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American Idol 2, March 12: Blame the Producersby Sting7 -- 03/13/2003
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This is when the show really starts. For the twelve that are left, the pressure is mountainous. Sure, we hear Ryan Seacrest say that every week, and we think "sure, it must be hard to know if you're gonna move on." But, it really is more than that. Everything you do, everything you say, every expression on your face is scrutinized. We will see an example of that tonight, as the twelve become eleven. And, it could be the producers' fault.
Ryan welcomes us and tells us that tonight, he is going to "break someone's heart." The messenger is taking a little too much credit, but we'll let that go.
We met the judges, we know who they are, we say hi to the twelve. They are sitting on these blue George Jetson couch-things. The set-decorator shouldn't waste a moment of sleep dreaming of an Emmy, believe me! I guess when the field narrows, we go back to the ominous red couches that collectively look like a big mouth waiting to swallow them whole.
Ryan takes us back in time 24 hours, to a happier time when eyes were full of hope and wonder and determination, and Lamont Dozier was getting some deserved accolades for the tremendous contribution he has made to pop music. (I would love to see an Elton John Week! Or a Billy Joel Week!)
The twelve combine for a wonderful (okay, cheesy) performance of "Heat Wave" (bet if Kimberley Locke ever hears that song again, it would be way too soon). Yes, we are back to the cheesy production numbers, but Fox insists this is a family show. I pray we reach the kitschy level of "California Dreaming" last season.
Okay, on to the business at hand. Ryan goes through the arduous, torturous process of reading a condensed version of the judges commentary to each contestant before he tells them if they are among the bottom three vote-getters, or safe.
Yesterday, I predicted the bottom three would be Carmen Rasmussen, Charles Grigsby, and Kimberley Locke.
Ruben Studdard (no way, stay comfy big man, you ain't going) is safe.
Vanessa Olivarez (you were fine, even toned-down the clowning a notch) is in the bottom three. Really??
Clay Aiken (naw, you're a star, and everyone knows it) is safe.
Kimberly Caldwell (did great last night, best I'd seen from you) is safe.
Rickey Smith (best I heard from you too, you should be fine) is safe.
Julia DeMato (uh-oh. Kinda bitchy with Simon last night, and it don't pay!) is in the bottom three. Whoa.
Trenyce (I see Trenyce signs out there! She's so gracious, was excellent last night.) is safe.
Joshua Gracin (in these times, a Marine is sure to garner support from America) is safe.
Charles Grigsby (likeable as he is, he was the weakest link last night) is safe. Really???
Corey Clark (a true wildcard, it will be fun to watch him develop this season) is safe.
That leaves Carmen Rasmussen (the new girl in school. I think America may resent you) and Kimberley Locke (it was the song, not you, it would so unfair is you have to suffer). One of these two ladies is among the three lowest vote garnerers and could be dismissed. Ryan sends us to a commercial (Carmen and Kimberley share nervous smiles with each other, Carmen clearly says, "I'm gone!")
Back from commercial. Who is joining Julia DeMato and Vanessa Olivarez on the bubble? It's Kimberley Locke! You must be kidding! You can not be serious. I'm not entirely sold on Kimberley, and I put her in the bottom three. But of the three that were here, in my estimation, she is the weakest, and I don't want her to go!
Julia, Vanessa, and Kimberley stand next to Ryan like they are facing a firing squad. Ryan asks the judges if they are surprised by this result.
Randy - "I'm a little surprised. They didn't have the best performances, but I'm a little surprised."
Paula - "I kind of understand."
Simon - "I think five people should be in the bottom three, but America got it right."
(In the history of this show, only Simon has vocally challenged the vote result. And he did that once. The judges always say "I understand" or "I agree." This segment is kind of a waste.)1 2 Next-->
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