Season 5: The Show Must Go On

Our freshly shaved Ryan "The Fairy Fellers Masterstroke" Sleazebag stands among the audience in his protecting-the-family-jewels stance as he talks about how "we" have pushed the Eight to their limits but tonight "we" will push them ever further. Ouch, that sounds painful. I like that. Can I get to push Kellie off the cliff? He wonders whether anyone of the Eight can match Freddie Mercury. Oh please, of course not! Freddie was glorious. He threw parties where there were gold-painted naked midgets going around holding bowls of marijuana and cannabis for the guests. Then there was his wonderfully hirsute chest that he loved to show off, hmmm. He and Mick Jagger were the last of the true kings of cock rock, when one could get the fever just watching these men shriek like a banshee and swivel those hips on stage or on TV. Who could compare, Sleazie? Certainly not the carefully sanitized Jesus-rock antiseptic of Chris, definitely not the G-rated Tom Jonesian bag of smarm that is Taylor, and certainly not the greasy sleaziness of Ace. This episode is all about the music of Queen? Oh god.

The doors of the Mothership slide open to reveal Sleazie, who is wearing a shirt and a jersey combo underneath his feminine-cut jacket. He still has some stubble going because he's now officially dating Teri Hatcher, so that means he's officially undergoing some kind of puberty. The camera reveals that Fantasia is in the audience. Just seeing her fabulous self makes me feel tired of having to sit through this episode already. Sleazie lies about how tonight there is "something for everyone" - ballads, rock songs, and other stuff that are supposed to appeal to someone other than the three million Ace, Taylor, and Kellie fans watching this show. Sleazie says that these songs will "really test" the Eight. And we all love to see the result when the Eight bungle their tests, of course. Nothing like some botched notes to liven up an exciting season, eh?

Sleazie now introduces the judges. Randy "Bring Back That Leroy Brown" Randy! Miss "Stone Cold Crazy" Paula! And, of course, King "Tenement Funster" Tut! Tonight King Tut actually beams and smiles at Sleazie and Sleazie reciprocates with a truly wide and bright smile that must cost literally tens of thousands of dollars. Hey, what happened between the previous episode and this one? Did those two get drunk and make up or something? Are they on good terms again? Dang, we need live feeds for the behind-the-scenes moments of this show, I tell you. Sleazie says that "we" are "stoked" to be doing a Queen show, a sentence that feels deliciously dirty because it is Sleazie that is doing the talking here.

The tribute montage shows the Eight in some stupid vehicle shaking their heads to the camera in accordance to the script. Kellie features prominently at the center of every frame of this scene. This reminds me, anyone intending to subscribe to the "services" of her ex-boyfriend who is currently performing naughty things to his naked self online in those pay-per-view thingies? I have nothing against the adult entertainment industry, of course, because heaven knows adults need their entertainment too, but I have a great laugh over the possibility of our pristine-pure Kellie having a few videos of her own waiting to be sprung on her fans. If they are already behaving like aggressive velociraptors in denying the possibility that Kellie wore a midriff-baring prom dress - HOW SHOCKING - I'd love to see how they would behave when Kellie is revealed to have, you know, made out with a boy or two in her past. Ah yes, this show. One of the best things about this show is watching the demented fans fly into a tizzy every time someone suggests that their favorites have functional genitalia to the point that these fans don't know up from down anymore. The memory of insane Kewpie fans sobbing online about how they couldn't get out of bed for days because they are literally ill after seeing the picture of Kewpie playfully cupping his hairdresser's breasts never fails to make me laugh. I can still see those distraught sweet church-going ladies typing in all caps, "HOW COUL HE DISRESPECT WOMEN LIKE THAT!!!!!! WE MUST PRAY FOR HIM!!!!"

The Queen tribute montage is as G-rated as this show can be, although it's nice to revisit Freddie's ridiculously tight stage pants and that package that I still am half sure today is stuffed with socks. Freddie's death in 1991 is mentioned but the cause of death is carefully omitted so as to not shock the hormonal fans that are watching this show. I love how the show pretends that Queen is still going strong after His Majesty Freddie Mercury's death when in truth Brian May will latch on to any D-list celebrity he can get his gout-ridden hands on just to be in the limelight. I really love how the show pretends that the contestants of this show have always "celebrated" the music of Queen when it was only after Conty Bint's popular performance of Bohemian Rhapsody, coupled to the popularity of he and Bo, that made the Uncles of this show realize that the fans of this show aren't so fragile as to pass out from horror the moment someone deviates from the safe adult contemporary radio sound on the show. Sleazie narrates about how Brian, Roger Taylor, and the Bad Company guy Paul Rodgers continue touring as Queen to "reconquer the world of arena rock". More like "proving that a band is only as good as the charismatic frontsman", really.

The Eight are given a "live concert" by Queen, according to the montage, where Kellie slips up and forgets to keep up her dumbass blonde act by singing along to The Show Must Go On. The "seasoned veterans" then give "advice" and "valuable lessons" to the Eight so that the Eight will do "justice" to the "killer Queen". Sleazie then reveals that Bruce Gowers, the guy behind the music video of Bohemian Rhapsody, is now working in the sound room of this show. With that, Queen is finally dead and buried, shamed and disgraced, and I hug my copy of A Night At The Opera and weep over the band that I once knew and loved. Let me quote some parts of Radio Ga Ga which feel sadly prophetic in terms of what happened to Queen today. Did Roger Taylor foresee selling out to American Idol when he wrote down the words to this song?

You gave them all those old time stars
Through Wars of Worlds - invaded by Mars
You made 'em laugh - you made 'em cry
You made us feel like we could fly

So don't become some background noise
A backdrop for the girls and boys
Who just don't know or just don't care
And just complain when you're not there
You had your time you had the power
You've yet to have your finest hour

Sleazie says that Bruce manages to keep his "youthful looks" through "clean-living" and "healthy diet". Oh, Sleazie, he just has to make me like him all over again with that blatant verbal thrust at this show's oh-so-discreet whitewashing of Queen's legacy in music.

Bucky goes first. He gets along well with the new Queen and the Queen blokes think that it's good how Bucky can interact with the audience. Sleazie announces that Bucky "Ride The Wild Wind" Covington will be performing Fat Bottomed Girls from the 1978 album Jazz as he places his hand, palms down, on the table and King Tut briefly touches his fist to that hand before smiling away. Bucky is in fine form here as he performs a rousing Southern-rock rendition of this unapologetically joyous and dirty ditty celebrating curvy ladies that make men out of boys everywhere. There's nothing much to say here: it's a fun and energetic performance of a song that's meant to be fun and entertaining.

Randy Randy finds some pitch problems in the song but thinks that the performance was like a Bucky concert. Miss Paula announces that she sees dancing cauliflowers when she closes her eyes to sleep at night. King Tut however feels that the song is "bigger" than Bucky and therefore he found the performance "quite mediocre". If Bucky is Chris, though, King Tut would be all over that performance but since Bucky isn't, King Tut takes aim and fires. Bucky tells Sleazie that "Freddy Mercury ain't nobody you'd want to jump up behind". Em, Bucky, I think there are many guys out there that would beg to differ, heh. Bucky is optimistic about his performance and he tells Sleazie that he will take whatever compliments and brickbats he receives.

Sleazie and Ace "Don't Try Suicide" Young at the stools in a classic "stool on stool" moment discuss how Ace finds the show more intense and how Ace is out of his comfort zone tonight. Ace babbles about having felt Freddie for a week or something like that. The clip of him with Queen is pretty funny: Brian May shoots Ace down when Ace thinks that We Will Rock You should be arranged like some "army beat". Is "army beat" something like the sounds of boot stomping the ground, the rifles clicking away, and bullets shooting right at Ace? Ace comes out to perform... okay, anyone remembers the UK boyband 5ive's cover version of this song in the 1990s? Ace's version is something like 5ive's version. He actually sounds pretty competent when he chants-sings through the verse and I even like the falsetto ad-libs he adds towards the end of the song. Yes, I love this performance. It's not Queen but it's actually very melodic and entertaining in a frat-boy beer-keg shout-out party way. There are some horrid kinds of blasphemy, there are some that are beautiful sacrilege, and Ace's performance leans towards the latter.

Randy Randy compliments Ace for taking a "big song" but he finds the performance "just alright - just karaoke for me". Miss Paula understands why Queen don't want to bastardize their song but she also likes how Ace changed the arrangement and how Ace knew what time it was in the competition to take a risk and look, the butterflies are breaking out of their cocoons and flying out of Miss Paula's nostrils! King Tut thinks that Randy Randy was being "generous" in his non-compliment because King Tut thinks that the performance was "a complete utter mess". Randy Randy chimes in as the audience starts to boo, "It is! And I was just trying to be kind!" King Tut tells Ace that Ace was all over the place and Ace even forgot his words. He says, "It was We Will Rock You Gently!" Aww, Ace looks like he's about to cry as Sleazie comes to his side on stage. Ace defiantly says that he rocked and everyone had fun. "Did we have fun?" he asks the audience who then clap and cheer on cue. Sleazie tries to ask whether Ace and Queen really had "an uncomfortable moment" like the clip suggested but Ace is either too stupid or too insipid to give a good answer to that. He continues saying that he had fun on stage and he wants everyone to have fun, woo-hoo. Sleazie gives up on Ace and rattles off Ace's number, his expression suggesting that he is probably wondering inside whether he has to keep pandering to braindead insipid famewhores in order to keep being in the limelight for the rest of his life. Beside him, Ace strikes a pose and grins with a vacant expression to the camera. They make such a beautiful Kodak moment, the jaded famewhore and the insipid braindead famewhore side-by-side like that.

Sleazie asks me to see what Pickler picked. Kellie "She Makes Me (Stormtrooper In Stilletoes)" Pickler tee-hees and haw-naws her way in the clip about how she and her daddy listened to Queen when she was young. Maybe that was the time when her daddy tried to rob the convenience store while carrying Kellie in one hand and a stolen gun in the other. Queen says she's brave. Sleazie says that "we" love Kellie and really, there's no pressure on Kellie because she's only performing the most popular song by Queen, about how the singer shot a man. I think she dedicates the song lovingly to her father. Some nasty rumor has it that she actually rips off her blouse to reveal the tattoo of a hairy hand showing the bird just above her right breast as she screams, "Daddy, this is for you! Show the mothertruckers what we Picklers are made off. EAT THIS CLUCKSUCKERS!" (all this edited from the show to keep everything clean and family-friendly, of course) right before she launches into Bohemian Rhapsody. Ever wanted to hear this song performed in a hickweed manner? Here's Kellie to make you happy. My husband thinks that Kellie sounds like Avril Lavigne performing Queen and I agree. It's a pretty decent performance when it could have gone horribly wrong in so many places but Kellie comes off like some petulant child whining about life sucks. By the way, the close-up on her face is not flattering at all. Is this supposed to be the pretty gal of the season? She looks really rough and there seems to be like an inch of white powder plastered all over her face.

Randy Randy and Miss Paula dance the party line and insist that Kellie is the best thing ever. King Tut doesn't like the Night Of The Living Dead start but he finds the performance much better than it seemed on paper. Kellie of course says that she doesn't understand what "on paper" means. I guess she finds out about her daddy from the TV then. I know, I know, that's a cheap shot unworthy of me. Kellie squeals some more to King Tut and King Tut chuckles back because they both want me to love Kellie forever and ever for being stupid, serviceable, and, when we're all bored of her, discardable.

Back among the audience with a "Queen has supplied the soundtrack, Chris Daughtry supplies the next song - let's go!" Sleazie introduces the next performer. Chris "Tie Your Mother Down" Daughtry announces that he's performing Innuendo, an "obscure song". Yes, it's so obscure that it is a title track of the CD that went to #1 in, oh, six thousand years ago back in 1991 and spent 37 weeks in the UK chart. He makes a case about how Queen has never performed the song live and he's the first. Chris likes to make a case about himself. I understand that his hometown media junket is going on about how he married his wife to "save" her from a life of stripping. Oh, please don't snigger. It is possible that his wife put on the three hundred pounds after she's stopped stripping. Anyway, my point is, Chris and his people seem to be trying a little too hard at times to make him out to be something more than he actually is. So Chris is the first person to perform a forgettable B-side live? Big freaking deal! Especially when it's yet another Creed-like shoutfest from Chris. I like Chris' voice but this song should be performed in stadiums where people want to have a good time and shout along with him, not on this competition!

Randy Randy appoints Chris the patron of "alternative rock" on this show. Except, of course, Chris' brand of rock is dead in the mainstream scene for quite some time now and it's too late for this show to try and jump on that bandwagon. Miss Paula disses Queen by saying that it's no wonder Queen didn't perform this song live because only Chris could perform that song live. She then goes on to say that Chris has "superseded" the original performers many times in this competition. I've found Miss Paula amusing or pathetic in the past but this is the first time that I am starting to think that she is full-blown crazy. King Tut says that the reason why Queen didn't perform it live is most likely because the song isn't good in the first place. He says that Chris' vocals were the best and the most convincing compared to other performances so far but he finds the song choice too indulgent. He doubts that the audience enjoyed the performance as much as Chris did. It's really disconcerting sometimes how King Tut can sound so reasonable at one moment and so obviously bent on overpraising or unfairly slamming a contestant at another moment. Miss Paula insists that the auidience (read: she) had a moment after witnessing Chris and Randy Randy says to forget song choice because the performance was (to him) good. Since he's a moron who has been parroting the phrase "song choice" a hundred times every episode, to have Randy Randy saying that is just too rich.

Katharine "Pain Is So Close To Pleasure" McPhee, that naughty lady, decides to steal the song Mandisa planned to do this week for her own. She initially wanted to rock out Don't Stop Me Now but now she'll do Who Wants To Live Forever to emphasize her voice and all. Sleazie poses with Stagemom McPhee in the audience and points out that the song was featured on the 1986 movie Highlander. Katharine has a very shaky and too breathy start as her lower register is unable to sustain the lower notes. She then starts shrieking out the bridge and chorus and she's a little too melismatic for my taste and way too sharp for my liking. The only part of this performance that I like is from the lines "But touch my tears with your lips/Touch my world with your fingertips" to the beautifully understated ending, where Katharine seems to be at the brink of sounding really good and on key. I am puzzled by her facial expressions during this performance: sometimes she seems to be at the brink of tears, which, given what this song is about, complements the song beautifully while at other times she's smiling widely. At the end of the day, however, Katharine really shouldn't have glory-noted the Freddie Mercury anthem to death in such a sharp and pitchy manner.

Randy Randy has some issues with the pitching but on the whole, he loves the performance and thinks that Katharine is wise to cater to her strengths. Which, according to Randy Randy, are Broadway-style vocals. Miss Paula agrees with him and rainbow-colored snot flies out of her nostrils to form a heart-shaped frame around her face. King Tut finds the performance one of the strongest of the night and adds that she owes the lighting fellows a kiss because they make her look good on stage.

With Sleazie on the stools now is Elliott "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" Yamin. Elliott reveals that he couldn't keep a job in the past and among other things he's had, he was a weekend 2 to 6 DJ. He demonstrates some of his DJ'ing abilities and boy, he can give Sleazie lessons. With Queen, he is pleasantly surprised to learn that Aretha Franklin had covered the song he chose for tonight, Somebody To Love. The old coots of Queen think that the song is one of the hardest to sing. They're right. Elliott has the melody and the ad-libbing down right but he has no volume in his voice to stop the background vocalists and the band from nearly drowning him out. He's still to me the best singer in this lot but alas, this performance would be perfect if he can be heard more!

Randy Randy goes all "pitchy but I love it". Miss Paula's tongue dances with the pink puppies in the forest of the white unicorns. King Tut finds the performance "in and out" but he thinks Elliott "probably" pulled it off. Poor Elliott. He's so good it nearly hurts to listen to him but the judges never care to rave about him as much as they rave about you-know-who.

Taylor "Seven Seas Of Rhye" Hicks explains that his initial choice of song was We Are The Champions but he decided to change it to Crazy Little Thing Called Love in order to become his "old self" and "entertain" people. So here he is, swivelling his hips and hilariously failing to kick down the mic stand until his third try before running up and down among the audience. He's cheesy, cringe-inducing, and yet, paradoxically entertaining all at once. I believe this is the first time I don't wince when I see him monkeying around on stage. I hope it's not because I'm watching this show with lowered expectations week by week. He sounds good as he tends to do, which is always a plus.

Randy Randy predictably takes his cue from Taylor's montage and goes yay, Taylor's back. Miss Paula swims with the dolphins and listens to the songs of the whales that have her wondering whether Taylor should be given a recording contract or a straightjacket. I don't know. I have a feeling that should he get a recording contract, like Kewpie, Taylor will at best be known as a singer with a cult following rather than a mainstream superstar, which is why I suspect that he has to come onto this show in order to get noticed. King Tut asks Taylor whether the man is drunk and Taylor of course denies being drunk. King Tut calls the performance "ridiculous" and is booed by the audience. Taylor is consoled by Sleazie who says that "someone" is drunk at the judges' table. That joke only works if people don't automatically assume that he's talking about Miss Paula and completely miss his punchline.

Finally, Paris "Teo Torriatte" Bennett shows up to close the show. She is as expected insipid, banal, boring, and trite in a small bag of squeaky-voiced ugh in her "Queen loves me" clip. Her song is The Show Must Go On, a big and melancholic song that is all theatrics, hot air, and charisma. Paris on the other hand comes off as a laughable wannabe here. She does not sound one bit credible in this performance. She's contrived, the performance is contrived, and her pitch is all over the place. To be fair, the music of Queen is not within the genre that she's good in (gospel, R&B, that kind of thing) so it's understandable if she comes off as even more contrived than usual.

Randy Randy generously thinks she worked it out at the end. Miss Paula makes some nice herbal stew for the singing seven dwarves in her house that is made of gingerbread and cinnamon. King Tut finds the performance "a little weird" and the band plays the theme song to prevent him from saying some more nice things to Paris, heh. Sleazie deliberately thanks King Tut for his kind words as he rattles off Paris' number.

With that, the show is done. Freddie Mercury isn't turning too much in his grave, I hope.

Results night. Sleazie babbles about voting, results, someone leaving - is that a cue for me to do just that, Sleazie? - the usual. "Another one bites the dust!" Sleazie says imaginatively.

Sleazie comes out on stage and welcomes everyone as the camera zooms in on signs around the place. Here's a pretty good one: "Forget the dawg pound, it's all about Kat." Sleazie speaks like he's trying not to burst out laughing. My, he's such a happy fellow. Just what did he do last night after the show with King Tut? "Good news!" he announces. "We've got an hour together tonight!" Delivered with just enough sarcasm as a wink to me, which is why, despite my best judgment, I'm putty in Sleazie's hands. Metaphorically speaking, of course. He then introduces who he calls the "three inhouse drama queens": Randy Randy, Miss Paula, and "the king of the queens" King Tut of course. King Tut just smiles and nods his head towards Sleazie, promising retribution of the very exquisitely delicious kind to Sleazie.

Because this show is an hour long, Sleazie conducts Q&A with our oh-so-eloquent judges. He asks Miss Paula of her opinions on the performances of the previous night. Miss Paula complains that King Tut has just tickled her under the table and she seriously advocates the use of alternative fuel as a means to overcome the pressing issue of fuel shortage in the world. Sleazie asks Randy Randy what the three ladies need to do in order to go against the five guys left. Randy Randy says that there is certainly no problem when it comes to Kellie because she's already doing what she has to do. Her enthusiasm should be emulated! Sleazie accuses King Tut of being more and more agitated on the show every week and calls King Tut "the grumpiest millionaire" Sleazie has ever met. And Sleazie has met many, many millionaires, of course - he's a walking Jackie Collins novel. He wants to know what it will take to get King Tut to enjoy the show. King Tut's answer is simple: "You. Under the table. Now." And then FCC gets this show cancelled and I will never complain about the FCC ever again. No, really, King Tut says that America respects him because he's honest rather than insincere like Sleazie and they both really need to go under the table and just be quiet because the banality of the whole staged and faked "conversation" session is boring me out of my mind.

A recap of the previous night is next, followed by a truly lifeless and horrible group performance of a Queen medley that plays over a montage of scenes of the bad audition episodes. Queen has never been humiliated like this before, I tell you. Look, that's Will Makar and Sam Moore in the audience. Then it's a Ford clip with the Eight covering Pat Benatar's Hit Me With Your Best Shot as they go to a golf course dressed up like a thirteen-year old girl's idea of a Barbie and Ken fashion show. The Ford comes to live - it is possessed by some evil demonic force - and chases them down. Bucky valiantly sacrifices himself by jumping in the car's way but it's all in vain as the car merely runs Bucky down into disgusting bits of gore as it keeps chasing after the others. That will teach them to disrespect Queen like that. Sleazie wants to know who picked the awful wardrobe for that clip and Ace confesses to doing it blindfolded while he was being whacked by Miss Paula hard with a riding crop. Sleazie says that he's done that many times too and he's still alive today so there's that.

Meet the Eight's family! Yay!

Next week is Rod Stewart Night! Yay!

GOD. There is forty-five minutes more left on this show.

Sleazie wants to pick out the bottom three. But first, more family moments! Which I won't recap because I respect people on this show too much not to make fun of them! No, really, there is really no point and no use in trying to recap all these moments because there are some things in this world that are just not worth the time and effort to carry out and recapping filler moments on this episode is one of them. Sure, it's nice to know that the Eight have friends and families but I'm not recapping all that sentimental and deliberate "Oh, so and so is so sweet! So devout! So loyal! So loving! So kind to sick animals! And old people! VOTE FOR THAT PERSON TODAY!" campaigning going on. It's already 12:06 am and I've already spent five hours on this recap and I want to do something else like watching B-grade horror movies before going to bed.

Anyway, the bottom three now. Elliott is in the bottom three, much to Randy Randy's dismay. After blabbing about Kellie's personality, Randy Randy now remembers that this show is supposed to be a singing competition. Really, Randy Randy, fuck off and die, you two-faced double-speaking hypocrite. Sleazie persuades Elliott to sing when he doesn't want to, saying morbidly that this may be the last time that Elliott will ever perform. Now that Sleazie puts it that way, Elliott grabs the mic and performs Somebody To Love in pretty much the same manner as his performance in the previous night. Ace is also in the bottom three, much to Miss Paula's dismay, not that her dismay will strike her speechless and stop her from babbling incoherently. Ace now reprises We Will Rock You, sounding worse than previously, oh dear. Finally, Bucky rounds up the bottom three. Sing Fat Bottomed Girls now, Bucky. Bucky and Elliott don't deserve to be in the bottom three judging from their performances on the night before but really, I don't think "talent" even factors in when it comes to voting anymore.

Elliott is declared safe. In the end the boot goes to Bucky instead of Ace, which is sad but also predictable, really, because Bucky never has the following that Chris and Ace have. Poor Bucky. Many people really couldn't look past that accent. I'll miss him.