Girls on Top
Scary Things We Can't Get Out of Our Head About Chick Contestants night on "American Idol"
Like football is such a big part of Jordin Sparks' life she puts on the face paint. After she belts Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker," judge Randy Jackson says "it's weird for me" because it's "like a different show when the girls come, man...what's going on?" proving he's been napping since mid-January.
On the Coke Couch, Gina Glocksen tells show host Ryan Seacrest it's a blessing that the women are all so good because "we feed off each other's energy" and each week they get "higher and higher." I want some of whatever she's smoking. Sabrina Sloan tells Ryan they must all go out and sing and have fun and leave the rest up to God -- and America, " she adds, lest viewers think that means they don't have to spend the money to phone in their votes for her.
Sabrina Sloan confesses as a child she wanted to be CBS evening news anchor Katie Couric (who we just heard has had her executive producer Rome Hartman replaced by - drum roll - Rick Kaplan! Is there any job in network news Kaplan hasn't had?) .
Sabrina's rendition of En Vogue's "Don't Let Go" causes Randy to do that teeth sucking thing he does when he's not happy, and Paula calls her voice an "amazing instrument." But Simon says she reminded him of a "hotel resort performance," drawing from his bag of insults, that also includes "you sound like a high school production," "you sound like cruise-line entertainment," and the ever popular "you sound like a singer in that bar in Majorca where I spent a week back in the summer of '02."
Antonella Barba says she used to play the violin as a child but she's little rusty now because she hasn't had time to practice recently, what with all those photo sessions for that calendar. She still teaches when she goes home for the summer which she say is "really fun."
Antonella sings Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" and hits most of the notes but, on the other hand, she looks really hot. Randy and Paula are non-committal, but Simon says she's gone as far as she can go and he doesn't think she will get better, though he gives her props for handling herself well as she's "taken a lot of stick in the media" over those photos of varying degrees of naughty-tude. Thunderous applause from the studio audience.
"But I'm not going to patronize you here -- it wasn't your worst performance; we've heard you sing worse," Simon adds. "The problem here is I wish you could sing better."
This causes Antonella to fly into full Jersey-girl-doing-Valley-Girl-speak when Ryan asks her if she understands what Simon is saying.
"I understand it -- yuhaah!" (as in, Duh!) she says, adding that she doesn't think the judges should compare her to the other chicks because "I don't try to be like them and they don't try to be like me."
"Let's get real," Simon snaps back. "No one's being critical for the sake of being critical."
"It's a singing competition," Randy says, leaping to Simon's defense.
"Let's get to a warmer place," Paula interjects.
Haley Scarnato was a promising gymnast until her shoulders gave out at age 15. So she sings Faith Hill's "If My Heart Had Wings " which Randy says lacked "Yo!" and Paula agrees. Simon calls it "horrible, just horrible, like -- some ghastly high school musical performance!" Then Simon pulls the most searing insult yet out of thin air, telling her that half way through her performance he realized "I don't know your name" because she's that forgettable. He is, of course, right; we always have to look up her name. But Paula calls the comment "horrible. So Simon challenges Paula to name the chick, and she says "Haley." Simon asks what is the singer's surname and Paula can't remember. Ryan can, however. Ryan is the consummate professional.
Ryan wonders whether a gal takes it personally when Simon says something like that after she's sung in front of 30 million people.
"Um, you can, but every week I've gotten bad comments," Haley hisses through her frozen-on smile, saying a gal has to do what a gals' got to do, which is "clock in and clock out." Huh?
"Haley, you haven't always gotten bad comments," Paula chides.
"No, but Simon doesn't like me," Haley says bitterly, though the smile.
Stephanie Edwards used to run to her bedroom weeping when her parents asked her to sing for family and friends. Years later, she sings Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing" on "American Idol" and her voice meanders here and there, but Randy still gives her an A for effort and Paula calls it a "darned near perfect" performance, though Simon says she's good, even if a "copycat."
LaKisha Jones tells the audience she is terrified of animals and if she comes to your house and you have a pet, she will jump up on your table. She sings Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" which the judges all love.
Ryan has a pillow fight with the girls on the Coke Couch. Then Gina Glockson shows us her lucky charms including Mr. Troll, who is always in her pocket, and Pickle the Plush Toy. Gina has finally figured out about the "American Idol" Rocker Exemption and makes a grab for it, singing Evanescense's "Call Me When You're Sober." The judges wonder what took her so long. Gina weeps tears of joy, explaining "I got a compliment from Simon Cowell!"
Ryan notes Pickle the Plush Toy is sitting on her boyfriend's chest in the audience.
And finally, Melinda Doolittle: Melinda tells us her friends say she has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but she likes to call it "equal opportunity." Here's how it works: When she steps on a crack with one foot, she must step on the crack with the other foot, and when she touches something cold with her left hand she must quickly touch something cold with her right hand.
"It's all about equality, we're all in this together, right?" Melinda asks. "Not me!" about 25 million "Idol: viewers respond in their heads.
Melinda sings "I'm a Woman" which Randy calls "the hottest one of the night" while Simon tells her "You little tiger!" and then launches into another thinly veiled attack on Jennifer Hudson, who got booted from "Idol," but just won an Oscar.
Specifically, he says what he likes about her is that while SOME previous contestants have called their "Idol" experience "a stepping stone" -- extra points for correctly guessing who -- Melinda is "actually enjoying every second" on stage.
We're still way back at "you say 'OCD '-- I say 'equal opportunity'."
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