You'll have to forgive me if the recap isn't up to speed right away. My brain needs some recovery time after I spent the last 72 hours buying mattresses, love seats, recliners, used cars and such. I'm not entirely sure I even need a second flat panel TV in the bedroom, but with these amazing Presidents' Day Blowout Sale prices, how can you say no?!
So we've spent the last few weeks messing around, having a good laugh at the clueless, as is our wont, and basically frittering away the sands of the hourglass. But now we get serious. So serious, in fact, that Idol has added a third night of fun. Sure, a cynic might point out that a third night of Idol is better than a single night of Luis. Or Quintuplets. Or Meth & Red. Or Tru Calling with special guest stars Jason Priestley and Tamyra Gray. But look, nobody likes cynics. And the point is, now that the audition process is over, this show is in our hands! Well, mainly your hands since I never vote.
But things do get more serious for me as well. Especially after I interviewed all 24 of these scamps last week and grew attached to one or two of them. Sure, I immediately forgot about some, but it's going to be tough for me to keep ragging on the people that I know are at least basically decent human beings. Please, pity me! I need it!
Ryan, surrounded by darkness and jolly audience members, welcomes us to the show. What's different this year? No Dramatic Dan! Yet. The stage, once again, is ringed with seats on three sides. Most people will have a terrific view of each contestant's calves. And anybody who doesn't like people standing behind them is in real trouble on this stage. They'll be spinning around like a paranoid mess.
After Ryan brags about the 100 million viewers that Idol has had so far this season, he tells us "You can dig it." Dig what now? Whassa? Then he throws it to the house band, which seemingly has been taken straight from a Vegas lounge where they play semi-funky versions of all your favorite standards. You haven't lived until you've heard "My Way" with a sax thrown into the mix.
Our fine host explains that this year, the finals are going to have six guys and six girls. How very...even.
Starting things off tonight is Nikko "The Hat" Smith. Like Meg Griffin, the top of Nikko's head is a complete mystery. We're sure that it exists, we just have no idea what it looks like. The judges liked Nikko's effort, but Simon predicts that we'll forget about him. Man, who could forget that fresh Boyz II Men '92 style?!
Next up is Scott Savol, who knows that stripes are slimming. And so is a tiny, tiny beard. I wonder if those white cuffs are a separate entity from his shirt. Like you just wrap them around any shirt that you feel needs just a touch more pizzazz. Scott croons that "You are my lady," and some big haired chick back in Cleveland swoons. The judges were just okay with the song. It certainly didn't blow the massive brooch off of Paula. Good thing, or she might've lost her canvas pashmina. Ryan then feebly takes a shot at Simon in an effort to cheer up Scott, but it doesn't work. On anybody in the country.
We come back from a break and Ryan explains the new format to us once more. Change is good, people! Change led to the humble hamburger becoming the mighty cheeseburger becoming the all-powerful bacon cheeseburger. Soon, the lobster burger. Anyway, young Anthony Fedorov starts singing, and we can see that the Idol fashion police haven't done much sprucing up. Mostly because he brought his own slick hair and suits to Hollywood. I guess after three seasons, the kids have finally figured it out. The wardrobe and makeup teams can't do anything to Anthony but laser blast his eyes and wait fifteen years for him to grow a wispy beard. Singing before a background designed by Successories, Anthony isn't able to inspire the judges. Ryan then placates Anthony from the judges' mean old comments. He loves them kids!
I'm a little surprised Bo was allowed to enter the Idol competition. I figured that being the former lead singer of Creed would've disqualified him, but what do I know? Nothing. On another note, I think if Bo makes it all the way to the final two, it's possible we'll get to hear the entire Allman Brothers catalog. Yes, I'm talking about "Melissa", "Jessica" AND "Elizabeth Reed." You hear that organ? That's Southern fried, son! I even like Bo's urban camouflage shirt. Clap, people, clap! Randy, wearing a snappy windbreaker, loves Bo Bice. Paula and Simon love Bo Bice. And I officially decide that both first and last names must be used at all times when referring to Bo Bice. It's not a nickname, exactly, but it's still awesome.
Is that...is that a spider on Ryan's shirt? Or is it a pinecone? Hmm. Oh, and don't miss Stars Without Makeup! See? Famous people are just as ugly as you are! Congratulations! After that happy little break, Travis delivers the first tucked in shirt of the night. Now we all know why he's named Tucker. Oh! Yeah, I totally went there! Zowch! Of course, it seems like the tuck from Tucker is restricting any possibility of an energetic performance. At least he'll ace that job interview at the bank.
You know, I take it back about Ryan's shirt. That is definitely a dreidel with rose on top. Look, I just know the what's, not the whys. Constantine comes out and opts for the mic stand for his performance. Probably so he can swing it around like the wild rock star we all seem to think he is. As for the song, well, any rock star worth his salt should be able to crank out a good power ballad every now and then. Whether they're wanted dead or alive or not. But the judges don't love it. I wonder if Constantine is going to sneak into Bo's room late one night and cut Bo's hair off. He may not need to, since he's coasting on charisma right now.
Now we have David Brown. Between David, Bo Bice, Constantine and Anwar, it's hard to tell which guy this year has the most high maintenance hair. It's something that we're all going to have to think about. David, already wearing a championship belt, tiptoes through his song like everybody else has tonight. Why is everybody so afraid to let it loose? Upbeat songs only, people! That's what everybody wants to hear. That's what puts people over the top! Nobody cares about your ballad chops! The judges felt that David was only average. Didn't they see how long his shirt was? That thing is well above average.
Jared Yates! JY! Um...JY! Jared is wearing both a puka shell necklace and a chain wallet. Is he a cheery frat guy or a street tough? Time will tell, I suppose. The judges complain about Jared's song choice. At least three of the remaining four contestants swallow hard after hearing that. "Uh, is it too late for me to change to something up tempo?"
Ryan Seacrest on a stool, ladies and gentlemen! Which brings us to Anwar. On a stool. Moon River? Seriously. Dang, man. Throw off that waffle jacket and give us some pep! Anwar does indeed turn it up at the end and the judges give their approval.
Next up is Judd Harris, which sounds like the name of a discount store. "Hey, I like your red velvet pants, guy." "Thanks. Got them at Judd Harris. Twenty bucks. Got these water glasses, too." Anyway, the judges like Judd's song. Then we have Joseph Murena. On a stool. Unfortunately for Joseph, he's on the wrong end of the boy band trend. It's really too bad for his band, 9+2-6=5, which he left back on Long Island to join Idol. The judges seem to mildly like it, and that's good enough for me!
Finally! We're almost done! Mario Vazquez. Not MAR-ee-oh vaz -KEZ. Are you telling me that hat doesn't come with its own piece of breakdancing cardboard? Mario is dressed like an extra from Mean Streets. Or the 1970s movie set in New York of your choice. The judges love Mario. That's MAIR-ee-oh. So the key, it seems, it to cover as much of the stage as you can, like Mario did. Touch all six points of the hexagon if possible, and you will meet with success.
So that's twelve performances tonight. And twelve tomorrow. And ten next Monday. I...whew.