American Idol

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
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Lee Lies When He Cries

Well, let's see. You got Dweezil, whose false modesty has begun to wear on us. You got Bowersox, who has no need for modesty of any kind. Two different kinds of heartland American that basically split the difference between Bo Bice's negative charisma (the DAUGHTRY effect) and Bo Bice's pothead ickiness (see Castro, Jason). And from the Internet, I hear that rehearsals didn't go so well: Crystal effed up the words of the rainbows and spiderwebs Official Single, while Lee had a bit of a meltdown after getting beaned with a violin bow. I don't really listen to the Internet, but I believe both of those factoids based on what we know about these two.

So the difference is going to come down to, yes, the performances, but also who we want to reward: The boy who pretends he's not good enough to be here, or the girl who knows she's better than this. And when in doubt, go with the particularly American feelings about gender that would rather see Martha Stewart go down than Lee Iacocca; that would choose almost anybody, for any public office, over Hillary Rodham Clinton. Sarah Palin's entire narrative is based on the audacity, the sheer gall. Accusations of female arrogance have been big over the last year, taking up about half of the political discourse and even more of the conversation about entertainment. I don't watch that Jersey Shore show, but I'm told it's mostly about a girl getting what she deserves.

Dweez, we're told, sells paint; Crystal, on the other hand, is a mom. One of them will win. The other will pretty much also win. Lee has improved over time, giving rise to all kinds of mythic content about the journey and makin' it big; Crystal arrived on the scene a fully-formed artiste and slowly let herself be ground down into another cog in the machine. Both are things we like to reward. But we'll see. Americans, they will surprise you every now and then. And there's a large part of me that says we will reward merit over zeitgeist, provided it's sold to us correctly. If this show can do anything correctly, it's selling.

Simon's leaving after tomorrow, which I don't want to talk about. Randy thinks it's appropriate to boo him even as we're mourning him. Ugh. They come down the aisles, those two champions, and Crystal is super excited to be here while Lee has simply perfected that bemused and overwhelmed look of "Are you guys sure?" that has come to dominate his face. Yes, you silly bitch. We're sure.

Round one will be their favorite song from the season, then Simon Fuller's picks, then the big dumb single. Six songs all told. Crystal won the coin-toss and has chosen to go second in each round, as they always do. Anna asks: Is there anyone in the country at this point that is watching this season with anything more than the grim stern look of defensive driving on their face? I'm certainly not. Let's watch Lee grow up and wear a bunch of wool caps throughout his short life and tell us about how it felt the first time he picked up a guitar, shall we?

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American Idol

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