Many things have happened in one hour. Wars have begun and ended. Countries have formed and crumbled. People have found true love; people have found bloody murder. Heroes have emerged, and so have villains. You, however, wasted one hour watching hundreds of American Idol hopefuls gallivant around like kids looking for dates to the summer-camp dance, strutting and fretting that hour on your TV screen until singing was heard no more. Because there was no singing. There was going to be some singing, right there at the 0:59 mark, until the show vamoosed from the screen as the first would-be vocalist opened her mouth. It’s like Lucy yanking the football away from Charlie Brown, if she also installed a landmine in the ball’s place.
A couple of you, over Twitter, had a very tempting suggestion: “so just skip the recap if nothing happened! Stick it to the man!” Alas, we cannot stick it to the man; we signed up to recap every episode, which means we signed up so you can watch us slowly simmer in anger and brim with schadenfreude. We’ll even give you their Road to Hollywood videos instead of the death march of nothing that we were subjected to. Let’s get right to the simmering, then, starting with the obvious source:
THE HOPELESS: 27-20
27. The Producers: Nothing’s gonna boost Idol‘s ratings quite like trolling their viewers for an entire hour promising singing, then cutting away at the start of the first note. That alone would earn them the bottom rank, then Nigel Lythgoe got defensive over Twitter, claiming he loved that episode despite having passed up the tweet-along this night. Then he stretched out the trollface, claiming that he “loves banging the hornet’s nest.” Funny he said; watching this episode of Idol really did feel like banging a hornet’s nest. Thank you. We’ll be here all night. Like last night.
26. The “Idol Bug”: 1 fever, 2 falls, 2 vomit attacks, 1 kidney stone episode, and 2 huge headaches (belonging to your recappers). Oh, and, according to Heejun, “Cowboy has, I dunno, ‘brain stones’ or something.” Heejun, if it’s cool, we’re going to borrow “brain stones” and throw it at the producers.
25. Richie Law: Shouldn’t wearing a Stetson automatically get him placed in a group? On Idol, that’s like wearing a sandwich board reading “LOOK AT ME, I’M A COUNTRY SINGER AND WILL BLESS YOUR GROUP WITH THE PROSPECT OF SEMI-MEGASALES.” Although you could argue that that’d make contestants less likely to hang with him for fear of looking like the uncool, uncommercial one. If so, they clearly missed the part where he grandstanded for box-stepping cowboys, which have only ever sold tickets to Oklahoma!
24. Alisha Bernhart: (to the tune of Joy to the World, the Christmas-song version) We follow ’round an angry cop / the designated jerk! / If Fox could get away with it, they’d play NWA with it / but all we get is shouting, shenanigans and pouting / and over-excited pleas for CCR. / She prowls the floor with pissy-face / and no’s from every group. / She doesn’t have a fever, but says “no one likes him either” / which strands her all alone / resignation in her tone / and dashed aspirations to the Idol throne.
23. Steven Tyler: “I believe a little sleep deprivation brings out the best in everyone.” This is essentially the same logic behind torture.
22. Ford: We hoped the days of the glistening Ford banners were behind us. We also hoped there would be singing in this episode of a singing competition. These hopes were hopeless.
21. Ken Warwick: Appears on screen to kick off the 12 hours of nothing. He speaks to the hundreds of once-hopefuls like a DMV guy would speak to a hundreds-deep line, if the DMV guy were stern and British and panicking on the inside about missed (ratings) quotas.
20 Ryan Seacrest: Unlike Ken, Ryan has the unenviable task of continuously cobbling narrative out of nothing, but the best he ever does is “Panic sets in as time runs out.” The worst he ever does is describing Symone’s blackout as a “casualty.”
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