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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Punishment Pool, Week 2: Adam Makes a Deal With the Devil

Faced with the prospect of watching another soul-crushing episode of "American Idol," I turned to someone who has given me comfort and guidance all my life, my Lord and master: Satan.

(phone rings)

"Yyyyyello." (static)

"Hello? Are you there, Satan? It's me, Adam."

(static) "Hey there, Stretch! Yeah, sorry about the interference. I never should have switched to Alltell, but those darn commercials make it look so good. That Chad is almost as charming as I am." (static) "Hang on a sec." (sound of thunder, screaming, gnashing of teeth) "There, that should fix it. How's it goin', kid? Still evil, I hope."

"Trying, Boss, trying. Like yesterday? I totally broke the Sixth Commandment!"

"No way! You killed somebody? Awesome, brah!"

"Wait, no ... number six is 'don't kill'? I thought that was five ... No, I coveted my neighbor's new Moped. Thing is friggin' sweet. You sure that's not number six?"

"(sighs) Well, anyway, dude, what can I do for ya? I'm right in the middle of a game of canasta with Phil Silvers."

"It's about 'American Idol,' Boss. I agreed to watch it tonight as part of this stupid TV blog, but I just don't know if I can bring myself to do it."

"I hear ya, man. Tonight's episode is painful. ...And that's the Prince of Darkness telling you that."

"Wait, you've seen it already? I thought it airs live."

"It does, dude, but remember, I'm on Hell Standard Time. We air every episode of 'American Idol' that will ever be made every hour of the day simultaneously. Drives my residents buh-onkers. Especially Sinatra. Ol' Blue Eyes can't stand that ****."

"This is great! You can just tell me what happens so I don't have to watch it!"

"I don't know, broheim... I mean, you know I love ya, man, and I still owe you from that thing with the guy with the thing ... but what kind of dark overlord of evil would I be if I let somebody off the hook from watching 'American Idol'? I've got a rep to maintain, dude."

"No, no, I understand. But what if I, you know, did something for you in return?"

"Already got your soul, Stretch. You sold it for that advance copy of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.'"

"Worth it, by the way. How about a challenge, then? Like, you think of a number between 1 and 1,000, and if I don't guess it, I'll come down there right now and play a three-handed game of canasta with you and Phil Silvers for eternity. If I do, you have to tell me everything that happens in tonight's episode. Deal?"

"Deal! Hahaha, you just don't learn, do you, brostache? Nobody ever beats the Devil! Except for that one guy in Georgia that time, but I wasn't warmed up properly, you know? All right, I've got my number. Guess away ... if you dare!"

"It's six hundred sixty six!"

"Dammit! How did you know?"

"Silly Satan, you always pick 666! Now tell me about 'Idol.'"

"(sighs) All right. Where to begin? Well, for one thing, the worst part about it was it was a shorter episode -- only clocking in at about an hour and 10 minutes. Seriously, I'm supposed to torture souls with a measly buck-ten? Help a brother out, Seacrest! Remember, you only have that haircut because of me.

"Anyway, the theme of the show was 'Songs From the Year You Were Born,' which always makes me a little bitter, because I don't have one. When I was born there wasn't even a concept of time, let alone music. I mean, Cher was already around, but she hadn't started her recording career yet. So all the contestants have to pick a song from their birth year, right? And they edit together these boring, feel-goody clips of baby pictures for each one, which made me vomit a lake of sulphur. (Literally. I vomit sulphur.)

"So first up is Danny Gokey, and he's going to sing Mickey Gilley's version of 'Stand By Me,' which is a friggin' copout because that's a Ben E. King song from 1961, but you gotta give Gokey credit for subverting the rules. That guy just gets douchier and douchier, and I love it. What I don't love, however, is his COMPLETE AND TOTAL MANGLING of the song, which he turns into this kind of samba-like mess, then rocking it out toward the end. The judges hated it too, but thought his singing was fine. I couldn't tell because I had stuck hot coals in my ears.

"Then that short guy Kris Allen went out into the audience to play Don Henley's "All She Wants to Do is Dance," and all I wanted to do was set him on fire. Not because he was bad, but because he was so thoroughly mediocre a little spontaneous combustion would have been more entertaining. Simon agreed with me, too, calling his performance lazy. That Cowell ... he's been gunning for my job too long. I may have to take him down...

"Where was I? Oh yeah. Next came Lil Rounds, and lemme tell you, she's fine. She came walking out looking like Tina Turner, belting out 'What's Love Got to Do With It,' and it was such a good impersonation that I thought any minute Ike Turner was going to walk out on stage and smack her. The judges were less than enthused, saying she's not making enough of an impression. Well, she sure makes an impression with me, if you get my drift! Eh? Eh?"

"I get it."

"An impression in my pants!"

"I said I get it!"

"The rest of the performances really kinda melted together after that. Anoop Desai did Cyndi Lauper's 'True Colors,' and the judges thought he was fine. Scott McIntyre did "The Search Is Over,' by Survivor, playing a guitar this time instead of his piano. Simon called it 'atrocious.' Allison Iraheta screeched her way through Bonnie Raitt's 'I Can't Make You Love Me,' and Randy compared her to Kelly Clarkson, which I still don't know if that was a compliment or not. Matt Giraud did Stevie Wonder's 'Part-time Lover,' and the judges went ape-****, they loved it so much.

"Then they started running out of time, because I guess there was a new episode of 'Fringe' that humanity simply could not live without. Apparently they had already started turning out the lights, because when the last guy, Adam Lambert, comes out, he's bathed in blue, and starts mumbling his way through Tears For Fears' 'Mad World,' only it sounds EXACTLY like Gary Jules' cover of 'Mad World.' So it was Adam Lambert covering Gary Jules covering Tears For Fears. And he was pretty good, you know, for a karaoke singer. But I'll be damned (again, heh heh) if fricking Simon doesn't give him a standing ovation at the end! I couldn't believe it! I had to wipe my eyes with Aristotle's toga, just to make sure I wasn't seeing things.

"So that's it, brah. That's all I remember. Like I said, pretty damn painful ... just the way I like it."

"Thanks, Satan. Hey, we should do lunch sometime. You can do that trick where you convince our waitress that we don't exist, and then we don't have to pay."

"Sounds good, brah. I'll give you a call. Satan out!"

-- Adam Reinhard,

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By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 9, 2009 at 10:57 PM  

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