Season 4: One Last Cry

Talk about a new low. The show producers have taken what will normally take place within ten minutes in an ordinary episode (the division of wannabes into rooms and their elimination room by room) and stretch it into an hour. Yes, this hour. And then they pretend that it's not a filler episode by... er, what the heck, it is a filler episode.

Night. There's a silhoutte at the corner of the screen that looks like Michael Jackson. This reminds me, do you know where your kids are? Ryan Sleazebag voices over that after three days, only 75 people remain and now, the wannabes will have to face a "battle" on "centerstage" where they will perform in a final ditch to impress the judges before elimination takes place, blah blah blah, and finally those that survive the cut will have to face the toughest judge of them all: America.

The America that lets loose Rank Sinatra, Carmurp, and the Pen Salesman onto the world? That tough judge? Trying to kill me with laughter, eh, Sleazebag?

Night time again. The camera zooms in at the moon to prove that it is indeed the night time. There are the wannabes, all divided into four rooms. Sleazebag says dramatically that some boys are cut, oops, some people will be cut. But who is cut? Who is uncut? Sleazebag volunteers to find out. I'm his assistant for the day. I'll keep watch and scream like a fire alarm when I see King Tut coming around the corner.

Let's go back a little earlier that day to the morning, 8:30 am to be precise. The wannabes mean business! Some have been pushed to the limit! The long hours! The sleepless nights! Wait, Sleazebag is not describing his wedding night, he is talking about the ordeal the wannabes have endured for the last few days. Some are confident though, like Mikalah, while others are a nervous wreck. Some even shut down, gasps Sleazebag. He concludes that everyone is just so tired. So am I, baby, and this show is only five minutes down the road.

Today, the wannabes will be singing without musical accompaniment. The judges will listen and, in a practice that they should seriously implement for the rest of the season, just shut up and make decision about a certain wannabe among themselves. Blah blah blah omigod my voice is gone wah wah wah Mario Pipsqueak is sure that he will be good woo hoo hoo. Sleazebag then shows himself on camera, standing right in front of the camera as the door opens behind him and the wannabes file out of the theatre, repeating the very same thing that he said just a few minutes ago: some will be going home, this is their last chance to impress the judges, et cetera.

Did you know that they have divided the wannabes into four rooms? Sleazebag then spends five minutes voicing over that the show have - omigosh - divided the wannabes into four rooms, in case some people out there overlook the effort the show producer made earlier to introduce a little flashback into the show. Do you know that some people will be going home tonight? Do you know that all these wannabes have left now is their faith?

6:00 pm. Sleazebag reminds people that the wannabes are divided into four rooms and this is how the whole process works. God, shut up already! How many times is he going to keep telling me that? In Room One, everyone looks sad. The camera zooms around the place. Some weirdo in white cap insists that getting to the final 75 is not good enough for him. How sad that when he kills himself at the end of the day, nobody cares.

The camera focuss on Sharon Galvez, the cocktail waitress in Las Vegas who also sings Lady Marmalade on the stage while the lecherous men watch appreciatively. She sings Greatest Love Of All to the judges today. Even Miss Paula looks somber though. I guess there had been a surprise narc raid earlier today and the narcs took all her funny pills away. Then there's Shunta. Wait, she is in the right room, I hope? She sings If I Ain't Got You to the judges and tells the camera afterwards that she is confident that she will make it through to the next round. Then there's Miss Angel, the clown who looks like a bulldog, and the show reminds me of how she dried hump her student Jeremy when she got through only to wail hysterically when Jeremy didn't make it. She sang The Letter, sounding really good, in the previous rounds but today, she sings 'Til You Come Back To Me without accompaniment and her voice comes off as quite unsteady. Then there's Rashida who is still struck with cold. She sings Overjoyed. Pastor Sean McNeill sings Your Song and apart from that impressive final note, sounds quite ordinary actually.

7:00 pm. Sleazebag walks along the hallway and points out to the two doors at each side of him. Do you know that the show has divided the wannabes into four rooms? No? Sleazebag will tell you all about it! Excuse me while I go bite the heads off some Barbie dolls and boil them for dinner.

Now Randy Randy and Miss Paula approach Room One. Sleazebag explains that King Tut is away to attend to some "personal matters".

At the penthouse suite six floors above, King Tut sighs in pleasure as he draws himself a warm bubble bath. He unscrews the cap of his Tutti Frutti Pinky Wa-Wa Watermelons of Love bubble bonanza and takes an appreciative whiff. "I love my life," he says as he wiggles his hairy buttocks before the mirror before pouting to the mirror most becomingly and says, "I wrote the story myself. It's about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it!" Humming I've Never Been To Me, he slowly sinks into the bath.

Randy Randy and Miss Paula babble some nonsense about everyone has talent and how everyone is so, so good that they cannot make up their mind but hey, losers of Room One, get out, go home, now! Hmm, there are some good female singers in there but I guess this season is really all about the boys. Bye Rashida! I'll miss her and Shunta. Mass depression erupts in the room, with one guy even sprawled on the floor while another guy has to console him by telling him that he has tried his best. Ah, I love this show. It brings guys together. Pastor Sean McNeill though is sanguine about rejection. Keep singing that song, big guy. I'll miss him too, come to think of it.

Room two. First, there is Jamar Jefferson, that creepy guy who was told by Randy Randy previously that this show isn't a strip club. Today, he sings his own composition, Shake, while dressed up like the reason why Milli Vanilli is not a good idea. He moves about like a stripper. Mario Pipsqueak is here too. Oh yes, this room is so getting through. All those sexually non-threatening pretty boys are ready to coax all those teenaged girls to embrace puberty with open arms. Mario's clip is unintentionally hilarious as both he and his mother happily talk about how she used to make him sing and sing and sing until young Mario pleaded of exhaustion and still she forced him to sing some more. Momma and Mario both think that this is something for everyone to laugh over. Poor Mario. Good luck with therapy, dude. Mario sings Bohemian Rhapsody to the judges and as much as I don't want to like it, I really do. Some horrid dude who reminds me of every disgusting frat boy I have the misfortune to encounter (complete with creepy Shaggy goatee), Matt Kester, butchers Unchained Melody, and I do mean butcher because he isn't singing, just dragging each note out for five seconds until the whole performance sounds like the dying rattle of an old, old man. Then there is Carrie Underwood. Sleazebag claims that she is bewildered and dazzled by everything since day one (the whole "farm girl" schtick, remember?). But damn, Carrie can sing. She performs Independence Day like a strident jailbait version of Martina McBride rallying the cowboys for a little Civil War reenactment. Oh, and she exchanges a really staged conversation with Conty Bin about whether she has flubbed a line in her song, and Conty Bint sounds so disgustingly smug and pretentious that I really, really hate him already. Oh, and Conty Bint is also in the room. Finally, there's Judd Harris. He looks like some sad kid who has to play the class clown in order to be popular. He rallies the wannabes in the audience for a singalong to his Mustang Sally. Also, there's Vonzell Solomon (cue a clip of her having fun delivering mail to the people around her area - she is a postal worker, doncha know) along with Anwar Solomon, David Brown, and Janay Castine. Gee, I wonder whether this room has any chance of going through. Well, let's humor Randy Randy and Miss Paula, at least, as they try to pull of the lame "I'm so sorry I have to say no... to the other rooms!" punchline to these wannabes. Mass celebration erupts.

"Honey honey, how you thrill me, oh! Honey honey!" King Tut sings out loud as he lifts his left leg straight up from the bath. He gives his thigh a little pinch - not bad, he thinks and nods to himself, he doesn't need to diet yet as he can still fit in those garter stockings - and then happily sings some more as he moves his razor blade smoothly down his leg from ankle to knee, removing a thick patch of hair in the process. "Honey honey, how you thrill me - ouch!"

Room Three. Dezmond "I Met Paula Under The Table" Meeks murders I Heard It Through The Grapevine, looking like a case of murder by hair bleach and persecution by fugly rainbow trousers. Jennifer Todd is fat so it doesn't matter what she does or says anymore. Sullen Doherty pouts and pretends that she has learned fortitude in the last few days so she sings a very pitchy Lately to the judges. Little Ow Ow is annoying and her mother is a serious nutcase. That's all there is I can say about her without bursting a blood vessel in my head. Larry Ellis tells the judges that he is a soldier and a parent before launching into a truly heinous and off-key version of One Last Cry. He's a soldier? He kills the song. He's a parent? He spanks the song out of shape. He switches from a bad falsetto to his ordinary voice without smooth transition and the whole performance sounds like a duet between Animated Killer Monster Barbie and her latest victim. Elsewhere, Tammy Wynette Nash (no relation to the country singer - this Tammy is of a different skin color, for starters), says that Larry is "phenomenal" and she will be scared to be in a room without him because that means that she may be leaving. Translation: these two are so sleeping together because she won't be this daft if she's not. Sleazebag gleefully points out that Tammy and Larry are in different rooms. Also seen in the room is Kurtis. Repeat after me, people: this room is getting cut.

"Oh no, Maria, don't leave me! If you go back to the nuns, I will die. My children need you! My pendulous manboobs heave with barely restrained despair if you run up the hills!" Here, King Tut squeezes his left manboob so that he can have a higher hill for his Barbie doll (actually, it is a Ken doll with a wig created from hair pulled out of poor Barbie's scalp) to run over. "Oh no, Maria trips over the hill and falls into the sea!" King Tut says in a falsetto as he lets go of his manboob and lets Barbie fall into the bath water. Reaching for his rubber ducky named Fifi, King Tut says in a menacing voice, "And here comes Fifi the Killer Rubber Ducky, intent on devouring the luscious virginal maiden Maria! Can Kenny von Trapp save her in time?" King Tut then picks up the Ken doll. "I'll save you, Maria!" he says and then has Ken kick a bald Barbie into the water. He then has Fifi drag the bald Barbie down into the water. "Oh yes, Ken has saved Barbie by throwing Paula into the sea and hence distracting Fifi the Killer Rubber Ducky," croons King Tut. He then proceeds to have Maria and Ken act out some explicit hardcore doll-related pornographic acts best not related here. "Oh, Maria!" King Tut says in his normal voice before switching into a falsetto that Larry will appreciate, "Oh Ken! Oh! OH!" And the he curses when he realizes that Sleazebag's face that King Tut has stuck over Barbie's face with a cellophane tape has come undone and fallen into the bathwater.

Because this show needs to delude itself that it is actually creating some "suspense" in this episode, Sleazebag now moves to Room Four. Scott is leading a prayer circle because this is the room that those Bible thumping fans of the show are supposed to pick their Idol from. Will it be Trachea Boi? There is a pointless clip about him - as if he needs to actually sing to move on, really! Jaclyn Crum says to the others in the room that she cries when she is happy and she cries when she is sad so she is always crying. So was she happy or sad when her mother deliberately poisoned herself to hijack the previous episode and everyone, including Jaclyn, thinks that her mother was going to die? Tammy is in this room and she is an emotional basketcase who cries when she has finished performing to the judges, wailing that she has given her everything to them, boo-hoo-hoo. I hate to be in the same room as her when she has to figure out what she wants to wear for the night out. Apart from Scott, Sleazebag points out that Bo Bint and John Zisa are also in the room. Also seen are Jamie Paul Koehler and Nadia Turner. The camera then moves to Mikalah and Lindsey Cardinale, the appointed bimbo queens of the show, and Mikalah has toned down her "overly perky" (as Sleazebag puts it) personality in her performance to the judges. The perky Punky Brewster gal is back in an "interview" with Sleazebag where she says that all the other wannabes think that she is fun and all that. But ah, Sleazebag asks her whether these wannabes like her. She gives a mock look of surprise and asks Sleazebag whether they have said anything about her to him. Give it a rest, Mickie, it's time to lay down and be quiet for a while before someone drops a piano onto your head. As for Lindsey, she's sweet, she's bland, and she's totally forgettable.

King Tut sobs loudly as he munches on his Krispy Kremes. The world is such a depressing place when Alonzo Smith loses his case and then the poor family and Esther nearly misses John at the train station and boo-hoo-hoo. "We will dance the hoochie-coochie! I will be your tootsie wootsie! If you will meet me in St Louis," he sings as he wipes away at his eyes with the back of his hand. He sighs. Watching old movies isn't the same without that rascally Sleazebag by his side asking in his dim-witted way for King Tut to explain the plot to him.

Randy Randy and Miss Paula send Room Three home and Miss Paula tries desperately to think of her confiscated drugs as she cries and hopes to fool Room Four in believing that they are going home. Seriously, with Trachea Boi and the assorted Harmless Girl Crushes in the room, I'm supposed to believe that there is a chance that Room Four will be cut?

Room Four celebrate, Room Three walk to the elevator in disappointment. Little Ow Ow proves that the rotten apple doesn't fall far from the tree as she raves and rants and makes a fool of herself with gems like " I'm the hottest thing in this country! I wasn't fed with no silver spoon... but I'm rich!" Larry is even more spectacular as he starts whining and getting woman to join her in saying that they just want pretty people on the show. Of course the show wants pretty people. Scott Savoy gets through because he has a Condition that he and the show will milk dry even when by all accounts he seems like a well-adjusted asshole. Yes, lady, go get that "weight surgery". Yes, Larry, rant incoherently some more that when life gives you lemonades, you eat your own oranges - or something like that. I love that lady who smiles at the camera before she enters the elevator, saying that, to cut the long story of Little Ow Ow (shut up already) and Larry short, "We're done!" The elevator doors close.

Room Four celebrate some more.

King Tut answers the phone call. "Yes, baby," he says as Sleazebag blubbers at the other end of the line that evil Uncle Nigel made him waste his time taping and babbling nonsense that could have been kept to ten minutes but noooo, evil Uncle Nigel wants the elimination process to be stretched an episode instead. "I know that this show doesn't appreciate your talents as a real spokesperson and talk show host, darling," says King Tut as Sleazebag blabs on. "Yes, dear, I'll talk to Oprah and see if she can be persuaded to have a co-host on her show. I'll call Don Zisa and see if he knows anyone who can arrange for Anderson Cooper to have a little accident and of course I'll try and get you to take over his place." He sighs. He enjoys a night away from the artifice, the corniness, and the tiresome pretense of having to say something mean and sarcastic when he has nothing to say or lacks the imagination to pretend that he has, but he has to admit that these nights aren't the same anymore. It hasn't been the same since... "Sleazie?" he asks with just a little nervous catch in his voice, "Would you like to watch A Star Is Born with me?"

Sleazebag's howl of joy is cut short by the closing of the elevator door.

In other news, one, I made the whole What King Tut Did In His Personal Time thing up and two, next episode will see the judges cut 20 people of the 44 that survived today's cut and the remain 24 will compete in the preliminary rounds.