Oh American Idol Season Eight. You're showing your age. Two more dreamers were sent packing last night, they were—just by coincidence probably!—the two most conspicuously brown of the bunch. Obama Era nothing, huh?
No, I'm just kidding. It mostly had to do with the fact that Lil Rounds was, in fact, not a terribly gifted singer and that Anoop Desai is a cute little North/South college a cappella nerd, but a pop career that description rarely makes. I'd say that Anoop had a great run, a fantastic run, as good a run as a guy who almost didn't make it to the finals could hope for. Top 7 (but really Top 6, if you think about it)! And you could say that Lil had a far worse ride than she could have, what with all that early vocal bombast either squandered or misrepresented. But forget her shaky vocals. The real problem for the future of Lil as a recording artist is that she barely registered amid the sea of Gokey be-boppers and Lambert shrill-shakers and Krissy Allen pants-wetteners. Who the hell was Lil Rounds? I dunno. Do you?
Anyway, the show. The show was... sort of horrifying, actually! First there was the inevitable dance number. This was a special one for two reasons, one sad and embarrassing, the other sad and embarrassing but kinda fun. The first reason is that, yes folks, Scott the Blind Guy is no longer with us, so we can have a bit more freaky funk dancin'. Elephant, meet dance studio. There you go. The other reason it was special was because someone put a wig on a coat rack and taught it to dance and gave it the name Paula Abdul. Yes, Marsha Mumblemouth decided to put her award-winning choreography chops to the test and create a disco dance for the final seven to prance while at home, without pants, I plan my trip to France. (Oddly, I am actually going to France in a week. The natural rhyming of life!)
The dance was... Well, the clip is above. It was sort of thrilling because Kris Allen Broke. It. Down. I mean, fool can dance. For a guitar swishing, bible thumping troubadour white boy, that is. Actually, everyone was pretty competent at the strange, jellyfish-like dancing moves. If your cubicle-mate Gary is away, I dunno in Palm Springs with his partner or something, and you just don't have enough disco-geigh in your life today, give it a watch. It just might cure what ails you.
Also in the show there was the sorta-cute Ford ad, this one about people with day jobs who secretly go to Open Mic Nights at clubs to chase their true dream of singing. Which is sort of funny because these Idol kids have deliberately bypassed the pavement-pounding and open-mic'ing that usually, after a period of years, turns talent into artistry. Nah, they've just gone blundering into proto-fame with shaky Bambi-leg vocals and boatloads of bad magicks. (Remember in Buffy season six when Willow becomes addicted to magic, but it's like... fleeting, bad, temporary magic that is really strong, but leaves you pretty quickly? American Idol is that.)
Then the auditorium was filled with the sound of creaking ropes and pulleys and everyone started coughing because dust filled the air and out came... Freda Payne, 162 years old and warbling "Band of Gold." It was the kind of American Idol skullfuckery that not only hurts the audience's feelings, but also makes the performer look like some desperate nincompoop, here rattling around on The Biggest Show On Earth, hoping for some whiff of relevancy. It was just a parade of miseries. Some other lady came out and sang a song badly (though, not as badly as poor Payne), and then we understood why there was a Zamboni parked outside and why the whole placed smelled like bratwurst because a panel opened upstage and out lumbered KC of KC and the Sunshine Band. He was balding and paunchy and just looked so very tired and it was so, so sad. These three people introducing their old colleagues, rivals even!, from thirty years ago. A high school reunion for kids who spent their high school years coked-out and dancing in empty warehouses or something. I dunno. Devastating.
After everyone wiped away the tears and the ambulances hauled KC off, it was time to get down to brass tax. Dimmed lights, quick and simple, Lil is sent home. She sings, blah blah, time for David Archuleta! Oh, Seth Abramovitch's favorite Idol contestant ever, the "shaved koala" of our erstwhile recapper's heart, he's so darling. And he has picked up some stage performance chops, moving and jumping and kicking and running and doing pushups and I don't know. He was just all over the place. But it was charming enough, mostly because the song was about a little (doesn't know he's gay yet) teen boy who never wants the song to end because then he'll have to stop dancing with the girl of his glittery dreams.
After Seacrest remained seated for a few minutes after David's performance ("Nothing, nothing, just have a cramp"), it was time to reveal the other bottom two. Anoop again, no big whoop. But Allison. Sigh, Allison. The indignity of having Archuleta, who was never in the bottom three, try to give these perennial bottom-rungers a pep talk was bad enough, but also, Allison is actually good! Like, the best in the competition. Sure her song choices are uninspired and her fashionz are Tom Ford for Crazy People, but... she's such a raw, natural talent. What's wrong with you, America!
But, crisis was averted when it was announced that 'Noops was leaving us. Everyone clapped and cried and actually both Lil and Anoop were extremely gracious in thanking people and staying alert and not doing that shitty sobbing thing that other contestants are wont to do when when their champagne wishes turn out to be flat. So that was the end of that and five people remain.
Because why the hell not, here's how I think the rest of the season goes down:
5) Matt, 4) Allison, 3) Kris, 2) Gokey, 1) Lambert.
I mean, that's sorta easy, right?