Wednesday night, Season 9’s Top 12 was cut down to a Top 11 in an hour of TV that was too long and was an unbalanced mix of entertaining, boring, and absolutely ridiculous.
I suppose the first thing to mention is that, for once this season, justice was deliverd on Idol, and (one of) the right person (people) was voted off. Who’d have imagined the American public would ever get it right? We waved goodbye to Lacey Brown and her bizarre mumbling, and she sang us out with her best song to date, “The Story.” Apparently, the judges’ save is back this year, that weird extra thing where the judges can make American’s voting null and void by deciding to keep the person who’s been voted off, though they can only do this before the show hits the top 5. The sad thing about this is that it can lead to amazingly desperate performances as contestants try to prove that they are worthy of hanging in another week, even though the general public doesn’t think this is so. I would be amazed if the judges don’t already have a list of people who they know they would use the save for, so the singing for your life bit only adds more unneccesary stress to the contestant who has been voted off, will probably be waving goodbye to their chances, and now thinks they might have a legitimate shot at sticking around. At least Lacey seemed to realize that she didn’t, as she sang sort of half heartedly with a silly grin on her face. The show has added a nice touch with this this season, though, in letting contestants pick which of their songs they want to deliver for their last desperate attempt to impress the four deciding their fate.
So Lacey left us (big surprise, the judges didn’t decide to save the first person who had been voted out of the 12 this season, gasp, shock, horror), and honestly, the entire bottom three was pretty justified. There was Paige Miles, who, though she gave her best performance this week, still hasn’t proven herself worthy of being in her current spot, and Tim Urban, who doesn’t need to be called terrible anymore than he already has been by pretty much everybody, except apparently the odd contingency of people who must be voting for him. Now if only we can vote these two out of the competition next, we’ll be set.
Some other entertainment that graced our TV sets this week was David Cook’s performance of “Jumping Jack Flash.” Though the performance wasn’t what most of us have come to expect from Cookie (it seemed a little edgier than his usual stuff, which isn’t to say that he isn’t fabulous, but this seemed to deliver a slightly harder rock punch than normal), it was still a display to the Idol hopefuls of the sort of level they’ll have to step up to if they hope to become the next Idol champ come May.
There were two other performances this week, these from non-Idol related chart topping pop stars, and they seemed to be more like prime examples of what not to do on the Idol stage. Orianthi sang her overplayed hit “According to You” and sounded horrifically off key and unable to sing despite her amazing skills with a guitar. (If you don’t believe me, rewatch this performance with your eyes closed, just listening. The results are pretty horrific.)
Then there was what I’ve come to call the Ke$ha-monster, or the Lady Gaga wannabe who pranced around stage with people who had TV sets for heads talking some nonsense words. I actually found the whole Ke$ha spectacle pretty hillarious and somewhat entertaining. To suppose that this “pop star” might be able to sing would have been incredibly presumptuous, considering she doesn’t even sing on her recordings. My favorite part of the whole mess was when Ke$ha came out on stage donning a headdress and war paint halfway through the song for no apparent reason. The whole thing was surreal and desperate, hillariously perplexing. Maybe Idol producers just wanted to prove how little talent one actually has to have to be a pop star. “Don’t worry, untalented Idol hopefuls, you can still be #1 on the charts even if all you can do is be bizarre!”
This week, the Idols are said to be preparing “teen idol” songs for us. I wonder what that will actually turn out to mean. Will we be hearing lots of Elvis, or lots of Jonas Brothers, or a weird mix of both? Tune in Tuesday at 8 for your Top 11!