'American Idol': Joke's On You

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Another one bit the glorious glitter dust last night, amid all the usual pomp and questionable circumstance. It was actually a somewhat scary bottom three, which will be a more and more frequent occurrence as the weeks wear on and our tributes begin to suffer from exposure. It's a grim business!

I regret to inform you that there was no group number last night. Nope, sorry. I know how much you love it when these wobble monsters all get together to sing one of their jamboree songs, it always sounds so good and pure and sweet and true, but they did not do one last night. Instead they showed us a video reel of the kids moving from their hotel, which was an America's Best Value Inn out by the Long Beach airport, into a swank mansion up in the Herllywerd Herlls. The video was kind of sad because at one point one of the kids was like "Oh, look, the Chinese theater," and you realized that though these song dumps have been living in Los Angeles for weeks now, they have not seen a single stitch of it. They're just herded around with black sacks over their heads from one shitty press event to another and then back to the Econo Lodge in Calabasas for a few fraught hours of sleep before they have to do it all over again. So the mansion, and the ride to the mansion, was nice for them. Even if all they drove past was the Chinese theater, even if the house they moved into was clearly just very recently seized by the IRS from a gay Azerbaijani "film producer." There was still cocaine dust crusting the edges of the place and a strange smell emanating from a crawlspace (what's worse then a dead rentboy? A dead rentboy three weeks later), but they were excited anyway because they were finally out of that terrible haunted Hampton Inn out by Heartbreak Beach, and plus they got to see some of this fabled Hollytown they're supposedly living in.

Once that was over, it was time for some musical performances. Again, not from our kids. They did not jam out with their respective clams out (all have clams) last night, not once. Instead we were forced to hear from Nicki Minaj, who, like, what? I don't even. Sure that Boom Be Doom Boom Doom song is fun (you need to read how those lyrics are written in the songwriting article in last week's New Yorker — the article should be called "White People"), but what else about her is fun? She's just this really trying-too-hard gal who wants to seem all weird and creative but instead just comes across all forced and uncomfortable. I did respect that she didn't even try to front one bit about the fact that she was singing to a track last night, that was proper of her. She was just like "Yeah, I'm going to rap right here for you guys but any time I'm 'singing' I'm clearly not singing so let's just go ahead and deal right with it." That was decent of her. I wonder what our children will think of Nicki Minaj. Probably what we think of Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam now. You know? I don't think we think anything bad about Lisa Lisa and her Cult Jam, but we also don't think much of anything about LL and the CJ. I predict the same for Nicki Minaj, I fear. Just a big "Who?" when our kids are teenagers and we're old sacks of uselessness.

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After that, Scotty McCreery, who is known in some circles as the white Nicki Minaj, came onto the stage to perform and boy howdy! Rooty tooty! What the country kitchen is this boy singin' about? I can't get over this dude's songs. His first single, after the requisite Idol victory jam ("I Love You This Big" — hahahahaha x 2000) of course, was "The Trouble With Girls." And have you heard this song? OMG it is literally the worst song ever written by a human. "The trouble with girls is they're so dang pretty." Nooooooo Scotty. Absolutely not! Never ever! They're trying to sell him as this all-American baseball teen, which I guess he is, but like it's soooo belabored the way they try to do it. It's just sad. There's a reference to being "down by the lake" in "The Trouble With Girls" and it's like, what lake?? Where are you?? Is this a universal song about how girls are "sugar and spice and angel wings" (srsly) everywhere or is it about one dumb dopey fake America town with some raggedy old lake? I guess it's the latter because the song that Scotty sang last night was actually about that town. It was called "Water Tower Town" and it is, if possible, worse than "The Trouble With Girls." Apparently Scotty McCreery lives in Christian Pleasantville and he'd like us all to know that it is far more perfect than anyone else's sinful heathen town. This is country music, which I mostly love, at its most odious, this kind of nostalgic-for-the-present lifestyle pushing that positions a certain way of livin' as the acme of wholesome Americanness. Fuck that, honestly. Give us some room to breathe, guys. Like the lyric "pickup trucks are for work." Are they, Scotty? Do you use pickup trucks for work? No, I don't think you do, so stop shaming the rest of us (not that we own pickup trucks, but whatever) based on some false dreamland some shitty songwriters created in their heads about an America that doesn't exist. "Down by the lake." I ask again: What lake??? What are you talking about. Ugh, Scotty. I guess it's working though. Jimmy Iodine came Hoverounding out on stage and gave him a certified platinum record, so I guess that's quite a feat. Some people love ol' Watertowerville where boys are constantly marveling at how girls "sit in the middle of your truck." Me, I'm moving. Hell, I never even visited. Bye.

OK, let's get down to it here, shall we? In the bottom three were: Heejun (yesss), Hollie (noooo!!!), and Skylar (really?). Yeah it was definitely a bunk bottom three, especially considering that DeAndre was not in it. I guess I was wrong. I guess people are voting for him. Maybe it makes sense. He's 17, so teens can relate, he's very handsome (he looks like Simba in human form), and maybe people are responding to the relentless whispery falsetto more than I am. Certainly Eric Benet, who came out to surprise DeAndre with a hug last night, is a fan. So yeah, DeAndre has more staying power than I thought. I was very surprised about Skylar, but I guess we're getting to the point where even the solid people are going to start to get picked off. Hollie girl, you better work. You better do something big or else I fear you may be sent to pixie heaven (which is actually a terrible place full of wolverines and lava).

It was nice that Elise and Joshua were just plain old safe, they've made roaring comebacks, which is always exciting. And it was terrific, just really terrific, that Heejun was in the bottom. Because f that kid. F that kid forever. And after some hurbbity blurbbity of various sorts, Ryan dimmed the lights with his remote dimmer and he said "Skylar... unfortunately you are going to lose the losing competition tonight because you are eliminated from the bottom three meaning you're going home to where all the other kids are staying tonight because you're safe." It took Skylar about an hour to figure out what he meant but then she realized she wasn't going home so that was a relief. Then it was down to Heejun and Hollie and it was very sad and scary to see little Hollie trembling there, so nervous about going home. But in the end, calloo callay, it was Heejun's neck the axe wanted and so it fell on him. Oops, well, I suppose not right away. He of course was given a chance to sing for his supper to the judges, but J.Lo's teary eyes gave away the fact that they were not going to give him their magical lifesaver. Nope, sorry. They had the Tyler witch deliver the news, which was funny because the Tyler witch does not like Heejun.

Who really did like Heejun? He sang boring songs and was kind of obnoxious. I couldn't really get a genuine read on him as he said his goodbyes last night, but I suppose there was a flicker of sincerity there. It's pretty ridiculous that he made it this far, if you think about it. So what's there for him to complain about? He did pretty good. You did prety good, Heejun. I'll give you that.

And that, folks, was the episode. No more, no less. Now if you'll excuse me I'm gonna go mosey off to the lake where I got a girl waitin' in the middle of my truck. We're gonna talk about her tight blue jeans and maybe I'm gonna play a little baseball and then we'll mash our faces into an apple pie and roll around nude on an American flag and shoot some Indians and eviscerate a French person just to watch the light leave his eyes and yell "Freedom!!!" as we dance in the gore, covered and slick and wet and red, teeth gnashing, the dragonflies humming, a perfect American sun dipping down low behind the trees, the woods getting dark, the lake still and mysterious, us lighting fireworks now, screaming into the night, screaming for America, for this perfect town, smeared with the remnants of our kill, hearts beating true red blood, lungs filled with cottony American air, all the world tilting toward us, all the stars in heaven shivering in the reflection of our perfect, pure white light. Hope to see you there!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.