American Idol was two entire hours last night, even though only eight songs counted toward the contestants’ votes. (Theoretically.) However shall Fox fill the rest of this timeslot? Oh, you know, with perfunctory duets, previews of unaffiliated crud once involving Bret Michaels, and scripted proposals.
They’re barely even bothering to spend time on mentoring at this point, and you can sort of see why. Every singer left but one is so technically gifted that the only way a mentor can help is to tweak notes here and there that nobody will notice either way. There’s no suspense to anybody’s performance. There’s almost no chance anyone will seriously choke–and absolutely no chance the judgesh will comment if they do. The only way to drum up excitement is through song choice, but unfortunately every singer left–or every backstage person doing song clearance–is so unimaginative that even with a theme so broad as “songs from California” and “songs you wish you wrote,” we got multiple songs done to death on Idol. There was only one surprise. It came from the exact person you wished it wouldn’t come from. The rest was just a perfunctory two-hour march, with power notes and convivial hosting crap falling like bricks upon your evening. Remember when Idol respected its audience enough to do 90-minute or even hourlong episodes when there was only an hour’s worth of worthwhile material? Do you think it ever really did?
Sigh. That one surprise, incidentally, was most certainly not…
THE HOPELESS: 26-21
26. The “Proposal”: Ryan got all serious, reached into his jacket, and revealed…a note for girlfriend Julianne Hough to give to co-star Tom Cruise. Cheap drama, gay-baiting and filler; this terrible bit is definitely sleeping on the couch tonight. Just think about it: there was a dress rehearsal for the fake proposal, script-writing meetings for the fake proposal, people getting paid to tinker with every aspect of the fake proposal, planning meetings and brainstorming sessions, all for this. All for absolutely nothing. (That said, really glad Ryan didn’t actually propose to his girlfriend on American Idol.)
25. Ryan Seacrest: calling his girlfriend “the young Julianne Hough,” with the slightest whiff of “who screwed whom to get her on this show?”; filling time by reciting the ingredients to dishes at Mexican restaurants (seriously); high-fiving the swaying, shouting, booing folks in…
24. The Crowd That Refuses To STFU, Ever: By the time you’ve finished this season of Idol, you will have spent at least an hour of your time watching anonymous people shout for minutes on end. Their response to “Who’s gonna be the next American Idol?” was “AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!” (You can vote for AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! at 1-866-IDOLS0AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!)
23. This Quote: “I literally can’t do anything but sing.” Tremendous news, Jessica! You’re totes breathing right now! Drop that “literally,” girl!
22. Jessica Sanchez’s Waiststache: Is there a name for this? That floppy half-belt, half-layer she wore with her first outfit that looked… well, it looked exactly like her waist was wearing a mustache. Inexplicable.
21. Duets: OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP. Does anybody want to see these? Was there such a clamor to see more group numbers? Did the prospect of a Windexed version of Foreigner’s “I’ve Been Waiting For A Girl Like You,” arranged like a relay race, entice anybody? Oh, right: Idol doesn’t care. If our time be the food of Fox, gobble on.
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