American Idol

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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"If I Didn't Have A Dress On, I'd Throw You A Backflip."

Kara smirks because she's embarrassed, and puts a hand on Randy's arm to keep him from cracking up or otherwise encouraging Christy Marie, and Mary J is just eloquently whoa and Kara agrees with Christy Marie that love is, in fact, a battlefield. Kara is turning into a bit of a tryhard this year. Then -- speaking of -- Christy Marie goes twice as wiggy talking about how love is a battlefield and this is her battlefield because music is her passion and her love. Which maybe this was extemporaneous nuttiness, maybe she rehearsed the nuttiness beforehand, but either way it comes spatter-scrawling out of her twitching face and you start to feel that perhaps she's dangerous.

You know how on Glee you're like, "Rachel's so crazy LOL" but then sometimes you're like, "Oh shit, Rachel is crazy! I forgot this was teen Nip/Tuck for a second" -- or whatever character, because they've all gone nuts at this point at least once -- and that's the genius of the show, that it's so brightly acidic and too dark to actually conceptualize very often? Well, that's what this is like. She looks like her front elevation is a football banner and one or more unhinged people is about to burst through it and onto the field.

Mary J hides from her in her futuristic clothes and Kara offers her "the 411" that she's sweet but not a singer, and Simon calls her more of a "911," which is both funny and culturally aware of him, and downstairs Ryan asks her mom what's going to happen and her mom is like, "Honestly, this is probably going to get super fucked up."

And then it does.

People who never sing for us but we still have to watch them get turned down -- which, by the way, is actually the opposite of what this show is about, and makes no sense, and is stupid and boring -- include an awesome mohawk guy, a dreamy Neal McDonough type, a cute blonde with giant lips, some asshole in a hipster Palestinian scarf like it's 2008, a guy with a moustache and the look of tax woes about him, and the cheerleader, who it turns out is super cute. WTF is the point of that? If I wanted to watch people cry without caring about the reasons, I'd be dating right now.

Last of the day is Vanessa Wolfe (19, Vonore, TN) who... Yeah, they got me. See, she looks like every hick thing at once, happening in one place. All of them: The really bad things like meth and uncles, the also bad things like leaving high school a bit too early or racism, the minorly bad things like yucky fashion and fast food employment and maybe your parents are not entirely heterozygous. What she does for fun is jump off bridges, because she can't make it to the mall, and her mom (I think) has a shirt advertising something called "cow tipping," which I'd imagine is a breeding service of some kind if I didn't know better, and she's aware of the rest of the world in this tenuous hypothetical way, like she's East Germany, and she talks like she's got a concussion, and good old AI is playing straight-up banjo music, and she lives in the smallest town in Tennessee -- which is a Venn diagram of unspeakable terror -- and her best friend is her mom, and she has a nose ring, and she's quite proudly wearing a $4.50 dress which she bought at the Dollar Store in Smyrna.

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American Idol

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