Bagpiper, heckler, didgeridoo player, and improved singing show up on American Idol

American Idol dispensed with the mentor this week, and with two hours to fill despite fewer contestants than there were when the finals started, there was more time for randomness: conversation with the freelance didgeridoo player, a discussion about Lee DeWyze’s decision to have a fully-costumed bagpipe player make a grand entrance down the stairs in the middle of his performance, and even an acknowledgment of an obnoxious ass in the audience who wouldn’t stop shouting incomprehensible things.

The randomness finally got to Simon, who told Lee, “I don’t know what you all are drinking in the house … I don’t know what is going on in there. No disrespect to you, but I wouldn’t have done that,” he said, referencing the bagpipe player.

The heckler even yelled after Simon Cowell told Siobhan, “You were much, much, much better than last week.” That seemed to be the trend this week, as contestants sang Lennon and McCartney songs. Even Tim Urban improved and got praise from Simon Cowell, or perhaps that was just Simon attempting to placate his fans so they’d stop voting and thus send Tim home.

During the clip packages, the finalists talked about their impressions of each other, like how they all pretend Aaron Kelly is Yoda and talk to him in that voice (“suck you still do”). Lee’s package included Katie explaining that Lee and original roommate Andrew Garcia “are basically like brothers or dating,” and Crystal picked up the romance ball and hilariously said, “I am so glad those two can be together and get married and have lots of little Danny Gokey babies.”

Andrew later said, “We are pretty close” and we saw footage of them in separate beds saying goodnight to each other. It’s obvious that they are just friends, but it’s interesting that neither the clip package nor Crystal and Katie’s comments ridiculed them or mocked them (you’re gay, ha ha) nor were they challenged in a freak-out sort of way (you could just hear Randy Jackson saying, “What? No, no no no, dawg, no”). The whole thing said: If you happened to be gay, great, but if not, two straight guys can be close, intimate friends and that’s great, too.

By the way, next week, Adam Lambert mentors, and said he “will be beyond family friendly,” which is too bad, because while a didgeridoo helps, this season could really use some Adam Lambert right about now.

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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.