So here we go, another show about to happen. As I'm sure you remember from my last column since you pay such careful attention, I predicted that RJ would get the el booto. Wearing an all white suit and forgetting half your song has to be bad for your chances, right? Thus, I feel pretty good about yet another of my terrific predictions coming true.
Time for the standard dramatic intro. "Last night, six sang. But only five will survive. The votes are in, but who is out?" Well, judging from the people standing onstage right now, the answer is Christina. I thought they were going to kick somebody off at the end of the show, but I guess they've decided to switch things up a little bit.
The fun buddies are back, but the ties are not. I guess after Dunk's grampa grumps routine last night, the producers figured he'd better not put anything tight around his neck tonight. His collar is wide open and, sure enough, his mood is a lot breezier. Speaking of open collars, Seacrest's is so wide it wraps around to his shoulder blades. That is going a little heavy on the starch, friend.
Hey, let's pan the audience for no reason, what do you say? Oh look! It's Jennifer Love Hewitt sitting in the front row! She has an AMERICAN IDOL hat pulled down tight over her eyes, as if she didn't want to be spotted. I can only imagine the conversation she had with Nigel before the show.
"Hi, I'm Jennifer Love Hewitt, America's princess! I want to watch the show, but I don't want to be all recognized and bothered tonight. Can you help me hide? It should be easy since I haven't washed my hair in five days."
"Oh, sure, sure. Here. Wear this AMERICAN IDOL hat and pull it down tight. Nobody will recognize you. But before you go, what seat are you in? Row A, seat 14? Great, just checking."
I imagine the second that our girl Love left, Nigel turned to the first Teamster he could find.
"Jimmy! Put a camera on A14 two seconds into the show! It's Jennifer Love Hewitt!"
Our boys inform us that Christina isn't here tonight because she was rushed to the hospital as a precautionary measure for "stress". I guess she already is a superstar, just like Mariah Carey. She's already having nervous breakdowns. Too bad she didn't start stripping on the show last night.
By the way, we got 10.5 million calls last night. I don't have a joke about that, so I don't know why I even mentioned it. I like numbers, I guess.
Let's meet our judges! Randy wears a shirt with a skyline on it. (insert chubby joke here) Paula is wearing a lace-up top. And Simon still has that pen with the bent metal thingy. What is he doing with that thing? Leave it alone, Simon!
Now, let's meet the kids. Professor McKibbin is wearing a pair of glasses tonight. And Justin's wide-striped suit makes him look like a Dick Tracy villain. Floppo, I suppose his name would be. "This is it, Tracy. You've finally met your match!" "Not this time, Floppo!" Zap!
Now that everybody's here, what do you say we look at some clips from last night? Dramatically, we're told some did well. Others, not so much. They show RJ forgetting the words once again. At least they're trying to help him remember his mistake.
We come back from the clip and the hosts are in the audience. Are shenanigans about to ensue? Not really. There's just another group performance upcoming. Tonight, "Bandstand Boogie".
"We'll go a-hoppin' in Philadelphia, PA. La la la la la." RJ remembers his two lines and gets out of there as quick as he can.
But what's this? This is no ordinary performance. This is a performance with life! With movement! With sass! The kids walk off the stage and through the audience. Except for Kelly, who stays front and center. Foreshadowing? Hmm? Hmm?
The only real energy in this group sing along tonight is coming from Justin's hair, which is flipping and flopping and bipping and bopping all over the place. It's taking on a life of its own! And now the song comes to a close. Ah, that was fun. Sort of.
As a reminder, for those of you just tuning in to the show, or starting to read this column halfway down, Christina is in the hospital tonight as a precautionary measure. Between her and RJ, the show has dropped about ten grand on medical bills.
You know, things have been really stressful for these kids. All the attention and praise they're getting. Living in a 30-room mansion with a pool. It's tough. Tough, I tells ya! Seacrest says let's give the kids a chance to wind down. Uh oh. The video screen just kicked on. Something "interesting" is about to happen.
The kids are bored, so they all pile into a Ford Focus, one of the many Focii they have on hand, and take a trip to the end of the driveway. It's quite possible, considering the size of the mansion, that the trip took 45 minutes. Anyway, they don't go anywhere, and that is that. You know, these kids can sing, for the most part, but they have all the acting chops of Tara Reid and Vin Diesel's first child. Not...very...natural is about the nicest way I can describe it.
Now that all the fun is behind us, let's get to our bottom three tonight. Tamyra, Kelly, you're safe. Yeah, I know. You're very surprised and happy. Nikki? Gee, I wonder. She's getting frequent flyer miles for all her trips to the bottom three. She gets over to center stage and Dunk tells her, "Right here, babe." Yeah, she knows. She's been through this drill once or twice. That's like giving a person directions to their house. "Remember, take a left - A LEFT - on McHenry." "Yeah, I know. I've lived there for nine years."
Why do they even let Nikki sit on the couch anymore? They should give her a special chair on the other side of the stage so her walk is shorter. Save everybody some time. One last thing about Nikki is that she has zippers running up her shins. Is there any possible scenario in which those will come in handy?
Anyway, RJ, you're in trouble too. Christina, in absentia, if you're watching, you're up against Justin. If she's watching? It seems pretty safe to assume she is. I know I'd watch any TV show I was on. And so would literally dozens of others.
We'll find out who's in trouble...after the break! The audience groans like they didn't see it coming. Dunk says, "Oh, you love it." For once, I agree with him. But does he have to be so irritated all the time? He acts like he wants to be hanging with his friends, but his parents made him come to a family function. "Awww, gee, ma, I don't wanna!" "Young man, you will be on TV and you will like it." "Aww, this stinks."
So, we're back from the break. Christina, you're the third person at the bottom tonight. Could you, uh, please wheel your hospital bed into another room or something?
Judges? Are you surprised at all that the three worst performances last night are in the bottom three? Paula says they're already American Idols. Everybody gets a trophy today! Hugs for everybody! You're all winners! Except for the five of you that won't win this contest. Simon says that based on last night, Nikki and RJ belong there. Not Christina, though. Technically, she's not up there, but you get the picture.
Word has it, says Seacrest, that Nikki has already packed up a few things to take home. Now THAT'S pessimism! But, Ryan says, rip that packing tape off those cardboard boxes! You're staying! This girl simply can't be knocked out! She's like Rocky! I've never seen anybody take so much punishment! And, in the immortal words of Mr. Balboa, "If I can change, you can change! We all can change!" That has nothing to do with tonight's show, but it's inspirational nonetheless. I'm sure you all feel great after just reading that. Glad I could help. Now go tackle the day!
Now. RJ. Christina. One of you will be going home. And we'll find out after the break! Dunk did a masterful job on the deception tip right there.
Back again from the break, and RJ looks like he's already steeling himself for the bad news. In fact, Ryan says that RJ told him he's definitely the one leaving. RJ, I mean. Not Ryan. And if you're just tuning in, Christina is in the hospital. But if you're just tuning in, why are you changing channels at 9:54?
So...RJ...oh God, here it comes...you're safe! Code red! We got a flatliner here! Clear! (whom-poof) Clear! (whom-poof) Dammit! We've lost her. Time of death, 9:56pm. RJ starts crying. I guess he already forgot that he wasn't cut. Or, he got himself so prepared to be cut, that those tears were coming out one way or the other.
Dunk and Seacrest ask the kids if they have anything to say about the great national tragedy of Christina being cut. Here come the waterworks, in a major fashion. Kelly cries. RJ really, really cries. You know, she didn't actually die. I was just kidding before. But the kids cry and cry as if this is the worst thing that's ever happened.
You know, I hate to rain on the parade, but she spent her summer on national TV. Agents and producers and modeling agencies are scrambling to find her phone number. It's not like she's being deported. Man, let's have a little dose of perspective, everyone! And I like Christina more than anybody in the universe. And, of course, the irony of that last statement is that I now need a dose of perspective my own bad self.
The judges offer their condolences as well, and Paula already hits Christina up for a free CD. The lesson, as always I imagine, is avoid the hospital.
So there goes Christina, and here come the conspiracy theorists. She's missing because she knew she was getting cut! She got cut because she was missing! RJ is actually 41! (I tossed that one in myself) And now, I will drop into an extended funk as I mourn the departure of both Ryan and Christina in consecutive weeks. Who, oh who, will be the next object of my unrequited crush? Who will be flattered with romantic praise the likes of which have never been seen? Who will be more than a little creeped out by the fact some stranger is fawning over them every week? Oh, the questions we'll ask!