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MARIAH IS NOT IMPRESSED The most honest judge of the night also dutifully mastered the art of product placement.
Time for Country Queen -- two down-home crooners and two fabulous members of the royalty. I'm sure Nigel and Ken expected SOLID HIGH-DRAMA GOLD with this awkward and unlikely grouping, but the behind-the-scenes stuff was mostly pettiness and frustration on Army Sgt. Trevor Blakney's part instead of the "queens" of the group. Poor Lee Pritchard tried to hold it all together with a languid running commentary of the late night. "You know, the stress level's a little bit high, man." Duuuuuuuuude, maybe so are you? I liked that guy.
Sadly, only the two "queens" of Country Queen -- speed-talker Joel Wayman (blue feather necklace) and cosmetic sales associate JDA (silver tights, long weave, many cosmetics) will move on. I was pretty shaken up watching Trevor berate himself outside after flaming out and giving up during "More Than Words." Nice little human moment there, for viewers. I know it's obnoxious to hear something like "I've never failed at anything in my life," but the kid's only 24 and I'm sure that within the context of his young life, he's right. "To do it now…oh, it's hard," said the military man while tearing up. "AND AN IDOL TOUR OF DUTY ENDS IN HOLLYWOOD." Oh, Ryan, stop!
The four tiniest tots -- David Leathers Jr., Kayden Stevenson, Kevin Quinn, and Sanni M'mairua -- formed a group called DKSK. You remember Kayden -- he's got the life expectancy of 35. Unfortunately the group was pretty awful and baby-voiced Kayden forgot the most lyrics of all of 'em. He and Kevin Quinn got the boot; Sanni and David -- the final elimination in last year's Vegas round -- moved on to tomorrow night's solos.
The childish antics of Frankie Ford dominated Oz, the final group's segment, and with good reason as his mid-performance tears and subsequent outdoor freakout are the stuff of TV editors' dreams. He promised to come back next year and win it all, and just -- honey, no. Absolutely not, with that attitude. I'd rather not dwell on him and instead point out how much I admired Charles Allen, a 22-year-old server from Michigan whose smooth performance quality had Mariah offering up her diva hand and bopping along, as well as the sassy, big-hearted Adam Sanders for keeping it together during Frankie's meltdown and not letting him ruin their one shot at redemption.
Along with Adam and Charles, Papa Peachez is through -- with a note from Nicki that he owes her his LIFE and needs to seriously step it up and start giving a damn. I didn't think he deserved to go through on vocals alone, but I did notice that his description of how he "gelled" with the boys -- "I enjoyed it for what it is, which is a hot mess," -- is pretty much exactly my approach to American Idol. Especially at this point.
But please, guys -- make this mess a little hotter, would you? Thursday's Solo Round is gonna have to be better than this two-hour glop.
What'd you think?
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