I guess I’m surprised by tonight’s Idol, but in a “Hmm, that’s kind of wack,” way and not “OMG TV excitement!”
Big news, Idol watchers: the save was employed tonight, but I’m going to make you scroll to the bottom of this piece to find out on whom.
We pretty much opened tonight with the Ford commercial, which, now that Scott is gone, focused entirely on looking at/reading things, as Matt had to react with dubious excitement at his friends dancing around on magazine covers to the tune of “Freeze Frame.”
Then we got right to the group number, which was “Maniac” being sung in various solos so it didn’t sound as canned as usual. Simon looked like he hated Kris’ entrance down a flight of stairs but seemed to be charmed by Allison singing right at his face. The performance of “Maniac” also included a little transition of people singing “dance dance dance dance dance!” which I’m going to have in my head for the next four years.
The kids all got to go to the premiere of the movie Seventeen Again, featuring Zac Efron, who I like to think of as this generation’s Michael J. Fox, except with ridiculous hair. At the premier, Leslie Mann asked exactly what I would say if I was at an Idol-related event: “Is Simon here?!”
Then we got to the eliminations: Allison was in the clear, and Adam found out that he was also safe, after clarifying that he (and Simon) both like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I like Adam; I just wish his singing didn’t hurt my ears sometimes. Ryan got to Anoop and started some patter with him, and big ups for Anoop for just asking Ryan to get to the news, and he did: bottom three.
Before we went further, Jennifer Hudson performed. I was surprised to see her original audition tape: I never remembered her being that thin (not that there is anything good or bad about that). It’s the first time back since she won an Oscar and a Grammy and I sensed a tiny bit of a chip on her shoulder about her elimination. Then again, she just might not have her own patter honed—she seemed kind of awkward onstage with Ryan after her performance. I like Jennifer as a celebrity (I remember seeing her open for Kanye West many years ago, before all the Dreamgirlsstuff) but I thought her song “If This Isn’t Love” was sort of a clunker: it lacked a nice hook to make it a good TV song. Frankly I don’t always love her voice (sometimes she hits Adam-ish notes). But whatever, I look forward to seeing her around.
Back to eliminations: when Kris stood up someone yelled, “My sister loves you!” and Simon was able to reveal what he thought of his performance last night: “brilliant,” which made me happy.
Soon Lil was sent down with Anoop, and then it came to Matt and Danny. Danny took a moment to tell Simon that his opinion is stupid (or something to that effect). No surprise, Matt was the one in the bottom three.
Anoop was sent back to safety shortly thereafter, and then Miley Cyrus performed with her smoke machine.
This was the first time I’ve purposefully watched Miley sing. Her song “The Climb” was catchy, although her voice is pretty nasal and she has some weird pronunciations, but whatever, this kid could buy and sell my ass until I’m dead. Also, she has very good and pretty backup singers. It’s going to be interesting watching her in a few years if she doesn’t go the Lindsay/Britney route. I hope that she and Allison talked about what it’s like to be the most unconvincing 16-year-olds ever.
After Miley performed, Kara and Paula had frozen grins plastered to their faces that started to slip after a few seconds. Don’t blame them.
Then a bit of TV magic: Ryan asked Simon if he’d be willing to use the save on either Matt or Lil tonight and Simon replied that they would use it on one person, and that person would find it a surprise. Then Ryan kicked us to commercial, but nothing happened. We saw Matt holding still onstage, and then Simon said “Hello?” Ryan tried the prompt again and this time it worked. I have no idea what happened or who screwed up but it was hilarious for some reason and I laughed out loud and watched it twice. Can somebody please turn that “Hello?” into a ringtone for me to download?
Ryan gave Lil the annoying fake-out-you’re-safe “I’m sorry to tell you….that you’re going to have to go home…and tell your kids you’re very sorry….but you have to fly back and continue the show!” Well, not quite but it’s getting to that point.
So Matt sang “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” again and while I don’t hate the song it really wasn’t that great a performance. I figured he was dead in the water, myself. I guess, looking back, Ryan knew the save would be used since he riled Matt up with a lot of “Isn’t this the most crazy amazing important terrifying day of your life?” talk. Simon told Matt that his singing wasn’t better than last night and he has no chance of winning the competition, and Kara and Paula yelled “No, save him!” And they did.
I don’t get it. I don’t get why they’d use the save for somebody who they don’t think would win (and make no mistake about it: he won’t). It’s more than possible that Matt could get sent home again next week, along with someone else, right? I feel like this changes nothing, except now the save is gone. I guess I’m glad that we can be done with the save nonsense, but I don’t know. That was stupid.
What was also stupid was the studio reaction to the news: you would have thought that Matt had just won the show, the way people were cheering and lights were flashing and contestants jumping up and down.
[Edit: I don't want to delete major parts of this post so I'll keep up my original reaction, but I was just reminded that the judges only have up until the last five weeks of the show to use the save. I still don't think this renders the save any more exciting, but it doesn't seem like as dumb a time to use it to me now.]
Well, now two of them will go home next week (probably two from tonight’s bottom three) and then we can march grimly on. To disco week. Oh Adam, I am already so afraid.
—I like how Tom Lennon said he hasn’t seen a really good old-man-young-man-age-switcheroo movie in a really long time. Because there haven’t been any in a long time.
—I would like to see a museum of the men’s jackets worn this season, maybe with a little side exhibit of Danny’s glasses. Seriously, did you hear Anoop’s jacket clinking?
—Don't tell me the title of this post is wrong. I'm afraid of people yelling at me for spoiling.