March 24, 2005
yeah, you might've noticed (at least I hope someone
did!) that I didn't do this little column last
week. Between still being ill and having a BIG project at work,
I just didn't have enough time to get this thing
written. And it shows, considering the column fell
to 12th place last week. Let's turn that around
with two weeks' worth of thoughts, and some overly
comprehensive analysis of "American Idol"s
first two finals weeks.
The Week That Was
On "American Idol"
off, this will be the first (and probably only) week
that my 'picks' are going to actually be available and
public knowledge before the results show
This is because of the now
well-publicized-but-missed-by-many snafu where three
contestants (Mikalah Gordon, Anwar Robinson, and Jessica
Sierra) had two different phone numbers placed on the
screen during the end-of-show recap. Click
here for screen grabs of the mess-up.
First off, this season is totally up for grabs at
this point, as you'll see through my rankings
momentarily. And my prediction in this space of a
very good chance of an all-guy final is up for debate
Let's start by recapping where the Top 12 stood, in my
mind, before the finals started:
So, of the Top 12, based on my
rankings, here's how they rate:
Anwar Robinson (tied for third)
1 of the finals was the always-rough '60s Week.
And the top performers didn't disappoint. Bo
Bice's spirited performance of "Spinning
Wheel" rocked the house; while Nadia Turner
showed her talent on "You Don't Have to Say You
Love Me." The darkhorse of the night was
rocker Constantine Maroulis, who soundly saved himself
from elimination with his rendition of "You've
Made Me So Very Happy."
The weakest four performances came down
from Mikalah Gordon ("Son of a Preacher
Man"), Anthony Fedorov ("Breaking Up Is Hard
to Do"), Lindsey Cardinale ("Knock on
Wood"), and, surprisingly, Jessica Sierra
("Shop Around"). Three of those four --
Gordon, Cardinale, and Sierra -- turned out to be the
bottom three last week. And Cardinale...my
#10...was eliminated by the viewers.
Move forward to Week 2 -- one of the best
weeks of American Idol we've seen in a long time (if
ever) this early in the competition. There were
six solid performances, and five that were a bit
iffier. And my rankings did the biggest shuffle
and tightening of the four seasons I've been doing
Here's where the Idol finalists stand --
in my book, only -- following Week 2:
"Billboard Number Ones." Note that
consistency matters...that's why some contestants are
ranked so surprisingly high at this early stage.
Wow. The top ten just seven points
apart. It's anybody's competition. Given
how close it is, it's almost impossible to pick a
bottom three...I'd say two of those three will be
Mikalah and, surprisingly, Nadia. The
third? Who knows. Especially with everyone
getting two chances to see the performances.
As for next week, expect Bo to move back up to at
least second, unless Vonzell can really do as well as
she did this week. I've not been a big fan of
hers up until now, but her performance Tuesday was
overall excellent. Carrie's performance of
"Alone" might have been the best thing I've
seen on Idol since Kelly Clarkson.
So we'll see what happens.
Also, even though the rest of the GSNN gang has
already given plenty of great analysis on Mario
Vazquez quitting Idol, let me say this. Sean (P.
Diddy) Combs' statement today, when asked if Vazquez
had been signed or will be signed to Combs' record
label, was telling, basically saying he couldn't say
anything about it at this time. (In other words,
not denying it.) Admittedly, some of the
contract details for the AI winner are rough. But I
just hope Vazquez didn't decide to quit just to get a
better opportunity. If -- and I do say if
-- he did, his decision runs the risk of making Idol
irrelevant, if contestants can just use the show as a
temporary springboard, and then quit before it's over.
On "The Apprentice"
John needed to go week before last, and he did.
I've read a brief preview of this week's show (airing
the night of this column's publication). Chris
should be the next to go, in my opinion. He's
already on Trump's bad side -- for obvious
reasons. This week's task -- a
do-it-yourself-workshop, should be interesting.
Let's hope the Apprentices are better at home
improvement than ad campaigns.
had a whopping three episodes of
"Survivor" since the last time I wrote this
column (since the series made its temporary move to
Two weeks ago, the Ulong tribe continued their
unprecedented losing streak. And they mercifully
voted off Kim, unanimously. Kim and the other
Ulong women were the only reason Ulong even had a chance
to win the immunity challenge, "Sumo at
Sea." Their disorganization showed when
they couldn't even elect a representative for the
reward challenge. For their own sakes, the best
thing that could happen is to put Ulong out of their
But that didn't happen last week either.
Instead, there was just one challenge -- for
reward. Not surprisingly, Koror won again.
But in the first of a series of twists -- both tribes
had to vote someone off. Koror chose to vote off
its weakest link first: Willard. Simply
put, he couldn't keep up with the rest of his tribe,
and only made it as long as he did because his tribe
never went to Tribal Council.
Then the rest of Koror received its reward -- a big ol'
meal. And in a sick twist, Ulong had to watch
them eat it while they went through Tribal Council
themselves -- for the fifth time in a
row. Ulong's Angie couldn't even watch them eat
-- but she should have, because they would be her
final views of Pulau...she got voted out in a
second-vote tiebreaker, after tying with Bobby
Because of the press time of this column, last night's
episode (3/23) won't be included this week.
We'll analyze that, and who's next to go...next
On "The Amazing Race"
week's "Amazing Race" featured the first
thing I couldn't watch...and the first thing several
teams couldn't do. Faced with eating four pounds
of meat, Rob decided to quit the Roadblock and take a four-hour
penalty. The ingenious part was that Rob &
Amber talked other teams into doing the same thing --
thus guaranteeing that they wouldn't be last.
Friends Debbie & Bianca were the last team to
Rob & Amber's dirty little tricks continued both
last week, and this week, when mother & son team
Susan & Patrick (who were early favorites of mine,
but Patrick's whining pretty much turned me off to
them) were eliminated. But they weren't the only
ones playing dirty.
The possible true villains of this season...Ray &
Deana...convinced Gretchen & Meredith to go the
wrong way in the Detour, almost costing them their
chance to stay in the Race.
Next week...two legs of the race and plenty of
injuries. If you don't like blood, don't watch.
More next week.
The opinions expressed in InSites are those of the
author only, and do not represent the opinions of any
other person, organization, or entity. Jason
Elliott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opinions expressed in InSites do not necessarily reflect those
held by Game Show Newsnet as a whole.