Season 5: Bridge over Troubled Water

Ola, people! Ryan "Fluttering Prettily Through The Skies" Sleazebag voices over that the remaining 44 wannabes are gathered at this very moment at the Pasadena Civic Centre to find out which 24 will be the targets of inappropriate sexual objectification by middle-aged church-going Baptist ladies, stars of fanfictions and imaginary relationships in the minds of teenaged girls looking for fantasy boyfriends, targets of made-up nasty gossips by these same teenaged girls who happen to be in love with other contestants, and focuses of speculations of their sexual orientations. Being that this is American Idol, we will all operate on the "Flamingly Gay Until Proven Otherwise, And Even Then, We'd Say You're Lying" principle. Sleazie says that the judges have reviewed their notes (Miss Paula's notes will say, "hooooootttttt wannan sex mmmmm mmmmm tell corey to go die cute white boys r so cute eeeeeee!", King Tut's will be filled with lewd doodlings of stick figures doing nasty things with each other, and Randy Randy's will be filled with bitter rantings about how nobody listens to him when he knows all about the talent, yo) and reviewed the performances of the 44 wannabes. Only 12 spots are available for the guys and another 12 for the ladies, so twenty unhappy people will be going home to their mundane jobs and broken dreams of fame and glory.

To fill up the time, this is an hour-long episode of nothing substantial, after all, there are one guy saying how his life is going to change and another lady saying that her music career will go "kaput" if this doesn't work out for her. Oh no, how tragic! So many young dreams will be shattered by the end of this episode! How can anyone with a heart bear to watch such a pitiless show? Kevin has never done or experienced anything like "this" before. He'll be saying that often, I suspect, for the rest of this season.

Sleazie now does the same thing he did in the last season: he shows off the elevator (which is used to take the wannabe up the moment he or she is called). shows off the hallway, and... oh, just read that recap of that particular episode in the previous season. He is even saying the same lines, I strongly suspect. Anyway, in quick succession, the following are cut: Jessica Santos, Bobby Bullard, Brooke Barrettsmith (bwahahahaha!), Nick Whitten, and Stephanie White. Sleazie waits in the hallway and pretends to symphatize along with the dejected family members of those who are cut. Jessica cries to the camera and says, hey, one door closes (the one that says "Star", heh) and another opens (the one that says "Exit") so she's still optimistic. Anyway, there's the exit, Jessica. Hurry home, now, the local diner is still hiring!

Crystal Stark says that her best audition moment was singing Wishing On A Star acapella to the judges. It's a 2-1 decision to send her packing. The poor dear is looking confident about making it through so she's left flabbergasted when she realizes that she has to pack her bags. Next, Bobby Dillard is also sent home. Elsewhere, Katharine McPhee tells Sleazie that she is upset with the judges for sending Crystal home. But when she is told that she has made it (the show flashes to her acapella rendition of My Funny Valentine), she kisses Randy, Randy, Miss Paula - on the lips - and King Tut. She exclaims in mock shock that she has just kissed King Tut and Randy Randy pretends that nobody has ever, er, kissed King Tut just to make it as a superstar. She then runs down and tells everyone that she has learned the basic arts in playing the casting coach. Katharine McPhee is the first person to make it through to the semifinals!

Despite his worries about his acapella performance of She's Out Of My Life, Ace Young is making it through. Anyone shocked at this development? He says that he now gets to "go to the people". Yeah, and get lost among the people, you smarmy creep. His oversinging and corny theatrics make me cringe. Antonio Bridges is cut. Eugenia Littlejohn is also cut and she tells the judges that she's 26 and therefore her musical career is over. Despite Randy Randy telling her that some people start their musical careers at 30, Eugenia is not placated. Miss Paula hugs her but Eugenia is not pacified. She ends up cursing at the camera in the elevator on the way down but says that hey, everything's alright. Robert Bennett (who?) is through. He's happy and says that he expected to be cut because he was fat... but I wonder, since he has virtually no pimp time, who will vote for him apart from his mother? Joe Murena?

When Mandisa takes her seat before the judges, she tells King Tut, "You didn't need a bigger stage, but you could have gotten a bigger chair!" She says that people wanted her to say something to King Tut but all she has to say is that King Tut has hurt her feelings and she has cried but she'll forgive him because Jesus died on the cross so that everyone's sins are forgotten and therefore Mandisa will forgive King Tut. That sounds, to me, like a roundabout way of saying that she would have sat on his face until it turned blue but God told her not to do that and she'll obey God because she's a pious Christian like that. A more inspirational thing to say may be that she's forgiving him because he's not worth it, being that he is just a short little man who says mean things for attention. The whole "I want to emulate Jesus so I won't do that" thing feels like a cop-out to me. Anyway, King Tut and Mandisa are friends again in this very rehearsed scene and Mandisa is going through to the semifinals. That fact that she is makes sitting through this cloyingly fake scene worth all the pain it is giving me.

The wannabes still waiting at the waiting area are becoming more and more nervous although Elliot claims that he isn't. Memo to the show: STOP SHOWING ACE YOUNG ALL THE TIME! HE'S DISGUSTING! Meanwhile, Melissa McGhee (who?) makes it to the semifinals. Mark Adam Locklear is cut. Oversinging Still In Love With Me banshee Lisa Tucker of course goes through and her overbearing stage mother wets her adult diapers in joy. David Radford sang Dream A Little Dream Of Me acapella and he is going through. No surprises there. He deserves unctuous cookie points for mentioning his mother a hundred times in a five second clip. The little girls will believe that he's a good son and they will love him. The affected Luther Vandross imitator Sway is also going through. He's not that good and this show hasn't learned anything from the Princess Jasmelisma fiasco in the third season. Elliot also makes it and he goes back down in time to give a birthday celebration hug to Sway. Sway's 28 today.

The show flashes back to Brenna Gethers mouthing off sassily to King Tut about how comedy is not for him. Well, she is going through to Hollywood (YES!) where she will live on borrowed time because too many people on this show judge contestants on their TV personality more than talent and she won't stand a chance with the whitebread stupid little girls and their annoying soccer mommy hausfraus. Brenna shouts to the others still waiting at the lobby that she's in and some of them have shocked expressions on their faces. Yeah, I understand. Yes, Brenna is in! I'm going to enjoy this, heh heh heh.

On the other hand, Marcy Smith, whom Sleazie calls "Brenna's archnemesis", is cut. Poor Marcy already feels that Brenna sabotaged their group so I hope Marcy's parents will hide away the knives and the sleeping pills when Marcy gets home. Nicole Ortiz, David Avram, William McCoy, and Brianna Taylor are cut in quick succession after Marcy. Gedeon McKinney, however, is confident that he has what it takes to be a star. The judges agree with him because he is going through. Gedeon looks like a sleazy pimp and his very skanky Let's Stay Together only drives home how skeevy he looks. Or is that just me? Stephanie Scott, or Stevie Scott as she calls herself now, makes it through as well. Ayla Brown also goes through and her father is happy for her. Chris Daughtry has a mini-drama when the elevator doors jam on him but he's also going through. Rebecca O'Donohue (who?) also makes it through. She's pretty, she sings well (or so it seems from her acapella performance clip), so what's the problem? The problem, according to Heather Cox and April Walsh, is that there is now one less place for them in the semifinals. Heather is a skinny blonde and April is a chubby redhead. What a SHOCKER that the blonde is moving on while the chubby redhead is cut. The sleazy-looking Bucky Covington - is he Kellie Pickler's junkie daddy? - has some tough criticisms for his acapella version of Bless The Broken Road but he is going to the semifinals. Eeuw, put those teeth away, please!

Patrick Hall, who to me is the hottest nerdy guy around, makes it through. YAAAAYYY! I'm a... um, Hallmate? Shut up, people. You have your Claymates, Greymates, Carebears, BoHos, whatever, so let me have my own psycho fangirl moment, okay? I also snigger when Kevin Covais makes it through because he's going to be either a spectacular wunderkind or - most likely - a spectacular trainwreck that will go down in fireworks like it's the fourth of July every week. Did I tell you? This season I'm going to laugh when the talented ones get cut and the losers are kept in thanks to their deranged fans. I'm not going to get angry. No more overinvestments on the likes of Trenyce and Bo for me. It's not worth it, the anger and the need to go out and rip off the ponytails of those stupid little girls, and it's not dignified at my age. This time, I am going to be an amused observer at the sideline. Of course, I reserve to change my mind should Ace Young last longer than Mandisa or something. Back to the show, Paris Bennett has been counting all this while and now realizes that there are three places left for four ladies and two places left for the guys. She can stop counting - not that she's nervous in the first place because her grandmother will beat the crap out of the judges if she doesn't make it. Yes, she makes it to the semifinals.

Now cue the scene of the Brittenum twins telling the camera that they have been angels on this show. "Our behavior has been absolutely flawless," they say in creepy unison. Oops, not really, as those two are now not on the show as Derrell is being convicted of all kinds of charges from forgery to assuming a false identity to steal things. What a great loss to the music industry, that. Next, oh my goodness, that pustule Kellie Picker is going through, where I can expect to hear and see her milk her family story into cheese for maximum mileage. The judges all say that she deserves "it", she squeals that she has finally some bright moment in her life, and I wish the cops will somehow realize that she's involved in whatever crap the Brittenum Brothers are involved in when they find her naked pictures in Derrell's underwear drawer. Or something. Can we kick her off the first week, please? 56-year old Taylor Hicks plays a harmonica before the judges like the corny hick he is before he is told that he is going to the semifinals as well.

Two ladies left, one place left. It's down to Kinnik Sky and Megan Bobo. Kinnik Sky sounds better than Megan Bobo in the flashback clips of their acapella performances and it seems right when Kinnick goes through. It's now down to William Makar and Ray Harcourt, who has changed his name to Syd Harcourt for naught because the soccer-mom friendly William unsurprisingly is the one who makes it through over Syd.

With that, we have our semifinalists. It's a diverse and hopefully interesting cast on both sides (guys and ladies) and suddenly I'm very exicted for the semifinals!