More than 45 million votes came in Tuesday night, Ryan tells us.
But hey, Paula already knew that.
And, yes, I'm going to belabor the point -- because how many times last week were we reminded that Brooke had started her song over?
If, like Paula, I belonged to the Psychic Judges Network, I could probably tell you now, before "American Idol" begins, which of the contestants would be faked out tonight by Ryan before landing safely.
And, of course, which one was set free.
But I can't, so we're just going to have to sit through this together.
You have to feel sorry for Jason Castro, don't you? The poor guy. Last week "Memories". This week "September Morn". How lost and tortured must he feel?
He's probably thinking, "Are you sure this is how Adam Levine started?"
What else can they do to him? "Witchita Lineman"? "Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town)"? What musical horrors can they still inflict on our young dreadlocked friend?
So let's get Paula Abdul's flub-a-dubs out of the way, first. Yes, we did hear her tell Jason Castro that she didn't like his first song but did like his second, after the guy had only sung one number. But the fault, dear Brutus, lies with the master of ceremonies. The easily confused Paula (and the less distracted other judges) had been thrown a curve by Ryan Seacrest. Out of the blue, he asked them to give a fast judgment call about the final five's first Neil Diamond song performances of the night, after he'd previously told them (and the viewing audience) he wouldn't call for opinions until each singer had done their second tune of the hour. This unexpected change up pitch came, I'm guessing, as the m.c. was stretching to fill a couple of minutes, ironically just after he'd said how "tight" the show was. Couldn't think of any other ad lib, could you Ryan?
Now, on to the horse race. Didn't it seem like the A.I. team was trying to boot off Jason Castro ? I'm thinking they were feeling guilty and vengeful that he'd survived the prior week, when this J.C. should have taken flight instead of Carly Smithson. (Letting Andrew Lloyd Webber coax her into singing "Jesus Christ Superstar" was definitely a bad idea, all around. Neither he nor the Irish immigrant lass evidentally had a clue its "sacrilegious" nature could get America's religous fundamentalists in a tizzy.)
So this week, for starters,, Jason was put in the precarious opening slot. Already a count against him. And clearly, Judge Randy was not giving up any love to the dude, declaring both "Forever In Blue Jeans" and "September Morn" as "just okay" - a major slam in Jackson lingo. Paula - once she got her notes straight and regained her composure, still liked his second song better - maybe she really is prescient - or had heard them both in rehearsal? And Simon thought Jason had made no attempt to make either song his own. Yes he did! He struggled through the low notes on "Forever" and blossomed on the high ones, in his very special sensitive way. Truth is, I actually liked his read of "September." But whatever. This guy's not going the distance. So why not off him now?
Thoroughly enjoyed Randy Jackson's explanation of why the would-be Idols had all sounded so measly and overwhelmed the night before: shows tunes have "very specific melodies". Right. It's not like pop music where you can just kind of ballpark the tune, right Randy? Dawg, that was genius - a molten hot lava bomb of an alibi for the fact that you forced them to cover the unsingable Andrew Lloyd Webber.
I also loved Ryan Seagrape's malaprop to bottomdwellers Syesha and Carly: "It's time to put these two lovely ladies out of their misery." Ah, the euthanasia strategy.
Hey Ry, we just spent two nights being tortured with Sir Andrew music. Could you put us out of our misery too?
Carly Smithson's also in the bottom two, while Jason Castro, who stank up the joint Tuesday, is safe. And after the break, we learn that it's Carly who's going home.
My own theory (beyond the suspicion that Jason's fan base might like his eyes more than his voice) is that there's a sizable portion of "Idol's" fan base that's never going to be comfortable with the lyrics of "Superstar" from "Jesus Christ Superstar."
So much for drama -- Brooke's safe.
Though she only gets to learn it after Ryan rakes her over the coals yet again for the false start.
Syesha Mercado, on the other hand, had a great night Tuesday, but she's back in the bottom group again.
They've clearly decided to belabor Brooke White's Tuesday night gaffe, in which we began her song, then stopped and started over. So far, it's been replayed during the recap (usually the recaps are of the best moments, not the worst) and now Ryan's bringing it up with Andrew Lloyd Webber, who's all sympathy.
What's weird is that Ryan claims it's the first time it's ever happened on "American Idol" -- but hasn't it happened before to Brooke?
One way or another, this is where they see the drama tonight.