In semirelated news, Paula Abdul has signed on for another three years as an Idol judge. In her official statement, the "Straight Up" song stylist mentions that the Kelly and Ruben wannabes "truly inspire and amaze me each week." What her statement neglects to mention is how happy she is that the show's producers are always so quick to refill her glass with... um... Coke.
Hugh Laurie, House
American IdolGeorge Huff was in the house, but these off-key performances probably removed the smile from his face for the first time ever. I did actually enjoy Taylor and was freaked out to be in agreement with Paula Abdul — Taylor is really great when he just stands there and sings. Mandisa wasn't at her best, but vocally she was still miles above the others. Yes, Simon Cowell, we know the "song isn't for you." If it were, it would be called "Damn You," not "Praise You." Paris definitely had the "attitude" part of "Work It Out" down, and she managed a decent vocal while doing the patented Beyoncé booty dance. Bucky was OK — though the band drowned him out a bit, he picked a good song
Michael Chiklis, The Shield
American IdolFifties night was far kinder to the wannabes than Stevie Wonder night was last week. And the evening clearly belonged to Mandisa. Wow... just wow. A note to Paula Abdul: No woman wants to be compared to a horse. Paris thrived vocally on "Fever," but she's so young that the "vamp" thing didn't work so well for her. To quote the cinema classic and '50s-themed flick Grease, "she's too pure to be pink."
For a minute I was so excited to see Live on stage doing "I Alone." But then I realized it was Chris, stopping once again in the '90s for inspiration instead of heading to the '50s like everyone else. He's always great, but I'm waiting for Simon to coax Chris out
Taylor Hicks, American Idol
American IdolThe leadoff performers, Ace and Kellie, bolstered my belief that American Idol should stay away from Stevie Wonder songs. Thankfully Ace didn't attempt to sing unnecessary falsetto notes, but I had to agree with Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell: It just wasn't the best vocal performance. Naturally Paula Abdul dissented. Eyeing Ace like he was the last chocolate chip in the Keebler tree house, she thought he "entertained everyone." Kellie professed little prior knowledge of Stevie, and then talked about her false eyelashes looking like tarantulas, something clearly less scary than calamari.
Honestly, I was expecting better from both Elliott and Mandisa. I actu
Cher and Josh, Beauty and the Geek
American IdolBo Bice sounded a bit hoarse on his single "The Real Thing," probably from new-daddy lack of sleep. I do miss Bo, but he's lucky Simon Cowell wasn't judging that one. It's not surprising that Kinnik and Will had the lowest number of votes — neither one had a good night this week. And they haven't exactly gotten much love from the judges. While America has heard every detail of Kellie Pickler's lunch orders and knows everything about Taylor but his ring size, Kinnik and Will were the very last of the top 24 picked and we've barely heard a word about them since. Both were total class acts in their farewell speeches, and they finally got to hear the words "I like you" from Simon. Kellie, Kathar
Tyra Banks, America's Next Top Model
American IdolI much prefer Gedeon's singing to his odd speaking voice. Once again he made the perfect song choice, as did Chris, who wasn't as impressive as last week but was still on top of the heap. I loved when Chris admitted that he used to have Ryan Seacrest-style hair but shaved it all off when he started going bald. The shrieking you heard was Ryan falling off the stage after facing his worst nightmare.
Kevin mentioned his love for Kanye West and then went on to perform one of the blandest, most milquetoast '70s songs ever created. Way to prove your street cred, Chicken Little. I always hum "Vincent" when I think of Kanye — doesn't everyone? Bucky remained in his country-song safety zone with
Dennis Haysbert and Scott Foley, The Unit
American IdolKatharine McPhee was rumored to be this year's Mario Vasquez, the dropout from last season who went on to superstardom. Or, rather, Starbucks. Well, Katharine said she'll be in it for the long haul, although I might have to quit Idol if Ryan Seacrest insists on saying things like "do you have the McPheever?" No, but cheese-ball lines like that do make me ill. Katharine did an okay Aretha Franklin — not quite up to Kelly Clarkson standard, but the judges loved her. They weren't quite as sold on Paris Bennett's "Conga," but she had fun anyway.
I was very impressed with Lisa, but she once again was scolded for singing an "old" song.
Paula Abdul's haste to board a Las Vegas-Burbank flight on Friday hit a sour note with a plane full of people. Once it was realized that American Idol's pollyanna had coerced an airport tenant into whisking her past a security checkpoint, all passengers and their luggage had to be rescreened at their destination. Says a Transportation Safety Administration official, "We're conducting an internal investigation to see who exactly was responsible."
Lake, The Amazing Race
American Idol Last week Becky went back to the pages of Maxim, and Stevie? Nixed. The top 10 were a bit disappointing tonight. The ladies made some bad song choices, and almost every one of them attempted to sing too low for her range. Katharine combined both mistakes by kicking things off with Stevie Wonder's "All in Love Is Fair." How many times have I asked you people to please leave Stevie Wonder alone? Katharine was much more impressive last week, so hopefully she'll wow us again. Two people who may not have that chance are Brenna and Heather. Heather, there is a reason nobody has performed Mariah Carey's "Hero" on American Idol. The woman's voice goes from gutter growl to dog whistle at the spee
American Idol "Find out... after the break." Haven't heard those smug little words from Ryan Seacrest in a while, but the first live results show of American Idol 5 brought out that tried-and-true phrase, as well as some Paula Abdul tears, if only in a glistening eye this time. Just wait: When/if Ace gets the boot, Paula's rush of tears will wash Seacrest right off the stage. Hmmm... I really enjoyed the vision in my head just now. All in all, not very surprising, with the exception of Becky (I guess Maxim readers were just too, um, busy to vote). Simon Cowell's backhanded compliment was actually great career advice for Becky; the girl is beautiful, and the camera loves her almost as much as Simon loves himself. Th