Chris and Phil leave American Idol; songwriting contest voting begins

Ryan Seacrest started last night’s American Idol 6 results show with some honesty, although it was delivered sarcastically. “Once again, we’ll be stretching this show into a full hour, and I promise, no filler,” he said. “Sure.”

He wasn’t kidding: Producers even filled time by recapping both Tuesday’s performance show and last week’s Idol Gives Back, including every one of Seacrest’s fake “you’re safe” proclamations, as if we didn’t remember what happened. After that recap, Ryan said, “there’s so much we couldn’t fit into the [Idol Gives Back] show; for unseen footage…you can go to AmericanIdol.com.” Clearly, there’s no time at all to air unseen footage after showing clips of everything that already aired and following that by a performance of Alan Thicke’s son Robin, who is there for no reason other than to sell his music.

But because two people were going home after last week’s fake-out, the show dumped Phil Stacey at the half-hour mark, about 25 minutes before it usually bothers to get to actual results.

With LaKisha and Melinda declared safe, Ryan immediately said, “You know, Jordin, I messed with you so much last week, sit down, you are safe. I’m not going there this week; I’m not doing it. I put you through enough last week.” (All this honesty from our host was a bit unnerving.)

That left Chris Richardson and Blake Lewis, who are “best friends,” they both said. “I’d go home for him, too,” Chris said, and then he did go home. A total of 135 million votes were cast between last week and this week, and the combined results determined who left last night.

Meanwhile, Ryan Seacrest announced that the show received some 25,000 entries for its first-ever songwriting contest. Voting on the top 20 entries, narrowed by producers, has now started.

Also last night, Ryan Secrest and Simon Cowell got into the weirdest quasi-fight ever. At the very beginning, Paula said something to Simon about not being his puppet, since he was handling her somehow, and Ryan said, “We’ve seen his puppet; you’re much prettier.”

That really pissed Simon off, who said, “Ryan, if you’re going to be obnoxious, I’m not going to answer your questions. … I’m being serious. You’ve already been rude about my girlfriend, so you can apologize.” That dissipated quickly when Ryan said, “I was talking about something else.”

A short time later, Ryan asked LaKisha about kissing Simon, and she said, “I’d do it again.” Ryan said, “You would do it again? No, no, no, as we heard earlier, he’s got a girlfriend, and it is very serious. Trust me.” That left Simon Cowell laughing harder than we’ve ever seen him laugh before. We may never know what caused him to react like that, but it’s probably better that way.

American Idol Songwriter 2007

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.