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‘American Idol’ Recap: Chikezie, Out!

[IMG:L]The shocker on American Idol Wednesday night came not so much from Chikezie’s departure but rather from Jason Castro’s inclusion in the bottom three.

And of course, Idol’s nameless, faceless geniuses were wise to milk that surprise till the end, as they always shrewdly do.

With Chikezie and Syesha Mercado already holding down two of the dunce-like seats reserved for the bottom three, out walked Kristy Lee Cook and Castro, awaiting, like the rest of us, the name of that third contestant!

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The safe bet to join Syesha and Chikezie would’ve been Cook, who had been in the bottom three the past two weeks and was seemingly hanging on by a thread; Castro, meanwhile, draws the most female shrieks any time his name is mentioned, and thus appeared safe.

Not totally the case, as we now know.

[IMG:R]But Castro was then promptly told by Ryan Seacrest that he was, indeed, safe, followed by Syesha–leaving Chikezie alone in the losers circle, but not without the smile that kept him on the show probably more so than his singing.

But what happened before those last few minutes, the only ones you really need to watch on Elimination Wednesdays? Oh, the usual: the cheesy, over-choreographed group performance; the Ford music video; the overlong recaps; the viewer phone calls (OK, those are kinda cool, especially since they’re usually directed at Simon Cowell and his ego); and those damn gratuitous commercial breaks.

Wednesdays can be a bit tough to sit through for the full hour, but then you can’t help but think of what these poor, unwitting contestants must go through! Although sure things like the Davids (Archuleta and Cook), Brooke White and Michael Johns needn’t worry about a thing these days except for what song they’ll sing next week; yes, they’re safe as can be for the right now.

[IMG:L]So while Wednesday night was another somewhat lackluster elimination show–no stars were even on hand, unless you consider season 2’s Kimberly Locke (who performed) or season 4’s Constantine Maroulis (in the audience) on par with, say, Jim Carrey (who showed up a few weeks ago to promote Horton Hears a Who)–these bump-in-the-road Wednesdays are necessary evils to get to the more unpredictable shows of a few weeks from now.

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Just remember: Two seasons ago, Chris Daughtry seemed like a finale shoo-in, only to wind up in fourth place. Not that it has hurt his career or anything, but still…surprising times lie ahead on Idol!

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