American Idol‘s semi-finals week started off on a sour note (a couple, actually) as the remaining three stooges – Kris Allen, Danny “Hokey Gokey” Gokey, and Adam Lambert — warbled their final musical pleas to advance to next week’s final. Seriously, what lever do I pull to crush them all with an anvil? The only time we didn’t want to ingest a mug of bleach was during Kris Allen’s second performance, an ingenious acoustic version of Kayne West’s “Heartless”. Will it be enough for him to topple the fan-favorite and the judges’ golden boy? We’ll soon find out.
Proving that age doesn’t necessarily impart wisdom, the first half of the show saw the contestants performing songs hand-picked by the judges – and what a bunch of lemons they selected. Even Simon turned up the cheese-factor with his choice of U2’s “One” for Adam Lambert.
For all the details on last night’s show, read on.
8:00: Tonight, we have to go back to the contestant’s homes – like I really give a crap about seeing the nest where Adam Lambert was hatched.
8:02: AL side note: He’s wearing a totally heinous hillbilly tuxedo. I haven’t seen so much acid-washed denim since my drive through Ohio a few weeks ago.
8:03: In reference to the contestant’s hometown visits, Ry-Guy says, “We even saw one chick bum-rush Adam Lambert.” Don’t worry, Ry. I’m sure he’s very used to being bum rushed.
8:04: Starting off the show is Paula’s choice for Hokey Gokey: “Dance Little Sister” by Terence Trent D’Arby. This should be good (as my eyes roll back in my head).
8:05: Another lame arrangement for HG. I keep waiting to hear someone over a loudspeaker say, “All passengers, please report to the lido deck for shuffleboard.”
8:06: HG is now attempting to ‘scat’ with a trumpet player that looks like BB King. Tragic.
8:07: “That was dope for me, dude,” says Randy. Kara disses HG’s dancing skills and says she’s not sure if anyone will remember that performance. Really? I’m quite sure I’ll be having flashbacks for years to come.
8:08: Paula gets all hand-snapping as she responds to Kara: “Well, I’m a choreographer and I think you were good.” How can she even keep a straight face after her dance performance last week? Simon agrees with Kara that the dancing, calling it “a little bit desperate.” Says Paula’s song choice blew chunks.
8:09: “I realize I might not be the most in sync person out here,” says HG. More like in stink.
8:10: Kris is up after the break singing Randy and Kara’s choice.
8:14: Back in his hometown of Boringsville, AK, Kris gets a text on his free cell phone from AT&T (barf) from Randy and Kara. They chose “Apologize” by One Republic as his song.
8:15: Hate the original song. Hate this even more. It’s definitely too late for Kara and Randy to apologize for subjecting viewers to this boring performance. I think I’m starting to fall asleep.
8:16: Just woke up screaming thanks to Kris’s bad falsetto note.
8:17: Randy tells Kris that his performance showed the world what kind of artist he can be. Yeah, a bad one.
8:18: Kara wished Kris made the song his own more and Paula says there was a “bum note that was loud,” but that she was proud of him nonetheless. Do you love him or hate him? Make up your mind Abdul.
8:19: In a direct attack on Kara, Simon says: “You can’t chose a song for him and then get mad at him for doing the song.” He blames Randy and Kara for making a crapola choice.
8:20: Now, there are three numbers for each contestant. Simon chose AL’s song up next.
8:25: What could Simon have chosen for Adam? “Private Dancer”, perhaps. Nope, it’s “One” by U2.
8:26: Apparently Bono called Simon to say it would be U2’s pleasure to have Adam sing this song. Really, now? Doesn’t he have a third-world country to save?
8:27: It’s starting off OK. Uh-oh, the screeching commences.
8:28: AL’s family is crying. I guess I’d be too – but not for the same reasons. Randy says he loved it but he wasn’t sure he liked him going off the melody. Kara gushes that he did his own version of the song.
8:29: “It was one brilliant song, one superb performance, and one American Idol I’m staring at right now,” says Paula. Way to tie in the song with your comments Paula.
8:30: Simon gives himself a big old pat on the back by calling the song choice “brilliant.” Goes on to say that if AL isn’t in the finals it would be the biggest mistake in AI history. No, that’d be letting him get back Hollywood Week in the first place, Simon.
8:31: When Ry-Guy asks AL about the song, he responds with: “If you guys rewind it back at home you’ll see the lyrics really mean something.” Someone please take him down a few pegs. The sad thing is that there probably are losers out there that would rewind his performance on their DVR.
8:35: Lame Idol Gives Back update. After two years, Idol has raised 140 million dollars to help in the fight against malaria. Malaria? Forget HIV, poverty, and hunger – let’s join the fight against malaria.
8:36: Carrie Underwood travels to Africa to pass out mosquito nets. Cheesy version of Toto’s “Africa” is playing in the background. No, I’m not kidding.
8:37: “Thanks to Idol, million of bed nets have been given to people in Africa,” explains Ry-Guy. Thank God for those bed nets.
8:38: “There’s a lot more mosquito nets that need to be handed out,” says Carrie. Am I the only one who thinks this is ridiculous?
8:39: Hokey Gokey is up after the break with the song he chose to sing.
8:44: HG chose “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. Typical. Let’s see if mentions dead wife.
8:45: Stripped down arrangement is nice but ultimately it’s just more HG schmaltz. The belting at the end is particularly gross.
8:46: Randy says the performance showed HG can really sing. Kara calls it “stunning.” What’s really stunning is that she has a career in the music industry.
8:47: “You left all of us breathless,” says Paula. No, that’s just you trying to speak and think at the same time, Abdul. Simon calls it a “vocal master class.”
8:48: “I came out here with a fresh mind and a fresh heart and just did what I do,” says HG to Ry-Guy. Blech.
8:49: Kris is immediately following HG with “Heartless” by Kanye West. Really? This is either going to be good or a total disaster.
8:50: It’s an all-acoustic version of the song with Kris on guitar and it’s REALLY good.
8:51: Wow, I’m actually impressed. It was a really cool take on the song. If the judges don’t like it, they’re idiots. And….Randy said he likes Kris’s version better than the original. It was sooooo much better than Kayne’s actual performance on the show.
8:52: “It was bold, it was brave, and it was fearless,” says Kara. Pipe down, Kara. He’s not Norma Rae. “You are the bravest artist because you sang a song about Simon Cowell,” says Paula. Knuck, knuck, knuck. What a comedienne.
8:53: Simon tells Kris he’d written him out of the contest but that he’s changed his mind after this performance.
8:54: Adam is up with his selection next. Thankfully, he’s changed out of his horrible denim look and back into his typical Rocky Horror Picture Show-inspired outfit.
8:58: “You’ve done Queen, you’ve done Cher, what will you do next,” asks Ry-Guy to AL. More like he IS a queen who idolizes Cher. Tonight, she’s singing “Cryin’” by Aerosmith. And I’m back in high school.
8:59: I know I’m going to be cryin’ soon.
9:00: By far the worst performance of the “artists choose their own song” portion of the show. For a second, I thought I was watching Rock Of Ages on Broadway.
9:01: Randy kisses AL’s ass repeatedly. So does Kara. I’m about to barf. “I hope you’ve collected frequent flyer miles because you’re going to be flying free everywhere,” adds Paula. I guess she’s not trying to think as she speaks anymore.
9:02: Simon gets all ambiguous and says he’s not sure if he’s going to sail through to the finals.
9:03: “Kris and Danny were amazing tonight and I’m so honored to be in their presence,” says Adam. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to hurl a TV out my window as much as I do now.
9:04: So excited my girl Katy Perry is performing tomorrow night! As far as who’s getting the boot: I think it will be Kris (though I hope it’s Hokey Gokey).