One more down on Idol last night, so three lonely souls remain. We've only two weeks left until this flaming sparkletrain pulls into the station, wheezes, gasps, and dies. Maybe forever. Until then, let's sift through the ash.

Last night's elimination special was sort of a snoozer. No group number (right?), boring live performances, even the Ford ad was dull. I had high hopes that 'Tasia Barrino would bring the crazy like she has before, but alas she just stood there demurely and sang a slow song. Old lady Jovi came out in full feather-hair and sang something dramatic and stale. Oh, and Chris Daughtry from the planet Baldor was there being all dark and mysterious and ridiculous. Alls I can ever think about when I see him is his wonderful face reaction when he got voted off those many moons ago. Haven't seen it? Here, enjoy it. It's wonderful!

So let's just cut to the chase. Shockingly, Carly Jagman was safe. Srsly, Amrca? What about Cassie Jorbler is so interesting? Is it his goaty growl? His growly goatee? That he is the living embodiment of a bashful potato? I just don't really see the whole apeel. (MADE MYSELF LAUGH WITH THAT ONE.) Maybe people just really want to see if Carvin Jankers and Kara DioGuardi will ever consummate their torrid eye-affair. Whatever the reason, he's here for another week and probably exactly another week. There's no way he can beat Cousin Phil or Crystal Hummertax.

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Or is there??? Could you believe that Crystal was in the bottom two?? That is simply nutrageous. I mean, this always happens. There's always the frontrunner scare. Only rarely does the frontrunner actually get sent home, though. (See: Daughtry, Baldor) But still, compared to Charmin Joolberg, Crystal is Euterpe, muse of music. It just doesn't follow. Hopefully her fans will be properly scared by last night's tense moment and will rally behind her next week. It was weird to see her actually display emotion when she found out she was safe and ran back over to the Couches of Fate to hug her dreambox boyfriend. Though I wasn't quite sure if she was crying because she was still on the show or because she was still on the show. She might want to go home. Before, you know, the tour that she's signed onto for the rest of her life begins and she's shuttled around the country in a broken-down jalopy van. If she genuinely did want to go home, I'm sorry Crystal. Better luck next time.

So I suppose you probably now see where all this arithmetic is leading. The person who went home last night was... Big Michael Lynche. Yes indeed. Our smuggest, pick-uppingest, wallet-chainingest contestant was finally, finally sent home for real after a terrifying five-week zombie return brought about by the old gypsy curse known as "The Judge's Save." To his credit he took it pretty well. There was none of his stagey head shaking and breath-taking and all that other muck he typically does when he's in the bottom two. Nope, he just smiled and seemed resigned and sang "Hold Me Like the River Jackson" and that was it. Goodbye Big Mike. Goodbye forever.

And now there's three. Next week is the infamous/wonderful Judge's Choice & Singer's Choice night, so it'll be interesting to see what everyone picks. (Is this also the week they go home for a visit? Or is that the week after?) I predict that Kara will pick for Cam'ron Jispers, and she will pick either Color Me Badd's "I Wanna Sex You Up" or an original composition she wrote last night after downing a bottle and a half of Turning Leaf merlot, entitled "Please Put Your Business In Me, Casey James, Casey James." By business she means "music," guys. And by "in me," she means "in my heart." God you guys are gross. All she wants is for Clingon to put his music in her heart over and over again until the sheets are sweaty and the distinct musty smell of songmaking fills the air and both are satisfied. That's all. I'd imagine that Randy will pick for Phil Dweezy and that he will pick a Gilbert & Sullivan song, because Randy so loves the operettas. Phil Dweezy sings "I'm Called Little Buttercup," next week on American Idol. "Though I could never tell whyyyy..." It's gonna be so good. And then of course Simon will pick for Crystal and he will pick "Suddenly I See" or some other mawkish lite-rock contempo-lady clam jam that is meant to make her look current and stuff. Or not. Or I'm completely wrong. Who will Ellen pick for? Ellen will pick a song for herself and it will be Tracy Chapman's "Gimme One Reason to Stay Here." And when she is done everyone will blink and cough and there will be microphone feedback and finally Ellen will say "Well, I guess no one has a reason," and she'll walk off and go home and play with the dogs and she and Portia will sit on one of their many terraces drinking wine spritzers and Ellen will say "Well, I guess that was that." I guess it was.

Last night, after everyone had filed out and the screams had given way to just the low drone of the air ducts, old Sven the janitor came out and was sweeping up the stage and turning on the ghost light and all that other post-show theater stuff. And then he heard a clank and a scrape under his broom and he looked down. There, lying on the stage in a sad silver strand, was a wallet chain. "Big Mike..." he said softly to himself. He picked it up and walked down to Seacrest's office, deep in the bowels of the theater. When he knocked on the door and opened it he could hear Ryan wrapping up a phone conversation. "No, baby. I'll see you when I get home! I'll see you when I get home. What do you want to eat? Ohhhh you're bad. You want to eat that??? Ohh my. Oh. Oh shit, someone's here, I gotta go, Timm— uh, anonymous friend. [click] Hey, Sven, what's up? You didn't hear anything by the way." Sven nodded and said "I hear nothin'," and handed the wallet chain to Ryan.

And when Ryan went to go deliver the wallet chain to Mike he knocked on his hotel room door and an old woman answered. "Is Mike home?" The woman looked confused. "Mike? My Mike? Michael Lynche?" "Yeah, Mike Lynche." The woman shook her head sadly. "Oh no, no..." Ryan shrugged his shoulders and said "Oh, OK. Well, this is his, he left it at the theater tonight, could you give it to him?" The woman looked shocked and said. "Where did you... You don't understand. My son, Michael Lynche, he died, five weeks ago tonight. And on the night he died... he was wearing this wallet chain."

And Ryan shrieked and shrieked and shrieked and somewhere in a sprawling, modern home in the hills, Tim Urban roused from his nude slumber and knew that something was terribly wrong.