Two more hours tonight. Last week was two hours as well. I was sweaty, I was shaking, but I was funny! That's how comic heroes do it. Although I must admit that if I feel woozy tonight, I'm just laying down with a cold compress and you can ask your cousin what happened towards the end.
Here we go, America! Seacrest starts the show with a little spring in his step and a little rhyming jag. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO! We're showing our appreciation for the start of the show! We're a live audience! WHOOOOOOOOO! Seacrest asks the audience if they're nervous about clapping in front of 30 million people. No, we're not! Whoooooo!
Then Seacrest tells us tonight's theme is country before trotting out the show ponies. I look for Josh Gracin to shine tonight. Oh. Wait. Seacrest introduces the judges and Randy gets an Arsenio bark from the crowd. Umm...good. Go with that! Tonight we're going to learn a little bit more about our finalists. I thought it was all covered in the pieces last week, but no. Here's Diana singing as a little squirt. So here Diana goes. Since it's country night, she'll be sitting for the song. For a little bit, at least. Now she's standing. Now she's walking over there. Diana finishes, and you know what? It was good and the judges liked it. Out in the crowd, somebody holds up a sign reading, "Simon who?" Um, Simon Cowell. He sits up front there. Eh, never mind.
Welcome back! Here's Steve Young! Fun fact: Steve Young has won a Super Bowl. Steve stands up, cracks on Simon and his work is done here. Moving on, here's baby George Huff. And here's adult George Huff. And here's George Huff dressed up as a British guy. Before George sings, Seacrest grabs a man's hat and dons it. Now, I'm not from Texas, but I'm sure that breaks a whole set of cowboy etiquette. He's all hat and no cattle! I don't know what that means, but I heard it once and maybe it's appropriate here. Or maybe not. Anyway, back to George and his not quite country/adult pop song. It's nice. And the background is on fire for some reason. Hey, if you give George a chance, he can love you like that. Like...a guy in Shaft's leather jacket might.
Now, how about Fantasia Barrino? How about her, indeed? And how about little Fantasia? She's smaller! Fantasia's going to knock out some real country now. Some Willie.. Fantasia gives a nice performance that makes Simon thirsty. It comes to a close and we wait for the results. Very factual recap tonight, you know? I'm trying to conserve energy for the stretch drive. Somebody in the audience holds up a "Fan of 'Tasia" sign. Simon tries to interject some thoughts, but gets shouted down once again. At least he's still trying. Like myself, he hasn't given up in the face of tremendous adversity. Fantasia tells Simon that he has no class, which strikes me as odd because I thought all British cats had class. Haven't you seen "King Ralph"? Ryan takes us into the break by telling us he has to re-dye his hair. So...does he dye just so he can be self-effacing about it later? Machiavellian!
We're back, and Ryan is talking about the big screen there. Man, I covered that puppy last week. Of course, I can't command it to show Pong and kissing at will, so he's a leg up on me once more. The fun ends and Ryan introduces "teeny, tiny" John Stevens, who is about three inches taller than Seacrest. Hey, did you know John had red hair as a kid too? Shazam! John is going to sing "King of the Road!" Now we're talking old school country! Beautiful! Throw in some Charley Pride and some Hank Williams and we're having a good party. But then John Stevens forgets the words and looks for them on the giant screen we were just talking about. The judges didn't mind. Paula figures most people didn't even notice he forgot the words. Not until Randy pointed it out, I guess. So that was nice. Regardless, the judges all liked it. So if you'd like to vote for John, please don't forget what his number is.
During the break, a promo clues me in that Jason Priestley is now on Tru Calling, and he plays a dead guy. Or a guy that died but still walks around. Or something. But it's good to see that guy that stole Kelly from Dylan getting back in the game again. And that the burns haven't gone anywhere. Camile is up next. According to the preview piece, Camile's family likes her. Very nice. Desperado. Anyway, Camile also pulls the start off sitting and finish standing move that is apparently very big in country these days. Even though The Eagles aren't country. Camile, I dig your Jamaican wristband but the judges didn't dig your performance so much tonight. Well, there's always next week. Hopefully.
Before the break, Steven Cojocaru invades the house and redresses the kids. He raves about how each kid has their own individual personality, then says Amy is "Kelly Osborne meets Sandra Dee." So...her individual personality is the personality of two others? You lost me, sport. Moving on.
Back from the break and Seacrest is giving detailed texting instructions to two chicks, one of whom is Australian. Gold. I could make a snarky comment here, but I think it's pretty much been taken care of for me. Jennifer Hudson, you now. No time for full sentences! Jennifer straightened her hair tonight, I guess so it would match her long leather jacket. Then she does the Huff during his song, bobbing up and down in time with the music. Do the Huff! Big finish and...pose! Randy was okay with the song, but digs the hair. I'm right there with you, brother man. Simon, he didn't like it so much. And you know what, Simon? Boooooooooooo! Take that, Simon! Twice! Kaplow!
Next up is Jon Peter Lewis. Seacrest introduces JPL as JPL which means he's finally reading the recaps, because I invented the whole initials thing. JPL is going to perform some Kenny Rogers tonight, perhaps in tribute to the greatest website that doesn't feature me, Men Who Look Like Kenny Rogers. JPL, using a double grip to make sure that the mic doesn't fall out of his hand, turns out a performance befitting his wonderful hair. And people clap. Not the judge people, mind you. People people.
Now we have a little Jasmine. Is she going to do some Hawaiian country? Maybe some Cash with a little Jack de Mello influence? That would be all kinds of sweet. Faith Hill? Faith Hill's not country. She's housewife pop. But this is about Jasmine, so pipe down, Negative Nellies. The song comes to a close, which pleases the judges. They weren't so down with it tonight. Mahalo!
We're back! Well, the show's back. Here's little Matt Rogers. Most parents give up the sink bath when the kid doesn't fit anymore. But I admire the determination. Man, those are two big brothers. I wonder if the mom is like 5", 96 lbs. Matt is performing a song by Lone Star tonight. Only one man would dare jam my radar with raspberry. Lone Star! Between Matt and the pleasing clouds background, I'm suddenly feeling very inspired. I'm going to change my life for the better! And then the world! Oh...wait...okay, it passed. Never mind. Matt finishes his song and the ladies in the house go, "Hooooo!" The judges in the house go, "Ho!" Not bad in all. If you ignore Simon, that is, who seemingly wanted to go home early.
Hey, there's Josh Gracin! And he has a new album coming out! How serendipitous! See? He will shine tonight! Golly, I'm smart. Well, Josh, see ya. It's time for La(space)Toya. La(space)Toya raves about her athletic side seconds before missing a racquetball by three feet. Nice. Hey! She's in the crowd! Can she do that? Well, she's doing it, Buster, so deal with it! Man, those lyrics are coming fast. La(space)Toya, she ain't going down, 'til the sun comes up. That is party dedication and the judges respect that!
Before the break, we see the kids learning line dancing from the legendary cowpoke Maria del Giorgio. This way, that way, then this way again, then over there and that's pretty much it, get in a fight and that's pretty much a quality night out at the roadhouse. Now, you might be thinking hey, they didn't use any of these moves tonight. No they didn't. Cunning observation, pal.
Closing out the night will be Amy Adams. No relation to...well, anybody, really. That was going nowhere. As a wee one, Amy pronounced "music" as "oogets." Interestingly, she pronounced "nougat" as "building." We also find out that if Amy can't give you shoes, she'll give you music. Either way, you'll have a good birthday this year. More of the fast singing! I'm falling behind! It's like "The Bumblebee Song." Amy finishes and the audience claps as fast as they can to keep the moment alive. Randy, having a moment of clarity, realizes this is Amy's thing. But Simon, he didn't get it. He claims he doesn't know what to say, which everybody takes as some sort of compliment. Even though, you know, not so much.
So that's it. A rollicking good time was had by many.