'American Idol': First Four to Go
It's "American Idol's" very first Elimination Costume Party. In honor of it being '60s-music week, the 12 Idolette chicks are all going as the "My Fair Lady" racetrack scene on drugs.
The best costume trophy goes to Alaina Whitaker -- or maybe it's Kady Malloy, it's so hard to tell this season's blonde chicks apart -- whose dress resembles the joker in a deck of cards.
All 12 Idolette guys are going as Michael Caine in "Alfie."
Viewers cast more than 28 million votes this week, says show host Ryan Seacrest, who introduces the "talented" Randy Jackson; the "back-in-a-big-way" Paula Abdul, which can only mean we're going to suffer through her new music video, "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow"; and the "monotonous" Simon Cowell, who leans over and asks Paula what Seacrest said.
Simon's been doing that a lot lately; we believe he's lost his hearing.
Four Idolettes will get the hook tonight. But first, it's time for Fox to take another crack at placating fans who are upset over the ringer status of so many of this year's crop of singers.
"Some of these contestants are no strangers to the stage," Seacrest says ominously. He turns to Paula to make the ultimate decision: Should this affect viewer voting at home?
"No," Paula says.
Well, that's a relief.
But wait -- there's more!
"These are talented kids," says Paula. It's "a savvy business," says Paula. If the Idolettes had "not already tried to make a name for themselves they don't deserve to be in this competition," says Paula.
Wow, the old "we will accept no amateurs" strategy -- didn't see that coming.
But there's even more: Kelly Clarkson had a record deal before going on to win the first edition of "Idol," Paula says. Ditto last season's "Brandon Davis and Mandisa," she adds for good measure.
Brandon Davis? Guess she should have rehearsed that line a few more times -- we think she meant Brandon Rogers.
Now to announce this season's first four victims. But first, let's look at the "American Idol" Video, featuring the 24 Idolettes shot to look like the stars of something Aaron Spelling cooked up for the network in the early '90s.
Sadly, four of them are going home.
But first, let's hear this season's very first American Idol Group Sing -- more songs from the '60s the Idolettes have never heard of and just learned the words to this week.
And now, having run out of filler, it's finally, and this time we mean it, time to whack an Idolette. Seacrest calls Garrett Haley to the center of the stage.
"It's been quite a journey . . . tonight we have to say goodbye to you. It's over for you," Seacrest says, just like that. Seacrest asks Garrett whether he thought Simon had been too tough on him Tuesday night when he said Garrett looked pale, haunted and like he's been shut up in his room too long.
"I know I'm a pale kid, but I'm happy with the way I am -- I haven't gone tanning, so I'm being myself," Garrett says.
And, one last time, Garrett gives The Performance That Got Him Whacked.
Seacrest calls Kristy Lee Cook to the center of the stage. She is wearing a black patent-leather skirt -- maybe it was made out of her very best barrel horse -- and a striped sweater.
"This night is no fun, believe me," Seacrest says.
"You are safe, the person who is leaving us tonight unfortunately is Amy Davis," he adds.
We weren't surprised, because the camera accidentally cut to Amy during Seacrest's fakeout of Kristy.
Seacrest asks Paula if she has advice for Amy. Paula tells her to "paint that door and that knob." If only someone had given me that advice when I was embarking on my career.
Seacrest says that when they come back from the break, Paula will "shake what Mama Abdul gave her." Paula giggles like a schoolgirl.
Paula's new video is slick enough, but if she truly is a proponent of dancing -- and like there's no tomorrow, mind you -- maybe it should include a little more of her, um, dancing? Now, if they'd called it "Toss Your Hair Like There's No Tomorrow" they'd have had something.
Video done, Paula giggles some more, thanks Randy for getting her back into the studio, and kisses Seacrest's hand.
And now, it's time to whack another Idolette.
Seacrest brings Amanda Overmyer -- who's had several more skunks woven into her hair and is wearing a black-and-white crocheted afghan -- and Joanne Borgella to the center of the stage and lets all the other chicks know they're safe.
So, too, is Amanda, which leaves Joanne out.
Seacrest asks Simon what he's thinking, as he sits there looking all smug and sipping from his carefully placed red Coke product-placement cup.
"How much I love Coca-Cola?" Simon ventures. Good guess!
Next, Seacrest drags Chikezie Eze and Colton Berry to the center of the stage. Colton gets it in the neck.
Paula does not think Colton needs to paint a door and a knob, but he does need to take his time and pick the right songs and "go for it."
Seacrest asks Simon if he has any constructive criticism for Colton. Simon suggests he go out and get himself a good job and enjoy singing on the side because "I don't think you will make a successful career out of it."
"Oh my god!" Randaula gasps and hisses at Simon that he should keep his opinions to himself.
"Then don't ask," Simon says. The man does have a point.
Among the surviving Idolettes, Kristy Lee Cook was once signed to a major Nashville label, David Archuleta was a "Star Search" winner, Jason Castro starred in the MTV series "Cheyenne" as the pop singer's love interest, Michael Johns had a major label deal in Australia and Robbie Carrico was part of a pop group called Boyz-N-Girlz United that toured with Britney Spears.
But Irish-born tattoo-parlor owner Carly Smithson, who had a recording contract at age 15 and whose first album tanked, is the one who has become the lightning rod in the squall over the number of ringers in this year's "Idol" competition.
Lisa de Moraes
February 22, 2008; 7:50 AM ET
Previous: 'American Idol': Where the Girls Are | Next: 'American Idol' Guys: 10 Things We Didn't Know About You
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