Camp Should-A-Been - Season Five
To get to Cabin Five,
proceed up its long tree-lined driveway, past the private tennis
courts and the executive golf course, make a right at the swimming pool,
and you'll shortly arrive at a four-story Victorian log cabin at the crest of the
hill where the stars of Season Five
reside. Winner Taylor Hicks is summering there along with breakout smash Chris Daughtry, plus
the likes of pop hitmakers Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin and country luminaries Bucky
Covington and Kellie Pickler. But admit it: unlike in the first four replays, where you
might've gone 8-for-8 in guessing who'd be in the Finale, you have no clue who's
going to make it this time, do you? Let's find out, as the Season Five replay
at Camp Should-A-Been gets underway....and, ahem, no autographs please.
Sunday, August 24th, 2008
Top 24 (Girls)
Some arrived at the ampitheater by limousine, others by car, and a few on foot,
but all of the ladies of AI5
got the Red Carpet Treatment here on Opening Night. Of course, this being Camp
Should-A-Been, that's not as good as it sounds. It means we invited Joan and Melissa Rivers
to mock their outfits as they walked in
("Where'd Kellie Pickler buy that dress? Sports Authority?"),
plus we hired a few paparazzi to shoot embarrassing photos and sell them to the tabloids.
Fame may have its perks elsewhere, but not where our camp counselors are involved.
Top 24 Girls
show itself was highlighted by a pair of 5-star performances by Katharine McPhee and
Lisa Tucker, plus two spirited 76s from Paris Bennett and Mandisa Knockwurst (she
accidentally left her real last name on her nightstand, so we lent her one for the night.)
There was a major dropoff after that, however, as seven of the 12 contestants came in
under 50. Six-foot-tall Stevie Scott, who earlier in the day teamed with
Ayla Brown to win the camp's two-on-two basketball tournament (defeating Ryan Seacrest
and Ramiele Malubay in a rather one-sided Final), earned an uncomfortable ride home in
the cramped Bus Of Shame. The second elimination was the narrowest one we've had so far:
Brenna Gethers was sent home over Heather Cox by the outrageous margin of 43/1000ths of a point,
12.954 to 12.911. Finally, Becky O'Donahue became the Replay's
first contestant to advance into her projected ratings, though given that her baseline is a
21, perhaps "projectile" ratings is a more apt term.
Monday, August 25th, 2008
Top 24 (Guys)
Chris Daughtry was carried into the ampitheater on a luxury palanquin
borne by four 19E executives. Taylor Hicks arrived by yacht piloted by two bikini-clad
supermodels. Elliott Yamin rode in on a municipal parade.
Given that all of them were only coming from the mess hall next door, these entrances
struck us as perhaps a
bit too grand. Still, now that the big guns on the men's side were here for the
Top 24 (Guys)
show, the Season Five Replay could really get started.
Daughtry and Hicks certainly lived up to their press clippings, as each opened with a fine
5-star performance. Ace Young posted an excellent 79 and left the stage beaming in
optimism; obviously, he's never visited our database to see how many of his other AI5 performances
rated above 50. Yamin also started strong, but after him came a huge dropoff:
seven contestants in the high 2-star and low 3-star range had the audience yawning and
checking their watches. Patrick Hall's forgettable "Come To My Window" got him defenestrated
in 2006; tonight, his 40 was good enough for a middle-of-the-pack finish. Riding off
in his place on the Bus Of Shame was young David Radford. Finally, Bobby Bennett
famously and heartwarmingly chose his
grandmother's favorite song, "Copacabana". Whoops! Grandma herself was
waiting backstage when his train wreck
was through to take him by the ear and put him on the Bus. Honestly, if you're
going to dedicate a song to a beloved family member, shouldn't you
at least pick one you can sing in tune?
Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
Top 20 (Girls)
We run a tight ship here at Camp Should-A-Been.
Nothing is more important to us (save for humiliating the contestants every chance
we get) than ensuring that our Replay
competitions are fair and evenhanded to all. Thus, when
actress/singer/model Becky O'Donahue took the stage tonight with her twin sister Jessica to
sing Sister Sledge's "We Are Family", both wearing matching lingerie from the Victoria's Secret
catalog...well, we put our foot down. Outside help is strictly verboten! We disqualified O'Donahue
on the spot and sent both girls home on the Double-Decker Bus Of Abject Shame. We were
gratified by the standing ovation the other female contestants gave us. Less satisfying were
the tears, wails, and occasional death threats we got from the guys, roughly half of whom tried
to sneak onto the Bus themselves. Eh, they'll get over it.
The rest of the
Top 20 Girls
episode was uneventful, and not particularly memorable. Mandisa Dunkelman ("Where did I
put that last name?") led the night with just a 72. Ayla Brown and Melissa McGhee
improved a bit, while the likes of Katharine McPhee, Paris Bennett, and Lisa Tucker
suffered big declines from their Opening Night numbers. Given a second chance by the slimmest
of margins two nights earlier, Heather Cox ratcheted up her game to the tune of...one whole point.
At this rate, by our reckoning, she'd reach 4-stars by Christmas. That said, we regret
that Cox had to push her way through the swarm of overheated guys surrounding the Bus Of Shame.
Where the heck are our Disciplinary Counselors, Viktor, Rocco, and Serge, who are supposed to
handle situations like this? They're where? On the Bus??!!
Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Top 20 (Guys)
Kudos on your 94 rating for Fuel's "Hemmorhage" tonight! As you know, we don't have
water coolers here at Camp Should-A-Been, so we'll have to describe your
as Season Five's first "rusty water fountain that rarely works" moment.
We regret, however, to inform you that you may not accept Fuel's public offer to be their
new lead singer. Just as yesterday when you asked to be dismissed to enroll in music college,
or the day before when you wanted to
run off and join the circus, your 19E agreement clearly states that
you must remain here in Camp until you are formally eliminated from the AI5 Replay.
Thus, you're stuck here for several more weeks, and possibly much longer if we decide to
run sequels. Please don't cry, your eyeliner will run.
We do hope you enjoyed the rest of tonight's
Top 20 (Guys)
show. Elliott Yamin joined you in the 5-star stratum for his outstanding vocal gymnastics on
the challenging "Moody's Mood For Love". Unheralded Gedeon McKinney turned in a 4-star cover
of a Sam Cooke classic, while Bucky Covington and Taylor Hicks also came in above 50. Leaving
us tonight on the Bus Of Shame were Sway Penala
as well as the first of the original Top 12 to fall short of the finals,
Kevin "C. Little" Covais.
For more information on your obligations to American Idol
and the pursuant penalties for violation, we refer you to
Section XXIV, Subsection 3, Paragraph C of your contract, the clause entitled
"Forfeiture Of Soul". If you have any further questions, just ask. We're here to help!
-- Your Friends at Camp Should-A-Been
Thursday, August 28th, 2008
Top 16 (Girls)
Back in the day, Ayla Brown's elimination in the
Round of 16
was a source of much controversy.
Surely the pretty teen basketball star deserved a spot in the Final 12 ahead of at least one
of the girls who made it through, but who? Ditzy Kellie Pickler? Inconsistent Lisa Tucker?
The sweet but forgettable Melissa...Melissa, um...yeah, her? Tonight was Miss Brown's chance
for vindication, as the eight surviving ladies of AI5 competed for six spots in the Finals
on merit and merit alone.
Still wondering where she misplaced her last name, and unwilling to borrow any more loaners
from the camp counselors (tonight's would've been "Squarepants"), Mandisa took the first chair
with another 5-star triumph, this time on "I'm Every Woman". Katharine McPhee bounced back
from a sub-par showing with a 77, and Tucker earned the third ticket to the Finals with
the only other above-average rating of the night. Kellie Pickler was fourth; in her acceptance
speech, she mispronounced the words "salmon", "calamari", and
"drop dead Simon you condescending snot, as if you're any Rhodes Scholar yourself".
Somebody named Melissa came in fifth. Kinnik Sky had arguably the best name of any AI contestant
in any season, but what's in a name when you're dropping 11s on the most important
night of your singing career?
That left two girls standing for the last spot in the finals: Brown and...Paris Bennett?!
Numbers don't lie. In the cold footlights here at Camp Should-A-Been, Brown's dismissal
doesn't seem nearly as outrageous anymore.
And to the voters of America, we say, "Take a bow." Despite all the criticism, the
six girls they put through in 2006 were indeed the six who earned the honor on merit.
Friday, August 29th, 2008
Top 16 (Guys)
Here's a trivia question for you WhatNotToSing.com / Camp Should-A-Been aficianados
out there. No peeking at the database, please. Clay Aiken sang 19 songs during his tenure
on American Idol. Naturally, many of those same songs have been performed in other seasons
by other contestants; 17 times in all, in fact. Remarkably, of those 17 performances,
only one received a higher approval rating than did Aiken's
own rendition of the song. Name
the only Idol alive who has outscored Clay Aiken head-to-head on a song
through the first seven seasons.
While you ponder that one, we'll tell you that the
Top 16 (Guys)
episode produced very little drama. Ignoring persistent whispers that he was much older
than his purported 29 years, Taylor Hicks kept his strong run going, producing his second 5-star
performance of the competition to move into the Final 12. Chris Daughtry and Elliott Yamin
quickly followed, followed by a mild surprise: Gedeon McKinney was fourth on the night.
Bucky Covington was finalist #11, and the last spot was a close race between Ace Young and
holdover Patrick Hall, with Young coming out on top by a scant two points.
Thus, eleven of the twelve original finalists from Season Five are still alive here in the
Camp Should-A-Been replay:
- Paris Bennett
- Bucky Covington
- Chris Daughtry
- Taylor Hicks
- Melissa McGhee
- Gedeon McKinney
- Katharine McPhee
- Kellie Pickler
- Lisa Tucker
- Elliott Yamin
- Ace Young
McKinney is the sole newcomer.
Who was the only original finalist who failed to qualify? Sh-h-h...he's still sound asleep in his
Long Island bedroom after a grueling cross-country trip on the Bus Of Shame.
He's also the
answer to our trivia question, believe it or not. Though the performance didn't take place
tonight at Camp owing to his earlier elimination, Kevin Covais
outscored Clay Aiken on "Vincent", 23 to 15.
In the immortal words of Caddyshack's Carl Spackler: At least he has that going for him.
Sunday, August 31st, 2008
Final 12 (Stevie Wonder)
We regret to report that the AI5 Replay Finals
at Camp Should-A-Been got off to a very rocky start this evening.
Controversies swirled everywhere we turned, beginning with the arrival of our guest mentor,
himself. While he was eating dinner at the mess hall, we told him how
honored we were to have him visit our five-star luxury resort located in the scenic forests
overlooking Vail. His only response, besides gagging occasionally, was "Dude, I may be blind, but
I'm not stupid."
Chris Daughtry had the night's highest-rated performance, a superb 5-star cover of "Higher Ground",
but he was nonetheless criticized
mercilessly by an anonymous blogger for "...a deriviative, bordering on plagiaristic
misappropriation of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' seminal reworking of Wonder's R&B handicraft."
We're pretty sure that's bad. Meanwhile, Taylor Hicks responded angrily to hecklers who
claimed he'd falsified his age by whipping out his AARP card and showing them the
1976 birthdate on it (but was that White-Out we saw?) In other news,
Katharine McPhee delivered
a 5-star performance, while Taylor Hicks, Paris Bennett, and Mandisa Barrino
(hey, Fantasia wasn't
using it) all reached 4-stars. Gedeon McKinney thought he'd unearthed a previously-undiscovered
section of Wonder's first hit, "Fingertips (Part 2)", but unbeknownst to him he was actually
singing the copyright notice on the sheet music. Nonetheless, his first projected rating
was a solid 50.
Original 12th-place finisher Melissa Whatshername found herself back in the Bottom Three,
but this time her indifferent cover of "Lately" was just good enough to dodge elimination.
In fact, it was none other than Kellie Pickler who delivered the night's hindmost performance!
Pickler seemed a bit confused when Ryan Seacrest told her she'd been eliminated from the
competition, and she left the stage whistling cheerfully. Afterwards, it was reported that the
Bus Of Shame left camp empty, and that Pickler was back in Cabin Five blow-drying her
hair and rehearsing her Final 11 performance. Hmm....
Monday, September 1st, 2008
Final 11 (1950s)
After weeks of eating only meatloaf and macaroni-and-cheese at the mess hall, our campers
were definitely looking forward to the big Labor Day barbecue at Camp
Should-A-Been. But we told them the food would have to wait until after the
episode. The audience got into the 1950s theme admirably by showing up in leather
jackets, bobby socks, poodle skirts, and even a few beehive hairdos. Quite honestly, we thought
David Cook and Michael Johns looked ridiculous with their hair up like that, but who are we
Whatever last name Mandisa was using tonight was drowned out by the standing ovation she
received for her brilliant rendition of "I Don't Hurt Anymore". At 91, it became the
second 'showstopper' of our AI5 replay, and it was described by our anonymous blogger
as "...Soaring, a triumph of the human spirit reminiscent of the songs of the Muse Euterpe, or of the
resplendent violin concertos produced by Mozart for the court of Salzberg, viz. K. 219 and K. 271."
Elsewhere, there was little controversy this time around regarding Chris Daughtry's alt-rock
cover of "I Walk The Line", in part because he came onstage in a
t-shirt that read
"I'm using Live's arrangement. Satisfied???"
Several members of the audience threw Polident packets at
Taylor Hicks after his performance, which seemed to irritate him, though he nonetheless took
the time to collect them all. As he told his buddy Daughtry afterwards, "You know, you can never
have too much of this stuff." Both holdover contestants advanced safely, and
Kellie Pickler produced a solid cover of "Walking After Midnight",
notwithstanding the fact that she'd been eliminated from the competition the night before.
All efforts to make her understand her this were futile, and the Bus Of Shame once again left
without her. Its passenger tonight was Season Five's other country singer, Bucky Covington
— oh boy, did his Buddy Holly cover go over poorly. Finally, it was time for dinner.
Our campers eagerly grabbed paper plates and lined up, their mouths watering.
Okay, who wants barbecued meatloaf and who wants barbecued macaroni-and-cheese?!
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
Final 10 (2000s)
This was definitely not American Idol's finest hour. The superstars of AI5
tried their hands at
and the result was the lowest-rated Finals
episode of the first seven seasons. Our mystery camp blogger put it best, we think, by calling
it, "...an extended cacophonic travesty masquerading as harmonia; not since the
Grand Guignol has mass entertainment churned one's pylorus so readily."
Quite honestly, we don't understand a word of that, but it feels about right.
Just three of the contestants scored above 50, with ageless Taylor Hicks leading the way.
Even the likes of Chris Daughtry and Mandisa Guignol dropped below 4-stars for the first time.
Both of our holdover contestants got into the spirit of the night, such as it was, by choosing
an idiosyncratic song that couldn't be covered effectively. We assigned Viktor, Rocco, and Serge
to guard the stage, but Kellie Pickler somehow slipped past them and redid
her dreadful "Suds In The Bucket". At least she sportingly took her place in the Bottom 3 (elbowing
aside that other blonde girl whose name escapes us) along with fellow 1-star performers
Lisa Tucker and Ace Young. It's not every day that you can produce a 10 at Camp
Should-A-Been and live to tell about it, but Tucker's luck was in: Young's performance gave
a new and ironically literal meaning to the term "Train wreck". The former
handyman departed camp on the Bus Of Shame.
Pity – we were hoping he'd fix the roof on the Head Counselors' cabin before he left.
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
Final 9 (Country)
It began innocently enough. Someone discovered a suspicious unlabeled bottle
above the sink in the Cabin Five men's bathroom, right between Chris Daughtry's scalp razor and
Elliott Yamin's unused toothbrush.
Lab tests showed conclusively that it contained gray-colored hair dye. Naturally,
we called Taylor Hicks to the Head Counselors' cabin and asked if he knew anything
about it. He denied responsibility at first, but he was quite nervous and clearly
hiding something, so we pressed our interrogation aggressively ("No! Please!
Anything but more meatloaf!") Soon a tearful Hicks confessed the truth: he'd been lying about
his age right from the start.
He was only fifteen years old! He'd originally auditioned for American Idol on
a dare from his junior high buddies and one thing led to another and he didn't really mean
to win and please could
we just keep this all to ourselves and let him go home to Birmingham?
Well, he got half his wish. In what was the most unexpected and jaw-dropping
elimination in Camp Should-A-Been's brief history, the Season Five champ didn't make
it out of that evening's
episode! His 1-star performance of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" proved to be
most prophetic. It was another very rough night all around for our contestants as just
two managed to score above average – three if you count long-eliminated
Kellie Pickler, who sang "Fancy" remarkably well considering she was being chased around
the stage by the state police. Still, the only story on
anyone's lips afterwards was the dismissal of Hicks, the first real-life
winner to fall short of a Replay Finale. But cheer up, you Soul Patrollers, because Hicks
left buoyantly with a wave and a smile. That's because we promised we'd have the Bus Of Shame
stop at Chuck E. Cheese's and Dairy Queen on the way home.
Thursday, September 4th, 2008
Final 8 (Queen)
Given the relentless stream of stinkers our Season Five contestants produced out of
easy themes like The 2000s and Country, few campers expected
to be anything more than a train wreck in tight pants. Our
unknown camp blogger even wrote, "...Queen's complex harmonic structures layered over their
signature polyphonic choral formulations suggest that our musical abecedarians will find their path
as treacherous as that faced by Xerxes at the pass of Thermopylae." In other words,
But, the unexpected early departure of Taylor Hicks, plus the knowledge that a spot in the Finale
had suddenly opened up, seemed to focus the minds of the remaining Idols.
All four original contestants along with holdover Mandisa
Mercury came in above 50. Mandisa, in fact, began her performance by singing
the first line of "Fat Bottomed Girls", looked in satisfaction at the sea of flabbergasted faces
in the audience, and yelled "Gotcha!" before launching into her
real choice, "Don't Stop Me Now." Despite numerous
roadblocks set up across camp plus a freshly issued restraining order, Kellie Pickler still
managed to sneak onstage to redo "Bohemian Rhapsody". Don't stop her now, either.
As for our Bottom Three: Lisa Tucker predicted her approval rating within one point, while Gedeon
McKinney's long and excellent run seemed about out of gas. Leaving us tonight on the Bus
Of Shame was our original 12th-place finisher, whose solid string of real and projected
performances at Camp Should-A-Been moved her up four full places. Farewell and best
of luck, Melinda McPhee! (Hmm...? Aw, close enough.)
Friday, September 5th, 2008
Final 7 (Great American Songbook)
At precisely 3pm this afternoon, a delegation descended on Cabin Five comprising
the camp counselors, the judges, the producers,
two lawyers, the mayor of Albemarle, NC, and the president of the Association of Roller-Skating
Waitresses of America. All were there to explain once and for all to Kellie Pickler
that she had been eliminated from the AI5 Replay competition for nearly a week, and as such
she really had to, pretty please with a cherry on top, go home already! Pickler listened
politely, said that she understood and that she was grateful for the opportunity, and quietly
began packing her belongings. Whew! That little problem was finally behind us, we thought...
But lo and behold, when the
show rolled around that night, there was Pickler onstage once more, fighting another
losing battle with "Bewitched Bothered And Bewildered". As in the original Great American
Songbook episode, Pickler's Pickle was really the only clunker of the night.
Our four original contestants
produced four gems, led by Katharine McPhee's near-showstopping "Someone To Watch Over Me" and
Paris Bennett's 5-star take on "These Foolish Things." Our holdover ladies each chose a song
honoring her home state; both advanced safely out of the Bottom Three.
Seventeen-year-old Gedeon McKinney was the low scorer, but
he went from being just a semifinalist to a solid seventh-place finish in arguably the strongest
field American Idol has yet produced. His song title says it all.
After a lot of hugs and handshakes, McKinney boarded the Bus Of Shame...and to
everyone's total surprise, Pickler followed him! Two campers nearby overheard her mumble
something about having "done enough research". Equally cryptic was the fact that as the Bus
pulled away, Pickler stuck her head out the window and yelled, "By the way, ah hope y'all
enjoyed readin' my blog!..."
Sunday, September 7th, 2008
Final 6 (Love Songs)
Just as he did in 2006, Elliott Yamin spent most of his time at
Camp Should-A-Been flying under the radar, sprinkling an outstanding performance
here and there among a sea of consistently good ones. But then came
Love Songs Night,
mentored by legendary blind Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli (like Stevie Wonder, he didn't buy the
"five-star resort overlooking Vail" bit, either). Yamin's "A Song For You" rated out at a
magnificent 89, and it established the unassuming Virginian as
potentially a threat to win the entire competition. Chris Daughtry, however, wasn't going
to give up his front-runner's crown without a fight. The chrome-domed mechanic
reached 70 or higher for the eighth time in his first ten performances.
Squeaky-voiced Paris Bennett made her first visit to the Bottom Three; her 48 was fractionally
lower than the one turned in by Mandisa Pickler. As expected though, it was little Lisa Tucker whose
time at camp had finally run out. Since she's only from Anaheim, her folks swung by to pick her
up. We expect that when they get home they're going to be really ticked off about that
"Minivan Of Shame" bumper sticker.
So our Final Five of AI5 were Paris Bennett, Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee, Mandisa, and
Elliott Yamin. Fans of Taylor Hicks might argue, with some justification, that one horrible
performance shouldn't have kept him out of the endgame, but that's how things work here at
Camp Should-A-Been. And regardless, with or without Gray Charles,
this is a pretty strong group as we enter the
multiple-song phase of the competition. See you tomorrow night.
Monday, September 8th, 2008
Final 5 (Year You Were Born / Billboard Top 10)
Fans of mathematics and wordplay might find this little tidbit interesting: if Elliott
Yamin had scored a 35 for "On Broadway" rather than a 50, then the order of
placement in tonight's
replay would have been a perfect palindrome. Whether you read the ten performances
from top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top, the
contestants would appear in the same order! That's because Katharine McPhee and Chris
Daughtry turned in the most schizophrenic nights in Idol history. Daughtry
started strong with Styx's classic rock staple "Renegade", but oh mama!, his voice gave out
repeatedly on Shinedown's "I Dare You". While Daughtry was riding the Down escalator, McPhee
was climbing the Up. "Against All Odds" was a certified train wreck, but her 5-star
"Black Horse And
The Cherry Tree" saved her from what seemed to be certain elimination. Just another day at
Yamin, who'd bravely gone onstage and sung "I want to go home",
actually wound up as the night's top scorer. Paris Bennett and Mandisa were the Bottom Two,
and it took our accountants some time to verify that Bennett would advance by the scant margin
of two points, 85 to 83. Like many who'd finished higher here at
Camp Should-A-Been than they did on the original show, Mandisa left us in a very joyous
mood. Not only did the final theme allow her to sing one of her own hit songs in the competition
("Lose My Soul" just entered the Billboard Hot Christian Top 10), but she was delighted when,
as she was boarding the Bus Of Shame,
the camp counselors presented her with her missing last name, Hundley! We found
it in the storeroom where we keep the restroom-cleaning supplies. No wonder it was lost for
Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
Final 4 (Elvis Presley)
To many American Idol viewers, the most shocking elimination ever was that of
rocker Chris Daughtry in the
AI5 Final Four.
True, his dark, edgy interpretation of "A Little Less Conversation" was more reminiscent of
a deranged singles' bar stalker than of The King, but was that sufficient reason to send him home to
North Carolina? From near and far, fans descended on Camp Should-A-Been for tonight's
replay, where we'd settle this question once and for all while raking in a small
fortune on parking fees and concession sales. A busload of Elvis Presley impersonators
even drove in from Vegas. They thought they might serve as mentors for
the contestants, but we put them to work as ticket collectors. ("Thank ya, thank ya very much.")
There was certainly no controversy as to who won the night. Even if it required a major-league
suspension of disbelief to hear Elliott Yamin proclaim "I'm evil!", the congenial Richmond
pharmacy clerk wiped out the field with an average approval rating of 80. Holdover
Paris Bennett's two performances came in right around average, but that was still plenty good
enough for her to advance to the Final 3. The Bottom Two once more were Daughtry and Katharine
McPhee, both of whom picked a really lousy time to have their worst nights of the season.
McPhee hoped she might sway the judges by humming "Over The Rainbow" while waiting for the
results to be tallied, and indeed we think we saw a tear or two in Simon Cowell's eyes. But
in the end, her lyrics flub on "Hound Dog" and her overwrought "Can't Help Falling..." brought
her run to an early end. For the first time, both of the original Final 2 had
fallen short of the replay Finale! On the bright side, the Elvises saved us some Bus
costs by offering to drop McPhee off at home on their way back to Vegas. Thank ya, thank
ya very much.
Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
Final 3 (Clive's Choice / Judges' Choice / Idol's Choice)
Oh, hi. You're, uh, probably here to read about tonight's
show, but that'll have to wait. We camp counselors have had a pretty rough day.
As you've undoubtedly heard,
Music, Mockery, and Meatloaf: A Behind-The-Scenes Exposé of Camp Should-A-Been
by Dr. Kellie D. Pickler was released this morning, and it's already
#1 on the New York Times Bestsellers List and
at Amazon.com. Eight hundred pages of prose (sample chapter:
"Celebrity Parodies and Sarcasm As Tyrannical Tools of Oppression"),
200 pages of footnotes and documentation, and
worst of all, 20 pages of photographs of the camp restrooms.
The Board of Health showed up a couple hours ago wearing hazmat suits, and we hear the EPA
are on their way. All this because of a girl who thinks Europe is a country!
Well, we'll deal with that mess later. The Final 3 show happened to go pretty much according
to script, with all nine performances trading in a narrow 24-point range. Chris Daughtry led
the way, though not without some controversy: the producers
failed to disclose that Daughtry was using
Johnny Cash's arrangement of "Lightning Crashes" and Stevie Wonder's version of
"Dani California". Some people never learn. His lowest rating was mostly due to
Simon's obstinance at having somebody sing "Over The Rainbow" tonight so that he could
take credit for it. Joining him in the Finale: Elliott Yamin, who offered his first two
below-average performances of the season, but who was still good enough to get past the three
so-so Prince covers turned in by Paris Bennett. Princess P rode off on the Bus Of Shame with
a copy of Pickler's book under her arm. That'll probably get her all the way to Minnesota.
So tomorrow's Finale will match the original #3 and #4 finishers.
Don't forget – we use different
mathematical formulas for projecting the ratings of reprise and Original Winner's Song™
performances, so the outcome is not a done deal. In the meantime, we have to do something
to get rid of all these reporters, lawyers, and inspectors who've overrun the
campgrounds. Hmm, we have an idea.
"Hey, everyone! Let's all head over to the mess hall where we can discuss
your concerns over dinner!"
Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Chris Daughtry could practically taste it. The crown of the Fifth
American Idol, which slipped
through his fingers two years earlier, was right there for the taking. He
was in luck that the AI5 Replay Finale permitted two reprise songs
from each contestant rather than the usual one. By redoing his
two highest-scoring performances, "Hemmorhage" and
"Wanted Dead Or Alive", he opened an
early eight-point lead on Elliott Yamin. Yamin gave away three
points by choosing to redo "Moody's Mood For Love" rather than the more recent "Trouble", feeling
that "Moody's" was a song his fans would prefer to hear again. Would that gesture cost him? It
would again be decided by which man could better handle his American Idol
Original Winner's Song™. Yeah, this is a little like having an Olympic marathon race be
decided by a game of rock-paper-scissors between the top two finishers, but AI sets the rules
and we at Camp Should-A-Been just follow them.
Yamin went first, singing "Do I Make You Proud." That was Taylor Hicks's song, you say? Actually,
it was Yamin's before it was Hicks's; Gray Charles switched songs after E.Y. was eliminated from
the original Final 3 episode because he felt the song the producers assigned to him was
much inferior. (How scary is that?) At any rate, because Yamin's first projected
non-reprise performance came on an O.W.S., our Math Dept. tells us it had to be scored two
steps down the decay curve. That put it at a 53. Daughtry needed just a 45
(specifically, a 44.80)
to win! But alas, the daddy rocker overplayed his hand. He emerged from the green room and
announced he'd written his own Original Winner's Song based on snippets from several Idol
numbers through the years. The end result was...uh, unfortunate. Unlistenable, too.
A few minutes later, Ryan Seacrest announced that, against all expectations,
Elliott Yamin had become the Season Five Replay champion! Daughtry was visibily
deflated, but he gave Yamin a warm hug before driving off in his limo to return to his
day job of International Rock Superstar Millionaire Celebrity, and his future night job as
spokesperson for the Hair Club For Men. Yamin, meanwhile, was overcome by emotion as the
ceremonial pine needles fell from above. As he came offstage he embraced his mom tearfully
and the two rode off into the night on the Bus Of
Shame Victory. (Yes, yes, we're aware
about Claudette, but you know what? If anyone deserves to have
one of these silly replay storylines end on a heartwarming note, it's Elliott.)
— The End —
Camp Should-A-Been – Season Five Results
- Elliott Yamin
- Chris Daughtry
- Paris Bennett
- Katharine McPhee
- Lisa Tucker
- Gedeon McKinney
- Melissa McGhee
- Taylor Hicks
- Ace Young
- Bucky Covington
- Kellie Pickler
-- The staff of WNTS.com