So we were blessed with a third night of Idol in a row, this time for the judges to allegedly announce their picks for the 3 wild card slots, after the 8 tortured souls perform. Again, does anyone think the judges haven't already decided and they are basically fucking with the 8 people at this point? No, didn't think so.
Fortunately Randy is not wearing those Shaggy-esque orange tinted glasses that he subjected us to the night before, nor the matching vest. He is, however, wearing a Mr. Rogers-like sweater along his usual big, honking watch and is, again, on the far left of the judges' Table of Righteousness. Paula is questionably attired in a hot pink leopard print dress (no, really) with a matching scarf of equally hot pink. I think we can tell already that Paula has been tippling, just from her choice of clothing. I swear, I think I saw a pet bed at Target made from the exact same pink leopard print material. Kara is wearing naughty librarian attire and Simon (gasp!) is in a blue sweater. Granted, it's sort of a dusty blue with shades of gray, but what? Simon is actually wearing a color other than black, white or gray? Naturally, when the judges are announced, Simon get a few boos from the audience, which causes him to grin because you know secretly he loves being "hated" and even goofy Randy gives out a hearty boo or two which really makes no sense because Randy likes to repeat most everything Simon says.
So we get to see the 8 contestants who are in this current death race for the coveted wild card spots. The camera pans over them, in case we are all too stupid to remember who was announced just 24 hours ago. Or maybe this was done for Paula's benefit. Anyhow . . .
Jesse is up first and in case anyone should forget who she is, Idol plays us a little tape to remind us that she is one of the five thousand single moms who are on Idol this season and Jesse, via video, states how happy she is to be given a second chance and how much she is going to impress us. Which really doesn't matter in the end because the judges are deciding her fate, not gullible America. So Jesse is going to sing "Tell Me Something Good" for us, but really for the judges. And honestly, could there be a better song title for a sing off? She should get brownie points just for that. So she sings and she sounds decent. Not jump out of your seat exciting, not Adam Fucking Lambert prancing around the stage excited, not even Jorge-babbling-in-Spanish excited but she certainly didn't tank. The song is pretty smoky and sultry and Jesse can do that.
So the judges are going to preside over their Table of Righteousness immediately and Kara tells Jesse there were problems in the song but overall Kara liked her presence. Paula pretty much repeats what Kara says, about how she likes Jesse's attitude and I think it's pretty clear that we're not going to get serious, honest evaluations of the performances because the judges have already made up their minds. Sucker I am, though, I will keep watching. Kara and Paula decide to have a conversation between the two of them which apparently doesn't include anyone else about how Jesse brought the sexy in the song. Simon reiterates what everyone already knows, that Jesse was the last minute switcheroo from the night before and he liked her performance but found it a bit self-indulgent because it was more about Jesse than anything else. Well, duh, Simon. Who else should Jesse's performance have been about? If she really wanted to be indulgent, don't you think she would have sung "Jesse's Girl"? Now that would have been nine different types of awesome. So then Paula and Kara have to get their panties in a bunch over Simon's comment because they are contractually obligated to go into a snit over a Simon comment at least four times per episode. Randy doesn't get to say a word. Or if he did, he was overshadowed by the KaPaSi nonsense going on.
Matt the Dueling Piano Player is next and apparently he decided that since he failed trying to sing Chris Martin last time, he would attempt to dress like him. Either that or Jorge's "it's 78 degrees here, it's FREEZING!" has gotten to Matt. So he apologizes for totally fucking up last time and announces that he's going to be singing the Jackson 5's "Who's Loving You". I'm not sure about this until Matt starts singing and I am surprised that it's fairly good. He took the judges' advice and has gone back to his bluesy roots (their words, not mine) and while he doesn't totally growl and blow it out of the box like Alex W-T (Team Alex, fuck yeah!) his voice does sound pretty good and now I can understand why RaKaPaSi brought him back (and not for his fashion sense). Kara thinks Matt can really riff and the way she's eyeing him, I'm thinking she really wants him to riff her and good. She does say it was a bit over the top at times (you think?). Simon tells Matt he was five freaking thousand times better than before but thinks his outfit is total ass and drops the T word - - Taylor Hicks. This sets everyone off, of course, because has any Idol winner been less commercial, relevant and successful than Taylor Hicks? So Seacrest comes out and asks Matt why he chose that particular song and Matt says something kind of irrelevant about how he knows the song and it's in his bones. Kind of like where Kara would like to be. Matt basically says he should have sang it to begin with, versus the Coldplay song, but he fucked up royally and so now he's here. Seacrest grins like a gay monkey on some good crack.
Marlboro Megan is up next and I have to say she reminds me of Crack Barbie, if there was such a thing. (Mattel, feel free to contact me). So she is going to sing "Black Horse and Cherry Tree" and she does that same spastic thing with her arms and legs that is so distracting you almost don't realize how craptacious she sounds. Almost. Is there such a thing as audible rape because if there is, I'd like to press charges, please. Paula thinks Marlboro looks great (Paula is impaired, remember) and she is full of joy, like her name (i.e., Megan Joy Corkrey). She thought the dancing (i.e., randomly spastic arm and leg movements) was great and she thinks Megan is great in general. Absolutely nothing about Marlboro's performance. Simon is next and he tells Marlboro that he likes her, always has and my heart sinks because it's pretty fucking obvious right now that Marlboro is in. She gave an assy performance but the judges aren't going to address that because they've already made up their minds to include her. Despite the fact she can't really sing and what she does croak out sounds suspiciously like Horrendous Allison. I predict neither of these girls will have vocal chords left in a month. So Simon does qualify his remark by saying that Marlboro doesn't give the best vocal performance but this is American Idol so who gives a shit about vocals? Randy . . . well, who cares what Randy said because you know it's the same thing Simon said. Kara beats the dead blonde horse by saying Marlboro is necessary because she's different. Being a cannibal is different too, Kara, but that doesn't mean I'm going to try it.
Von Smith is up next and he looks eagerly terrified. He is going to be singing "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" and if you know this song, you know things did not get better for Von. The beginning was rough - - rough like swallowing a handful of rusty nails, without water, and with swollen glands. Von also makes a whole lot of eagerly terrified faces and manages to get a few shouty shouts in the mix. Simon hated the beginning of the song and worries that Von is beginning to get boring. Despite earlier being told that seriousness was a good thing, now Simon thinks Von is getting too serious and whatever specialness he might have had, it's fucking gone now. Randy thought the song choice was weird and just didn't know about Von's performance. Kara hated the song and thought the entire performance came across as dark. But she does tell Von that he's talented and has what it takes, he just can't make good song choices. Dr. Paula tells Von that through her intense research and study of Von's previous performances she has determined that Von overthinks (something Paula clearly never does) and therefore limits his ability. Von quickly agrees while Paula mentally calculates whether or not, because of this brilliant psychological evaluation of Von, she can now write her own illegal prescriptions. Oh yeah, she also assures Von that he has the vocals and the talent. Which basically means that Von is toast because, as we all know, having vocal ability has absolutely nothing to do with success on American Idol.
Jasmine is now up and she looks like she fell into a Twisted Tie Dye machine on her way to the Idol studio. Her tie dyeish dress is a lovely shade of carnival cotton candy. Yum. Hope Paula doesn't have the munchies. Kind of, sort of taking Kara's earlier advice (stay in the Rihanna mold), Jasmine will be singing Christina Aguilera's "Reflection". I find her entire performance dull and predictable. Okay, I guess girlfriend can sing but there is absolutely nothing energizing or exciting about it. The judges all ridiculously feign surprise at Jasmine's big voice which is really nonsensical because I think even Scott could see a big voice coming a mile away. After all, didn't Kara tell Jasmine the night before that she really had to bring it and wow the judges? It's really early in the season for Kara to be getting as mentally impaired as Paula. Speaking of who, Paula absolutely loved Jasmine's song. Of course she did! It was totally Disney and totally fit into Paula's rainbow-filled world. Simon tells Jasmine a lot of what he told Matt the Piano Player - - she was five freaking thousand times better with this song than she was her last performance. Which, truthfully, isn't saying a whole lot because her last performance was terrible.
Ricky Bobby Braddy is next and he is wearing some of the tightest jeans I think I've seen around these Idol parts. Well, with the exception of Headband Wearing Nathaniel the night before - - I felt my nether regions going numb just watching the screen. Ricky Bobby is going to be singing "Superstition" and Paula is up on her feet and dancing along with Ricky Bobby's singing. The camera pans and also lets us see Anoop, up on the walkway over the stage, getting down with "Superstition". Anoop is so awesome. Ricky Bobby's singing is pretty good and I never would have thought he would pick "Superstition". Simon actually throws some praise Ricky Bobby's way, telling him he has chops but seems a bit offputting. Kara is all about Ricky Bobby, impressed with his song choice and his performance and looking at him like he's a big juicy steak at a Golden Corral buffet. Randy and Paula give Ricky Bobby praise but I'm thinking that he doesn't fit into the 3 they have already selected. Seacrest drives this point home by not even asking Ricky Bobby why he chose that particular song (as he has done with all the others) and doesn't even talk to him at all. Cold, Seacrest.
Here comes the crazy. It's Tatiana and in her annoying video clip she thanks everyone about a million times and repeats how much she loves to sing and how much this means to her. Fuck, if she gets through I will literally have to kill myself at some point during the season.
Seacrest actually gets down on one knee (because he does worship the crazy) and introduces Tatiana, stating that she will be singing "Saving All My Love For You" - - the same song she has sung previously. She is predictably great - - strong voice and not a bum note. She is wearing a bum dress though - - much too short for her frame. Simon gives her a hand to the forehead move after she is done, imitating Tatiana and her drama queen moves. Paula tries to critique her but Tatiana begins to scream and, oh Lord, that crazy scream is back. Paula asks where the newly found Puerto Rican accent Tatiana is sporting tonight came from and Tatiana thought it worked so well for Jorge, she might as well try it too. Both Paula and Simon point out to Tatiana that this was the third time she's sung "Saving All My Love For You" and they are both tired of it. Simon even wonders aloud if Tatiana should make it to the Top 12, will she sing a different version of this song every single week? Tatiana tries to say that she didn't have time to learn a new song as she was only notified Monday about her second chance. Simon calls b.s. on that one and Paula takes Simon to task for interrupting Tatiana. When did this become the Tatiana, Queen of Crazy, show? So Tatiana finally admits that she sang the same song again because she loves it and knows it and basically is too much of a lazy ass to be bothered to choose another song. Randy and Kara think Tatiana is kind of crazy and Kara is grateful that Tatiana isn't acting too crazy right now and Simon says just wait, that shit is coming. So then Seacrest somehow or the other gets Tatiana to get on her knees again on stage while he's standing beside her and it's all kinds of weird, mainly because Seacrest probably isn't used to a woman kneeling beside him.
Anoop is going to wrap up the evening and I am praying with everything I am worth that Anoop totally brings it tonight because I think the judges may try to pull some major shenanigans and only let one male in, to try and even out the male/female ratio. Despite what the producers said. And Matt the Piano Player did pretty freaking good so Anoop needs to be on fire. So he's wearing a totally awesome bright blue shirt and looks much more comfortable than he did the night before when he seriously looked like he was going to be facing a firing squad. So Anoop, via video, tells us how surprised he was and how being saved for last was all kinds of stressful. Anoop is singing "My Prerogative" and he gets all white boy rapper on us and while it's not the best vocal performance, it's all kinds of fun and the audience totally gets into it. Simon says that while Anoop sang the same song he did earlier (audition? Hollywood week?) it's perfectly okay because he's not Tatiana. He also says that Anoop is a crowd pleaser and the judges will have to take that in mind while making their decisions because being able to sing isn't always the most important thing when picking the best singer in the country. Kara hates to dance but Anoop's performance made her want to get up and dance. Paula, wink, wink, noticed Anoop's dirty moves. Randy thought . . . I don't know, did Randy think anything? Yeah, Randy thought Anoop "slayed" it, was even better than the last time he perfomed it and Randy was like "what?" Normal Randy.
So we go to commercial breaks and we are supposed to believe, because this is LIVE!, that the judges are actually deliberating this very minute on who will stay and who will go. I didn't get Alex W-T so Anoop better fucking stay.
So Seacrest begins calling random people out and they don't even dim the lights, that's how anti climatic this whole thing is. Jasmine is called out first and . . . she's in! No, really. The judges even say after "heavy deliberation". Yeah, the kind of "heavy deliberation" that can only be achieved in a three and a half minute commercial break.
So Jasmine starts to return to her Seat of Purgatory before she is rerouted over to the Stools of Safety, where Allison practically molests her. Jasmine looks absolutely shellshocked and you can tell that the people still sitting at the Seats of Purgatory are like "Fuck, really?"
Ricky Bobby is called out next and we all know the way Idol works. No way is he going through. Kara tells him no, that the judges saw more personality from him tonight but just not enough. I definitely don't think they could use that rationalization for Jasmine because, cute as she is, her performance was dull, dull, dull. Ricky Bobby seems to be taking it well though but for all I know, he's planning on slashing Kara's tires later.
Seacrest then orders Megan and Tatiana to come down together. This is totally obvious. The Crazy is out and Marlboro is in. Paula is elected to inform them and of course she must give the rationalization for why they chose who they did . . . and then she stares at them like Marlboro is Hansel and Crazy is Gretel and Paula just got a brand new oven before finally announcing that Crazy's dream ends here. So Marlboro gets to run over to the Stools of Safety, where Allison jumps her as well. Tatiana is left to wander over to the Table of Righteousness and get all emotional.
So Seacrest then says some something about "who gets the final stool? Find out next, LIVE!"
Only I don't because Idol is incapable of doing a live show within the 60 minute time frame and my DVR runs out! This happens, literally, like ten minutes after the show ended and while flipping directly to FOX I am instead confronted with Gordon Ramsey and Hell's Kitchen. Oh, bloody hell! I must know!
So I run to the computer, figuring surely they are crazy people like me who would go ahead and post the winners. Please, God, be kind and let Anoop in. I know Matt was all kinds of awesome as far as the judges thought but I need Anoop in this show!
No way. No freaking way. Matt and Anoop are in! So there is no Top 12, it's the Top 13! So much awesomeness. Even without Alex W-T.
So set your DVRs. Season 8 "officially" begins next week!