Are the results shows always this bad? This padded out with product placements and movie tie-ins and Seacrest/Cowell banter that seems one barb away from a loogie to the face? Just kidding–I know they’re always this bad. But here are a few quick observations anyway.
— Thanks, Idol, for taking so goddam long that my DVR cut off and I had to look up the end result online. The entire point of this show was to announce the result, which I could’ve found online 30 seconds later anyway, and you kept me from doing that. God forbid you drop the Justin Bieber interview or whatever the fuck.
— Relax, everyone. Tim Urban might be circling the outer edges of Sanjaya status, but he’s not there yet. His persistent refusal to die, despite obvious suckiness, is quite a thing to behold, but he’s not touching the grand-scale absurdity of the Sanjaya saga. Remember, Urban’s been in the bottom three for three straight weeks now. He’s still around, but there’s no real evidence of him actually being popular or anything. He’s circling the drain, and we are in no danger of seeing him comforting Janice Dickinson on Celebrity Survivor or whatever.
— The whole judges’ save gimmick only works if there’s an outside chance they’ll actually save whoever. If Crystal Bowersox somehow gets voted off before the final three, they’ll save her. If not, they’ll just save whoever gets voted off in the last week they’re allowed to use it. Didi Benami knew she was going home at least 24 hours before they dropped the hammer.
— It’s usually pretty awkward when Idol attempts any type of movie tie-in, like when Ryan Seacrest interviewed Hayden Christensen on top of the Sphinx just before Jumper came out, or when the Love Guru played Sitar Hero with Davids Cook and Archuleta. But explicit parallels between this show and Clash of the Titans? Well, that just makes sense. In its own way, isn’t a televised singing competition exactly like Sam Worthington fighting a giant CGI scorpion? (Also, who exactly is supposed to be a titan here? Katie Stevens?)
— Michael Lynche wore a pink ponytail glued to his head. He also, in what I guess was supposed to be a joke, basically chokeslammed Seacrest. I really, really hope he doesn’t confuse any of this goofy shit with actually displaying a personality of some sort.
— Oh man, the “Kung Fu Fighting” video. All the Idol contestants looked perfectly ridiculous in karate clothes, except lucky Casey James, who got to wear normal-people clothes and play the role Steven Seagal played in that one Mountain Dew commercial. This thing had a plot, but I had no idea what it was supposed to be. I did learn that Tim Urban has one absolutely devastating martial arts move in his repertoire: the awkward cartwheel. One of the girls can really kick, but the cuts were way to fast to tell who (Didi, maybe?), so it was probably just a stuntwoman.
— Ruben Studdard no longer looks dangerously obese! He does, however, look (and sound) like a 58-year-old man. He happily told Seacrest that he’s got Rick Ross on the remix to his terrible song, which doesn’t make any sense at all.
— Usher’s just a magnificently graceful and fluid dancer, but the song he sang was terrible, and his voice sounded like butt. I guess he couldn’t sneak “Little Freak” past any standards-and-practices boards, which is probably actually a good thing for the world at large. But that’s still a way better song than whatever he sang. Will.I.Am came through to give one of his patently unacceptable guest verses; this one might’ve been the worst example of that particular artform since that Too Short song where he just said “Keep them boobies bouncing on my head” a bunch of times.
— We got to hear the exclusive world premiere of the shitty Diddy electro track that was on Nah Right earlier in the day. No T.I., sadly. I will never pass up an opportunity to watch Diddy dance through dry ice while wearing all white, so this was all OK with me.
— Andrew Garcia’s mom wears, like, a lumberjack cape. It’s really something.
— There was a nice moment where Seacrest joked that Simon Cowell is in love with himself, which Kara DioGuardi followed up a couple of minutes later by making the exact same joke again, exhibiting absolutely zero knowledge that Seacrest had just said the damn thing. A total pro, that Kara.
— I’ve been working at Pitchfork for more than a year now, which means I’ve been largely shielded from the Justin Bieber phenomenon, something that’s likely to continue unless Bieber starts making chillwave. So I have to ask: Is that really Bieber’s speaking voice? And everyone’s just OK with that?