Tonight was a very special Idol results show. Call it "Idol Gives Paula Back Some Credibility." Paula was smartly given a girl-next-door hairdo and the stylists put her in a silky cream frock to make her look extra angelic.
I had been wondering why no one sang "Cracklin' Rosie" last night - I know now that they just saved it for tonight's medley. The gang got on board with "Rosie," "Song Sung Blue" (sung badly, in this case) and "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show." The latter is a song that Kristi had been talking about lately, which I didn't recognize by title but immediately knew as soon as the Idols started singing it. I haven't heard that song in ages! It's a good one. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of it was marred by David Cook's attempt at preacher talkin'. Wow, that made me cringe.
Since I hate these group sings, I've learned to just keep my eye on Jason during them. He treats them like the Disney kids-gone-bad spectacles that they are by completely embracing the cheesiness. He didn't disappoint me tonight. Castro is love.
Ex-Idols Constantine Maroulis and Gina Glocksen were in the audience to plug their show, American Idol Extra. I think I saw Gina throw up in her mouth a little when Ryan asked Constantine if the two were dating. Then, Ryan asked Constantine to do his patented "greasy tool" look into the camera, and I threw up in my toilet. A lot.
Ryan tried his hand at damage control by addressing the controversy over Paula's gaffe last night. Well, sort of. He only briefly mentioned that she made "comments" and that there a lot of "rumors" on the Internet which "aren't true." Paula is part of their family and they love her!! Wait...but the rumors aren't really about Paula. We already know that she's nuts. What about the rumors that the show is rigged? Or that the producers tell all of the judges what to say, who to praise and who to trash? Or that a double-David finale has already been decided? As expected, Ryan stepped right over those land mines.
David Cook was called out next and also given access to the couches. That meant the two gals, Brooke and Syesha, were the Bottom 2.
Natasha Bedingfield performed her new song, "Pocket Full of Sunshine." Wow, that girl is all cheekbones and teeth.
Damage control began again with the viewer call-in segment. A precious little 10 year-old called in to ask Paula why she's so darn sweet. Paula acted like the inspirational grade school teacher from any number of Lifetime movies. Ms. Abdul's lessons: Kids are great! Keep your dreams alive! All of the contestants are wonderful! Love everyone! Paula should be nominated for an Emmy for that performance.
The next caller also happened to have a question for Paula. Does she plan on releasing any more records? This was used as another plug for her single, "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow." Hmm. I had forgotten about that one already.
To round out this completely scripted trio of calls, "Tara Miller" called to remind Simon that she was his first kiss. When Simon began reminiscing, Randy was all, "Dude! You remembered her!" like it was a big surprise. Randy and Simon should both be nominated for Emmies for their performances.
This week's mentor, Neil Diamond, took the stage to sing "Pretty Amazing Grace," which was thankfully not an ode to Kristy Lee Cook. The song wasn't pretty amazing, but it was better than Dolly's "Jesus and Gravity." It was kind of like mellow mariachi. The idiot pit didn't know how to respond. They were waving their arms at first, then they all took a break, some looked around for any kind of guidance, then they started clapping along, and finally settled back on the arm waving. Perhaps Paula should choreograph routines for them?
Neil advised all the Idols to keep on keepin' on, and even though he didn't say anything Earth-shattering, he just has one of those voices that makes him sound very wise. His eyebrows freaked me out a bit though. I can't believe I didn't mention this last night. He reminds me of that one Seinfeld episode where Uncle Leo burned his eyebrows off and Elaine drew new ones on his face with a Sharpie. I was waiting for Nigel to come out and say, "Neil, I don't care for your demeanor" while scribbling in his little black(list) book.
After a long hour on the chopping block, the axe finally fell on Babbling Brooke. Simon didn't look happy. Brooke probably didn't deserve to go tonight, but she was offered up as the sacrificial lamb so that Jason could remain on the show and everyone could pretend that the judges never launched their very obvious anti-Castro campaign.
Brooke's Alaina Whitaker-esque breakdown verged on pathetic and made everyone uncomfortable. Though she could barely speak or hold her head up, the evil powers that be still forced her to sing one last time. I think she sang "I Am...I Said." It was hard to make out any lyrics through her choked sobs. The rest of the contestants came out to the stage while she sang, ostensibly to offer moral support, but only Cook gave her a half-hearted pat on the back while the rest stared blankly. Castro was hilarious as ever, widely grinning like a very pretty idiot as Brooke went through her final death throes.
Next week's theme is the "Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame." Who wants to bet that Little Lord Archuleroy will sing Simon's favorite song, The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody?"