“Final Judgment,” Night 1. It sounds so biblical, as if Tartarus would open up beneath unsuccessful auditioners’ feet, when really, the only thing opening up for them is oodles of YouTube hits, name recognition and the consolation prize of getting potential future front-runner status like Baylie and Colton. But never mind that–judgment! Smoke! Spotlights! Dramatic walks! The hardest eliminations ever, except for the upcoming ones! Leaping right into snippets of “yesterday’s performances” that made us hit Google in a writer’s panic, sure we missed an episode and a recap.
We did not miss an episode and a recap. We did, however, miss out on about 10 potential breakout moments, both good and horrifying. This is where we’ll point out that the useless drama-night episode could’ve been scuttled to show us full performances and make our ranking more useful than individual note analysis; this is also when we’ll move on to get to…
THE HOPELESS: 38-31
38. Jennifer Lopez: If it’s fair for Jennifer to make fun of Erika’s weight, it’s fair for us to make fun of Jennifer for skinning a endangered sequin crocodile.
37. Holding Room: “After hearing the good news, she headed down to celebrate with the rest of the holding room” –Ryan. Contestants love NOTHING more than celebrating their decreased odds!
36. Caleb Johnson: A “rocker,” in the sense that blatantly screwing up on stage, looking like Elton and saying “Can I start over? I think I messed up… Yay? Nay? Can I get some water?” is rock, which is to say–no sense. Equally senseless: Idol not making this a big, dramatic moment.
35. This Numerical Quote: “With five singers through already, spots are starting to fill up!” In related breaking news, with 25 minutes in, we have 95 minutes to go!
34. This Other Numerical Quote: “Tonight, the competition shrinks from 42 to 24.” False. Tomorrow, the competition shrinks to 24. Tonight, we were lied to.
33. Blaire Sieber: Actual conversation on Twitter, well before the show:
Blaire: I hope Nigel recognizes the great performer in me and shows my song!
Us: Not cool. (This was not part of the conversation before. It is now.)
32. Reed Grimm: Oh, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, and bop bop bop-myself-on-the-head sputter twitter sputter elsihuktesjt gimmick contestants quirky charm typecasting obvious songs “I think that… with the drums… I think that showed more of… my drumming… and playing… abilities…” Steven looking for a singer and Reed is that singer and somehow nobody said “adorkable” and everything I just typed was more coherent than a typical Reed Grimm performance. Was Ryan’s “turning him over to America” comment a challenge? Please accept it.
31. Creighton Fraker: Sang “What a Wonderful World” and “New York State of Mind” except chipmunked like a motherfuckeeeeer, with Slinky-like melisma, and with a large gulp at the end of the latter. But don’t worry–he has a “rock and roll background,” which means he wears purple goggles sometimes. (This is also Steven Tyler’s rock and roll present.) He sings like his name sounds. It’s not bad, exactly; it’d just lose a quirk-off to Reed and a sing-off to anyone else.
For stage moms, fantastic names and a cliffhanger that isn’t, click NEXT.