A new phenomenon seems to be developing on "Idol" this season: Contestants who are secure in the Top 10 -- and therefore the summer tour -- who know they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning seem to want to get voted off right away. Last week there was Michael Sarver who smiled his way through his elimination. This week Megan Joy's antics -- such as cawing like as bird as she "flew" over to the Bottom 3 stools; smiling and waving like it was a prize to be in the Bottom 3; and telling Ryan that she loves Simon but really doesn't care what he thinks of her singing -- seemed to be her begging for a ticket out the door. In both cases the contestants have small children. If their journey was going to end short of triumph perhaps they just preferred to spend more time with their families and remove themselves from the cyclone of day-to-day activity required by the contestants. Is it even possible that they chose songs and gave substandard performances that would help ensure their getting low vote totals? Nah, they
The producers shook things up a bit tonight with the order and format of the show. Instead of the traditional Results Night opening with Ryan Seacrest onstage with the remaining finalists saying one will go home tonight, the show begins with a montage reel of judges' remarks and clips of the contestants they refer to from Tuesday night's performances. It was more interesting than the traditional highlights reel which it seems to have replaced and certainly a more dynamic show opener.
Ryan tells us 36 million votes were cast on Tuesday, no loss over last week's total, but no gain either. Randy Jackson tells Ryan that perhaps the contestants were given too wide a genre this week (you mean there was one?) and that's why they picked songs that "weren't them." Kara DioGuardi says she feels like part of the gang now that she's been heckled, but that she appreciates the audience (Simon Cowell says, "No you don't") and that it's a great thing that they love their Idols and want to fight for them. Paula Abdul tells Ryan the contestants need to know who they are and deliver that confidence with conviction week after week. And when Ryan asks Simon who he thinks should leave this week, Cowell's list of who should be worried includes Anoop, Matt Giraud and Megan, who gives the camera a goofy and wide-eyed smile as she enthusiastically waves, showing everyone this whole thing is all a joke to her at this point.
Watch video of the montage opening and judges' remarks
Another change, they switch up the order of the Ford commercial and the group number. The Ford commercial is up first. It concentrates a bit more on the contestants than the car. Set to Corbin Bleu's "Mixed Up," it shows their faces and bodies intermixed with one another (and the car) as they sing the song. Downside: The editing is really cheap and cheesy. Most film students could have done a better job.
Watch video of the Ford commercial set to "Mixed Up"
Ryan says since we're celebrating popular music this week (er, isn't that what we celebrate every week?), the group number is set to one of the "biggest downloads ever," Journey's "Don’t Stop Believing." Hmmm, does Randy get royalties on this performance? Scott is safely tucked behind the keyboards, even though there is more walking than dancing going on. It appears to be a live, not lip-synced performance, except for Megan who keeps the mike under her chin rather than at her mouth and Scott MacIntyre, who doesn't realize he's a good foot away from his mike. The song ends with raised clenched fists. Man, doesn't Adam get tired of taking off and putting on the black nail polish?
Watch video of the group number set to "Don't Stop Believing"
Back from commercial and Ryan mysteriously says, "Back with you live on "American Idol" and we have your results. Tonight, someone might have to sing for their life." Might? MIGHT? You mean, they know already that Megan isn't going to be asked to? How could that be when the judges don't even know who the Bottom 3 is yet? Reality? Yeah, right.
Next we have a behind-the-scenes look at the kids having "fun" at the mansion, with Matt impersonating Danny Gokey. Back to the couches and Ryan says that there are other contestant impersonations. He asks Danny to do Matt, then Anoop to do Kris Allen (this is all so rehearsed). Finally Allison, who Ryan calls Iraheta, does Danny.
Watch video of the Idols impersonating one another
At last it's time for what we all actually tuned in for -- the results. Ryan divides the contestants into groups of three: Megan, Matt and Kris are in the first, Adam Lambert, Lil Rounds and Allison are in the next group, and the last group includes Scott, Danny and Anoop. Ryan asks, "Who is safe? And which one of these groups could be in the bottom 3?" Well, none. There is no way that Danny, Kris or Adam are in the Bottom 3 and they're in three different groups. Obviously the Bottom 3 will be made up of one person in each of these groups. Let's see, probably Megan from Group 1, Allison from Group 2 and either Scott or Anoop from Group 3. If you go by DialIdol's results, it's Anoop. But we won't find out until after a prerecorded performance by reigning champ David Cook.
Watch video of the Ryan dividing the contestants into three groups
David Cook returns to the site of his 2008 victory to perform the second single release, "Come Back to Me." It's good, but Cook doesn't sound as good on the live version as he does on the CD. Cook's mom, so familiar a sight from last season, is shown in the audience. After the performance, while Ryan is speaking with David, some girls in the audience shout out, "We love you, David." He responds, quite robotically, "Not as much as I love you." He seems weary and the sentiment doesn't ring quite true, especially in light of his recent blog posting requesting that his fans back off and give him some privacy. Cook is then presented with a plaque from 19 Entertainment representing that his CD has gone platinum for sales of over 1 million copies. He says, "I'll tell you what. I put out a solo record in '06 before all this, and I sold 1,000 copies in one year. And to go platinum in three months , is, er, yeah." The video for the new single is actually very good. You can watch the entire video "Come Back to Me" here.
Watch video of David Cook singing "Come Back to Me" and being presented with platinum record plaque
And back to the results. As we expected, Ryan starts pronouncing the fates on each individual in each group, not the groups as a whole. First Kris is told he's safe. Next, Ryan says to Matt, "Last week you were in the bottom 3 (pause) And this week, you're also going to have to take a seat." Matt, thinking he's again in the Bottom 3 starts heading for the stools. Ryan, pointing to the couches, stops him with "Matt, over there." Nasty little head games. Ryan asks Megan Joy how she felt about Simon comments about her performance this week. She rather flippantly says, "I love you Simon, but I didn’t really care." Simon, who is the only judge who always seems to have a hearing problem, has to asks Paula what Megan said. When she tells him, he says to Megan, "That's not true." Ryan tells Megan, "You can also take a seat." She looks stunned. But then he turns her the other way toward the stools and says, "But over there." As she heads for the stools, she flaps her arms and caws. It's either ridiculously funny or insane or a shout out to Vote for the Worst, which was supporting her. Oy. Adam, Lil and Allison, standing in the next group can't control their laughing. Lil is safe, but Allison again is in the Bottom 3. She does baby arm flapping (no caws) as she heads over to join Megan. Adam, of course is safe as is Danny. Scott and Anoop. This week, Scott is safe. Anoop tells Ryan he had a feeling he'd be in the Bottom 3 after watching back his performance. Ryan doesn't release anybody immediately. We'll have to wait.
Watch video of the Bottom 3
Lady Gaga is here to sing her No. 1 hit "Poker Face." We hate the dragged out beginning of it. It gets better but, sorry, we're not running out to buy it. It doesn't come close to being as good as "Just Dance." Though the outfit and weird eye makeup is more interesting than her previous oversized sunglasses look.
Watch video of Lady Gaga singing "Poker Face"
Ryan asks Simon if anyone is worth saving. Cowell answers, "Just one." Ryan is going to send someone to safety. Whew, it's Allison. Seacrest then says that the two remaining contestants, Megan and Anoop, got the lowest vote totals this week. Heh, interesting they're now making a point of mentioning that after our rant last week about the supposed "Bottom 3." Standing next to Anoop, Megan does a mock -- and mocking -- fear face (woulda thunk she'd start acting loonier than Tatiana Del Toro?) She obviously thinks all of this drama is a big joke and intends to outdrama the producers' drama.Anoop is safe. Cawing comes from the couches and Megan cracks up. Ryan asks Simon if the judges will using the save tonight? Simon, not even looking up at Megan, says (to the table), "Megan with the greatest (dis)respect, when you said (looking up at her) you didn't care, nor do we. So I'm not going to pretend (like we do every week) that we're going to contemplate saving you." Megan, smiling says, "OK." Cowell: "So this is your swan (crow) song, enjoy it. That's it." Megan shrugs as if she could give a crap, then, walking right up to the judges' table, does a very "in-your-face" performance of "Turn Your Lights Down Low," accompanied by her loopy dancing and swaying. Paula and Kara dance, even Randy is swaying. Simon sits there stone-faced. He is p-i-s-s-e-d at her. For a while, Megan actually sounds better than Tuesday (that's not saying much), then the performance really starts to fall apart. Before her journey video she thanks the Idol staff, the other contestants, the judges and America, then, breaking up, she says to her child, "And baby, I'm coming home baby." For all her smiling, flapping and bravado, Megan alternates between tears and laughs during her journey video. Finally, she is gone, done, over, cooked.
Watch video of Megan Joy being eliminated
Next week, the Top 8 will sing songs from the year they were born:
1980: Danny Gokey
1982: Adam Lambert
1984: Lil Rounds
1985: Scott MacIntyre, Matt Giraud, Kris Allen
1986: Anoop Desai
1992: Allison Iraheta
On Wednesday, Kellie Pickler performs her new single, “Best Days of Your Life.”
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