"American Idol": "I Am," Nanny Brooke Said. "Nuh-uh," We Replied.
After frightening us with word that we know more about this year's five remaining Idolettes than about any other contestants in "American Idol" history, show host Ryan Seacrest says he's "still out of breath" from previous night's Paula Abdul Goes Psychic Show.
"I don't know if it's the strangest we've ever had, but certainly the fastest," he says. Wrong. It was the strangest, but the usual length.
The Idolettes do what they can with such Neil Diamond tunes as "Cracklin' Rosie," "Song Sung Blue" and "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" during the traditional Results Show Group Idol Sing, while silently cursing their grandparents for making this guy into a star.
Former Idolettes Constantine Maroulis -- I can't believe I ever rooted for him even if he did sing "Bohemian Rhapsody" -- and Gina Glocksen have been hosting a Fox Reality channel show that recaps "Idol," and, for reasons never explained, Seacrest gives them a big fat plug when there's only three more weeks to go on this season's competition.
The producers recap the previous night's show, minus Paula's interesting critique of Jason Castro's second song before he actually sang it. After that, Seacrest dives right in.
"Last night the judges were thrown a curve ball," he said, referring to the producers' bait-and-switch in which they told the judges to hold their critiques until after each Idolette had sung a second Diamond tune, only to surprise them and ask for their comments once all five Idolettes had finished Round 1.
"It sparked a lot of gossip about Paula," Seacrest says, referring, among other chatter, to a report by a syndicated celebrity suck-up show that it had found a waiter who claims to have served Paula a drink at lunch on Tuesday -- which, the show's Web site extrapolates, may mean she was drunk during "Idol" that night. Ah, drunk and psychic!
Other reports speculated Paula had been given a script, that the show isn't really live, blah, blah, blah.
Anyway, while Seacrest's speaking. Paula is in her chair, dressed as Patty Duke. She looks stricken, like Patty upon discovering her boyfriend, Richard is going to the prom with her identical cousin Cathy.
"The rumors are not true," Seacrest says.
"She is part of our family and we love her."
Judge Simon Cowell kisses Paula. Judge Randy Jackson kisses Paula. Paula is forgiven.
Time to start whacking Idolettes. Jason is brought on stage. Seacrest calls him J-Cas and wonders why even Paula savaged his two performances of Neil Diamond tunes -- both before and after he gave them. Jason says he gets better reviews when he's actually heard of the songs he's singing, or when he changes them drastically. He clearly has confused himself with David Cook. This week just gets weirder and weirder. But the judges' bad reviews mean squat to his prepubescent-chick voting block, and Jason is sent to the Sofa of Safety.
Which is interesting because this is usually the point in "Idol" where the Web site Dialidol starts getting accurate and it has Jason as the second-lowest vote getter.
David Archuleta is brought out next. Seacrest asks Paula why she said Baby Elmo needs to look like he's having more fun. Paula says because fun is what he needs to have more of. Baby Elmo says he had fun but he will try to have more. Seacrest says he's safe. "Oh my god!" mumbles Baby Elmo; he continues to mumble as he joins Jason on the sofa.
Randy models the new viewer-designed Coca-Cola cup while Seacrest shouts "Love the Cup! Be the Cup!"
Former Coroner Munchkin is brought out. He cracks his neck and looks vaguely bored. Seacrest wonders what David C. was thinking when Paula said Tuesday she thinks she's already looking at the next American Idol. Since "she was served a drink at lunch" and "she was handed a script" are not options, David C. says he was thinking about how the previous week, when Simon super-praised Carly Smithson, it was "the kiss of death." (Carly was last week's bootee). Seacrest sends him to the Sofa of Safety, making FCM feel a perfect fool. Oh wait, no he doesn't.
That leaves Nanny Brooke and Syesha Mercado as the Bottom Two vote-getters. Or does it? Interestingly, Seacrest never says so, and Dialidol has Syesha as this weeks TOP vote-getter. Seacrest says only, "One of you is safe and the other is going home, unfortunately" and never refers to them as the "Bottom Two."
We mull the possibility that the producers did not want Jason to be revealed as the other half of the Bottom Two this week because it would cause the J-Cas Pre-Pubescent Chick Fan Club to rally next week to save him, so they made Syesha suffer needlessly to ensure Jason goes home next week.
Seacrest tortures Syesha and Nanny Brooke with blather about their song choices and asks Syesha whether it's tough to pick songs each week. She resists the urge to smack him and says yes, it is, because most of the time she's never heard of any of the songs from which she has to choose. Seacrest tells them they can both spend some time on the Sofa of Safety while this week's British pop singer, Natasha Bedingfield, performs.
Natasha Bedingfield is wearing a shocking amount of clothing for a pop-singer chick -- some peasant-blouse thing that's not even falling off a shoulder, and sailor pants. She's so covered up, if she weren't blonde and wearing nearly as much eye makeup as Amy Winehouse, she'd be a total disaster.
She sings some pocket full of sunshine song, the gist of which seems to be that sticks and stones are never gonna break her, after which she demands to be allowed to go over to the Sofa of Safety to see David. David C. stands up, naturally assuming she means him. She runs over to Baby Elmo, plants herself next to him and gives him a big kiss, totally ignoring David C. I love live TV.
If you thought last week's lack of Phone Company Sponsors Actual Phone Calls segment on results night meant focus groups had told the network it was the worst product-placement idea ever, you were wrong. It's back. Shockingly, it coughs up something almost amusing: one Tara Miller, 46, from Petaluma, Calif., who calls in to find out which Simon thought better, kissing Paula several seasons back, or kissing her in his garden when he was 9 years old.
"Do you still look cute?" Simon asks before committing, no doubt anticipating if he says his 9-year-old kiss was better, he will be haunted by pictures in the tabs on Friday of some wizened old hag, run with the headline "Simon Says I'm the Best Kisser!"
Tara cleverly responds that she thinks he has aged well and she thinks she has, too. Even so, Simon declines to answer her. But Seacrest jumps in to tell all those kiddies watching that 9 years old is too young to start kissing: "You need to wait a bit."
How can the Ford Music Video top that? It can't, though it tries, by suggesting Ford hybrid vehicles can clean up graffiti and make flowers bloom and trees grow in the ghetto.
Finally, it's time for Neil Diamond himself to perform his tune "Pretty Amazing Grace." It's a pretty okay tune for a Neil Diamond song, which is to say it has no deaf chairs or cracklin' rosies.
Before he chats with Seacrest, he points out his mom in the audience. How can Neil Diamond be older than his own mother? Diamond says he continues to work even though, as Seacrest suggests, he doesn't need to, because he gets to put on clothes and people clap and he sings. "It's fun."
Seacrest wonders how he thought the Idolettes did the night before. You know what's coming:
"I thought the kids did great."
Time for someone to get whacked. Syesha and Nanny Brooke are brought back on stage. After 45 million votes, America has decided that the Idolette who is leaving is Brooke, Seacrest says.
"Yep," says Nanny Brooke, weeping. Nanny Brooke, frequent forgetter of lyrics, finally gets her walking papers, ironically, the night after remembering all the lyrics to her two tunes this week -- even the bit about no one hearing at all, not even the chair, in "I Am . . . I Said." She did write one of the tougher lines on the palm of her hand, about how the palm trees grow and the rents are low. Except, she forgot she was going to be playing the piano, which would've made it a bit tough to look at the lyrics on her hand.
But that's all moot now. Because Nanny Brooke is out.
"The brave, the vulnerable, the candid, the beautiful Brooke White," Seacrest gushes.
"I want to say thank you. This is gonna be terrible for me right now, but thank you," Nanny Brooke scolds though her tears.
She begins to sing her swan song, a re-do of "I Am . . . I Said."
And, in a perfect ending, she botches the lyrics -- twice.
Lisa de Moraes
May 1, 2008; 7:20 AM ET
Previous: "American Idol": Holly Holy! It's Neil Diamond Night! | Next: "American Idol": The Unfab Four
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