So let's forget the whole zodiac sign semitheme being pushed here, since nobody really cares who's a Scorpio or that nearly every guy on the chopping block is a Taurus. All I wanna know is who needs to go. And tonight, like last week, it's not so clear. In fact, the only sure thing is that Paula's lobotomy finally took, and that she had Quote of the Night with "Your voice is definitely your instrument... and it's an orchestra." What the hell is in that Coca-Cola cup?! While we wait for the toxicology report, let's check out the eight boys still standing:
Scott Savol: Great voice, no doubt. But I'm not buying this dude crooning about his "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch." He's just so thugalicious, you know?
Bo Bice: Well, I'll be. Finally, someone found a way to handle that Edwin McCain song without causing me full-on colonic collapse. Nice work, dude. Now go get a cream rinse.
Anthony Fedorov: I'm with Simon. Tony's got as much Latin flair as a polar bear. But that doesn't mean he didn't teach that Marc Anthony tune a lesson in white-boy wailing. Though he may want to stick a little closer to Aiken than shakin'.
Nikko Smith: Apparently his last note got the judges all moist, but my roomie and I were too busy discussing the insanity of picking "Georgia on My Mind" right after Ray Charles' Oscar and Grammy wins to even hear it. I'm still thinking he's outta here Wednesday night. Along with...
Travis Tucker: What's with the '80s pop fluff? Last week it was Lionel Richie, this week Bobby Brown? If he makes it another round, I'm terrified we'll be hearing something from Quarterflash. Gone!
Mario Vazquez: Hey, he has a head! No hat, no cha-cha-cha. Just a very sweet, semi-shaky "How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?" Paula got chills, but that may be from the anesthesia.
Constantine Maroulis: Simon may have heard a "cheap imitation of Sting," but my roomie wants to have sex with him and every breath he takes. 'Nuff said.
Anwar Robinson: Oh. My. God. This man has one of the finest voices on the planet. Crystal clear. Like Whitney when she had a voice. Before the crack. Could be our winner. Even Simon was lovin' on him, which you know is whack, too. Damian Holbrook
Just as I'm warming up to Tony (loved how he succinctly put Mr. I'm-Second-in-Command, aka Curtis, in his place: "I don't have to establish position. I already have it"), Michelle waltzes in. Nothing like your ex taking your job just as you're getting your groove back. I hope she keeps him on board I want to see these two lock horns. (From the looks of next week's coming attractions, she's still mighty p----d. Cool!) And speaking of uncomfortable relationships, let's talk about Jack and Paul for a second. I actually like this oddball pairing, the most surprising alliance this season. (Yes, more so than Jack and Tony. Tension always makes for better drama.) But could you believe Paul said he "doesn't resent" Jack? The guy put live wires to his chest only hours before, and Paul's not bitter? (I guess that was completely acceptable behavior.) Apparently, Audrey's fair game, so Paul said he can't be p----d. Um, ooookay. At least he said he's going to fight for her. Good thing, or else I'd think the dude lost a few brain cells in that hotel room. Anyway... how freaky was that EMP bomb? And amazingly powerful, too. (Anyone else notice it shut down everything but the walkie-talkies used by the McClellan-Forrester bad boys? Convenient.) If it was part of the company's defense arsenal, I'd wonder why Marwan and Co. didn't use it for their master plan. No matter. Jack's trapped inside with the damn thing, and I can't imagine how the hell he's gonna make it out of that computer room alive. But he'll pull it off. Can't wait to see how. Robin Honig
Wow, not a bad start for the most anticipated (and most expensive) reality show of the year. Gotta hand it to Mark Burnett, as the godfather of unscripted drama, he has a recipe for reality TV that seems to work every time:
1) Take 16 anonymous citizens hungry for money and/or fame.
2) Divide them into teams based on some predetermined arbitrary criteria (like which side of the country they hail from).
3) Pit the teams against each other in a series of grueling, if not ridiculous, physical competitions.
4) Instruct the losing team to choose a sacrificial lamb.
5) Subject the unlucky victim(s) to a nail-biting elimination ceremony.
6) Accompany the proceedings with a pulse-pounding symphonic score, heavy on the kettledrums.
7) Present the lucky victor with a check for $1 million dollars (and another seven seconds of fame).
8) And capture every moment, no matter how triumphant or tragic, on camera.
Good thing for Stallone and Burnett that Alfonso Gomez turned out to be a lion instead of a lamb. The ass-whooping that überunderdog delivered to undefeated and world-ranked Peter Manfredo Jr. was a downright biblical homage to David and Goliath. Alfonso was the only person in the building who even thought he had a chance. But as the gutsy Mexican said before the fight, "If you imagine it, it can happen."
Manfredo, on the other hand, uttered his own prophetic eulogy before the fight, saying, "I don't know much about him, but I don't know how to lose yet. I'm undefeated." Welcome to the school of hard knocks, Manfredo. As for the producers, methinks they should pony up a hefty bonus to Alfonso. He probably won't make it to the final bout, but he sure made the premiere episode a knockout! Dan Roberts
In what appears to be a bizarre blend of The Anna Nicole Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm, Kirstie Alley bites back at all the tabloids that have been having a field day with her recent growth spurt. The former Cheers star has apparently decided, if you can't beat them, join them. And I've got to give her credit for gamely walking down the hall to meet NBC head honcho Jeff Zucker to the song "Bubble Butt." Plus, she gets bonus points for trying to take down some of those undying Hollywood double standards by lamenting her lack of employment. "Jason Alexander looks like a frickin' bowling ball, and James Gandolfino [sic] he's like the size of a whale. He's way, way, way fatter than I am." Girl's got a point, but most of America seems to want its sitcoms filled with chubby hubbies and skinny wives, not the opposite. So instead, Alley offers up an antidote to this social disorder with almost as much profanity as a Deadwood episode, a house filled with decidedly un-Pier 1 looking furniture, wicked bulimia jokes, a sex scene that displays her plump body with a slew of Clapper gags and a guest appearance by another comeback kid, John Travolta. God only knows what to expect next week. In the meantime, all the constant eating is making me hungry, so could someone please pass me that box of doughnuts? Angel Cohn