Camp Should-A-Been - Season Twelve
Must...stay...awake.... A glut of sleepy ballads and even sleepier guys made Season 12 a snoozefest at times,
but...(*yawn*)...we can't let that stop us from our annual Camp Should-A-Been replay. We owe it to
the contestants to run a full and fair competition, even if the ultimate winner is so obvious she makes
Melinda Doolittle look like a bigger underdog than Seabiscuit. We owe it to the staff, particularly since
we promised the local police we wouldn't let a certain pair of feuding female judges strangle one another without
obtaining the necessary permits first. Most of all, we owe it to you, our loyal CSAB visitors, to determine
where each contestant would have placed this season if America had voted strictly on week-to-week approval
ratings, with plenty of good-natured snark mixed in for fiber. So grab some coffee, put on some nice loud music,
and join real-life champ Candice Glover, runner-up Kree Harrison, piano virtuoso Angie Miller, and the rest of the
AI12 crew as we raise the curtain on our twelfth annual replay here at Camp...(*yawn*)...Camp
Friday, June 21st, 2013
Quarterfinals Group 1 (Open)
What a fantastic opening day! All 303 of our former contestants showed up on time for once, along with our four famous
judges; our legendary trio of disciplinary counselors, Viktor, Rocco and Serge; the
whole 19E production staff; and
even our 40 Season Twelve quarterfinalists! Mind you, most of them unloaded their gear in their respective cabins
and immediately fell asleep, but hey: we're all together again and that's what matters! Right, people? Uh, guys?
Girls? Anyone? (*Sigh*)...well, we're happy anyway.
After a superb filet mignon and lobster feast at the mess hall – hey, if everyone else was going to sleep
through dinner, we figured we might as well break out the good stuff – we retired to the ampitheater for the
first show of the new season, featuring the ten
Group One girls and...all right, enough is enough: WAKE UP YOU LAZY BUMS!!
A few minutes later, after we set off the fire alarms and sprinkler systems across the campground, a horde of cranky and damp Idols
began trudging in. We welcomed Aussie country star Keith Urban ("G'd'evening, mates!"), multi-accented rapper Nicki Minaj
("Hello, my sweets"), and legendary pop icon and orator Mariah Carey ("Hashtag: Hi!") to the judges' table alongside
our old friend Randy Jackson ("Jenny Beth is in it to win it !!!"), whose vocabulary and critquing skills didn't
improve one iota over the winter, apparently. Continuity isn't all it's cracked up to be.
As for the show itself: five girls scored above 50 and advanced, five didn't crack 40 and were eliminated. What fun. Leading the
way was Kree Harrison, who just missed 5-stars, followed closely by Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller. Remember those names,
folks: we think they might do pretty well this summer. Adriana Latonio once again moved on to the semifinals, and she was
joined by our first holdover contestant of the young season, 'Pasqualone', who informed us just before
taking the stage that she wished to be billed by one name like
so many female pop superstars these days do. She should've been more specific. She'll learn. Leaving on the Bus Of Shame
tonight were original semifinalist Tenna Torres along with Brandy Hotard, Shubha Vedula, Jenny Beth Willis, and Kamaria
Ousley, whose wobbly cover of "Mr. Know It All" made a cringing Kelly Clarkson wish that Camp Duets hadn't been
boarded up so soon.
Sunday, June 23rd, 2013
Quarterfinals Group 2 (Open)
"Ignore all the rumors," intoned head honcho Simon Fuller firmly during a lunchtime address to his half-dozing minions.
"We producers categorically did not twiddle with the audition process this year to ensure a female winner.
American Idol is fully committed to running an open and fair competition, and the 20 young men in the
field this summer are indeed the strongest unsigned musical geniuses in the United States! Furthermore, 19E and the
Idol franchise is not, in any way, shape or form, in financial straits. We are among most
profitable entertainment companies in the world, and we expect to remain in that envious position for years to come!"
Mr. Fuller had to
cut it short right there, however, because he could see through the window a repo service towing away his Ferrari.
He dashed out the mess hall doors in a panic, in the process passing a knot of Season Twelve guys who were staring at a pile of sheet
music and scratching their heads, not unlike the apes contemplating the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. (*Sigh*) This is
gonna be a long summer....
Tonight's show didn't increase anyone's confidence level, considering that the
first batch of XY'ers
laid more eggs than the mosquitos by the lake. At 39.8, it was among the lowest-rated AI episodes ever.
The shortest route to success, evidently, was to try to disguise
what you were singing so that no one could determine with any confidence if you were screwing up. To that end, Devin Velez sang half of his
Beyoncé number in Spanish and the other half in pig Latin, while Curtis Finch trotted out something that had
the familiar lyrics of "Superstar" combined with the melody of, we think, a wounded moose's distress call. Both advanced
to the next round once more, along with fellow erstwhile finalist Paul Jolley who demonstrated that, in a pinch,
brown-nosing a rookie judge also offered a fairly reliable path to safety.
Things got a little weird after that. JDA, decked out in his familiar high heels and black pantsuit, hammed his way through
"Rumor Has It" and shouted out to "representing the gays" again, after which he strolled towards the Bus Of Shame, whistling cheerfully.
Not so fast there, Josh: your 46 rating was plenty good enough to earn a spot in the semifinals! JDA looked unusually distressed at
this news, and as Rocco and Serge were escorting him back to Cabin Twelve, we heard him call out that, on second thought,
he'd just as soon represent the folks who enjoyed air conditioning and room service at the Marriott. Tough break, kid.
Rounding out the advancers was Johnny Keyser on a Jason Mraz cover that at least managed to reach three-stars. That meant curtains
for original semifinalists Elijah Liu and Charlie Askew along with the unmemorable Jimmy Smith, Kevin Harris, and Chris Watson.
We're pretty sure all three were singing under assumed names.
Monday, June 24th, 2013
Quarterfinals Group 3 (Open)
Narcolepsy reigned for a third day here at Camp Should-A-Been, with the loud snores eminating from the twelve cabins even drowning
out the cicadas at times. We had to forfeit our scheduled horseshoes match with Camp Chairs-A-Spinnin' owing to
a lack of conscious players, but that
wasn't so bad. At least we didn't have to hear them gloat about how their nightly attendance was finally higher than ours. On the
bright side, our fears about the judges seem to have been unfounded:
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were being civil to one another, and in fact they were downright friendly at times.
(Mariah: "Hey, #$%^&, could you please pass the ketchup?" Nicki: "Sure, &^%$-face, here you go!")
Best of all, we finally had a replay night that was half-decent. The Group Three ladies went a bit
heavy on the ballads, like everyone else, but at least they mostly sang them well. Candice Glover notched the first five-star rating
of the season, which didn't quite earn her a standing ovation as most of the audience was sound asleep, but you could tell by the
enthusiasm of the snores that it was a special performance. Aubrey Cleland, Breanna Steer, and new holdover Juliana Chahayed also
reached four-stars, and the fifth spot in the semifinals went to the inimitable Zoanette Johnson, who belted out "Circle Of Life"
while accompanying herself on drums. Shiela E. is suing for mental anguish, but we're pretty sure we can get it thrown out of court.
Chahayed's advancement meant that one of AI12's Big Five girls, country crooner Janelle Arthur, would be taking an unexpectedly early
trip home to Tennessee. Joining her on the Bus Of Shame were Rachel Hale, Cristabel Clack, Melinda Ademi, and a seriously P.O.'ed
Jett Hermano, whose 47 would have been good enough to advance out of either of the guys' quarterfinal groups,
but which relegated her to also-ran status this evening. Hermano is suing her parents for giving her two X chromosomes, but they're
pretty sure they can get it thrown out of court, too.
Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
Quarterfinals Group 4 (Open)
Maybe we spoke too soon about the judges. Oh sure, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj have been treating each other like long-lost
sisters ("I hope you die a painful death you skanky $%*^&, but not for a few more years!"),
but some trouble seems to be brewing between Randy Jackson and Keith Urban. We're a little hazy on the details; it apparently stemmed
from a pickup basketball game this afternoon in which Randy claimed his disputed final shot was 'in it to win it'. All we know is that Keith
has hired Rocco, Viktor and Serge to moonlight as bodyguards, while the Dawg hired and promptly fired Mariah, just for payback.
Meanwhile, up on the stage, the second group of guys fared a little better than their predecessors, but only
a little. Vincent Powell scored 78 on "Cause I Love You", which would wind up being the best approval rating posted by a
male contestant in Season Twelve. Burnell Taylor was second, and Dav--
No, really: Powell's 78 was the high-water mark for the 2013 guys.
They had no five-star performances as a group. Heck, they only broke 70
three times, and this was one of them.]
Anyway, David Wil--
DAMMIT, WE'RE DEAD SERIOUS!! Sheesh, go check the database if you don't believe us!]
Now where were we? Oh yeah: David Willis. AI12's fabled BGWG was the third advancer on the night. We're proud to report that, just
as Simon Fuller asserted, the producers didn't take Willis's success as any sort of threat to their agenda.
True, they immediately chased him across the campground in a fury while carrying torches and pitchforks, but as they told us afterwards,
that's just tradition at CSAB for the third-place finisher in the last quarterfinals of the summer. Well, okay, we guess
traditions have to start somewhere.
Rounding out the semifinal roster were Cortez Shaw and new holdover Bryant Tadeo. If you're keeping score at home,
that meant the judges made the right call on 14 of their 20 picks. That's not good, but maybe it's not as awful as it
felt in real time. Bidding farewell to camp tonight were original semifinalist Nick Boddington, Mathenee Treco, Josh Holiday,
and Gurpreet Singh Sarin – unlike the rest of the Idolsphere, we will eschew making any cheap, groanful puns about
Mr. Sarin's ethnicity here. Oh, and also leaving us tonight was the Best Unsigned Male Singer In The USA Of 2013™ according
to American Idol: one Lazaro Arbos, who headed quietly back to Naples and his job as a gondola pilot. Nice work if you
can get it.
And thus endeth the first-ever Replay Quarterfinals here at Camp Should-A-Been! Tune in tomorrow when the semis get
underway and we begin filling the 10 chairs into the AI12 Finals. Campers, head off to bed now, because we have an early wake-up
call tomorrow – remember, it's our big annual Hide-and-Sikh match versus Camp Hoofin'-It! (Aw, c'mon, you knew
we couldn't really resist.)
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
Girls' Semifinals (Open)
The loneliest guy in America is no longer the Maytag Repairman. Nowadays, it's Rex Hardy, Jr., the excellent but
woefully underutilized drummer for the American Idol house
band. The original Top Ten Girls episode went a perfect 10-for-10 on ballads (okay, a couple could perhaps
charitably be called 'midtempo'... barely...), and tonight's replay wasn't much of an improvement, as the Zzz's from the audience
would attest. However, what it lacked in beats per minute,
it made up for in drama per hour! That's because, thanks to a spectacular series of upsets and shocking results,
the first four women to advance into the Season Twelve Finals were none other than...uh, Candice Glover,
Kree Harrison, Angie Miller, and Amber Holcomb. In that exact order, no less. Shoot us now.
Well, with Janelle Arthur gone, at least there would be some suspense as to who earned the fifth chair. Juliana Chahayed, having
performed a Demi Lovato song in the quarterfinals, decided to try her luck with Lovato's judgemate on The Voice. Her
first projected rating was a 56 (fair warning: after a few consecutive years of shrinkage, the performance-to-performance
decay rate rose a bit this season.) Would that be good enough for a real-life quarterfinalist to jump all the way into the finals?
It would be close. Aubrey Cleland cracked 50 once again, and Breanna Steer just missed. Isabelle, who convinced us at sporkpoint (luckily,
we don't give out plastic knives in the cafeteria) to credit her by her first name this time, also finished solidly in three
stars, though we have to wonder if there was something Freudian about her Carrie Underwood song choice. But in the end, none could
top Chahayed's score, making the quirky Californian our first Holdover Finalist of 2013! As in real life, Cleland earned a callback
to Friday's sure-to-be-completely-anticlimactic Wild Card To Nowhere show. Steer and Pasqualone (oopsies!) wound up on the
Bus Of Shame alongside Adriana Latonio and Zoanette Johnson, who unfortunately
gave a literal, mathematically-correct meaning to 'decimating' her approval
rating from one show to the next.
But cheer up, CSAB fans, because tomorrow night is when the real action happens. That's when the Men take the stage to see
which quintet of that dubious lot would advance to the Finals. Get here early, because we'll be
selling pillows and warm milk in the lobby at shamelessly usurious prices
and we wouldn't want anyone to miss out!
Thursday, June 27th, 2013
Guys' Semifinals (Open)
Tonight's the big night! Oh sure, maybe the Replay Quarterfinals were about as
entertaining as a meatloaf tasting party. Maybe the
only suspense about the upcoming Finals is finding out
who's going to finish second to Candice Glover. Maybe last night's
Girls Semifinals was essentially a lullaby exhibition, and maybe tomorrow night's Wild Card show is the most
pointless idea since Sanjaya Malakar Chia Pets.
But tonight – tonight is the very raison d'être of Camp Should-A-Been! We AI fans finally get to see which
cannon fodders guys should have made up the male half of the draw this spring! Plus, we get
to unload five months' worth of pent-up snark at them, and we even got to throw in a pretentious French idiom during the
intro sentence, a la Mariah. It doesn't get any better than this.
A standing-room-only crowd packed the ampitheater as the Top Ten Guys show
got underway, and considering how hard it is to sleep standing
up, it was also our liveliest audience of the summer. We began with the six gents who performed in the original episode
in March. Burnell Taylor and Devin Velez both turned in their best ratings of the season; it would be the last time any
Season Twelve male broke 70. Paul Jolley scored 53 with his XTina cover,
and that too was a milestone: no guy would even crack
fifty on a solo performance in any subsequent episode of 2013!
Next was Curtis Fin--
[...what's that? Oh, for heaven's sake,
DON'T START THIS #$%^&
AGAIN, PEOPLE; IT'S TRUE! Go look it up!!] (*ahem*) Curtis Finch Jr. posted a 49, and it is
with every ounce of self-restraint in our bodies that we don't dock him points for the song choice.
Vincent Powell was fifth with a 41 (you reviewers out there really liked "I Believe I Can Fly" better than
"End Of The Road"? For real??! Sorry, but when we mentioned "five months' of pent-up snark", we didn't mean just towards
the contestants.), and our first certain eliminee was Cortez Shaw, who brought up the rear
with a pretty dismal 27.
Now it was time to bring out our four holdovers and see where they placed on this scale. They chose a curious variety of
songs for the occasion; we're wondering if there's any connection between the original artists and American Idol.
No? Okay. First up was JDA, still pining for the fjords or at least the Holiday Inn Express in town,
whose 42 would dismiss Powell from contention. Johnny "Sozé" Keyser was next; his projected 37 earned
him a quick seat on the Bus Of Shame. David Willis, skillfully dodging the skeet shot fired at him from the producers'
luxury box (fortunately, Nigel Lythgoe's aim is as bad as his theme selections), posted a solid 53 to
eliminate JDA and earn a spot in the Finals! Finally, Bryant Tadeo also notched a 42, resulting in a huge sigh
of relief backstage from one Mr. Finch, Curtis, Jr. The upshot: despite all the criticism and jeers thrown their way,
four of the five AI12 male finalists really did earn those chairs! (Of course, if you concluded that the problem
wasn't the five finalists but the 20 quarterfinalists, you won't get any argument here.)
So our lineup for Sunday's opening night of the 2013 Replay Finals is:
- Juliana Chahayed
- Curtis Finch, Jr.
- Candice Glover
- Kree Harrison
- Amber Holcomb
- Paul Jolley
- Angie Miller
- Burnell Taylor
- Devin Velez
- David Willis
Note that even alphabetically, the girls basically kicked the boys' butts this summer.
Failing to qualify here at CSAB were only
Janelle Arthur, whom we'll miss, and Lazaro Arbos, (*crickets*).
That left one piece of unfinished business: which of the five eliminees would have to stay at camp one more night so they
could perform in tomorrow's eagerly-awaited Why Even Bother Wild Card Sing-Off? Bryant Tadeo and JDA were tied for sixth
at 42; we had R, V, & S escort them off the Bus and back to the stage, in headlocks,
for the big announcement. The "winner", so to speak,
was Tadeo, whose projected rating was about seven-tenths of a point higher; he'll face off against Aubrey Cleland tomorrow
night. You won't want to miss it, even if you really do.
Friday, June 28th, 2013
Tour Sing-Off (Open)
All right, let's get this over with. The Wild Card Sing-Off
for the eleventh and final spot on the AI Summer Tour wasn't exactly Must-See TV in real life, and it's even less
significant here at Camp Should-A-Been, considering it's already summer and we don't have a tour. However,
we did decree that the winner would get to take one victory lap around the lake, which is about as tourful as
we get around here. So, on with the show.
Aubrey Cleland sang first, reprising "Out Here On My Own" to a 46 approval rating. The audience yawned its
appreciation. Bryant Tadeo was next, borrowing Charlie Askew's original song but changing up the lyrics a bit and "making it
his own", as the judges are wont to say. With his second projected rating, he scored 38. Oh joy, Cleland wins again.
The pretty Oregon teen hopped in a canoe being rowed by Joshua Gracin and Jeremy Rosado for her victory cruise as the
audience began shuffling off to their bunks....
...Wait, what's this? Oh no, it's the legendary Loch Trainwreck Monster!! Towering 50 feet above the water and breathing
fire, it savagely attacked the canoe. Gracin and Rosado bravely tried to fend it off with their oars,
but they were no match. Suddenly, Cleland whipped out a crossbow
(which seems to be the weapon of choice for female action heroines these days) and nailed it with an arrow right between the eyes!
The beast let out a wail, calling for reinforcements, and just then a horde of zombies (which also seem to be everywhere
these days) emerged from the woods and began wading towards the damaged canoe. But wait! The entire American Idol contingent
were rowing and swimming to the rescue, led by Randy Jackson ("The competition starts now!") and Keith Urban
("That's my favorite Beatles song!"...geez, how did he manage
to go an entire season without establishing an overused catchphrase?) They engaged
the zombies and fought them off, but suddenly in the skies there appeared a fleet of alien warships, which trained their
cobalt laser cannons of death
squarely on our heroes. In a flash,
Nicki Minaj (who was a little late joining the battle owing to traffic on I-5) and Mariah Carey took
them on alone and managed, through a combination of annoyingly affected accents and long-winded critiques, to repel
their attack. Realizing they were outgunned, the monster, zombies, and aliens beat a hasty retreat and wound up spending
the rest of the night munching popcorn in the audience at Camp Chairs-A-Spinnin', where they heard the
music was better anyway.
The victorious Idol crew let out a cheer and returned triumphantly to the shores of Camp Should-A-Been. As
she and Tadeo were boarding the Bus Of Shame, Cleland whispered to us, "Good grief, was all that silliness really necessary?"
Yes, dear, yes it was. Just like nature abhors a vacuum, your head counselors at CSAB abhor a completely
pointless night with nothing of the slightest interest to write about.
Sunday, June 30th, 2013
Final 10 (Music of the American Idols)
If there's one lesson we've learned in our eleven previous summers here at Camp Should-A-Been, it's this:
no matter how bleak and hopeless things look during the early rounds, don't panic, because the Replay Finals are just
around the corner. That's when the fun begins -- the drama, the intrigue, the superb performances from the
strong-as-possible field, the long
and exciting runs by unjustly-dismissed semifinalists, the front-runners fighting to avoid a catastrophic
Take Me Home, Country Roads
We Can Work It Out, the shocking Bottom 3's and unexpected eliminations...
Yeah! What are we concerned about? Forget about last week, everyone, because tonight is when the real action starts!
A packed, cheering ampitheater greeted our ten finalists as they prepared to take on the
Music of the American Idols.
The festivities commenced with an address by our evil but lovable overlord, Simon Fuller, who said
that this was without a doubt the strongest and most
commercially viable cast that Idol had ever produced! He also mentioned something about dropping another eight dates off
the summer tour, but not, he stressed, due to rumored poor ticket sales. Rather, 19E was taking pains not to overexpose
the Final 10 so as to keep expectations for their debut albums at a fever pitch. Gosh, that Mr. Fuller is one smart cookie.
Then he made his way up the stairs to the producers' luxury box as the band launched into
the familiar AI theme. The judges took their seats, Ryan Seacrest introduced the contestants to wild applause...Wow! Fasten
your seat belts, everyone, 'cause this is gonna be one fantastic ride!!
Footnote: Candice Glover won the night again, the Big Four girls finished one through four roughly 80 points ahead of
everyone else, then came our two holdover contestants, the guys brought up the rear and none broke 50,
we had to sit through FIVE coronation
songs because Juliana Chahayed and David Willis evidently decided that three wasn't torture enough,
every friggin' song was a ballad, half the crowd left after the first
commercial break, the rest were sound asleep by the second, we had the same Bottom 3 as in the
original episode, Curtis Finch Jr. was eliminated again, we made him walk home rather than take the Bus of Shame because
we were still PO'ed at what he did to "Superstar", all four judges aren't speaking to one another, Ryan got a splinter,
three more tour dates got canceled before the final credits, Simon Fuller fired the entire production staff in a fury,
and basically the entire night just sucked, okay? See you
tomorrow. Sheesh, we gotta think of SOMETHING fast....
Monday, July 1st, 2013
Final 9 (Lennon-McCartney)
Splendid. Two nights into the Finals, and the campgrounds look as though we're filming a remake of The Andromeda Strain.
On every hammock, under every tree, by every flower bed, lay a former American Idol contestant, blissfully asleep.
Fortunately that meant they didn't see Simon Fuller's reaction when the overnight Camp Nielsen ratings were announced.
Camp Should-A-Been's Top 10 show was down 92% over last year, putting us second-to-last around Lake Trainwreck
ahead of only Simon Cowell's
Camp X-Marks-The-Spot, whose entire marketing strategy this summer was to hope that Britney Spears would get
eaten by a bear.
At this afternoon's daily meeting of the Camp Should-A-Been Snark Committee, we discussed ways to cut
through the ennui and inject some life
into our proceedings. The problem, we ultimately decided, was twofold. One, the contestants were so pleasant and unassuming
that they were almost beyond parody – we could zing Candice Glover for her weight, Amber Holcomb for her dismal song
choices, Burnell Taylor for not having heard of any song recorded before 2008,
and Angie Miller for her impossibly perfect teeth, none of which held much
promise. Two, the judges were out of reach for a completely different reason: they were such complete trainwrecks during the
season that they were walking self-parodies. We could have Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey mud-wrestle in evening gowns
by the lake and they'd still come off more dignified than they did for the first five months of 2013, plus they'd
still have that combined $32 million in pay to wave in our faces.
In desperation, we fell back on the last refuge of the American Idol
satirist: Ryan Seacrest gags! This'll get things rolling for sure!!
Footnote: At tonight's Final Nine show, Glover won again, followed by Harrison, Miller and
Holcomb in that utterly foreshadowing order, everyone else was under 50, our two holdovers at least went with solo works by
John and Paul though they were of course both ballads as if doing an uptempo song this $%^&* season would get you
summarily executed on live TV, Paul Jolley finished ninth again, Ryan's finger where he got
the splinter was infected so he took the night off, Adam Lambert filled in as host capably though that meant all
of our Julianne Hough jokes went out the window, the Shreveport and Manchester tour dates got canned, and even this
stupid give-the-results-via-a-run-on-sentence-in-the-footnotes gimmick has already gotten old and we've still got eight
more episodes to go! Help!!
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
Final 8 (Detroit)
Just when you thought this replay couldn't get any more sleep-inducing....they're ba-a-a-ack! Duets and trios, that is, the
bane of American Idol and the even bigger scourge of Camp Should-A-Been.
Last summer, you may recall, the producers' favorite time-killing device played havoc
with the weekly results, with the upshot that Hollie Cavanagh managed to outlast clear favorite Jessica Sanchez and
as a result allowed Joshua Ledet to slip past both of them to win the title.
We heard from a few regular readers and Sanchez fans who were a wee bit upset at that outcome, insisting that solo performances
alone should determine the CSAB winner. Well, this year, we took their advice. Sayonara, Angela Miller!
...Okay, we're kidding. But, hopefully tonight's would-be result illustrates the damned-if-we-do / damned-if-we-don't
dilemma that these accursed group numbers present. We spent the day charging the batteries in our calculators
and then made our way to the ampitheater after dinner, carefully stepping over the prone bodies of a dozen years' worth of
forgotten semifinalists that littered the pathway. Simon Fuller again addressed the sparse crowd beforehand, explaining that the
Farmers Almanac predicted dangerous thunderstorms in the Pacific Northwest for the third week of August, which is why
the Seattle, Portland, and Charlotte tour dates had been canceled. Mr. Fuller isn't a whiz at either meteorology or
U.S. geography, we gather.
As for the
Motown, er, Detroit Night
show itself...well, with Janelle Arthur gone, there were no 5-star performances. Thus, stop us if you've heard this
one before, but Candice Glover was tops on the night, with Kree Harrison second. Yippee. To keep the integrity of the original
ratings intact, we decided against having our holdover contestants, Juliana Chahayed and David Willis, substitute directly
for Arthur and Lazaro Arbos on the group performances. Instead, to align with Idol's overused strategy
this season of having past winners perform at every possible opportunity, we allowed them to sing separately and
had some former CSAB champs plug in the holes.
Kelly Clarkson, Bo Bice, and David Cook filled in admirably, but curiously, when it came time for the infamous
guys' trio-trainwreck, we
couldn't find hide nor hair of Ledet...or Elliott Yamin, or Kris Allen, or anyone else for that matter. Even 19E's
iron-clad contracts couldn't compel any of them to commit career suicide. So, we let Burnell Taylor and Devin Velez sing with
the only camper who volunteered for duty. It seemed fitting.
Using our usual formula where a duet counts as half of a solo performance and a trio as one-third, with appropriate
fractional steps down the decay curve for holdover contestants, and reminding you once again that if we didn't go through
all of this tortured rigamarole we'd wind up sending Little Miss Perfect Teeth back to Boston, we
arrived at the following numbers three hours later:
- Candice Glover: (78 + 58 / 3) / 1.333 = 73.0
- Amber Holcomb: 67, 58 / 3 ... = 64.8
- Kree Harrison: 75, 42 / 2 ... = 64.0
- Angie Miller: 35, 58 / 3 ... = 40.8
- Juliana Chahayed: 41, 39 / 2 ... = 40.3
- David Willis: 39, 37 / 2 ... = 38.3
- Burnell Taylor: 48, 6 / 3 ... = 37.5
- Devin Velez: 47, 6 / 3 ... = 36.8
And so, thanks to the lyrical brain cramps of a guy who got sent home a full week ago and was sitting 3,000 miles away,
a hapless Devin Velez winds up finishing eighth here at Camp Should-A-Been. This is a completely arbitrary, unsatisfying,
exasperating result...which, considering how Season Twelve actually unfolded, means it's probably our most spot-on of the summer!
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Final 7 (Rock - No Ballads)
"Consistency! Familiarity! Continuity!" intoned Simon Fuller, waving a forkful of his dinner at us. "That's what
the loyal fans of American Idol expect, and that's precisely what we deliver. Our format, our music, even all the
guest appearances by former contestants this season – they fit right into that strategy. That's why we've been so
successful over the years, mates!"
We CSAB head counselors were attending a 'Meatloaf Summit' in Mr. Fuller's tent, his luxury R.V. having been
repossessed a few days earlier. The Idol creator was explaining to us why, for example, it was unreasonable
to expect the contestants to perform songs written after the fall of the Holy Roman Empire.
"But Mr. Fuller, sir," we retorted, "American Idol isn't like other hit shows,
where continuity is paramount. It's about finding the best unsigned pop singer in the country! To do that, you have
to keep looking forward, not backward. Tastes change, music changes, and the show needs to keep up. Otherwise, you'll
just end up with more unwatchable replays like...well, like this one!"
"You blokes just don't understand the entertainment industry. I do. Wait until next year, when we unveil our all-alumni
judges' panel. We'll be back on top of the summer camp ratings in no time."
"Sir, with all due respect, that's exactly the sort of misguided thinking we're talking about. One successful former contestant
on the panel, like a Jennifer Hudson or an Adam Lambert, is a great idea, because they can provide a unique perspective. Three
is completely insane. It's basically admitting to viewers that American Idol's glory days are behind it." We
tried to elaborate, but Mr. Fuller threw us out of his tent in a rage and then canceled the Philadelphia and Orlando tour dates
to prove he meant business.
The boss was still steaming when tonight's
show itself. So, in fact, were the paying customers when they found out that "No Ballads" meant "Power Ballads Out the Wazoo."
Well, at least the night's approval ratings illustrated why this year's crew avoided uptempo songs like the Wicked Witch of
the West avoided water. Leading the way was Candice Glover's long-lost, thinner, and better-coiffed sister Angie, who slipped
past The Unbeatable One by a single point. After that came Amber Holcomb, then a pretty good duet by Candice Glover And A Pip,
then Kree Harrison, then 50, and then...(*sigh*) don't ask. As usual whenever a slew of duets and trios are on the
set list, nobody knew at show's end who was going home, and nobody really cared either, not even the contestants. (*Double
sigh*) Well, duty called, so after everyone went to bed we sat down and calculated the following scores:
- Candice Glover: = 68.7. Oh gee, she won again after all.
- Amber Holcomb: 61.3
- Angie Miller: 51.7
- Kree Harrison: 47.8
- Burnell Taylor: 42.0
- Juliana Chahayed: 34.7
- David Willis: 33.3
Duets giveth and duets taketh away, and this time they savethed Burnell Taylor, whose successful collaboration with Glover
lifted his approval rating out of danger. We roused David Willis and his guitar out of a sound sleep and put him on the
Bus Of Shame, where he promptly conked out again. We hear he didn't wake up and realize what had happened until he
Thursday, July 4th, 2013
Final 6 (Burt Bacharach / Wish You Wrote)
Okay, it was bad enough when The Voice decided to open their own replay camp just downshore from us.
And it was even worse when their nightly shows got so popular that they began scheduling them to go head-to-head
with ours. But now? Now those dirty rats from Camp Chairs-A-Spinnin' have gone too far. They're hosting
their big Fourth Of July show at our ampitheater! A smug Adam Levine stopped by this morning to explain
that our place had way more seats than theirs,
and geez, we certainly weren't filling them. He chuckled as he left and basically dared us to do something about it.
Well, we did. At this afternoon's camp shuffleboard tournament, we tried rallying the troops to shake off
the cobwebs, arrive at the theater early and loud,
and show the world that nobody pushes Camp Should-A-Been around! They did...wearing Blake Shelton and
Shakira t-shirts. We searched for Rocco, Viktor and Serge to throw a little muscle around. They turned out
to be seated in the front row, munching popcorn and hitting on a few of the cute zombies from last Friday. Then a
few thousand excited Voice fans began streaming in, our concession stand revenues shot through the roof for the
first time in forever, and we decided, you know what? The mess hall isn't such a bad place to hold the
replay after all.
And for once, what a replay it was. In a room where the most familiar noise is gagging, the Big Four ladies introduced an
entirely new sound: applause. Candice Glover was the star tonight, even moreso than usual: she turned in
one of the finest pairs of performances in CSAB history, averaging a stunning 89 and breaking the all-time WNTS
approval rating record with her sublime rearrangement of The Cure's "Lovesong". Kree Harrison had a pair of four-star
performances, Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb had one apiece, and new holdover Burnell Taylor had two decent numbers for his first
projected ratings. Best of all, with Lazaro Arbos gone, neither he nor we had to suffer through another rendition of
the 2-rated "Close To You". Juliana Chahayed, alas, evidently missed the original show, or perhaps her song choices
just showed that she had a bit of a sadistic side. Either way, her extended run was over with a fine sixth-place finish,
and it meant that an Idol guy managed to outlast a girl this year after all.
Across the world, three and a half billion males breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Ah, we see that the CCAS show is finishing up, too. To show Adam Levine and company that there were no hard feelings, we
magnanimously offered them the services of one James Durbin, Master Pyrotechnician, to put on a fireworks display for
their spectators. That'll teach them never to mess with us again.
Friday, July 5th, 2013
Final 5 (Year You Were Born / Divas)
We awoke this beautiful Friday morning with smiles on our faces and a bounce in our steps. And why not,
coming off an evening that featured a record-shattering Idol performance, sinful snack bar proceeds,
a spectacular fireworks display that cleared the ampitheater of those annoying Voice fans in nine seconds
flat, and capped by the glorious spectacle of watching the local paramedic squad try to remove a bottle rocket lodged in
Adam Levine's keister? It just doesn't get any better than that. With a little bit of wind in our sails, not to mention a
half-decent Final Five to boot, we hoped last night's newfound
momentum would carry our Season Twelve replay to a fantastic finish!
Fat chance. Came tonight's
show, and the place was deader than a crateful of doornails again. Attendance consisted of nine former contestants sound
asleep, about two dozen others texting their agents (Justin Guarini: "I'm not much of a celebrity, but
get me out of here anyway!"), and new BFF's Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey playing Words With Friends on their iPads.
("How many E's in 'has-been', sweetums?" "Two, dahling, same as the notes in your vocal range.") Well, everyone else
missed out, because despite the dreadful dual-theme, the Big Four ladies plus the
Last Man Standing put on quite a fine show. No performance
reached 80, which may have been more a reflection of AI12 Reviewer Fatigue than anything else, but six of ten were in
4-star territory and Angie Miller's pageanty but nonetheless touching and
curiously underrated "I'll Stand By You" broke 50 as well. Of the
original contestants, only Amber Holcomb, who had hired the prestigious consulting firm of Sanchez & Cavanagh, LLC
to help with her song choices, suffered a clear misfire, and even that misfire scratched 40. To no one's surprise,
that left holdover Burnell Taylor the odd Idol out, and even a couple of shameless song choices couldn't save him.
He left in fifth place on the bus they call the City Of New Orleans, which
we renamed for the evening as a thank-you to the likeable Louisiana native for not totally stinking out the joint this summer
despite being male.
After the show, as we walked dejectedly back to the Head Cabin, we overheard a few campers whispering excitedly to one another.
"Just four shows to go
– I think she's gonna do it!" "No way. Nobody's ever had a perfect game at Camp Should-A-Been before.
"Yeah, but she hasn't even come close to losing it yet. They might not even have noticed!"
Well, that was weird, we thought
– didn't everyone know that Candice Glover's approval rating was going to fall below 50 twice before the
competition finished? Then, to our surprise, we heard a really familiar voice chime in: "She's going to need some luck
with so few contestants left, but I think she's got a great shot!" We peeked through the trees to see who spoke those
words, and it was...Candice Glover? What the heck is going on??
Sunday, July 7th, 2013
Final 4 (Open / One Hit Wonders)
So, like, we were lying around the Head Cabin this morning moping about the fact that we had another really pointlessly
night on our hands because we had no holdover contestants, and nobody was going home, and we had to sit through
the return of duets, and the Big Four girls
still couldn't pick good one hit wonders to save their lives, and Simon Fuller canceled all the tour concerts in the Mountain
Time Zone because of snow advisories, and the judges were at the
archery range practicing their standing ovations for "MacArthur Park" and we couldn't find any arrows and, like, yeah,
we were really bummed. Then we saw this commercial for Five Hour Energy Drink and we thought, hey!, maybe that'd help
keep us awake through tonight's show, and then we thought, hey!, maybe if we buy enough of it it'll keep everyone awake,
so we drove into town and bought about 28 cases and poured it all into tonight's meatloaf and, like Hashtag-Wow!, this stuff is
great! Everyone in camp is amped for the
First Final Four
and it's gonna be fantastic and we can't wait! Look, a squirrel!!
So, like, Angie Miller actually won the night on points and it was the first time that anyone defeated Candice Glover
all summer, and that was really cool, you know?, and we even decided to award her an 80 for "Who You Are" even though
she really only scored 79, but she didn't have a five-star rating all season and. holy cow, another squirrel!, yeah,
we figured she deserved one and all that. Where were we? Squirrels? No, wait, Miller! She averaged 69 tonight,
'cause duets only count for half of solo performances, so she'll have the lead going into tomorrow, and Glover had 59.8,
and then Kree Harrison is at 45.5, and Amber Holcomb is in fourth with 36.2. Oh wait, the best part was when
the judges tried to give "MacArthur Park" another standing ovation, and, like, we still couldn't find any arrows, but we found a few
leftover poison darts from last summer and PFFFFFFT!–*thud*, down
all four of them went, and that was really cool too! Wow what a fantastic night, even though nothing happened!! How can Idol's
TV ratings be tanking?? Anyway a couple of campers told
us to be careful because these energy drinks sometimes have a rebound effect or a crash landing or something like that, but we have
no clue what they're talking about, and we think we'll go replace the faucets in the restrooms now and
Monday, July 8th, 2013
Final 4 Redux (Now and Then)
We awoke this morning with Red Bull Hangovers that felt like Rex Hardy Jr. and Zoanette Johnson were having a Battle Of
The Drummers competition on our noggins and Johnson was winning. Trudging towards the mess hall for breakfast, we
could hear campers buzzing excitedly that this summer's "perfect game" was still alive, which only added to our irritation
– if it wasn't Candice Glover having the highest average score on every replay episode, a streak that Angie Miller snapped
last night, then what the heck was it? Passing the craft shack, where Simon Fuller was now living after his tent got
repossessed, we saw him busking for spare change on the front steps and canceling Summer Tour concerts haphazardly between songs.
And, when we got to the cafeteria, Kree Harrison was
just finishing her meal; she accidentally bumped into us as she was taking her tray to the cleanup rack.
She apologized sweetly and walked out the door. That in itself wasn't unusual, but then we noticed that
the entire mess hall had turned into one big
E.F. Hutton commercial, with hundreds of campers going dead silent and staring expectantly at us. Sheesh, we thought to
ourselves, as if this place wasn't weird enough already....
Anyway, ten hours and half a bottle of Tylenol later, we managed to make it to the second installment of the
AI12 Final Four. Nigel Lythgoe began proceedings by trying to change the theme to
"Then and Then", asserting via Twitter that only ignorant listeners fail to appreciate older music.
We reminded him that he'd been fired weeks ago and
threw him in the lake, which was easily our most satisfying moment of the summer. Glover re-established her rightful spot
at the top of the leaderboard this evening behind her sixth 5-star performance of the
summer, with Harrison second and Miller third. Amber Holcomb, meanwhile, masterfully
completed American Idol's first Triple Crown of Wretched Song Choices: she voluntarily covered a coronation song,
then "MacArthur Park", and tonight she sealed the deal with a mid-season reprise. Oy.
Anyway, since Holcomb brought up the rear in
both halves of the F4 competition, it required no advanced calculus to figure out that she'd finished fourth both in real life
and at Camp Should-A-Been. We sent her home on the Bus Of Shame with a souvenir baseball autographed
by Miguel Cabrera.
Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Final 3 (Jimmy's / Judges' / Producers' Choice)
The theater was unusually
full for tonight's
show, with the crowd taking their seats excitedly chattering about finally seeing a 'perfect game' at CSAB. Even the judges seemed
more engaged than usual, with Randy Jackson taking time from filling out job applications to give a standing ovation
to the three remaining ladies, and Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj even putting aside their ongoing Scrabble game. ("Sweetums,
did you know your name is an anagram of 'Hairy Camera'?" "No, dahling, but I did know that you can't spell Onika without
Well, sorry kiddies, but as we've been telling you for friggin' DAYS,
Glover's streak of performances at 50 or above ended tonight. Sheesh! At least she went down in über-ironic style,
falling one point shy on U2's "One". No matter, because with yet another monster 5-star rating on "Somewhere" and a solid
60 covering Emeli Sandé, Glover cruised into the Finale as expected. The audience, strangely enough, took the
49 in stride and remained on the edge of their seats. Good grief, what are they waiting for now?
As for the second spot...well, Kree Harrison easily posted the second-highest rated performance of the night, and her superb,
heart-wrenching cover of "Here Comes Goodbye" was enough back in May to put her into the Final Two.
But here at Camp Should-A-Been, as Fantasia Barrino can sadly tell you, we consider all the performances in
an episode, not just one. Harrison's "Perfect" scored only 28 (we, uh, actually kind of
liked it), while Angie Miller had three solid if unspectacular ratings. Thus, by a score of 164-to-149, and having
survived a couple of close calls this summer, our Finale would pit the Bay State's own Angela Miller against South Carolina's
Candice Glover for the title of Season 12 Replay Champion!
Harrison gave them both a hug and boarded the Bus Of Shame for the long ride home. We head counselors walked towards the
exit, thinking it kind of strange that nobody in the audience was following us. Then, something really strange
happened. The Bus passed through the gates of camp...and at that precise moment,
the entire theater suddenly erupted into the biggest, longest,
loudest cheer of the whole summer!! The band struck up "Celebration", champagne corks were popping everywhere, and even
the perpetually feuding judges were hugging one another and wiping away tears. Harrison walked back through the gate with
a bashful smile on her face, and
Glover and Miller gleefully ran to congratulate her. Uh...Double-U, Tee, Eff???
Leah LaBelle finally clued us in. "You guys realize, don't you, that you went an entire summer without writing even one
snarky thing about Kree?"
Uh, well...that is.....wait, what???
"It's true," said Sanjaya Malakar as he handed us party hats. "Geez, you barely go three days without making a joke at
my expense. A whole summer...who'd have believed it?!"
"A perfect game! I didn't think it was possible!!" shouted a giddy Tim Urban.
Quickly, we ducked aside and pulled out our 2013 Snark Guide. Hale, Hermano, Holiday...ah, here we go, Kree Annette Harrison.
23 years old. Very good voice. Quite pretty, but in an everyday kind of way. Quiet. Worked much of her life trying to build
a music career in Nashville. No unusual mannerisms, affectations, or annoying habits. Always polite to the judges.
A normal, young, talented, aspiring singer, in other words...the kind of person that
American Idol was supposed to serve, except that somewhere along the line the show seemed to have lost its way and began
favoring personalities and looks over normalcy. In all the hullabaloo over this trainwreck of a season, we never
even noticed her.
The party at the theater was in full swing now, but we couldn't bear to watch. We slowly walked to the Head Cabin, closed
the door, went to our rooms, and turned out the lights....
Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Welcome to the 2013 Camp Should-A-Been Season 12 Replay Finale, sponsored by Lean Cuisine and the American Dental
Association! Too snarky? Sorry but we're still feeling a little touchy about yesterday's outcome, so we're getting off
to an early start tonight. In all seriousness, Candice Glover and Angie Miller make up a worthy
and we're sure whoever wins will sell zillions of albums. At least, we hope so.
'Cause otherwise, Simon Fuller will have our heads, if only to sell them on eBay for living expenses.
We sent the Bus Of Shame out to pick up all the eliminated Season Twelve
contestants and bring them back to camp, many by court order. The result was a packed ampitheater of over 300 spectators,
or roughly 200 more people than who tuned in for the real Finale in May. Miller sang first and chose "Who You Are" for her
thanks to the uncharacteristically well-liked pair of do-overs from the May show, the ratings drop this year for projected
reprises was a little over 15 points, lowest in CSAB history. Not that it mattered much: Glover picked this night to
deliver only the second 90+ performance of the summer, and that was all she wrote. Miller picked a couple of
hometown songs, via Barry Manilow and the Dropkick Murphys, to finish her night, while Glover courteously delivered a 46
on "Chasing Pavements" so that no one would agonize over her perfect game being snapped the night before by one stinking point.
And so, by a score of 194 to 163, having finished out of first place just one night all summer,
Candice Glover's third try at
American Idol ended with her easily becoming the
twelfth replay champion of Camp Should-A-Been and just the fourth to successfully defend her real-life crown!
Glover graciously accepted the congratulations of Miller and her fellow contestants, including the ten who would join her
on the American Idol LIVE Summer Tour which gets underway in just nine days in Kent, WA and closes two hours later.
Get your tickets now - great sections are still available!
As our campers gathered their gear for their trips home and we began to lock up the grounds
for the winter, Aubrey Cleland walked up to us
with a puzzled expression, crossbow in hand. "That's it?" she asked quietly. "No sea monsters? No poison darts? No final
humiliation of the judges or climactic battle against The Voice? Not even any more squirrel jokes??
I can't believe it - you
always save something colossally silly for the Finale!" No, dear, not this year. We had some silliness in the Final Three,
but we felt that a season that drew mostly whimpers from
its fans should have its summer replay end in one, too. It's only fitting. See you in 2014!
— The End —
Closed For The Winter
Thanks For Visiting!
Reopening Summer, 2014.
(provided Season Thirteen doesn't suck)
Camp Should-A-Been – Season Twelve Results
- Candice Glover
- Angie Miller
- Kree Harrison
- Amber Holcomb
- Burnell Taylor
- Juliana Chahayed
- David Willis
- Devin Velez
- Paul Jolley
- Curtis Finch, Jr.
- Aubrey Cleland
-- The staff of WNTS.com