First off, a note about these dashing new pictures you see above all the important words. I've been trying to keep my identity a secret in order to protect my long-term career goals in the adult film industry. Also, I hate being bothered in restaurants. But, the good people at FOX are dying to splash my chiseled mug on the cover of People, Victorian Homes Monthly and other magazines in order to cash in on my massive and loyal audience.
So when I came into the offices recently to pick up a stack of paychecks, they had a shutterbug waiting in ambush. I had no idea. Bastards! Luckily, I'm so slippery or my ruse might have been shattered. As it stands now, you'll have to get by on shots of my supple legs, and I've signed up for Direct Deposit.
Tonight, as a change of pace, I've decided to attend the live show as part of the studio audience. I get there and find out I'm a VIP. Sounds about right. Then I find out they've stuck me in the last seat of the last row. Sounds about wrong. I had a better view of The Price is Right than I did of AMERICAN IDOL. This is how the Jaded Journalist gets treated when he makes a rare public appearance? Ah, I guess that's what I get for not showing my face. On another note, Monty Hall is warming up tonight's crowd by giving people $50 if they have a two dollar bill or grape bubble gum in their pockets.
The dramatic intro piece to the show asks us a few questions. Who will choose their song more wisely? Who will watch their words? Who will play it safe, and who will take the big risk? Well, judging from the shots they used in sync with the voiceover, the answers are Ryan, Justin, RJ, and Nikki, respectively.
Finally, on to the show. We're down to seven now, and all the obvious cuts have been made. Every one after this will be a real stinger. Justin stumbled a bit on his perch last week, and Ryan completely fell off and split her head open. Meanwhile, Kelly keeps churning out great performances and RJ keeps doing the RJ Shuffle as they both move along toward the finale.
Ryan seemed to have mentally packed it in last week, and Justin loaded up on humble pie at the post-show buffet. It'll be interesting to see how these two react tonight. At least I hope so, or you won't be reading much farther.
The show starts and the audience goes wild, as audiences are apt to do. Hey! Did you see that cool cat holding up the "We Live 4 U Jaded Journalist!" sign? That was me! Speaking of me, the girl next to me keeps yelling out stuff she finds witty. The rest of her pals are making snide, moderately funny to completely unfunny remarks about everything that's happened so far. Is this what it's like to hang out with me? Damn. No wonder I drink alone.
But little do these people know they're sitting next to the anonymously famous Jaded Journalist. They may be reading this right now and thinking, "Oh no! I missed an opportunity to give kisses!" Of course, if they're not one of the 100 people that read this thing regularly, they'll have no idea. Maybe next time I go to the show, I'll wear the "JJ" t-shirt I made up at the mall. God bless iron-on patches!
Our hosting buddies wear no ties tonight. Ties are dead, man! They're a symbol of the man's oppression! Ryan's shirt looks like it was made out of the scraps of ten other shirts. Dunk shows a picture he found of Simon on the ol' internet. It's Simon's head on a buff beach dude's body. I've found a few pictures of the hosts on the web, and they're not nearly so complimentary.
The theme tonight is the '70s. Tight pants, feathered hair and John Travolta. She's a superfreak! Superfreak! She's superfreaky! Ow! Using my awesome powers of obvious deduction, I've determined that the '80s must be next week's theme. Taaaaaaaaaake onnnnnnn me! Take on me! Taaaaaaaaaaaake meeeeeeee on! If this pattern continues, by the finals, the theme should be music from ten years into the future. And by then, it'll all be computerized and we'll have flying cars. Flars, I call them.
Let's bring out the kids! Tamyra sticks with the Pam Grier look, which I'm definitely down with. Ryan is wearing a napkin. Damn, that's a short skirt! The fire marshal has a look of panic on his face, because 1,000 lonely guys just rushed the studio. And the censor backstage is keeping his finger millimeters from the button every time Starr moves. That's more of an idea of a skirt than an actual skirt. Holy man!
Before we do any singing, let's check out the kids and their recent US Weekly photo shoot. The photog is with a very vampy Ryan. "I want to get your humorous side." She gives a pouty sulk/sulky pout. Hmm. Let's keep trying.
You know, I hope the AMERICAN IDOL photos didn't bump any Angelina Jolie photos out of this week's issue. I'm always so curious what she's up to. Maybe they added more pages for their follow up of last week's summary of their earlier cover story about the devastating Jolie/Thornton divorce. If those two crazy kooks can't make it in this world, who can?
Nikki is up first. Her song tonight is "Heartbreaker". That could be woefully appropriate. After the debacle of "Ben" a few weeks back, Nikki will never, ever vary from the rock genre again. Somebody should set up a duet with Nikki and Kelly Osborne. They're twins! Which makes me wonder. If those two met, would they hate each other or love each other? I can't decide which. I know whenever I meet people that others have described as being just like me, I usually hate them because my uniqueness feels threatened. Those two might detonate upon first eye contact.
Anyway, Paula and Randy like her performance. Simon says she's gone after this week. It was a copycat performance, and she is not the one undiscovered talent in this competition. Paula says don't worry, because the fans vote. Ho! Tension from the start! I'm writing as fast as I can!
If this doesn't work out for Nikki, and according to Simon it won't, she can always head back to Texas and front some punk or alt-country band out of Austin. Pop may not be her thing, but if you throw a couple guitars, a drum kit and a few longhairs behind her, you might be on to something. And if they're looking for a band name, try "Slower Pussycat!"
Ryan Starr is up next. How can I keep this clean? Uh...let's just say that the people in the front row are getting a heck of a show right now. And Ryan hasn't even started singing. "Last Dance" is Ryan's choice. Can I take back my Nikki comment? This song might have even more foreshadowing for its performer in it.
I love this song, because whenever it hits in the club, you get the hilarious scene of slimy dudes desperately prowling the bar for any last unturned stone. "Hey! Is that chick alone at the bar? I better ask her to dance or else I won't have time to convince her to come back to my Camaro!" Then, about a minute into the song, the remaining guys give up, pound one more Silver Bullet and head for the doors.
Ryan is kinda going through the motions here. I think she's ready to get out of Dodge and start fielding offers to star in B-movies and look pretty while running from things. I think the judges are going to excoriate her here. Yeah, that's right! I used a big word. Deal with it!
By the way, I've already forgotten what she's sung. "Muskrat Love?" If she wore that skirt and sat in the Jeopardy! studio audience, every single guy would finish in negative dollars. It's a real mind eraser, it is.
Randy says Ryan needs to figure out who she is exactly. How about, "Hot chick"? Paula, naturally, loved her performance and Simon thinks she'll move on this week, but agrees that she needs to define her song style better. Rather polite criticism, I'd say. Much better than last week's "musical train wreck", as Simon coined it.
Seacrest says he didn't know the seventies were so much fun. "I was too busy playing with my little friend." Dunk is concerned! What?! "G.I. Joe." Hmm. Okay. Let's just slowly back away and pretend we didn't notice.
It's Christina's turn now. We see her at the photo shoot. Can I get one of those in a wallet size please? Christina comes out wearing a skirt she bought at a small store next to the highway in New Mexico. You can also get a purse there with your name on it spelled out in turquoise.
Christina is really singing tonight. The vibrato is gone without a trace. I think last week's scare has righted her ship, as she is doing a great job right now. On another note, why can't white people resist clapping semi-rhythmically during slow songs? It happens every single time. Singing (cl-clap) singing (cl-clap). Knock it off, whitey!
Paula and Randy, of course, like Christina. Simon compares her to Sade. But he's being complimentary, which is odd, seeing as it comes about ten minutes after he ripped Nikki for being a knockoff of somebody. I imagine that perhaps he meant Nikki was just like Pat Benatar, while Christina merely evoked Shar-day. Whatever it meant, it must have really affected Christina because she immediately changed the spelling of her name to Krastna.
And here comes Justin, judging from the shrieking. The stage seems a little dusty right now. Maybe we can grab Justin by the ankles, wet him down and use his head as a mop. Eh. That was dumb. But I needed to take a shot at Justin to even things out.
Has he learned from last week? He seems a lot more restrained. And he's focusing more on the song than his stage antics. Still, he's kinda corny and his dad looks exactly like Smokey Robinson. Randy critiques him, says he picked the wrong song. He keeps switching styles every week. Paula liked it. Also, ice is cold. Justin takes this opportunity to backtrack even further from his comments last week. He's now speaking to us over a video screen from an undisclosed location. "Really! I'm not that much of a jerk, I swear! Please!" I don't know if he's being sincere. I can't read this guy. He's like a wily shapeshifter. Simon says Justin picked the wrong song, but it basically doesn't matter because the fans love him. I guess Simon learned his lesson last week when he dared to question Justin. Apparently, after the show, Justin's fan club, the Army of Guarini, caught up with Simon in the parking lot and gave him a little "talking to".
Kelly Clarkson up now. No hat this week. Each week, Kelly just keeps doing her thing, belting out great performances and gaining more fans by the second. Small town girl makes it big? I haven't seen a story like this since Patsy Cline met Dolly Parton and spawned Faith Hill. Or somebody else you like better than Faith Hill. Whatever. You get the idea.
If Kelly ends up winning this thing, look for "The Kelly Clarkson Story: Small Town to Big Time" on Lifetime in November. Starring Tara Reid as Kelly. And Sean Hayes as her stalker / #1 fan ever! Speaking of that dude, I can see him from here. I'm keeping one eye trained on him just in case he gets ants in his pants again this week. Not on my watch, dude!
Kelly does a great job of singing, but we get the audience clapping again. You just can't resist, can you, Whitebread? Every time with this stuff! I'm white as December, but I can manage to keep my hands in my pockets during a song. Why can't the rest of you? Despite this, Kelly is in complete command of herself and the crowd. She could end up in the final two, which I don't think anybody predicted in June. Except me. I know everything.
The judges love her and Simon raves about her. He loves how nice she is. (insert cheap, easy joke about opposites attracting here) Before the break, Seacrest taunts Simon for dancing and bopping during Kelly's song. Simon has no rejoinder. What's with him tonight? It's like Simon is missing, so they replaced him with his twin nicer brother, uh...Blimon.
During the break, Chazz Palminteri pitches me Vanilla Coke. This is a fine commercial, pretty nice even, but is there anybody in Hollywood that would love it more than Chazz if another gangster movie was made? If a movie meets one of two requirements - 1) It's about gangsters in Brooklyn. 2) It's set in 1953. - Chazz is in it. If not, he sits by the pool.
Back from the break and Dunk is all by himself as Ryan chills in the Red Room with RJ. During the photo shoot, RJ says he's uncomfortable in a tank top. Then he sees one picture of himself, loves how hot his ripped pipes look, and proceeds to come out tonight in a sleeveless shirt. That one photo did some real magic, I tells ya!
RJ is putting on quite a showy performance tonight. He even added a few more steps to the RJ Shuffle. And I spent all of last week learning the old version. Big waste of time. But this is about RJ, and he did a great job tonight. The audience loves him. Judges? Well, Simon says he's boy band-worthy, but not the AMERICAN IDOL. That's enough of an insult that I won't heap anything else on to RJ. Maybe RJ, EJay and A.J. should form a boy band together. They can call it 3J! Of course, they all give their J names different treatments, period, no period, two capped letters, so maybe they wouldn't be able to agree on songs, either. Oh well.
It was Tamyra's birthday this week, so let's check out a taped bit of the kids throwing her a surprise party. They eat cake and get all full of sugar and start acting nutty. Hmm. Nice. Comedy doesn't really suit these kids. Of course, to be fair, singing isn't really my strong suit. And some would say that comedy isn't either. So there you have it.
Tamyra comes out barefoot. I don't know if this will help or hurt her. If she walks over white-hot coals while singing, I'll definitely vote for her. I heard next week Tamyra is going to use Melvin van Peebles as an accessory to round out her late '70s wardrobe. I hope so. I love Sweet Sweetback!
Every time Tamyra comes out, she's a complete pro. This thing is hers to lose right now. Randy echoes my thoughts. Not the first time. Paula says she keeps going higher, like a poe vollter. I think she meant pole vaulter. I hope she meant pole vaulter. Simon says that if Tamyra doesn't win, something has gone horribly wrong. Which is the exact opposite of what he said to Jim.
So there you have it. Another night in the books. If I had to proffer a guess, I'd say Ryan can start packing up her travel kit. And her skirt from tonight will be enshrined in the Dirty Thoughts Hall of Fame. East wing. But, I've been wrong before - several dozen times - and this guess is probably no different.
On a final note, my smallbrain of an assistant is still sorting through your emails, so if you haven't received a response yet, blame him, not me. And keep those photos coming! I'm building a real sweet scrapbook! Finally, feel free to use my picture above as your desktop wallpaper. It'll be a pleasant greeting each morning.