“American Idol’s” All Things 80’s Week results show opens with host-and-Summer-Olympics-commentator Ryan Seacrest noticing that Idolette Joshua Ledet looks a little green around the gills. Josh tells Ryan he feels lousy and blacks out “a little bit” when he stands. Ryan tells him to let him know if there is anything he needs.
Switching gears, Seacrest tells us we’re going to see some of judge Jennifer Lopez’s new music video. A little body paint, a little crawling on all fours, a little sprawling on the floor, a little hanging from the ceiling, a couple dance steps. She’s not working up a sweat on this one.
Joshua is sent to the front of the line for some quick “Idol” Justice, along with duet partner Jessica Sanchez. They’re the Power Couple of this season, so no suspense here.
But let’s hear from Chief Mentor and Truth Teller Jimmy Iovine. When Joshua started “he was a little over-affected” but he “reined it in” and is “in his sweet spot now – 10s all around.”
Jessica “sang beautifully and with emotion” but she “needs bigger songs and more powerful songs”. Jimmy sees the competition on “Idol” as Joshua vs. Jessica and Joshua won this round with ease. “Jessica be careful – it can’t happen two weeks in a row,” Iovine warns.
They’re both safe.
The Wanted, a boy band we are assured is a major deal in the UK, come out to perform what we are assured is their hit “Glad You Came.” Five guys sing, with really lame choreography. It really takes us back to Hollywood Week on “Idol” –they’re at that level of competence without the excuse of having stayed up all night.
Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon are called forward. That’s some kind of huge cross on Colton’s T-shirt. Iovine loved Skylar’s performance. “So happy we talked her out of ‘9 to 5’” and into “Wind Beneath My Wings,” he says. She “went from the bottom right to top. If she continues this she could win the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, Iovine thought a whole lot less of Colton’s performance than did the judges. “I feel he came in third or fourth,” Iovine says.
Ryan calls for Hollie Cavanagh and DeAndre Brackensick.
Hollie, “is approaching this like a high school performance. And last night wasn’t even a good high school performance,” Iovine says.
In re DeAndre, Iovine says, “No, Jennifer. No, Randy. No, Steven. DeAndre was not great…He needs to come out and grow at a much faster pace.” Jimmy thinks DeAndre could be going home unless Jennifer saves him.
Ryan asks for JLo’s response. Hooey, she says, in so many words.
Colton and Skylar are safe. Hollie and DeAndre head for The Perches of Purgatory.
A genuine “Idol” success, country singer Kellie Pickler from Season 5, performs “Where’s Tammy Wynette?” and shows Skylar Laine that country can be sung without manic jogging in place and arm flapping.
Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips are up. Different singing styles but one thing in common: They don’t take criticism well.
First, Iovine calls Phillip’s performance his worst of the season. And he needles Phil’s insistence that he’s always just being himself on stage, saying there are three versions of “self” and Phil on Wednesday was not the great version, adding, “It’s difficult to push yourself when everbody is telling you you’re so great.”
Elise, Iovine insists, picked the right tune, contrary to what the judges told her on Wednesday. But she did “an old fashioned choke” during her performance. “She didn’t even sing the tune,” Iovine whines. He’s maybe a little sensitive on this subject, since he talked her into doing the tune.
Ryan asks Elise for her reaction to Iovine’s critique. She begins to babble about really singing from her heart, she felt success in what she put out there, she recognizes that feeling the song so much maybe isn’t good for competition, blah, blah, blah.
In essence, she says Jimmy was right, but by the phony, bourgeois standards of the “Idol” System, which all feeling people reject.
For Phil, same question, same answer, different phrasing: “I’m just being myself. I’m not trying to walk around stage and touch people’s hands,” he says dismissively, of Iovine’s critique.
Elise gets it in the neck – off to the Perches of Purgatory, with the other victims of the phony, bourgeois “Idol” System.
Ryan immediately reprieves Hollie, who looks stunned.
So Elise and DeAndre face the judges. One will have to sing for the chance at the Judge’s Save, which the judges are only allowed to use until we’re down to the Final Five Idolettes.
Elise is one lucky chick – DeAndre got fewer votes and must sing for survival. He chooses a reggae/bunny-hop number -- very bad strategic move. He does not look like a person who, as judge Randy Jackson keeps trying to turn into an “Idol” catchphrase, “Gotta Have It!”
“Save! Save! Save! – the studio audience chants.
JLo has been DeAndre’s biggest booster from the judges’ table, so naturally, it falls to her to deliver the verdict. She calls him an “amazing performer” and “I stand by that,” but adds “I only get one vote” -- and so he’s out.
Ryan asks JLo if she is saying judges Randy and Steven Tyler did not vote to save DeAndre. Yes, JLo confirms, she is saying that.
And it’s goodbye to DeAndre who, as any long-time student of “Idol” knows, simply hit the Falsetto Ceiling -- the point in any season when America starts to feel its collective throat close up after having listened to high pitched sounds coming out of a guy for almost two months.