You know, people
harsh on Simon Cowell's terrible monochromatic
wardrobe. And they should. That haircut alone is
enough break mirrors. But bad fashion is Randy
Jackson's game if we're going to really break
it down. His giant sundial watch notwithstanding,
Randy consistently looks like the side of an
airbrushed Chevy van in 1979.
Tuesday's show he's wearing a long-sleeved
T-shirt that has about five different design elements
going on at the same time. It's a pink right
shoulder and an orange moon over the left pectoral and some
Chinese alphabet characters spelled out in blackened
jewels combined with a necklace and a wristband.
And the face-size
watch. Which can stay. Because it's fascinating.
'80s night. This should be gay.
Up first is Luke
Menard, who kicks off the week's Personality Reels by
talking about his most embarrassing moment as a child,
in which he was dressed up like a girl by his
sister. Last week he boldly claimed that being
a part of the a cappella singing group he's in
required vocal perfection. So here he is to show off
some of that skill, sharp-noting his way through one
of Wham!'s more idiotic songs, "Wake Me
Up Before You Go-Go." (It is, in fact, the third most
idiotic Wham! song. The most idiotic Wham! song is
"Club Tropicana." Runner-up is "Wham
Rap!") His singing is weird, pinched, and thin, but
at least the backup singers are doing the Pepsii and
Shirlie dance. The rest of the guys are standing on
the railing over him. Only David Hernandez is dancing.
That's because someone said
"Go-Go" and he thought it was time to head for
work. Luke finishes the song by grinning and exhaling
the word "Jitterbug!" while pointing at
the camera. Sometimes things that stink of phony and
suck a lot still give me a truckloads of pleasure. This is
one of those things.
is thirsty and he has to pee. Isn't that a sign of
diabetes? Where's Randy? Someone ask him. He's
been doing those diabetes commercials lately that run
here between ads for Coca-Cola. He'll know.
Don't lose a foot, David Archuleta! D.A. tells
Seacrest that he didn't want the world to know
of his thirst and his need to hit the pissoir. But he
does want you to know about this one time, when he was
being flown down to Honduras for a gig (yes, really)
and he lost his voice in the middle of the song. And his mom
got up onstage and finished the song for him and wow,
so embarrassing. D.A. sings that Phil Collins song
about homeless people, whatever it's called.
It's a song that Patrick Bateman would chainsaw
massacre someone to. Then he'd cook their
brains up in a copper pan and eat them. Then he'd go
Randy says that
"it's like watching one of your
Now, what exactly
does that mean? Has Randy been to one of David
Archuleta's concerts already? Was he in Honduras too?
Did he play the bass? Paula actually praises the boy
for his bum notes, calling him perfect. THE WHOLE
WORLD WANTS TO CUDDLE THIS KID. Simon bitches at him
for singing downer lyrics regarding whatever this song is
about. D.A. says the song draws attention to the
plight of people who have nothing. Thank you,
The camera cuts
to the first celebrity of the season, serial Idol
taping attendee Denise Richards. You might remember
her from making out with Neve Campbell in Wild Things
or that James Bond movie where she was a nuclear
scientist named Christmas Jones. Or you might remember her
from her upcoming reality series, where she plans to exploit
her own children and make her ex-husband even more
furious and drug binge-prone than he already
makes me really happy. He is the product of decades of gays
slowly inching their way to a place where no one has to give
a damn about who's watching. I don't
give a shit about his singing; I care about the
everything else. He takes on Soft Cell's
"Tainted Love," which is the right thing
to do. Randy calls him vocally "shy," and
that's right too, because the boy really has no
idea what he's doing when he sings. Paula calls
him a "bright light" and he nods his head
enthusiastically, like, "Yes, that's
true! I am!" Simon rips into him. D.R.'s
response is to hold his hand up to his head, mocking
Simon's signature "thinking hard" pose
to shout, "Whatever!" Then Seacrest tells
him he had never noticed the purple streaks D.R. put
in his hair, to which the boy says,
puzzled and introduces David Hernandez. I half expect D.R.
to say, "Oh, her?"
D.H. says his
most embarrassing moment had something to do with a photo
shoot and a booger. All I can hear is my
husband-partner-whatever saying, "A customer
put a 20 in my ass crack and I left a skid mark on it! HA!
My stripper name was Bolt."
We are a classy
home. Full of classy people.
"It's All Coming Back to Me Now."
It's technically an '80s song but not by
much. Recorded first in 1989 by a female group called
Pandora's Box, then made famous in the '90s by
Celine Dion. It's in the same camp as
"Total Eclipse of The Heart" and all those
other nine-minute bombast ballads where people sing
about "the flesh and the fantasy."
Johns's most embarrassing moment involves wearing a
kangaroo costume and getting the shit beaten out of
him at a rugby match. He sings "Don't
You Forget About Me" and seems to be enjoying mixing
up all the lyrics to suit his own tastes. He gets the
"hey hey hey heyyyy...
oooooohhhooooohhhh" part right, at least. Anyway,
I'm trying to forget it as soon as it hits my
ears. And I've watched this show for enough years
that I think I'm pretty good at that now. Randy tells
him he sounds like Michael Hutchence. That's
nice, Randy. But this is a Simple Minds song. Paula
likes it when he hops around.
Cook's most embarrassing moment is the plaid hat
he's wearing in his Most Embarrassing Moment
clip. He takes "Hello" and turns it into a
power ballad. Randy calls it emo, but that's just
because of D.C.'s awful hair. Paula joins him
onstage and, blindfolded, sculpts a bust of Lionel
Richie out of clay.
Jason Castro is
here to sing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."
Dear Jason Castro
and Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley and k.d. lang and
John Cale and Rufus Wainwright and Imogen Heap and Keren Ann
and Willie Nelson and Bono and Bob Dylan and Bon Jovi
and Spoon and Regina Spektor and Bettie Serveert and
Gov't Mule and K's Choice and Damien Rice and
Betty Buckley and Gavin DeGraw and the Dresden Dolls and
Sheryl Crow and Pedro the Lion and anyone else in the
world who's covered "Hallelujah":
the reasons I never need to hear it again.
most embarrassing moment happened when he accidentally
walked into a women's restroom, which kind of
officially means that nothing embarrassing has ever
happened to Chikezie. He sings "All The (Wo)Man
That I Need." It's fine, if a touch too
Luther's Ghost. And what have they done to his
makeup? He looks like they've put him through the
matte-ing machine. Oprah, it turns out, in spite of
big-giving the world one of the most awful reality
shows ever, was right, at least, about
African-Americans getting the wrong end of the stick on TV
where lighting and makeup are concerned. I heard her
talk about it once on her show, and then she told the
audience that the lighting in her studio is designed
for black skin. Poor Chikezie doesn't stand a chance
here now that the new Archu-Light's been
And now for the
ladies and their '80s...
Epperson's most embarrassing moment occurred when she
was an extra on the set of a movie and there was a big
roller-skating scene (I'm guessing ATL,
which is about 80% roller-skating scenes, and not
a bad movie at all, really) and she ran into one of
the lights. The resulting fall-down-go-boom moment is
funny now but got her kicked off the set for the rest of the
shoot. That last part was just a guess. But I have
friends who've done extra work, and they tell
me that the competition for roles like
"Mooby's Customer #4" is pretty
intense. She sings "I Wanna Dance With
Somebody" and she's fine, if a little
out of breath in spots. But the thing I'm sort of
fascinating on most are her pants. Are they footie pajamas?
Mauve long johns? Really tight sweats? A saggy
full-body diaper? Are they even working with the
stylists yet, or is this still the you're-on-your-own
phase? Maybe Syesha told her she looked really good and she
was like, "Really? Do you think so?"
while Syesha smiled that evil Grinchy smile. And then
Asia'h asked Amanda about the pants and Amanda said,
"Are you a bottle of Jack Daniel's and a pack
of Pall Malls? No? Then shut the fuck up." And
now here Asia'h is, pants-doomed, singing in front of
a swirly background screen that looks like a digital
toilet is about to flush her down itself.
Kady Malloy sure
is pretty. And kind of stylish, at least, in her Most
Embarrassing Moment clip, where she talks about blowing some
audition somewhere. She's got on a weird
blackish top and what looks like a hot-pink plastic
telephone receiver on her head. Can't go wrong with
that sort of thing. If false eyelashes were singing
style she'd advance to the Top 12. Then she
performs an '80s song I don't recognize and
have no intention of hunting down. She sure is pretty.
Book-Readin' Rock 'n' Roll Nurse burned down a
pool once. See, kids, this is how you tell a story. It
has to end with you setting water on fire. Now
she's here to sing Joan Jett's "I
Hate Myself for Loving You," The wacky hair from last
week is, sadly, gone, but she still struts around all
crazy on the stage, incorporating both essence of
clucking chicken and Mick Jagger if Mick Jagger were a
guy. The camera cuts to Amanda's fiance. Her
super Gay Face fiance. So not only is she
apparently not a lesbian, but she's also into guys
who look like they spend a lot of time at the tanning
salon and the lip-collagen-and-shiny-shirt kiosk at
the South Bend Fashion Square Mall. And ew, gross,
Simon's praising her endlessly and telling her she
has to smile. I fuckin' hate it when unsmiley
people are told they have to smile. And I especially
think it's creepy when bossy men tell women they
have to do it. Am I alone in that? I'm not, right?
It's gross. She saves it, though, by flashing a
big, fake, sarcastic grimace-smile back at him.
You know what I
like more and more about Seacrest? How outside of the
show he is sometimes. I mean, yes, most of the time
he's shilling for it in that phony announcer
way, but then sometimes he comes along and remembers
that he thinks it's all just bullshit income
generator and starts doing things like caressing the
iTunes ad at the bottom of the screen. And he's
such a pro now with the hosting that he knows exactly
where to hold his hands so that they appear to be really
doing that. That's all. I just like that.
Wee lassie Carly
Smithson is here to tell you about her most embarrassing
moment. She got her legs stuck in a fence recently.
Seriously? That whole sold-fewer-than-400-copies thing
didn't feel a teensy bit worse than getting
your legs stuck in a fence on your break from bartending?
Now I'm questioning Chikezie's restroom
story. So she sings "I Drove All Night,"
and I'm beginning to agree with music writer Ann
Powers (she writes about Idol for the Los
Angeles Times) and her assessment of Carly as being
super nervous. But I don't think it's stage
nerves. I think it's Life Panic, that feeling
that she's tried everything she knows how to try to
get over and this could be the last shot she's
got. But I don't think she has to worry much.
You get yourself into the Top 10 and every gay pride parade
and auto show you ever wanted to sing at is yours for
the taking. You'll pay the bills, and it
won't be because you got a lot of tips on St.
Patrick's Day slinging green Guinness. And we
finally get a really good look at Carly's
upper-arm tattoo. I think it's of Amy Winehouse. Good
Kristy Lee Cook
used to run around on her hands and knees as a child,
barking like a dog. She self-edits the story to avoid the
part where she peed on the rug and leg-humped total
strangers. She's singing Journey's
"Faithfully," so she's got the Randy
vote all sewn up. Also? She's here tonight as a
spokesperson for the Tits Up Foundation, which provides
plunging neckline tops to less fortunate women.
I have to say
something about one of the commercials because it's a
Target ad for the Jovovich-Hawk line. I really like how they
toss around descriptors like "art nouveau, but
how it was done in the '70s," and then
the part where Milla says the clothes are
"ironic." Because Sarah Silverman came
in and helped design them.
commercials, Ramiele is here to cute up the place some more
with a story about being in fifth grade and having a crush
on a boy, so she rode her little pink bike to his
house and dropped off a picture of herself for him.
And then he found it and laughed at her. And so did his
mom. Finally, an actual embarrassing story. Thank you for
keeping it real, Ramiele. That plus your squeezable
adorability, your tacky-awesome hair and your
too-much-makeup is everything I want right now. Oh, and now
Danny Noriega is wearing your little girly glasses as a show
of solidarity and girl power? She just keeps adding
little sprinkles to the sundae. I forget what song she
sang. Paula goes apeshit and babbles incoherently.
Dammit. I don't want to like this woman. I want to
feel superior to her sheltered,
never-seen-a-decent-movie existence. So then she
actually goes and performs an unusual and affecting,
acoustic, nearly balladlike cover of "Love Is a
Battlefield." Stop being somewhat talented!
once gave a boy in school a "do you like?"
note and some gum. He chewed the gum and told the
teacher about the note. I bet she just overheard
Ramiele telling her little story and decided to improv a
similar one on the spot. She's singing "Saving
All My Love for You" and falls victim to the
ongoing "You Ain't Whitney Houston"
Curse. I always wonder if women who do this have ever
watched this show before. She should have known
better. Asia'h too. It'll be one of them and
one of the blonds to go, I'm predicting. The
show ends with Asia'h giving Kady a piggyback
ride all around the stage. I don't know why.
And on to Chopped
and Screwed Night. Here's what happens:
1. Blake Lewis is
here in a last-ditch attempt to get you to buy his CD.
I thought I was finished with this clown forever. I thought
wrong. His song is assy, like what happens when Gay
Robot malfunctions and says, "I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
l-l-l-l-li-li-li-like b-b-b-b-balls." It's the
soundtrack to my idea of Hell.
track is number 1 on the iTunes dance chart right
now. To celebrate, she's wearing a bizarrely ugly
kick someone off. Kady Malloy, time to go home. She thinks
the experience has made her stronger as a person.
Asia'h, her sole source of piggyback rides, is
bawling. So is Ramiele, of course. Ramiele loves to
cry. During her Humiliation Number, I notice that
Kady's wearing about seven rings. She asked
Amanda if she could borrow the brass knuckles, but
Amanda was like, "HOW THE MOTHERFUCK CAN I BE
EXPECTED TO FINISH SWANN'S WAY IF YOU
WON'T BE FUCKIN' QUIET?" before
pulling out a pocketknife to check her own lipstick
4. Luke Menard,
the one that's not Orlando Bloom who sings in the a
cappella group: Time to go home. Paula praises him by
standing up and then holding her legs together in a
"gotta pee" stance that doesn't go
unnoticed by Simon and Randy. When Luke sings his
Humiliation Number, Danny is seen clapping
absentmindedly. It's him and Chikezie left, and he
knows what's next.
is next to go home. I have to say that this makes as much
and also as little sense as any other elimination. Her
performance was as good and as average as any of the
other women's. And then Seacrest gives
her the choice to sing or not sing even though
she's not nearly as broken up as that girl last week.
What gives here? No one should get the choice on
whether they sing the Humiliation Number. They have to
sing it no matter what. They signed the contract. Fuck this
"Are you up to it?" shit. Sing! And sing
badly! That's why I'm here.
6. Chikezie seems
so nice. He's already comforting Danny. And when
Danny gets the boot, Chikezie hugs him for a long
time, giving him an extra neck nuzzle for good
measure. And I think even Danny could appreciate how
awesome this suddenly gets, because at that moment not only
does Ramiele completely lose her shit, but the camera
also cuts to Chikezie's parents, each of them
lost in their own world of pleasure. Dad is doing a little
seated victory dance and Mom's got her arms held up,
face to the ceiling, mouthing
"Hallelujah" (the real one, not the dark
Leonard Cohen one) and praising Jesus. Thanks,
whoever's controlling the cameras. Thanks for
laughs, Young Gay. You were great while you lasted.
7. This episode
has been brought to you by the expression "Take a