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''American Idol'' recap: Voting off

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Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook, ...

American Idol

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
15
performer:
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
broadcaster:
Fox
genre:
Reality TV

”American Idol” recap: Voting off

Attention, potential ticket buyers for the American Idol season 7 tour: Amanda Overmyer will not — for better or for worse — be part of the lineup.

But don’t shed any tears for the Rock & Roll Nurse from Mulberry, Ind. As she noted on Tuesday night following her howling, energetic, and not particularly in-tune rendition of ”Back in the U.S.S.R.,” she’s spent her Idol run simply trying ”to show America what they would see if they came to my show and bought a ticket to see me.”

And when Simon reminded her that — hold up just one second — her tickets were not yet on sale, Amanda expressed a wonderfully non-delusional outlook, the kind you rarely hear from the contestants who never really stood a chance of winning: ”Even I if need to sell out a local bar in Lafayette [Ind.]. That’s all I’m sayin’.”

Or as Paula Abdul poetically told Amanda, ”When you connect, you are quintessential, authentic who-you-are.”

(I pause for moment while we all collectively make our ”devil horns” hand gestures and stick our tongues out as far as they’ll go.)

Anyhow, while I can’t say I’ll really miss Amanda’s singing, I will miss the gnarly jolt of hairspray and eyeliner and gin-soaked angst she brought to the stage each week. And really, wouldn’t you rather have downed that wicked cocktail for another couple weeks as opposed to the bland tap water that is Ramiele ”Crinkle Nose” Malubay?

Actually, a TV Watch message-board poster by the name of Vic would probably answer no to that question: ”I’ve been wondering since audition rounds what, exactly, Amanda Overmyer’s appeal is,” he wrote. ”The scary hair? The twitchy, rigid ‘dancing’? The fact that she looks like she could kick Ryan’s ***? Honestly, who would pay to be assaulted by that sound, over and over again? I’m, just… completely at a loss here.”

But heck, even if you loathe Amanda — and a lot of you TV Watch readers do — you’ve got to admit America has robbed itself of the extraordinary opportunity of seeing the streaky-haired howler monkey working with musical-theater titan Andrew Lloyd Webber and Mariah Carey (who, combined with Dolly Parton and Neil Diamond, make up a pretty a-mah-zing and well-edited group of season 7 mentors).

Imagine it: Amanda Overmyer + ”Vision of Love” = Watercooler Moment of 2008.

Instead, we get another week of — cue slightly off-key fiddles, please! — Kristy Lee Cook! (Note I have not yet found the emotional strength to discuss this week’s other bottom-three dweller. More on her in a moment.)

After besmirching not one but two cherished Beatles hits in the course of a week, the horse-lovin’ Oregonian will be saddlin’ up again next week to try to make good on her Tuesday-night statement to Simon (which I regrettably misquoted): ”I can blow you out of your socks, and you know it.” (Maybe if Fantasia teaches her how to deliver ”Amazing Grace” with all the soul and gorgeousness she displayed in that sweet Idol Gives Back package from Angola? Any of you jonesing for a ‘Tasia-Elliott duet? Love it!)

Anyway, sorry I got sidetracked by my fandom there. I know I’ve heaped a lot of abuse on Kristy Lee the last five weeks, and I’ll admit that given the way she handles herself with grace and good humor in the face of the judges’ disdain, well, I’m starting to feel just a little bad. So let me pass the mike to you guys to discuss Kristy Lee’s performance this week.

”If last week’s debacle of ‘Eight Days a Week’ didn’t get Kristy Lee Already Has a Contract booted from the competition, surely her version of ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’ will,” wrote Penny Lane. ”First of all, it’s a self-pitying love song — you don’t smile and wink when you’re feeling sorry for yourself. Pay attention to the lyrics and what they mean, dearie. The performance was incongruous with the song. It was even more painful to watch because of it. The listening wasn’t so good either.”

Libbie, meanwhile, observed that ”Halfway through the show, I couldn’t even remember what Kristy Lee sang. How forgettable was THAT?”

And a reader named Rosita was enraged by a certain Idol host’s efforts to get out the vote for the blond country wannabe: ”We’re praying that Giddyup (aka Kristy Lee) FINALLY gets the boot tonight,” she wrote. ”What really made us nauseous was Ryan saying to her at the end, after reading her phone number, ‘No one here wants you to leave, Kristy!’ We were so pissed off at him! HE’S the only one that doesn’t want her to leave — give us an effing break!!”

NEXT: Almost bye-bye, ”Blackbird”

I assume Rosita was as furious as I was when Carly Smithson — who indubitably gave one of the three best performances of the night on Tuesday — landed in the bottom three.

Seriously? America preferred Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay, and Brooke White’s substandard performances to Carly’s ”Blackbird”? Well, actually, a few readers did, so let’s give them the floor for a moment.

LisaM wrote in to chide me on my Carly love: ”Okay, Michael, I am usually right there with you and your comments, but c’mon, Carly’s ‘Blackbird’ was ‘spectacular’??? She took a perfectly lovely tune, one that is meant to be treated gently, and stomped all over it. It was the vocal equivalent of Celine Dion in army boots.”

And Tarsal took me to task for letting Carly’s bizarre outfit go un-critiqued: ”What’s with Slezak ragging on everybody for the way they dress, then conveniently overlooking Carly? Come on! This was a combination of my great aunt wearing a hand-me-down Value Village floral-ringed red number, passing out in a tattoo parlor, then waking up with the guys from Restaurant Makeover realizing they should stick to bricks and mortar. Combine that with the wave in her hair and the number 7 tattooed on her finger and you’ve got how many sartorial faux pas she broke? Singing was great.”

Anyhow, now that my hands have almost stopped trembling over the sudden and unexpected threat to Carly’s Idol dreams, let’s lighten things up with a few more random reader comments:

A reader named Really? objected to Ramiele’s outfit: ”It looked like the losing design from a Project Runway ‘Take this 1966 Stewardess Uniform and Convert It Into a Tween Pop Princess’ Kid’s Choice Awards Presenter’s Nightmare’ challenge.”

Garth, meanwhile, expressed his dismay at David Archuleta’s front-runner status: ”He is really getting dull and painfully predictable. It’s like when a dog shoots out one puppy after another. The first couple are cute, then after that, all you can think about is ‘How am I gonna get rid of all these puppies?’ ”

And Smoochie wisely took offense with something I failed to mention in my Tuesday-night column: ”Was it Simon who berated someone for choosing a mediocre Beatle song? There ARE no mediocre Beatles’ songs, only less-than-mediocre singers who butcher them!”

Finally, I’d like to bring up a topic that appears to be creating something of a revolution on our TV Watch message boards: Yes, folks, the dreaded Idol ”mosh pit” and its sorority-sisters-on-tranquilizers occupants. There were a lot of great reader tirades on the subject, so I thought I’d select a few on the off chance that, by yelling all together, we might get Nigel Lythgoe’s attention and make it stop already!

Rock: ”I feel compelled to say this: I cannot suffer another second of those annoying mosh pit ‘fans’ who keep screaming all the time DURING a contestant’s song, to the point where I wonder how [the singers] manage to keep their concentration. (I know I can’t keep mine.) Nigel, please make them shut up! So irritating it’s enough to make me quit the show.”

Mosh Pit?: ”Please, please, please get rid of the ‘mosh’ pit. As a former inhabitant of mosh pits, I am offended that this term is used so loosely. Try moshing in six inches of mud at the 1993 Lollapalooza. Alice in Chains, Tool, Primus, and Rage Against the Machine. Now those are bands you can mosh too. A bunch of teenage girls swaying off-beat with their hands raised is not a mosh pit!”

Ariel: ”I can’t help but want to jump out a window at the sight of the Children of the Corn waving their arms in the front section. Please, please…Slezak, can’t you use your media-connection powers to make it stop? It’s creepy enough to make me stop watching the show altogether.”

Alas, Ariel, like you, I’m only one viewer with a gripe, but I promise to call the good folks at Fox and ask them if they’re considering putting a ban on the heinous and distracting swaying. Hope to bring you good news on the next episode of Idolatry. (Speaking of which, if you want to be a call-in guest on our next episode, e-mail your thoughts (including a daytime phone number) to Idolatry@ew.com!)

What did you think of Amanda’s ouster, and the fact that Kristy Lee and Carly joined her in the bottom three? How unbelievably awful was this week’s Beatles medley? Was it worse or better than the behind-the-scenes segment about the car commercial? Did you get a chuckle out of Simon telling Paula she was a ”very good kisser”? And what did you think of Kellie Pickler’s performance? (I say surprisingly more fun than Kat McPhee last week!)

This week on Idolatry: Why Ramiele Malubay and Michael Johns should feel lucky to be in the top 10, and a viewer’s advice for Carly: