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American Idol and Hollywood Unite in Borefest

American_Idol_Lookalikes Mr. Lady is not available for her usual American Idol recap.  The Palinode will be donning the hazmat suit and antigrav boots this week.

Last week on American Idol the kids took on songs from the year of their birth, which meant that the lamest power ballads of the eighties were hauled out for enjoyment.  Oh hai high school, you sucked the first time around.  The show ran eight minutes over, causing DVR users across the nation to kick their pets and head out to the bar, brokenhearted.  Also, Scott MacIntyre tried playing guitar, and for his presumption he was pushed into the giant Idol promotional vat of Coca-cola voted off the show and sent into the void of unwatched life.  I’ve seen those wastelands where former Idol contestants eke out their days, and it is not pretty.  And it’s off-Broadway.

We’re left with seven survivors bachelors contestants:

Fieldberry-haired Allison Iraheta
The magnificently endowed (eyebrow-wise) Anoop Desai
‘Guy who’s going to win this thing so why are we watching’ Adam Lambert
‘Murderable Matt’ Giraud (I swear that was his nickname in high school)
Regular breather Danny Gokey
Pulse haver Kris Allen
Actually good Lil Rounds

This week the plucky gang takes on music from the movies.  Expect an hour of midtempo porridge sweetened with the raisins of soulful howling.

Yes, this is the cross-promotional pimptastic orgy known as American Idol.  Cue cheesy graphics.

But before the credits get going, we find out that today’s guest host is none other than … Quentin Tarantino?  Tarantino is going to teach these folks how to sing Bryan Adams tunes? Sure, why the hell not.  If my accountant can teach her cat to pee in the toilet, then Quentin Tarantino can give singing lessons.

The credits end. The fraudience is in place.  The set is glitzed up.  Ryan Seacrest descends in a smart slim suit, ready for his closeup and looking as polished and glazed as a piece out of Madame Tussaud.

Seacrest introduces the judges this week with all-new adjectives.  Man, we sure are getting our money’s worth out of this Seacrest guy.  There’s ‘Yellow Stripe’ Randy Jackson, which Seacrest took from Randy's sweater (it has a yellow stripe. I can't believe I'm bothering to explain this). Kara is ‘provocative,’ which seems to be code for something that I can’t decipher.  Paula is –

What the hell is Paula Abdul wearing? It looks like she stuck her head through a Frido Kahlo self-portrait and took a Bedazzler to the works.  Ryan settles on ‘hot’, which is kind of correct.  I never thought I’d admit to finding Paula Abdul hot, but there you go.  Simon is dubbed Your Highness and His Majesty. Because he’s English.  For the first time in the evening I hit the Fuck Off Seacrest button.

Then Seacrest describes tonight’s Idol as ‘historic,’ which makes sense if you consider the show as taking place in history.  If you believe that a culture responsible for American Idol has a future.  Simon counters ‘historic’ with ‘unfortunate’, which is the kind of adjective that Dostoevsky liked to pull out when he was feeling mean.  Apparently the format is different tonight.  Instead of having all four judges weigh in on every performance, they will split into Randy/Kara and Paula/Simon teams in order to save time and bring the show in on the hour and not interrupt a new Fringe episode.  That's historic.

Then Simon apologizes for last week.  He claims that 'the girls' talked too much.  You classy Brit, you.

Holy crap, Steve van Zandt is in the audience.  That is 100% better than the van Zandt-less alternative.  Somehow Seacrest is not sickening and dying from van Zandt’s aura of cool.  Isn’t this what cool people are for? To keep the Seacrests away?

Maybe there will be singing. But first, the whores!  A cheapass clip 'trailer' for Tarantino runs, spliced together from his whopping catalogue of four of five films.  Then there’s some behind-the-scenes for Inglourious Basterds, which looks cool.  Of course Seacrest won’t actually speak the name of the film out loud.  Wimp.

#1: Allison Iraheta does Aerosmith, “Don't Want to Miss a Thing” from Armageddon. She starts slow and breathy, and it’s hard to hear her over the strings.  And then she touches the hand of a fraudience member. By God I hate it when they do that.  Then the chorus kicks in and she’s growling it out, flailing like a past-her-prime Vegas performer belting out the old hit.  Yikes.

But Paula likes it.  She says that she has the same 'special sauce' as Adam. And that sauce is authenticity.  Simon says that Allison was “hot and spicy” and “the girl's only hope left in the competition”, which is heartwarming until you perceive the insult directed towards Lil Rounds, the only other woman left in the game.
Allison tries to leave the stage but Ryan has his claw hooked into the back of her collar. With each tug his grin gets wider and her embarrasment grows.

Commercial break.  Seacrest pimps iTunes.

#2. Anoop Desai sings Bryan Adams’ "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" from THE SHITTIEST FILM I EVER SAW.  In the rehearsal clip Tarantino wants Desai to 'rough it up'.  Yes, good luck with that.

Anoop croons out two whole minutes of Michael Bolton soul.  How can you be more vanilla than Bryan Adams? But it is possible.  The audience does that stupid wave.

Randy calls him Anoop Dawg and says that he’s found his zone.  Kara echoes Randy but uses ‘zone’ instead of ‘place’.  She said she felt ‘connected’ to his singing.

Then Ryan asks what Anoop was thinking as he sang. I’m sorry, what?  Also, was Anoop thinking of a 'special someone'?  Buy him dinner first, Seacrest.

#3. Adam Lambert is singing Steppenwolf’s "Born to be Wild" from Easy Rider.  Here’s a shocker: Lambert kills that shit.  He just flattens everyone else, knocks them away with a pelvic thrust and a scissor kick.  He's summoning the ghost of Axl Rose from the abandoned funhouse of 1987.  Adam Lambert knows the Idol secret: it's all fake.  He knows and he does not care.  The knowledge liberates him.  But he does look as if he's stomping on invisible bugs during his performance.

Paula is on her feet. She tells him that he “dares to dance in the path of greatness” and that “fortune rewards the brave”.  Simon looks ill.  He praises the vocal but says it was a bit like watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show. True, but so what.

Commercial break  Seacrest pimps Coca-cola.

#4. Matt Giraud sings another Bryan Adams song. It’s a lousy song from a forgettable movie.  Ryan asks: Where's your confidence level, Matt? Answer: It's kind of in the middle.  You suck, Giraud.

Giraud on piano. His left eye is squinty and he looks like he's taking a painful dump as he sings “You know you really LUHHHHV a woman”. He's hitting some of the notes, but it's not quite the MOR crap it could be.  Come on, Matt! Sell that crap.

A shot of 'Matt's friends' reveals that one of them is a blond girl with gigantic knockers. That is all.

Randy says Matt fell down in more places than he won.  Kara felt that he made the wrong song choice by taking a rock tune and sacrificing some of what made it great.  Yes, that’s what happens when you turn something to shit.  Matt is trying to keep up a brave face, which makes him look less constipated and more like he's being very gently sodomized in a public place.

Commercial break. No pimping from Seacrest.

#5. Danny Gokey is singing Lionel Richie’s Endless Love.  During the rehearsals, Tarantino makes Gokey sing with his hands in pockets.  QT, you are a certified genius. Next make sing in a garbage can.

Danny starts on a stool while someone plucks away at a harp. He is the Joey to Matt Giraud’s Chandler.  He does an okay job, hitting some notes but lingering too long on others.  But when he’s done the people cheer anyway.  It's either cheer or look at porn on your cell phone, I guess.
Paula sums it up: “You grab us at the beginning, wow us in the middle and you slay us at the end”.  She actually didn’t bungle the phrase.  Simon likes the singing but pans the harp.  Hey harp player: fuck you. From Simon.

Commercial break.  Ryan pretends he’s Randy for some reason.

#6. Kris Allen surprises with his choice of Falling Slowly from the movie Once. This is the indiest offering I've ever heard from Idol. “He's kind of playing the casino's money,” says Tarantino. What the hell does that mean?  Do words not mean anything anymore? No? Awesome. I think that Kris is really wrestling the polar bears for Inca gold here.

Allen’s rendition sounds pretty much exactly like Glen Hansard’s version of the tune, but just not as good.  Allen is a decent singer, but I can’t distinguish him from Gokey.  Are they the same person? You can tell me.

Randy is a bit nonplussed and says that it never quite caught on for him (dawg) but that he loved the song choice.  Kara feels that the song choice was one of Allen’s best moments on the show.  The other best moment? When he found a Fudgesicle behind the vending machine, and it was still cold! Score!

#7. Lil Rounds sings The Rose, karaoke favourite of sad girls everywhere. Rounds claims that she's going to start 'straight' but switch to a gospel-flavoured version midway through.  Tarantino gives her advice so vague and useless that it plummets straight through a hole in reality into the abject void.

Even her straight rendition of the song is a bit strange.  Her phrasing is interesting but deliberately weird, and it’s just off-putting enough to be distracting. Then she’s ripping into the gospel portion with some full-on melisma, but before I can think about it, she’s done.  It's like she packed a suitcase with a week's worth of fabulous oufits for a five-minute vacation.
A shot of Lil's cousins.  None of them are blondes with ridiculous fake knockers.

Paula starts waxing poetic, using a line in the song as a metaphor for Lil's experience on American Idol.  It makes absolutely no sense.  What the hell is Paula talking about? Nobody knows. Simon takes the opportunity to drop his pants and take a dump all over Lil’s performance.  You're getting it completely wrong. The song is wrong. You are not the artist we met 7 or 8 weeks ago, he says.  Lil defends herself, Paula defends Lil, Simon looks fed up with humanity and then the highlights are upon us. And it's over.

Goodbye Idol! I’ll miss you!  Next week: Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson. Ryan pimps Fringe.  Fringe turns out be kind of lame.

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"I think that Kris is really wrestling the polar bears for Inca gold here." This line made me laugh so hard I started snorting. Nicely done. :)


I think Lil is good and I never know why they are always all over her. But maybe I am not the best person to say anything since I mostly just listen to NPR when I am listening to the radio.


I don't even watch American Idol - never have...yet I keep reading these recaps. They are bascially the highlight of my day. Even in Mr. Lady's absence....awwwwweeesooooome!

TX Poppet

An excellent stand-in review, Palinode. I am going to play back the tivo tonight and throw things at Seacrest and surf the web looking a site that sells those "Fuck off Seacrest" buttons. I gots to have me one of them.


When I was referring to my FOS button, it wasn't a button you pin to your jacket. It's actually a giant metal button on the control panel of my bathysphere. It sends out a sonar pulse that only Seacrest can hear. Because he's an alien.


I tried to do justice to Mr. Lady's posts. Glad you enjoyed my efforts.

Mr Lady

You are hired. Name your price.


I totally agree with the last few contestants that are left, it'll be hard to see any more of them go

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