How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?
American Idol 2: Episode 18


Eeeeee! I have a confession to make. I'm a big Bee Gees fan. My husband is an even bigger fan - he actually has a vintage Saturday Night Fever white suit that he keeps under lock and key today from prying eyes. No, he never actually wore it, because he would look ridiculous and I would have never married him if he did, but he says he will wear it the day he gets shaped up and gets a Hollywood hunk body. He's still at it, thirty years and counting. I'm not holding my breath for that day to happen.

So when we learn that this week, the Four will cheerfully murder Bee Gees songs, hubby suddenly remembers that he needs to catch a flight to Tibet. No way. I am obligated to watch this because I have to recap this stupid show, and I am not going to watch the Four perform falsetto hell alone. We're supposed to share the good and bad times together after all, and this event certainly counts as "horrifying".

The moment Ryan Sleazebag runs out on stage wearing a dark "Peace" shirt under his black and grey-striped shirt, I know right away that the Josh Don't Tell train stops here tonight. A few weeks ago when Iraq gets sodomized by powerful American missiles, nobody on this show will even dare wear such a shirt, but here comes the biggest syncopant of them all today wearing a shirt that says just how much irrelevant Josh Don't Tell has become. He asks the crowd to remove the signs because they are blocking his teleprompter. If he needs to have a script to be this bad and unfunny, I bet real life conversations with Mr Sleazebag must be really fun indeed.

He welcomes everyone to today's episode of All About Ruben. Or Goldilocks And The Three Pigs. Sleazebag reminds everyone that Trenyce was gone and Ruben was sent to the Seat of Shame last week. People, vote! Translation: vote for Ruben, sheep, vote for Ruben. The media and the show have crowned Ruben as the winner in all but technicality. Why don't they just make today the finals, crown Ruben, get cancelled, and make me happy, I will never understand. Bastards, all of them.

Sleazebag tells King Tut to stop scracthing "that". I think I can make funnier Ambiguously Gay Jokes than the jokers on the show. Sleazebag calls Miss Paula "smitten". He talks to Randy Randy in the Secret Language of the Dawgs, which King Tut says he doesn't understand a word of. Randy Randy tells King Tut, "Don't you start, dawg!"

Sigh. The show has started.

Sleazebag announces Robin Gibbs as the Celebrity Judge. Yay! Gosh, is that him? Age hasn't been kind to him. Wrinkles With Glasses here looks like death warmed over. He certainly speaks no better, as we shall soon see, his sole repertoire of comments consisting solely of a variation of "Brilliant!" even when the performer commits ritual sacrifice on a teenybopper virgin on stage. From now on, I will pretend that Wrinkles With Glasses isn't even here on this show.

The montage video of the Bee Gees tribute nicely removes the more unsavory details of Maurice Gibbs' death. Let's just say poor Maurice has been Frenchied. After all, there are kids in the audience, you know.

"Oooga wooga hugga hugga BWAAAAA!"

What's that noise? I scream as Josh Don't Tell runs out and shouts his way through Jive Talkin'. Hubby alternates between howling with laughter or shrieking in horror as Josh Don't Tell clumsily stumbles and bumbles his way through a song that is wrong for his voice and performance style. I can easily think of a few "country" Bee Gees tunes for him (Islands In The Stream and Words), and Jive Talkin' is an insane choice for Josh Don't Tell. It's an insane song for the one minute and twenty seconds format of this show! It demonstrates nothing of Josh's voice, only his ability to shout. Hubby and me hold each other hard as Josh dash into the audience and shoves his face, shaking it left to right like an insane Backstreet Boy bent on murder, towards the TV screen.

Randy Randy likes it. He and Miss Paula predictably say that Josh is back, et cetera. King Tut says that Josh Don't Tell is better than last week, but he shouts a little bit, acts a little manic, but not bad. Josh is lucky he has another song to better his chance.

Josh Don't Tell tells Sleazebag that he's performing for his fans tonight. He hates his fans, doesn't he?

Goldilocks, er, Kewpie is next. Michael Bolton did To Love Somebody and he made me double over in pain. Kewpie does this song and he makes me bend over and scream for merciful death. Kewpie crosses the line from parody last week to outright joke this week as he stands there, does his nauseating "blinky blinky my lil' left eye" thing at the camera, and crams enough Power Notes - try sixteen Power Notes in a single word - to make me feel seasick. It's like listening to drunk Uncle Boris murdering a wedding song before a shocked and embarrassed audience. Kewpie has the voice, but now he's just abusing it the way evil dictators abuse biological weapons: he has no restrains now, he is just screeching at the top of his voice - loud, overly theatrical, but emotionally soulless. And he looks as if he's trying to look humble while being deflowered by Justin Gurgling from behind.

I can't stand watching his face as he goes through the now utterly fake and insincere "Look At Me, I Am Humble! I Look Bashful When They Praise Me, I Whisper Thank You When They Are Done, Am I Not Humble? Yes, I Am Humble! Worship Me, People, I Am Goldilocks, Daughter Of The Sun, Patron Of Elevators, Bard Of Conference Room Muzak, The Second Coming Of Barry Manilow, And Oh Yes, Humble Too! (And I Am In Love With Burger Queen, So I Am A Straight Heterosexual Humble Hot-Blooded Masculine Male)" many faces of doom. Why can't he go away? Why can't the Kewpinites kidnap him and then commit themselves to an asylum when they realize that he's as straight as a three-dollar note? Kewpie terrorizes my TV, his fans hijack every online message board and annoy the hell out of me with inane discussions of his size thirteen-and-half shoes and how I am just "jelus" because I dislike his overwrought style of singing - why can't they all just go away?

I like Kewpie at the first, when he's singing rather than acting like some bad drama queen now. At the rate he's going, the bottom of the barrel isn't that far away.

The judges love it. No surprises there.

Sleazebag and King Tut bicker a little about Pop Idol, where it becomes clear why King Tut prefers Ruben over Kewpie: King Tut doesn't want another winner who wins it and then comes out of the closet like Will Young did and cause all those teenyboppers to stop buying his music. That's the danger of catering exclusively to teenyboppers: teenyboppers (and some of their mothers) like to pretend they are open-minded and fair, but at the end of the day, they are racist, homophobic, and unable to comprehend any values that differ from their own. Ruben is safe, because Ruben is asexual. After all, we know on TV and radio, fat people don't have sex, they're just funny or if they're African American, they sing good too. Kewpie is a closet case waiting to explode, and even if he is straight, the gay rumors will keep haunting him. Middle White America who embrace Kewpie will soon rethink their allegiance if these rumors persist.

Next is Burger Queen. Her I Just Want To Be Your Everything is a bleating, sharp through-the-nose affair. It's not as bad as the performances by Kewpie or Josh, but it's still not good. The bleating is back, the high notes are sharp, and Burger Queen performs even more like an automaton if that is possible. Oh well, why worry? She can always cuddle to Kewpie, Beard No 3 in Kewpie's ongoing illusion of heterosexuality, and get the insane Kewpinities to vote for her. Because there are some really strange in-need-of-life Kewpinites who project themselves onto Burger Queen in some bizarre "Clocke" (Clay+Locke, get it?) wet dream thing. We're talking about the same weirdos who flood message boards with truly pathetic speculations about kissing and baby names and how sweet that a "hot fat girl" and a "popular hot geek" are getting it on. These people are abusing this show to get off on their own vicarious fantasies, and I resent that "skinny ugly gross immoral women" like Trenyce are sacrificed for their neurotic high-school revenge-of-the-geeks vandetta. Again, why can't these people just go away?

Randy Randy and Miss Paula love the performace. King Tut is unmoved. "Didn't do it for me," he says, "You can boo all you want, but it was sweet and ordinary. Nothing special." He then gulps down a cup of Vanilla Coke (product placement alert) and gives Miss Paula, who made it her life mission to glare at King Tut whenever he speaks, a funny look. I don't want to even touch that with a mile-long pole.

Sleazebag shows "Ruben sticks" - balloon thingies shaped like bloated sausages that everybody in the audience is holding for Ruben. Not-so-subliminal message: vote for Ruben. He asks a kid if he wants to see "Rooooooo-ben." The kid says no. Smart kid.

Ruben comes out to sing Nights On Broadway. What happened to his voice? He sounds harsh and rough, and he's having problems hitting the proper notes. The horrible background vocals don't help matters. Still, he has cut down on the inane smiling. He still grabs for hamburgers, but watching him, I can see he's the best of the four today.

Judges' tongue bath.

Again, Sleazebag reminds audience to "vote for your favorites". Translation: vote for Ruben.

It's a shame about the relentless Ruben pimping - the media and the judges are doing him no favors in this. No one likes the teacher's pet. Also, it is not fair to the other contestants. Ruben, through no fault of his own, has made this show as much a mockery as the nonsense behind Carmurp and Josh Don't Tell's presence did.

In fact, before we move to the second round of this show, let me go off-tangent a bit and sum up what went horribly wrong this season:

1. Carmurp being picked from nowhere over 24 qualified Top-32 contestants and getting pimped by the producers when it's obvious she can't sing for peanuts.

2. Josh Don't Tell and the Donald Rumsfield Marine/War/Patriotism Agenda.

3. The shameless pimping of Ruben.

4. Kewpinites ruining the online scene everywhere with their zealous attacks on criticisms of Kewpie and endless inane hijacking of threads and turning every single thread into All About Kewpie or All About Clocke. Please crawl back to the holes where you came from. They are worse than Justin Gurgling groupies.

1, 2, and 3 are particularly damaging because they cause other genuine contestants who can sing and who have no gimmicks to be eliminated despite giving really good performances. You can argue that American Idol 2 isn't a "real" singing competition, but it is being portrayed as one, and we should hold them to this. Introducing rating gimmicks like Carmurp and Josh Don't Tell damage the show irreparably, and Ruben Pimping only deepen the damages inflicted on the show's already flimsy credibility.

Back to the show, the second round begins.

Sleazebag reminds everyone that the show is live and he's an unfunny moron. He tells everyone in the audience to look under their seats - look, they have given everybody free American Idol 2: Classic Love Songs CD! Nice. It could be worse, it could be a Josh Don't Tell Sing Songs Of Patriotism CD or worse, Kewpie Sings Manilow CD.

Of all the songs he could have chosen, Josh Don't Tell goes gung-ho and performs To Love Somebody. Yes, the same song Kewpie performed earlier and I... like this one better, Sure, the guy is performing his routine schtick - bends forward, wags his fingers as if he's lecturing the audience, and points his finger to his shoes as if he's asking the audience to beg for forgiveness by licking them. But his performance is simple, understated, and most importantly, listenable. It's a relief after Kewpie's Power Vocal melodrama assault on my senses, and I like this one, if only because it sucks less in comparison.

The judges... ugh. The only comment worth noting is from King Tut, who says that Josh Don't Tell took a risk going against Kewpie, but Josh Don't Tell pulled it off - "Well done."

Shrieks of pure terror from us Giggles as Kewpie comes out in a flaming red jacket he probably borrowed from a sister or female friend or the Olsen twins before proceeding to screech Grease. He's off-key and his falsetto is horrible, really horrible. Kewpie can't dance, Kewpie must be banned from making those... those... pelvic thrusts that have us Giggles making enough noise to convince the neighbors that we are being slowly tortured in our living rooms (and in a way, we are). The camera guy must think it funny to zoom the camera up towards Kewpie's crotch when he's shaking that bulgleless crotch of his. There is actually a distinct cameltoe, mind you, putting to rest once and for all that Kewpie is no guy but probably a very scary tomboy pretending to be a guy.

"Hold me, I'm scared," hubby whimpers.

Kewpie, you can't dance, yes, and you're a flaming queen, WE GET IT. Please, go back to singing boring overwrought ballads. WE GET IT. And we don't want to see you do Grease ever again. One Pee-Wee Herman is all the Pee-Wees the world needs.

Trust this guy to come out on TV just as dramatically as he oversings and overenunciates his voice. Jeebers.

Randy Randy is laughing. He likes the moves, dawg. Miss Paula is ecstatic that Kewpie "shook his thing". King Tut says that Kewpie was horrible. "Sorry, but everything about that was horrible." The audience and the Evil Sweetpeas boo. "I don't care - well, will all of you shut up? I am trying to talk here. A great performance all thrown away - that was horrible!" I heart King Tut all over again.

Sleazebag comforts Kewpie. Lots of fluttering Kewpie eyelids and "I'm a bashful humble maiden" expressions. Kewpie says that he doesn't take King Tut seriously, and to show the world just how humble and playful he is, he makes sure we all see his side wink to King Tut. Kewpinities breathe a sigh of relief. Their Daughter of The Sun God is humble and funny - and they can now sleep easy, knowing that their precious Manilowian deity remains the pure, innocent creature they worship with all their flowery Hello Kitty hearts can allow.

("Hating prepubsecents is unhealthy." - Mr G)

("Obviously you don't visit those AI message boards." - Mrs G)

Sleazebag makes Kewpie do that hip thrust thing again and squeal in excitement. If these guys stand together and sing Diana Ross' I'm Coming Out, they can't be any more obvious. Don't even consider it, Sleazebag.

Burger Queen's Emotions actually starts in the correct note and for five seconds, she's singing decently, if flatly. (Her lower register really needs some work.) Then she tries to ad lib to the worst background vocals in the world, and that's where the whole song falls apart. She's just squealing and some of the sounds she is making seem to be coming from her nose. Stop playing beard to Kewpie and focus, Burger Queen, because Emotions, like your first song, is a mess.

The Evil Sweetpeas are as usual irrelevant. King Tut says that Burger is "um... good, but don't think it's your best night still." Miss Paula booes him. "I'm not asking you," King Tut tells her. He's a kind man. If I'm faced with idiots like Miss Paula and Randy Randy booing me every time I speak, somebody is getting the mic shoved down his or her throat so deep.

Ruben waddles on stage, stands before the mic, smiles, catches himself, puts on an only half-smiley face, grabs a hamburger, and sleepwalks his way through How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. His voice is still harsh - do take care of that voice, Ruben - but this is easily the best performance of the night if only because (a) it doesn't have me rolling around the floor in horrified laughter (Kewpie) (b) wincing in pain at a missed sharp note (Burger Queen), or recoiling in horror at the performer's "I Want Ex-Lax NOW!" faces (Josh Don't Tell).

The camera pans on the audience wildly cheering for Ruben. Subliminal message: vote for Ruben.

Judges' tongue bath.

Sleazebag walks into the Red Room. "Couch. Butt between two contestants," he says, sitting down at the couch in question. Inane chatter follows. I can't be bothered, so I go for my time out and some Kit-Kat bars from the kitchen.

I come back to see Josh Don't Tell carrying Sleazebag like a sack of potatoes over his shoulder as he runs down the stage and up again. I flee back into the kitchen (poor hubby is staring at the TV is shell-shocked horror) and only come out when I'm sure the show has really ended.

Hubby lets me know that they really hate Josh Don't Tell this week because they recapped his performance by showing his To Love Somebody before seguing it with Kewpie's louder version. Josh Don't Tell really comes out lacking in that sequence.

Best? Ruben. Josh Don't Tell is okay, but that's because Burger Queen and Kewpie botch up their performances really badly this week.



Results show. Sleazebag comes out wearing a grey coat over a red shirt that has the word "Future" and a picture of what seems like Kewpie in the front. Looks like Kewpie's pelvic thrusts really got to him last night. His hair is slicked down. He tells people that his hair is slicked down. There are twenty-two million votes last night, he announces, and then follows that up with something stupid about having to say goodbye to one of the Four today.

Miss Paula, I want my 1977 maternity dress back.

She reminds people that Sleazebag was in People's 50 Most Beautiful People issue in a slurred-up manner that suggests that the influence is still holding her in thrall. Sleazebag preens and King Tut rolls up his eyes. Randy Randy, well, he's there.

Sleazebag points to the seat where Goldilocks and the Three Pigs are seated. Kewpie and Burger Queen are side by side, huddling, Kermit and Miss Piggy. "One of them is our future American Idol," Sleazebag intones. More like the new Sesame Street reject, more like.

The recap has Sleazebag saying that once more, Ruben gave a stellar performance. Subliminal message: vote for Ruben.

Time for the group performance. After last week's amazing 1960's medley, this time the Four fails to bring it home. The main reason is that none of the guys have the voice to perform a half-way decent falsetto, except maybe Creepy Rickey, and a Bee Gees medley with bad falsettos is earbleed. The guys start off with Stayin' Alive, sounding like a harvesting machine breaking down, before Burger Queen walks in to perform If I Don't Have You. Now she's good. Where is this good Burger Queen last night? Then Ruben leads off How Deep Is Your Love?, oohing and aahing his way through the song, while the Falsetto From Hell provide the background accompaniment. Last week he sang about unknowingly sleeping with an underaged girl, this week Josh sings about how he knowingly sleeps with underaged girls in Run To You. I don't know what to say. Everybody runs into the audience as Kewpie leads off Too Much Heaven. He dances with a Mature Woman (because if he dances with anybody who isn't chubby or over the age of 30, rabid lil' Kewpinites will be so jealous). Kimborlee, who always knows where a camera is around, is there! Kewpie gives her a weird look, she reaches out and beckons to him, but he ignores her cruelly. Kimborlee, professional as always, quickly moves back her hand and pretends that she intends to wave at the camera all along. Kewpie, here's a warning: hell has no fury like a beard scorned. Watch your thonged behind. Then everybody runs back on stage and Burger Queen proves that she really can sing as she leads off Woman In Love. The three men nods. "I am a woman in love," they sing happily, proving what I have suspected all along. Damn it, Trenyce should be here tonight. I miss her. Then the group sings Lonely Days before shrieking off-key in Night Fever. Kewpie and Burger Queen do a twirl because they still have three more states to convince of Kewpie's heterosexuality. Then they all run back down to audience, telling them that You Should Be Dancing.

I actually miss Creepy Rickey after this horrible falsetto-gone-haywire fiasco. The only bright moments in this medley is when Burger Queen sings the songs that she should have sung last night.

Sleazebag says that he needs a "ligation" after seeing that performance.

Burger Queen is the first to take the Seat of Shame. Kewpie then takes this chance to even show more of his amazing Play-Doh ugly expressions. He pales. His eyelids flutter as he looks downwards. He magically smiles shyly and whispers "Thank you" when Sleazebag recounts the judges' praises, then just as magically turns dramatically nervous again when Sleazebag stops. But he lights up and smiles arrogantly when the audience cheer. Then the nervous mask is back again when Sleazebag reads his name. Then he crumples, sighing loudly in relief when Sleazebag says he is safe. I feel exhausted just following this guy. Of course he is safe! Come on, Kewpie, we know you read everything online about you, we know you know that there are people who find you the New God, and we know you will never ever get to the Bottom Two until next week maybe, so cut that out. Cut - That - Out! I don't care, inject Botox every week before you perform or something, just stop making those insincere freaky faces at me!

Ruben is safe. Like, duh, after last week and this week's non-stop All About Ruben pimping, he'll get the Seat of Shame? Oh please.

So Josh Don't Tell gets the other Seat. Kewpie leans over and whispers to Ruben as Josh Don't Tell goes to the Seat, and Ruben nods. What are they saying? "Ruben, I'm so glad that meanie Josh is going! Now I can finally get a good uninterrupted night of sleep"?

"Funny" clip of Ruben the pimp smacking Kewpie into becoming Count Liberace Dracula. Subliminal message: Ruben's the pimp, he owns Kewpie's ass, vote for Ruben.

Back to the show, Randy Randy says that oh well, the best two are still seated up there. Miss Paula tells Josh and Burger Queen that they're all champions. King Tut says that Josh should have gone last week and Burger Queen this week. Careful, King Tut - people may start believing that you are saying that Trenyce should be in the Top Three.

Sleazebag sighs and then quickly tells the Bottom Two, "Joshyou'reoutKimyou'resafe."

That's it.

Wow.

This must be a first. Succint and straight to the point. I like it. Can we do this every week next season?

Josh Don't Tell's wife looks horrified. She'll, after all, start listening to him sing in the shower every morning once more. Kewpie looks really pale with relief - "Thank God I don't need to hunt for another beard!" Burger Queen is safe because she and Ruben absorb many of the disenfranchised Trenyce and Creepy Rickey fans. Now however, I bet that the Josh Don't Tell fans will flock to Kewpie next week, and things will really get ugly.

Lots of bad Marine porn in the eulogy video.

Josh Don't Tell thanks everyone before singing To Love Somebody one last time. He takes his kid to the stage, and the kid cries. See, this guy makes babies cry. "Josh is coming home," Sleazebag announces. You'd think Josh Don't Tell has just served his country in the Middle-East or Vietnam from how Sleazebag voices his words, instead of preening and getting pampered in a luxurious manor for the last two months while subjecting us all to his horrible hillybilly twangy acts of horror he calls "singing".

It's a great ending to a lifeless, utterly dull episode filled with mediocre singing.

Champagne, anyone?


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