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Idol Elimination Night: One Less Cook In The Kitchen

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

It was down to the lucky seven tonight...except one of them was about to get a lot less lucky. Still reeling from the unexpected elimination of Australian sensation Michael Johns (and from the super-uncool way in which Ryan Seacrest gave Michael the boot), the remaining finalists stood in the wings, waiting to find out which among them would go down under this week.

Obviously a guy who loves to toy with people's delicate emotions, judging from his mean-spirited fakeout with Michael last week, tonight Ryan broke out his old divide-and-conquer routine. Remember that time in season 3, that infamous night when he split the finalists into safe and unsafe groups, and shockingly the bottom-three group consisted of Fantasia, LaToya London, and Jennifer Hudson?

And then he put poor George Huff on the spot by making him guess which group he belonged to? Well, Ryan was up to his old tricks this evening, making some contestants stand to his right and others to his left, but not letting on which was his "good side."

Sure, it made for some nail-bitingly suspenseful TV. But at this point in the season, I ain't got no fingernails left! (Ryan, you owe me a 19 Management-expensed manicure. Or at least a free bottle of that nail varnish made especially for Mariah Carey by the Lippman company, Satin Doll. It's only right.)

Anyway, as I gnawed on the bloodied stubs that used to be my fingers, Ryan got down to bizness. Group 1, on Ryan's left, started with my boy, Jason Castro. But then my other boy, David Cook, was dispatched to Group 2 on Ryan's right. That meant one of them wasn't safe. Ugh.

And then yucky old Carly Smithson joined Jason in Group 1. And since I'd predicted Carly would be in the bottom this week, I began to fear for Jason in a big way. Meanwhile, Kristy Lee Cook, who I'd predicted would be safe this week, joined apparent frontrunner David Cook in Group 2.

This guessing game continued as Syesha Mercado joined Jason and Carly, and Brooke White joined David C. and Kristy. I subsequently logged on to drugstore.com to purchase some Sally Hansen Nail Strengthening Creme, hoping to salvage whatever was left of my bitten-to-bits nailbeds.

Of course, there were some welcome distractions from all this tension. A Ford promo depicting the contestants as marionettes while singing Queen's "I Want To Break Free" was amusing (and appropriate...because let's face it, anyone signed to Clive Davis's label must know what it's like to be turned into a puppet). Guest performer/mentor Mariah Carey came out in a little black dress and out-diva'd everyone on the Idol set (yes, even Simon Cowell).

And Elliott Yamin's musical tribute to his dearly departed mother was extremely touching. (Click HERE to post your condolences to Elliott, by the way.)

Meanwhile, the obviously prescripted, prescreened viewer Q&A was just another lame stall tactic...although I admit I was happy to hear David Cook's answer to the question on every female viewers' lips, "Are you single?" ("YES!")

Well, it turns out David Archuleta never had to join Group 1 or Group 2: After Mariah's performance, he was told he was safe. Again. I guess I went too far out on that limb when I predicted he might actually sit on a stool tonight. I'm beginning to think he'll never feel the hard, unyielding plastic of those bottom-three stools on his tender teenaged bottom.

OK, so then Ryan did another fakeout and told David C. to swap places with Syesha. Psych! Um, so what did that MEAN, exactly? Group 1 now consisted of David C., Jason, and Carly. It was hard to imagine that the first two were in jeopardy, but as I mentioned earlier, Carly was the one I'd predicted would get axed this week...so now I was more confused than ever.

David A. seem confused, too, when Ryan pulled that stupid trick he pulled on George Huff and tried to make David A. guess which group was the safe one to which he belonged. David refused to choose, and sat his tender teenaged bottom smack down on the cold, hard stage floor instead.

Well, it turned out David A. belonged in Group 2--with David C., Jason, and (surprisingly) Carly. Man, I was way off with my predictions this week. The bottom three turned out to be Brooke, Syesha, and KLC.

Anyway, then Syesha scraped her way back to safety, leaving the two blonde bombshells at the bottom. And then Brooke got a reprieve...meaning, as Simon put it, Kristy's time was up. Finally.

Look, I'm not even going to pretend I'm upset about this. Any regular reader of this blog knows I've never been a fan of KLC and I've been crying out for her elimination since the first Beatles Night. (Remember, "Eight Days A Week"? I'd like to see that hot mess NO days a week, thank you very much.) But I will say this: I ironically think Kristy's performance this week was her BEST. Yes, I did want her to go eventually, but if there was any week when she actually deserved to stay, in my opinion this was it.
So at least Kristy went out on a high note. Literally. And kudos to her for the funny way she serenaded Simon with her swan song before she rode off into the sunset for good.

Let's hope she can still buy her horse back...

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