And then there were five. Not the quite the five we expected, either: both Lil Rounds' reign of ineptness and Anoop "Ralph Lauren" Desai's bob-weave hit-or-miss streak have come to an end, cut short by American Idol voters. Justin Timberlake clone Matt Giraud apparently has the kind of luck usually reserved for Powerball winners. To wit: Season 8 just got a whole lot paler. A word, gentle Idol Beat readers: your vote(s) count. I'll say it again: your vote(s) count. Are you of the opinion that Danny Gokey is destined for stratospheric international stardom? Does Allison Iraheta's voice send you into shudders of delirium? Do you believe that Adam Lambert is the risen Christ, incognito? Would you shell out dough for a Kris Allen rap album, of all things? Then when Ryan Seacrest urges you to vote for somebody, do it.
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Complacency kills at this point in the competition, because viewers assume that their favorites are safe; they assume that they needn't vote because 20 other people will cast the vote they couldn't be bothered to. And suddenly - boom - Chris Daughtry is being sent home several weeks early, out of nowhere, because thousands of people were too lazy to dig their cell phones out of their pockets and press a couple buttons. Anyway: * So, Paula Abdul choreographed the group-sing this week! Given her stilted, braindead comments and out-of-it mien, it's really easy to forget that the woman was once a pop star and a choreographer to the stars, isn't it? She seemed shockingly limber in the training footage, goofing with the Top Seven and rocking Flashdance duds like the 1980s never ended. * "Guh" Moment of the Night: A tripped-out Matt downloading his own performance of "Let's Get It On" as a ringtone in a staged bit of product placement for some advertiser or another. *Notice how Adam is the only person in the disco-themed group-sing who isn't wearing sunglasses onstage? I guess he's sort of earned the right to rebuff some of the Idol stylists' imperatives. *This week's Ford videomercial somehow conflates working contruction with washing dogs and making messes while baking, which is the kind of thing that's completely logical when you're hopelessly stoned and brainstorming your Ford videomercial concept at the last possible second. * This disco medley salute makes me wish I were Scott MacIntyre; that way, I wouldn't have to actually watch this parade of near asthmatic performances, awkward dance movews, age-inappropriate evening wear, crimes of fashion, slutty backup dancers and geriatric gusto.
* My wife, on Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta tonight: "Still lookin' 12! Actually, he looks like he's 11 this year." Dude hasn't grown up at all. You'd think massive fame wouldn't lent him some gravatas or something, but no. Sure, he's varied his performance style and presentation somewhat - more octave runs, emo frontguy leaps and twirls to underline the emotional shit he's singing about, plus a hoodie! - but at heart, he remains the same twerpy troll that America's grandmas and tweens fell in love with last year. This week's Bucky Covington Moment, from "Empty Handed": "A small town beauty queen, livin' on amphetamines/ Hangin' in the Hollywood Hills/ Got herself famous in the City of Angels/ With the help of the devil and the pills." Sound like anybody you know?