You know what's a great way to ruin a surprise? By telling people that they’re in for a surprise. Thanks to Ryan's little bean-spilling, I knew that nobody who deserved to go home would go home tonight, and boy was I right. I admit though when Ryan first said tonight's results would be shocking, I assumed he meant Crystal was going home.
One unpleasant surprise we did get at the top of the show was the return of the group number. I did enjoy contemplating how much better things would have gone last night for Aaron had he sung "Here, There and Everywhere" but that was the main bright spot. I think "She Loves You" was my least-favorite part of the medley, along with Siobhan's bad lip-synching (it's those over-enunciating, shining lips). This was followed by the Ford commercial, which consisted of the singers looking into a magical kaleidoscope. What did they see when they looked into it? Me not telling you is your punishment for not having watched.
To sum up the next few minutes, the girls were all trotted onstage and then trotted right back off, as they were all safe. We learned that Adam Lambert is indeed going to mentor the singers next week, with a very special theme. Somebody in the comments today mentioned that it would be Queen and I really hope that's not the case because listening to Tim Urban cover a song that Freddie Mercury sang would be…not good.
You know who can give a damn good performance though is that kid Jason Derulo. I admit that I still occasionally listen to the station formerly known as the Chicago's "Killer Bee," B96, and Derulo seems to be on the radio every single time I push the button. I like that "Whatcha Say" song because of the Imogen Heap sample, but that was pretty much all I knew about the guy until tonight. He delivered a great little show—he sings, he dances, he does the splits, jumps back up, tosses his mic in the air and catches it again. His performance was somewhat comparable to Usher's from last week in that it was heavily influenced by Michael Jackson, but I think I enjoyed Derulo's more, plus there was no Will.i.Am. If I were Kara DioGuardi (who discovered him), I'd definitely be excited by that find.
Less captivating was David Archuleta singing "Imagine." Again. Damn, can somebody please get Davey Archie a new song? It was fine, like the first two times he sung it on the show. Ryan asked him which performance was more nerve-wracking, tonight's or the finale's, which is like asking the President which is more nerve-wracking: election day or some random day that occurred two years later.
I got an inkling of tonight's results when I saw Lee, Casey and Tim grouped on one side of the stage with Aaron, Andrew and Mike on the other side. It seemed obvious that the former group would be safe and that if there were really a "surprise," then it would be that Mike would be going home.
Before we got to the exciting conclusion, Rihanna performed. I don't think that she's as good as singer as Derulo or even Archuleta but who needs to be the best singer when you can rock a skintight pleather catsuit with sparkly shoulder pads? Seriously, she did look good and I liked her song "Rockstar," which featured, apparently (this was pointed out to me, as I don't know him, I confess), Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt. Rihanna also fingered a Flying V but I'm not sure her guitar was actually plugged in. The performance also featured what looked like a dreadlocked lady working out with a barbell that spewed sparks.
So, to make the drawn-out results even more dramatic, Ryan put the bottom two, Andrew and Mike, out onstage pointing out that they're both "fathers both trying to make a better life for their families." As I figured would be the case, Mike had the lowest amount of votes. For his last-chance performance, Ryan instructed him, "Give it everything you've got, leave nothing behind," which is what I usually tell myself before I eat a sandwich. He reprised "This Woman's Work" and as he sang (pretty much like he did it last time), I thought, "He's going to get the save," and, "I wish he wouldn't get the save." I think Mike is a very good singer at all but I can live without him on this show and I think the judges should have waited a week or two, but I guess we were in this position last year. I just think TV wise the save isn't as exciting as the producers hope it is.
Simon made the news of the save even more annoying with a see-it-a-mile-away fake-out: "We all wish he'd done something like this yesterday. If it's any comfort, this vote was unanimous…that we're going to see you next week." Kara jumped up kissed Randy and Ellen like she had just heard she'd won the Lotto.
While the excitement didn't spread to me, I did feel a little happier knowing that the save was not all for naught: two Idols are going home next week.
—Idol gives back returns April 21. Do you think the AV Club needs to cover it or should we just pretend like it didn't happen?
—Tim's hair usually annoys me but tonight it was worse than usual.
—I'd just like to take this moment to close with one of my favorite Beatles-related memories. January 14, 1998 I was attending a Bulls game and I saw Bob "Butterbean" Love's number retired. I didn't know much about his basketball career but my dad had told me about how his bad stutter prevented him from finding good employment after he retired as a player until the owner of the restaurant where he washed dishes paid for speech therapy and he eventually went back to work in the Bulls’ offices. Anyway, guess what song they played when they raised his number to the rafters? "All You Need is Love." That's why I like that song.