AKA: THIS AIN'T NO PARTY, THIS AIN'T NO DISCO, THIS AIN'T NO FOOLIN' AROUND
Kristen The Yellow Lab and I are swathed in Lurex as we hustle our way to the bus stop of dreams - the raised floor of the discotheque! We're gonna get down, get down, get down, get down tonight, baby! After all, what better way to celebrate Disco Week on American Idol?
Ryan reminds us that the infamous "save" was used on Matt G. last week, thus making this a double elimination round. Did you hear that sound? It's the Idols backstage giving Matt wedgies for making their job that much more stressful. Ryan informs us that the kids will be taking on the popular dance genre of the 70's - disco. Bring on the pornstaches, gold medallions, and polyester, because Kristen and I are ready for the night fever! As these kids would say, "Let's ance!"
The judges are already seated, which means we don't get to see if Kara's wearing spandex hot pants or if Paula's rockin' the platform shoes. We do observe the Coke cups, however, which is quite apropos to the theme.
Here come the solid gold Idols! We note Adam's wearing a suit and high hair, which signals a ballad. Matt's keeping the mole out of sight under a hat, Allison looks like the lead singer for Benny and the Jetts, and Kris, apparently, just came in from changing the oil in his pick-up. Danny's starring in Grease, Anoop is in layered knits, and someone with a great sense of humor stuffed poor Lil in a cat suit.
Speaking of Lil, guess who's up first? This week, she is taking on the Chaka Khan chestnut "I'm Every Woman." Last week, Kristen and I agreed that Lil was horrid. This week, she's improved. She's just bad. She gets points for energy, but it's almost manic. She works the crowd, but manages to scream half the notes and go flat on others. Randy doesn't know. Kara tells her that she's been every woman but herself. Paula rambles on about how Lil was on vocal rest. Simon cuts to the chase. "I absolutely believe this is your final shot." Ouch. That's a kinder, gentler version of "Pack your bags." Kristen and I give her 4 toot-toots and a half a beep-beep for giving it her best shot. Van McCoy offers a prediction:
Kristen's twirling to the syncopated rhythm in honor of her cute little Kris! He has selected Donna Summer's "She Works Hard For the Money." Say WHAT?? Kristen and I cling to one another in despair. We might have to rush to the ladies' room together to sob copiously into tissues if Kris doesn't pull this off. But, wait. What's this? A totally fresh arrangement, a very cool vibe? We like it! Kris plays the guitar as a couple of percussionists pound out a Latin-flavored beat. He has a little slip-up on the vocals, but otherwise, very nicely done. Kara babbles that it could go on his record. Paula says he shops in the women's department. Simon doesn't care what kind of underwear he wears, it was a great arrangement, not karaoke. Randy shouts that he knows what kind of artist he is. Kris beams. As he should. He is, week by week, securing his spot in the finale. Kristen and I give him 9.5 whistles and a bell! And Vicki Sue Robinson sings his praises, too!
Oh, it's Danny. He's going to sing Earth, Wind, and Fire's "September." He starts the song with a Taylor Hicks-like "Whooo!" Vocally, it's a solid performance. But, the dancing is more disco duck than macho man. The truth? Danny's version of this song wouldn't get clubbers out of their seats to dance. Randy says check it! Kara declares it another solid performance from Danny. Paula claims that women of all ages will agree he has the sexiest voice, ever! (Kristen and I must not be of all ages.) Simon didn't see star power (right on, Mr. C!) and thinks it was awkward and clumsy. Kristen and I can only give him 7.5 village people for an mid-level performance at the point when front-runners need to really up their game. The Bee Gees share their thoughts.
Here comes the red head! Kristen goes all Sister Sledge because Allison is in the house, so she's got all her sisters with her! Allison is singing Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff." Oh. Um...song choice? Kristen and I aren't sure how well a 16-year-old singing about "wanna share my love with a warm blooded lover, wanna bring a wild man back home" will go over in Middle US of A. She rocks the song up, per her usual. In one sense, that's staying true to herself. In another sense, every song she sings is beginning to sound exactly the same. Towards the end, either the arrangement falls apart, or Allison makes a crucial error. At any rate, it was good. Not great. Randy agrees with Kristen and I and doesn't like the arrangement, but also agrees she's one of the best singers in the competition. Kara gives her a 9 out of 10 for vocals. Paula declares that compromise is not in Allison's vocabulary. Simon says, "All things considered, it was brilliant." Kristen and I give her 8 and half strobe lights and a quick pass under the velvet ropes to the final 3. Donna Summer herself would like a word with the youngster.
Kristen's on her back, so that means Adam's in the spotlight. He has taken the Yvonne Ellman disco hit, "If I Can't Have You" and turned it into a slow, heart-wrencher of a ballad. Once again, the heart is on the sleeve, pulsing out blood red angst. It's a gorgeous interpretation, if maybe a bit too slow. Randy says he's got it majorly going on. Kara thinks it was like Saturday Night Live and Clark Kent. (You know about Saturday Night Live, right? It's filmed down the street from Studio 57.) Paula talks about visceral emotion and feeling his pain. Simon didn't feel his pain but felt it was unexpected, memorable with immaculate vocals. Kristen and I give him a solid 9.5 shiny disco balls for originality and vocal skill. We're taking off half a point for continued use of the overwrought facial expression to convey anguish, and for the high hair. (Do. Not. Like.) But, unless Adam comes out next week in drag, this kid is on his way to the Nokia in 4 weeks. Blondie has some pointers.
It's Matt! Saved by the judges last week, it's up to him to save himself this evening. He plans to try by performing The Bee Gees signature disco-era song "Stayin' Alive." (From that movie - you know the one. Saturday Night Live.)
He Justin Timberlake's it up, making it current and interesting. But, vocally, there are some problems. Matt needs to stay far away from the falsetto. Still, this performance should put him in the final 5. Randy says he can sing, dude. Kara complains that it's not crazy original like Adam's but she liked it. (Um? Why compare him to Adam? Not fair.) Paula uses a bowling analogy telling him that sometimes he throws gutter balls, sometimes he throws strikes. Tonight he saved himself. Simon, on the other hand, didn't like the performance. "Not a fan, sorry!" He sniffs. Kristen and I think Matt came out fighting, so we're going to give him 8 polyester shirts and white belt. Ami Stewart is hopeful!
Anoop has the pimp spot! Tonight, he'll use it to perform Donna Summer's "Dim All the Lights." Oh. Things aren't looking good for Anoop. Kristen and I already decided he needed to hit one out of the disco if he wanted to stay alive in the competition. He's not doing it with this loosey-goosey arrangement and weak vocal. Randy says nice baby, nice. Kara feels he's hitting his stride. Paula says he hit a magical zone in his voice. Simon brings everyone back to reality. "Mediocre, at best. A horrible version of that song." Simon declares it one of his worst performances. Well, it wasn't worse than Beat It, which is something, anyway. Kristen and I give Anoop 6.5 bumps and a spin for good luck. Thelma Houston is disappointed.
Shining Stars headed to the finale:
We still feel lots of love for:
Death by Disco:
Lil, Anoop, Matt
We get a disco dance choreographed by Paula! It's actually the best dance routine on 8 seasons of Idol. Oh, but - Dear Lil: Go-go boots are SO mid-60's. Dear Adam: Thank you for dressing appropriately, per your usual. Dear Allison: Hippies didn't disco. Dear others: Discos had dress codes. No jeans. Polyester ONLY, you fools!
And beg your baby to come home...
In this episode of Snow White and the Seven Giants, Paula receives a bouquet taller than she.
Results. Dim the lights. Lil, stand up. Lil, we need you in this competition. But, Lil? You're going home. BAM! That was brutal, Ryan.
Just for that, Lil needs some cute boy comfort food.
Kristen and I won't humiliate the geriatric disco performers of yesteryear who graced the stage for a disco medley this evening. Suffice it to say that Freda Payne probably should have been carrying a tank of oxygen with her when she did her wheezy performance of "Band of Gold," Thelma Houston might or might not have flashed the sway-arm girls when she sang "Don't Leave Me This Way," and KC of KC and the Sunshine Band looked as if he just stopped in to Idol on his way home from an AARP meeting.
More results. Dim the lights. In a shocking twist, Adam, Kris, and Danny are totally safe. *sarcasm alert*
In another shocking twist, Anoop is bottom 3. *sarcasm alert*
Thanks to the magic power in the hand of St. Adam, Matt is safe. Allison bottom 3.
David Archuletta returns to gasp his way through a really atrocious song.
It's between Anoop and Allison, and the magic hand of St. Adam saves... Allison!! Aw, goodbye Anoop! Allison has a sad! And so does Kristen who doesn't like seeing Allison so glum.
The Final Five watch their friends on the stage for the last time. (Allison!! Cheer up!)
The kids say their farewells...
Next week, the Final Five sing the songs of The Rat Pack.
Should be a swingin' time! See you there.