1. The opening Donna Summer medley? Kind of superfly! I love that Candice and Amber dominated it while Kree and Janelle, who have never been pushed into trying anything even remotely outside of their comfort zones, straggled a bit. But a big WTF to those male dancers. They were so… peppy? Finger-snappy? Bangable. That’s what they were.
2. The less said about that Ford-sponsored “celebrity scavenger hunt,” the better. Even guest star Matthew Morrison, who was forced to say the line, “You guys are on TV too!”, agrees.
3. Nicki Minaj on Jimmy Iovine‘s criticisms of Angie Miller: “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about!” I disagree. But he is a turtle in a windbreaker, so I have to keep that in mind.
4. My prayer is that Jimmy Iovine is reading my recaps, because he echoed my thoughts about Candice’s phenomenal song choices last night. That girl knows herself better than we know her, and I can’t say that for any of the other contestants.
5. Paula. Abdul. She emerged in a surprise moment to tell Candice she loved her performance of “Straight Up,” adding, “I have to tell you, I was really moved that you shared your beautiful vocals on a song that’s been a best friend to me.” PAULA ABDUL, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. Sweet as can be. I love Paula. Is this a safe moment to admit I’ve seen the video for “Blowing Kisses in the Wind” like 70 times?
6. Look at all the Idol alums in the house! LaToya London! Jordin Sparks! Fantasia! Clay Aiken! This show is a cheesy, maudlin pox on American culture, but it is an awesome one. Loving seeing these guys.
7. But I wasn’t crazy about Aiken’s technically great, but undersung version of “Bridge Under Troubled Water.” Hit me with “Solitaire” again, Clay. Make my gooey inner Neil Sedaka weep out in adoration and terror.
8. I love when Janelle is performing, tries to have a “fierce stare” moment, and is accidentally cross-eyed.
9. Amber’s supermodel glow is POPPIN’ tonight. Get this girl in a ferocious-ass Doublemint commercial where she plays her own twin, thanks.
10. Sorry, but yet again Jimmy was right when he declared that Kree’s song choices were the worst. Did I mention I could be a millionaire record executive in a baseball cap? I have it in me, girl.