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Eliminated: Syesha Mercado
Next week, David Cook and David Archuleta face off in the finale.
Watch video of the elimination of Syesha Mercado:
Even though we saw 59 minutes more than we needed to in order to learn the only thing we cared about -- who had made it into the finale -- at least most of those minutes were dedicated to the Top 3 finalists and not lame fluff such as the viewer call-in Q&A. Even the one entertainment act, Fantasia, was a former Idol. So it was pretty much an all in the family night. And, much to our surprise, we have to congratulate The Evil Puppeteer and Co. for finally getting a results show right. Wednesday night was all about congratulations and celebrations instead of humiliation. No twin silver stools. Everyone on the couch all evening unless they were being reviewed and being paid tribute to.
At first we wondered why the producers were showing everyone's journey video Wednesday night, even if they weren't leaving. Then we realized that the runner-up, the contestant who should be lauded as much as the winner, never gets anything at the finale, other than the opportunity to congratulate the winner. There is no runner-up journey video -- ever -- until this season, which corrects a serious flaw from former years.
The show opened with the Top 3 performing "Ain't No Stopping Us Now." Vocally it sounded fine. But as in former weeks, the choreography was amateurish and looked worse than a high school musical. Why can't these singers be left to just sing? Do we have to pretend they can dance even if they can't? They just end up looking foolish walking detetminedly back and forth, and up and down the stage, trying to simulate a "routine." Following the commercial break this week's "Idol" Ford commercial featured the Top 3 singing "Heaven" and imagining themselves as superstars. At the end, an amusement park fortune-telling vending machine a la the Zoltan machine in the film "Big," dispenses three keys to Ford vehicles instead of cards with their fortunes. For Cook and Archuleta that will become a reality next week when both are gifted with new Ford Mustangs during the finale.
Watch video of Top 3 singing "Ain't No Stopping Us Now":
Watch video of the making of Ford commercial, "Heaven":
Watch video of Ford commercial, "Heaven":
Ryan Seacrest "revealed" that in the closest contest of any Idol season (though we're sure the Season 5 Top 3 contest between Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin was even tighter), America had cast 56 million votes on Tuesday night, then recapped the performances from the night before.
Next, he introduced Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino, who, sporting orange-pink humongously ugly hair, performed her latest release, "Bore Me." Well, she certainly bored us. What has happened to the Fantasia we once loved? We hate the music she has released since winning "Idol," including this number. However, during the performance, the camera panned to Simon Cowell, who had the most incredulous "What the fuck?" look on his face. It was priceless and worth sitting through Fantasia's dreck just to see that.
Watch video of Fantasia Barrino performing "Bore Me":
The remainder of the evening was dedicated to the videos of each contestant's hometown visit followed by the journey video of each. Up first was David Archuleta. Was this an omen that he would be booted Wednesday night? Unfortunately, no. Watching David's video, we realized that we had been unfair to him. He doesn't giggle all the time. He sometimes talks. And when he does, all he says is "gosh." That's pretty much it -- gosh. Watching him with David Cook next week is going to be like watching Wally and The Beaver. Can't wait to see how many times Archuleta says "gosh" then. Pray he doesn't win. If he does, he'll certainly have a gosh gush.
Anyway, he goshed his way through his hometown of Murray, Utah, from the cheerleaders to the number of people who turned out ("Gosh, where did they park?"). And, of course, he cried. But, then, so did Sysesha and David Cook during their hometowm jaunts.
Watch video of David Archuleta's hometown visit and journey:
Syesha went home to Florida, first to Sarasota, then to Bradenton. Highlights of her visit included someone handing her a baby as if she were a politician, a visit to her high school and a helicopter ride. Normally very self-controlled, we were surprised to see how emotional Syesha became when she had some private moments (if you can call being filmed for TV in a limousine or a helicopter private moments).
Watch video of Syesha Mercado's hometown visit and journey:
Finally, it was David Cook's turn. He went home to Blue Springs and Kansas City, Mo., where he performed a mini concert, appeared on radio, dropped in on his elementary school music teacher to thank her and give her a bouquet of flowers, and threw out the first pitch at a Kansas City Royals game. He, too, was overcome by it all and teared up. He was accompanied during the parade, as well as onstage Wednesday night on the live show, by his younger brother, Andrew (his older brother, Adam, was also at the hometown celebration, but couldn't attend all the festivities because of his illness). Cook never intended to audition for "Idol." He headed to Omaha with Andrew to offer moral support to his younger sibling. Who can say where the road goes, where the day flows, only time.
Watch video of David Cook's hometown visit and journey:
Finally it was time for the results. Instead of the normally torturous routine, Seacrest simply announced the two finalists moving on to the finale. It was clean, it was short and as painless as it could have been for Syesha, who be joining the Davids at the results show next week, but no longer as a contender.
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