Knowing I'd have the house entirely to myself for the first hour of Idol, I treated myself to Hostess Cupcakes--you know, two-to-a-package, chocolate iced cakes with sweet cream filling and a little swirl of white on top. It seemed fitting, given the theme of the evening. Two cupcakes, two songs. A treat for tonight--a treat from my (not-so) long-ago childhood. I guess I could have had Zingers or Twinkies, but I tend to reserve Zingers for those times when I watch airings of Charlie Brown Holiday specials, and I never have cared for Twinkies. In fact, I doubt I've had more than 3-4 Twinkies in my entire life. Anyway, I settled in my new leather chair with 2 cupcakes and a ginormous glass of milk. My plan was to nibble throughout the hour, but I sort of scarfed them down before Randy finished his initial "inittowinit" missive. The milk I saved, planning to take a sip everytime Randy said "inittowinit." Like a non-intoxicating drinking game. Because, if it were an intoxicating beverage, I would have passed out before Jacob Lusk took the stage. Sigh. I miss my drinking days sometimes...
OK, I'm stalling, or maybe I found my trip down snack cake memory lane so much more satisfying than most of what happened on the Idol stage last night. So, clinging to my cupcakes serving as a metaphor they were never meant to be, here's my take on last night.
James--you are that kind of crusty, endearing stale-ness that assures me the cakes have been on the storehouse shelf a wee bit too long. Don't get me wrong, I still think the guy is more than marginally talented, but last night was an "off" night for him. Even flames get old, dude. And, sorry, inittowinitRandy, I don't buy the concept of being emotionally in tune. If that were the case, my weepy rendition of The Winner Takes It All would have earned me a shelf full of Grammys. (Grammies?)
Scotty--you are the cupcakes themselves. Yes, in this world of fancy-pants pastries and tiny gourmet desserts, the humble Hostess cupcake prevails. I am the first to admit I've never been a Scotty fan (past posts will confirm), but I was won over last night. Maybe it's the way he finally straightened out his microphone. Maybe it's the fact that he didn't fall on his Wranglers after leaping the steps toward the judge's table during his first song. Maybe I didn't vote for you quite as often as I could have, but you were always on my mind...
Lauren--you are the sweet, creamy center. A little hidden treasure. True, a few close-ups during her second song made me think I'd lived through a time warp and was actually watching an old episode of the Mandrell sisters, but chalk that up to the hair. "Unchained Melody" is famously Simon Cowell's favorite song, and she sang itwith such vulnerability and softness, he might have cried like James.
Jacob Lusk--you are the nutrition label. Your performance is the equivalent of the nutritional value of the cupcakes. Yikes! BOTH cupcakes (because the serving size is 1). Lesson: if you're 1 person, don't sing songs recorded as a duet. If you don't have 1 Nazareth song on your ipod, don't sing their iconic hit. If we're only sending 1 contestant home, please let it be Jacob.
Haley--you are that distinctive little swirl on top. Nobody knows quite what to make of you. Without the swirl, the cupcake would taste the same, but would just be "off." Personally, I thought she stole the show, giving James good reason to cry.