Thursday, April 12, 2012

AI Season 11- Top 7 Elimination, 04-12-12

This is the year of dramatic openers: makeup, angst, rehearsals, fog machines, high hopes, praise, and no Skylar/Colton relationship, nosiree...

JLo is wearing a below-the-knee, tight, orange sheath with deeply cut shoulders and a little white Peter Pan collar. Steven has his hair pulled back in a barrette. Randy is wearing a long and baggy black shirt. Ryan's in a charcoal tweed suit, and his pompadour is higher than ever.

I spot Jane Lynch in the audience, and maybe Lara Spencer. Onstage tonight we get James Durbin and Jennifer Hudson, with NeYo.

The Group Sing is Pink's Raise Your Glass. The kids sound absolutely awful, but I did laugh out loud at the staging of Colton's head on Phil's lap. Don't be fancy, just get dancy? Seriously? But at least we get the Pointy Pose.

The Fordmercial is animated, with the featured car and the kids' heads in color, like stickers pasted on notebook paper, with all kinds of line drawings and moving doodles. Yeah, I don't know either.

Evidently we're going to hear Tweets every week. Kellie Pickler, Jazmine Sullivan and Skylar Gray all liked whichever kid sang whatever of their songs. Colton gets an elaborate construction paper prom invitation. So does Hollie, but at least hers comes with a photo of a cute guy. One of Elise's fans sent her some feather earrings, plus one for Steven. Elise trots it over to Steven, who puts it on immediately, without looking in a mirror. My ears have been pierced (again- after a few decades with no ear holes) for about a year and I can't change earrings without a mirror. My respect for Mr. Tyler just went up a couple of notches.

Ryan calls Hollie (short, strappy, black romper shorts with sparkly buttons) and Jessica (black leggings, pink tunic, black leather vest) down.

I: Both girls are technically good, but Hollie needs to unlearn some bad habits.

Oh no! Ryan sends Hollie to one side of the stage, and Jessica to the other. They're doing The Huff! Dammit! I hate The Huff.

For those who are new to the show, every couple of years, on the Top 7 Elimination night, they divide 6 of the remaining kids into 2 groups of 3, and then make the 7th choose which group he or she thinks is the proper one. The first time they pulled this nonsense was in Season 3, when poor confused George Huff was forced to choose (and he chose the wrong group- in fact it's almost guaranteed that #7 will choose the wrong group because they only do this when the results are surprising).

James Durbin, hawking his debut album and his tour (which starts tonight) has turned himself into Billy Idol, and that's all I have to say about James Durbin.

Ryan calls Phil (plaid shirt over a white tee... big surprise there), and Elise (black flapper dress and fedora- and as much as I hate hats on the kids, that fedora is a huge improvement over sparkly headbands).

I: Both are singer/songwriters, and s/s types are allowed to be less than perfect in execution because they make up for the technical deficit with soul. He thinks Phil might be in the Bottom 3, which would surprise me. Also Elise, which would not.

 Ryan sends Phil over to Hollie, and Elise over to Jessica. Neither of these are the expected pairings, but as  I said: they only release The Huff for shockers.

JHud looks fantastic. But let me make this clear- JHud has always looked fantastic. And the only difference between Heavier JHud and Thinner JHud is that TJH is thinner... and HJH won an Academy Award. Anyway, she's wearing a brown leather A-line skirt and a black knit top with silver sparkly sleeves. Her hair is all Betty Grable. NeYo joins her in a white button down shirt with an inexplicable black rectangle painted on the chest. Also a fedora (on his head, not painted on his chest). The song is more  like a Broadway number than a new single- all acty and dramatic. Afterwards JHud hugs Ryan and I realize just how tall she is. She towers over Wee Seacrest.

Ryan calls Colton (in a black Dorothy Zbornak vest) and Joshua (tan double breasted shirt) down. This surprises me- given that Ryan has screwed with Colton all season, I assumed he'd be the Huffer. But it's going to be Skylar.

I: Thought Colton and Joshua both did well. Joshua nailed the Bruno Mars ditty in a big way. Colton chose a smaller song and killed it as well.

Ryan sends Joshua over to Jessica and Elise. Colton goes to Hollie and Phil.

Evidently, these kids have never watched this show. Not a single one of them knows what's coming, including Skylar (green long top over a brown print tunic, again with the uneven hems, and a bronze belt under the boobs.The whole thing manages to look vaguely Egyptian) who is deeply confused.

I: Says that Skylar is both an s/s and a technical singer, but still worries that she could be in trouble.
I: predicts Phil, Elise and Hollie for the Bottom 3.

Ryan tells Skylar that she's safe, which is nice. And then he explains that she needs to choose which group she belongs with, which is the exact opposite of nice. Skylar sensibly refuses, and this time Ryan does not force the issue (as he has in other seasons) (understandable: Skylar has a gun) (probably stashed in her boot).

Ryan announces that Skylar belongs with Hollie, Phil, and Colton... It takes a moment for everyone to realize that means that Elise, Joshua, and Jessica are in the Bottom 3!


That means that the judges will likely use their Save tonight, or at least they'll use it for Jessica or Joshua. I don't know if they'll save Elise. I imagine we'll find out soon enough.

Ryan tells Joshua that he's safe. Elise and Jessica huddle, and Elise knows that she's on the chopping block. Jessica, never having been in the Bottom 3, and always having been praised highly, is falling apart. And then she falls apart even more when Ryan announces that she got the lowest number of votes.

I can count on one hand the number of times that this show has surprised me, and this is one of them. I would never, ever, have expected to see Jessica in the bottom 3- in fact I expected her to be in the Top 2.

However this means that the judges will absolutely use their Save- they're not about to let Jessica go. She starts singing her final song, and it's shaky... but she gets no more than a couple of bars into it when JLo, Steven, and Randy all go up on stage and interrupt her. They declare that this is ridiculous and that Jessica is going nowhere tonight. Well nowhere except back to the mansion.

So, Jessica is safe, and next week, 2 of these kids will go home, and there's no way to save them. This season  is suddenly very interesting.

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