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Idol Elimination Shocker: Michael Goes Down Under!

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

Last season, the AmIdol producers decided to keep in the spirit of Idol Gives Back by not eliminating anyone that particular week. (Remember? They claimed it was going to be the "most shocking elimination ever," then it turned out the shocker was that everyone was safe.) But this season, after all the warmness and fuzziness of Wednesday's charity special, it was back to the nasty business at hand, with a specially scheduled Thursday elimination night.

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.

Little did I know, there was far more misery ahead.

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.

But finally we all got to find out who hit bottom this week. And I learned the two of out my bottom-three predictions were correct. Yes, I guessed Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson right, but Michael Johns--who'd NEVER been at risk before, not even the one week he deserved to be, when he wrecked "A Day In The Life"--was a BIG surprise to me, and probably to many other people. Guess voters weren't too "inspired" by Michael's cover of Aerosmith's "Dream On" after all.

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.

Yes, it's sad but true, fellow members of the Aussie Posse: Michael Johns went down under tonight.

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."

PSYCH!

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.

Anyway, can't we still have a wild-card competition...so we can reinstate Michael Johns? Please? Come on, Idol, give back! Give us back Michael!

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.

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