I think last night's American Idol was supposed to be country-themed, to go along with the Shania Twain songs the contestants sang on Tuesday, but as I should have known, any organization that thinks of Shania Twain as country is going to have some weird ideas about genre. Rascal Flatts stopped by to offer their nasal brand of bland pop, and every successive act seemed more determined than the last to be as forgettable as possible. Lady Antebellum performed, as did Sons of Sylvia, and those are both real things. The girl in Lady Antebellum seems to be going for a spray-tanned Stevie Nicks look, and every guy in Sons of Sylvia looks like the older brother from Boy Meets World, and both bands performed utterly dull, middle-of-the-road adult pop songs that were about independence or something. It was a brutal hour.
The product placement reached new heights, too. The Ford ad had a whole making-of featurette to go with it, plus the remaining six singers attempted some voice-over work in a plug for DreamWorks Animation's Shrek Forever After, coming this summer to a theater near you even though you've done nothing to deserve it. Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas even showed up for a brief moment before Ryan began the lengthy elimination process; how/why they couldn't show up last week to help raise ratings and money for charity is a question that went unasked.
The actual eliminations were drawn out and sprinkled amid the increasingly painful performances, but Ryan started by splitting the singers into two groups of three, moving one of them over to create a trio, and then announcing that was this week's bottom three. It was Siobhan, Mike, and Casey, meaning that Crystal, Lee, and Aaron were safe. A lot more filler was used to pad the ep before the bottom three was dealt with, including a performance from the devil's combo of Shakira and Rascal Flatts, but things finally got back under way at the end.
Big Mike was the first one given a reprieve, and then Casey, meaning Siobhan was at the bottom of the pole and sent packing. She got to sing a final song (unlike Tim, shafted by the bloated run time of "Idol Gives Back") and watch her montage, but that was that. Given her recent performances, this is a good call. She's probably not a mean person, but her voice can't stack against Crystal's and a couple others, and she doesn't seem to know what kind of music she likes. The winner of this show should be, ideally, a performer, but Siobhan's just a vocalist, and that's not enough.
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So now we're down to five: Crystal, Mike, Lee, Aaron, and Casey. My gut says that's the order they'll fall into when this is over, from top to bottom, though I could be way off if somebody winds up tanking one week or doing something really impressive to boost their standing. So close to the end, but still so far.