American Idol‘s theme, in theory, was songs from the year you were born. In practice, this meant songs that drippy adult-contemporary punchlines recorded during the year you were born while exciting music surged and swelled off Fox’s cleared-song list. It was the revenge of Jeremy Rosado, perhaps: deprived of the warm bath of balladeering and angel ambrosia he provided the competition, the judges compensated by making everyone bland and edgeless. It’s little wonder Deandre Brackensick was dreading this theme all season; when everybody is beige, nobody can be bold. It’s even less wonder, then, that most of our top-ranked singers were the ones who actually went uptempo, or at least midtempo, whose arrangements weren’t pureed into baby food before they could scratch human ears–the ones who were interesting. Well, interesting and good. Because “interesting” could be a word one might use for…
THE HOPELESS: 36-31
35. Jermaine Jones: This scandal is karmic payback for mentioning the phrase “gentle giant” so often. If “swaggernaut” becomes its replacement, expect hell from Commander Dan C. Burbank.
Ryan’s Signature Intro: Like Steven Tyler’s hair, the pause between “This” and “is American Idol” grows longer with each passing week.
34. This Ew Ryan Quote: “If there’s a population boost December 14th, I’m blaming you,” says Ryan to Elise. This response was eerily quick, which means Ryan always has due date math at the ready should the opportunity to be creepy arise.
33. This Ew Ryan Exchange: Deandre: “I was dreading it.” Ryan: “Pun unintended. HAHA. See what I did there? Because I think you have dreads, and you said dreading! Betcha Carson Daly wouldn’ta seen that one! Seacrest OUT!” OK, we may have embellished some stuff after “pun intended,” but the rest was implied.
32. Jimmy Iovine: Telling Skylar to do rockless Sheryl Crow? Delivering a time bomb of a tempo change to Erika Van Pelt, who isn’t exactly in proper condition to withstand time bombs? Jimmy Jail again. Bring back Mary J.
31. Shannon Magrane: The four things you need to know about Shannon’s segment: 1. Jimmy product-placed his JimmyPhone all over it. 2. Shannon Magrane’s life goal is this; “Everywhere I go, I’m gonna prove #william wrong.” If only she saw more ambition in this than breathing. 2. Shannon Magrane sang “Thumbelina” a lot, which is fitting, because Steven Tyler is either the frog or the mole. 3. We were teased with No Doubt and got No Excitement instead. Bring back Hallie Day. Or Jen.
For a SHOCKING Richard Marx pick, a horrifying quote and some regrettable signage, click NEXT.