American Idol

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
It's Barely Rock & Roll, But I Like It

Ryan's smile seems a bit painted on tonight, does it not? I hope this two hours isn't too stressful on him, dear thing. And we're on that great big ol' death stage that keeps trying to eat Debbie, that can't be good. But at least Ellen is dressed like Hipster Indiana Jones, so she can save them with her giant Rufus Humphrey scarf.

Wait, so these are the Top Twelve? You will probably be less than shocked to learn that I don't really remember last week so good. We got Casey in a Western shirt and lank hair, Tim finally showing off that five-star body, Crystal dressed like a lady, Mike dressed like a great wall with lipstick on, Aaron Kelly in his even gayer-than-usual costume as The Unfortunate Irony, Katie Stevens looking flyish, Paige Miles looking her best ever, Siobhan looking like she's about to win a Crazy Person Tapdance Competition, Didi and Lacey making identical scary-clown faces in opposite clothes of each other, and the people I was most wondering whether we'd see them tonight: Andrew and Lee, dressed like each other. Quite a lineup, with the tacky trash on one side, and the earnest dumb guys on the other side.

The Rolling Stones. What I know about the Rolling Stones is that 1) Keith Richards looks like fucking hell, all the time, 2) What we be doing is we be kickin' dudes to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger, 3) They wrote like every song, name a song they wrote it, and most importantly 5) They are the definition of rock music. That last, of course, being why it makes total sense to have Stones Night. On this show. Which is the definition of the antonym of rock music.

You know, there are some things about ladies I will just never get. Even looking at the retrospective of the Stones's entire existence, you cannot pinpoint a moment where Mick Jagger looked like anything other than a pile of oily rags. But there is an awesomeness to him, and to David Bowie, that makes us leapfrog over the evidence in front of their eyeballs and proclaim that they are worth looking at. The thought that looking at Bowie in Labyrinth and not wanting to hurl is just unfathomable to me. Jagger too. And their gorgeous wives! How? How did Iggy Pop ever get away with looking like zombie vomit? Even Steven Tyler gets away with it despite the fact that he looks like a starving monkey on meth and dresses like Auntie Mame.

I don't think it's a double-standard thing either because plenty of dramatically ugly girls are so good at being pretty that we do the same thing. Like, every supermodel of course is weird-looking, and most socialites look inbred. But with rare exceptions -- Katie Holmes, the categorical disaster that is Maggie Gyllenhaal -- I can overlook it. Not so with your Michael Stipes and Thom Yorkes. Maybe we're reaching a point where once these old dudes die we'll stop pretending. Which will be fine, because by that point it's just going to be Jonas Brothers and Tim Urban everywhere you look anyway.

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American Idol




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