On last night's episode of American Dung Rodeo, yet another kid was executed for our grim enjoyment. Was it who we expected? No, no it was not! It was, truly, something of a shock.
Last night's show began with the singtestants sadly mangling various tunes in one of the worst medleys yet. The boys sang about liking girls and trying to get girls, Jacob Lusk in particular really selling those lyrics, while the girls chippered about who knows what. It was a forgettable little confection, the most notable thing being that Haley straightened her hair. Haley, why? Her sultry curls were the best thing her look had going for it. And the combination of the new hair and the fact that she was wearing one leg of a harem pant as a skirt... Not a good night for Haley, looks wise. Not that Lauren Alaina or any of the other chimps were looking too hot either. Alaina was in a foofy polka dot dress that would be infantilizing even on Phyllis Diller. It made her look like a baby, is what I'm saying. Oh well.
After the song we got a lame Ford ad and then a strained question and answer segment during which Ryan read questions submitted by The Internet to which the kids gave inane, harmless answers. Well, to be fair, Lauren highlighted the tornado tragedy down south and Casey name-checked some jazz rando. Oh and Jacob said that he can sing soprano. And Haley gushed about Adam Lambert. So I guess they weren't entirely inane. There was some important stuff there. Sorry, kids, I take that back. Twas cruel of me. After that stirring Charlie Rose segment was done, there was a clip reel of the kids going to the British consulate in LA and celebrating British Week and the royal wedding. It was hilarious because Sir Ben Kingsley was also there, alongside a confused-looking Eric Idle (not sure that Eric Idle ever really looks anything else), and it's ridiculous to think about Sir Ben Kingsley having a conversation with Jacob Lusk. "Hoooo-ahhh-haaa-hooooooo-ahhh." "I'm sorry dear boy, but what?" "Whooooooo-ah." "Ah, yes. Um, quite." That's just silly! Silly Idol kids at the fancy England party. Casey had a jokey conversation with Fred Willard (not a Brit as far as I know, but an old man, in keeping with the other celebrity guests) about getting pushed in the pool, and Casey sadly said he'd push himself in the pool if that would make Fred Willard happy. Poor boy. Always desperate to entertain.
Speaking of entertaining! Back at the Idol Dome, Crystal Foreverslacks rolled out a shabby old rug, glued a microphone to her antique lamp and set off on a rockin' and a rollin'. The song was pretty dull, but she sounded good as always and it was just nice in general to see her, doing her laid-back alt country thing, comfy in her comfy clothes, with her band friends. I hope she's doing good. She seems like she's doing good. New teefs and everything!
Bruno Mars sang a tune in a pre-recorded bit, and it was fine, whatever. He's kinda cute, huh? I'd never really seen him before, just heard him telling me I'm amazing just the way I am many times, so I was pleasantly surprised! With his porkpie hat and sunglasses he kind of looked like one of Theo's friends on The Cosby Show (not Cockroach) and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If I ended up with someone like one of Theo's friends, I think young me would approve. So call me, Bruno, is what I'm saying, I guess. We can talk about the time your friend laid down a track with Stevie Wonder. Jammin' on the one forever!!
Sooo, let's see, what else? Not much else. Ryan delivered Haley to safety right away, which was good, but then he draaaagged all the other results out until the very end of the show basically. My friend was over to my apartment to watch the show and she said a good thing: Ryan should play the Hunger Games TV show host in the Hunger Games movies. I think she is very right about that! He'd be good and it'd be creepy in just the right way that that character is supposed to be creepy. Hope you're listening, Hollyweird! But yeah, he kept everyone hanging in suspense until it finally came time to drop the big axe.
Was it Jacob??? No. No it was not Jacob. Ryan had whittled it down to Jacob, Casey, and Scotty the Body. Surely, from that crew, Jacob would be the one to leave. But no. Ryan sent Jacob to safety, meaning all that remained were Casey and Scotty. And there is no way that Scotty is going to go home, so we knew. A grim pall fell over the crowd. You could see that Casey knew it too; there was a resigned little dip in his eyes, the gray light of defeat. And so Ryan said his name and the crowd wasn't sure what to do. They didn't boo, they didn't cheer, they just sort of reacted, strange swallowed noises and grunts and stutters. And Casey, Casey the walking dead, Casey who'd already been eliminated once before only to be resurrected, he took it in stride. He grabbed the microphone and did a growl to "I Put a Spell On You," flirting with the audience, kissing cheeks and giving hugs to everyone (except his mother, oddly). Everyone cheered and whooped and telling tears formed in Haley's eyes and she knew then for the first time it was love, that she could still care for him through loss, that it wasn't just inertia keeping them going, that her heart was doing some work too. Everyone clapped and the lights burned hot and bright and J.Lo stood and wept and Ryan felt a familiar tightness in his chest, the feeling of an ending done happily. Casey waved and smiled and shook his beard and then, with a snarl and a growl and a wink of his cockled eye, he disappeared.
And you know what? I think I might just miss him.