Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Two for the Show

So. How do they top last week's threesome? They don't. It was a night of spastic versus plastic, and yet, charming as that sounds, the penultimate episode of this season was just --

Anti. Climax.

Nevertheless. Everyone tried to do it up right. Randy was looking Minty Fresh, Paula had the ladies on display, and Simon even bothered to put on a jacket for the big night. Ryan, for his part, was barely showing his scars from his tumble earlier this week.

This was a good season of Idol. The judges snarked on contestants and each other, except for Randy who was usually odd-man-out in the festivities, trying to appear too-cool to get sucked into the mire but ultimately coming off as just not game or witty enough to participate. But Paula had plenty of pill-induced breakdowns to keep us watching and Simon let loose with his usual barrage of demeaning comments. As a bonus, thanks to Ryan, there was enough of a homoerotic charge to make Jack Kerouac proud. (<--last writerly reference of the season.)

As for the contestants, as much as I'd hoped they were flipping the script this year, it ended up playing out in a similar manner to most seasons of Idol. There was a shocking elimination, a charming underdog, a couple of pretty, vapid girls, and a freak. But did anyone, at any point along the way, ever really expect the freak wouldn't reach the finals? And has any other freak from other seasons ever come close to making it so far? Nope.

Once again, the producers played the audience like a fiddle. Once again, I loved it.

But tonight, all the fun was gone. Tonight, Ryan assured us, was serious business. What a shame. They tried to up the ante by stocking the audience with actual B-listers instead of D-listers, so we got Mandy Moore, Ben Stiller and Taye Diggs in the audience.

And yet, the highlight for me was seeing Constantine in all his skeevy glory right up front. How does this guy manage to attend so many Idol shows? Does he even have a fucking job? Or is that his job -- professional seat filler for Idol shows?

I've said before that this season the producers stacked the deck with the performers. Of the top four, three of them had extensive experience performing. The producers thought they'd found their rocking King of Diamonds in Chris Daughtry. He should've been able to fuse the fangirly, cream-the-jeans crowd with the wannabe cool sensibilities of the male vote. But his crown got knocked off early when an undercard stole the show for a brief time and Elliott cemented his status as the season's Jack of Hearts with his soulful voice and ability to make even cynics say "Aw."

So that left two cards to be played. Katharine, she's more than ready to leave her princess position in the dust and ascend to Queen of American Idol 5. But with her weeks of screechy performances combined with the way she reveals her inner-ugly when under pressure she's proven herself to be a Queen alright -- the Queen of Spades. In gambler parlance, this trump card is simply known as The Bitch. Or, in Kat's case, The McBitch.

As far as entertainment purposes go, I'll give Kat her due. She did give us some of the most stunningly bold and, ahem, revealing moments of the season. Between her button-popped beaver shot during "I Have Nothing" and her stage-humping antics of "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," Kat really came from behind, overtaking Kellie Pickler in dramatic fashion to proudly wear the Miss McPhuck-Toy sash across her expensive tits this season. It's too bad that vocally "I Have Nothing" was one of her worst moments, and that "Black Horse" was mediocre. And those performances were nestled amongst the forgettable "Bringing Out The Elvis," the over-divaed and under-delivered "Who Wants to Live Forever," the painfully bad "Against All Odds," the confused "All Shook Up/Hound Dog" medley, the horribly out of tune "I Believe I Can Fly," the boring "I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues," and the insipidly craptastic "Can't Help Falling In Love."

So basically, other than out-of-tune katerwauling and gratuitous McPhlashes of skin and sex, Kat was able to turn in exactly ONE good performance for the entire second half of the season: "Over The Rainbow." She sounded good, she looked lovely and she apparently hadn't used up the last of her nine lives or her pretty girl entitlement dowry yet because that one song alone pushed her into the finals. (Or, more likely, Nigel gave her a helping hand. Because I don't care how many phones they have, that one, half-filled gymnasium of pre-teen girls can't possibly text that many votes, and I refuse to believe there are that many horny men out there willing to give up a Tuesday night to vote her into the finals. Or are there really that many horny men out there?)

Tonight she had to reprise a couple of performances, along with singing her shockingly bad new single, "My Destiny." She chose to resurrect "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," but there were some changes. After seeing her charming audition footage again, I was reminded that once upon a time a short while ago, this girl actually was cute as a box of puppies.

But she's grown up on the show. She's lost some weight and picked up some attitude. She's matured. She left the stage-humping behind for tonight's rendition of "Black Horse" but she still blithely missed the mark when it comes to connecting. She shook and smiled and took this song about abortion and made it into a jiggly, giggly seduction. Very mature, yes.

But you can't keep a good, slutty girl like Kat up for long, so for her second number she reprised "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and sang it in a note-for-note and choreographed movement-for-choreographed movement replay of last week.

The judges were cool about "Black Horse" and again enthusiastic about "Rainbow." The best part of it was that it gave us one final trademark Paula incoherent moment as she tried to babble some feedback about possessing and being possessed by talent and fathers everywhere and some other useless, meaningless shit that I'm sure confused the hell out of Kat.

But I applauded Paula. Rarely is someone so thoroughly possessed by alcohol and mood enhancers and yet so publicly accepted in their all-possessing inebriation.

Anyhow, with one winner and one loser of a performance, that meant Kat had to deliver on her new song if she wanted to claim victory on the stage. These are the cringe-worthy moments of Idol, when the unadulterated bullshit of these "winner's songs" gets unveiled for the first time. Kat's song, "My Destiny" was no exception. Out in the audience, Chris Daughtry sat in his seat and said to himself, "Thank you God for booting me out at number four," as Kat sang this song. Meanwhile I sat at home and realized that for as satisfying a moment as the Daughtry ejection was, he sorely deserved to be there instead of Kat. Maybe he was an asshole, but he wasn't a tone-deaf asshole. I think I owe him an apology at some point. But, you know, McPhuck that.

Honestly, the lyrics, for Katharine, weren't too badly mismatched. It was all about her, after all. But if I hadn't seen her suck out so thoroughly on so many other songs, and in such a similar manner, I'd have sworn she was throwing the competition. It started off rough, and by the time she was done that song had been brutalized worse than Vito Spatafore just was on The Sopranos. Not even the full choir could help her out. But the ultimate disaster for her, due to all the weight she's lost, and the dress she was poured into, was that her tits looked small. Her creepy McPhather wept more than Elliott. I'm not sure it was out of pride after that mess.

So that left Taylor. When they first put him through to the final 24, I think the producers expected him to do well, but they probably also assumed his act would grow wearisome to the viewers. I don't think they ever truly expected him to become the ultimate trump card, they just sort of shuffled him in as The Joker.

I assume once they started seeing the vote totals coming in, and how the numbers kept increasing on a weekly basis for Taylor, is when they really got the shit scared out of them. I know a lot of Elliott fans read this blog, and a lot of people think Elliott took a raw deal this year. I'm not disputing that, but I think it's worth at least a mention that Taylor got toyed with more than Tickle me Elmos during the Christmas shopping season of 1996. Once the producers saw the flop come down and realized that Taylor was holding the monster hand, they tried to fuck with the turn card on Country Night and then the river card with Queen night.

On Country night, when Taylor was forced to switch his song at the last minute to "Take Me Home Country Roads," it nearly resulted in a breakdown as disastrous as Barbaro's. But it didn't. If the producers did see Taylor as The Joker -- the court jester -- they truly underestimated how devoted his audience and oft-name checked "Soul Patrol" really was. Because not only did Taylor survive, he didn't even hit the seal. Their Queen night shenanigans backfired sorely on them when they slapped "We Are The Champions" out of his hands because Taylor turned around and torched the place with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Even their crappy editing of trying to make him look like the asshole for switching his song at the last minute didn't blip on anyone's radar.

He had another bad night in there when it came to love songs when he dogged "Just Once." But it was at that point that it was clear that Taylor had stronger survival instincts and better luck than Rasputin.

I guess what the producers underestimated wasn't Taylor's talent so much as his likability factor -- you know, the IT, the X, the star potential. I don't think it's crazy to surmise that he's standing at the final two not only because he sings good and is an entertaining performer, but also because he's avoided the pitfall of pissing anyone off.

I, for one, have a seemingly endless supply of venom, but Taylor was able to effectively de-fang me early in the process. (I admit it, I'm rotten. Mr. Daughtry, I'm sorry. Let's hug it out, bitch!)

Sure, some people dislike his style and his schtick, and I've heard plenty of mentions of how he comes across as weird when not performing. I've said I think he seems tightly wound, and the reason he seems so natural onstage is because performing is a conduit for all that energy to escape. But when he's standing still that manic edge sort of collapses inward and he gets a little twitchy. But isn't that just all the more reason why he should be on a stage performing for people? He's not designed for interviews, he's designed to sing and entertain. I don't see why he wouldn't be syncopated from "normal" people. Besides, normalcy is so fucking overrated. Chris Daughtry, he was a normal, average guy. (Well. As normal and average as an eggheaded, wallet-chain wearing, groomed eyebrow, not-rocking fame-whore can be. Maybe I'm not that sorry.)

There was some backlash about the sudden Taylor pimping that started on the night of The Daughtry Execution. Other fans thought it was uncalled for and gave Taylor an advantage. Probably, it did. But really, after the way they tried to fuck Taylor up the ass all season long, it was the least the producers could do to finally extend him the courtesy of a reach around.

At certain points along the way this season, Taylor was savvy enough to lay The Joker card face down on the table. At those times, not only did Simon better tolerate him, but he proved he's got pipes and subdued charisma with moments like "You Send Me" and "Something" and "In The Ghetto." And that's how he was able to beat the dealer. The AI machine had already played their cards with the stacked deck. And suddenly, when Taylor sat back down and picked up his hand again, he wasn't holding The Joker anymore, he had all the Aces.

Taylor, more than anyone else this season, has earned the crown. He went All In when he had to and actually managed to beat the house. And I say this even though I love Elliott. Truly, Elliott's my cupcake -- he's our cupcake -- and I'd have loved to have seen him battling Taylor for this. But Elliott, he's not there -- though he did get the biggest audience reaction when they showed him during the Powter "Bad Day" montage. But it can't be helped that America voted and they voted against cuteness, humility and raw talent. (still bitter, in case you didn't catch that.)

Taylor, he came out ready to win. Unlike Katharine, he picked songs he'd done earlier in the season, and his first choice was Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City." He started from the audience and his clothes were totally money -- a purple velvet blazer and snakeskin boots.

Good for Taylor. Jack Nicholson as The Joker couldn't have picked better. Beyond that, he blazed it. He did some singing, he did some dancing, and the spark of mischief was in his eye and when he was done, the place blew out for him.

For his second song, Taylor did "Levon" and I have to admit I like that song. Randy said he was pitchy, but I thought he was just kind of flat after the whoosh of "Living in the City." It even took him a while to get some volume behind his manic "Soul Patrol" mantra-chant once he'd finished. But Paula utilized once last chance to showcase her incredible dexterity even when loaded by doing her trademark drunktard clap for him and saying something so mind-blowing silly that Simon just had to calmly reply, "That didn't make any sense, what you were just saying, Pauler." Yeah. Like that statement's not five seasons in the making.

I didn't realize how much I liked Taylor until he started singing his new song and I started considering not voting for him to win the thing. It's purely a protectionary mechanism I felt for someone I've grown fond of -- not wanting to see him chained to the seven year contract that could eventually suck the last drop of Soul out of his Patrol. What 19E could do to him artistically could fade the paisley off his fugly, ill-fitting shirts and knock the jiggy dance out of his shiny pants. But since he's at least runner-up, he's in that situation now no matter what, so he might as well have the title and the accompanying glory (and extra cash and promotion).

Besides, I think if Taylor really wanted out, he'd have found a way out. I think he does want this title. I think he wants it from his toes all the way to the grayed ends of his famous hair. Which is not to say that Kat doesn't want it. But there's a vast difference between the "wanting it" of a 29 year old, poor Alabama musician and the "wanting" of a 21 year old, Sherman Oaks, privileged girl. Kat's willing to flash her trash for it. But Taylor was willing to get down and dirty and work for it.

If rumors are to be believed, Taylor did something this week to ease any niggling worries about his future. Word spread like wildfire about dissent with Taylor about the song he's been given as his single. In he said/she said scenarios worthy of a Jerry Springer episode, stories leaked about Taylor tossing a hissy fit and refusing one of the songs! No, wait! A songwriter threw a hiss fit when Taylor asked for a different arrangement and the writer quit! No, wait! They both threw hissy fits and Taylor changed the song! No, wait! Taylor is actually the father of Brangelina's baby! (Okay, that last one's not true at all. Is it? If it is, you heard it here first!) I don't know the specifics of the kerfuffle, but something went down. Bitter people will say that Taylor's an ingrate who oughta shut up and sing what he's given.

That's not what I say.

Look. I doubt we'll ever get such a downright, delightfully pornographic treat as we got last year when runner-up Bo Bice sang "Inside Your Heaven." But even if Taylor's not going to be proud of "Do I Make You Proud," he won't have to be destroyed by it.

It's a bad fucking song, don't get me wrong there. And my question is this: Every year, the judges make a big point to state that songs aren't very good. So why in the fuck don't they get someone better to write something decent? When Taylor first started singing this thing, it was cringe-worthy alright. And no, Taylor couldn't completely redeem it. But he didn't trash it the way Katharine did hers. He actually sang it well and hit some difficult key changes and by the end, when he started semi-wailing, it wasn't half-bad. Oh. Hey Now. I'll never buy the thing. And I still feel a little sorry for Taylor. But it's not as tragic as it could've been. The song is more like a war wound than a badge of honor for him, and it won't ever make him proud. But he doesn't have to be ashamed either.

Taylor got this far by being Taylor. He took more harsh, and often unnecessary and sometimes incendiary, barbs from the judges than anyone else. And yes, I did think he looked a little lost at times during the competition. He did adjust, but he didn't throw in the towel in disgust and he didn't change who he is. Taylor, he just went to the 'fridge, chowed down on some ribs, picked out another fugly shirt, practiced cocking his gun, and then went onstage as Taylor. He missed the mic stand a couple of times, but he still got the job done. And now, he's standing up for himself and staying Taylor. I don't know if they'll actually allow him to put some of his original songs on his debut CD or not. But I do feel confident that he'll at least fight the good fight for his own peace of mind and artistic integrity.

At this point, it doesn't matter what the votes say. (Or what Nigel says the votes say.)

Taylor is the Idol this year. He got everyone's attention when he Cockered his audition, he kept us rapt when he fellated a harmonica as he was passed up to the top 24, he kept our eyes glued with his spastic arm-wind on the small stage, he literally threw himself on the big stage in a convulsive fit and laid next to Ryan in a desperate plea for our approval, he Wooo!ed and SOUL PATROLed his way through interviews, and yes, goddamnit, he did finally get that pesky mic stand knocked the fuck over!

The stakes have peaked, the bluffs have been called, some hands have folded, and now, finally the game is played. With all the chips on the table, Taylor Hicks has successfully busted everyone else out. The winner's pot is his.


V.J said...

Tonight proved whhy Taylor should win American Idol over Kat!.
The last performance sealed the deal.
Sucks Elliott couldn't replace Kat :(!.
he looked cool.

trudi said...

It was funny reading your recap of the past performances of Kat and Taylor because they are a blur in my mind. It just underscores how mesmerized I was by Elliott. I can recall every song he did, their order during the season, the arrangements, and every nuance of his technique. Yet I hardly remember any of the others. Were there others?

Season 5 was Elliot Yamin in toto.

Jim said...

ok the original songs really sucked ass. though completely honestly speaking, as taylor was singing, i thought to myself that taylor just didn't have the vocal chops for it. and the song would have been half decent if it was elliott singing it. at least he sounded good for the 'old' songs. it's kind of sad both were out of tune in parts on their original songs. this is the finale of the show for christ's sake.

Eli said...

You're the bitch.

Grace said...

Dear Susan,
I love your writing,once again.
But I personally admire your remarks on each pic you posted.
That was masterclass!

thecitychicken said...

Sniff, sniff...you...move me! Your writing pierces thru. You're showing more confidence. You have possibly the best writing in five seasons.

Laura said...

Loved your writing, as usual. :) You always make me laugh with your hilarious honesty. If any of the judges ever quit, you should get the job. I love how you word your opinions.

I'm an E-Trainer, and I was glad, in a way, that our sweet Elliott didn't have to sing one of those crap-ass songs tonight. He would have slayed it anyway, though. He was definitely missed, although I loved seeing him shouting "Soul Patrol!" in the audience.

This was the worst final ever. So predictable. I knew McPhee would sing the 2 songs that she had sat on the floor to sing in the last couple weeks. McPhee McPhucked up bad a-g-a-i-n. It was lame that they each had to re-sing 2 of their past songs. Where is the excitement in that?

Go Tay-Tay! He deserves the win.

Suki said...

Hi Susan, I am really looking forward to seeing this finale! I am so happy that Elliott didn't win after hearing how crap the winners songs are. I hear some Kat fans are claiming her ear piece wasn't working? One should maybe remind them that cupcake is half deaf and still sang the rest of the competition out of the water. Everywhere I'm reading what an anti climax this show was - I shouldn't giggle but oh fuck it I can't help it. I'm still sad that this is the end of the show though, your writing has been a great pleasure to me these past weeks and I will miss it dreadfully. I don't think there will ever be another season of AI like this one. There will definitely never be another Elliott that's for sure.

laura petrie said...

So, so great. Too many wonderful things to mention about this. The return of Asshole/Unasshole, and Mr. Wallet Chain all in one mention = almost more than I can stand. I didn't watch tonight (just couldn't do it) but with a review like this, who needs the hassle of the live show. Reading this has made a really tough day all that much better. You rule!

V.J said...

Good job with the writing Susan!.
I know the wongs sucked ass, but AT LEAST Taylor made the best of it, haha. Now, imagine if Elliott sung it. He would've made the song actually decent enough to listen to!. That is why Elliott should've sang at the finale, he would've blown up BOTH songs with his vocals and made the songs better, even though in reality the songs sucked.

It's funny, but after watching both of them sing, I just realized how much Elliott belonged in the FInale, YEAH, he didn't dance around, but he was involved with the audience in a wholeheartedway, like with his soul and energy he brought it. Still he was the BEST vocalist this year, which shoudl account for him being in the Finale!.

Anonymous said...

Great recap, just no more Constantine pictures...please!


V.J said...

You guys, including Susan....feel maybe it REALLY is good that Elliott didn't make the finale, JUST SO, he doesn't have to sing that ridiculous song that Kat sang?! I know Elliott would've made it better and all.....but if he gets s REALLY good recording deal, at least he doesn't have to sing those horrible cheese-infested songs, ya know?! He gets to put something HE wants out!.
Anyways, lets download the song from Elliott "Moody's Mood for Love" on Itunes...lets send a message to Idol!.

V.J said...

Oh and I did notice how Elliott got the loudest chant during Montage clip!. Cool.

BTW.....It's funny but I saw on Extra that Paula AND Simon felt that Elliott should've gone on to the Finale!. I'm thinking, why did Simon PIMP Katharine SO much then?! haha, anyways.....Elliott will prove everyone wrong!.

Noone said...

Susan, you're right about McPitchy, you're right about TPTB tried to fuck up Taylor - damn, you're good and I love you're style.

Most of all you're right about Asshole and Un-asshole...lol

The thing about Taylor is that if you close your eyes he really sounds so very good, if you listen to Kate in this way you're ears Mcbleed. Have to say though it does look as if Taylor has been eating all the food that Kat left on her plate...it must have been comfort eating.

Elliott won AI5 - no question - and I'm so happy he got the best audience reaction of night.

Noone said...

Excuse the 'you're' should have 'your', it's practically dawn here.

Anonymous said...

Susan, I came to your blog only because of Elliott (from the forums), but I'm sure you'd be proud of that.

I'm looking forward to your review of the results show especially another Asshole/Unasshole comment, considering the Wallet Chain will be making another appearance on the stage.

Problem is with AI, like how they're pimping a rocker this season because they somewhat missed out on Bo last year, I bet you they'll be pimping for an underdog next season - but you can never manufacture an Elliott Yamin, he's an original cupcake.

I'm kinda glad he's not the final two, certainly not in Clive's claws. I'm glad he got a "Bad Day" montage, which made everyone cry - the winner will get a victory one, and number two will get McNothing, ha ha. I'm totally thankful he got to final 3 so that he, and his mom, had a homecoming that was way beyond words, or tears.

Check out the reviews on Amazon. I believe that he can make it into the charts just on his single, better than singing any finale song.

Ellen said...

I am going to MISS your AI entries! Maybe you can start blogging about The Sopranos?

P.S. Am I the only one on the planet who doesn't like Kat's "Over the Rainbow"? Her voice sounded lovely, but where was the emotion? The whole POINT of that song is the emotional story it tells. Bah. Am I just too much of a Judy Garland fan?

Myfanwy Collins said...

Susan, As usual, I loved your recap. Here's a line, which made me snort coffee out my nose: but I think it's worth at least a mention that Taylor got toyed with more than Tickle me Elmos during the Christmas shopping season of 1996.

p.s. Ellen, I AM WITH YOU! She is an automaton.

meep said...

I'm with ellen. I hate what Kat does to Rainbow. It's a sin. I have to leave the room.

And what's with these ill-fitting dresses they're squeezing her into? Taylor's shirts from the front and her dresses from behind make them look like a couple of sausages on stage. And we know what Taylor is stuffed with. Yeah, yeah, she's NOT McPhat. But she's at least two sizes larger than the stylist thinks. Like Ryan said, had she breathed in that dress last night, there would have been a wardrobe malfunction the kiddies might never recover from.

Brandy said...

You're awesome.

Cath said...

Great review as usual, Susan. Really have enjoyed reading your thoughts on AI and look forward to your recap of tonight's finale. I'm glad you brought up how TPTB tried to screw Taylor over so many times this season!

And Ellen, you are not alone in hating Kat's version of SWOTR!

Anita said...

I reeeeally didn't like Kat SWOTR either time. That's a song (like the movie Gone with the Wind) that you just don't screw around with! It's beautiful in it's simplicity and Kat's McScales in any song just did it in.
What I thought was such a hoot about her dress in the 3 song ... she talked about how "hot" a dress she would be wearing, and then it was SOOOO tight that she couldn't properly sing from her diaphram, and ran out of air at least 2 times during the song. While her Daddy was trickling tears, her Mommy was probably preparing her critique of what Kat did wrong. Vanity before breathing ... it'll bite-cha every time!
The more I've thought about it, I'm kinda happy Elliott didn't make the finals ... I totally enjoy Taylor, and love E, and I would have been heartsick last night, knowing that 2 good buddies would have been facing off for the big win. Plus ... E will presumably and likely do MUCHO better without E19 breathing down his back.
I found myself nodding and chuckling repeatedly during your review ... thanks for all the neck exercises, Susan. Heh. =)

dennis mahagin said...


You totally crack me up, Susan D.

I haven't read any other AI blogs, but yours has gotta be the best on the block.

Thanks for the gut-busting, insightful reads!


Anonymous said...

oh lordy. i watched the show twice. once with actual eyes watching, second time just listening.

sorry but katharine's weaknesses as a singer were apparent on all THREE songs. she has a good enough tone on that first song, but anytime the song needed to reach high, she would barely skate by the note and then just smile and wiggle like that was as good as a high note. ?

second song was almost nice except then again, when she had to reach high she kinda mews. although it was def her best performance that night.

third song was an atrocity from the get go. at first look she looked like a 3rd grader at a talent show just winging it for mom and dad. on second listen, i cringed for her. McIck.

And yeah it seems someone finally whispered through her hair that she needs to slap a smile on during the judges comments.

paula was SO drugged out, it was almost sad for the first time this season. she went bezerko for taylor's first song and tried to play it off like she was just excited about him. but come on. did she think we wouldn't catch her really off the charts appraisal of katharine? you're brilliant, oh god fathers are crying everywhere and puppies are rolling around in meadows beaming with pride because of you. maybe she got the good stuff tonight.

--blog devotee

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

God I love you.

I was a bit surprised however that you didn't note the way Seacrest was obviously trying to get Chris D back in his seat cuz egghead was clearly trying to absorb as much of the spotlight time as he could get there in the audience...


Jennifer said...

I just read somewhere - sorry, no link -that Katherine will be singing a duet with Meatloaf tonight.

I'm crossing my fingers for Dashboard Light

Alicia said...

Nobody does it better than you Susan DiPlacido. You're my American Idol!

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, my favorite Elliott endearment of yours, "cupcake" - truly encompasses how we feel about him. Eagerly awaiting your recap of Wednesday night.

SusanD said...

VJ -- Elliott, and even Chris, deserved that extra pimpage so much more than she did. But I'm glad for both of them that they're out of AI clutches sooner this way.

Trudi -- Elliott, to me, still has a lock on the best performances of the season with Moody's Mood and A Song For You. Trouble, and, for me, Teach Me Tonight are high on the charts, too.

Jim -- Thinking back, I'm not sure anyone ever nailed their finale song though. But it is a shame.

Eli-- wow. Thank you. My first hate response. I feel like I've arrived.

Grace & Laura & City Chicken -- thank so much. V. Funny City chicken!

Suki -- I agree. I think this was the peak season for AI. Everything was so right. Did you love the finale?

Oh Petrie! This show sucked, for sure. But I hope you watched the phantasmagoria of the finale at least. It was just too outrageous to miss.

VJ-- agreed.

anon -- I LOATHE Constantine, too. But he'll forever be stamped into Idol lore as the skeeviest camera fucker ever.

VJ & Noone -- damn right Elliott gets the biggest audience reaction. I STILL find it hard to believe Kat got more votes than he did.

anon -- Elliott will be fine in the long run. He's too well loved.

Ellen -- You know. I don't particularly love that SOTR of Kat's. But she sounds better on that than most crap she does. I'd never cue it up for another listen. And I think your'e right -- it's over-rehearsed. Very cabaret. But that's Kat.

meep & anita-- agreed! They really do stuff her into those clothes. And it doesn't look good.

brandy, cath-- thank you!

Dennis -- thank you :) But you know what? There is a better and funnier Idol blog. Dave White does recaps for The Advocate. (advocate.com) If you're ever bored and wanting to relive the season, check his out. Hilarious.

anon -- they did overpimp Kat. I'm of the thought that there's no such thing as a too-high Pauler though.

Jordan -- ha ha ha! Chris was loving his few more seconds in the spotlight, wasn't he?

Jennifer -- oh yes. And that Meatloaf duet turned out really -- interesting.

Alicia -- :)

Anon -- cupcake fits him nicely, huh?