EJay and Jim get booted -- but where's Simon? The first two finalists have been eliminated, says Jessica Shaw, so now the nagging questions is, ''Who's next?''

By Jessica Shaw
Updated July 04, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
EJay Day, American Idol
Credit: EJay Day: Kevin Winter/ImageDirect/FOX

EJay and Jim get booted — but where’s Simon?

Far more pressing a topic to discuss than Jimoonlight Kisses’ departure, RJ’s stage crash, and EJay’s lame dismissal is the conspicuous absence of Simon from tonight’s show. He had to fly back to London? For what? Hello, information superhighway? Heard of fax and e-mail? I don’t buy it.

Something’s up with the whole Simon-Paula situation and he couldn’t cope. Those two have been running at the mouth for days about how the other wants to hook up and while I was inclined to believe it was all a ratings hoax, I’m starting to believe there’s some truth to the tension. Now that’s a reality show I’d want to see: Paula, Randy, and Simon stuck in a mansion for six weeks together.

But back to our two losers: EJay and Jim. EJay could have been voted off simply for wearing that ”Please, sir, I want some more” Oliver Twist cap, but you all chose to nix him because of that falsetto version of ”My Girl.” (Could he have picked a less inspired song choice, by the way? Of all the Motown songs, did he have to pick one that’s been covered to death?) Once again, Simon was right with his assessment. ”I think you have a great voice. American Idol, no,” he said on Tuesday night. I guess EJay’s mantra of ”Knock ’em dead and don’t knock ’em out” didn’t exactly work. Well, it’s back to Six Flags Great Adventure, where at least suburban kids hopped up on cotton candy will appreciate his ”talent.”

As for Jim, I genuinely felt bad for the guy when they cut to commercial break with him and Nikki standing there trying to fight back tears. Could there have been a more heartless way to let the guy know he was going home? I’m not saying he should have stayed, but the classy way to let the rejects know their fate would have been to count down one by one from the top and then the tension would build and the two left sitting in their chairs would know they were headed home. This way was humiliating for both Jim and Nikki. Of course, I could have told you all that he wasn’t advancing on to the next round. You can’t follow up stellar singers like Tamyra and Justin with a tepid rendition of ”Easy.”

Ah, Tamyra and Justin. I’m still torn about which one makes my heart skip faster. (We know who does it for Paula.) More and more, though, I’m realizing that Justin has some serious ego issues. He acts so humble and thanks the judges profusely, but when the losers were announced tonight he sat alone and smugly smiled. Of course, having a big ego never hurt a pop star. Tamyra, who seemed to be channeling Beyoncé from ”Austin Powers in Goldmember,” has the whole package, and her tears over Jim’s departure looked pretty genuine.

Other than those two, there doesn’t seem to be another competitor who comes close. Christina is beautiful and gifted, but she doesn’t really grab me. (If she gets cut, I’m sure Simon could figure out something for her to grab.) Kelly has a killer voice, but do we really want the awkward ”Ducka Ducka Ducka” girl to win? I don’t know about that. Ryan’s problem sartorial sense is entertaining, but the stop-and-stare-train-wreck will only carry her so far. And the rest will be picked off one by one.

As for who will go next week, it all depends on the singing theme. If everyone has to sing a classic rock song, Nikki might have another shot. If it’s disco, who knows? Please don’t let it be rap. Maybe a top 40 week is in order.

My personal hunch is that A.J. is headed home to his gazillion siblings and adoring mother who will fully appreciate his ”Ma Cherie Amour” rendition. Of course, I don’t care who goes home as long as Simon’s back home and bitchier than ever on set next Tuesday. His ”I told you so” looks should be priceless.

What kind of music themes do you want to see? And who do you think is going next week?

Episode Recaps


American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

  • TV Show
  • 16
  • 574
  • ABC