American Idol
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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!

One thing I'll say about the overedited production package that precedes the results shows: they always make the previous night's show look a lot more exciting than it was.

The judges come out via the aisles again, Jennifer wearing Morticia Addams's dress upside-down and backwards and Randy having upgraded his jewelry to a necklace that reads "YO YO YO." Eh, too easy. Ryan glad-hands some audience members in the front row, one of whom shrugs dismissively the second he turns his back, and then heads over to visit the top six on the couch-bleachers. Well, the top five and Elise, who's sitting far away from everyone else on account of how the world learned last night how much the other finalists hate her.

Ryan sits down to fill that gap, like this was planned, and tells us there were 58 million votes last night. And there will be performances from Katy Perry and Stefano tonight, half of which news seems to get the audience pretty excited. Ryan then introduces a band called The Queen Extravaganza, a tribute act put together by Brian May and Roger Taylor from Internet contest entrants. I used to know a pretty devoted Queen fan, and wherever she is tonight, I hope she doesn't have a gun. Myself, I don't know about this whole idea, but the guy they found to sing lead is eerie in his resemblance to what Freddie Mercury might have looked like today, with semi-fixed teeth, a 21st-century haircut, and middle-aged spread. Already the most overexposed cover band in the world, they perform "Somebody to Love," and at the end, the real Roger Taylor and Brian May are revealed to join in for an up-tempo conclusion. The Queen Extravaganza, everybody, on tour soon. But you've already seen them now, so never mind. They did earn a standing ovation from the judges and the top six, though.

The Ford Music Video is short and not over-the-top humiliating, just vaguely embarrassing with a "story" that features Skylar walking down the street while her fellow finalists do cheesy magic tricks with the aid of even cheesier special effects. More blush-making is the fact that they sent them all to TMZ to help them get used to what Harvey Whatshisname calls "people like us." The other TMZers then make fun of the top six to their face for a while. Okay, that was a waste of time. Bring your A-material, at least.

Back in the studio, Ryan tells us they'll be going down in pairs tonight, and the first one will be Jessica and Elise. During the clips of Jessica's performances from last night, Jimmy says that "Bohemian Rhapsody" was a mistake, especially the tri-Jessica on the projection screen. On the other hand, she did well on "Dance with My Father," and not just because of the cynical flogging of her dad's impending deployment. Not that he uses those words. Speaking of whom, it looks like Papa Sanchez in the audience, and not remotely happy about it. Ryan then introduces the Elise clip, in which Jimmy says she picked the wrong Queen song and came off like she was in a nightclub. And then the obscure Jimi Hendrix song was a "double-down on bad choice," and it fell apart with her vocal not integrated with the guitar like it was supposed to be. Back on the stage, Ryan natters about their reactions before taking his time telling them that one of them is in the bottom three. He tells Jessica, "Unfortunately it's not looking good...for the other five contestants." So she's safe, and Elise is heading back over to her vacation home.

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American Idol




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