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Camp Should-A-Been - Season Sixteen

Camp Should-A-Been

Okay, people, make it snappy! Customers, find your seats! Contestants, report backstage and be ready to sing! Judges, um, just wing it; it's not like you did anything useful this season anyway. ABC rebooted American Idol in 2018, but it was more like a milk run than a full-blown journey -- we only have ten episodes to replay this summer. How on earth are we CSAB counselors supposed to identify the next great pop superstar in 10 days? At least there's no shortage of worthy candidates: soulful Michael J. Woodard, country diva Gabby Barrett, rockin' Cade Foehner, quirky Catie Turner, edgy Jurnee Siani, runner-up Caleb Hutchinson, and of course AI16 champ Maddie Poppe, whose outstanding song choices kept her one step ahead of the field in real life. Can they propel her to a victory in a competition where only night-to-night approval ratings matter? We'll find out soon enough -- really, really soon enough -- as our sixteenth replay gets underway here at Camp Should-A-Been!...geez, Ryan, haul it; we're fifteen seconds behind schedule already!!

Results

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Semifinals Group One (Solo)

Performance Web Rating Result
All Along The Watchtower0000All Along The Watchtower
77
 
1Pending
Golden Slumbers0000Golden Slumbers
63
 
1Pending
Georgia0000Georgia
62
 
1Pending
My Church0000My Church
55
 
1Pending
Love On The Brain0000Love On The Brain
44
 
1Pending
Ain't Nobody0000Ain't Nobody
39
 
1Pending
Rude0000Rude
37
 
1Pending
Call Me0000Call Me
36
 
1Pending
A Broken Wing0000A Broken Wing
36
 
1Pending
Way Down We Go0000Way Down We Go
25
 
1Pending
If I Were A Boy0000If I Were A Boy
22
 
1Pending
Hello0000Hello
21
 
1Pending

Who says you can't go home again?! There we were, walking through the grounds of our beloved Camp Should-A-Been this afternoon, enjoying the sights and sounds we missed so terribly last summer during American Idol's hiatus.

(*Splash!*) Look! It's a bunch of Season Eight semifinalists frolicking in the lake, while head lifeguard Katie Stevens is busy texting on her cell phone. Meh, they're used to being overlooked.

(*Thwack!*) There go the Top 12 from Season Two at the archery range, happily shooting arrows at the targets...and, occasionally, at each other. Good thing their aim still stinks.

(*AAARGH!-Whump!!*) There's Erika Van Pelt on the athletic field, pulling the football away from Lacey Brown just as she runs up to kick it. We, uh, aren't entirely sure why they redo that ritual every summer. Something about a longstanding tradition between their two families.

(*Blerrrgh!*) That's the noise coming from the Mess Hall. Enough said.

And finally, there's the sound of music wafting from the ampitheater! Okay, so tonight it wasn't exactly Julie Andrews doing "My Favorite Things". It sounded more like the time Julia DeMato got drilled in the leg by an arrow, in fact. But, we were happy to hear it anyway. The first episode of the semifinals is always a ragged affair, and this one was par for the course. Just as in the actual semifinals this spring, every contestant would get to sing twice: one solo number, counting for two-thirds of their score, and one celebrity duet accounting for the other one-third. So, a weak debut wasn't necessarily fatal.

Before the show, we had a long moment of silence for Leah LaBelle and her husband Rasual Butler, who were tragically killed in an car accident this January. Leah was, ah, one of our favorite CSAB contestants over the years, which isn't necessarily something an Idol shoots for, but we were sincerely heartbroken to hear of her passing. (And, Butler was a Philadelphia hoops legend.) Afterwards, we welcomed our three new judges: the eminent Lionel Richie, the enigmatic Katy Perry, and the embarrassed Adam Levine, who showed up at the wrong summer camp yet again. We're trading him tomorrow with Camp Chairs-a-Spinnin' for Luke Bryan, though they assure us there's really no rush.

Rocker Cade Foehner won the Group One solo round handily via only the second Jimi Hendrix cover in the show's history. (Helpful fact for future AI contestants: songs written by Bob Dylan have averaged a 67 rating over the years.) Real-life finalists Michael J. Woodard, Jonny Brenns, and Gabby Barrett also broke 50, but things hit the skids after that. Kay Kay did 'kay, scoring 44 on her Rihanna kover, but after that came a sea of two-star performances; seven in all. Well, at least two of that bunch will advance to the Top 14, so it'll come down to the strength of their duets tomorrow night.

Besides, even if the singing wasn't so hot, the fact that CSAB was open for business again was enough to put a smile on everyone's face. Everyone except our charmingly evil CEO Simon Fuller, that is, who seemed downcast and apprehensive all day. C'mon, Mr. Fuller, cheer up! We've got everything back! All 406 previous contestants are here, plus the crew, and the band, and Ryan Seacrest, and the judges, and the petting zoo animals, and the lousy food, and the snark. Everything! What's that? 'Not quite everything, mates'? But, we don't understand. What don't we have that we should?...

.......the WHAT???!!

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Semifinals Group One (Duets)

Performance Web Rating Result
Unaware0000Unaware
80
 
2Safe
Never Tear Us Apart0000Never Tear Us Apart
72
 
2Safe
Stay0000Stay
63
 
2Safe
Angel In Blue Jeans0000Angel In Blue Jeans
46
 
2Safe
I Can't Make You Love Me0000I Can't Make You Love Me
44
 
7Eliminated
Wake Me Up0000Wake Me Up
42
 
2Safe
Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)0000Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)
37
 
2Safe
Stuck Like Glue0000Stuck Like Glue
33
 
7Eliminated
Despacito0000Despacito
29
 
7Eliminated
Back Home0000Back Home
24
 
2Safe
River0000River
22
 
7Eliminated
Drive By0000Drive By
16
 
7Eliminated

Okay, everybody, settle down! You've heard the news, and it's not good. We're sure you all have a lot of questions, and we'll try to answer them as best we can. Who wants to go first?

No, Crystal, we don't know who owns the campground. Mr. Fuller won't say, except that it's one of his old business associates. Judging by that huge sign out front, we're guessing it's some guy who teaches retirees how to play bridge. All we know is that he's a very busy and important man, and that he really, really, really hates trespassers.

Yes, Bo, the buyback terms were agreed upon and the papers have been drawn up. But, the new owner hasn't signed them yet. Mr. Fuller says the sale might go through any day, or it might not happen for another month. Until that time, we're all here illegally. No, Michelle, the fact that you have asylum isn't going to help you if the police show up.

What's that, LaKisha? Yep, it's going to be business as usual. Season 16 was so short that the entire Camp Should-A-Been replay will be over on July 2nd, even with us taking Saturdays off as usual. We're going to stick with the nightly schedule, and with any luck we'll be out of here before anyone realizes we were here. Or something. We'll also run our annual sporting events with the other replay camps around the lake, to avoid raising suspicions. But let's be clear: everyone is going to keep a really low profile on social media for the next ten days. No photos, no geotagging, no self-promoting antics -- just spend a couple weeks trying to act normal and stay out of the spotlight. Oh geez, someone get the smelling salts; Katy fainted again.

Yes, Joey, we know you wuz robbed. Give it a rest already.

Oh, sorry Dennis! In all the confusion, we forgot to announce the results of tonight's Group One duets. Bear in mind that these approval ratings are based on only about 50 opinions, so the margin of error is high. But, um, "margin of error" is also pretty much what most viewers thought of the show. The average approval rating was just 42, and only three of the 12 performances even reached 50. You'll be happy to learn, however, that your duet with Allen Stone was tops on the night, coming in at an excellent 5-star 80.

Even though the duets counted for only half as much as the solo performances, the scores tonight made all the difference in the world. These are the two-day results:

  1. Cade Foehner: (77 + 72/2) ÷ 1.5 = 75.3
  2. Gabby Barrett: 55, 63 = 57.7
  3. Michael J. Woodard: 63, 46 = 57.3
  4. Dennis Lorenzo: 37, 80 = 51.3
  5. Jonny Brenns: 62, 24 = 49.3
  6. Dominique: 39 + 42 = 40
  7. Catie Turner: 36, 37 = 36.3
  8. Layla Spring: 36, 33 = 35
  9. Kay Kay: 44, 16 = 34.7
  10. Michelle Sussett: 22, 44 = 29.3
  11. Trevor McBane: 25, 22 = 24
  12. Brandon Diaz: 21, 29 = 23.7

Anyway, Cade Foehner and Gabby Barrett were the only two contestants to break par both nights, so they're the first two to move on to the Top 14. Say, has anyone seen Cade and Gabby? They're back in Cabin Sixteen? Hmph. Must be celebrating.

Michael J. Woodard, Dennis Lorenzo, Jonny Brenns, and Catie Turner also advanced, just as they did in April. Dominique becomes our first holdover contestant of 2018; he'll get a projected rating on Tuesday night. That means it's the end of the journey for Layla Spring, KaySquared, Trevor McBane, Brandon Diaz, and real-life finalist Michelle Sussett. We hear she plans on singing her original "I'm a Dreamer" song the whole way home on the Bus Of Shame, so the other four of you might want to ride in the baggage compartment.

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Semifinals Group Two (Solo)

Performance Web Rating Result
Flashlight0000Flashlight
78
 
1Pending
Feeling Good0000Feeling Good
77
 
1Pending
Brand New Key0000Brand New Key
74
 
1Pending
Inseparable0000Inseparable
64
 
1Pending
Run To You0000Run To You
58
 
1Pending
Die a Happy Man0000Die a Happy Man
51
 
1Pending
Stay0000Stay
41
 
1Pending
Barracuda0000Barracuda
41
 
1Pending
All I Ask0000All I Ask
39
 
1Pending
Dancing On My Own0000Dancing On My Own
18
 
1Pending
Believer0000Believer
18
 
1Pending
Treat You Better0000Treat You Better
11
 
1Pending

One problem with the overabundance of reality TV talent shows these days is that they all draw from the same limited pool of prospective contestants. Candidates must be young, attractive, a talented singer, and to have had one's sense of shame surgically removed as a child. While this hasn't really hampered American Idol so far, it's playing havoc with our summer camp sports teams. Kelly Clarkson spent the afternoon sprinting from one diamond to the other during the annual Lake Trainwreck Softball Tournament. She's the catcher for Camp Should-A-Been, the third baseman for Camp Chairs-A-Spinnin', and the power forward for Camp Duets. No wonder that stupid show only lasted one season. Mara Justine decided to play for Camp All! American! Talent! because she finished higher on their show than she did on AI. Boy, is she in for a rough couple of days. Meanwhile, Camp Majors-'n'-Minors demanded that Michael J. Woodard be on their team, because otherwise they wouldn't have enough players. Scotty McCreery got so fed up with losing teammates to other camps that he beaned all five members of Pentatonix in our game against Camp Singin' Off, just for spite.

No question though that CCAS are the biggest pains in our tuckuses. Seems like every recent AI contestant auditioned for that show at one time. Adam Levine sent us a certified letter this afternoon stating that half of our 2018 touch football team was their camp's property, including Cade Foehner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, and Maddie Poppe. We told him, look Adam, let's settle this like dignified people. If you can kick a 25-yard field goal, we'll let you have all three of them. He agreed, and in the spirit of good sportsmanship, we sent out Guess Who to serve as his holder. Shh-h-h-h...wait for it.....

(*AAAAARRGH!-Whump!!!*)

One of these years, that guy'll learn not to mess with us. Anyway, we made it through the weekend without losing a game or getting arrested, and we capped it off with a half-decent Group Two solo round tonight. Eighteen-year-old Jurnee Siani thankfully can sing a lot better than she can spell: the newlywed Army spouse won the night with an excellent cover of Jessie J.'s "Flashlight", which came in at 78. Right behind her was Adam Sanders, in his fabled alter ego of Ada Vox, with a 77 on "Feeling Good", followed by defending champ Poppe followed with arguably the most out-of-left-field song choice in AI history. The top eight singers all reached 3-stars, and #9 finisher Shannon O'Hara missed by a single point. Seven will advance, so the duets are going to be crucial.

Bringing up the rear by a wide margin were Ron Bultongez, Amelia Harris, and inexplicable real-life Top 14 selectee Garrett Jacobs. Having seen the wild movement in the standings after the first set of Group Duets, all three of them left the theater tonight confident that they'd improve their approval ratings by enough tomorrow to advance. Except, they won't even come close. Look, if it's action and suspense you want, go practice place-kicking with EVP.

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Semifinals Group Two (Duets)

Performance Web Rating Result
Run To You0000Run To You
90
 
2Safe
Defying Gravity0000Defying Gravity
73
 
2Safe
Fight Song0000Fight Song
70
 
2Safe
Bubbly0000Bubbly
64
 
2Safe
What's Going On0000What's Going On
61
 
2Safe
Meant To Be0000Meant To Be
52
 
2Safe
Diane0000Diane
49
 
2Safe
Burning House0000Burning House
47
 
7Eliminated
Lucky0000Lucky
35
 
7Eliminated
Me Myself & I0000Me Myself & I
30
 
7Eliminated
Yellow0000Yellow
20
 
7Eliminated
Someone To You0000Someone To You
15
 
7Eliminated

It's Day Five here at Camp Shhhh!, and so far it's been a lot better than we expected. We did have a bit of a scare around noon when a couple of hikers came up the mountain road. But, we immediately executed our Code Red contingency plan, in which every camper donned homemade camouflage gear devised by La'Porsha Renae and Adam Sanders. We, uh, really didn't think it was going to work, but the hikers never suspected a thing. Hopefully we won't need it again.

Truth be told, most everyone seems downright relieved to be able to spend a quiet week off the grid and away from the stresses of the music industry. When you're usually spending every waking hour either struggling for a big break, or fighting to stay relevant after you've had one, even the CSAB meatloaf isn't all that bad. Only Katy Perry seems to be having difficulties coping. Normalcy is not her jam. She spent most of the afternoon drinking wine, trying on various Disney Princess costumes, and kvetching about Taylor Swift to the forest squirrels. They're used to Paula, so they took it all in stride.

After dinner, we headed to the ampitheater to round out this season's Replay Top 14. The star of the evening: Lea Michele. Despite suffering from some, um, difficulties of her own (okay, even if you do enjoy being off the grid once in a while, our meatloaf really is that bad), the erstwhile Glee star put on two spectacular performances with Jurnee and Ada Vox in between doses of Gas-X. "Run To You" scored 89.4 based on about 55 reviews, and while we usually don't normalize duet ratings, we made an exception this time because we just wanted to see one damn 90 on the scoreboard this summer. Hmm? (*sigh*) Yes, Joey, we know, we know....

Mara Justine, who figured she could get away with abandoning our softball team over the weekend because, gosh darn, she was only 15 and cute as a button and from South Jersey like the head counselors, got stuck with KP duty, laundry duty, grease trap duty, petting zoo stable duty, and restroom duty today. She and Rachel Platten delivered a fine 70 on "Fight Song" before an exhausted Justine fell asleep while the judges were giving their critiques. Also advancing tonight as before were Marcio Donaldson, Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson. Say, has anyone seen Maddie and Caleb? They're back in Cabin Sixteen? Hmph. This year's cast sure does a lot of celebrating.

That left just one chair remaining, and with Alyssa Raghu bombing out on her Coldplay duet with some guy named Banners (who we're pretty sure was Nick Fradiani in disguise), it came down to Effie Passero and Shannon O'Hara. And the winner, by a scant, two-point margin was....

  1. Jurnee: (78 + 90/2) ÷ 1.5 = 82
  2. Ada Vox: 77, 73 = 75.7
  3. Maddie Poppe: 74, 64 = 70.7
  4. Marcio Donaldson: 64, 61 = 63
  5. Mara Justine: 58, 70 = 62
  6. Caleb Lee Hutchinson: 51 + 52 = 51.3
  7. Effie Passero: 41, 49 = 43.7
  8. Shannon O'Hara: 39, 47 = 41.7
  9. Alyssa Raghu: 41, 20 = 34
  10. Amelia Harris: 18, 30 = 22
  11. Garrett Jacobs: 11, 35 = 19
  12. Ron Bultongez: 18, 15 = 17

...Passero, who'll move on to tomorrow night's show with a projected rating. O'Hara was understandably a bit miffed at her dismissal, inasmuch as she would have finished sixth in Group One. But, as we had Ricky Braddy and Felicia Barton explain as they escorted her to the Bus Of Shame, nothing screams American Idol louder than royally screwing up the group seedings in the semifinals.

So, as is often the case, our Camp finalists this summer look more than expectedly like the ones the judges actually chose in the spring:

  • Gabby Barrett
  • Jonny Brenns
  • Dominique
  • Marcio Donaldson
  • Cade Foehner
  • Caleb Lee Hutchinson
  • Jurnee
  • Mara Justine
  • Dennis Lorenzo
  • Effie Passero
  • Maddie Poppe
  • Adam "Ada Vox" Sanders
  • Catie Turner
  • Michael J. Woodard

Newcomers in italics. Dominique and Passero replace Michelle Sussett and Garrett Jacobs, and the other 12 remain as-is. We'll see you in 24 hours when we get the AI16 Replay Finals started! Remember to use the secret knock at the gate. Tomorrow's password is "In it to win it!"

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Final 14

Performance Web Rating Result
Homeward Bound0000Homeward Bound
87
 
2Safe
Titanium0000Titanium
81
 
2Safe
The Climb0000The Climb
75
 
2Safe
In My Blood0000In My Blood
62
 
2Safe
Black Magic Woman0000Black Magic Woman
59
 
2Safe
Bang Bang0000Bang Bang
58
 
2Safe
Take Me To Church0000Take Me To Church
56
 
5Wild Card
The Show Must Go On0000The Show Must Go On
54
 
5Wild Card
Roar0000Roar
40
 
5Wild Card
California Gurls0000California Gurls
36
 
5Wild Card
Midnight Train To Memphis0000Midnight Train To Memphis
35
 
5Wild Card
This Is Me0000This Is Me
25
 
5Wild Card
It's A Miracle0000It's A Miracle
15
 
5Wild Card
Georgia0000Georgia
10
 
5Wild Card

Date: 26-June-2018 10:45pm
OFFICIAL POLICE REPORT

Location: Camp Should-a-Been (closed)
Complaint: Possible trespassing
Complaintant: Multiple sources including FBI, CIA, NSA, US DoJ, INS, and a resident at Camp Apprentice.

Officer's Report: Arrived at approximately 10:15pm at abandoned campground in the north woods. No persons found; however, there is evidence of recent human activity at the site. Details include footprints, refuse, sheet music, bloodspots on archery range, and cheesy special effects equipment (still warm). Found 22 empty wine bottles and a feather boa by the center seat of a table in front of the main theater stage. Unidentifiable substance discovered in the cafeteria building; EPA to be notified.

Among stack of papers at the theater table was a signed wager sheet in which three unknown parties bet $10,000 apiece in March as to who can go the longest without giving anyone a negative critique. Outcome appears to be ongoing.

Also found was a set list of 14 songs, with handwritten notes in the margin: "M. Poppe outstanding. M. Woodard 5-stars; we still think Dennis was way better. Barrett, Lorenzo, Foehner, Jurnee (sic) directly to Top 10. Everyone else to Wild Card round Wed. No victory performances!!! - unused ones will be used as first projected rating if necessary. What the hell was Donaldson thinking? Tell holdovers to be more imaginative with song choices; KP too tipsy to notice anyway. Remember to change both bunkroom locks in Cabin Sixteen tomorrow; situation getting out of hand. Oh, crap! Order Code Red!!"

Notes end there. Hunch is that campgrounds were used by small group of itinerant hobos who fled upon seeing police lights. Site is completely deserted except for forest animals, extra large mosquitos, and approximately 500 funny-looking sheep in petting zoo corral. Many are very hairy and in need of shearing. No follow-up visit necessary at this time. Returning to barracks.

- Sgt. B. Dunkelman

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Wild Card

Performance Web Rating Result
Havana0000Havana
68
 
2Safe
Love On The Brain0000Love On The Brain
58
 
2Safe
And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going0000And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
50
 
2Safe
All Night Long0000All Night Long
36
 
2Safe
Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)0000Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)
35
 
7Eliminated
Demons0000Demons
34
 
7Eliminated
Dancing on the Ceiling0000Dancing on the Ceiling
33
 
7Eliminated
Jealous0000Jealous
8
 
7Eliminated

"Look, Mr. Fuller, we don't care how important this associate of yours is. Tell him to sign the blasted contract so that we can have our campground back. Last night was too close for comfort! Operation Ovine isn't going to work forever. Thankfully it was really dark out, and the policeman wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Probably he's some poor slob who made a few unlucky career moves years ago.

"Anyway, sir, other than that, things are okay. Well, we're getting a little worried about Katy. The strain of keeping a low profile is really affecting her. Right after breakfast, she came running into the Head Cabin waving a copy of her contract and shouting that nowhere in it was a Normalcy Clause. Plus, she's going around collecting body parts from all the hot male contestants through the years. She has a lock of Cade Foehner's hair, fingernail clippings from Ace Young, belly button lint from Trent Harmon, and...what's that, sir? She did that during the real season, too? Um, okay. That's still not exactly comforting news.

"Yes, sir, we filled out the Top 10 during tonight's Sing For Your Life show. It felt weird staging a wild card round in the middle of the Finals, but AI16 was full of surprises. The big issue was whether we should count tonight's performances on their own, or combine their ratings with yesterday's numbers. It was pretty clear during the actual show in April that the producers judges' minds were already made up, and that the contestants could've burped fast food jingles for all the difference it would have made. But, to be consistent with our past Camp Should-a-Been wild card replays, we chose to use only the eight performances this evening.

"Fortunately, the results would've been the same either way. Catie Turner kept her standard deviation under 25 for once, and that allowed "Havana" to lead the pack. Little Mara Justine was next, and as soon as she gets off litter cleanup duty down at the lake, we'll tell her she's made it through to the Top 10 this time. Ada Vox's over-the-top vocals are starting to wear a bit, but she nonetheless scored 50 on the nose to take the ninth chair.

"And wow -- was it ever close for #10. We had to go into the spreadsheet to look up the results to two decimal places, and we even normalized her duet score to be doubly fair, but Effie Passero's second projected rating beat out Caleb Lee Hutchinson by 0.16 points! Passero's number rounded up; Hutchinson's rounded down. Yes, sir, too bad for the real-life runner up, but hey: delivering back-to-back 35s in a field this talented also isn't much of a career move. Jonny Brenns, Dominique, and Marcio Donaldson were also eliminated. They're sitting on the Bus Of Shame waiting for Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe to finish kissing goodbye. We'll give them 20 more minutes, then we're going out there with a crowbar."

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Final 10 (Disney)

Performance Web Rating Result
Beauty And The Beast0000Beauty And The Beast
82
 
2Safe
Once Upon A Dream0000Once Upon A Dream
79
 
2Safe
Can You Feel The Love Tonight0000Can You Feel The Love Tonight
74
 
2Safe
The Bare Necessities0000The Bare Necessities
66
 
2Safe
How Far I'll Go0000How Far I'll Go
64
 
2Safe
Kiss The Girl0000Kiss The Girl
53
 
2Safe
The Work Song0000The Work Song
46
 
2Safe
Colors Of The Wind0000Colors Of The Wind
41
 
7Eliminated
Circle Of Life0000Circle Of Life
34
 
7Eliminated
Shut Up And Drive0000Shut Up And Drive
32
 
7Eliminated

For all of the wisecracks we make about them, Disney songs are, by and large, timeless and high-quality showtunes. Now that it's part and parcel of the Disney Company's empire, American Idol finally embraced their inner Mickey this spring, and the result was the top-rated episode of the season and one of the ten highest in the show's long history. We were determined to do its replay justice, even to the point of bringing in Idina Menzel undercover to serve as mentor. Her arrival at camp this morning didn't go well, inasmuch as we forgot to inform our fabled trio of disciplinary counselors, Rocco, Viktor, and Serge, that she was coming. [ (*knock-knock*) Psst...it's 'Adele Dazeem'...PFFFFFFT!*thud*. ] But after she came to, the Broadway legend did a terrific job of coaching our young contestants to sing the happiest, cheesiest songs on earth.

Even after replacing Michelle Sussett's "Remember Me" with a triple-decayed Effie Passero, this was a terrific night, averaging a healthy 57.1 and producing a genuine 5-star performance by one Michael J. Woodard, channeling Angela B. Lansbury. Catie Turner, yet again lugging a 25 s.d. like Sisyphus lugged his rock, missed joining him by a single point. The biggest variance of the night, however, came from one Cade Foehner, Rocker, who answered the burning, age-old question, "What would The Little Mermaid have been like if Kurt Cobain had played Sebastian?" (We, um, actually really liked it.) Maddie Poppe and Jurnee kept their perfect games this summer alive, earning standing ovations yet again from Snow White and 28.6% of Her Dwarfs, Happy and Happier. And, this time Dennis Lorenzo didn't get whacked three minutes after delivering a 74-rated performance by a fast-closing Internet voting window. In the spirit of the original episode, however, as soon as he finished, we dragged him offstage with a hook.

As for our other contestants: Mara Justine's first projected rating was only so-so, and her song choice suggested she was a little irked about getting saddled with every dirty job around camp (today's was to scrape barnacles off the canoes), but her 46 would be good enough to earn another night here at CSAB. Leaving us tonight on the Bus Of Shame was the inimitable Miss Ada Vox, whose song choice did her in, along with Passero at the wheel. And holy monkeys: our third eliminee was original third-place finisher Gabby Barrett! Pity, we never got to ask her how she developed such a strong Southern drawl from living in Pittsburgh. Anyway, this means we'll have at least two new participants in this summer's Finale. The Bus will be leaving as soon as Barrett and Foehner finish kissing their goodbyes. Hmph...where'd we put that crowbar? Might need the WD-40, too.

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Final 7 (Prince/Year You Were Born)

Performance Web Rating Result
Nothing Compares 2 U0000Nothing Compares 2 U
89
 
2Safe
Controversy0000Controversy
86
 
2Safe
Motownphilly0000Motownphilly
60
 
2Safe
Kiss0000Kiss
56
 
2Safe
Back At One0000Back At One
53
 
2Safe
If It Makes You Happy0000If It Makes You Happy
53
 
2Safe
Parents Just Don't Understand0000Parents Just Don't Understand
41
 
2Safe
My Heart Will Go On0000My Heart Will Go On
39
 
2Safe
Oops!...I Did It Again0000Oops!...I Did It Again
38
 
7Eliminated
Soak Up The Sun0000Soak Up The Sun
37
 
2Safe
Who Will Save Your Soul0000Who Will Save Your Soul
36
 
7Eliminated
I Would Die 4 U0000I Would Die 4 U
32
 
2Safe
Jungle Love0000Jungle Love
24
 
7Eliminated
Manic Monday0000Manic Monday
4
 
7Eliminated

Just three shows to go! The short season was a disappointment in real time, but it's been a godsend for Camp Should-a-Been this summer. Heck, we might actually pull this crazy stunt off without needing to buy bail bonds by the pallet at Sam's Club. At breakfast, we thanked the troops for their cooperation and reminded them to maintain radio silence just through the weekend. The ones not gagging nodded in assent; the rest aren't going to be in any shape for tweeting anyway.

Our only concern is a certain distaff judge whose behavior throughout the week was becoming increasingly erratic. This afternoon she recited the entire soliloquy from Hamlet while ordering lunch. ("To beef, or not to beef...") Hoping to keep her halfway sane through Monday, we sent her to chat with camp psychologist Erika Van Pelt ("Psychiatric Help, 5¢ - The Doctor Is In"), with stern instructions not to go along if she suggested any "football-kicking therapy."

Meanwhile, we had another issue to grapple with: as Gabby Barrett and Caleb Hutchinson were gone, the top of the card for tonight's Final Seven show was looking mighty thin. We had Maddie Poppe's magnum opus, "Nothing Compares 2 U" as our curtain number, but it was a steep drop from there to Jurnee's two fiftysomething performances. Thankfully, our Philly homeboy Denn--...

(*AAAAARRGH!-Whump!!!*)

...oh, for heaven's sake, Katy, we warned you!! Sheesh! Um, where were we? Oh yeah: fortunately Dennis Lorenzo had an 86 masterpiece in cold storage from the original Wild Card show, and his first projected rating, taking his duet into account, still hit 4-stars. Finding a song in the sublime Prince catalog appropriate for a 15-year-old girl to sing on national TV was more than we overburdened camp counselors could manage, so we added a "Fresh" to the job description and went from there.

After that, however, things got seriously choppy. Normally it's not recommended to drop a 39 and 32 on a double-elimination night, but Michael J. Woodard's timing was impeccable, because Cade Foehner and Catie Turner had by far their worst nights of the season. The Texas rocker had little luck with his Jewel cover and even less with The Time (we'd have swapped the two ratings, but otherwise they seem about right.) And oops, she did it again: Turner forgot the words to "Manic Monday" along with her cue, the key, and the fact that she probably shouldn't have been in the restroom when Rickey Minor struck up the band.

So our Final Five this year are set: Jurnee, Mara Justine, Dennis Lorenzo, Maddie Poppe, and Michael J. Woodard. Keep in mind that Jurnee and Woodard have unused Wild Card/Victory performance ratings still to come. Join us on Sunday when we pay tribute to Mom and Mama Underwood as we determine who'll be in our Replay Finale.

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

Final 5 (Carrie Underwood/Mothers Day)

Performance Web Rating Result
God Only Knows0000God Only Knows
76
 
2Safe
Something In The Water0000Something In The Water
75
 
2Safe
I Told You So0000I Told You So
74
 
2Safe
Sylvia's Mother0000Sylvia's Mother
60
 
2Safe
Still I Rise0000Still I Rise
59
 
7Eliminated
Blown Away0000Blown Away
54
 
2Safe
Stacy's Mom0000Stacy's Mom
49
 
2Safe
All-American Girl0000All-American Girl
34
 
7Eliminated
Flat On The Floor0000Flat On The Floor
32
 
7Eliminated
Mother And Child Reunion0000Mother And Child Reunion
31
 
7Eliminated

So this morning we went 2-for-3 in games against our Dancing With The Stars rivals at Camp Hoofin'-It. We won the Hide-and-Seek competition easily -- American Idol has no shortage of champs who know how to disappear off the face of the earth. We also beat them at basketball when Kris Allen dunked ferociously on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the buzzer for the winning points. Sadly, nobody thought to shoot a video, so you'll have to take our word for it. But, we got walloped by them for the first time ever at ice hockey, 6-1, with no fewer than nine Camp Should-A-Been skaters having to be carted off the ice with knee contusions. If you think they brought Tonya Harding on board this year just for the TV ratings, think again.

We returned to CSAB and everything was quiet until mid-afternoon. That's when Melinda Doolittle approached us with the sort of facial expression that said, "The septic tank overflowed again", or worse. She somberly handed us her cell phone, where to our horror we saw the following tweet from our hockey team's first-line left winger, who was recuperating in the infirmary with an ice pack taped to her knee:

KATY PERRY @katyperry  ·  10m
@TheTonyaHarding u won 2day, but @AmericanIdol BEAT u this spring when it mattered, and our #CampShouldABeen Finale tomorrow is gonna ROCK U GUYS RIGHT OFF THE LAKE!!! #CSABRules #NormalcySux #NeedIbuprofen
420 9,614 13.8K

Aiieeeeee!! Well, heh-heh, we still might be okay. We only have to hold out a little more than 24 hours, and who knows? Maybe the new owner doesn't follow Twitter.

Anyway, tonight's Final Five show went off smoothly, notwithstanding the fact that we didn't have any judges. KP was still in too much pain, Lionel Richie lost track of time while practicing his stentorian tones in the dressing room mirror ("Back in my day, we called that kind of singing 'talent'."..."Municipal bonds, Ted. I'm talking Double-A rating. Best investment in America"...), and Luke Bryan and his mom were fishing at the pier ("I don't care what comes out of this here lake, son, it's gotta be better than what they're serving in that cafeteria!") So, we did a Reverse Code Red of sorts and put three sheep at the front table. Nobody noticed the difference.

Once again, Maddie Poppe won the night handily, but Jurnee's unused rating from the second Final 14 show split Poppe's two numbers down the middle. Both women advanced easily to the Finale, as did Dennis Lorenzo. His second and third projected ratings scored 103, edging out Michael J. Woodard's respectable 91. This time, we have some sympathy for Woodard: "Still I Rise" deserved a much higher score in our opinions. But, MJW would finish fourth, and Mara Justine ended her fine Camp Should-A-Been run in fifth place. No doubt social media is exploding in outrage that she was denied a spot in the Top 10 and on the tour this summer. No? Okay. At any rate, Woodard and Justine boarded the Bus Of Shame for their excruciatingly long journeys back to the Philadelphia region. (It's excrutiating only because there are no Wawas until Harrisburg.)

Anyway, it'll be Poppe, Lorenzo, and Jurnee tomorrow night. As we were returning the judges to the petting zoo, young Mrs. Siani came running up to have a little word with us.

"Don't you dare have me sing you-know-what tomorrow night just because Gabby's not here. Every reader saw that joke coming since May!"

Yes, dear, we know, but we do snark here at CSAB. Doesn't matter if it's obvious snark or not. Besides, you should be thrilled that you made it to the Finale on merit, and that you can use a reprise rating for your first number. Your wife would be very proud.

Jurnee's face brightened. "Yeah, she is. I just got off the phone with her, and she says she's really excited to see me sing tomorrow night."

See you? You mean in person? But, she's on active duty! The only way she could possibly be here tomorrow is if...if........

Ruh-roh.

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Finale

Performance Web Rating Result
Landslide0000Landslide
86
 
2Safe
Don't Ever Let Your Children Grow Up0000Don't Ever Let Your Children Grow Up
79
 
2Safe
This Woman's Work0000This Woman's WorkReprise performance
72
 
7Eliminated
Flashlight0000FlashlightReprise performance
61
 
7Eliminated
Rivers Deep0000Rivers Deep
54
 
7Eliminated
Going Going Gone0000Going Going Gone
53
 
2Safe
Don't Stop Believin'0000Don't Stop Believin'
49
 
7Eliminated
Johnny Cash Heart0000Johnny Cash Heart
45
 
7Eliminated
Sara Smile0000Sara Smile
40
 
7Eliminated

It took the entire population of Camp Should-A-Been working in the hot sun all day, but it's done. We erected a Meatloaf Wall halfway up the access road! That won't stop the new owner and his minions, of course, but at least it ought to slow them down until they can bring in a CBRN Unit. With any luck, we'll have our Season Sixteen Finale finished by then and have made our escape by water.

We started with the Favorite Performance round. The deduction for reprises this year?: just over 14 ratings points. Remember how it was 21 when CSAB first opened? Over time, reviewers' opinions of reprise performances has steadily improved. Either that, or after having sat through I Have Freaking Nothing ten times, they figure that hearing a song twice in one season isn't all that bad. At any rate, Jurnee redid "Flashlight" for a 61, while Dennis Lorenzo scored a fine 72 on "This Woman's Work". But, neither could match Poppe's poignant original song, "Don't Ever Let Your Children Grow Up", which just missed 5-stars. The defending champ had opened a 7-point lead.

Round two was coronation songs. We'd planned to have Jessica Meuse and Alex Preston write fresh ones for our holdovers, but they were on brickmaking duty all day. So, we had JS and DL redo the ones that Gabby Barrett and Caleb Hutchinson sang. Jurnee actually beat Poppe by a point with her second projected rating, as both women extended their perfect games this summer. As for Lorenzo, um, look: a song called "Johnny Cash Heart" is unlikely to be on his first album, but he remembered his cue and did okay with it. After two rounds it was Poppe 132, Lorenzo 117, and Siani 115.

Then came the Hometown Dedication round. Words can not adequately describe the look of pure venom that Jurnee shot us before taking the stage, but this was a pun that, frankly, was four long months in the making. She could've lobbed meatloaf grenades at us, but we weren't budging. Alas, just as it likely derailed Barrett two months ago, "Don't Stop Believin'" ended Jurnee's CSAB perfect game by one point! Lorenzo chose a Hall & Oates classic to honor Philadelphia, and even his fifth projected rating still squeaked into 3-stars.

But there was no stopping Poppe. The Iowan's choice of "Landslide" was as fitting as could be: coming in at 86, it gave her a final score of 218 — a new Camp Should-A-Been Finale record, breaking Crystal Bowersox's former mark of 216 in 2010. Maddie Poppe had achieved the first WhatNotToSing.com Triple Crown: she won the real competition, won the CSAB replay, and completed a full-season perfect game!*

Poppe, who knew she had won the replay before the official announcement because (a) she can add, and (b) even after 16 tries, Ryan Seacrest is incapable of concealing a results card, happily accepted congratulations from her campmates and a kiss from her sweetie Hutchinson. She let her Final 10 mates handle her sing-out as the pine needles fell from the rafters and...

*** KABOOM!! ***

The entire campground shook as the main gates were blown open with a concussion bomb. Through the smoke, we could see a squadron of troops come pouring in, led by the new owner! Quick, everyone – get to the canoes!! We'll row across the lake and apply for asylum at Camp Hoofin'-It. Somebody take Scott Macintyre's arm! No, no, Rickey, leave the instruments – we don't have time! Hurry!

Just then, through the twilight, we saw a female figure kneeling on the athletic field. She was casually teeing up a football while the furious owner ran directly towards her!

Erika! one of us screamed. Are you out of your mind?? Run!!!

"But I'm over here," came a puzzled voice from behind us. We looked. There was EVP sitting in a nearby canoe, holding only an oar. Wait, if she's there, then who the hell is.......?

(* Aaaaaaaaaargh!-WHUMP!!! *)

"Woo-hoo!" shouted the mystery woman as she fled towards the docks, carrying a feather boa and a Snow White outfit and running with a pronounced limp. "It's a Teenage Dream come true!"

The last canoe in our flotilla pushed off just before the troops reached it. We paddled across Lake Trainwreck by the light of the moon until we reached the far shore, where our friends at CHI helped us get everyone safely onto dry land. About 20 minutes later, while we listened to Lionel Richie recount the ordeal to Bruno Tonioli, we got a phone call from Simon Fuller:

"Great news, mates! The new owner just texted me. He's signing the paperwork first thing tomorrow – he says, quote, 'Keeping this dump is more trouble than it's worth, Hashtag-Sad, Hashtag-NeedIbuprofen.' We're free and clear for next year!"

Ugh. Well, better late than never, we suppose. Looks like an AI16 judge turned out to be pretty useful after all. It wasn't the greatest of seasons, perhaps, but we nonetheless enjoyed it because it put American Idol back on the radar. The summer tour gets on the road next week, auditions for AI17 are scheduled to begin in late August, and by next March (and hopefully a little sooner), a new season of Idol will be here. And, we'll be back on June 21st, 2019, to kick off another snark-filled replay at Camp Should-A-Been! Um, it's just an expression, Katy. Get away from us with that football.

—   The End   —

* (It can now be told, incidentally, that Poppe can thank longtime Idol journalists Rodney Ho and Michael Slezak for the perfecto. "Going Going Gone" was actually at 48 to 49 for a good stretch of the Finale balloting, making us worry how we were gonna explain this to our readers. Candice Glover misses by one point on "One" and then a song called "Going Going Gone" ends a perfect game? Yeah, right. But, both writers gave the coronation performance high marks. That put it over 50, and from there it never fell back. - Ed.)

Camp Should-A-Been
Closed for the Winter.

Thanks For Visiting!

Reopening Summer, 2019.

Camp Should-A-Been – Season Sixteen Results

  1. Maddie Poppe
  2. Jurnee
  3. Dennis Lorenzo
  4. Michael J. Woodard
  5. Mara Justine
  6. Cade Foehner
  7. Catie Turner
  8. Gabby Barrett
  9. Adam "Ada Vox" Sanders
  10. Effie Passero
  11. Caleb Lee Hutchinson
  12. Johnny Brenns
  13. Dominique
  14. Marcio Donaldson

Up Next: Series* Finale!

-- The staff of WNTS.com

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