Thursday, March 26, 2009

American Idol Season 8
Top 10 Results

Bottom Three:
Matt Giraud (!!!)
Michael Sarver
Scott MacIntyre

Raise your hand if you think this list is total B.S.

Where the hell is Megan Joy? had Matt placing 4-7, with no possibility of being the Bottom 3. On the other hand, Megan placed between 7-10 They have rarely, if ever, been that wrong. Does anyone on Earth really believe that Megan's not in the Bottom 3???

Eliminated: Michael Sarver

Last week, Alexis Grace sang "Jolene" on the Results Show and the song's poignant pleas changed from trying to save her man to trying to save her "Idol" existence. This week, Michael Sarver's "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," held more meaning, yet rang hollow. He was one of the happiest looking people we've ever seen voted off "Idol." We still hold to our analysis that because he knew he couldn't win, Michael would rather do the Regis-Ellen circuit now, then kick back at home and be a local hero for the next seven weeks until rehearsals for the finale and tour begin. What's the fun of living in a mansion when you have to work so hard and can't even win? He probably learned that working as an "Idol" contestant was cleaner but no less grueling than working as an oil rigger. Besides, Sarver's real payday was making the tour, not working for scale until he was eliminated.

As for Matt and Scott, if you listen very carefully throughout the show, Ryan Seacrest never says that the Bottom 3 are the contestants with the least amount of votes, he only says they are in the Bottom 3. The only time vote totals are mentioned is when Michael is eliminated, and Seacrest intones: "After the nationwide vote, that record-setting vote from over 36 million, the person with the lowest number of votes tonight is Michael. Matt you're safe." But Matt was probably always safe. Never does Ryan say that either he or Scott were among the three lowest vote getters (though Scott probably was). The producers are very cagey about this.

But why would the producers place people in the Bottom 3 who don't actually have the lowest vote totals? It's hard to say. To create drama? To manipulate how the public will vote the following week? Perhaps both. All we know is that they do it. For example, last season Syesha Mercado didn't appear in the Bottom 3 on weeks when she should have clearly been there, yet on the week when five contestants remained, and when according to DialIdol Mercado scored the highest amount of votes -- even more than David Cook and David Archuleta -- she was placed in the Bottom 2 with Brooke White, who was eliminated. Ryan actually confirmed this two weeks later when he said that the remaining three finalists (Cook, Archuleta and Mercado) had all come in first at some time during the season. There was no other week that Syesha even came close to being the top vote getter.

This leads us to believe that the producers are hanging Megan Joy -- who, according to DialIdol, had the second lowest vote total this week -- out to dry next week, while trying to keep Matt -- who the judges now consider a front-runner, but who placed fifth according to DialIdol -- in the competition. As for Scott, his number will probably be up a week or two after Megan departs. And we bet that the producers judges will make no attempt to save either one. It's all part of the "Idol" circus, folks. We're just saying ...

The show began with Ryan telling us that 36 million votes were received this week, the highest vote total ever for 10 remaining contestants. It's interesting that the vote total was 6 million higher this week (after being down 3 million last week)
when "Idol" didn't have to compete directly against CBS' "The Mentalist," which tends to attract the same 40ish female audience as "Idol" does. ("The Mentalist" aired out of its normal time slot, at 10 p.m. instead of 9 p.m., on Tuesday night, while "Idol" aired on Wednesday and Thursday instead of Tuesday and Wednesday because of President Obama's Tuesday press conference).

This was followed by the now obviously lip-synched group number, which was a Motown medley. We are hearing complaints from friends and fans as the show increasingly becomes prerecorded and less live. First, it was the Ford commercials, but that's OK, after all it's a commercial. However, this week the contestants weren't even singing during parts of the commercial's song. Then, some of the Results Night performances were prerecorded either during the rehearsal, or even weeks earlier. Now, it appears it is spreading to the group dance, which was at least good for laughs when it was live. Last week, it was lip-synched. This week it was prerecorded and spliced together really poorly. It's like the Ford commercial without the car. What's next? Prerecorded "live" performances?

Watch video of the Motown medley group number

The Ford commercial, set to Nastasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine," is up immediately after. The Top 10 barely sing, as they lay down floor tile puzzle pieces illustrating a road that the cars eventually drive away on.

Watch video of Ford commercial set to Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine"

The first of three guest performances features Ruben Studdard in the ugliest navy suit -- the jacket is ridiculously long, has big white buttons and seriously wide white piping around the collar and down both sides of the front -- we've ever seen. It looks like something you'd put on a 2-year-old. It's hard to take him seriously in that getup. He's here to sing his new single, "Together." Studdard's still got great pipes, but the song is boring. He's sweating profusely by the end.

Watch video of Ruben Studdard singing "Together"

Ryan chats up the contestants about their trip to Hitsville in Detroit before starting the eliminations. He first asks Lil Rounds a question, then zeroes in on Matt, who comes from Michigan. As we learned last week, Ryan talking to you before the eliminations can prove to be a bad sign. We'll have to keep an eye on whether the producers continue this "give" every week. Ryan begins with Adam Lambert, who is safe, next is Matt, who is told, "You sang 'Let's Get It On.' The judges all thought you had a solid performance and called you a front runner in the competition. America voted, and they did not agree with the judges. Matt, you are in the Bottom 3 tonight." Note, Matt placed fifth according to, which put him squarely in the middle of the pack. So technically, Ryan didn't lie. From the public's point of view, Matt wasn't a front runner. But Ryan also never says that Matt got one of the three lowest vote totals. He just says, "You are in the Bottom Three tonight." Matt takes a stool onstage. Ryan then plays a cruel trick on Kris Allen. He reads the judges critiques, then tells him, "America voted, Kris, and, wow, you, too (pause) (as Kris starts walking to the stage) are safe." What a nasty fake out. Lil and Michael are asked to stand. It's time for more producer cruelty. Ryan tells Lil, "You sang 'Heatwave' ... Now in past seasons, Jennifer Hudson and Kimberley Locke sang that exact song and they ended up in the Bottom 3. Tonight, after that vote, believe or not, you, also, (pause) sang 'Heatwave" (pause) and are safe." Michael, who knew Lil was being played, kept saying to her through all of this, "Sit down, sit down." He is then sent to the stage.

Watch video of Matt Giraud and Michael Sarver going to the Bottom 3

We cut away from the sadism for some "entertainment." Joss Stone and Smokey Robinson duet on "You're the One for Me." Frankly, we've never understood the appeal of Joss Stone. Her vocals are little better than Megan Joy's as far as we're concerned, and the coupling of her voice with Smokey's just doesn't work. Besides, it was downright creepy having a 21-year-old sing that song to a 69-year-old. Smokey still has it, however, and listening to his high voice, we realize why "Tracks of My Tears" was a perfect choice for Adam.

Watch video of Joss Stone and Smokey Robinson singing "You're the One for Me"

Let the torture continue! Allison Iraheta, thankfully, is safe, as are Anoop Desai and Danny Gokey. That leaves Scott and Megan. Megan seems shocked when Ryan tells her the judges called her performance a "horrible trainwreck" (was she not listening Wednesday night?). Who is safe, who isn't? It's a toss-up, but we guess wrong, and Scott is assisted to the stage. Ryan is going to release someone back to safety. Randy Jackson says it should be Matt, while Michael, who no doubt peeked at DialIdol and seems to know he's a goner, keeps pointing at Matt. But it is Scott who is returned to the bleachers.

Watch video of Scott MacIntyre joining the Bottom 3 then being returned to safety

Before the ax is dropped, Stevie Wonder gives the only musical performance of the night worth listening to, doing a medley of his Motown hits, including "My Cherie Amour," "Superstition" and "Overjoyed." He even slips in an "I love you, Barack Obama." Stevie was incredible then, he still is now. Why couldn't he have been given the time spent on Ruben and Joss Stone/Smokey Robinson? We could have listened to him all night.

Watch video of Stevie Wonder Motown hits medley

Finally it's time for the obvious. Matt is told he is safe, and Michael is told to sing for survival, the same song that he told the judges the day before he knew wouldn't be good. We perceive little change in the reprise, but Kara (I don't know how many words 6 is) DioGuardi and Paula Abdul make a play at grooving and dancing to it, while Simon Cowell and Randy make dinner plans believe they're discussing it. When Sarver finishes, Alexis Grace is dealt another indignity. Whereas Simon immediately told her she wasn't good enough last week, he lyingly tells Ryan that they judges haven't yet reached a decision on Sarver. This after they made it clear last week that they wouldn't even consider saving Sarver, only Grace. So why the false dramatics? Ryan indicates they are running out of time, so Simon tells Paula to make the decision. She says, "You're not doing that to me." Simon then "valiantly" steps up to the plate and says, "I'm going to make a decision. Michael, you're going home. Sorry." Cut to journey video. Who cares?

Watch video of Michael Sarver elimination

Next week's theme has yet to be announced, but rumors are that it is the iTunes Top 100 (talk about patronizing to get their music sold). On Results Night, David Cook performs his new single "Come Back to Me" and Lady Gaga sings "Poker Face."

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© 2009

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