Well, I had figured on either Carly or Syesha going home. Carly wasn't even in the bottom three, and Syesha was the first person on the seal sent to safety, with Kristy Lee sent home and Brooke sent into another crying jag. So much last night's prediction that KLC might improbably become the last woman standing, huh? Still, her tears at being eliminated were the first sign of genuine emotion she displayed this season (I loved the suggestion by a Thing Thrower that Kristy Lee was an android sent from the future to protect Young David from Skynet), and even when she was good, she wasn't memorable. "God Bless the USA" bought her an extra three weeks, I suppose.
Some other random thoughts on the elim show:
- They've been doing the "two groups of three, and a sucker forced to choose" gag every top 7 night since season three, and it's played out. The first time, it worked brilliantly, because poor George Huff actually made a choice, and chose the wrong group. (That was the night when the three divas were in the bottom three and Jennifer Hudson went home.) The next year, Bo Bice showed the only proper way to deal with being the sucker: stay at center stage and refuse to play the game. Melinda and now Young David followed that example I can't remember what Taylor did in season five, but anyone who's on the show has been watching the show, and they know this is coming. New trick, please.
- That said, it's always interesting to see who's chosen as the sucker. George was ideal, both because he didn't naturally fit either group (the three divas and the three teenagers) and because he was easily freaked-out. Taylor went on to win (and by most accounts was leading the voting all season), while Bo and Melinda were the "resident professionals" who were presented as frontrunners but realistically had little chance of winning. Young David fits both the Taylor and George modes: the obvious winner, but also someone ready to panic at a moment's notice. (His answer to Ryan's "Are you having any fun?" question may have been the season's least sincere moment not involving Kristy Lee Cook.)
- Outside of digging his musical chops, I admire he hell out of David Cook for refusing to exploit his personal problems to get votes. When Ryan asked him about the heart episode a few weeks ago, he dismissed it as quickly as he could as a non-event. Tonight, when Ryan tried to get to the bottom of David's tears -- which were quite obviously connected to the presence of his cancer-stricken brother in the audience -- David again went out of his way to not discuss it except in the vaguest terms possible. I can think of a lot of contestants over the years who would flog the sick brother angle for all it was worth.
- That said, I had no problem with Elliott Yamin's palm-print message to his recently departed mom (even though it was cheesey when Big David put "Give back" on his palm last week), both because he's not competing for anything, and because his mom did become a part of the show during his season. I like that Elliott's been able to carve out a respectable career completely outside the Idol management machine (he was pretty much the only season five finalist they didn't sign), and also that the Idol producers don't seem to begrudge that success and keep having him back on the show, even though there's no money in it for them. His return appearances are one of the few completely non-cynical moments in each season.