'American Idol': And then there were three
Because we suffered through Jamie Foxx's return as "American Idol" mentor for movie tunes week, Wednesday's results show starts like it's a trailer for an old 1940s movie in which Jamie Foxx stars as "The Mentor." Each of the remaining four Idolettes is seen against a sepia-toned background, making "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille"-ish remarks -- like "This is what I was born to do!"
Fortunately, it appears it will be the only reference to Foxx, who upped his mentor game this season with the Insult T-shirts he brought to bribe the Idolettes. Somehow Foxx knew that winning a $1 million recording contract and a future like Kelly Clarkson's or Carrie Underwood's just wouldn't motivate these kids like getting a T-shirt from Actual Jamie Foxx on which had been printed the word "Artist."
Show host Ryan Seacrest notes 37 million votes were cast Tuesday night for the four contestants which, by our math, is nearly 30 million fewer than the 65 million that had been cast the same week last season (which was, at that time, the most votes ever in the show's eight seasons except during finale weeks).
In honor of there being four Idolettes who will be winnowed down to three tonight, Chris Daughtry is performing. He got the hook when they were down to four singers in the show's fifth season, after which he went on to become far more successful than the guy who won -- Taylor Hicks.
But first, we hear from Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino -- another advertisement for coming in out of the money in the 'Idol' race. Fantasia reminds us of the high-personality quotient days of 'Idol' back in Season 3. She also reminds she hasn't cut an album in three years; and we can't help but remember that she got passed over for the "Dreamgirls" role that went to Jennifer Hudson -- who'd been booted early that same season Fantasia won.
So far it's been a ringing endorsement for "American Idol" tonight.
Time for the Ford marketing video. This week, the Idolettes keep running around this tiny red Fiesta, switching places, but Michael keeps ending up in the driver seat, or so we're led to believe, though in real life it's hard to imagine he could drive something that small without squeezing the sides so hard he'd detonate the airbags.
Seabiscuit reminds us that once they cull the crop to three Idolettes, we're subjected to Going Home Week, in which each of the Idolettes will receive a hero's welcome. "There's a parade, an appearance at a local AT&T store, there's a mini-concert and so much more," he gushes. That's followed by an extended, time-filler video of Idol finalists from years past returning home. Idolettes in limos. Idolettes getting keys to the city. Idolettes mentioned on local TV news. Idolettes weeping from the sheer honest adoration of those simple folks back home.
Ryan asks each one of the Top-4 what they are looking forward to in their return home.
Mike: "Smelling that beach salty sea air in St. Pete" and seeing his puppy. Are we to understand that this man walked out on a puppy AND a baby to be on 'Idol'?
Crystal: "I really want to play a gig" with "my bass player" and visit her favorite clubs like The Village Idiot and Papa's Tavern.
Lee: "I want that to be me" (in re hero's welcome video)... And to get a chance to go back and say thank you to all the people that have been supportive of me".
Casey: "See my friends and family... smelling the Texas air, seeing my puppy dogs."
Tonight, family, friends, and commitment-phobic boyfriends of the remaining Idolettes are seated up on stage: Team Mike, Team Casey, Team Lee, and Team Crystal. Seabiscuit asks them what it's like being up on the "American Idol" stage looking out at the large studio audience. Having neglected to elect a spokesman among them, no one volunteers much, so Seabiscuit checks the palm of Michael's wife and discovers, to his surprise, it is "comfortable" and not sweaty.
Dim The Lights: Casey is safe.
Time for Daughtry and band to do a number, after which he advises the Top-4 to "stay hungry" and "stick with what's true to you."
Dim The Lights: Lee is safe.
Time for Bon Jovi to perform, because apparently Foxx isn't coming back tonight (hooray!) -- after which Seabiscuit conducts one of his searing interviews in which he asks a pop musician:
*How do you continue to be so fabulous?
*How do you stand it when you encounter throngs of adoring fans who have paid ridiculous sums to come see you at some uncomfortable arena?
*What's the best way to congratulate you on your success?
Seabiscuit zeroes in on the two safe Idolettes, demanding to know what Casey and Lee have been thinking about while he was interviewing Jon Bon Jovi. Lee and Casey assure him they are filled with concern for the two remaining Idolettes waiting to hear their fate. This seems to appease Seabiscuit.
Dim The Lights: Crystal is safe.
Michael begins to do that Toddler Wave thing he does, then sings the Michael Jackson anthem that sunk him. After that he does the Judges Hug, during which Ellen The Generous gets in yet another "I'll see you tomorrow on the show" plug for her syndicated talk show.
As we leave Michael, he is holding his adorable baby, who is squawling.
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