'American Idol' recap: Eight on Eighties

american-idol-season-11.jpgAfter an extended farewell to Heejun from last week -- in which we saw that he told the final eight that he hopes none of them win -- there's an overedited preview about how much they all want to do just that. So clearly someone is going to be disappointed.

Out come the judges, with Jennifer wearing a weather balloon as a skirt and Steven wearing totally redundant skinny-pants, and then Ryan announces that it's eighties week. So of course he puts up a photo of eighties Randy Jackson in a Flock of Seagulls haircut and outfit. Of course, one day the clothes Randy has on tonight will look just as ridiculous, which I can say with confidence because that day is here. With that, Ryan brings out the top eight. Once they're out onstage, Ryan informs us that this week's gratuitous time-filler will be duets to go along with the individual performances. I don't know why they have to do that instead of using the last half hour of network clearance to air a rerun of The New Girl or something else I'm equally unlikely to watch. Also, this week's mentors will be Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal, the two members of No Doubt whose faces you can visualize without a Google image search.

In addition to the eighties theme, we'll also be learning about what each of the finalists like to do when they're back home. In DeAndre's case, that's driving, as he just got his license before coming on the show. They lend him an Idolmobile for the day, and, more worrying, a bunch of cameras to film him driving. Eventually he finds his way to Jimmy's studio, where Gwen and Tony are there waiting to start mentoring. DeAndre's eighties song is something by DeBarge, duh, and Gwen tells him to stop looking so worried all the time. And that's pretty much the sum of the mentoring DeAndre receives this week.

He starts his performance in the middle of a row of clapping girls (including one whose skirt is so short she seems reluctant to lift her hands from her lap for very long, if you know what I mean), but eventually he dances up onto the stage to get his schwerve on and flop his hair around. Lots of runs, lots of falsetto, all for such a generic mid-tempo eighties song I don't even remember it, and I'm pretty sure I was alive then. But at least he doesn't seem nervous. Jennifer liked it, Steven says he forgot where he was (like that's hard), and Randy thinks it was perfect, and that DeAndre could be a 2012 DeBarge. Because God knows there's so much demand for that. Ryan has some awkward banter with DeAndre about going first and then does an even more awkward DeAndre impression before going to the sweet, sweet relief of the commercial break.

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