Okay. It's another week and another show. Only sixty minutes this week, so pay close attention! It'll be over before you know it! Anything could happen tonight, although it's safe to make a couple of predictions: Ruben will wear a tent with "205" on it, Clay will wink at one or two people. Other than that, it's all up in the air!
Tonight's show features the Top Ten, which is infinitely more important than the Top Twelve or Top Eleven, so let's get fired up! Although, theoretically, next week the Top Nine will be even more important than this, so don't get too worked up. Don't want to waste it all in one place.
Ryan "The Body Politic" Seacrest comes out to start tonight's show, which is a good sign. Without him, we'd have no transitions! A young girl in the audience holds up a sign that reads, "Marry me, Ryan." Jerry Lee Lewis would've loved that idea. Ryan tells us the theme has shifted from disco to a mix of country and rock he likes to call "Country Rock." Marvelous. Look for plenty of songs about pickups and beef jerky. And tonight is probably my one and only chance to hear somebody cover the man, Johnny Cash. Ryan puts on a cowboy hat, then quickly takes it off so he doesn't mess up "the Flatiron."
The judges are here, as usual, and only Paula got into tonight's theme. She's dressed like a cute little rodeo gal. Do they have rodeo gals? What would they do? Patch up holes in people's jeans? Meanwhile, Simon is dressed like a guy determined to wear black no matter what the theme is. Which he is.
Tonight, we'll be continuing a time-honored American Idol tradition (going on three weeks now!), the celebrity judge. It's Sandra Olsson herself, Olivia Newton John! Apparently Jeff Connaway was busy working on the Taxi reunion special, and Stockard Channing was.well, Stockard Channing isn't here either. Ladies and germs, Olivia Newton John! Still, I would love to get physical with Olivia. Let's get physical! Physical! I wanna get physical! Let me hear your body talk! Body talk! Okay, you get the point.
Seacrest takes us through a look back at Olivia's career. Enough of this '70s stuff! Show me leggings! There we go. So sweaty and physical. And it was filmed with the '80s music video standard of a fuzzy lens smeared with Vaseline. Or maybe I'm developing a cataract.
Time for the performances. Last week, Josh said he was country all the way from now on. And he wasn't kidding. He looks like John Travolta in Urban Cowboy. He should be riding a mechanical bull while singing. Or at least fighting with Debra Winger. Is the song supposed to be this fast? Are those even words? This is like a country tune fueled by espresso and Red Bull instead of beer and loneliness. Full of pep, Josh takes off running through the audience. Is he chasing a greased pig? Next week, look for Josh to leave the show and be replaced by his alter ego, Chris Gaines II. The judges loved Josh's performance, although Simon had no idea what to say. Somewhere, a wisenheimer thinks, "That's a first! Ha!" Good one.
Now we have Trenyce. Her look is very country tonight. Compared to Beyonce Knowles. Of course, Trenyce can sing so well, who cares if her look matches the theme? Heck, the only time my look will match the theme is when the show has "Fat Slob" week, so maybe I should just can it. Trenyce is really belting out her song, although if she opens her mouth any wider, the microphone might fall in. And then where will we be? Troubletown, that's where. Trenyce gives a pretty good performance. It was even better than the time she washed my hair. The judges liked it, except for Simon. Over on the barstools, Ryan offers Trenyce pigs in a blanket and she chuckles. That must be an inside joke. Way, way inside.
Kimberley Locke is up next and she'll be singing, "I Can't Make You Love Me." Man, is that a true credo. I tried to make three different chicks love me last season, and it just ain't happening. You gotta let love flow, brother! You can't force it! Kimberley has a good voice tonight. She's continuing her comeback from the struggle two weeks ago. She's officially back on track. Just like me! I'm really hitting my comedy stride tonight! The judges liked Kimberley's performance, which I am noting here for the record.
We're back from a commercial break and Ryan is out in the audience, which he wanders into about once a show. Sitting on the aisle is Julia Stiles' twin. It's Corey Clark's turn next, and he comes out wearing a fishing net for a shirt. Is that thing dolphin safe? Corey breaks out the wild stool sitting move for his song. What a showman! And then he holds his temple. Uh, I think the actual move is to hold your ear. Maybe he has a headache this big. But Corey delivers a great performance tonight and gets the audience clapping with him. I thought we were going to see some lighters there for a second. The judges liked it, although Olivia wanted to see some walking around. But the stool move! It's a showstopper!
Today is Carmen's birthday. Now she can vote! And be summoned for jury duty! Don't fall into that trap, sister! It's five days of sitting in a room with ugly people for $40. We know Carmen is country tonight because she's tied a knot in her shirt. And she has a fairly large belt buckle. And she's added a country twang to her voice. And the theme is Country Rock tonight. A sign in the audience informs us that, "Carmen kicks the competition." In case it's not clear enough, the sign is a shoe. Shoe? Kicks? Score! The judges liked Carmen. Also, it's revealed that Simon hates country. Hard to believe.
Before another break, Ryan advises us to crack open a cold one. On another note, it's about halfway through the show, and neither Simon nor Ryan has made an innuendo-laden crack about chaps, leather, steers or men on the open prairie. I guess they're past all that now.
Rickey Smith comes after the request to buy products. He's decided to ignore tonight's theme and dress as Rickey. Stick to your guns, buddy! Rickey sings that he's done enough dyin' today. What an uplifting number! You know, tonight's episode needs some skinny, leathery-skinned dude in a Stetson sitting on stage playing the slide guitar. And we'd all be transfixed by the precariously long ash dangling from his Camel. When will it drop?!? Now that's country! The judges liked Rickey, except for Simon. I don't know why I even keep writing that.
Kimberly Caldwell is dressed like Darryl Hannah from Splash tonight. And I mean that in a good way. Seriously. Who doesn't like mermaids? Or mermen, for the ladies in the crowd. Tonight's theme and song are right in Kimberly's red zone, to borrow a worn sports cliché and officially drive it into the ground. Kimberly sings that she's tired of pretending she doesn't love me anymore. She's always so coy when I'm around, but I'm hip. I'm hip. Hip to the game. Hip to the game that she loves me and is tired of pretending she doesn't. Real hip. Randy loved Kimberly tonight. Paula said she had vocal muscle and muscle in her vocal. And Simon finally liked something.
Back from another break and Ryan sits with a velvet teddy bear. Dammit! I keep telling you, it's Mount Saint Smooth! I even made a Mount Saint Smooth model mountain out of clay and a coffee can for the show. And if you pour baking soda and vinegar into it, it turns into the Mount Saint Smooth active volcano! Kaboom! Ruben sings to Sweet Home Alabama. Lord, he's coming home to you. Speaking of this song, have you ever seen the crowd at a Skynyrd show? Let's just say that a college degree isn't required to get in. Ruben looks like he's having a great time. He's really making the song his. Look at me talking like a judge! Speaking of which, they loved it, of course. Paula thinks Ruben could run for governor. I wonder who would win if he and Charles Barkley ran against each other.
That brings us to Julia. She has some good hair going tonight. Simple. Not too many bells and whistles. And she gives a really good performance.
Rounding things out tonight is America's cousin, Clay Aiken. He borrows Corey's stool move. A trend might be developing here. Clay gives another good performance, and his outfits are getting more stylish every week. I've covered the whole hair and ears deal, so I'm running short on things to talk about with this kid. The judges loved Clay. Except.all together now!.Simon. He thought it was like last week. Which is bad, I guess. Except that last week he said Clay was the best so far. Then he says "good job." So.it's good then? Help!
That puts another show in the books. Whatever books those may be. The fun books, I guess. That brings us to prediction time. Um, I don't know. Everybody was pretty good this week. Especially me! I was awesome! So then, my prediction for tomorrow is.um.Wednesday's Recap will be super mega awesome too! And if not, what can you do about it? It's not like there's anything else to read on the internet.