Night two of American Idol, with only a thousand more nights to go! We're really on a roll now, aren't we? Well, heh, no. While watching the show with a friend last night I told her, much to her dismay, that we're probably still a comfortable few weeks, if not a month, away from Hollywood Week, and that live singing won't happen until basically March. (By my very rough calculations.) I'm dismayed at this fact too, of course, but there is also some odd, sad, weird braggadocio about being able to endure such a long and merciless slog. It's like old sailors who show their scars to each other. "Oh yeah? Well I watched all of season nine. Yes, the Phil Dweezy seazy." You have to be tough to watch this whole thing. So while it's a bit dizzying to think that last night was but a mere drop in the ocean when the whole season is considered, it's also kinda fun to be back on the long, bumpy road.
Last night we traveled to Chicago, that beautiful city full of squares, with the judges seated in a room in the planetarium that looked like an airport terminal, all beams and glass and worried sunlight. But it afforded them a great view of the city's 2D skyline and the big ol' lake they got there, so the planetarium is just fine with me. Nicki Minaj wore a series of hats, two military officer's hats to be exact, and everyone shook their heads at her and wondered how long they would be able to endure this. Mariah Carey was the most head-shaking of them all, though I did get the impression last night that there is a good-natured undercurrent to her "fighting" with Nicki. They seem to be having a good time, Nicki glad for a chance to act (that was her first career goal, after all), and Mariah continuously, and vocally, tickled by the fact that this is her first real "job." She provided those air quotes, rolling her eyes a little bit at, I'm assuming, the absurdity of how much money she is making to do what she is doing. "Job" indeed, Mariah. "Job" indeed. Randy Jackson seemed a bit down, feeling, I suspect, that his era is coming to a sad, lurching end. No one was very excited to see Randy Jackson, everyone was too busy gushing about Mariah, and it just didn't feel like the old days anymore. Poor Randy. All his friends went and graduated and moved on to different lives. He stayed behind to work at the school. All the new kids are weird and think he's old or have never heard of him, so he's just there by himself, occasionally getting a visit from Ryan, but he too seems distant these days. Distracted, agitated, anxious or scared about something. "You been sleeping, buddy?" Randy asked him not too long before Chicago, and Ryan shook his head, said a quiet "No, I haven't," and walked away. Hm. Hmmm.