The contestants have been asked to dedicate their performances to the “people who inspire them.” You know, so that we can do things like thank the troops. And Phil Stacey wastes no time in doing that. He’s dedicating his performance to his Navy command back home. He’s singing “Missing You,” and doing it quite well, although unremarkably. They recast Chris Daughtrey this season. Like when Sarah Chalke was New Becky. He’s New Chris Daughtrey. Randy loved it. Paula — who may be drunk tonight!! yay!!! — loved it. Simon’s not too excited, because, you know, it wasn’t too exciting.
Coca-Cola Red Room. Ryan asks Sundance what people were talking about over the weekend, after being featured on the show. “Antonella Barba,” he responds, “and that dick she sucked.” Except, much to my dismay, he says something else.
Jared Cotter is dedicating his performance to his mom and dad. I have this feeling we’re just going to alternate between the troops and family members, as far as dedication goes. I hope someone dedicates their performance to the memory of Anna Nicole Smith. Or, like, robots. Singing “Let’s Get it On.” Vocally he’s just fine, with some weakness on the higher notes. He really is a great-looking kid. It was a good performance, but this song just has to be oozing with sex, and I don’t know if he brought that.
I think Paula’s drunk tonight. Happy dance! Oh, yes, she’s definitely drunk. “That’s the kind of song that you don’t have to push … on … well, no pun intended,” she says, then starts cracking up. Simon, realizing we are dangerously close to Paula describing the benefits of girl-on-top sex on live family television, cuts her off entirely. Because, you know, she’s drunk. YAY!!
“And the things we’ve all done to that song,” says Ryan, because we are eighteen minutes into the show and have abandoned any sense of decorum.
A.J. Tabaldo. Mom and dad. And ROBOTS! No. Just mom and dad. “Feelin’ Good.” Vest check comes up positive, with the oddest green collared shirt beneath it (with the sleeves rolled up), and then a black undershirt beneath that. Like, “I’ll kick yo ass, right after I bring this gentleman his truffle.” The boys are much, much better so far tonight. Blows a high note, and his second-to-last run is a little flat, but in general it’s a good performance. Everyone, including Simon, says nice things about him.
Sanjaya Malakar. Dedicating his performance tonight to weed. And his late grandfather. “Steppin’ Out with My Baby.” He’s wearing this top hat, which I think is supposed to match the jazzy nature of the song, but coupled with his dark skin and soft voice, he’s a dead ringer for Michael Jackson right now. He is horribly uncomfortable on stage, his voice is mediocre at best, and this is painful to watch. The judges didn’t like him. The audience boos half-heartedly. You know, it’s possible Paula is not drunk, but rather just hungover. I’m getting more of a hangover vibe from her. It’s the way the words catch in her throat.
Chris Sligh. Dedicated to his wife, Sarah, who is about 100 times hotter than he is. He points this out himself. Singing “Trouble,” which is a really cute song to sing after that dedication, actually. Vocally, though, he is really not impressing me. Randy liked it. Paula liked it. Simon liked it. His wife is adorable.
Nick Pedro. To his girlfriend. Awww. “You Give Me Fever,” and in the middle they cut to a shot of the drummer hitting the cymbals, then giving the camera a “how’d ya like that?” look, and it’s easily the most interesting part of this segment. Randy liked it. Paula liked it. Simon mentions that he lacked charisma. “I thought the drummer was very good,” he adds. Ha. Nick makes his own “Vote for Pedro” call, which was funnier when Ryan made it last week and it, you know, hadn’t been done last week.
Blake Lewis. Mom and dad. And robots? No. No, not robots. “Virtual Insanity.” Oh Jesus, some girl in the audience is wearing a shirt with a pin-up silhouette graphic and the words “Blaker girl,” which might awesome if it said “Blaker chick.” I like Blake. This is a risky song choice, and he’s making it work, even inserting his own beat-boxing and scatting in there. Randy and Paula loved it. Simon thought it was copy-cat and vocally weak. And now the strangest thing happens. Blake says “vocal entendres” and pronounces the “s” sound, which is wrong, as is the entire use of that word in this context, but Blake pronounces the final “e” sound correctly, as a short vowel. “Vocal entendree?” says Ryan, as though Blake had pronounced a long e sound. He then makes fun of Blake for saying “vocal entendree,” although Blake didn’t say that, and then pronounces the word correctly, because he’s an ass. I have to stop watching this show. It makes my head explode.
Brandon Rogers. To his late grandmother, the robot. “Time After Time.” Did someone besides Cyndi Lauper sing this? Because this is a very different take on it. I’m totally digging it. He rocks the little riff toward the end. Randy didn’t think it showed him off vocally. Paula — I’m officially going with “really hungover” as her diagnosis for tonight — liked it. Simon thinks he needs to make a bigger impact. Brandon’s like “By the way, it’s my dad’s birthday today,” and Simon’s like, “Brandon, it’s my mom’s birthday in November.” I laughed out loud. “And I love puppies,” adds Simon. Sigh. I love Simon. He’s looking at Ryan like, “See? That’s how you do funny.”
Chris Richardson. Grandma back in Virginia, who’s still alive, and pretty darn adorable in pictures. “Geek in the Pink.” Shit. This is the first Jason Mraz I’ve ever heard on the show, and he gets mad points from me just for trying. Unfortunately, Jason Mraz songs have this quality of Jason Mraz-ness, and it’s hard for someone else to pull them off. He does quite well, but he’s no M-R-A-Z. Randy thought it was better than the original, so I go back to listen again. I disagree, although he did do quite well. Oh my God. So something happens that moves Paula to put a pink Valentine heart on Simon’s chest. But, see, it’s a heart with another heart overlaid on the upper right-hand corner of the existing heart, and when the camera moves back, away from the details of it, it looks like a cock and balls. If someone has a screen shot, kindly send it along. “Well, you’ve been invaluable tonight, Paula,” says Simon, as he removes the heart and tells Chris that he was awesome tonight.
Sundance Head. Dedicated to his robot son Levy. Oh, he chokes up on camera because he’s bummed that he’s missing all these milestones in his baby’s life. That was cute. “Mustang Sally.” He does a nice job with the song. I like Sundance. Randy loved it. So did Paula. So did Simon.
So, Sanjaya should have gone home last week, and, if he doesn’t go home this week, I’m just confused. None of the other guys were particularly bad this week, but if I were choosing, I’d send Nick Pedro home with him.