Season 4: You Don't Know My Name

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Squishy sounds of an electric guitar plays as Sleazebag stands at the dais with the Twenty. He announces that the Twenty have done all they could to stay in the competition! And now four more will go! And it's all coming to me live from wherever it is in some faraway galaxy that they are making this show. And now, credits.

Ryan "Man Camping" Sleazebag stands on the stage and soak in the applause from the audience who are clapping enthusiastically because the sign saying "Clap" is lit. Welcome to American Idol, people, where nothing is done without the approval of Uncle Nigel and his consortium. Sleazie is wearing the same "A-SS---E" shirt that he wore on Monday night, only this time he has a gray jacket over the shirt. He says that tonight, time is "tight" because the results show is only half an hour long, so there will be no songs, just results. Oh, poor babies. One lash from the media about the results show of last week being too cruel and now they are scrambling to placate everyone. If we make more noise this week, does this mean that they will cut the results show to fifteen minutes next week? Where do I sign the petition to make this happen?

Sleazebag introduces the judges and says that nobody likes to see the contestants being eliminated except for maybe King Tut. Nobody, huh? So whose idea was it then to create stupid "shock tactics" in the previous results show? Sleazebag announces that there were 42 million votes over the past two days. I see that some people still care to vote when this show treats its audience as if the audience is completely devoid of intelligence. And then he recaps Tuesday night where the Ten Ladies performed.

Well, there will be no singing today but there are time to hear the judges talk. Yes, people, the judges' babble are worth more than the talent of the contestants and today's topic of the day is "damage control". At least, damage control for people that this show deems worthy of receiving some.

Sleazebag asks Randy Randy to clarify the man's assuming that Cattle Underwood sang a Janis Joplin song because Sleazebag clarifies that Cattle is performing the version of that song that Faith Hill did. A version, he adds, that sold a million copies! So there! Yes, Sleazie, he has Randy Randy there! Cattle isn't butchering Janis Joplin, she is just imitating Faith Hill unimaginatively, and this is somehow better. Randy Randy says that it doesn't matter what version Cattle is trying to "everything" well, he says.

By the way, since this show is actively checking the Internet for gossips and rumors and then use the next episode to squash them, especially those that can taint their precious annointed ones, why don't we all start some really heinous rumor and laugh when Sleazebag tries to talk about it on the show? I'll start: CATTLE UNDERWOOD'S SINGING WILL TURN YOUR DAUGHTER INTO A LESBIAN. That will drive the red and blue flag-waving fans of hers into hysterics. How about this one? MARIO IS GOING TO TESTIFY AGAINST WACKO JACKO NEXT WEEK.

Back to the show, Miss Paula gets to offer a brilliant suggestion to the contestants: don't just follow popular singers, try and copy the style of some artist of the opposite sex! That's a great idea. Let's see Ape Boy Savoy dance prettily to Madonna's Vogue next week. I love how this show has dropped all pretense of talent and resorted to telling the contestants where and how to copy their next performance from.

Sleazebag tells King Tut that King Tut doesn't like country. I don't know what Sleazebag is trying to say with this, which only proves what a wretched interviewer he is. Is he saying that King Tut shouldn't judge in a genre that he doesn't like? I never thought I'd see the day when Smarm Boy Sleazebag starts channeling the vibes of a Pollyanna cheerleader. King Tut says that there is good and bad music in any genre and uses Lindsey Cardinale as an example. He says that Lindsey's performance came off like a gimmick. Sleazebag completely misses the point and asks King Tut, "Shouldn't it be about performance?" Again, this is a stupid question because singing is a big part of the performance, duh. King Tut pretty much rolls up his eyes at this point and says patiently to the dunce that it doesn't matter what genre the contestants are singing in because it comes down to choosing the proper song. Randy Randy agrees with King Tut.

With that, Sleazebag asks Celena to join him at the dais and tells her, once she is by his side, that she is the female contestant with the lowest number of votes so she is eliminated. Gee, a shocker, that one, snort. Sleazebag then asks her whether she is "prepared" to be eliminated. Oh, seriously! What is she supposed to say to that? She says that she is after receiving the judges' criticisms in the previous night. Sleazebag then asks her to say what she thinks went wrong with her performance. I'm amazed at this guy. What does he expect her to say to his question? She doesn't answer him, saying instead that she sang what she loved and she felt good about herself because she has given her all to her performance.

Randy Randy and Miss Paula tell her to keep dreaming and trying. King Tut snorts and says that he thinks it is unlikely that Celena will ever be anything better than a hotel singer but concedes that she is on TV before a huge audience so she has a good opportunity to make the most out of it. She has to work hard, he says, and points to himself, saying that he has to work hard too to get where he is. Aww, that's so sweet of him. He is such a teddy bear under that canned Mr Mean exterior. Sleazebag tells Celena that Elton John and Celine Dion made a lot of money from singing in hotels. Wow, I don't know what to say to that. And with that, Celena is gone.

After the break, Sleazebag says that the show has gone off on a "dramatic" start (yeah right) and even the guys in the Red Room are getting nervous. Sleazebag then tells the remaining Nine Ladies that he heard them perform during the dress rehearsals and they sounded real good to him. So now he wants to know from them is what went wrong during yesterday's show. Now, since I am not privy to this dress rehearsal, why on earth does he think that I care about how much better these ladies were during that dress rehearsal? What is this? Let's Make Excuses For The Girlies Day? It is a good thing that this isn't another talkshow because it is so getting cancelled if it is. Nadia talk about nerves and what not being the reason.

Sleazebag then announces that all but Vonzell and Aloha are safe. He brings the two down to the dais. He brings up the fact that Aloha changed her song at the last minute and he'd like to know why. Aloha says that she's not making excuses for herself but she actually has to changed songs four times because the other songs didn't clear (read: this show is either too cheap to pay royalties or the songwriters balk at having the songs being used on this show). Her original choice was a "performance song" like Work It Out but she ended up having to settle for You Don't Know My Name. Wow, Sleazebag is single-handedly bringing out all the skeletons in this show's closet! What is he trying to do? Generate sympathy for Aloha and disdain for how this show works? Sleazebag once more brings up this mysterious dress rehearsal and says that Vonzell was so much better then. So what happened? Vonzell says that maybe she was not focused enough and hopes that America will give her a second chance! Sleazebag then announces that Vonzell is safe. Aloha, Aloha!

Randy Randy and Miss Paula are shocked that Aloha is leaving. King Tut says that he doesn't think that Aloha will win the competition but concedes that she deserves to stay for at least one week more. Aloha tells everyone who is booing that everything is okay because she is doing what she is supposed to doing (her words, not mine). She also tells everyone out there who is planning to enter the show to be "prepared". For what? To perform sexual favors foe Uncle Nigel in exchange for more screentime during the "Pimp The Annointed Ones" episodes?

Sleazebag now brings out the guys and recaps Monday night. He announces that all men are safe except for Joe, David, Mario, and - yes, again - Travis and asks them to stand at each of his side at the dais. Travis' "Oh, great!" is audible, heh. To his left, he turns to Mario and Travis and tells them that they are safe. Joe has the lowest number of votes and David the second lowest. Those two are going home.

Sleazebag asks Joe what went wrong. Joe says curtly that he doesn't think that he did anything wrong - it was his lack of airtime that did him in. Sleazebag asks in disbelief about the Boot Camp episodes, "Not a single performance?" Obviously he doesn't watch his own show because Joe accurately says in response, "Not one." Sleazebag then turns to David, who is one of the heavily pimped ones in the Boot Camp and Audition episodes, and says that he remembers having dinner with David and his mother. This has something to do with his question, I suppose, which is once again what David think went wrong with his performance. Once more Sleazebag has inadvertently gives credence to Joe's dissatisfaction by bringing up Sleazebag's freaking dinner with David and David's mother.

Some people can say that it shouldn't matter if the contestants are not pimped because talent should speak for itself. They often cite Kelly and Latoya as examples of this. I disagree. It's all relative, and in this case, let's compare Joe and Celena, actually midtier competent performers, who have received zero airtime before their appearance on the preliminary rounds, and the horrendous Conty Bint and even Janay who deliver below average performances for two weeks now. Conty Bint can afford to slack because the heavy pimping he has received in the early episodes made him a favorite among many people for who-knows-what reason. Even Aloha, who was invisible until the preliminary rounds, put on a good performance last week and hence survived when Jared and Meloonda couldn't, only to be booted this week when she faltered just a little compared to the likes to Lindsey Cardinale who received airtime previously. David is cut because he cannot deliver and also, I suspect, the presence of Nikachu, Anwar, and David on the show are splitting votes among them. But other than that, the invisible ones always have to perform better than the annointed ones; it is an uphill climb for them.

Kelly made it to the top. Trenyce in Season Two made it to fifth place although the show tries its hardest to stop her from getting there. In Season Three, Latoya's powerful voice helped propel her to fourth place, until fellow invisible Princess Jasmelina finally stopped her because Jasmelisma has an entire state supporting her. Bo Bice and perhaps, Jessica Sierra, may be the invisible ones of this season that would surpass initial expectations and perform better in this competition than one would expect.

But the fact remains, this is the first time that the show blatantly, deliberately does not give any airtime to nearly one-third of the roster of the Twelve Men or Twelve Ladies. Instead, they choose to shove Conty Bint, Mario, and Cattle Underwood down the audience's throats nearly every week. It can't be that the invisible ones don't have an interesting story to tell. Can anyone honestly tell me that David Brown going to a nice church makes an interesting story? The show wasted so much time on the crackbrained Lizzie Pha versus the Heathers, for example, that I find it puzzling that they cannot even spare three minutes showing Celena, Meloonda, Jared, Joe, and Aloha sing even once.

The show allows such accusations to arise in the first place, which is the biggest mistake on the part of the producers, really. Right now the only thing that keeps me from being truly jaded and cynical is Bo Bice making the show palatable.

Sorry about the soapbox but it has to be said, the nonsense this show is perpetuating in this season. Back to the show, the judges prattle on and on about how David didn't deliver and... um... yeah, Sleazebag is out. Bye!

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