Have you ever had an angel burp on you? Ever felt the soothing hand of God as He gives you a purple nurple? If not, then you didn't watch American Idol last night.
The joy—the sheer manic ecstasy and catharsis—of watching this listless megaship was this: Danny Gokey went home.
Do you know what that means, America?
Danny Gokey was:
— A plate of dinner rolls that the dog knocked on the floor
— The vengeful, herkyjerk ghost of Alice B. Toklas
— A Christian Faith Minister Carrier of the Word of the Spirit
— The husband to a dead wife, ALWAYS REMEMBER THE DEAD WIFE
— A singer of growly highs and withering everything elses
The three that remained last night—Gokester, Lambo, Little Krissy Allen—were all paraded up on stage one by one and shown videos of their trips home. Gokey went back to Milwaukee (which is Algonquin for "the good land") where he was greeted by Jamar, his Hollywood Week buddy with the horrifying face piercings who didn't make it and everyone was shocked and ohhhh it was so awkward! "I've just been here... sitting in Milwaukee," Jamar's sad plaintive eyes seemed to say. There was a parade and a lots of cheering and the Gokester teared up and we all just sat there at home and wondered why all of Milwaukee didn't have anything better to do than chase his motorcade down the street in their big striped parachute pants (actual thing that happened).
Kris Allen didn't go home to Arkansas or have a parade or anything. He just came over to my place and we opened a bottle of wine and snuggled on the couch and watched The Biggest Loser and we both fell asleep pretty early, but it was nice, and he woke me up before he left and said he'd see me soon. I think we're going to Block Island for the Fourth.
Adam Lambert's family has been
totally supportive and present! they love their undead gay son! this whole time, all we've seen really has been his cadre of wistfop musical theater "friends". So his return home to San Diego was tinged with a faraway air. There were the crowds, not as big as the ones in Milwaukee or Little Rock (yes, Kris actually did go home and I just made a little ghost of a wish up there that will never come true, that is all, nothing more and nothing less). But there was no teary family, no impassioned hugs. It was just rooms full of strangers. And holy cow was he taller than everyone in the world. The man is the Paul Bunyan statue in Brainerd. If the Paul Bunyan statue in Brainerd was made of assorted corpse parts and draped in a poorly fashioned skin suit.
So hoo-ha, hoo-ha, who really cares about any of this. Ryan did his little dances and Jordin Sparks came out and yelled at everyone and some kid from Africa did a nice little song while Alicia Keys nodded, self-satisfied. Meanwhile Gokey, Lambo, and my husband wept and shit themselves on the Forever Couch, while everyone playing along at home drove the needles deeper into their Gokey dolls. Why do my glasses hurt, Danny suddenly wondered. And wondered. And wondered.
While he was wondering all three of them were dragged on stage and Ryan began breaking the news. The first person going through to the eighth season top two was... Adam Lambert. Except, no. That's not how it happened! He said Kris Allen's name first, which was a complete shocker. In that it totally neutralized the next cliffhanger. Because everyone knew Lambo would be in that confetti duet next week, so Gokey was a dead man ham-hockin' up there. My friend and I did an impromptu jig, a full on, giddy from the Lost season finale jig, when Krissy's name was called. What an exciting moment, to have the Gokey dreams dashed right there like so many broken pairs of glasses lying in a parking lot. Ryan seemed smugly pleased with himself, as you could kind of tell all season that he never liked the Gokester. Actually, I don't think anyone did. Maybe the judges were secretly gunning for a Kris vs. Amy finale. The whole time. Theories!
So yeah, the news was broken to Gokey who looked shocked but trying to pretend he wasn't. He had a little shit-eating smile plastered on his face and one finger placed thoughtfully on his lips as his exit montage aired. There he was, bop dancing like a seizing chicken. There he was flirting creepily with a sixteen-year-old wunderkind named Allison. There he was peeing on his wife's grave. What a story he's had.
But now he's gone!
Gokey is gone and I wish we had more than one week to savor it. But everything everywhere must end. And as Lost did last night—terrifically, thunderously, mind-blowingly, good lord what a good two hours of television—so too must Idol. There will be glitterings and sparklings and various non-stars who show up to crow about their new albums and tear the house down with their falsettos and someone will be crowned King or Queen of the disco ball, most likely it will be Adam, but who knows! who ever knows! But Gokey won't be there because he's gone. Gokey has gone and best laid plans have gone to waste and so I sing to you adieu, Danny. If you can hear me.
If you can hear me over the bells ringing in the churches, over the children chanting, over the dogs howling at a warm and forgiving moon, over the car horns out on the boulevard slow honking as they make their way home, not in any hurry because they know that the world is safe again, that good things do come to those who are patient, that there are rewards, rewards for all of us, waiting in the kingdom of television.
Oh happy day!