I’ve got to admit that a variety of emotions overtook my body as I watched this most wonderous of shows this week. When I discovered that it was going to be Neil Diamond Night, I was actually excited. My parents made sure to educate me on the finer points of Diamond-mania by having me and my brother and sisters all watch one of the top 10 movies ever, “The Jazz Singer”. Neil’s “semi-autobiographical” movie about a Jewish kid (named Jess Robin. Formerly Rabinovitch) who just wants to be a pop singer and hit it with Lucie Arnaz instead of becoming a cantor and having to wear a yamulkah for the rest of his life so that he can’t knock boots with Lucie Arnaz.
Don’t you worry, we were quickly shooed out of the room during the two potential horizontal mambo scenes so that we wouldn’t be subjected to the leering shots of their naked shoulders as they engaged in some “Love Boat” era making out, so we weren’t scarred for life. But this movie is great because not only did it come out when it was ok to have a character in blackface (Jess Robin, sneaking out on the town to sing in an African-American group so that he wouldn’t be recognized as that white, Jewish kid) but it also featured his father getting so chapped that his son moved to Hollywood and was doing the Humpty Dance with Lucie Arnaz that he ripped his own sleeve off(!) to show his displeasure in Jess and to demonstrate that he was dead to him! He has no more son! Are you kidding me! Why doesn’t this happen in honkey culture? If I want to tell someone they’re dead to me, I have to send them a text message or an elaborately worded email. It would be so much easier to just rip off my sleeve and let you know that I never want to see you again. Oh, it’s on then! You wouldn’t even have a comeback for that! Jess Robin didn’t! It also features one of the best songs of the ’70’s, “Coming to America”, that cute as a button David Archuleta just ruined. So if you’re going to fire up a Hungry Man Dinner tonight, why not treat yourself to a little Jazz Singer on the side? You won’t be disappointed.
This, plus “Jazz Singer” equals one magical night!
So that and the fact that Neil Diamond has some some rip-roaring Christmas albums (and again, he’s Jewish and celebrates Hannukah! ) made me almost as excited as if Elliot Yamin was about to perform. Almost.
But then, the whole “Paula-gate” thing happened and turned my little world topsy-turvy. Now granted, since this show’s inception, I’ve taken issue with Ms. Abdul, as she can’t complete a cohesive thought to save her weave, and she has no credible music industry past to rely on in over twenty years. Combine that with her seal-like clapping, questionable fashion choices and overall Rainbow Brite comments (You look as pretty as the colors of the wind tonight, and your spirit speaks to my soul when you sing) and you’ve got a “judge” that makes my trigger finger hover on the fast forward button like a gunfighter with only two shots left. But then this happens. This, my friends approaches levels of Paula-dom that have yet to be approached. Levels that Paula didn’t even reach when she was getting busy with contestant Corey Clarke on season three. I’ve determined that either:
- Paula can bend space and time and she managed to go forward in time 11 minutes, observe Jason’s second song, scribble some hasty notes on a card, determine it inferior, warp back into her seat in time to rustle her notes around and comment that he isn’t really trying and that “Oh, what’s that? You just sang one song? Oh I thought you sang twice! Oh this is SOOOOO hard!” If this is hard, I’d hate to see how she makes her living with an orange vest and a shovel.
- Either that or she rides the short bus to school and has an Oxycontin addiction from years of dancing with the Laker Girls and doing choreography for Janet Jackson and being married to Emilio Estevez that her little body can’t get by without some chemical assistance, subsequently rendering her medulla oblongata a meaningless space in her head that she is currently sub-leasing to leprechauns and unicorns.
Lots of room in here for other stuff. Besides cohesive thoughts.
It’s one of the two.
So this either proves that American Idol is more scripted than “The Hills” (quite likely) or Paula is using notes that some unfortunate production assistant had to take for her during dress rehearsal so that she would have something cogent to say. Because you KNOW that Paula isn’t attending any dress rehearsals on her own. She’s too busy getting dressed in some crazy getup with an elaborate neck piece that makes her look like a cockatoo and and that she barely has time to sit in her chair before the live broadcast actually takes place. You know she’s not taking her own notes. I think she lost the ability to read anything other than a prescription years ago.
If I’m Jason, I might have just refused to sing my second song as Paula had already been there in the future to critique it. In fact, can Paula do us all a favor and just timeshift to the final of this show and then come back and let me know who wins, so I can get back to my life of watching ‘Flavor of Love 7’ and wondering who would win a boxing match between Ashlee Simpson’s old nose or Heidi Montag’s new lips? Discuss amongst yourselves.
And you had to love Ryan’s non-response response to the whole “scandal”, saying “About the rumors with Paula Abdul. I’ve been doing some reading online and Paula’s part of our family and we love her.” Oooookay, but that doesn’t really address the fact that this show may be RIGGED and that you are trying to oust DreadBerry Shortcake for someone else. If she’s part of our family, does that make her crazy Uncle Al who makes inappropriate comments about your sister’s boobs at the table while drinking too much who then pukes behind the Christmas tree? I don’t think that any of us love her THAT much.
So after putting in some serious spin control on Seacrest’s radio show, I think we can begin to address what this show is really all about. Kidlets that only want to win so they can be shackled to 19 Entertainment for the next four years and three albums. Unless of course their records sell poorly and they get dropped after one album. (Hello Katherine McPhee and Taylor Hicks! Good to have you here.)
So in case you missed it, the kids were each singing two songs and then the critique was going to happen after the second song. Got that, Paula? I have to admit that watching this show had my heart palpitating a little bit as things seemed a scosh rushed. I was yelling at Paula twice as loudly to “Spit it out!” as she was sitting in her comfortable chair and being generally confused about which secrets from the future she could really share with us. She’s a professional y’all!
As you may have heard, the show started off with Jason Castro. From what I know about Neil Diamond, he and Castro should have been boys! They should have been talking about places they’ve both had “Love on the Rocks” if you know what I mean, because except for a hairstyle, they’ve got a lot in common. Unfortunately, it sounds like Jason was ill-prepared for meeting the Diamond. And it showed in their meeting. Not even a one-armed bro-hug. Oh well. Jason sung “Forever in Blue Jeans” which I don’t think I’ll ever be able to decipher the true meaning of. Does it mean that Neil is averse to doing laundry? To trying on different styles of clothes? Is he really passionate about Levi Strauss? Overall, it’s quite confusing. Jason did a nice job again, as he could strum his guitar and do a nice impression of the Diamond in his glory days. His second song (which I actually saw, so I can talk about it) was yes, more trainwreck-ish and really probably should have gotten him booted. But I’m sure after the producers realized that America had seen behind the curtain at how they control the voting (thank you, Paula) they realized that they had to put Jason through for another week. Look for him to be leaving next week as Paula has already determined that the songs he’s singing then don’t prove that he wants to be here badly enough and don’t showcase enough of his “fun spirit and heavenly voice.” It’s been fun, Castro.
Enjoy your time on camera, Castro. This soon will be over.
Our boy David Cook was next, and it looks like he had some fun with some iron-on applique’s and his JC Penny jacket. I would really like to know what ‘AC’ means that is on his guitar and now his jacket. Is it for his brother? His old band? His Arthritic Condition? His personality is like an Autopsied Cadaver? Just curious. I have time to ponder these things as he sings “I’m Alive”. I don’t think anyone could make that song interesting, which means that it will probably win the American Idol Songwriting Compeition and be the song that the eventual winner sings at the end of the show. It also gave me time to ponder his large head and how long it takes him to elaborately sculpt his hair. His second song contained an adequate amount of that ol’ David Cook magic and was much better. I’m not sure if it was “brilliant”, but it was better than his first. I also think it’s important to note that Paula is already crowning DC the next American Idol. I usually wouldn’t put any stock in anything Paula says as I’ve probably just fast forwarded it, but I learned tonight that Paula has magical powers and can see things others can’t. Like ghosts, the future, a way to resolve our national debt, bringing down the price of oil and bright and shiny hope! In everything!
Two AC’s and I still have no idea what it means!
Brooke then walked the Green Mile and strapped on her guitar for what would be the last time. I thought she actually had a fighting chance, and then she went and sung a song that was originally written for the Monkees. Eek. The only good thing about the Monkees was that they took some of the attention away from the Beatles in their heyday and they had a character who always wore a snow hat! Ha! Hilarious! (Who subsequently went on to invent WhiteOut in real life and is now a kabillionaire.) Also Mickey Dolenz experimented with perming his hair every so often. So yes, trainwreck city. “I Am, I Said” was much better and much more Brooke’s vibe. But unfortunately the damage had been done. “I’m a Believer” combined with her increasingly fragile mental state every week means that for the safety of the other participants on the show that Brooke had to be shown the door. I’m sure her rommate, Syesha can breathe a big sigh of relief as now she doesn’t have to spend 87% of her day reassuring Brooke that she won’t get kicked off, that she really is good enough to make the top three and giving her consoling back rubs. That has to get old, especially when you need time to do so many elaborate things to your hair.
We don’t believe in your forced perkiness anymore. Please see a therapist.
David Archuleta sure is cute, isn’t he? I’d like to take him home and put him in a bunch of tiny little jackets, as that seems to be his wardrobe must-have. He actually did a nice little arrangement of “Sweet Caroline” even though he put more runs in it than patrons at a Mexican bean buffet get. I thought “Coming to America” was an absolute travesty however, and it had none of the power of the original. Of course, in my pantheon of movies, “the Jazz Singer” is right up there with “Rocky III” for automatic goosebumps, and I have to be honest, when Archie was singing, my flesh didn’t move. Not once. Luckily, we were only subjected to one gratuitous shot of his father. I miss Carly’s husband already. He was much less creepy. I did think it was interesting that Natasha Bedingfield has already made her choice for American Idol. She wasted no time at all in running over to DA and practically engulfing him in her Beddingfieldness. I wonder what he was thinking when this was happening? “Oh gosh, usually my Dad has to interview people that touch me. Am I going to get a disease? How’s my gel? What song is my Dad going to pick for me next week? Remember to look sheepish when this is all over. She smells like a malamute.” We can only wonder. But it looks like he’s got a prom date all locked up. Sorry, David’s original girlfriend. David’s already gone Hollywood on you.
The look of “genuine” shock.
And if I may comment briefly, I think that little David is going a little too Melinda Doolittle on us here. We’re four weeks away from crowning a winner and you still find it hard to believe that you’re good and people like you? When he was told he was safe, you’d think Ryan had just told him that next week he’d have to sing in Swahili and that his Dad was going to be the guest mentor. He was THAT shocked. I get it that you have to strike a fine balance between shock, gratefulness and full-on David Cook smug, but take it like a 17-year old already. 10-year old chicks really dig you. Get used it. And their grandmothers too.
And let’s be honest, the person that really did the best this week, was our girl Eeesh. You’ve got to hand it to her, she has managed to stick around longer than a Chernobyl cockroach. She picked two great songs and actually sang them quite well. I even thought she looked good until I saw that awkward weave they had plopped on her head. I’m all for trying out extensions and everything, but why do you have to give her the “Charlie’s Angels” era Farrah Fawcett part in the middle? The only thing more dated are Randy’s comments about pitch and Simon’s short sleeved sweaters. The judges still continue to try to push her into the ‘Broadway’ category no matter what she sings. She could sing 50 Cent next week (and I hope she does!) and it would still be “very Broadway.” Translation: After we bump off Castro next week, please take your big voice and try to catch on with a production like “The Color Purple.” We really don’t want to have to sign you to anything resembling a record deal.
Jaclyn Smith would like her hair back, please.
Overall, a very entertaining week, and as Simon said “probably one of the strangest shows we’ve ever done.” I’d have to disagree there, my English Muffin friend. The strangest show would be the one when Fantasia was actually crowned the winner. Or when that guy Dunkleman was sharing stools with Seacrest. Or anything remotely involving Justin Guarini. THOSE were some weird shows, yo.