Tonight is such a big show that I don't know if I'll even be able to type out the whole column! I might get too excited and fohifiurljksdcydfviuhiug. See? Ho! The hilarity starts early this week, friend!
The studio audience also feels the inherent hugeness that's casting a shadow on this episode, and they scream much louder during Ryan's pre-show introduction intro piece. Oh wait, I had the volume up on my TV. So maybe the screaming is holding steady. Ryan jaunts out wearing a t-shirt that features an elementary school art project on perspective. "You see kids, make the highway lines intersect on the horizon, and that's perspective." Ryan then introduces our Idolites, which doesn't take nearly as long as it did nine weeks ago.
Presenting the judges to us, Ryan mentions that Simon almost got bumped off The Tonight Show Starring Katie Couric because of Mike Meyers. Ooh! Burn, Simon, burn! Your publicity junket almost went awry. Paula is adorably dressed tonight, and I can't wait to catch her in the new remake of The Hustler.
Tonight's theme - at least for now - is Random Pick. Or, more accurately, Fishbowl Dig Out. Please, God, work your magic and make somebody pull "Freeze Frame" out of that dish. Kimberley's olive green cargo shirt matches the olive green cargo pants I'm wearing as I write this. You'll just have to trust me on that. Ms. Locke rocks out "Band of Gold," which is one of those songs I've always known and yet never knew the title of. Also included in that list is, well, I don't know how to tell you since I don't know the title. But it has a guitar in it. The judges loved Kimberley and the show is off to a good start. And the Recap is off to a great start!
We come back from a break and Ryan is tugging on a flaxen ponytail. Appropriately enough, he then plugs American Juniors. I can say from experience that if he doesn't cut that out soon, the teacher is going to call him to the front of the class and embarrass him by asking what the heck his problem is.
Ruben digs into the chip bowl next and comes out with N-34. Ha! A bingo reference! Is there no twist I'm not capable of? But seriously folks, Ruben has pulled out a Stevie Wonder song, which means that we're in for some good times here. No, I do not mean the song "Good Times" by Chic. Ruben's outfit is quite fascinating tonight. I think he threw them in the washer together and the colors ran. At least it's coordinated, I guess. The judges were sorta okay with Ruben's attempt at an upbeat number. Meanwhile, sitting behind Simon tonight is Joshua Jackson's younger brother, who ironically is named Dawson.
Clay is up next, and he'll be singing a Don McLean song. Not former UCLA basketball god Don McLean, but the singer of the never-ending "American Pie." "My, my, Miss American Pie, this song crossed the 12-minute mark and it will never die." It seems that the title of this song, "Vincent" isn't an allegory for anything. Believe it or not, it's actually a song about tortured soul and art auction superstar Vincent van Gogh. I wonder if it contains the lyric, "I cut my ear off and sent it to a chick." If so, Clay forgot it because he went blank for a second there. The judges pretty strongly disliked it, and Clay offers thanks to tonight's three song per person format. I did like Clay's suit, though.
Now the format has switched. Like when a radio station gets taken over and goes all metal. "Up next on 106.7 The Force.Dokken! Then, even more Dokken! And don't miss the wacky shenanigans of Dave and Metalhead Mike in the morning!" Randy picks out a Burt Bacharach song for Kimberley. Good. It'll be nice to finally hear one of Burt's tunes on this show. Kimberley has reprised her Plenty O' Necklaces look for this number. It's important to keep the neck warm when you're doing a sweet ballad. But it wasn't enough, as the judges were left somewhat cold.
In the audience, Quentin Tarantino applauds heartily. I don't know what he's doing there, but if the show features some ultra violence and starts moving in non-linear time, you'll know Quentin is the show's new director. Maybe he's just looking for a catchy song for the Kill Bill soundtrack.
After Ryan and Simon argue for a bit about who loves being on camera more, finally settling at a draw, Simon informs us that he has chosen "Smile" for Ruben because Ruben has a smile. I like the literalism. This song is taking Ruben's back to his comfort zone, and he's doing a nice job with it. I assume that his diagonal shirt pocket is quite comforting as well. The judges liked the return to form and Quentin T. throws up a shout out to the 205.
We come back and Paula has chosen "Mack the Knife" for Clay because it oozes coolness, much like Clay himself. She also argues that if he can perform this Vegas lounge classic well, he'll never be thought of as a lounge singer again. But you know what? I kinda like Clay's performance. It's a rule of thumb that everybody looks good in a tuxedo, and I'd like to see the return of the crooner days. The girls in the audience fall for the song and the judges loved it too.
Kimberley says for the Contestant's Choice (clever name!) segment of the show, she's picking a song that's very significant to her. "Inseparable" has a lot of meaning to Kimberley because she hopes that one day that's what she and I will be. Kim is wearing an outfit just like her last one, only with different colors, and it's possible that the familiar threads helped her turn out such a good effort. The judges loved it, and Simon says they have three good singers this year, which wasn't the case last year.
Ruben has picked "If Ever You Were In My Arms Again." I imagine that in Ruben's arms, most people would look like a newborn. He's huge! On another note, I've discovered that I love saying Peabo. Peabo! Peabo! Why can't Peabo Bryson and Picabo Street have a kid and name it Peapod? That would be awesome! Ruben busts out the mic stand, and Idol historians know that means a good performance is on deck. He's untouchable with that thing! Sure enough, Ruben is smooth and Rubenesque.
As Clay explains what his third song is going to be tonight, I can't help but notice that his hair matches his orange shirt. What coordination! Clay comes out and does a little Righteous Brothers, and I must say that I like the whole suit angle. People are too sloppy these days. Bring back the days of gray flannel suits and fedoras on everybody, I say! We were drab, but we were sharp, and every guy looks cool taking off his fedora, putting it on a hat rack by the door and asking for a whiskey. It's a sartorial revolution, brothers! The revolution will be tailored! The judges loved Clay.
Over on the retro futuristic barstools, Ryan holds up a sign that somebody painted to show their affection for Clay. According to their artistic interpretation, Clay was recently run over by a steamroller. It's not exactly Sunflowers. Then Ryan points out that Brooke Burke is in the audience. Hey, here's a cunning observation for you: she's hot. And the sighting is made all the sweeter by the fact that we don't have to listen to her talk about some bar in Belize being "awesome."
We're back again and a bunch of people are scurrying away. In the Red Room, Ryan mentions the discovery that Kimberley's zipper was open during her song. Not exactly up there with the Curies discovering radium, but still, it's all I look for during the summary montage. Ryan closes up the show, and a sign in the audience lets us know that some gal thinks, "Clay gets hotter every week!" I assume there's a law of diminishing returns on that, right? If not, Clay will keep getting hotter and hotter until he approaches Jonathan Taylor Thomas levels of hotness. JTT, where you been lately, buddy?!
Anyhoo, the show is over and now the Recap is as well. Perhaps next week we'll sign a sign in the crowd proclaiming, "The Recap gets worse every week!"