American Idol goes 5

 Last night wasn’t a good night for Anoop Desai, neither to Lil Rounds. But apart from that………………… 5 happy faces made the Idol night a remarkable one. 2 down and 5 more to go. Who will bring home the bacon? Will it be Adam or Adam? Looks like we don’t have much of choice. And here is a recap of this week’s

AMERICAN IDOL

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The happiest five people in America Wednesday night were the American Idol singers still in contention for the Season Eight crown, but the four right behind them must have been the Idol judges. After the judges’ save was deployed last week on behalf of the mediocre Matt Giraud, the big worry was that a better singer might be a surprise elimination this week, what with two needing to go, and with no more save to fall back on. With Allison Iraheta in the bottom group as the time for the night’s second elimination neared, the judges and audience faced the prospect of losing a very promising young singer at least a couple of weeks too soon, and one who has outshone Matt every step of the way. And a final month of the season with only men competing would be monotonous indeed, not to mention that it would create some real issues when it came time to choreographing the results show group sings.

But Allison lived to belt another day, as singing folklore student Anoop Desai finally succumbed on his fourth consecutive visit to the bottom. Anoop’s departure was a mild surprise, less because he had a good night Tuesday (to the contrary) than because he had sung last, and no one who anchored the show had ever been voted out as early as the top seven. It’s a sign of how solid the support has gotten for Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, and Kris Allen, none of whom have ever been in the bottom three, that Anoop couldn’t survive even with the huge break of getting the last claim on the viewers’ memories.

In contrast to the tension at the end of the show, the night’s first departure, that of faded diva Lil Rounds, was so anticlimactic that Ryan Seacrest didn’t even go through the motions of dividing singers into safe and unsafe — it was just “Come on up here Lil … oops, looks like you’re going home.” Lil had been defiant following her previous two performances, but seemed at peace with her fate on Wednesday and pulled it together for a pretty good encore of her “I’m Every Woman.” She had been the most hyped woman all season long, while Allison had been an afterthought until her semifinal performance proved her value, but now it is the fuchsia-haired teen who will reign as the female champion of Season Eight. But it will take a mild miracle now for either Allison or Matt to break into the top three.

Results night began with an Idol first: A group sing choreographed by one Paula Abdul, who made her living training dancers before moving on to singing duets with cartoon cats and talking about women’s underwear on Idol. Giving credit where it’s due, Paula was lucid and on point while putting the kids through their paces, and the night’s performance, set to the Jacksons’ “Shake Your Body Down to the Ground,” was easily the most entertaining group effort of the season (abetted by a clearly lip-synced vocal). It worked so well that Idol should arrange for Paula to make this an annual event. Hey, if they replace her as judge, she can become the fulltime show choreographer. Everybody wins!

As momentous and nearly shocking as the night’s two goodbyes were, the evening will likely be remembered most for the utter trainwreck that littered the stage about halfway through the hour. Three disco-era figures who have all seen better centuries performed a medley that will go down as the five most unintentionally hilarious minutes of television so far this year. Disco may not suck, but it certainly gasped during a roundup of the undead to rival a George Romero casting call.

First up was Freda Payne, whose biggest hit, “Band of Gold,” predated disco by several years. This would have been forgivable if Payne, who looked fantastic but is now 66, still had the ability to get through the song without literally stopping to catch her breath. Next up was Thelma Houston, whose “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is one of my favorite singles ever. Unfortunately, she is a recent escapee from a typhoon — that can be the only explanation for the loud yellow dress that exposed half her thighs and more than half her breasts. I had hoped to go another decade or two without seeing that much of a woman in her age bracket. Finally, it was up to Harry Casey of K.C. and the Sunshine Band, accompanied by some very bored looking dancers, to close things out with “Get Down Tonight.” Casey’s band put on quite a show in its heyday, but he was never all that great a singer, and well into a portly middle age, he looked like he was fit only to get down to the early bird special.

Proving that teenagers can be just as mediocre musically as their grandparents, David Archuleta, the bite-sized Season Seven runner-up, made his obligatory visit to the show, performing a forgettable cut from his debut CD. Archuleta was noted for occasional audible intakes of breath while performing last season, and based on Wednesday, that’s an issue he still needs to deal with. But at least he wasn’t embarrassingly inarticulate this time when speaking with Ryan, raising hopes that he’s finally growing up. Maybe by the time he comes back in Season Fifteen, he’ll need a razor.

Next week: Songs made famous by members of the Rat Pack. If Gokey does “The Candy Man,” I’m going to hurt somebody.

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2 Comments

  1. April 24, 2009 at 10:01 am

    […] American Idol goes 5 « B-DAZZLED […]

  2. unitary said,

    April 24, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    I love this blog!


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