As has been said before, democracy just doesn't work. It just doesn't. For too long we have suffered under this terrible system, one that gives the slobbering masses an awful power, to sway the fate of this nation according to their flabby whims and half-formed ideas of what is good and true. And thus we get events like last night's episode of American Idol, in which America sent the show's remaining pulsating star home and left boring stragglers in her place.
We'll get to that in a minute, of course, but first we must discuss all that came before. The elimination episodes get increasingly annoying as the group is winnowed down, because the fewer contestants there are the more Ryan can't waste a bunch of time doing his whole "Stand over there, and you stand over there, now you go over to the group you think is safe to lose and then you go stand over in that corner and face the wall, and then you take a bite of this red apple, and then you stand right here and answer my riddles three" shtick. We joke about that nonsense, but it can be kind of fun. But with only five people still in the mix, that just can't really be done. So instead we get lotsa yammering and recapping (recapping is the worst!) and two performances from Coldplay.
Oh, Coldplay. They're good, right? I mean, yes, they are. I know it's very au courant, or at least was for a time, to not like Coldplay because that's how I know you're gay or whatever, but come on, guys. Coldplay is like really, really fancy elevator music. In a good way. It's calm and peaceful and sometimes a little stirring (I mean, listen to the big crescendo in "Fix You" and tell me you don't get a J.Lo-style "goosie" or two) and it just is what it is. It's swimming pool music, they're vodka soda tunes, it's the Honda Accord of pop. You can't not like Coldplay, I don't think. There's just nowhere to hang your hate on, really. It's all too smooth. I mean, you can make fun of Chris Martin for being married to that American veela who only eats carbohydrate-free cardboard like a common goat, but Coldplay the band, Coldplay the catalogue of music, is sort of unhateable, really. Even when they're wearing DayGlo paints and other silly style things and performing two songs, two songs!, on American Idol. Even then you have to shrug your shoulders and just say, "OK, Coldplay, sure."
So that happened and of course we heard all the snake-hissing of Jimmy Iodine as he picked apart the contestants with his trademark sass. I like that he gets to weigh in every week because he is way more brutal and honest than the three horsemen of the complimentacalypse are over there, so he's doing a valuable service. It's weird that they don't just make him a judge, but I guess he's not, like, the most dynamic camera presence. "Ladies and gentlemen, your judges! Please welcome, an ancient scarf-draped shriek-witch!! Please give it up for international superstar and professional yacht lounger Jennifer Lopez!! And here's an old wiggly worm that used to live under the stage. He's wearing a baseball cap." It just wouldn't work so well, I guess. (Plus in that fantasy scenario there's no more Randy. Where did Randy go, I wonder? Jimmy, what did you do to Randy???) So this is Jimmy Iodine's best form, I guess. These little taped assessments where he's basically everyone's blunt and critical grampa. "I didn't like his song. And he's gotten fat. His hair's too long, he looks like a girl. And don't get me started on the other one, with the noise and the earrings and the shoes. I need my prunes. I haven't eaten my prunes yet today." Sass on, Jimmers. Sass yourself on.
There was a Ford ad that was hilarious because it was all about magic and so everyone had to dress up in mystical costumes and, like, wander around Griffith Park or something pretending they were in some kind of magical glen. Well, everyone except the diva himself Phil Phillips, who can seemingly never make it to these damn ads. Ostensibly it's because he's "sick" or something, but clearly he felt like a right dope doing those commercials, so he decided one week that hell no he was not going to make another one. It's a darn shame, because wouldn't it be magnificent to see him in some sort of wizard costume pretending to put hexes and charms on Hollie? All while selling a car? I can't imagine why he wouldn't want to do that. C'mon, Phil! This is your chance! When else will you get not paid to dress up like a sorcerer and hawk middle-grade automobiles? Chance of a lifetime, bub. And you're wasting it hanging around the mansion fiddling with yourself. Sigh.
OK, that's enough delay. Let's cut to the mean meat of the matter. Phil was safe, as were Jessica Stinkchez (haha!) and Josh-Josh Laday. Which meant that our two sprightly little gals, Hollie and Skylar, were in the bottom two. Tsk tsk, America. Tsk tsk. Gum-chewing slacker Phil Phillips should be in there for all that lazy drooling he did on Wednesday night, as should Jessica because good grief she is so boring. Like what is her story? What is her big narrative? She sings like a machine. Ugh. So, that was frustrating. But it's been the way this whole farkakte season's been going, because again America is a jerk and democracy don't work, so what can you do. The lights dimmed on Ryan's command (he wields the power of the gods!) and the two girls clutched to each other, two potential Iphigenias trembling together at Aulis. Ryan looked at his card and his eyes made a weary crinkle and he said, "The person going home tonight is... Skylar Laine." Noooooooooo!
Though Skylar was very composed throughout this whole thing, even singing along to Scotty McCreery's goodbye jam during her montage video, elsewhere people were distraught. Up here in my sky palace apartment I shrieked and moaned. Elsewhere a barn collapsed. And a hay bale caught on fire. An ATV started up its engine independent of anyone and drove itself straight off a cliff. A shotgun fired twenty-one times in mournful, booming salute. A straw cowboy hat blew away in the wind and became a small, sad speck in the sky, high high up where the cruelties of the earth below could not touch it. A cow mooed a low moo, its big brown eyes searching for meaning. Crickets croaked and frogs chirped, the barn swallows fluttered their wings angrily, all the katydids packed up and left town. The country was cryin', is what I'm saying. The elements were mad. All the critters out there balled their paws and claws and whatever else into fists and they pounded the ground. Not Skylar! Not our human tambourine, our jolly, jumping jackrabbit. She was the only thing fun left on the show! And now, America, you've gone and thrown her away, put her out in the dumpster behind the studio with all the other garbage, Erika von Pelt mostly a skeleton by now, and there she'll stay. (Until she comes back to sing on the finale, obvs.) And it's just a damn shame. A rotten injustice. Bow your heads, America. Bow your heads in disgrace.
But fear not, nature. Mourn just a little, dear Earth. This is just one little setback for Skylar Laine. Your junebug queen will rise again, and rise even higher. Higher than a hickory tree, higher than the whip-poor-wills can fly. Though we are sad now, there is brightness on the horizon. Just past the green seam of grass and sky, there is a new day soon to dawn. Yeehaw.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.