TV Round-Up (American Idol, The Office, ANTM): Kris Still In!

Adam LambertAMERICAN IDOL:

Let me start by pleading with American Idol bigwigs to please do something about all the bickering on the show. Between people supporting different singers? NO! The constant, predictable, and utterly annoying “dissing” between Ryan and Simon (You’re OLD! Yeah, good one, Ryan. Now back to the playground) and the complete disdain Simon shows after everything Paula says. I actually thought Paula made the most sense of all the judges last week (stop laughing, I’m serious). She comes off loopy much of the time, and she has certainly said koo-koo things before, but if you take out her jittery, frail mannerisms and just read a straightforward transcript of what she said, she was right on target. Again, I’m serious.

Last week’s performances were somewhere between decent and blah for much of the show. Danny and Anoop were good but not great. Scott did his open-my-mouth-scarily-big-and-scream routine again (“Now I look into your AHHHHHHHHHHHHH-ees”). Lil was, as the judges said (I agreed with the judges on most of their comments, a change from last week), a “second or third-rate Tina Turner,” and in the biggest disappointment of all, Kris chose a terrible song (“All I Want to Do is Dance”) and made it sound even MORE terrible. It was apparently arranged too high for him, because he didn’t reach any of the high notes, and he seemed more self-conscious than he had ever been. Still, as one right-on audience member helpfully pointed out, he’s still hot. I’m betting he’ll get back on track this week. Seriously, a Kris vs. Adam showdown would be THE most exciting final two AI has ever had; wouldn’t you say? Please, please, oh please don’t let Danny into the final two (his smugness seems to double each passing week).

Then the final three singers came out, and they immediately blasted things to a whole new level. Alison injected fire and brimstones into Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” so much so that it was amazing how vastly different feelings could be projected on the same lyrics (Bonnie’s weary acceptance and longing vs. Alison’s “You don’t love me, but I don’t care, and screw you!”). Matt followed with a song I love (Stevie Wonder’s “Part-time Lover”), and he gave all the energy it needed (despite a botched note near the end) and then some. Then in the best performance of the night, Adam managed to rein himself in his “Mad World” and just cast a black-magic spell. Standing ovation, indeed.

The final result was what it needed to be. Scott, you did good to get this far, but it was time for you to go. Anoop will probably be next. He has a nice voice, but it just doesn’t stand out like the others do. Once Anoop’s gone, it’s going to be a vocal battle royale from that point on. Hopefully, they’ll all do better than poor Kellie Pickler. She was, in a word, terrible. Her “I Wonder” is one of my favorite country songs ever, and I know she can sing, so I don’t know what was going on with her during the results show. Everyone, make it work.

THE OFFICE:

Back-to-back episodes! Granted, not a whole lot happened, but I still enjoyed them (especially the 2nd one). I think the episodes are setting things up for a big payoff at some point. It’s like how people were disappointed last season when Dwight and Angela were seen barely interacting when they were left alone in the office together, but then there was the oh-my-gosh moment when Phyllis walked in on them the following episode. It’ll be interesting how the whole Michael Scott Company vs. Dundler Mifflin square-off comes to a head.

Favorite moments: The beginning of the 2nd episode when Michael drives up with Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” blaring, and Michael says, “It’s Britney, bitch.” And also, all the bickering between Ryan and Pam. I love Pam best when she’s frazzled.

AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL:

It’s amazing how girls still get so worked up over winning this show when zero, count ’em ZERO, previous winners have truly become a “top model.” Working model, sure. Top model, no. In fact, some of the most successful ANTM alumni have been non-winners. Elyse has become a star in Asia; Yaya is working in movies; Katarzhyna (is that right?) is apparently doing well. And last week, we learned that awkward Heather (THE most beautiful girl the show has ever had) is doing decent work, too. The bottom line is that ANTM is a TV show, no less, no more, and the true objective is not to discover supermodels but for Tyra to Tyra-cize the world Oprah-style. Winners are seldom chosen on merit but are often based more on the “messages” they can instill. The jig was up big time when Saleisha won, allowing Tyra to put the painting touches on a story where a young, disadvantaged girl was able to become a top model with the help and confidence given to her at a help camp run by…, hmm who could it have been again? Ugh.

But despite the complete lack of credibility the show has now, it remains a great TV show, with catfights and emotional breakdowns galore. Last week, Thalia (of Tyra’s “scars are beatiful, too” message) was eliminated from the show. Who will win? I couldn’t care less. Let the drama go on in all its Tyra-licious glory.

Favorite moment: Paulina Porizkova criticizing a contestant’s “proNOUNciation.” Well done, Paulina. Screw “modeling,” it’s moments like that that make ANTM must-see TV.

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