"Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the [sic] rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season. I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It's been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures." —Randy Jackson to E! last night.
And with those words, delivered a few hours before last night's American Idol results show, Randy Jackson, indefatigable stalwart of all 12 seasons, tendered his resignation.
Whatever doesn't deafen you makes you stronger: Grantland's Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have returned, bowed but not broken, to tackle another season of American Idol. The boys are all gone, dead. Long live the girls.
Is Janelle doomed tomorrow?
Kang: At the start of the show, Janelle was my favorite to win it all and I still stand by my logic: She’s an attractive-but-not-threateningly-attractive girl with a good-but-not-silly-good voice who sings country without a hint of pretense. I imagined her all spangled up during glam weeks, à la Carrie Underwood singing “Alone” in Season 4, or stomping around with pigtails and screeching out the chorus to Martina McBride’s “Independence Day.” I imagined America slowly falling for this innocent girl who radiates good health and an IQ hovering right about (or slightly below) the national average.
Whatever doesn't deafen you makes you stronger: Grantland's Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have returned, bowed but not broken, to tackle another season of American Idol. Only seven contestants remain. Things are getting real.
We’re down to the Top 7, and usually at this point there’s at least one or two contestants who are primarily rock singers. This season none of them are, and they decided to go ahead and do Rock Night anyway. Is Nigel Lythgoe even watching his own show anymore, or has he switched to The Voice like the rest of America?
Whatever doesn't deafen you makes you stronger: Grantland's Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have returned, bowed but not broken, to tackle another season of American Idol. There are eight contestants and three recappers left. These numbers will change.
So, we didn’t get Motown Week this season. We got “Detroit Week.” Which was basically Motown Week with a really bad Madonna duet thrown in for good measure. Quick, name one theme that would have been better than this that Idol hasn’t done yet.
Kang: Nick Cave’s Murder Ballad Week. Devin Velez and Angie Miller could have done their version of “Where the Wild Roses Grow.”
On March 20 at 5:51 p.m. PDT, @MileyCyrus tweeted a Facebook video of a figure in a baggy unicorn onesie dancing very professionally to J. Dash's booty-friendly track "Wop." It's a mesmerizing, grainy, black-and-white clip, shot in one take, and at the very end, the figure makes a face and walks out of the frame, right after removing her hood and revealing herself to in fact be Miley Ray Cyrus herself.
Miley Cyrus is an amazing dancer. I had no idea.
This clip is unnecessarily artsy, and somehow, despite the heavy twerking on display, completely avoids being conventionally sexy, which is intriguing.
I am no longer worried about Miley Cyrus (for the time being).
Whatever doesn't deafen you makes you stronger: Grantland's Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have returned, bowed but not broken, to tackle another season of American Idol. They're in it to win it this time, at least until the tweens swoop in to break their spirit.
Why is "Somebody That I Used to Know" the Song of Death? Did it move itself into the instant retirement category in a single evening?
Yoshida: Everyone thinks they want to sing the Gotye song. Everyone thinks they can sing the Gotye song. After all, it’s got that really big chorus that fun and recognizable, and it’s on an indie label which means that the guy who sang it originally can’t have been that talented. Like, certainly no Keith Urban. So it should be easy to get the coveted “I liked that even better than the original” comment, right?
Whatever doesn't deafen you makes you stronger: Grantland's Jay Caspian Kang, Mark Lisanti, and Emily Yoshida have returned, bowed but not broken by The X Factor, to tackle another season of American Idol. Yes, it's definitely time to start worrying about them.
What are your first impressions of Judge Mariah, who is ostensibly the big draw of the season, and probably the single biggest reason Nigel Lythgoe didn't tip over one of Jennifer Lopez's 4,000 dressing room candles and let the whole thing burn?
Kang: Mariah looks like the queen cat in an ASPCA shelter. She’s got that same smug look on her face, the same sense of self-satisfaction that seems to say, “I may be old, I may be mangy, and I’m sure you’d rather adopt Nermal Minaj over there with the marigold hair and the lidless eyes, but you should have seen me play Anna Meowens in The King and I. I was beautiful back then.”
Kate Winslet & Ned Rocknroll: Kate Winslet married Ned Rocknroll, a.k.a. Richard Branson's nephew with the incredibly dumb (self-chosen) name. "Call her Mrs. Rocknroll!" I will but I won't like it! The couple of a year wed before "a small group of friends and family." Perennial bachelor Leonardo DiCaprio "walked the bride down the aisle" and shattered/stoked the dreams of a trillion Titanic fangirls. Ned is "really attracted to her mind. She's mature, and he feels he can learn so much from her. It's sexy!" Is it just me or does that sound a little bit like shade? Oh, well, wishing all the best to the Rocknrolls.
While watching the debates, and then reading the flurry of critiques that inevitably follow them, it’s hard not to let your mind wander into the realm of personal possibility: Could you have done better? Thinking about actually being president is a complicated brain-knot, and it doesn’t take too long before you decide that the math of budgets and soul-killing nature of political compromise is less fun to wonder about than, say, how you would do as the art director of a K-pop music video. The debates, however, are more manageable situations to superimpose your imaginary self into — arguing and promise-making that don’t require leaving the podium. It’s like contemplating how you’d stand up to verbal torture.
Christina Aguilera: Xtina "is still a boozing mess!" At Spago she "drank so much wine and champagne that she couldn't even walk to her car." Boyfriend Matt Rutler supported her on the way out to the car. "Christina loves to drink and has a problem with knowing when enough is enough. Matt has told Christina that she should slow down on the alcohol when they are at dinners, but she gets mad and tells him she'll do what she wants." She hates dieting and "lives off champagne and pasta. But she still believes she is healthy and doesn't think that she needs to work out." All she wants to do is drink her rosÚ!
John Mayer & Katy Perry: At a party in the Hollywood Hills a "bikini-clad Katy Perry" chilled out, "grabbed a beer and clung tightly to John Mayer in the swimming pool. They hugged each other and splashed around. They were all over each other, making out! Neither of them is exactly shy." The pair are not only hooking up, they are "officially dating," hence the lack of trying to hide it, or maybe they just realized they wouldn't be able to avoid being outed by paparazzi right quick. Whatever. Katy girl, get your roots-rock divorce rebound hump on. Just do us a big favor and tell John Mayer to stop wearing that Rolling Thunder Revue hat everywhere. We get the whole hipster Americana thing already. While Mayer has a reputation as a manipulatively romantic womanizer incapable of keeping his mouth shut or his pants on, the 34-year-old guitarist claims he has changed his evil ways and is ready to grow up. He recently told Rolling Stone, "I haven't had a girlfriend in a long time. Now I feel like I'm extremely open to love." I'm sure Taylor Swift is thrilled to hear that.
Reality TV is in trouble. The Situation is in rehab, America’s alcoholism mascot Snooki is pregnant, and there are only two shows left on the air worthy of inclusion in the GRTFL. With this in mind, I’ve decided to change it up this week and take you with me on my deep dive into the creepy/scary triple-digit section of your channel guide in search of new shows to celebrate in future columns. I spent the whole week sifting through endless hours of hoarding, cooking, rehabbing, building, destroying, partying, arguing, driving, swamping, dancing, parenting, storing, eating, puking, and RuPauling in an attempt at finding a digital nugget of reality TV gold. To be honest, I enjoyed the shit out of it. It was so exhilarating/depressing, I decided that every week I will go in on at least one new show and share with you my thoughts on it.
(Okay, fine, I probably won’t do this every week because I’m lazy and will forget that I even wrote this. I apologize in advance.)
In the interest of gaining closure on one of the more absurd Oscar storylines we'd been tracking, and assuming (hoping, really?) that you didn't make the mistake of tuning in to the red carpet coverage to watch Ryan Seacrest psychically discern the designer of every starlet's dress (with near 100% accuracy!), we note that Sacha Baron Cohen did, in fact, show up in full Wadiyan strongman regalia and earn the free publicity for The Dictator he and Paramount so doggedly sought. Congratulations?
Mindy Kaling will co-produce an animated series for NBC alongside Greg Daniels, her boss at The Office, which revolves around a girls’ high school volleyball team. She’ll also voice a character. Meanwhile, Daniels is also teaming up with Alan Yang, a writer on his other show Parks & Recreation, for an animated show about a group of bros living in the L.A. neighborhood Hancock Park. Apparently hit-starved NBC is hoping Daniels, who co-created the long running King of the Hill, can churn out some animated stalwarts. And if this doesn’t work, next up for the always-game, sort-of desperate network? Probably shows where dogs drive cars. Grade: A [Deadline]
The Clash of the Titans sequel, Wrath of the Titans, opens March of next year, but Warner Bros. is already planning a third installment. Two of Wrath’s co-writers, Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson, have been hired to whip up a treatment that will again focus on Sam Worthington’s Perseus. A name for the movie is far from being confirmed, although producers are rumored to really be leaning toward Kitty Litter Tray of the Titans. Grade: C [HR]