The show opened up with a “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” promo featuring Ben Stiller and friends (and by “friends,” I mean “castmates”). Apparently the “Idol” judges’ desk is a new addition to the Smithsonian’s collection.
The promo was witty on several counts. Firstly, it poked fun at Paula’s incoherence — always a crowd pleaser! It also brought to light the ridiculousness of a desk once belonging to Randy, Simon and Paula being housed under the same roof as a desk once belonging to Thomas Jefferson.
History writes itself, I guess. Last but not least, unlike, say, um, I don’t know — AT&T, Coca-Cola, Ford and iTunes — the “Museum” crew didn’t pretend to be there out of the goodness of their hearts. Basically, they came out and said they had a movie to promote.
Seacrest announced that over 88 million votes came in on Tuesday but implied that we shouldn’t count our chickens before they hatch because there were “just over 1 million votes” separating the Top 2. Close call, America! I bet you wish you’d voted that extra time.
The first-ever all-guy Ford music video featured our trio exhibiting their own super powers in a very a-ha: "Take on Me” cartoon kind of way. Adam Lambert’s power seemed to have something to do with grilling out. I’m not sure what Kris Allen’s power was; I was so distracted by how damn good looking he was — even as a cartoon!
Gokey’s power seemed to have religious undertones, of course, as he parted cars on a crowded street like Moses parting the Red Sea. (The only thing red, though, was the Ford Mustang.)
Again, no “Idol Gives Back” this year. Instead, Alicia Keys came out to talk about the charity Keep a Child Alive and Noah from Rwanda, a singer who wants to record an album so that he can help children suffering from AIDS in his country. A noble cause, no doubt. In fact, Noah apparently learned to sing the English words to “I’m the World’s Greatest” in just one week — and looks like he learned to dance in just one day. From Danny Gokey.
Viewers were able to donate $5 by texting “alive” to a special number. Again, a noble cause. But, seriously, Noah’s performance was a little too peppy and joyful to inspire a donation. Remember when the little African choir sang with Josh Groban? Now that left me teary-eyed.
Before the finalists could be revealed, it was time to watch clips of their “Hometown Hero” moments. Danny was up first, with his trip to Milwaukee. Featured prominently was a stalker in plaid pants and a pink feather boa, a sign saying “Scream On” and Jamar Rogers.
For those of you who don’t remember, Jamar and Danny are good friends and made it all the way to Hollywood Week together, until Rogers was robbed of a spot in the Top 12. (Still confused about that one.)
Also featured were tears — lots of tears. No matter how I feel about Gokey as a performer (eh), it was touching to think about how much his life has changed in the 10 months since his wife’s death and how bittersweet this whole experience must be for him.
On a lighter note, if you ever hope to be a “Hometown Hero,” it obviously pays to be from a big city. When I fantasized about my hometown visit, it involved me throwing candy out of the back of a pickup truck in a parade from the Piggly Wiggly all the way to the Domino’s Pizza, in total a full eleven minutes. (And that’s after allotting time for plaid panted stalkers.)
Kris went back to Conway, Arkansas, where he was afforded “free cheese dip” for life from a local eatery. Who needs the title of “American Idol” when you’ve got that? OK, number one: where was his wife? I mean, Jamar was with Gokey the whole time. Perhaps he’s onto the fact that she’s bad for his “marketing.” After a trip to the AT&T store, a visit with his parents and a performance of “Falling Slowly,” she finally showed up at the ticker-tape parade. She was crying — some probably think out of happiness, but I think it’s because women across America are coveting her husband. Kris was probably thinking, “Why did I get married so young?”
Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks did her best Lane Bryant imitation of Beyonce on her new single “Battlefield.” Haters, back off; that is actually a compliment. (Not the Beyonce part, really, but Sparks is gorgeous enough to be a Lane Bryant model — love her!) Accompanying Jordin was the song’s cowriter, Ryan Tedder from … One Republic. Hmmm, suddenly Kara and Randy’s strange song choice from Tuesday makes more sense.
Glambert traveled all the way from Hollywood to San Diego for his hometown visit. Whilst there, he gave makeup lessons to local weather girls, inspired future drama nerd kids and said that “being able to entertain this many people all at once is the ultimate prize.” I mean, yes, it’s good and all but I still think the ultimate prize is Kris’ lifetime supply of cheese dip.
I enjoyed him acting modestly; and by “acting,” I mean like an “actor.”
Gimmicky pin-up doll Katy Perry performed her new single, “Waking Up In Vegas.” Not only did she come out looking like Adam Lambert — er, Elvis — but she also had the worrds “Adam Lambert” emblazened on her cape. Is that even allowed?
After the break, Ryan revealed that Kris would be performing in the finale! Hooray! Shocking — I mean, why wouldn’t they announce “shoe-in” Adam as a finalist first? Perhaps they didn’t want to make it seem too skewed.
Speaking of Adam, was there ever a doubt in anyone’s mind that he would progress to the finale? Ryan tried to tease us with the old “Danny’s never been in the Bottom 3” line but we knew better. Seconds later, Seacrest confirmed as much.
Cut to Adam’s crew rejoicing and then cut to Kara going, “Oh … my … God. Danny!” (somewhat inappropriately if you ask me). You know that she was just pissed that her efforts to screw Kris over with Tuesday’s “chant” song failed.
“None of us saw this coming,” said Simon, as if his best friend had just been run over by a Mack truck. Really, guys, no one?
Maybe “no one” will see it coming next week when Kris squashes Adam’s “Idol” dreams. (Actually, I don’t think that anyone would see that coming, including me.) Get out and vote anyway, people!
According to Cowell, it’s gonna be a real “ding dong!”