Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shock and Awe: Idol Results

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On!

So the results come in, and the producers say Oh Shit: the crazy-ass talented dude is going home! What are we going to do? Frantic phone calls are made. The show’s ending is blocked out like a dance, and because nothing this big can really be left to chance, meetings are had around conference tables littered with crushed Coca-Cola cups, the stubs of a thousand cigarettes, polystyrene clamshells with the crusty remains of Indian take-out from the Curry Truck, and finely chopped Airborne spilled off the back of someone’s iPhone. What are the judges likely to do? How will this play out?

It is decided that there’s no way the judges will let poor Casey go, so they devise a fiendish plan….they will let Casey sing “for your life!!!” but only to a point. At the signal, hands will wave, the band will screech to a halt, and Ryan will rush onstage to tell Casey to stop. But before panic can ensue, Tyler will drop the bomb: there’s no need to sing, dude, because there is no need to: WE'RE PULLING OUT THE SEASON'S ONLY SAVE CARD! RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW! Merriment will then be expected to wash over the assembled crowd, etc. etc.

But this is not exactly how it panned out. (Huh? you’re saying.) No-one could have predicted Casey’s genuine blood-drained-from-face reaction, complete with much bleeped out wordage and shaking the likes of which we haven’t seen since that haystick Clay Aiken fan fell to pieces when his idol came out form behind the curtain one finale day. It was the most moving bit of honest human behavior I've seen for a long time. Dude rushed the judges, rushed his parents in the audience, almost said "shit" on live TV. I was concerned for a while that the look on his face signaled a medical emergency was underway — crippling stomach pain, imminent vomiting, or a fatal asthma attack. But no: it was pure white hot shock. And the best part? (this is bound to be overlooked by the commentators): when asked about what was going through his mind, dude was humble enough to give a nod to the rest of his compadres whose chances of being saved were so cruelly ripped out from underneath them so early in the season. That's class, right there.

And it topped a results night in which the shock factor was clearly ramped up: from Stevie Wonder rolling out at the piano during the group number to sing Happy Birthday to the other Steven (he too looked genuinely surprised, didn’t he?), to James Durbin having his own personal Moment Of A Lifetime when Hulk Hogan came out to deliver the news he was safe (another awesome example of honest-to-goodness delight, by the way).

These things alone would have made it a brilliant show, but there was more! Both of the best female singers around performed: Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland (though regrettably, singing the Gawd-awful “Stuck Like Glue” and looking like a Kewpie Doll with a shitload of makeup and heels) and the most talented Idol contestant there has ever been, Jennifer Hudson, who did a fine job of giving the contestants a master class in How It’s Done Bitches (but needs to show off her new fabulous figure in something other than a split-front skirt – never, ever flattering on anyone).

It was a good night, y’all. Watch the highlight reel. 

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