Before YouTube, recapping music videos is totally a thing and not a waste of time. Really..
Season 2: And So It Goes
I think I'm not alone in my believing that American Idol proves one thing: good music and primetime TV don't belong together. Take Carmurp the Bleating Goat Girl and Lance Corporal Josh Don't Tell of the Permaconstipation Platoon. They come onto this show and let the usual weirdos - weirdos that are itching for any excuse to go onto their cracked soapbox - use them to run this show to the ground.
Of course, I'm not talking about your usual idiot teenybopper fans who go online and indulge in epic flamewars in the evergoing Kewpie versus Ruben or Trenyce versus Burger Queen war. I'm talking about the aspiring Jerry Falwell groupies who charge out from whatever holes they dig themselves out of to use Carmurp as a soapbox against "slutty colored whores who dress scantily, bring back those good old days of innocence and peace". And the uglier slice of Middle America that uses Lance Corporal Josh Don't Tell as some blind, unthinking "support the war, support America, support freedom, support a pudgy talentless idiot who can barely sing!" patriotism gone stupid.
I'm okay with Kewpie and Ruben being in the Final Four, although that will be anticlimatic - they are as inconsistent as Trenyce is accused to be when it comes to delivering week after week and they are overrated beyond belief. Let's face it - Kewpie has a nice voice but he is a one-trick pony with horrendous stage presence. Ruben seems to come off like a dim-witted guy who can sing but whose vocabulary seems limited to only two words - "representing" and "205". They are good, but far from eclectic as they are hailed to be. Meanwhile, Burger Queen improves week after week, but I don't think she will go any further. Trenyce is inconsistent but she has more stage presence than any of them. But Burger Queen and Trenyce's time is up, it's just a matter of time now. And all because Josh Don't Tell happens to have a "correct" job at the "correct" time.
This is what happens when the Cult of the Red, Blue, and Goat set up basement filled with sophisticated autodiallers - sponsored by the Osmonds and the Defense Department, no doubt - and ruin this show beyond redemption. When genuinely better contestants are trampled down in their misguided zeal, things are no longer funny as much as they are infuriating. They have no vested interest in buying these people's CDs or even to watch TV, why are they doing this? What are they trying to prove?
Here's my deal: when Trenyce and Burger Queen go, don't vote for Kewpie and Ruben. Don't vote for Carmurp - she's transcended painful to pitiful. She's way out of her league, the judges and the media are turning on her, the media is saying that she is sleeping with the producer Nigel Loathgoat, and she has a bad case of acne - her parents pimped her to be the new Marie Osmond but she ends up being a joke on TV. The Utah Child Bride of Nigel Loathgoat, if you will. Keeping her on the show is like forcing little babies to eat puppies. I say we vote for Josh Don't Tell. It will be gratifying to see this mediocre ass babboon being forced to act like some aspiring Justin Timberlake and we can all laugh as we watch his stupid video clips on MTV (with the mute function switched on, of course).
Tonight is Billy Joel's night. But Billy Joel is on tour so they rename this night into Songwriter's Night instead, only this week the songs sung just happened to come from one particular songwriter. I'm no fan of Billy Joel - he and Paul McCartney can both stop making music ever and I can't be any more pleased - so I watch this episode expecting the worst. Mediocre songs butchered by mediocre singers sound like the perfect way to spend the evening, even better than inhaling pesticide for kicks.
Ryan Sleazebag's hair is back to being unruly and he is dressed in casual shirt and pants ensemble. This time his color is brown. He stands there, puts his arms up straight and swings them from left to right and left again, all the while smiling stupidly like that scary huge automated burger monster that greets one at the local drive-in fastfood eatery. The camera pans to his mother and his sister in the audience. Mama Sleazebag and Sis Sleazebag all share Sleazebag's pointy nose. Between Sleazebag's nose and King Tut's weak chin, the children they have will be bullied bad at the playgrounds. I feel sorry for them already. Sleazebag introduces the audience to America, who must be thankful that those freaks are gathered in one place that night instead of wandering around the streets. He introduces America to the audience. Sleazebag, meet stupid. Stupid, Sleazebag. His radio shows must be a real riot, if his "hosting" performance is anything to go by. He asks Randy Randy to show his newly minted teeth. He takes up some stupid magazine and announces that King Tut is just below Spongebob Squarepants, at the seventh position, in some stupid Sexiest Men list. I feel sorry for the country that considers Spongebob sexy and King Tut a man. He holds up a Spongebob doll as the crowd cheers. He throws Spongebob to King Tut and Randy squeals indignantly. Maybe he wants Spongebob too. Or maybe he wants Sleazebag to look at him the way Sleazebag looks at King Tut too. Miss Paula, silent, hopes no one notices as she pulls out the bottle of valium from her cute Hello Kitty bag and downs two of them. Sleazebag says that the show crew now calls King Tut Sexy Highpants. Or something. I don't particularly like to dwell on the possibility that the wizened lecherous old crones of this show like Nigel Loathgoat call King Tut Sexy Highpants behind the stage. Iguanita Barber was right when she screams that we should think about the chil'run. We never listened, we mocked her, we threw her out, and now we pay the price with our own bleeding eardrums.
We have a Celebrity Judge, of course. This is a special one: somehow Smokey Robinson forgot that he died and his walking cadaver now slumbers onto the stage as the crowd cheers on. The tribute to Zombie Robinson is noticeably muted - I'd expect them to throw a better montage clip for a man whose career is more important and more impressive than the likes of Miss Physical. Then again, I hear that they were expected La Joelie himself to make an appearence, and La Joelie's refusal to grace this show with his Micheal Keaton lookalike stint throws the show people into a tizzy. Hence this rushed job of a tribute montage. The audience who do not know who this walking cadaver dressed like a Reservation stereotype is cheer louder than usual. They spent six hours in line for tickets to this show when they could watch everything on TV, so you bet they will cheer, scream, and commit lemming suicide when the sign flashes on. The camera pans on two idiot girls who are holding up a sign: Support Freedom. Josh Don't Tell fans, no doubt.
Zombie Robinson says that he watches this show everyday with his good friend the Monster from Tales From The Crypt and he is honored to sit here and "judge" the contestants while watching the show. Apparently judging is now the word to describe imbecilic useless prattle. Sleazebag says that Zombie Robinson is really bringing it on - he can feel Zombie Robinson "gyrating" on the stage. Fans of necrophilia can rejoice, but excuse me while I undergo some dry heaves.
For this show, they have the contestants introducing their song and La Joelie adding his perspectives on the songs through a recorded televised montage at the back of the stage. We start with La Joelie giving a general introduction to his work. He says he is modest. He then talks about how he writes songs, performs, produces, and on and on before adding modestly that, aw, it's just his job, you know. He can't wish everybody good luck because that will mean that everyone will win, and Modest La Joelie can't have that. He'll just hope that viewers are smart enough to vote off Josh Don't Tell. Okay, he says some inane prattle about doing one's best, but this is American Idol - subliminal messages are everywhere. La Joelie wants you to hate Josh Don't Tell. Instead of a recording contract, send him laxatives so that he can finally take a dump instead of trying so hard every week on stage to lose his dinner. King Tut, Josh Don't Tell ain't fat, he's just constipated.
Kimborlee opens this show. She chooses It's Still Rock And Roll To Me because she's doing this for Mommy (read: Stage Mommy made her do this). La Joelie laughs when people calls him a rock star because he isn't, he says. He's a musician. Blah blah blah. Whatever. Give me Joan Jett anytime over La Joelie anyway. Kimborlee isn't too bad but I bet I can hear performances of similar quality at Southern Rodeo Beauty Pageants everywhere. A little too shouty and a little flat at places, that's Kimborlee.
Randy Randy says she looks great, but there are pitch problems but at the end, it's alright. Zombie Robinson says she is terrific, he loves her confidence and charisma, and then slinks back into his undead stupor. Miss Paula says that Kimborlee is successful every week and tonight she is great so can someone pass Miss Paula some of those cute red pills she saw on the pharmacy early today? King Tut expects better and believes that Kimborlee is capable of better. He says that her performance is verging on "six, seven flags". Everybody else booes. These idiots are so predictable.
Kimborlee runs to Auntie Sleazie for comfort. Sleazebag calls for a commercial break. Don't touch that dial, he says. In fact, play safe, he adds - don't touch anything. Damn, that spoils my mood a lot.
Next is Ruben. He likes the movie Shrek because Shrek is 205 like him. Everything nice and good is from 205, don't you know. But he's not wearing anything 205 today. His 205 jerseys are on loan to the local army base because those poor soldiers ran out of paracutes. So today Ruben is wearing what seems like army fatigues complete with an American flag on it. Hey, Ruben, are you reading this? How nice that you took my advice last week to play the patriotism angle to leech some of Josh Don't Tell's idiot fanbase. Next week, for Diane Warren week, I suggest you come wearing nothing but an American flag. Then we will all love you while Josh Don't Tell will get so jealous, he will finally soil his pants for the first time since 1976. Anyway, Ruben sings I Love You Just The Way You Are from Shrek, and he gives this song the same treatment that he gave his song last week, the week before, the week before that, and the week before that. After so many weeks, Peabo Bryson lite is just not exciting anymore. He even acts the same - that vacant smile and that hamburger grab gesture are all there. But this week he sounds especially harsh. Is his throat okay?
Randy Randy says Ruben shows how it is done. Zombie says that Ruben has it. Two contestants in and Zombie is already shaping up to be the worst celebrity judge ever, topped only by the ultra-vapid Miss Physical. Miss Paula says that "every woman just want to hear those words" - so don't mind Miss Paula's face lifts, Botox treatments, and liposuction, love her for the real her, please - and "every woman love you just the way you are". King Tut says that Miss Paula "chokes so beautifully". She says that she is saving her best for him. King Tut smiles that adorable rakish way of his and tells Ruben that he is becoming "Barry White" predictable. King Tut knew before the show began that Ruben will choose this song. Ruben's good, but King Tut suggests that Ruben lay off the Barry White thing and do something different for a change. Be like... Trenyce, only not like Trenyce whose risk takings get slammed by King Tut, be like... er, whatever. I find it funny that last week, King Tut said that Ruben gave a performance of the season and this week he is saying that the "performance of the season" is predictable.
Audience booes King Tut again. For King Tut's inconsistent blabberings, I say he deserves what he gets.
Ruben is sweating profusely, light is reflected from his shiny forehead. And all after a one minute and twenty seconds performance? This is the guy the show is fixing to be the new American Idol? I wonder what the insurance people will say of this walking cardiac arrest. Ruben's outfit almost makes him look like the giant bowling ball that destroyed 205. He towers over poor Sleazebag who can only pat his chest flirtatiously.
It is reported that during the ad break, King Tut sings this song to Miss Paula while making a grand gesture of waving goodbye at her. This person who is in the audience describes those two as "creepy". I think Miss Paula is being very generous with her stash.
Next is Burger Queen. She has been playing up the "small town girl" angle week after week, but for today, she declares that she's all about the bluesy, jazzy sophistication that is New York State Of Mind. Since this song is yet another Somewhere Over The Rainbow, she pulls it off with ease and style that easily makes her the best performer tonight. Her stage presence still could use some improvement, but damn, that singing! Her New York State Of Mind is simply fabulous. She looks even better this week than last too.
Randy Randy says that this is Burger Queen's best ever and the competition is getting interesting. He doesn't elaborate on that interesting part though. Zombie - whatever. Second worst judge ever. Who cares what he says? Miss Paula commends Burger Queen for her most professional performance - Burger Queen "nailed it" and she "came tonight to win the competition". She then points her finger at King Tut, daring him to say mean things. King Tut says that Burger Queen took a risk (oh, really?) and made the song her own - great job. You can compare this to what he said to Ruben and infer that King Tut has just admitted on TV that Burger Queen is better than Ruben. Of course, with King Tut's history of backpedalling and contradicting himself, I'd take that faint praise for all it's worth - nothing, nadda, zip.
Carmurp wears a green trash bag over a black shirt and grows a few humongous zits especially for today. She says later that she chooses the outfit to prove that girls don't need to dress slutty to win talent show. Ah, but Carmurp, see, Christina Aguilera can wear crotchless chaps but she can sing. You can't. Your And So It Goats, er, And So It Goes is the longest one minute and twenty seconds of my life. I have flashbacks to all the bad karaoke sessions I have the misfortune to attend. Every time she hits a truly bad note ("And evuh-REE-time, and so it go-OH-oh-OH-oh-AT!") I break into hysterical laughter because it's either I laugh or weep in horror that this girl survives this far into the show when better singers are given the cut.
Randy Randy tells "Ca-rrrrrrmen" that she is very pitchy. He feels as if he's watching a very average beauty pageant. He doesn't feel it at all. Zombie Robinson tells her not to be so nervous and relax. Miss Paula feels that Carmurp doesn't know what to do with the story. When both Zombie and Miss Paula are struggling to commend Carmurp, that's how atrocious Carmurp is. King Tut says that he feels as if he is at a ghastly party where at the end, the kid will stand up and sing for her parents. And if he's the parent, he'd tell the kid to shut up. At this point of the show, he says that Carmurp is just not good enough. Miss Paula snaps at King Tut to shut up but Randy Randy's gleeful hoots of "I agree!" with King Tut drowns her out.
Sleazebag holds Carmurp who is close to tears. He reminds people to "vote for your favorites" because "someone will be going home". For this shameless pimping, I suggest we lock Sleazebag up with Carmurp's Greatest Hits playing non-stop until he rips his ears off with his own hands and eat them just to stop the pain. Botox abuse and overtanning and sleazy smarmy bad gay/sex jokes are forgivable, but pimping Carmurp? Absolutely a crime against humanity. Die, Sleazebag, listen to Carmurp sing and die!
From Carmurp, we move to the biggest evil of this show, Lance Corporal Asshat Brickface Outhouse Hugging Josh Don't Tell (And Can't Crap Either). Since the judges keep saying that Josh Don't Tell is "country", he has fully bought that lie and is now telling me how he is "country" and - oh just shut up. His Piano Man is an excruciating exercise in how loud he can scream the song through his gaping maw. His lifeless "la-di-da" is like a call for laxatives. Of course he's bent over and his face is as usual crunched up in pain because he still can't take a dump. Am I the only laughing at his really fake country twang, although he turned that down this week?
Randy Randy says that Josh Don't Tell "brought it home". "It" can't be that bottle of Alophen that the doctor ordered. Zombie, eh, whatever. Miss Paula says that he is a class act. Head of the Clown Class, perhaps. King Tut shrugs. He tries not to be negative (haw haw) but he's not hearing anything special in that performance. Actually, after Josh Don't Tell is done shouting like that, King Tut is lucky he can still hear. "So what?" King Tut says. Miss Paula makes an irritated sound, grabs the mike, and insists to Josh Don't Tell, "Josh, we love you." By "we", I hope she means herself and her assortment of antidepressants because I certainly do not love that poster boy for Ex-Lax.
Sleazebag asks Josh Don't Tell how long that asshat held the last note. "Eight, nine beats?" He then adds, "Nice workout." That really below the belt jab sails past the dim non-functional Marine's head. Sleazebag tells the audience that it's time for commercial break - time to recover from Josh Don't Tell's shoutfest, that is - and yes, commercials are annoying but they pay the bills, and remember kiddies, "Daddy needs some new highlights." Damn, this man makes it so hard for me to remain angry with him. Josh Don't Tell takes this opportunity to run his paw-like hand through Sleazebag's hair. Sleazebag visibly recoils but he manages to mask his revulsion after one second of weakness by admitting in his usual smarmy style that maybe he really does need more highlights.
Back from the break, it's now Trenyce's turn. She chooses to perform Baby Grand. She sounds a little sharp at places, but I like it. She sounds sultry and sophisticated, and with the way she makes love to the camera as she does... things... to the microphone only drive home how she can command the stage better than her rivals. I adore the way she snaps her chin at the end. She does it better than Kewpie could ever hope to pull off.
Kimborlee is the closest to being as good as her in stage presence at this point of the stage. Too bad that the media seems to be on a smear campaign rampage on both of these ladies. I find it hard to believe that these two are the "Banger Sisters" that shared Corey Vanilli between them - wasn't it reported earlier that Kimborlee and Trenyce have problems being roommates? And now they're gangbanging poor defenceless Corey? Which is which?
Back to Baby Grand, Randy Randy says that she sounds really sharp but she's alright. Typical Randy Randy BS, that one. Can we pretend that Zombie is not on this show? He's vapid and scary at the same time. Miss Paula is too busy conducting her bizarre fight/flirt with King Tut, so she pauses only to say that Trenyce is sultry and understated before resuming her glaring and aggressive whispering to King Tut. King Tut shrugs her off and tells Trenyce that he applauds her because Trenyce made the song hers. While there are some problems in pitch, Trenyce at least makes the effort and that's good for this competition.
Sleazebag says that he wants to be the microphone when Trenyce was singing. He also asks about her hair and she says that they are extensions. Commercial break as he enquires about where he can get those extensions and whether they come in mini versions for his, er, never mind.
Kewpie is the grand finale. He sings Tell Her About It. He starts out singing it like a ballad and when the tempo kicks up, he seems to be unable to catch up. He does try doing that Awkward White Boy Dancing thing of his, and gawd, it is horrible to watch. Those squinty eyes, those sharp chin snaps, those wild hand gestures - man oh man, it's like watching a guy singing while sticky ooze is dripping from his nostrils or something. Also, towards the end of the song he isn't singing as much as he is shouting, although his shouting is never as bad as Josh Don't Tell's Piano Man "I grunt, I grunt, because I can't!" antics.
But does it matter? Everyone loves Kewpie. The only way Kewpie or Ruben or Josh Don't Tell can fail is if one of them get on stage and gnaw off the heads of a few puppies. Although I suspect that in Josh Don't Tell's case, some idiots will rationalize that those are terrorist puppies and hence don't deserve to live. Randy Randy says that Kewpie did his thing. Zombie inane blather whatever yadda yadda peacecakes. And they're paying him for this? Miss Paula says that she loves Zombie's eyes. To Kewpie, she says that she loves his voice (and if rumors are true, she is also trying hard to indoctrine Kewpie in the joys of heterosexuality - as if Gurgling and Coret aren't enough for this lady?) and just wishes that he will dance a little more. That woman is insane. Has she seen how Kewpie "dance"? King Tut asks her if she is drunk. To Kewpie, King Tut says that he prefers Kewpie with his eyes shut. That way, he can pretend that it's that handsome football captain from King Tut's boarding school days that's doing you-know-what to King Tut.
Sleazebag wraps his left arm around Kewpie's shoulders and consoles him by saying Sleazebag prefers King Tut with his eyes closed himself.
Before we leave, we're back at the Red Room where poor Kewpie is forced to sit aside from the others (including Sleazebag) on the couch. Sleazebag asks Trenyce if King Tut has been a big meanie throughout the show. She says that they all take what King Tut says as "constructive criticism". Carmurp nods.
Time out. Next is the results show.
Sleazebag runs out to the stage in dull faded typical suit-T-shirt-pants ensemble. He announces that there are 18 million votes last night, less than the previous week. I guess Billy Joel drives everybody to sleep. Introduce the judges, inane banters, introduce the contestants, et cetera. Without ado, he introduces the group sing: For The Longest Time.
Like pretty much all the group performances, this one is wretched. The harmonies are all off. Carmurp and Kewpie are paired together again. What are they doing? They are making Carmurp even more reviled by insane Kewpinites, and trust me, there are many insane Kewpinities out there compared to sane ones. Burger Queen and Kimborlee are paired off, with Burger Queen tilting her head adorably as she sings. Which guy is doing that horrid falsetto? Is that you, Josh Don't Tell? Leave falsettos to Creepy Rickey, please. Josh gets a solo. Bastard. Kewpie sings the next line. Then Ruben. The ladies, since they are disposable as it's obvious that none of them can scale down the mighty fandom of the three guys, have to share. Burger Queen and Kimborlee aren't too bad. Trenyce and Carmurp, really bad. Trenyce is trying to lower her voice to accommodate Carmurp (or Nigel Loathgoat will be very angry) and unlucky me, the one they showed on Singapore TV is the one where Carmurp's microphone is not switched off. Goat and silk go together like old ladies and car crashes. Then the song is over and not a moment too soon, or La Joelie would probably jump off his hotel balcony in a fit of depression.
Sleazebag offers AT&T users a special bonus. Call in and pay money to vote for a stupid special "AT&T only poll": choose (a) King Tut, (b) Sleazebag, or (c) Spongebob. My, aren't you AT&T users feeling special already. Sleazebag says that he knows he mustn't influence the poll - definitely an inside joke, this - and holds up a huge square cardboard sign saying (b). Randy Randy asks what the question is. Duh, who the audience like most, naturally.
We look at the seating arrangement of the contestants. Back row, left to right: Kewpie and Burger Queen, huddly wuddly. Trenyce and Josh Don't Tell are sitting noticeably far apart: no love lost there, presumably. On the front row, Kimborlee, Ruben, then Carmurp. Kimborlee gets the first Seat of Shame. Miss Paula looks distressed. Or maybe she needs some grass and they can't find any. Ruben - oh please. Carmurp gets the next Seat of Shame, and so does Trenyce. Trenyce gives Sleazebag and the camera a resigned look. She knows - if she's not gone this week, next week she will go. For the women in this group, barring a major coup (see the men coming on stage and eating puppies above), I don't think they have a chance and they know it. It's just a matter of time for each of them.
Silly clip of Kewpie driving a race car and everyone else acting like automatons that repair his car. Kewpie, race cars, Speed Racer gay jokes, this is too easy. I won't even go into that scene of everyone else squirting yellow oil at Kewpie.
What do the judges say? Randy Randy says that this is the time for everybody to "step up the game" but disagrees with Kimborlee being there, and his own pride and ego (Kimborlee is his Wild Card choice after all) do not cloud his judgements, no siree. Miss Paula agrees with Randy Randy. King Tut as usual proclaims that all three people in the Seats of Shame deserve to be where they are (watch as he next week backpedals and praise them heartily) and announces that only Burger Queen shows that she has what it takes to sneak in and break into the Top Three. Notice that he says Top Three - no matter what, this show is still determined to crown Ruben the winner. Show them you are not sheep, people - Tamyra that Ruben next week and show them who's boss!
Sleazebag sends Trenyce back - she's safe. She mouths quietly a thank you to the camera and hugs the other two. Kimborlee and Carmurp are now whispering and hugging. In the end, Kimborlee goes. As her eulogy video plays, only she is weeping. Poor Kimborlee. At the start of this season, she was the star. The judges love her. They insist on bringing her back no matter what. Then what happens? Carmurp. Younger Carmurp who's equally blonde and younger and more to the perverted tastes of the people of the music industry. As the season progresses, we see Carmurp dressing more and more like Kimborlee, even getting the same poodle hairstyle, and it seems inevitable that eventually, Kimborlee will be discarded for a younger version. So what if the younger version can't sing? She's hot and younger.
Kimborlee talks about how she will miss the others, especially Burger Queen's "Caldwell, thirty minutes!" wake-up call, and says that everyone is a winner, blah blah blah insincerity overdrive. The other contestants hug her half-heartedly, and it struck me just how sad this whole thing is. Kimborlee's greatest drive to succeed has become her greatest delusion as well: it seems that only she and her Stage Momma are grieving at this moment. Poor Kimborlee: she learns LA's lesson number one the hard way, that you're only as good as the next younger blonde version.
She doesn't deserve to go, not before Carmurp. She is much better than Carmurp. But then again, Creepy Rickey doesn't deserve to go before Carmurp too. And nobody deserves to go before Josh Don't Tell.
The Cult of the Red, Blue, and Goat move in for the kill, and I guess we can only steel ourselves for the inevitable Final Three of Josh, Kewpie, and Ruben. I hate this show.