[There was a video here]

Oh what drama! Last night was part one of the two-part finale to the segment of American Idol that could be called Judges' Choice. Meaning tonight is the last time the judges will decide who lives or dies, and then the contestants will be thrown to the heaving, frothing, blood-starved masses.

We will tear twenty-three of these poor souls limb from limb, diving through viscera like Scrooge McDuck in his money vault, the one proud victor, our noble Katniss (1. Groaaannnn for the reference, sorry guys 2. I guess she killed Peeta?), standing atop the pile of bodies with a gore-soaked microphone in her hand. It's a wonderful little romp towards May, and it feels good to be possessed of so much voting power, but in a way I'll miss the warm safety of having the judges do it for us. Maybe I'm not ready to be a big boy and go to regular school on my own just yet. ("Be a big boy and go to regular school on your own," is what my mom said to me just before giving me a hug and sending me off to college.) So it's a little bittersweet, these final few hours we spend in the warm bosom of Randy, caressed by J.Lo's silky smiles, feeling the chill and bone tingle of the wire-witch's curious presence. Let's talk about 'em.

Last night was an extended ad for a new Las Vegas show from the famed gay Québécois by way of outerspace theater troupe Cirque du Freak. It's called Love and is based on the music of cult jam band The Beatles. One of the silliest things of the evening was when all the youngsters were like "I don't know any Beatles songs!" "I don't know anything about them except that they're really really great." (The most honest of reactions, if we're honest. Before I knew any of their songs, I just knew they were The Greatest Band, y'know?) And "I've never heard any of their songs!" Which is ridiculous! I mean, everyone has to have heard at least one of their songs before, right? Like "California Dreamin'" or "You Can't Always Get What You Want" or "Shoop." I mean, there are so many classic Beatles songs! These kids are ridiculous.

But anyway, yeah, they had to break up into groups of two or three (more with the groups?) and get vocal training from some vocal trainers, one of whom was a scary yell-demon, and then perform on the Love set, oftentimes surrounded by strange umbrellas. What was that umbrella thing? Why that? My favorite thing, though, was when they started the song inside the English telephone booth. That was glorious. It was like back in the 1960s or 1850s or whenever the fuck it was when people would have those competitions to see how many people could fit into a telephone booth (people were very, very bored back then). The 4Square of the pre-computer age! "Everyone has checked into this telephone booth." I think maybe only one group did that? But it was a good group, featuring that blonde girl they want to win so bad, a girl who went home who shouldn't have gone home, and Baby LockThemDoors.

Baby LockThemDoors. Let's talk about him. Baby is fun. Baby is cute. (SUE ME. Not like to have sex dates with "cute," but like if my non-existent little sister started having a boyfriend, it would be cute if it were him, because he has big ears and plays baseball.) Baby LockThemDoors is a charmer. But Baby LockThemDoors is not a viable contestant, on this our most important national election. I mean he's just not. So it's painfully obvious they've put him through only for the entertainment value, which is just silly at this point. Helloooo, we can see you!! We have been watching this show for as long as you have been making this show and we are wise to your tricks, Idol! It's funny that they still think they can get one past us these days. Of course Baby LockThemDoors could get sent home tonight, this is a distinct possibility. But for now he remains.

He remains after the dismissal of the other Entertaining Contestant, crazy Disaster Sue from Western Mass who went and got hitched on last night's American Idol. I'm sure there are some Idol recappers out there (and there are many) who will make the "Oh she got married in the same wedding chapel as Britney Spears on purpose. 'Cause that marriage did so well!" joke, the same joke I made on the couch last night. But I won't do it today! Not here. Instead I will say that isn't it strange that her hero is Britney Spears, this being the year of our lord 2011? Like that's not even a "funny" joke anymore. That's just like... Sue, did you just come out of a six-year methamphetamine haze and are thus still making the same jokes you were back then? It's very peculiar! That she is talking about Britney Spears as if Britney Spears remains something that people talk about in any tangible way anymore. Poor Sue. She's really crackers. I will say, though, that she took her elimination like an adult. I was very proud of her then. She was all, hey I got married in Vegas and was on freaking American Idol, I'm happy. Good for her. Now she returns to the shack in the bayou on the moon that she lives in. Good for crazy her.

Oh a sad bit last night was that my favorite wee English translucent fairy friend was sent home. But she got a very nice speech of encouragement from the genuinely likable J. Lo, who told her that she had been outnumbered on the vote and that she wanted her to come back another year to try again. The little firefly girl took it well, though of course she was a little sad, so that was too bad. A couple other people, most of whom I didn't recognize, were eliminated, and a couple people went through, including the karaoke host kid with the big bug glasses that everyone calls Junebug but that I will call Frankenberry because, c'mon people. How'd it get there? C'mon.

Then we come to the end, Joshua Ferris, Joshua Ferris. J.Lo was forced to deliver the bad news to the guy whose wife was in that awful auto accident. For his final song he sang a spare version of Coldplay's "Fix You," which, y'know, given the context, gulp. And I guess the sadness of the whole event was just too much for J.Lo and lady done broke down. Of course I had my antennae up, scanning for bullshit, and I couldn't quite tell, you know? I mean, the principle of Occam's razor would lead me to conclude that, all things being equal, this cryfest being all ferocious staged bullshit demands far fewer new assumptions and is thus more likely to be true than the idea that a bajillionaire celebrity actually has human emotions about a lowly commoner. And yet here I am feeling that J.Lo's emotional outburst genuinely was real. I've put the video at the top of this post, so you can judge for yourself.

Tonight is the night, ladies and germs! We'll finally have the curtain pulled back on our proud 24, the brave and foolish cosmonauts who will hurtle on off into the black wonder of space, hoping that they, all nervous balls of gas and physics, will somehow turn into stars. While Crazy Sue over there in her moon shack will sing a little Charlie Brown "loo loo loo" song and goddess of the universe Paula Abdul smiles benevolently down on all of us, and then the Beatles' classic song "Graceland" plays us out.