Friday, February 22, 2008

American Idol: America Gets It (Mostly) Right, as the Producers and Simon Lay it on Thick

Oh, American Idol elimination episodes, how I have missed thee.

I say that with only a little bit of sarcasm. The beauty of four eliminations, however, is there isn't too much time for padding, so the show didn't feel overly bloated this evening. In addition, America got it (mostly) right, eliminating Garrett Haley, Amy Davis, Joanne Borgella and, ahem, Colton Berry.

I'm consciously choosing to focus on the postivie, since the elimination of Haley means the closest thing this season had to a Sanjaya is now gone, and the ouster of Davis and Borgella means America is actually voting with their ears and not their eyeballs (the pretty Davis, who so could have become this season's Haley Scarnato) or hearts (the lovable Borgella, whose early exit proves America likes it's plus-size black girls to be able to wail -- or at least sing on key).

Then there's Colton. The kid wasn't gonna win the competition -- I get that. But I'm still gonna miss him just a little bit, and I'd certainly rather see him perform next week than either Luke Menard or Jason Yaegar. The truth is, he wasn't either good enough or bad enough to make a solid impression Tuesday night, and that was his downfall. Ah well.

But why did Simon have to go and be such an as*hole? The kid's not going to be the next Justin Timberlake, fine, but he could have a career in musical theater. In regional musical theater, but still! Did Simon have to be so mean?

Speaking of hearts of darkness, what's with the spotlight on the eliminated contestant's parent? Does it get any more tragic than watching parents experience their child's dream being crushed in extreme close-up? This device has got to go.

Amongst other notable moments from tonight's show:

-We got our first "group sing" of the season. 24 people is a lot of people to work into a number, and this one goes right up there with most awkward ever. Congrats Season 7!

-The tears! My goodness these contestants are starting early. During the clip packages this week it was all "This is the biggest opportunity of my life" and "I can't believe how lucky I am to be here" BS, and now they are already weeping for each other? What's going to happen by the Top 12 -- seizures?

-Finally, we got to watch the "world premiere" of Paula Abdul's new video for "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow." Shockingly enough, she didn't embarrass herself, and the song is actually pretty catchy. I could have used a little more dancing, and Simon and Ryan's "cameos" at the end couldn't have been any more cheesy, but all in all I'm a little impressed she was able to get herself together like that. Is America ready for a 21st century dancin' and "singin" Paula Abdul?

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