I quit reading
Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul.
Scott Savol-flavored soup was not all that delicious in the
first place. When Carly was declared
not-as-good-as-Brooke-White-and-Jason-Castro I thought about
setting my copy on fire like in those countries where
they ban books. But then I realized I didn't
have any place to set stuff on fire that wouldn't
also burn up shit in my apartment. And I have lots of
awesome possessions. So that idea had to be scuttled.
Then my little
American Idol Happy Meal toy, the one I
posted a photo of last week, broke. Just stopped playing
music. In fact, it broke the day they kicked off
Carly, THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED!
And then I had to
put the red "X" sticker on her face on my dumb
Fox promotional item. I thought about putting it on
David Cook's face instead because, you know,
why not? It's MY dumb thing, after all. I could wipe
my butt with it if I felt like it. Except it's made
of heavy card stock, and that would hurt more than
listening to David Cook sing. But not much more. Look
upon it and weep.
Neil Diamond week. BFD. I don't like his songs. OK, I
like a few of them. I like "Sweet
Caroline," but then every frat boy in the world
loves that song too, so it's not like I'm
being all revelatory and Greil Marcus with that one. I
also like "Cherry Cherry," "I'm
a Believer," and the one about the traveling
salvation show, whatever that one's called.
Other than that, I have little use for him. Somebody better
sing "Heartlight" or "Love on the
Rocks" or duet with a Neil hologram on "You
Don't Bring Me Flowers." Because those are
three of his six gayest songs ("Song Sung
Blue," "Forever in Blue Jeans," and
"America" are the other three). Some
Neil Diamond fan is going to e-mail this magazine now and
demand I be fired. Try it!
five idols WHO ARE NOT AS GOOD AS CARLY are going to sing
two songs each tonight. That equals 10 Neil Diamond songs.
Subtracting the four I like -- and there's no
guarantee that those four will be performed --
that's six Neil Diamond songs I'll have to
hear. I'm thinking of turning off the sound and
just listening to The String Quartet Tribute to Daughtry.
"Here's What A Neil Diamond Is, Kids"
clip montage plays. If I were, say, 11 years old,
here's what I'd learn from it.
1. His shirts are
made from Christmas tree tinsel.
2. His hair
swoops, fluffs, and holds still, even while swooping and
3. He was kind of
cute back before he was in color.
4. He was in a
movie called The Jazz Singer, which costarred
the back of some lady's head.
sold 120 million records in his lifetime to nobody I know.
6. He has a new
CD to promote.
Neil meets the
idols. "Bring in those perky contestants," he
says. Then he goes, "Where's Carly? Oh,
they kicked her off? OK, I'm outta here."
Actually he says
something about encouraging them and how they're all
good and blahblahwhatever. Anyway, tonight is all about
saving time so you barely get to see any Neil
mentorship going down and the contestants sing
truncated versions of stuff, unlike last week, and
they're only going to be judged once each,
after having sung both songs. Good. The judges have
been, as a group, totally wrong and annoying all season.
Let's keep them quiet.
So Castro is up
first, singing "Forever in Blue Jeans." My
favorite part: when the camera cuts to the
violin-playing woman in the band. She's wearing
"I can't believe I'm playing this sucky
Cook is next. Got
AC on his jacket, just like on his guitar. Those are
his brother's initials, the one who has the cancer.
At least that seems to be the story. One brother with
those initials has cancer. Good on Mr. Cook for not
exploiting that for sympathy votes. But no amount of
personal integrity can make me want to listen to His Lady
Peacefulness. None. At least he chose two Neil Diamond
songs I've never heard before. So I can simply
not pay attention to which one is which and I can forget
them as soon as he's done. Awesome. In fact,
I'm just going to fast-forward the TiVo through
his first performance. I've earned that right.
Brooke meets Neil
and asks, "Are you a hugger or a handshaker?"
that he is both, which is great because Brooke is both a
weeper and a quiverer. She sings "I'm a
Believer," and I really like watching her do it
because she reminds me of what would happen if the
entertainment for the 5-year-old's birthday party
didn't show up and mom decided to just pick up
a guitar and sing her favorite old Monkees song. She
even goes, "Whooo!" in the middle of it, kind
of like on Beatles week. The only thing missing is
high-waisted jeans and a puffy-paint sweatshirt.
A bunch of
commercials run, including one for a flea collar where they
make the puppies in the commercial sing about how
"there ain't no bugs on me." Our
housemate Xtreem Aaron is obsessed with this commercial now
because he loves singing puppies. Since this episode aired
on Tuesday night he's been playing the
commercial for it over and over on his laptop and
giggling. I'm going to have Brooke come over and sing
at his next birthday party. The other thing Xtreem
Aaron is obsessed with this week is Enigma's
"Sadeness, Part 1." He's been
walking around the apartment saying, in phonetic French,
"Saah... dey moi," (I know, spelled
wrong, and I don't know what the actual French
words are. So what?) and then doing the weird synth line
that goes "boop-boop-boo-boo" with his
voice. And while we're on the topic of people
in my house with obsessions, my husband/partner/whatever is
freaking on the idea of having one of those stupid things
that you hang bunches of bananas from so that they
don't bruise. There is no such thing in this
world as one of those items that isn't butt-ass-ugly,
and if there's one thing I won't
tolerate in my home, it's functional items that are
unattractive. How would it look on our kitchen counter next
to the incredible vintage Colonel Sanders bank or the
vintage George Nelson bowl? Shitty, that's how!
I told him he has to buy fewer bananas and eat them
before they bruise and that was going to be that. Someone
has to make the aesthetic decisions around here.
totally lost my train of thought now.
Back from the
break, a woman in the audience is holding up a huge pink
sign that reads: "MY HUSBAND HAS A MAN-CRUSH ON
SEACREST." Here's a good idea for you,
Sign Lady: Why don't you just get some hedge clippers
and remove your husband's balls too? And start
making him wear condoms while you're at it,
because if he's got a visible man-crush on Ryan
Seacrest, then there is, I can guarantee, some serious
DL shit going down that you might not think is so
adorable and sign-worthy.
Archuleta's turn. He's going to sing
"Sweet Caroline" and "America."
"Sweet Caroline" is first. He sings. The crowd
goes apeshit. And I've come to a decision: If
it can't be Carly, it should be this kid. Aside
from the sweet legal emancipation from stage parents that he
clearly needs and that I and every other Idol
blogger have already been over, here's why:
1. Failure, at
this stage in his life, when all he's been groomed
for is upward momentum, might cause a psychological
break that would turn him into one of those people who
walks into a Burger King with an AK-47 and just starts
mowing down innocent Whopper Jr. eaters.
2. Groupie sex.
He'll be 18 soon enough and he'll be able to
indulge in that activity legally and with virtually
anyone he chooses, provided they are not his primary
fan base of 10-year-old girls. Or boys. Whatever he
turns out to be -- straight, gay, bi -- he'll have an
assistant whose job it is to procure a ripe, eager
audience member with proper ID, then have that person
washed and delivered to his suite. The boy seems pent-up and
this will be good for him.
3. If he's
smart, he'll befriend the cast of High
School Musical or Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers.
Somebody with an action figure in their likeness
currently in production. He'll need their
wisdom. Maybe David Cassidy gives seminars on this kind of
thing, with field trips to visit Leif Garrett in jail.
it's pretty much a done deal that the finale will be
The Davids in a heated but predictable battle for
Idolness. Archuleta will probably win. Cook will be
#2. Both will get record deals. And apparently Carly
has some offers, which is a total relief to me. She told the
Entertainment Weekly guy, Michael Slezak, that
news -- and by the way, Mr. Slezak, you're always
right about pretty much everything, especially about
Carly. So you're a right-on dude.
"Hello Again." It's pretty. It's
fine. She's pretty. She's fine. A
touring company of Dreamgirls waits for her.
The role of Deena is hers for the taking. I wish I could
muster up some kind of concern or affection for her.
She doesn't seem like a monster. She's
just the opposite of interesting to me.
Time for the
judges to talk. And it's a shitstorm of crazy. Not
because of Randy and Simon, but because of Paula. She
actually winds up offering critiques of songs that
haven't been sung yet. Or at least that's how
it appears here. Possible explanations, none of which
involve her being high (because, really, too easy):
1. She read to
Castro the notes she wrote down for Cook.
2. She read notes
she wrote during dress rehearsal.
3. The producers
feed her things to say and she was just parroting them.
4. She was
lip-synching some other woman's critique.
silencing of the voices in her head.
6. SHE SEES THE
FUTURE AND JUST KNOWS WHAT'S COMING. Oh, wait,
Seacrest just beat me to that joke. Dang. Well,
I'm not deleting what I just wrote. Fuggit.
number 5 anyway.
The second half
of the show is like being in Groundhog Day, where you
have to relive exactly what just happened to you, like
it or not. The kids sing more Neil Diamond songs I
hate. Cook comports himself rockishly in that somewhat
rockish way that he does, all ugly hair and jackets. He
lives it like David Blaine lives The Magic. Kristy Lee
Cook called Archuleta and told him, "Not like
you need this advice, but you should sing
'America' and really just stomp the
rest of them into the ground with it. That
bullshit is guaranteed. The rest of the lyrics could
be about slitting your own invalid grandmother's
throat and as long as you yell, 'LET FREEDOM
RIIIIIIIING!' at the end people are going to
act like you poop sweet vanilla ice cream." Syesha
sings something I don't know. Like it matters.
NONE OF THEM ARE CARLY. WHY SHOULD I LISTEN?
don't have to. Thank you, fast-forward button.
Night. Here's what happens...
1. Kristy Lee
Cook is in the audience, controlling the proceedings with
time: "Cracklin' Rosie," with Castro
kicking it off. Well, "kicking" is the
wrong word. More like gently, absentmindedly, moving
it around in the dirt with his foot. It's hard to
tell if he could give any less of a fuck about this
song. I think not. Then they move on to "Song
Sung Blue," and Syesha delivers it like she's
in a fight with the band about how fast it should go.
Then they do that travelin' salvation show
song. I think I like it less now.
3. Constantine is
here with Gina Glocksen. They're hosting something
called American Idol Extra that I refuse to
watch. Why should I when Constantine is already never not in
this studio audience. He's already beaten
Crying Girl, Hasselhoff, and Denise Richards's
records and he's going for a personal best.
4. Seacrest tells
the whole world that "the rumors" about Paula
are not true, that she is part of their family and
that they love her. Oh, well, in that case, I guess
Bedingfield performs her stunningly dull new single.
6. In the Stupid
Fucking Questions From Viewers moment, they've
actually dug up the British woman who gave Simon
Cowell his first kiss at age 9. He remembers her,
which is kind of funny since it was something done by
another human being who isn't Simon Cowell. He looks
somewhat sheepish and wistful. I'm
uncomfortable with this side of him.
7. They show a
commercial for What Happens in Vegas.
I'd rather watch the puppy mill episode of
Oprah again, twice in a row, than sit through
8. Neil Diamond
performs one of his new songs from his new CD and --
holyfuckingshit the mail just arrived and inside this big
padded envelope is a promotional copy of American
Idol: Season 6, Finale Performance Show--The
Top 2. IS IT NOT BAD ENOUGH THAT CARLY IS
GONE? IS IT NOT BAD ENOUGH THAT I HAD TO WATCH THE FUCKING
PRESIDENT READ FROM A TELEPROMPTER ON THIS SHOW LAST
WEEK? IS IT NOT BAD ENOUGH THAT BROOKE SANG
"I'M A BELIEVER" AND NATASHA
BEDINGFIELD JUST TRIED TO HURT ME AND THAT I
CAN'T ESCAPE CONSTANTINE NO MATTER WHERE I LOOK? MUST
I OPEN ENVELOPES FULL OF BLAKE LEWIS TOO? The
entertainment journalism gravy train of swag is not
all it's cracked up to be sometimes. The
universe hates me.
9. Brooke gets
eliminated. Ruben celebrates her home. She cries. She
sings her Humiliation Number. Cries some more. Maybe her
husband can console her by taking her to see What
Happens in Vegas. It's PG-13, I think.
Better her than me.