Season 5: Black Horse & the Cherry Tree

Ryan "My Digits Are Beautiful!" Sleazebag stands among the audience of people who exhibit this Pavlovian tendency to turn their heads nearly all the way to their back to stare eeriely at the camera while their bodies remain seated and facing the stage. I always wonder why these people in the audience do that. Do they want their friends and family members to notice that they're in the audience? If that's the case, why do so many of these people dress up like they've just walked out of their office or supermarket and straight into this studio without doing a little grooming? Anyway, Sleazie says that the finale is so close that everyone can apparently taste it. Hey, Sleazie, if that's the case, what does it taste like? I'd be most interested to know. He then talks some more, pretending that the Five's perfomances tonight will actually have any impact, as if we all don't know that the people who vote have their minds already made up even before the show begins.

Woosh, the credits have barely finished when the doors of the Mothership slide open to allow Sleazie, looking all formal and demure today, to walk onto the stage. Oh look, there's Trachea Boi from the last season in the audience. Has he made his porn debut yet or is he still under the delusion that he will somehow make it one day as a respectable singer? Sleazie says that the "soap opera" will continue in this episode, although whether he's talking about how he will continue to mock Miss Paula to continue their feud or something else altogether, I don't know. Sleazie then explains that the Five will be singing two songs each tonight and there will be two phone lines for each as well so all you people out there have better get those digits working overtime. Sleazie then introduces the judges: Randy "Eight Ball" Randy, Miss "I Have A Date With My Bottle" Paula, and King "In One Year, Out The Other" Tut. By the way, King Tut is rubbing his lower lip as he gazes in bemusement at Miss Paula's unfocused drunk-by-noon expression before turning to give Sleazie this positively lascivious look. It's like he's daring Sleazie to stand still so that he can take a big bite or something. Ooh. Sleazie then says that the first round will feature each of the Five singing a song from the year he or she was born.

Elliott opens the show. He explains that he's born in 1978 and he has a habit of chewing his nails, a habit that he claims to have intensified since he's on the show. Do I see all those crazy people out there offering to chew his nails for him? Eeuw. He laughs and says that he won't make a good hand model. Maybe he should let me examine his hand a little closer so that I can judge for myself. Do you think his knuckles will be very hairy indeed? Maybe he turns into a werewolf or something when the moon is full? Or maybe the full moon is just affecting me because if you've told me at the start of this season that I would be turning into a demented fangirl for Elliott, I'd say you're crazy. Anyway, I don't know why he would choose to perform George Benson's On Broadway since it is a repetitive song that won't show off what Elliott can do on a good day. He tries very hard to make the performance interesting by doing runs and going melismatic to the point that he oversings too much for his own good. The performance feels very uneven and even rough at places and Elliott looks really nervous on stage. Also, his constant problem of his voice not having enough volume also comes into play here - the band is too loud and he is too soft. After so many episodes, I'd have thought that the sound people would know how to modulate the volume so that Elliott would be more audible but it looks like I overestimate the expertise of the sound people on this show. Towards the end Elliott tries to bring it home with a glory note but this song fails to do anything for him.

Randy Randy talks about how Elliott started out pretty pitchy and all but he did well at the end - the same old story, really. I don't know why they keep this man as a judge since all he does nowadays is to say the same handful of lines in every episode in every season. Miss Paula loves Elliott's "vibrato and rich voice". She doesn't say much but then again, she looks like she's barely staying awake. King Tut, to give him credit, at least tries to say something more than a slurred-out sentence even if he's obviously bored of this show, so he tells Elliott that he found the performance "disjointed" and therefore wasn't one of his best performances. He thinks that Elliott is lucky that he has one more performance on this show. Awww, Elliott's eyes seem to be glistening with unshed tears as he is joined by Sleazie who makes another lame crack at King Tut before rattling off Elliott's numbers. Sleazie also calls Elliott "Elliott Yamin the Machine". How does that nickname come about? I'm afraid to ask.

Some really misguided ladies are holding a red sign in the audience that says, "Ryan... we'll be your desperate housewives!" Those poor, foolish women. They are always the last to know. Anyway, it's now Paris' turn to perform. Yup, she's coming in second to perform and you know what this mean, right, folks? Every contestant that has performed second in the Top Five had been booted the next night since the first season. You think Paris will break the trend in this season? We'll see, I suppose. Paris sits at the stools with Sleazie and reveals that she's decided to forgo a golden opportunity to perform one of Miss Paula's many hit songs that charted on the year Paris was born because she's instead performing Prince's Kiss. Why this song? Paris says that it's because the song is something different from what she always performed in the past and, I quote her, "the song is not really a song that people can make a song but I think I can". Ugh. I'm also confused by the fact that Paris was born in 1988 but this song came out in 1986.

Once again, I am disoriented by how different the kiddie Paris and the Paris on stage that wants her lover's body from dusk to dawn are. I have only one thing to say to her: grow up, little girl, a little bit more before you attempt to perform a sexy little song like Kiss. She strikes the pose of a bad girl with attitude as she struts around the place and her vocals are nearly flawless. But the Paris that performs sounds like an adult woman while the Paris that squeaks about how Prince is some god to adore seems to be a very separate and different personality altogether. I feel like I'm watching some sweet little girl being exploited to whet the appetite of jaded perverts, as if I'm watching a young girl on TV singing about wild sex and other things that she acts like she knows nothing about off-stage. It could be worse, I suppose, Paris in all her Jekyll and Hyde glory could have tackled the even more dark and dirty When Doves Cry and really make me cry in pain as result. At the end of the day, the performing Paris is great but I guess I will never know whether this Paris is real or just an act put on by the squeaky sweet Paris that expertly emulates the singers that she adores and longs to be when she grows up.

Randy Randy says that it's nice to see Paris have fun and showing that "little youth thing". Don't ask. Here I am thinking that the "youth thing" is the one thing that is holding Paris back from becoming a credible performer on stage rather than a little girl who knows how to play grown-up. Randy Randy liked the performance. Miss Paula simply says that she loves it when Paris sings songs from the "past era". King Tut is also succint today in his opinions when he says simply, "Screechy and annoying." Sleazie, Miss Paula, and Randy Randy all act as if perhaps King Tut is the one that's annoying and he also has hearing problems. Paris squeaks that she'd thank him nonetheless for his opinion since she loves all kinds of opinions. Oh, Paris. Why does she talk like such a vapid little girl? Maybe her mother should let her out of the house more often so that she can meet people, grow up a little, and learn who she really is as a performer before poor Paris turns into LaToya Jackson.

Next is Chris. He's born in 1979 and he claims that since he was a kid playing all kinds of dressing-up, he has always wanted to be in the spotlight. How nice that he's on this show then. His song is Styx's Renegade. Chris starts out very nice indeed in the slower first few lines but he loses a little of the momentum he's building up to that point when he raises his voice and becomes a little sharp. Still, he manages to get back in pitch quickly, thus delivering a solid and satisfying performance, although I find that he's really in danger of falling into a rut. His performances up to this point don't really stand out in my mind, they all tend to blend into a blur of screechy guitars and a black-clad Chris yelling about something while he's tilting the mic stand and doing the half-squat on stage. We're late into the competition so a stand-out performance will be nice. But I am starting to fear that maybe Chris doesn't have the range or the ability to do that.

The judges all act like they've been jolted awake from a boredom-induced sleep, something that I am feeling at that moment myself, and they praise Chris like the second coming of some rock icon, which is not something that I am feeling at that moment myself. Chris is a solid performer, he's okay, but I wish he stands out a little bit more than just being a solid performer. Poor Chris then has to endure another Sleazie-paw session when Sleazie just has to put his arm around Chris' shoulder and give that shoulder a noticeable squeeze for good measure. Chris puts a petrified wide-eyed expression that stays unchanged through Sleazie's babbling to the camera. Chris doesn't have a wide range of facial expressions, the poor dear.

Katharine's turn now. She's at the stools with Sleazie as she and Sleazie bring up her infamous wardrobe malfunction of the last episode. Sleazie "jokes" that America now knows she wears boxers. No, not from the peek she gave the camera, so Sleazie needs to get his facts straight before he comments on women's underwear. Katharine says that today she is wearing a "trash bag" for good measure, thus making the straight guys that tune in to this show for the first time groan in dismay and turn off the TV. Her clip reveals that she was born in 1984 and apparently she didn't cry when she first came into this world. She finds that "ironic" because now she's in a profession where she has to be "so loud".

Katharine steps on stage to perform Phil Collins' Against All Odds, although people may be more familiar with Mariah Carey's cover version of the song. What is this? Ape Boy Memorial Night or something? If Taylor comes out to sing Dance With My Father, I'll be very scared indeed. This song really challenges many performers when they have to use their lower register during the verse and Katharine fumbles like many have done in the past. She sounds better when she goes into the chorus. Still, there's a very sedate quality to this performance for the most part as her voice comes off as too thin for the song's belted glory notes. It's a performance that I will have a hard time paying attention to because it's boring as well as poorly sung.

Randy Randy repeats the "beginning not so hot, ending is alright" spiel of his, taking the problem to halfheartly elaborate that the key was too low for Katharine. Miss Paula says that the performance wasn't Katharine's best and Katharine agrees with her. King Tut agrees with those two, saying that the performance was a mess at times and too big for her at other times. He says that he doesn't think that he will be apologizing to her tomorrow. He then messes up by saying that the performance was "by far your best performance". He ends up clarifying that he meant "by far from your best performance", causing Sleazie to say that "someone" has been hitting the bar before the show. I wait for Sleazie to clarify that he meant to say "hitting the bar with Miss Paula" but it seems like he's going to disappoint me again, sigh.

Taylor insists that he's born in 1976. Okay, if he says so. His fans will probably sit on me and cut out my heart to offer it to him if I refuse to believe that he's 30 like he says he is. He once more talks about how his hair turned grey, making me wonder whether he's constantly mentioning his hair because he is really worried that someone will come out and show documents proving that he was actually born in 1966. Taylor decides to prove to me once and for all that he's not an artist as much as he is a spectacle on stage by coming out to performing Wild Cherry's Play That Funky Music. I have to laugh at his performance because it's a hoot. What salvages this performance is the fact that he is clearly aware of and playing up to the fact that he is the whitest white boy there ever is and this song, which is a joke even to the original artists, is his joke to share with the audience. Otherwise, this "your out-of-shape and intoxicated suburban uncle dancing in the lawn with a barbecue sauce bottle in one hand and a still bloody steak in the other" performance will be an excruciating ordeal to watch and listen to. He ends the performance by collapsing on his back on the stage floor and having his daily epileptic seizure.

It is at this shining moment that I have a crystal clear moment of lucid clarity: the biggest and most perfect screw-you gesture one could make to this show is to make Taylor the new American Idol. Those Kewpinites constantly carping about how Ruben didn't go anywhere after the second season and therefore Kewpie was the "correct" winner that season miss the point: the show would be a laughingstock should Kewpie win. Can you imagine having the phrase "American Idol winner" tagged on to scandal sheet comedy about Kewpie's latest gay sex scandal? Can you imagine the beating the show would get if everyone from Jay Leno to Howard Stern made fun of Kewpie and his fans in the months after the second season had ended should Kewpie win? And now, it looks like Taylor's fans never get the memo that Taylor is a big joke like Kewpie. I tell you, if Taylor wins, this show will take a serious beating from its critics that it will have a hard time recovering from. It will be forever synonymous with insane suburban white women and their daughters lusting over ugly men for the most bizarre of reasons. That's why Taylor should win! Chris has some credibility since he is a pretty decent alternative rock performer, Katharine will always have an audience since she can sing and she has the looks to be marketable, Elliott lacks the camp factor to be a joke as big as Taylor is, and Paris is just too weird. Taylor for the gold!

Randy Randy compares the performance to something he can hear in a bar after Randy Randy has had some drinks while King Tut calls the performance a "horrible, horrible wedding performance". Do they know that they are only cementing my love for Taylor's performance? Yes, it's horribly self-indulgent and ridiculous, but at the same time I can only imagine how years down the road people would look at a playback of this performance in some golden oldies TV show and go, "Wow, so this guy won American Idol?" and I feel like the world is already such a better place. Miss Paula diplomatically thinks that Taylor had fun on stage so that's okay. Taylor and Sleazie synchronize-collapse on stage (don't ask) and Sleazie rattles off Taylor's number on his back. Insert the obvious joke here, heh.

Next, Sleazie walks among the audience and explains to the camera that the Five can choose any Top Ten hits from any of this week's Billboard charts to perform in the second round. Note the word "any" - that will probably explain some of the bizarre song choices that will follow. You'll see what I mean soon enough. But first, the obligatory Billboard 101 montage that says nothing new that I haven't seen or learned from the Billboard 101 montages of previous seasons. There's a mention of Daniel Powter's Bad Day holding the number one spot in the Billboard Hot 100 for the fifth week during that time, as if hearing that irritating song every week on this show isn't enough. Kelly is also mentioned when her single A Moment Like This jumped from 51 places to the number one spot on its second week of sales and broke the record for the highest jumper in that chart that was previously held by the Beatles. No mention of how Kelly's Breakaway CD, which is not affiliated with this show in any way, outsold her debut CD though. I wonder why. Randy Randy and Sleazie also remind everyone to go out on May 23 and buy the compilation CD of this season that is called Encores so that it will top the albums chart. You hear the men, kiddies. Don't download music, go buy the original and help Kevin Covais score some dope from the man on the streets, yo.

Returning to the stage is Elliott with Michael Bublé's Home. By the way, I hope I will not have to hear anyone mention "Michael Bubble" or "Michael Booble" to me after Sleazie has been clearly heard pronouncing the man's last name. Obviously dear Elliott hasn't heard of the dangers of singing about wanting to go home on this show. Still, I'm selfish enough to be pleased that he gets to perform this song because I think I can listen to him sing for a long, long time without realizing how much time is passing me by. It's obvious that the poor dear is very nervous on stage, which makes me wonder just how good he could be if he ever gets the confidence to be on stage and sing his heart out while I wave glowsticks and squee like some silly teenaged girl when he sings about wanting to come home to me- to me, to me-eeeeee! - because as he is at that moment, he is very good already in my opinion. And at the end of the performance, poor Elliott must have forgotten his cue or something because he just runs off the stage. No, really, and Sleazie has to chase after him so that he can come back and face the judges.

Randy Randy giggles as he talks about how good it is to see some tender side of Elliott. As opposed to the manic creepy-eyed Elliott most of the time, I suppose. Hey, don't send me angry emails, people, I adore Elliott even when he's manic-eyed and doing the frantic hobble-wobble dance thing on stage. Miss Paula babbles about hearing some richness in his voice. I hear some lushness in her voice. King Tut on the other hand finds the performance dull and wonders why Elliott is singing about going home. King Tut claims to be worried for Elliott because of that. Me too. Why would anyone sing a song about going home on this show? King Tut then tells Elliott to run back to Sleazie and they then do this running thing that seems suspiciously staged to me. Do you see how Elliott winks at the camera as Sleazie rattles off his number? Ooh, ooh, I... ahem. I have to paste a big Post-It note that says "Don't embarrass yourself! Remember that you're a demure and classy old dame!" at a corner of my monitor while I am working on this recap because when it comes to Elliott because I become dangerously prone to overflowery gushing over the dear Monkey Boy too easily.

Paris is next and she will be performing Mary J Blige's Be Without You. I really don't know what she is thinking to choose that song because Be Without You is not in any way a competition song. It's a catchy song but when it's crammed and cut up into the one minute and thirty seconds for this show, the song becomes a repetitive and even tuneless mess. Paris sings-chants her way through the song, which is fine because that's how the song is supposed to be performed, and her performance is as usual superb. But this is American Idol, where Paris is supposed to wow people with her vocal chops, and this particular low-key performance is not going to be something that will make people sit up and go, "Wow, that lady can sing!" Lots of props, however, to Paris for actually singing the line "We've been through it, we got real shit" on the show. The censors manage to bleep out the offending word, of course, but anyone who has listened to the original song will know what the bleeped out word is! At the end of the day, I think Be Without You is a wrong song choice for Paris.

Randy Randy thinks that Paris took some risk in choosing a Mary J Blige song and he gives her the "prop" even if he found the performance "pitchy" here and there. Miss Paula wishes that Paris has injected some of Paris' own style into that song since she doesn't think that Paris succeeded in capturing the "Mary J Blige vibe". She's assuming that there is a Paris unique style in the first place, of course. Still, Miss Paula loves the performance like she loves everything and anything. King Tut disagrees with Miss Paula and thinks that Paris actually did "rather well". Did King Tut just praise Paris for being a good imitator of Mary J Blige? The mind boggles.

Sleazie takes a break from admiring his reflection in the shiny forehead of Randy Randy and plugs the official website where I can apparently do everything from checking out concert dates to shaking my head in dismay at the high illiteracy level among the fans of this show.

Chris steps out with Shinedown's I Dare You. I am not familiar with this song since I don't follow the alternative rock scene too closely but Chris' take on this song has me actually wanting to jump on my feet and shake my head and arms along. Apart from making a mental note to check out Shinedown's CD at the next opportunity, I also think that this is the Chris Daughtry performance I am hoping from him. Maybe it's just me who is used to hearing Mick Jagger screaming until his voice cracks on stage and all, but I really don't notice Chris' voice "going" like the judges would later say. Maybe I'm too busy enjoying this performance to notice.

Randy Randy finds the performance just "alright" and thinks that Chris' voice gave out "a little" in the performance. Miss Paula doesn't like the song but she of course loves Chris like everyone knows she does. King Tut doesn't like the song and thinks that Chris' voice is about to go. He asks Chris to take care of his voice and thinks that Chris is lucky that his first performance is good. You know what I find really funny? This kind of song that the judges obviously dislike is what sells today. Not Creed, not Staind, but this Radiohead-meets-matchbox twenty wimp/rock college radio type of songs. If they make Chris sing the songs that they made Bo sing, Chris will be selling as well as Bo. Which is to say, not much. Never does this show illustrate how much disconnect it has from the actual music market than when the idiot judges on this show pretend that they know what rock music is all about. Back to Chris, he thinks that maybe he has pushed his voice a little and he has to pace himself since he has never performed as many times as he is doing on this show. Wow, no shouting allowed in rock songs on this show? Fancy that.

Katharine is next. As Sleazie points out, she's on the floor. She is performing Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall's Black Horse & The Cherry Tree, the kind of song that the Lilith Fair folks adore because it is filled with deep metaphors about losing one's precious virginity. You can't get any deeper than "And now I've got a hole for the world to see, woo-hoo!" I have to hand it to Katharine: she manages to pull this one off pretty well despite my reservations about the song choice. I love the song but I don't know whether Katharine can make the song work within the format of the show. The song's highlight is the catchy beat and the part where everyone goes "Woo-hoo!" as the singer sings-chants her way through the entire song. In short, this is a song that works very well in concerts but probably not as well in a televised competition. Katharine's demeanor is too sweet and nice for someone singing about the bittersweet moment of losing one's virginity in a less than pleasant situation, so she wisely vamps up things a little and emphasises her performance around the line "No, no, you're not the one for me!" instead. This way, she has effortlessly turned this song into a more playful version as she flirts with the two cute guys that are playing the box drums on stage. The performance is akin to that of some American tourist losing her inhibitions after a few glasses to take the stage in some Caribbean blues-jazz watering hole. It's really good if different from what KT Tunstall would do. And sometimes being different from the original artist is a very good thing indeed!

Randy Randy calls the performance "wild" and thinks that the performance showcased the Katharine that he apparently "knows". Miss Paula loves the choreography and the fact that Katharine was on her knees beside two guys on stage. Um, maybe I should rephrase the last sentence, but yeah, that's what Miss Paula says. What about the actual performance, Miss Paula - do you like it? Were you even listening? Randy Randy says that King Tut would like Katharine's toe polish. King Tut merely says that this show is strange because we've had Taylor "lying down" and now Katharine is "on her knees". What, you'd think he's never been in some situation where he comes across a desperate young lady on her knees, er, begging to do anything to be famous and rich, judging from his tone. Katharine says that she's trying to step out of the box and King Tut praises this performance as being better than her first one because it was "younger", "showed more personality", and has a "good choice of song". I think this is the first time that a judge actually praised someone for being different instead of telling the poor fellow to step back inside the box.

Don't ask me how Taylor gets to perform a Beatles song, Something. Apparently the song is in the top ten of some catalogue chart. Or something. Vocally, he's not bad at all. He's not particularly good in this performance since he sounds worse than Chris when he's trying to strain for the high notes in the chorus, but the performance is still listenable. But if I look at him, however, I can feel my body going into an instinctive cringe because Taylor is so ridiculously cheesy, he just has to walk on stage in that hammy way of his to put him right up there with Siegfried and Roy as things impossible to be taken seriously outside of being Vegas sideshow attractions. He has to win because I can't see anyone marketing him to a contemporary audience outside of his Soul Patrol fans. He'll be just like Kewpie, stuck with a niche market that makes him the butt of jokes in mainstream public and the object of adoration in a market that he will have a love-hate relationship with for the rest of his career since his never-expanding fanbase is the only thing keeping him in business even as they prevent him from being taken seriously by everyone else.

Randy Randy likes the performance because it apparently showcased some "tender moments" from Taylor. He thinks that they should have Beatles Night in the next season. Miss Paula... oh, she loves everything. King Tut is amazed like me at how Taylor manages to sneak in an oldie into a contemporary hits theme. He thinks that it is easy to forget that Taylor is a "very, very good singer" underneath all that "barminess" of his. Taylor then acts barmy when he hears King Tut's compliment because he's barmy like that. Taylor doesn't actually say anything other than to echo Sleazie in those chatter moments with Sleazie, I notice. In a way, take away his epileptic seizures and he's as bland and personality-free as many of the contestants on this show, which is disappointing given how he was once a junkie and all. Maybe the drugs have destroyed his brain, I suppose... oh no, do you think that explains his seizures and all? The poor dear!

Sleazie quickly recaps the show and then gets Randy Randy to give his thoughts on the night. He says illuminatingly that some are good, some aren't. Deep. Miss Paula says that the night is interesting. King Tut calls the night "erratic" and rates his own performance tonight a nine and a half. Randy Randy insists that it's more like a five than a nine and a half. Why oh why do they let these idiots even speak on the show? Sleazie then tells everyone to run along now and start dialling for the next two hours.

Results show. Sleazie babbles his usual who-will-go pre-talk stuff and the credits roll. Oh look, Carmen Electra is in the audience to remind everyone that there are beautiful people out there who also watch this show so the rest of us shouldn't be so embarrassed to admit that we name our Sims after the people on this show. Among the signs in the audience is one asking Sleazie to come over for dinner at Thanksgiving. Insert your own turkey stuffing jokes here. Sleazie really should stop paying people in the audience to hold up signs proclaiming their love for him because it is not working very well to convince people. Isn't it better to give them a reason to love him instead of making them fake it?

Sleazie reveals that "almost" 45 and a half million votes came in last night. He manages to insert a subtle dig at Miss Paula at the same time that flies over Miss Paula's head. Of course, it's hard to imagine that Sleazie will lose to Miss Paula in a fight - she'd be too drugged up to even stand steadily and Sleazie is just the kind to play dirty. Sleazie also introduces the judges and the Five before launching into some Q&A to kill some time since nobody is going to be guest performing tonight. The same canned responses about how everyone still love everyone even if the game is on, et cetera, meet the canned questions that Sleazie must have memorized by now since he asks the same stupid questions season after season. After that, he banishes the Five and Katharine most hilariously can be seen running in the wrong direction before turning back in the background as Sleazie babbles to the camera about the upcoming tour.

The Five then come out to sing Delta Goodrem's vile Together We Are One. Chris gives a taste of how horrific he'd sound singing the obligatory slushy coronation song at the finale while Taylor follows sounding like that the ham that he is. I love how he spasms on stage with every syllable he utters. Katharine botches up some glory notes and then the Five come out to sing together like lifeless zombies freshly risen from some old mouldy graves. Then Elliott gets a solo, followed by Paris. These two's solo performances actually sound the best of all the solos. The Five then sing along one more time for the muzak-laden chorus a few more times for an appropriately We Are The World-ish finish.

Ford clip time, this time it's to Kool and the Gang's Hollywood Swinging butchered by the Five as they all play annoying people driving a Ford through the streets of what seems like a town of circus folks. The cute bulldog that is seen in the last few clips once more makes an appearance here. He's the cutest thing ever! Elliott with a stubble and Paris with her air stewardess bob haircut are pretty cute too. The clip ends with the Five coming out of the Ford dressed up like cosplaying fans of characters from a bad Japanese fighting video game. Taylor has this football gear and lots of chains along with spiky hair and too much lipstick, Chris wears a magician's top hat and sleeveless jacket over his typical white undershirt and black trousers, Elliott is wearing a basketball player's outfit with tall spiky boots and enough red hairdye to make him look like one of the characters from Slam Dunk!, Paris has Chaka Khan-style big hair and Scary Spice outfits, and Katharine wears a body-hugging short dress that isn't exactly the now infamous yellow dress but still va-va-voom enough for some people out there. People who aren't bitter little girls, that is, heh.

Sleazie now talks about how "critics" apparently said that Miss Paula was at the top of her game last night. What, because she spoke little and didn't jump up and down like she usually did? Maybe people are just trying to encourage her to be quiet and behave. Sleazie recaps the performances of the previous night, reminds people that the theme of the episode next week will be Elvis Night, and then pulls Paris down as one of the Bottom Two. I'm sure she's used to being in the bottom group by now, the poor dear. She reprises her performance of Prince's Kiss, still coming off like a clueless schizophrenic performer like before. Hey, is that Scott Speedman in the audience? I sometimes get all those generic pretty boys on TV mixed up. Sleazie then pulls Elliott down because he, like Paris, doesn't have enough fans to back him up. He reprises On Broadway when I'd rather have Home. And then Paris is booted, like I expect her to be, since the poor dear never has the fan support to begin with. Elliott is the person left who has been to the bottom group the most after Paris, so he should be prepared to leave anytime soon as well. Paris gets to watch her eulogy clip, reprises Be Without You, and the credits rudely interrupt her three seconds into her performance.