Newest ‘Idol’ Twist Changes Elimination Plans

Angie Miller performs on "American Idol" (Fox)

There were no results on “American Idol’s” results show, rendering an entire hour of our lives essentially wasted, in a “surprise” move that could have been predicted with nothing but a calendar and simple math.

Since the judges cruelly withheld the save last week from Janelle Arthur, even when it was their last chance to use it, “Idol” had to figure out what to do with the extra week in the schedule. So at the end of the show, Ryan Seacrest did not send either of the bottom two girls home — Amber Holcomb and Candice Glover. And thank goodness, because I do not want a world without either of those two girls singing stale ‘70s music to me.

It was only the latest in the genre of TV known as “let’s see how many ways we can psych out Candice.” Last week she got a surprise visit from Paula Abdul. Tonight, it was an “audio message” by Drake, which turned out to be him talking into a mic behind those LED doors. This time Candice turned around sooner, “Idol” conditioning her to always look over her shoulder suspiciously for possible celebrities. But she was perhaps even more flabbergasted than she was for Paula, all jumping up and down. The other girls are adorably freaking out for Candice, too. Even though you can tell on the inside, they’re like, “How come they never got Jessie J/Joe Cocker/Barbra Streisand to sneak up behind me?!”

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But let’s rewind. The show opens with a featurette about the girls’ busy schedules, which include walking the red carpet and going to something called Britweek, where they have to translate words like “nappy.” Then we go back to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where the girls sing “Just the Way You Are” with the kids. One kid sums it up well, saying, with a hint of disbelief: “They’re actually good.”

For a group number, they do “Girl on Fire,” and the kid’s right—they’re actually good. With these four, at least we’re not holding our breath waiting for one of them to screw something up. Vocally, anyway.

Next, is the Ford segment, in which the girls, who are driving two to a car, get four individual phone calls from Ryan Seacrest. But that’s not where the confusion ends. They each go to an appointment with him, but he’s missing. Finally, they all drive to another location in four separate cars. And there, they find four suited-up Ryans, all bickering about who’s supposed to go to which meeting and whatnot. It’s got to be someone’s sexual fantasy.

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Back on stage, the girls are reading Ryan’s lines on the teleprompter, all of them cliché-riddled things about Ford, and laughing through them quite unprofessionally, if I do say so. Those girls better get used to saying dumb things for money.

Ryan returns to the stage saying he was out polishing Tom Bergeron and Jeff Probst’s Emmys. Somebody else’s sexual fantasy.

In ANOTHER segment that have nothing to do with results, the four girls each have to try to list five things we don’t know about them in 20 seconds. Only Amber is secure enough in herself to rattle off five and then a sixth (a pierced septum!). But we did learn that Angie Miller eats olives like popcorn, Kree Harrison was bitten by a snake and Candice loves Spongebob, so I guess it was worthwhile.

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Finally, a little feedback. Jimmy takes another opportunity to diss “MacArthur Park.” “There was a cake, there was rain, there was green icing flowing everywhere, it was dark. I have no idea what this song was about.” Nor did Amber, he said. “You can’t interpret lyrics unless you understand the lyrics.”

Kree, too, suffered from lyrical issues, Jimmy said, in “Whiter Shade of Pale.” He said the reason the song was a one-hit wonder was because “people finally heard the lyrics and said, ‘I never want to hear from these people again.’”

Stefano Langone from Season 10 showed up, to let us know he’s working on an album with Hollywood Records and that he is as corny as “MacArthur Park.” He’s going on about how there are four girls on the show and two on the judges panel, and “I got the girls on the side and I got the girls in the front, I’m saying yes to love.” He kind of sings it. Then quickly realizes that was a terrible idea. He then sings something serviceably unmemorable.

Back to “results.” Jimmy said Candice played it safe, then recaps the whole Jimmy vs. Nicki & the Judges thing last night. He says he won over the “little linebacker” with his charm, and that she probably has a crush on him. Which Nicki corroborates.

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Next to emerge from the “Idol” vault was Lee DeWyze, who informs us that he is now married and officially not available to the millions of teen girls who stuck him on us with their incessant voting. He does a new song, “Silver Lining,” which sounds exactly like Phillip Phillips’s “Home” down to the “oh oh oh oh-oh-oh-ohs.”

Then Jimmy says Angie won the night, and that she needs to stick to the piano. Ryan tells Angie that Jessie J tweeted about her performance of “Who You Are” and Angie acts all surprised, like “who? Jessie J did?” as if she wasn’t watching her Twitter all night and waiting for some faint praise. She then says that if Jessie J showed up she would die, and Ryan says he might make good on that. The length Angie will go to to get her Candice-shock moment!

Finally, Ryan splits the girls into pairs: Angie and Kree on one side, Amber and Candice on the other. And it’s Amber and Candice in the bottom, which is sad and painful and I’m hoping that somehow they’ll be safe and and and…they are! Once again, Candice’s eyes are just bugging.

So tonight’s unused votes will get added to next week’s tally, which will give Ryan the chance to say that some 80 million votes were deciding the outcome, or something ridiculous.

And so, we still have four girls and two lady judges left on the show, the better for Stefano to sing creepy love songs to.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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