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American Idol 3, April 15: From the Jailhouse to the Outhouseby Donna Reynolds -- 04/16/04
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As the show opens, the eight finalists stand in the semi-darkness. Last night, our votes determined their fates. The camera pans their anxious faces. Who will go home tonight?
Ryan appears on the stage in a somewhat oversized gray suit looking like a reject from a wedding party. At least he shaved tonight. He advises us not to worry about our taxes because there is much more important business at hand. He informs us that 24 million people voted last night and introduces the judges. What is up with his obsession with Randy’s sweat glands?
The finalists are on the blue couches. In case you missed it, you can check out Sting7’s recap here. In short, movie music came to American Idol last night and we see the obligatory clips of some of the performances including a replay of JPL, who guest judge Quentin Tarantino seemed to enjoy. But the night belonged to the “leading ladies,” and LaToya, Jennifer and Fantasia are singled out once again. They certainly were amazing.
Ryan introduces Jason Priestly, who is in the audience. Jason loved Fantasia and LaToya last night and tells Ryan that his show, Tru Calling is coming up next. Tonight’s show features ex-Idol Tamyra Gray. Nice tie-in, Jason! RJ Helton is also in the audience tonight, but Ryan seems to be on a roll and all RJ gets is a quick hello. Not even a plug for his new album, Real Life? This is only a half-hour show and it’s already time for the special guest. En masse, the judges and Ryan introduce Season One contestant, Christina Christian. This show is moving quickly tonight. No time to waste.
Christina is surrounded by a crew of dancers and tears into her new single, “Forever & Ever.” It’s got a good beat and I could dance to it. She’s been busy, writing and working on her CD. She will be performing in Europe this summer and will debut her CD when she returns. No time for Q&A’s from the contestants or any greetings from the judges. I am out of breath just watching this!
Back from the break and time to start the countdown to the elimination. We’re back to our normal format with Ryan revealing the three people that received the lowest number of votes. Last week was just too confusing with the groups, especially since Ryan never actually told us which group received the most votes. Change is not always good.
As usual, Ryan reads a synopsis of the judges’ comments before delivering the news to each individual contestant. LaToya is safe, as is Fantasia. Next is George and I know his fans were really sweating it last night. George looks nervous… but he is safe. George is overjoyed, as am I! Jasmine is safe too. Only four left. Jennifer should be safe and is. This is odd. JPL, John Stevens and Diana are the only three remaining and, obviously, they are in the bottom three. This is the first time I’ve ever seen them do this! They already know they are getting called down but Ryan reads the judges’ comments anyway and they sit there looking as though they are still wondering. How odd.
Before we go to the break, there is yet another one of those Ford commercials. But, since the gang was busy working with Barry Manilow preparing for next week’s show, the video was shot using pictures of their heads on sticks! Silliness.
We return from the break and JPL, John, and Diana are standing in the losers’ circle. Simon comments that he thinks they are all too young but Randy disagrees and says they just don’t have the experience. One is about to get sent back to the couch, and that person is... Diana! I was wrong. Actually, most of us in the Foxes On Idol judging panel were wrong. I am beginning to feel that there may be hope yet for this season. One of the Jo(h)ns is actually going home. I can’t believe it. JPL looks like he doesn’t believe it either; almost as though he thinks he’ll be saved. Will he be? We’ll find out when? After the break.
Now for the moment of truth. Ryan’s pronounces, “Time to break the news that will break someone’s heart.” He sincerely compliments them both and makes the announcement. I actually hold my breath! And it’s Jon Peter Lewis going home. Unbelievable. John Stevens escapes once again and looks even paler than normal. How can he live like this?
Now for JPL’s farewell video. He’s disappointed, that’s for sure. I’ll give you props, kid, you took it well. One more “Jailhouse Rock” and we are out.
Well now, that was a surprise. For once, the bottom three was correct. The voters have finally gotten it right. John Stevens was better than JPL last night despite his less than stellar track record. The ladies were outstanding and George was able to hold on! Jasmine could have done better and Diana, well, she skated through again. I will resist the urge to visit the JPL thread on the message board. We should let them mourn in private.
The good news is that with the delay this week, we have one less day to wait for the next week’s show! It has been reported that Barry Manilow selected the songs that each contestant will perform next week and has been personally rehearsing them. Smart move! Hopefully this will ensure some great performances. It will be interesting to see his song choices!
Next Monday night, Fox will repeat American Idol: Uncut, Uncensored and Untalented, and then we return to our regular Tuesday/Wednesday lineup. Fear not, Sting will return next week. Until then, relax for a few days! It’s only going to get more intense. Don’t you love it?
Donna Reynolds is a self-proclaimed entertainment junkie and writes That's Entertainment, a daily column for syracuse.com highlighting events of local interest as well as her take on all things reality! She is also doing a weekly spot on a Syracuse radio station, commenting on the latest entertainment buzz. In addition, Donna does technical writing for a medical equipment company and is a part-time aquatic dance instructor. Whether you agree or disagree, Donna welcomes your comments and you can email her at email@example.com.
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