Ugh... where to start with last night's "American Idol" semi-final episode with the Top 12 guys? With a series of vocals (Tim Urban) and song choices (John Park) so brutal that the upbeat semi-competence of Big Mike Lynche's "This Love" made him seem deserving of an instant pass to the finals? With the way the show seems to have learned not a darned thing from the Paula Abdul/Corey Clark mess in the way it's playing up Kara's attraction to Casey James? With Ellen still looking terrified every time she has to say anything vaguely negative? With Andrew Garcia already looking like a one-trick pony (albeit one with a pretty good trick)?
Or should we start with the judges doing a complete 180 from the night before? On Tuesday, they kept beating the women over the head with orders to not do soundalike covers, to instead ape Blake/Cook/Lambert/Kris and either rearrange songs or find someone else's obscure arrangement. Wednesday night, they kept complaining when the contestants did exactly that. I'm not saying the rearrangements were all good - Todrick Hall didn't have the vocal chops to back up his reconstruction of "Since U Been Gone," and Andrew's gimmick becomes less charming the more he keeps doing the exact same iteration of it - but what exactly happened between night one and night two? Did the producers give the judges a talking-to for some reason? Did the judges have nightmares about an entire season of Adam Lambert's "Ring of Fire"? Or is it as simple as Fienberg (whose own recap is here) half-jokingly suggested on Throwing Things: that it's the easiest way to sabotage the guys and ensure that the show gets the female winner everybody clearly wants this year.
Whatever the heck was going on, this was one of the worst "Idol" performance shows I've ever seen. Just brutal, brutal, brutal. Another week or two like this, and I may have to seriously consider just jumping ahead to halfway through the finals, when most of the really awful people are gone, and just skim YouTube for the performances I hear are good.
What did everybody else think?