American Idol
They're All Wasted!

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Don't Raise Your Eye

As Ryan approaches, Kat tries to get her fidgeting under control, which is a nice callback to how goofy they both were two weeks ago. Ryan: "Nice. Very firm. Uh, firm handshake." After all the Very Inappropriate Cinema stuff we got last week, any double entendre from Ryan is a landmine. Ryan, naturally, fixates on Simon, and makes a joke about Simon giving a shout out to the Dawg Pound himself. Ryan's fake British accent ("We goat a hawt one tonoyt!") leaves a great deal to be desired. You know, I used to think Simon was just being reflexively queer-baiting to Ryan, but now it really does seem like Ryan spends an awful lot of time envisioning Simon in various scenarios. Like somewhere in his mental Rolodex there is an image of Simon dressed as a little Dutch girl, and I honestly don't need to go down that road at all. Katharine explains how she just wanted to "have fun" with her performance, as she didn't "have fun" last week and it hurt her. She keeps saying the word "fun," until even she calls herself out for it, and she manages to be un-self-conscious by acting very self-conscious, which is some serious personality gymnastics, right there. And Ryan's like, "Don't worry about repeating yourself, we're used to Randy," which is the funniest thing he'll say for another twenty-five minutes. Randy's like, "Nice one, Mr. Brightside," and Kat tells Randy, "I got you, dawg." Ryan: "It's 'dawg, dawg, dawg.'" Hee. I realize this could be read as highly annoying playground behavior on the part of all three of them, but I appreciate when they act like they enjoy each other for the caricatures they are.

Ayla can handle the huge pressure of this show, says Ryan, "Even if she was a bit confused as a kid." Ryan! We're not supposed to talk about that, remember? Ayla delivers her story like she's in her high school's production of Annie. Maybe she's never actually told an anecdote before, and this wide-eyed thing is how she's seen other people do it. Back when Ayla was a kid, she was convinced that her dad was Elvis Presley. That's funny, because speaking of Annie, one day when I was a very little kid, I came in late to a discussion my sister and my cousins were having about the plot of that movie, only another cousin of mine is actually named Annie, so I spent the rest of that day being extra special nice to her, because she'd had a hard life, what with how awful this Miss Hannigan person sounded like. Wow, that's such a David Radford phone cord story. Anyway, Ayla doesn't specify whether her dad outright lied to her or whether she heard him singing Elvis songs and then heard Elvis on the radio and connected the dots herself. Anyway, armed with this misinformation, she completely embarrassed herself in front of her ten-year-old friends, and she was probably the laughing stock of fifth grade until she hit her growth spurt and started squashing fools underneath her giant shoes.I guess this song Ayla's singing is called "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield, she of the walking cartoon TV and the gaping maw of Cheryl Hines teeth. Ayla's hair is a post-apocalyptic mess, with the little bouffant poof all asymmetrical and a whole bunch of ancillary hair things happening behind that. Tendrils of things moving every which way. She looks so perfect when her hair is just parted and straight, all this frou-frou stuff is not necessary. Also, she's wearing the clam diggers high up, to the point where they're more like board shorts, which only make her look like even more of a giant. We've already established that Paula covets your shin bones, Ayla, so why leave yourself vulnerable like that? The song is all about opening up your window and experiencing natural phenomena as it makes contact with your person, and today is the first day of your post-rehab life, or something. Ayla hasn't sung a non-ballad yet, and now we're starting to see why. Moving is not so much for our girl. I normally don't think of the "basketball player trying to sing" stuff when she performs, but I definitely am here. You can almost see her mental process as she goes through a series of movements like she's on the court. Box out! Get back on defense! Post up! The squatting is particularly off-putting. The singing itself is rough at the beginning, because it's low and not particularly melodic, but eventually Ayla catches up with it and it's not so bad. Easily her worst performance yet, however, and I shudder to think what the judges -- who have at times seemed disappointed at not being able to slam her -- will make of it.

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American Idol

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