Thursday, April 17, 2008

Idol Elimination: KLC, I'll Actually Miss You

Have fun in Nashville, KLC.

I have to admit, my respect for Kristy Lee Cook shot up exponentially watching her last night. She was definitely well past her Idol expiration date, but I really don’t think she deserved to go home based on her performance during Mariah Week. Of course, at this point may people are voting for their favorite regardless (or for the body of work as opposed to the most recent week alone). On the other hand, humans tend to have pretty short memories…so her elimination was a bit of a puzzler for me.

She was the weakest performer left with zero shot of taking it all, but since her massacring of “Eight Days A Week,” KLC’s performances steadily improved, to the point that I really enjoyed Tuesday night’s country-tinged “Forever.” She won me over the point that I hoped incredibly hard that Brooke White would be the one going home. Her “Hero” was painful to watch, and she appears to be creeping ever closer to a breakdown with every passing week. It was cute when Brooke defended KLC to Simon, but once Ryan sent Syesha Mercado to safety, it was pretty obvious who was a goner. Little Miss Vanilla hasn’t worn out her welcome…yet.

Even though it was pretty clear Carly Smithson wasn’t in the bottom three, I wished America could magically change her mind as I watched her chastise Simon for being to hard on her and then desperately beckon David Archuleta over to her side of the stage like he was a puppy (which, okay…). Desperation is not an attractive look. In fact, I think the stink of it has clouded my mind the past few weeks. A second listen to “Without You” revealed it to be not nearly as bad as I thought. In fact, it was pretty good. I just couldn't hear it over the part of her that was screaming, "LIKE ME! GOOD GOD, PLEASE LIKE ME!"

I didn’t believe for a second that either Jason Castro or David Cook were in the bottom three, so I was a bit confused when Ryan started pulling the “you stand to my right, you stand to my left” bit. I think this week’s reveal was the silliest, most ridiculous thing I’ve seen on Idol yet…and I’ve seen some pretty odd things (people in capes, scary laughter, pratfalls, “Eight Days A Week” as a country song, etc.). Casting David Archuleta as the “deciding vote” topped it, though. Of course he immediately plopped down in the middle of the stage with an “aw, shucks guys” chuckle and shrug. He’s not stupid and he’s David Archuleta for the love of pete. You actually expected him to make a decision without his daddy present?

KLC really won me over, however, with her sing off. Perched atop the judges’ desk right in front of Simon, she unabashedly sang the first verse directly into his obviously uncomfortable face. I actually hooted with laughter. Add that to the fact that she spun around and walked away right after delivering the tweaked line, “'Still I burn on and on/ All of my life/ Only for a good comment from you” and it was absolute perfection. I kind of fell in love with her right there.

Respect, Kristy Lee. Respect.

In the end, it was time for Kristy Lee to go, I know. I just didn’t realize until she actually got the boot how much her self-deprecating sense of humor (“Kristy’s seat,” anyone?) and ability to keep her head up high despite the waves of dislike that were thrown at her every week actually earned her a lot of my respect, in the end. I wish her well post-Idol and look forward to what she brings to the tour this summer.

Andrew Lloyd Weber week is up next…and again I am worried. Not about what Archie will sing (c’mon, it’s totally “Any Dream Will Do”) but about what the heck my Rocker Boy is gonna sing. Then again, I worried about Mariah Week, and we know how that turned out.

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