So, heard any big news lately? No? Nothing interesting at all? Well, I got some big news for you then. I just picked New Mexico to upset North Carolina in the third round of the tourney. Roy Williams just can't coach in March! Remember you heard that upset here first, friends!
Ryan, imposing an unprecedented level of seriousness on his intro, first congratulates the American public for being able to use a phone to vote, then says we picked this Final 12. So...no complaining yet, I guess. Then Ryan disappears, only to immediately reappear behind the all-new, double door backdrop that swings open like...like...um, like your loving arms. Greeted by the always enthusiastic, always whooing crowd, Ryan smiles for the first time this season. And those teeth are still as white as white.
Oh, oh, oh. I forgot! There was some other news this week! Mario left the show for personal reasons and Nikko rejoined the show because he had more votes than Travis last week. Ok. Got it? Let's move forward.
Then we're treated to a delightfully scripted moment backstage that explains this week's theme is '60s music, a completely new genre for Idol. I was starting to think the theme was leather motorcycle jackets, but I guess that's just Bo Bice and Connie.
Jessica Sierra is up first. Yep, that's her all right. The flowers on the garage door backdrop match the little flower on her jacket. This show really has the little details all worked out! Although Jessica doesn't have all of the details of her song worked out. Randy wasn't blown away, Paula tries to cheer her up and Simon gets booed for the first time this season. Ah, that takes me back.
Next up, playing the role of Neo tonight, is Anwar Robinson. If they wanted to match the backdrop to Anwar's cheery outfit, they could just unplug it and let it go blackMan, Anwar is REALLY slowing it down tonight. I mean, this is way, way, way down tempo. Like listening to a 45 at 33 speed. How's that for an up to date pop culture reference for you? Next up, a bit on steno machines versus inverse printing presses! Randy, being well familiar with Krogmann's axiom, wanted something a little more upbeat. Paula loved it and Simon loves Anwar's voice enough to have liked tonight's performance, but he also wanted a little more. Geez. Celebrities. Always wanting more.
After a break, Ryan stands next to a woman dressed like it's still the '60s to remind us of this week's theme. Mikalah Gordon is up next and, despite having an entire week to prepare, still couldn't find a shirt long enough to reach her pants. Despite all the walking around the stage this nice, new stage! the judges weren't impressed by Mikalah. She tries to charm her way out of the situation, but...well...you know what? Let's just end it right here.
Connie Maroulis, sporting two symmetrical rips in his pants, is the next to take the stage. Those pants are so, so rock, man! Um, I don't really have anything else to add to this. Ooh! Big last note! Okay, judges? Would you mind doing my job for me? Each judge says they loved it. So, um, I got nothing here.
Do you think Seacrest hates Ty Pennington and thinks he's a hack? Or do you think those two and Carson Daly get together for dinner all the time? I'm just wondering. Lindsey Cardinale is a little worried that the '60s theme might be tough for her because she was born in the '80s. I think I'm just going to assume Lindsey needed something to say there and couldn't think of anything else. I really hope what she said wasn't actually true. Hey, where's the lightning on the back drop during this song? Or at least a two-by-four. I thought they had all the little details worked out. After advising us repeatedly to knock on wood, Lindsey awaits the judges' thoughts. They weren't so good, knock on wood. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Ladies, when you tie something around your neck, your performance is doomed.
Now, from mighty Ukraine, Anthony Fedorov! Anthony, dressed for a sales conference in Scottsdale, is singing "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." It's a song that he believes he connects to spiritually. I guess that means he cries whenever a chick dumps him. Randy, however, doesn't think that Anthony connected to the song in any conceivable way, likening it to something he could've seen in any hotel anywhere in the country. Like, say, after a sales conference in Scottsdale wrapped up for the day. Simon says he wants to put things in perspective and Anthony, Paula, Anthony's family, half of America and the northern coast of the Black Sea all cringe. And with good reason. Simon says that Anthony's performance was like Jack in sales trying to sing at the office Christmas party and sending everybody running for the punch. On another floor. So, you know, some bad news for Anthony in fiscal 2005.
Nadia Turner is going to sing "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me." The song was released in 1966 and the title finished being released in 1967. Hey-o! Jay Leno, let's see you top that! I didn't even have to bring in Brad Garrett or Carrot Top to do it! I can do my own hack work! I like how Nadia hemmed her dress, then saved the trimmings for a snappy little wrist scarf. That, my friends, is efficiency. Like how early tribes used every part of the buffalo. Nadia belts out the ends of her song, then stands defiantly at the front of the stage like she knows she just threw down the gauntlet. The judges, of course, loved it. By the way, Nadia and Seacrest are about the same height, but much like Irwin R. Fletcher, she gains four inches with the afro.
Bo Bice! Did Bo Bice shave his chest hair into an iron cross? That would be an all-timer. Or is that just a henna tattoo? What is happening on his breastbone? Even though he's wearing leather pants, Bo Bice's mobility isn't hampered in the least. He jumps off the stage, struts across some mystery platform in the audience, the springs back on stage. He puts Eddie Vedder's wall climbing in the "Alive" video to shame.
It's Vonzell Solomon's turn. Somewhere, Tenia Taylor is thinking, "I was as good as this girl!" Somewhere, Tenia Taylor is wrong. Vonzell's dress is pretty enough, but it apparently completely arrests any possible mobility. Or maybe she has a huge brace on her knee and is just hiding it with satin. Randy and Paula liked it fine enough, but Simon, as always, wants more! More! More! Give me more!
Scott Savol is going to sing "Ain't Too Proud To Beg." The Temptations version, not the TLC version. You know, I like Scott. He seems like a super nice guy. But every time he wears a suit, he looks like he's at an NFL post-game conference. Like he bought Michael Irvin's old suit at a charity auction or something. The judges were pleasantly surprised by Scott's effort tonight. Hey! Marines! Maybe Josh Gracin is replacing Mario rather than Nikko.
Time for Carrie Underwood, whose song barely made it into the '60s time frame. Eh, let's not nitpick. Let's love! Wearing the most expensive scarf in the world (spun from pure 24k gold! Retail $975,000), Carrie performs her countrified version of whatever song she has countrified this week. "When Will I Be Loved?" I believe. Randy and Paula weren't that impressed, but Simon thinks it's good that Carrie at least knows who she is.
Ah, Nikko Smith. Singing "I Want You Back," and yes, that is a symbolic choice. And even better than singing "You Made A Big Mistake And Got Lucky I Returned" by The O'Jays. Hmm. It looks like Nikko came back in such a hurry that they only had time to measure his suit and chalkmark it, but not actually tailor it. Maybe next week. Performing in front of the original set from Press Your Luck, Nikko struts through his song. Randy and Paula welcome Nikko back with open arms, but Simon welcomes him back with crossed arms and a frown.
Another show in the books. We did it, people, we did it!