April 23, 2008

"Viewers love 'Amercian Idol' because it shows how just one person with talent can win over an audience of millions."

Said President Bush on "American Idol" tonight. First, "Deal or No Deal" and then "American Idol." Doesn't that man have a job?

"Thank you for your compassion. And God bless."

That's very nice. The charity wing of the show. ("America Gives Back.") But who's going home tonight? The 2 Davids are told they are safe, so we see the 3 women + Jason backstage, waiting to hear their fate, and Jason is yawning. Hey!

Brooke is safe! That shows that doing badly can be a good thing — if you have a fan base. They know they need to work to save you. I hope this is transformative for her.

Poor Syesha! Maybe she was a little too comfortable in the Broadway mode. Imagine if there was a "Broadway Idol" show. It would be quite different from "AI." It could be good. But it would be different.

Jason is safe, just like Brooke. He was (supposedly) bad, but he's got fans and they saved him. (Personally, I love the guy, and the song "Memory" is beautiful, so I enjoyed it.)

I'm happy with the bottom 2. My favorite 4 are in the top 4.

Now they make Carly sing. "Jesus Christ Superstar" — she's bellowing. To me, it's ugly. She's essentially yelling "Jesus Christ!" which isn't very pleasant. This is a family show. Blasphemy's not apt.

And — oh, no! — Carly's gone. I feel sorry for her now, but, really she never caught our hearts, did she? She always looked angry when she was singing — big voice and all.


MadisonMan said...

I'm glad Syesha is safe. But it's really time for Brooke to go. She's just one bundle of nerves waiting to melt down into a puddle of tears.

I thought Carly did a great job singing Superstar. It was the happiest I've seen her on stage.

al said...

Carly singing Superstar was awesome. Definitely not blasphemy. OTOH this version of Amazing Grace just might make your head explode.

Brooke and Jason were the worst last night and Brooke should have gone home tonight.

kimsch said...

I was so sure that it would be either Jason or Brooke on the way out tonight. Once the bottom two were known to be Syesha and Carly, Hubby said it would be Carly going.

Ah well, as with Michael, she's going on the tour, etc. She'll do fine.

PatCA said...

Carly is a belter. She probably would have made it if she just could have done a little acting with the song and varied her tone.

Joe said...

Based on performances, Jason should have gone home; he was atrocious and knew it. Based on simply being irritating, Brooke White should have gone home. Based on sounding exactly the same no matter what he sings, David Archuleta should have gone home, but there was no chance of that. I predicted Carly would go home last night based purely on her song choice and the fact that she was screaming, not singing, in the middle of it.

Joe said...

BTW, I'm betting on David Cook to win. Regardless, his talent is broad enough that he'll end up out earning everyone from this season. He has a real chance of longevity and stratospheric earnings as Daughtry.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

Syesha now has been in the bottom group five times in the seven episodes with finalists. Not including the weeks they got kicked off, Nikki McKibbin was there five times, Kim Locke was there four, and so were Anthony Federov and Phil Stacey. No one else was in the bottom that many times without getting eliminated. I'm getting this from Wikipedia.

So, this week she ties Nikki McKibbin for the largest number of times a contestant has been in the bottom three without getting kicked off. Or, to put it another way, Syesha and Nikki are the only people ever on the show to get sent to the bottom 3 for a fifth time and then been safe.

She has a 5 out of 7 track record of being in the bottom, so it seems like a good bet she'll be in the bottom again next week. If she's not then eliminated she will wind up being the person to have been in the bottom the most times of anyone on the show. Given all of that, doesn't it seem almost certain that she's going home next week?

Then you're left with the Davids, Jason and Brooke. Three guys and one girl. There has never been a Top Three on American Idol with all guys. There was one with all girls. Every other time, there has been a gender balance, and if anything there's a bias towards girls. With three guys and a girl, the girl seems sure to go through. So, there you have it, Brooke is going to get into the Top Three.

My point is that Carly being out makes everything from here on extremely predictable. Carly was very talented and had personality, and had a shot of being the underdog who winds up in the Top Three, the way Kim Locke was. With her out, I feel like if you look at past seasons and the way things have worked out, you can pretty well bet on this being the exact order:

1. David Archuleta
2. David Cook
3. Brooke White
4. Jason Castro
5. Syesha Mercado

Maybe David C could win instead. In my mind, the next three eliminations are set in stone, and I'd bet on that being the right order for all of them.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

Speaking of blonde underdogs that I'm rooting for even though other people seem to hate them, Hillary just raised $10 million in 24 hours.

John Stodder said...

I'm flipping back and forth between the Dodgers and the Lakers, so I don't know what's going at either Deal or No Deal or AI.

However, I just noticed that you removed your "cruel neutrality" tagline from the masthead and haven't replaced it. What's up?

Patm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patm said...

I'm glad Carly is gone. Hated her JC Superstar last night. I also dislike everyone else on this program - the weakest season yet.

But I watch becauseI keep waiting for Jason Castro to reveal he is John Travolta's bastard son. He's GOT to be.

BJK said...

Wasn't there a movie out in the past few years about a faux-President appearing on a faux-Idol show?

(Okay....I know the movie was called "American dreams" or something like that, but I had the good sense not to actually watch the thing.)

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Yay for Syesha!

Now get rid of Brooke, David A., and David Cook, in that order.

Final 2: Syesha and Jason
(it'll never happen but it'd be nice!)

As far as Bush...he knows he's pretty much a joke, so hey!...why not appear on two game shows? He would've appeared on "The Biggest Loser" but it's on hiatus.

blake said...

the song "Memory" is beautiful

I used to respect you!

PatCA said...

I also think DAvid Cook will win, and that's great. He is the most well rounded, original, and charismatic of all of them.

Whew, I'm a fangirl!

Is Daughtry doing well? That's great too.

Ann Althouse said...

Chris, great analysis, but if you're going by history, you should predict something shocking will occur at #4.

Re "Memory": I think the people who hate this song have simply not been successful at avoiding being in situations where music is imposed on them. If you only hear this song once every few years, it's quite beautiful. If you work in a place where it comes on the sound system every few days, you should hate it. And the musical "Cats" is horrible. I took my kids to it once, circa 1990, and you'd have to pay me $1000 to get me to see it again.

John Z. said...

I think it was the pathetic cry for attention tattooed on her arm that did her in. That and her freakshow husband. By the way, where was he last night? The camera usually picks him for a split second -- then quickly cuts away as if in embarrassment -- but last night he was conspicuous by his absence.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, the plus side of Carly's unfortunate elimination is that her Lizard Man Lookalike husband won't be cracking camera lenses any more.

Anonymous said...

Tattooed Screecher Hits Wall; Back Class Moves On.

As a non-frequent viewer, but as the spouse of a fan of the show, I have thought for a few seasons it's fixed. Who really knows the tabulations other than what they tell us? There's always a proper race/gender mix, right down to the end. Is it really impossible for four white guys to end up as the Final Four, or Four screechy black diva wannabees?

Zeb Quinn said...

There were three older professional ringers that the AI braintrust padded the competition with this season. Two of them --Michael Johns and Carly-- are now gone. When will David Archuleta voters send David Cook packing to make it all three?

It all kinda reminds me of the week in 1975 when Bruce Springsteen, who at the time was a nobody who'd never sung anything of note, magically appeared on the covers of Newsweek AMD Time. It actually took longer than they wanted, Bruce's career had to be jump started a couple of times, but when it did finally kick in some years later, what was left of the music got busy dying right then.

Eddie Thomas said...

A thousand dollars? Your prices are going up.

Ann Althouse said...

No, I'll still eat an egg salad sandwich for $200.

MadisonMan said...

Does the $1000 include the ticket or not? You really should specify, prices have gone up so.

Ann Althouse said...

"Does the $1000 include the ticket or not?"

That's the net profit to me just for the aggravation of sitting through the play. It's not to cover the price of tickets.... Must be all expenses paid. And the person paying doesn't get to go with me or anything.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't get the Syesha love. She's completely bland and boring. And that song "One Rock & Roll Too Many" is something I don't even want to ever think about much less hear. The way she danced around while singing it... it just seemed completely square and dumb to me.

Zeb Quinn said...

Syesha's hot.

MadisonMan said...

The difference between Syesha this week and all the previous weeks was amazing! Suddenly she was animated and engaging. That didn't seem square to me.

As for Neil Diamond next week: Whoever sings Song sung blue (or Forever in Blue Jeans) should go home. I hate those songs. I'd like to see David Cook sing Sweet Caroline with a slow bluesy feel to it. I think Syesha could do well with Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show. You just know that David A or Jason will sing He Ain't Heavy -- I think either could do really well with it.

I predict that I will be shocked shocked! at how old Neil Diamond looks.

kimsch said...

David Cook reminds me of Jimmy Fallon playing a "rock star" either on SNL or in a movie.

Jason Castro is definitely John Travolta's (in Battlefield Earth) love child. The resemblance is absolutely startling...

Patm said...

Kim, it's not just the resemblance, it's the manner and the voice. Close your eyes and listen to Jason sing, it's John Travolta circa 1979-1985, and the whole wide-eyed innocent, "whaaa" thing: John Travolta.

He's even got the twinkle in the eye.

SteveR said...

Based on performance this week, Brooke should have gone, but since the vote totals for the bottom four (non Davids) were probably close, Brooke likely got by on a little sympathy push and its also true that Carly never garnered a fanbase beyond the "overly tatooed females with creepily tatooed husbands who watch American Idol who know how to dial a telephone" group. Not a big demographic.

Hard to imagine David A picking up the majority of voters left over from contestants being eliminated now so I am predicting a David Cook victory. I would think the show's producers are a bit stressed at the thought of trying to promote American Idol Jason Castro.

AlphaLiberal said...

Bush cameo sinks ‘Deal or No Deal.’

Based on this, expect the ratings for American Idol to tank.

Life (or desperate President) imitates art.

Nichevo said...

Hating President Bush is fine, listening to you it seems like 'everybody does it,' but there is a chance that Ann was asking a serious question: Why? Cui bono? What has Bush to gain from these pop culture appearances?

Is it 'by any means necessary' supporting the troops at retail? Is it trying to build support for some legislative deal? Is he trying to build his 'place in history' by doing these cameos?

What indeed is the point? Finish your intellectual masturbation, smoke your tobacco-free cigarettes, and consider the question seriously.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

Ann Althouse said...

Chris, great analysis, but if you're going by history, you should predict something shocking will occur at #4.

Ok, so here are the 4th place American Idol people, starting with Season One: 1) Tamyra Gray; 2) Joshua Gracin; 3) LaToya London; 4) Anthony Federov; 5) Chris Daughtry; 6) LaKisha Jones.

I didn't watch every season, but my impression is that Tamyra, LaToya, and Daughtry were all shockers and the other three were not shockers. So, there's only a shocking thing that week half the time. Not enough of a pattern for me to change my prediction. And only one of the Davids being eliminated would seem shocking in that way. The times when that happened, you weren't just left with one really obvious winner. There were always at least two potential winners left after the shocking elimination. In a season with only two real potential winners, I don't think either of them will get eliminated early.

On the other hand, something shocking happens at #4 every other year. If that pattern continues, it'll happen again this year.

Anonymous said...

I'd rig up an auto-dialer and cast thousands of electronic votes for any contestant who plays a cowbell.

What AI needs is more cowbell.

Jennifer said...

David Cook reminds me of Jimmy Fallon playing a "rock star" either on SNL or in a movie.

LOL! Right on. Except not hot and not funny. I cannot stand David Cook.

I like Jason but that's probably because a.) he played a ukulele and b.) I went to school in Eugene, OR with about a thousand Jasons. He feels very comfy.

I think Chris' analysis is good. Although, I do think there is a possibility of an all male top three this year, because I think Jason has a bigger fan base than Brooke does.

Maybe I'll get lucky and there will be a shocker in spot 4 and it will be buh-bye Smarmy Asshat.

blake said...

Re "Memory": I think the people who hate this song have simply not been successful at avoiding being in situations where music is imposed on them. If you only hear this song once every few years, it's quite beautiful. If you work in a place where it comes on the sound system every few days, you should hate it.

Au contraire, mon profesore.

In my case, I heard--over and over and over again--what a BEAUTIFUL song this was, how EXTRAORDINARY it was in its lyricism, how it was just the BEST SONG EVER.

Then I heard it.

It's a '50s doo-wop song, slowed down a bit. Major-to-minor 6th-to fourth chord progression, with going to the minor third instead of the fifth being the only thing that makes the cliché obvious.

You can even put the doo-wops in.

All alone in the moonlight
I can whatever whatever whatever
Total eclipse of the sun
(that's from Little Shop, sorry)

I've heard some lovely singers sing it, but they could've done the same thing with "In The Still Of The Night".

So apart from my initial exposure and a few other encounters right around the time it was so screamingly popular (curiously enough, I've never heard the canonical version, if there is one), the only other time I've heard it is in Jersey Girl where everyone girl but one sings it at a talent show.

It's not that it's a bad song per se. It's that it's completely unremarkable. I got the sense that the hype was largely due to people being unaware that there was music before 1964.

Andrew Lloyd Weber is the Fernando Sor of our day. (And if you're thinking "Who?", my response is "Yes, exactly.")