Hi, everybody! Your old pal Jaded here, and I'm super chipper tonight! Why? Well, I figure you're probably getting tired of the whole know-it-all sarcastic bit and maybe it's time for a change before.ah, you know what? I'm so jaded and I can never change! Ugh. I disgust even myself.
So we're having another two-hour show tonight. These doubleshot episodes multiply my workload, and I'm only about one more column from using up all of the English I know. Serfump! You see what I mean? The show starts and we find out that Baritone Bruce (this is still clever!) is working Tuesdays now. A little overtime this week to make ends meet! Thanks to that intro, I know that tonight is a very serious show, indeed. Seacrest comes running out to start the show like a young Wink Martindale. Only Wink never wore an acid-washed suit. Ryan looks like a frozen pond or something. A group of Marines applauds in the crowd. Is the show taping from Kuwait tonight?
Tonight's theme will be "The Movies." No word whether Ebert is sitting in the audience. I wonder if anybody will sing "Axel Foley's Theme" from Beverly Hills Cop. Just walk out there with a synthesizer and go "Dun-duh-duh- duh-duh-duh-duh-da- da-da-da-da-da-da-dada!" Or maybe Kenny Loggins' smash hit from Caddyshack. "I'm all right! Don't nobody worry about me." Or maybe the driving song from National Lampoon's Vacation! "Hollllllliday rooooooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oad!" These and other bad songs from '80s movies can be yours on two cassettes or one CD for only $19.95, plus shipping and handling! Act now!
Ryan introduces us to the judges, but tonight we have a little twist. It's time for America's favorite new show, Embarrassing Pictures From Your Past! Tonight's special guest is Randy Jackson! Here's Cowboy Randy with Sammy Hagar. At this point in his life, Randy was simply unable to drive 55, no matter how hard he tried. And here's Randy posing with Journey. He looks like the Kool-Aid Man with a high top fade. And finally, here's Randy's senior class portrait. So studious!
Continuing this year's new development, we have a special celebrity guest judge tonight. Gladys Knight! If you're wondering, I'm currently in talks with the show's producers to be a guest judge myself one night. So far, the night they have in mind is never. I hope we can work it out! The lovely Gladys comes out, but there is absolutely no sign of The Pips. Everybody's always forgetting The Pips! Or maybe the show just couldn't find a 10-person judge table. Ryan informs us that Gladys currently has the #1 show on the Vegas Strip at the Flamingo. Also, don't miss their $2 single deck blackjack and the 98% return on slots! We see a retrospective on Gladys, including the time the Jackson 5 - featuring Michael! - presented her with a Grammy. Then we see a picture of her first producer, Nerd Randy.
Finally, it's on to the singing and Corey Clark is going to start us off. His song will be "Against All Odds." Corey comes out with leather cargo pants and a towel. It is allergy season, I suppose. He's also starting to grow a bad teenage mustache. Corey should pull the Vegas Comeback Special Elvis move and wipe down the towel before throwing it to a screaming fan. During the judges' comments, Corey milks the crowd for cheap applause like an old pro. "You people look great tonight! Who loves America?" Whoooo!
Next up is Ruben, who is singing a song from Aladdin. Which makes perfect sense. He'd look just like that genie if he were blue. The audience needed to hear one line of the song to burst into applause. Yep, he's a real underdog! Watching Ruben sing, I realize two things: one, a mic stand has never looked so skinny, and two, he's wearing my grampa's hat. I should ask for it back after the show. The judges love Ruben and Gladys calls him a velvet teddy bear. Although anybody who's seen my interview with him knows that Ruben should actually be called Mount St. Smooth. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to tip off Gladys before the show.
That brings us to Trenyce, who I believe is the first person ever to sing a Whitney Houston song on this show. Trenyce delivers a stunning rendition of her song, and the judges eat it up and ask for more.
Some time last week, the folks behind the Emmys - The Motion Picture Arts and Science Something and Something and Stuff - hosted a panel on American Idol. Of course, it's curious they did that since the show only got one Emmy nomination: Best Jerky Online Column About A Show. God, I so hope I beat out EddiezMaster69, the blogger for Frasier. He's wack! Hey, who is that sitting next to Rickey during the panel? I can't remember her name for the life of me. Victoria?
After a break, Ryan approaches Simon's mom in the crowd. She tries to hide under a chair, but it's no use. Then Clay takes a crack at "Somewhere Out There." Surprisingly, he doesn't bring that talking Fievel doll out with him. I remember when those things were huge! And when you could buy milk with a quarter and still have enough left over for six loaves of bread. Clay is the third straight singer to use the microphone stand. It's not part of the stage, folks! It moves if you don't want it. During Clay's song, I find myself wishing that the backdrop had an animated caricature of Clay singing along with the real thing. A fan in the crowd holds up a sign that reads, "All Aboard The Clay Train." Is that a play on words that I don't get, or an actual train? "The 1:15 Clay train! Departing for Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Charlottesville, Blacksburg and Baltimore! All aboard!" The judges loved Clay, as they usually do.
Now we have Kimberly. She blows kisses to the camera. Those were straight to me! Hands off my kisses! She loves me so much! Kim probably should be wearing a poodle skirt and bobby socks to match her song, but instead she's wearing mesh and lace. After her song, somebody holds up an "I Miss Vanessa" sign. They should've voted a little more, I guess. The judges liked Kim, except for Simon, who thought her performance was theme park-level. At home, EJay Day thinks, "Wow! What a compliment she just got!" Over with Ryan, Kim kisses some dude in the crowd because it's his birthday. It wasn't me.
It's Josh's turn, and he's going to sing a song from the sensibly-plotted and well-written Armageddon. Let me ask you something. How could two pods crash on the moon hundreds of miles apart and then find each other? Do you think if I plopped you and a friend down in Arizona 300 miles apart, you could happen upon each other? And gosh, what a surprise that Bruce Willis doesn't like Ben Affleck because he's just like Bruce was as a younger oil jock. And how come.ah, forget it. The movie made $9000 million, and that's all that matters these days. Josh's song tonight is from the Aerosmith era known as "Sucky Love Ballads That All Sound the Same." And how is it that the older he gets, the more Steven Tyler looks like a teenage girl? Isn't anybody else terrified by a 50-year old man wearing makeup and singing sappy ballads about love lost to high school chicks? Oh, Josh. Right. I almost forgot. Well, between the melodic country voice and Marine enlistment, it's safe to assume Josh is Toby Keith's new idol. The Marines in the audience applaud, even the one wearing a cast. I wonder how a cast affects your accuracy with a rifle from 1000 feet. Probably not for the better.
Over with the judges, Ryan points out the bags under Simon's eyes and asks about his makeup routine. It's quite a manly thing for somebody to point out. Anyway, Carmen is up next, and she'll be singing "Hopelessly Devoted To You." It's appropriate, since she looks just like Olivia Newton John. Or Sandra Dee. No word if Carmen is singing for pinks tonight. "Pinks, you punk! Pink slips? Ownership papers?" Too bad she didn't sing "Beauty School Dropout." Then maybe Frankie Avalon would've dropped by for a visit. The judges weren't so sure about Carmen, although Simon still sticks up for his Wild Card pick. I'm sensing a theme here.
Oh my God! It's Kelly Clarkson!
The most interesting thing about seeing a clip from the Justin and Kelly movie is seeing the cinematic debut of Eugene Levy, Jr., starring as Justin's nerdy friend in a weird hat who's afraid to talk to Kelly. Although I don't know if that's his credited title or not.
Charles Grigsby is going to sing something from The Wiz. You know, it's about time for a new movie with Michael Jackson in it. Maybe a horror movie called The Babysitter. Score! I think I'll sell that joke to Jay Leno for his monologue. I should be able to fetch at least $5 for it. During his song, Charles uses so much of the stage that he goes around back and comes out the other side. What a performer! The only nagging problem is that I can't tell if Charles' hat is made out of denim or a washcloth.
Rickey is from Wichita, Kansas. I wonder if he rooted for the MISL powerhouse Wichita Wings as a young lad. Although any real soccer fan knows the Wings were simply no match for Krys Sobieski and the Pittsburgh Spirit. The Major Indoor Soccer League! Catch the fever! Rickey's Tommy Bahama shirt makes him look very relaxed and Palms Springy. And his soft rock radio station song is sure to please all of the ladies in the secretary pool. "You're listening to KMLO. All mellow, all the time. And now, another mellow song by Rickey Smith." Later, Ryan calls Rickey's shirt custard. Again, very masculine.
You know, being on American Idol isn't just all singing and posing for pictures and going to premieres of stuff and whatnot. You also get free clothes! And here's a tip. When shopping, it's always helpful to have a dandy, petulant fashionisto like Steven Kajagoogoo telling you things like, "That top makes you look like a nouveau opera diva from Jupiter," and "Those pants would make Lara Flynn Boyle look fat." So flip! Yeah, that's right. I hate a guy for making flip, sarcastic comments.
Julia DeMato is in the penultimate spot. Before her song, she tells us that she loves the fame and attention, just like all of the other kids have tonight. It would be hilarious if one of them would come out and say, "God, I'm sick of people taking my picture. Enough already! I can't wait to be cut from this show." But no. Put these scamps in a limo and they're all as pleased as punch. Tonight, Julia will be singing a song from Flashdance. So where are the leg warmers? And why isn't she being drenched with a firehose? Julia is wearing a Virginia tank top, which makes perfect sense since she's from Connecticut and Flashdance is about a stripping steelworker from Pittsburgh. On another note, if she's a professional hairstylist, why are her tresses crimped? Just because your song is from 1983 doesn't mean your hair has to be.
Kimberley Locke is the last contestant to perform tonight, and she comes out wearing her Easter dress. I thought maybe after her Hell backdrop last week she'd opt for an igloo or something, but no. However, her performance more than makes up for "Heat Wave." She's back in the race, folks!
Closing out the show, we have Kelly Clarkson. So you know, when you're famous, you can never wear the same thing twice. You have to immediately throw out your clothes after wearing them once, which is why Kelly changed her outfit from earlier tonight. It's a good thing I'm not famous, since I only own three shirts, two of which are identical. Looking at Kelly right now, I'm realizing I have this odd affinity for women in low back dresses. Maybe because they look hot. Kelly gives a decent performance, and is probably safe from being voted off this week.
But somebody will have to go! Who will it be?