Welcome to.the Wild Card show! Let the thrills begin! All week, we were dying to find out what the promised twist was going to be. And, as we can see already, the twist is that we have a special co-host tonight: Ryan's giant shirt collar! Say something to the people, Shirty! "Something to the people!" I kid, I kid. But seriously, folks, it's great to have you all back tonight.
Ambling over to the judges' panel as usual, Seacrest officially gets the show rolling. According to Simon, the twist is that they're bringing back Dunkleman. Well, the guy is certainly available. Actually, the twist is that they'll have 12 finalists now. Which we may have mentioned on this very website last week. In another twist, water quenches your thirst. Also, the judges will pick three winners this week and we'll pick one. And the one we pick must be left-handed, while the judges must pick at least one redhead, and all phone calls from the great state of Mississippi count as two votes. Got all that? Then on with the show!
First up tonight is Kimberly. The backdrop makes it look like she's singing underwater. Which might be where they're hiding this new backing band. Or maybe they're just down that other hallway. The one that leads to Hell! Kimberly has obviously been paying attention to the comments - i.e., you're boring! - other singers have received through the weeks, and is getting into her song as much as possible. There's a lot of moving and a lot of smiling. I've taken the same advice and now squirm all over as I typex. Dang! I mean type. The squirming screws me up sometimes. Kim finishes her song, and the positive judge comments should be coming right.now! Hmm. Actually, it seems like they weren't blown away. In fact, they really didn't like it. Man. I liked it. I never get this thing right.
Now we're moving on to Clay, who comes out in a suit and running shoes in a paean to early Letterman. Clay seems like a really reserved, practical, big picture kinda guy. I have a feeling his reaction to anything, including nuclear annihilation would be, "Oh well. What can you do?" During Clay's performance tonight, I notice a couple of things. One, the backdrop makes it look like blue plasma is shooting out of his ears. Two, I feel like I'm watching the climactic moment of a Disney animated movie. Speaking of which, if this singing thing doesn't work out for Clay, he can always find work as a Saturday morning cartoon character. It can be called "The Adventures of Clay and His Dog Clay." The song tapers off and Paula loved it. Randy was highly impressed. Simon was highly, highly impressed, and supposes that Clay's odd look works in his favor because we remember him. The master of the backhanded compliment strikes again!
Nasheka's turn. I guess she left her last name back at the hotel. Nasheka sings a Bette Midler song, which will definitely win over the New York City theatre crowd. You know, this inspirational ditty is inspiring me to strive for new heights of hilarity. I think.uh.this performance is like.um.ah, forget it. I still suck. During her last performance, Nasheka stood completely still onstage and the judges told her to add some pizzazz to it next time. Her response? To stand completely still again during this performance. However, Simon loved it. Paula was not so sure. Randy was not so sure. So that leaves us wherever.
Back in the lounge, Ryan gets Carmen a water from behind the couch. That's a weird place for a fridge. But an awesome idea for lazy dudes like me. Although, even reaching behind the couch might be too much effort. And now we're back! If you're wondering, I did not get up to make myself a sandwich during the break. As I said, too much effort. In her piece, Carmen says she's sticking with a country song. She doesn't mention if she'll be talking with her mouth closed, which is a super great talent she has! Watching Carmen's performance, I can only think one thing. This is a country song? Where's the slide guitar? The harmonica? The part about an unfaithful girl, a bottle of booze and a rusty pickup truck? Where's Johnny Cash? This ain't country! The judges advise Carmen to keep trying. Um, when exactly should she do that? Not next week, I would imagine. Maybe at home in her bedroom.
It's Olivia's turn now. Olivia is about the smokiest, sultriest 17-year old I've seen in my life. She seems very mature for her age, which would make her a perfect match for me. Call me in about five or six years, doll. I think Olivia looks a lot like a comic book superhero's girlfriend. Very cool, very defined features, jet black hair, big eyes with lots of mascara. If I were ever a superhero, I'd probably be Awesome Dude, the guy everybody wants to be friends with. And my main squeeze, Olivia, would be based on Olivia. Somebody ink this thing up and let's get rolling! Of course, while I'm busy talking about how great she is, the judges are thinking about how unimpressed they were. Well, back to the lounge for her. By the way, want to know how to humiliate a 14-year old boy? Make him hug his sister and give her flowers on national TV, then point out how nice the flowers are. After Ryan said that, the poor kid was frantically searching the room for a hole to hide in.
Now it's Janine's turn. I think Janine is my first official crush of this season. Conveniently ignoring Kimberly Kelsey, who came and went before she could even start disliking me. Although if we start dating - which I think is a great possibility - I might have to send her to Madame de Veilleux's Finishing School for Ladies to phase out that strong outer borough accent. "Would you like some coffee with your breakfast in bed this morning, darling Janine?" "OHMYGAWUD! NO-UH! KAWFFEE! EWW-UH!" "Um, let's not talk, baby. Let's just sit here and gaze at each other."
Here's the future, as I see it. Janine and I get married and move into an IKEA-decorated brownstone in Brooklyn Heights. And we could spend summer weekends in the Hamptons. I'm sure she'd love the Hamptons. And then we could.oh, wait. Based on those judges' comments, Janine's stint on the show could be coming to an end. Her tenure was shorter than the Harrison presidency. (Professor Jaded's Joke Explainer: William Henry Harrison was inaugurated on March 4, 1841 and died of pneumonia - which he caught at the inauguration - on April 4, 1841. Now that's edutainment!) Oh well, maybe I can develop a crush on Sarah Silverman, who is Janine's exact duplicate. Except with a lot more cussing.
Trying his luck next is Chip Days, a real wild and crazy guy. No Eddie Bauer sweater for Chip tonight. Instead, he went to Fly Guyz at the mall and picked up a button down. It's sharp! Chip's song tonight is "Rock With You," and a huge number of Michael Jackson jokes are begging to be freed from their cage. But I'm no hack! Chip showed a lot of personality tonight, and Paula and Randy loved the performance. However, Simon hated it as much as the other two loved it. Win some and lose some, I guess. Back on the couch, Chip laughs with Ryan and I note an interesting phenomenon once again. Whenever Chip laughs, he scrunches up his face like it's the funniest thing he's ever heard. But only a little "hee hee" comes out. Incongruous! Of course, Chip also scrunches up his face when he's confused, so maybe he just likes how it feels.
Next up is Aliceyn Cooney. That's quite an interesting spellgni. You know, she kinda looks like Maria Bello. Kinda. I guess that's just an observation. And probably not a very interesting one. And looking at her again, she actually looks nothing like Maria Bello. What the hell am I doing here? Anyway, I would describe Aliceyn's look as sexy rancher. Which I'm sure is well appreciated in the more desolate stretches of Montana. Although she is wearing the biggest necklace ever made. That thing's like a license plate. Oh! The song, that's right. Uh, the judges were okay with it.
Rounding out the group is Trenyce. She's looking very sassy tonight, but she seemingly left her last name with Nasheka's. Somebody help find those names, please! Trenyce is singing Al Green, which is always a plus in any book. Randy and Paula like Trenyce so much they dance during her song. Or maybe they're just cheering on her mesh blouse. Randy gives his second standing ovation of the night to Trenyce. He's big on those this year. They really make a big point! Simon supposes that he's in a bad mood. Maybe he's upset that word of his pending engagement leaked out. That can really make it hard to pick up the chicks.
Closing up the show, the entire entourage has gathered around the couch. More singers means more family members, which means that room is getting pretty dang crowded. With 12 finalists next week and their family members, they might have to shoot it from 100 feet back to fit everybody in.
So there you have another show. And now comes the most important part of the article, the part where I try to keep my Ripken-esque streak of picking winners alive. The tension is tense! And so, without fanfare - or at least any more fanfare - here they are. My picks. For winners. Which I'm currently 7 for 7 on. Haven't missed one yet. Not one pick missed. And here we go. Right now. Clay. Chip. Trenyce. And Janine. Dear God, let it be Janine!