'American Idol': First Finalist to Go

The first "Results Show Product Pimp-athon" of a new "American Idol" edition is always one of the TV season's most eagerly awaited events.

Can the producers possibly top last season, fans wonder. Is it possible to jam any more product placement into a one-hour program?

Ryan Seacrest waits with the Bottom Three. (Michael Becker - Fox)

This year's debut "Product Pimp-athon" begins auspiciously.

The animated characters of the new flick "Horton Hears a Who!," all rabid fans of "American Idol," gather to watch.

"Horton Hears a Who!" is Hollywood's latest defiling of a children's classic. This time by -- well, will you look at this -- Fox! The same company that airs "Idol." Happy, happy coincidence.

More than 29 million votes were cast Tuesday night for the 12 Idolette finalists. If only "Horton Hears a Who!" could sell that many tickets. But how? Maybe a very special appearance by thespian Jim Carrey, in the "Idol Product Pimp-a-thon" audience. Carrey is dressed as an elephant, which is the character he voices in "Horton Hears a Who!"

"How are you tonight?" show host Ryan Seacrest asks.

"Good to see you man, good to be here," Carrey says, looking like he'd prefer to be pretty much anywhere else.

Seacrest wonders what's with the costume. Carrey says that when he's in character, it sometimes sticks with him for a while.

"That wouldn't be a Fox film?" Seacrest wonders.

"Ho -- busted," Carrey admits, adding, "You like to point out the elephant in the room."

"I love the show, I love the contestants," Carrey says, but his face says he'd like to clonk them all over the head with a large blunt object.

Seacrest points out Carrey's gimongous elephant feet look like show judge Randy Jackson's shoes.

"I might need a shovel over here, by the way," Carrey responds.

Carrey's ahead 5-3.

Seacrest changes the subject. Next week's theme -- more John Lennon-Paul McCartney songbook! Lennon rolls over in his grave.

That's the Idolettes' cue to take to the stage for their John Lennon-Paul McCartney Songbook Muzak Medley.

Michael Johns accidentally starts harmonizing during Carly Smithson's bit, then realizes his mistake and abruptly stops, waits, and begins harmonizing with Horse Pawner Kristy Lee Cook.

Carrey is on his feet in the audience, looking uncomfortable as an elephant.

David Cook is wearing a hat over his new demi-combover and, with the pointy locks they've given him over his ears and his resuscitated soul patch, he looks even more like the coroner munchkin in "The Wizard of Oz" than he did the night before.

Seacrest says we're looking down the barrel of another dramatic elimination. But first, a recap of the previous night's performances. Especially David Archuleta, seen once again forgetting the lyrics to his tune -- which had the press all atwitter the next day, because David A.'s supposed to be the seasoned pro, having previously won a nationally televised talent show. According to the twittering press, the 17-year-old had come unglued because his scary stage dad recently gave him a tongue-lashing.

"Who will get the ticket to ride?" Seacrest asks viewers rhetorically. Lennon rolls around in his grave some more.

Seacrest goes through this elaborate game to let Carly and Michael know they are safe.

Syesha Mercado is in this week's Bottom Three. She re-sings The Song That Got Her There. It's still utterly forgettable. But judge Paula Abdul is nonetheless up dancing, and the Mosh Pit Chicks are clapping.

Cut to this season's first Ford Commercial Posing as Music Video. The Idolettes pretend to be presidential candidates. It's definitely better than in seasons past, and the Idolettes, watching from the stage, are moved to applause by their own performances and slave labor.

"'Idol' has touched these contestants in a lot of different ways," Seacrest confides.

Like David A., who one day is going to school, the next is allegedly being verbally abused by his scary stage dad, the next day gets to attend -- the "Horton Hears a Who!" premiere! To the tune of the Beatles' "I Had a Dream Today"! Lennon rolls around in his grave some more.

"I can't believe I just met Jim Carrey -- he's one of my favorite actors!" David A. gushes.

Look! There's Steve Carell -- he's also in "Horton Hears a Who!"

Back to the voting results. Seacrest tells Horse Pawner, Chikezie Eze, Biker Nurse and Coroner Munchkin to stand up. Extra points if you can figure out which of these Idolettes will be the second named to the Bottom Three. That's right: Chikezie, Biker Nurse and Coroner Munchkin are safe.

Horse Pawner asks for the microphone. Not so fast, says Seacrest, because nobody cuts his lines, and he knows this is where he gets to first give her the "You sang 'Eight Days a Week,' which pretty much everyone hated" talk. Then he hands her the mike.

"Sorry I've got to do it again," she tells the judges. Then she gives an encore performance of "Eight Days a Week" as "Hee Haw" number. It's nearly as bad as the night before -- not quite, because this time we were braced for it.

Will Horse Pawner be the one to go?

First, it's time to unveil the brand-spanking-new American Idol Phone Sponsor Lets Nobodies Talk on the Phone segment. Because there's nothing 30 million TV viewers want more than to listen to people they have never met and don't care about talking on the phone.

It's as riveting as can be. One phoner wonders which "Idol" judge Idolette Jason Castro would most like to be. He goes with Paula, because, he says, he's most unlike her, because she's a girl. Another phoner wonders why he's auditioned for "Idol" six times and never made it to the competition.

A third wants judge Simon Cowell and Seacrest to duke it out on stage. And yet another asks Simon whether America or England has better singers.

Just when you think television can't get any better than this, former Idolette Kat McPhee shows up to inspire all of this season's Idolettes who had record contracts that came and went before they become contestants, like Michael Johns, Horse Pawner and Carly Smithson. McPhee, you see, has gone on to have a record contract come and go after being a contestant on "Idol."

And now, it's time to find out who is the third member of the Bottom Three. But wait, who's this in the Idolette bleacher? It's Jim Carrey! Pretending to be an Idolette!

"I know it's me. I should never have done the REO Speedwagon thing, man," he mugs. Which, no doubt would have gotten a big laugh, had not Fox sitcom star Brad Garrett used the same material last season when he just happened to stop by the "Results Show Pimp-a-thon" because he was such a huge fan of the show, when his show followed it.

Seacrest tells David A., Nanny Brooke, David Hernandez and Ramiele Malubay to come down on stage. No surprises here: David A. and Nanny Brooke are safe. Then Ramiele is given a reprieve. David H. is in the Bottom Three. He sings The Song That Got Him There.

The Bottom Three -- Syesha, Horse Pawner and David H. -- are collected on stage. Seacrest queries the judges. Randy says they are probably the right Bottom Three. Seacrest asks Paula where her head is at. "On my shoulders," she quips. "Always good to have it back," Seacrest cracks. Jim Carrey takes notes. Simon thinks America got this Bottom Three list "absolutely spot on."

And finally, with just seconds left in the hour and no more product to plug, Seacrest announces David Hernandez is going home. The twittering press immediately begins to twitter some more about how his stripper past did him in.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  March 13, 2008; 7:11 AM ET "American Idol"
Previous: 'American Idol': Best 12 Ever | Next: 'American Idol': 11 More Beatles Songs Mangled


Please email us to report offensive comments.

The best part of last night was Kristy asking for the microphone and apologizing for having to torture us again.

Anyone else think the phone call questions are a disaster waiting to happen? It's a live show. Unless they are pre-recording the audio for the questions, it won't be long before someone does the bait-and-switch. I would. "Paula, are you on drugs?" Would FOX go after you if you pulled something like that?

It's amazing how much shameless product placement they devote to this show.

Posted by: mdg | March 13, 2008 8:15 AM


"[David Cook] looks even more like the coroner munchkin in "The Wizard of Oz" than he did the night before."


Posted by: Simon Says | March 13, 2008 8:49 AM

10-1 says Kristy Lee breaks out the shoes next week.

Posted by: bustamove | March 13, 2008 8:54 AM

David H. was bad, but Kristy Lee was offensive. She really does not understand constructive, vs. directive, criticism.

Sir Paul should sue.

Heck, WE should sue for having to endure that arrangement again. God Bless my TiVo (I watched the entire episode in 10 minutes).

Posted by: con-e | March 13, 2008 8:56 AM

David H went because he sucked, not because of his past.

I must be the only person on the planet who didn't think that Horse Pawner's song was that bad. I thought I just wasn't paying attention on Tuesday, so I paid more attention tonight. I still don't get it.

This does beg the question, however. If she pretended to be stupid, would she make top 6 and get a record contract like Pickles did a couple years back? That girl couldn't sing her way out of a bag, and it seemed like people couldn't get enough of her. At least Horse Pawner can (kinda) sing.

Posted by: Duffman | March 13, 2008 9:09 AM

I agree with mdg, those call-in segments could be a disaster waiting to happen. I was so hoping that Kristy would get the boot but I'm not surprise that she didn't. Boy was Katherine Mcphee utterly boring last night.

Posted by: NYC | March 13, 2008 9:30 AM

I envision that we're going to see "more" of Kristy in the weeks to come.

Plain and simple she dodged a bullet last night. If she continues to perform like she did on Tuesday her only chance to advance beyond her talent range is basically to follow Haley Scarnato's and Kellie Pickler's strategy of gradually shedding clothing in order to capture the "eye candy" vote.

Posted by: Mike | March 13, 2008 9:31 AM

So the Idols go another round with the Beatles--not only John and Paul's worst nightmare, but David A.'s, too! The kid better be studying those lyrics already.

And speaking of Davids . . . please, Idol, no more David Foster! My moniker says it all.

Posted by: the anti-Celine | March 13, 2008 9:49 AM

I knew David H. would go because his stripper past but I could had tolerated him for week better than Kristy Lee. She needs to go next week.

Posted by: Brooklyn | March 13, 2008 9:50 AM

WOW! Are the time stamps off again? Simon Says thought he was first, but look at the difference in time between Simon Says and first poster mdg.

I was surprised that David H. got the hook last night and not Kristy. When Kristy sang her song again it was painfully obvious that the musical arrangement bore little resemblance to what she was singing and was either slightly ahead of or behind (hard to tell) her vocal.

Maybe that's why the total song package was so bad for her both nights. It seems that the band was out of sync for a couple of arrangements, including the opening medley.

Dozed off during McPhee and live questions, thank God.

It will be interesting to see if any of the Lennon and MCCARTNEY songs are repeated next week.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | March 13, 2008 10:07 AM

Bye bye Stripper. Won't miss you or even remember your name in 2 weeks.

The girl with the indefinable 'it' moves up and moves on inexorably toward the final 2. Not-so-Virgin Nanny is just awesome every week. Simon loves her and so do we. Who could resist such "pure" and inimitable charms? One of these days Brooke will get the chance to sing "Both Sides Now". She'll nail it somewhere between the Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins versions and "will make the song her own", blowing everyone else away. After which time she'll be established as the clear favorite. Just show a little Dark Side, please please please. And it will help keep Simon on your side; he might start getting bored or frustrated otherwise.

Tattoo Girl has good vocals but still needs Sleeves desperately. Otherwise, visual revulsion will catch up with her some night and she'll be gone despite singing well.

I'm getting to like Amanda from Mulberry. Bet she'll last longer than Gina did last year.

The thin patina on insufferably cute little David A. is starting to tarnish badly. Thank Goodness! Hope David Cook outlasts him and goes to Finale with Nanny Brooke.

"Forgettable" Kristi should be the next to go.

Posted by: Christin | March 13, 2008 10:17 AM

My, how far Jim Carrey's fallen. Funny watching the chick next to him in the audience looking totally awkward and uncomfortable. Too bad they didn't have a kid sitting behind him flicking his ears...

So I guess the county fair circuit will have to wait another week for Kristy. At least she showed some spirit and humor about the whole thing.

And was that Danny Noriega sitting with Ramiele's family, as her "best friend"? Sure looked like it...

Posted by: Rob Iola | March 13, 2008 10:27 AM

I know I am in the minority on this, but I've always found David H entertaining, and while I never thought he could win it all, I think he definitely deserved to stick around a bit longer. He would've been fun on the tour. Horse Pawner, Motorcycle Nurse and Dred Locks all deserved to be in the bottom 3 last night, IMO. If it weren't for the wretched Vote For the Worst (who made us suffer through weeks of likes of Sanjaya and Scott Savol) Motorcycle Nurse probably would've been in the bottom 3 last night.

Posted by: Amanda | March 13, 2008 10:34 AM

Wow - I can see into the future! And based on the Idol unholy trinity of "shoes", skin, and "music", I'm seeing "Kristen" as a finalist next season...

Posted by: Rob Iola | March 13, 2008 10:41 AM

While I expected Kristi to go, not surprised it was David H - his performance was just as bad, which was a surprise and he didn't have the good will with public to pull him through. Kristi is a package not a talent, and appeals to tweeners - girls who aspire to look like her and LOVE ponies, and boys who think she's hot. Also, to moms who think she is wholesome and dads who can safely fantasize otherwise. We will see more cleavage and leg. Push-up bras will be ordered up for all the ladies.

Is anyone else sick of Syesha or Ramiele?
Ramiele, arguably one of best voices is BORING in performance and personality, and lacks an visual appeal - enough with the "you are so cute" from judges. Kristi is cute, Ramiele looks like a street urchin.

Syesha has great legs and looks and performs more like a pageant contestant than a star performer. What was with all those ridiculous riffs last night? I think she is a loner in the pack and is not part of the big love/hugfest of rest of Idolettes. Hope she goes before I have to listen to another overly stylized song. Notice how little feedback judges give? They don't like her either.

Posted by: nonstagemom | March 13, 2008 10:42 AM

Anyone else notice that David H was the ONLY Idol-ette who did NOT have any family or friends flash by on the screen during their moment of truth? (Shameless plug for Fox's other trash TV show!)

Posted by: where were they? | March 13, 2008 10:44 AM

The bottom three were the right three, but the wrong one went home. I didn't think David H could win it all, but would rather listen to him than Kristie or Amanda.

Imagine how much quicker this thing could have been done if they cut a)the Jim Carrey schtick; b)the call in (*hurl); and c)all 3 of the bottom 3 singing. We'd have had a half hour show. The way it should be.

Posted by: cj | March 13, 2008 10:46 AM

Michael Johns is cool, sexy and I love the way he sings. He's got my vote... xo

Posted by: Maris | March 13, 2008 10:47 AM

Watching these amateurs butcher the greatest songs ever written is like watching a train wreck.

Three words of advice for Kristy: Bring Those Shoes!!!

Posted by: Washington, DC | March 13, 2008 10:51 AM

You're right: After a repeat performance of those awful renditions, Lennon is spinning so fast in his grave he's halfway to China.

Posted by: JD | March 13, 2008 10:51 AM

Kristin may have to buy new SHOES like Kellie Pickler did.

Posted by: jmom | March 13, 2008 10:51 AM

To DC Dude: "he was a bottom but will be a top again". LOL LOL LOL Versatile - yes!

Posted by: Gagged LOL | March 13, 2008 10:53 AM

David H was in the bottom three last night.

Then he says he'll be back on top again soon as he's given the boot.

The guy's versatile. I like that.

Posted by: dc dude | March 13, 2008 10:53 AM

Worst AI idea of 2008 (so far):

Making each of the Bottom Three sing their awful songs again. Brilliant: subject millions of viewers to lousy redos of the three lousiest performances. And it's even worse the second time because we're all too painfully aware of the inevitable Horror to come. Which it does three times--excruciatingly. Let's go back to one poignant Loser Goodbye Song.

2nd Worst: After "Bad Day" and "I'm Going Home", Rubens's ancient Farewell song is so lame and forgettable. Bring back Powter or Daughtry--Please!

Posted by: Christin | March 13, 2008 11:01 AM

I think they ALL should go home. I don't see myself ever wanting to buy anything of any of them. As far as I'm concerned none of them really have a memorable voice or even show any potential of becoming a marketable artist.

Posted by: pnina | March 13, 2008 11:08 AM

I didn't get a chance to put this out there yesterday, but to anyone who liked (or who was at least interested by) David C's "rock" version of Eleanor Rigby, please check out the version released by the group Godhead a couple of years ago. The video for it can be found on YouTube (among other places).

In comparison, David C's version is as edgy as a warm jello mold.

Posted by: Doc | March 13, 2008 11:33 AM

Speaking of Lennon rolling over in his grave: "I Had A Dream Today"???? Oh boy. Not to be a huge song nerd, but it's called "A Day In The Life." It's a pretty well-known song and a google search taking exactly .16 seconds returned the name of the song, if you didn't know it off hand. Pookie, I love you but that was kinda lazy!

Posted by: DC | March 13, 2008 11:34 AM

Thankfully, I missed last night's episode and relied upon reading this a.m.'s recaps on a couple sites. Strangely, I slept MUCH less fitfully than on other AI-results nights! Weird!

I respectfully disagree with nonstagemom about Syesha. None of her songs have been overstaged or oversung. But to each his own. I like her poise. She lends dignity, and yes, I like her voice. And I agree that the judges continually give her less feedback -- I've said that here previously -- that she is actually suffering from flying under the radar because she does not generate as much passion and ink as the others. (To me) there is usually nothing disagreeable with her songs. Simon's view that she belonged in the bottom three can't help though. But I still hold out that she can impress.

The only reason Kristy didn't go is because they were limited to axing only one. We all know Kristy's time should come next week. She is not country in the sense that Pickler clearly was, or Carrie U developed a country tilt. Earlier in the year Simon suggested the country route as an option, a way of distinguishing herself. But that doesn't mean every song need be a Kuntry Jug Band version! None of her early auditions or performances were 'true' country, and now, trying to be something she is not is a poor AI path decision on her part. Look how miserably it failed her. Her only hope (not that I am fighting for her -- she should go) would be to return to singing straightforward renditions and claim "versatility",

Posted by: RedRocket | March 13, 2008 11:38 AM

Kristy was AWFUL.. she needs to go.. NOW!!! and i can't believe David A. forgot the lyrics. Paul-John are regretting this

Posted by: passing_through | March 13, 2008 11:43 AM

Kristy got to stay because a lot of people want to see just how badly she'll suck next week. You gotta give it to her, it was memorable, which is more than you can say for most of the performances.

Still, it's gotta sting to be sent home instead of Minnie Pearl. Maybe that "Pizza Bistro" (is that what they call them these days?) is still hiring.

Too bad Paul and Yoko can't sue for defamation of song.

Posted by: hangin in herndon | March 13, 2008 12:00 PM

Lisa column is actually better than the show. A lot better. Thanks Lisa.

Posted by: Phil | March 13, 2008 12:21 PM

I thought David H was scary and awful BEFORE we found out what he did in his free time. I'm glad he's gone. However I'm really suprised it was Kristi, she is the only one who deserved it more.

I disagree though with the general consensus on this blog that this is the worst AI. Most seasons there have only been 1 maybe two standouts (or none in the case of last season). This year we have Carly, Brooke, David A, David C and Jason. I would be ok with any of them. If Chikezie can repeat his last performance, I might like him as well.

I love the snark but be real...

hey, and what's with being first?

Posted by: Its me | March 13, 2008 12:27 PM

Correction: I'm really suprised it WASN'T Kristi....typo above

Posted by: it's me | March 13, 2008 12:29 PM

noticed they showed Carly's hubby but didn't put on the spollight like they did for other family members...anyone else notice?

Wish Paula could stay in her seat...she looks ridiculous and I'm sure it only embarrasses the performers.

Posted by: hodie | March 13, 2008 12:31 PM

Amanda "The Mumbler" Overmeyer (does anyone else see the resemblance to Roseann Barr, looks and personality?) has got to go next. She has consistently been the most grating to watch and painful to listen to throughout the competition. Sure, horsey girl hasn't a prayer, but at least she doesn't assault the senses like The Mumbler. Why are the judges so gaga for her?
BTW: The "Coroner Munchkin" nickname is so hilariously spot-on!

Posted by: Gil in OC | March 13, 2008 12:32 PM

I only wish that at the end of the show, David C. (Munchkin Coroner) had turned to the camera and said of David H. (Stripper Boy), "He's really most sincerely dead!" in squeaky Munchkin voice...

Posted by: navigator | March 13, 2008 1:37 PM

David C version of Eleanor Rigby rocked and was just right. Not all can relate to Godshead version which may be too edgy for general listener.

Posted by: sleepygrl | March 13, 2008 4:29 PM

Hey I like Amanda! The biker chick with a heart of gold. And David Cook. The best performance of the night was Chikezie. Brooke White -- delicately pretty, sings okay, but my mind was wandering during her performance as I started to wonder if I'd remembered to start the dishwasher. That's a bad sign. I really don't get the raves, to me she's just...wispy. And yes, I was sorry to see Danny Noriega go.

Watching what Jim Carrey had to do was sobering. One imagines that if one made that kind of money, one could decline to have to wear a Dr. Seuss costume like some lowly Disney World employee. One would, apparently, be wrong.

Posted by: owingsmills | March 13, 2008 6:09 PM

Emo combover keeps getting better and better.
Virgin Nanny is charming and has a voice I can't get enough of.
Tattooed Irish chick does the funky I'm surprised bug eye move that makes me think of Marty Feldman...still waiting for a decent arrangement from her.
Loose Loks belongs on the cover of a 17 magazine so all the 14yr old girls can put him on their ceilings and sigh.
Amanda Bubba Biker is getting tiring with that bride of Frankenstein hairstyle.
David Pretty Boy A is just plain sad...missing lines that would have got him booted had not America wanted to stuff him and hug him and kiss him and call him George.
David eyebrows H is gone. Good riddance. His zero range performance of that beatles toon proves his earlier 70s song was a fluke
Syesha needs to move on to her role on the next Moesha

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