Just three hours of Idol this week. Sure, you think that's a lot. That's a long movie, you say. And you're right. But last week had four hours. The week before had five. So I hope you can figure out a way to fill the other 168 hours in the week. Sleeping will take up about 56, and rewatching my interview will be another one, but you're basically on your own for 111 hours this week. Good luck coping with that.
Oh, before we get started, on Thursday, I was trying to think of clever new ways to say a girl was in the bottom three. While I succeeded wildly in that venture, I said one of the girls was in the bottom 1.67 + 1.34 = 3.01. Of course, those two numbers actually equal 3.01. I guess my mental calculator rounded up 1.66666666 to 1.67. My brain is highly efficient, you know?
This week, Ryan Seacrest is wearing an skinny tie with ultra-skinny lapels. He looks like Stiles in Teen Wolf. Put a keytar in his hands and I will completely believe it's 1985 again. Ryan then has the ladies run upstairs because he loves to watch women exercise. Then he introduces the judges. Then he stumbles over his transition to the next piece. Somebody uses regular-sized lapels as a crutch!
This week, we'll find out secret details about each girl. Ooh! Juicy! Paris tells us that she's a tomboy. Eh, I think I could've guessed that. That was no blockbuster. Wearing a dress that can best be described as Cuban Blue, Paris tries to organize a conga line inside the Idol studios. Nobody joins in, but Paris forges ahead with the song anyway. An upbeat song, mind you! Looks like the contestants have been reading from old Jaded's playbook! Randy tells Paris that her problem might be that she's too good. He wants her to keep pushing herself. Like he's a high school coach trying get the most out of his best player, who doesn't like practice because the game comes to him so naturally. Paula and Simon tells Paris to just wait until the top 5 to really get going. Or something like that.
Lisa loves Jimi Hendrix. Okay, I'm just going to go ahead and assume the other six secrets will be yawners too. Weak! Uh oh. Slow song. Looks like Lisa didn't log in last week for my secret recipe. Is this basically the same dress Paris was wearing? Minus the jeans, of course? I like how the pattern centers her stomach, though. Very good for balance! Hmm. Well, that wasn't bad. It was about as exciting as Lisa's secret love of Hendrix. Randy says about the same thing. Wow! Did you see how much Lisa looks like her mom? They're twins! Neat! Paula and Simon both think Lisa has tons of talent, but maybe a little too much polish and too much safety. But, like Paris, she doesn't have to worry about it. Yet. They're still separating chaff. Lest anybody in America think Lisa randomly - or intentionally - chose a horrible song, Seacrest gives Lisa a chance to defend herself. It's nice to see somebody care that much.
Melissa is a gearhead. And hey, who thinks somebody with that husky of a voice is a girly girl? I would say approximately nobody. Lisa is glammed up like the hottest girl in a small town tonight. And her belly is back for another go round this week. Randy and Paula loved it, but Simon thinks that's the end for Melissa. Too bad, because I finally got her name down. Randy and Paula disagree, but Simon may have a point. I mean, I barely noticed her singing. It couldn't have been that good. I hope Melissa sticks around, though, because she's going to need five days to get all that mascara off, and flying back home would just get in the way.
This close up, Kathy McP looks like Cathy ZJ. Cathy Zeta-Jones, that is. Maybe Katharine McPhee will also marry a 70-year old. After gossiping like two friends getting their nails done with Katharine, Ryan introduces Kinnik. Um. Huh. Maybe...uh...next time he could talk to Kinnik before her song. Kinnik tries to surprise us with the information that she likes chitlins. Sigh. Come on! Everybody in the South eats chitlins! Bucky eats 'em! Kellie eats 'em! Then they turn their noses up at pork belly. I want a real secret! Hey, you know what? I've been running on this whole time and ignoring that Kinnik is actually doing pretty good. Or was doing pretty good, at least. Randy liked the first quarter of the performance, then squirmed through the rest of it. Paula agrees with that assessment. Simon agrees with his partners, tells Kinnik to go eat some chitlins and things get really, really awkward. The music starts playing in a desperate attempt to bring Seacrest to the stage. Kinnik agrees that she was sharp. Perhaps her cowgirl shirt was cinched off too tightly.
Now that's it Katharine's turn, will Ryan gossip with Kinnik? Ryan mentions that his family loves americanidol.com. But believe me, there's one section they make an effort to avoid. Do I have the McPhever? Good god. No, Ryan, I do not. I thought we decided after last year you were going to stop making up horrible nicknames. It's just not your thing. Sending the show to commercial, that's your thing. So Katharine is taking on Aretha, and spotting her 200 pounds. This...um...let's see. I like Kathy a lot. I want her to like me a lot. But this feels like...karaoke night at Kappa Sig. Judges? Well, Randy loved it. Shows you what I know. Paula loved it. And Simon thought it was effortlessly fantastic. Hmm. Maybe the sound mix is off tonight. Or maybe I just don't know music. Jeff Mangum doesn't have a great voice and I like him, so maybe it is me. Oh no. This McPhever thing is going to stick. And Kathy's going to be around for awhile. We're going to have to hear this over and over every week. Sigh.
Ryan, having loosened his tie after a tough day at the office, introduces Ayla. Ayla's secret is that she thought her dad was Elvis. Even though her name was Brown. Well, I guess when you're life is perfectly planned, you have to embellish embarrassing moments. What is this song? Is it religious rock? It sounds terrible. But Ayla's singing is pretty good, I'll have to give her that. Randy thinks this wasn't a great song selection. Backstage, Ayla's campaign manager immediately fires three people in a blind rage. Paula commemorates Ayla for her hard work, dancing around the actual performance. When Paula points out that Ayla has giant shoes on, Ayla happily points out she's the tallest person in the show. Another thing she's the best at! Height! Simon thought Ayla was good, not fantastic. But he still thinks she's too rehearsed.
Chaka! Chaka Khan! Chaka! Chaka! Chaka Khan! Okay, now here we go. Now something is happening. This is energy! This is pizzazz! This is...Mandisa! Just ask her, she's the one. Of course, I have nothing to say about this because it's so good. So I'll just here until it's over. Randy calls it the best female performance of the season and declares Mandisa to be the one to beat. Paula can't believe how much she loved it. Simon thinks Mandisa made the other girls look like junk. Mandisa tells Ryan she's performed that song many times in her shower and Ryan tries to ad lib. Um, well, things go better when he gets back on script.
Kellie Pickler is rounding out the show. If her big secret has something to do with food, either something she's eaten or never eaten, I'm officially protesting this segment. Kellie tells us she loves dog and misses her dog. Wow. What a blockbuster that is. I'm glad we're finally open enough as a society where people feel comfortable admitting they liked dog. We've come so far. Hey! The broiler is back. I figured Chris Daughtry retired this after his performance. Why is Kellie on her knees? Did something happen? What's going on here? Is that some symbolic gesture to her dog? And why is she yelling the song? Randy liked it, mostly because of the dog pandering. Paula liked it, mostly because of the dance pandering. Simon liked it, mostly because of the minx pandering. Surprisingly, Kellie has no idea what that means. Maybe that could be her new secret. Simon says he maybe even prefers Kellie to Carrie, as if only one Southern blond can occupy his universe at a time. Ryan asks Kellie if she ate anything new today. She says yes, a salmon. Okay, first, they have salmon in North Carolina. It's a fish, not some exotic Asian spice. Second, I find it completely believable that Kellie ate an entire salmon with her bare hands. Not just a steamed filet or anything.
So that's the gals. Tomorrow, the gents. A nice factual close for you.