By the way, happy birthday Derek. You deserve the gift of a mirror ball.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

It’s time for “American Idol” to pull a Brad Womack from “The Bachelor” and choose no one.

Go ahead and get to the final two — probably Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze, even though Casey James at least smiles and acts like it’s not torture to be there — then tell them they’re both really great people, but it’s not working out. It’s not them. It’s us.

Actually, it’s the judges, who screwed season 9 back when they chose a lousy top 24 and things just went downhill from there, especially after America dumped Alex Lambert (still love you, Mullet Boy!) and Siobhan Magnus.

I never thought he'd get this far (he certainly shouldn't have) but now that he's here, I prefer him to the others.

But if Casey can't win (and why would he) and they decide they have to give it to someone (they shouldn't), give it to Crystal.

Neither Crystal nor Lee is ready to be a decent Idol winner. Crystal still reminds me of a hippie street busker and Lee just makes me sad. Even Danny Gokey could’ve beat him last season and I never liked Danny Gokey.

Lee has little-to-no personality and if I hear a Lee song on the radio I’ll probably just wish it were by Chris Daughtry or David Cook. (Or Kris Allen. I acknowledge your existence, Kris, even if you are somehow persona non grata on Idol!)

If “American Idol” wants to salvage the worst and most boring season ever, it should make a quality control statement to the effect of “Our bad! These guys aren’t ready to hold the same title as Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. We’ll try again next time. Without Simon.”

Is that too much to ask? But if someone has to win, and it can’t be Casey, make it Crystal. She, at least, doesn’t instantly remind me of a half dozen better Idol contestants.

“Dancing with the Stars” has a very different problem. In fact, it’s the exact opposite problem: Too much talent. Nicole Scherzinger shot herself in the foot the first week, committing the cardinal sin of DWTS: She danced well. And then she made it worse for herself: She kept dancing well.

Lee DeWyze makes me almost miss Danny Gokey. Almost.

No one wants to see someone succeed! They want people to humiliate themselves, or at least talk about how nervous and awkward they feel, then have a slow progression that ends in tears of gratitude and joy and some kind of platitude like “Thank you for giving me back my smile.” (Oh, sorry, was that a real statement from Erin “Why Not Us?” Andrews?)

For some reason people are calling Nicole a professional dancer. As if The Pussycat Dolls are the Solid Gold Dancers instead of a new version of The Spice Girls. (Mel B. aka Scary Spice was a Spice Girl. And she made it to #2 on DWTS Season 5 with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, so it’s not like he hasn’t danced with alleged “pros” before.)

It drives me crazy. Because not only are the Pussycat Dolls not exactly out there practicing the Foxtrot or Viennese Waltz on stage, focusing all the “advanced dancer” hate on Nicole ignores the real issue: OLYMPIANS ALWAYS WIN. Three Olympic gold medalists have won the mirror ball in the past nine seasons: Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson.

Evan Lysacek is now in the finals. He is exactly like Kristi and Shawn in that he is INCREDIBLY BORING. Always giving the trained PR answers that are blandly positive and will offend no one. Even his partner said he can come off as “cold.” And the Dance Center guys mocked him last week by falling asleep. The judges went nuts over his vampire Paso Doble, but if you actually looked at his face in the dance, he kept defaulting to his blank expression.

Nicole is the best dancer. If she has any extra edge at all it’s that she’s dancing with Derek Hough, the best dancer and choreographer in the competition. If Derek’s sister, Julianne, returns to the show he’ll have some real competition out there.

Stop the neurotic, bickering fourth-graders!

I guess I’m really disgusted because this is Mya & Dmitry Chaplin all over again. Mya was penalized last season for being too good too soon, thereby not seeming to live up to the spirit of the competition (humiliating someone in front of millions until they are either voted off or get good enough to sob and win).

Mya & Dmitry were the most entertaining couple for the season but they lost to Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson. Because if there’s anyone out there who has no song and dance experience, it’s Mr. Showman Donny Osmond. Good call, America!

Stop the Olympians!

Seriously, vote for Nicole & Derek. They are the most exciting couple to watch. They are not boring Olympians. They do not whine and bicker every week about how they are the “underdogs” instead of focusing on, you know, dancing well. A talent show that rewards actual talent! What a refreshing concept that would be this year.

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For a stupid amount of stuff about DWTS — from recaps to top 10 lists and costume hits and misses — visit DWTSShow.com. My Nicole & Derek bias comes out there, too, but not as much as here.

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