Ryan Seacrest is a million, billion per cent on my nerves tight now. On Tuesday, in addition to his usual “high jinks” with the judges’ panel, he had two really awkward moments: (1) teeing up a clip while sitting on Randy’s desk and uncomfortably “riffing” with him in Ebonics; and (2) desperately trying, after Didi’s performance (and subsequent shredding by the judges), to pry out of her the specific personal significance of her song (in her audition rounds, we learned that one of her BFF’s recently died). As if she isn’t already thisclose to breaking down on stage.
Wednesdays are tailor-made for showcasing his shortcomings. The Final Three Reveals are painfully unscripted, so, in addition to choreographing (seemingly on the fly) the standing up and sitting down of the contestants, he’s asking the judges questions while trying to awkwardly work in his Themes Of Humor (him being gay for Simon, Kara and topless Casey, etc.). And when you least expect it, he’ll randomly segue to some promotional piece for “Clash of the Titans.” It’s sooooo messy. Some of you aren’t big fans of Bob Costas; ask yourself how much more smoothly those segments would run if he was the host.
As much as I hate Ryan’s tendency to make the judges the center of attention (much like Michael Moore’s insistence of personally injecting himself into all of his films), I’m endlessly fascinated watching their high-school-social dynamic at work. Simon and Kara are the two cool ones, Simon perhaps too cool. Kara is the alpha-female (I wouldn’t hesitate to use the naughty c-word) who constantly feels the need to reinforce her status. Her opinions this year have been delivered with an I-know-more-than-anyone edge to them. Poor Randy is the clueless follower, always trying (but never getting) approval from Simon. Ellen’s the one I love. She hangs out with them sometimes, but it’s not her life; in her own way, she’s above it all. She can effortlessly blend with the cool kids, but dates a college freshman, and makes her own jewelry, and listens to The Smiths.
– In my pool I got the Bottom Three right (cha-ching), but I had Katie leaving. Raise your hands if you had Tim. Do your homework, people! Tim is Sanjaya 2.0. That kid lasted until 7th place (some it had/has to do with votefortheworst.com). And Simon’s remarks to Tim Tuesday night (“it doesn’t matter what we say”) perfectly echoed what he started saying to Sanjaya right around now. Tim’s around at least another two weeks. And my horse, Lee, is looking pretty good right now. Pret-tayyyy, pret-tayyy, pret-tayyy… good.
– Loved the cutaway to Katie’s dad. He was wearing a white polo shirt underneath a blue sweater, with white shorts, and was incredibly tanned (did I mention they were from Connecticut?) He must have checked his tennis racket with the coat girl.
– Have you noticed that Crystal is the only contestant (perhaps ever) who sounds like an adult talking to the judges? She’s just amazing. Even more amazing is that despite her soaring popularity, the Idol producers haven’t been shoving imagery of her adorable baby down our throats. I think I speak for the rest of us when I say: Please, shove away!