Judges Save Makes its Debut on "American Idol"
Wednesday's "American Idol" results night kicks off with a compendium of "Grindhousean" cliches -- scratchy picture, movie-projector going on the blink, etc. -- in case we forgot Quentin Tarantino, that legendary renegade of cinema, had offered each of the Idolettes cinematic advice on their previous night's performances. Tips like "say the lyrics clearly," and "play an instrument," and "sing in a guttural fashion," and "put your hands in your pockets" -- virtually all of which was ignored.
This week's Ford music video is performed to the tune "Freeze Frame" and the Idolettes are seen singing on faux hot covers of faux hot magazines whose faux advertising has managed not to plunge 20 percent or more. Idolette Matt Giraud leers at the covers like they're porn, buys a few, tosses them into his Ford vehicle and zooms off.
Oh sure, now that Scott's gone, the Idolettes are bustin' some moves in this week's American Idol Group Lip-Synch, to the tune "Maniac."
Because this week is all about movie tunes, the Idolettes were forced to -- I mean, got to -- attend the premiere of a new flick, "17 Again," immediately after Tuesday's "Idol" performance show. If you seen "Freaky Friday" or "Vice Versa" you've seen "17 Again." Only this time it's Matthew Perry -- terrific actor -- who gets asked if he wishes he could do it all over again, and he responds "you betcha," no doubt thinking about his "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" days. Only Perry gets turned into tweener star Zac Efron, who tells the Idolettes it's a movie about second chances.
After watching the flick, the Idolettes weigh in. Anoop Desai gives it two big thumbs up, and Adam Lambert likes its cheerleaders. They're funny, he explains, in answer to your question. But Lil Rounds is put off by the movies' "message," saying she would not want to go back again to being 17. We think Lil is missing the point here. The point being that the flick comes out Friday.
Back at the "Idol" studio, Zac Efron is in the audience, though he couldn't do a thing with his hair. "Thanks for being there, everybody. I really appreciate it," Efron tells the Idolettes.
We're now 15 minutes into the one-hour results show, and finally getting down to the business of naming the Bottom Three vote getters.
Allison Iraheta and Adam are safe. And Adam, who had performed "Born to be Wild" the night before, insists he was not insulted when judge Simon Cowell told him his performance was too "Rocky Horror Show." "I think that's a great movie," Adam says. "Did he mean it as a insult?" he faux-asks show host Ryan Seacrest.
Anoop Desai, dressed in a sort of college baseball jacket, tells Seacrest he's never been more comfortable on stage, so Seacrest sends Anoop to sit on the Stemware of Shame -- he's in the Bottom Three again. Anoop seems genuinely put out.
Jennifer Hudson has returned to "American Idol" this week. Seacrest wants to remind us she's the only Idolette to ever win an Oscar; she'd like to remind us she's the only Oscar-winning Idolette who got booted off the show, back when they hadn't dreamed up the Judge's Save. Hudson sings a tune from her debut CD. Or at least she did a few weeks ago, when her bit was shot, according to news accounts.
Time to cough up more Bottom Three-ers. Kris Allen, who was denied a Simon Cowell critique on performance night, gets one now: Simon says his performance was "brilliant." Not that it does him any good now. But he's safe anyway, which makes this week's new strategy of letting Simon judge just half the Idolettes' performances Tuesday to save time only slightly less annoying.
Lil Rounds makes this week's Bottom three, and heads to the Stemware of Shame, but only after going through her grievances with the judges, point by point.
Only Danny Gokey and Matt Giraud are left and one seat on the Stemware of Shame to fill. To no one's surprise, Matt's the chosen one.
Then Seacrest puts Anoop out of his misery -- again -- and he's sent back to the safe sofa, looking like a guy who just convinced the student council it wasn't him who had ordered that stripper delivered to the dean's house that night.
But, before we learn which of the remaining two is getting the hook this week, Miley Cyrus descends from the tweener movie-star firmament to sing some twangy tune and flap her arms wildly.
Back to the Bottom Two. Simon warns Seacrest they might use the precious Judges Save to spare either Matt or Lil. More than 36 million votes were cast this week. According to those, Lil is safe; Matt's number is up.
At which point "American Idol's" four judges decided to ignore the results of those more than 36 million votes and save Matt from elimination, so he can be one of two Idolettes booted by viewers next week after they watch him struggle through Tuesday's disco-themed performance night.
"I didn't think you were as good as last night," Simon says, also speaking for the other three judges, of Matt's re-singing of the movie tune he'd sung the previous night -- a performance so unimpressive viewers had voted to give him the hook this week.
"I don't see that you have really any chance of winning the competition," Simon adds. Which begs the question: why did they save Matt?
It appears this year's Judges Save is the same as the knife introduced in Act 1 of a Broadway play -- absolutely must be used on someone by the end of Act 3.
Likewise, with the "Idol" judges having just two more weeks in which they can use the Judges' Save, and what with the only two Idolettes they really care about this year -- Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert -- having never yet come within shouting distance of getting the old heave ho, the judges apparently could no longer stand the prospect of not using this new toy.
And so, they saved Matt. Even though his performance Wednesday night was worse than Tuesday's and he hasn't any chance of winning this competition.
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