American Idol
Hollydidn't, Paulashouldn't

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Jacob Clifton: C | Grade It Now!
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Hollydidn't

Antonio Bridges is cut, and Eugenia Littlejohn the Kaput Girl, who they couldn't agree on, and Eugenia Littlejohn breaks down really quickly into crazy grief. I think maybe the "kaput" thing wasn't the hyperbole we assumed. Paula calls her "sweetheart" and "honey" and she tells them how it's all over and her life has ended and how she's 26 and has a six-year-old son and it's over. "If you think you've peaked at 26..." Paula looks her in the eye. "Please, Eugenia." Paula hobbles over to her in The Chair and holds her while she squeaks and cries. Randy is horrified by the loss of faith in herself. In the elevator: "Well. I'm fucked." Y'all, Eugenia Littlejohn needs a nap, is what she needs.

Robert Bennett, Jr. is congratulated immediately, so we don't see his history and I don't remember his voice at all, but he can talk a blue streak. Out of the room, down the hall, into the elevator, down the elevator, out into the room, he talks. "I'm likeable!" I would not want this coming right at me. In the cattle pen, everybody cheers with mostly shock. Although, interestingly, both Antonio (previously cut) and Taylor Hicks are disgusted about this. Well, I guess Taylor might be having a fit, but he looks grossed out about it. Outside, Eugenia Littlejohn bitches at the camera crazily -- although I guess it's understandable -- and the scary man with her just laughs about the bitching. Bobby says that all the excitement is not good for fat people, and it's pretty cute. Kevin Covais is like, "What is a 'cardiac arrest'?"

Mandisa. Flashback to Simon with the "we'll need a bigger stage" and "forget Francie, she's France" and all his other not-funny fat jokes. I'll say it again: Your Mama jokes are not funny because your mama's fat, they're funny because of how fat she is. For somebody who loves to crack on overweight contestants so much, he's not very good at it. But on the other hand, I think making fun of it is secondary to being horrified that they'd even try out, because they do not smell to Simon like money, and he pushes that whole "it's a visual medium" thing more than anybody. Ryan swears up and down -- and has been doing so since last week -- that this is going to "get a little uncomfortable," but Mandisa's not going down like that, if I know Mandisa. She and Simon smile at each other the whole way from the door to The Chair, like, "Yeah, this'll be weird." She sits: "Well, you didn't need a bigger stage, but you could've got a bigger chair." Randy laughs, and I don't think it's the nervous-response laugh, I think it's because he knows where she's going to place it. "Simon, a lot of people want me to say a lot of things to you. But this is what I wanna say to you: Yes, you hurt me, and I cried, and it was painful. It really was. But I want you to know that I've forgiven you, and that you don't need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody. And I figure that if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I can certainly extend that same grace to you. So I just wanted you to know that." That's class. I could do without the "I am forgiving you, by the way, and I will be gifting you with my forgiveness" spin, and sure as hell without the WWJD context, because equating your problems with Jesus's really demeans both you and Jesus, in my opinion, but that's still fucking class. What a poised, gracious young woman.

"Mandisa, I'm humbled. Come here, give me a kiss." They laugh together and agree that he is appalling. Paula, like a cocker spaniel when the other dogs are getting fed, jumps in about how "aren't you glad I sit next to him? I can sock him!" and Mandisa lays it on a little thick: "Paula, what would I do without you?" But I mean, in for a penny, right? Simon: "I feel about one millimeter small [mission accomplished], so I'll carry on with what I'm supposed to be doing. And I'm sorry to tell you..." Her face drops so fast, with the fear. "You're going to have to go through this again." Randy hugs her and tells her how impressively she negotiated the whole fat-jokes issue, and she hugs Paula and Simon again, and she jokes that he's not her type. They all laugh and for a bit there's a really nice, happy vibe in the room. Simon apologizes upfront, and she thanks him, and they have a weird conversation about her ass as she leaves. "Work it out, girl! Work it out!" yells Randy. She giggles and screams -- still very poised -- into the elevator.

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American Idol

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