Was it fair? No. Was it American Idol? Oh yes.
Carly Smithson's long goodbye Wednesday night on Idol came like the scene in Phantom of the Opera when the chandelier comes crashing to the floor (or was that Poseidon Adventure? I get them confused.). The tattoo-addict certainly did not deserve to go home based on the quality of her Tuesday night performance, but I guess in the world of Idol, her Irish jig was up. And so it goes.
Brooke and Jason had their bags all packed, for no reason, it turned out, and Syesha and Carly had a big surprise landing in the bottom two. Perhaps next week, Brooke will throw up on Neil Diamond's shoes, and America will simply smile, shake its collective head, and vote like maniacs for her. As for Jason, I'm as guilty as the rest of you; I voted for him a lot. In Idol's world, it's all good.
Cool! Tuesday night’s American Idol mentor is David Gest!
Wait. What? No, right, it’s Andrew Lloyd Webber. A tiny British man in high-waisted pants who composed not only many of the greatest musicals in theater history, but who wrote almost all of them for girls to sing! With their eyes open!
And so, with six finalists left, American Idol got the weirdest I believe it ever has in its entire wacked-out history, so weird that Syesha and Ricky Minor channeled the Fabulous Baker Boys, Brooke finalized her psychotic break, Little David broke the record for longest, slowest eye blinks, David Cook and Carly Smithson had the whole world in their hands and my dearly beloved Jason Castro sealed his fate.
Good heavens. Since Webber was in the house, let’s go with a theatrical theme:
Act I, Scene 1: Syesha chooses One Rock and Roll Too Many from Starlight Express (the roller skating musical), and she watched Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago 1,000 times to prepare. She look GORGEOUS, the best she ever has, and she sounds terrific. Her LOL King Webber moment is when she shows him her animated self versus her unanimated self: The difference is a raised eyebrow.
Act I, Scene 2: I am giving David Cook and Carly Smithson co-starring roles in this scene, since they were both great. Carly’s LOL Sir Webber moment was when she started to mumble her way through All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera, and Andy hefted up his trousers and kicked her butt all over the stage. Are you crazy? he said. Sing Jesus Christ Superstar. So she did, in an odd dress, and it was great and she looked so happy at the end that I was happy for her.
David Cook is allowed to keep his choice from Phantom, Music of the Night, and his LOL moment with Earl Webber is when Webber falls deeply in love with our bedheaded rocker, and forces DC at gunpoint to pretend that Webber is a 17-year-old ingénue. David does a very beautiful job with this song.
Act II: David Archuleta chooses Think of Me from, guess what!, Phantom, and puts his pop ballad spin on it, and frankly turns it into a cut off The Best of Bread album, and halfway through the performance I begin to think that I should not have had that second piece of pie. Yes, it was apple, yes, it was delicious, yes, it is mother’s recipe with the homemade crust, but … oh wait, he’s still singing. Little David’s LOL moment with Knight Webber is when the composer screams “Open your bloody eyes!” at him and scars the poor boy for life.
Act III: The only thing worse than Brooke White forgetting the lyrics to You Must Love Me from Evita (the movie) is Paula criticizing her for not fudging the words and soldiering on (Paula to Brooke: “You should have just gone ‘Where do we go from here? This isn’t where we intended to be. Hot fudge sauce is good …’ ”). The second her mind blanked the poor thing was completely sunk, and she never recovered. To her credit, she did not pass out or cry. And for the record, Madonna did it way better.
And the only thing even worse than all that was my sweet Jason Castro and his horrible decision to sing Memory, from Cats. When they said that, I said, out loud, “Oh no.” His Honor Webber had the same reaction, going from incredulous to befuddled during their session. He wobbled and wavered and at one point I think he actually bleated during the performance.
Oh Jason. I do believe it will be curtains for you.