The Emasculation of Simon
"American Idol" judge Simon Cowell appears to have been neutered since we saw him last.
Simon apparently believes the number of votes being cast for Idolette Sanjaya Malakar each week by little girls and older women is directly proportional to how mean Simon is in his review of Sanjaya's performance.
So Simon no longer will say cruel things about Sanjaya.
Or, it would appear, any other Idolette.
"Let's try a different tactic this week -- Incredible!" Simon said of Sanjaya's "Cheek to Cheek" routine in which, Sanjaya said in his taped bit that he hoped to "make America see I actually CAN sing."
Turns out, Sanjaya not only cannot sing, he cannot dance. Our psychic sources tell us Fred Astaire (who introduced the song in "Top Hat" back in the '30s) has been turning over in his grave ever since Sanjaya's performance aired.
And yet Sanjaya, who, once you get to know him, really is something of a megalomaniac, shouts back at Simon "Welcome to the Universe of Sanjaya!"
Blake Lewis twirled and caressed himself through "Mack the Knife." And even he admitted to show host Ryan Seacrest he had trouble with the lyrics -- you know, like understanding them. And yet Simon gave him a 7-out-of-10 (though he gave the band 8.)
Phil Stacey sucked the life out of "Night and Day." The best Simon could do with that was "it had all the joy of somebody singing in a funeral parlor." Simon was completely shot down by Phil, who responded that he'd sung the love ballad to his wife in the audience. (Which, by the way, will totally keep Phil out of the bottom three this week.)
Chris Richardson's version of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" was fun, but he still has that really annoying thin, nasal voice. Here, Simon went with "believable," "kind if hip" and Chris's " best performance" to date.
Gina Glockson did an impression of a Goth Girl singing Charlie Chaplin's sweet song "Smile" -- a set- up tailor made for a Simon skewering. All he could muster was a comment that her vocals weren't as good as Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks who'd sung before her.
Haley Scarnato was so bad Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, in an "American Idol" first, actually punted, refusing to give comments. They tossed to Simon, who turned and told them it was rude not to critique Haley's performance. Then, remembering he'd been fixed, he told Haley, "I think you've got great legs."
Lakisha Jones, Simon said, was back in form with a "sassy, great performance." Which was true -- but still.
Most tellingly, when Melinda Doolittle sang, Simon wept on her shoulder that "I don't think we're ever going to be able to criticize you," which he said was a big problem.
"Why is it a problem?" Ryan wondered.
"Because we like being mean to people, occasionally," Simon said, sadly, kissing his manhood goodbye.
Editor's note: For more on last night's "American Idol," read Lisa's TV column.
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