Three is a number steeped in magic and myth—the three fates spinning our doom, the three versions of Jesus (dad, son, creepy ghost), the three bears. And now, the three Idol men. Heroes all.

Yes, I was away last week and didn't watch American Idol, but I suppose it was for the best. It spared me the horrible pain of seeing my beloved Allison tossed to the wolves and devoured, only a thin tuft of red hair remaining, floating in the air conditioner breeze of the auditorium like the end of a Forrest Gump rock musical.

Allison is dead and gone, dead and gone. And there's nothing we can do. So we must soldier on, dear hearts. We must get on with the business of living, with what Chekhov would call our work. Our spangly dangly raspy rangly hoedown gangly work. Maybe it was the beer and the weed and the late hour, but was last night's episode complete fucking sensory overload for you too? What the hell was going on? I felt like the Maxell guy, only instead of being cool with shades and a tie, I was bleary eyed and weepy, terrified of Kara's erratic hooting and jiggling, of Danny Gokey's hips that threaten to unhinge this Earth from its axis.


The Good
Krissy Allen. Kristina Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking Allen. I hate Kanye West, like hate hate hate him, but you... you make his songs palatable and lovely. A sly triangle smirk and balm of prickly pear vocals—sweet but grainy, ridiculous, but organically so. One of the judges, who really cares who, picked "Apologize" for him, and he sang that first. But then he crooned and glided his way into the cool spaceport by singing "Heartless" by Yaya West and ooftie. The judges loved it! Except sorta glowering Simon. But he's a jerk so who cares! It was like watching the birth of something, of an idea or identity. Kris Allen the singing star! The shabby good boy. Of course, this is American Idol and no one will be that famous or respected from this unless their names are Carrie or Kelly, but still. What a moment for this vaguely creepy married fellow.

The Bad
Danny Gokey. Daniel Millhouse Gokariah. For shame. Actually, no. Not for shame Gokey. I mean, yes, sorta for shame. But mostly? For shame, judges. The Gokester's voice is shot. Shot like shit. Danny Gokey's voice is Harry Whittington's face. The bumblebee bastard sang "Dance Little Sister" and he hopped and bopped all over the place, having another one of his irksome jam sessions with one of the band members. I watched him, all wary and shifty-eyed, and I realized what Danny Gokey's music is. Danny Gokey's music is for people who don't like music. Or, rather, people who don't really know what music is. "Oh," they say when watching Danny Gokey perform. "Music is about the expression of Good Times or Sad Feelings. Those two things. Plus there is herkyjerk dance action." Then he sang "You Are So Beautiful", only he retitled it "My Old Lady Died, So Please Make Me a Singing Star." The judges, typically, unzipped their trousers and little creamers from IHOP came tumbling out of their crotches and all over Danny's dinner roll face. Simon called "The Wife That Died and Left Superstardom In Her Will" a "masterclass." A masterclass of farting in a bureau drawer and then quickly closing it, only to reopen it a year later to see what's still inside.


In This World There Is a Kind of Painful Progress
Adam Lambert. Adamo Glissando Bravando Mirando Lamberto. I gotta say, kid. You may lurch like Frankenstein there in your ill-fitting skin suit. Your hair hat may have once graced the head of a proud Prussian soldier. Your clothes might be fashioned out of the shorn hair of Jem and the Misfits. But you know what? You're all right. I mean, don't get me wrong. You're ridiculous and annoying, preening and off-putting. But compared to the Gokester, compared to that muddle of lamb fat and chicken grease who didn't deserve to be in the top ten of the first season, let alone the eighth, Adam Lambert is not half bad. "One" almost began to impress me, until it of course devolved into a strained tumble of shrieks and caterwauls. The cat that lives inside Adam is nearly dead. And from the panicked yet glassy look in his eyes, ol' Lambo knows it. "Cryin'" was just that, crying. And the clothes? My friend Sarah called one of Lambchops' outfits "a Canadian tuxedo." And she was correct. Look, buddy. You're gonna win this damn thing. You're gonna win this whole damn thing and then you will be hailed as a music fun town rock and rolling genius in several strange Central European nations. You will be all of Tokio Hotel crammed and rolled and butt-plugged into one glorious fantasy skinsuit Ken doll. And I wish you luck. You've earned that, at least.

No More I Love You's
WTF? Why didn't they show more of the back home adventures? I always love those, with the parade and the concert and the key to the citying and you get to see what all these weirdos' parents are like and you get to watch awkwardly as faraway, estranged gay Adam shows us "the family that I made", and it's all idealistic Colgate kids. And you get to see Kris Allen make tender guitar love to his bride. And you get to see Danny Gokey fall down a flight of stairs while everyone cheers quietly. Except... no you don't. You get like fifteen seconds of nothing, of Kris wearing nail polish, of Adam standing on some street, blinking. Why Idol? Why must you deprive me of my basest pleasures? No good jerks.

The Great Work Begins
Bye now, Kris. Sorry. But this is it for you. You're more than welcome to come cry on my shoulder or any other part. I know you're Christian, but you're just not as Christian as Danny and lo a great army is mobilizing, an army of rock steady faith and spiritual hearts and practical slacks and muted-tone polo shirts. This is God's army. God's dorky, squirmily sex-obsessed, silently cruel army. And they've chosen Danny as their Jeanne d'Arc. But don't worry baby. You'll be just fine. Just fine all right.

At least I think that's so.