Last night we saw our Top 11 sing various songs from the catalog of Billboard Number One hits. A pretty vast array to choose from, and yet we heard, basically, all the standard karaoke numbers we've grown grimly accustomed to.

"Heard It Through the Grapevine." Someone sang that last night. In 2010. On the ninth season of American Idol. You know what someone else sang? "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing." Yes, the Aerosmith animal crackers song. That never-sung chestnut. Terrific choices, guys. Really sensational work.

There was a moment last night that, I think, pretty deftly summed up this whole trundling disaster of a season. Simon was giving criticism to Didi Bikini and he said "You seem to have taken the spot of..." and then he trailed off and turned to Kara and said "What was the name of that girl we sent home last week?" Ha. Lacey. It was Lacey, Simon. Isn't that so telling? Simon does not give two flaming shits about anything, he has no idea what's going on, he doesn't remember anyone's name, he's given up, the season is basically over for him. What's your name again? What's her name? This is stupid.


The Good
Boomerslacks made everyone boom in their slacks last night. She's good. She's just good. She sang "Me & Bobby McGee" (amazingly it was the first time that song has ever been performed on the show) and was her usual guitar-strumming self. Is her stuff starting to get rather unremarkable in its sameness? Yes. But she promised that she's really going to change it up for next week if she's still on the show (could she be voted off???) so that's something to look forward to. Watch her bust out a beatbox and do a Justin Bieber tune. What is next week's theme? I don't know how to look that information up. I hope it's Teen Idol week. I hope it's Broadway week. I hope it's fucking Everyone Goes Home and Gives Up the Ghost week.

Was anyone else good? Siobhan Magnus, Daughter of the Four Winds, did a pretty decent "Superstition" (what an original choice!!!) that people seemed to enjoy. Though you can see a crutch beginning to form under her armpit and it is made of shrieks. All that girl likes to do is shriek. "Sibohan honey, time for dinner." "Okayyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyeah!" There's shattered glassware everywhere in that house, littering the carpets. "I don't know why I keep buying these crystal champagne flutes..." her mother mutters, the Cape Cod sea breeze and seagulls hovering outside. It's because they're always on sale at the Christmas Tree Shop in Hyannis, Ms. Magnus. You just love a bargain, and there's nothing wrong with that.


Call me crazy but I do not mind Didi Believeme. I think that she might could be one'a them dark horses they got over there. She might sneak up on ya! Or she might wither and fade and disappear in a few weeks. That seems more likely. But for now I kinda like her. And by "like" I mostly mean "don't completely hate with the passion of a thousand suicidal Claymates."

The Bad
Is the "Everyone else" joke tired and used up? It probably is, yes. But it just applies so often!

Big Mike sang a really hip song with a new, fresh sound that no one's ever heard called "When a Man Loves a Woman." Crayzay, right? I'm trying to think about how they will advertise Big Mike's inevitable easy jams album. "Hey, you there! Judging by all the Foxwoods memorabilia and collectible Christmas tree ornaments you've got in the house, I'm guessing you like good music. Well turn off that 'Best of the Orlando Airport Hilton Elevator' CD and pop in some Big Mike." He's the cheesiest bastard on the planet. I can't stand him.

Katie Stevens sang that utterly stupid Fergie (does anyone like Fergie? who likes Fergie? who are Fergie's fans?) about a child missing their blanket. Oh robot Katie Stevens. When she went to talk to guest mentor Miley Cyrus (more on her in a bit) she was all stiff and smooth and did not react in any way. She is a seventeen year old girl meeting Miley Cyrus! Shouldn't that be a big deal? Nope, not for the Stevensbot. She just treated it like she was one celebrity meeting another celebrity, this a natural course of life. Mind you, I'm happy any time someone meets Miley Cyrus and visibly doesn't give a fuck, but with Katie it wasn't about proving anything to Miley. It was just that she is convinced that she is something she is not: A Star. Katie Stevens is not a star, will never be a star. Not gonna happen. No. Watching her singing "I'm a big girl now" was so chilling and weird and dumb. Yes, a big girl. 17 years old and the world is figured out. Feh. I hope she goes home.

Andrew Garcia can suck it. Honestly. That guy is just such a waste. Simon's comments to him about how maybe they went a little too apeshit over one good performance, months ago, was so cruel but brutally on point. They handed you the keys to the castle Andrew and you just dropped 'em in the moat. Ah well.

Phil Dweezy is just... I'm so glad they let your cousin into the competition. He'd had a tough year. You know he lost the job at the packing company in Bethlehem, and then Jackie moved out in October. Your uncle Jeff thought he might be able to get him a job out in Palmerton, but that fell through, so he kinda just sat around for a few months. Oh and the Sable finally broke down for good. It's just been a tough time. But now he's on this show and he's singing his bar songs and, you know, he seems real happy. Your aunt Karen called your mom the other day and was saying that she hasn't seen Phil this happy since he made the baseball team in high school. (He was only on it for one season, 'cause over the winter he got that job at the Brew Works downtown and was eating all that bad stuff off the menu and he got a little husky, and then spring came around and he was just too lazy to lose the weight, so he didn't play again and just sulked a lot for the rest of school, playing his guitar and listening to a lot of Incubus.) Phil Dweezy. Your cousin.

The Boys in the Band
Do you remember when Aaron Tyler, the sad spiky-haired kid from your physics class, said he had "just a little crush" on Miley Cyrus? That was sort of awful. Not just because Miley Cyrus looks like what a stink beetle looks like when it's grossed out, but because Aaron Tyler is... Aaron Tyler says something on a widely-watched American TV show because, whether prodded from within or without, he feels like that's something he needs to say. Because she is Teen Girl and he is Teen Boy and that is the most special attraction on the planet. The only attraction. Every attraction beyond that is just an attempt to go back, a yearning for that quick and difficult and wonderful place. Or so the grander American narrative that incorporates Idol would have us believe. And so we have Aaron Kelly giggling with that malnourished soda-and-chips face of his and you just sort of sigh and wonder if everything's hollow, if anything big is ever really honest. So I didn't like that part, because it made me depressed. And his song was just stupid. I mean, stupid like a fox. "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"? Yes, of course. That is his wheelhouse. That wheelhouse was built around him. But, ugh.

And then there was Tim Urban, singing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" like he was some lackadaisical, knowing pop sensation. "Oh here's a little ditty I'm gonna just slur out, but it won't matter because I'm me and everything I touch is just gold, man." Kara DioGuardi, a clock right twice a day, said that she didn't like how Tim was grabbing for the goils' hands because he hasn't earned that, and I thought that was terrific. With that and Simon's comment to Andrew, this might have been one of the more on-point, meta rounds of criticism we've had in a long while. Good job, guys! (Ellen, as usual, just said nice things and smiled.) But yeah, Tim is a doofus, but he does elicit the hoot-shrieks from the churning loins of the Teen Girl (so very important, remember!) fanbase, so perhaps he will stick around.

The Stink Beetle
Why is Miley Cyrus mentoring anyone on anything? I know that's such an obvious gripe, but c'mon. Watching her talk to Boomerslacks was terrific. Crystal was not havin' that shit. And rightfully so. The only person who seemed "excited" to meet her was Aaron Tyler, and he just did it because he's pretending to be into girls (oops, I said it). She just kept muttering dumb things she'd heard on the show before, trying to pass it off as original. She actually said "pitchy" at one point. Eugh. She did give Andrew Garcia the sage advice of getting rid of the the guitar, which was clever. But then he totally biffed it and she ended up looking like a fool. I mean she is a fool. There is nothing remotely appealing about her. She's not a good singer, she's an unbelievably grating actress, nothing about her personality seems genuine, and her father is a high priest in a sex church that he invented in his barn one night that involves the worshiping of yams. Her popularity defies logic. And yet.

Get Outta Here
One hopes that everyone will be eliminated. Ryan will line them up and offer them cigarettes. Then he will take out his Tommy gun and mow them all down. Paige tumbling to the floor in a toneless heap. Casey Johnson, who could have a second career as an ace Huey Lewis impersonator, flopping into a dumb, blonde pile on the shining linoleum. Aaron Tyler's crushing heart flittering up to Christian Heaven, finally safe and unburdened. Big Mike, big and gone. There they will all lie, save for Crystal and Siobhan. Crystal will shoulder her guitar and say "Well, I guess that's my cue..." and she will disappear out the backstage door, framed for a second in the doorway and then disappearing into light. Siobhan will regard the rest strangely, head tilted, eyes wide and whirring. She will consider laying her hands on them and using her Forces to bring them back, to watch them sputter and cough and blink and wonder where those lost minutes went. She will look to Ryan and he will be holding out the Idol crown. "It's yours, if you want it." And she will stare and stare and stare and stare. She will not know what to do. And then the show will end.

If that doesn't happen, I think it's Paige's night.