No big surprises for the results show last night. But that's the joy of Idol -- even as the main drama is slowly building and failing to hit a crescendo, there are various other sub-plots and scandals to distract and enlighten -- and gossip about during the breaks. From the opening overture of the baroque auditions, the show unfolds almost like an Italian opera in its enormous scope, showcasing gaudy sets, plenty of loud singing, bad costumes, and final curtain calls for those who tragically die along the way.
The big moment of the show this week wasn't when anyone got eliminated. It was fairly expected when the strange-face-making, "too urban of a song" singing Nicole got the axe along with another chick -- and it's not only her name I've forgotten, but also her face. And for the boys, Paul Kim learned that stepping in Sundance's sweat wasn't enough to propel him forward and the first of the gay guys was unceremoniously plucked off. (I knew that target on the shirt was a bad omen.)
But the real drama ensued during and intermezzo, when Chris Sligh publicly and willingly emasculated himself in front the nation. I told you it was a dicey proposition to tangle with Simon so early. Those of us who keep our theatre binoculars close at hand to painstakingly detail every minutiae of the show know how the chorus of the audience can swing unexpectedly and swiftly. The producers, too, know this of the fickle audience. Chris ran the risk of looking like an ungrateful smartass by doing it.
Ironically, I don't really think he did come off that way. It seemed as though he had effectively garnered attention with that comment, with 1/3 of the viewers thinking he was pretty ballsy to even attempt it and getting firmly behind him because they felt he was somewhat mocking the whole proceedings instead of bowing to it. 1/3 got a chickle from the banter, but thought he looked slightly bad because the original insult (the Il Divo and Teletubbies dig) seemed premeditated and that he'd whipped it out prematurely in the competition. And 1/3 did think he was a bit of a smartass who'd overstepped.
So, by apologizing so publicly, I'm afraid poor Chris now runs an even bigger risk: he appeased the 1/3 who thought he was a smartass, but he's somewhat alienated the 1/3 who were giving him props for being ballsy and smartass by backing down and groveling. And the other middle 1/3 are probably put off by another premeditated maneuver.
However, there is one very positive thing that happened because of this whole kerfuffle. Simon's chiropractor got a well deserved day off, because for a change, Simon didn't have to break his back to kiss his own ass because Chris did it for him.
Dear Simon. Our own Sad Clown. Or nasty clown. Whatever. (And yes, all my knowledge of opera does come from Seinfeld episodes.)
But that was only a small interlude before another aria. So Fantasia performed, showing us once again that she can wear heels that'd intimidate even Carrie Bradshaw while singing a song so shot full of boring it makes "Do I Make You Proud" seem like Bizet's "Carmen" by comparison. Poor Fantasia. Won't someone ever write something decent for this woman?
In the best news, I've decided to hand out my heart again this year. It's rough this year so far -- so full of ennui and...more ennui. Last season was the charming, first-date equivalent of when Richard Gere took Julia Roberts to the opera -- unexpected in a delightful, charming, refreshing way that just made me get caught up in it all. Whereas so far, this season is the first-date equivalent of when DeNiro took Cybill Shepherd to the porno movie. It's unexpected alright -- but in a depressing way that just makes me feel dirty. (and not dirty in the Constantine way) But, just like Cybill did, you end up saying what the fuck and rethinking the whole thing and giving crazy old Travis Bickle another shot because what the hell else is there? Every day can't be the fucking opera.
I'm glad to see everyone pulling for Melinda. But here's the thing -- she's got everyone's love, so she's not an underdog anymore. Don't get me wrong, I still dig her and I'm behind her. But I need someone with nearly-hopeless odds and yet a spark of life. Someone I can make my project. Someone to be my Cinderella that I can root for to become a full blown princess. My own little Prima Donna.
I've found him. AJ Tabaldo is my princess. (please keep the obvious cracks to yourself -- lest I label you a homophobe)
I resisted him the first night. He with his arms in the air dancing and knowing smile. But when Lakisha performed on girls' night, there was a brief, cutaway shot of him going nuts, arms in the air, cheering on her money notes. I smiled. But then last night did me in. Look at him:
It's my mission to make sure this boy makes it to the Top 12. Work with me, friends. We can do this. And it will be worth it. This boy deserves to interact with diva Diana Ross. And we deserve to sit back and watch every second of it. Let's give this season some meaning and elevate it from the seedy, dirty secret to operatic levels of indulgence.