Last night was eliminations night on American Idol.
This is my quick and dirty summary of last night, since I have somewhere to be in 20 minutes!
This week, Paula taught the finalists their choreography for the group song, and we saw video of her working with them. When she's in her element, she actually appears coherent! Paula announced them from the stage. They started in the audience, the guys wearing sunglasses. Paula struck a pose as they passed and seemed to want to join in, but restrained herself. Oddly, for the first segment, the camera was in the ceiling with the guys singing up to it. I guess they had to dress the girls so that there was no embarrassing cleavage. Anoop Desai could handle the higher range of this song ("Shake Your Body to the Ground" by Michael Jackson), but Matt Giraud couldn't. The first part might have been live, although for parts of the song, they were clearly lip-syncing. I have to say, the disco look worked for Anoop. And Adam Lambert really had the hip action going! Damn! (video)
For the Ford ad this week, the finalists were trying (and failing) at various jobs: working in a bakery, at a construction site, at a dog spa, continually messing up. Finally, they all enter a cafe with a sing reading "Singers Wanted." I'm sure that even those cut will try to find jobs in the entertainment field. The song was "I'm Good, I'm Gone."
Then the results began. Starting with Lil Rounds, Ryan sent her to the far side of the stage. I thought for sure they were going to do the "choose your group" thing they often do at this stage in the game: splitting finalists into two groups and then forcing the final person (usually the frontrunner) to choose where s/he belongs. Instead, he summarily proclaimed her run over. On the sidelines, Danny Gokey looked mystified at the sudden result.
Then, three disco stars performed their hits: Freda Payne, Thelma Houston and K.C. of K.C. and the Sunshine band. performs some great dance hits. Their hits were repetitive but nostalgia-evoking, and their fashion choices entertaining. Themla wore a champagne-colored glittery gown with a skirt that she probably didn't realize was see-through when back lit. She stumbled a bit on the words, but she might not have performed live for a long time. Thelma Houston wore what appeared to be a gold nightie but had the magnetism of someone wearing the swankiest cocktail dress. And K.C., a bit heavier, with a bit less hair, rocked the stage with his young back-up dancers.
Ryan ran down some more names: Kris, Adam, and Danny were safe (but Danny didn't learn this until Ryan stalled by trying to get Simon to define what he'd meant by calling Danny's performane "clumsy" the night before. Simon told him to get on with it and stop being facetious). Anoop learned he was in the bottom three. Then Allison and Matt had to stand, and Matt learned that, like the judges, "the nation decided to save you." This put Allison in the bottom three. (video)
While Allison and Anoop sweated it out in the tulip chairs, last year's runner-up, David Archuleta, performed his hit "Touch My Hand." It was upbeat, unlike many of his Idol picks, and I predict it will be a hit with his fans.
Ryan then took him over to say hi to Anoop and Allison and give them advice. He assured them the show opens up all sorts of possibilities and you don't have to make it to the top for that. He also old them they both have amazing voices. What a sweetie.
Finally, the results, out of 45 million votes. The second person going home was Anoop Desai. He seemed relieved to finally hear the words he'd been dreading so many weeks when he was in the bottom three. He gave his all for one last performance, all smiles (video).
I'll share my thoughts later about why it was Anoop and Lil's turn to go.
All video clips come from mjsbigblog.
You can wear anything on stage if you've got the charisma to back it up.