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"American Idol": Scott Free

"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest no longer opens the Wednesday results show with his ominous gag about how he's going to reveal the viewer voting results that will seal the fate of one of the Idolettes. These days he says he will reveal the results of viewer votes that will in turn send that person to the judges. who will determine the Idolette's fate -- lording that new Judges' Save rule over viewers.

But first, judge Randy Jackson admits he was disappointed by last night's show. So too were the million, or two million, or three, viewers who had DVR'd Tuesday's performance show and did not get to see Adam Lambert sing because his performance didn't start until a couple minutes after the show was supposed to end -- running a total of 9 minutes long. Judge Kara DioGuardi is partly to blame -- eight Idolettes trying to perform in one hour, and now an additional fourth judge adding her 30-seconds'-worth of blah, blah, blah after each performance -- you do the math. Anyway, Kara once again demonstrates why the addition of a fourth judge has added so much to this year's show, explaining to Seacrest, and the nation, that some of the Idolettes who were strong at the outset are now not, while others have remained strong all along.

And judge Paula Abdul, meanwhile, is wearing evening gloves and her face continues to get more sparkly, and more purple, each week on results night.

Judge Simon Cowell, meanwhile, tries to deny he was born in 1959, but Seacrest will have none of it and rolls a black -and-white clip of a hot song from that year -- Frankie Avalon singing "Venus." Then, from behind the curtain pops Old Frankie Avalon, who uses what's left of his voice to sing "Venus" while carefully navigating the stage's three steps like he' s just had hip replacment surgery. Even so, some chicks in the audience shriek and he gets a standing ovation. Does he have a new CD coming out we don't know about? Is he running for political office?

No time to contemplate that -- it's time for American Idol Group Sing from the year "American Idol" was born -- 2002 , which apparently was another really bad year for songs because they wound up with "I Just Can't Get You Out of My Head." Traditionally, Group Sing is lip synched, but this week's is so particularly bad we suspect it's their actual voices. Lambert does the Constantine Maroulis Kick during the performance.

Time for the Ford Music Video. But, because this is a very special Idol results show, and because this week's Ford Music Video is directed by some Tim Burton Lite Guy, we also get to see a Making of the Ford Music Video, in which the Idolettes are allegedly characters in a magic vaudeville act in old downtown Los Angeles, but really look more like characters from the Disney animated version of "Pinnochio." The director shouts things at them, like "I want you to see through the audience -- I want them to feel like you're piercing their soul!" and "you're going to start off very brooding, very menacing." It's a menacing, brooding Ford ad.

Next: Time for Damage Control. Because the previous night "Idol" ran so long and Adam's performance could not be seen by DVR-ing "Idol" fans, Seacrest deals with Lambert first. The previous night, he noted, Cowell had had to speak for all the judges (because, of course, there had been no time for the other judges to critique his performance).

But Seacrest doesn't ask Adam how he feels about the fact he was handled differently from all the other competitors during Tuesday's show; he asks instead how he feels about receiving a standing ovation from Simon.

"I was extremely honored," Adam says."I really appreciate that gesture. I've never seen that before and I've been watching the show for eight years. . . . I'm very flattered -- thank you," Adam gushes. And the effect is complete.

But, for good measure, Seacrest also asks the other judges -- Jackson, DioGuardi, and Abdul -- to critique Adam's performance, 24 hours after those comments might have made a difference in how viewers voted. All three shower Adam with praise.

Adam has been among the most popular Idolettes all season, so "Idol" lucks out and he's sent to the Seats of Safety. Anoop Desai, on the other hand, is sent to sit in one of the three Stemware of Shame.

Kris Allen is sent to a Seat of Safety.

Flo Rida performs for the crowd with his harem of hotties, ending in a colorful confetti-and-streamer shower which Flo winds up picking from his sweating body while Seacrest asks him beauty pageant questions about his upcoming tour, new CD, and such, though one of Rida's answers is bleeped.

Back to the vote results. Danny Gokey is safe. Matt Giraud -- the other Kris Allen -- is safe. Scott MacIntyre is not and winds up in a Stemware of Shame. That leaves just Allison Iraheta and Lil Rounds who, miraculously, has never been among a week's bottom three vote getters. Finally, her luck runs out and she's sent to join Anoop and Scott. Simon says they might use the Judges' Save on one of the Bottom Three dwellers in particular, but he's not saying which.

And before we can find out, we have to watch former Idolette Kellie Pickler as she shows off her shoes -- the ones on her feet, that is -- and sings a tune she says she co-wrote with Taylor Swift?

Having survived that, we are considered strong enough to cope with Lil Rounds being sent to safety. Out of this week's 34 million votes, just 30,000 of them separated Anoop and Scott. And Scott is the low vote getter. The judges huddle to consider Scott. Two of them want him saved; the other two not so much.

"I can please you another week," Scott says, pathetically. Judges' Save is the worst "Idol" improvement. Ever.

The judges are stalemated, Seacrest tells Simon to make the call, tossing the Save's rules out the window -- remember how it was going to have to be unanimous? Anyway, Simon announced it's over for vision-impaired Scott who, a teary Paula says, has been an inspiration to the whole world, adding "You are one classy gentleman. God bless you. We love you."

By Lisa de Moraes  |  April 9, 2009; 6:23 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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I wish they could have had a double elimination...or triple. I want Lil and Danny gone...NOW.

Posted by: Slinger61 | April 9, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know why Flo Rida got bleeped?

Posted by: Joe_in_Raleigh | April 9, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Finally, no lipsync. Does that mean that Megan was the one forcing it? Hmmmm.

Holy crap, Flo Rida got some huge arms! I sure would like to know what was bleeped.

This Save business is getting out of hand. Thanks Lisa, I had forgotten that it had to be unanimous. Ryan should have stepped in and made it stop. It looked like "Family Feud" at the judges' table. Survey says he's the worst up there, people. Why give him another week when he doesn't stand a chance?

Ryan has to stop his torturing sentences. It's old and is no longer fooling anyone. I'm afraid it's bad news...for the viewers, you are back next week! The worst was when he toyed with Anoop when he sent Lee-ill back to couch.

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | April 9, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

The network bleeped when Flo Rida revealed which anabolic steroid he's been taking for at least 3 years.

Posted by: Booklover1 | April 9, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

I thought the most interesting thing about the Vaudeville Magic Show Ford Ad was the fact that Adam actually required no makeup or costume for it, he showed up looking like that.

Kellie, Kellie, Kellie...

Kellie is still as terrible as I remember, holy cow. I never imagined that I would yearn for the vocal talents of Lady Gaga, but Kellie managed to do that. The original "shoes," yet keeping the shoes conspicuously under wraps this time around.

Country music fans, I love you guys, seriously. But, when I see performers like "Country Music Sensation" Kellie Pickler, sometimes I swear that you people will buy *anything*. I'm convinced that a Pretty Blonde Girl farting on a banjo for 3 minutes would crack the Billboard Country Chart.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 9, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

"...sometimes I swear that you people will buy *anything*. I'm convinced that a Pretty Blonde Girl farting on a banjo for 3 minutes would crack the Billboard Country Chart."

I just spit coffee on my keyboard. Hilarious!

Posted by: fnht451 | April 9, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Scott is gone - THANK YOU, GOD!!

Posted by: beegrace123 | April 9, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The network bleeped when Flo Rida revealed which anabolic steroid he's been taking for at least 3 years.

Booklover1, that is hilarious.

Posted by: mstaines | April 9, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I thought "the save" had to be unanimous only if someone was to be saved. All had to agree that someone should be saved meaning that only one NO was enough for them to be sent home. It wouldn't make sense to require unanimity on not saving them. We would end up with the stalemate we had last night before Simon put us all out of our misery with his veto. As to Flo Rida, nice to see tinfoil underpants for the ladies making a comeback.

Posted by: watchingIdolbecauseIhaveto | April 9, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Coming from a REAL country music fan:


If she had shorter legs, less of a tan and buck teeth she'd be nothing. Disgusting. My stomach was literally churning as she sang - and my ears were bleeding, too.

I wish the judges could critique the perfomers who show up on results night - now THAT would be entertainment!

Posted by: raquel2 | April 9, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Simon proved last night why he's the only judge that should be taken seriously. Does anyone believe that Paula or Kara actually thought Scott (talent and marketability-wise) should still be on this show? They felt bad for him and didn't want to come across as the heartless people that would cut a blind person.

Scott's exit was past due.

Posted by: repricer | April 9, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Thank you god, Scott is gone. He was horrible, but apparently people actually liked him.Lisa, this is my first year reading this colum, but thank you soo much. Next week, should be DW Danny, or Matt with the hat( what is growing out of his head) Adam is my #1 tied with Allison. Kris is cute, but wont make it all the way. When are the holy ones ( Randy, Palua and Simon, oh and the one that caused the show to go over this Tuseday) going to use the save?

Posted by: purpleminky | April 9, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

To understand Kellie Pickler's success, you have to understand that country today is what Top 40 was 20 years ago. There is an awful lot of dreck that gets passed off as music. She was pretty awful last night, proving that when two minor talents combine their efforts the results are not necessarily greater than the sum of the parts. They are the Debbie Gibson and Tiffany of their era.

Rida got bleeped when he revealed the network where you could watch his live, streaming concert and it wasn't a Fox network, nor had it paid for the mention.

The right guy went home, but the judges' save is horrible.

By the way, what the heck is Burger King thinking, promoting a kid's meal with "I Like Big Butts"???!!! That is inappropriate on SO many levels!

Posted by: inkydog | April 9, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"They are the Debbie Gibson and Tiffany of their era."

You are doing a disservice to Tiffany and Debbie Gibson by comparing them to Kellie Pickler. At least the Mall Concert Girls could *kind of* sing.

Didn't Deborah Gibson have a run on Broadway for a while a few years back? Beauty and the Beast, I believe.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 9, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Scott is so nice, and so unqualified for this. He is the kind of pleasant, competent, forgettable singer that they must see thousands of during auditions, and, I presume turn away. The kind of guy who is sings the national anthem at a minor league ballpark and as he's singing the last line you think "he did a nice job" and promptly forget about it. If he wasn't blind, he wouldn't be there. I'm relieved to see him go.

Picking up on raquel's comment re: Ms. Pickler, yep I think the judges would have to say it was "pitchy," "screechy," and "you shouted the song." Even the fascination of watching her navigate the huge stage in those ultra-high heels without turning her ankle was not enough to compensate -- I escaped to the kitchen to empty the dishwasher until it was over.

I saw Taylor Swift on SNL a few weeks ago and I don't think she sang five notes in a row in key either. So maybe there's a method to the madness of her having Kellie P. as the opener.

Posted by: owingsmills | April 9, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"I'm convinced that a Pretty Blonde Girl farting on a banjo for 3 minutes would crack the Billboard Country Chart."

Hee hee hee.

Made my morning.

Posted by: AmuseMe | April 9, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

thanks for the recap and snark. I hate, hate, hate the results show and watched Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert instead. So glad that Scott is finally gone. It is not right he made it this far. Owingsmills you are 100% right about him.
Also not sad I missed Kellie Pickler.

Posted by: hodie | April 9, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

LdeM -- you were a little tough on "Old" Frankie. He IS old, probably does have replacement hips (or at least aged ones) and his voice probabaly HAS suffered a lapse over time. Give him a break. If only you and I could still manage as well at his age.

VT- good and bad. Good -- you are right on about Pickler. Her shrill performance would've gotten her voted off (again) although I find her studio-produced voice (i.e., her hits) listenable. (And I liked Ryan's quip "there's some calamari backstage" very funny) Bad -- stop going out of your way to dis Lambert week after week. We get it. You've picked Allison. Our difference is I like -- and respect -- both; I just prefer Adam to win and Allison to place, but I'm not going to stoop to tearing her down. Now, as is your habit, copy something I wrote and get the last word in.

Posted by: redrocket | April 9, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"I saw Taylor Swift on SNL a few weeks ago and I don't think she sang five notes in a row in key either."

Which is fascinating because I'm not sure that most Taylor Swift songs have 5 different notes in them. So, she likely sang the same note, 5 times in a row, in 5 different ways. In some twisted way, that's actaully kind of impressive.

" stop going out of your way to dis Lambert week after week."

Dude, it was a joke. You're on the AI snark blog and ought to up you intake of Vitamin D to thicken up that skin a tad. I'm not trying to "tear anyone down," jeez. These people are characters on the TV, not your friends and not your boyfreind.

I have no lack of respect for Adam, but let's be real real here for a minute: We're talking about a 27 year old man who is *fabulous* as the day is long, who dresses like a 17 year old emo hipster and actually copped to a preference for "capes and masks" last night only to be in a "Vaudeville Magic Show Ford Commerical."

I submit that no self-respecting reader of Lisa's blog would drop a snark opportunity like that. It would be like not mentioning Allison's dreadful "Love Child of Cyndi Lauper and Pebbles Flinstone" look from last week.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 9, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Relieved too that Scott is gone. He had run out of time. Comments were right on esp. VTD's last line about country singer blondes. LMAO.

Is anyone curious about how Kris was at bottom on Dial Idol but not in B3? I assume this is the text vote impact which DialIdol can't measure. I assume that texters are younger part of audience, and thus likely to save Kris (whom I like but thought was forgettable Tues. - didn't help that judges trashed him but raved over Matt. What's up with that? )

Fox should be ashamed of itself for wasting time on things like Frankie singing Venus (thought it was hilarious though, but so irrelevant)and Ryan allowing show to drag. Where is the producer telling him to pick it up and shut down the judges' babble? Unprofessional. You can see Simon's impatience every week with Kara and Paula's halting, dramatic babble. They both need a "get over yourself" award.

Posted by: MarriedMom | April 9, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Paula Abdul, meanwhile, is wearing evening gloves and her face continues to get more sparkly, and more purple, each week on results night." What? Could she be drinking again? - Purple Sparkle Window Cleaner in the sippy cup?
The only thing that makes this show watchable is that it is an irony-free zone - I mean, where else could a blind guy sing a song with the lyrics "Now I look into your eyes, I can see forever, the search is over..." and not be told - dude - no you can't! Thanks for the recap of every dream-crushing moment - that's what Idol is all about.

Posted by: mrpierce1 | April 9, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

At least Frankie actually was an American Idol - unlike Flo Rida, Kellie Pickler, any of the judges or Ryan Seacrest. Is there anybody as ubiquitous as Frankie around anymore - i.e., radio, movies and TV?

Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | April 9, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Ummmm, helloooo? Paula Abdul was a true American Idol. She proved to cheerleaders across the nation that they too could aspire to be more than pyramid tops.

Posted by: AmuseMe | April 9, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

watchingIdolbecauseIhaveto -- you are right; the save has to be unanimous. When Simon said "we are divided 2 to 2" I thought "so that's that! -- it's a no." Then they (i.e., Ryan) blathered on "to try to reach consensus", i.e, to give them yet ONE MORE chance to save Scott! I've hated this dumb idea since day 1. It's transparent "this is who we think should win" mentality is a huge bias, and the "you're not good enough for us to save" dump is a final kick in the gut to the unsaved.

VT - thanks for validating. I'm just saying your snark gun seems overloaded weekly with Adam-ammo. Adam was the only current AI targeted in your first post today. IMHO it seems to me you go out of your way each week to single him out, usually with an uppercut and not a gentle jab. Even your "let's be serious" paragraph is in that vein. Did'ja REALLY hav'ta make your point -- again?! You attacked his age, called him an emo hipster, and reconnected his/your supposed irony in seeing him in vaudeville mode -- all in one sentence! You didn't say he "seemed" like that; its obvious all of that grates on you. They're more than just 'characters' on TV. They're trying, and they're under the microscope, but there's a fine line between fun'n them & critiquing them, vs taking pot shots at them (you -- at him in particular). As for Lisa, I've read plenty of "you've gone too far" rebuts from posters. Sometimes she's cute. Sometimes it's catty. It's like the difference when Simon's comments fall too far over the line being overly crass and blunt to the point of emabarassing a contestent rather than critiquing him/her.

Groov-M --- ubiquitous? I had to look it up to confirm what you're getting at. (ever-present, omnipresent). Since there was no formal introduction to his song my family and I had to play 20 questions to figure out it was him. It wasn't "isn't that Frankie Avalon -- again?" It was "quick, who sang Venus?"

Posted by: redrocket | April 9, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Scott is admittedly nice but mercifully gone--at last. Ironic that it was Paula who fatally lured him out from the relative safety behind his piano, then had to make amends by doing her PC bit eulogizing and fawning over his Idolette corpse.

Kara the Parrot had a full 23 hours to prepare a comment on Adam's performance, and the best she could come up with was to lamely repeat Simon's initial reaction: "That standing ovation says it all". Squawk. Megan should put her in her bird-sound repertoire. Caw caw.

Watched the show with my 15 year old son. You should have seen his incredulous face when I informed him that young Frankie Avalon was a teen Heartthrob in the late '50's, and in early 60's beach movies. The Kris Allen of his time?

Posted by: Brookelover | April 9, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"They are the Debbie Gibson and Tiffany of their era." Hey-watch what you say about Deborah--that's my girl! She still holds the Guinness record for the youngest person to write, produce and perform a number 1 single (Foolish Beat). Ok, so it isn't exactly the Beatles, but it still shows a hell of a lot more talent than Kellie displayed last night.

On a separate topic, did they overcompensate for running long on Tues by going short last night? They dragged out delivering the "decision" on the save forever. Must have been weird for Scott to have to stand there and wait without being able to see what they were doing. Thank god they showed some mercy on the poor fellow and let him go.

Posted by: smallhomes | April 9, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Poor Scott... he deserved to go based on his singing (well, either him or Lil Rounds, but she seems to have an inexplicabily loyal fanbase who are also apparently tone deaf or easily impressed by big voices regardless of in-tune-ness @_@) but I do feel bad for him. Even though he's a big dude, he had something of that innocent "American Idol is everything and I really want to win" vibe that the sparkly-eyed 16-year-old contestants of the past like Jordan Sparks had. It's always see those people have their dream ended. :( But yeah... there's no way he would have won anyway, considering who he was up against. Hope he'll have fun on tour and keep on singing/playing piano.

And yeah, they really need to fire that Gowers guy who directs Idol--every year, *someone* gets cut off b/c of the show running over, or an eliminated Idolette doesn't get to sing their swan song, etc. After 8 seasons, you would think they could figure out they either need to shut the judges up, cut out a Coke interview or invite one less guest performer. Not exactly brain surgery here...

Posted by: Kureno | April 9, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

mrpierce1 we're kindred spirits. I was wondering when someone would mention Scott's in-sightful lyrics.

Posted by: mc286 | April 9, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I keep seeing Paula and Kara gettng all the blame for the time management problem. And in fairness, they certainly are part of the problem. But I think Simon is at least as guilty. It is rare when Paula is talking that he isn't egging her on in the background, "what does that mean?;" "but did you like it?;" "what are you saying?;" etc. etc. This interrupts what little train of thought she may have had, she stops, admonishes him, and starts over. If he would just keep his indulgent trap shut while the other judges were speaking, they'ld probably be back on time.

Posted by: brianb27 | April 9, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Rocket I'm sorry you can't take jokes about your favorite contestant. That said, I'm not going to stop making them and you're not going to stop being offended, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

That said, you missed the point about his age. I wasn't making fun of his age - we're the same age. I was making fun of the fact that he's an adult who dresses like a child.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 9, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and they are not anything more than characters on TV. It doesn't matter how "hard they're trying." They're not your freinds, they don't care about you, and they never will. You can vote for Adam 1,000,000 times and he still won't Facebook you. The only real difference between these people and fictional characters is the amount which you, apparently, care.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 9, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm convinced that a Pretty Blonde Girl farting on a banjo for 3 minutes would crack the Billboard Country Chart.

Funniest thing I've read on here. Perhaps VT should write the blog.

I think they will only use the save if Allison or Adam are somehow voted out before the last 2.

Posted by: RockDer | April 9, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

inkydog -- I agree with others (VT, smallhomes) you're too tough on D Gibson and Tiffany. Just cause they're not relevant today doesn't mean they didn't have their moments. Gibson was a self-made songwriter and performer. Tiffany (and her handlers) were smart enough to create the model for the Miley's and Demi Levato's that follow. As for Taylor Swift, unlike Pickler, she has earned her spot in country stardom based on a track record of songwriting hits. And I don't begrudge her the right to sing her own songs. And (as I said of Pickler) Swift's studio-produced voice is fine to sing her songs. In short, Taylor's a keeper. The only real question is, what is she doing conspiring to write songs with Kelly Pickler?

RockDer - there is no save from Top 5 in. So they must use it either this week or next. See my 11:51 post for my reasoning why it will be used next week.

Posted by: redrocket | April 9, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I found it a little bit funny when, while waiting to hear the verdict on Scott, Ryan asked him if he thought he did a better job with his save me singing than he had the previous night. Scott said something like, "I don't know. I have to go and watch it back." My first thought was, 'don't you mean 'listen?' Then I thought to myself that maybe he isn't so blind after all. Then I thought I'm bad.

Posted by: KarenA2 | April 9, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

RockDer -- oops. My bad.
here's my reasons
1) we are overdue for a suprise elimination. 2) regardless, they will use the save NEXT week to avoid a use-it-or-lose it mandatory use (which would be anti-climatic) in Top 6 week. (That person would merely be a 'lucky loser'.) In any event, the prospect of promoting a double-elimination night is too much for the producers to ignore.

Posted by: redrocket | April 9, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

1) Advice to Simon: next time you have to make a unilateral decision, follow that great American tradition and chalk it up to the "will of the people."

2) Fox needs to run Adam's performance and the standing O on its website - now!

3) Lisa, love your column.

Posted by: marieeastman | April 9, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

" Then I thought to myself that maybe he isn't so blind after all."

IIRC, he likens it to "seeing through a straw" or something like that? He isn't totally 100% blind, I thought.

"1) we are overdue for a suprise elimination."

I agree that we are overdue for another one, but couldn't Alexis be counted as a "Suprise Elimination?" I thought she was going to go DEEP in this competition.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 9, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the edumaction RR.

That would mean they "save" someone who does not have a chance of winning. Would they save Anoop? They would probably save Lil.

Does anybody remember what spots Daugherty and Hudson got the hook?

Posted by: RockDer | April 9, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

RedRocket - hello pot, meet kettle.

Was it not you who chided me for suggesting that the week 6 Allison bashing had gone too far? I too feel like critiques of outfit/hair styles are fair game but that the personal attacks (weight and "troll-like appearance") were mean spirited.

You thought yourself oh-so-clever by declaring me the 7th grade police.

Yet, when your boyfriend is the target (and seriously, he deserves it. He is 27. He needs to stop shopping at Hot Topic), you flip out and call it pot shots. Hypocritical, no?

Posted by: AmuseMe | April 9, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Daughtry was booted at Top 4 (Yamin, McPhee, and Hicks were left).

I believe Hudson was either 6th or 7th. Can't exactly recall. Definitely not higher than that.

Posted by: jljardon2 | April 9, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Lisa has mentioned a time or two that when a show goves over the 60 minute boundary, then whatever show you would have watched next loses points on the how-many-are-watching meter that is used in the first 5 or so minutes of a show. I've always thought Fox occasionally runs AI long so that the other nets will lose some viewership in their overnights. Fox can't do it all the time, but there usually do it once or twice during the AI seasons. Some of the other nets were doing it during sweeps last year or the year b4.

I thought Scott really belonged on something like America's Got Talent; he just didn't have quite the assertiveness and star power to make it through much higher on AI. He also didn't help himself by singing in keys that forced him into ranges that he really doesn't have. It was ironic, though, that Paula enticed him from behind the piano, way out of his comfort zone, and he was immediately whacked.

Which makes me think that although every week Lil gets lectured about making the songs her own and cutting out the karaoke -- and she always says, "I can do that" -- but the next week she keeps going with the karaoke -- she may have realized that sometimes when the judges say "do this" and you do it, you end up getting smacked around the following week. They did the same thing to David Cook a time or two, and have done it to others.

"We want to see your soft side" -- the person does something down tempo the next week, and Simon et al whine about how the person shouldn't be doing those kinds of arrangements, they have much bigger voices, blah blah blah. It's no surprise that they're slowly crushing whatever life Anoop has left. One week he does well, and they'll say something about showing his "out there" side. He tries it the following week and gets crushed. Goes back to what he does best, and they love it, but then complain that he's a Jeckyll and Hyde type. I think it's the judges who have no idea what they really want.

Will be happy when Lil goes; Gokey outlived himself a couple of weeks ago, as well. I think Gokey needs to spend a little time in the Seats of Shame to regain a decent perspective.

Really like Kris's style and hope he sticks around. Adam is talented, no doubt, but he seems to be the type of performer who is either really well-liked, or really not well-liked, not too much in-between with him.

And yeah, I thought the Save had to be unanimous, so I don't know what the big deal was last night.

Posted by: lanehatcher | April 9, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

AMe -- "critiques . . are fair game." Then we're on the same page! However . . . "Hypocritical?" No. Apples and oranges.

Go back and reread my review re: Allison. Mine (and others) was NOT a personal attack. It was a fair game critique of her outfit/hair stlye. I didn't say or imply through choice of words or phrase that I hated HER for wearing this or doing that. IMHO I feel that VT has been personal in his shots at Adam, sometimes with little of no provocation. (VT -- sorry to drag you into this) Maybe I'm wrong -- maybe today's shot was an attempt at humor -- but I called it like I see it in context of prior posts too.

I jumped on you because, well, you jumped on me (and others) alluding that we were mean spirited for "picking on a 16-year old" (your implicit point). I'm not upset with VT for picking on a 27-year old; it's the tone and opportunity to demean him, or make fun of him at his expense, whatever . . not just critique him. Your real nit was that we were ganging up on your girlfriend in the first place. About her hair. And outfit. I repeat! -- it wasn't personal TO her -- it was ABOUT her. Other comments that followed that day (VT included) seemed to agree "c'mon -- the contestants are fair game" including their outfits. But if you/me/VT/others can agree on one thing hereon, how about we remove the vitriol. Saying "I don't like so-and-so" is fine. Saying (implying) he/she is an ego-laced, over/under-aged contestent merely pretending to be a young gun, adding s/he has no (or false) talent, etc. falls squarely on the wrong side of the fence.

RockDer -- Re: the save.
yes . . they could/would save Anoop or Lil next week. Simon alluded that "two" were worthy of being saved last night. Since it wasn't Scott, we have to presume it was Lil or Anoop. But I believe it's not about the person any longer -- its about using the save or losing it. They only have two weeks left to do so. (There is no save from the Top 5 in) I predict they WILL use it NEXT week for the reasons in my 12:46 post, including the buzz it would generate for the show.

lanehatcher -- I think the big deal was the fact that a 2-to-2 vote wasn't simply applied as it should have been (i.e., a "no" vote) but that there was a subtle urge to browbeat a unanimous call, or (much) worse, for Simon to veto it and declare a save. A vote's a vote!! 2-to-2 means "no save." Simon should have reported it so and said "sorry" right away to Scott. (They really should vote ballots and let Ryan open them on-stage.)

Posted by: redrocket | April 9, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the Post should find a new reviewer for American Moraes does not like the show, the judges, the contestants or even the fans. Though I'm not a regular viewer, I do read the next day reviews in the Post and they are always negative. I can't think of any show on TV who wouldn't want an audience the size of American Idols. Perhaps she should review Judge Judy or some such. THAT'S it Judge Judy, de Moraes would be perfect!

Posted by: Jackbroker | April 9, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I fell asleep before 9pm last night - so it was a good thing I didn't have to (watch).

I would have been okay with any of the B3 going home - but think they got it right. I also don't think that just because the judges said last night 2 might be worth saving necessarily means they'll feel the same thing about them NEXT week. I truly think they're only speaking in the context of the performances the night before.

And with that, I agree that Scott was the very weakest this week. Of course, I also think he was strictly amateur all along - with little chance of making a recording career - and that this year's "inclusiveness" included him at the expense of other contestants who might have ultimately performed better (such as Rick Braddy - who I liked).

This year the theme seems to have been "one from column A; one from column B" - the contestants should represent as many demos as humanly possible to get eyes on the set: Hispanic, Indian, handicapable, widowered (for Pete's sake) - it's as if the show could have been retitled: Idol Viewers Give Back (to contestants worthy of charitable contributions) or something.

About the running over - advertisers pay at rates determined by the ratings of the shows they buy spots in. One imagines Idol 30/60 second spots cost more than "Fringe's" - but time bought on "Fringe" is bound to be more expensive than that in the 10pm news slot.

So the trickle down effect will be that advertisers in the last minutes of the Idol show will be asking for a refund because they ran in the lower ranked 9-10pm slot, and the advertisers who bought time on "Frinige" will be doing the same for either being cut or shown in the news slot.

They may be given "make ups" or comp'd or something - but it's going to cost Fox. And I think it also costs them in terms of irritated viewers using the DVR. Your cable/satellite company may also get complaints - though they can't control any of this - but they can surely bring it up next time they negotiate with Fox for carriage of the network.

Posted by: jqw3827 | April 9, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

JackBroker -

I think you miss the point a little bit. As I think Joan Rivers has pointed out, in comedy you pick the "big boys" or more famous people to make fun of - because they can take it.

It's specifically because American Idol has a big fan base and good ratings that it's really okay to take a poke at them. (a) they can take it; (b) they probably don't really care

We don't poke at the truly downtrodden (well, when it comes to TVs shows, basically I think that's okay, too.) I think any TV show can take it - and if they can't, and are really really bad - they just get cancelled and we don't have to worry any more.

Who doesn't make sport of MacGyver (or McGuyver or however he spelled it) fixing everything with a dirty sock and wad of chewing gum; or the fact that everyone who ever met Jessica Fletcher got murdered? Some things are just funny. That's true for programs with "real folks" participants, too.

Even "Queen for a Day" was funny in its own "my holocaust is worse than your holocaust" kind of way; and "This is Your Life", or even "Wild Kingdom" - just because Marlon and Jim made it so funny sometimes [no - the lion eating the gazelle is not funny; but Marlon & Jim's interaction over it surely was].

American Idol became funny the minute anyone started taking it so seriously - and somebody needs to tell David Alan Grier that ASAP!!!!

Posted by: jqw3827 | April 9, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Nope. Sorry. Not buying it. You are a pot, my friend.

On your second point, I am torn as to whether I think the judges will use the save next week regardless of the intended eliminee.

Agreed, a double elimination would add suspense/drama. However, with every week that passes the playing field narrows, increasing the probability that one of the judges' faves (Allison, Adam, & Danny) could land in the B3. Would they risk not guaranteeing one of the chosen a Top 5 finish?

I was SHOCKED when they said that they might consider saving two last night (Although, they did say they would "consider" saving Alexis and then mercilessly sent her home). I don't really think either Lil or Anoop have been good enough to deserve a title shot. Do you?

Posted by: AmuseMe | April 9, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Great column per usual, Lisa! Glad Scott is gone - nice guy but the voice, not so much. I always liked Lil but her song choices and bad notes are going to do her in. Not a fan of Kris - he's cute and sweet but the voice - weak. Then again, the kids like him, so he'll probably make it pretty far. Matt's ok. I like Adam, Allison and Danny and hope they are the final three!

Posted by: MILW | April 9, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm originally from Nashville, and I'm embarrassed for the entire country music family by Kellie Pickler. Not only is she awful, she's awful stoopid! Did she really ask Ryan "am I done now?" last night? And need to be shown where to exit? Hello...stage manager? For shame, AI producers. You should have let Frankie Avalon sing a second song.

Posted by: AmericanIdolHoopla | April 9, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, attack outfits all you want. I don't see how you can consider that attacking contestants because it's the wardrobe people playing dolls with the Idolettes. These are the same people who put Scott in pink pants. I hardly think a 16 year old is going to put up much of a protest. Although Adam is probably his own "fabulous" costume designer.

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | April 9, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Agree with jqw3827 that AI seems to choose top 24 with a United Colors of Benetton diversity goal. Thus Scott, etc. Anoop is a pleasant singer with a limited style, but I think he was picked as the Slumdog survivor over other more talented singers from the top 36.

I also think the producers are worried that they only had one African-American in this top 10, and Lil doesn't have the talent of previous black singers to coast into top five. All previous seasons have had one or more outstanding black vocalists, with usually one hanging on to top five or winning. Thus, if Lil is in jeopardy, she may be saved. I find her likable, attractive, marginally talented, but a surprising disappointment. I love Tina Turner, but thought Lil was below par with her song choice. Ouch!

I am so TIRED of Matt. I simply didn't get the judges' raves for him last night. I have always liked the song (Part-Time Lovers) but thought he was boring and showed little vocal range or strength, or originality. I even went back and watched/listened to it again (DVR) to see if I perhaps was missing something. I thought he and Kris (whom I kinda like) were both utterly forgettable last night, but Kris got nicked and Matt got superlatives. What's up with that? If he happens to bottom out in either of next 2 weeks, look for judges to save him.

I think his vocals are overrated and he is not a marketable personality.

Posted by: MarriedMom | April 9, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Okay, VT and AMe. White flag. We've all made our points and are comfortable keeping them. If anyone outside of us three cares they can chime in like MaltyCharacter did. However I presume that the other posters are no doubt bored with this. Hereon I'll pick up where I left off and presume you to do the same. Happy posting!

I agree AMe -- I don't think Anoop or Lil deserves/deserved a save towards a title shot. But I don't think its about the performers anymore; I think its about the save as a drama-inducer and they only have two chances left. I'll stick with my prediction (they WILL invoke the save NEXT week; it would be anti-climatic to wait for Top 6.) Hey, I've got a 50/50 chance anyway! I think Alexis was too soon to waste the save, but now with 2 weeks left they can justify it next time, especially given that neither Adam, Danny or Kris has seen B3.

p.s. Simon is on record (Jay Leno a couple weeks back) as predicting that "a guy" will/should win (this strengthens his reluctance to use the save on Alexis, et al . .) However I STILL predict they will use it NEXT week -- even if Allison (especially) or Lil -- for the reasons above and in my prior posts.

p.p.s I thought Simon's "consideration" to save during Alexis's week was actually referring to Allison. But maybe I got the weeks mixed up.

Posted by: redrocket | April 9, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

--"I think Alexis was too soon to waste the save"

recall, Alexis's week was the first opportunity out of the gate to invoke the save -- the judges were hardly going to waste it then

-- "I thought Simon's "consideration" to save during Alexis's week was actually referring to Allison"

confirming: yes, Allison was B3 the week Alexis was booted. I think (I know) that Simon's comment was tended towards Allison. I think he was relieved to see Alexis -- and not Allison -- get booted so he and others didn't have to invoke right off the bat.

Posted by: redrocket | April 9, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"But if you/me/VT/others can agree on one thing hereon, how about we remove the vitriol. Saying "I don't like so-and-so" is fine. Saying (implying) he/she is an ego-laced, over/under-aged contestent merely pretending to be a young gun, adding s/he has no (or false) talent, etc. falls squarely on the wrong side of the fence."

I don't agree to this at all, not in the slightest.

You can pry my snark from my cold, dead keyboard.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 10, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Can't get enough of that wonderful Duff! :)

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | April 10, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Lil needs to go home; then Anoop.

Posted by: maris1 | April 10, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Danny, Adam, Kris... final 3

Posted by: maris1 | April 10, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

--"I don't agree to this at all, not in the slightest.You can pry my snark from my cold, dead keyboard"

AmuseMe -- I rest my case. The difference between attack (of the person) and critique (of the performance) which I have been making all along.

Posted by: redrocket | April 10, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

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