I fear there will be lots of people complaining about the paid advertising that is the opening this week. Did you know that Darth Vader has a new sci-fi movie coming out this Friday in which he jumps around from place to place? And, look, there’s Ryan Seacrest joining him in front of the green screen. ::sigh:: Such a sad waste of time. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing lots of commercials for that movie during the show, too. You know, IDOL really needs to cash in on such in-show advertising if they’re going to be able to afford to make this season. Lord knows the ratings can’t otherwise sustain this show.
Look, I don’t mind the in-show ads when it features the contestants. If they want to make cheesy music videos centered around cars, that’s actually fine by me. It’s more music featuring the contestants. This one tonight was just over the top annoying, unnecessary, and fast-forwardable. Dear Idol – TiVo was made for openings like this.
Oddly enough, I don’t fast-forward through Apple’s commercials. iPhones are so very very sexy.
Here’s the deal tonight. 50 go in. 24 come out. There’s an elevator. There’s a holding room filled with folding chairs. There’s an odd building arrangement in which the elevator lets people out into a hardwood ballroom. About thirty feet in sits a single chair in front of a fancy glass tabletop behind which sit the three judges in front of the usual background of previous Idol winners. Fantasia’s on Broadway. (She’s also sporting an insanely poor hairdo at the Grammys this week.) Carrie is singing on the Grammys. Jordin kicked butt at the Super Bowl. Kelly is arguing with her label. Then she put out a poorly-received album. Now she’s conceding with her label that they might be right. Her tour has been cut back. Ruben is one cheeseburger away from officially being a footnote in music history. Kat married a man twice her age, almost, though she looked good doing it. (And, hey, it worked for Celine!) And Taylor will be back to playing bars very very soon, if he hasn’t warmed up his beer-soaked harmonica already.
Fame is fleeting.
And I’m in a particularly vindictive/cynical mood tonight, aren’t I? The show is fun, but it’s about one in three winners of IDOL who have strong successes.
So, to tonight’s Top 24!
The first five contestants are DENIED. That makes sense, since I don’t remember them. In fact, most of the contestants you don’t recognize are cut. This is a GOOD THING. I feel bad for those who have made it through to America’s votes without any major airtime. People vote personality, personal stories, and initial impressions in the earliest rounds. Unless you have an Idol Moment, you’re toast if America hasn’t seen you yet. There are two or three of those in the Top 24. Good luck to them.
Carly Smithson is through. Conspiracy theorists take note. Let’s see if she makes it to the Top Ten. Let’s see if she becomes a lightning rod for controversy over the definition of “undiscovered talent.”
David Cook – lost without a guitar boy – is through. As is Amanda Overmyer — rock and roll nurse. She’s not a surprise at all.
David Archuleta is through. He’s another obvious choice for the judges.
Kristy Lee Cook was on the fence, I thought, particularly after repeating Amazing Grace. She’s through.
Brooke White is through, and I’m happy.
Danny Noriega — the second most flamboyantly gay guy in Hollywood Week — who we first saw a couple of seasons ago – is through.
Did you see the green tape on all the buttons in the elevator? Thats right, kids. Once you get in that elevator, the producers control the vertical. They control the horizontal, too. They’re gonna make a couch potato outta you. That’s what they’re going to do now.
(Points to the first commenter who recognizes that song.)
The Farmer Boy didn’t make it. I didn’t realize he had made it this far.
You think it’s a looong day in the holding room for all the contestants? Imagine being the families and friends hidden behind the curtain in the next room.
Michael Johns is through. The judges loved him. Will the American Idol carry an Australian accent this year? I don’t know, but I do think the balance between strong male and female voices is a lot better this year in the Top 24 than ever before. It’s a coin flip between which sex will win it in 2008.
Syesha Mercado — the one with all the lost voice issues — is through. I like her. Reminds me a bit of another earlier favorite who went home too soon, Nadia Turner.
Robbie Carrico — isn’t he the Britney Spears ex-boyfriend one? — is through.
Chezekie Eke is through. I know I just butchered his name but I can’t write that fast while looking at the TV screen. (Wait, I think I got it right!)
Asia(with the uneccessary ‘H) Epperson is through. AS is David Hernandez, who I think is Top Ten material. Simon disagrees and bitches the kid out after telling him he’s through. Odd.
Josiah Leming is the car-bound teenager who dismissed the band last night. He’s OUT! BURNED! I really thought the judges would let him through. I hope he comes back next year. He’s good, but the judges were right in letting him go. He’s just not mature enough yet. Then he cried like a girl in the front row of a 1988 New Kids On The Block concert.
Watching the show with the Mrs., a commercial came on with some sort Valentine’s Day theme. I turned to her quick, wide-eyed with panic, “Oh, crap, is that tomorrow?!?” She didn’t buy it. It was such a great gag, too. Men, try that one tomorrow on your wife/girlfriend.
This brings us down to the final two pairs. At the beginning of the show, I thought they would bring it down to Kyle Ensley versus Josiah. Instead, it’s Kyle versus Colton Berry. Who? Yeah, him. Thank goodness, the judges got it right. Simon got overruled. Simon WANTED Kyle in there, basically because he thought Kyle would make good reality television. SHOCKING. Colton Berry, the better singer, is through. Everyone is very cordial about the whole thing.
The final two girls are MSG singer, JoAnne Borgella and Cardin McKinney. I had lost track of McKinney, but I’m glad she made it this far. It was the hottie versus the, er, fattie. I’ve said it before — the singers this year were overwhelmingly good looking and skinny. (Minus David Cook, who’s got a huge forehead and thin ugly hair.) But JoAnne was clearly the better singer, and so the judges chose right again. Sadly, the eye candy had to go home. It’s a shame, because she could have been the next Haley Scarnato.
Should one of the chosen 12 girls not make it through due to ineligibility or scandal, I think Cardin might be tops on the replacement list.
Funny enough, as the girls were walking out, hand in hand, Simon said to Paula, “This is the point where I change my mind.” If I were Cardin, I’d be flipping out seeing that at home tonight for the first time.
Please note that JoAnne was first seen in the “Best of the Rest” filler hour. That extra hour is now very important for these contestants. They need that early airtime. Chikezie Eze was also on that show. As was Danny Noriega. Remember this for next year — that show is loaded with Top 24 material. Cardin was on that show, too, though she didn’t make the cut. Next week: America votes! Let the games begin!