Season 3: I Have Nothing

There is no pre-credits voiceover from Ryan Sleazebag this week too. That tips things to his favor when it comes to him versus the Sexy Manly Voiceover Guy in the Battle of the Cornballs. Yay! Credits, Event Horizon, audience cheering, many stupid signs, and da-da-dum, the show has started.

Ryan "When Will I Be In The Movies?" Sleazebag is still in his jacket suit, shirt, pants, and stubble outfit, this time in grey and pink with his hair all askew to complete the "overworked, need help - pay phone from Latvia to LA not working that well" look. He flashes his expensive teeth to the audience and welcomes everybody to the show. Tonight is a special night and he's everyone's date for the next hour. What's the occasion? Well, he's taking everybody to the movies! That's right, the Eight are singing songs from movies tonight.

Don't expect Huff Granddaddy to stare creepily at the camera as he croons out the pedophile anthem Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon soon, though, because this is a family friendly show. But that doesn't mean that Quentin "Kill Bill, Harry, Sally, Michael, Yusef, Abou, Charles, Marlene..." Tarantino can't come onboard to pimp out his new movie though, although two-thirds of the audience will never be legally admitted into the screening of the R-rated Kill Bill: Vol 2. Ah, but where's a Fox Network show without a double dose of contradictions and a triple dose of hypocrasy, right?

Comparing the judges to the people that keep making noise and heckling during the screening of a movie, Sleazebag introduces King "Cruel Intentions" Tut with his Hannibal Lecter smile and Will Shatner's corset; Miss "Dancing At The Blue Iguana" Paula whom Sleazebag describes to be as graceful as Audrey Hepburn, as small as Stuart Little, and as she laughs, with a laugh as sharp as that of the hyenas in The Lion King; Randy "Big As Beethoven" Randy, whom Sleazebag calls a star of The Dogfather, Cheaper By The Dachschund, and other doggy movies.

Quentin "My Career Is Summed Up By Two Words: Uma Thurman" Tarantino then walks in to the audience's cheering from the left side entrance of the stage. He's stolen one of my hubby's shirt that hubby thought was lost in the Great Wardrobe Fire of 1977, a very lame collared shirt decorated with vertical lines of orange, red, black, and blue. "I'm here to give my two cents," he tells Sleazebag. I don't know about this. I mean, isn't it a selling out of the biggest proportions that QT Boy here is actually here to judge this show, as if admitting that he actually watches this show every week isn't bad enough for his Mr Tough Motherf**ker image? It's like realizing that the tough, tattooed, and intimidating burly guy on a Harley actually collects Teddy Ruxpin collectibles, drinks Coke, and listens to S Club 7.

I love how the tribute montage makes it seem as if Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill: Vol 1, and Pulp Fiction are nothing more than benevolent movies of people posing around in shades. It does get one thing right though: QT Boy's movies do have what Sleazebag calls "an ecletic use" of retro 1960s/1970s songs to reintroduce them to the audience.

QT Boy snuggles up between King Tut and Miss Paula and he's ready for action. Sleazebag announces that they have lights and cameras ready - all they need now is some action. Come on in, Huff Granddaddy!

In his introductory clip, Huff Granddaddy fields some responses to a canned verbal questionnaire. He says that his favorite movie is The Wiz, probably because he relates more to Diana Ross than Judy Garland, I'm sure. The movie has "stuck" to him since he watched it as a kid. Huff is forty years old, right? Is he sure that he's not confusing The Wiz with the much older Judy Garland movie? His favorite character in the movie is the Wicked Witch of the West, he finds the movie "scary", and he can relate to Dorothy, thanks to his adventures on American Idol.

In keeping to his subtle Gay People, Be Strong theme of the night, he decides to sing Against All Odds while wearing a jacket that can only be described as "flaming". He is Very Serious, as expected because his message is Very Serious. "Take a look at me now!" he declares, because really, there's nothing wrong with being a friend of Dorothy - be who you are, respect yourself, and triumph against the odds! Unfortunately, while his positivity is to be commended for, the performance feels off. He has modulated the song to fit his range, but this means that his high notes are lower than those in the last two hundred cover versions of this overdone song while his low notes are much higher than those in other versions of the song. He has abandoned the Toilet Ladle dance, the Hand, and the Creepy Wide Smile, but while I like the understated Huff, his performance just feels really odd vocally.

Randy Randy agrees with me, calling the song a wrong choice for Huff Granddaddy. He also asks Huff to "keep it real" (read: be a Toilet Ladle and smile vapidly regardless of song context every week). He comments that Huff's performance started out rough and the whole pitch of the song was too odd for him. Miss Paula describes the wide selection of songs the contestants to sing this week as a candy store for kids, and asks Huff why he chose this song. Huff says that the song is all about his experiences "being here" as it is about him and the experiences he went through. Awww. Miss Paula lies and says that she gets his point. She says that however, she doesn't think that the song was performed in the right key. Also, she feels that the song doesn't show off Huff's voice (read: no melisma or screaming out the high notes, so it can't be a good performance) or color or joy (read: damn it, the Toilet Ladle, they all want the Toilet Ladle). QT Boy tells Huff that Huff made him forget that he hates that song. He thinks that Huff is getting better every week. King Tut says that "directors never listen". He agrees with Miss Paula and Randy Randy that it was a bad song choice for Huff. He finds the performance weak and "almost flat".

Sleazebag takes up the rallying cry. Vote for Huff Granddaddy!

As the show moves into its first of a zillion commercial breaks, King Tut and Miss Paula turn to mob QT Boy with their unwanted advances. Look, he's just here to pimp out his movie. He doesn't want to be their friends, surely?

J Hu is up next. Her favorite movie is Sister Act 2. I can't believe that there are people who find the crap sequel more enjoyable than the really cute first movie! She says that she loves the movie because all they did in the movie is to sing. The scene where Whoopi Goldberg's character was glued to the chair tickles J Hu pink so it's her favorite scene in the movie. Sister Act 2 features plenty of powerful singing, she says, and since she thinks that she herself is a powerful singer, she will be singing Whitney tonight. It's a confusing road through J Hu's non-sequitur thought path.

I Have Nothing is J Hu's song choice. While her performance is infinitely better than Princess Tinkerbelle of Bulgaria's, I can't help comparing it to Trenyce's and J Hu's really suffers by comparison, especially as while J Hu excels at belting, her lower register is completely off. J Hu also starts off on a wrong key but still, by the time the belting comes in, J Hu has managed to get everything under control. On the whole, a very uneven performance where J Hu shines only when she's belting out the chorus.

"Yeah! Yeah!" Randy Randy says. He tells J Hu that she "worked it out" and "went into modulation". He finds the performance "a little sharp" where J Hu "overshot it" but she managed to "correct it at the end" to his delight. "Nothing pleases me more than to see you shine now. This is truly who you are! You look beautiful tonight! I only wanted to hear you sing more of the song!" Miss Paula gushes. If we replace her a giant You Are Beautiful signboard on the show, will anyone actually notice? QT Boy says, "Hudson takes on Houston and wins!" She thanks him. He tells her that he has one "advice" for her: she has gotten to "this place" in this week and the last and she "can't ever go back". "Anything less than this is a D. You've raised your own bar!" he concludes. What on earth is that all about? King Tut says that while last week J Hu proved why she was in the competition, this week she proves that she can be a "forerunner". He's not naming names, but he's sure that two ladies are right now "sticking pins" in a doll of J Hu.

As Sleazebag rattles off on how people can vote for J Hu, J Hu makes funny faces at the camera, as if the kaleidoscope of constipated faces during her performances isn't enough to scare the kiddies away.

"The pen salesmen of America," Sleazebag announces next, "your leader will tell you his favorite movie." As if I care. Just go away, the Pen Salesman! His favorite movie is Dead Poets Society, which is the most "edgy" favorite movie ever brought up this week as it is the only movie that propagates Teenaged Rebellion, Heroic Suicide, and Antiestablishment Values. One point for the Pen Salesman there, at least. He says that he's really relating to the carpe diem message of the movie (cue Robin Williams' "Seize the day!" scene from the movie) and he will definitely seize the day, so to speak, in his performance tonight.

I don't know what seizing the day has anything to do his Jailhouse Rock, where he basically shouts his way through the entire song with very little voice control. He stops to give spastic twitches and rotates his knees. I guess that after his last few attempts to actually sing flop spectacularly, the Pen Salesman decides to just act on his desperation and give his fans a sequel to A Little Less Conversation. Miss Paula and Randy Randy are snuggling up and swaying their bodies to the performance and the audience gives the Pen Salesman a standing ovation at the end of it. Idiots, all of them.

Randy Randy is delighted that the Pen Salesman is "back". Yes, he took their advice and they hated him for that but now that he's back to being what they criticized him of being, they love him again. Did I mention that they are all idiots? Miss Paula says that "this" is who the Pen Salesman "is" and what America "wants". Har, har, I hope those words taste good at the end of the Results Show. Idiot. QT Boy thinks that the Pen Salesman is the "geekiest" he's ever seen since Freddy and the Dreamers. King Tut laughs and asks QT Boy whether QT Boy likes the performance. He personally thinks that it is terrible. QT Boy and King Tut argue while Miss Paula and the audience just keep booing. Idiots, idiots, idiots. King Tut wonders whether this show has turned into Comedy Idol. QT Boy insists that the Pen Salesman can't help being who he is. King Tut says that he is confused. Miss Paula says that he always is. The Pen Salesman cuts in and tells the judges that there is nothing he can do about he being who he is. If he sucks, he'll suck forever, is that what he's saying?

Sleazebag walks up to comfort the Pen Salesman and asks King Tut why exactly the man is confused. King Tut says that should this performance take place during the auditions, he'd have cut the Pen Salesman off in two seconds. But here, the audience is giving the man standing ovation! The audience cheers, the idiots they are, not aware that they have just been called imbeciles by King Tut. Then again, the audience probably also rushes out and buy William Hung's CD after the show. Like the Pen Salesman say, there is nothing these people can do about themselves either, I guess, they being what they are.

Piggy Di Guano's favorite movie is Bowfinger because it is so funny and she is so cute! Eddie Murphy running across the highway is so funny, hee-hee, and she is so cute! She is so excited that she can choose songs from movies because that way, she can sing a Celine Dion song, because you can only sing Celine Dion songs on movie nights as opposed to the six thousand Celine and Whitney songs performed in the history of this show. Has she proven that she is cute? Let's hear that giggle again!

She comes out in a swanky black dress and launches into My Heart Will Go On. It's a decent C-grade cruise ship performance, although I don't think people on a cruise ship will want to hear this song anytime soon. She misses some crucial notes in the middle portion of the song and the high notes are sharp at the end. Maybe she hasn't fully recovered from her illness, because she has proven that she can do better than this in the past. Oh well.

King Tut is caught whispering very loudly to QT Boy at how shocked he is that Piggy Di Guano receives a standing ovation. Heh. Randy Randy tells Piggy that she did alright as it is a very tough to sing. Miss Paula agrees that the song is one of the hardest songs to perform ever. Since my husband performs this song better than Piggy in the shower, maybe he'll be the next American Idol, eh, Paula and Randy? QT Boy says that while Piggy Di Guano "pulled off the song" and hit all the notes, he can't be bothered. "So what?" he asks rhetorically, adding, "It couldn't be a song we're more sick of hearing. You pulled off the notes? I didn't care. I felt there was glass between me and you." Wow, QT Boy goes down in history as the first guest judge that actually slams a performance. King Tut says that this song is always a risk to perform because when people hear of "Titanic", they think of "sinking." He says that Piggy's problem is that she doesn't connect with the audience. He calls her "an overgrown child" who doesn't reflect her actual age but "somewhere in the middle" instead. He then calls her "an old soul - automatic and predictable".

Earth calling King Tut. Does he remember that she's seventeen years old? She is an overgrown child compared to the others on the show. Who was it that let these overgrown children on the show? That's right, King Tut and his two best buddies. I really don't know why he is complaining that a sixteen year old doesn't interest him - he let these teenagers through during the auditions after all!

Sleazebag reminds people who love Piggy Di Guano to call in and do their patriotic duty to her.

Fantasia's favorite movie is Finding Nemo because she can really relate to Nemo. After all, Nemo wants to do everything, even some things that he can't do on his own. Or something. Fantasia and a fish, bonding over shared philosophies of life. I've heard them all now.

Looking delightfully elegant as she sports a 1950s-style hairdo, she rests her left hand on the stage floor as she sits. The piano begins to play and - wow. Just wow. Fantasia's Summertime is sublime in how good it is. Words cannot do justice as to how this performance blows everything on this episode as well as previous episodes out of the water. She seems to understand and take to heart the words of the song as well as the context in which the song is sung in the movie Porgy And Bess. Her voice resonates with a clear undertone of melancholy even as she comes off singing with gentle comfort in a song that is clearly a lullaby from a mother to her child. Fantasia sends chills down my spine with this performance and it leaves me firmly back on her love train. What's not to love about her? Okay, her personality can be really grating, but I'm not looking for someone to live next door to me, just someone to sing me great music, and Fantasia is capable of doing that and more. At her best, she seems to understand the songs she is performing and draws me into her performances. Bravo, Fantasia!

This is a performance where a standing ovation from the audience will be actually well-deserved, but the reception is more subdued that the applause for the Pen Salesman because - I don't know. Maybe the song is too "old" for this show and the idiots in the audience go for generic, passionless walking high-note machines like Latoya, perhaps. Randy Randy stands up and claps, announcing that Fantasia has given the single best Idol performance of any season that he's ever seen. He looks around and is quite perplexed that he's the only one standing. Miss Paula catches that look and stands up briefly, claps, tells Fantasia that it was an "Oscar-winning" performance (shouldn't that be "Grammy-winning"?), and quickly sits down again. Because it isn't good music until someone screams the roof down, you know. QT Boy gushes, "You're the bomb, you know that? But you haven't been funky in weeks! You got a voice to show off but I want to see you rock the house again. Enough of the Great Lady tour - I wanna see you rock the house!" Er, she just did, QT Boy. King Tut says that Fantasia's performance tonight "proved" why people can be critical of singers that can only sing well but can't perform. He finds that the performance had something "magical" to it. He concludes by saying, "I don't think you've ever put those lips to better use!" and winking at her, that scoundrel.

Fantasia wipes at her tears rolling down her cheeks as she thanks King Tut. She and Sleazebag celebrate and blubber over her performance. At one point, Fantasia says something that sounds like "I pulled a thong!" I think I must have misheard her.

Is anyone surprised that Princess Jasmelisma's favorite movie is Lilo And Stitch?

Poor Jasmelisma. Her performance follows Fantasia's, which only exposes how much she lacks compared to Fantasia's polished stage presence and just how little she has when it comes to soul and passion in her singing. Her When I Fall In Love - yay, another boring ballad from Jasmelisma - is competent, polished, and absolutely devoid of passion. She's dull to watch and even duller to listen to. Her and Fantasia is like Celine Dion and Etta James - put those two back to back and poor Jasmelisma comes off really badly in comparison. If it's any consolation, at least she doesn't try to be cute and sing A Whole New World.

Randy Randy and Miss Paula love it, of course. QT Boy loves it too, calling Jasmelisma a "delicate powerhouse" in a show filled with, er, bigger powerhouses I guess. He doesn't think that the performance was Jasmelisma's best, but it doesn't matter to QT Boy because he's a fan of hers. That comes off as a lot creepier than it should be, really. "I still love you!" Jasmelisma tells him. OH PLEASE, BITCH - I don't think this fake and transparently insincere Aloha Kitty has even watched any of QT Boy's movies. King Tut sighs and says that Jasmelisma and Piggy Di Guano's problem is that they are just children trying to be adults and as a result, they don't connect with the audience. He feels that he can find performances like Jasmelisma's in any Sheraton hotel. I agree, but again, let me remind him that it is he and his best buddies that put this seventeen-year old Aloha Kitty through to the semifinals. He has only himself to blame for this.

After the commercials, Sleazebag spots Uncle Les - Neil Sedaka for those who still care - in the audience. Uncle Les still looks like a creepy old man and he is still unnaturally fixated on Kewpie, bringing up the fact that Kewpie is Number One at the Billboards chart with Solitaire. Look, Uncle Les, Kewpie is Number One because he has a few thousand fans that will buy a hundred copies each of anything he puts out because they want to show the world that Kewpie Should Have Won while the rest of the world yawn and move on with life. Kewpie will still be at the top if he puts out a single where he breaks wind to the sound of an accordian. An Uncle Les revival won't be happening, so Uncle Les can just stuff it. "Eardelicious!" Uncle Les says, trying desperately to get what he thinks to be a cool catchword to catch on with people. I don't think so, Uncle Les. Please fade to obscurity and leave us be, please, or I'll be forced to call the exorcist.

Rank Sinatra says that "as a kid" he loves watching Disney's Aladdin. "As a kid"? He's only seventeen, right? And what's this about him loving intensely a homoerotic softporn cartoon where the barechested hero comes in more physical contact with a naked burly genie with pornstar facial hair than with the heroine? Rankie's favorite scene from Aladdin is when Aladdin sits on an elephant parading the wealth he hasn't earned but conjured by his Sugar Daddy instead in order to woo his girlfriend. Inspired by the thinly disguised cartoonish allegory of a hustler who uses his male Sugar Daddy's wealth and generosity to trick a rich girl into marrying him, Rank Sinatra vows that tonight will be his night and he will wow the audience.

Well, he does wow my hubby, in a way. "Wow, that really sucks," hubby remarks ten seconds into Rankie's As Time Goes By. If he flubs at a crooner song, I really think it's time that his fans just get off the barge on the Nile and get on with the program instead of insisting that Rankie will prove everyone wrong on Big Band Week. Big Band Week will not magically bestow on Rankie some range that he desperately needs, because this Casablanca anthem is performed in the same monotonous way as he did on She's Always A Woman and other songs of this ilk in the past. He has no voice control and he doesn't even have the range to insert some much-needed glory note towards the end of the song to break the monotone of this two-note performance.

Randy Randy thinks that it's the best he has heard from Rankie. Wow, that is really reassuring. Miss Paula insists of course that "this" is the real Rankie. QT Boy is a fan of Rankie and thinks that "this" is Rankie's "genre". What is "this"? The Suck? "As long as you can click your fingers, you're happy. Neil Sedaka even gave you a standing ovation," King Tut observes. Yeah, but Uncle Les is hoping that Rankie will sing one of Uncle Les' song and give Uncle Les some money for his Viagra supply and Vegas hookers. King Tut says that Rankie has no charisma but that could be due to Rankie's age. King Tut says that Rankie is like Ryan Sleazebag. I have to hand it to Rankie - he looks genuinely horrified at that observation.

"Why the panicked expression?" Sleazebag asks Rankie as he walks up to stand beside Rankie. Rankie knows better than to answer.

Before the commercial break comes on, there is a pedophile-friendly softporn clip of the Eight in towels running around and playing in the bathroom. It's as hideous as one can imagine, with Rank Sinatra's pale splotchy skin and twiggy physique on full display. There may or may not be anything suggestive in the scene where Huff Granddaddy blows a saxophone in the bath while the ladies make faces at the camera. Piggy Di Guano copies the "four hands doing my hair" thing the Burger Queen did in her The Adventures Of A Professional Beard clip last season. J Hu's faces to the camera is ghastly but funny, but the scene where the Eight get dressed up except for the Pen Salesman who shows up in just a towel is merely ghastly. Can I hope that the overly sensitive FCC will come down hard on this show for showing seventeen-year olds in towels? I'm spiteful that way.

After the commercials, Sleazebag tries to put King Tut down by suggesting that QT Boy is giving King Tut a run for the man's money. I won't go that far - QT Boy likes Rank Sinatra and the Pen Salesman after all - but yes, let's keep him on to replace Miss Paula! He and QT Boy talk about Kill Bill: Vol 2 out this weekend - not that the Mormons and Good Christians and Little Girls that watch this show will ever watch that movie. Sleazebag suggests that QT Boy makes a movie call Kill Cowell instead. King Tut makes a very mocking fake laugh, earning him an equally mocking apology from Sleazebag as Sleazebag hops around the table and sits on King Tut's lap. No, I am not making that up. And Sleazebag laughs happily as King Tut reaches out from behind and puts his hands over Sleazebag's mouth. For shutting Sleazebag up, King Tut deserves a lot of love. For doing that lap thing with Sleazebag - oh what the heck, let's give him a "priceless" Visa credit card commercial!

Finally, Latoya steps up to close the show. She loves Finding Nemo too, especially the scene where the seahorse pushes the octopus... oh, forget it. She loves animated pictures, she claims, and she hopes to do one after American Idol, or at least performs for one.

Call me a cynic but I suspect that the only reason Latoya chooses Somewhere from West Side Story is so that she can scream out the last "somewhere" at the top of her voice for fifteen minutes or more. When she's singing in an understated manner during the first few lines, she sounds really good. But she's more into screaming out the high notes for the rest of the song, so it's a funeral for a banshee that the performance turns into.

Here's why I find it hard to really enjoy Latoya's performances compared to Fantasia's and even J Hu's: Latoya is too controlled, too polished, and too intent on demonstrating vocal acrobatics in her songs as opposed to performing and entertaining the audience. She may be what people are looking for in a voice school, but I'm her audience and Latoya needs to engage me if she wants to entertain me. She has a good voice, but just like how I prefer Trenyce to Burger Queen last season, I'd take Fantasia's distinctive voice and superb stage presence and J Hu's earnest, unforced enthusiasm, and her joy at performing that shines through her transparent facial expressions and tics to Latoya's polished but utterly bland and generic "high C at 2,000 desibels" brand of belting. She's just a more talented Princess Jasmelisma to me.

Randy Randy thinks that it's great that Latoya is "playing for keeps" and trying to win this competition. Well, of course she is. Why else is she here? Miss Paula is all love and kisses. She also loves the light around Latoya. I have nothing to say to that. QT Boy has two words for Latoya: f**king powerhouse. King Tut pretends to act as if he's going to blast her but then says instead that the performance was one of her best so far.

With that, Sleazebag rattles off the ways one can vote for Latoya, recaps the show, and he's out.

Results show. The Sexy Manly Voiceover Guy needs a new script. And while we're at it, we need new credits too. How about a Survivor-style credit where montages of the Twelve are shown doing Dramatically Intense Things?

Out with pastel, in with blue and white for Ryan "Moulin Rouge" Sleazebag as he walks onto the stage and waves a little hi to someone. It must be King Tut, waving the new catalogue of discounted auto-tan machines at Sleazie's face. Sleazebag thanks everyone in the audience for attending the show and tells them not to worry if their taxes aren't done yet. Huh? Tonight, he says that one of the Eight who dreams of attending the Oscars will end up wiping the sweat off Randy Randy's back instead as Randy Randy works on the treadmill. Randy Randy shakes his head, not pleased at this jab. Sleazebag tries to make amends by telling him that Randy Randy really does sweat a lot. And he knows this... how? Wait, don't tell me, I don't want to know. He also announces that twenty four million votes came in last night, which is great but not as great as QT Boy "stealing" King Tut's "limelight" last night. This is a cue for Sleazebag to recap the night before.

After the commercials, Sleazebag walks among the audience and his Hot Boy Radar zones in on Jason "Brandon Walsh of Beverley Hills 90210" Priestley in the audience. Jason loves Fantasia and Latoya the best. Sleazebag asks him whether he votes. Oh please, Uncle Les might as he's pathetic that way but Jason Priestley won't as he's still getting job offers here and there. Jason isn't that pathetic or desperate yet. He's on Tru Calling, at least, and he and Sleazie ask people to tune in that show. They remind people that Tamyra will be on that show too. Duh, these people - if they want AI fanatics to tune into Tru Calling, they should get Kewpie to guest star. His fans will follow him everywhere, buy everything, and yes, watch everything he's on.

Then Sleazebag encounters RJ Helton, but he barely says hi before walking past that guy, heh. How sad it is when Xtina Xtian can get to perform on the show but RJ can't even get to mention his new CD?

Sleazebag walks up to the judges and leans over to King Tut - awww, so romantic - as King Tut tries to look displeased but fail. Sleazebag announces that "songwriter and TV show host" Xtina Xtian is now ready to perform a song called Forever And Ever. Wow, they are trotting out former contestants one by one on this show. It beats paying choreographers to teach this season's contestants to dance for the group numbers, I guess.

Xtina comes out with some dancers dressed in G-rated sexy leather thingies and they all dance in a suggestive manner made palatable for the kiddies (and FCC) as Xtina works her way through a pleasant but forgettable generic upbeat R&B tune. If you've heard UK girl group Mis-teeq's single Style, this song sounds quite a lot like Style. Because she's just a TV show host and not the epitome of a star, Sleazebag doesn't invite the Eight to ask her questions. She just gets to say "After the break!" for Sleazebag.

After the commercial break, it's time for Sleazebag to pull out the Bottom Three. Latoya is still in there somewhere. She gives a small smile and whispers thank you to the camera. It isn't Fantasia time yet and she blows kisses to everybody - muah, muah. Huff Granddaddy has beaten the odds - he's safe. Hawaii is still voting for Princess Jasmelisma to stay in there. J Hu is also safe. This leaves the three people sitting at the bottom row - Rank Sinatra, Piggy Di Guano, and the Pen Salesman - clearly in the Bottom Three. Ooh, the show gets to catch the fans that play guessing games with seating arrangements off-guard again!

Before another commercial break comes, Sleazebag reveals that next week's theme is Barry Manilow. Pass me the razorblade, somebody. And then it's time for another stupid Ford clip: magic paper cutouts of the Eight hop into the car and drive until a cop stops the car. He sees only the cutouts and turns away, puzzled, before the sneaky cutouts drive off while he's not looking. I knew it, this show and everyone involved in it are all Evil. Or at least, Unnatural.

Back to the show, the Bottom Three wait as the judges weigh in. King Tut is not surprised at the Bottom Three as he reiterates that these young contestants are not connecting with the audience. Maybe they need more experience to be better. Randy Randy says that it's not a matter of age as much as experience being a handicap for these contestants, bring up Christina Aguilera as an example. Does this mean that Piggy Di Guano must start wearing dead monkeys and peacocks on her head and get piercings in her nether regions to earn Randy Randy's approval? Hmmm, that will make her more interesting that the Singing Pink Pony that she comes off as now, come to think of it.

By the way, Piggy and Rankie are holding hands, which leads to countless speculations amidst really susceptible teenaged girls gushing about the wonderful love affair these two are having must be and how their children will be so cute and what not. Seriously, sometimes there are people that watch this show so fanatically so much so that reality and fan fantasies have clearly become indistinguishable to them and these people scare the beejebus out of me. The saddest thing is, these obsessive fans are the ones the contestants must heavily rely on to vote a million times every week to keep them in the game. This makes these weirdos believe that the contestant therefore is indebted to them and owe them everything from personal attention at backstage events to a marriage proposal - which only makes post-AI fame more unpleasant for the contestant. Oh, to have one's future career depend so much on these stalkerish, obsessive, reality-challenged, emotionally neurotic, and desperately needy headcases!

Piggy is safe. This leaves either Rank Sinatra or the Pen Salesman to get the boot. I don't care who goes as long as one of them goes, so it's a happy moment for me. One of them will be shot down in flames while the other one will be shot into stardom, Sleazebag says before announcing yet one more commercial break. The camera fades after doing a few close-ups of him making faces at it.

Back once more, Sleazebag says that should the Pen Salesman go, "we" will miss his dancing. Speak for yourself, Sleazie. If I want to see epileptic seizures and motor control breakdown, I can go whack some cows with the cattle prod myself. If Rank Sinatra goes, Sleazebag says, "we" will miss his "absolute class act". What he sees as "class act", I call "total lack of charisma and stage presence". They will not be missed by me.

The person leaving is the Pen Salesman. He shrugs, smiles tightly, and hugs Rank Sinatra. Rank Sinatra looks miserable as he walks back to the seat. He's hurting, so people, stop voting for him, damn it! Sleazebag tells the Pen Salesman that he has given everyone a lot of fun with his dancing around. The Pen Salesman says that the whole experience has been good for him. Then it's time for the eulogy video where he makes stupid faces and dances spastically. He says that he'll be more serious about music now as he intends to pursue a career in music. He also adds that this stint has shown him his limitations. Does that mean that he'll be content to play the monkey to an organ grinder at the subway station from now on?

"We'll miss you and won't forget you!" Sleazebag announces to the Pen Salesman and invites the latter to sing. More spastic dancing! More shouting! He runs into the audience and touch the hands of his adoring fans. He dances with his father Jabba the Castle! And then he's gone, gone, gone!

One down, one more to go.