All season long, Grantland Idol experts Mark Lisanti and Jay Caspian Kang will answer five very important questions after each performance show. This week, they tackle the Top 7. Wait, the Top 7 was last week? And it's Top 7 again? They really are in hell.
What the hell was going on with Colton Dixon’s hair last night?
Kang: For those who didn’t watch, Colton dyed a pinkish-red streak into his famous hair, which, prior to last night, looked like it had been sheared from the mane of a very Aryan Nation lion. I didn’t think much of the streak at first and assumed that Colty had lost his virginity, was feeling a bit vulnerable, and needed to express himself in his usual post-Avril, post–Hot Topic way. But then I got to wondering about his blood feud with Philip Phillips and his abusive relationship with Hollie Cavanagh. Was the streak some sort of blood trophy? Had he done something terrible to his less talented yet more singularly driven sister? Is there a body somewhere in Los Angeles with Colton’s DNA all over it?
All season long, Grantland Idol ultramarathoners Mark Lisanti and Jay Caspian Kang will answer five very important questions after each performance show. Welcome to Week 380! They haven't quite broken yet, but they will. They will.
I’m going to restate my question from last week. Don’t you think Skylar Laine is going to win?
Kang: Before I answer this fantastic question, I wanted to share something I noticed about Skylar. She looks like a Bush. Like if George W. put on a big red Judd wig and put on some eyeliner.
All season, Grantland Idol experts Mark Lisanti and Jay Caspian Kang will answer five very important questions after each performance episode. Jay is on assignment, and, unfortunately, he took usual standby replacement Fake Jay Kang with him as a body double for safety reasons. On such short notice, we could only book Bizarro Jay Kang for today's pinch-hitting duty. Please welcome him to Five Questions on Idol.
Now that we're down to the Top 8, we pretty much know what we're going to get from each of the contestants from week to week. So who was the best on '80s Night?
All season, Grantland Idol experts Mark Lisanti and Jay Caspian Kang will answer five very important questions after each performance episode. Though there are only nine contestants left, there is no explicit guarantee this cycle will ever end; it will probably stretch on well into 2015, just to destroy them.
It felt like there was a seismic shift in the Idol hierarchy last night. Did you feel it?
Kang: Yes! Skylar Laine rocketed past Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, and that kid who sings like Dave Matthews and always looks like he has a cattle prod shoved up in an uncomfortable place. Skylar’s now the clear favorite to win the whole durn thing. Yes, I tend to endorse any sort of conspiracy that involves Walmart and droves of teenage girls (still believe the Walton family fixed the Carrie Underwood Idol finale), but Skylar’s upward swing isn’t just some red state/blue state, flyover-whatever business. Of all the singers left in the competition, she’s the only one who doesn’t just sound like a very talented karaoke pro. Her personality and voice alone can sell albums. That’s pretty rare in Idol land and should carry her past the pubescent singing machines to victory.
All season, Grantland Idol experts Jay Caspian Kang and Mark Lisanti will answer five very important questions after each performance episode. They can hardly believe the show's been on for seven straight months, 10 hours per week; it's really flown by.
OK, we're finally at the Main Event. Thirteen left. Who was amazing?
Lisanti: I hate to come out of the gate so strong, but we've got to cut straight to J-Chez. Yesterday she was Mariah Chezzy. Today she's Whitney Chezton. Season after season, "I Will Always Love You" is always held up by the panel of inevitably underwhelmed judges as The One You Don't Dare Sing, the High-Grade Weaponized Whitney you just can't let the kids fuck around with.
After seven mind-numbing weeks of cattle-call auditions, interminable group numbers, and the sudden, shocking onset of a still-unidentified, organ-liquefying plague that left at least 15 unlucky pop-star hopefuls dead and scores more voiding the churning contents of their virus-wracked stomachs into the nearest potted plant, last night American Idol finally made its first round of audience-voted eliminations, thinning the Top 24 to a Top 13. (If you've already forgotten the new mechanics of this season, "America" decided the Top 10, and our esteemed panel of judges selected three additional "wild cards" via a Sing For Your Life performance borrowed from Cowellian upstart The X Factor.) And so, after a two-hour results show so bloated Fox had to cut away its bedroom wall and deliver its piano-sized Craftmatic directly into our DVRs with a construction crane, here are your Top 13: