Idol's Double-Headed Disco Elimination Raises KC From the Dead

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Last night marked an American Idol first, as the world's premiere talent bazaar and dream-snuffing showcase ejected two of its final eight (seven? fourteen? I honestly can't be bothered to do the math if they're going to keep changing the rules on us) contestants from the karaokedome's retractable roof via air cannon. First victim: Diva Disappointment™ Lil Rounds, whose Idol journey ended with a rote rendition of "I'm Every Woman," but who can cling to the fact that vestigial judge Kara DioGuardi thinks she "learned something ... you're going to use" as she flies through the air on her journey home. (What that something was DioGuardi did not say, but I suspect it has to do with the power of perseverance, individuality, and high-quality weaves available on Ventura Blvd.)

Victim Number Two: Anoop Desai, or the pulse-quickening answer to the age-old question, "What would happen if Kal Penn had the silken voice of a soulful angel?" Desai entered the competition an underdog -- indeed, he wouldn't have made it at all had a last-minute rule change not made room for a top 13 (14? Eleven? Ugh, never mind) in the finals. Still, Anoop did his fellow shirtless-werewolf-frat-bros in the audience proud, and we look forward to his bushy-browed gaze peering out at us on the cover of his first 19 Management release, Songs in the Key of 'Noop.

Less dreamy was KC, sans Sunshine Band, wheeled out on a mirror-tiled handtruck for the last act of the show's American Idol Salutes the Semi-Preserved Titans of Disco Halftime Extravaganza. Preceding him was Freda Payne, whose dress and face seemed to be engaged in their own side-competition for America's Tightest Thing, and Thelma Houston, whose front-deficient yellow dress and crown of blonde dreadlocks gave her the air of an extremely groovy loofah brush.

It all left a slightly rancid taste in my mouth, which was soon washed away by a refreshing glass of Archie-ade. Yes, Season 7 (4? 28?) runner-up David Archuleta made a special appearance, bounding onto the stage and twitching his tiny, wet nose before launching into a life-altering rendition of his hit, "Touch My Hand," during which he actually touched the hands of several girls in the twosh pit. The musty smell of Vicks VapoRub and damp polyester hanging in the room long after the discosaurs' departure was quickly replaced by an intoxicating wave of Forever Archie, the Official David Archuleta Cologne. (Top notes of powdery baby scalp with lingering base notes of cherry Icee and 3-week-old Chocolate Lab.) Thanks, Arch. I needed that. We all did.

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