However, after weeks of speculation surrounding a supposed wild-card competition during this year's Idol Gives Back week, I was hoping that not only would last year's noble non-elimination tradition continue, but that Idol would "give back" in another big way: by giving a previously ousted semi-finalist another chance. Yes, I simply refused to let this wild-card dream die.
So after a hokey allstar lipsynch montage to the Monkees' "I'm A Believer" so bad that the show's producers should be eliminated for even coming up with such a concept (do we really need to see Dr. Phil trying to rock out?), the producers put viewers out of their misery by ending that musical travesty...and began putting the contestants out of their misery by revealing the much-anticipated results.
But first came a sad charity mini-documentary starring Forest Whitaker, then a half-lipsynched Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown duet (more lipsynching? why would Jordin lipsynch on a show that she won because of her great singing voice?), then yet another commercial break, and then a Ford promo featuring the Idols tossing cans of paint around like they were doing a remake of the J. Geils Band's "Freeze Frame" video or something, then a Bono charity film. While the Forest and Bono bits were obviously important viewing, the rest was just time-killing filler, effectively dragging what could have easily been a three-minute show all the way to the patience-testing 60-minute mark.
And still, I kept waiting to find out if all three would be safe--and that there would in fact be a wild-card competition. But then Ryan Seacrest delivered news far worse than the fact that the whole wild-card thing was just a rumor after all. And he delivered it in the uncoolest, most uncharitable way possible. You'd think in week full of such good vibes and good deeds, he could have been a little nicer about it.
That was enough of a bummer, but as I said, the way Ryan went about Michael's elimination was downright nasty. Remember how Ryan was such (to quote Paula Abdul) a cold-blooded snake when he eliminated Chris Daughtry in season 5? Well, that was nothing compared to tonight's act of snakiness.
Basically, Ryan said something like, "Michael, you got the lowest votes, but as you know, last year we didn't cut anyone during Idol Gives Back week. Well, this week...(insert long pause)....you ARE going home."
Now, was that fakeout really necessary? Why kick a man while he's down? Why give Michael (and his fans) false hope like that? Why make us feel like we've all been punk'd? That wasn't very Idol Gives Back-ish of Ryan. I'm sure Bono would not have approved. I sure didn't.
Oh well. I guess have to accept that yet another one of my faves is gone, and put all my proverbial Idol eggs in David Cook's basket now.
But Michael, if you're reading this: Dream on, Michael. Dream on.