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America No Longer Voting Blindly

Thank goodness there were still enough ladies left in the group to do a Supremes number for Motown Week. We almost had enough guys to do a Temptations AND a Four Tops homage simultaneously!

After all the recent lip-syncing controversy (see previous blog), one would think that the producers would clean up their act and encourage — gasp! — live singing. Instead it seems that the Idols were told to make the fact that they weren’t singing live even more obvious.

And worse, the vocals didn’t seem to be the only things prerecorded. The whole medley seemed to be videotaped beforehand, as weird camera angles abounded and the audience was — wait, there was no audience.

Seriously, ya’ll, it was laugh-out-loud funny. I had to watch it twice! The laughter continued throughout the Ford music video — Idols on a road trip, singing and driving into an impressionist painting. I think I had that same dream last week after some bad Chinese.

There was a guest performance. Remember Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard? No? You may know him better as “Ruuuuuuuuuben,” “The Velvet Teddy Bear” or simply the guy who broke the Claymates’ hearts.” I hail from the 205 as well, and all I wanted was a jersey like Ruben’s to show my Bama pride. Unfortunately, after I helped him win I realized that I wanted the jersey more than his records. His performance last night was a good fit for the Motown theme, but I say bring back Clay, dammit!

Seacrest tries; I’ll give him that. There are only so many ways to say “You’re safe” or “You’re in the Bottom Three,” but he’s uncovered them all.  His double talk and fake-outs often have “safe” contestants anticipating their downfalls and heading over to the dreaded seats prematurely. Cruel yet comical. (Except when they do it to Anoop; don’t mess with Anoop!)

After Seacrest announced that Michael Sarver and (seriously!?) Matt Giraud were in the bottom three, Smokey Robinson and a glittery Joss Stone sang a song whose title must have been “You’re the One for Me Baby Baby Baby Baby Baby (Baby).” Although it was difficult to tell whether hippie chick Stone was going barefoot under her extremely long maxi-dress, it was a no-brainer to deduce that she smelled of patchouli.

Whoa. Another surprise. Scott MacIntyre in the Bottom Three. After Megan Joy “quietly” told him — directly into his microphone — that she would “direct him over” to the Bottom Three seats, Seacrest turned around less than a minute later and told him to go back to safety, as he was not in the Bottom Two. Perhaps they just wanted him to enjoy the Stevie Wonder Motown medley? I smell conspiracy!

Once Stevie performed, Sarver was revealed as the contestant with the lowest number of votes. Finally America got something right! Ryan announced, without asking Simon, that the roughneck would be singing for his life. This was an opportunity, by the way, that the vocally superior Jorge Nunez and Jasmine Murray were not afforded.

Sarver’s rehashing of “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” brought back memories of last week’s ousted Alexis Grace, whose exit song, “Jolene,” was also about begging and pleading. Sad. There’s a lesson here.

The judges — no surprise here — chose not to keep Sarver around for another week, although they made a half-hearted attempt to look like they were thinking about it.

One wonders if they would’ve chosen to keep Giraud, as he is one of the strongest performers on the show. One also hopes we won’t have to find out.