American Idol
Semifinals, Week 1: The Results

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Suck It, Sasha Cohen! Part III

Ryan tells the back row that they are all "safe" from this first elimination. He asks the front row to stand up. He treats this row like bookends, in that Ace and Elliott -- at the right and left ends of the lineup -- are the first to sit down. That's when your mind does the rest of the math for you and sees Bobby and Sway at the center of the now-pretty-literal bull's-eye. Indeed, Kevin and Chris are the next to sit, and Bobby and Sway are called to center stage. Bobby is alternately fake-jovial and seething with rage. When Ryan reads Simon's comments, he rolls his eyes and says "blah, blah, blah…just kidding." Totally not, Bobby! Sway is already a really short guy. Next to Bobby like this, he's barely in the frame at all. It's like Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri up in there. Ryan teases the send-off to commercial ("You are gonna find out…"), but then pulls back and fires away ("…right now"). It's Bobby. He knows. We know. Everyone knows. Bobby's shaved off the My First Moustache, which is nice, but he still looks dangerous. He keeps interrupting Simon, trying to save face or make himself look gracious, or whatever, but the look on his face still spells "seething with antisocial rage." Dude, if you're the kind of person who will choose "Copacabana" of your own free will in a competition that could decide a huge chunk of your life, I believe you are capable of just about anything, and I fear you. He seems to think that Ryan and Simon's little slap fight last night was about him and not about each of them being each other's "mirror, mirror, on the wall," so he tries to address it by being very fake-diplomatic. We don't even remember the part you played in it, Bobby. Really. Then he starts talking about the haters at home and that he's done something that they can never say they've done: embarrass the shit out of himself on national TV. Damn straight. Paula suggests "musical comedy" as a career path, and hey, if Bruce Vilanch could suppress his murderous rage to star in Hairspray, I see no reason why Bobby couldn't do the same. Once more with "Copacabana," and I've already seen this once. I see no need to put myself through it again. There is one karaoke version of this song that I will accept and one only, and Bobby is no Rachel Green. Bye, Bobby! When you do finally snap the tether, remember that all the really mean things said about you here at TWoP were said by Jacob. ["Radford, you can cross-apply, and I win, because Radford can fight at least as well as the company of Guys And Dolls, because he's seen it a billion times. Even if it's slightly over-choreographed, that's still scarier than the Endora Swoop you'd get out of Bobby." -- Jacob]Back from the commercial, Ryan again berates the audience for not voting. For Bobby. Dude, who are you kidding? The girls are back onstage for elimination number two. The back row doesn't even have to stand up this time before being declared safe. There is a marked distinction between last time and this time, though. Now only Paris and Ayla celebrate, while Mandisa and Kellie look relieved, and Lisa and Kat look pretty tore up. Lisa, in particular, is taking this entire evening kind of rough. It's the first indication we've seen that she's actually sixteen and not a Cylon model designed to possess tremendous natural ability and poise. Brenna gives Ryan some kind of look when he calls her name, but she's safe, so she manages to unclench. Nobody claps until Ryan actually tells them "you can clap for Brenna." Brenna's like, "Yeah, you can!" She's a monster. Kinnik is also declared safe. Melissa is declared safe. We're moving directly down the line, you'll notice. The last two are Stevie and Heather. Stevie looks so sad now. Ryan's up to some shenanigans. He asks Heather and Stevie to join him at the center of the stage, but they're barely out of their seats before he says, "Second thought, Heather, have a seat. Stevie, you are leaving us tonight." Was that designed to catch Stevie off guard before she could steel herself? If so, that's really shitty. As it is, she's holding it together with the tips of her fingernails. Interestingly, Stevie says she was "a little sick" on Tuesday, which as an excuse is way too late for it to do any good. Which makes me think it was true, except what would being sick have to do with her decision to sing Josh Groban from the top of her sinuses? Was she sick in the brain? Ryan says she's "so sweet and nice and adorable," and he says it like he's disgusted. Like it sucks that she's not even a bit of an asshole, because now he has to feel bad. I think Ryan needs a certain percentage of artifice if he's going to hang out with you. Or else how can he reciprocate? Maybe actual no-bullshit authenticity is the kryptonite that renders him useless. It explains the E! network deal, for one thing.

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American Idol

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