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Keep your shirt on; 'American Idol' sends Lacey home

Time to whack the first of our "American Idol" Top 12! I love this part of the competition when we're all fresh and wide-eyed and non-cynical and know that even if a singer sports a mullet, if he's really, really talented, he's going to make it through to the next round of competition, and that some musically clueless guy whose shirtless photos are somehow making the rounds is not going to get through from week to week because of his practically perfect pecs, David Cassidy hair, and blue-eyed wonder-struck look.

Right?


Eliminated contestant Lacey Brown sing farewell to season nine of "American Idol." (Michael Becker -- Fox)

But before we get started, let's talk about show host Ryan Seacrest and outgoing judge Simon Cowell.

On Tuesday night, after Simon gave his performance pointers to Idolette Mike Lynche -- nothing out of the ordinary -- and Seabiscuit asked him to elaborate and Simon declined, and Seabiscuit unbuttoned his bespoke suit jacket marched off stage and up to the judges' desk and invaded Simon's personal space, sneering, "I actually was trying to help him out a little, buddy -- you alright with that?" That made Simon push his chair back a yard or so and said "This is getting very uncomfortable. Please go back on the stage," later adding, "We can sort this out in my trailer afterwards if that's what you want to do."

So at the start of Wednesday's show, when Seabiscuit strolls over behind Simon's chair, Simon says "Do you want to get the eyeballing out of the way?"

"What's wrong?" Seabiscuit faux-wonders.

"Your aggressive behavior last night," Simon snaps.

"I just thought that, um, you needed to be a little more constructive with him," Seabiscuit offers weakly.

"Do you want my job?" asks Simon who is leaving the show at the end of this season.

"No, I'm comfortable with mine," Seabiscuit says limply.

"Good, because it felt like an audition," Simon snarks, adding, "Can we agree we don't cross the line? The eyeballing, the aggressive behavior?"

"No, I loved it -- stop staring at me," Seabiscuit says, trying for a joke and missing by about a mile.

We're friends, right?" Simon says.

"Of course?" Seabiscuit says tentatively, sensing a trick question.

"Just don't ever do that again," Simon snarls.

That extremely uncomfortable made-for-TV moment concluded, it's time for one of the Really Safe Rocker Dude winners of "American Idol" Past, aka David Cook, to perform a Rolling Stones tune and blah, blah, blah about his new album.

Then Seabiscuit explains the Judges Save card. This is important because there is a petition floating around with around 17,000 signatures -- including OMG Demi Moore! -- begging the judges to use their Save card to bring back Alex Lambert of the Bad Mullet. Seabiscuit wants to make very, very sure those 18,000 "Idol" viewers understand that the Judges Save only applies to Idolettes in the Top-12. Lambert, alas, did not make it to the Top-12. He is ineligible. So many rules to know for "American Idol" -- it's like prepping for your drivers license exam. .

And then, it's time for the first Ford Music Video starring The Idolettes.

When it's over, Seabiscuit asks Casey James to explain himself -- he wasn't in the video. Casey says, apologetically, that he had the flu. But Casey was there for -- the other Ford video! That's right, pooksters, this season we get two Ford videos for the price of one, no money down. In this one, the Idolettes custom detail Ford Fiestas and you can win one of them. Or just leave your car on the street in a neighborhood where a lot of tagging goes on and get the same effect.

Back to Seabiscuit, who points out the three Giant Martini Glasses of Shame into which will be seated the three Idolettes who got the fewest votes this week.

Paige Miles is the first to be sent to a Glass. This is unkind of you, voting viewers, given that she did a fantastic job with her Rolling Stones tune considering she had laryngitis. On the other hand, she was wearing that ridiculous jumpsuit.

Lee Dewyze is spared after nervously promising to work on his nerves.

Siobhan Magnus, who sadly was likened to Snooki's Pouffe this week by judge Ellen The Generous, is safe.

Little Aaron Kelly, who got this week's best American Idol Makeover, also is safe.

Andrew Garcia and Tim Urban are asked to stand. Andrew is safe, Tim who had performed a bouncy reggae version of the Stone's Misogyny Anthem, "Under My Thumb" is in the Bottom Three. Poor Tim is now hanging on by his pecs. They look great in those photos, BTW.

Before we go any further, we need a break to watch the performance of a blonde "pioneer" rocker chick in black leather, named Orianthi. Orianthi is safe. Oh wait, she's not competing.

Also safe is Didi Benami though, the previous night she had sung a lame "Playing with Fire" that was more like "Turning the Burner on Low to Warm the Soup." Crystal Bowersox is also declared safe, but only after assuring us that she doesn't like it when people put words in her mouth, like when the judges suggest she thinks she's got this thing sewn up. "I never thought that one second ... when I perform I do what's natural ... I'm not being arrogant -- none of this is easy."

"Wait until Barry Manilow night," Seabiscuit jokes.

Katie Stevens is asked to stand. Judge Kara DioGuardi tells her to become an R& B singer. Simon tells her to go "country." Ellen The Generous suggests mariachi. After they're through batting her around, Seabiscuit announces she is safe.

Ditto Michael Lynche, which means either Casey James or Lacey Brown gets the last Giant Martini Glass of Shame. Guess who's safe? The other guy who's taken his shirt off? What are the odds, really?

Seacrest promises to put one of the Bottom Three out of his/her misery. That one is Tim Urban. Tim once again performs his Faux Stagger of Disingenuous Disbelief. It never gets old.

That leaves Paige and Lacey. Paige is safe. Lacey must sing again, in hopes of convincing the judges to use their Judges' Save card to keep her in the competition. While she sings, the camera cuts to Randy and Simon who are clearly guffawing and harrumphing about something that has nothing to do with Lacey. At the end of the tune, Simon announces they have decided unanimously not to spare here. Court adjourned.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  March 18, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Next: 'Idol' suffers historic ratings low after Seacrest spoils it

Comments

This show is so bad this year. It's unbelievable it gets the ratings it does.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 18, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

SECOND!

Posted by: igetdeadbeats | March 18, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I snoozed through most of the night but did wake up to that last act with the TV heads and the tin foil... What was that? I'll be charitable and say that it was not good. And, when she ran backstage and came back wearing some kind of fur-lined headdress it just became embarassing. Is this what the music industry is trying to promote as "talent" these days? No wonder the judges keep telling these kids they're great.

Posted by: DCLocal20 | March 18, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Another bad vote. Definitely Tim or Paige should have gone last night. Should be really interesting to see who's left in a few weeks.

Posted by: MrsKirby | March 18, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for explaining the Tim Urban phenomenon. I was unaware of the pix circulating of his evidently fine physique and so was totally dumbfounded that he made it to the next round after singing a cheery version of a song with lyrics comparing his girlfriend to "a squirming dog who once had its day." Actually, I'm still amazed that anyone is cute enough to overcome that.

Now can you explain how the 2nd-rate Avril Lavigne and the 4th-rate Lady Gaga who performed apparently have already made it in the pop music world? I don't thing the Avrilesque girl sang one note in key, though she played an unimaginative lead guitar riff very well. And where were the PC Police when Gaga-girl ran on in faux Native American headdress and war paint? Oh, right, this is Fox, there are no PC Police.

Crystal, Siobhan and Michael are the saving graces so far, and actually I liked Didi's last two performances. My son tells me Andrew has some great stuff on YouTube, hope he can translate that to the big stage. The rest of them leave me wondering, really? Out of the 1000s of people you auditioned this is it? Of course, America voted and Alex and Lilly got cut...

One more question: when do we get to vote Seabiscuit off?

Posted by: owingsmills | March 18, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

it's funny how we can all listen to the same thing and have very different opinions. I thought Lacey was the right one to go home last night. I rank Siobahn the best of this group with Andrew second. I don't know what the judges like about Lee, he seems like Elliot from a couple seasons ago but not as good aas Elliot. Crystal to me is just ok, one trick pony of a style.

btw owings, I always enjoy your posts. lol I love the 4th rate Lady Ga Ga, I said alomst the same ting to my wife last night. Orianthi sounds much better on the radio, she must be another one that needs studio fix to sound good.

Posted by: sivwiz | March 18, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"One more question: when do we get to vote Seabiscuit off?"

No kidding -- If it's possible, Seacrest has negative comic instincts. He's never funny - just odd and uncomfortable. How long does this have to go on? Maybe they can get a new judge next year and then move The Generous into Ryan's job.

Posted by: DCLocal20 | March 18, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Ellen would be terrific in Seacrest's job. Her pithy little one liners are perfectly suited for a live show like this.

Not sure, though, that she really wants that job. It's more work than being a judge, and she's got a full plate already.

Plus a smoking hot wife.

Posted by: Hillman1 | March 18, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

They should name the show "American Idiots", because that's who's watching it.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | March 18, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Paige is not going to last long. She brings nothing to the stage.

Posted by: forgetthis | March 18, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Lacey gets voted off. Why? Because I liked her. It's just the same as when I go to Kroger and they discontinued my favorite soap.

Seriously, the Idol contract is a somewhat serious opportunity to kickstart one of these kids' career.

But how nauseatingly shallow the music industry has become was perfectly illustrated by the "performance" by Ke$ha. It was as if the Village People and Lady Gag-me had a love child. Which possibly isn't that far-fetched a possibility. For a short-shorts-wearing blonde with no semblance of musical talent to get national TV exposure, much less a recording contract, is a travesty...the downslide, in my humble opinion, begun by Madonna and propagated by Britney and that ilk.

And Lacey goes home. Sigh.

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | March 18, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Glad Simon confronted Ryan. Seacrest was out of control the night before.

Posted by: DC2LA | March 18, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I have two words for Tim Urban: Partridge Family.

He HAS to go soon.

Lacey was my second choice to go home last night. Her little girl voice had really started to irritate me.

Posted by: jamiecw | March 18, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

If Lisa hates it so much, quit writing about it already. Her pen style is like nails on chalkboard.

Posted by: Glinda1 | March 18, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

WTF was up with that girl who came out and karaoke danced with giant TV people? That was probably the worst thing ever witnessed on an AI stage, ever. Oh and Tim Urban is only safe because he has 10 brothers and sisters to vote for him and they have 10 friends who have 10 friends, etc. Well that and he polls well with then coveted Jonas Brothers demographic...

Posted by: ozpunk | March 18, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

adrienne_najjar - don't be a jerk.

--

Seacrest may have "crossed the line" on Tuesday, but it was just as unprofessional of Simon to confront Seacrest about it on live TV. Clearly there's a lot of animosity there. They both need to grow up & keep it off stage.

Lacey wasn't going to last long so I'm not surprised to see her go.

By the way, I thought Under My Thumb in reggae was pretty cool. Apparently some of you aren't familiar with reggae -- much of it is pretty dark in subject while bouncy & fun in rhythm. I thought it was a neat idea and he sang it OK.

Posted by: Duodenum | March 18, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I was amazed by use of the tastelessness of the Native American headdress.

As for Crystal being a one-trick pony, just how many tricks did the ponies Clarkson, Studdard, Barrino, Hicks, Underwood, Sparks, Cook and Allen have? Every single one of Studdard's, Underwood's, Hicks', Sparks' and Cook's songs have exactly the same style. Clarkson, Barrino and Allen could change it up a little bit, but were very predictable.

I don't get the "one-trick pony" comment. If she veered all over the place, I'm sure you'd call Bowersox "inconsistent". Let's cut back on the shorthand (I'm not a fan of "self-indulgent" either) and be a bit more specific. Otherwise, just say you don't like a particular style, without saying that contestant is limited...since, in truth, they all are.

Posted by: SheldonAlexandria | March 18, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, if Lacey had taken her shirt off, she'd certainly be around another week too.

Posted by: tomtildrum | March 18, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Alex Lambert might have been able to win this thing if it was truely based on singing which we know its not. Too much influence by the tweens and twitters and that threatens the continued existance of the show. Lacy and Lilly should have stayed, with Tim and Page going home, but even that would only have delayed their exits. Crystal, Siobhan, Casey, and Michael and maybe Didi are in it for the long tough haul.
P.S. Its frightening to think Blah Blah Blah is the future of the music biz. No wonder the business is crumbling. Serves them right.

Posted by: greenrodeo | March 18, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

ok I have had it w/Idol. After Tuesday's strong favoring of who the judges want to make it in (e.g Sioban and that dull version of Paint It Black until that ear-piercing scream) I just mostly fast forwarded through last night's show until the end where Lacey got the axe. Ryan Seacrest is a hack and should stop trying. Whoever mentioned Ellen taking his spot was dead on - she'd be great. Lacey is like nails on a chalkboard for me - it all was just excruciating to listen to. I was not sad to see her go and am sure Paige will be right behind her. Every year around this time the contestants start to drag - they should really have a few weeks off between top 24 and 12. Then maybe we'd get some better singing. And what was with last nights RIDICULOUS stretching and dragging out of a 10 minute show to an hour?

Posted by: too_through | March 18, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"greenrodeo" - spot on. I agree with everything you wrote except the Casey part - I really don't think he's got a great voice and I hope upon hope he's not in for the long haul!

Posted by: MrsKirby | March 18, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see David Cook appear, thus showing us just how weak this year's field really is. Cook sounded great. The Idolettes? Feh.

Posted by: Sacqueboutier | March 18, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

BTW Lisa, I've really missed your Idol columns. Great to be back home. Keep the snark comin'.

Posted by: Sacqueboutier | March 18, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

sivwiz --

thanks for the shout-out :-)

Posted by: owingsmills | March 18, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

@ILoveToSinga--"But how nauseatingly shallow the music industry has become was perfectly illustrated by the "performance" by Ke$ha. It was as if the Village People and Lady Gag-me had a love child. Which possibly isn't that far-fetched a possibility."

Bwuhaha, that's hilarious, agree completely! The only thing more disgusting than said "performance" is the likelihood that it's selling like the proverbial hotcakes.

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Posted by: rritkonlyyou | March 22, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

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