Idol Beat: Release The Kraken!

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Last night's American Idol results show was present in association with Warner Bros.' Clash of the Titans, and the intro featured -- I swear -- movie footage and text like "Heroes are not born, they are made," as if these kids aren't just trying to land a record contract but somehow save all existence from Liam Neeson. Idol reaches some pretty sickening levels of incestuous marketing and promotion, between stuff like this and the weekly in-episode Ford ads that the singers have to do. I'm pretty sure that contestants will eventually just wear logo-covered jumpsuits like NASCAR drivers.

Elimination episodes are always 90 percent filler, and that gets more noticeable as the number of contestants slowly dwindles. The episode kicked off with a performance from second-season winner Ruben Studdard, now a slimmed-down vegan but still working that neo-Vandross thing that won him the title. Also, apparently he and Clay Aiken are going on tour together this summer, and if that doesn't entertain you, then brother I don't know what to do. His appearance, though, wasn't just because of his past Idol win, but to trumpet said tour and the release of his new single. Idol feels like a Hollywood studio from the contract era, trotting out stars just because it can.

Also: Justin Bieber was in the audience. I was sad to see him because (a) it meant that I recognized Justin Bieber, and (b) I've gone this far without actually hearing him talk or sing, but I've now heard the little Donny Osmond knock-off discuss how he was shaped by Usher. There is no greater argument for the questionable tastes of pre-teens than the success of a boy who looks like a lesbian.

The other performance of the night wasn't Usher, though, who despite being this week's mentor was clearly in no mood to hang around for an extra night. The honor instead went to Diddy, introduced as Diddy-Dirty Money and performing an atrocious new single featuring the questionable guest talents of will.i.am. It took me halfway through the song to realize it was Diddy, what with the confusing name change because seriously, this joker needed one more thing for people to call him.

The actual eliminations proceeded as expected: Crystal and Big Mike were safe, of course, as was Siobhan, despite a weak performance the night before, and Casey, who hilariously came up with nothing when Ryan asked him how he intends to challenge himself as an artist. Watching Casey fumble for an answer was like watching a job interview go south, but with the added awkwardness of live TV.

The bottom three wound up being Didi, Tim, and Katie, though once again Katie was saved for next week. Even Tim, that goofy ignoramus, got a pass. The loser this week was Didi, though she wasn't given the same pre-song notice that Paige did that she wouldn't be able to earn the judges' save. So she sang "Rhiannon" one last time and was sent home, though not before she was forced to watch a montage of her past performances and moments of optimism. Staring up at herself, Didi watched with a pained smile, contorting her mouth into the forced gape you use to prevent tears. It only worked for a moment.

So we're down to nine. I really hope that Tim gets the boot soon, but knowing young girls' fondness for good looks and a lack of talent (cf. Mr. Bieber), I'm not holding my breath. There's also a storm on the horizon: Next week is Lennon-McCartney week, and God only knows what horrors the Idol contestants will wreak upon the works of the greatest band of the century. I might have to drink beforehand.

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