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"American Idol": Survival of the Weakest

Andrew Lloyd Webber Week Results Night on "American Idol" is a shocker from start to finish.

Show host Ryan Seacrest kicks things off by kissing judge Simon Cowell, after which he assures Simon, "Relax -- it didn't mean anything."

Even though it was only a kiss on the head, Simon is so stunned he reflexively moves his chair closer to judge Paula Abdul and puts his arm around her.

Paula is observing Andrew Lloyd Webber Week by dressing up as the Merry Widow, under the mistaken belief Lloyd Weber wrote that one, too.

Seacrest announces 38 million votes have been cast. TMZ is reporting "Idol" message boards are abuzz with news Jason Castro is this week's bootee and that it was somehow leaked by Seacrest himself and an e-mail was involved. This sounds extremely dubious, even though Castro mauled "Memory" from the play "Cats" the night before because he did not realize it was about, um, cats. Jason's performance was one of the evening's two worst -- the other being that of Nanny Brooke, who forgot the lyrics to her Lloyd Webber tune about four words in. I'm guessing the eviction of Jason would not be a shocker to anyone except millions of prepubescent girls who are in love with him.


"X Factor" winner Leona Lewis performs. (Michael Becker/FOX)

Tonight's "American Idol" mashup is "All I Ask of You" from -- gak -- "The Phantom of the Opera." Lloyd Webber is accompanying the Idolettes on the piano, trying not to look pained.

Then, because he is not Dolly Parton or Mariah Carey, Lloyd Webber chats with Seacrest about this and that. "Idol," he explains, is unique because the Idolettes are performing for viewers at home, performing for a panel of judges and performing for the Mosh Pit Sorority Sisters.

Seacrest brings up Nanny Brooke's historic forgetting of the lyrics and continues to insist it was an "Idol" first, even though it was not a first for "Idol" and not even a first for Nanny Brooke.

Lloyd Webber doesn't care; he's more interested in nicking Jason for not taking any of his advice during rehearsals. Lloyd Webber is the Practically Perfect American Idol Guest Judge and we will miss him.

Seacrest asks, if Lloyd Webber were to write a love song for Paula and Simon, what would it be called?

"Time to Say Goodbye"? Lloyd Webber suggests.

No? How about "How Can I Say I Miss You If You Won't Go Away."

Time for the Idolettes to provide on-air talent for the Ford Motor Co. for one of its music videos. This week it's done to the strains of "Tainted Love." The Idolettes are supposed to look tough. Nanny Brooke can't pull it off.

Look -- it's President Bush, still basking in the good reviews he got for his appearance on NBC's screaming-at-briefcases series "Deal or No Deal." And first lady Laura Bush, still looking a little dazed after her guest-host gig on NBC's "Today" show. They've agreed to be the ones to announce that this year's "Idol Gives Back" charity fundraiser collected $65 million, about 11 million bucks less than last year's. Yes, Seacrest is so powerful that when he doesn't want to be the one to break the bad news to America, they get the president of the United States to step in and do the dirty work for him.

And, speaking of "Idol Gives Back," what's the point of allowing that gas-bandit ExxonMobil to be an "Idol Gives Back" do-gooder mondo-sponsor if it's not going to make up the difference? What's a lousy $11 million to a company that in 2007 posted a $40.6 billion annual profit?

Time to start whacking Idolettes. Seacrest announces one of the Stools for the Bottoms of the Bottom Three has taken the buyout, so it's now the Stools for the Bottoms of the Bottom Two.

Next, he brings out The Davids -- Cook and "Baby Elmo" Archuleta. Will their bottoms be sent to the Stools for the Bottom Two's Bottoms?

Yeah, right! After David C. says smugly he sang his Lloyd Webber tune just the way Lloyd Webber intended it -- because what could be more unpredictable than for an unpredictable guy like him to sing so predictably -- and Baby Elmo says he's happy with what he did with his ALW tune, they're sent through to the Sofa of Safety.


Syesha and Carly hug it out. (Michael Becker/FOX)

"Idol" now is one step closer to the inevitable final Two Davids Showdown, and it's time to take a look at all the Idolettes who have been booted from the competition in years past but gone on to perform on Broadway. Diana DeGarmo, Tamyra Gray, Fantasia Barrino. Even Clay Aiken takes a break from his "I Am Now Too Big to Watch 'Idol'." position to show viewers where he gets his hair and makeup done to prepare for his role in "Spamalot." Tamyra Gray demonstrates the considerable ego she's grown now that she's in "Rent."

It's time for Leona Lewis, who won the third season of the British talent competition "X Factor," to sing her pop tune while dressed in some hideous sundress and with flames shooting up behind her.

Which can only mean it's time for Nanny Brooke and Syesha Mercado to come out on stage and learn their fates. Syesha delivered the previous night's second-best Lloyd Webber tune performance, so naturally, her bottom is sent to sit in a loser stool, while Nanny Brooke lives to forget more lyrics -- Neil Diamond's next week!

Simon says this is because when Nanny Brooke messed up so badly, she showed her humanity. Paula, however, goes with the "ginormous fan base" theory, adding that Syesha should be used to being in the bottom of the heap by now so it truly is the best of all possible worlds.

Only Jason Castro and Carly Smithson have yet to learn their fates. Jason whines that he doesn't want to have to sing "Memory" from "Cats" again. Which, of course, he will have to do if he gets the sack. But, with Jason having delivered the week's worst performance and now being the subject of a spoiler, he is naturally sent to the Sofa of Safety while Carly, who gave the week's best performance, is the other half of the Bottom Two. Simon says this is because when Jason mauled "Memory" from "Cats" he was charming.

As a special treat to viewers, this week both Bottom Two-ers get to sing their songs -- that's right, two more Lloyd Webber performances. Carly and Syesha are nearly as good as the previous night. Judge Randy Jackson wakes up and observes that this week seems to have played out as "a bit of a popularity week in the vote."

Could this be any more annoying?

Paula says she has never seen more "relaxation and joy," proving we were wrong and it can get more annoying.

Seacrest announces Carly's out. Simon, who's been savaging Carly for weeks, apologizes for having finally complimented her performance this week, a comment that he calls "the kiss of death." He's clearly thrilled.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  April 24, 2008; 7:02 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Next: "American Idol": Holly Holy! It's Neil Diamond Night!

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