Our long national nightmare is almost over...
Tonight's penultimate episode of American Idol means that millions of people who love high phone bills will finally be able to vote for their favorite among the ultra-popular Fox talent show's finalists. There's no telling whether Taylor Hicks and Katherine McPhee will ultimately reign supreme, but here are ten predictions:
1. During at least one uptempo song, Taylor will stamp his feet like a mental patient imagining himself under attack by fire ants.
2. Katharine will wear at least one peasant dress with puffy sleeves, a diaphanous skirt and a tastefully plunging neckline.
3. While wailing a ballad, Taylor will buckle over as if under extreme gastrointestinal distress.
4. After judge Simon Cowell tells Katharine that she didn't quite hit the high notes in one number, her lower lip will start quivering like a bowl full of botox.
5. Members of the Soul Patrol, Taylor's fan club, will dance to his music even less soulfully than he does.
6. Katharine will sing one or more tunes sitting on the stage, kneeling on the stage, or crawling on the stage on her hands and knees. Woof!
7. On multiple occasions, Taylor will imitate Joe Cocker -- because there's nothing hotter in 2006 than a Joe Cocker impression.
8. Host Ryan Seacrest will find as many excuses as possible to give Katharine consoling hugs, whether she needs consoling or not.
9. Judge Paula Abdul won't be drunk, for a very good reason: She'll be so whacked out on prescription medication that she couldn't possibly hold a glass.
10. About six months from now, just in time for Christmas shopping, America will be given the chance to buy not one but two crappy new CDs by these cuddly competitors. And America should just say no. -- Michael Roberts