Film and TV

Idol Beat: My Faith In A Just Universe Is Restored

60 million votes. That's how many it took to ensure karmic balance in the universe and send Jacob Lusk to the American Idol equivalent of hell... which is probably an alternate dimension where Simon Cowell never existed.

Last night was so chock-full of entertainment it's a wonder they managed to cram it all into one hour: Steven Tyler's new book? A performance and video preview from Jennifer Lopez? Lady Antebellum dazzling us with their lite-country stylings? Hot damn, this show needs to be three hours long!

The opening ensemble number ("Happy Together" by the Turtles) was awkwardly staged and only marginally in tune, meaning it was just about par for the course for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Seacrest had "big Season 11 news": It seems auditions start this summer.

We have to wait that long? What kind of god would make us suffer through six Idol-less months before another season?

The important announcement was followed by another Ford commercial. It featured the contestants performing various carny tricks (James balances a chair on his chin, Scotty does BMX stunts), except for Haley, who demonstrated the Ford Focus' self-parallel parking function. How insulting.

Sorry, I forgot my mandated reaction...

And then, for some reason, the contestants go through an abbreviated version of Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen. I guess someone figured this season's asshole quotient was dangerously low with Cowell gone.

Not much love for Lady Antebellum. Show the Record of the Year Grammy winners some respect, you assholes. Sure, they're no Starland Vocal Band, but they're trying.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar