Last week’s insanely dramatic American Idol result show was the some truly compelling and weird TV; I sure as hell can’t remember having that much fun watching one of those shows. The big moment, of course, came when the judges saved Casey Abrams and when Abrams collapsed into pale jelly onstage. But the whole show, with its random celebrity cameos and its general air of screwball absurdity really made that hour go by fast. The show was always going to have a tough time topping that one, even with two contestants getting bounced. And when Thia Megia and Naima Adedapo got sent home, it couldn’t have been surprising to anyone except, I guess, the hordes of comments-section goons who showed up here last week.
So let me just say something about Thia real quick. If any of you guys are still here, you were wrong. I was right. She was no good, and now she’s gone. Don’t feel bad. It happens. Your girl has now joined the ranks of Sanjaya Malakar and David Archuleta. Judging by the hordes of angry commenters I got whenever I pointed out how bad these guys sucked, these two were absolutely beloved. But neither one won, and now neither one really has much of a career. Maybe some reality-show producer will snap Thia up and let her be Janice Dickinson’s doormat on some dumb show for a season, the way they did with Sanjaya, but probably not. Sanjaya, as bad as he was, was at least interesting. Thia was a void, and I’m just sorry I won’t have her to kick around anymore.
With all that, of course, we still had to pad out the hour with all the usual American Idol ridiculousness, and here’s some of the shit that happened.
— The show, for at least this week, did away with the usual up-with-people group-sing segment. Fine with me, since that whole thing invariably came off like a tornado of bleached-teeth grins. Instead, all the contestants got chances to sing in smaller groups, which was nice since we actually got to see them sing, and the songs ended up both as collaborations and competitions. Starting things out, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina affirmed their token-country-singer statuses by duetting on Randy Travis’ “I Told You So,” and Lauren pretty handily sang Scotty off the stage.
— In the obligatory Ford commercial, all the contestants sing a peppy version of Three Doors Down’s “Kryptonite” while showing off their superpowers in a display of special effects that wouldn’t have made it into a SyFy original series. Honestly, this is the single highest-rated show on TV. They couldn’t part with more than 40 bucks for their bullshit CGI? I absolutely loved this, obviously.
— Someone sent James Durbin a WWE Championship belt, which is nice for him. I can’t believe the WWE is still using that stupid spinning logo thing. It’s not 2003 anymore! Young Buck doesn’t still wear that spinner chain thing, I’m assuming! Ryan Seacrest: “It’s like a spinning hubcap, isn’t it? Very cool.”
— In a display of awesomely silly lite-funk, Jacob Lusk and Naima Adedapo sing Ashford & Simpson’s “Solid Together.” Of course this show had to team up the two remaining black contestants. I’m not mad, though, since Jacob’s dancing is awesome.
— Fantasia sings. Her new single is pretty bad. I almost feel like this show should stop having old winners stop by to sing again; it just seems like a constant grim reminder that even if you win this show, you’re probably only going so far in the world. She’s an awesome singer, though, so it’s fun seeing her again.
— I’m pretty sure Fantasia has braces.
— Haley Reinhart, Thia Megia, and Pia Toscana all get clumped together to sing Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” a song that isn’t suited to any of their voices. And of course they all sound ridiculous. Haley grunts and growls, Pia tries to go polished and just ends up sounding fake, and Thia doesn’t even get to sing lead at all because she’s terrible. The parts where they harmonize on the chorus are just hell.
— Kris Allen, who won a couple of years ago, is in the crowd. They don’t even let him sing! Given what I said about Fantasia and old winners coming back, this seems like a good look.
— In a video montage, we learn that the kids all met Muhammad Ali. It’s powerfully depressing every time that guy gets roped into mugging on TV, and I’m probably going to think about Lights Out and pugilists’ dementia every time I see that guy from now on. This, of course, is the only remotely interesting moment in the montage, which is all about how the Idol kids’ week went. Nobody cares how their week went!
— Actually, the extended footage of Casey Abrams’ freakout is pretty great.
— Paul McDonald, Casey Abrams, Stefano Langone, and James Durbin all sing “Band on the Run,” a severely annoying song, together. And they all play instruments! So maybe that’s why their harmonies sounded like total dogshit. When he’s forced to share a stage with other contestants, Paul, who I generally like, sounds weak as fuck. Durbin, possessed of the god-given ability to yell over everyone else, handily wins that one.
— Does everyone know there’s a Sleigh Bells song in a Samsung commercial? Because there’s a motherfucking Sleigh Bells song in a Samsung commercial.
— Will.I.Am and Jamie Foxx do some bullshit song from a cartoon together. I didn’t watch the results show a couple of weeks ago, but wasn’t Will.I.Am just on? This guy should not get to be on American Idol twice in a month. Sample Will lyrics “I’m that samba samba master / Master master master master.” It’s amazing how this guy just continues to find ways to get even worse at rapping. I like imagining Wyclef looking at him and wondering where things went wrong. I look forward to never hearing this song again.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 1, 2011
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