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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

American Idol: “1 Of 9 Voted Off”

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It was a remarkably straightforward results show tonight on Idol, almost unpredictably predictable. What does it say about a show when you’re so used to the wrong thing happening that you’re surprised when things work out reasonably?

For starters, we get no group number tonight. I don’t think you nor I nor the judges nor the singers minded this. There is a Ford music video, this one a little bit wackier than the previous ones. Sung to “I Wanna Rock” (whose video’s original anti-establishment message is what Idol is all about), the kids move TVs featuring a video of them dressed up as the type of “punk rockers” I used to dress up as for Halloween when I was 8. There was also some sort of secret extra commercial within the commercial.

Then, oddly set to the somber strains of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games,” the kids move into their mansion, which actually looks like four mansions stitched together into one. Of the top nine, DeAndre seems the most childlike and excited about his new home. I wish I liked him as much when he sings as when he doesn’t.

Before we get to results, we’re treated to a performance by Nicki Minaj’s boobs. Nicki Minaj’s boobs emerge from a pink spaceship in a sparkly, rainbow ensemble as they performed “Starships.” Nicki Minaj’s boobs do rapping but mostly bounce around, or just stay in place, not even pretending to sing along to the song’s chorus. As per usual with these types of performances, the dancers do most of the work. The song feels neverending and then ends with an explosion of glitter. I’ve never thought I’d yearn for the artistry of the Black Eyed Peas. Nicki Minaj’s boobs do not pop out, which Ryan makes sure to mention since we all know what a bewb man he is. “I sure do love those breasts!” he says in the mirror every morning before he brushes all of his teeth.

Then platinum-selling artist and that kid who we all thought was a joke, Scotty McCreery, sings his tune “Watertower Town.” Aside from a bit more looseness onstage and without the habit of holding his mic like Groucho Marx holds a cigar, Scotty’s exactly the same as he was last season. The song sounds like it was written for a campaign ad, all church and football and church and trucks and fine-selling crops and no crime anywhere. No food stamps either, I bet.

Anyway, once again Jimmy Iovine actually dares to criticize those singers whom the judges adore. He nails it when he says that Hollie and Jessica are similar singers but that Hollie, like DeAndre, lacks experience and soul. He credits HeeJun for coming back from last week but points out that he’s just not as good as everyone else. And then Jimmy actually dings Colton for his emotion last night: “You can’t lose it all at the end and cry.” Same thing for Joshua. This is what I love about Jimmy: He’s all about the business, and while crying and showing your soft pink underbelly onstage may make Jennifer Lopez’s eyelash extensions flutter, Jimmy knows what’s up. My question now is, why do we have to wait until Thursday night to hear Jimmy’s words of wisdom? I wish he could influence the voters and give his opinions on Wednesday nights as well.


The bottom three are ultimately Hollie, HeeJun (I’m guessing that the ironic voters are staying home this year), and Skylar, who is not bulletproof the way I thought she was.

In a shocking bit of rationalism, America voted the least for the weakest singer in the competition: HeeJun. He reprises “Song For You” and sings it even better than last night. I know the judges really shouldn’t waste their save on him tonight, but I have a bad feeling that they’re going to do something dumb. Jennifer is crying, either because HeeJun’s moving her so much or because she knows he’s going home. HeeJun finishes his performance with a “Thank you!” to the audience, as if he knows he’s going home.


Steven announces the judges decision, and as he draws it out, I’m convinced is “I’m sorry…” is going to be followed by “…You’re gonna have to live in that mansion another week!” but for once, the judges don’t mess with us. HeeJun is really going home, and the judges actually saved their save for someone else. Color me shocked.

Moving forward, I think Hollie, Joshua, and DeAndre had better start watching their backs. Next week is ‘80’s week, apparently (when will someone sing “Sledgehammer” on this show? Ideally, a girl?) and I have my doubts that any of those three will find a way to connect with that genre in a fun way.


Stray observations:

  • Nicki Minaj has two facial expressions that I can tell when she performs: innocent Barbie and incredulous.
  • How come we never get an Aerosmith theme night?
  • It was cute how DeAndre was so excited to meet Eric Benet, aka the guy for whom Halle Berry wasn’t good enough.