LaKisha Jones out of American Idol, which fakes a live performance by Pink

LaKisha Jones, once one of the favorites to win the show, went home last night, and American Idol 6 now has its top three. Unsurprisingly, Blake Lewis joined her in the bottom two.

During the hour it took to get to those results, Pink performed, and Ryan Seacrest pretended her performance was live. “Pink is here,” he said earlier, and after she was done, he said, “Pink everybody!” He clapped and looked to his right and the camera cut to a shot of her looking to her left. But the show did a bad job of hiding that the performance was pre-taped. For one, the final four clearly weren’t on stage during her performance, nor was the couch or Ryan and his little podium, but all of them were there immediately afterward. And he didn’t go talk to her like he does with every other live performance.

Tonight’s in-studio guests were crazy A-list celebrities, including Bill Maher, the cast of the Fantastic 4 sequel, and Simon Cowell’s girlfriend. We learned that Simon’s partner was there when LaKisha told Ryan she was “hoping that Simon will kiss me again.” Through clenched teeth, Ryan said, “His girlfriend’s in the audience tonight so let’s be careful. Hey Terri, you look beautiful; congratulations on everything.”

Jessica Alba apparently only bothered to show up to pitch her movie; when LaKisha wandered into the audience to sing her final song, Alba was gone. That was kind of ironic because when Ryan first pointed out the Fantastic 4 cast, he introduced them as their characters, and her chair was empty (she plays the invisible woman). But she was just sitting in another chair nearby, at least until she really disappeared after telling viewers to see their movie twice. If the movie is anything like the first one, two viewings will be necessary to figure out just how any studio agreed to make such crap.

In other stunningly interesting news, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell switched seats, and when introduced, Simon clapped like Paula (later, two people at the farmer’s market did the Paula clap, too) and Paula touched her chest like Simon does. Seeing this, Ryan Seacrest said, “Oddly enough, he has much more to work with there than you do.” So, for the record: Breast jokes, okay; masturbation lyrics, not okay.

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.