Tonight's show is going down before a live studio audience. To get in the mood, I've brought in a live audience of my own. We've bussed in 22 residents of the Shady Acres Rest Home, and let me tell you, this audience is on edge already. Let's get right into the show before a pudding fight breaks out. Again.
With a dramatic new studio set based on the spaceship in Alien, and a live studio audience in the house, the show suddenly seems a lot more serious now. Maybe I should sit up straight as I write this. Or put on the bottom half of my pajamas. I usually write al fresco, if you dig. But no, the audience demands me to remain as is.
Whooooooooo! Whoa, calm down, everybody. This crowd is fired up tonight. They want action. Speaking of action, our intrepid hosts are walking onstage at this moment. Suits? I told you this show was serious now. Although maybe the boys have a wedding to go to after the show.
In addition to the fancy new suit, Seacrest has apparently landed a night job as a superhero. Idolman? Prettyman? Whatever his new alter ego, he's wearing glasses to cleverly conceal his identity. I almost didn't recognize him.
Ryan and Dunk tell us that from now on, each week's performances will have a theme. Whooooooooo! Tonight's theme is "Motown". So I guess after the show, the studio will descend into urban chaos and Robocop will be called out to restore order.
Whoooooooo! Another crowd shot. The kids near the front rows wave little American flags as hard as they can. And suddenly, a Davis Cup tennis match breaks out in the studio! If I had to bandy about a guess, I'd say that A.J. and EJay get cut tonight. Of course, I thought E.R. would be off the air in two weeks and communism would last forever. So those two superstuds are probably safe for now.
And now...let's bring out our ten finalists! Whoooooooo! Ryan! Who is pretty much wearing, nothing. Same as usual, thankfully. RJ! Nikki! George Michael comes out in place of EJay! Tamyra! Justin! Jim! Who apparently forgot his undershirt backstage. Kelly! A.J.! Man, he's pretty cocky for a guy that received so much criticism. Christina!
And now...let's meet our judges! Whooooooo! Randy! Paula! Simon! Boooooooo! Go back to England! Booooooo! Personally, I like Simon. So does the crowd from Shady Acres. They think he's cute and sassy and reminds them of their youngest son. But the live studio audience does not.
We see a bit that involves the kids going to the Beverly Center to buy clothes, courtesy of a credit card company I'm sure you all remember the name of. Each of our buddies got $2,000 to spend on clothes. And maybe an afternoon movie if they have anything left over. I don't think I could spend two grand on clothes if I tried. I'd have to buy diamond socks or something like that.
Let's get to the singing! Whooooooooo! First up is Ryan Starr. To introduce her, we get a taped bit of her background. There's a little beach chick montage. Ryan pensively looks out to the sea. Like she's waiting for a ship that will never come or perhaps already came last week. I feel like I'm watching a European movie. Or a perfume commercial. If she wanders out into neck-deep water and disappears under the waves, I'm changing the channel. Fin.
Here comes Ryan out to perform. Could her belly be any longer? Her torso goes from her ankles to her shoulders. Her outfit tonight is pretty much her standard garb. Low cut pants, bra top, string-type things tied around her arms that make it look like she just had her blood pressure taken nine times. The audience cheering almost drowns her out. Not a good sign. For the first time, I hear some background vocals during the bridge. Maybe it's coming from her cleavage. You could sell ad space on those things. And if you did, I'd buy whatever the hell it was for. Twice. Oh, Ryan's outfit just reminded me. Grapefruits are on sale this week at the supermarket. Whooooooooooo!
The judges love her and her star quality. No surprises there. We've heard that for weeks.
RJ is up next. Does he have portholes on his shirt? Is that for air flow? They do a bit on how he was adopted. I may be jaded, but even I can't knock that. RJ breaks off a rendition of "I Can't Help Myself". I'm waiting for the California Raisins to come out as background dancers. Dang commercials! Always ruining my image of classic songs! RJ does a little bit of dancing. Not too bad. Maybe his dancing was so good because his shirt had such good ventilation.
Randy and Paula love RJ. Again, no surprises there. Simon thinks he was just average. Boooooooo! Simon tries to defend himself. "The competition is too good." Boooooo! "He could've..." Booooooo! "I..." Boooooooo! "Fine, I like RJ!" Boooooooo! Man, Simon cannot win.
Time for Nikki McKibbin. Nikki's a mom. Cute kid. Moving on, her hair is a bright strawberry red tonight, but her outfit is a conservative black and white ensemble. She looks classy. I guess that's what money does to you. Just like I predicted a couple weeks back. She's become the blue blood after mastering etiquette and salad forks. Although she's still kinda yelling her song. I guess that's the difference between new money and old money. Somewhere, deep in the hearta Texas, Kristin Holt is throwing something at the TV right now.
Randy thinks "Ben" was the wrong song for her. Paula doesn't think she broke out from the pack. Simon says she underwent a daytime TV makeover. "Today! On Billy! 'Please make over my wild teenager!'" Maybe she was better off without the 2 Gs to spend on clothes.
Ryan and Dunk introduce a taped segment about the kids' ease in dealing with newfound fame. An Entertainment Weekly photo shoot, followed by the kids signing autographs for adoring fans. Which reminds me. I'll be signing stuff tomorrow from 2:15 to 2:30 at the Dairy Queen in North Hollywood. One signature per person, please. And I won't sign body parts, so don't ask.
After that segment, our host boys try a comedy bit in which Dunk pretends he's dumb. You dropped a bomb on me...baby! The mocking of the joke is funnier than the actual joke. Now they have to try the same joke twice more. A little awkward, but our boys improvise and save the day! Way to go!
EJay Day. His pre-song intro includes shots of him in a waiter's red tuxedo, singing his little heart out. He's channeling Little Richard suddenly. EJay goes with "My Girl". Can I get a little bass in a guy's voice, please? EJay has a goofy hat on. He looks like a newsboy from 1928. But he gives a good performance. Energetic. Crowd ate it up. Whoooooooo!
Randy thinks EJay's the best of the night. Simon critiques his intro piece. Ryan sticks up for the show's editors. "Shut up, Ryan." Touche. Dunk says, "Go back to France!" The audience waves their flags. Simon says EJay has a great voice, but is not an AMERICAN IDOL. I've had my face criticized before, but not on national TV. Oof.
Back from a commercial. The suited duo mocks Simon. He again says, "Shut up". Paula says he has mad Cowell disease. The United Kingdom hollers in protest. The guy that fed Paula that line through her earpiece thinks, "Yes! My words made it on TV!"
It's Tamyra Gray's turn. Foxy Brown comes onstage instead. Tamyra's singing is so much better than everybody else, it's almost unfair. In a tribute to Tamyra's retro outfit, I'm going to write this next line on a typewriter. She commands the audience and her voice is flawless. These are good qualities in an AMERICAN IDOL . By the way, Tamyra is a former Miss Georgia. Which doesn't impress me, because I was Mr. Greater Cleveland, 1986 AND 1987.
The judges love her, naturally. Seacrest gets Tamyra to admit that she has a belt around her neck. Last time a singer tried that, Michael Hutchence was found dead in a hotel room. So be careful there, baby.
Justin Guarini comes out now. I think Justin is realizing he's the heavy favorite, and it's starting to show in his face and actions. On another note, if his shirt collar were any bigger, it'd have its own collar. Think about that for a while. If you can handle it. Good, energetic performance. Lotta dance moves. May have turned it up a notch following Tamyra.
Randy loves it. Paula faints. Simon thinks Guarini is better than Justin Timberlake. I don't think that's much of an accomplishment, myself. And if Timberlake has a problem with that, he can drop by the Jaded offices and receive a prompt beatdown.
Following Justin is Jim. And Andrew Johnson had to follow Abe Lincoln. Excuse me, I think this will be a good time to go to the bathroom and get a drink. Separately, I mean. I don't keep my drinks in the bathroom. But before I do, let me say this: nice vest! He had 2 large to drop, and that's what he bought? I have a feeling when the salesclerk was ringing up that purchase, she thought, "I can't believe we finally sold this thing. It's been here nine years." All right, I'd better go before Jim starts making his singing faces and I descend into madness.
Okay. I'm back. Did I miss anything? Randy tears up Jim. Randy runs down his resume for us, his basic point being that Jim will never, ever be added to that list. He says that Jim was not very good at all. So I didn't miss anything, then? Paula defends Jim. She should be a Public Defender! Boooooooo! Yeah, that was pretty lame, I guess. Simon says he's way out of his class. The worst part is, Jim has to stand there and listen to this criticism while wearing that vest. Double whammy! Before we move on, who's more annoying: Jim or the "Can you hear me now?" guy? We could go back and forth on that one all night.
Kelly Clarkson is up now. I like her outfit and she's always energetic. Kelly is definitely that cool, really fun girl you're pals with and you always hope one night at a party you'll finally hook up. But it never happens. Still, you keep hanging out with her because hopefully she'll finally break down one day, and if not, you get a lot of laughs along the way. Anyway, good performance.
Judges all like her. Simon does a Texas accent. I wonder if he thinks our fake British accents are as bad as we think his American accent was. Seacrest then lets Kelly's biggest fan run up onstage to hug her. What a moment! If that guy's lucky, one day he'll get to play muddy river football with Kelly and her pals. The game ends when both teams are covered in leeches.
A.J. Gil and his magical beard are next. A.J. wants to help his mom with her financial needs. It looks like they got somebody straight from central casting to play the role of "Mrs. Gil" in his taped intro. "My Cherie Amour" is A.J.'s tune. Again with the soft male voices. He flips up the collar like a bad ass. Why is he so cocky lately?
Between the head to toe denim and the Timberlands he's wearing, he looks like a rapper. From six years ago. Update, son. While singing, A.J. busts out the hot new dance craze called "The Pace". It involves walking back and forth in a three-foot radius. This guy conveys all the energy of a tranquilized sloth.
Randy says A.J. is decent, but not good enough. Paula likes him. I no longer type that sentence. I just cut and paste it into each paragraph. Simon thinks A.J. is a nice person. Not an American idol. The show would be a disaster if he wins. Other than that, he's fine.
Here comes Christina Christian. Man, she's the cutest little button. Her parents are from Trinidad. So, I can marry her and move to a sunny island where I'll sit on the beach and eat stuff that grows on trees? Where do I sign up for that? Her belly's showing. I'd love to eat pancakes off that belly one morning. She's wearing the widest belt I've ever seen. Usually, you have to wrestle somebody to get a belt that big. Her performance is fairly energetic. Oh, I love her so. Why can't this love be reciprocated? Maybe if she met me once. Just once!
The judges love her. Simon admits that he has a crush on her. If she needs help choosing between myself and him, I'll help her with this little tidbit: I'm at least 3 inches taller. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Speaking of Simon, did you notice him flip off Ryan and Brian towards the end of the show? After a little more clever back and forth, he scratched his cheek with his middle finger while looking at our dudes. Subtle! Rude! English! Keep an eye out for this move in the future. That is, if you get thrills out of seeing a guy's middle finger.
So that's it, amigos. Two of the kids won't be coming back next week. But I will be, and you can thank your lucky stars for that.