‘American Idol’ inspires poor song choices

Erin: The theme of tonight’s “Idol” is puppies, rainbows, America, mom, dad, small children, hugs, mountain rain and unicorns. That’s right folks: this week, the kids tackle inspirational songs.

Kathy: “Idol Gives Back Week” is all about shining a light on those less fortunate and donating to help people living in unimaginable poverty, suffering with AIDS or recovering from the devastating effects of a natural disaster. Leave it to this particular crop of Idols, then, to make it all about them. Tasked with singing an “inspirational song” nearly all of them chose one that said “look at me and the story of my harrowing journey to reality television. Never stop dreaming and believing in yourself people!”

I was at the taping and here are the things you folks at home didn’t see.

Randy’s bodyguard is smaller than he is.
The judges disappear backstage at every opportunity.
The stage, the audience and Seacrest are much smaller than they appear on television.
The singers sounds much better in person than they do on TV.
Paula was wearing the most hideous outfit imaginable and her poor boobs were so smashed they thought they were getting a mammogram.
Spotted in the crowd: Sinbad and Eric McCormack (not together).

Ascot
Michael

Fashion faux pas: Another damn ascot
Song: “Dream On” (Aerosmith)
Cheese factor: 2
Kathy: He sang this pretty well but Randy and Simon were right, it did sound a bit like a rock star imitation. Still, I hope you enjoyed it because it was all downhill from here.
Erin: Michael continues to champion the ascot cause again. It’s just not working for me. There are only so many jokes about Fred from “Scooby Doo” that I can make.
The Thunder from Down Under sings “Dream On,” which is not a good sign. Not because he doesn’t rock, which he does, but because this would usually be the song that would land in the middle of the show to break up the monotony of ballads. Since it’s in the beginning, my guess is that the rest of the show will be a downhill slide into tunes about love and friendship.

Syesha
Fashion faux pas: Hair looked like Don King’s with a part
Song: “I Believe” (Fantasia)
Cheese factor: 8
Kathy: Um, never sing a former Idol’s signature song, particularly the victory ballad from a former Idol with as distinctive a sound as Fantasia.  Sy, honey, please choose something by a less well known artist and sing the bejesus out of it. It’s your only hope.

Donking
Erin:
It’s never a good sign when my gag reflex kicks in during the description of the song. I have never heard this song, but even before Syesha begins to sing, I take a blind guess that the word “rainbow” will appear within the first verse. I need to play the Lotto more often. I agree with Kathy. She’s not Fantasia, so she falls flat.

Uke
Jason

Fashion faux pas: The Mister Rogers cardigan. Also I heard a gaggle of tweens talking about how hot he would be with “normal hair.”
Song: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version, with ukulele)
Cheese factor: 5
Kathy: Those who had not ever heard Iz’s version, like Simon,  might have enjoyed this performance. Those who were quite familiar with it, like me, would have found it an emotionless, pale imitation.
Erin: Jason apparently caught “The Wizard of Oz” on TV last night while coming home from a munchie run. I think it’s  actually an inspired choice for him and he gets to show off his mad ukulele skills. But since I’m so used to seeing him with a guitar, the longshots look a little strange – like he’s a giant from the land of kindbud.

Kristy
Fashion faux pas: Another shiny top
Song: “Anyway” (Martina McBride)
Cheese factor: 9
Kathy: My country music-loving companion, upon hearing what Kristy was going to sing, said “Oh no, never sing Martina!” Apparently Martina is country’s version of Whitney. I am boycotting Kristy so I have no opinion.
Erin: I loved how all of the judges where giving her these strange backhanded compliments. Randy said, “It was very good…for you.” And Simon told her she was “appealing to your audience.” This is “Idol” speak for: “You continue to suck, but now you are elevating the suckiness to an artform that many people with no taste can enjoy.”

Hey look, our pal Mike Darnell, Fox’s reality guru, made it on TV! I was sitting right behind his parents so I’m glad I only had nice things to say.

Cook
David C.

Fashion faux pas: White Sgt. Pepper jacket. Also hair was somewhere between combover and rocker spiky.
Song: “Innocent” (Our Lady Peace) with guitar
Cheese factor: 4
Kathy: Probably front-runner David’s weakest performance to date. Simon called it “pompous.” Paula noted “the inspirational thing you did on your hand,” which sounds mildly dirty to me.
Erin: The first note he hits reminds me of Crash Test Dummies. This is not a good thing. His perf was just…not good. He was all over the place with the notes and it just seemed out of sorts. Even a walk
through the audience couldn’t save him. This might mean the end of David Cook, which breaks my heart. If he leaves, we are officially out of rockers.

Carly
Fashion faux pas: Still no sleeves
Song: “Show Must Go On” (Queen)
Cheese factor: Began a 6, but anger turned it into a 2
Kathy: I did not give you permission to sing Freddie Mercury, missy. I am officially done with you. This lousy performance will probably be Carly’s undoing
Erin: I think Carly is trying to melt the cameraman with her steely gaze. She is just so angry. Living in L.A. can do that to you. At one point, I’m starting to take it personally. It’s like she’s channeling
Wolf from “American Gladiators.” The song just wasn’t a good fit. It wasn’t engaging. Just scary.

David A.
Fashion faux pas: monochromatic outfit needed a pop of color.
Song: “Angels” (Robbie Williams) with piano
Cheese factor: 34
Kathy: Young David and his dad once again wheeled their virtual shopping cart down the “obscure treacly ballad” aisle of the iTunes store. He sang it well, but really, who cares? Aside from the screeching pre-pubescent girls in the audience of course.
Erin: I’m convinced he picked the theme of tonight’s show. This is a kid with 80 gigs of inspirational music on his iPod. There is a good chance that even when the cameras are off, he’s just wandering the streets of
the city randomly singing about angels.

Brooke
Fashion faux pas: Shapeless dress
Song: “You’ve Got A Friend” (Carole King)
Cheese factor: 8
Kathy: Very nice rendition of a very nice song by a very nice contestant. Poor Brooke is fading fast.
Erin: Did you know that when you smile, you can repress your gag reflex? It’s totally true. But then it looks like you are enjoying the performance. I scared my roommate.
Brooke sang this tune like she wondered onto the set of “High School Musical,” only she’s one of the unpopular kids that are forced to the back of the gym. This song epitomizes all that bad with inspirational
music. But then she did the devil sign to the audience, but was just confusing. Actually, maybe it’s not. Maybe all these years I just missed the obvious. Maybe inspirational music is the devil’s music. God, it all
make sense now.

Best:
Kathy: Michael
Erin: Michael

Bottom 3:
Kathy: Carly, Syesha, Brooke
Erin: David C., Krissy, Syesha,

– Kathy Lyford and Erin Maxwell

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