Tuned In

The Morning After: …and Idol Taketh Away

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Spoilers about last night’s post-Idol Gives Back elimination (or was it?) episode coming up… after the break!

OK, you clicked past the jump, so I assume you know that it was, in fact, an elimination episode—though they toyed with us to make us think it might not have been—so let’s talk about that first.

Well! I did not pick Michael Johns in the bottom three period, much less going home. In retrospect, it’s not exactly shocking—he did not have a great Tuesday—but I don’t quite get what America’s thinking about him. I never really got Johns’ appeal to begin with, going back to the semis, when people were talking about him as a top candidate to win it all. I may lack the chromosome needed to see it, but all I saw was a good-looking guy with a taste for bombastic rock songs who might have done better on Rock Star: INXS.

But whatever. We’ve disagreed before, America. What I don’t get is why you’d vote him through, when to my chromosomally-challenged eyes he had several weak early rounds in the finals—that mangling of A Day in the Life? Come on!—then vote him out when he’d actually had a couple decent weeks? Explain yourself, America.

The other people who need to explain themselves are Ryan, or really, the producers, who made him dangle out the carrot of a possible non-elimination reprieve before Michael, only to snatch it away. A real jerk move, plain and simple. Idol has an unpleasant history of doing needlessly cruel eliminations, and this one didn’t even make sense dramatically. After all, if Michael weren’t being eliminated, it would have been a cruel trick not on him but on the audience, who would have beeen made to sit through an extra hour of Idol for nothing, without the charity fig leaf of Idol Gives Back night to excuse it. The only mystery was which one of us the producers were jerking around.

Thoughts, on the vote or the way it was announced? And what was up with having John McCain do that Michigan and Florida joke? I’d think it was an effort to play up Democratic voters’ resentments for the general election—at least, if anybody voting for American Idol actually voted in presidential elections.