Congratulations, America. You have arrived at base camp two of your ascent to the top of Ryan Seacrest's Magic Mystery Mountain. Only one last big climb to go before you are standing at the top, gasping for air, many of your compatriots lying dead in frozen heaps beneath you. Yes, last night we crowned our Top 10 on American Idol, all of them beaming their telegenic smiles while the gore-soaked crowns dripped on their heads. It had been a long and brutal fight, but here they were. Arrived. Who made it? Who was unceremoniously sent home? Let's take a look.
Uh... Guys. I think Angie Mills maybe just won the whole enchilada last night. Hear me out! Obviously the guys are all, to a man, complete doofuses, so they will not win. And, most shockingly of the evening, pretty pretty Aubrey did not go through. Yes! That was, for me, the biggest surprise of the night. In my head I saw Aubrey sailing through and getting more and more fans and being pretty and singing just fine and ascending the Idol ziggurat to reign supreme as the new Carrie, the new Kelly. I of course realize that was a bit far-fetched; for one the ziggurat is still broken from when Kara DioGuardi threw a stool at it, but also of course nobody watches American Idol anymore so it would be near abouts impossible for anyone on the show to get as famous as Carrie or Kelly. It just ain't gonna happen. But, in a scaled-down sense, I really did see Aubrey doing some major dino damage on this thing and possibly winning the whole damn show. I really did. But now she's not even in the Top 10! Which means my conception of what teenage girls want must be really out of whack. Weird, considering in many ways I am a teenage girl. But anyway! Now I think that Angie Mills is the frontrunner. I mean, don't you? People really seem to like her. She's peppy and young but sings soulfully and she looks a little like Miley Cyrus. That's tough to beat. Sure her hair looks like a double-long version of Nancy McKeon's circa 1985, but that can be changed. It probably will change by next week. It has to change. The hair is really terrible, Angie. Still, I think she's the dog to beat in this funny farm. I've got a feeling. Which probably means she'll be voted out next week.
Because yeah, the real no-duh last night was that the guys stink. Watching the kids perform their victory songs — the victory songs conceit was useless and annoying and should have been cut to make the episode 30 minutes, but oh well — was a real study in contrasts. I mean the girls were just objectively better, weren't they? There is really no two ways about it. The girls are way better singers this season, and I have to assume that's the hand of the producers. There's no way that, in this crucial season of "a girl must win," the complete duddery of the male half of the competition is an accident. No sir, I do not believe that. But it was still somewhat astounding last night. I mean Candice or Kree or whoever else could blast those boys through the wall with but one flimsy note. It's no contest, my friends. The producers may have done their job too well. Of course that remains to be seen. But you heard it here first: Angie Mills is going all the way. (Meaning goodbye Angie Mills really soon, sorry girl.)
In the meantime, we wait and watch. The snowy faraway peak invisible behind the clouds and fog. But it's there. We know it's there. So we must climb. And climb and climb and climb and climb. Through pain, through exhaustion, through hunger and thirst and mortal desperation, we must keep climbing toward that promised Idol summit. And when we are truly weary, when we feel we cannot go on, when our souls feel sick and dying, our hearts cry out for sweet stoppage, we must listen carefully on the wind. If we are still enough and quiet enough and believe enough, we will hear it: Zoanette. There somehow, on the wind, singing us along. Zoanette singing "PRESS ON, MUTHAF-CKAZ! CLIMB THAT BEAUTIFUL PEAK!" And we will heed her. Because she is Zoanette. And she told us to.