Friday, February 28, 2003

Before getting into the special (co-written!) American Idol recap, I'd like to introduce this week's contest, suggested by loyal reader Dave Walker. Fox has announced a Joe Millionaire sequel, that will hold true to the "values" of the original. That's just too funny to pass up, so please send me your reality show concepts. Dave has already submitted "Debbie Organ Donor", so I'm afraid that one's taken. The person with the best concept wins the chance to assign me an episode of the television show of their choice. Touched by an Angel? Mutant X? For the love of God, Married by America? I'll review it! Please send submissions to

And now to our regularly scheduled snark...

American Idol, Airdate 2.24.03

Two specials this week: first, it's a special edition of American Idol. Second, I'd like to introduce my first ever co-snarker, John Butler. J.B. and I watch this show together every week, and this episode was especially awful. We wished to share the pain. Introducing J.B…

What up, dawgs? JB here keeping it real on the blog. Now that I’ve completely lost any self-respect I’ve ever had by becoming a white middle class gangsta’ on Shannon’s blog, I’ll continue. I just felt it appropriate as this week’s episode is filled with utter wannabes and posers. And thongs. Did we mention thongs?

Back to the show: We open with a long and lovely shot of Original Fashion Victim Paula Abdul's outfit: a ruffly coral shirt with white pants. It can really only be described as Bridesmaid Goes Casual Friday. Witless banter ensues about Randy calling everyone "Dawg", and Ryan puts his hand on Simon's mouth. The show insists on keeping the families in the green room, so we recognize that these kids have families and did not come from pods. Which is good, because we had our doubts about Patrick for a while. In fact, all of them move their heads in a strange podlike fashion.

Sylvia: This girl, who has a head like a deflated football, belts out "Didn't We Almost Have it All". By "belt", we mean "smacks a belt across our faces and jams the buckle in our eyeballs." She is the first contestant to chuck elocution entirely, telling the judges she was "feeling her thong." She meant to say "song." Hopefully.

Chip: Chip has an unfortunate cornrow mullet hairstyle and a sweater that even chess nerds would mock. Think D’Angelo meets Bobby Fisher. He renders his s(th)ong virtually unrecognizable, forcing Randy to tell America that it was Donny Hathaway. Chip also does these strange wiggly things with his eyebrows, prompting America to wonder if caterpillars are chewing on his forehead. Chip is the second contestant with a beef against elocution, and tells the cameras he is from "Allanta." Simon slams the sweater, the singing, and the very existence of Chip. Go Simon! All this talk of chips made us hungry, so we cracked a can of Pringles. Much like their Allanta namesake, they were bland and gave us indigestion.

Juanita: Juanita arrives wearing a bizarre asymmetrical outfit that makes her look like she put on her clothes at a 45-degree angle. Paula Abdul regards the ensemble in mild horror, which is about as low as clothing can sink. Juanita's also wearing a Flower Choker of Doom. No one who wears a flower choker makes it to the next round. Shannon/JB debated if Juanita was the stand-in for Halle Berry in the classic movie “Bull” with Warren Beatty. Juanita hollers her way through "What About the Children (read ‘Chirren’)" as America's chirren cower under their sofas. Psychiatrists across the land nod their heads with satisfaction and see reimbursement checks piling in for years to come.

Judging begins, and even Paula slams her. Juanita sticks her ass out and says, "I'm singing this song to America, and asking them to think about the chirren!” Indeed, will no one think of the children? She also provides a great catchphrase, "You just don't know Juanita!" Of course the judges don't know you, you ingrate. You're a 22-year-old nobody, and acting like you know more than the judges is ridiculous. Unless it's Paula. It's perfectly ok to insult her.

Patrick: Patrick is one of those people that could yell "Freebird" at a rock show without a trace of irony. He's wearing spiky bracelets and has arranged his goatee into a ponytail (chintail?). He's here to bring out the "little bit of rock n' roll inside everyone." Patrick also has the unfortunate tendency to make involuntary "sign of the devil" hand signals. For a moment we thought he was giving a shout out to the University of Texas, but we realized we were mistaken. It was, indeed, Satan.

As Patrick reaches the stage, Simon greets him by saying, "Yo." Patrick growls his way through "When I See You Smile" prompting a Shannon/JB debate about whether the song is by Bad English or White Lion. Patrick must die for causing the following sentence to come into being: "No, White Lion did the cover of 'Radar Love', so it must be Bad English." Paula pronounces him "refreshing", much like her tasty Coca-Cola. Hmmm, who wants a Coke? Apparently Patrick’s a Pepsi drinker, because he gets the smackdown from Simon and Randy in a bizarre circular logic debate. Patrick thumps himself in the chest and says that "rock n' roll is here!" If so, we're sure it's dying to join the chirren under the sofa. Paula, finished with her tasty Coca-Cola, says that he's "representin'" as Patrick ambles off the stage to share a squicky cuddle with his sister. The kind of love known only by Angelina and Chris Jolie. Shannon cringed and turned her eyes before the retinas could burn.

Nesheka: All of America could see her bra. The same could not be said for her talent. She mumbles a gospel tidbit that fades from memory as she sings. Simon compares her to Tamyra the Great, though Nesheka argues the point. Dude, you WANT to be compared to Tamyra. Then there's some hope America might have the faintest idea who you are. Nesheka slithers back into blandness. This caused a Shannon/JB discussion of the merits of sucking up to the Judges when you’re given a half-ass complement. Shannon was con, JB pro. Shannon agreed JB had indeed been in PR too long.

Josh: The sun rises and sets on Josh. He's a dad, a Marine, a nice guy, and cute as the dickens. He gets automatic points for living in Oceanside, childhood home of the Stamey sisters. He also gets points for making "Greatest Man of Your Life" enjoyable. The guy can sing, he has a good stage presence, and he probably thinks of the chirren more than Juanita does. He loses points in the interview afterwards, when Simon asks if he would go with his unit if it was called up. Josh pontificates about how it's his job to protect the country. The judges make idiots of themselves fawning over Heroic Josh, who doesn't mention that if you're a Marine, and you're called up, you GO. Or face court-martial. It's not like Josh has a choice in the matter. Nitwits. Shannon forgave Josh because he had great dimples. An American Idol and great skin? JB mentioned that if were to be shipped to Afghanistan, he’d be a shoo in for the one of the top 3 slots. Nothing says great publicity like a trip to the front line.

Ashley: Ashley is a 17-year-old, very pretty blond creature who arrives onstage in a weird salsa dance dominatrix outfit. Read J-Lo meets Bim-Bo. She claims in the interview that while the outfit is risque, it suits her song, which is "gossipy and sexy." She arrives on stage and sings "Touch Me in the Morning." Didn't Juice Newton sing that? And how is it sexy? She is the soul sister of 7th Heaven's Neck-of-Steel Cecilia, down to the weird head movements, blond hair and squeaky voice. Ashley's last school paper probably had the title, "Britney Spears: Feminist Icon or Fashion Pioneer?" While one might argue that’s a good enough application to Vassar, it didn’t get Ashley very far. The judges fawn over how beautiful she is, but Simon trashes her singing: "You sound like a cruise ship singer...halfway through, I pictured the cruise ship sinking." Randy tries to talk her into acting, virtually guaranteeing that Ashley will wind up in porn. We’re not sure, but we think Randy “popped a Coke” for her. Say it with us…Ewww.. Ashley goes backstage and moans to Ryan about how everyone thinks she's pretty and no one thinks she's talented. Poor thing. Corey Camera Whore hugs her while Ryan inappropriately touched. Bad touch, Ryan. Bad touch.

Corey: Corey ambles out with his Guarini-lite hair and half-unbuttoned shirt. He sings "Foolish Heart" by Journey, except he sings it as "Foolish Ha-Wa-Wa-Art" in a weird, girlish chirp. It's good, bad and mediocre all at once. Corey gets a standing ovation from the judges. We commanded Skye’s cat Joey to attack the television in protest. He just looked at us and vomited by the halogen lamp. We figured he was really speaking for all of America at that moment. Maybe he just didn’t know Juanita.

The standing ovation must be a weird meta statement about Fox: this hour of sheer unrelenting awfulness has caused the judges to lose their standards, much how Fox programming as a whole makes its viewers lose their standards. Married by America, anyone?

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