American Idol: Is this show about the judges?

Last night on “American Idol,” history was made, but it was self-serving, me me me history for the wrong reasons. The judges sometimes think that they control the outcome, and try to sway that outcome as much as possible. Sometimes, as they did last night, they cross the line in that regard and piss us off.

The episode began with a group performance of Michael Sembello’s “Maniac,” which wasn’t nearly as bad as previous group efforts, with nice harmonies and everything. My guess is, we’ve weeded out some of the really bad singers like Scott and Megan, so naturally the remaining talent makes everything sound better. Then there was a plug for the movie “17 Again” which comes out this Friday, as the Idol hopefuls got to watch the premiere on Tuesday after they performed.

Then, on to business. Allison Iraheta, who had the opening slot and didn’t deliver her best showing, safe. Adam Lambert, who screeched a few too many times through “Born To Be Wild,” also safe. Anoop Desai, who wasn’t awful Tuesday night but, well, sang the first of two sappy Bryan Adams songs. Bottom 3, my good man. Anoop seemed pissed off when Ryan Seacrest toyed with him, even saying, “Come on, Ryan!” So Seacrest promptly escorted him to the other side of the stage, probably enjoying it.

Then came the first performance, by Season 3 alum and now mega-star Jennifer Hudson. Hudson sang her new single, If This Isn’t Love,” and what it wasn’t was good. Her voice was as big and beautiful as ever, but the song….just blech.

Then more results. Kris Allen, who for whatever reason remains under everyone’s radar but delivers great performances every single week, was safe. Simon didn’t have the opportunity to judge Kris on Tuesday, so he offered this take last night: “Brilliant.” Damn, that was nice considering Randy hated Kris’ performance of “Falling Slowly.” Lil Rounds, bottom 3. Seacrest asked her about her banter with Simon and blah blah blah. Here’s the bottom line, Lil…you are not as good as most of the other remaining contestants.

Down to Matt Giraud and Danny Gokey. Danny, safe again. Matt, bottom 3, because he sang the second sappy Bryan Adams song of the night, and sang it pretty poorly. So your bottom 3, America…..Anoop, Lil and Matt.

Then Miley Cyrus sang her new single, “The Climb,” all decked out in a dress like she was going to a movie premiere, which maybe she was. Cyrus, who has grown up around country music, was almost forcing the twang in her vocal, but did a pretty nice job with a decent song. Mark that down, I just complimented two things I normally don’t–Miley and a country song.

Back to business. Anoop Desai, back to the couches, you are safe. That left Matt and Lil. Simon says the judges would consider saving one of them, and that the choice may surprise that person (ahem, Lil, right?). Well, it was Matt who had the lowest number of votes and Lil who would for sure stick around one more week. But would the judges use their next-to-last save opportunity on Matt? Seacrest handed him the microphone and told him to sing for his life, making us all endure that craptastic Bryan Adams ballad again.

The judges huddled, and it made me wonder this…..why the hell don’t they have a pre-show meeting about who they might save and who they might not, and know their decision going in?

Instead, Matt sang, and Kara and Paula danced like morons as they always do. Then, as Simon started saying, “I don’t think you have a chance to win, Matt…” Paula and Kara were screaming at him, and Simon announced that indeed, it was good news, they were saving Matt this week. That led to a group hug of contestants onstage and the judges all high-fiving each other, making this moment about them and how they controlled this thing, despite America telling everyone they didn’t really like Matt Giraud.

Simon told everyone to calm down, saying that next week they will have to eliminate two contestants, and that it’s disco week. Matt might actually make it through next week, but I’m guessing Anoop may not…and also Lil, who clearly has a short leash with the judges and producers right now.

So that’s it…..anti-climactic? Maybe, but next week we get to send two home and then it will be down to the final 5. See you all then, and get your afro wigs and bell bottoms ready!

  

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