Four American Idol contestants were sent home Thursday, the first this season.
While the hour-long show featured plenty of padding, including a full-length video for judge Randy Jackson's new album, featuring fellow judge Paula Abdul on vocals, Ryan Seacrest didn't mess around.
He called Garrett Haley to the center of the stage and unceremoniously said that they'd be saying good-bye to him tonight.
Garrett had no doubt suffered from the twin crimes of a weak performance and appearing to be out of touch with what's contemporary. While I hadn't predicted his exit, I wasn't surprised.
There was a little game-playing, though, when it came to the first female contestant, as he called Kristy Lee Cook to the center of the stage, only to declare her safe and announce that Amy Davis, instead, was going home. She totally lost her composure when forced to sing the song that sent her home, as had Garrett before her. I've often thought this was sort of a cruel practice, since they're forced to hold back the tears and act like a professional just after their dreams have been dashed. Her wobbly performance, though, convinced me America had done the right thing in sending her home.
For the next cut, Ryan called Joanne Borgella and Amanda Overmyer to the center stage, to make them sweat it out over a commercial break before sending Joanne packing. Hopefully, this near-death experience was enough to put the fear of God into Amanda Overmyer, who needs to step it up if she wants to stay in the competition.
Finally, he brought Chakezie and Colton Berry to center stage, where Colton got his walking papers. Chakezie's terrified eyes seemed to indicate that he understood just how close he came to leaving. Maybe next week he'll pay attention to the judges' comments, rather than back-talking.
When Ryan asked the judges for their advice to departing Colton, Paula told him to stick with it and he'd see success someday. Simon Cowell, however, with characteristic candor, told him to get a good job and then just enjoy singing, since he wasn't cut out for the business. Of course, Paula was right that, at 18, he's certainly too young to give up on his dreams. Then again, to take Simon's advice, he might want to modify them.
Many of the people who read this blog also read my husband, The Gryphon's (toanstation), LiveJournal. For those who don't, let me update you. He, too, met with unpleasant news yesterday, but in his case it didn't come from Ryan Seacrest or from Donald Trump.
Instead of "You're fired," he was informed he was downsized, as his company is condensing operations and his position has been eliminated. However, they've asked him to be part of the transition team, which will give him a guaranteed paycheck through late April, as well as severance and unemployment benefits, should he need them. They're even willing to be flexible about giving him time off for interviews and the like, so it's the kindest cut possible, I suppose. You can read his thoughts on it here.
We're optimistic about his chances at finding something soon, given his skills, and he's beginning to look for opportunities. If anyone knows of a manager- or director-level IT position in the Philadelphia area, let me know. I'll post updates on his job search as the situation develops.
ANNOUNCER: Stay tuned to my blog, the best source for news on The Gryphon's job search.
For only the second time this winter, we got enough snow overnight to warrant shoveling. It was still coming down this morning when The Gryphon and I went into the city for breakfast, and I snapped an interesting photo of a snow-covered bicycle.
By the time I got home and walked our doggie, Una, who acts like a puppy in fresh snow, the snow had turned to a light rain. I left my Canon PowerShot S400 at home, not wanting to risk moisture damage, but when we found a little snowman, I took a pic with my camera phone. To me, he looks like he wants to be picked up and cuddled.
And finally, since I often post found items on Fridays, I'll share with you this child's drawing I found recently. It looks like the faces of The Gryphon and I when we got the news about his downsizing.
Sometimes, life forces you to modify your plans.