Okay, first off, let me address the debacle that is Will Sparks. Will is my candy-eating cousin that moved out to Los Angeles last year to become a publicist to the stars. But what he does mostly is follow me around, begging to be introduced to my celebrity friends. "I wanna meet Willie Aames! Ooh! Introduce me to Justin Guarini! He's not doing anything, he's just sitting there eating lobsters!" Basically, I hate Will.
But last week I had to dart out of town on some bidness, leaving the Wednesday recap slot wide open. I briefly considered leaving it blank that day so those of you who take me for granted might realize just how good you have it. But instead I decided to turn the reins over to Will. Partially to fill the void and partially to make him finally realize he's useless and maybe it's time to take his Up With People, pie in the sky attitude back to Dubuque. As I expected, the column was a disaster. But now I'm back and ready to rock even harder than I usually do.
The show starts off and I see that it hasn't changed in the last week. So that's good. Ryan is looking very stripey tonight. Is that how that sweater is supposed to be, or did it come back from the cleaners that way? The world may never know. Anyway, he wonders if somebody in group three is your next American Idol. Well, I imagine there's a 25% chance, but let's not saddle the show with math. This group contains the very bendy Elizabeth Letendre and seven other people who have their own characteristics.
Ryan says that Simon needs to follow our advice in the hair department and the audience goes "Oh, snap! No he didn't!" I don't get it. Simon has nice, incredibly disciplined hair. Maybe this is a very, very, very inside joke.
Elizabeth starts off with the proclamation that she wants to dance with somebody. She's a dance instructor! Get it? Sigh. Maybe it's just a coincidence. Elizabeth's performance contained no splits, no Diamond David Lee Roth style leg kicks, no hurdler's stretches, no nothing. I feel let down. But Randy and Paula really liked her spunky energy and singing and dancing, so who cares what I think? Nobody, that's who! Simon, on the other hand, liked the singing but hated the moving around, so next time Elizabeth should stand perfectly still on the stage. Backstage with Ryan, we see idolonfox.com on the monitor over Bethy's shoulder. And while you're there, check out my interview with Fantasia! It's HI-larious. (Cheap plug alert! After the fact, though.)
Next up is Eric Yoder, a commercial flyboy. His intro piece dangerously ventures into that self-sustained Idol universe area when everybody mentions that Eric is kinda like Clay and needs to avoid being kinda like Clay. Eric has a nice enough voice, but during the two drumbeats, snaps his head to the side. I have a feeling that MAYBE Simon won't take to that sassy move. Well, Simon never mentions it, but he does say that Eric is like Clay, but without the personality. Eric, without moving a single muscle in his face, dryly retorts that "I have a lot of personality."
Next up is Amy Adams, who is ably filling the role of Saucy Pink-Haired Girl this season. It's like Jason Alexander playing Bialystock in the L.A. version of The Producers. The faces change, but the roles remain the same. And another thing is...hey, wait a minute, she's singing. And it's pretty nice. And the audience whooooooos for it, so she's got that going for her. The judges all liked her voice, but Simon thinks she might be a little cabaret. Look, I like cabaret. It's a good, full-bodied wine. Wait, that's cabernet. Yeah, that's right. I said it. And no, I have no shame.
A little time for stretching and snacking and then we're back with Jon Peter Lewis. He seems just a touch nervous, which is too bad because I know that JP is good people. At least to me. Randy didn't mind it, Paula didn't really like it and...man, this won't be nice. Simon tells him to just forget about it. He points out that his voice is a like a cartoon character's, which is an awesome compliment. If this show was on Cartoon Network.
Now we have Charly Lowry, who has...a...very...deep...voice. (Read that with your own deep voice, if you will. This column is now interactive!) If I have to interview Charly this week, my shrill, girly voice will sound even more ridiculous next to hers. Charly wants us to notice her for how she sings, not how she taw-liks, so listen up. You know, her flamenco dress adds a little jazz to the whole thing. Randy didn't like Charly's pitch, and I still don't know what that means. I know it's bad, though. Paula and Simon weren't wowed by this particular performance either. Did they even look at the dress?! Then Simon and Paula kiss. Hey, I've been there before. On both sides.
That brings us to the...Flyin' Hawaiian, Jonah Moananu. Smilin' Hawaiian? I don't know. I need something that rhymes here. Cryin'? Highland? Beguilin'? That's it! The Beguilin' Hawaiian. It's not all that accurate, but it rhymes and that's good enough for me. Jonah, wearing the largest puka shells known to man, does his little number and leaves Randy wanting a little more. And left Simon wanting a lot more.
So, Leah LaBelle, what will you show us? Can you continue your family's legacy of pop stars? In America, I mean, not in Vladivostok. The lace-up cocktail dress is a good start. The leggings underneath are a step back, but the big voice is a step forward, so we're all even. Randy isn't so sure...that...well, I don't really know what he thought about it. Paula loved it. Simon says she's like a ripped dress. Disappointing? On sale as is? Oh. Almost perfect. And the best tonight. Aw, that's nice.
Lastly tonight we have La Toya London. In her intro piece, La Toya seems to be a little reserved and understated. Which means I'm expecting a huge voice out of her. The quiet little girl in the corner who can really bring it. And once again, I'm right. The judges fall over themselves complimenting La Toya and I fall all over myself complimenting my prediction.
So there's our show. Now if you'll excuse, I have to go talk my cousin Will off the roof.