It’s time to cut down to two on American Idol. Will it be Blake and Melinda? Jordin and Blake? Blake and Jordin? Melinda and Jordin? And will I be able to stay awake through the hour-long results show in order to find out?
9:00 p.m. ET FOX TV star (and star of an upcoming movie already promoted this season) Homer Simpson introduces the start of Wednesday (May 16) night’s American Idol with an off-camera assist from Mr. Burns and a shout-out to veteran Simpsons voice Fantasia. Why do I get the sense that the night will be downhill from here?
9:01 p.m. Oh yeah. Because Ryan Seacrest is our real host. Hi Ryan. Your hair looks great.
9:03 p.m. Having already lived through an hour of last night’s show, I’m going to watch Barry Bonds go for 746. He awkwardly strikes out, a bit like Blake Lewis’ overpraised rendition of "Roxanne."
9:05 p.m. It’s funny that Ryan is presenting the night’s two survivors as the contestants who will go on for glory (as if the other one will be shunted off to obscurity), but then we’ll get really really excited about Elliott Yamin, who just happened to be last season’s third-place finisher.
9:09 p.m. Actually no, I don’t think I can dance. And this is the same summer tour promo we saw last week. At least re-edit. Look, it’s Ashley the Crying Girl! Again.
9:11 p.m. Time to chat up our boring contestants, glean some pearls of wisdom. Jordin says that her trip home was crazy. Don’t believe her? There she is at the local FOX affiliate. There she is with the high school cheerleaders who probably made fun of her before she became famous. There she is back at the local FOX affiliate. Squealing children make Jordin squeal. Jordin’s crying best friend makes Jordin cry. She’s very suggestible. There’s her big day in the heart of Glendale as covered by the local affiliate. And finally there she is singing "I Who Have Nothing." AGAIN.
9:15 p.m. We aren’t really going to send somebody to safety already, are we? Nope. More commercials.
9:20 p.m. It’s Old Folks Day in the Idol audience, with appearances by Brandon Rogers, Haley Scarnato and LaKisha Jones. Meanwhile, the very difficult trivia challenge asks us to identify who finished third in last season’s contest.
9:21 p.m. Let’s see how the local FOX affiliates covered Blake’s trip home. First, though, Blake has to admit that like Sir Mix-A-Lot, he’s a fan of large posteriors. Blake is huge with very small girls. And one older woman whose shaking chest isn’t necessarily appropriate for the 9 p.m. hour. After a brief visit to Seattle, Blake gets to take a sea-plane home, which isn’t quite as cool as playing with Sir Mix-A-Lot, but it isn’t bad. Cheerleaders like Blake as well, but he doesn’t seem to make them cry, unlike the tween girls and his father. He gets his own square of linoleum with a star on it and even gets to sing at a Mariner’s game (where his shirt reads "Blake," "Ichiro"-style).
9:26 p.m. We aren’t really going to send somebody to safety already, are we? Nope.
9:27 p.m. Might I go out on a limb and suggest that this version of Elliott Yamin would have won last year’s competition? His hair is better (if you like vintage Dylan-style mop-tops), his snaggletooth is gone (as effective for him as it for Joanie back on America’s Next Top Model) and he always sang better than Taylor Hicks. He’s still rocking a bit of a neck-beard and he still sings with his eyes closed, but that’s just Elliott keepin’ it real. He’s miles better than any of this season’s males. Randy says it was hot and he’s happy he came home. Paula throws her arms up in total surrender. Even Simon calls it great.
9:38 p.m. Set to "Everybody Wants You," the weekly Ford commercial introduces us to young versions of our Top Three. Young Jordin doesn’t have Current Jordin’s broad shoulders. Does anybody actually go to the FOX site to rewatch the Ford commercials? You scare me.
9:39 p.m. Beyond the pleasures of sweet tea and appearing on the local FOX affiliate what happened to Melinda when she went back to Nashville? We discover that Melinda makes young girls cry as well. No mere mayors for Melinda — she gets to meet the governor of Tennessee and Melinda Doolittle Day isn’t just for her town, it’s for the entire state. Despite all of the adoration, Melinda remains ever-so-humble. In honor of the way she lives her life (humbly), she gets a street named after her. She experiences humility at her old school and her old church, in addition to her old FOX affiliate.
9:43 p.m. We aren’t really going to send somebody to safety already, are we? Nope.
9:49 p.m. Paula likes Maroon Five. A lot. Or maybe the flashing lights are causing her to have a seizure.
9:55 p.m. Whew. It’s been a long journey, but we’re finally going to eliminate somebody. Almost 60 million votes came in and Jordin is safe. Melinda give a big, humble shriek. That brings us down to Blake and Melinda for that last spot. Melinda’s shirt reads "Death Cheater," but will she, in fact, cheat death? Nope. The contest’s best singer is eliminated and Blake joins Jordin in the Final Two.
9:56 p.m. Forget this. Bring back New Improved Elliott Yamin.
9:59 p.m. Randy says Melinda has nothing to be ashamed of. Paula assures her that she’s already made it and she’ll be huge. Simon congratulates the Top Two and offers his commiserations to Melinda.