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Longer week made even longer

The kids sing three songs each, one chosen by a judge, one they choose themselves and one chosen by the producers. And nearly all the choices are dismal.

This week is a little something that we in entertainment journalism like to call “hell week.” The scheduling gods conspired to combine the busiest day of the TV upfronts, opening day of the Cannes fest and the Tony noms all on the same horrifying day. As a result, Erin is bowing out of today’s recap and getting some much needed sleep. (I’m there in spirit – Erin) I’m here, but I’m punchy, so bear with me.

The penultimate performance show this godforsaken season of “American Idol” taught me three things:

1) Simon should pick songs for everyone every week
2) When insulted, Randy becomes pouty and takes out his anger on people half his size
3) Syesha’s only friends on this show work in the wardrobe department

The kids sing three songs each, one chosen by a judge, one they choose themselves and one chosen by the producers. And nearly all the choices are dismal.

The finals are pretty much a foregone conclusion as Paula told David A. he’s secured a spot in the finals; Simon tells David C. that he’ll “sail through to the finals” and the nicest thing Syesha hears all night is Randy saying “That’s why you’re standing here as #3.” Very nice.

And here we go…

Round 1 (Judge’s choice)

David A.
Song: Paula chose “And So It Goes” (Billy Joel)
Gack. Thanks a heap, Paula, for allowing Little David to say in his sickly-sweet ballad box. He sang it well, I guess, but gawd what an awful song. I was bored out of my mind. The last thing I needed this week was a lullabye.

Song: Randy chose “If I Ain’t Got You” (Alicia Keys)
Nice going, Randy. Way to set the girl up for failure. You can do nothing with this song to set yourself apart from Alica. No matter who tried to sing this, it would have sounded karaoke.

However, Syesha looked stunning in the first of three rather spectacular outfits. Like I said, at least the stylists love her.

Simon chided Randy for the song choice — wisely. The big guy didn’t take the criticism at all well and spent the rest of the show being pissy and giving the same criticism to every kid/song: ” That was just OK for me.” Very mature, Jackson.

David C.
Song: Simon chose “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (Roberta Flack)
Seemed an odd choice but it really did achieve what Simon set out to do: It allowed David to put an original spin on a familiar song. Paula liked it, Simon loved it (natch) and Randy only disliked it because he was still mad at Simon.

Round 1 goes to David C. with David A. dead last in my opinion.

Round 2 (Contestant choice)

David A.
Song: “With You” (Chris Brown)
OK, this was hilarious. Hearing a tot from Utah sing “I need you, boo, Gotta see you, boo, Hey little mama” was like watching Baby Pearl swear on those Will Ferrell comedy shorts. It was just so wrong, and so, so funny. Thanks for making me laugh during this very bad week, David. I owe you one. I applaud him for attempting to break out of the boring ballad mode but, Lord, was this a misguided choice. Too bad his dad couldn’t have helped him. http://www.tmz.com/2008/05/10/archuletas-dad-banished-from-idol

Song: “Fever” (Peggy Lee)

Sy donned sexy ensemble #2 and turned up the heat. And I liked it a whole lot better than the judges did. They are just bound and determined not to like this poor girl. My wish for her is that she finds all the success of third place finisher Kimberley Locke. And then comes back in a few seasons to perform and prove the judges wrong.

David C.
Song: “Dare You to Move” (Switchfoot) – with guitar
Daughtry-lite picks another mediocre song from some random band. David really needs some guidance. We all know by now that he’ll have a career after this. Let’s just hope a firm hand at the record label guides his choices. Still, he probably won this round too. The bar was set pretty low.

Round 2: David C., then Syesha with David boo bringing up the rear again.

Round 3 (Producer choice)

David A.:
Song: “Longer” (Dan Fogelberg)
Ugh. Worst song ever. I couldn’t even listen to the whole thing without going into a diabetic coma. I really have had enough of this kid.

Song: “Hit Me Up” (“Happy Feet” soundtrack)Again, sang it well, but it just didn’t all quite come together.

It was “just OK” for Randy. OK, Jackson, we get it. You’re in a bad mood. Is it the ugly shirt they put you in? Are you jealous because the peeps who pick out the clothes like Syesha best? Get over it.

All three judges ding Syesha for her song choice. I’d like to point out the she didn’t choose it. Your lame producers did. Leave the girl alone already.

David C.
Song: “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” (written by Diane Warren, performed by many)
I’m getting the feeling here that the producers want David C. to win. Not only did they gave him the best of the three songs, but they put on a special light show for him. They’ve nearly anointed him the winner already.

Can we just skip right to that and finish up this dreadful season already?

Round 3: David C., Boo, Syesha

If the world was a fair place, the final 2 would be David Cook and Syesha. But as “entertainment news hell week” proved to me and Erin the world is not fair. Not at all. So the final will be the battle of the Davids. Let’s just hope the right one wins.

Longer week made even longer