Idolville: Last Night’s Five Worst Moments

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After spending time helping others, Idol returned to the job of dumping someone from its ranks. Last night’s results episode dilly-dallied with recounting Wednesday’s philanthropy, which clearly unnerved the top eight contestants. Each must have been nervous about getting the axe. During the wait? Hot air from all three presidential hopefuls, and some truly awful performances. By now you know that Michael Johns’ is history. After the jump you’ll find out what last night’s five worst moments were.

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5. Top 8 Perform “Shine to the Lord”

The producers have stumbled upon a great secret: even the worst of the Idol hopefuls sound better when backed by a full, professional gospel choir. Choirs been showing up more and more in recent weeks, and while they can certainly bolster a number, they can’t shine sh*t. The show’s contestants have always had a difficult time performing together—their musical styles don’t mesh, their competitiveness makes them tense, and you can practically see those in the background enviously hoping for the soloist’s demise. (David Cook, who got a plum role tonight, must have delighted his competitors with his pitiable solo.) “Shine to the Lord” was a wretched mess, but luckily a brief one.

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4. Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks Do “No Air”

Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks should be a great success, or so the Idol story goes—the show is in the business of minting stars, not flashes-in-the-pan. Sparks, a talented vocalist with a charm reminiscent of America Ferrara, waltzed off with the grand prize last year, but her subsequent victories since have been comparatively meager. The show tried to glorify her achievements, trotting out fans with faux-gold records to celebrate her million-download singles, but the contestants and the viewers shouldn’t be fooled: Kelly Clarkson she isn’t. Ironically, “No Air” is exactly the sort of song that would be savaged on Idol: overproduced and under-sung, it’s radio fluff in the worst way. In an uncharacteristic act of mercy, Simon wasn’t asked to weigh in.

3. Jason Castro On Ukulele Prices

Jason’s fan base of screaming teen girls has easily secured him a spot on the safe couches, but isn’t he truly lacking stage presence? Simon has repeatedly chastised him for phoning in his performances, and he’s at his worst when being asked for a simple human thought or emotion. Perhaps the ‘tween set finds his chatter on the price of ukuleles (“from, uh, $150 to, uh, $600”) charming, but it’s unpolished and irrelevant – two qualities an Idol should never aspire to. Jason’s skills have taken him far, but there’s a lot more than vocal talent to being an Idol.

2. B-Listers Sing the Monkees

Idol’s commitment to charity is laudable—though, according to The New York Times, not unassailable—but one two and a half hour broadcast is enough. Peppering the results show with cutting-room-floor outtakes of Wednesday’s show – like the video montage of b-list celebs doing “I’m a Believer,” is nothing short of painful. Dr. Phil, Rob Schneider, Rikki Lake: was there no Jerry Lewis telethon or mall-opening to attend instead?

1. John McCain Attempts Humor

There’s no denying the clout of the Idol platform: it may not create stars every time, but evidently it’s substantial enough to become a stop on the campaign trail for some very confused-looking political contenders. Hillary and Obama, as usual, were stilted and charming, respectively; but it was John McCain who really stunk the place up. His stabs at humor are both specifically offensive (making light of the uncounted votes of Florida and Michigan) and generally bizarre (threatening Simon with an immigration plan that is, presumably, anti-British). His spiel was a tour de force in all the wrong ways. It just might be enough to secure an ‘08 victory for the Dems.

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With the bounty of awful performances tonight, it’s easy to forget that there actually was one good one: Michael Johns’ swansong on “Dream On.” Michael’s dismissal from Idol is this season’s first absolute shocker: it was his first time in the bottom three, and certainly there were more deserving contestants. (Kristy Lee, all of America is looking at you.) Johns took his departure with grace and a deeply pained look, and in a dignity-restoring gesture, gave what may have been his best performance yet as he exited. Even Simon had to admit he was talented. He’ll be missed.

Matthew Schneier

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  1. Tree says:

    He has my whole-hearted support.Large sexy.I love him very much.I saw him many times in millonaire dating site”W e a l t h y L o v i n g . c o m”.I am wondering whether he searching his new love in this site?If I can catch a chance have a chatting with him?

  2. ailuegka says:

    I agree with the previous comment, Jordin Sparks is doing fine. Sure, she’s come to a slow start, but have you ever come to consider that maybe it’s because she’s a (God forbid) bigger woman than most from the show? It’s OK for bigger men to be in the business [see Ruben Studdard] but God forbid that a young woman such as Jordin, who doesn’t control genetics, sells records…

    I am one of the proud that bought her album and I love every bit of it. Jordin will be successful and at least like 2 winners before her, she will not be dropped by her label within 2 years.

    As for those “more deserving to go home”…I disagree with Kristy, she has been doing well the past 2 weeks, unlike that of Carly Smithson…Carly STUNK the place up this week and she knew she had the lowest votes according to dialidol.com, did anyone see her raise her hand when Ryan asked that?

    I call shenanigans, because if you look on dialidol.com this week and go to “Predictions,” it clearly has Carly at the bottom, a good distance from Michael Johns. The producers didn’t want Randy’s little pet project to be eliminated, so since she had the lowest votes, they manipulated the votes and sent home someone MUCH more deserving. If they had done like they did last year and kept everyone around, THEN it would have been announced that Carly was the lowest vote-getter…and she would have been around to “redeem herself” another week.

    Mark my words: they are slowly and sporadically de-pimping the two Davids to make way for Queen Carly. If she wins this competition, it’s fixed.

  3. Paula Marshall says:

    This the first year that I have ever watched American Idol and it was because I was flipping through chanels and saw and heard Michael Johns sing. I became a fan of American Idol. I believe America really got this one wrong, all the girls put together were not as talented as him. i have spoken with many people and they all said the same comment even men…

  4. Lulu says:

    I love Jason Castro because it’s so obvious he’s completely stoned during all of his appearances. Completely stoned is probably the only way to do American Idol (right, Paula?)

  5. janice says:

    I think American Idol is losing it’s charm. After the audition of all the bad singers and freaks is over the show is’nt worth a poo.Randy ,Ryan and Paula are always making jabs at Simon he’s the only judge on the show with any sense. Hopefully this is the shows last season.There aren’t any more Kelly Clarksons’ or you have found them by now. It’s time for the judges to go back to their real jobs. Now what is it the Ryan Seacrest does besides this? We might see him on the unemployment line.

  6. mundawgs says:

    Since American Idol started ruining music worldwide and is a show that I never watch and never will I guess whatever with the blog.
    When will any music TV station start playing music again. Music that doesn’t suck balls like Pop Music which takes about a day to write a song (which the artist hardly ever writes themselves anyways). They can easily put up 6-8 block of really good videos that aren’t heard on the normal daily countdown. Great music from archives and up to now from Jurassic 5 and Mos Def to Sigur ros and Flyleaf. I think the world needs a little music education.