Season 2: Bad Blood

I have been seating here before the monitor for the last fifty minutes, muttering angrily to myself as I keep hammering away at the keyboard. I have been unable to type even six words without degenerating into "Josh must die!", "Stupid show", and some words best left unsaid. I'm so disillusioned with the judges, the show, the voters, everybody. How on earth can you people let Josh Don't Tell stay on this show and kick out Trenyce? Trenyce! She put on her best performances this week and she is an unanimous studio favorite and rightfully so: in a show where the men are complacent, she and Burger Queen really bring it on tonight. Burger Queen's biggest mistake is trying to do I Heard It Through The Grapevine while Trenyce scores a perfect ten with her song choices this week. Josh Don't Tell butchers his songs until even the entrails turn putrid, but apparently he's good enough for America while Trenyce isn't.

You know what, now I want Josh Don't Tell to win this show. America wants Josh? Let's give them Josh. Josh on MTV 24 hours! Josh in bad movies! Josh on Payola radio! Josh on Number One in the Billboards Singles chart for 58 weeks! A Mowmoint Laik Theees!

I'm so angry. This is just not right. If Trenyce goes last week, I understand: she isn't at her best. But this week she is at her best. Hell, she is the best this week. One more time - this show sucks. This is just not right, people, not right at all.

Anyway, welcome to this week's edition of No, We're Not Dead: Walk Of The Has-Beens That Just Won't Go Away also known as The Marines Ruined My Life. For the stupid teenyboppers who are walking examples of how youth and good taste never go together, this show is known as American Idol 2. Welcome to the show, the host is Ryan Sleazebag, and today, he is wearing a Yellow Gay Tapioca shirt, jeans, and glasses on his nose. He thrusts his mic to the audience, saying "Welcome to..." and the audience answers, "We are all stupid! Yeah!"

Thunderous applause, credits roll, and music is officially dead.

I look at the metallic blue people-thing walking on the credit sequence. They're ugly.

Camera pans across the audience. We see signs. One is very nice: "Bush/Gracin 2004". Hey, I have a hunch that Dubby will really like Josh Don't Tell. They can get drunk and insult drag queens while boasting about how Josh Don't Tell served his country in this great war that he took credit for... oh, right, he was at a luxurious mansion, getting a pedicure and manicure while other supply clerks are being tortured by Iraqi soldiers. I thought America is tired of jokes about Dubby, but now we have future electorate of America wanting Josh Don't Tell to be in the White House? Because "Oh, he's like, you know, a Marine, and if we don't support Marines, I hear, like, terrorists will win or something?" Perfect. Dan Quayle, you can now hold your head up high, my potatoe-loving friend.

Sleazebag announces that he's now a gigolo. I thought he was on this week's Blind Date, which, upon some thought, isn't any different from being a gigolo. Okay, my dear Sleazebag, if you say so, we'll all consider you a gigolo and pay you ten dollars to do weird things on yourself with a tire pump.

Oh yes, I hate this show, why do you ask?

Sleazebag calls Randy Randy "half-man, half-dog, all-Jabba". Only I made the "all-Jabba" part up. He says that he tickles Randy Randy's stomach only to get Randy Randy grabbing his leg. I picture a humping Randy Randy against Sleazebag's leg and my tibia and fibula both protest in pain at the image in my head. Miss Paula is said to be small but beautifully packaged. King Tut gets a canned recording of crickets chirping. Or maybe those are the sounds of him and Sleazebag getting it on to Ruben's Ain't Too Proud To Beg? King Tut brings up Sleazebag in Blind Date. Sleazebag tries to change the subject. He says that tonight the contestants will sing two songs: one from the 1960's and one a Neil Sedaka song. How a Neil Sedaka song differs from a 1960's song, I don't know. Why Neil Sedaka? Well, I guess Paul Anka is too busy.

We bring out Neil Sedaka himself. If he reminds you of Uncle Les, that sad old roue who keeps hanging around young Speedoed studs around pools, beaches, and bath houses while wearing a pair of Speedoes three sizes too small and hoping desperately to cop a feel, you are astute, my friend. He will soon come on to every male contestant here like a sex-starved freak with a Viagra in his pocket in a Hugh Hefner party. He also loves to remind everybody that he writes his songs. Since I cannot transcribe every word the judges say without falling into a pain-induced stupor, I'll just point out here that when it comes to judging his songs, he's talking more about himself. If not that, it's how he wants Kewpie to come into his studio and make music with him. If you still care what Miss Paula and Randy "Dawg, Pitchy But Awright, Dawg" Randy have to say at this point, good for you. But I am beyond caring anymore - sorry.

Uncle Les' tribute video soon shows a scene of him playing piano while the remaining Five sing. Uncle Les is excited today because he believes that the Five will make his songs hip again. After hearing Josh, I'm surprised he doesn't break his own hip to numb the pain. Sleazebag likes Uncle Les because Uncle Les makes Sleazebag look tall. Ooh-kay. Uncle Les keeps calling the five "models". I really don't know what he's talking about, unless he's talking about the guys he keeps hitting on "modelling" for him in his studio or something. Then again, what do I expect from a stupid Fox Network show?

First round is the 1960's tunes.

Ruben steps out wearing scrap iron from all the wrecked cars in 205. He plasters on his vacant stupid smile and reaches for hamburgers as he clunks through a routine, lacklustre performance of Ain't Too Proud To Beg. The falsetto is off, he can't hit almost all the notes correctly, and it's as if he has just woke up, walks right in, and sings all the while wondering in his head what's for dinner. Lazy, complacent, useless. I think Ruben has hit a brick wall where raising the bar is concerned.

But they all love him. Because there are lots of sweet candies in Ruben's ass, which is big enough to fit all four heads of the judges. I hope they suffocate up there. Uncle Les says that most new singers make him nervous, but with Ruben, he's never nervous. He practically undresses Ruben with his eyes. Creepy, that guy.

Trenyce comes in wearing a dress that will hopefully hypnotize the judges into loving her. I understand desperation. The judges keep ignoring her and tongue-bath the complacent lazyass contestants of this show. Even if she presses a gun at their heads, they probably will still insist that Ruben is good even if he slurs his way through some song while chewing on hamburgers. Her song is Proud Mary and while there are always obvious pitch problems, Trenyce handles the song like a pro. Since this show hates her, they have Barney the Dinosaur suffering from tonsilitis duetting with her in the Ike Turner parts, with Macy Gray's evil twin occassionally intruding into Trenyce's vocals. Trenyce effortlessly works the crowd and even does the trademark Tina Turner leg stomping thing, and I love it. So what if she can't sing in a polished style like Burger Queen? Burger Queen sings as if she's auditioning for a seat in the United Nations Security Council. Trenyce is making love to you on the camera with her voice, smile, and eyes.

The crowd loves it. The judges love it. Uncle Les who suggests that Trenyce gets her own style - fair enough - while King Tut thinks that her performance reminds him of a "drag show". If King Tut thinks that being a drag queen is a bad thing, obviously he has never seen some drag queens' performances that can be really good. Idiot. Trenyce should have ditched that dress, wear a fat suit, and wobble on stage to smile vacantly and sing absently. Then they will all love her and tongue-bathe her as if she is made from hundred dollar bills.

Josh Don't Tell is next. His song is Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, and may I add, freak off and die, you smug tone-deaf off-key piece of lard. He's back to putting on that fake twang country nonsense. He's also back to his usual nonsense: bend forward, butts up, constipated face, eyelids down in what he hopes to be sexy in a "How Do You Like To Be Molested?" way, and waving that finger at the audience as he shouts-yells-speaks that song in a valiant attempt to relieve himself of his severe constipation. Flat, dull, and useless. Josh Don't Tell can kiss my ass goodbye. He's only here because his fans' tone-deafness and unthinking jingoism complement his uselessness. You stupid fans, I hope you enjoyed that while I pick up the debris of my eardrums from the floor.

Randy Randy and Miss Paula both agree that it's a good song choice but the singing is pitchy. Can anyone tell me how a song can be a perfect choice if the singing is off-key? Uncle Les says that Josh has a nice "shy quality" and he says this with a lecherous grin on his face. Don't be shy, Josh, come see what Uncle Les has for you in his pockets. King Tut dismisses Josh Don't Tell and says that it's a good thing that Josh Don't Tell has one more chance to redeem himself. Yay for Josh, a bottle of arsenic for me.

Josh Don't Tell says with a smug look that King Tut loves drag queens. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a guy who still believes that being called gay is an insult and he is using "drag queen" as an ugly insult. He probably hazes juniors in his high school and gives amazing head once you get him drunk. I can't wait for the Smoking Gun expose: "Josh Don't Tell Has A Mouth Like A Hoover - Drag Queens Tell All".

Sleazebag asks King Tut why that oaf is looking at him funny. King Tut says he can't stop thinking about Blind Date and Sleazebag in that boa thing. Translation: I'm horny and I want nookie and I will wear Trenyce's red dress if you will come to my dressing room afterwards. Sleazebag doesn't seem to get the hint and brushes him off. Sleazebag has taste after all.

Burger Queen I Heard It Through The Grapevine is really sharp. The low register is breathy and the high register is so shrill and painful to listen to that it's like the Heatwave fiasco all over again. Girlfriend here just cannot sing uptempo songs well, poor thing. She also needs to work on that really deep and sharp intake of breath. They are distracting. The bleating cow is back. Time for a Whopper, everyone.

Randy Randy says that it is good but that's all he can say. Uncle Les tries valiantly to be hip by coining a new word for Burger Queen: "Eardelicious". Miss Paula thinks everybody is good, and Burger Queen is no different from everyone else she loves and wants to love and oh why can't we all get together, the promise of a new day so rush rush, people, come to meeeee! King Tut says that he can hear performances like hers in any church in America. Assuming he goes to church, which is very unlikely if you ask me. He is disappointed and says that Burger Queen isn't at her best. Since Burger Queen has straight hair now and looks like a nice Caucasian girl, King Tut doesn't think she needs to lose weight anymore or looks like some drag queen thing. Unlike Trenyce, who really should try wearing a fat suit and hoping that she will be mistaken as Ruben, because that's the only way the judges will even throw a glance her way.

Next is Kewpie. Build Me Up, Buttercup is his song. You may remember this song from There's Something About Mary and then notice the remarkable consistency of Cameron Diaz's hair and marvel at the same consistency in Kewpie's hair here. If you want to see the ugliest side of a Las Vegas karaoke hall has to offer, look no further than Kewpie's performance tonight. Overwrought, showy singing style in that cloying Manilow-esque way, Kewpie's performance is a garish, overdone theatrical debacle - no pun intended, Kewpinites - that one hears in the early ungodly hours of morning while throwing up into a Vegas gutter while trying to shield one's eyes from the blinding neon glare of a tacky wedding chapel. If there are elevators in Hell, this is the music they will play. Kewpie will be the new Celine Dion in Hell's own Las Vegas. And even Satan will beg to move to Canada. In keeping with the overtarted Vegas whore theme, Kewpie uses a shovel to slap at least ten inches of make-up on his face, and that shovel might have hit a few places on his face hard, because I think his eyes are twitching uncontrollably again. Maybe he needs a few more smacks with that shovel.

My husband warns me that evil little girls and their mothers will really hate me when they read this, but that's okay. My little inbox has a big shiny delete button.

Seriously, I'm not kidding when I say that Kewpie is seriously cheesy and channeling bad muzak tonight.

Randy Randy says that it is great that Kewpie is changing his "thing". Is "thing" referring to Kewpie's gender? Uncle Les says that Kewpie sings like how Andre Agassi plays tennis (balls... boing... boing) - "perfection" and he wants to produce and write Kewpie's first CD. If I'm looking for fame, I will slit my wrists if I hear that Uncle Les is writing my music - no offense, Uncle Les, but 1960s is not up for a revival anytime soon - but then again, I'm me and Kewpie's stuck in the same hell that Barry Manilow resides in, the hell called Copacabana, right there past the mummified scarecrow corpses of Rick Astley and Gary Barlow in that huge field of corn. You can't miss it. Miss Paula says that she can see Kewpie's spirit dancing. Oh, so that's what they call the penis nowadays? King Tut loves the performance but wonders what the song is all about, completely forgetting that weekend back in '68 when he wears the buttercup costume and performed the Twinky Twinky I'm A Star ballet, they were playing Build Me Up, Buttercup and it was his song that night. Kewpie shrugs at King Tut's question - "But it's a British song," he answers. "Good answer!" Randy Randy calls out to him.

"Build me up, Kewpie!" some really shrill girls in the audience scream.

Girls, please. The only reason he will even look at you is to borrow your lipgloss to make his lips even more transluscent in the light.

Okay, next is the Uncle Les Tribute thing. Excuse me while I go take a short break from writing this and go eat some fangirls to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth after watching this stupid show.

There is a five minute interval between this and the last paragraph - if you can imagine Kewpie's masculinity, you can imagine quantum phenomena like the passing of time, surely. Ruben now has discarded the metallic scrap iron for a few million cowhides and he comes on, plasters that vapid grin again, grabs another imaginary hamburger, and smiles his way through Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. Does this dimbulb understand a word he is singing? I bet if he is singing a funeral dirge, he will still be doing it the way he is doing it now - stupidly happy, moronically cheerful, even when he is begging people not to leave him to die of heartbreak.

Judges, commence your tongue bath.

Sleazebag brings Ruben's brother on stage. Because we need to be reminded that Kevin Studdard will personally come over and steal all your hamburgers if you don't vote Dim, Happy Carebear Ruben to win this show. Sleazebag says he doesn't fit in between those two big walking cholesterol reservoirs. My, he's such a comedian today.

Trenyce performs Love Will Keep Us Together next. This one is less forced than Proud Mary, where she is really trying to push forward a personality, and as a result, easily her best performance ever, up there with the fabulous Come See About Me on Motown Night. She growls but she does it in an understated way that doesn't intrude on the song. Her voice is smooth and sexy at the same time, easily bringing out the swinging melody of the song. Then she strikes gold with a perfect high note in "I will!" before closing the song with an elegant note and a graceful curtsy.

Listening to her, watching her, again I am struck by how she performs with an ease that seems natural compared to the others.

The judges love her, even King Tut this time, who says it is "fabulous". Miss Paula gives out a "Yeah!" at this and pinches King Tut's cheeks lovingly. Since King Tut will obviously let himself be eviscerated with a rusty blade than to acknowledge Trenyce as anything but a drag queen cabaret show, this is indeed high praise from that moron.

Josh Don't Tell is next. I think his song is Bad Blood. I think. All I can hear is a jumble of sounds, especially a few that sound suspiciously like the F word (same to you, Josh Don't Tell). Maybe somehow has done us all a favor and has sewn his mouth shut? No, he opens his gaping maw and tries to look at the camera again in that sultry "Come drink your spiked alcohol, bitch!" expression, and I feel my female gonads shrivel in response.

The judges agree that it is better (Uncle Les wants Josh Don't Tell to "feel good" and he wants to see that pudgy freak "relax a little bit more") but King Tut says that Josh Don't Tell is not good enough to stay in the competition.

Josh tells Sleazebag that King Tut is lucky that Josh has his Marine restrains. Ooh, scary, especially coming from a homophobic juvenile amateur bully who can't even beat the said old man in a push-up match. Give me ten, Josh Don't Tell... oh wait, you can't. Go suck on some Dunkins and shut up, please. Can Ruben eat some of his ass away? By the end of the show, Josh might even win over Ruben in the annual Southern Blimp Beauty Pageant.

Burger Queen blasts a beautiful, near-perfect rendition of Where The Boys Are. Since this is Somewhere Over The Rainbow variation 4.5, she has it bagged. Lovely. Amazing. And she still performs like a programmed automaton. But since she has no expunged criminal records and she looks cute now, the tongue bath is still on. She even gets this split screen treatment on the TV. I hate this show.

Backstage. Trenyce gets the camera focused on her for once. The world is stunned. Could this be? Trenyce swallows a cup of olive oil, tells Sleazebag that she "swallows" and it "makes her throat moist". She does this every week before she goes on stage. Right now there are a few booted contestants watching the show from home saying, "Damn it, I swallowed the wrong stuff!"

Kewpie. Solitaire. Karen Carpenter died again, poor lady. The stage dims, because the show wants you all to know that Kewpie is Jesus and he Must Be Worshipped. A halo shines around him. Next week, expect a billboard to descend from the ceiling as he sings telling us all to vote for Kewpie. Just like his previous schmaltz diarrhea, this time around he wrings out all emotions from the song, substitutes the emotions with treacle enunciated awkwardly in the English boarding school style, injecting lethal tranquilizers into every word, every enunciation, every blink of those hideous twinkle twinkle little star eyes of his. It is like the Bride of Celine Dion's second coming to bring forward the Word of Schmaltz. We must all worship on the altar of the new Barry Manilow. All aboard the elevator to Kewpieland!

He won't be so bad if he doesn't try so hard to do that eye-f**k thing to the camera. It's hideous and it makes my skin crawl.

Tongue bath. Uncle Les swears that he has lost his song to Kewpie - it will be now forever be known as the story where Kewpie tries to look sultry and fails miserably because those shooting stars out of his eyes remind me of lesbian Sailormoon porn cartoons. Karen Carpenter dies one more time. Uncle Les is moist in the eyes. He wants Kewpie so bad, he's overacting to the point of being pathetic. Kewpie tries so hard to look modest even if his twinkle twinkle little star eyes are glimmering with arrogance, mouths "Thank you" in a way that suggests he is barely holding back a sneer. I hope you girls don't commit suicide when he finally comes out and reveals that he and King Tut have formed a bond of true love after working together in his post-AI career. The fact that he posed for that People's magazine looking right at home sitting on a toilet floor should have been foreshadowing enough. That is, if his looking like kd lang's even more gay sister doesn't set off anybody's gaydar by now.

Sleazebag offers Kewpie a bottle of olive oil. Kewpie makes more faces. Perfect. Now on to the results show.

Sleazebag has ditched the glasses and now is in a brown and purple vertically striped shirt with a horizontal strip at the front, mid-torso, bearing the words "Westbourne". I'd assume that it's a Westbourne University shirt, and King Tut must have loaned the shirt to him. I just can't see Sleazebag attending an university in the UK. King Tut? Well, maybe he had an old boyfriend who lectured there or something and that shirt was a bye-bye gift to King Tut. Who knows?

He points out a sign in the audience that says "Get To The Results". There are intelligent lifeforms on Planet AI after all. Must be an aberration. Even now the security guards are on their way to toss these people out. Since this is an hour show instead of the usual half-hour ones, he also promises lots of goodies. Justin Gurgling! Tamyra! Burt Bacharach! Mass abduction by aliens!

Sleazebag talks about how the Five were stuck in an elevator three minutes before the showzzzzzzzz...

Group sing - 1960s medley, and people, this one is really good. Seriously, it's really good. I'd buy it if it's a single. They all kick off the medley with Upright (Everybody's Alright), then it's Up On The Roof. There's a Ruben solo in Upright. Trenyce and Burger take over for You'll Never Go To Heaven (If You Break My Heart). Josh Don't Tell has a solo, and it creeps and amuses me at the same time that he's singing an anthem to statutory rape (Young Girl) while pushing it out of his nose like a schoolteacher lecturing an errant child. Burger Queen soloes in To Sir With Love. Trenyce and Burger Queen perform beautifully, duet and solo, and their voices blend together so well that I really hate this show for treating Trenyce like their stepchild and giving Burger Queen screentime only now, only for the useless Carmurp is gone. Josh Don't Tell's dancing is even more horrifying than Kewpie's though, and when Kewpie and Josh run into the audience and thrust their ugly faces at me, I almost died of a heart attack. I know you AI people hate me and the feeling is mutual, but this is evil. Anyway, after To Sir, With Love, it's a group performance of Monday, Monday before Trenyce getting her solo in Chain Of Fools. The crowd cheers her thunderously, but there is nothing compared to the reception Kewpie gets with his solo in Out Of My Head. Working My Way Back To You (With A Burning Love Inside) closes the medley. In the last one, they run down into the audience. Kewpie shoving his face to the camera is bad enough, but I almost died of shock when Josh Don't Tell shoves his fat ass gruesome backside face to my TV screen.

Then Burt Bacharach comes on stage to pimp the new American Idol 2: Love Songs CD. I have the CD and the review should be up in the music pages soon after I've written this, but let me sum it up here: the arrangement sounds like some cheap grade school production, the singing and pacing is so slow on some tracks that I can fall asleep during Ruben's, and Burger Queen sounds like a man on her Somewhere Over The Rainbow (why is she allowed to sing this song again?). Only Tomato - yes, Tomato - and Kimborlee sound good while Kewpie and Trenyce will be good if the arrangement and production are better. Frankly, the CD is garbage.

So to pimp this CD, they invite desperate Burt Bacharach ("Surely you guys remember me? Anybody?") and Kimborlee, Tomato, Carmurp, and Creepy Rickey to make a comeback and sing along. We have heard this before. There is no variation to the arrangement. So there's really no point of this performance unless it's for people who for some incomprehensible reason need to listen to What The World Needs Now Is Love one more time. Oh, and Kimborlee has more make-up on than Carmurp, believe it or not. I guess without Kewpie around to fight for the make-up kit, these two ladies can now splurge as much as they like.

"Funny clip" time. Ruben and Josh Don't Tell demonstrate how using a cheap blue AI banner can make you look like complete idiots that make protozoas look like Einstein in comparison.

Now we see the Nine (minus Corey Vanilli) visiting Tamyra at the Boston Public set. Principal Baldie calls Ruben "Sinbad". Josh Don't Tell gets rightfully manhandled. Tamyra lies and tells them that there are "limitless opportunities" after American Idol. Burger Queen abuses the "Action!" card and giggles that she loves this show. Yeah right, I believe her.

Then comes Justin Gurgling. He insists that he and Kelly Cluckson are just friends, really. The only people who believe that Justin is straight - read: his delusional fangirls - cheer at this news. He says that he is working with many great people, but he can only drop the name "Babyface". Then he sings a songs all about Kentucky Fried Chicken. At least, that's what I think he's singing, because "I see your face/I see your legs/I see your thighs" can't be anything but an ode to a juicy piece of fried chicken... right? "I see your thighs"? Who writes these things? Actually, I like the rhythm and it sounds like a sexy song Usher or Justin Timberlake will sing to drive prepubescent girls into puberty, but unfortunately, the effect is ruined when it's sung by a toothpick with a huge fuzz of hair at the tip. I've come across celery sticks that are more sexy that this toothpick. Miss Paula is experiencing a meltdown. Alas, she doesn't melt entirely into a cytoplasmic ooze, so she still here next week. Gah.

Oh, and Toothpick's album is out on June 10. Mark your calenders, girls. First ten to buy the CD get a free poster and some tickets. Or maybe not. Come on, you know they will hand out silly freebies along with that CD.

X2 premier. I hate these people now. They get to hang out with Hugh Jackman. Kimborlee is there too to cover the premier for that extreme sports network - what's the name of the show again? 54321, that's it. I don't get that in Singapore so I can't be bothered. Frankie Muniz, when he's not being Punk'd, loves to watch American Idol. I'd bet this walking Chuckie doll loves Kewpie too. Kelly Hu, James Marsden say hi. Cool. David Hasslehoff and Jon Voight, two of the worst examples of ugly, say hi too. But Hugh Jackman, people, woo-hoo! And he has long hair, maybe mullet (I can't see too clearly), and Kewpie gets to touch him! That's it. I'm so taking part next season. You heard it here first. I'm going to win next season. Trenyce pretends to look sad towards the end and whoa! They make her eyes turn milky like Storm's.

You know, Trenyce will make a much better Storm than Halle Berry, come to think of it. Halle Berry is like Strawberry Shortcake playing Storm.

Finally, we run out of fillers. It's time for the results show. Can someone please send Kewpie to Sleazebag or Miss Paula's favoriye Doc Botox? Anything to stop his amazing freaky facial expression parade, please. Trenyce mouths a silent thank you to the audience walks down to the Seat of Shame - she knows her time is up. Then comes to shocker: Josh Don't Tell is safe while Ruben gets the next Seat of Shame (at this point of the contest, we now have Bottom Two instead of Bottom Three for obvious reasons). The audience booes. Josh Don't Tell covers his face with his hands - shocked and embarrassed, hopefully, as he should be because he is here solely because there are enough Rumsfield groupies out there who believe that a vote for Josh Don't Tell is a vote against the terrorists. This is why I say we make Josh the American Idol. After a month's worth of media oversaturation of Josh Don't Tell, these people will be regretting the day they "vote for freedom on American Idol". How stupid can people get?

The judges are shocked. Because Ruben is there. King Tut is furious. So am I. I'm furious for Trenyce because other than Miss Paula who includes her in her uncharacteristically blunt critique on the audience's choices this week, the judges are all decrying Ruben's presence in the Final Two. I wish I have a tolerance for magical singing stupid puppies, because that's what Ruben is: a stupid puppy who just happens to sing like Luther Vandross. And bloody hell, they call Trenyce an imitator when we have Ruben and Kewpie channeling the same old crock week after week. Ruben just stands there, sings, a smile on his way that remains even when he is singing about heartbreak, despair, and how they make him go on a mass starvation diet after he wins, a diet that makes Ethiophia look like the land of plenty.

These two get to perform again. Trenyce goes first, blazing Proud Mary like the unpolished but charismatic raw talent that she is. She told an interviewer earlier this week that after King Tut's critique of her last week about her "mask", she realizes that it's time she stops trying to impress the judges and just let everything roll. This week, it's apparent that she's taking this philosophy to heart. Oh, Paybee, you deserve better than this, you really do - "Looking for a job in the city/Working for the man ev'ry night and day/Then I never lost a minute of speed/When worrying 'bout the way things might have been/Big wheels keep on turning/Proud Mary keeps on burning/Rolling... rolling... rolling on the river."

Ruben whispers audibly to her that she is excellent. Then the guys bring out the mic stand so that Ruben can stand there, smile, grab hamburgers, and sing Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - I shake my head in disgust. Even now, this dim smiley "velvet teddy bear" still doesn't get it, does he? Step up the game, stupid!

Miss Paula throws a yellow flower at Ruben when he finishes.

Faced against so many odds - blacklisted by the judges, ignored by the producers, mocked by the media, banging her head against the Wall Of Idiots that are the chains of Carmurp and Josh Don't Tell fans - Trenyce is given the cut. The add salt to the injury, the entire place is cheering because Ruben, who really deserve to be down here for being complacent and unimaginative and so freaking boring, is safe. But she takes it all in, smiling gracefully, trying not to see the festive celebration around her. She thanks everybody, especially Miss Paula for bringing her back as a Wild Card ("I love you," Miss Paula calls back), and her eulogy video ends with her saying she is "definitely going to make it". She ends the show with Love Will Keep Us Together. Tonight is her night, tonight sees her performing two amazing songs and enjoying a solo spot in group performances because the producers have run out of pretty blonde monsters to front everybody. And they reward her with her undignified ouster which she takes in with grace.

I know this is coming. But damn, it still breaks my heart that she loses out to Josh Don't Tell. She has been treated the most unfairly in this show (even Corey Vanilli, the alleged sibling beating gnat, is treated with more dignity by the media and the show) and despite the producers and judges more than happy to see her disappear, she carries on like a trooper. Proud Trenyce, with no one-note occupational gimmicks or having the honor to be Kewpie's beard to marshal moronic teenaged girls to her rousing musical battle cry, has given all she has. Ladies and gentlemen, the Grand Trenyce has exited the building.

And I no longer care what happens to this show anymore. Wait, I care - I now want to see Josh Don't Tell win this stupid show. Josh, you are freedom, you are honor, you are courage - show America what you are really made of. Give 'em hell, bwahahahaha!