"American Idol": Countdown to Six

In a suspicious show of collegiality and generosity, our real TV columnist once again has given the keys to "American Idol" blogdom this week to Tamara Jones, auxiliary backup Designated Idol Watcher.

Sell the horse, suffer the consequences: Kristy Lee Cook is headed back to the Ponderosa, leaving six wannabe American Idols still standing.

Or not.

Actually, they're sitting -- cross-legged, in the middle of the stage -- in the first-ever live "American Idol" protest, led by dangerous teen anarchist David Archuleta, who is probably being reprogrammed by special Fox "counselors" at this very moment. Send donations to Free Baby Elmo, care of this newspaper.

Kristy Lee Cook gives her "Idol" farewell. (Frank Micelotta/FOX)

But first, a word from their sponsor: Ford has some wicked fun in its commercial, casting the seven Idolettes as marionettes singing "I want to break freeeeee." Carly Smithson looks like one of those dolls that will hide in your closet with an icepick after you go to bed. David A.looks relieved to have the strings attached again, so natural in this role that we expect to see Geppetto the Toymaker claiming dad's seat in the "Idol" audience.

Host Ryan Seacrest slips into his familiar Results Night mode, too, almost audibly smacking his lips over the torture to come. Tonight, he targets David Cook like a tabloid jackal circling prey.

David C. maintains his composure and dignity when Seacrest probes ruthlessly about his emotional state this past week -- a shameless attempt to exploit the reportedly grave illness of the finalist's brother.

Fortunately, most of the evening's interviewing is in the more capable hands of the viewers. Denise phones in to ask judge Simon Cowell to explain the difference between his favorite criticisms: theme-park performance, piano-bar performance, karaoke, and hamburger-without-meat performance (which Nanny Boohoo Brooke said hurt her feelings the night before). Alas, Simon has misplaced his Clever Rejoinder cheat-sheet tonight, and says they all mean "horrible."

Judge Paula Abdul is asked what song describes her relationship with Simon, and needs to have clues shouted at her by Seacrest and fellow judge Randy Jackson. For once, we think her confusion has nothing to do with whatever is in her sippy-cup. No, tonight it is clearly oxygen deprivation because a gigantic cabbage rose is strangling her, with assistance from a chainmail choker she is also wearing around her throat, which is further constricted by the knot on her halter dress.

The prelude to the night's high drama comes with guest mentor Mariah Carey performing a song called "Bye Bye" from her new album, waving like a malevolent homecoming queen at the finalists miserably waiting to see who is going to get whacked this time.

Despite such cruelty, Mariah does dress thoughtfully in what appears to be one of the postage stamps -- or maybe just half of one -- being hawked to raise donations for Idol Gives Back. (Is that feedback on the microphone, or is Mariah going for a sixth octave? Her breathiness fades in and out, too, as if someone keeps trying to smother her with a pillow mid-song).

Speaking of giving back, inordinate attention is devoted for the 748th time to the "sacrifice" Kristy Lee had to make to get to "Idol": selling her favorite barrel horse. Kristy Lee reveals that the buyer now doesn't want to sell the pawned pony back to her. Imagine that. Look for Kristy Lee to make her acting debut soon in the after-school special "My Former Friend Flicka."

Desperate to gin up suspense, Seacrest whiles away half the show shuffling the finalists around like so many cards in a deck stacked with mostly fours. Irritable and still not surprised, we are left with Syesha Mercado, Brooke White and Kristy Lee in one group, and David C., Jason Castro and Carly Smithson in the other.

David A., looking queasy backstage in a too-small red leather jacket (but thankfully, no weird black leather Dieter pants like the night before) is summoned forth, pronounced safe and ordered by Seacrest to go stand with whichever group he thinks is safe.

Plop. He sits down instead.

"I just wanna stay here," he whimpers.

Okay, okay, so maybe it was more an act of paralyzing indecision than bring-on-the-pepper-spray civil disobedience, but unless he's the surprise guest mentor next week, this is as close to Gandhi as "Idol" is going to get.

After failing to goad the 17-year-old to his feet, an increasingly annoyed Seacrest finally discloses that Brooke, Syesha and Kristy Lee are in the bottom three. They all make perfectly cute pouty faces that we're sure they didn't practice even once in front of a mirror, and Seacrest orders David A. to join the "safe" group.

Uh-uh. Still won't budge.

Which leaves Seacrest no choice but to summon the other "safes" over to join the Little Engine Who Wouldn't. David C. happily slides over on the floor to join David A., as does Jason, who is so mellow he would probably join a suckling pig in a pit barbecue. Carly ruins the moment -- so like her, she does it to herself all the time! -- by being unable to figure out how to sit down while wearing a dress. David A. finally gets up and Carly reaches out to throttle him, which is doubtless what happened when Scary Stage Parents got hold of him later, anyway.

Moving back to the more malleable Group of Doom, Seacrest grants Syesha immunity, while Simon predicts the obvious: "Maybe, Kristy, your time's up this time, sweetheart."

Adds Seacrest: "To that guy out there: Can she have her horse back?"

By Rose Jacobius  |  April 17, 2008; 6:43 AM ET "American Idol"
Previous: "American Idol": The Guys Have It | Next: 'American Idol': Phantom of the Idol


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Finally! KLC, you are beautiful, but you dug your grave when you took that right turn down the Country dirt road.

The "go to the group you think is safe" has so been done, and so has sitting down. David A. wasn't sharp enough to pick up Ryan's cues? So sad.

The questions are one step closer to disaster with that girl giving shout-outs.

I loved DC rolling his eyes on the couch when Ryan said he has the Cooks next to him. I think he would have punched him if it wasn't live.

Too many Cooks in the kitchen, Ryan? Gag! Although it was a nice twist to change it up like that.

Mariah must feel at home on AI, where all the shoes come out to play.

Posted by: mdg | April 17, 2008 8:06 AM

The "protest" should have been expected since Taylor "what happened to my career" Hicks did the same thing. Not sure about last year since it was so bad I've repressed those memories.

Posted by: whydoIwatch | April 17, 2008 8:14 AM

Yawn at David A. and the unoriginal sitting down in the middle of the floor. If Ryan was a sharp host, he would've pointed out "hey, didn't ____ do that last year?". I remember someone doing it previously but can't remember who.

I think David A. just wanted to curl up in a ball on stage and suck his thumb.


Maybe Castro should give David A. some of his seemingly endless supply of pot. It would make things a little more interesting.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 8:17 AM

Yeah, KLC is gone.

Jason Castro survives because "High Time" subscribers are voting for him, but next week his time is up.

Posted by: Brooklyn | April 17, 2008 8:55 AM

Well.... I hope she gets her horse back. :)

Melinda Doolittle did the whole sitting in the middle of the stage thing last year. You're right, totally un-original.

Posted by: Raquel | April 17, 2008 9:19 AM

Kristy does not deserve to get her horse back. She sold an animal for a chance at personal glory, and failed. Don't punish the horse by returning him to her. She might sell him again to get on another talent show. Or to buy singing lessons. NEIGH!

Posted by: terpkat | April 17, 2008 9:26 AM

As "bad" as KLC is - Stoner, Circus Paint and Backtalk BaNanny deserved to go before her.

The next time I tune in will be to watch the Davids battle it out in the finals.

But you can bet I'll read Lisa/Tamara faithfully.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | April 17, 2008 9:27 AM

Wasn't it Bo Bice who started the whole middle of the stage thing (albeit w/out the sitting)?

Posted by: jmom | April 17, 2008 9:28 AM

What was poor baby Elmo to do but sit down? He doesn't have a mean streak in him. Pretty cruel of Ryan to ask him to pick the safe group. But yes it was pretty pathetic that he didn't catch on to the clues about which group to join. If you noticed, Carly didn't catch on until Ryan said they were safe also. And then she couldn't sit in her short skirt. Probably the nerves had them so wound up they couldn't think.
Too bad about the pony pawner. I really thought she was improving and actually really liked this weeks performance. I do think she has a future ahead of her in music.
Kudos to David Cook, aka coronor munchkin (he got rid of the pointy, curled side burns so is less munchkin like now). He did not take Ryan's bait and go for sympathy like Brooke did and kept his personal life personal. In other words Ryan, NOYB!

Posted by: hodie | April 17, 2008 9:30 AM

Just out of curiosity, does anyone here on this blog actually vote???

Posted by: hodie | April 17, 2008 9:33 AM

YES ! :)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 9:35 AM

Tonight, on American Idol, Paula Abdul models the latest line of neck-wear accessories from the Phyllis Diller line of Crap. Seriously, Paula, WTF? Still no mirrors in Casa Abdul?

Like many others, I'm so over Brooke. Back talkin' like she was last night. Big cajones, little girl ... but don't be gettin' all snippy on us. You're just a (lack of) phone call away from getting the Ruben Studdard Serenade of Goodbye.

3 words for Mariah Carey: Hoo.Chee.Mama. Girlfriend, you are 39 years old. Time to start dressing more like a respectable woman and not a street walker from the Bronx. Could she be more plastic?

Posted by: jpstang | April 17, 2008 9:59 AM

No, she's only just turned 38! (She's almost exactly one year older than I am, so please don't age me before it's time!)

Posted by: 22309 | April 17, 2008 10:04 AM

Sorry, 22309, I double checked before I posted. On imdb.com, they have the following:

Date of Birth: 27 March 1969
Huntington, New York, USA

Trust me, I hate aging just as much as you do! :-)

Posted by: jpstang | April 17, 2008 10:08 AM

Oh well.

I don't think that she deserved to go this week, but she certainly wasn't going to win the whole thing.

She was never *that bad* of a singer, and she was actually evolving into a decent singer. I feel she got an unfair amount of hate because she was pretty.

Nanny-Nanny Cry-Cry dodged a bullet this week. Here's to hoping it's Webber night next week, that should seal her fate.

Posted by: Duffman | April 17, 2008 10:10 AM

Ok, now Wikipedia is saying March 27, 1970. Urgh. Who's right?

I'm going home and crawl back into bed.

Posted by: jpstang | April 17, 2008 10:11 AM

jpstang, imdb has her birth year wrong. It really is 1970, not 1969. (unless every other source in the world is wrong, but imdb is as user-fact-entered as wikipedia, so you often need to take it with as many grains of salt.)

Posted by: in support of 22309 | April 17, 2008 10:14 AM

there's an article on the MTV AI page abouyt how David Archuleta was scolded by the producers on Idol Gives Back night for being too chatty with they call in's (in one case talking to someone for half an hour). It's extremely easy to write him off as being weak, boring, and contrived- but I think he might actually be an interesting person when this is all said and done.

Posted by: repricer | April 17, 2008 10:17 AM

Next 2 weeks - Brooke and Jason - voted out, I hope.

Posted by: WI | April 17, 2008 10:18 AM

"It's extremely easy to write him off as being weak, boring, and contrived- but I think he might actually be an interesting person when this is all said and done."


It's entirely possible that he's an interesting person. You would know it from his boring, contrived songs that he sing every week, though.

Posted by: Duffman | April 17, 2008 10:24 AM

Duffman it is ALW week next week! I'm excited and afraid at the same time! Like Mariah Carey was an unsurmountable challenge to BoohooNanny, ALW will probably be for Jason. Will be interesting. Stay tuned!

Posted by: hodie | April 17, 2008 10:27 AM

No, Brooke and Jason won't go back to back. The most natural place for Brooke's coffee shop instrument player votes is Jason and vice versa. Whoever stays will get the boost of the booted ones base more than any other contestant. Hopefully Brooke goes first.

I guess informally predicting where booted contestants voters go, KLC's will either scatter or add to attractive blonde Brooke (I suspect VFTW will also go to Brooke).

Brooke and Jason overlap and the majority would go to eachother. When both are gone David Cook gets a slight edge from this base.

Carly is living on borrowed time but her voters will probably either go to Cook or the other belter Syesha (if Syesha outlasts Carly).

I think Syesha scatters or might be the only group inclined to add to Archuleta. David A. seems to be an either love him to death and are already voting for him or don't particularly care for him contestant so its hard to see his base expanding later in the competition. As other bases consolidate he might be booted 3rd or 4th instead of making his seemingly destined place in the finally.

In short, I predict a David Cook win, the other fanbases seem to overlap most with him so his base has the most room for growth.

Posted by: bluemeanies | April 17, 2008 10:39 AM

Thanks for the corrections, gang. Still, at 38 or 39 ... MC's periously close to stepping over the line into Eternal Ho-Dum.

Posted by: jpstang | April 17, 2008 10:40 AM

I don't think Nanny has any better chance with an ALW tune that she did with a Mariah Carey tune. I suspect "I Don't Know How to Love Him" may be her choice, but that song requires a range she has not shown.

Will Syesha unwisely take on Patti Lupone like she has all the other big guns? Argentina may not cry, but I will!

Posted by: the anti-Celine | April 17, 2008 10:43 AM

My sincere hope is that Andrew Lloyd Webber is more witchy than nice nice Mariah to the contestants. I would love to hear him tell Brooke, "I'm so sorry, sweetheart. I simply haven't written a sing with only 4 notes . . . ." She is so headed for "I Don't Know How to Love Him" at the piano bar.

I am so over her pulling that "tragic" face when she finds herself in the Bottom 3 or unable to attend her sister's wedding. Here's hoping that ALW will kick Carly's behind to ramp up her soprano - and that we'll see either Brooke or Syesha waving "Bye Bye" next week.

I really think either of those two should've gone before Kristy Lee - and I'm rather betting that Kristy Lee will enjoy more eventual success.

Posted by: Jean | April 17, 2008 10:44 AM

I was more upset to see KLC go then I was to see Michael Johns (Michael Who?) go last week. Duffman's right, KLC wasn't a bad singer, and she was improving over these last few weeks, making good song choices--and she started "looking" like a star way before any of the others. I didn't like her in the beginning because she mangled so many songs early on. But, she was really coming into her own. Total bummer. Brooke should have gone, did the producers step in and switch them up?

I think Brooke will benefit from KLCs elimination.

Posted by: Sam | April 17, 2008 10:45 AM

I'm also surprised at how far off DialIdol's prediction was. I know it's not hard science, but they've been pretty accurate this season (and most seasons, actually). I mean, not only was KLC not predicted to be in the bottom 3, she was "safe" according to their MOE.

Posted by: Duffman | April 17, 2008 10:56 AM

"sit" or "go"?

glue factory

Posted by: Rob Iola | April 17, 2008 10:59 AM

I don't know that it's ALW next week. I just think it is.

Posted by: Duffman | April 17, 2008 11:01 AM

I was hoping Brooke would have been voted off. She was terrible Tuesday night. Oh well. Seriously how did Snow White and Dreds make it this far?

Posted by: NYC | April 17, 2008 11:15 AM

Hodie - my kids and I have been voting all along, distributed to David C., Michael Johns, Carly. Occasionally a vote for Syesha, KLC (2 weeks ago), Chickezie.

Tamara - I so enjoyed this unedited version of your column - much funnier than the pared down version in print.

And great point about Ryan's tasteless pressure on David Cook to reveal emotional details regarding his seriously ill brother. That was disgusting but I was SO IMPRESSED at how gracefully David C. dealt with it. Very savvy. If that conversation had taken place in private, D.C. would have been justified in telling him to get lost.

Is anyone else as underwhelmed as we were by Mariah's "Bye, Bye"? And the ending was very annoying. I have enjoyed some of her music in past, but mostly I am just annoyed by it. She set a terrible trend for a generation of female pop singers doing heavy breathing and over-wrought high-pitched warbling. Totally forgettable. Who would want to listen to this? Cannot be sung along with nor is it great dance music.

I was hoping BaNanny would go home. I don't loathe her the way others seem to and think she has some nice performance qualities, BUT, is well overdue for departure.

I worry that many of KLC voters will now break for BaNanny, liking the fresh-faced angelic blonde schtick. I think Carly was saved from B3 by Michael John voters (who also will bolster D.C.) I think BaNanny will grab Jesus Christ Superstar next week and throttle it (not in a good way), but it will secure hers and KLC fans. Too bad, because Carly and Syesha actually have the vocal chops to handle A.L.Webber's music. Which one will get "Memories" from Cats?

I am so tired of Jason. The word "vacuous" suits his personality. Also suits David. A.
I think Davd A. sings well, but there is "no there, there." I think he is very emotionally immature. Reminds of intellectual geniuses with incredible analytical abilities but no interpersonal skills. I kind of hope he wins AI so he is protected by the AI machine (as suggested in a post yesterday). David Cook will do better just finishing in top 2/3 w/o all of the baggage.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 17, 2008 11:15 AM

A month ago I never thought I would say what I'm about to right now -- KLC did not deserve to get the boot last night. She is the only one of the Idolettes that has shown growth and improvement as the competition has progressed, and she was finally showing some real potential. The Davids were already there, and the others are either unwilling or unable to change their grooves and/or bad habits.

I also want to give huge props to David C for refusing to play the pity card, even after he was given the widest possible opening to do so. Good for him for insisting on keeping his personal life personal and staking everything on his performances, not on sympathy.

Moving on to next week, I agree that we're probably going to see a Brooke-piano-bar version of "I Don't Know How to Love Him." Any bets on what Syesha will try? "Memory" perhaps?

Posted by: Doc | April 17, 2008 11:15 AM

I admire KLC's poise and that's about it. She got a lot of credit for her brilliant song choices but really it doesn't take a genius to realize that bread and butter patriotic songs and top 40 country singing will go over well. Honestly, I think that she has stuck with a certain audience since the judges originally told her to stick to her country crowd (I'm interested if anyone heard her previous professional work and if it has the Carrie Underwood type country vibe to it).

As far as her charm and signing abilities it seems like we have an extremely fickle blog here. Almost every week people have (rightly so) charged Kristy with sub par vocal performances and pitchy moments. Her saving grace has seemed to be the extremely recognizable country warble and her ability to hit the grace note each week. At the same time her likeable personality has been challenged by that extremely bitter/sarcastic Kristy's Seat legal pad note and her eye rolling/angry judge comments

Posted by: repricer | April 17, 2008 11:31 AM

OMG, Tamara, I think you're actually the most hysterical of all the Designated Idol Watchers! Bra-VA!

I do believe, however, that an Idolette threw down the gauntlet last season (or maybe the one before) by plopping down on the floor when asked to join the group that "gets to stay." So I don't think David A. was terribly original, but by all means give the boy props for preparing how to handle the dilemma ahead of time.

And David C., on behalf of all Americans with even a microcosm of heart, let me personally apologize for Ryan's disgusting attempt to lure you into becoming hysterical about your brother on live television. DC says he's a prankster, and I think Ryan can count on some Gorilla Glue ending up on his private dressing room's toilet seat this week. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Posted by: Trish | April 17, 2008 11:33 AM

Asking contestants to choose which group is safe is not right. It is not in their job description, nor should they have to demean their fellow idolites by choosing one over another. The protests should, and will, continue until the show producers call off that abysmal request.

KLC did not deserve the boot. I said yesterday KLC's song was LeAnn Rimes-like and I stand by that. Cardboard cutout Brooke should have gone, or perhaps Carly too. Jason would've been a good pick also as he clearly hasn't the chops to capably man the title of AI. Nor does Smiley Gator either, really. Only David C and Syesha are mature enough to carry the mantle of Kelly C or Carrie U, the two most succesful idols.

Also, the boys did not win the Mariah night. Syesha and Kristy sang more admirably, and, as females, had the inevitable (but wrong) disadvantage of having to live up to "Mariah" standards. They should have been rewarded for their effort, not gotten the B3. David C's performance was nowhere near the multi-raves he received. Most words were incomprehensible. I wish they would just let them pick their own songs hereon. Enough of this "theme" week crap. Let them sing whatever they feel is in their wheelhouse and let the chips fall where they may.

Posted by: RedRocket | April 17, 2008 11:40 AM

Duffman - I too was surprised that DialIdol was so off. I had Carly in B3, but agree with others who said that she was helped by MJ voters.

Andrew Lloyd Weber is next week according to the AI official web site.

So, will Jason and David A. also try to nab JCS tunes? Jason as Jesus? LOL.

And what about the group number? What do others think? Anyone going to try something from Phantom? It would be interesting if David Cook did, ala Gerard Butler who was a rocker before actor before Phantom. ALW himself was partly behind his selection wanting an edgier Phantom for the movie. No pretty boy singing - Phantom is a monster. Hmmm.

I look forward to seeing what Carly and Syesha choose. It is a do or die moment for them, since Jason seems to be secure for now, given his votes on DialIdol.com. And BaNanny seems to be this season's Sanjaya - just not quite as bad.

Posted by: Holly | April 17, 2008 11:43 AM

Red Rocket and Trish - I fully agree with your comments.

Ryan is becoming sleazier by the week. Hated him last year, but he seemed less offensive, better-mannered at the beginning of this season.

I think Fox/AI needs some protests about that incident with D.C. Ryan should apologize personally/privately to D.C.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 17, 2008 11:49 AM

BooHoo Nanny can hardly be called "fresh-faced". She looks way too old to be in this competition despite her age. Poor skin care and a devotion to tanning beds when she was younger?

I could tolerate her staying in the competition if she just promised to shut up. I can tolerate her singing- I don't think it's great- but I'm so sick of her talking over everyone, backtalking to the judges and playing woe is me. She's a spotlight stealer, looking for every opportunity to make herself look good.

Posted by: danilynn17 | April 17, 2008 11:49 AM

Anyone got TiVo? I swear, after her performance, I swear I heard Mariah say (to the Idols) something to the effect of, "You guys know how great I am--- er--- how great you guys are." Can anyone help clear this up?

Posted by: Lou Bricant | April 17, 2008 11:54 AM

At least AI is somewhat unpredictable this year. For the second week in a row, the Ousted One wasn't even in my Bottom Three prediction. As usual, my son did better than me.

Can't farhom the Theme selections this year. MC this week and ALW (?) next. Excuse me while I run out for a minute and die of boredom. If BaNanny can survive both of those horrors, she may well go a lot farther than most of the Brooke-haters around here think. MC week was an open grave for her, and she still lives! (No zombie cracks please, that's David A. or Carly).

I love Brooke's voice and musical genre, and hope she can step up her game back to "Let It Be" and "You're So Vain" level. If it's ALW next week, Syesha will doubtless get Memory (the only decent song in Cats) and barely survive again, since they always hand her the Plum Song to sing forgettably. Hope that Carly gets it, inevitably mangles it, gets ripped by Simon and mercifully departs back to the tattoo parlour.

BTW, did anyone notice Carly's truly weird animal scream-growl (or whatever it was) as she nearly shook little David A. to death after he got up from the floor? I've replayed that 5 times and it keeps getting stranger and more hilarious. Between Carly and Dad, the poor boy may go truly catatonic.

Posted by: Christin | April 17, 2008 12:09 PM

I'm embarassed to admit this, but Seabiscuit said that next week is ALW week as they were signing off last night.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 12:17 PM

Loved Tamara's comment about Paula's dress. She must have missed her prom because she's been dressing very formal lately.

I remember Fantasia sitting down for the "pick the group" dilemma -- but not sure if she's the first.

I must throw my two cents in about my boy, Jason (I say that cause I'm old enough to be his mom). From the moment he walked out on stage with his guitar on the first show and started singing, I could not stop smiling. I thought, "What a surprise and what joy he has!" My second thought was "oh no, I'm going to be busy on Tuesday nights from now on....". And I am. Two hours straight with two phones. It's hard work. (I realize I need to get a life...but the funny thing is I have one!) I think he's terrific. I'd definitely buy his album and David Cook's. I'm leaving to go out of the country for the next two weeks and I'm rallying the troops to stand in the gap and vote for Jason while I'm gone.

Posted by: LoveJason! | April 17, 2008 1:15 PM

Well, we forgot to set the VCR for Idol before going out last night so missed it. In a way I'm glad, I think the Idol blog here is better than the show and it gets better when I haven't seen the show. I think I may just do this every week until the end.

As for ALW week next week, here are some thoughts:

David A--"Close Every Door" from Joseph or one of the Che songs from Evita (like "High Flying Adored")

David C--would love to hear his version of "Heaven on their Minds" or any one of several other songs from JCS from this guy.

Jason--should stick to something funky like "Benjamin Calypso" from Joseph.

Carly--the only one that has the voice for some of ALW's soaring soprano songs. She should get "Memory" but Sayesha will probably snatch it up and do another C+ job with it. Carly can vocally handle all the challenging Sarah Brightman songs,as long as she doesn't do the screechy, scowling howling yelling thing. Would love to hear her sing "Phantom of the Opera"

Sayesha doing Sarah Brightman. *shudder* Sayesha needs to stay away from the yelling zone. She hasn't seemed to realize that she doesn't have the vocal chops of the big divas and needs to stay away from big power diva songs, but she doesn't. She should sing something like "Gumby Cat" from Cats. She could probably do a good job with "I Don't Know How to Love Him"

Brooke will be a disaster at ALW (then again, she was a train wreck at Mariah and survived). There is almost nothing in the ALW repertoire that her limited range and style can handle. But she should stick to something like "Any Dream Will Do" which is one of the few songs that is limited enough that she could sing it.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 17, 2008 1:29 PM

I have been voting on AI since season 2. I vote for Ruben, Clay, Fantasia Carrie, Bo, Katherine M., Melinda and Jordan. This is the first time I have not yet voted on AI. I'm not impressed with any of the performers, although David C. does have moments.

Posted by: Brooklyn | April 17, 2008 2:13 PM

DadWannaBe, I'd love to hear David C sing Gesthemane from JCS.

No way David A sings Close Every Door, it's too dark for him. I haven't thought of a song that fits with his predictable formula of boring, "uplifting," ballad that no one has ever heard of.

Benjamin Callypso is almost frighteningly perfect for Jason.

Agree that Carly should sing Memory, but I'm not convinced that she would sing it well. I thought she would havae done much better on "Without You," but she disappointed.

Nanny Cry Cry is an enigma. I'm not convinced there is any song that she wouldn't murder. At first I thought she could pull "I don't know how to love him," but I'm not so sure. "Any dream will do" would proably be in her wheelhouse, as would perhaps "Joseph's Coat" Any Narrator Song from that show could work because it fits with the whole Pre-School Teacher vibe.

Posted by: Duffman | April 17, 2008 2:15 PM

I can see Jason doing "Pilate's Dream" from JCS with the acoustic guitar.

Posted by: hodie | April 17, 2008 2:48 PM

Carly and Syesha should be the next to go, and it can't be soon enough.

Oh no, ALW is now official for next week! Pour out the schmaltz.

Can't fathom the Theme selections this year. MC this week and ALW (?) next. Excuse me while I run out for a minute and die of boredom. If BaNanny can survive both of those horrors, she may well go a lot farther than most of the Brooke-haters around here think. MC week was an open grave for her, and she still lives! (No zombie cracks please, that's David A. or Carly).

I love Brooke's voice and musical genre, and hope she can step up her game back to "Let It Be" and "You're So Vain" level. If it's ALW next week, Syesha will doubtless get Memory (the only decent song in Cats) and barely survive again, since they always hand her the Plum Song to sing forgettably--why could't Brooke have gotten the chance to sing a definitive Yesterday. Hope that Carly gets it, inevitably mangles it, gets ripped by Simon and mercifully departs back to the tattoo parlour.

BTW, did anyone notice Carly's truly weird animal scream-growl (or whatever it was) as she nearly shook little David A. to death after he got up from the floor? I've replayed that 5 times and it keeps getting stranger and more hilarious. Between Carly and Dad, the poor boy may go truly catatonic.

Posted by: Christin | April 17, 2008 3:12 PM

ALW is rot, and should not be inflicted on us next week. Hello terminal boredom--a forgettable effort by Syesha, a mangling by Carly, competent tripe by David A., and valiant efforts by Jason, Brooke, and Cook to make the perfect recipe out of mush.

A half of one act of virtually any Rogers-Hammerstein, Lerner-Lowe, or Meredith Wilson (Music Man) musical contains more memorable songs than does the entire corpus of ALW's decades-long productions. Bring on Carole King!

Posted by: Christin | April 17, 2008 3:31 PM

The theme's are based around what mentors they get and who is hyping what. Mariah Carey week was set around her then soon-to-be and now 18th #1 record breaking Elvis' record for most #1 singles. Oh yeah, and her new album, E=MC**2.

ALW is probably based on hyping his remake of Joseph on London's West End with the star of his reality TV show "Any Dream Will Do", Lee Mead. He's made a ton of cash with the TV show and West End revival and he's hyping it for more.

Last year, Tony Bennett was out hyping his then forth-coming "Duets" album.


Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 17, 2008 3:31 PM

Duffman--okay, I could see your point about David A. However, the haunting way he sang "Another Day in Paradise" (as inappropriate as that was) would work pretty well with "Close Any Door".

Nanny2-Cry-Cry could not handle most of the Narrator's songs. The narrator actually needs a pretty wide range about 5 or 6 times what the Nanny has. She'd spend the whole 90 seconds switching octaves to handle half of the Narrator's songs. ALW should seal her fate unless she's able to significantly step up and show something completely new and different (unlikely).

And Christin, although you may not like ALW, the public certainly does. "Memory" is one of the few songs in the post-golden era that actually has significant non-genre playtime. "All I Ask of You" is one of the top wedding songs of all time. "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" has gotten mainstream playtime thanks to Madonna. ALW has been seen/heard by more people in the last 30 years than any two other composers currently on Broadway (based on ticket sales). Whether you like his music or not, the public certainly finds his music memorable.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 17, 2008 3:39 PM

hodie -- great choice for Jason.

I'm not sure if someone said it, but I could see David C. doing Heaven on their Minds from JCS.

I'm not sure what the deal is with Carly - I totally agreed with what Simon said last night..she's better than she's letting on. But what is UP with the black tights? Her stylist needs to be violently shaken.

Had no issues with saying buh-bye to KLC last night. Probably wasn't the worst, but she's an atrocity and I was kind of done with her. And her calling Simon a butt totally did it for me. I'm kind of over the Simon bashing by the contestants...HELLO! You want to make records. He makes records. Take what he says and learn from it.

Posted by: tyeinmd | April 17, 2008 3:39 PM

Maybe it's just me but I will admit I am easily entertained. I have actually enjoyed this season more than most and suspect those of you who like to complain alot on this blog do too although are loathe to admit it or you wouldn't be watching week after week and contributing to this blog. (How's that for a run on sentence?) Anyway, keep it up, I think its more fun that way.

Posted by: hodie | April 17, 2008 3:45 PM

Tyeinmd--I mentioned David C and "Heaven" in my 1:29 post.

For Jason C--I think he would be better at "Poor Jerusalem" than "Pilate's Dream". One benefit is that "Poor Jerusalem" would fit in the 90-second limit without cutting. "Pilate's Dream" would need to be cut (although it is pretty easy).

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 17, 2008 3:47 PM

Just caught up on yest blog b/c I signed off early. Thanks for the update on DooLittle, but you prove my point in that you had to go to Wikipedia to find out what happened to her.

Posted by: hodie | April 17, 2008 3:56 PM

Pilate's Dream/Poor Jerusalem...pretty much same tune. They'd both work for Jason. Loved JCS as a kid, had the album, my sibs and I used to "act it out". Dating myself....

Posted by: hodie | April 17, 2008 3:59 PM

Re: Melinda Doolittle. I actually knew a little more. Around Valentine's Day, I had seen a talk-show interview with her when she was hyping the "Funny Valentine" single. I heard much of that info there. But I did refer back to the Wikipedia article to make sure that I gave out the right info.

I also loved JCS as a kid. You are dating yourself...you're old...probably around my age. :-)

Okay, skimming the end of yesterday's talk with the "feed the troll" posts...how many people here actually have some tangential tie to professional music in some form or another?

I'm a singer/performer in non-equity theater work and have had voice lessons off and on for 30 years. I have some ties to the professional and semi-professional theater network here in the DC area. No tie to the recording industry, though.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 17, 2008 4:28 PM

No professional ties but I am an amateur musician until recently active in community orchestra competent enough to know Randy needs to have his ears checked most times he claims a singer "pitchy".

Posted by: hodie | April 17, 2008 4:47 PM

Oh, do we now have to post our resumes to have credence on this blog? To tell the truth, I could't care less about other posters' musical connections. So please spare us the reports about your relative musical prowess and background.

As to ALW, I do like several of his songs: Memory, Argentina, a few others. His MO is to have one good song per musical, then reprise it 3-5 times to cover up the mediocre tripe that lards the rest of the score.

Final 4 picks: Cook, Brooke, Jason, david A.

Posted by: Christin | April 17, 2008 5:12 PM

No one has to respond if they don't want to. And this little exercise does not make anyone's opinions more important or better than any others. I was just curious from the troll (Suzanne/Adam/ whatever) posting yesterday if there were any people with any professional music ties. It's still completely anonymous. I certainly wasn't trying to establish any type of pecking order. As far as I'm concerned, everyone could use a little snark in their lives...and this is the perfect place to find it.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 17, 2008 5:23 PM

No Christin you don't. See yesterday's blog for the context of the question from Dadwanabee.
Feel free to skip the posts you don't care to read.
See ya next week

Posted by: hodie | April 17, 2008 5:26 PM

Even though it suits his vocal "range," I just can't see Jason pulling off "Pilate's Dream." But I would love to see him bring back that ukelele and launch into Herod's song (can't remember the name) with that goofy grin of his.

If David C passes on "Heaven on their Minds" (or anything else from JSC with that fantastic riff), then it might be fun to see what he might do with "Canaan Days."

And speaking of "Joseph" songs, too bad country gal KLC left before she could take a shot at "One More Angel in Heaven"

Posted by: Doc | April 17, 2008 5:40 PM

The song is actually called "King Herod's Song". But I can't picture Jason doing it with all of the overtones that most recent productions add (for those who don't know, King Herod is often portrayed as a "flaming queen" in leather).

And with David C's diction problems, do you really want to hear him do a bad Maurice Chevalier accent in "Those Canaan Days"? That's enough to make 'enry 'iggins roll over in his grave.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 17, 2008 5:47 PM

Hey, I appreciate hearing about some of your backgrounds, respect it, and without your musical experience, feel very comfy on this blog expressing my musical taste/distaste, and respectfully disagreeing if thats the case. Thanks for sharing.

And hodie, thanks for your comments about Randy calling things pitchy. I'm not the greatest ear, but I swear that half the time he makes it up about someone being pitchy. Ore else, it is SO SUBTLE it's not worth mentioning. The only thing that seems consistently and obviously pitchy are the mentors and many of the other pros who show up to perform on results night. I also think for the contestants, not used to size and volume of both the band and the back-ups, it is probably hard to stay on key.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 17, 2008 6:31 PM

Haven't posted in awhile, but enjoying all the comments.

I'm furious with Ryan Seacrest pressuring David Cook last night.

Please don't call him Seabiscuit - it trashes a dignified racehorse legend.

Instead, let's call him:

Pryin' Sleazefest.

Posted by: guiltypleasure | April 17, 2008 6:33 PM

DadWannaBe, you said "But I can't picture Jason doing it with all of the overtones that most recent productions add (for those who don't know, King Herod is often portrayed as a "flaming queen" in leather)."

What I had in mind was something more like Josh Mostel in the movie version, but I see your point. Maybe the "new overtones" would have made this a better song for David H if he were still around.

I also see your point about "Those Canaan Days," but faux-Maurice-Chevalier-as-channeled-by-faux-Eddie-Vedder still beats Jason's "Meee-chelle". . .

Posted by: Doc | April 17, 2008 6:38 PM

btw, the week after next is Neil Diamond week. What a contrast from ALW to ND.
I know I'm getting a little ahead of current focus, but the info is posted on AI schedule.

Posted by: guiltypleasure | April 17, 2008 6:54 PM

Rose, incredible writing!

Did anyone catch at the end after Ryan announced which group was safe that Carly play-punched Ryan in the back -- sort of like what a sister would do to a brother? Whoaaa, Ryan did NOT like that. You should have seen him wheel around and give her one of the most hateful looks I have ever seen. Priceless.

Posted by: KF | April 17, 2008 7:26 PM

I know he's young, naive, wet-behind-the-ears and most likely terrorized by a "stage parent," but I am becoming increasingly convinced that David Archuleta is just plain stupid. As in low IQ, short bus to school, smile and nod and just repeat the last two words you just heard. Granted, his singing makes him an idiot savant, but an idiot nonetheless.

Posted by: LLL | April 18, 2008 12:56 AM

Hey LLL,

I've had similar thoughts about David A. Yes he's young, but so were some of other contestants (Danny Noriega, Asia, Ramiele)and they seemed much brighter - well maybe not Ramiele). Jordin Sparks anyone? 16? Not stupid.

I know this sounds mean, and I do think David A. has a vocal gift. But he is definitely 3 french fries short of a Happy Meal. Maybe that is why Dad is always so close by - to protect him from being taken advantage of and help translate the situation to him.

He has potential for musical success, but he will need to be protected.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 18, 2008 9:24 AM

It may not be low intelligence. I've seen many bright youngsters that don't know how to think for themselves. This is frequently from helicopter parents (onces that hover over their children and descend to protect them whenever there is anything that might harm the bubble children) who do not let the children learn any coping or life skills. I think angry stage Dad-chuleta needs to let go and let the boy learn to cope with the real world. He may or may not be simple, but I have a feeling that a large part of his problem is Mr. Joan Crawford
(judging by his behavior on Jr Star Search, or whatever show Junior won several years ago).

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 18, 2008 12:55 PM

Thank you Dadwannabe, You are probably correct. Me bad. As a parent of teenagers, I compare him to our kids and their friends, all of whom are confident, even in large forums/on stage.

David A. has a shyness (part of his appeal to many, I suspect)which combined with anxiety about disappointing people, including very protective parents, leaves an odd impression.

He is polite and humble, but I sure wish he seemed to have an opinion or personality other than what we have seen. Jordin Spark's sparkle and gumption was part of why I was happy she won last season.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 18, 2008 1:34 PM

And we now return to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress...

Back to ALW week. I just watched the AI Extra exit interview with Horse-Pawner and apparently she had already planned to sing "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina." which means we will not see one of the other idolettes trying that one out. One less mega-song from the ALW songbook for the six remaining idolettes to sing.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 18, 2008 2:19 PM

Hated to see Kristy Lee Cook go. She was starting to come into her own, just as Jordin Sparks did about this time last year. I predict a bright country music career for Kristy.

Posted by: Clint Alley, Redondo Beach, CA | April 18, 2008 2:51 PM

Well that would have been interesting - I'm surprised. I think the group number may be a medley of one liners the idolettes can showboat on.

While a fan of ALW, I think it's a mistake to use his music as a theme week. It would work for a contest entitled, "So you wanna do Broadway."

I don't think the idolettes have that kind of a talent, nor does AI give them enough time and musical coaching to adjust to this type of music. I feel sorry for them - it really isn't fair. They are trying to be pop/rock singers not Broadway stars.

Just because some singers can cover some Broadway hits in a pop way doesn't mean they should all have to prove themselves in this fashion.

I really would like to see them compete doing what they do best, not being twisted and contorted from country one week, to disco queen the next, and then Broadway.

I'd love to see Simon and Randy cut them slack and acknowledge the absurdity of this particular exercise. Pitchy and karaoke comments are meaningless at this point.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 18, 2008 2:55 PM

When Seacrest said join the group that's safe, DA should have walked to the judges...

Posted by: brian954 | April 21, 2008 9:46 AM

I don't think KLC will get her horse back from the glue factory. ;)

Posted by: Chris | April 21, 2008 10:45 AM

Hi- I just found this blog and love it!

Question for you experts (sorry but I could not find it anywhere): how does the voting work? Do all the votes for every week add up? or is the weekly boot done on the back of only that week's vote??

I can't actually vote (I watch AI from the UK with 2 days delay...or on YouTube to get it earlier!) but I am very curious to know.


Posted by: thea | April 22, 2008 8:55 AM

thea, for some reason the voting did not work last week. Come back to the blog tomorrow and hopefully it will work. I think this is a great blog too! Lots of regulars and always glad to see new people on the blog. Who is the UK pulling for? I wish we could see your version of Idol.

Posted by: hodie | April 22, 2008 10:11 AM

"Three French fries short of a Happy Meal"??? Priceless. :-)

What bothers me the most is how David A. always looks as if he's going to cry - BEFORE - he has to take the "critique". Don't be in competitions if you cannot stand losing or criticism. Every little tiny tot beauty queen knows that.

As for his choice of "dark" or "inappropriate" songs - gee what about "staring down the barrel of a gun" - that was so ridiculous, I actually laughed outloud.

Now I'll play regarding the question of connections to the music industry: none.

However - I have been directly connected to the world of entertainment TV. I worked for 4 years for a large INDEPENDENT producer of entertainment programming - and we used to have a saying about certain shows "TTFF" (too tacky for Fox). Ryan Seacrest's goading of David C. about personal family issues was definitely TTFF.

"TTFF" usually meant that a show you'd produced would never ever see the light of day. Clearly, like "time" and the DVR - the definition of Fox has shifted.

Posted by: Jean | April 22, 2008 12:46 PM

not sure there is anything these days TTFF! whatever sells....which of course is the point. Looking forward to tomorrows column, should be a great one after we suffer through AI's rendition of ALW hits.

Posted by: hodie | April 22, 2008 2:48 PM

Now I'll play regarding the question of connections to the music industry: none.

Posted by: Jean | April 22, 2008 12:46 PM


Survey says. X (ENNNH!)

No, just kidding. Couldn't resist.

Well it's no surprise to me that the first prime time Emmy for Reality TV show host crosses the line of TTFF, probably multiple times an episode. I would really love the show so much better if Ryan "my hairproduct is" Seabreeze were eliminated from the show by the voters and they let the Idol with the least votes take his job.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 22, 2008 3:01 PM

Thea - Was your ? re voting for AI on performance night or in the poll that follows each of these articles by Lisa (and sometimes Tamara)?

I think Hodie was referring to the blog poll.

The voting for AI is done by phone or text message (from your cell phone) for an hour after show ends. Unlimited voting. If I'm wrong about any of this, please bloggers, help me out here, since I'm kind of sloppy about the voting thing.

But FYI, there is an interesting website called DialIdol.com that predicts outcomes by measuring busy signal. It is fairly accurate but imperfect. Did not predict Michael John's elimination 2 weeks ago. You may find that of interest.

Posted by: Holly | April 22, 2008 3:27 PM

yeah I was talking about the blog poll. I thought she said she was unable to vote from the UK so I assumed (maybe incorrectly) she was inquiring about the blog poll.

Posted by: hodie | April 22, 2008 3:50 PM

thanks Hodie & Holly-- I was actually referring to the actual AI phone voting. I can vote on the blog since it's...well the internet! but the phone numbers are US only numbers.
So- phone votes from the whole season add up every week, and the bottom one goes?

Posted by: Thea | April 23, 2008 4:10 AM

Forgot to answer: I am not really sure who the UK is pulling for... I can tell you I am a day-one David C fan. I listened to his performances blindfolded a few times, to make sure my judgment was not clouded by his looks. And yes-- he's still amazing :)
Bored to death by David A and Brooke by now.

Posted by: Thea | April 23, 2008 4:19 AM

I'll also post this in today's blog, but just in case Thea looks for the answer here...

The voting opens for 2 hours at the end of every episode (they do this by area codes and time zones, so cell phones have to vote in the area code where they originate, not where they are at the time of the show). For two hours, callers can call in and vote or text vote. Supposedly, at the end of the two hour period, any additional votes are ignored.

Then the AI machine waves its hand (and the rest of the exercise is left to the reader) and the following night, the results are announced amidst 30-60 seconds of real information and 59 minutes of padding and commercials to send one unlucky idolette home.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 23, 2008 1:28 PM

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