Pop a squat
Pop a squat
An alternative-universe Jennifer Lopez guides the contestants toward the light on this week's AmericanIdol. A bewildered Dave White translates...
April 13 2007 12:00 AM EST
November 17 2015 5:28 AM EST
Pop a squat
Pop a squat
An alternative-universe Jennifer Lopez guides the contestants toward the light on this week's AmericanIdol. A bewildered Dave White translates...
Oh, man, did Sanjaya get the bowl cut? That's what it looks like from the quick flash of the contestants we see before the opening credits of Tuesday night's show. See, Kentucky Fried Chicken (I've never been able to deal with shortening it to the more hip-hop, breakdancing-Colonel Sanders "KFC") has offered My Papaya a chance to be their Famous Bowls spokesgeek on the condition that he gets a bowl haircut. You can Google that if you think I'm lying. Because I'm not. Anyway, I hope he takes the money and runs with it. Hair grows back. The worst that happens is he looks like Moe Howard for a week or so and fattens up his college fund a little.
"This is A-MER-ican Idol!"
Animated dude with breasts holding microphone.
Cathy Dennis song.
The cast of Drive seated in that doomed-Fox-series front row of marketing.
The cast of Wedding Bells working at Pinkberry.
Seacrest welcomes us to "the show you control," the first comedy line of the evening. Then he says, "Two words for you: Jennifer [slightpause] Lopez," and this makes the crowd scream. Even one of the Monkees is here applauding, Micky Dolenz specifically, wearing a black "I'm still youthful!" hat even though he's like my Mom's age. I think it's only right and natural that one of the Monkees is here, seeing as how their fame was predicated on being constructed as musicians on national television too. They got a sitcom and hit records and all the screaming girls and none of the respect because, now as well as then, people somehow believe it when pop stars bitch about how their beyond-reason level of fame and wealth was earned through blistered feet and purity of vision and a moral steel core, like they'd trudged up a mountain made out of shards of broken glass while those other leapfroggers who simply landed the magic audition or gave someone a blow job or won a contest didn't play by the rules and are now ruining the integrity of...the musicindustry. So anyway, back to the Monkees. Then they went and made that awesome movie Head and broke up. Which makes me wonder what Micky Dolenz has done for a living for the past 30-whatever years, you know? Does he own a chain of Sizzlers?
Seacrest launches into the voice-over for a Jennifer Lopez montage: "Jennifer Lopez is an unstoppable force with talents that cover all aspects of the entertainment industry," which is, I guess, I don't know, sort of accurate. She does sing and dance and act and make those awful outfits they sell in...where? Like Mervyn's? And she has some sprays or lotions or something too, right? Like her own brand of toothpaste, I think. I forget. What I like best about this little "isn't she great" monologue is how Seacrest says the word "Latina." Because when crackers with aspirations to being continental say words like that they always overemphasize the way they're pronouncing it, as though they were actual Spanish-speakers. So he says, "Eh-lah-TEEN-ah," and a nation of Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Central Americans, Dominicans, and even my Spaniard-from-Spain-descended husband/partner/whatever laughs in unison.
As I write this, my friend Tom Ford--no, not that one, this is the one I know who isn't famous or a fashion designer--is trying to nap on my couch, so I'm annoying him with the way I'm stopping and starting and rewinding the TiVo in order to catch the little details that'll make this recap sing, and he just mumbled, "I...fuckin'...hate her."
I don't hate the Lo. This montage reminded me of all the things about her there are to enjoy. There's J.L. spazzing out in a manic dance move, there's J.L. pretending to be Jennifer Beals's Flashdance body double, there's J.L.'s used-to-be-bigger-before-she-had-whatever-she-had-did-it-did-to-it ass, there's J.L. punching you in the face while singing "Waiting for Tonight," there's J.L. imploring the DJ to play that song, there's J.L. being in a movie that isn't Gigli, there's J.L. as "Eh-lah-TEEN-ah" icon Selena, there's J.L. exploding a car as a metaphor for her fiery "Eh-lah-TEEN-ah" passion, there's J.L. washing her hair, and then, finally, there's J.L. topping the Latin Charts, her latest achievement, which, though it might not be number1 on the top 200 albums, is still a much a bigger deal than being able to say, "Hey, everyone, I just washed my hair all by myself without the help of my live-in stylist!"
Seacrest continues embarrassing himself by calling the kids the top "ocho" in yet another attempt at dialect realness, and he explains that Jennifer Lopez will be their mentor for "Latin Week," where I guarantee you the focus will be squarely on Gloria Estefan and Santana. In my fantasies Sanjaya comes out and covers an Os Mutantes song and Melinda tackles Tom Ze. But it's not going to happen. We're not even going to get a cover of Celia Cruz or Caetano Veloso. But someone's going to sing "Conga," I can feel it. Anyway, will Lopez be aloof and and useless like Peter Noone? Will she be tentatively helpful like Diana Ross? Will she bowl them over with her happy energy and willingness to howl out any and every song with them like Lulu? Will she demand one of them to go out and get her some hand cream like when Puffy's protege shot that guy in that club that one time and they all got hauled down the police station and she had one of the cops run off to Rite-Aid?
J.L. speaks her gentle-lady mind about the wonder that is this season's batch of contestants. How diverse and lovely, how amazing they are, how proud she is of them. The top ocho are all seated on the floor, looking up at J.L., seated on a stool; they're in awe, mouths slightly open, like she might drop some worms in from her motherly beak. It's sweet. And I can't figure out what I'm witnessing here.
"We watch American Idol," she says.
"Just like the rest of America," she says.
Is this like in The Phantom Menace and whatever that second one was called where you learn that Queen Amidala had all those decoy Padmes that looked and acted just like her? Is Jennifer Lopez so rich now that she's had exact duplicates manufactured? Are they the nice ones? I mean, I've read all the gossip columns and blogs and TheSmokingGun.com and Gawker.com and Defamer.com and PerezHilton.com (Did you know I used to work with him at this other gay magazine once and his real name is Mario? I always thought he was kind of a dork back then, but now he's famous, so that makes him amazing) and I know all the facts about Jennifer Lopez. I know she demands crazy things like all-white trailers at charity events and a dozen oiled-up eunuch slaves spraying tuberose-scented mists into the air from diamond-encrusted atomizers and that these slaves must travel in advance of her every step by exactly five minutes so that the scent of pretty flowers delicately lingers in the air but that they must be invisible and out of the area by the time she shows up. I know about every gruesome story from every set she ever worked on, every party she ever attended, every human life she suffocated with her bare hands around their innocent throats so she could get ahead in the biz. I heard she had Selena killed so that she could then play her on film. I have a LOT invested in believing that all this information is 100% true fact. I don't know how I'm even supposed to go on with this recap if I can't see her behaving as oddly and stiffly and uncomfortably as Gwen Stefani. I NEED UNSUBSTANTIATED GOSSIP AND BLATANT LIES TO BE GOSPEL. Stop fucking up my life with your warm, charismatic behavior, Jennifer Lopez! It's not fair to me or anyone else. But mostly me.
Anyway, let's watch Jennifer Lopez be lovey-dovey and snuggle-bunnies with Melinda Doolittle, who's going to sing "Sway." J.L. has done her homework, like maybe she really does watch this show. "I just saw this quality in [Melinda] that I hadn't seen on the show before, where she kinda got like, really like, sultry and sexy for a second." We see J.L. advising, laughing, and being cute. "That is going to be my biggest challenge this week," says Melinda, "because I am so not sexy."
Hmm. Hey, girl-on-girl readers, is your lezdar going off on Melinda? I want to hear from you on this one. Because while I tend to think I can spot a fag a mile away, occasionally my dyke detection system runs a little spotty. And something about her feels lezzie-ish to me suddenly. I don't know why. I have no proof, no rumors, no innuendo, no nothing. Unlike all the crazy stories of evil I've heard of J.L., which I still swear have to be true or nothing can ever be right in my world again. But about Melinda I have only conjecture. So someone give me your opinion. I care.
Anyway, here comes Melinda in a nice asymmetrical-cut black dress that gives her plenty of neck. She's also wearing a sexy MILF wig. She performs the song competently, and by that I mean she puts me to sleep. But whatever. Randy compares her to Celia Cruz. Paula, who is wearing a funny little black jacket and, according to my friend Josh, "poured lip gloss all over herself and rolled her face in glitter," goes blah-blah-blah-you're-pretty. And Simon doesn't like it. Simon's the one who's right. Seacrest calls her "sexy," and Melinda is happily taken aback, kind of like when you poke the Pillsbury Doughboy in the belly button.
LaKisha's next. Seacrest has a viewer question. "What made you try out for American Idol?" asks Someone from Somewhere. LaK's response is the one she's said before but clearly not loudly enough so that these dumb question-askers could hear it, and it goes like this, paraphrased of course: "I work in a motherfuckin' BANK and make shit money and I'm a single mom and I'd been getting really into that Set It Off DVD, like keeping it way too long from Blockbuster and memorizing key scenes almost without even realizing I was doing it, you know? That's when I knew I had to dump all that bullshit and get my ass on TV."
J.L. sweetly, so sweetly, guides LaK through "Conga," even teaching her how to pronounce it correctly and letting me know that I've been saying it wrong my whole life, like the cracker I am. She even gives LaKisha a quick little dance lesson and together they make their respective booties go POP to the right. Then J.L. delivers this really infectious and warm laugh. It's so life-affirming I can feel my arteries clearing and my cholesterol count going down. I'm being healed by the laughter of Miss Jennifer Lopez, friend to humanity. My friend Tom Ford offers a possible explanation for this continued niceness. "Maybe Tom Cruise did get to her and Marc Anthony and convert them to Scientology," he says, and I like this idea because it would mean we have a new celebrity Scientologist to goof on. The new "clear" J.L. would be a treat at all times. Furthermore, it seems like Posh and Becks aren't being so receptive to taking the personality tests and wrapping their money-filled hands around e-meter cans, so I'd really like it if at least some fresh superfame were being infused into the religion. Jenna Elfman can't do everything by herself, and we shouldn't expect her to. It's not right.
Anyway, it's time for LaKisha to sing "Conga," a piece-of-shit song that I hate. I also hate her dress. It's scorching my retinas with redness and confusing stripes. Meanwhile, the piece-of-shit song "Conga" is getting away from LaK. It's too fast for her mouth. And she's trying to wave her hands around and dance and sing and climb up and down stairs to platforms, and oh, man, it's all too, too, too, too much. But she's saying "conga" right, like CONE-gah with a really hard "g" sound. When she finishes the camera cuts to her awesome family instead of her boring bank friends. The family ladies are holding up a sign that reads "QUEEN LAKISHA JONES WE LOVE YOU!!! GO GIRL" and they have on photo T-shirts that say "YOU SING IT! YOU GO GIRL!" Again, Fox, please give these women their own show. I'm not being ironic here. I think they're genuinely awesome. Randy is thrilled by her. Paula, in a weird reversal, thinks it's too safe. Simon agrees with Paula and says LaKisha's dancing wasn't very good. This elicits a high-pitched yelp from LaKisha, and that's my favorite vocal of hers so far tonight.
Commercial Time: Fox is showing these five-second-long animated clips of a taxi driver saying weird stuff to caricatured representations of Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. I have no idea what I'm looking at or what it's supposed to mean. Then there's a commercial for the fine dining found at Olive Garden, where Italian food means the same thing to them that Latin night means to American Idol. Then comes this really weird one for McDonald's where these Boston guys are trying to tell me that California is a test market for the new Angus burger at McD's and that it's my job as a resident of Los Angeles to put down my surfboard and go eat one so that eventually Boston will be able to get in on all the fun of putting one down its collective esophagus. The Bostonians in the commercial tell me that the Angus burger is "wicked laaaahhge" and then one of them calls me a "dude" and then the announcer says that my country "needs" me to do this. Well, let me tell you something, Boston dudes and Announcer Guy who probably all live in Los Angeles anyway: The last time I ate at a McDonald's I got diarrhea so bad I thought I had AIDS. So why don't you get on that new wicked laaaahhge airplane they just invented that holds 3,000 passengers and come over here to my incredibly privileged test-market neighborhood and buy a fuckin' Angus burger yourself.
We're back, and Seacrest breaks the nerve-jangling news what Rascal Flatts will be performing at the Idol Gives Back show at the Disney Concert Hall here in Los Angeles, along with Annie Lennox; Il Divo; Earth, Wind, & Fire; Josh Groban; and Kelly Clarkson. Then he segues right back into Latin sounds from Chris TimberFake Richardson, a man smitten with Miss L. and with pretending to be Rob Thomas singing Santana's "Smooth," but not so into saying Spanish words properly. "My mona-kee-tah..." he gurgles. Then J.L. corrects him with "munequita," which is pronounced moon-yeh-KEE-tah and means "little doll" or "baby doll." I know these things because I took Spanish in high school and lived in New Mexico and Texas for years and now I live with a man who speaks Spanish in his sleep, except it's that dang lispy Spain Spanish, so I never get what he's saying. Anyway, the cheerful, happy, winning personality version of Jennifer Lopez jokes that he'd better say it right or all the Latinos in the viewing audience will yell "IT'S MUNEQUITA!" and do that wiggly-necked "oh, no you didn't" motion at their screens. And Tom Ford has another theory that I feel compelled to share, "What if this is Bizarro-World Jennifer Lopez and there's going to be a Latina Infinite Crisis soon?" He then went on to explain what happens in the Infinite Crisis, but, not being as much a comic book nerd as he is, I kind of glazed over and stopped paying attention.
TimberFake slinks his way into "Smooth" and almost pronounces "munequita" properly while making the tits-and-hips shape with his hands. And he sings it the way he sings everything, like he's a member of Boyz II Men and keeps trying to bring back slick, overproduced, oversung R&B of the mid 1990s. Furthermore, I hate his wallet chain with the same intensity that I previously hated Daughtry's. The judges like his performance enough. I don't care.
Haley Time. She's going to try "Turn the Beat Around." This oughta be good. J.L. is giving good advice, telling her she has to really bite into the words and keep it going. But I don't think any amount of help is really going to help. This song is impossible to sing. Like seriously fast and with probably twice as many words as other songs. She's doomed. Even bringing in Blake to beat-box during rehearsal isn't going to help. Blake comes in and does it anyway, though, because he knows he's got nothing to worry about from her.
So here goes: She's wearing teensy little shorts that my husband/partner/whatever calls her "flashpants," and she's already singing too slowly. On the first bar of the song. And what I love most about the Haley Remix is the way she runs breathlessly up and down the steps and into the audience like she has to make sure that every single person in the studio deserves a chance to be physically close, to feel her pheremone spray. Then she leaps up onto the platform behind the judges and wiggles her little bum for Simon, who swivels in his chair for a better look. I also love that she's just improvising her own little bits of lyric here and there, like this inspired addendum, "Somebody-wontcha-tell-me-if-you-feel-the-BEAT!"
Now, I get e-mails from time to time where people say stuff like, "You know, I never watch the show, but I read your recaps and it's like I saw it." And that's fine and flattering and whatever, and I'm thrilled that you're out there reading me and ignoring the show, but it's at moments like this that I really wish you would watch along at home, you people with American Idol-free existences. And here's why: It's almost impossible to describe the level of infinite phoniness that exists on the face of Haley Scarnato at this moment. She has a grin so big and so Miss Teen America, a rictus of fake fun and white-person anxiety, that there might as well be a glittery sign behind her that reads "Monsanto's Salute to Disco!" She has turned the beat around and kneecapped it and thrown it down on the floor and stomped on its face with her unsexy "sexiness," her howls of "I FEEEEL IT!" and her tragic misunderstanding of what it means to express anything resembling joy through music. Haley Scarnato is available for your corporate event.
Randy hates it. Paula says, "You had fun up there." And that may be fine for you, Paula, but what about me? I'm here at home with a razor blade to my wrist, suddenly ashamed to be Caucasian. Where's my fun? Simon accuses her of being shrewdly tactical, of wearing as little clothing as possible in order to stay in the game. You can tell Haley's offended by this as the camera pans up her long, long, long legs, past what the GoFugYourself girls would call her "Sacred Lady-Mysteries," in front of which she's holding the superphallic microphone, past the sheer, zebra-striped titzapoppin blouse and up to her pouty red lips.
Her response: "I appreciate all the judges. They're here for us and I appreciate it. I had fun. I mean, it is a great song, it got the audience going and..." She trails off and smiles and shrugs and gives cute-face. (Translation: "And I'm STACKED!")
OK, so Jennifer Lopez has made it past Haley and treated her well. But let's see her be gracious to the next most annoying singer here, Phil Stacey. Oh, and I'm dropping "Nosferatu" as a nickname but not because I want to be nice. I've just read it in too many other blogs now, and either someone's copying me or we all just arrived at the same name through sheer lame coincidence. Either way, I'm over it now. Besides, it's hard to comment on his shiny-headed, pointy-eared, plucked-brow metrosexuality when he's allowed himself to be so taken with these hideous knit caps that look like they should be keeping a preemie's head warm in some hospital incubator. I will say, though, that he gets points for honesty when he says, "I'm trying to sing this song and I keep glancing over and JENNIFER LOPEZ is sitting there watching me. Then I'm like, 'Wait, is IS Jennifer Lopez,' and then 'Wait, what am I singing?'"
J.L., for her part, is all about helping, saying encouragingly nonmeaningful stuff like, "That's what I'm talkin' 'bout," then holding her be-bangled arm out in front of him and touching herself and saying, "You see that? [touching goose bumps] You can't buy that." Her goose bumps don't cost a thing.
At this point I've begun e-mailing my other friends for insight. A wonderful woman I know who probably wishes to remain nameless and who makes her living as an actual journalist--unlike, say, someone who gets paid to watch TV and create meaningful cultural criticism but instead turns it into an exercise in talking all about himself--has this to say about the Jennifer Lopez we're all looking at this week: "I am mightily impressed by how sweet and adorable she seems. Given the jaw-dropping horror stories we've all heard about her, this means either that having realized no one in Hollywood would hire her if she didn't start behaving better, she has seen the light. Or--and this is what I believe--she is a truly fabulous actress"
Phil is singing Santana's "Maria Maria," and I'm going to stop looking at him right now because of the aforementioned awfulness-hat and because he's wearing that same jacket he wore a few weeks ago, the one with the metal grommets and the lace-up shit running down the lapel, the grossest piece of male clothing in all of clothing history since the world began, and I'm including, in that sweep, the entirety of the International Male catalog as well, just FYI. Freed from the burden of looking at his outfit, I can focus on his singing, singing that tonight features the special guest star of "Cracking Voice Problem." It happens twice, and I'd say it sealed his fate if I hadn't already just listened to Haley.
Paula and Randy are OK with him. Simon says he's devoid of personality. Winner: Simon. Seacrest immediately asks if Phil is having a problem with his voice. Ever the savvy contestant, our brave serviceman immediately begins talking about his little daughter's new stuffed animal named Simon Cow. Nice deflection, there, man. Well played. Seacrest seems annoyed that he's lost control for even three seconds.
After a commercial break, we're back with Jordin and it's time for a viewer question. "If you were in charge of choosing next week's theme, what would it be?" asks Someone from Somewhere. Jordin's answer is music of the '80s, a decade in which she was not yet born. Oops, my mistake. She was born in 1989. December. So Jennifer Lopez likes Jordin. Big surprise. Gives her some dance moves. And Jordin is going to sing "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," which is the exact same song as "Conga" if you're paying any attention at all. Therefore it too is a piece-of-shit song that I hate. And even though she's bright-eyed and happy and cutey-cute-cute and can sing really well, I'm bored out of my mind. Simon agrees with me.
Blake is sucking up to J.L. by doing Marc Anthony's "I Need to Know." And I've been so flabbergasted by J.L.'s sweetie-pie demeanor that I've failed to mention the freakish and glittery turtleneck blouse she's wearing in the rehearsal segments. She's also got on a wide hairband that flattens and covers the entire front part of her head. It's like she's battening down every hatch. I guess I wasn't paying attention until someone tried a Marc Anthony song and it reminded me of all the breakup rumors swirling around. Is this outfit a visual code signifying impenetrability? Is she really Jennifer Lopez under that protective gear? Is the Infinite Crisis underway? Will she join forces with Kal-El as his Power Girl? Who will survive?
Someone is holding up a sign that reads "Shake n Blake" and the little Wonder Bread red, yellow, and blue circles dot the sides. Coincidence, I guess, but still true. You have to even wonder if a signmaker like that is a fan of the man they just (unintentionally?) dissed with references to two of the blandest food products available. Blake glides down the ramp onto the stage in pants he made himself and the winner of the Shittiest Hat of All Time contest on his head. White mesh, turned-down brim, makes his head into a little triangular sieve. He sings the song, and for some reason all I can think of now is Vanilla Slim-Fast and frozen Lean Cuisine Fettucini Alfredo. Then I think about who in my house will be responsible for making this Sunday's Italian food for when we have friends over to watch The Sopranos. I hope it's not me because I kind of want Sunday free to do nothing but lounge around in my pajamas. I mean, I'll watch a cooking show or three on Sunday morning, but I don't really want to do anything about it when I'm done. I want my food on Sunday to sort of magically float to my mouth from a dream kitchen. Then I think about how it's a bummer that in five more episodes we don't even get any more Sopranos ever again. Then I think about how sexy I think James Gandolfini is. Oh, the song's over. Well, thank God. The camera cuts to Blake's friends, all of whom are wearing hats of similar shittiness. One appears to be a baseball cap made of a plush terry cloth material and sporting a blue argyle pattern on the brim. The Infinite Crisis really is under way and this crew is from the Homo-verse.
Time for commercials, but Seacrest has to slip in a dig at Sanjaya first, calling him the "embodiment of Latin passion." Off camera a voice shouts, "Ay-ay-ay!" Is it Blake? No one's forthcoming with an answer. After the commercials we get a weird pro-Sanjaya sign that lamely goofs on the lyrics to "Jenny From the Block" and then a shot of Seacrest standing next to Sanjaya's sister, who is seated next to and being hugged by that pretty blond guy from the auditions, the one who's the out-of-the-closet fag from England who used to be in that boy band over there called North and South who had a minor hit. Now he's grinning for the camera with a tiny Sanjaya-tribute-pony-hawk on his head. Dang, that's a lot of words to use on a fame whore.
Now it's time for Jennifer Lopez to help Sanjaya sing "Besame Mucho." She likes him. "He really, really impressed me," she says. And check it--he is the only person we see her singing along with all night. And she looks like she means it. For his performance moment he sings the entire song seated on a chair--cut to a sign holder with one that reads "Aunt Myra [hearts] Sanjaya"--and his is the only song of the night that's in Spanish. Well played, Senor Malakar. He's soft and confident and he gives the camera all the 17-year-old sex-eye moves he knows how to give. Randy likes it, Paula likes it, and Simon says, "It wasn't horrible." Seacrest, though, has to stay on course and mock the boy for the way he works the camera. Because no one else on this show has ever been guilty of that.
On to Elimination Night...
I've been running this half of the recap like a numbered countdown lately, and while some might say this is a cheater's move, I say it's an efficient method for beating back the bloat of what is now an hourlong ordeal in which they cut a single contestant. Here's what happens:
1. Seacrest says, "Who is going home?" and slowly turns his head toward Sanjaya. Sanjaya plays along with a mock look of fear on his face. But I think now, more than ever, Sanjaya knows that he's safe and will probably outlast both Melinda and LaKisha.
2. Sharon Osbourne is in the audience. So is Eva Longoria.
3. The kids group-sing on "Bailamos." At one point Haley and Sanjaya sing the line "nothing can stop us tonight." Hey, Haley, good luck on that one.
4. Seacrest goofs on Simon being rich. I love it when rich people get together and mock the richest among them, like, "Oh, you're so rich! It's GROSS!" Nothing is funnier than that. Nothing. Simon flicks water from his red Coca-Cola cup on Seacrest in response.
5. Five thousand entries have been submitted to the "Moment Like This" songwriting contest. If you were one of them and you didn't write lyrics that have something to do with a dream coming true, then you're fucked.
6. Seacrest goes to the Farmer's Market for a taped segment, asking regular folks like me what we think of the contestants and Jennifer Lopez. The Farmer's Market, if you've never been to Los Angeles, is an awesome place. You can get great food there and sit around watching lots of old people who go there to drink coffee and be old together. It's located next to the most Hell-Mouthy of all outdoor shopping centers, the Grove, and it's directly behind CBS Television City, where the show is taped. In fact, if you're old enough to remember when CBS used to do that little thing before their sitcoms and the guy would say, "From Television City...in Hollywood!" then you should know that that's where this is all coming from. They tape The Price is Right there too, and if you go to the Grove in the daytime you can often see lots of people in those, "Holy Shit Bob Pick Me!" T-shirts all walking around buying iPods at the Apple store and big giant pretzels to console themselves for not getting down to Bidder's Row. My favorite is the guy who tells Seacrest that he liked "the girl running around in the skimpy clothes."
7. OH, FUCK, IT'S AKON AGAIN. Really, what do I have to do to get away from this cat? Did you know he owns a diamond mine? And has three wives? It's in his Wikipedia bio. Here's a funny quote from him about the mine: "I don't even believe in conflict diamonds. That's just a movie. Think about it. Ain't nobody thought about nothing about no conflict diamonds until the movie came out." Except like, you know, Amnesty International. Anyway, we can vote for who gets to sing next week, and I'm going to go write in Arcade Fire and Charlotte Gainsbourg and Bone Awl.
8. A Ford commercial where the Idols sing "Happy Together" and go all Transformers and change into one another via digital trickery. Dull. Again. Seriously, there've been zero fun commercials this season from these guys.
9. Idol Gives Back update: Simon went to Africa, where little girls drew nipple-inclusive pictures of him. Seacrest asks him how the trip affected him. Simon's response: "They were really sweet kids. Everyone we met was very nice." Is Bono available to teach this guy how to feign concern?
10. Bottom Three = Phil, Haley, Chris
11. Chris is safe.
12. Jennifer Lopez sings, but not before they show a little more rehearsal time cute-a-thon where she gathers the kids together and says, "Can we pop a squat right here?" Yes, and why don't you all pinch a loaf while you're at it? The kids have nothing but praise for J.L. Phil says, "She's as wonderful of a person as she is of a star." Chris says, "She was just so normal like everybody else." Jordin says, "Totally down to earth and just the coolest person ever." Keep in mind, though, that these kids only have Diana Ross as a point of comparison. Sanjaya, last to deliver a testimonial, wants her number. He fakes sexual interest in her way better than Simon fakes humanitarianism.
13. My husband/partner/whatever is only so-so at deciphering J.L's Spanish lyrics. Some Spaniard he is. "She's not pronounciating enough! I don't know! Something about waking up early...oh, wait, no, something about the dawn and the night. Look, I don't speak Puerto Rican." Either way, Mrs. Anthony just triumphantly rehabbed her entire public image this week, even if neither of us understood what she just sang.
14. Seacrest outs Simon as a smoker. Haley gets the boot. The "You're Dead" reel plays. No tears. She knew it was coming. The Daughtry song plays. We get to see Gwen Stefani awkwardly, involuntarily hugging Haley again. Oh now there's a tear. Seacrest informs us that --ACK!--Martina McBride is coming next week. Haley sings her Humiliation Number and, to her credit, doesn't crumble. She gets right back on the horse and shakes that rack.