American Idol

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Disco Nap

The opening Vegas Fights montage has an interesting moment in it, of Lil once again just assuming that the judges, and their advice, have nothing to do with her performance or the voting of America. Very interesting. I can't say that I would be disappointed to see her go. I have no animus toward her -- she's just tired of the runaround, and not actively obnoxious like Danny and Anoop -- but she really has just brought all she has to the table at this point, and there's nothing to be done about that. I feel like she's actually on this show five years ago and nobody's articulated to her the difference, or the year, so we're just getting like these scratchy Frequency phone calls from her intentions.

Ryan wishes us a happy Earth Day and reminds us that the finale will be "green powered," whatever the holy hell that means, but tonight they still have to use an entire coal mine full of children to power the whirling insanity that is the Idol stage. There will be some legendary disco faces, if you can call them that -- hell, if you can call them "legendary" even -- and then David Archuleta, of the Salt Lake Archuletas, and then finally the hotly anticipated double elimination. I wish I could care, but they've settled the finale so early this year that it's really just a group of three or four people and then assorted cannon fodder, and it doesn't really matter what order they leave in.

There's a long, actually enjoyable sequence of Paula Abdul teaching the kids tonight's group sing choreography. She's pretty intense about it, and you spend the whole segment in wonderment at how present and delightful she's being. I imagine it's nice to remember what you're actually for, like The Mouse & His Child or The Velveteen Rabbit; it takes years off her. Lil does a great job, particularly, in the group shots, but mostly it just manages to make the idea of watching them do these dances more exciting than it has any right to be.

Ryan does a weird little dance, and then Paula introduces them with a swooshing motion, and it begins. They're all wearing disco clothes and look fantastic, except for Lil who looks like Heather B crossed with Humpty. They all sweep past Paula onto the stage -- Danny, of course, finds a way to be five times as in your face as everybody else -- and then Paula does another funny move, and Anoop lip-syncs for awhile, and they all sing toward a camera on the ceiling, and finally the group dancing starts. Now, if you know me at all you know that group dancing ranks just above single moms and right below Ryan Seacrest on the list of my favorite things; even knowing and adjusting for this, the routine is awesome. Awesome! Danny does a fantastic job, while Matt is way behind everybody else both in terms of tempo and skill. In a group dance situation it's sometimes opposite to real life and people who normally have good moves on their own fuck it up for everybody else. And I guess vice versa, because normally Danny Gokey dancing makes me want to... Oh, there are crotches in this dancing. Never good.

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American Idol

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