Season 3: Ain't Too Proud to Beg

It takes this show earlier than ever to jump the shark, doesn't it? Usually American Idol waits until more than a month before proving critics right - you really shouldn't put important decisions into the hands of the general public, and the music business should never, ever be a democracy - but we are only in the third week of the Finals before the idiocy of the American Idol electorate rears its ugly head. Yes, I'm talking about you, fans of the Pen Salesman, Camile, and Rank Sinatra. These three can't sing for various reasons, but their fans keep them in nonetheless for all the wrong reasons. Why, people, why? They won't marry you and all they care about is your money. This reminds me of the fiasco that is Canadian Idol, which eventually turns into a battle among the provinces. Why can't people vote on talent and overall package instead of petty reasons like territorial support and gender bias? Memo to Hawaii: you will never be anything more than a bigger and tackier version of Disneyland to Japanese tourists everywhere, we don't care about your leis or frangipanis in the hair or the hula dance, even if Camile becomes the new American Idol, so give it up already and vote for talent, damn it!

Anyway, on with the show. Ryan Sleazebag poses with the Ten on stage and says that tonight is all about the Ten trying to stay on the stage, how we all hold their destinies in our hands, et cetera. Credits. The fact that they need "writers" on this show and the whole canned repertoires still come off as so unfunny proves that this show is evil and we are all going to suffer for watching this stupid show. The golems are coming, people!

The audience cheers and claps on cue as Ryan "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" comes on stage in black shirt, black pants, and white suit jacket in a chi-chi impersonation of a very oily penguin that has been turned inside out. He thanks the audience for giving him such a wonderful welcome, which is understandable as it is only on American Idol that he isn't the target of cruel jokes. He welcomes everybody to the show and says that the Ten today will sing especially to everyone tuning in the "tunes of Motown".

Can someone tell me why we need to have a Motown Week just a week apart from Soul Week? Why not a Spice Girls Week? Or a New Romantics Week? How about a Bling-Bling Week, where Huff Granddaddy can get down with the get down with a rendition of Usher's Yeah while Latoya goes all Baby Boy on us? Who wants to hear the Pen Salesman doing an off-key version of Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back) or Fantasia screeching out Hot In Herre?

Sleazebag is pleased to announce that the Funk Brothers have taken precious time from PTA meetings, bingo parties, rehab, or whatever it is that people do after their musical career goes into a semblance of hibernation to accompany the Ten. The Funk Brothers are the group of musicians that backed "nearly every" Motown hit since Motown was founded, Sleazebag explains, and no, kiddies in the audience, Motown is not the name of that trailer park home of that guy who sells you drugs and sneaks off with you to the backseat of his stolen car to have wild sex with you. No, you can't buy Motown from Home Depot either.

Sleazebag hopes that the Funk Brothers will make the Ten "feel at home", which is a cue for the Funk Brothers montage to begin. They are the "unsung heroes" of Motown, and it is only from the documentary Standing In The Shados Of Motown that people are starting to get and respect the Funk Brothers. I respect them more for their subsequent drowning out of nearly every one of the Ten tonight. They must have heard these contestants during rehearsals and decide to amp up their volume as a mission of mercy for American Idol viewers. Thank you, Funkies - you really are our unsung heroes.

Sleazebag tells the Funkies - who are cheerfully seated in the band stand - that it is a honor to have them here, never mind that he probably has no idea who they are before today. The audience cheers. They cheer some more when Sleazebag introduces "the people you've been discussing around water coolers" - Camile! Ten Pen Salesman! Latoya! Amy! Rank Sinatra! J Hu! Princess Jasmelisma! Di Guano! Fantasia! Huff Granddaddy! And here to "show us some love", as Sleazebag puts it, are the judges - King Tut, "who's acting as if he's not paying attention" but we all know that he is! Miss "Knocked Out" Paula! Randy "Dawggone It" Randy!

King Tut looks at Sleazebag and says dryly that he'd like to welcome Don Johnson to American Idol. Heh, heh, heh. Sleazebag wonders whether it is his suit that gives off that impression. Miss Paula chimes in to say that she loves the suit, because she has made it her life's mission to interrupt every single sentence of King Tut with some home-cut uniquely Miss Paula brand of vapid. King Tut says that he hates the suit. He doesn't like anything Sleazebag is wearing, he just wants to see Sleazebag naked. Sleazebag throws King Tut a look full of promises before telling the audience that as a change from the usual "egostical judges", tonight will see two guest judges joining the three idiots at the table. People, let's welcome "songwriting legends" Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson.

In case the audience starts believing that Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson are in the house, the show quickly switches into the montage, where apparently our Motown Siegfried and Roy invented funk and R&B and everything - cool. Then the camera pans to Siegfried and Roy waving at the audience, where many are trying not to cry in disappointment because they have been so hoping to see Nick and Jess, not two creatures who look as if cosmetic surgery has given up on them and now they have to resort to full-blown taixidermy to maintain their wax-like leathery but smooth skin, greasy hair extensions, and scary zombie lips.

Siegfried and Roy are seated between King Tut and Miss Paula. The whole judge table is like a fiendish wax display of Ugly, Uglier, Ugliest, Even More Ugly, and Truly Ugly. Add to that the tacky setting, the lousy background music, the horrid singing, the lifeless female bots pretending to be asexually sexy, and the ugly men - and this show has somehow turned into a terrifying mothership of hellish visages. The Event Horizon of FOX, if you will. Who will deliver us from evil?

The first performer is Camile with For Once In My Life. I don't know how well she did, because I can hardly hear her over the Funkies in the background. She still looks as if she's running out of anesthesia while they are performing a lobotomy on her, although she tries to move somewhat on stage. She looks more confident than last week, which isn't saying much. She shouldn't wear a bra with that cheap-looking pale cream strap under that one-shoulder belly-button baring green top, because it makes her look tacky. Still, this is her best performance ever because seriously, I can hardly hear her. Bravo!

Randy Randy asks what's up there (the ceiling, duh), what is going down there, and what's going on. I think he's burst a blood vessel three weeks ago and he still doesn't realize it. Camile answers, "Alright" to Randy Randy's three questions. This must be how aliens communicate with each other. Randy Randy says that Camile's performance is "alright" because it is "rough and very pitchy". How a performance can be alright if it is pitchy, I will never understand. Miss Paula says that Randy Randy has wax in his ears because she thinks that Carmen - oops, Camile - gave the best performance ever. "Bravo!" Miss Paula says enthusiastically, because her medications give her super dog-like hearing that allows her to listen to Camile over the loud background music. Siegfried loves Camile's eyes, voice, and energy. What voice? What energy?

King Tut calls Camile's performance "average" and "not good enough". The others boo him. Randy Randy however agrees with King Tut. King Tut says that Randy Randy and he agree that Camile didn't raise the bar with her performance, predicting that she has only one more week into the competition at most. Miss Paula predictably interrupts to disagree. King Tut ignores her and insists that the guest judges agree with him too. The guest judges look flustered and try not to involve themselves too much into saying anything negative. I mean, come on, they're paid to only judge a show, not to criticize performances or say anything bad about anything, because that won't be judging, that would be... er, something, I guess. Roy tells King Tut that she disagrees with him, and King Tut asks her why then is she kicking him under the table. Rigor mortis, perhaps? Maybe they put too much embalming fluid in Roy earlier this evening.

Sleazebag asks America to prove King Tut wrong if they love Camile. Camile tries to look enthusiastic about the whole thing, only to come off like some sad dying puppy crying for euthanasia. Won't someone take pity and put Camile out of the competition soon?

Commercials. They are putting out audition calls for Malaysian Idol. Xenu help us all.

The Pen Salesman now steps on stage to perform This Old Heart Of Mine. Ugh, the Funkies fails to completely drown him out so I really have to listen to him. Ugh again. He has curly hair again. He pretty much stands on one spot, moving into a half-squat, and then thrust his crotch forward in short stabbing motions. Eeuw, that's gross. The rest of his movements consist of lifting one shoulder and then the other or waving his free hand in the air. At the same time, his singing is even more mediocre than last week. Seriously, what is this guy doing here? He is hopelessly average - apart from looking like some 1970s teen centerfold, he has nothing that distinguishes him from any Average Joe on the street. His singing is hopelessly mediocre, his dancing can be done by anybody, even me, so really, what on earth is he doing on this show? The only reason he is here is because so many people watching this show are channeling their fetish for altar boys into their fingers as they dial the number 1866-ISUCK-02 again and again. Stop it, people. It's only a little more expensive but more fun to dial 1866-HOTVIRGINBOIS instead. Stop torturing me with this tuneless, off-key Alfred E Neuman doppelgänger.

Randy Randy likes the coat, the outfit, the energy, the personality, the succulent lips, the plump buttocks, the.. er, but the voice lets the Pen Salesman down, dawg. Gee, and he realizes that the Pen Salesman can't sing only now? Miss Paula thinks that the Pen Salesman has a much better pitch this week and thinks that it's the Funkies that are to blame. The Funkies are too well-mannered to run down and smash a trombone over that idiot woman's head. What does she know about pitch anyway? Roy says that the Pen Salesman did his "thing" and served "it" up. King Tut denounces the Pen Salesman for not only failing to fit King Tut's idea of what an Idol looks like but also for the "horrendous" dancing and singing. The Pen Salesman isn't so sweet and virginal anymore when he shoots King Tut a truly icy and murderous glare as King Tut starts ripping into him for not starting to "shine" at this stage of the competition. Randy Randy chimes in his support for King Tut by standing up and clapping as he tells the audience to give King Tut a standing ovation because King Tut is "right for once". Needless to say, nobody listens to Randy Randy.

The Pen Salesman sighs dramatically to Sleazebag and hopes that America will love him if no one else does.

Next is Latoya with Ooh, Baby, Baby. Thanks to the Funkies, I again can't hear her singing well, especially for the first few lines into the song. She has some hair extensions reminiscent of those Trenyce wore during the last season. She finally manages to sound a little louder than the Funkies in the later half of the song, but even so, her performance is unexciting - safe, decent, but bland.

Randy Randy was worried for a while when Latoya started out her performance sounding "rough" but he thinks that she "brought it" at the end. He's not "feeling" the performance, and he's certainly not appreciating the hair. Miss Paula says that Latoya can't do wrong and asks her to throw a shoe at Randy Randy. Latoya giggles as she pretends to take off her shoe. Apparently there's a wardrobe malfunction going on here, heh. Oh, and Miss Paula thinks that Latoya is beautiful. Siegfried also thinks that Latoya is beautiful. I want to gag. King Tut thinks that the performance was great because Latoya shows great control but agrees with Randy Randy about the hair, saying that Latoya looks as if she has a cat on her hand. Latoya says that she just wanted to try something new. King Tut tells her to lose the hair.

Sleazebag and Latoya both agree that it is a beautiful cat that she has on her head. Whatever, I still say people shouldn't wear cats on their heads. It's not nice. It gets naked supermodels from PETA protesting on your front lawn. Sleazebag suggests that Latoya and Miss Paula go shoe shopping together. Or something. If Latoya is smart, she'll just borrow one of the many f**k-me red high heeled shoes Sleazebag keeps in his shoe cupboard.

After the commercials, Sleazebag stands next to someone holding a Burger Queen sign ("K Lo Nation") and announces that Amy will be performing Dancin' On The Streets next. Again, I can barely hear her over the Funkies playing at the back. This is like the Funk Brothers show featuring Amy Adams on background vocals. She has nice hair today though, straightened down and allowed to fall back really elegantly from her face. Maybe I should try getting mine down that way too. Amy does become very audible at the last high note, but unfortunately, that note is really sharp and off.

Randy Randy says that Amy started out great but he finds the last note really jarring. Miss Paula agrees with him but consoles Amy by saying that "we" were dancing to her. Yes, on Paula's back, wearing roller blades. Roy likes the performance but wishes that Amy hasn't sung so faithfully to the original Martha Reeves version. King Tut agrees with Roy that the performance is safe - nothing too good or bad, just safe. He says that he has been thinking for a few weeks now as to who Amy reminds him of, and now he knows. Amy has to ask who she reminds King Tut of, and King Tut says Jay Leno. Amy gives a very loud and somewhat forced-sounding laugh. What else can she do? That Jay Leno insult ranks up there with him calling Trenyce a drag queen when it comes to pointlessly nasty put-downs that has nothing to do with the contestant's actual performance. In fact, at the end of the day people will remember only the Jay Leno comment and not Amy's performance. Thank you, King Tut.

Still, Amy does have Jay Leno's chin. Never mind, let's move on.

Sleazebag correctly points out that King Tut amended his statement to "Jay Leno's sister" a heartbeat after the initial Jay Leno comment but that correction was drowned out by the boos and laughters. He chides King Tut for not saying "sister" clearer, because being compared to Jay Leno's sister is so much better than being compared to Jay Leno himself. Amy laughs loudly again and says that she has no idea that Jay Leno has a sister. Oh cheer up, Amy - King Tut is just jealous that your boyfriend is so much hotter than his. Hi, Amy's Hot Boyfriend!

Rank Sinatra now steps up to perform My Girl, a song delivered in two different notes at most - low and slightly higher. If you take a bottle of bleach and soak this song in it for a month, you still can't find a more soulless version that this guy's. From the start to finish, the song is monotonous and tune-free, and his standing still on one spot and moving only his hands don't help. Isn't My Girl a happy song? Rank Sinatra is singing as if he's some sweet little sensitive boy being forced to look at naked women on TV in some fraternity initiation ritual and he's terrified out of his wits. Any minute now I expect him to drop his microphone and start bawling for his mother. I feel his pain, and I hope he feels mine and will stop singing until he's... never mind, just stop singing.

Randy Randy thinks that Rankie is a "nice kid" but the performance is "rough". Miss Paula thinks that the performance was "a little safe" and that Rankie has to approach the show to win. Safe? Look at my bleeding ears! Siegfried drools over Rankie's "pure and innocent" looks. See, Rankie, the world is filled with horny perverts wanting to do dirty things with you. Run home to your Granny, lil' child, and play that music you love so much - just don't get out of the house and sing on TV again, okay, sweetums? King Tut tells Rankie that king Tut is a fan (Rankie has magical powers that bring out the horny beast from anyone over the age of fifty) and he knows that Rankie's grandparents are in the audience, but King Tut has to say that the performance was "abysmal", with not one note in tune, and this week was Rankie's "worst by a mile". "And Camile," he starts to say, but someone in the audience cheers Rankie and he turns to glare at this idiot woman. He gives up what he is trying to say and just shrugs at Rankie. The fact that the audience didn't boo him and Miss Paula didn't interrupt him suggest that Rankie's horrid performance manages to penetrate even Miss Paula's fogged-up mind.

Sleazebag comforts Rankie because he is actually fifty-five years old.

J Hu steps up with Heatwave, and compared to Rank Sinatra's documentary on a decaying brain performance, this one is one frenetic party with J Hu delivering the happy pills all around. I don't know about J Hu, I really like her and her voice has the potential to be even better than Latoya's, but she doesn't seem to know how to use it yet. Heatwave is a perfect example of this untapped potential: she starts out a little shaky but by the end of the song she's really bringing it. Yet at the same time something is missing - the fun factor. She seems to be really trying very hard for some reason, and while she's good, she lacks the ease at which Fantasia works the crowd. I'm liking her more than Latoya, whom I'm starting to find too predictable and safe for my liking, but she'll have to deliver something more to keep up with Fantasia and Latoya whom she is competing with for those precious votes.

Randy Randy thinks that the performance was good but also "a little over the top". Come on Randy, you can't perform Heatwave without going over the top. That song demands for frantic hand gestures and dramatic vocals. Miss Paula loves the performance, Roy thinks that it's great that J Hu managed to hit the high notes J Hu was reaching for, and King Tut calls the performance "entertaining, manic, mad, but good".

Sleazebag calls J Hu a sweetheart and tells people how to vote for her. Vote for her, people - she's overemotional, she tries hard, she can sing, and she makes funny faces and says quirky things. What's not to love about J Hu? She's more real than many other contestants put together!

Princess Jasmelisma steps up with You're All I Need To Get By. It's another ballad, which is apparently all this young lady is capable of doing. On the bright side, I can actually hear her over the Funkies. On the down side, while she delivers a vocally competent performance, she is just singing, not performing, no matter how many times she tries to hit on the Funkie guy. That's my problem with her: she sings, but that's all she does. She hits all the high notes, but she's not feeling the song. That's the problem, I guess, with all those sixteen- and seventeen-year olds plaguing the show. What do they know about performing outside of the beauty pageant and local talent time circuit? They're all not interesting.

The camera pans on a sign in the audience: "Power to the Flower". I don't think Princess Jasmelisma even knows what Flower Power is.

Randy Randy likes the high note at the end but thinks that the performance was pitchy. The audience boos him and Randy Randy insists that what he is saying is the truth. Jasmelisma thanks him because she's so cute and gagworthy that way. Miss Paula claims not to hear what Randy heard. Of course, duh. Siegfried naturally thinks that Jasmelisma is great. Thank you, Jasmelisma says and makes a little bow. Oh please, bitch. Who are you trying to fool with that fake Aloha Kitty act? King Tut says that while Jasmelisma was bad last week, this week she managed to bring back what he loves about her and hence he thinks that she's the best of the night. I feel the dry heaves coming on. I suddenly miss Kelly Cluckson who for all her flaws doesn't come off like fake robots programmed to perform like Aloha Kitty here and the next performer, Di Guano.

Sleazebag and Jasmelisma giggle like the pretty pink ponies that they pretend they are and it's time for commercials. What is all this Malaysian Idol nonsense, people? Tell me that it's just some joke, people!

Ugh, when Di Guano comes on with Do You Love Me?, my husband immediately shrieks, "It's Miss Piggy!" I look a little closer, and yes, Piggy Di Guano really looks like a Sesame Street groupie in her tacky outfit and mullet-type hairstyle. And what a song to sing! She comes off like the love child of Toni Basil and Miss Piggy giggling and strutting her way through a song that can only be performed at a campy rainbow disco, a Sesame Street show, or a talent contest for prepubescent kiddies without being laughed out of the place, and even for the campy rainbow disco scene, your name will have to be Cher, not Piggy Di Guano.

Randy Randy thinks that Piggy Di Guano gave the performance of the night because shouting and hitting high notes are all you need nowadays to sing well on American Idol. Miss Paula says that Piggy Di Guano "can blow", which would be useful to put in the list of qualifications when Piggy Di Guano tries out for the cheerleading squad, if she hasn't already. Roy thinks that Piggy Di Guano makes her relax. Relax what? Her bowels? Speaking of which, Fatt Gross Bowel in the audience agrees with her. King Tut agrees with the others about the vocals but he finds the performance, "visually", was like a high school performance. He doesn't see any star quality in Piggy Di Guano. Randy Randy challenges King Tut to say whether the latter will hear anything like Piggy Di Guano in a high school. I sincerely hope not. Piggy Di Guano's performance is utter cheesecake.

Save me, Fantasia! She performs I Heard It Through The Grapevine and while I don't think that this is her best performance, she manages to deliver a polished performance with more than enjoyable vocals. Watching her moving on the stage and interacting with the Funkies as if they are her homeboys from day one only reveal the discrepancy between her and the other amateurs on stage. I don't know what she is thinking with that white pelt thing and short jeans thingies she is wearing, but she sounds good, looks good on stage, and I've had a lot of fun watching her. She comes off as real on stage and her singing has character.

Randy Randy asks Fantasia, "You know what?" A group of people take the opportunity to scream that they love Fantasia. He chuckles and tells Fantasia unnecessarily that the audience loves her. He calls Fantasia's performance "absolutely brilliant" and what the competition is all about. Miss Paula says that Fantasia touched every one of those gentlemen on stage. I know she what she means, but still, that came out all wrong, doesn't it? Siegfried says that Fantasia's "other name" should be "Fantastic". He and Miss Paula will be a riot stand-up comedy act, I tell you. King Tut says that Randy Randy and he know that it takes more than vocal talents on this show (they do?) and Fantasia's performance proved his point. He calls the performance "superb".

Huff Granddaddy closes the show with Ain't Too Proud To Beg. He's good, but watching him is distracting me from his singing. Why does he always make his eyes open so wide like that? He's not feeling the music as much as he seems to be staring at me and warning me not to move or he will eat me. Then there's his "I'm A Toilet Ladle" dance: he stands on a spot, moves into a squat, and then bops his bum up and down while he shows the audience his queenly hand. All the while, his wide eyes, all white with just a little pupil, are staring at me, watching and watching... hold me, I'm scared.

Randy Randy has this feeling that Motown will be Huff Granddaddy's night and Huff didn't disappoint him. Miss Paula says that Huff Granddaddy has proven King Tut wrong when King Tut called Huff the backlines of the Temptations during the Group Four performances. Randy Randy agrees. Roy calls Huff a star that doesn't need the microphone. No, just a new dance and less of that creepy staring crap. And also, he can quit that "I'm a special child touched by an angel" Gomer Pyle/Forrest Gump nonsense too while he's at it, because his smile never reaches his eyes. King Tut admits that he's wrong, and Sleazebag makes a big fuss out of it as well as Huff taking a rag and throwing it into the audience.

Sleazebag now recaps the performances. He proceeds to thank the judges for their useless presence, the Funkies for drowning out most of the vocals, the tech guys for bungling up the sound system yet one more time, and of course the audience for watching this show. "Sleazebag out!" he announces, and then Motown Week is done.

Results show. As the camera pans on the Ten standing on stage, the Sexy Manly Voiceover Guy says that the Ten has proven the night before why they deserved to be on the stage and I nearly die laughing. Credits.

Ryan "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" Sleazebag walks in wearing a black suit jacket over grey shirt and bids everyone welcome. The camera pans over the cheering kiddies and their signs. Sleazebag thanks everyone for being with him and announces that he's the guy who administers the weekly American Idol fix. He is pleased to announce that the audience has broken last week's record - apparently over twenty million votes have poured in last night, woo-hoo! However, he reminds people that these votes will extinguish someone's dream and throw this loser back to obscurity. To make his point, he asks whether anyone remembers the Sad Clown Boi of Season One. Well, maybe one person, he says when King Tut eagerly puts up his hand. Unfortunately, he says, people will remember the judges King Tut, Miss Paula, and Randy Randy. He introduces the Ten, wishes them luck, recaps the show the night before, reminds people that King Tut compared Amy to Jay Leno, and then it's time for the commercials.

Malaysian Idol? Please, make it stop, somebody!

Sleazebag is now standing by the judges' table, by King Tut, and King Tut is deliberately looking away because he is still offended by Sleazebag's making fun of his Sad Clown Boi fanboyhood. Now it's time for the group performance: Ain't No Mountains High Enough.

Hubby is traumatized by J Hu's jiggly belly. Me, I'm still taken aback by how bad the guys sound. They have no harmony at all. Only Fantasia, J Hu, and Amy manage to deliver some listenable harmony while everyone else just performs as if he or she is in a school performance where participation is compulsory. Rank Sinatra is especially pathetic - he isn't even trying to move his hands and feet with the others, instead he's just standing there and mumbling his lines out.

The audience gives the Ten a standing ovation. Sleazebag however reminds people that one of those people would soon be "parking cars". He doesn't want to be mean, he says, but that's the way things are on this show. One of them is getting the boot, he adds in case people are still slow in getting what he has been trying to say in the last two sentences.

Commercials. No, no, not Malaysian Idol. Noooooo!

Now Sleazebag pulls down the Bottom Three. Fantasia is still dangling in there. She blows kisses to the audience. The Pen Salesman has straight hair once more. He's safe because he has many tonedeaf fans watching and voting. Huff Granddaddy does that "Mommy, I'm A Verrah Verrah Special Chile" faces of his when he learns that he's safe. Amy is in the bottom three, awww. Piggy Di Guano looks upset. J Hu gasps softly and then shakes her head before joining Amy at the Seats of Shame. It turns out that Piggy Di Guano looks upset because she is afraid that she will be booted and her stage momma will never forgive her for that and she will never ever get those pretty pink toys ever again. But she's safe this week, so she whoops in delight. Camile, looking really sour, is safe and she cries. Sheesh. Finally it's down to Latoya and Rank Sinatra. Latoya, looking confident that she's staying, takes Rank Sinatra's hand as Rank Sinatra looks pale and close to tears.

But first, the obligatory Ford clip, where Amy, J Hu, Fantasia, and Piggy Di Guano lead off Life Is A Highway while driving their respective Ford vehicles on the road. The others join in, with Fantasia providing some cute ad libs the entire time. And then they're done. Why do they waste time and money doing these stupid clips again?

Back from the commercials, a few seconds of shocked silence hit Event Horizon when Sleazebag reveals that Latoya is in the Seats of Shame while Rank Sinatra is safe. I'm not pleased with this development, but I'm not surprised: sometimes fans get complacent when their favorites perform well and they don't vote as hard as those who want to save their favorites. Rank Sinatra looks even paler than he already is as guilt descends on him. He knows that he, not Latoya, should be down there. He shakes his head as Latoya takes her place with Amy and J Hu.

Sleazebag asks the judges for their opinions. Miss Paula doesn't think that America gets it right, just like it didn't when nobody bought her third CD and caused her career to crash and burn. Randy Randy thinks that at least two of the Bottom Three don't deserve to be down here. King Tut just says that America votes, and therefore, America will have to live with the decision.

Latoya is safe. She embraces Amy as the crowd cheers. It's now Amy and J Hu now. Sleazebag tells them that one of them will be singing back-up to William Hung soon. That's really not necessary, that jerk. J Hu half-shakes, half-nods her head as she seems to be humming a song in her mind. I understand how she feels, really. Sleazebag tells them that the both of them have tremendous fanbases that voted for them, which is ironic considering that these fanbases being not tremendous enough is what led them to be standing at the Bottom Two today. He asks them how they are feeling. Amy gives a canned response that this has been a wonderful experience and she is glad to be on the show. J Hu says that she feels good to have performed - she has given her best. If America doesn't like it, what can she do, she asks. She adds that she is performing for her fans.

As it turns out, Amy gets the boot tonight. She hugs J Hu. Looking subdued and even disappointed, she stands beside Sleazebag before the camera pans to the stricken face of Rank Sinatra who is really at the verge of tears. See, Rank Sinatra fans? You are hurting your darling by keeping him on the show. He knows he sucks, so why can't you? Don't vote for him anymore, pretty please?

Amy thanks the audience and tells the audience that she won't be going away. The crowd cheers at that. Then it's time for her eulogy video, where I am reminded of how Pink! Perky! Funny! she is in a montage of her audition clips, her performances, and the judges' praises. Her voiceover sounds better than any of her performances, strangely enough. Amy concludes the clip by saying that this adventure is just the beginning of her dreams. Yeah, yeah, back to the country and western bar circuit for her.

The camera pans one more time to Rank Sinatra's miserable expression. See, Rankie fans? He's hurting. If you love him, let's boot him out next week! You all can still stalk him in his high school even when he's gone from the show, you know.

Sleazebag says that Amy has the greatest laugh ever and everyone will miss her. He asks her whether she will sing for them. Of course she does. The other contestants comes up behind her as she sings, and then the credits roll as the Event Horizon mothership clumsily jumps over a puzzled shark.