Idol Chatter :: Top 11

by Nick Dussault
Wednesday Mar 23, 2005
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After the mediocre-at-best competition that sent what’s her name back to LA last week, I have to admit that, sans Mario, the prospect of watching another eleven weeks of “Idol” seemed torturous. Seeing Miss-ter Seacrest in a too-tight red t-shirt that read, “I (heart) Expensive T-Shirts, and looked as if it had been ripped from the racks of a junior miss department, I thought all I’d have to write about today were Paula’s legal problems and how much we miss Mario.

Happily, I was wrong. For the first time this season, and probably much of last season, more contestants were good than bad. Maybe it was the theme, Billboard number one hits. Whatever the cause, let’s forget about Mario, (gasp), for today at least, and engage in some serious Idol Chatter.

I feel as though I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that Paula was involved in a hit and run accident that she claims, despite photos, never happened. The seemingly heavily medicated ex-Laker Girl believes her car was being serviced on the day of the freeway fender-bender and that she was actually flying to Malaysia. She seemed to be flying last night, too, though she never even left the studio. Let’s hope that, on her judgment day, the judge isn’t flying or our little choreographer could end up doing some hard time. We’d miss her, like we missed the Bee Gees when they broke up.

Speaking of Andy Gibb, miracle man Anthony Fedorov bore a stylistic resemblance to the now-deceased pop-star as he flitted around the stage wowing 11-year old girls everywhere with his man-version of “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me.” Randy and Paula liked it, a lot. Simon said it was “okay, but (Anthony’s) attempt at being sexy didn’t work. It would be like Randy Jackson going on “Baywatch”.” Randy then challenged Simon to take his shirt off. I guess they wanted to determine who was sexier. Just ask lithium breath, she never kisses Randy the way she kisses Simon.

If Simon knew what was coming next, he might’ve taken off his shirt to show the farmer’s daughter what he had to offer her. Little Carrie Underwood, whom I predicted would finish second to Mario the first time we saw her, looked smoking, do-me-really-hard hot last night and blew the doors off of “Alone.” Daddy’s little milk-maiden proved once and for all that she can do it all…and will. The judges loved it, though none quite as much as Simon. “Carrie, you’re not just the girl to beat, you’re the person to beat. I will make a prediction, not only will you win this show, you will sell more records than any other Idol.” Unplug those milk machines Daddy Underwood, you might just be movie to Beverly Hills, “swimming pools, movie stars” and even Donnie Osmond, whose puzzling presence in the audience went unexplained.

But I’m sure he was glad to be there for Scott Savol’s Gypsy Rose Lee moment. The man who should fire the stylist chose “Against All Odds” because it was something “(his) dad would be able to relate to.” In an almost Fellini-like performance, the big daddy-hater tried to symbolically expose himself emotionally by removing his hat, then his glasses in an almost strip-tease-like manner, prompting Simon to quip, “Thank God it was only a minute song. We’d have had a full strip-tease after 3 minutes.” Dressed in Rerun’s clothes, rocking back and forth like a blind guy, the man who would kill daddy delivered a great vocal performance. Unfortunately, he belongs on “Extreme Makeover,” not “American Idol.”

Next up was rocker Bo Bice with the evening’s dullest, most disappointingly adequate performance. Jim Croce was his hero so he chose “Time in a Bottle.” Yawn. Keep that up Bo and your career will go down faster than a private plane with engine trouble. Everyone thought it was okay, but Simon’s comment said it all. “The only downside is that your hairstyle now resembles Paula’s.” Ouch.

Personally, I think the biggest downside was that after Bo came Mario replacement (as if) Nikko Smith. Sporting a black fedora (hats-how original) and wearing a black overcoat (in L.A. in the spring), the 13th place finisher’s rendition of “Incomplete” left Paula speechless, (perhaps it should become the show’s anthem). Randy “got goose bumps” and Simon said “it was by far your best performance.” I thought it was awfully atonal and basically sucked.

But daddy-loving Vonzell Solomon didn’t suck at all. In fact, her “Best of My Love” brought Paula to her feet and even made pre-gastric bypass slough Randy boogey in his chair. Simon, of course, did nothing, but I think I saw him smile a little before he said “I think for the first time in this competition people are going to remember you. Very good.” I concur, Cowell.

And I also believe in God after Constantine Maroulis started singing the Partridge Family number one hit “I Think I Love You.” Just seeing the smarmy 30-year old, (that’s right 30), bouncing around stage trying to rock the cheesy 1970s pre-pubescent chart-buster made me grateful to be alive during the video recording era. I can’t wait to watch the faux-greasy haired, chick magnet wannabe do it again and again and again. As always, Simon nailed the surrealistic event when he said, “It was like ordering a guard dog for your home and getting a poodle in a leather jacket.” And what a scraggly poodle it is.

Unfortunately, Constantine’s debacle wasn’t the evening’s only dog. Risk-taking Nadia Turner clearly proved the downside to taking risks is when you flop, you flop in a big way. Sporting a mother of a mohawk, the uber-talented chanteuse weakly warbled Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” She looked great, but Simon was right when he said, “It was your weakest performance by a mile. Sorry.” Me too.

But not nearly as sorry as little Mikalah Gordon will be tonight when her name is, keep your fingers crossed, called. “To keep me out of the bottom two this week, I chose Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back” said the Barbra Streisand-Fran Drescher-inspired creation. Cowell quipped, “It was a complete and utter mess.” That’s putting it nicely. It was a John Stevens moment if I’ve ever seen one. Hopefully little Mikalah will be home in time to go prom-dress shopping this weekend. Speaking of off-the-rack, you need to get those bulky sweaters off of yours Mikalah, it’ll help with the job search and certainly make prom night more interesting for some, hopefully hearing-impaired, young man.

And if your school needs a chaperone, Anwar Robinson proved beyond a shadow of a doubt last night that a room full of horny 17-year old girls would be safe with him. When he opened his mouth to begin Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody,” the pearls came flying out and 15-year old church singing boys all over America finally felt like they weren’t alone.

And Carrie Underwood wasn’t alone at the top of the heap after Jessica Sierra’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Randy called it “a brilliant performance.” Simon said, “You and Carrie outsang every other person in this competition tonight. Good work.” It was actually great work. Sierra proved once again that she can certainly sing. But, at the risk of sounding like the accidental motorist, Jessica needs to make the right song choices. This one rocked and so did she.

Hopefully, tonight’s results show will eliminate one major annoyance. Can’t wait to see her go.

Until next time, “Seacrest out,” please.

p.s. Mario sends his warmest regards.

This article is part of our "Idol Chatter" series. Want to read more? Here's the full list»


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