The rankings are getting juicy and important now, so let’s get formalities out of the way: If I were a contestant on Idol during ’80s week, I’d obviously have selected “Nasty Girl” by Vanity 6. I’d coo, “I’m looking for a man that’ll do it anywhere / Even on the limousine floor,” and it would be disgusting and inspirational. Steven Tyler would be like, “One time I got squirrely with Holly Robinson Peete on the roof of a limousine outside Shreveport. Beautiful girl. But bumpity-bumpity, guess who’s humpity? Me, man. Beautiful job, Louis. Just Beautiful.”
And now, the rankings! Contestants on Idol don’t remember the ’80s anymore, so we have to assume they’ve seen The Breakfast Club on TBS, which is the same thing. Onward.
8. Joshua Ledet, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”
Controversy. I know J-Lo flapped her lashes at Joshua like a proud transsexual warlord, and I know the average Idol watcher loves Joshua’s weepy sangin’, but I found this performance downright disconnected. So songlessly super-sung! I should say that I appreciated the vocal aeronautics, but I just didn’t care about them — because, frankly, Joshua doesn’t care about his own song! That’s sort of a recurring issue I have with him: He’s too busy hollerin’ like a baby seal’s interior designer to acknowledge the message of a song. He’s the best male singer in the competition, and like Michael Lynche before him, he’ll bleat and boohoo to compensate for artistic intention. I want to rank him higher because of his faaaaabulous duet with Jessica, but the deed is done. Weeping sealion gets last. No fish for this clapping kid.
7. Hollie Cavanagh, “What a Feeling”
I hate that I’m regurgitating Steven Tyler’s derision and placing Hollie in seventh, because I’ll tell you something: This might be my favorite of the periwinkle princess’ performances. She was joltin’, y’all. She twirled, sashayed, skipped, and beamed like Ariel in a live performance of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ on Gay Motherf*cking Ice, and I grant her snaps for the preteen chutzpah. Perhaps she was pitchy, but I’d rather see her treat the stage like the Double Dare obstacle course than the Albert Hall. You rage on, you ice-dappled hummingbird! You hoot “I’m So Excited” with DeAndre and saturate America with hip swivels! Shed your frozen tears and reemerge. Even if you’re eliminated tomorrow. Because I think you may be eliminated tomorrow.
6. Elise Testone, “I Want to Know What Love Is”
We all know Elise is my precious Brett Butler figurine, even when she’s dressed as “Kabuki Mamie Eisenhower” like last night. Yeesh. And she’s still my girl when she picks songs that no one needs to hear again, like “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Come the H on, Elise. Mariah Carey covered that yarn. You’re not Mariah Carey. You’re a raspin’, Rickie Lee Jonesing shy boho freakshow, and you need to represent that with song choices and ankle-length skirts. Such a disappointing transition from “Whole Lotta Love” last week to Foreigner‘s Monster Ballads ode. If the Idol viewership spares you, thank your lucky stars, strap on your moon pendant, and get back in the game.
5. Colton Dixon, “Time After Time”
I’m crying into my hands and thanking God that Colton didn’t cry into his hands and thank God this week. Man, that was uncomfortable. With his crying family standing in the audience like funeralgoers from Our Town? Ugh! It was like reliving Catholic trauma from my childhood — much the way Madonna felt when watching the first cut of “Oh Father,” I expect. In choosing “Time After Time,” Colton graduated from what looked like “stifled homosexuality” to “regular ole homosexuality” last night (though maybe I’m projecting). That means I’m crying into my hands and thanking God AGAIN. But in joy! Not a bad rendition, either. Cyndi would mew approvingly. Sure, Colton is about 20% skinny-panted Cobra Starship sewer scum, but the other 80% is a quite honest, unafraid rock balladeer with a hundred thousand feelings. And I guess he loves painting faces? Cool!