainly does have a new attitude. That of overly-rambunctious, average singer. I'd advise her to ditch it for the second song tonight. And you know how much people listen to me.
Randy says he's worked with Patti LaBelle, and he's not sure that song worked for Tamyra. Dunk advises him to pick up that name he just dropped. Sassy!
Overall, the judges weren't thrilled with Tamyra. I think they held back a bit on their comments to protect their investment's psyche. Thankfully, for her sake, she has another song tonight, or else it might be bag-packing time.
Sitting with the mighty hosts, Tamyra wishes another brother "Happy Birthday". She probably has to do that every week with as many kids as the Grays have.
During Nikki's meeting with the pretty people magazine staff, she wants to make it clear that her hair is red, not pink. She's not trying to copy Pink. I suppose she's trying to copy a singer named Red, then. To prove her point, Nikki's hair is all red tonight.
Some of you, at least two, might be wondering why I haven't declared a crush for Nikki yet. Well, frankly, I'm frightened of her. She lives a little faster than I usually do. I don't think it would be a good match for my physical safety. I'm very soft.
Nikki comes out wearing neopolitan-flavored pants to sing "Mary Jane", a nice slow song. But she yells the sensitive parts. Can you imagine taking her to Inspiration Point? "Nikki, I love you, I think." "OH! RICHIE! I! LOVE! YOU! TOO!" "Geez, calm down, baby. I said 'I think.'" Despite the high volume, Nikki sounds pretty good tonight. Really. It's touching. Her voice is strong and on point. I like it. That's one for her.
Randy says it was okay. Paula says she found her comfort zone. Simon says...that was "fabulous". On fabulous, the crowd erupts in applause. Man, I wish I could move people with my words. Simon says this song is what Nikki's all about and Randy should wash out his ears. Randy snaps back. Dunk says, "Girls, you're both pretty." Gosh, that appearance on Leno has him all gassed up.
Now Kelly meets with the magazine staff. There's no muddy river flowing through the YM offices, so she might have to try something different. One of the gals at YM, either the "Beauty Editor" or the "VP of Beauty" or whatever, says that Kelly has, "Girl next door tendencies." Huh? What does that mean? That she likes to bake pies and let them cool on the windowsill? And the woman said the comment like it was criticism. I don't get it. I guess this is why I don't read YM. And also because I don't care what Devon Sawa named his dog.
Buckle up, West Hollywood, it's raining men, says Dunkleman. He is scorching tonight! Finally. For those of you not in the know, West Hollywood is one of the largest gay communities in the country. Not a joke, just information.
Kelly is very energetic, as always. I like her Old West outfit too. Madame Kelly Clarkson, you might say. If she had a garter on her thigh right now, she'd be all set.
Randy says that was amazing. Paula says her voice is bigger than two weathergirls put together. Her personal "comedy" writer leaves the studio to go cash his $5,000 check for that line. Bitter? Who, me? Get outta here! I'm solid, brother!
Seacrest hops out of his seat and prances around while yelling, "It's raining men!" Gay men across the country think, "Yes! He's one of us!" Everybody else thinks, "God, what a dork." The guy backstage who gave Seacrest whatever he had before tonight's show thinks, "Oh, man. I'm in trouble."
The folks at YM say that Justin will have to deal with the heartthrob factor. Yeah, that's a tough one to cope with. But if he needs some tips, I'll explain to him how I've dealt with that since I was 12.
"Get here. And buy lots of denim." This is the song that got Paula all mushy during Justin's earlier auditions. I know it's hard to picture her that way, but believe me. Justin's doing a good job tonight. No cheese, no winking, no dancing. Just solid voice work. Justin's dad, Smokey Robinson, points at him violently after the song. "Justin! Justin! You're Justin!" is what I assume he's saying.
Randy liked it. Paula says his sincerity made the song. Simon says that's why you're here. So there you have it.
"Feel the fire," grimaces Seacrest. Here comes Tamyra in a nice, vampy outfit. Hot. All of the performance and "Let's dance! C'mon! Get up!" stuff is gone. Good. Now, she's just focusing on great, soulful singing. I wish I had a woman right now I could smooch. This song is really reaching me. Or maybe that's just simple loneliness. A jaded life is an empty one, friends. Anyway, I really like Tamyra's second effort. She may have rolled a gutterball the first time, but she definitely picked up the spare. Anyone here a fan of clichéd bowling references? I sure hope so.
However, I'm not on the judges' panel, so let's see what the pros say. Randy says that's the Tamyra he's grown to love. Paula lumps her in with Whitney and Celine. I know that's intended as a compliment, but saying somebody is like Celine Dion is a nuclear insult in my book. Man, I hate that peanuthead. Simon says that Tamyra is world class. Now, Seacrest introduces Nikki's next song like a cheesy radio personality might. Which he is. So it was very easy for him. Nikki comes out dressed in ripped denim. Dangerous! It's very possible that her denim was ripped just five minutes ago in a brawl backstage.
Her voice is a little weaker this time. Wait! Yelling! That'll make up for it, I guess. She should've sung "Black Velvet", just because I haven't heard it in so long. Whatever happened to that chick? Samantha something? "Black Velvet and that slow Southern style!" Hmm. I think this is a lot like her last three performances. So expect some similar judge comments coming up. Randy's turn. Nikki, Nikki, Nikki. Finally, "The perfect song for you." Paula says it was the right song and her magic moment. Simon says she absolutely proved she belongs here.
Dammit! Can I ever get a prediction right? Okay, how's this? I predict that I never make another prediction again. I can't keep putting myself out there like this.
Dunk says we should go to a break. Ryan says, no, don't go. Okay, go. No, don't. The music screeches to a stop. Whoever this Bruce is, he's going nuts right now. Seacrest jumps into the audience again. Did this guy knock off a sixer of Red Bull before the show? He has a young girl in the audience take us into the break. Thanks. That was really worth it. For her.
We're back, and Seacrest hasn't calmed down yet. We get another goofy DJ intro for Kelly's second song. Also, the twelfth caller wins $98.70 from 98.7, the rockinest hits ever!
Kelly comes out wearing a $9 million necklace from Harry Winston of Beverly Hills. Or maybe it's fake. She has a nice, black cocktail dress on. I'd feel pretty comfortable with her on my arm at a swanky dinner party. And, of course, she'd feel awkward with her goofy date who never shuts up, and doesn't own a sportcoat that matches any of his pants.
We get yet another powerful performance from Kelly. She's completely in command of her voice and notes. I'm tired of people saying Kelly will just be a country singer. Why limit her? There's no style of music she can't handle. She's the exact opposite of me. In many ways.
Somebody runs up to the stage and gives Kelly a teddy bear in cowboy clothes. I quickly dub the fuzzy little guy Roy Rogbears. I'm so cute and clever!
Randy and Paula loved Kelly's performance. Simon is blown away. He thinks she's up there with Celine and Mariah. So maybe Kelly will marry her 65-year old business manager. Or maybe the head of a record company.
Let's take a look at the kids in the studio as they each record the single to be released a few weeks after the show. You know, I always get a kick out of those fuzzy mic screens. That's not a joke. Obviously. Just a simple observation from your buddy.
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Justin comes out now in a vest and jeans that have been worn out in the thighs. The vest does a great job of showing off Justin's excellent farmer's tan. For the second go-round, Justin's corn is back in full effect. I guess if you sing a Michael Jackson song, you have to dance. Problem is, Justin can't dance. At all. He moves like a scarecrow. And they're not very fluid if you didn't know.
Randy isn't so sure if that was his favorite Michael performance. Paula says right, it's a Justin performance. Sigh. Simon starts off with, "Oh, God." This should be interesting. Simon says it wasn't great and Justin is lucky he sang the first song so well. This was just a bad Michael Jackson impersonation. "Especially the dancing," I chime in from homebase.
Justin walks over to the hosts, but Dunk says hold on, Paula has something else to add. "After tonight, it's been proven that Simon would critique a suicide note." Another $5,000 check gets cashed. They paused the show for that? Simon says Paula should sue her new comedy writer. Let me make something clear: it's not me. I may not be funny, but I'm not that bad. Or maybe I am. I dunno. I can never tell.
Anyway, expect a snappy retort from Paula back to Simon. Tomorrow. After she's had time to confab with her pro pundit for some more yuks. Maybe they should get her one of those plastic earpieces broadcasters use. Then, whenever Simon bags on her, she can touch her ear, listen carefully to whatever Johnny Hilarious is feeding her from backstage, then say, "Simon would even criticize a newborn." Ha. Terrific. Thank you.
Coming back from the clips of tonight's songs, Seacrest is on his knees. I'll let you handle your own joke here. I don't work blue, kids.
After they sign off, Seacrest does a crazy little jig. Man, this cat is revved up tonight. He's dancing for his Lucky Charms right now. I dunno. Somethin'. Somebody bring that guy down before he crashes. Fill his dressing room with pillows so he can just lay down anywhere.
So now the show is over and I'm going to get two predictions wrong. The first is my prediction that I won't make any more predictions. Still following? Good. The second is that Justin will get cut tomorrow. I don't know why I think that. All I can say is there are four people left, one has to go, everybody was good tonight, and I don't know what the hell I'm talking about anyway.