American Idol 2, March 19: You Can't Winby David Bloomberg -- 03/20/2003
Since Sting7's flight was cancelled and he was going to be around, I thought I had gotten lucky - I only had to recap Survivor and write my usual follow-up on why the loser lost. But no. American Idol 2 was pre-empted by bombing coverage for those in the Western part of the country, and that's where the Stinger lives. So here I am.
Frankly, those of you who had the show pre-empted are probably luckier - you can just read this recap and get everything you need without a huge amount of filler. I mean, this was an hour-long results show. The results show really only needs to be about 15 minutes normally, so a full hour is fairly ridiculous. I'm betting they did it to compete with Survivor, afraid that people wouldn't remember or wouldn't want to tune in halfway into that show. But I digress.
We begin with Randy Jackson taking revenge on Ryan for the embarrassing photos he showed last night. Ryan's date back to little league and the like and are, frankly, a lot less embarrassing than Randy's were.
Ryan talks a bit to the contestants. He says Ruben always looks calm and cool and asks if he has a mean side. Not really, says Ruben (and if he did, he'd be stupid to say "yes" anyway!). Ryan moves to Carmen, saying the judges gave her a tough time and she's the youngest contestant - still having to go to school. Is she ready for the pressure of competition? She's ready, bring it on! Finally, he moves to Joshua to discuss what he said about being country for the rest of the competition. Ryan says next week is disco and wants to know how he's going to pull it off. With encouragement from Ryan, Joshua sings a few lines of a countryish version of "I Will Survive."
Next, since we have a lot more time to fill up, we once again see the highs and lows from last night. Been there done that. Move on.
Time for a group song - "Footloose" from, of course, the movie Footloose. They perform it with a good amount of energy. A number of the singers jump into the audience, and Kimberly Caldwell finds JD Adams from the semis and dances a bit with him. It's interesting - Joshua and Carmen, the two country singers, have the two main leads.
Next we learn more about the house they will be living in and get more of Kristin. Yippee. We do find out that Clay is afraid of the water and won't even go near the pool. And they make a joke about Keith (Mr. "Like a Virgin" from the original tryouts) which is actually kind of funny. Or else I'm just sleep-deprived and slap-happy. Could be either.
Now we fill some more time by having the audience ask questions of the judges. John asks Paula - if opposites attract, why doesn't she get along with Simon? Ryan tries to misstate this as "get it on" instead of "get along." Paula says she doesn't know. Both like the same makeup and both like clothes. Simon says she should just admit on live TV that she wants him. Randy chimes in that opposites don't attract that far. And Paula says there are just certain things she can't say on TV.
Mike asks Randy who he sees having a career in 10 years. Randy thinks a bit and then proceeds to run down the entire list of contestants.
Lindsey says that since Simon chickened out last week, she wants him to do pushups with Josh. Simon goes up on stage with Josh, where they do a number of pushups using their knuckles (rather than a flat hand). Simon easily keeps pace with Joshua, and I think he actually does them faster!
Julie Cowell, Simon's mom, is next. She asks a question and totally blows her scripted lines. Ryan has to tell her what she's supposed to ask, which is how Christina Christian and Tamyra Gray and the other past finalists are doing. This leads us into a segment that gives us the exact same clips we saw in the Where Are They Now show that was aired back when this second series premiered. I was looking for something - anything - that was new. Nothing. It was completely pointless.
Since there is still more time to fill, we get another group song, "I've Had the Time of My Life," from Dirty Dancing. They all sing and it goes well - I'd much rather they fill time with this instead of the other fluff. Also, one thing I've noticed about the group songs this year is that thee isn't one person who stands out in a bad way. Last year, you'd always have Nikki or AJ just not singing properly with the others. This year, they all fit in nicely.
Hey, let's go back to the house and watch some people get thrown into the pool!
Finally, we are going to find out who is in the bottom three. I'd swear even this part is draaaaaagggggged out longer than usual, as Ryan seems to be quoting everything each judge said about each participant rather than the one or two statements he usually does.
Josh? In. Trenyce? In. Rickey? In. Julia? Uh oh - bottom three. Clay? Is there really any doubt? In. Kimberley L.? In. Ruben? Again, is there any doubt? In. Kimberly C.? In. So there are three left and two will be in the bottom three. Must be time for a break. But since we're not live and this isn't TV, you don't have to wait like those of us watching did. Carmen stays in while Corey and Charles hit the bottom three.
I had ranked the performances with Carmen at the bottom, but the bottom three after that were Julia, Charles, and Corey. So I was close. I suspect Carmen still has a dedicated contingent of fans who are doing whatever they can to make sure she sticks around because of the controversy that began with her getting in to begin with.
Ryan asks if any of the judges are surprised. Paula says yes, she is. She thinks Julia did not do well, but Corey and Charles shouldn't be there. Maybe it was Charles' choice of song. Simon says if she doesn't think Corey belongs there, she didn't have the volume turned up on her TV. He was terrible. Paula and Randy disagree.
Here is where I wish Ryan would push on and ask Paula: OK, if you don't think two of these three should be here, who should? I'm sure she would have said Carmen for one, but who would she have tagged as the other? I'd love to know that answer.
Back to the bottom three. Ryan quickly dismisses Julia - she's safe, although you have to wonder how long she can keep ending up in the bottom three and not be given the boot. So it's down to Corey and Charles. After the break, we find out that Charles is going home. Corey's family starts chanting "Corey! Corey! Corey!" like he just won instead of barely avoiding losing. But Corey tries to put a stop to that by instead chanting "Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!" Rather classy, I thought.
We get a video look-back at Charles and his time on the show. Julia starts crying. Charles gets to sing his song from last night, "You Can't Win." How appropriate. The others join him onstage as Kim C. also begins to cry.
I have no problem with this decision. I still think Julia should have gone, for a variety of reasons (not least of which is that she was worse than him the previous night), but I never really understood how Charles made it to begin with. That said, I suspect there are still people in the pro-Julia camp out there sending in votes to try to keep her afloat, and Charles probably doesn't have that kind of fanbase. Corey needs to really kick it up a notch next week.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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