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Camp Should-A-Been - Season Ten

Camp Should-A-Been

Goodness gracious, it's such a beautiful day, isn't it? Everything here at Camp Should-A-Been seems so shiny and new – swell new judges, brightly painted cabins, a completely remodeled ampitheater, and of course, 24 adorable young contestants with big smiles and freshly scrubbed faces who are just rarin' to go out on that stage and sing their little hearts out, 'cause they're all In It To Win It™!! Yes, CSAB fans, it's true: this year, we've discovered an entirely new way to nauseate you, and which doesn't even involve meatloaf. 19E decided to ramp up both the talent and saccharine levels for Season 10, and the result was a three-month judges' lovefest...but mercifully wrapped around one of Idol's strongest and highest-quality competitions ever. Now that the happy pills have mostly worn off, come join us as we see whether teen sensation Scotty McCreery can hold on to his crown, or whether cute Lauren Alaina, late-blooming Haley Reinhart, hard-rocking James Durbin or any of the other Tenners can dethrone him as our AI10 replay gets underway. Insulin not included.

Results

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Top 24 Guys (Open)

Performance Web Rating Result
A House Is Not A Home0000A House Is Not A Home
90
 
2Safe
I Put A Spell On You0000I Put A Spell On You
88
 
2Safe
You've Got Another Thing Comin'0000You've Got Another Thing Comin'
83
 
2Safe
Maggie May0000Maggie May
70
 
2Safe
Letters From Home0000Letters From Home
65
 
2Safe
Light My Fire0000Light My Fire
47
 
5Wild Card
Just The Way You Are0000Just The Way You Are
43
 
5Wild Card
Angel0000Angel
38
 
7Eliminated
Superstition0000Superstition
35
 
7Eliminated
Streetcorner Symphony0000Streetcorner Symphony
27
 
7Eliminated
I'll Be0000I'll Be
25
 
7Eliminated
OMG0000OMG
5
 
7Eliminated

Holy Cowcrappamoley, we hardly recognize this place! Flush with cash from a successful TV season plus a summer concert tour that's actually selling tickets instead of earplugs, 19E decided to spruce up Camp Should-A-Been a bit. We unlocked the gates this morning to find all sorts of goodies: neatly landscaped gardens, air conditioners and flat-screens in the bunkrooms, and even a state-of-the-art sound system at the ampitheater. Better still, we also found all 254 former American Idol contestants waiting for us, unlike last summer when those rats all went AWOL. Evidently, 19E did some sprucing up on their contract attorneys, too.

Oh well, duty calls so we'll check out the new toys later. Since we're running a day late already, we figured we'd better get the Season Ten replay started pronto. We kicked off the night with a warm welcome to rookie judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. (Steven: "This $%^&*# place is #$*%^& fantastic!") Then, we sent all 24 contestants on stage to sing their first songs simultaneously, with six randomly-selected kids told to segue straight into their Wild Card performances without pausing for breath, followed by giving the judges ten seconds to make their Final 13 selections. We had the semifinals over and done with in four minutes flat. That left us plenty of time to head over to the Rec Cabin, grab a few beers and catch the Phillies game on ESPN-HD, and...uh, what's that Mr. Fuller? Those semis were too fast even by AI10's standards? Okay, okay - geez, you don't have to yell.

So, reluctantly, we trudged back to the theater and held a more conventional Top 24 Guys episode. Oh, how exciting, the same five contestants advanced to the Finals as in real life: Jacob Lusk (with the new season's first 'showstopper' 90), Casey Abrams, James Durbin, Paul McDonald, and Scotty McCreery. Stefano Langone earned another Wild Card callback, joined by our first holdover of the summer, Brett Loewenstern. Leaving us on the renovated Bus Of Shame (air conditioning, closed-circuit HBO and Showtime, free Wi-Fi) were Clint Jun Gamboa, Tim Halperin, Jordan Dorsey, and original Wild Card invitees Robbie Rosen and Jovany Barreto, except Dorsey's "OMG" was so bad we made him ride in the luggage compartment and didn't give him the WEP key. Serves him right. Okay, we're done...now, what inning is it?

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Top 24 Girls (Open)

Performance Web Rating Result
I'll Stand By You0000I'll Stand By You
93
 
2Safe
Out Here On My Own0000Out Here On My Own
85
 
2Safe
Seven Day Fool0000Seven Day Fool
79
 
2Safe
Turn On The Radio0000Turn On The Radio
75
 
2Safe
Summertime0000Summertime
62
 
2Safe
Hero0000Hero
54
 
5Wild Card
Impossible0000Impossible
51
 
5Wild Card
Fallin'0000Fallin'
47
 
5Wild Card
Love All Over Me0000Love All Over Me
41
 
5Wild Card
Criminal0000Criminal
23
 
7Eliminated
Breakaway0000Breakaway
19
 
7Eliminated
Only Girl (In The World)0000Only Girl (In The World)
9
 
7Eliminated

At breakfast today, we saw Casey Abrams and Crystal Bowersox walking out of the Mess Hall together, chatting amiably with big smiles on their faces. Now hold on one cotton-picking minute. Nobody leaves a meal at Camp Should-A-Been smiling! Heck, almost nobody leaves walking – they're usually either sprinting to the restrooms or crawling on all fours. And certainly not those two, whose digestive systems caused them to be rushed to the hospital so often during their Idol tenures that they qualified for city commuter subsidies. What's going on now?

We entered the Mess Hall and nearly passed out, but not for the usual reasons. The place was spotless. There were tablecloths and polished silverware and wine glasses and other nauseating trappings of civilization. George Huff was the master chef; we saw him and sous chef Kris Allen in the open-air kitchen cheerily making omeletes. Maitre D' Ruben Studdard asked us how many were in our party and politely escorted us to a table for three, right next to Steven Tyler, who was having the meatloaf. ("This stuff is $%^&*# delicious! I gotta get the #$*%^& recipe!") Ryan Seacrest brought us the wine list, and Kellie Pickler roller-skated to our table to take our orders, at which point we ran out of the place screaming.

We still hadn't stopped twitching when the Top 24 Girls took the stage after dinner. Sanjaya Malakar sang the national anthem in several different keys, earning a standing ovation from the judges. Come to think of it, all twelve girls earned standing ovations too, and David Archuleta and Aaron Kelly presented each with a bouquet of roses as they left the stage. Well, at least Pia Toscano earned it; her Pretenders debut earned a massive 93 rating from the Idolsphere to rate as one of the best-liked Idol performances ever. Thia Megia also reached 5-stars and Lauren Turner just missed; however, to no one's surprise, she easily earned the chair in the Finals that she was inexplicably denied in March. Rounding out the Top 5 were defending runner-up Lauren Alaina and Naima Adedapo. Four ladies were invited to tomorrow's Wild Card showdown, but it came at a potential cost to Haley Reinhart. She's a shoo-in to advance, of course, but it will require her to use her first projected rating early – that could come back to haunt her if she survives to the Finale.

Wednesday, June 22th, 2011

Wild Card (Open)

Performance Web Rating Result
I Need You Now0000I Need You Now
82
 
2Safe
Georgia On My Mind0000Georgia On My Mind
78
 
2Safe
Medley: Dominique / Sukiyaki / 99 Luftballons / Volare0000Medley: Dominique / Sukiyaki / 99 Luftballons / Volare
49
 
2Safe
Hair0000Hair
43
 
7Eliminated
I Believe In A Thing Called Love0000I Believe In A Thing Called Love
43
 
7Eliminated
And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going0000And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
41
 
7Eliminated

We look tired today, you say? Brilliant observation, Sherlock. You'd be tired too if Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler had led two hundred eager, vocally-trained campers in a singalong outside your bedroom window until 3 AM. We're not entirely convinced that Tyler really knew the lyrics to all the songs ("Someone's $%^&*# laughing, Lord, Kum-Ba-$%^&*#-Yah!"), but we are sure that if we don't figure out a way to turn this place back to normal soon, we're going to go stark raving mad by the weekend.

At least tonight's show gave us ample opportunities for some much-needed snark. First though, let us refresh your memory on how we handle Wild Card replays here at Camp Should-a-Been. If a contestant sang in the real life episode, he or she must reprise their original performance to its actual rating – that part is simple. However, contestants who weren't in the Wild Card show require projected ratings, which are based solely on their semifinal performances to date. Which means that Finals performances are not considered. Which is how we've always done it around here. Which, uh, kind of sucks this time because it means Haley Reinhart is out. More on this in a minute.

Stefano Langone and newcomer Kendra Chantelle advanced easily into the Final 13 thanks to their excellent real-life numbers. Karen Rodriguez, whose Idol forté was to sing a verse of each performance in Spanish, decided that she wasn't taking any chances tonight: she rattled off songs in one world language after another until we begged for mercy and told her she'd made it through. Reinhart pulled out all the hard-rock stops, including pyrotechnics, fake blood, and her entire extended family onstage as her backup band (note to posterity: Grandma R. can lay down some bad-ass riffs on her axe.) Alas, not only was it not enough, she actually finished a tenth of a point behind Brett Howardstern, or whatever his name was. Bringing up the rear was original 13th-place finisher Ashthon Jones, tohnight's finahl pahssengher on the Buhs Of Shamhe.

The early departure of Reinhart makes this summer's already wide-open race even more unpredictable. Incidentally, the rationale for using semifinal ratings exclusively for the Wild Card round is because the CSAB charter is to replay the competition one episode at a time, without any prejudicial knowledge of what came afterwards. In past seasons, this has produced very satisfactory results. This year, not so much. Still, keep in mind that at the time of the real-life episode, Reinhart had turned in the 13th-strongest semifinal performance – 14th, actually, since Loewenstern was fractionally above her, too. Lesson: here at Camp Should-A-Been, late bloomers often fare very well...provided they don't start blooming too late.

The CSAB Final 13 for Season Ten are:

  • Casey Abrams
  • Naima Adedapo
  • Lauren Alaina
  • Kendra Chantelle
  • James Durbin
  • Stefano Langone
  • Jacob Lusk
  • Scotty McCreery
  • Paul McDonald
  • Thia Megia
  • Karen Rodriguez
  • Pia Toscano
  • Lauren Turner

Newcomers in italics. Failing to qualify: Ashthon Jones and Haley Reinhart (but, oh yes, we'll certainly keep an eye out the next couple weeks for what might have happened had Reinhart gone through.) See you tomorrow night when the Finals commence.

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Final 13 (Personal Idol)

Performance Web Rating Result
All By Myself0000All By Myself
84
 
2Safe
Maybe I'm Amazed0000Maybe I'm Amazed
78
 
2Safe
If You Had My Love *0000If You Had My Love *
72
 
2Safe
With A Little Help From My Friends0000With A Little Help From My Friends
71
 
2Safe
The River0000The River
65
 
2Safe
I Believe I Can Fly0000I Believe I Can Fly
59
 
2Safe
Dream On *0000Dream On *
59
 
2Safe
Lately0000Lately
52
 
2Safe
Any Man Of Mine0000Any Man Of Mine
49
 
2Safe
Umbrella0000Umbrella
43
 
2Safe
Come Pick Me Up0000Come Pick Me Up
41
 
4Bottom Group
Smile0000Smile
34
 
4Bottom Group
I Could Fall In Love0000I Could Fall In Love
28
 
7Eliminated

"That was flawless singing! You're definitely in it to win it!" crowed Randy. "Just beautiful," added J-Lo, dabbing tears from her eyes as she spoke, adding "I feel like I'm already at one of your concerts." "#$*%^& ^$*#%-ity #@^$&% !!!" yelled Steven, though that might have been because he stubbed his toe on a tree stump.

Were our trio of judges raving about Pia Toscano's outstanding 84 approval rating on "All By Myself"? Er, not exactly. That's what they said after Karen Rodriguez's performance, all 28 points of it. This despite the fact that Rodriguez had sung it in Esperanto, so nobody at the ampitheater had any clue what the hell she was saying. The critiques got progressively more fawning from there until Toscano took the stage, at which point Randy began speaking in tongues, J-Lo collapsed sobbing onto the floor, and Steven spontaneously combusted, setting off the sprinkler system. (*Sigh*) This is going to be a long summer.

Still, though we weren't quite moved to self-immolate ourselves, we had to admit this was a really good episode. Eight of the 13 finalists scored above 50, and Lauren Alaina missed by only a point. The singing was so strong that Paul McDonald wound up in the Bottom Three despite a 3-star rating. Holdovers Kendra Chantelle and Lauren Turner both advanced easily, though we find their choices of Personal Idol to be a bit less than sincere, perhaps. Oh well, a little bit of judicious brown-nosing rarely hurts. Rodriguez was eliminated, but her problems only started there, because instead of New York, Bus Of Shame driver Jason Castro dropped her off in downtown Nome, Alaska. Moral: never give someone driving directions in Esperanto.

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Final 12 (Year You Were Born)

Performance Web Rating Result
Where Do Broken Hearts Go0000Where Do Broken Hearts Go
78
 
2Safe
If You Don't Know Me By Now0000If You Don't Know Me By Now
75
 
2Safe
I'm The Only One0000I'm The Only One
69
 
2Safe
Walk Like An Egyptian *0000Walk Like An Egyptian *
65
 
2Safe
I'll Be There For You0000I'll Be There For You
62
 
2Safe
Every Rose Has Its Thorn *0000Every Rose Has Its Thorn *
53
 
2Safe
Can I Trust You With My Heart0000Can I Trust You With My Heart
49
 
2Safe
Alone0000Alone
47
 
2Safe
Smells Like Teen Spirit0000Smells Like Teen Spirit
39
 
2Safe
Colors Of The Wind0000Colors Of The Wind
38
 
4Bottom Group
I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues0000I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
26
 
4Bottom Group
What's Love Got To Do With It0000What's Love Got To Do With It
14
 
7Eliminated

The annual Camp Should-A-Been craft show was held today, and although the misshapen clay pots, oblong pine cone wreaths, and comically bad wood carvings were no better than in previous years...well, you guessed it. Pollyanna, Pollyrandy, and Pottymouthy couldn't stop raving about them. They were particularly enamored with a blue ceramic ashtray in the shape of the American Idol logo, but no camper took credit for making it. That was odd. (Incidentally, Siobhan Magnus won the grand prize for her 500:1 scale, hand-blown crystal replica of Fenway Park, circa 1975, with a tiny glass Carlton Fisk waving his famous home run fair. Show-off.)

Nobody reached five stars on the evening's Year You Were Born replay. Pia Toscano notched the top rating for her third consecutive outing, with Stefano Langone not far behind. Still, there were a few low points tonight. Multi-instrumentalist Casey Abrams reprised "Smells Like Teen Spirit" while accompanying himself on tuba. Paul McDonald's vibrato-heavy version of "Blues" got several goats from the petting zoo unnaturally excited. And, Naima Adedapo produced the first one-star performance of the Finals with her ska spin on the Tina Turner classic. None of this slowed down the judges' effusive praise one iota, of course; in fact, they spent most of the night flipping through a dog-eared copy of Roget's Thesaurus pulling out synonyms for "magnificent", with Steven finding a few interesting ones for "#@^$&%", too. Sheesh.

But as the curtain came down on Adedapo's sing-out, a mysterious, shadowy figure appeared in the wings. Taking a drag from his cigarette and flicking it into the brush, he intoned in a British baritone, "Those were the sort of performances I would expect to find in a Portuguese cabaret!" And with that, he disappeared silently into the woods. Who could it be? Well, we can probably rule out Smokey The Bear....

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Final 11 (Motown)

Performance Web Rating Result
Living For The City0000Living For The City
84
 
2Safe
All In Love Is Fair0000All In Love Is Fair
75
 
2Safe
You're All I Need To Get By0000You're All I Need To Get By
72
 
2Safe
You Keep Me Hangin' On0000You Keep Me Hangin' On
70
 
2Safe
I Wish It Would Rain *0000I Wish It Would Rain *
59
 
2Safe
The Tracks Of My Tears0000The Tracks Of My Tears
54
 
2Safe
Quicksand *0000Quicksand *
48
 
2Safe
For Once In My Life0000For Once In My Life
48
 
2Safe
I Heard It Through The Grapevine0000I Heard It Through The Grapevine
44
 
4Bottom Group
Heat Wave0000Heat Wave
35
 
4Bottom Group
Hello0000Hello
26
 
7Eliminated

Saturdays are usually our day off at Camp Should-A-Been, but because we got started a day late this summer, we're putting in a little overtime this first week. The buzz around the campground today centered around the enigmatic man with the British accent who appeared at the end of last night's replay, offering some unexpectedly trenchant commentary on the night's performances. Our crack team of disciplinary counselors, Rocco, Viktor and Serge, undertook a thorough search of the area, but found precious little in the way of clues: only a tight black pullover shirt, a gold cufflink engraved with the initials "S.C.", and sixteen pocket mirrors of various shapes and sizes. Oh, and Simon Cowell walked into the Mess Hall at lunchtime today and announced, "It was I, you imbeciles!" before storming out. But have no fear: we'll get to the bottom of this yet!

For once, Pia Toscano didn't post the highest rating of the night when we held the Motown replay. She, Jacob Lusk, and Lauren Alaina all turned in fine 4-star numbers, but this time it was James Durbin leading the way with an excellent 84. Afterwards, we presented Durbin with a plaque for having delivered a milestone performance: American Idol's one billionth Stevie Wonder cover. Most of the other contestants were decent enough, with holdovers Lauren Turner and Kendra Chantelle choosing a pair of songs that highlighted their experiences at CSAB thus far. Thia Megia was in the Bottom Three for the third time in as many Finals episodes, but she survived yet again. That's because Stefano Langone foolishly said "Hello" and we couldn't say "goodbye" fast enough. We had David Cook escort him to the Bus Of Shame while explaining why that might have been the worst song choice of the 2011 season.

But before the Bus could leave, our Mystery Brit made another sudden appearance: he said the remaining ten contestants reminded him of the cast of a dreadful theme park variety show. He also passed out autographed 8-by-10 color glossies of himself, along with trifold brochures advertising the upcoming debut of The X-Factor this fall, before strolling back into the woods. It's gotta be Paula, doesn't it?

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Final 10 (Elton John)

Performance Web Rating Result
Candle In The Wind0000Candle In The Wind
81
 
2Safe
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting0000Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
71
 
2Safe
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me0000Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
69
 
2Safe
Your Song0000Your Song
69
 
2Safe
Country Comfort0000Country Comfort
56
 
2Safe
Border Song *0000Border Song *
54
 
2Safe
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word0000Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
53
 
2Safe
Tiny Dancer *0000Tiny Dancer *
44
 
4Bottom Group
Daniel0000Daniel
41
 
4Bottom Group
Rocket Man0000Rocket Man
39
 
7Eliminated

Obvious signs of strain could be seen around Camp Should-A-Been today. Our campers, after a week of nothing but sweetness and praise, were clearly rattled by the unvarnished, no-holds-barred critiques of the anonymous British interloper. At today's volleyball tournament, for instance, Justin Guarini and Taylor Hicks had a brief, slightly testy exchange over whether one of Guarini's serves was out or in, as well as whose post-Idol career tanked the fastest. Then at dinner, LaToya London asked Melinda Doolittle to pass the salt, and Doolittle made her say "please" first. Look, "strain" is relative.

Meanwhile, we summoned our extraordinarily easy-to-please judges to the Head Counselors' cabin and asked them, pretty please, to start earning their bloated paychecks by offering some constructive criticism to the Season Ten contestants. Alas, it was to no avail. During tonight's Elton John replay, they compared Lauren Alaina to Ella Fitzgerald, Jacob Lusk to Enrico Caruso, and Pia Toscano to Andrea Bocelli, whom Steven mistakenly thought was a girl. To be fair, though, even our mystery critic had a hard time finding much fault with tonight's performances. The average rating was nearly 58, with Alaina reaching a fifth star for the first time in the competition. Kendra Chantelle's fourth projected rating dropped her into the Bottom Three, suggesting that her solid run was nearing its end. Thia Megia joined her, but for the fourth time in as many Finals episodes, she lived to tell the tale. That's because Paul McDonald was the only contestant who failed to reach 3-stars, albeit by just one point. We sent him rocketing back to Alabama on the Space Shuttle of Shame.

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Final 9 (Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame)

Performance Web Rating Result
River Deep, Mountain High0000River Deep, Mountain High
86
 
2Safe
That's All RIght0000That's All RIght
73
 
2Safe
While My Guitar Gently Weeps0000While My Guitar Gently Weeps
72
 
2Safe
Have You Ever Seen The Rain0000Have You Ever Seen The Rain
65
 
2Safe
A Natural Woman0000A Natural Woman
62
 
2Safe
Tom Sawyer *0000Tom Sawyer *
49
 
2Safe
Nights In White Satin *0000Nights In White Satin *
42
 
4Bottom Group
Man In The Mirror0000Man In The Mirror
41
 
4Bottom Group
Colour My World *0000Colour My World *
40
 
7Eliminated

"Yours was a totally indulgent performance," he sniffed at one devastated camper. "A complete and utter mess," he told another. "Not only aren't you living up to your early potential," he sharply informed a third, "but you're sitting in my seat!" Randy Jackson, needless to say, appeared crestfallen at this. Yes, after three days of insulting the singers, the secretive English talent critic trained his guns tonight on our panel of judges, and he held nothing back. All of our best efforts to unearth his identity have failed. Oh, sure, he produced a passport from the U.K. in the name of Simon Phillip Cowell, plus notarized fingerprints and a retina scan, and then there was the positive DNA report, and did we mention he had Il Divo and Leona Lewis following him around the campgrounds? But aside from all that circumstantial evidence, nothing conclusive has turned up....

Our nine surviving contestants, meanwhile, continued to step up their games. Nobody fell below three stars on our Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame replay. Pia Toscano reprised her 86-rated triumph on "River Deep, Mountain High", except this time without the plane ticket home from the voters. Toscano's projected ratings begin tomorrow night, and it will be very interesting to see how long they'll keep the highest-rated contestant of AI's first 10 seasons here at Camp Should-A-Been. Coming in second place tonight is defending champ Scotty McCreery, who has otherwise been keeping such a low profile this summer that several campers have mistaken him for the pizza delivery boy. At least he's earning good money in tips. To express our deep contempt for Cleveland's infamous Mistake By The Lake, we had our three holdover contestants perform songs by superstar artists who not only have been snubbed for the Hall, but haven't even been granted the courtesy of being put up for a vote yet. It was close, but Jacob Lusk slipped past Kendra Chantelle by one point, thus ending her stay at CSAB in ninth place. She took the Bus Of Shame back to Tennessee...via Chicago, of course.

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Final 8 (Songs From The Movies)

Performance Web Rating Result
Let's All Go To The Lobby *0000Let's All Go To The Lobby *
73
 
2Safe
Heavy Metal0000Heavy Metal
71
 
2Safe
The Climb0000The Climb
63
 
2Safe
Cross My Heart0000Cross My Heart
47
 
2Safe
Bridge Over Troubled Water0000Bridge Over Troubled Water
45
 
2Safe
I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke *0000I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke *
44
 
4Bottom Group
Popcorn *0000Popcorn *
38
 
4Bottom Group
Nature Boy0000Nature Boy
37
 
7Eliminated

Don't let Thia Megia's sweet and innocent outward appearance fool you. As we've learned this past week at Camp Should-A-Been, the little daredevil is a heck of a lot closer to Girls Gone Wild than Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. She never waits an hour after a meal before she goes swimming. At craft hour, she runs with scissors. She saves her most death-defying feats for the ampitheater, however. Every night since the Finals began, five times in all, she'd sung herself into the Bottom Three. All five times, she somehow escaped the axe. In the music world, Megia's astounding high-wire act of unlikely sustained survival is topped only by Keith Richards.

Make that six nights running. In a surreal Songs From The Movies replay, we witnessed several moments that left us shaking our heads. For one, the highest-rated performance of the show was on a projected rating: Pia Toscano's 73. For another, only two other contestants broke par...one covering Sammy Hagar, and the other Miley Cyrus. Then there was Jacob Lusk, who chose to sing Bridge Over Troubled Water in a gospel arrangement, as if that had never been done before. (And while we're on the subject, why in blazes do AI choirs always have to wear purple? Don't choir gowns come in any other colors? But we digress.) All three of our holdover contestants had a little trouble comprehending the theme, though we ultimately had to concede that we'd indeed heard all of those songs at the movie theater. Even though Megia's song is an instrumental, and even though it drew the first bit of slight criticism from the judges all summer (Randy: "I think one of the pops in the second chorus might have been a teensy bit sharp"), she managed to squeak through once more. Tonight's victim was Casey Abrams, whose smooth jazz rendition of the Nat King Cole classic didn't go over very well with the Idolsphere. We sent him home on the Bus Of Shame, with all 82 of his instruments in tow on the U-Haul Of Shame.

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Final 7 (21st Century)

Performance Web Rating Result
Rolling In The Deep0000Rolling In The Deep
77
 
7Eliminated
Uprising0000Uprising
72
 
2Safe
Mr. Brightside *0000Mr. Brightside *
67
 
2Safe
Born To Fly0000Born To Fly
60
 
2Safe
This Is War *0000This Is War *
40
 
2Safe
Dance With My Father0000Dance With My Father
36
 
4Bottom Group
Welcome To The Black Parade *0000Welcome To The Black Parade *
35
 
4Bottom Group
Swingin'0000Swingin'
27
 
7Eliminated

Mr. Cranky, the British talent critic who'd caused havoc at our replays the past few nights, and who masterfully kept his identity a secret throughout his stay, disappeared from camp overnight. Rocco found a handwritten note nailed to a tree stating, in full: "I've had enough. New judges are absolutely horrid. Catching an aeroplane to Hollywood to resume X-Factor auditions. Tell Fuller and Lythgoe that I look forward to crushing their antiquated show into irrelevancy this fall. Sincerely, Simon Cowell." See, we told you it was Paula!

Still, his departure left we head counselors concerned. What could we do now to keep Randy, J-Lo, and Steven from coddling our remaining AI10 contestants into mush? After a brief discussion, we hit upon one of our most devious, über-Machiavellian plans ever, and that's saying something....

"That was a terrible song choice, and it was pitchy from start to finish. Just keepin' it real, girl," Randy grumbled. "I'm gonna need Mark to stuff gauze pads in my ears tonight to stop the bleeding. Who told you that you could sing?!" demanded Jennifer. "#@^$&% !!!" yelled Steven, except this time we're pretty sure it wasn't a compliment. The target of their vitriol was none other than Haley Reinhart, whom we lured back to camp this afternoon under the pretense that Lauren Alaina had re-sprained her vocal cord and might have to drop out of the competition. Despite the fact that her Adele cover was once again the highest-rated performance of the evening, the judges invoked their authority under the Special Emergency Powers clause of the Camp constitution to send her home once more. Afterwards, they even managed to find a few flaws in the other seven performances, which we took as progress.

In other news: among the official competitors, James Durbin rode an appropriately over-the-top Muse cover to a first-place finish. Our three holdovers decided to try their hand at some 21st Century glam rock as well, to mixed results. We were sure we'd finally be rid of Thia Megia tonight, inasmuch as "Black Parade" doesn't exactly work well as a Disney-fied ballad, but it was not to be. In the first big shocker of the Season Ten Finals, defending champ Scotty McCreery, who tried skirting the theme with a 30-year-old song, wound up swingin' only a bus ticket home to North Carolina. Quite honestly, we were ecstatic to see him go. Not because we disliked his singing – truth be told, he was the one contestant this season who we thought was consistently a bit underrated by the Idolsphere – but because a fairly normal 16-year-old whose only real quirk on AI was holding the microphone funny is next to impossible to parody effectively at Camp Should-A-Been. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, kid.

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Final 6 (Carole King)

Performance Web Rating Result
Will You Love Me Tomorrow0000Will You Love Me Tomorrow
92
 
2Safe
Beautiful0000Beautiful
80
 
7Eliminated
Pleasant Valley Sunday *0000Pleasant Valley Sunday *
61
 
2Safe
Where You Lead0000Where You Lead
51
 
2Safe
Star Collector *0000Star Collector *
44
 
2Safe
Up On The Roof0000Up On The Roof
41
 
2Safe
Take A Giant Step *0000Take A Giant Step *
37
 
4Bottom Group
Sweet Young Thing *0000Sweet Young Thing *
32
 
4Bottom Group
I'm Into Something Good0000I'm Into Something Good
25
 
2Safe
Oh No Not My Baby0000Oh No Not My Baby
23
 
7Eliminated

Haley Reinhart drove through our gates around 3:00 this afternoon. She said she was sorry to hear that Lauren Turner had contracted diverticulitis and might not be able to perform, but that she was happy to have another chance here at Camp Should-A-Been. "Maybe the third time will be the charm!" she said excitedly. Um, yeah Haley, go rehearse a little and have your hair done. (Look, we know it's cruel, but we have to do something to keep the judges from reverting to Barney The Dinosaur mode!)

At any rate, Carole King Night turned out to be a mixed bag. James Durbin produced the highlight of the night, and virtually the season, with a monster 92 on "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," even though one of his pyrotechnic effects went a bit awry and burnt off Ryan Seacrest's eyebrows. To be honest, it's an improvement. Pia Toscano was still in 4-star territory despite being three steps down her decay curve. Our holdover trio all went with fine songs that King and Gerry Goffin wrote for the Monkees – maybe it wasn't the Byrds covering Dylan, but as 60's pop music goes it was still pretty good stuff. Thia Megia filled in for the departed Scott McCreery on "Up On The Roof," after unsuccessfully trying to convince Lauren Alaina to switch to "The Porpoise Song". Bringing up the rear by a fairly healthy margin was Jacob Lusk, whose unfortunate penchant for oversinging simple, pretty songs finally caught up to him. It took nearly an hour for Rocco, Viktor and Serge, serving much like those famous sumo wrestlers on Tokyo subway platforms, to stuff Lusk and his entire choir onto the Bus Of Shame. All you could see through the windows as it drove off was a big blob of purple.

As for Reinhart...well, Mission Accomplished once more. "I wouldn't have chosen a Carole King song. She's not the right artist for your voice," scolded Steven, who had forgotten the theme again. "Muy fuera de tono!," cried J-Lo over and over. "Haley, dawg, you're just not in it to win it," said you-know-who. Evidently, five stars don't go as far as they used to, though they did earn Reinhart another one-way redeye ticket to Illinois. All this nefariousness is killing our travel budget.

Despite all the survival issues that the Season Ten girls had in real life, they make up 80% of our Final Five this summer. Joining James Durbin for the stretch run are Lauren Alaina, Lauren Turner, Pia Toscano, and HOW IN #@^$&% BLAZES IS THIA MEGIA STILL IN THIS #@^$&% COMPETITION??!! Whoops...heh-heh, sorry about that. Just channeling our inner Steven.

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Final 5 (Now and Then)

Performance Web Rating Result
House Of The Rising Sun0000House Of The Rising Sun
94
 
7Eliminated
Flat On The Floor0000Flat On The Floor
86
 
2Safe
Unchained Melody0000Unchained Melody
77
 
2Safe
You And I0000You And I
76
 
7Eliminated
Firebomb *0000Firebomb *
55
 
2Safe
Without You0000Without You
52
 
2Safe
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood*0000Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood*
50
 
2Safe
Closer To The Edge0000Closer To The Edge
45
 
2Safe
Sky Pilot *0000Sky Pilot *
33
 
4Bottom Group
Little Lion Man *0000Little Lion Man *
30
 
4Bottom Group
Airplanes *0000Airplanes *
29
 
7Eliminated
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place*0000We Gotta Get Out Of This Place*
26
 
7Eliminated

"Lauren! Lauren Alaina! You're on in 30 seconds! Come on, Lauren, put down the teddy bear and blankie – haven't we been through this enough times? The stage fright before every performance is getting old, and besides, you're scheduled to do well tonight with your Now And Then songs. Rocco, Viktor, Serge! Kindly escort Miss Suddeth out on the stage, and if she starts screaming again, be sure it's more or less in the tune of 'Unchained Melody'....

"James, you and the marching band are up after Lauren and...HOLY CRAP!! Is that a tank?!? Geez, when you asked for permission to use an Abrams tonight, we thought you meant Casey! Get that thing out of here before the Army finds out it's missing! We've got to have a little chat after the show regarding your choreographies and special effects, young man, before you get us all thrown in jail....

"Oh, hi Haley! Yes, it's great to see you again too. We know! – who'd have expected that Pia Toscano would be called for jury duty? And on a Friday night no less! Now run off and warm up for 'House Of The Rising Sun,' since that's the performance of Season Ten that everyone can't wait to hear again – even the judges. Um, no, we don't know why they have a box of rotten tomatoes at the front table. Okay, bye, see you on stage soon! Hmm...you know, that kid is a fine singer, but we're beginning to wonder if she might not be the brightest bulb in the pack....

"OK, where are our three holdover contestants? Ah, here they come. We see you all also decided to go with 'Then' songs by the Animals tonight. Yeah, we know, whatever works. Pia, your projected ratings are still above 50, which is pretty amazing. Um, by any chance did James help you with the special effects for your Rihanna cover? No? Good. Lauren Turner, you're up to eleven performances now, which is ten more than 19E deigned you to give you. Go all-out on the Mumford & Sons cover – we've gotten really good at bleeping out curse words on the fly, thanks to Steven. But, uh, do the abridged version of 'Sky Pilot' please; we have a midnight curfew.

"What's that, Thia? No, Jacob Lusk isn't in the competition anymore, so he won't be reprising 'No Air' tonight. No, sorry, John Stevens isn't singing 'Crocodile Rock' either. You're finally going home, dear, after surviving a ridiculous eight straight trips to the Bottom Three. That's a streak that even Cal Ripken and Joe Dimaggio couldn't touch. Do you realize that if Reinhart had made it out of the semifinals, you'd have finished in 13th place?! Hmm? No, Thia, Danny Gokey can't do a duet with Steven on 'Dream On'! Give it a rest already!

"Okay, Haley's just finishing her performance of 'House'. Just look at that huge standing ovation from the audience and...oooh. Oh, man. Ouch! Wow...who knew that J-Lo had such a good arm?"

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Final 4 (Inspirational / Lieber and Stoller)

Performance Web Rating Result
I (Who Have Nothing)0000I (Who Have Nothing)
85
 
7Eliminated
Anyway0000Anyway
79
 
2Safe
Love Potion #90000Love Potion #9
63
 
2Safe
Don't Stop Believin'0000Don't Stop Believin'
52
 
2Safe
Trouble0000Trouble
48
 
2Safe
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me *0000Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me *
46
 
4Bottom Group
Kansas City *0000Kansas City *
41
 
4Bottom Group
Earth Song0000Earth Song
38
 
7Eliminated
Flying Home *0000Flying Home *
28
 
7Eliminated
Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) *0000Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) *
25
 
7Eliminated

HUGE EXPLOSION ROCKS CAMP HOOFIN'-IT
Dancing With The Stars fantasy campground heavily damaged in late-night blast
By B. Dunkelman, Post reporter

An unexplained explosion shook Camp Hoofin'-It tonight, the popular tourist attraction in the mountains on the north side of town. No injuries were reported, but the facility's cafeteria was destroyed as well as three bunkhouses and a storage hut. Camp officials have suspended their reenactment of Dancing With The Stars' twelfth season and relocated their celebrity tenants until the cause of the blast could be determined.

"It started as a perfectly normal evening," said former NFL star Kurt Warner, a former DWTS contestant. "We'd finished our show a little early and were all ready to hit the sack when Mya noticed that they were having a pre-Fourth Of July fireworks show across the lake at Camp Should-A-Been. So, we all went down to the beach to watch."

"It's a lucky thing we did," added ESPN's Erin Andrews. "Otherwise, those bunkhouses would have been full and we'd be pulling bodies out of the rubble!"

Eyewitnesses reported that the fireworks seemed to be synchronized to two songs from the American Idol campground: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and The Searchers' "Love Potion #9". Earlier, loud applause had been heard after renditions of "Anyway" and "I (Who Have Nothing)", though three loud voices of dissent could be discerned after the latter. Other performances received less enthusiastic reactions, particularly Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" in which considerably more than three people were left groaning. Loud boos and catcalls were heard upon the opening notes of "Against All Odds", followed shortly by the distinct sound of a bus door slamming shut and an engine roaring off.

"The fireworks climaxed at the end of 'Potion'," said a visibly shaken Bristol Palin. "We could see rockets going up in all directions. Big Roman candles, smaller bottle rockets, just a ton of rockets everywhere you looked. And then...nah, it couldn't have been...," she finished, her voice trailing off.

Real-life defending champ Hines Ward chimed in, "It sure looked like a Saturn rocket launch to me. I mean, the plume was unbelievable. A few seconds later, something came screeching out of the sky and landed on the other side of our camp. I swear it had 'United States' printed on the side! But what psychopath could possibly get hold of one of those things, let alone use it as an entertainment effect?"

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Final 3 (Idol's / Jimmy's / Judges' Choice)

Performance Web Rating Result
What Is And What Should Never Be0000What Is And What Should Never Be
85
 
7Eliminated
I Hope You Dance0000I Hope You Dance
77
 
2Safe
Rhiannon0000Rhiannon
70
 
7Eliminated
Ring Of Fire *0000Ring Of Fire *
60
 
2Safe
Smoke On The Water *0000Smoke On The Water *
54
 
2Safe
Boom Boom Pow *0000Boom Boom Pow *
50
 
2Safe
If I Die Young0000If I Die Young
39
 
2Safe
American Saturday Night *0000American Saturday Night *
38
 
7Eliminated
You Oughta Know0000You Oughta Know
36
 
7Eliminated
Independence Day *0000Independence Day *
34
 
7Eliminated
Everyday America *0000Everyday America *
31
 
7Eliminated
Wild One0000Wild One
30
 
2Safe

After we disposed of those pesky investigators from the FBI and NASA this morning, we kicked off our annual Fourth Of July celebration at Camp Should-A-Been. Here are some of the highlights from the afternoon picnic. Jessica Sierra and Jacob Lusk, both of whom have ample experience walking around with leg restraints, easily won the three-legged race. Anoop Desai finished first in the sack race when Chris Daughtry, just yards from the finish line, stopped to pose triumphantly for the photographers. Somebody needs to teach that guy how to close the deal. Megan Joy won the inaugural bird-calling contest – she was the only entrant – while Trenyce, Hadas and Chikeze teamed up to win the scavenger hunt. Now if they could only find the rest of their names.

Regrettably, tonight's Final 3 show turned out to be an anticlimax. Fully half of the performance ratings fell into the 30's, including all three by holdover Pia Toscano, who tried her hand at three patriotic country songs to no avail. Haley Reinhart was exhausted after a week's worth of back-and-forth airline travel, but how could she say no when she learned that Lauren Alaina might be disqualified for her alleged role as a British spy during the War of 1812? (*Ahem*...Like we said: bulb, brightest, pack....) Anyway, Reinhart's dad wasn't available to accompany his daughter on "What Is...", so we had Scotty McCreery's grandparents fill in, mainly because they were so adorable. For once, the judges had nothing bad to say after her performances – they just sat quietly at their table reading the copies of People and Billboard they held in front of their faces.

In the end, it was James Durbin (164 points) and Lauren Alaina (146) advancing to the Season Ten CSAB Finale over Toscano (95), who was too deep into her projected ratings to take advantage of Alaina's rare off-night. It should be noted that Durbin's trio of song choices had our Head Counselors scared out of their wits, but the choreographies turned out to be tame by his standards. A little dry ice here, some sparklers there, and what's a few sticks of dynamite among friends? Particularly since we really weren't going to need the restrooms until next summer anyway – we can all use the woods tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Finale

Performance Web Rating Result
Like My Mother Does0000Like My Mother Does
74
 
2Safe
Will You Love Me Tomorrow*0000Will You Love Me Tomorrow*Reprise performance
72
 
7Eliminated
Maybe It Was Memphis0000Maybe It Was Memphis
55
 
2Safe
Flat On The Floor0000Flat On The FloorReprise performance
50
 
2Safe
Dream Big *0000Dream Big *
45
 
7Eliminated
Medley from 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' *0000Medley from 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' *
41
 
7Eliminated

We tried everything to coax her back. Honestly, we did. We told Haley Reinhart that James Durbin had torn his anterior vocal-cord ligament in a freak pottery-wheel accident, and that Lauren Alaina had a previous obligation tonight to babysit her cousins in Louisiana, and even that Led Zeppelin had offered to reunite and serve as her backup band, including John Bonham on drums. Nothing could convince Reinhart to return to Camp Should-A-Been for the Season Ten Replay Finale. Before hanging up on us, however, she did mention bitterly what three songs she would've chosen to perform for the judges: Sara Bareilles's "King Of Anything" to Randy, Taylor Swift's "Mean" to J-Lo, and...ah, let's just say that Steven Tyler and Cee-Lo Green make an apt pairing in more ways than one.

Still, even without Reinhart, it was an entertaining night. Alaina and Durbin put on a good show for the crowd, with no performance falling below three stars. Durbin's reprise of "Tomorrow" scored very well, but it couldn't quite wrest the High Rating honor from "Like My Mother Does," Alaina's coronation song by way of none other than Kristy Lee Cook. Under the circumstances, we figured it would be fitting to assign Durbin the coronation song originally performed by AI7's other Cook (and which, no lie, is the first, last and likely only Original Winners' Song™ that our Head Counselors actually liked.)

Unfortunately, the three hits to his projected ratings in the Final 3 were too much for Durbin to overcome, particularly when his opponent was as superhumanly consistent as Alaina. Of her 20 performances on AI this season, a staggering 17(!) scored between 55 and 81 – she was rarely spectacular but, one missed key-change aside, was never cringeworthy. By a final score of 179 to 160, 16-year-old country belle Lauren Alaina is the youngest champion thus far at Camp Should-A-Been!

Whoops! Hold on a minute folks, we've jumped the gun. Even though we know it will score a projected 41, Durbin still hasn't given his final performance yet! Given the innovative music and wild choreographies he introduced to American Idol over the past six months, the young man surely deserves his one last moment on the CSAB stage. Hmm, it seems he's chosen a medley of songs from...(*gulp*)...the, uh, classic 2004 album by Irish legends U2. Well, heh-heh, what are we worried about? True, his special effects are often way over the top and occasionally go awry. But, come on now – even James Durbin himself couldn't have gotten his hands on a real, working atomic bo--.......

Camp Should-A-Been
Vaporized For The Winter

Thanks For Visiting!

Reopening Summer, 2012.

—   The End   —

Camp Should-A-Been – Season Ten Results

  1. Lauren Alaina
  2. James Durbin
  3. Pia Toscano
  4. Lauren Turner
  5. Thia Megia
  6. Jacob Lusk
  7. Scotty McCreery
  8. Casey Abrams
  9. Kendra Chantelle
  10. Paul McDonald
  11. Stefano Langone
  12. Naima Adedapo
  13. Karen Rodriguez

-- The staff of WNTS.com


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