Is it just me, or is Paula Abdul absolutely bonkers? I mean, many people logged on, expecting to find an Idol blog on Wednesday, if not Tuesday night, but combine the business of getting ready for Eco-Sure (more on that later) at Starbucks with something so bizarre and befuddling on Idol Tuesday night, I needed a day or so to figure out what I would say.
First, you have to know this is one episode of American Idol I was not looking forward to. Neil Diamond has never been atop my favorite artists list, not to mention the fact that I can name two, maybe three of his songs... "Sweet Caroline", "America" and I have a .45 somewhere of a song from "ET: The Extra Terrestrial", a song called "Heartlight". Its pretty crappy.
Secondly, I knew that My Next American Idol Brooke White had numbered days. She survived KLC, she survived Simba, she even got past a possibly more talented, yet not loved by me as much Irish Carly, and if not this week, she definitely wasn't going to make the Final Trio, sure to be the all male club of David Rob Thomas Cook, Young Dave and The Dreadlocked One (who I actually pegged to get knocked out in the first few weeks, but lo and behold, here he is).
So, the set up. As host Ryan Seacrest tells us about fifty times, the show is packed and they have to move fast. Each Idol is singing two Neil Diamond songs, and because of the frantic pace of the show, all the contestants will sing their first song, then the judges can give quick feedback, before the second round of songs begins.
Randy gives his quick mark, loving on Young David and David Rob Thomas Cook, not so much on The Dreadlocked One, The Black Julia Stiles and My Next American Idol Brooke White. Then Paula spoke, and this happened:
Now, if you haven't seen it, I hope you soaked in the hilarity and utter chaos of this moment. Watch it again, and when they pan to the contestants around :15 seconds into it, watch their uncomfortable shuffle, and Ryan's quick look to the sidelines (probably to producer Nygel Lythgoe) around the :20 mark. What to do?
The Lovely Steph Leann and I both watched in wonder on Tuesday, then we looked at each other, and we both started laughing, loud and long. I had to pause it (DVR, bay-bee!!) because we lost track of anything going on. After I could breathe, I said, "Let the conspiracy theorists begin!"
And they did.
I usually go to EW Online to get the weekly Idol review, though bear in mind, my blog is typically done during the show, so my jokes are all my own, thank you. Michael Slezak is the EW reviewer, and his weekly post was just as I suspected... questioning the validity of the show.
Think about it... why did Paula critique the second song as forgettable, then say she was reading notes about David Rob Thomas Cook, then when she did get to him, say he was fabulous? Now, the three biggest theories are:
1) The show is actually scripted. The producers know who their winners should be, they let the viewers vote, but unless it jibes with what they want, it doesn't matter, and the notes of proper coaching are given to the judges before hand. VotefortheWorst.com was all over this line of thinking, as were many of the online commenters and bloggers.
2) Paula Abdul is official a member of Team Bats*** with Mirna, Charla and The Honorable Revr'n Jeremiah Wright.
3) The judges are allowed access to dress rehearsals and, with a small bit of #2 in there, Paula did see The Dreadlocked One's second song and did have some notes on it. This is a theory espoused by former Idol contestant Jon Peter Lewis, and the one I actually tend to believe.
Do producers have some say in it? I'm pretty sure they do. I mean, can you imagine what a nightmare for American Idol if a final two consisted of Kristy Lee Cook and Ramiele Malubay? Holy crap that would suck. But the mere fact that Taylor Hicks won American Idol a few years ago, and not Daughtry or My Dear McPheever has got to make a statement that the producers don't control all of it.
That being said, if the producers do script the show and control the outcome, the best thing they could do for the credibility of the show is to have Young David knocked off next week, leaving The Dreadlocked One, The Black Julia Stiles and the eventual winner, David Rob Thomas Cook.
As for the performances themselves, truly, the nights only standout for me was My Next American Idol Brooke White's "I Am I Said".
David Rob Thomas Cook was great, as usual, The Black Julia Stiles was very, very good, and The Dreadlocked One bored me, as he's been doing for weeks now. Young David? Same ol' same ol'. Talented, but he just sounds the same week after week.
When My Next American Idol Brooke White got up with a guitar to sing The Monkees "I'm a Believer", written by Neil Diamond, I told The Lovely Steph Leann, "This is going to be a train wreck." Simon said the same thing, using "Nightmare".
What My Next American Idol Brooke White did on her second song, however, was really good... not only did it make me want to go find that song on iTunes (by Neil Diamond, no less!), but it was worth another viewing. This is song pretty much represents why I'm buying a My Next American Idol Brooke White cd. The Lovely Steph Leann told me that she expects a David Rob Thomas Cook cd from me, though, when its available.
As for the results, it was true to form... the crappy Ford video, the cheeseball group musical numbers, the obligatory new album pushing performances from the mentor (Neil Diamond) and from outta nowhere, Natasha Bedingfield (who Ryan Seacrest said, "Has been dominating the charts!", to which The Lovely Steph Leann asked me, "Really? Since when?" Let's face it... after "Unwritten", she's got nothing else) and of course, the results.
I was guessing The Dreadlocked One and My Next American Idol Brooke White would be the bottom two, cause really, The Black Julia Stiles has only gotten better as the season has gone on, and in retrospect, was really good, but MNAIBW and TBJS were your bottom two. Predictably, MNAIBW said goodbye. I was prepared for this, though, so it wasn't a blow to my system...
Ryan only glossed over Paula's wacky night, which was a little unexpected. I thought he'd say something confirming the show's voting process, or something to give a little more credibility to the house that Paula's words took a sledgehammer to, but all he gave us was "She's a member of our family, we love her." Ryan was blowing sunshine, really.
Being in the midst of all if it, EW also has an on-set columnist, who gave a great on-the-scene report during the results show. Thought you would enjoy it.
Back soon with more than just Idol, I promise!