"American Idol" Top Eight Elimination - April 10, 2008
After "Idol Gives Back" Ryan says we return to business as usual, and cues the opening credits.
Ryan says that although "Idol Gives Back" is over, there are even more guests and surprises in store tonight. He intros the judges and throws to a recap of "Idol Gives Back."
And oh my, It is an exhaustive recap with snippets of: The opening dance, Snoop and Charlie, Mariah and Randy, Ben Stiller and his "googillion" silliness, Robin Williams' "Russian Idol" silliness, Jimmy Kimmel's Simon-skewering silliness, Fergie's cartwheels, Miley Cyrus in action, Teri and the Band From TV, Carrie singing George Michael... phew!...Brad Pitt's heat, the Idol's amble through "Seasons of Love," Annie Lennox's stellar "Many Rivers to Cross," and clips from all of the video packages of adorable children whom the show will hopefully benefit.
In addition to that, tonight's filler comes from pledge breaks and video packages that weren't included in last night's show.
-A group of celebrities, some of whom we saw last night, some that we didn't, lip synch-ing and doing goofy dances to the Monkees' "I'm a Believer." Included in the group: Ginger and Baby Spice, Eddie Izzard, Selma Blair, Camryn Manheim, Kylie Minogue, Kobe Bryant, Cheryl Hines, Emily Proctor, Dr. Phil McGraw, Ricki Lake.
-Return visits to Africa with Forest Whittaker and Bono.
-Bono's introduction of the three presidential candidate clips. Clinton and Obama are pretty straight with their whole "we can change the world, 'Idol' is setting a good example" message, and McCain does the same but throws in a lame "Idol" vs. Michigan/Florida voting joke.
Ryan announces that the show has so far raised $60 million and that the phone lines are still open and iTunes downloads are still available. Six "Idol Gives Back"-related performances are in the video top ten and the show opener is at number one.
Group Sing: The Idols reprise their version of "Shout to the Lord" complete with blue-robed gospel choir. They've doffed their angelic white outfits and are wearing their regular styles.
Leftover pledge break: Zack and Cody (Dylan and Cole Sprouse) from Disney's "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" make an appearance.
31 million votes came in and Ryan starts the breakdown between the plush couches of safety vs. the shiny stools of doom
In a twist, the first five people who come out: Brooke White, David Cook, David Archuleta, Jason Castro and Kristy Lee Cook. They are all safe, which means...
The Bottom Three: Carly Smithson, Michael Johns, Syesha Mercado.
Before throwing to a break Ryan asks, "But who will have the lowest number of votes?" Carly raises her hand.
In a pre-taped segment, Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown perform "No Air." She's rocking a superhot black dress and, although they both appear to be singing live, there are definitely loud vocal backing tracks playing. The ladies in the pit love Chris Brown.
When the song concludes Ryan says he has a surprise for Jordin and three little kids come on and present her with plaques commemorating one million dowloads of "Tattoo" and "No Air" respectively, and a gold record (500,000 copies sold) for her debut album. This, says Ryan, proves that "'American Idol' works."
Pledge break: Michael Chiklis!
Ford Commercial: As they sing "I Just Want to Celebrate," the kids are throwing brightly colored paint around in a levee which Carly and Kristy careen through sloppily in a Ford Focus. At the end, the car remains miraculously clean but their slipping and sliding has created a mural of the earth.
Pledge break: Jim Carrey!
We get back to the bottom three and Randy finds it pretty surprising. Paula thinks America got it partly right but doesn't say which part and Simon concludes that America is finally agreeing with him.
Ryan goes through the assessment with each and Carly is shaking her head like she knows the jig is up. Except it's not -- she and Syesha are safe and Michael Johns - who looks about as stunned [and a little angry] as the slack-jawed members of the audience (some of whom start to boo) is going home.
It was his first time in the bottom three. Ouch.
He admits to Ryan that he is surprised to be going home because he figured with all that blather about the American dream last night he'd get some of that Kristy Lee Cook patriotism vote. OK, not that last part. But he is surprised.
Ruben celebrates him home as we are treated to his journey.
Potential painful quote from along the journey: "I can honestly say I never wanted something so bad in my life."
Michael gets the typical I-love-you-you're-going-to-be-a-big-star send-off from Randy and Paula. Simon digs one last time that even though he picked the wrong song, he's going to miss Michael because he's a very good singer and a very nice guy.
Over on the couches of safety, Carly cries and hugs Syesha.
Sing Out: Michael "Dream (s) On" one more time, without assistance from the now Top 7. He doesn't go for the high notes tonight but it's a strong final moment.