American Idol

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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How To Lose Friends & Alienate People

Ryan's wearing a suit jacket and jeans, Randy is wearing a nice argyle cardigan and booing Simon with his usual lack of class, Simon is wearing what you think he's wearing, Kara's looking hot in a silver lamé cougar top under a velvet crop-sleeved blazer, and Paula is dressed like ... a Playboy Bunny. About last night, Randy says his usual lack of anything; Kara points out that Stevie, Casey and Stephen sucked last night. Randy mentions "Simon" a thousand times and Paula and Kara gamely agree, and then Ryan says he's talking about the show itself, not Simon's extracurricular sucking.

Simon loves it, Randy's scandalized, Kara can't believe it because she doesn't know how this goes every Wednesday; Paula demonstrates a limited awareness of what's going on around her like always. Simon says that Kara was fantastic last night, and even better at dinner afterwards. Thank God we've raised the bar. There's a long, bewildering montage of old footage of the twelve victims tonight notable only for how obnoxious Jackie Tohn seems to be most of the live long day.

Group sing! What a terrible idea! "I'm Yours" -- which I guess is another artifact from the long-discredited conspiracy to convince me that Gavin DeGraw, Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz are three discrete entities -- begins with awkwardly dancing and creepily nervous Brent, studly Michael, and Anoop attempting to harmonize, then over to Gokey/Fowler/Ricky acting similarly weird; Danny does a particularly fucked-up Botox facial freeze on mention of "divine intervention," perhaps inevitably, followed by terrible dancing; Tatiana mugs her ass around in front of the girls, Casey does more of those freaky faces she makes, Ann Marie is already gone; barely there Stevie/irritating Jackie/pixie-dressed Alexis are acting recognizably Jamaican somehow; There's one girl taking the high notes really beautifully, but I can't figure out who it is. I think it's Jackie. Actually if you close your eyes so you can't see them all acting jerky and fucked up -- and Casey inventing lyrics by the handful -- this sounds way more awesome than you might have expected. Then they all go into a sort of Isadora Duncan Powwow move, and it's finally over.

It's a sign of my waning patience with this crew that seeing all twelve of them on those couches is already giving me a toothy sort of schadenboner. Up top you got Gokey and Tatiana on one side and Sarver on the other, with doomed Brent and Ann Marie in the middle. The bottom has Alexis in the middle and Anoop on the right side, with Ricky and Jackie between them, and on the left are Casey and Stephen, who looks gigantic and marvelously dressed as usual. Among all these large, sensibly dressed people, Alexis's outfit -- boots, mini, tiny vest, and fedora -- looks sort of desperately individual. Well, and Casey looks like the hostess at a sex club-slash-buffalo wing joint.

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American Idol

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