This was the week that Idol gave back. We got an hour on Tuesday where the top six Idols sang inspirational songs, and two hours on Wednesday of fund-raising magic. This Wednesday show consisted of hilarious celebrity cameos, big time musical performances, and about 87 videos of Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell visiting sick orphans in Africa (Randy Jackson hit up New Orleans, Paula Abdul stuck to LA, and they did combinations, like Simon in LA). Oh, and occasionally they would free up a few seconds to do the whole contestant elimination thing.
But I don't mean to be a prick. This is obviously all for a very worthwhile cause, no matter how certain parts may have clashed with each other. And overall, it was a very good show. I loved watching all the musical performances and celebrity gags. They had been building up one duet in particular as something that would be so fucktastically mind-blowing that it would change the face of pop history forever. This duet turned out to be Celine Dion and young Elvis Presley. Elvis performed from beyond the grave, and they made a specific point to say something about Celine Dion flying in from somewhere (I guess they didn't want to make her sound like total crap compared to undead Elvis). Now, to me, this personally wasn't that incredible. My mind was more blown when Katharine McPhee and Meat Loaf performed "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" at last year's finale. But the special effects were FLAWLESS. Celine and Elvis were singing side by side on the same stage from multiple moving angles, with the Idols in the back. This shit was better than when Forrest Gump met all those presidents! So color me not disappointed.
But by the same token, they did kinda fuck themselves with another bit of hype. At the top of the show, Ryan proclaimed that this would be the most shocking elimination ever. Immediately, we all considered each of the contestants, and which of them could be potentially considered the most shocking elimination. Clearly, it couldn't be Phil Stacey, LaKisha Jones, or Chris Richardson, because they've all had their taste of the Bottom 2. And Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle, and Jordin Sparks are all good, but no single one among them is in any way the undisputed frontrunner. So there had to be something more shocking about it. A tie would be ridiculous. Almost instantly, I postulated that maybe they weren't sending anyone home. This wasn't hard, because there really weren't that many outcomes here that could acceptably be classified as "shocking," or even "mildly discomforting."
Ryan said there would be no Top 3, no Bottom 3. Just a random calling of names. Throughout the night, he guaranteed each person's safety, one at a time. First Melinda, then Blake. And at this point, the only shocking elimination left would be Jordin. Sure enough, he then called the safety of Phil and LaKisha, leaving only Chris and Jordin. And as I knew he would, he told Chris he was safe, paused for crowd reaction, and then told Jordin she was safe. The irony here is, this might have been pretty shocking. If he hadn't forecasted how shocking it was two hours earlier, basically begging me to put it together in my head before it could happen. But who cares, because the night was about helping people anyway. However, I can't help but feel somewhat conflicted about what they plan to do with this week's votes.
The 70-something million votes cast this week will carry over onto next week's Rock-themed show, where the two weeks' votes will be combined and the two bottom vote recipients will be eliminated. What worries me is that the person who would have gone home this week might do a lot better next week and avoid elimination altogether, which would seriously screw with the spirit of the show's rules. But I suppose that's nothing compared to the very existence of Sanjaya. So, just, whatever, guys.
I look forward to next week's Rock theme, coached by Jon Bon Jovi. Hopefully the song choices will be as good as this week's (and not the shit from the few weeks before that). Some particularly awesome choices for Inspiration week were Chris Richardson doing Eric Clapton's "Change the World" and Blake Lewis doing John Lennon's "Imagine." LaKisha Jones had the balls to do Fantasia Barrino's "I Believe." Awesome song, but give us a fucking break, LaKisha. This week, I shall embarrass you the same way I did Sanjaya last week.
See, she's working the bobo dance and everything. In other news, streaming the John Tesh Radio Show online from Orlando's Magic 107.7 worked like a charm. So, good news there.
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