Idol Rich: And Now There Are Three

Apparently, almost 37 million votes determined last night's Idol elimination and Seacrest said it was the most of the season... but, then again, on the season finale of Season Three, there were more than twice that many, propelling Fantasia to victory.

Speaking of Fantasia, she performed on last night's show. Her hair was a little like Justin Bieber's and her song was none too memorable, but she promised to have a new album out soon. It was a strange and vaguely downtrodden way start to the show, but I've gotten used to the odd with these results shows.

They aren't so much jam-packed as they are "Um, K, let's fill up this hour."

What really shocked me was the Ford video featuring "Put the Message In the Box." For those of you who are as old as I am, you might remember the World Party single off of 1990's Goodbye Jumbo. And while I'm an early World Party fan and happy for the song to get some play with a new generation, it just seemed so... forced. Yeah, it's got a great environmental message and all, but I'm wondering if even one of those contestants knew who the hell they were singing. Karl Wallinger who? Waterboys what? WTF is World Party? Whatever, man. Let's go green! Drive Fiestas!

As per usual, this was a big night for the contestants because if they made it to the Final Three, they get to take a trip back home for a little time with the family and a lot of time getting keys to cities and performing for screaming townspeople and doing news junkets and waving in cars and crying and... you get the idea.

Oddly enough, it would seem that the person kicked off would also get to take a trip home--but for slightly longer than those who get to keep competing. That being said, I'd think there'd still be screaming townspeople, news junkets and, probably, a shitload more crying. But, you know, of a different sort.


Like a detective who doesn't give a rat's ass, Ryan asked all the singers what they were most looking forward to about going home... because he asks the tough questions. Big Mike wants to see family and his puppy and smell the ocean air. Crystal wants to play a gig with her bass player. Lee wants to have a conversation without cameras present. And our fair Casey James also looks forward to family and dogs, but includes "smellin' Texas air" and "hearin' a bunch of people say y'all" on his list as well.

Aw, shucks, he's just cuter'n a bug's ear.

Random weird element: The contestants each had two members of their families hanging out on the SafeCouch. 

Fortunately, it didn't take too painfully long before Ry cut to the chase. And the first one safe? North Texas boy Casey James!

Then the incredibly commercially successful Daughtry played "September" whilst contestants who didn't know if they were safe yet sat with their families surely wishing he/they would STFU and right quick. And, lo, we all were a party to the most inconsiderate method of getting ratings on national television.

RyCrest then interrogated the three contestants of undetermined fate and the judges. (I swear, at the rate he works the "suspense," you could fill a half hour show with just those "dim the lights" segments and, like, maybe one pro performance.) He should really consider pitching Law & Order: AI. And Lee was safe.

But oh, we had to have Bon Jovi play before Crystal and Mike found out who was moving on. I'm now convinced those performances are just distractions to throw us off the scent of the loser. Ryan looked positively gleeful about the whole performance.

Then, in an announcement as shocking as the SVU guest star turning out to be the killer, Big Mike was sent home. And, because they'll all go home this week, that sentence is fairly confusing, so I'll clarify: Big Mike did not make it to the F3.

A favorite of the judges saved but five weeks ago, he was once again cast aside by the voting public... and given a tiny man-hug by RyCrest.

Next week we'll see Casey, Crystal and Lee head homeward (in a good way) before whittling all the way down to the finale on May 25. 

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