Tuned In

Idol Watch: Show Us the Votes!

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Quick spoilers for last night’s double elimination on American Idol—after the break!

No surprises in last night’s eliminations, in which Andrew Garcia completed his downward arc, and Katie Stevens’ song choice / musical complaint about the judges sent her home. The producers attempted to engineer some suspense by putting Michael Lynche on the block with Katie, but then had Ryan mention that Michael was actually not even in the bottom three of the voting.

If memory serves, Idol has done this before—that is, had two contestants awaiting their fate who were not necessarily actually the bottom two—but I don’t recall them saying so explicitly before. (Again, if I recall correctly, usually you have to infer it, by noticing that Ryan never refers to that night’s grouping as “the bottom three” or somesuch.) I’m guessing they may have wanted to make the point that Big Mike did well, so not to imply that using the save on him last week was a waste of time.

The fact is, though, Idol is simply running out of novel ways to run its eliminations. It seems to have grouped contestants every mathematically possible way, it’s done sudden notifications (e.g., Ryan’s execution-style hit on Andrew last night), and I assume we can expect to see the now-traditional “Please join the group you think you belong in” when we get to the round-of-seven elimination.

But here’s a thought, prompted by Ryan’s statement about Big Mike’s status: why not let us know who finished in what order each week? I suppose there are concerns I’m not thinking of—like making it even more apparent that one contestant is running away with the voting in years when that happens. But more data gives us more things to talk about, and it’s one elimination “twist” Idol hasn’t tried yet. Can you think of any good reasons not to?

Other random thoughts:

* I wonder if anyone else was as surprised as I was to hear the Polyphonic Spree’s “Light and Day / Reach for the Sun” (which you may know from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) in the Ford commercial. Why does Idol use more adventurous song choices in its Ford ads than it would in its actual performances?

* Plus side of using Adam Lambert as a guest: best mentor of the season so far. Minus: having him perform on the show just a painful reminder of season 9’s lack of showmanship.

* Was anyone, anywhere in America, moved to go online and watch Simon Fuller’s tedious If I Can Dream after “star” Justin Gaston’s guest appearance with Brooke White?