Tonight no time is wasted. No extraneous filler, unless you consider the regularly scheduled features filler, as we do. Everyone we know would prefer a 30-minute results show. Everyone. We once again have the opening collage sequence of snippets of judges opinions and comments from the contestants.
Watch video of Opening Sequence
Paula Abdul choreographed the group number, set to Michael Jackson's "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)." We first view a video of La Abdul putting her students through their paces. During the live number, the kids totally lip-sync as they try to reproduce the most difficult choreography to date in a group number. They make the "Dancing With the Stars" celebs look like masterful pros. For a bunch of kids, very few of them have any dancing chops.
Ryan Seacrest has La Abdul take the stage. She's wearing a ridiculously short and shiny mini dress that barely -- just barely -- covers her genitalia. Plus, the scoop neck is cut down to there. Nearly 47, she's still got the hot body for this number, but is about 20 years past her prime for wearing it. Ryan and the kids present her with a big bouquet of flowers. The kids all say, "Love you Paula," as they kiss her. Sounds totally insincere and rehearsed, heh. Anoop doesn't come down to kiss her quickly enough, so she summons him with her finger. Paula gives the audience the royal wave holding her bouquet. She is totally smiling. Nothing makes Paula happier than moments that are all about her. She tells Ryan she had so little time to work with the kids, they must be mad at her for working them so hard. She asks "Were you mad at me?" Oh course, there's a chorus of "no's." Maybe Lil and Anoop would have yelled "yes" if they knew what was coming.
Watch video of Group Number "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)"
The Ford commercial is set to Lykke Li's ironically titled "I'm Good, I'm Gone," a little inside producers' joke perhaps?
Watch video of Ford commercial "I'm Good, I'm Gone"
And the eliminations begin. Ryan asks Lil to stand, then tells her he can see it in her eyes how badly she wants this. At this point, does she really? She knows she can't win and she gets hammered each week with how she hasn't shown them what kind of artist she wants to be. Isn't it just easier to go home to your family and wait out the tour? Ryan then says, "We need someone like you in this competition," followed by telling her to walk to the far side of the stage. Guess they don't need her that badly if she's in the Bottom 3. Ryan says Lil has three kids and is one of the most courageous contestants, never afraid to speak her mind, and then, in the blink of an eye, Ryan tells her that her journey is over. No Bottom 3. Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am. It was so brutally quick, it was almost worse than the torture games, which leave you a smidgen of hope that you're safe. Ryan: "Ladies and gentlemen, that is it for her." Lil sings, then Ryan asks Randy Jackson what advice he would give her. It's the standard "It's just the beginning, baby" blather. Next Ryan goes to Simon Cowell, who has a revealing slip of the tongue: "Well, you know, I was a huge, I still am actually, a massive fan of you." Uh-huh.
Watch video of Lil Rounds being eliminated
After that punch to the gut, it's time for some happy disco music! First up is guest performer Freda Payne, who takes the stage to sing "Band of Gold" (1970), a song that technically preceded the disco era, which most people agree started in 1973. It is a painful performance to watch. Payne looks OK in her slightly too tight gold glittery gown, but her 66-year-old voice is shot and she has trouble with breath control while singing. She even looks like she's going to fall a couple of times. We loved this song in its day, but, please
Watch video of Freda Payne singing "Band of Gold"; Thelma Houston singing "Don't Leave Me This Way"; KC singing "Get Down Tonight"
Whew! It's time for more bloodletting. Ryan goes back to the couches. Kris Allen stands and is safe, likewise Adam Lambert, and, of course, Danny Gokey, though Ryan lets Danny sweat a little before letting him off the hook. Remember, Lil came in No. 1 on DialIdol.com, yet was eliminated, so no one is feeling absolutely safe. Ryan goes to the back row and asks Anoop to stand. Ryan gets right to the point -- Anoop is taking the now-familiar death walk to the stools yet again. Only Allison and Matt Giraud are left. One is in the Bottom 2/3, the other safe. Most everyone we know thinks Matt should be eliminated, but how would that look after the judges wasted the save on him last week? So, it really comes as no surprise -- except to Matt -- when he is told he is safe. Allison joins Anoop onstage. As she the approaches the stools and Anoop, she sings, "Here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again." At least she has a sense of humor about it.
Watch video of Anoop Desai and Allison Iraheta in the Bottom 2/3
It's time for another breather, so last season's runner-up, David Archuleta, takes the stage to perform -- still with his eyes closed -- "Touch My Hand." It's not his best song and is it just us? Or does he not sound too terrific? We seem to remember him having a much richer voice last year. Maybe it's just exhaustion. Afterwards, he chats with Ryan and gives encouragement to Anoop and Allison.
Watch video of David Archuleta singing "Touch My Hand"
Finally, it's what the "Idol" producers like to (loosely) call "The Moment of Truth." Anyone who still believes that Anoop is safe at this point is totally deluding themselves. No way the producers are going to dump both remaining girls and have an all-male Top 5. Jeez, even Anoop knows that. So, of course, Allison is safe and Anoop sings his swan song. The producers don't even give Lil and Anoop separate journey videos -- they have to share one. So much for their personal archives. Anoop thanks the vocal coaches and Lil, graciously, thanks the judges. It's a wrap.
Watch video of Anoop Desai being eliminated
On Tuesday, the Top 5 perform standards made famous by members of the original Rat Pack, which included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Wow, that's our kind of music. We're going to loving on that theme. It seems tailor made for Matt (and his Sinatra hat), even though he would seem to be the most likely to be eliminated next.
And speaking of tailor, er, Taylor made, on Wednesday, Season 5 winner (and a personal favorite of ours) Taylor Hicks returns to "Idol" to sing his latest release, "Seven Mile Breakdown" from his new CD The Distance.
One final thought: Next week, will each contestant, as has been done in previous seasons, sing one song or two? Can they fit 10 songs into the scheduled 1 hr. 1 min. show? It's going to be interesting.
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