May 15, 2008By Joe Diliberto Posted: May 15, 2008
See, this is why I make a lousy AMERICAN IDOL fan: I really, truly dislike every one of the final three contestants. Choosing among them is definitely a "lesser evil" situation for me. Last night's results show opened with an utterly bland rendition of "Ain't No Stopping Us Now." (Well, not quite; one of them was about to be stopped in her tracks…) David Archuleta — hereafter referred to as "David A." — appeared nervous and so out of his element during his solos that he actually looked pained; David Cook and Syesha fared a little better, but the poor song was just brutalized. The entire performance was just bad elevator music — a freight elevator at that. Not losing the…er, momentum, IDOL returned from a commercial break so the kids could murder "How Far Is Heaven" as part of an in-house Ford commercial. Seriously — these are the final three?!
What's this? Season 3 IDOL winner Fantasia has come on to screech some blaring, up-tempo number. Turns out the song was called "Bore Me," and she must have feared the audience would take the title seriously, because she ran around the stage like her hair was on fire. Well, it was dyed neon red. I think Simon was wearing the same horrified expression I was.
Time to check in on CRIMINAL MINDS…. Oh, how fitting. The CW just announced 90210, a sequel to BEVERLY HILLS 90210, and the here's the original Mr. Walsh (i.e., James Eckhouse), looking upset about something. Brandon wants to borrow the car and visit the Peach Pit? I see: he's playing Mr. Corbett, whose daughter was murdered by a serial killer. Corbett has a revolver in his glove box. I wonder if he's going to perforate the killer who's on trial. No…Reed stops him. Get thee back to Beverly Hills, dude…
And we're back to IDOL. Ryan summons David A. to the stage, and there's so much squealing that I wonder if GENERAL HOSPITAL's Maurice Benard had accidentally wandered onto the stage. (You haven't heard screaming until you've heard the balcony go berserk for Mo at the Daytime Emmys; it's as loud as an NHL playoff game — but higher-pitched.) Now it's time for a taped piece chronicling David's trip home to Utah. Is he crying? There's no crying in AMERICAN IDOL! Wait, that's baseball. Okay, there is crying in IDOL. And apparently David wants the audience to cry because now he's butchering John Lennon's "Imagine." Yep — lots of 12-year-old girls are weeping. That David is so mean…
Speaking of mean, the producers want Ryan to stretch the show to an entire hour, so I actually feel sorry for the desperate way he's forced to vamp. All nine of the previous night's performances have already been recapped via videotape, but now Ryan reads summations of the judges' comments about all nine of the previous night's performances…. And then it's time for a clip package reviewing David A.'s "journey." Hey, that's strange: No mention of him winning $100,000 on STAR SEARCH. Why not?
Next up is Syesha, who went home to Florida to cry with the hometown crowds.
Hey, there's Andrew, the Cook brother who was supposed to be on IDOL, before a producer bullied David into auditioning. Ryan invites him onstage for a minute. Yep, that makes everything all right; thanks, Ry-dog. The Cooks are from Missouri, so of course IDOL takes the state's "Show Me" motto seriously by starting David's clips. He almost manages to hold back the tears. Coolest bit: He got to throw out the first pitch at a Kansas City Royals baseball game. (I'm a Yankee fan, but I still see the appeal.)
For about the 56th time, Ryan mentions that 56 million votes were cast for the final three. (A colleague of mine — who shall remain nameless — was among them. Since there was no "None of the Above" choice, I refrained.) And the final will pit... David vs. David! Goodbye, Syesha. She gets to sing one last song, during which she is remarkable composed. Then the camera zooms in for a final shot as she holds the last note — and she's smiling! She must be counting the money already.
On BOSTON LEGAL, George Segal wants Denny Crane (William Shatner) to run for president of the United States! Yes, the Denny Crane. The one whose crazy antics are a matter of public record. The Denny Crane with the hooker fetish. (Why not just ask Eliot Spitzer, for frak's sake?) Even for BOSTON LEGAL this is wacky. So I check what's going on over at CSI:NY. Oh, yeah, continuing that "Cabbie Killer" plotline. We're supposed to believe that not a single one of the 16 million people crammed onto the island of Manhattan each day will hail a cab until the killer is caught? Have the show's writers ever been to New York? I know people who would sit next to a corpse in a taxi if it stopped for them during rush hour.
And now it's time to stop this edition of Night Shift…