Pop Life

Idol Beat: The Top Seven Results

At the beginning of Wednesday's American Idol, I was pretty sure that whoever the week's lowest vote-getter was - Lil Rounds or Matt Giraud - would go home. No save for them. So when Simon Cowell announced that despite the fact that low-man-on-the-totem pole Giraud wasn't improving and had no prayer of winning Season 8 - then went and saved his bacon anyway - I was totally floored; didn't see this coming, like, at all.

This means that next week - Disco Week - two contestants will be eliminated in one fell swoop. I'm ready for Disco Week to be an unmitigated disaster for everybody involved, save maybe Adam; mostly will function as a test of a) how what each hopeful can accomplish with dated, cheeseball material (i.e. versatility); and b) how devoted each hopeful's fanbase is.

But you're not interested in my conjectures, are you? You want dirt on what happened Wednesday night! So let's go there, shall we?

* Man, Jennifer Hudson sure has grown up. Remember back when she was on Idol? The outragously gauche outfits? The crazy hair? And now she's so self-assured, so elegant; having a Grammy and an Oscar (for Dreamgirls) gathering dust on the mantle at home is probably a huge confidence-booster. I want to say that I like the song she sang, but like almost every other returning Idol alumnus' wannabe-hit, it falls short of being something I ever want to hear again, ever. Her vocals are off the charts, though.

* Tonight's magazine-cover Ford videomercial somehow sidesteps reality: the magazine industry is on life support these days. Blogs, Idol producers! Blogs.

* In a brilliant, audience-stoking cross-promotional move, our last Idol hopefuls attended the premiere of 17 Again, and someone filmed that happening. Matt Giraud's considered review: "I liked it, it was really good!" In a shocking mutual-admiration-society development, 17 star Zac Efron digs Idol. Efron's hanging out in the audience tonight wearing a skullcap, because it's totally freezing and shit.

* Adam Lambert didn't take exception to Simon Cowell's comment about his "Born to be Wild" performance, which the acerbic Brit compared to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. "I think that's a great movie. I mean, did he mean it as an insult?" What a guy!

* Anoop being in the Bottom Three this week is ridiculous. Lil Rounds, a heckuva lot less so.

* Also, Jennifer is touring with Robin Thicke [May 8, Verizon Wireless Theater]. And she's engaged! Sometimes, there's nothing clever to say about things that happen on this show.

* Speaking of cross-promotional eyeball grabs, Miley Cyrus is also in the house, performing a vaguely countrified new single in an evening gown as smoke machines blast the tuxedoed goons who make up her backing band.

On aluminum, I admittedly dig some of Miley's mall-pop stylings, but whenever she's singing live it's a disaster: without the corrective safety nets of producers and studios, her voice's cracks and weaknesses are out there for the world to wince at.

This - and the Hot Topic-y gear she used to wear - was almost charming when she was younger, but given that she's attempting to showcase a more mature side of herself now, it's not a great look.

*Get a room, Paula and Simon! Your incessant joking, poking and teasing is getting out of hand. You're like misbehaving school kids sitting at the front of the class who have no respect for what's going on in front of you. No wonder this season's hopefuls are so lippy.

I'll leave you with these Bucky Covington lyrics, from "It's Good To Be Us": "On a shoestring, saving every dime we made/ No Cadillac crusing, no boat on a lake/ Out in no-man's land on an old two-lane/ Yeah, but we like it that way."

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Ray Cummings