Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol: Top 5 elimination

"American Idol" elimination spoilers coming up just as soon as I call my first crush...

She was, she said. Bye, Brooke White. Hopefully, the time away from the show will restore your emotional well-being so you can go make your inevitable Starbucks tie-in CD.

Though Brooke was my favorite contestant much earlier in the season (a position later assumed briefly by Chikezie, and now I guess by David Cook), she'd been melting down for weeks. It's a mild surprise that Syesha out-lasted her -- even though Syesha had the pimp spot and had whatever fanbase she has put on alert by Simon's comments last night -- but I'd rather discuss, however briefly, what the show had to say about Pauler-gate.

Or, rather, what the show didn't say.

Considering that, as mentioned earlier in the day, the producers felt the need last year to go all Zapruder on Simon rolling his eyes at Chris Richardson's VaTech shout-out, I thought for sure we'd get some elaborate, convoluted explanation involving dress rehearsals, David Cook and/or ear-wig medication. Instead, Ryan glossed over it altogether, except to say this that the judges were "thrown a curveball" on the live show, and that "Just for the record, the rumors, they're not true. She's part of our family, and we love her."

First of all, were there any actual rumors about Paula losing her job? Because that seemed to be what Ryan was implying. Beyond that, though, I'm amused that Nigel and company think this will all go away if they don't explain it any further on air. And maybe they're right; much of their audience can be fooled by shiny beads and such. But absent a shocking boot, or even a shocking person in the bottom two (say, Archuleta), the only thing "Idol"-related to talk about between now and Tuesday is Paula's time-travel, and I imagine the complaining and conspiracy theories will only get louder.

What did everybody else think? And is it wrong that I found the call from Simon's first girlfriend kinda charming?

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a bit of a joke that they didn't deal with it in any meaningful way.
But on a positive note - Brooke was voted off! Woo-hoo. I don't think I could have watched another episode with her. She was just making me so uncomfortable by her own discomfort.

Adam said...

Of the three remaining men, only Jason Castro has ever been in the bottom group, and that was once ... almost two months ago.

Syesha has now been in the bottom group six times.

Anyone want to predict what happens next week?

Alap said...

so, who's paula's constant?

...or am i, like, the 80th person to make that joke already?

Nicole said...

I think had Jason been eliminated tonight, the producers would have made more of an effort to explain. With Brooke leaving after several meltdowns, they probably don't need to worry about Paula's mishap affecting the results.

Mark said...

I don't think Syesha was actually the second lowest vote getter. Ryan never referred to the group as the bottom two -- he just kept saying "One of you is safe, and the other is going home." Plus, Brooke & Syesha didn't get to sing before the results, which is how they typically handle the bottom two. (And for what it's worth, DialIdol ranked Syesha #1.)

There's also a logical reason why the producers wouldn't want to announce Jason in the bottom two. It just keeps the Paula controversy going -- everyone could blame her comments for his poor vote totals.

Mrglass said...

There was really nothing to say to justify Paula's comment and her justification(s), so they didn't say anything.

But I do think she did a big favor to Jason, he would probably have gone home instead of Brooke if not for her gaffe.

Anonymous said...

I don't like AI and hope this is the beginning of the end. Thank you, Paula!

Anonymous said...

I'm amused that Nigel and company think this will all go away if they don't explain it any further on air. And maybe they're right; much of their audience can be fooled by shiny beads and such.

I'm done wasting any more brain matter on this show... and I'd be happy to see it all just go away. Still, I'm surprised to hear Idol didn't address the issue on air. When Keith Olbermann takes the time to make a note of this, among other mass-media-worthy flubs by Paula (albeit through forced entry by the producers of his show, as he makes clear at the end of tonight's 'Countdown') you can hardly make the case that this issue will be swept quietly under the rug.

Michael said...

1. Why do people think that Jason Castro would have gone home if not for Paula's comments? Do people actually take what she says seriously? I mean, really, "Well, I was going to vote for Brooke but then Paula said something weird so now I'm going to vote for Jason?" Do people actually think that way, or am I missing something?

2. I fast-forwarded through the crap, including the phone call segment like I have since they started showing them. What's this about Simon's first girlfriend?

Hyde said...

Michael, Simon's girlfriend was partof the phone-in. I didn't really pay attention either.

There are definitely people who are claiming they voted for Jason specifically to register their protest of the way he was allegedly treated (as it turned out, Paula's comments were right on, just about 10 minutes too early).

Carly Smithson's comments last week about guys having advantages on the show (we already knew they have advantages on Dancing with the Stars) are looking smarter today, because I can't imagine a woman as lame as Jason lasting more than a week. Jason has had a few decent performances, but the last 2 weeks have been hideous for him.

Joe Reid said...

Is this really an "issue" beyond one especially wild, hilarious gaffe? The judges make note of the dress reharsals, Paula's a giant mess...is any of this really news? It's worth talking about, absolutely, and it's fodder for the conspiracy theorists, but then again, where a contestant stands during the group numbers is fodder for the conspiracy theorists. I'm glad Idol didn't feel the need to give some big explanation about the whole thing. It was a flub -- a flub that pulled the curtain back on the machinery of the show, certainly, but nothing more than that.

That said, Jason Castro was totally the second-lowest vote-getter this week and that's why Ryan never specifically said Syesha and Brooke were the Bottom Two. We all have our moments on the grassy knoll.

Eric Fingerhut said...

I thought Ryan might have been referring to some TMZ report that Paula had been boozing it up before the show. Other than that, I have no idea. But I was also stunned at the lack of attention paid to this.

Actually, though, to me the most interesting thing about Paula and Ryan's radio interview is that Mike Darnell told them to get a judges critique in there before the second round started. So apparently he had the same reaction to the first part of the show that most viewers did--Why did they eliminate the judges? Don't they know how this show is supposed to work?

BigTed said...

I thought the vague reference to "rumors" about Paula actually made it sound like something worse had happened than what I was already thinking. It immediately brought to mind such things as booze and pills, when before I had just assumed she got confused over the change in format. (Of course, if they merely said that's what happened, they would have been tacitly admitting that the judges start making up their comments based on rehearsal performances.)

In the group sing at the beginning of this show, I was amazed by how terrible both of the girls sounded. It seemed as if they barely knew the songs, and Brooke looked especially terrified. At some point, I got the feeling their parts were actually being sweetened by background singers.

So Brooke's leaving was a blessing for everyone. I don't think she could have taken another week, and neither could we.

DMT said...

alap @ 10:35:

The TWOP boards had several references to Paula becoming unstuck in time, and Simon is her constant. He even acted like her constant last night, trying to re-anchor her in our timeline by asking her, repeated, "Paula, who was your favorite?" She never said.

Bobman said...

1. Why do people think that Jason Castro would have gone home if not for Paula's comments? Do people actually take what she says seriously? I mean, really, "Well, I was going to vote for Brooke but then Paula said something weird so now I'm going to vote for Jason?" Do people actually think that way, or am I missing something?

I think the issue isn't that her comments affected the viewing audience, but that they affected Jason himself. His second song seemed very messy and nervous, and many could say that it was because Paula already told him she didn't like it (based on dress rehearsal most likely).

mrsb said...

I thought that the whole "Simon's first kiss" bit was very charming. He seemed genuinely pleased and excited to hear from her.

Wouldn't have worked with either of the other judges, but a nice little bit with Simon.

Linda said...

Yeah, I didn't interpret the part about "rumors" to be about leaving the show, but about booze/pills/crazy. What's stupid, of course, is that "she's family and we love her" has nothing to do with any of those things. You can love her and she can be family and she can still be addicted to something. I thought she did seem rather...high on Tuesday night, after being in better shape for part of this season and most of last season.

Maura said...

What was there to deal with? Paula appeared to be stoned out of her mind, and not for the first time, and did something stupid, also not for the first time. Seriously, her explanation - she thought Jason sang twice,and she was reading her notes on David C. - makes total sense to me. We're talking about Paula here. Nothing is impossible. She's a big ball of crazy.

I loved Brooke, but I'm glad she's gone. It was time for her to go home.

Anonymous said...

Uh, Maura...how would her explanation that she thought she was talking about David C. make sense? She said Jason didn't try hard enough---you mean she really meant to say that about David? I think you might be drinking some of whatever Paula is having...

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the earlier comment that Ryan never said Syesha was bottom two with Brooke. Honestly believe putting her on the hot seat was another Idol manipulation tactic. I would be impresssed, if it wasn't always so transparent.

Simon downplays the good job done by Syesha on Tuesday night with, "I think you're in trouble". After his Kiss of Death to Carly the week before, Simon's goal is obviously to rally Syesha fans to the phone. Continuing last night, Nigel puts Syesha up there with Brooke just to keep the pressure on. The goal? Make sure the show isn't further embarassed by a final three that includes either Brooke or Jason. Jasmine Trias, anyone? Talk about a shot to the credibility.

Yeah, credibilitiy, I know, but still...

As for Paulagate, isn't it already obvious that the judges often pay little attention to the contestants during the live performance anyway? Watch as the camera sweeps over the crowd during a performance or happens to pan over the judges table. More often than not, no one is even looking at the stage. When Paula is groovin' (or whatever that is), Simon's watching her. I've long believed that most of the commentary is based upon the rehersal performance, modified to include anything new or unexpected, like dropping the lyric.

Ugh, I despise it! Idol, why can't I quit you?

Anonymous said...

I thought Ryan was referring to the internet rumors regarding drugs, what's in the Coke glass, etc. You mentioned them on the a post too, so they are out there.

On a personal note, I am going to a Kathy Griffin concert on Friday, so I hope she goes off on this.

Anonymous said...

I just read an interview with Castro saying: "What happens happens. I'll sing and if people like it, they like it. And if they don't, they don't. I'm kind of ready to go home."

That's not fair. Considering he's been singing pretty poorly as of late, he should be voted off over Brooke, who broke down and cried. When Castro is voted off, I bet his facial expression does not even change. It sorta reminds me of that recent SNL sketch with Darrell Hammond as Fred Thompson, saying "On a scale of 1 to 10 on how much I want to be the president, I'm about a 6"

Maura said...

Uh, Maura...how would her explanation that she thought she was talking about David C. make sense? She said Jason didn't try hard enough---you mean she really meant to say that about David? I think you might be drinking some of whatever Paula is having...

I don't think she actually meant to say that about David C. As I said, it's Paula. If it had been Simon or even Randy, I might question what's going on. There is no earth logic when it comes to Paula.

Maura said...

To clarify - I don't think Paula's explanation makes sense in the real world. But it's makes sense on Planet Paula.

Also, I'd be afraid to drink what Paula's drinking. Look what it's done to her.

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