Good lord, can every American Idol elimination episode be this nutballs? Let's count down the five bits that made me go "whaaa," in order of their "whoa"-inducing powers.
5. Steven Tyler was sorta-reimagined as a psych-era icon? OK, so it was just a Peter Max painting commissioned in honor of his birthday, and given the flowy clothes he's been sporting lately one could think that he's a relic from the hippie epoch. But hello? Aerosmith came out in 1973? And did we really need to celebrate his birthday? On the bright side, it did fill up time with a rousing Stevie Wonder-led singalong of "Happy Birthday," but for real, at least give him his early-sludge-era due with a more approppriate portrait.
4. Jennifer Hudson has retroactively been named an American Idol winner! Season three hopeful Jennifer Hudson stopped by with her new R. Kelly-penned single "Where You At" (and a really intense smoke machine) (but not, apparently, a sound guy who was ready to properly mic her backup singers) and she was introduced as "not only a Grammy winner, she's our only Idol winner with an Oscar." Was Ryan so thrown off by the episode's other happenings—which we'll get to—that he forgot about Fantasia Barrino? Hasn't that poor Idol winner suffered enough?
3. Hulkamania has run wild on Idol! Of course, Ryan's lapse could be explained away by the bodily harm inflicted upon him by Hulk Hogan, who entered to the tune of "Eye Of The Tiger" (not the thematically appropriate "Real American"?) and freaked out wrestling fans/mansion match opponents Paul McDonald and James Durbin, the latter of whom has Ric Flair's "Whoo!" down pat. It totally makes sense that both of these dudes are into wrestling. (All the ladies on the blog who have met sports entertainment fanatics know what I'm talking about.) And then Ryan got a punch from Hulk and was sent flying into the crowd, which nearly resulted in America getting mooned, which yipes.
2. Casey Abrams... got the lowest number of votes this week? The bottom three consisted of Casey, Stefano Langone, and Thia Megia, and somehow the pageant queen was the first one to get saved, despite a completely underwhelming performance of "Heat Wave" last night. And then as it turned out, Casey—Casey of the upright bass and snarly singing, Casey of the double hospitalization and scruffy beard—was the one who America liked least this week, which WTF, America, seriously. (Although I bet his having first had something to do with it.) In order to not go home, he decided to reprise “I Don't Need No Doctor"—but almost immediately Randy Jackson cut the music to announce that...
1. He was saved! Yes, Casey would live to see another week on Idol, with Steven Tyler proffering his first actual critique of the season by telling America that they got it wrong (he wasn't wrong!) and Jennifer telling Casey to maybe take their advice and give a more connective performance next week and Casey freaking out in such a way that I seriously thought he was going to ulcerative his colitis all over Ryan Seacrest's expensive suit. This dovetailed quite nicely into the announcement that the remaining 11 finalists would be heading out on tour, which means that all the young (and not-so-young) women who loved the six men who made the Top 13 will be able to pay up good money to see them live. Yay, that means Jacob Lusk up close and in person! (And revenue!)
Although the happy mood won't last long, since the save being used tonight means that next week two singers will go home. And it's reportedly movie night, which I bet means that Pia Toscano—who got a ton of pretty-girl closeups during Casey's freakout—sings "My Heart Will Go On." But will the results show be as entertaining? Can someone get Roddy Piper to do a They Live tie-in?
Also, Casey? Don't wear a pompadour. Seriously, it made your eyes look like they belonged to someone who was about to go on American Rampage.