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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

American Idol: “Results Show”

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Tonight’s results show felt strangely unexceptional for being “the night we’ve all been waiting for,” I.E., learning who will be in the finale. The musical guests and the time-killing material all felt pretty sleepy for what was supposed to be a momentous episode. Maybe that’s just the sound of the season winding down with a whimper as opposed to a bang.

We kick things off with a rendition of the Beatles’ “Got To Get You Into My Life.” It’s fine, although for some reason Jessica barely sings the melody straight for more than two bars. However, she does look cute in a cutout white dress. Then, she and Josh take advantage of the silent movie rage that’s sweeping the nation by pretending to be old-timey bank robbers for the Ford commercial. It’s the most acting, makeup and costuming they’ve had to endure all season. Yet again, Phillip is nowhere to be seen. I want answers!

Then, we get sit through a commercial within a commercial within a commercial as we’re pitched the new Ice Age movie, its soundtrack and, somewhere in there, another Ford to boot. But it was nice to see songwriter Ester Dean get some screentime (I’m rooting for her after reading about her in the New Yorker.) Out of spite as well as disinterest, I plan on having nothing to do with any of the three things being sold to me.

Lisa Marie Presley must have excellent people right now because not only did she score a spot on tonight’s show, she got the stage to be transformed into a creepy forest for her performance and a bunch of Tim Burton extras to perform as her backup band. She channels Stevie Nicks and Lana Del Rey with her smoky “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” which isn’t a bad song (although it is not this song) except I’m convinced she’s lipsynching the whole thing. This more distracting when the singer is just standing there singing by herself as opposed to dancing and singing and being surrounded by fast-moving dancers.

Fortunately, Adam Lambert is here to demonstrate what it’s like to sing live onstage. Adam’s one of the few Idol alumni whose music I’ve purchased (“For Your Entertainment” is good stuff, although I think it’s funny that there are so many scantily-clad ladies in the video because I interpret the song to be about rough gay anal sex.) Anyway, I’m not loving “Never Close Our Eyes” and I don’t think it shows off Adam’s voice that well, but it’s just so nice to see someone back on the show who’s glammy and loves ‘80’s, danceable music. It felt like nobody wanted to dance this season.

Anyway, on the to the results. Jimmy and I were on the exact same page regarding Josh’s performance. He thinks the judges were “very generous” regarding “I’d Rather Go Blind,” that he overcompensated on “Imagine” by being “overblown and overemotional” and thought there was something missing (good melody) on “No More Drama.”


Jimmy wasn’t as forgiving to Jessica as I was, though. Basically, for each of her performances he says that he wanted more, which I don’t think is wrong, but like I said last night, I was so happy that she didn’t talk about BB Chez or growl when she sang that I was satisfied.

Jimmy was more forgiving to Phillip than I was, but I’m the first to admit that I’ve never gotten Phil-Phil’s appeal. Jimmy figures “Beggin’” was “no harm no foul” and that “Disease” was “a total snoozefest.” Whereas I thought Phillip was merely adequate by Jessica and Joshua’s standards, though, Jimmy says that P.P. “won the night” with “We’ve Got Tonight.” Jimmy feels the vulnerable Phillip who cried during his hometown visit is the same Phillip who delivered that performance, and that’s when I knew that Phillip’s not going home tonight.


After the judges run their mouths on some bullshit about how everyone is great and no one should go home, we learn that indeed, Phillip is moving onto the finale, along with Jessica, who doesn’t quite seem to believe it. It’s Joshua’s turn to go home.

Joshua’s clearly saddened by the news but delivers a great rendition of “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” even while hugging the judges and singing right into J.Lo’s ear. It’s sweet that he brings his mother up onstage but then she’s left to stand there awkwardly as he moves about.


I have a feeling that Jessica is going to win next week, even though I think Phillip will probably get more votes. Nigel Lythgoe has made it known that he’s tired of the White Guys With Guitars formula. Idol slid down this season in terms of ratings and popularity and there’s buzz that Jennifer Lopez won’t be around next season. Now with X-Factor’s new judge bombshell, Idol’s relevance is clearly slipping away, so maybe the producers will somehow give Jessica the edge in an attempt to shake things up a bit and make the show look less predictable. Plus, there’s that whole possibility that if Phillip wins, the show’s champion will be too ill to go out and promote the show and tour, and that’s just bad for business.

Stray observations:

  • I liked how into Josh’s performance Skylar was.
  • It’s funny how Nigel Lythgoe has been worked into so many more episodes this season. Tonight the judges all made their entrance by greeting him as he sat in his seat. So we know who makes the most money.
  • When I heard Donna Summer died earlier today, the first thing I thought was, “Has somebody told Rita Wilson?”
  • Many, many thanks to everyone who watched this season with me (even if, like me, you sometimes asked yourselves why.) This is my last installment of Idol as I’ll be off on what you might call a “babymoon” next week. Kenny Herzog and Emily Yoshida will be taking care of business. Go Jessica!